TOPIC: WOMEN

Heather Nauert, Trump’s Nominee for UN Envoy, Faces Heated Opposition

The nomination of Heather Nauert to succeed Nikki Haley as United States ambassador to the United Nations has quickly enraged some international women’s rights groups and a major Islamic advocacy organization based in the United States, portending a tense confirmation hearing in the US Senate for Nauert. The announcement of her nomination last week by … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

Women’s Rights Predicted to Advance in New US Congress

The results of the recent United States elections raise hopes for women’s rights. At least 100 women, among them young liberals who defeated incumbent men, will hold nearly a quarter of the seats in the House of Representatives when a new Congress opens in early January. Two women are Muslim-American and two are Native Americans, … Read more

Charting Human Rights in a Dramatic New Way

What if we lived in a world where countries competed to see which ones treated their citizens best — in a race to the top, Olympian style? Now there’s a way to get started. A project called the Human Rights Measurement Initiative has launched metrics and tools to track the performance of more than 140 countries, … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

It’s All Clean Slates for the Next Human Rights Council Vote

GENEVA — The annual ritual of holding elections for vacant seats on the United Nations Human Rights Council for a three-year term is set for Oct. 12. All five regional groups have clean slates: the number of candidates is equal to the number of open seats. Notwithstanding talk about the need to improve the Council’s … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

The US vs. Unrwa: Who Really Loses?

It is entirely the United States’ prerogative to cut off its voluntary contributions to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, or Unrwa. In her statements about why the Trump administration has decided to do so, however, Ambassador Nikki Haley misses the mark on who should be grateful for … Read more

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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

WORLDVIEWS

The Devastating Decline of Human-Rights Justice Across the World

The soul of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights is being destroyed with the disappearance of human-rights justice in the world. Everyone should be concerned if not frightened. The appointment of Michelle Bachelet of Chile as UN high commissioner for human rights, who has personally experienced injustice, offers hope that her voice will be … Read more

TOPIC: INDIA

The Heart of Ethnic Cleansing Has Moved to India

Harsh Mander had barely arrived in the remote northeastern Indian state of Assam when he was drawn into a humanitarian horror story years in the making. It was about to get exponentially worse. “The people of Assam are sitting atop a smoldering volcano, one that threatens to erupt into catastrophic suffering and injustice,” he wrote … Read more

TAKE A LOOK

Hungary Forbids Gender Studies, Enraging Academics

In the doldrums of a European summer, when many universities are mostly closed or short-staffed, the populist Hungarian government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban sent a directive to higher-education institutions on Aug. 9 forbidding the teaching of gender studies. Hungarian academicians, faculties outside the country as well as civil society organizations reacted quickly, calling for … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

Michelle Bachelet of Chile Nominated to Be Next UN Rights Commissioner

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has nominated Michelle Bachelet, a former president of Chile, to become the next UN high commissioner for human rights. The nomination has been sent to the General Assembly for approval. Bachelet, who is 66, was Guterres’s top choice all along in the selection process, which began informally in the spring, … Read more

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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

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

Once Again, Haley Accuses Others for US Failure at Rights Council Reform

In the middle of last week, when the Trump administration was still unable to say how it “lost” more than 2,500 children torn from their asylum-seeking parents at the border with Mexico, Nikki Haley, the United States envoy to the United Nations, was telling a different story to a sympathetic group in Washington, D.C. “We … Read more

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

UN to Rohingya: You Can’t Go Home Safely Any Time Soon

Among refugee advocates there  has been a growing concern that recent agreements among regional governments and the United Nations on a framework for mitigating the Rohingya crisis could prompt at least some of the million-plus people who have fled the deadly military pogrom in Myanmar to consider risking a return to try to rebuild their … Read more

P5 MONITOR

The Congo: Tiptoeing Toward a New War?

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 of … Read more

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NIKKI HALEY WATCH

No Winners in Washington’s Human-Rights Blame Game

It’s a poor workman who blames his tools, a popular French proverb cautions. But that’s just what Ambassador Nikki Haley has been doing in trying to justify Washington’s exit from the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council. Haley has looked long and hard in her scramble to identify the villains responsible for Washington’s exit. As … Read more

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

The UN’s Report on Poverty in the US Is Rebuked by Nikki Haley

When Philip Alston decided to focus a report on the United States, in his role as the United Nations special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, the goal was to spur a larger discussion. However, in the past week there has been a slow-motion volley of criticisms instead, as Nikki Haley, the US ambassador … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

The UN Secretary-General’s Human-Rights Crisis Can Be Solved

There is a crisis in the United Nations human-rights system. Secretary-General António Guterres can lead the way out of it. Indeed, the world continues to look to the UN secretary-general to stand up for the principles of the organization. One of the highest responsibilities of the incumbent is to help steer a course toward realizing … Read more

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

As Expected, the US Quits the UN Human Rights Council

In a long-expected decision, the United States announced it was withdrawing from the United Nations Human Rights Council, the world body’s primary organ for promoting and protecting the rights of people worldwide. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, delivered comments on June 19 in the late … Read more

With Trump’s Human-Rights Policies, Religious ‘Values’ Take Priority

Cubans waiting to be served food during the country's annual celebration of its revolution.

For almost three centuries, through street protests, court battles and a civil war, the United States has sporadically but steadily advanced and expanded human-rights protections and commitments in domestic and foreign policies. Now Donald Trump and the most conservative, ideologically driven officials on his team want to turn back this record in fundamental ways, as … Read more

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