• Middle East

    Building a Case for Prosecuting the Genocide of Yazidi Women

    by  • August 1, 2017 • Gender-Based Violence, Middle East, Responsibility to Protect, Security Council, Terrorism, Women • 

    As the Islamic State’s self-proclaimed caliphate in Iraq crumbles, assessments begin to emerge of the damage left in its wake by its cultural nihilism and harsh sectarian absolutism designed to remake an Arab society. The human costs have been high in Iraq — in deaths, maiming, displacement and the enslavement of girls and women....

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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 Sends Mixed Messages to UN Mission in Iraq

    by  • July 28, 2017 • Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Middle East, Nikki Haley Watch, Security Council, US-UN Relations • 

    Since the liberation of the Iraqi city of Mosul in early July, United Nations officials and diplomats in New York have weighed in on the crucial stabilization process for the ruined city. Part of the voices included, of course, the United States diplomatic mission to the UN. Those commenting on Mosul’s newfound freedom championed...

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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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    Rape by Terrorists: A UN Report Documents Sexual Attacks in War

    by  • May 2, 2017 • Gender-Based Violence, Human Trafficking, Libya, Middle East, Peace and Security, Women • 1 Comment

    Moving away from strictly categorizing rape and other sexual abuse against women as a weapon of war, a new report from the United Nations addresses the increasing use of rape as a weapon of terrorism. The report also documents how mass migration has led to further sexual violence against women through human trafficking by...

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    Was America’s Attack on Syria Legal? An Asian Expert’s View

    by  • April 26, 2017 • Disarmament, Middle East, Security Council, Syria, US Foreign Relations, WORLDVIEWS • 

    The images of civilians, particularly children, being asphyxiated by chemical substances and dying in Idlib Province of Syria on April 4 were a game changer. Judging that the chemical attack was carried out by the Syrian government, the United States, two days later, attacked Syria’s Shayrat airbase with 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles. The US...

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    Jerusalem Has Always Been a Contested City

    by  • March 7, 2017 • Geopolitics, Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Middle East, Security Council, US Foreign Relations, US-UN Relations • 

    The long-simmering dispute over the fate of Jerusalem stands at the center of the Middle East conflict. Israelis and Palestinians, divided on many points, become most emotional when discussing the future of the walled, ancient crossroads city that is holy to three world religions. So international diplomats took notice when foreign policy neophyte Donald...

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    Seeking a Path for Jerusalem: A Chronology

    by  • March 7, 2017 • Geopolitics, Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Middle East, US Foreign Relations • 

    Here is a brief political history of Jerusalem, in timeline format, dating from the earliest human settlement to the present. The chronology is selective, focusing primarily on the development of competing visions over the years of the ancient city’s past and future. The timeline accompanies a separate article, “Jerusalem’s Fate: Myth Versus Reality,” by...

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    Feelings Hurt, Yemeni-Americans in New York City Protest the Trump Immigration Ban

    by  • February 2, 2017 • Geopolitics, Libya, Middle East, Migration, Refugees, Syria, US Foreign Relations • 

    BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Thousands of Yemeni-Americans in New York City turned out to peacefully — if not passionately — protest the White House ban on immigrants entering the United States from seven Muslim-majority countries, including Yemen. The protesters waved American and Yemeni flags, shouting slogans like “United we stand against the Muslim ban.” Held...

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    Take a Look: Global Refugee Law and US Areas Affected Most by Trump Ban

    by  • January 31, 2017 • Cities, Geopolitics, Human Rights, Middle East, Migration, Refugees, Syria, US Foreign Relations • 1 Comment

    The public furor and enormous protests by many thousands of Americans nationwide have led experts to try to explain where the decisions made by Donald Trump fall short of legality in both national and international law. From Hollywood to the world of sports to the corridors of the United States Congress, people are saying...

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    Educators on the UN Denounce Trump’s Crackdown on Refugees

    by  • January 28, 2017 • Education, Human Rights, Middle East, Migration, Refugees, Syria, US Foreign Relations • 

    More than 700 educators and students, meeting at United Nations headquarters in New York recently, called on the international community to protect refugees’ lives, encourage countries to take in “large numbers of refugees and migrants” and do more to ensure they get an education and are protected from sexual and gender-based violence. Acting as...

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    Gas Discovery Could Solidify UN-Led Cypriot Peace Talks

    by  • January 25, 2017 • Asia, Geopolitics, Middle East • 1 Comment

    As Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots have returned this month to try to settle their 42-year conflict once and for all, a powerful new economic incentive — a significant natural gas discovery — could provide the decisive chance for success to the peace talks on Cyprus. The background to the natural gas discovery and...

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    Top Sellers of Weapons to the Developing World in 2015? US and France

    by  • January 18, 2017 • Disarmament, Geopolitics, Middle East • 

    Sanaa Yemen families the day after an airstrike

    A responsibility to promote worldwide cooperation toward peace and security is not the only role that the permanent-five veto-wielding powers in the United Nations Security Council have in common. Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States are also the world’s largest exporters of conventional weapons to developing countries. The export of weapons by...

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    In a Single Day, US Congress Castigates Both the UN and Obama Over Israeli Vote

    by  • January 6, 2017 • Health and Population, Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Middle East, Security Council, UN Agencies • 

    While Washington is caught up in the unfolding drama about the extent and motives of Russian hacking and possible attempted manipulation of the 2016 American presidential election, another story is playing out around threats to “punish” the United Nations. On Jan.5, the United States House of Representatives voted to repudiate the Security Council resolution...

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    Defying Trump in Momentous Vote, UN Security Council Condemns Israeli Settlements

    by  • December 23, 2016 • Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Middle East, Security Council, US Foreign Relations, US-UN Relations • 

      In last-minute drama before the Christmas holiday, a vote by the United Nations Security Council on a resolution condemning illegal Israeli settlements boiled down to one country’s tacit approval: the United States. In an intensely watched vote on Dec. 23 at the UN, 14 elected and permanent members of the council voted yes...

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    The Syrian War and the Refugee Crisis: Spawning the Rise of the Far Right

    by  • December 21, 2016 • Middle East, Peace and Security, Security Council, Syria, US Foreign Relations, WORLDVIEWS • 

    The butterfly effect teaches us that seemingly insignificant actions can have enormous future consequences. A tiny pair of fluttering wings can disturb the air in a way that helps trigger a hurricane halfway around the world. Witness Syria, where the Arab Spring made its debut in 2011 in the form of a tame wave...

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    A Poverty-Easing Plan to Help Displaced People and Their Host Countries

    by  • December 9, 2016 • Development, Humanitarian Aid, Middle East, Migration, Refugees, World Bank • 

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — One year ago, almost 1 percent of the world’s population, about 65 million people, had been forcibly displaced from their homes. That is a population size that would constitute a nation larger than Britain or would be the world’s 21st-largest country. But instead of creating their own country, the majority of the...

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    Cloaked in Secrecy: How the Saudis’ $110 Million Gift to UN Counterterrorism Is Being Spent

    by  • November 21, 2016 • Middle East, Peace and Security, Security Council, Terrorism • 

    The United Nations Counter-Terrorism Center was set up in 2011 with money from Saudi Arabia to combat terrorism worldwide. Some experts, however, now question the center’s ability to eliminate terrorist threats. There are also questions about whether the money that the Saudis donated, a whopping $110 million, is being spent effectively. The Saudi donation...

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    In Iraqi Kurdistan, It’s a Life of Harsh Contrasts for Women and Girls

    by  • July 9, 2016 • Gender-Based Violence, Middle East, Terrorism, Women • 

    ERBIL, Iraq — Despite the war crimes being committed against women and girls in northern Iraq since the extremist group ISIS invaded two years ago, rejection of entrenched violence and discrimination against females may be taking root among pockets of the autonomous Kurdish region here. Yet in many ways, life for women and girls...

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