NIKKI HALEY WATCH

Nikki Haley’s Balancing Act

Nikki Haley is one lucky Trump appointee. Sure, sure, it’s a great honor to be a public servant, especially when you’re way up at the top. But the GOP wastes no love on the United Nations; Republican presidents can take years to realize that it can prove pretty useful every once in a while. So … Read more

UN EATS

Peak Thai, a UN Neighborhood Star

Peak Thai is hidden on a side street — East 49th — and easy to miss. It may never win a Michelin star. But there’s a reason lines form around noon: you can count on this quiet, efficiently run restaurant for solid cooking and pocket-friendly prices. These days, that’s no small thing. It is minutes … Read more

BOOKS

The Secret Work on War-Crime Trials Before Nuremberg

It is widely believed that the Allied powers were in the dark about the “final solution” — the Nazi campaign to exterminate Europe’s Jews — until the discovery of the death camps, strewn with corpses and emaciated inmates, at the end of World War II. Yet Russia, Britain and the United States publicly declared their … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Jerusalem Has Always Been a Contested City

The long-simmering dispute over the fate of Jerusalem stands at the center of the Middle East conflict. Israelis and Palestinians, divided on many points, become most emotional when discussing the future of the walled, ancient crossroads city that is holy to three world religions. So international diplomats took notice when foreign policy neophyte Donald Trump … Read more

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GEOPOLITICS

Seeking a Path for Jerusalem: A Chronology

Here is a brief political history of Jerusalem, in timeline format, dating from the earliest human settlement to the present. The chronology is selective, focusing primarily on the development of competing visions over the years of the ancient city’s past and future. The timeline accompanies a separate article, “Jerusalem’s Fate: Myth Versus Reality,” by Irwin … Read more

Educators on the UN Denounce Trump’s Crackdown on Refugees

More than 700 educators and students, meeting at United Nations headquarters in New York recently, called on the international community to protect refugees’ lives, encourage countries to take in “large numbers of refugees and migrants” and do more to ensure they get an education and are protected from sexual and gender-based violence. Acting as President … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

The Syrian War and the Refugee Crisis: Spawning the Rise of the Far Right

The butterfly effect teaches us that seemingly insignificant actions can have enormous future consequences. A tiny pair of fluttering wings can disturb the air in a way that helps trigger a hurricane halfway around the world. Witness Syria, where the Arab Spring made its debut in 2011 in the form of a tame wave of … Read more

UN EATS

The Danes Shake Up Dining Choices at Grand Central Terminal

During New York’s bad old days, Vanderbilt Hall, the waiting room at Grand Central Terminal, was a vast public space populated by homeless people napping on heavy wooden benches alongside some hardy souls actually waiting for trains. The benches were banished in the 1970s and the space has been at loose ends ever since, used … Read more

BOOKS

The Rules of War Need a Major Overhaul

Donetsk People's Republic fighters in Ukraine

Evidence is piling up: the global security framework that emerged from the ashes of World War II is no longer capable of pursuing international peace. The arrangement, conceived by the major powers that won the war, has expanded into a grab bag of rules and institutions that the crises of our own era have gradually … Read more

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UN EATS

Five Places to Eat a Quick, Tasty Lunch Near the UN

Diplomacy is hard work, and you can easily work up a fierce appetite at United Nations headquarters, whether you’re an actual diplomat or just there to watch. Here are five spots — in no particular order — where you can take a break and get a good meal within easy walking distance of the General … Read more

UN EATS

A Tiny Vietnamese Spot Packing Plenty of Flavor

It’s an unforgivable cliché, of course, to say that good things come in small packages. But hey, in this case, it is true. @ The Spot is about as small as a place can get and still count as a restaurant. But it is a potential destination nonetheless. The modishly named spot focuses on what … Read more

BOOKS

Africa’s War Problem

Too much of Africa is a mess. While there are, of course, great success stories, many countries continue, despite the end of colonialism and the Cold War, to suffer wildly from poverty, illness, corruption, coups and wars — too many compared with the rest of the world. Even as an outsized slice of United Nations … Read more

UN EATS

Momosan: Ramen Specialties Cooked by an Iron Chef

It started out as fast and filling food for impoverished students. Now ramen is a huge commodity and restaurants are ladling it out all over New York City, often with haute cuisine pretensions and prices to match. So what’s the big deal about a bowl of broth with noodles? Well, how about if the guy … Read more

UN EATS

Poké, a Hawaiian Import, Makes Big Waves on 38th Street

Entering Sons of Thunder, past pictures of surfboards and surfing, you might think this Murray Hill restaurant is dedicated to the thundering of waves. In a sense it is. The top dish here is poké, derived from a Hawaiian snack based on marinated raw tuna. The name, however, derives from the Bible: among the 12 … Read more

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UN EATS

Foxy John’s: A Flat-Screen Jungle, Volume Turned Low

Foxy John’s calls itself an Irish bar, and it’s true that Guinness and Jameson flow there freely. But the place looks like a sports bar, feels like a neighborhood watering hole and dishes out food that is more Cajun, Mexican or Italian than Irish. So don’t bother stopping by for lunch or a midafternoon break … Read more

BOOKS

Falling Flat in Syria: How Not to Fight Jihad

Sun Tzu’s classic work on the art of war advises would-be warriors to “know your enemy.” What were Western powers and the United Nations thinking when they first pondered ways to stop Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from beating, torturing, bombing and even gassing his own people after the first hesitant protests against his rigid rule? … Read more

UN EATS

The Best Bets at UrbanSpace Vanderbilt, a New Food Hall Near Grand Central

In the beginning, chefs created amazing food in Manhattan, and the critics said their restaurants were good. Then the darkness lifted over the waters of the East River, and chefs began creating amazing food in Brooklyn, and New Yorkers flocked to Brooklyn, by bridge and tunnel and yeah, even by subway, and some critics soon … Read more

Housing in South Africa: Making the Most Out of Very Little

CAPE TOWN — Declarations that people have a right to adequate housing are a dime a dozen. Among the many documents spelling out or elaborating on this right are the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and at least nine other international treaties, plus numerous resolutions … Read more

BOOKS

The Surprising Confessions of a Peacemaker

When war breaks out, you would think the easy answer would be to send in a United Nations peacekeeping mission, right? In fact, it is fairly rare and extraordinarily challenging to pull such a mission together. Even then, the mission can end up a flop, making little or no difference as the years crawl by. … Read more

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UN EATS

Ah, Wilderness: Escaping to Tuttles’ Backyard

It’s a balmy summer evening, but the United Nations neighborhood has few places where you can grab a beer and a burger or a salad under the glow of office towers. So it was a pleasant surprise to be invited by old friends for drinks at Tuttles Bar & Grill, where two well-concealed outdoor terraces … Read more

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