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Peace and Security

  •  January 4, 2022 
Photo of Mona Juul
Norway holds the rotating presidency of the Security Council in the country’s 2021-2022 term only once — in January — so it is aiming to make the best of this moment. “We have to make sure to put our mark this month and to make sure that our priorities will be reflected,” Mona Juul, …
  •  November 11, 2021 
Voter educators in Kenya, 2017
Adversarial data manipulation is the nuclear weapon of the 21st century. New techniques to conduct offensive cyberoperations could corrupt the integrity of datasets in voter registration systems as well as political and electoral management databases. This is just one example of how “data poisoning” — when data is manipulated to deceive — poses a …
  •  October 28, 2021 
The Taliban’s dramatic takeover of Afghanistan in August sparked a predictable outpouring of angst and argument as to why it happened despite the massive, two-decade effort to prevent that result. Much of the commentary focused on the supposed failures of nation- and state-building. It is important now to take stock of these concepts and …
  •  October 27, 2021 
It is now 30 years since the United Nations referendum mission for Western Sahara, known as Minurso, was created, and I was one of the original staff members. Starting in 1971, Sahrawi students in Morocco started a movement for the independence of Spanish Sahara. The Sahrawi are the Indigenous people of the western region …
  •  October 12, 2021 
In February 2020, just weeks before New York City and much of the world went into lockdown in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, we and our fellow ambassadors at the United Nations began six months of negotiations, culminating in the adoption by all heads of state and government of the “Declaration on the commemoration …
  •  October 4, 2021 
Ambassador Martin Kimani of Kenya
In October, the United Nations Security Council diplomats are packing up their suitcases and hopping on an overseas flight to the Sahel region of West Africa to assess the serious challenges that this semiarid strip is countering. It is the first Council trip abroad since the pandemic hit in March 2020. “The Sahara is …
  •  September 13, 2021 
A year ago, as Covid-19 took its toll on countless lives and livelihoods and presented yet another reminder of how global crises inevitably require global cooperation and solutions, world leaders convened virtually to endorse a declaration marking the United Nations’ 75th anniversary. To achieve progress on the declaration’s 12 commitments, member states requested Secretary-General …
  •  July 6, 2021 
The Covid-19 pandemic has brought enormous changes and challenges to the United Nations Security Council. One result has been the heightened politicization and proliferation of the Arria-formula meetings, or informal sessions, of the Council that can be initiated by any member. The increasing use of these meetings has widened the splits among the big …
  •  May 24, 2021 
Séverine Autesserre
Séverine Autesserre, a former humanitarian-aid worker, award-winning researcher and professor of political science at Columbia University, has become one of the foremost thinkers on international peace-building in the last decade. Following “Peaceland,” a book critically exploring the parallel worlds of United Nations peacekeeping missions, and “The Trouble With the Congo,” which examines the failed peace efforts …
  •  April 13, 2021 
In 2010, Maria Victoria (Mavic) Cabrera-Balleza founded an organization to help and advocate for the rights of women and girls globally, but it was her childhood experiences that first politicized her. Martial law was declared by the dictator President Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines in 1972, when she was in fourth grade. Born in …
  •  March 31, 2021 
OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso — From above, the photographs show a stretch of charred land in the middle of the desert and a mass grave covered in dried tree branches, where people living around Bounti, a village in central Mali, said those who had been killed by French airstrikes were buried. On the ground were …
  •  January 22, 2021 
THE HAGUE — An international agreement that bans nuclear weapons became operational on Jan. 22, more than 75 years after the detonations at Hiroshima and Nagasaki heralded the atomic age. The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, or Nuclear Ban Treaty for short, was negotiated in 2017 and reached enough ratifications on Oct. …
  •  July 7, 2020 
Leaders of United Nations peacekeeping operations comprise an important and unique category of high-level officials in the world body. They have a difficult and often thankless job of trying to manage “Christmas tree” mandates handed down by the Security Council while keeping great powers and national authorities happy. Along the way, these leaders enjoy …
  •  April 2, 2020 
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 …
  •  March 5, 2020 
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 …
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