• Peace and Security

    In an Unusual Move, the UN Security Council Is Heading to Sweden for a Retreat

    by  • March 19, 2018 • Peace and Security, Secretary-General, Security Council • 

    The United Nations Security Council, perhaps needing a change of scenery from its chamber overlooking the East River in New York, is traveling to the southern Swedish coast in April for an annual retreat whose theme this year is “a new narrative on peace operations.” The retreat will be held in a newly renovated...

    Read more →

    The UN Secretary-General Pushes Ahead on Peacekeeping Reform

    by  • March 16, 2018 • Peace and Security, Secretary-General, UN Peacekeeping, US-UN Relations • 

    Responding to a December request from the General Assembly for details on how he proposes to staff and pay for sweeping changes in political affairs and peacekeeping at the United Nations, Secretary-General António Guterres has drafted a 50-page explanation for member states to consider. The General Assembly had agreed in principle to his original...

    Read more →

    Playing Fair With Sanctions: Is There a Method to the Madness?

    by  • March 8, 2018 • P5 Monitor, Peace and Security, Security Council • 

    Criticisms over a lack of fairness of United Nations sanctions and inconsistencies in their application are frequent and routine — and not without justification. For decades, human-rights experts have pointed to the paradox that unreliable practices, in the words of one expert, render “the UN sanctions system noncompliant with the UN’s human rights standards.”...

    Read more →

    A Trove of Resources for Navigating Our Angry World

    by  • February 6, 2018 • Governance, Journalists, Peace and Security, Take a Look • 

    In the dark shadows of rising populism and hypernationalistic leaders, attempts to intimidate reporters and curb the exchange of information are taking on less visibly crude but still dangerous forms. The menace, highlighted in the United States by Donald Trump’s contemptuous accusations against the press, television and social media, has global echoes. There is...

    Read more →

    Unprepared and Unprotected: UN Peacekeepers’ Lives Must Be Saved

    by  • January 9, 2018 • Africa, Asia, Peace and Security, Security Council, UN Peacekeeping, WORLDVIEWS • 

    The 15 deaths and 43 injuries to United Nations troop personnel in the North Kivu Province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in December would not, sadly, have surprised those of us who have served in peace enforcement missions with the UN.  These are difficult and dangerous places, where rebels have many advantages...

    Read more →

    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...

    Read more →

    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 —...

    Read more →

    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...

    Read more →

    The UN Secretary-General’s Disappointing Peace-Building Proposal

    by  • December 11, 2017 • Peace and Security, Secretary-General, WORLDVIEWS • 

    Since the end of the Cold War, a diverse group of countries at low levels of development emerged from intrastate conflicts and embarked on a complex transition to peace, stability and prosperity. All aspects of such transitions are closely interrelated and reinforce each other. Simultaneous security, political, social and economic activities compete for scarce...

    Read more →

    After 50 Years of UN Sanctions, Is the System Broken?

    by  • December 1, 2017 • Libya, Nuclear Disarmament, Peace and Security, Security Council, WORLDVIEWS • 

    With only few of the current United Nations sanctions cases accomplishing their political objectives, it is not unreasonable to wonder why the system seems broken. As the 50th anniversary of the first use of this important political tool is duly noted, the short answer is that nothing is wrong with sanctions. The problem is with...

    Read more →

    Keeping a Close Eye on the UN’s Use of Unarmed Drones

    by  • October 10, 2017 • Peace and Security, UN Peacekeeping, WORLDVIEWS • 

    In 2007, for the first time in history, United Nations forces operated an unmanned aerial vehicle — a small prototype for a short period by the UN mission in Haiti. In 2013, the UN officially launched drones (formally known as unmanned aerial systems, or UAS) for surveillance in a peacekeeping mission. Despite the controversies...

    Read more →

    Trump Blows Up the UN, Metaphorically Speaking

    by  • September 19, 2017 • General Assembly, Middle East, Migration, Peace and Security, Refugees, Terrorism, UNGA72, US Foreign Relations, US-UN Relations • 

    Can a rebuttal happen before an event occurs? United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres took pre-emptive strikes against President Donald Trump in his speech at the opening session of the 72nd General Assembly, on Sept. 19, 2017. Rumors were rampant that Trump would deliver a strongly nationalistic speech, reportedly written by Stephen Miller, author of...

    Read more →

    North Korea and the UN: Agony and Ecstasy

    by  • August 14, 2017 • Nikki Haley Watch, Nuclear Disarmament, Peace and Security, Security Council, US Foreign Relations, US-UN Relations • 

    If you are reading this, it must mean we have not been annihilated by a nuclear war between the United States and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Not that Nikki Haley, the American ambassador to the United Nations, will be able to take much credit — not because she didn’t try but because...

    Read more →

    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...

    Read more →

    Despite the Terrorist Attack on Our Beloved Malian Resort, We Will Come Back

    by  • June 24, 2017 • Africa, Peace and Security, Terrorism, UN Peacekeeping, WORLDVIEWS • 

    It always took me ages to hit the road to the Kangaba camp. Leaving downtown Bamako can be tricky, especially if your place is baco fé — on the far bank of the Niger River — as they say in Bambara, the local language. The traffic is a nightmare. On weekends, dozens of old yellow...

    Read more →

    The UN Formalizes Its Partnership With Sant’Egidio, the Rome-Based Mediator

    by  • June 9, 2017 • Africa, GOINGS-ON, Human Trafficking, International Justice, Libya, Migration, Peace and Security • 

    The United Nations has formalized its relationship with the Community of Sant’Egidio, the highly regarded Catholic membership organization based in Rome that has been focusing on conflict prevention and resolution, primarily in Africa, for 30 years. A community of 60,000 laypeople founded in 1968, Sant’Egidio has been working with the UN on mediation prospects...

    Read more →

    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...

    Read more →

    Is Global Cooperation Over? Midwesterners Assess the Trends

    by  • May 8, 2017 • ICC, Nuclear Disarmament, Peace and Security, US Foreign Relations, WORLDVIEWS • 

    We stand on the shoulders of those who created the international order, which has prevented world war for more than 70 years. “American leaders who laid foundations of the contemporary world order envisioned a world in which all peoples might pursue shared peace, prosperity and dignity. They hoped to forge a global community under...

    Read more →