• WORLDVIEWS

    The Elephant in the Room: Congo’s Vicious, Illegal Fighters

    by  • February 11, 2018 • Africa, Governance, Peace and Security, Security Council, WORLDVIEWS • 

    An open, informal meeting scheduled for Feb. 12 at the United Nations is meant to unite Security Council members in their efforts to rein in the recalcitrant Congolese president, Joseph Kabila, to allow the long-overdue presidential elections to go ahead this year. It is feared that Kabila’s refusal to carry out the vote, slated...

    Read more →

    Why Turkey’s Model Work Permits for Refugees Don’t Actually Work

    by  • February 5, 2018 • Human Rights, Poverty, Refugees, Syria, WORLDVIEWS • 

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A major problem with Turkey for the millions of refugees there, it has a model work permit system for the newcomers, but it still bars them from the country’s labor market. Such problems can be overcome, experts contend, so that the refugees can work for decent wages in Turkey. Izza Leghtas,...

    Read more →

    Thank You, UN, for Defending Our Human Rights Against Gross Violations

    by  • January 30, 2018 • Human Rights, WORLDVIEWS • 

    From 1970 to 2000, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, the predecessor to today’s Human Rights Council, considered in closed meetings and acted on some 80 country situations where there were reliable allegations of gross violations of human rights. In parallel, the UN Decolonization Committee and the Special Committee Against Apartheid gathered information,...

    Read more →

    Iran Missiles to Yemen: Is There Room for Circumstantial Evidence in UN Sanctions?

    by  • January 16, 2018 • Disarmament, Middle East, Security Council, US-UN Relations, WORLDVIEWS • 

    Citing an unpublished report of the United Nations panel of experts on Yemen, The New York Times said recently that Iran violated the Yemen arms embargo, according to UN experts. The same day, The Washington Post used essentially the same set of reported facts under a more judicious headline that said, in part, “Iran weapons to...

    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 →

    Leave the UN’s Human-Rights Treaty System Alone

    by  • January 7, 2018 • Human Rights, WORLDVIEWS • 1 Comment

    The United Nations Charter requires each and every member state to discharge its obligations by faithfully carrying out norms of legally binding international human-rights law. These may be norms of international customary law, those contained in treaties or those flowing from general principles of international law. The human-rights provisions in the Charter were amplified...

    Read more →

    Least-Developed Countries, a Status That Many Nations Can’t Leave Behind

    by  • January 1, 2018 • Africa, Asia, Development, Poverty, WORLDVIEWS • 

    Since 1971, the United Nations has recognized least-developed countries as those deemed highly disadvantaged in their development strides because of structural, historical and geographical reasons. The aim has been, and still is, to support these countries to graduate to higher levels of self-sufficiency and economic independence, not in the sense for a privileged minority...

    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 →

    The Problem of Peacekeeping Sex Abuse Is Not Going Away

    by  • December 4, 2017 • Africa, Gender-Based Violence, Security Council, UN Peacekeeping, WORLDVIEWS • 

    There is no denying that sexual exploitation and abuse has acquired greater urgency within the context of United Nations peace operations. Although the UN launched its zero tolerance policy in 2003, a recent report tallied some two thousand accusations between 2005 and 2017 in peacekeeping settings, which underscores how harmful ineffective policies and specific...

    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 →

    Modernizing the Role of Human Rights in the UN Security Council

    by  • November 28, 2017 • Human Rights, Security Council, US Foreign Relations, WORLDVIEWS • 

    The Security Council is the most authoritative organ of the United Nations, and supporters of the Council naturally expect it to exercise that authority when gross violations of human rights shock the conscience of humanity. During the Cold War, such actions were rarely done, except partly in relation to situations in southern Africa. Since...

    Read more →

    António Guterres, Please Reform the UN’s Human Rights Tools

    by  • November 20, 2017 • Human Rights, Secretary-General, WORLDVIEWS • 

    When recently asked what keeps him up at night, António Guterres, the United Nations secretary-general, gave a straight answer: bureaucracy as well as “fragmented structures, byzantine procedures, endless red tape.” Such flaws also apply to UN human-rights mechanisms, and Guterres should ensure that his UN-wide reform agenda prioritizes strengthening such tools, which can be...

    Read more →

    Long Overdue: A New Boss at the UN Pension Fund and a Reformed Board

    by  • November 15, 2017 • Secretary-General, UN pension fund, WORLDVIEWS • 

    An important change was made to the United Nations pension fund last month, when Secretary-General António Guterres announced he was appointing Sudhir Rajkumar of India to succeed Carol Boykin as his representative for investments of the $61.5 billion fund. Guterres needs to make another major change, however, to address serious problems at the joint...

    Read more →

    How Companies and Their Investors Pay Lip Service to UN Sanctions

    by  • November 5, 2017 • Nuclear Disarmament, Security Council, WORLDVIEWS • 

    If an investment, shareholding, credit or other financing tool benefits an enterprise or an individual that is  somehow violating a United Nations arms embargo or is committing atrocities, terrorist acts or proliferating weapons of mass destructions, is such an involvement contravening sanctions regimes and therefore breaking international law? Checking past and current UN Security...

    Read more →

    As UN Climate Talks Convene, the Earth Veers Toward Catastrophe

    by  • November 2, 2017 • Climate and Environment, WORLDVIEWS • 

    Two years ago, the governments of the world unanimously adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a remarkable blueprint of the world’s most pressing long-term predicaments that the United Nations is good at lifting into the global conscience. Cataloguing 17 goals and 169 targets, the agenda contains an inventory of the remedial activities that...

    Read more →

    The UN Base in Timbuktu: A Demanding Deployment in the Sahara

    by  • October 30, 2017 • Africa, Terrorism, UN Peacekeeping, WORLDVIEWS • 

    TIMBUKTU — Who wants peace in Mali? If everyone says they want it, why is carrying out the 2015 peace agreement and its cease-fire so difficult? Part of the challenge for the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali is not only helping to implement the agreement in the major cities, such as Timbuktu, but...

    Read more →

    Four Easy Steps to Reform the UN Human Rights Council

    by  • October 15, 2017 • Human Rights, US-UN Relations, WORLDVIEWS • 1 Comment

    Problems encircling the United Nations Human Rights Council are verging toward a major crisis. The same crisis had engulfed its predecessor, the Commission on Human Rights, leading the secretary-general at the time, Kofi Annan, to call to replace it with the Council. But the same problems affecting the former Commission now affect its successor,...

    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 →