• Peace and Security

    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...

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    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...

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    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...

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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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    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...

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    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...

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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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    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...

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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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    Nikki Haley’s ‘Historic’ Debate on Human Rights Left a Small Impression

    by  • April 18, 2017 • Human Rights, Nikki Haley Watch, Peace and Security, Security Council, US Foreign Relations, US-UN Relations • 

    Nikki Haley, the United States ambassador to the United Nations, presided over what she was determined to sell as “an historic meeting exclusively on human rights” in the UN Security Council. But her brief speech in the April 18 meeting fell far short of introducing innovations to confront violations of human rights or prevent...

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    Demand for Lower Peacekeeping Dues to Pit the US Against the UN

    by  • April 16, 2017 • Peace and Security, Take a Look, UN Peacekeeping, US Foreign Relations, US-UN Relations • 

    The Trump administration, buoyed by a powerful anti-internationalist movement among conservative Republicans in the United States Congress, is headed for a new confrontation with the United Nations over who decides how much the US should pay for peacekeeping. With a tentative US budget deadline of April 28 fast approaching, it is almost certain that...

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    In South Sudan Camps, Radio Is a Powerful Tool

    by  • March 22, 2017 • Africa, Peace and Security, UN Peacekeeping • 

    Jess Engrebretson is a different kind of humanitarian-aid worker. As an American journalist and Thomas J. Watson Fellow, she has worked with local radio projects in Indonesia, Rwanda and Liberia on post-conflict resolution and human-rights reporting. From 2014 to 2015, Engrebretson helped develop radio infrastructure in a camp for displaced people near Malakal, South...

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    How’s He Doing? António Guterres’s First Month as UN Secretary-General

    by  • February 5, 2017 • Migration, Peace and Security, Refugees, Secretary-General, UN Peacekeeping, US Foreign Relations, US-UN Relations • 

    António Guterres, the United Nations secretary-general

    Thirty-two days in office as United Nations secretary-general, António Guterres spoke extensively to the media for the first time at UN headquarters, on Feb. 1. Indicative of the chaos gripping many parts of the world as a result of new White House actions, Guterres might be forgiven for waiting a month to address the...

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    António Guterres, Sounding Priestlike, Arrives for Work as UN Secretary-General

    by  • January 3, 2017 • Peace and Security, Secretary-General, Terrorism, US Foreign Relations, US-UN Relations • 

    He is no longer the “next SG,” as Twitter posts have been referring in the last few months to António Guterres, the man who was selected by the United Nations Security Council in October to lead the world body as the ninth secretary-general. Guterres, a 67-year-old former prime minister of Portugal who also managed...

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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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    Note to Trump: US and Chinese Publics Want Their Nations to Be Active in World Affairs

    by  • December 20, 2016 • Asia, Governance, Peace and Security, US Foreign Relations • 

    Barely a day before Donald Trump set off a recent diplomatic crisis between China and the United States by backing Taiwan in a chatty phone call with the island’s president, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs published poll results from the US and China that found a surprising correlation between public attitudes in the...

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    Message to Trump: The US Needs the UN and Vice Versa

    by  • December 17, 2016 • Development, Peace and Security, Security Council, Sustainable Development Goals, UN Agencies, UN Peacekeeping, US Foreign Relations, US-UN Relations, WORLDVIEWS • 1 Comment

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Strong American leadership at the United Nations would greatly enhance President-elect Trump’s foreign policy agenda. United States investment in the UN is an effective use of taxpayer dollars to serve the US military, diplomatic, economic and national security interests. UN peacekeepers, for example, cost one-eighth the expenses of US boots on...

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    The Rules of War Need a Major Overhaul

    by  • December 3, 2016 • BOOKS, Human Rights, Peace and Security, Responsibility to Protect, Security Council • 

    Donetsk People's Republic fighters in Ukraine

    Evidence is piling up: the global security framework that emerged from the ashes of World War II is no longer capable of pursuing international peace. The arrangement, conceived by the major powers that won the war, has expanded into a grab bag of rules and institutions that the crises of our own era have...

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