• Geopolitics

    Is the New UN Envoy for Yemen Destined for Failure?

    by  • March 5, 2018 • Geopolitics, Middle East, UN Special Envoys • 1 Comment

    Martin Griffiths, the new United Nations special envoy for Yemen and a British international mediator, will begin work this month on a war that is called the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Griffiths is highly praised in the arena of private conflict mediation, having founded his own firm in 1999 that has brokered resolutions to...

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    In Africa, Where the Pain of Trump’s ‘Racist’ Comments Runs Deep

    by  • January 17, 2018 • Africa, Caribbean, Geopolitics, US Foreign Relations, US-UN Relations • 1 Comment

    In the United States, the reaction to the bigoted comments that President Donald Trump made on Jan. 11 about black-majority nations in Africa didn’t take long to shift its focus to domestic American politics, obscuring the shock of those abroad who have been maligned. Around the world, a very different story is taking shape....

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    China’s Notions of UN Reform: Filling the Growing Vacuum Left by the US

    by  • January 3, 2018 • Asia, Development, Geopolitics, Peace and Security • 

    China has presented its position on United Nations reform, and it aligns with Secretary-General António Guterres’s own agenda. It pushes for practicalities, such as a transparent process, a stronger peace and security pillar, streamlined internal management and more geographic diversity in hiring practices in peacekeeping and the UN Secretariat. “The world is undergoing major...

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    Words Ring Hollow From the UN After Attacks on Peacekeepers

    by  • December 27, 2017 • Africa, Asia, Geopolitics, Peace and Security, Secretary-General, UN Peacekeeping • 1 Comment

    The horrific attack on United Nations peacekeepers from Tanzania in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in early December and the ensuing hours-long battle was a severe blow to one of the UN’s more prized forces, leaving 15 soldiers dead. But the UN was already so concerned with a rise in peacekeeper fatalities —...

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    The Art of Infinite Patience: Searching for Peace in South Sudan

    by  • December 26, 2017 • Africa, Geopolitics, Peace and Security, UN Peacekeeping • 

    The South Sudan Council of Churches is an umbrella organization for seven Christian denominations — African Inland Church, Catholic, Episcopal, Pentecostal, Presbyterian, Evangelical Presbyterian and Sudan Interior Church — working on peace and reconciliation in South Sudan and based in Juba, the capital. The country has been fighting a civil war for exactly four...

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    David Miliband on Our Duty to the Strangers in Our Midst: Refugees

    by  • December 19, 2017 • Geopolitics, Poverty, Refugees • 

    David Miliband, a former British foreign secretary, has been president and chief executive of the International Rescue Committee since 2013, overseeing both the agency’s humanitarian relief operations and its refugee resettlement and assistance programs in several American cities. The son of European refugees from Nazi Germany, he just published his first book, “Rescue: Refugees and...

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    Is the US Going to Drop Out of the UN Human Rights Council?

    by  • December 17, 2017 • Geopolitics, Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Security Council, US Foreign Relations, US-UN Relations • 

    Palestinian causes in the United Nations are gaining wider and more active support in the Arab and Islamic worlds in light of Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, in defiance of global opinion and decades of UN resolutions. The move sets the scene for reigniting intense anti-UN activity in United States Congress....

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    Loose Missiles, Loose Talk: Nikki Haley’s Claims of Iran’s ‘Lawless Behavior’

    by  • December 16, 2017 • Geopolitics, Middle East, Security Council, US Foreign Relations • 1 Comment

    Why are the United States Department of Defense and the US ambassador to the United Nations acting as spokespeople for Saudi Arabia’s atrocious war against the religious Yemeni-Houthi minority? And why is Ambassador Nikki Haley throwing herself in front of the international community with laughable evidence to claim, among other statements: “The Iranian regime...

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    Trump’s Jerusalem Move Sparks Backlash From Powerful UN Members

    by  • December 8, 2017 • Geopolitics, Security Council, US Foreign Relations, US-UN Relations • 

    In rare action by two of America’s closest allies, Britain and France called for an emergency meeting of the 15 members of the United Nations Security Council to air their concerns over the decision by Donald Trump of the United States to endorse Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The emergency meeting on Dec....

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    Why Do Jihadists Exit Violent Extremism? The Field of Study Grows

    by  • November 17, 2017 • Gender-Based Violence, Geopolitics, Middle East • 

    The study of violent extremism and what attracts people to become jihadists has been expanding rapidly in social sciences, but what is little known is why people avoid or leave a violent movement. It is a field that is slowly growing among academics, think tanks and United Nations officials, enabling them to form policies...

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    Judging the UN in Haiti: ‘We Let the Haitians Down’

    by  • November 9, 2017 • Caribbean, Gender-Based Violence, Geopolitics, Secretary-General, UN Peacekeeping • 1 Comment

    The population it serves can misunderstand a United Nations peacekeeping mandate. In the host country, with people’s lives, infrastructure and administrative systems often rendered dysfunctional by conflict, the population expects peacekeepers to restore order, build roads and other essentials, provide work, render justice and make life like it was before if not better. They...

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    Guterres’s Grand Plan to Remake the UN’s Peace and Security ‘Pillar’

    by  • October 20, 2017 • General Assembly, Geopolitics, Secretary-General, US Foreign Relations, US-UN Relations • 

    António Guterres, the UN secretary-general

    Considerable restructuring of the peacekeeping, political affairs and peace-building departments of the United Nations is being proposed by Secretary-General António Guterres as he continues to embark on reforming the world body, which contends with increasingly complex crises and conflicts each year. In a 16-page document obtained by PassBlue and to be submitted soon to the UN’s...

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    Janet Benshoof, Legal Activist, Seeks Help for Burma Through the Global Court

    by  • October 8, 2017 • Asia, Geopolitics, Human Rights, International Justice • 

    Photo of Janet Benshoof, a lawyer-activist, leads the Global Justice Center in New York.

    Burma has long been a unique country not only for its otherworldly landscape of pagodas and gold-topped stupas but also, paradoxically, as an isolated country where a nationalistic military has given itself extraordinary constitutional powers. Generals, who have warped the country’s Buddhist heritage over half a century, can now attack the Muslim-majority Rohingya people...

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    When Deaths Exceed Births, Countries Can Turn to Immigration

    by  • October 2, 2017 • Africa, Asia, Geopolitics, Health and Population, Migration, Refugees • 

    The demography is clear: when deaths outnumber births — excluding for zero immigration — populations decline. That simple yet powerful demographic relationship is irrefutable, regardless of geography, era, economics, political ideology or religious belief. Yet many politicians around the world, who typically have short-term perspectives, particularly those living in countries facing population decline and...

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    Saudis Dispute Casualty Numbers in New UN Report on Children in War

    by  • September 27, 2017 • Geopolitics, Middle East, Secretary-General • 

    Saudi Arabia is vehemently disputing a decision by the United Nations that it is to be named and shamed again for its violations of children’s rights in the Yemen war. The Saudis, who lead a regional bombing coalition against the Houthi opposition forces in Yemen, have landed in the annual report from the UN...

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    Militia Most Likely Killed Two UN Experts in Congo, a UN Report Finds

    by  • August 16, 2017 • Africa, Geopolitics, Security Council • 

    A militia from the Kasaï Central Province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo was “likely” responsible for the murders of the two United Nations experts who were killed in March 2017 in the province, according to a fact-finding report from an independent board assigned by the UN to investigate the deaths. The board...

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    Russia Blocks Egypt From Pushing for More Oversight of UN Sanctions

    by  • July 31, 2017 • Africa, Geopolitics, Middle East, Security Council • 

    Striving to leave an indelible mark as president of the United Nations Security Council in August, Egypt proposed that an informal working group, focused comprehensively on sanctions regimes, should be set up to advise the Council. But one powerful member of the Council, Russia, has said no to the idea, so it has been...

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    US Congress Starts Slicing Away at 2018 National Budget, Sure to Hurt UN

    by  • July 24, 2017 • Geopolitics, Secretary-General, US Foreign Relations, US-UN Relations • 

    The first round in the battle to write a federal budget, working off the Trump administration’s ruthless proposals announced in May, has ended in the House of Representatives appropriations committee. As feared by advocates for women, the poor, refugees, global health programs and even foreign language study, the Republican-led appropriations committee, which sets budget...

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    At the UN, Pakistan Gets Respect

    by  • July 18, 2017 • Asia, Geopolitics, Nuclear Disarmament • 

    When Maleeha Lodhi arrived at the United Nations in 2015 as Pakistan’s ambassador, she brought with her a broad background in academia, journalism and diplomacy: a Ph.D. in political science from the London School of Economics, where she later taught political sociology; the first woman to edit major newspapers in Pakistan; ambassador to the...

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    UN’s South Sudan Experts Criticized for Weapons Claims Amid Larger Problems

    by  • July 11, 2017 • Africa, Geopolitics, Peace and Security, Security Council • 

    A hard-hitting report published in April 2017 by the United Nations Security Council sanctions panel monitoring South Sudan was potentially marred by weakly sourced allegations about arms sales from Egypt and elsewhere, according to a senior Egyptian diplomat and two former UN sanctions experts. The perceived flaws in the South Sudan panel’s work are...

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