Time Runs Short for the US to Ratify the Test Ban Treaty

When the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty was adopted and opened for government signatures at the United Nations in 1996, the United States was among the first of more than 180 countries to sign the agreement to end nuclear test explosions and prevent nations with nuclear weapons ambitions from pursuing those goals. The US unilaterally declared … Read more

Will All of Syria’s Arsenal of Chemical Weapons Be Destroyed?

After an extraordinary effort from the United Nations, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and about a half dozen countries, including the United States and Russia, 96 percent of Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal has been destroyed, acting on a UN Security Council mandate. The remaining 4 percent of the arsenal consists of 12 … Read more

How the Chemical Weapons Removed From Syria Will Be Destroyed

Although Syria has turned over all of its declared chemical weapons stockpile to international authorities, defying expectations that it would not meet a June 30 deadline, the next hurdle is securely destroying the material outside the country. Danish and Norwegian vessels have been tasked with removing the majority of the chemicals from the Syrian port … Read more

The Woman Who Opened Syria for UN Inspectors

Angela Kane, UN high representative for disarmament affairs

Angela Kane has covered a lot of territory for the United Nations, but one of her toughest jobs in a career spanning more than three decades may be negotiating with Syria to begin the still-uncertain process of destroying the chemical weapons that President Bashar al-Assad only recently denied he had. “It wasn’t easy,” Kane said … Read more

 

At Long Last, the UN Security Council Unites on a Syrian Resolution

Samantha Power

In rare action-packed diplomacy at the United Nations, a draft resolution was agreed on Sept. 26 by the five permanent members of the Security Council, reinforcing the plan made earlier in the month between Russia and the United States to dismantle Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal, after Syria agreed to join the Chemical Weapons Convention. Yet … Read more

Ban Confirms Chemical Weapons Were Leashed on Syrians, Based on UN Report

Secretary General receives report on chemical weapons use in Syria

The much-awaited report by the United Nations investigative mission on the use of chemical weapons in Syria on Aug. 21 in Ghouta has been handed over to the secretary-general by Ake Sellstrom, the head of the mission; it has not been released to the public yet by the UN but France put it online. In … Read more

The UN Awaits Results of Chemical Weapons Analysis From Syria

Ban Ki-moon

  In the daily unfolding drama behind the recent investigation by a United Nations team on the use of chemical weapons in Syria, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced today that all biomedical and environmental samples gathered by the inspectors “at sites of possible chemical weapons use in Syria” will arrive at designated laboratories in Europe … Read more

Make Peace Not War, Activists Push at the UN

Jody Williams, Nobel Peace Prize laureate

  A lifeless baby lies on the ground. Half of a woman’s face has been blown off. A mother screams in a hospital after losing her son because of inadequate medication. A text fills the big white screen: global military spending amounts to $1.7 trillion a year. Less than a fifth of that would pay … Read more

 

The Arms Trade Treaty Attracts 67 Signers So Far

Romanian ambassador to the UN

The creation of the Arms Trade Treaty, which aims to control the international trade of conventional weapons and reduce “human suffering,” marks a solid achievement for the United Nations this year in its primary role of securing peace worldwide. And so it went to great lengths on June 3 to promote the success at special … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

More Bark Than Bite in North Korea

Kim Jong-un

Theodore Roosevelt’s approach to foreign policy was to “speak softly, and carry a big stick.” Kim Jong-un, the leader of North Korea, has confused the two. North Korea’s rhetoric is nothing new — in fact, it’s become de rigueur for Pyongyang to threaten war whenever it wants an increase in its foreign aid allowance, much … Read more

The UN Adopts an Arms Treaty ‘With Teeth’

Peter Woolcott, Australia ambassador to the UN

The momentous adoption of the Arms Trade Treaty at the United Nations has been greeted with much enthusiasm worldwide but also strong skepticism as the reality of carrying out its aim — regulating international transfers of conventional arms — sets in. “Effectiveness will be slow as it comes into force,” Peter Woolcott, the permanent representative … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Take Two: Arms Trade Treaty Talks Resume

Control Arms Coalition

The second act of the Arms Trade Treaty negotiations has opened at the United Nations this week. Like any good drama, these talks, which began on March 18, are sure to feature tense moments and plenty of controversy, although many people involved in the process are optimistic that this act will deliver a final agreement. … Read more

 

BOOKS

Iran’s ‘Grand Bargain’ With the West

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 as … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

The UN Arms Trade Treaty Must Survive

Eyes on Rights campaign

Nobody ever believed that establishing an international Arms Trade Treaty would be uncomplicated. Discussions taking place this month will determine the treaty’s future through a vote in the United Nations General Assembly next week. The treaty’s draft text was nearly adopted in July by UN member states, but those talks came to an abrupt halt … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

The Deadly Nuclear Game Continues, 50 Years After Cuba

Security Council Meets on Cuba 1962

KANDY, Sri Lanka — The headlines in the newspapers and on BBC radio – even for young man in distant Sri Lanka – were ominous as they reported the Cuban missile crisis of October 1962 – 50 years ago. There was no television in my country at the time to make the situation more tense; … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Arms Trade Treaty Talks Call a Time-Out

Control Arms Coalition at the Arms Trade Treaty talks

Good things take time. Evidently, 10 years of advocacy efforts led by a group of Nobel laureates and an international nongovernmental organization campaign, five years of consultations and preparatory work and a month of negotiations at the United Nations in New York in July wasn’t quite enough time for the 193 members of the United … Read more

 

WORLDVIEWS

Different Missile Tests, Different Diplomatic Reactions

Hillary Clinton India visit

Asia was the setting last month for two completely different missile tests. North Korea‘s, on April 13, was a total failure yet drew strong condemnation in the region, around the world and by the United Nations. The fear now is that North Korea could cover its embarrassment by doing another nuclear test, and indeed on … Read more

Support nonprofit journalism →
Left Menu Icon

Sign up to get the smartest news on the UN by email, joining readers across the globe.

We respect your privacy and take protecting it seriously

Don’t Miss a Story:

Subscribe to PassBlue