GOINGS-ON

Heather Nauert, Trump’s Pick for UN Ambassador, Drops Out

Heather Nauert, who was nominated by President Trump in early December to succeed Nikki Haley as the United States ambassador to the United Nations, has withdrawn her candidacy as of Feb. 16, 2018. Nauert was the chief spokesperson for the State Department from mid-2017 until her nomination in early December. Bloomberg News reported the withdrawal … Read more

UN Reminds Pompeo That It’s Sometimes Hard to ‘Pick a Side’

When Secretary of State Michael Pompeo talks about global challenges, he insists that Donald Trump is doing a bang-up job steering the international community down the right path. He sees Trump’s America First mantra not as a retreat from the international stage or a slur on other nations’ ideas of leadership but as a frank … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

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

Senate Hearing for Heather Nauert as US Envoy to UN Could Happen in February

President Trump announced that he was nominating Heather Nauert, the chief State Department spokesperson, to succeed Nikki Haley as the United States ambassador to the United Nations on Dec. 7, 2018, after Haley resigned the job in October. Since Trump’s announcement, by tweet, much has been reported on the nomination and bare-bones experience of Nauert … Read more

For These Muslim-Americans, the ‘Siege’ Has Not Lifted

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 Muslims … Read more

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

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

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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