WORLDVIEWS

Where Does the UN Security Council Stand on Yemen?

BEIRUT — A Yemeni father’s voice, proudly telling us about his son, was nevertheless infused with sorrow: Ahmed was about 12 and smart. He lived with his father, his mother and his eight siblings until “the war came.” The Saudi-led coalition bombed their home about a year ago. The Houthi armed group that had terrorized … Read more

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

WORLDVIEWS

The UN Mission in Lebanon, Saved From the US Ax for Another Year

BEIRUT — In late August, the United Nations Security Council unanimously renewed its peacekeeping operation in southern Lebanon, called Unifil. The less confrontational tone around the negotiation of Resolution 2433, contrasting with the heated debate on the renewal a year ago, can be read as a positive sign for Lebanon and the UN. It represents … 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

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

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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

P5 MONITOR

The Sanctions War Heats Up: US vs. the World

Mike Pompeo, in his first speech as Donald Trump’s new secretary of state, threatened United States’ allies: “You should know that we will hold those doing prohibited business in Iran to account.” Pompeo, speaking at the conservative Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., on May 21, is actually pitting the US against the United Nations, specifically … Read more

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

In Year 2 of Trump Presidency, the US Is Still Eroding Both the UN and Women’s Rights

After a year of bombast and threats by Ambassador Nikki Haley and the ever-evolving Donald Trump administration, the tone appears to be turned down a few notches in the second year of the Trump presidency. But efforts to undermine the United Nations and what it stands for have not stopped, at least for now, even … 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

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

Nikki Haley’s Twists and Turns, Leading Down a Path to Nowhere

Nikki Haley is the most popular member of Donald Trump’s national security team, according to a recent Quinnipiac University poll, which found that 63 percent of voters approve of the job she is doing as United States ambassador to the United Nations. Just 17 percent disapprove. (Only 39 percent approved of Trump’s performance, the poll … Read more

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P5 MONITOR

Is This the End of the UN Security Council?

What can the five remaining signatories to the Iran nuclear deal do now that the Trump administration has trampled on Security Council Resolution 2231 and its 13 binding decisions, adopted under Article 41 of the United Nations Charter? Sooner or later, the other 14 members of the Security Council, especially Britain, China, France and Russia, … Read more

P5 MONITOR

So Who Is Lying: Iran, Israel or Trump?

The world will soon know the future of the Iran nuclear deal, when President Trump plans to announce his intentions on May 8 at 2 p.m., Eastern Daylight Time, from the White House. The decision follows intense jostling among high-powered countries, current and former government officials and seasoned disarmament people in the last several months … Read more

P5 MONITOR

As Moon Meets Kim, Who Will Eventually Claim Credit for a Korean Peace Deal?

Two important global events that are about to happen may sound alluring to some Americans: first, the United States government may jettison or significantly alter the nuclear deal with Iran; and Chairman Kim Jong Un of North Korea will begin to negotiate terms for long-overdue peace with South Korean President Moon Jae In, when they … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

Why Do You Treat Us Like This?, Iranian Women Challenge Their Government

ZAHEDAN, Iran — “They give all of the rights to men,” said Neda, a young woman living in Zahedan, a border city near Afghanistan and Pakistan, who did not want to reveal her last name. “You can never make your own decisions. Many women need permission from a man in their family to leave the … Read more

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

Speaking Loudly Even While Wielding the Big Stick

Whatever else came out of the latest American-led strikes on Syrian chemical weapon sites, it put on display rare signs of diplomatic skill on the part of the Trump administration, even if those signs first surfaced at the Pentagon rather than at the White House, the United Nations or Washington’s rudderless Department of State. After … Read more

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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

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

A Useful Mideast Peace Plan? Don’t Hold Your Breath

Nikki Haley is appealing to the Palestinian people for “negotiation and compromise” in search of Middle East peace, denying that Washington is biased against them even as she warns their leaders that holding out will “lead to nothing but hardship.” But the latest pitch for Palestinian engagement by Haley, the United States ambassador to the … 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

WORLDVIEWS

Iran Missiles to Yemen: Is There Room for Circumstantial Evidence in UN Sanctions?

Citing an unpublished report of the United Nations panel of experts on Yemen, The New York Times said recently that Iran violated the Yemen arms embargo, according to UN experts. The same day, The Washington Post used essentially the same set of reported facts under a more judicious headline that said, in part, “Iran weapons to Yemen … Read more

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

The US and UN Sanctions: Outwitted, Outlasted, Outplayed?

With the Security Council’s unanimous vote to expand United Nations sanctions on North Korea on Dec. 22, President Trump appeared to add another high point to a victorious final week of 2017 based on his tax reform in United States Congress. But appearances deceive, as delegations’ statements in the Council demonstrated before adopting Resolution 2397 … Read more

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