• Geopolitics

    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 • 

    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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    At the UN, a New Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapons Is Adopted by 122 Nations

    by  • July 7, 2017 • Disarmament, Gender-Based Violence, Geopolitics, Nuclear Disarmament • 

    Nuclear buildup and threat of nuclear war became a front-page item this past week, after Kim Jong Un’s declaration of a successful intercontinental ballistic missile test, confirmed on July 4 by United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Such headlines — proclaimed on America’s Independence Day — remind the public of the ever-present specter...

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    The UN Peacekeeping Mission in Mali Escapes Trump’s Hatchet

    by  • June 30, 2017 • Africa, Geopolitics, UN Peacekeeping, US-UN Relations • 

    After a month of contentious debate between the United Nations Security Council and UN budget committees, agreement has been reached for the UN to stay focused on Mali and the Sahel region, where terrorism is threatening to destabilize the area. The region extends across Africa from east to west in an arc right below...

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    As the UN Chief Goes to Washington, He Reiterates Plight of Refugees

    by  • June 20, 2017 • Africa, Geopolitics, Middle East, Refugees, Secretary-General, US-UN Relations • 

    Photo: UN Secretary-General António Guterres in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

    On International Refugee Day, António Guterres reiterated the plight of refugees and displaced people worldwide — a phenomenal 65.5 million people — in his first media briefing at United Nations headquarters in months. He let drop that he is traveling to Washington, D.C., from June 27-29 to lobby Congressional members on UN budget matters....

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    Trump’s Decision to Withdraw From the Paris Agreement Is Not So Simple

    by  • June 1, 2017 • Climate and Environment, Geopolitics, US Foreign Relations, US-UN Relations • 

    With his announcement to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord, President Donald Trump will discover taking such action is neither simple nor immediate. Given that the US is one of the leading greenhouse gas emitting countries, pulling out of the Paris accord will make it incredibly difficult for the world to...

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    On Climate Change, UN Secretary-General António Guterres Swipes at the US

    by  • May 30, 2017 • Climate and Environment, Geopolitics, Secretary-General, US Foreign Relations, US-UN Relations • 

    “Allow me to be blunt,” António Guterres, the United Nations secretary-general, told his audience to an uneasy laugh. “Our world is in a mess.” Although Guterres could have been speaking to any audience anywhere, he was addressing a crowd gathered at the Stern Center for Sustainable Business at New York University on May 30,...

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    The Debate on Trump’s Budget Ignores Serious Global Cuts

    by  • May 29, 2017 • Africa, Gender-Based Violence, Geopolitics, Health and Population, Humanitarian Aid, Peace and Security, UN Peacekeeping, US-UN Relations • 

    When the White House sent its proposed 2018 budget to the United States Congress on May 23, it was apparent that not only would a hawkish, nationalistic focus on military expenditures come at the cost of international aid and support for the United Nations. Worse, the Trump plan would also sideline discussions on global...

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    Did Equatorial Guinea Bribe Its Way to a UN Security Council Seat?

    by  • May 23, 2017 • Africa, Geopolitics, Human Rights, Poverty, Security Council • 1 Comment

    Amid the predominantly Francophone region in West Africa is tiny Spanish-speaking Equatorial Guinea, a country blessed — or cursed — with vast oil reserves. For most of its independent life, the country has been ruled by President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, who has the distinction of being the longest-serving nonroyal head of state in...

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