• UN Charter

    Speaking Loudly Even While Wielding the Big Stick

    by  • April 15, 2018 • Disarmament, Middle East, Nikki Haley Watch, Peace and Security, Security Council, US Foreign Relations, US-UN Relations • 

    Whatever else came out of the latest American-led strikes on Syrian chemical weapon sites, it put on display rare signs of diplomatic skill on the part of the Trump administration, even if those signs first surfaced at the Pentagon rather than at the White House, the United Nations or Washington’s rudderless Department of State....

    Read more →

    With UN Security Council Reform, Bigger Is Not Better

    by  • March 28, 2018 • General Assembly, Peace and Security, Security Council, UN Peacekeeping, WORLDVIEWS • 

    Much ado — during 25 years of fruitless negotiations — has been made about the need for the United Nations General Assembly to achieve more equitable geographical representation in the UN Security Council. Article 23(1) of the UN Charter, however, also requires the Assembly, in electing the nonpermanent members of the Council, to pay...

    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 →

    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 →

    Was America’s Attack on Syria Legal? An Asian Expert’s View

    by  • April 26, 2017 • Disarmament, Middle East, Security Council, Syria, US Foreign Relations, WORLDVIEWS • 

    The images of civilians, particularly children, being asphyxiated by chemical substances and dying in Idlib Province of Syria on April 4 were a game changer. Judging that the chemical attack was carried out by the Syrian government, the United States, two days later, attacked Syria’s Shayrat airbase with 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles. The US...

    Read more →

    On a Light Note: 10 Tips for Nikki Haley, New US Ambassador to UN

    by  • February 9, 2017 • Journalists, Nikki Haley Watch, Security Council, US Foreign Relations, US-UN Relations • 

    A recent email sent out by a member of the United States Mission to the United Nations, then tweeted and possibly subtweeted, contained the following statement: This is to let you know that Ambassador Haley will be spending her first few months learning about the UN and Security Council and its members. She will...

    Read more →

    In the US Congress, a Campaign Opens to ‘Punish’ the UN

    by  • December 26, 2016 • Security Council, US Foreign Relations, US-UN Relations • 

    It was inevitable that a triumphant Republican government in Washington, D.C., would sooner or later launch an assault on the United Nations. A near-unanimous UN Security Council resolution on Dec. 23 condemning Israeli settlements on Palestinians’ land provided the trigger. That the administration of President Barack Obama stood aside with an abstention, allowing a...

    Read more →

    Revisiting the 1942-1945 United Nations

    by  • June 9, 2015 • WORLDVIEWS • 

    The 70th anniversary of the signing and entry into force of the United Nations Charter should draw attention to the 1942-45 United Nations Alliance that gave rise to the world body and the underpinnings of contemporary global governance. While anniversaries are in some ways an artificial “hook,” they are nonetheless a way not to forget....

    Read more →

    The UN Environment Program, Influential but Lacking Power

    by  • February 5, 2015 • WORLDVIEWS • 

    BERLIN — The history of the United Nations Environment Program is illustrative in two respects: it reflects the changing importance of environmental issues within the UN system and it demonstrates that dedicated people in a UN organization can master the difficult task of implementing an ambitious mandate without sufficient political status, funds and personnel...

    Read more →

    The UN Awaits Results of Chemical Weapons Analysis From Syria

    by  • September 3, 2013 • Disarmament, Middle East, Secretary-General, Security Council • 

    Ban Ki-moon

      In the daily unfolding drama behind the recent investigation by a United Nations team on the use of chemical weapons in Syria, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced today that all biomedical and environmental samples gathered by the inspectors “at sites of possible chemical weapons use in Syria” will arrive at designated laboratories in...

    Read more →