• BOOKS

    The UN Security Council, Functioning Amid Disasters

    by  • January 9, 2016 • BOOKS • 

    There is no easy way to describe a book about the United Nations that is nearly 1,000 pages long, with dozens of authors, all experts in their fields. “The UN Security Council in the 21st Century” is that book, a collection of situation reports, analyses and prophesies published as the 70th anniversary year of the UN...

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    UN Peacekeeping: A Portrait of More Than 50 Years

    by  • December 28, 2015 • BOOKS • 

    For many people in the world, the United Nations is often associated with peacekeeping, one of the most visible activities of the world body in its efforts to maintain international peace and security. Peacekeeping was created in the late 1940s and developed over decades into an ambitious instrument to contain severe political and military...

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    What Can Save Unesco? Advice From an Insider

    by  • December 15, 2015 • BOOKS • 

    Founded in 1946 with noble goals, namely “to contribute to peace and security by promoting collaboration among the nations through education, science and culture,” the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) has in fact achieved considerable progress, above all in assisting its member nations in providing quality basic education for children, youth...

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    The Surprising Confessions of a Peacemaker

    by  • July 18, 2015 • BOOKS • 

    When war breaks out, you would think the easy answer would be to send in a United Nations peacekeeping mission, right? In fact, it is fairly rare and extraordinarily challenging to pull such a mission together. Even then, the mission can end up a flop, making little or no difference as the years crawl...

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    What We’re Reading This Summer

    by  • July 11, 2015 • BOOKS • 

    Enjoying your summer but still looking for something good to read? There are lots of reading choices, of course, starting with all those backed up New Yorker magazines, McKinsey reports and NPR’s Summer Romance List. Or you can get a peek at what some of PassBlue’s editors and correspondents — Barbara Crossette, Irwin Arieff, Laura...

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    If Africa Is So Rich, Why Is It So Poor?

    by  • May 18, 2015 • BOOKS • 44 Comments

    They call it the Curse of Riches. Although the African continent is blessed with gold, diamonds, oil, coltan, bauxite, uranium, iron ore and other valuable resources, its inhabitants have long numbered among the world’s poorest. While a few sub-Saharan African nations are doing relatively well, most are mired in poverty. That a continent’s abundant...

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    New Development Goals: Can the UN Machinery Cope?

    by  • April 19, 2015 • BOOKS • 

    The United Nations is now discussing in a broad consultation process the sustainable development goals: a new universal set of ambitions for economic and social development, made up of targets and indicators that all countries are expected to use to frame their agendas and policies from 2015 to 2030, to be adopted by the...

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    China in Africa: When Is a Win-Win Deal a Loser?

    by  • January 1, 2015 • BOOKS • 1 Comment

    Chinese officials often describe their growing economic involvement in Africa as a “win-win” arrangement. As they see it, African nations gain investment and infrastructure, make progress toward development goals and benefit from the creation of jobs and other economic activity. China lands contracts for its state-owned enterprises, enhances its image as a global leader,...

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    Islamism and Politics: Going in Circles

    by  • July 3, 2014 • BOOKS • 

    It must be a drag to live in a strict Islamist regime: the legal system stems entirely from Islamic — sharia — law, in which adulterers are stoned to death, thieves have their hands chopped off, and the renunciation of Islam, or apostasy, is punishable by death. Liberal democracy? Gender equality and women’s rights?...

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    Resource Wars: How Afraid Should We Be of China?

    by  • March 26, 2014 • BOOKS • 1 Comment

    Xi Jinping of China

    The United States and Japanese military held joint war games in California in February, practicing how to invade and take back an island seized by hostile forces. While they didn’t say whose forces they were worried about, the drill was one more sign of growing global fears that China’s People’s Liberation Army may soon...

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    Just About Everyone Wanted Benazir Bhutto Dead

    by  • January 12, 2014 • BOOKS • 

    Benazir Bhutto, the Pakistani prime minister who was killed by a teenage suicide bomber in 2008.

    Why write a whodunit when you can’t say who done it? This is the challenging task undertaken by Heraldo Muñoz, a veteran Chilean diplomat and United Nations official, in his new book, “Getting Away With Murder: Benazir Bhutto’s Assassination and the Politics of Pakistan.” In 2009, the UN asked Muñoz to head an investigation...

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    Defending Women’s Rights Against Muslim Fundamentalism

    by  • November 17, 2013 • BOOKS • 

    Afghan women sorting pistachios in Herat

    Karima Bennoune grew up in Algeria in the 1990s, a dark period when the country was riven by Muslim fundamentalist violence and a repressive military dictatorship that responded to the fundamentalist threat with its own campaign of terror. Her father, Mahfoud Bennoune, an intellectual and outspoken critic of both the authorities and the fundamentalists...

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    Shocking! Uncle Sam Is Not an Honest Broker

    by  • July 3, 2013 • BOOKS • 

    Demonstration against land confiscation, Beit Ummar

      You shouldn’t need a book to tell you that the Palestinians have gotten pretty much zilch out of the Middle East peace process. So readers of “Brokers of Deceit: How the U.S. Has Undermined Peace in the Middle East” are unlikely to be astonished by what they find there. The core argument of...

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    Regional Organizations Remain Vital to the UN

    by  • April 30, 2013 • BOOKS • 

    Alicia Barcena of ECLAC and Jan Eliasson of the UN

    Formed as a “club” of nation states, the United Nations took some time to find out that cooperation with regional organizations might be of some use in improving social and economic living conditions as well as maintaining international peace and security and safeguarding the enjoyment of human rights. It was not before the economic...

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