December 2015

UN Peacekeeping: A Portrait of More Than 50 Years

For many people in the world, the United Nations is often associated with peacekeeping, one of the most visible activities of the world body in its efforts to maintain international peace and security. Peacekeeping was created in the late 1940s and developed over decades into an ambitious instrument to contain severe political and military conflicts, …

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As Syrian Peace Talks Take Shape, How Will Women Take Part?

When the United Nations Security Council recently approved timelines to begin peace talks and institute a national cease-fire in Syria, the language in the resolution gave no hint of the magnitude of such undertakings, nor did the congratulatory speeches afterward by diplomats delve into the details. That means the nitty-gritty work is left to the …

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Master of Science in Humanitarian Studies at Fordham University

Understanding Burundi as It Implodes Again

Carolyn McAskie is a Canadian expert in international development who was awarded the Order of Canada, one of the country’s highest honors, in 2007. She headed the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Central African country of Burundi from 2004 to 2006, when a new political system was created and hopes were high. Later, as …

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Report Damns the UN for Its Response to Sex Abuse Cases in Central Africa

A strongly worded independent report released Dec. 17 condemned the United Nations for bungled and deceptive responses to reports of sexual abuse of children by primarily French peacekeepers in the Central African Republic in 2014. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed his “profound regret” and accepted blame for the organization’s systemic failures. The report implicated at least …

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What Can Save Unesco? Advice From an Insider

Founded in 1946 with noble goals, namely “to contribute to peace and security by promoting collaboration among the nations through education, science and culture,” the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) has in fact achieved considerable progress, above all in assisting its member nations in providing quality basic education for children, youth and …

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Master of Science in Humanitarian Studies at Fordham University

Climate Talks Produce a New Draft Accord and More Hope

With barely two days left to reach an international agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions to slow global warming, a new version of the draft agreement was released Wednesday in Paris. But outstanding disputes remain over how much nations will be prepared to reduce the use of fossil fuels, which emit the most carbon dioxide, …

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Master of Science in Humanitarian Studies at Fordham University

Keeping LGBT Rights Active on the UN Agenda

Several major breakthroughs in the promotion of the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people have occurred through United Nations mechanisms. From the worldwide multimedia Free & Equal campaign to LGBT-related resolutions and reports in the Human Rights Council to the public support of such figures as UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and …

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Now the Hard Part Begins on Global Climate Talks

The second and supposedly final week of negotiations on curbing greenhouse gas emissions, amid now-measurable climate change, began on Monday at the COP21 in Paris with a draft global accord on the table. It is, however, littered with hundreds of bracketed words indicating that hard bargaining, and no doubt compromises, lie ahead. Especially vexing, to …

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