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

GEOPOLITICS

Guterres’s Grand Plan to Remake the UN’s Peace and Security ‘Pillar’

António Guterres, the UN secretary-general

Considerable restructuring of the peacekeeping, political affairs and peace-building departments of the United Nations is being proposed by Secretary-General António Guterres as he continues to embark on reforming the world body, which contends with increasingly complex crises and conflicts each year. In a 16-page document obtained by PassBlue and to be submitted soon to the UN’s 193 … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Janet Benshoof, Legal Activist, Seeks Help for Burma Through the Global Court

Photo of Janet Benshoof, a lawyer-activist, leads the Global Justice Center in New York.

Burma has long been a unique country not only for its otherworldly landscape of pagodas and gold-topped stupas but also, paradoxically, as an isolated country where a nationalistic military has given itself extraordinary constitutional powers. Generals, who have warped the country’s Buddhist heritage over half a century, can now attack the Muslim-majority Rohingya people with … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

When Deaths Exceed Births, Countries Can Turn to Immigration

The demography is clear: when deaths outnumber births — excluding for zero immigration — populations decline. That simple yet powerful demographic relationship is irrefutable, regardless of geography, era, economics, political ideology or religious belief. Yet many politicians around the world, who typically have short-term perspectives, particularly those living in countries facing population decline and large … Read more

 

GEOPOLITICS

Saudis Dispute Casualty Numbers in New UN Report on Children in War

Saudi Arabia is vehemently disputing a decision by the United Nations that it is to be named and shamed again for its violations of children’s rights in the Yemen war. The Saudis, who lead a regional bombing coalition against the Houthi opposition forces in Yemen, have landed in the annual report from the UN office … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Militia Most Likely Killed Two UN Experts in Congo, a UN Report Finds

A militia from the Kasaï Central Province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo was “likely” responsible for the murders of the two United Nations experts who were killed in March 2017 in the province, according to a fact-finding report from an independent board assigned by the UN to investigate the deaths. The board concluded … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Russia Blocks Egypt From Pushing for More Oversight of UN Sanctions

Striving to leave an indelible mark as president of the United Nations Security Council in August, Egypt proposed that an informal working group, focused comprehensively on sanctions regimes, should be set up to advise the Council. But one powerful member of the Council, Russia, has said no to the idea, so it has been put … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

US Congress Starts Slicing Away at 2018 National Budget, Sure to Hurt UN

The first round in the battle to write a federal budget, working off the Trump administration’s ruthless proposals announced in May, has ended in the House of Representatives appropriations committee. As feared by advocates for women, the poor, refugees, global health programs and even foreign language study, the Republican-led appropriations committee, which sets budget goals … Read more

 

GEOPOLITICS

At the UN, Pakistan Gets Respect

When Maleeha Lodhi arrived at the United Nations in 2015 as Pakistan’s ambassador, she brought with her a broad background in academia, journalism and diplomacy: a Ph.D. in political science from the London School of Economics, where she later taught political sociology; the first woman to edit major newspapers in Pakistan; ambassador to the United … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

UN’s South Sudan Experts Criticized for Weapons Claims Amid Larger Problems

A hard-hitting report published in April 2017 by the United Nations Security Council sanctions panel monitoring South Sudan was potentially marred by weakly sourced allegations about arms sales from Egypt and elsewhere, according to a senior Egyptian diplomat and two former UN sanctions experts. The perceived flaws in the South Sudan panel’s work are “a … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

At the UN, a New Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapons Is Adopted by 122 Nations

Nuclear buildup and threat of nuclear war became a front-page item this past week, after Kim Jong Un’s declaration of a successful intercontinental ballistic missile test, confirmed on July 4 by United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Such headlines — proclaimed on America’s Independence Day — remind the public of the ever-present specter of … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

The UN Peacekeeping Mission in Mali Escapes Trump’s Hatchet

After a month of contentious debate between the United Nations Security Council and UN budget committees, agreement has been reached for the UN to stay focused on Mali and the Sahel region, where terrorism is threatening to destabilize the area. The region extends across Africa from east to west in an arc right below the … Read more

 

GEOPOLITICS

As the UN Chief Goes to Washington, He Reiterates Plight of Refugees

Photo: UN Secretary-General António Guterres in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

On International Refugee Day, António Guterres reiterated the plight of refugees and displaced people worldwide — a phenomenal 65.5 million people — in his first media briefing at United Nations headquarters in months. He let drop that he is traveling to Washington, D.C., from June 27-29 to lobby Congressional members on UN budget matters. The … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Trump’s Decision to Withdraw From the Paris Agreement Is Not So Simple

With his announcement to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord, President Donald Trump will discover taking such action is neither simple nor immediate. Given that the US is one of the leading greenhouse gas emitting countries, pulling out of the Paris accord will make it incredibly difficult for the world to reach … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

On Climate Change, UN Secretary-General António Guterres Swipes at the US

“Allow me to be blunt,” António Guterres, the United Nations secretary-general, told his audience to an uneasy laugh. “Our world is in a mess.” Although Guterres could have been speaking to any audience anywhere, he was addressing a crowd gathered at the Stern Center for Sustainable Business at New York University on May 30, one … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

The Debate on Trump’s Budget Ignores Serious Global Cuts

When the White House sent its proposed 2018 budget to the United States Congress on May 23, it was apparent that not only would a hawkish, nationalistic focus on military expenditures come at the cost of international aid and support for the United Nations. Worse, the Trump plan would also sideline discussions on global issues, … Read more

 

GEOPOLITICS

Did Equatorial Guinea Bribe Its Way to a UN Security Council Seat?

Amid the predominantly Francophone region in West Africa is tiny Spanish-speaking Equatorial Guinea, a country blessed — or cursed — with vast oil reserves. For most of its independent life, the country has been ruled by President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, who has the distinction of being the longest-serving nonroyal head of state in the … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

UN Is Examining Its Security Policies After Murders in Congo

A board of inquiry looking into major gaps or flaws in United Nations security policies that might have contributed to the murders of two UN experts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo was set up May 1, according to documents not released to the public yet. The board is to travel to the Congo … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Who Is Paolo Zampolli, a Trump Friend, and What’s He Up To at the UN?

Who is Paolo Zampolli and what does he want from the United Nations? A friend of Donald Trump’s for decades, Zampolli is an ambassador of Dominica to the UN. He has a busy Twitter page, Facebook page and Instagram account, where he posts photos of himself and his wife, Amanda Ungaro, a model from Brazil who … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

At UN Session on North Korea, the US Shows It’s Back

Speaking to the United Nations Security Council at a meeting on North Korea held at the foreign-minister level, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson asked member countries to join the United States in a strong campaign to enhance pressures on the Kim Jong Un regime, whose rapidly developing nuclear and missile programs have reached dangerous levels. The … Read more

Support nonprofit journalism →
Left Menu Icon

Don't Miss a Story:

Subscribe to PassBlue

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​