• Responsibility to protect

    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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    Next Best in 2016? The UN Secretary-General Must Be a Reformer

    by  • December 9, 2014 • WORLDVIEWS • 

    GENEVA — For only the second time — the first was in 1996 — the electoral campaigns for the American president and the United Nations secretary-general are running in parallel. Both promise to be long and protracted. Each already has a growing slate of presumptive candidates pounding flesh and employing lobbyists. But the next...

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    The Business and Politics of Good Samaritans

    by  • March 30, 2013 • Humanitarian Aid, WORLDVIEWS • 

    Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan

    “Humanitarian” and “business” are juxtaposed in the title of my new book, “Humanitarian Business,” for two reasons: provocation and accuracy. It jars those who idealize the humanitarian enterprise because the adjective has uncontested positive connotations while the noun is associated with wheeling and dealing and thus at odds with the self-image of true believers....

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    Deep Flaws in UN Response to Sri Lanka Include R2P Failure

    by  • December 20, 2012 • Asia, Human Rights, Humanitarian Aid, Responsibility to Protect, Secretary-General • 1 Comment

    Tamil Tiger cadres loading up in Sri Lanka

    The United Nation’s internal report on its role during the final stages of the prolonged civil war in Sri Lanka was unusually critical of the Secretariat and highlighted major shortcomings in the UN’s response to the fighting. The report, which was leaked to the BBC days before its official release on Nov. 15, forced...

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    Protecting Civilians: How It Works

    by  • December 10, 2012 • Responsibility to Protect, WORLDVIEWS • 4 Comments

    A girl in Freetown, Sierra Leone

    CANBERRA, Australia — A steady rise has been occurring in the last two centuries in the proportion of civilians killed in armed conflict, either from direct violence or conflict-related hunger and disease. The international community has responded to the calls to protect innocent victims by developing two parallel principles, the protection of civilians and...

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    What the General Assembly Wants From the Secretary-General

    by  • August 13, 2012 • General Assembly, WORLDVIEWS • 2 Comments

    General Assembly president and Ban Ki-moon

    BERLIN — When the United Nations has been fortunate to have a secretary-general who has great charisma and skills in settling conflicts, the world tends to consider him a figure with his own political status and powers. People like this idea because in difficult times they want to have an authoritative mediator, a moral...

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    The Responsibility to Protect Gets a Checkup

    by  • January 21, 2012 • Peace and Security, Responsibility to Protect, Security Council • 6 Comments

    When the carnage of the 1990s wound down, with more than a million people dead in massacres and brutal ethnic or political wars in and around Rwanda, the Balkans and elsewhere, nations that had failed to act to stop such tragedies began seeking ways to prevent future catastrophes. From this terrible decade, the long-postponed...

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