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PassBlue - Covering the UN

Middle East

August 6, 2019 
Joanna Wronecka, Poland's ambassador to the UN
Even though many people think of August as vacation time, Joanna Wronecka, Poland’s ambassador to the United Nations, is not taking off anytime soon, as she is presiding over the Security Council for the month. As the Security Council is going to tackle issues affecting the Middle East and other parts of the world, …
August 5, 2019 
Pierre Krahenbuhl
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency, which has been undermined by a sharp cut in United States contributions, has been embroiled in a scandal that threatens to jeopardize its very future. A report from the agency’s Ethics Office has found “credible and corroborated” evidence that the senior management of Unrwa engaged in “sexual …
June 30, 2019 
The United Nations refugee agency for Palestinians is vastly short of funds for 5.4 million people, while the Trump administration is doing its best to shut down the program and initiate new, albeit controversial financing. At issue was a “workshop” in Bahrain, held last week and organized by Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of President …
June 3, 2019 
Still, this small oil-rich Arab country has an agenda of its own that it wants to fulfill as it ends its last presidency on the Council — in probably decades — on a strong note. For June, Kuwait plans to work on the topic of missing persons in armed conflict, an issue that touches its …
May 27, 2019 
Progress in recognizing the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people at the United Nations in New York and in Geneva may seem detached from the realities faced by LGBTQ people in the Middle East and North Africa, or Mena, region. Activists there, however, are navigating the UN human-rights system as …
April 12, 2019 
Jonathan R Cohen
Just days after President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt met with President Trump in the White House, receiving an effusive reception, Trump nominated Jonathan R. Cohen, the acting permanent representative of the United States to the United Nations, as ambassador to Egypt. Cohen, who has been a Foreign Service officer since 1986, is from …
April 8, 2019 
Schoolgirls in Sierra Leone
New projections from a leading American research group suggest that the number of Christians in various denominations and sects is steadily rising in Africa and could dominate the faith numerically worldwide for decades to come. In 2015, according to the Pew Research Center, only three African countries were included in the top 10 in …
January 7, 2019 
CLEVELAND, Ohio — In this city of immigrants, as one Moroccan-American called his hometown, the Muslim community keeps a low profile amid the Islamophobia that has reared its head in the United States in recent times. As one of the largest Muslim communities in the country, including a large Palestinian component, the repercussions against …
December 31, 2018 
President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi of Yemen
CLEVELAND, Ohio — On the main drag of Euclid Avenue in this Midwestern city sprawls the main campus of the Cleveland Clinic, the renowned hospital that attracts an estimated 2.5 million patients nationwide and abroad, including from the Middle East. That includes President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi of Yemen, who has heart troubles and …
December 28, 2018 
TEL AVIV — Every day in some provinces of Vietnam, the simple act of walking can be deadly, as people risk stepping on unexploded ordnances, remnants from America’s war there that ended more than 40 years ago. The United States dropped 14 million tons of explosive devices during the war in Vietnam as well …
September 27, 2018 
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. …
September 11, 2018 
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 …
September 6, 2018 
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 …
June 20, 2018 
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 …

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