December 2019

A street scene in Kabul, Afghanistan

My Beautiful Christmas in Kabul

The Christmas spirit finally found me drinking whisky on a rooftop in Kabul. Given my multinational background — I’m from Boston but my father came from Iraq and my mother from London — it’s not surprising that I chose a career in foreign affairs. When people learn I spent nearly a decade in Afghanistan, they …

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Master of Science in Humanitarian Studies at Fordham University
Vassily Nebenzia, the Russian ambassador to the UN

At the UN, Scrooge Haunts the Holiday Season

In this season of giving, the United States delegation offered free bourbon from Kentucky to the media and is splurging on a holiday party paid for by Kelly Knight Craft, the US ambassador, while in more serious business at the United Nations, the Russians not only held up a vote for one day regarding a …

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For South Sudan, the Promise of Full Dialogue Lies Ahead

ROME, Italy — The clock is ticking for South Sudan. Many powerful players in the international community have expressed openly their disappointment at the reluctance of South Sudan power-brokers to resolve their violence-prone country. Meanwhile, the people of South Sudan are clearly signaling their readiness for peace and their support for new approaches that could …

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Master of Science in Humanitarian Studies at Fordham University

Kelly Knight Craft’s Menu for the UN: Bourbon, Basketball and Bonding

GLASGOW, Kentucky — “There’s no place like home for the holidays” is the United States’ theme for the Security Council presidency in December, while at the same time, in a slight contradiction, the US wants to tackle the problem of the Council’s credibility. To illustrate her point about the Council’s “credibility,” as she said, Kelly …

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Master of Science in Humanitarian Studies at Fordham University

It’s Time to Increase Parliaments’ Engagement With Human Rights

As protection of human rights seems to be sliding everywhere, the international human-rights system has responded by focusing on national implementation, to ensure that states’ international commitments are translated into meaningful changes felt by people on the ground. While often overlooked, parliaments can provide a critical link between global agreements and domestic progress on human-rights …

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The New Boss at the UN’s Nuclear-Power Watchdog Is Inheriting Many Problems

VIENNA, Austria — Ensconced near the Danube River in this European city is the headquarters of the world’s single-most important means of ensuring safe, secure and peaceful use of nuclear energy. Created in 1957, four years after United States President Dwight Eisenhower delivered his famous “Atoms for Peace” speech at the United Nations, the International Atomic …

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