The third floor of the United Nations headquarters in New York is coveted real estate for member states that have donated art to the organization. Not far from the Security Council Chamber and near the social hangout Express Bar, a giant tapestry hangs on a wall. A quick look reveals angels and demons, lightning bolts … Read more A Tapestry About Chernobyl and the UN’s Bungled Response to the Nuclear Disaster
Russia is president of the United Nations Security Council in September just as nearly 200 heads of state and government and even a prince or two will soon travel to New York City to attend the opening session of the General Assembly. President Vladimir Putin will not be taking part in any event this month … Read more Russia Is Busy as Security Council President, but Putin Is Staying Home
In the middle of a muggy August afternoon in New York, the United Nations Security Council gathered once more to figure out how to “maintain peace and security” in the Middle East. But the recurring topic always leaves conversations wide open for interpretation by the Council’s 15 members. The concept by Poland as Council president … Read more Pompeo Finds Little Appetite at the UN for His Iran Strategy
Negotiations in the United Nations General Assembly’s First Committee, which concentrates on disarmament, caused a Twitter row late last week after wording on gender stirred up strong feelings between powerful nongovernmental organizations and Britain, surprising other countries as well. The committee’s informal consultations, as they are technically called, are currently focusing on updating an array … Read more The UK Flip-Flops on Gender Wording in UN Disarmament Discussions
John Bolton, whose white hair betrays the wisdom that a national security adviser to President Donald Trump should bring to his job, has threatened United States sanctions against judges of the International Criminal Court for adjudicating alleged war crimes committed by American forces in Afghanistan. However, frantic threats and hysterical big-power strutting does not substitute … Read more Sanctions in the Time of Temper Tantrums
Could the Kim-Trump meeting in Singapore on Tuesday displace the United Nations Security Council’s mandate to regulate the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, as the United States succeeded in doing when it withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal? Chances of abolishing the UN sanctions regime on North Korea without the Council having the last … Read more The Perils of Kim-Trump Diplomacy on the UN Security Council
If United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo follows through with his threat to impose “the strongest sanctions in history” on Iran, the United States should be prepared for Iran to retaliate by withdrawing from the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Last month, Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, … Read more To Help the World Sleep Better, Salvage the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
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 The Sanctions War Heats Up: US vs. the World
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 Is This the End of the UN Security Council?
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 So Who Is Lying: Iran, Israel or Trump?
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 As Moon Meets Kim, Who Will Eventually Claim Credit for a Korean Peace Deal?
LONDON — President Donald Trump marked a year at the helm of the United States on Jan. 20. Secretary-General António Guterres marked a year at the helm of the United Nations on Jan. 1. How has their first year gone relative to the UN? The short answer is: not as badly as you might expect, … Read more How Stormy Was It? The First Year of Trump, Haley and Guterres at the UN
Debates over how to deal with issues like North Korea’s nuclear weapons or the reliability of Iran to adhere to its role in a multiparty nuclear deal have brought questions about the value, design and human effects of sanctions to the fore at the United Nations and in national capitals. Are sanctions a tool of … Read more In a World of Evolving UN Sanctions, an Emphasis on the Humanitarian Effects
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 The US and UN Sanctions: Outwitted, Outlasted, Outplayed?
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 After 50 Years of UN Sanctions, Is the System Broken?
In Washington, there is no question that the State Department is in a weakened position, a situation that the Trump White House — and the Trump family — seem to relish. To some in the understaffed, stripped-down Foreign Service and to commentators on United States foreign policy, this is a disgrace linked directly to Secretary … Read more What a Stripped-Down State Department Bodes for the UN and Nikki Haley
If an investment, shareholding, credit or other financing tool benefits an enterprise or an individual that is somehow violating a United Nations arms embargo or is committing atrocities, terrorist acts or proliferating weapons of mass destructions, is such an involvement contravening sanctions regimes and therefore breaking international law? Checking past and current UN Security Council … Read more How Companies and Their Investors Pay Lip Service to UN Sanctions
When you’re a reality TV star running for president who likes to talk tough and you know nothing about foreign policy, maybe it makes sense to repeatedly attack the Iran nuclear agreement as “the worst deal ever” and to pledge to kill it if you ever get the chance. If you end up getting elected, … Read more With Bombs and Stability at Stake, Nikki Haley Bets on Trump
DUNDEE, Scotland — While most British people have a generally positive view of the United Nations, public awareness of who their diplomats are and how they carry out their work in New York is minimal to nonexistent. Yet the United States ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, has had no trouble attracting headlines in Britain … Read more Nikki Haley Is Better Known in the UK Than Her British Counterpart. How Come?
One of the biggest criticisms lodged against Justin Trudeau, the prime minister of Canada, has been his lack of commentary on the country’s history with its indigenous people of its First Nations, Métis and Inuit populations. In what could be considered a daring move, Trudeau used his time at the General Assembly podium to address … Read more Canada’s Trudeau Uses the UN to Apologize to His Country’s Indigenous People