• US-UN relations

    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,...

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    These Female Students in Bangladesh Want the Power Seat at the UN

    by  • October 1, 2017 • Asia, Education, Nikki Haley Watch • 1 Comment

    If you want to understand how Donald Trump’s America is being perceived by women in the global South, my students are a good place to start. I teach international relations at an all-female liberal arts college in Chittagong, Bangladesh, which follows a Western curriculum and is attended by 700 enthusiastic young women from 16...

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    For the US, a Tale of Two Human-Rights Violations

    by  • July 14, 2017 • Human Rights, Nikki Haley Watch, US Foreign Relations, US-UN Relations • 3 Comments

    Nikki Haley, the American ambassador to the United Nations, is positioning herself as a champion of human rights. But she appears to be highly selective about which countries or regimes she accuses of committing human-rights abuses. At the same time, she has been pushing hard for cuts to UN peacekeeping missions, which could hurt...

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    A New Duet for Nikki Haley and Trump

    by  • July 10, 2017 • Human Rights, Nikki Haley Watch, US-UN Relations • 

    Nearly six months into her United Nations assignment, Ambassador Nikki Haley is aligning herself more decisively with President Donald Trump, defending some of his most controversial and unpopular moves. It is a critical diplomatic time for the White House and for Haley, who is viewed around the UN mostly as a politician with big...

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    ‘I Don’t Go Rogue on the President’: Nikki Haley’s Contradictory Testimony to Congress About the UN

    by  • June 28, 2017 • Nikki Haley Watch, Security Council, Syria, UN Agencies, UN Peacekeeping, US Foreign Relations, US-UN Relations • 

    Photo: Nikki Haley and the Egyptian ambassador to the UN, Amr Aboulatta

    Five months into her stint as United States ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley faced two days of often-sharp questioning on June 27 and 28 by influential panels of the United States Congress. They demanded justification for the Trump administration’s decision to slash funding to the United Nations, particularly cuts to the UN...

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    As the UN Chief Goes to Washington, He Reiterates Plight of Refugees

    by  • June 20, 2017 • Africa, Geopolitics, Middle East, Refugees, Secretary-General, US-UN Relations • 

    Photo: UN Secretary-General António Guterres in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

    On International Refugee Day, António Guterres reiterated the plight of refugees and displaced people worldwide — a phenomenal 65.5 million people — in his first media briefing at United Nations headquarters in months. He let drop that he is traveling to Washington, D.C., from June 27-29 to lobby Congressional members on UN budget matters....

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    If America’s First, Europe Asks, ‘Who Should Be Second?’

    by  • May 18, 2017 • US Foreign Relations, US-UN Relations, WORLDVIEWS • 

    LONDON — Since Donald Trump took office as president of the United States, numerous satirical videos have emerged, apparently from European states vying to be “second” to America’s “first.” The German spoof cites the country’s experience of walls. Luxembourg’s boasts that it has a lot of money and “you know what, Mr President? You...

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    Advice to António Guterres: A Leaner UN Could Be a Better UN

    by  • March 27, 2017 • Secretary-General, US-UN Relations, WORLDVIEWS • 

    GENEVA — Whether or not he is a fan of Chinese characters, António Guterres will have to discover the double meaning of a crisis as opportunity. United Nations corridors on First Avenue in New York are buzzing with anxiety about the possibility of impending cuts in funding from the United States, with hints from...

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    Nikki Haley Tells US Congress: The UN Does Matter

    by  • January 21, 2017 • Security Council, UN Peacekeeping, US Foreign Relations, US-UN Relations • 

    Nikki Haley, President Donald Trump’s nominee to become the United States ambassador to the United Nations, appeared in a confirmation hearing on January 18 lasting more than three hours in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. She introduced herself in an address to members that was both autobiographical — the daughter of immigrants — and political....

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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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    From Rice to Power at the United Nations

    by  • August 1, 2013 • Human Rights, Security Council, US-UN Relations, WORLDVIEWS • 

    Samantha Power

    President Obama’s choice of Samantha Power to become the next United States ambassador to the United Nations and her recent confirmation by the Senate sends a strong, positive signal to all human-rights defenders. “As one of our country’s leading foreign policy thinkers, Samantha knows that our nation’s interests are advanced with strong and principled...

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    America and the West Should Invest More in the UN, Not Less

    by  • July 27, 2013 • Development, UN Agencies, US-UN Relations • 

    PAHO antimalaria campaign, Paraguay

    Institutions of global governance are weak by design not default. As Singapore’s permanent representative in New York, I encountered senior members of the American establishment who lamented the United Nations’ poor condition. The explanation was the domination by the poor and weak states of Africa and Asia and the poor quality of its bureaucrats....

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    The Masterminds Behind Security Council Resolutions

    by  • March 14, 2013 • Africa, Peace and Security, Security Council, US-UN Relations • 8 Comments

    Security Council Meeting on the situation in Cyprus

    The United Nations Security Council bases its resolutions on agenda items as varied as the renewal of a peacekeeping force mandate in Haiti to responding to a missile launching in North Korea. With resolutions’ language often dense legalese that recalls, recognizes, emphasizes, demands and, at times, condemns and deplores the issue at hand, the...

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    The Human Rights Council Gets More Respect

    by  • September 14, 2012 • BOOKS

    Migrants locked up in a camp in Libya.

    The visibility of human-rights violations by the Syrian government amid the current turmoil owes much to the United Nations, particularly to its Independent International Commission of Inquiry, led by Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, a Brazilian lawyer, public official and professor.  Such commissions are part of a growing number of tools used by the UN to...

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    Tough Love Time for the UN

    by  • September 3, 2012 • Secretary-General, US-UN Relations • 2 Comments

    Even though Ban Ki-moon just began his second five-year term this year as United Nations secretary-general, names are already surfacing as to his possible replacement when his term is up. Technically, Ban could be appointed a third term, but no secretary-general so far has held three. Most UN academic experts who were surveyed for...

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    The Unesco-US Relationship: It’s Complicated

    by  • August 20, 2012 • US-UN Relations, WORLDVIEWS • 3 Comments

    Prague's Vlata River.

    When it comes to mysteries, the United States’ decision to rejoin Unesco in 2002 under a Republican administration and after nearly two decades’ absence remains puzzling, but it appears the move can be traced to Hollywood. Unesco (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) has always borne the brunt of criticism from US politicians....

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