UN Sanctions for Sexual Violence in Libya Approved, but Russia Resisted

A decision by the United Nations Security Council to add sanctions against perpetrators of sexual violence should have gone smoothly. The proposal, led by the Netherlands and  Sweden, was meant to deter such violence in conflict zones and other hot spots. Weeks earlier, diplomats turned out in hordes to mark the 18th anniversary of a landmark … Read more

Is This a Case of Nepotism at the UN’s World Food Program?

A son of David Beasley, the World Food Program executive director, worked briefly this year for the UN agency, but it is not clear what his status was, given original discrepancies. Beasley is a former governor of South Carolina, and the agency’s largest donor is the United States. Among dozens of names, Beasley is rumored … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

Rape in Peru: Stopping a Deadly Epidemic

Forty years is a long time to trek uphill, but Victoria Villanueva, the tireless leader of a campaign to raise the status of girls and women in Peru, remains undaunted. Now 83, she has been doing exactly this since 1978, the year she helped found Manuela Ramos, an organization that lobbies to reduce sexual violence … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Atrocity Crimes Are Being Committed by All Warring Parties in Yemen: UN Experts

The numerous parties to the war in Yemen, which began in 2015, have perpetrated and continue to commit violations of international law by indiscriminately murdering civilians, blocking humanitarian-aid deliveries, arbitrarily detaining people and possibly torturing those imprisoned, recruiting child soldiers and raping women and men, according to a new report by a United Nations panel … Read more

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NIKKI HALEY WATCH

Can Jane Holl Lute, a New UN Envoy, Work a Miracle on Cyprus?

The newest person to venture into kick-starting talks between the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots on the long-divided island of Cyprus in the Mediterranean is Jane Holl Lute. She is an American with a military and national-security background who has been assigned the task by the United Nations secretary-general, António Guterres. Since the two … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Richard Falk on Palestine, Israel and the UN in the Trump Age

Richard Falk is a well-known American academic and writer who from 2008 until 2014 was the United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in Palestine since 1967, a post that invariably invites controversy. For Falk, who has never been shy of taking provocative stances, the work compelled him to declare, among other things, that Israel’s … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Pompeo’s Visit to the UN Caps a Week of Dizzying Global Politics

Capping a week of neck-wrenching U-turns by the president of the United States after his pro-Russia speech in Helsinki on Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with the 15-member United Nations Security Council in New York on July 20 — to discuss North Korea. Pompeo and Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Do We Even Need the UN? An Academic’s Quest to Find the Answer

Would the world be better off without the United Nations? The question couldn’t be more important in the age of Trump and his rejection of multilateral institutions as well as traditional allies. Thomas G. Weiss, Presidential Professor of Political Science at the City University of New York Graduate Center, took on this question, speaking extensively … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

In Hodeidah, the Norwegian Refugee Council Hangs On to Save Yemenis

As the attack on Hodeidah, a major port in western Yemen on the Red Sea, moves into its second week, led by the coalition of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the rest of the world seems to be sitting and watching the destruction. The Norwegian Refugee Council, an independent nongovernmental organization, has been … Read more

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NIKKI HALEY WATCH

Nikki Haley’s Chief of Staff Is Leaving New York to Work for Her in D.C.

David Glaccum, the chief of staff for Nikki Haley, America’s envoy to the United Nations, is leaving the New York office to move to Washington, D.C., where he will apparently continue working for Haley as a senior adviser based in the State Department. His move will allow him to be closer to his family, which … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

‘Don’t Try to Be a Superwoman’: An Interview With Michelle Bachelet

Michelle Bachelet ended her second term as president of Chile on March 11, 2018. Her first term, from 2006 to 2010, was marked by an ambitious social and economic agenda advancing women’s rights and better health care. Her cabinet of ministers, for example, was composed of an equal number of men and women, as she … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

John Bolton Cracks the Whip on the UN Mission in Western Sahara

The message was blunt and judgmental as the United States delivered its ultimatum on the future of the United Nations mission in Western Sahara: “MINURSO is a peacekeeping mission that should have finished its job a long time ago. This is a mission that began 27 years ago almost to the day. This was a … Read more

For Victims of Sexual Violence in War, Stigma Can Kill

In a year in which swaths of territory were liberated in Iraq and Syria from the grip of ISIS, enabling the release of women and girls and others from the extremists, the United Nations’ annual report on conflict-related sexual violence highlights the stigma that the victims encounter — from physical pain to profound depression — … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Confronting Possible Gas Attacks in Syria, the UN Security Council Succumbs to Chaos

In a week of reversals, semireversals and blatant backtracking by some of the most powerful countries on earth, diplomacy showed its head-spinning underside in the United Nations Security Council, as three Western allies — Britain, France and the United States — conveyed their outrage against Russia for its perceived role in allowing the Syrian government … Read more

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As the UN Strives to Modernize Peacekeeping, the US Still Vows to Cut Funding

As peacekeepers sweat and toil and risk their lives in some of the world’s most lethal settings — South Sudan, Mali, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo — it is incumbent on the United Nations and its 193 members to alleviate the suffering and deaths of troops as fatalities keep rising. In 2017, … Read more

In Newark’s Portuguese Community, UN Secretary-General António Guterres Is Unknown

NEWARK, N.J. — In the Portuguese-speaking section of New Jersey’s most populous city, virtually no one, when asked, had heard of António Guterres, the secretary-general of the United Nations and a one-time prime minister of Portugal. At a popular restaurant on Ferry Street, the main drag nicknamed Portugal Street, one person eating his platter lunch … Read more

In an Unusual Move, the UN Security Council Is Heading to Sweden for a Retreat

The United Nations Security Council, perhaps needing a change of scenery from its chamber overlooking the East River in New York, is traveling to the southern Swedish coast in April for an annual retreat whose theme this year is “a new narrative on peace operations.” The retreat will be held in a newly renovated farmhouse … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

Women Descend on the UN, Riding on the Heels of #TimesUp

As women across the world battle systemic harassment and worse abuses for merely being female, the United Nations has opened its annual gathering of women in one of its biggest conferences of the year. This time, the 12-day meeting focuses on the status of rural women, but since it follows closely on the heels of … Read more

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

Nikki Haley to Mahmoud Abbas: Get Over Trump’s Jerusalem Decision

Mahmoud Abbas, chairman of the Palestinian Authority, sticks to his well-known grievances. While Danny Danon, the Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, finger-points; Nikki Haley, the American envoy to the UN, warns everyone to stay off the topic of Jerusalem. In the latest showdown on Palestine in the UN Security Council, which welcomed Abbas and … Read more

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A Sexual Assault Claim at Unaids Suggests a Cover-Up by Its Management

As allegations of sexual abuse and harassment in the offices, field operations and peacekeeping missions continue to plague the United Nations, a case that has recently come to light reveals that in 2016 a woman who worked for Unaids accused a high-level official of the entity of sexual assault. The woman’s claim has been publicized this … Read more

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