January 2013

Kofi Annan

Kofi Annan: The Back Story

Frederic Eckhard, the United Nations spokesman for eight and a half of Kofi Annans 10 years as secretary-general, was certainly well placed to write a tell-all account of that action-packed era. But readers of Eckhard’s new book, “Kofi Annan: A Spokesperson’s Memoir,” get that and something more. Along with the insider accounts, there’s the portrait …

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Mike Smith, Executive Director of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED),

UN Counterterrorism Director Staying on Briefly

Mike Smith, the executive director of the Security Council’s Counterterrorism Committee Executive Directorate, is to be reappointed to a six-month term through June as a search for his successor begins, he confirmed with PassBlue. Smith would not say whether he wanted to extend his term for a longer period, but he noted that he intended …

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Master of Science in Humanitarian Studies at Fordham University
Socotra Rock

The Quest for Peace and Calm in the Pacific

KANDY, Sri Lanka — As the focus of global political and economic power shifts to the Asia-Pacific region and the United States feels compelled to pivot its strategic forces from the Atlantic to the Pacific, the relationship among major East Asian countries acquires critical importance. Residual cold war disputes across the Atlantic are likely to …

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Mbera refugee camp in Mauritania.

France’s Intervention in Mali Just Got More Complicated

In its fifth day, France’s air assault against Al Qaeda-related militias and other regional Islamic extremists continues to rattle central Mali and the de fact border region separating the country from its northern territory, which was seized by a range of terrorist groups last spring. Contrary to France’s assertion earlier this week, it said more …

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Master of Science in Humanitarian Studies at Fordham University
Dioncounda Traore, interim president of Mali

Terrorists Pushed Back by France in Mali

The French military has stepped into the mire of Mali, retaking the de facto border town of Konna, which was recently usurped by a loose coalition of Islamic rebels and terrorists who have dominated the northern two-thirds of the country since a military coup in March 2012. That action opened the door for Tuareg rebels …

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Mohammad Masood Khan

Pakistan Formally Complains to India on Gunfire in Kashmir

Pakistan has lodged a formal complaint on the “repeated, unacceptable and unprovoked attacks” on Pakistani soldiers by the Indian army, said a statement released on Jan. 11 from the foreign secretary, Jalil Abbas Jilani. He has summoned the high commissioner of India, Sharat Sabharwal, to the Foreign Office and lodged the protest after Indian troops …

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Women at the Stop Rape in Conflict Now campaign in Cartagena, Colombia

Rape in War: It’s Not a Given Any Longer

One of Fatou Bensouda‘s missions as the new chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Court is to make rape during conflicts a thing of the past. Until 20 years ago, she said in a speech at the United Nations recently, sexual violence and other sexual attacks were “all but ignored and dismissed as regrettable but …

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Alcala Restaurant

Past Haunts the Present at a Neighborhood Fixture

Alcala Restaurant has been dishing out traditional Spanish fare to the United Nations community for decades, and a recent move from East 46th Street to East 44th appears to have done nothing to change it, from the old-fashioned menu to the regulars at the next table. You’ll find the same dishes the last time you …

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Master of Science in Humanitarian Studies at Fordham University
Jose Ramos-Horta, new chief of the UN peace-building mission in Guinea-Bissau

Former Timorese President Chosen as UN Envoy in Guinea-Bissau

José Ramos-Horta has been appointed the new United Nations envoy to Guinea-Bissau. The former Timorese president and Nobel Peace Prize winner is replacing Joseph Mutaboba, a diplomat from Rwanda, as the special representative and chief of the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau. Mutaboba, 63, finishes his assignment, which lasted nearly four years, at the end …

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Filipino in jeepney in Manila

Philippines Defies Church, Giving Contraception to the Poor

It took a committed president of the Philippines, Benigno Aquino III, and a Filipino Congress concerned about rising maternal mortality and continuing population growth amid widespread poverty, to overcome strong opposition from the Roman Catholic church and make contraception freely accessible to millions of poor women beginning in 2013. The adoption in mid-December of a …

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