GEOPOLITICS

Trump Wants a New ‘Liberal’ World Order, Pompeo Tells Europe

They call it the “Trump effect” and it is permeating and weakening support for numerous international agreements still in their formative stages. For governments, diplomats and civil society around the world, accustomed to bombastic outbursts from Donald Trump, American policy appears to be consolidating into more than ad hoc attacks on efforts to tackle global … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

The US Is Driving the New Talks on Western Sahara, Involving Morocco and Algeria

Horst Koehler, a former German president who has been the United Nations special envoy for Western Sahara since last year, is bringing the parties to the longstanding conflict over that region to a roundtable meeting in Geneva soon. Koehler expressed his intent last summer to bring all the relevant players together by the end of … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Pressures Mount for UN to Create a Probe Into Khashoggi Murder

UN Secretary-General António Guterres, right, with Mevlut Cavusoglu, Turkey's foreign minister, Nov. 19, 2018

Secretary-General António Guterres is now the focus of concerted demands for the United Nations to establish an independent international tribunal to investigate the brutal murder of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the country’s consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2. International action has been stymied amid changing accounts from the Saudis, uncertainty over which party … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Striking a Better Balance in the Newest UN Peacekeeping Reforms

Just days before the United Nations held a meeting with heads of state and foreign ministers on Secretary-General António Guterres’s Action for Peacekeeping initiative, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2436 on peace operations, on Sept. 21. Drafted by the United States, the resolution is the result of collaboration between Council members and other … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Nations Face an Era of Chaos as Trump Offends the World at the UN

The UN audience could only gasp when Donald Trump made his stormy debut in the United Nations General Assembly in 2017 as president of the United States. This year they laughed in his face. The gap between the US and the rest of the world has demonstrably widened under the Trump administration, and this phenomenon … Read more

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GEOPOLITICS

Europe and Others Help Fund the UN Palestinian Agency, Filling US Void

The European Union, Germany, Norway, Ireland and Kuwait stepped in this week to donate a total of $118 million in financing to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (Unrwa), after the United States cut $304 million of its annual support to the agency for this year. The … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

In a First, Trump Chairs the UN Security Council, but Nothing Happened

  President Donald Trump chaired a United Nations Security Council meeting on stopping the spread of weapons of mass destruction and seized the occasion again to lambaste Iran, which he had earlier this month intended to make the sole focus of the Sept. 26 session. Pushback came from most of the other Council members, who … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

At the UN, Trump Declares: America Embraces ‘Patriotism’

Donald Trump, the president of the United States, arrived late for the opening day of the 73rd United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 25. His speech began on an awkward note as he elicited laughter from the world audience for boasting about his accomplishments. During his speech, he also aggressively rejected the global approach to … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Why Isn’t Canada’s Trudeau Speaking at the Main UN Forum This Year?

MONTREAL — When he took office in 2015, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised, among other things, to bring Canada back as a leader on the world’s stage. “Canada is back,” he said after signing the Paris accord on climate change, in 2016. He addressed the last two United Nations General Assembly since then, but he … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

The UN Shudders as ‘Trump Week’ Closes In

A year after his bombastic debut at the United Nations as president of the United States, Donald Trump returns on Monday, Sept. 24, to lead a US effort to spur global action to stem the narcotics and opioid plagues. Could the US be asking the UN for help this time? The morning meeting on drugs … Read more

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GEOPOLITICS

Kashmir’s Long Tragedy Rears Its Head in the News and at the UN

In his final months in office as United Nations high commissioner for human rights, the outspoken Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein did what no former holder of that office would or could do: he issued a blistering report on Indian abuses in the disputed territory of Kashmir. It is a story that Indian governments have long tried … 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

GEOPOLITICS

Kofi Annan’s Path to Humanitarian Intervention

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, which … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Rohingya Refugees Look to Washington and Find a Vacuum

This August marks a year since a military crackdown forced at least 700,000 Rohingya to flee Myanmar for Bangladesh, joining hundreds of thousands of Rohingya who had already taken refuge there, totaling 1.1 million people encamped in Cox’s Bazar, according to a Bangladesh count done this July. But you would never know from the Trump … 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

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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

GEOPOLITICS

Washington to UN Refugee Agency: If You Want Our Money, Put Our Name on It

The United States is the biggest donor to the UN Refugee Agency, and the Trump administration wants the world to know it. A new framework, or agreement, signed by the State Department and the refugee agency (UNHCR) requires it to acknowledge US contributions in most — and eventually all — of its public-information materials. What … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Trump’s Nominee Lost the UN Migration Agency Vote. Is It a Signal?

The unexpected, decisive rejection of the Trump administration’s candidate to head the premier United Nations agency for resettling refugees and other migrants appears to be a warning. Which is that other nations are not prepared to indefinitely defer to the power of the United States when human rights and democratic values are assaulted by the … 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

GEOPOLITICS

The Future of the French Language Resides in Francophone Africa

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 language, … Read more

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