WORLDVIEWS

The G5 Sahel Force, Failing the Region and Failing Itself

BAMAKO, Mali — The G5 Sahel Force was conceived to enable greater coordination among five countries in the Sahel region of West Africa in fighting jihadist groups and to strengthen regional administration and development while relieving the United Nations mission in Mali of those burdens. Yet ever since the group — Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

The US Is Driving the New Talks on Western Sahara, Involving Morocco and Algeria

Horst Koehler, a former German president who has been the United Nations special envoy for Western Sahara since last year, is bringing the parties to the longstanding conflict over that region to a roundtable meeting in Geneva soon. Koehler expressed his intent last summer to bring all the relevant players together by the end of … Read more

The UN’s Combat Troops in the Congo: ‘They Were Not Supposed to Die’

United Nations peacekeepers working for the mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo were killed by a militia in a jungle in North Kivu Province on Nov. 15, leaving seven soldiers dead: six Malawians and one Tanzanian. Ten were injured. Twelve members of the Congolese armed forces were also killed, as national forces and … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

With US Leadership Gone, Japan and Europe Can Seize the Day

We live in an age of uncertainty caused by the shifting structure and dynamics of international politics, economics and social change. United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said in his address to the General Assembly in September that this uncertainty was “a bad case of trust deficit disorder” at three levels. First, within countries, he said, … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

In the Central African Republic, Verging on Peace or Back to War

This is a make-or-break moment for the Central African Republic. After years of conflict, a small window of opportunity is open to make real progress toward peace. The United Nations peacekeeping mission’s mandate is being renewed by the Security Council by Nov. 15. Soon after, the final round of the African Union-led peace negotiations is … Read more

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UN Sanctions for Sexual Violence in Libya Approved, but Russia Resisted

A decision by the United Nations Security Council to add sanctions against perpetrators of sexual violence should have gone smoothly. The proposal, led by the Netherlands and  Sweden, was meant to deter such violence in conflict zones and other hot spots. Weeks earlier, diplomats turned out in hordes to mark the 18th anniversary of a landmark … Read more

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

SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENCY

China’s Priorities in the UN Security Council: Peacekeeping

Ma Zhaoxu, China's ambassador to the UN

Welcome back to our monthly column, Security Council Presidency, providing insight into the United Nations Security Council member sitting in the rotating seat of the presidency every month and featuring a capsule of the country itself. The column kicked off in July when Sweden was president, led by the country’s ambassador to the UN, Olof Skoog. … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Nations Face an Era of Chaos as Trump Offends the World at the UN

The UN audience could only gasp when Donald Trump made his stormy debut in the United Nations General Assembly in 2017 as president of the United States. This year they laughed in his face. The gap between the US and the rest of the world has demonstrably widened under the Trump administration, and this phenomenon … Read more

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

By Damning Iran, Ambassador Haley Ignores Israel’s Sins

O.K., let’s be honest here. Iran is a bad actor, just as Donald Trump says. While, to its credit, Iran has put its nuclear weapons program on ice — through an international agreement still supported by just about everyone in the world but Trump — it also regularly threatens Israel and the United States, stokes regional conflicts, interferes … Read more

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TOPIC: INDIA

India at the UN: Thorny Questions for the Ambassador

Now was supposed to be the first thaw in relations between Pakistan and India after talks have been stalled since 2016. But Prime Minister Imran Khan of Pakistan recently tweeted about India’s “arrogant and negative response . . . to my call for resumption of the peace dialogue,” hours after India retracted its position on … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

In a First, Trump Chairs the UN Security Council, but Nothing Happened

  President Donald Trump chaired a United Nations Security Council meeting on stopping the spread of weapons of mass destruction and seized the occasion again to lambaste Iran, which he had earlier this month intended to make the sole focus of the Sept. 26 session. Pushback came from most of the other Council members, who … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

The UN Shudders as ‘Trump Week’ Closes In

A year after his bombastic debut at the United Nations as president of the United States, Donald Trump returns on Monday, Sept. 24, to lead a US effort to spur global action to stem the narcotics and opioid plagues. Could the US be asking the UN for help this time? The morning meeting on drugs … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Kashmir’s Long Tragedy Rears Its Head in the News and at the UN

In his final months in office as United Nations high commissioner for human rights, the outspoken Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein did what no former holder of that office would or could do: he issued a blistering report on Indian abuses in the disputed territory of Kashmir. It is a story that Indian governments have long tried … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Atrocity Crimes Are Being Committed by All Warring Parties in Yemen: UN Experts

The numerous parties to the war in Yemen, which began in 2015, have perpetrated and continue to commit violations of international law by indiscriminately murdering civilians, blocking humanitarian-aid deliveries, arbitrarily detaining people and possibly torturing those imprisoned, recruiting child soldiers and raping women and men, according to a new report by a United Nations panel … Read more

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NIKKI HALEY WATCH

Can Jane Holl Lute, a New UN Envoy, Work a Miracle on Cyprus?

The newest person to venture into kick-starting talks between the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots on the long-divided island of Cyprus in the Mediterranean is Jane Holl Lute. She is an American with a military and national-security background who has been assigned the task by the United Nations secretary-general, António Guterres. Since the two … Read more

P5 MONITOR

The US and Iran: Playing With Fire

With the recent reimposition of its sanctions against Iran, the United States is clearly violating its obligations under the United Nations resolution that endorsed the Iran nuclear agreement. While the Security Council has taken note and Iran has formally responded, urging the UN “to keep the United States accountable,” no party to the agreement has … Read more

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

Haley’s Midterm Report Card at the UN

The Trump administration has been in office 559 days and counting. Nikki Haley, a former Republican governor of South Carolina and now the American ambassador to the United Nations, has been in office since Jan. 25, 2017. Since her nomination, Haley has undergone two Congressional hearings, the first in January 2017 with the Senate Foreign … Read more

SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENCY

Britain’s Main Priority in the UN Security Council in August: Burma

Welcome to our new column, Security Council Presidency, providing insight into the United Nations Security Council member sitting in the rotating seat of the president every month. The column began in July, when Sweden was president, led by the country’s UN ambassador, Olof Skoog. For August, we profile Karen Pierce, Britain’s ambassador to the UN, … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Violence Against Women Worsens by the Day in the Congo

Justine Bihamba

The Democratic Republic of the Congo has been placed on the United Nations Security Council agenda for several decades, in one form or another through various peacekeeping missions. The Council regularly meets on the status of the Congo, with the most recent session occurring on July 26, 2018, concentrating on progress toward scheduled presidential and legislative … Read more

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