April 2013

Alicia Barcena of ECLAC and Jan Eliasson of the UN

Regional Organizations Remain Vital to the UN

Formed as a “club” of nation states, the United Nations took some time to find out that cooperation with regional organizations might be of some use in improving social and economic living conditions as well as maintaining international peace and security and safeguarding the enjoyment of human rights. It was not before the economic crisis …

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Displaced Malians

The UN Approves a New Peacekeeping Force to Fix Mali

The United Nations Security Council has authorized a new, ambitious stabilization mission to be deployed in Mali, consisting of nearly 13,000 military and police personnel who will begin operating on July 1 with a mandate of one year to provide security to “key population centers.” The mission, called Minusma (for Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in …

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David Phillips

When Intervention by Foreign Powers Is Justified

One of the most complicated dynamics in international relations is whether foreign powers should intervene when a government is creating a humanitarian crisis among its own people. David L. Phillips, a former a senior adviser to the United States Department of State and to the United Nations, has repeatedly dealt with this problem, and in …

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Master of Science in Humanitarian Studies at Fordham University
Isfahan market in Iran

Try a More Balanced Approach to Iran, Report Advises

WASHINGTON — If the term “track two” sounds like an announcement at Grand Central Terminal in New York, it has an altogether different meaning farther east at United Nations headquarters. Diplomats there suspect they’re hearing “track two” talks; that is, informal talks aimed at resolving problems, although the talks neither involve them nor any other official …

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Joyce Banda and Chief Kwataine of Malawi

A Traditional Chief Slashes Maternal Deaths in Malawi

The heroes of safe motherhood campaigns around the world are not always women or large global aid organizations working for their interests. In a district of central Malawi, a small, very poor southern African country, Kwataine, a hereditary chief in a rural area who goes by one name, has almost single-handedly made deaths in pregnancy …

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Master of Science in Humanitarian Studies at Fordham University
Susan E. Rice, US ambassador to the UN

Susan Rice’s Rise Beyond the United Nations

JENA, Germany — Many rumors abound regarding the future of America’s top envoy at the United Nations, Susan E. Rice. While she is still working as the United States ambassador to the UN, some media reports are predicting that she will become President Obama’s next national security adviser, succeeding Thomas E. Donilon. As to who …

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Kim Jong-un

More Bark Than Bite in North Korea

Theodore Roosevelt’s approach to foreign policy was to “speak softly, and carry a big stick.” Kim Jong-un, the leader of North Korea, has confused the two. North Korea’s rhetoric is nothing new — in fact, it’s become de rigueur for Pyongyang to threaten war whenever it wants an increase in its foreign aid allowance, much …

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WHO cholera outbreak in Sierra Leone

The True Strengths of the WHO

BERLIN — The foundation of the World Health Organization in 1948 as one of the specialized agencies of the United Nations was a milestone in the history of global health efforts. It established not only the “highest attainable standard of health” for all people as a primary goal in the WHO constitution, but it also …

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Burma Resistance Day

Burma, a Short History

When Burma won independence from Britain in 1948, it was a devastated country tormented by multiple crises. Geographical misfortune had placed this otherworldly Buddhist nation in the path of powerful armies in World War II as Japan battled Western allies for control of the strategically placed country. Its capital city, Rangoon, was heavily damaged; the …

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Master of Science in Humanitarian Studies at Fordham University
Nyanzale refugee camp children

A New UN Brigade Will Make Combat Moves in Congo

  For the first time, the United Nations Security Council has passed a resolution allowing UN troops to go on the offensive in a mission against armed rebels. The combat intervention brigade will operate as part of the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the northeastern region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Monusco). The …

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MINURSO Monitors Ceasefire in Western Sahara

Western Sahara: A Chance for Change or to Stay Stuck in Time

The saga of Western Sahara, a disputed territory that has been stuck in limbo in North Africa for decades, will receive its annual nod this month by the United Nations Security Council, but this time actual changes may be afoot if the council acts more decisively, particularly on human-rights matters. Christopher Ross, the UN secretary-general’s …

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Josip Bozanic Benedictus of Zagreb

The Catholic Church’s Decline in Croatia

As Pope Francis is getting used to life in the Holy See, a sexual-education program in neighboring Croatia offers hints of decline of the Roman Catholic Church’s political influence in the region. The introduction of sex-ed in Croatian public schools in September set off a culture war in the country. The government has refused to …

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