• Africa

    Kofi Annan’s Path to Humanitarian Intervention

    by  • August 22, 2018 • Africa, Geopolitics, Secretary-General • 

    Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who died on Aug. 18, in Switzerland, was deeply committed to peace and the UN Charter, as well as human rights and humanitarian action. He led a debate about harmonizing these principles and rebalancing the sovereignty of countries with the rights of people within them. During his 10 years as secretary-general,...

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    Kofi Annan, 80, a Popular UN Secretary-General From Africa, Is Dead

    by  • August 18, 2018 • Africa, Secretary-General • 

    Kofi Annan, the seventh and probably the most popular and widely respected secretary-general the United Nations has ever known, died unexpectedly in Bern, Switzerland, early on Saturday morning, Aug. 18. His death, reportedly from leukemia, followed what initial reports described only as a short illness. He led the UN for two terms, from 1997...

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    Violence Against Women Worsens by the Day in the Congo

    by  • July 26, 2018 • Africa, Gender-Based Violence, Security Council, UN Peacekeeping, WORLDVIEWS • 

    Justine Bihamba

    The Democratic Republic of the Congo has been placed on the United Nations Security Council agenda for several decades, in one form or another through various peacekeeping missions. The Council regularly meets on the status of the Congo, with the most recent session occurring on July 26, 2018, concentrating on progress toward scheduled presidential and...

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    The Congo: Tiptoeing Toward a New War?

    by  • July 9, 2018 • Africa, Human Rights, P5 Monitor, Security Council • 

    If President Joseph Kabila’s continued violations of his country’s constitutional term limits were not enough of a warning, the first paragraph of the latest report by United Nations experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo sets the record straight, saying: “Armed actors continuously used the delay in the electoral process to promote acts...

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    The UN’s Emphasis on Prevention Could Use Lessons From the Case of Guinea

    by  • June 18, 2018 • Africa, Gender-Based Violence, Responsibility to Protect, Secretary-General, Security Council, WORLDVIEWS • 

    Historically neglected, gender-based violence is now becoming broadly recognized as a legitimate and urgent agenda item among the United Nations member nations, notably in the UN’s most powerful forum, the Security Council. But the future of the agenda is uncertain, as priorities remain unclear and inadequate methods for preventing sexual violence against women keep...

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    The Future of the French Language Resides in Francophone Africa

    by  • June 12, 2018 • Africa, Education, Geopolitics • 

    BOBIGNY, France — On March 20, French President Emmanuel Macron stood before a crowd at the prestigious Académie Française in central Paris. With his trademark confidence and fastidious affect, he made his case for French as a global, 21st-century language unburdened by the oppression associated with colonialism. “By making the language of the colonizers their own...

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    Nigerian Women in African Migration, Vulnerable and Abused

    by  • June 11, 2018 • Africa, Gender-Based Violence, Human Trafficking, Migration, Women • 

    Barbie Latza Nadeau is an American journalist based in Rome, covering the large refugee migrations from the Middle East and Africa since 2011, often with an emphasis on women. She has recently written a book, “Roadmap to Hell: Sex, Drugs and Guns on the Mafia Coast,” zeroing in on a huge increase in the...

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    Deconstructing Power: The Global Prevalence of Gender Violence

    by  • May 19, 2018 • Africa, Gender-Based Violence, Women • 

    In scriptures, poetry, constitutions and leaders’ pledges to protect all members of the state, women are often listed with children or others rendered “vulnerable” by circumstance. The woman citizen is imagined as less adult. Is it possible that vocabularies that consider women as objects make a quiet argument that the assault on our person...

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

    by  • May 15, 2018 • Africa, Geopolitics, Middle East, Security Council, US Foreign Relations, US-UN Relations • 1 Comment

    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...

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    A New Peace-Building Podcast Series Delves Into East Africa’s Complexities

    by  • May 8, 2018 • Africa, Geopolitics, Peace and Security, UN Peacekeeping • 

    A new series called “Peacebuilders,” offering a weekly podcast of interviews with a diverse array of African and other professionals on vital issues they confront in their work in East Africa, has been introduced by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. The nine-part series debuted on May 1, with the first one focused on...

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    Setting an Example: Kenyans’ Innovations in UN Peacekeeping

    by  • April 23, 2018 • Africa, UN Peacekeeping • 

    NAIROBI — With the budget cuts to peace operations implemented last year and the prospect of even more reduction in resources, debates about United Nations peacekeeping effectiveness have intensified. One of the areas sorely in need of innovation is peacekeeping training and, more generally, the preparation of troops, police officers and civilians for peace...

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    Thank You, UN, for Protecting Victims of Slavery and Other Cruel Practices

    by  • April 19, 2018 • Africa, Asia, Gender-Based Violence, Human Rights, Human Trafficking, International Justice • 

    While slavery and inhumane practices have still not been eradicated, the United Nations has done much to expose them and to help stamp them out. Its efforts continue. Early after its establishment, the UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights carried out a study on slavery. Its findings were riveting, and it made several policy recommendations...

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    South Africa’s Light on Human Rights Dims Again at the UN

    by  • April 17, 2018 • Africa, Human Rights, US Foreign Relations, US-UN Relations • 

    When the monthlong winter session of the United Nations Human Rights Council opened at the end of February, expectations were high that progress would be made on reforms demanded by the United States and supported by many other nations, although not in as threatening terms as those of Nikki Haley, the Trump administration’s ambassador...

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    A Taste of Running for Political Office Has Left This UN Retiree Ready for More

    by  • April 10, 2018 • Africa, UN Careers, Women • 

    ORANGE, Conn. — Margaret Novicki is a 22-year veteran of the United Nations, having served in various regions in Africa and as the director of strategic communications at UN headquarters in New York. Upon her retirement in 2017 at age 62 from an eventful, complicated career at the UN, Novicki, an American, ran as...

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

    by  • April 2, 2018 • Africa, Peace and Security, Secretary-General, UN Peacekeeping, US-UN Relations • 

    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...

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    The Elephant in the Room: Congo’s Vicious, Illegal Fighters

    by  • February 11, 2018 • Africa, Security Council, WORLDVIEWS • 

    An open, informal meeting scheduled for Feb. 12 at the United Nations is meant to unite Security Council members in their efforts to rein in the recalcitrant Congolese president, Joseph Kabila, to allow the long-overdue presidential elections to go ahead this year. It is feared that Kabila’s refusal to carry out the vote, slated...

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    In Africa, Where the Pain of Trump’s ‘Racist’ Comments Runs Deep

    by  • January 17, 2018 • Africa, Caribbean, Geopolitics, US Foreign Relations, US-UN Relations • 1 Comment

    In the United States, the reaction to the bigoted comments that President Donald Trump made on Jan. 11 about black-majority nations in Africa didn’t take long to shift its focus to domestic American politics, obscuring the shock of those abroad who have been maligned. Around the world, a very different story is taking shape....

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    Stopping Sex Abuse in UN Peacekeeping: An Interview With Marie Deschamps of Canada

    by  • January 15, 2018 • Africa, Gender-Based Violence, UN Peacekeeping • 

    Marie Deschamps is a former justice on the Supreme Court of Canada who led the groundbreaking 2015 United Nations report of an independent review on sexual exploitation and abuse by international peacekeeping forces in the Central African Republic. Deschamps agreed to talk in late December about how the report has been followed up —...

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