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

GEOPOLITICS

Why Israel Dropped Out of the UN Security Council Race: Not Enough Votes

From the start, it was a closely watched contest pitting Germany, Belgium and Israel against one another for their regional bloc’s two seats in the next term on the United Nations Security Council. Israel has never held a seat on the Council, and as it celebrates its 70-year membership in the UN in 2018, the country … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

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

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 a … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

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

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 the … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Fake News and the UN: An Item Since 1945

In the world of fake news, the United Nations has been a prime target since it opened its doors in 1945. These days, spending just a few minutes on Facebook and Twitter, two sites located at the epicenter of the fake news epidemic, reveals claims — real and imagined — pushed by critics of the … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Confronting Possible Gas Attacks in Syria, the UN Security Council Succumbs to Chaos

In a week of reversals, semireversals and blatant backtracking by some of the most powerful countries on earth, diplomacy showed its head-spinning underside in the United Nations Security Council, as three Western allies — Britain, France and the United States — conveyed their outrage against Russia for its perceived role in allowing the Syrian government … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Is the New UN Envoy for Yemen Destined for Failure?

Martin Griffiths, the new United Nations special envoy for Yemen and a British international mediator, will begin work this month on a war that is called the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Griffiths is highly praised in the arena of private conflict mediation, having founded his own firm in 1999 that has brokered resolutions to insurgent … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

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

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. Country … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

China’s Notions of UN Reform: Filling the Growing Vacuum Left by the US

China has presented its position on United Nations reform, and it aligns with Secretary-General António Guterres’s own agenda. It pushes for practicalities, such as a transparent process, a stronger peace and security pillar, streamlined internal management and more geographic diversity in hiring practices in peacekeeping and the UN Secretariat. “The world is undergoing major developments, … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Words Ring Hollow From the UN After Attacks on Peacekeepers

The horrific attack on United Nations peacekeepers from Tanzania in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in early December and the ensuing hours-long battle was a severe blow to one of the UN’s more prized forces, leaving 15 soldiers dead. But the UN was already so concerned with a rise in peacekeeper fatalities — almost … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

The Art of Infinite Patience: Searching for Peace in South Sudan

The South Sudan Council of Churches is an umbrella organization for seven Christian denominations — African Inland Church, Catholic, Episcopal, Pentecostal, Presbyterian, Evangelical Presbyterian and Sudan Interior Church — working on peace and reconciliation in South Sudan and based in Juba, the capital. The country has been fighting a civil war for exactly four years. … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

David Miliband on Our Duty to the Strangers in Our Midst: Refugees

David Miliband, a former British foreign secretary, has been president and chief executive of the International Rescue Committee since 2013, overseeing both the agency’s humanitarian relief operations and its refugee resettlement and assistance programs in several American cities. The son of European refugees from Nazi Germany, he just published his first book, “Rescue: Refugees and the … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Is the US Going to Drop Out of the UN Human Rights Council?

Palestinian causes in the United Nations are gaining wider and more active support in the Arab and Islamic worlds in light of Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, in defiance of global opinion and decades of UN resolutions. The move sets the scene for reigniting intense anti-UN activity in United States Congress. There … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Loose Missiles, Loose Talk: Nikki Haley’s Claims of Iran’s ‘Lawless Behavior’

Why are the United States Department of Defense and the US ambassador to the United Nations acting as spokespeople for Saudi Arabia’s atrocious war against the religious Yemeni-Houthi minority? And why is Ambassador Nikki Haley throwing herself in front of the international community with laughable evidence to claim, among other statements: “The Iranian regime cannot … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Trump’s Jerusalem Move Sparks Backlash From Powerful UN Members

In a rare step by two of America’s closest allies, Britain and France called for an emergency meeting of the 15 members of the United Nations Security Council to air their concerns over the decision by Donald Trump of the United States to endorse Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The emergency meeting on Dec. … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Why Do Jihadists Exit Violent Extremism? The Field of Study Grows

The study of violent extremism and what attracts people to become jihadists has been expanding rapidly in social sciences, but what is little known is why people avoid or leave a violent movement. It is a field that is slowly growing among academics, think tanks and United Nations officials, enabling them to form policies that … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Judging the UN in Haiti: ‘We Let the Haitians Down’

The population it serves can misunderstand a United Nations peacekeeping mandate. In the host country, with people’s lives, infrastructure and administrative systems often rendered dysfunctional by conflict, the population expects peacekeepers to restore order, build roads and other essentials, provide work, render justice and make life like it was before if not better. They don’t … Read more

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