• Middle East

    Iran’s ‘Grand Bargain’ With the West

    by  • January 1, 2013 • BOOKS, Disarmament, Middle East • 4 Comments

    Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran's president, addressing the UN conference on sustainable development, June 20, 2012.

    Iran’s nuclear crisis has been dragging on for a decade, so it sure would be great if someone in the know finally laid out the definitive plan for resolving the dispute and ending Tehran’s international isolation. In “The Iranian Nuclear Crisis: A Memoir,” a veteran Iranian diplomat, Seyed Hossein Mousavian, modestly puts himself forward...

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    UN and US Congress Act to Curtail Female Cutting Globally

    by  • December 23, 2012 • Africa, General Assembly, Health and Population, Human Rights, Middle East, Women • 2 Comments

    Young girls in Sierra Leone about to be circumcised

    Only four days before Christmas, when many minds were fixated on the year-end holidays, two important steps were taken almost unnoticed to combat female genital mutilation globally, raising hopes that millions of girls might be spared the excruciatingly painful and harmful yet persistent practice. In what Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called “historic” UN action, the...

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    Palestinians Cheer New Status at the United Nations

    by  • November 30, 2012 • General Assembly, Middle East, US-UN Relations • 

    43rd plenary meeting of the General Assembly67th session: Question of Palestine

    The General Assembly voted to elevate the Palestinian territories‘ status at the United Nations to nonmember observer state from nonmember observer entity, which it has held since 1974. The vote, occurring late afternoon on Nov. 29 in a packed Assembly Hall, was preceded by several speeches, including one by Mahmoud Abbas, the chairman of...

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    The Syrian War, Picked Apart by a Diplomat Who Knows

    by  • November 20, 2012 • Middle East, Security Council • 5 Comments

    Jean-Marie Gguehenno of Columbia University

    The new creation of a national Syrian coalition to make the opposition groups more coherent could propel a much-needed breakthrough in the country’s 20-month civil war, Jean-Marie Guéhenno a professor of international and public affairs at Columbia University, told an audience there on Nov. 13. It has been a costly affair humanitarian-wise: close to...

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    For Muslim Women, a Careful Script to Combat Violence

    by  • September 17, 2012 • Gender-Based Violence, Middle East, Women • 4 Comments

    Egyptian women protesting sexual harrasment and violence.

    The saddest stories told by vulnerable women in villages or slum shacks across the developing world most often involve violence or subjugation that they must bear because they don’t know how, or don’t have the means, to escape a bad situation. In the poorest countries, women talk of being assaulted or intimidated at home,...

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    Ban Ki-moon Invokes Strong Words for Iran, Syria and the Nonaligned

    by  • August 30, 2012 • Middle East, Secretary-General • 3 Comments

    Ban Ki-moon meets with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Iran.

    Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, speaking on Aug. 30 to the 120-member Nonaligned Movement meeting in Tehran, took a swing at his hosts, saying that denying the Holocaust and threatening Israel’s existence is racist and undermines the values of the United Nations. “We must prevent conflict between all UN member states,” he said, without naming Iran....

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