Irwin Arieff

Irwin Arieff is a veteran writer and editor with extensive experience writing about international diplomacy and food, cooking and restaurants. Before leaving daily journalism in 2007, he was a Reuters correspondent for 23 years, serving in senior posts in Washington, Paris and New York as well as at the United Nations. He also wrote restaurant reviews for The Washington Post and Washington City Paper in the 1980s and 1990s with his wife, Deborah Baldwin.
April 1, 2013 
UN cafeteria delicatessen station
They say that an army travels on its stomach. If the same is true of international diplomacy, the United Nations is in big trouble. The main UN cafeteria in New York recently sprang back to life as headquarters staff members started returning to the painstakingly renovated landmark Secretariat tower. But it appears the troops …
March 21, 2013 
Kosovar refugee
International crises are not always resolved on the battlefield or at the negotiating table. Sometimes breakthroughs come around a table at a restaurant that is continents away. Or they fall in place because of a thoughtful gesture made by an important player at a cemetery years before. This is one of the lessons of …
January 28, 2013 
Kofi Annan
Frederic Eckhard, the United Nations spokesman for eight and a half of Kofi Annans 10 years as secretary-general, was certainly well placed to write a tell-all account of that action-packed era. But readers of Eckhard’s new book, “Kofi Annan: A Spokesperson’s Memoir,” get that and something more. Along with the insider accounts, there’s the …
January 8, 2013 
Alcala Restaurant
Alcala Restaurant has been dishing out traditional Spanish fare to the United Nations community for decades, and a recent move from East 46th Street to East 44th appears to have done nothing to change it, from the old-fashioned menu to the regulars at the next table. You’ll find the same dishes the last time …
Master of Science in Humanitarian Studies at Fordham University
January 1, 2013 
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran's president, addressing the UN conference on sustainable development, June 20, 2012.
Iran’s nuclear crisis has been dragging on for a decade, so it sure would be great if someone in the know finally laid out the definitive plan for resolving the dispute and ending Tehran’s international isolation. In “The Iranian Nuclear Crisis: A Memoir,” a veteran Iranian diplomat, Seyed Hossein Mousavian, modestly puts himself forward …
October 24, 2012 
Kofi Annan
  Kofi Annan‘s existential crisis during his decade as United Nations secretary-general was without question related to the US-led invasion of Iraq. But the most fascinating part of his new memoir, “Interventions: A Life in War and Peace,” is the account of his numerous attempts to nudge the world toward a Middle East peace …
October 8, 2012 
Paella, the daily special at Socarrat in Midtown Manhattan
It’s not every day that you want to drop $30 or $40 on lunch. But if you have the time to pamper yourself with a nice relaxed meal, check out the new Socarrat Paella Bar. It looks, feels and tastes more New York than Valencia, but Socarrat, located on Second Avenue just above 50th …
Master of Science in Humanitarian Studies at Fordham University
September 4, 2012 
Num Pang restaurant NYC
A life-changing stint in Philadelphia during my formative years left me with an irrepressible yearning for a truly great sandwich, coupled with enormous sadness over the difficulty of finding one. The hoagie of yore — a generously filled, crusty Italian roll doused with olive oil, vinegar and Italian spices and lined with shreds of …
August 1, 2012 
Cocoa farmer pruning a tree in Ivory Coast.
Given longstanding reports of slavery, economic exploitation and corruption in the West African cocoa trade, how guilty should you feel about eating a chocolate bar? How about one made with cocoa marketed under the fair-trade umbrella – a loose international system aimed at providing growers with fair prices while also imposing fair labor standards …
July 23, 2012 
Rickshaw Dumplings NYC
Chinese dumplings, one of the world’s great comfort foods, are steaming into the UN neighborhood. Rickshaw Dumpling Bar, a Manhattan chain with aspirations to go national, opened a branch at Lexington Avenue and 45th Street last fall, offering a slick and somewhat ethnically cleansed version of the plump little delicacies at uptown prices. In …
July 3, 2012 
Dining on Dag Hammarskjold Plaza
What a tragic missed opportunity. The Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, which runs along East 47th Street between First and Second Avenues, is one of the most pleasant open spaces on Manhattan’s East Side and home to one of the city’s best greenmarket. United Nations employees traverse the plaza throughout the day on the way to …
Master of Science in Humanitarian Studies at Fordham University
May 11, 2012 
French bistro Matisse
In many a French neighborhood, there’s a corner hangout frequented more for its comfort than its kitchen. The food is good, but the ambience is the draw. Often, the place will serve as the unofficial cantine for neighbors and office workers in the vicinity. For those who live near or work at the United …
April 24, 2012 
special court for sierra leone
Charles Taylor, the former Liberian president, displayed a talent for troublemaking from a young age. Convicted on April 26 by a United Nations-backed tribunal for numerous counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, Taylor appears to have kept up his bad behavior for most of his 64 years. As a boy in rural …

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