The Dominican Republic’s Hope for April: Smooth Sailing

With the incremental transformation the Security Council has gone through in March by transferring the bulk of its meetings online, the Dominican Republic’s special envoy to the United Nations intends to preside over the Council “like a sailboat, we’ll go wherever the wind takes us.” As the agenda of the Council will be adopted on … Read more The Dominican Republic’s Hope for April: Smooth Sailing

China Is in the Hot Seat as Covid-19 Shadows Its Diplomacy

Over the past year China’s presence at the United Nations got suddenly noticed. It may be its more outgoing ambassador, Zhang Jun, its lobbying against human rights, its accession to high-level roles or the disengagement of the United States — perhaps all of the above that has drawn attention. But just as the country assumes … Read more China Is in the Hot Seat as Covid-19 Shadows Its Diplomacy

A New Academic Home Opens for Collecting ‘the Best’ Research on Peacemaking

What’s new: The Impact:Peace initiative launched this summer to provide “real” impact on peace-building on the ground, its founders say. The goal of the million-dollar project is to significantly reduce conflict worldwide, while accelerating the most important changes in the peace-building field. As the United Nations Security Council remains divided geopolitically and unable to stop … Read more A New Academic Home Opens for Collecting ‘the Best’ Research on Peacemaking

A Plan From Darfuri Women to Make Sudan’s New Democracy Work

Niemat Ahmadi, the founder and director of the Darfur Women Action Group, has a plan for the new Sudan. The Strategic Framework for Sustainable Change was presented to the country’s prime minister, Abdalla Hamdok, during his participation in the opening session of the United Nations General Assembly in September — only three weeks after he … Read more A Plan From Darfuri Women to Make Sudan’s New Democracy Work

Why Wait Until Trump Starts Talking to the Paintings?

President Donald Trump

In early 1974, fresh out of journalism school, I walked into the offices of the newly created Federal Energy Office in Washington and asked for a job. Within days I was back — a freshly minted writer-editor in the public affairs office of an agency launched in response to an oil embargo imposed on the … Read more Why Wait Until Trump Starts Talking to the Paintings?

Africa Will No Longer Be Sidelined: South Africa’s Goal on the UN Security Council

Jerry Matthews Matjila, South Africa’s point man at the United Nations, took the hot seat on the Security Council as its president for October with busy days now in sight. “There are 40 meetings already planned before we start the month,” he told the press, noting the month covers five weeks. “It’s going to be … Read more Africa Will No Longer Be Sidelined: South Africa’s Goal on the UN Security Council

It’s Coming Soon: Can the UN Rethink Its Future in One Year?

A year from now, on June 26, 2020, the international community will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the signing of the United Nations Charter. That doesn’t leave much time to hammer out a “concise, substantive, forward-looking and unifying declaration” that captures member states’ commitment to multilateralism and to the UN before the world leaders summit … Read more It’s Coming Soon: Can the UN Rethink Its Future in One Year?

Serving the UN Where Violence Never Ends: One Person’s Story

Simon Handy, a specialist in African politics and conflict, is a veteran of a hazardous and tormented mission in the Central African Republic that left him with an enduring cause that still haunts him. He argues that when a United Nations mission changes or is abandoned, as was the case for him, staff members can fall … Read more Serving the UN Where Violence Never Ends: One Person’s Story

Violence Is a Choice: The Peace Philosophy of Filmmaker Abigail Disney

Abigail Disney is an American filmmaker and philanthropist who founded Fork Films and Peace Is Loud, an advocacy group. She also founded — with her husband, Pierre Hauser — the Daphne Foundation. Since her 2009 film “Pray the Devil Back to Hell,” which documented women’s peace activism that brought to power Liberia’s first female president, … Read more Violence Is a Choice: The Peace Philosophy of Filmmaker Abigail Disney

Can Germany Mediate the Big-Power Divide in the UN Security Council?

BERLIN — At the start of Germany’s sixth two-year term in the United Nations Security Council, the media attention in Germany is unusually high: numerous journalists on TV and radio are asking diplomats, politicians and foreign policy experts about their views on Germany’s role in the Council, as well as its goals and prospects for … Read more Can Germany Mediate the Big-Power Divide in the UN Security Council?

Women’s Roles as UN Peacekeepers: A Status Report

Women have historically been underrepresented across the United Nations system, but notably in peacekeeping, one of the most highly visible activities of the world body. And while the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations publishes monthly data on troop- and police-contributing countries, by missions and by gender, the numbers are not easily comprehensible. There are some … Read more Women’s Roles as UN Peacekeepers: A Status Report

A New Peace-Building Podcast Series Delves Into East Africa’s Complexities

A new series called “Peacebuilders,” offering a weekly podcast of interviews with a diverse array of African and other professionals on vital issues they confront in their work in East Africa, has been introduced by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. The nine-part series debuted on May 1, with the first one focused on the … Read more A New Peace-Building Podcast Series Delves Into East Africa’s Complexities

Why Syria Will Need a UN Peacekeeping Force (Called Unshams)

After seven years of horrific fighting, it appears that the Syrian civil war is inching toward a conclusion. In the wake of recent alleged chemical attacks unleashed in Eastern Ghouta, Bashar al-Assad’s regime is squeezing remaining rebel forces, largely herding them — and thousands of civilians — into the northwest in Idlib Province, where an … Read more Why Syria Will Need a UN Peacekeeping Force (Called Unshams)

For Victims of Sexual Violence in War, Stigma Can Kill

In a year in which swaths of territory were liberated in Iraq and Syria from the grip of ISIS, enabling the release of women and girls and others from the extremists, the United Nations’ annual report on conflict-related sexual violence highlights the stigma that the victims encounter — from physical pain to profound depression — … Read more For Victims of Sexual Violence in War, Stigma Can Kill

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 Speaking Loudly Even While Wielding the Big Stick

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 Confronting Possible Gas Attacks in Syria, the UN Security Council Succumbs to Chaos

As the UN Strives to Modernize Peacekeeping, the US Still Vows to Cut Funding

As peacekeepers sweat and toil and risk their lives in some of the world’s most lethal settings — South Sudan, Mali, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo — it is incumbent on the United Nations and its 193 members to alleviate the suffering and deaths of troops as fatalities keep rising. In 2017, … Read more As the UN Strives to Modernize Peacekeeping, the US Still Vows to Cut Funding

With UN Security Council Reform, Bigger Is Not Better

Much ado — during 25 years of fruitless negotiations — has been made about the need for the United Nations General Assembly to achieve more equitable geographical representation in the UN Security Council. Article 23(1) of the UN Charter, however, also requires the Assembly, in electing the nonpermanent members of the Council, to pay due … Read more With UN Security Council Reform, Bigger Is Not Better

In an Unusual Move, the UN Security Council Is Heading to Sweden for a Retreat

The United Nations Security Council, perhaps needing a change of scenery from its chamber overlooking the East River in New York, is traveling to the southern Swedish coast in April for an annual retreat whose theme this year is “a new narrative on peace operations.” The retreat will be held in a newly renovated farmhouse … Read more In an Unusual Move, the UN Security Council Is Heading to Sweden for a Retreat

The UN Secretary-General Pushes Ahead on Peacekeeping Reform

Responding to a December request from the General Assembly for details on how he proposes to staff and pay for sweeping changes in political affairs and peacekeeping at the United Nations, Secretary-General António Guterres has drafted a 50-page explanation for member states to consider. The General Assembly had agreed in principle to his original 16-page … Read more The UN Secretary-General Pushes Ahead on Peacekeeping Reform

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