UN Sanctions for Sexual Violence in Libya Approved, but Russia Resisted

A decision by the United Nations Security Council to add sanctions against perpetrators of sexual violence should have gone smoothly. The proposal, led by the Netherlands and  Sweden, was meant to deter such violence in conflict zones and other hot spots. Weeks earlier, diplomats turned out in hordes to mark the 18th anniversary of a landmark … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

After 50 Years of UN Sanctions, Is the System Broken?

With only few of the current United Nations sanctions cases accomplishing their political objectives, it is not unreasonable to wonder why the system seems broken. As the 50th anniversary of the first use of this important political tool is duly noted, the short answer is that nothing is wrong with sanctions. The problem is with the … Read more

Getting to Know Mediterranean Farmers: Agritourism Hits Sicily

BELPASSO, Italy — The Oasi di Francesca farm-stay hotel is situated in an unlikely spot here in Sicily, about a kilometer from an Italian naval air base and a half hour to the large port city of Catania in the east, facing the Ionian Sea. Among the acres of low-lying artichoke plants — as well … Read more

BOOKS

A Hint on Confronting Islamist Power. Or Maybe Not.

Will it never end? When will time run out on the array of shape-shifting militant Islamist movements intent on moving into shaky trouble spots around the world to impose their extreme ideology, harness the population and hijack the local economy? How long will it take for the international community — the ubiquitous West — to … Read more

GOINGS-ON

The UN Formalizes Its Partnership With Sant’Egidio, the Rome-Based Mediator

The United Nations has formalized its relationship with the Community of Sant’Egidio, the highly regarded Catholic membership organization based in Rome that has been focusing on conflict prevention and resolution, primarily in Africa, for 30 years. A community of 60,000 laypeople founded in 1968, Sant’Egidio has been working with the UN on mediation prospects in … Read more

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TOPIC: WOMEN

Rape by Terrorists: A UN Report Documents Sexual Attacks in War

Moving away from strictly categorizing rape and other sexual abuse against women as a weapon of war, a new report from the United Nations addresses the increasing use of rape as a weapon of terrorism. The report also documents how mass migration has led to further sexual violence against women through human trafficking by extremist … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Feelings Hurt, Yemeni-Americans in New York City Protest the Trump Immigration Ban

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Thousands of Yemeni-Americans in New York City turned out to peacefully — if not passionately — protest the White House ban on immigrants entering the United States from seven Muslim-majority countries, including Yemen. The protesters waved American and Yemeni flags, shouting slogans like “United we stand against the Muslim ban.” Held at … Read more

Europe Pushes Ahead for More Aid to Syrians and to Disrupt Human Smuggling

Seizing a chance to respond more coherently to the deadly situation in Syria, the European Union and Jordan are proposing a “resilience plan” to alleviate the humanitarian emergency while pushing for a political course to stop the Syrian government from killing what’s left of its people. The European Union is also moving ahead in October … Read more

In Italy, a Patchwork of Services for Migrants Arriving at Its Shores [Video]

ROME — Italy is a slender peninsula ringed by 4,722 miles of coastline, a blessing that brings thousands of Italians to the sea each August for Ferragosto, the country’s summer vacation period. The coastline — one of the longest in the world — has also been attracting boats full of refugees and migrants, in numbers … Read more

Europe Forges Ahead to ‘Disrupt’ Human Smuggling at Sea From Libya

After a month of near silence in Europe on a proposal to stop human smuggling across the Mediterranean Sea from Libya to European shores, European foreign ministers are moving ahead this week on a plan to “disrupt” smugglers’ vessels in international or European waters. The plan, introduced on June 22, was noted in the European … Read more

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The UN’s Mission in Mali: A Deadly Fight Against Terrorists

The United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali, the most demanding and bloodiest operation in the organization’s global portfolio, is moving its major functions from its base in Bamako, the capital, to Gao, a remote city also on the Niger River, and other camps in the north. The goal is to keep a vigilant eye on … 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

Her Job? To Welcome Boat Migrants Landing at Sicily’s Ports

Italy rescuing migrants

SICILY, Italy — Fabiana Giuliani is a legal associate for the United Nation High Commissioner for Refugees, but in the last few months she has spent most of her time in ports. Based on the southern island of Sicily, Giuliani, a 31-year-old Italian native who has been working for the UN refugee agency for 18 … Read more

ICC Staff Members Released in Libya

Melinda Taylor, ICC lawyer

Libyan authorities have released the four International Criminal Court staff members who have been held in Zintan after their visit on June 7, 2012, to Seif al-Islam el-Qaddafi, the son of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, to notify him of his legal rights. Qaddafi, in custody by Zintan militias, has been charged with crimes against humanity by … Read more

GOINGS-ON

Top US Official at the UN to Leave Post

B. Lynn Pascoe, an American diplomat who has served as under secretary-general for political affairs during Ban Ki-moon’s first term, is leaving that key position early in the new year, as the secretary-general reshapes his senior team for his second five-year term beginning on Jan.1. The first announcement of pending changes at the top of … Read more

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A Man for the Moment in the Middle East

Nabil Elaraby is a name to remember as crisis builds in Syria and citizens in other countries in the Arab world worry about where their hard-won revolutions are taking them. Elaraby, a 76-year-old Egyptian diplomat, is secretary-general of the Arab League, a position he has held for less than five months. But his impact on … Read more

Libya’s Leaders, the UN Says, Value Democracy

Very soon after the reported death of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi in Surt on Oct. 20, the United Nations responded with a statement by the secretary-general calling for reconciliation and national unity and with a press conference live from Tripoli featuring Ian Martin, the head of the UN’s new political mission in Libya, which was set … Read more

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