WORLDVIEWS

The Five Great Powers Lay Out Their Defense Strategies

A French soldier talks with a civil society leader in Gao

KANDY, Sri Lanka — The five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States, all nuclear weapon armed states — usually signal their defense policies through official documents such as white papers and/or nuclear posture reviews. Since three members — Britain, France and the US — … Read more

Congo Army Rapes Detailed in UN Report as Special Brigade Arrives

UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region visit in Goma

The cycle of sexual violence that has been churning throughout the eastern half of the Democratic Republic of the Congo has refused to stop, despite all the steps the United Nations has taken over decades to end the epidemic. Just last fall, systematic rapes, committed by the Congolese Army, occurred in an area around Minova, … Read more

Bosnia-Herzegovina: Hopelessly Divided

Ćumurija Bridge, Sarajevo

It was the 29th minute of the decisive World Cup qualifying match in March between Bosnia-Herzegovina and Greece. A midfielder, Zvjezdan Misimovic, a Bosnian Serb, delivered a beautiful pass to a striker, Edin Dzeko, a Bosnian Muslim, who headed the ball into the goal. The multiethnic teamwork led to two more goals and 3-1 victory, … Read more

Children Trapped in Syria Suffering From the War

Syrian child in a Jordanian refugee camp

As the Syrian government increasingly resorts to using heavy armaments and long-distance aircraft — and possibly chemical weapons — to attack the opposition movement and other enemies, the risk of children being killed or maimed in the fighting has risen sharply, says the United Nations Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children … Read more

 

The UN Security Council Chamber Reopens With a Touch of Class

UN Security Council Chamber reopening

The Norwegians have always influenced the direction of the United Nations either subtly or directly, starting with the world body’s first secretary-general, Trygve Lie, hailing from Norway. Now, with the reopening of the Security Council Chamber after being closed for three years, the country is once again leaving its mark. It not only paid for … Read more

The UN Approves a New Peacekeeping Force to Fix Mali

Displaced Malians

The United Nations Security Council has authorized a new, ambitious stabilization mission to be deployed in Mali, consisting of nearly 13,000 military and police personnel who will begin operating on July 1 with a mandate of one year to provide security to “key population centers.” The mission, called Minusma (for Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Susan Rice’s Rise Beyond the United Nations

Susan E. Rice, US ambassador to the UN

JENA, Germany — Many rumors abound regarding the future of America’s top envoy at the United Nations, Susan E. Rice. While she is still working as the United States ambassador to the UN, some media reports are predicting that she will become President Obama’s next national security adviser, succeeding Thomas E. Donilon. As to who … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

More Bark Than Bite in North Korea

Kim Jong-un

Theodore Roosevelt’s approach to foreign policy was to “speak softly, and carry a big stick.” Kim Jong-un, the leader of North Korea, has confused the two. North Korea’s rhetoric is nothing new — in fact, it’s become de rigueur for Pyongyang to threaten war whenever it wants an increase in its foreign aid allowance, much … Read more

 

A New UN Brigade Will Make Combat Moves in Congo

Nyanzale refugee camp children

  For the first time, the United Nations Security Council has passed a resolution allowing UN troops to go on the offensive in a mission against armed rebels. The combat intervention brigade will operate as part of the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the northeastern region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Monusco). The … Read more

Western Sahara: A Chance for Change or to Stay Stuck in Time

MINURSO Monitors Ceasefire in Western Sahara

The saga of Western Sahara, a disputed territory that has been stuck in limbo in North Africa for decades, will receive its annual nod this month by the United Nations Security Council, but this time actual changes may be afoot if the council acts more decisively, particularly on human-rights matters. Christopher Ross, the UN secretary-general’s … Read more

Australian Academics Want Women’s Voices Heard at the Security Council

Woman laying out leather

A new network of women academics from Australia and New Zealand is keeping a close eye on Australia’s new two-year term as an elected member of the United Nations Security Council. The academics have organized a collective to track how well the UN’s most powerful body and Australia itself adhere to the landmark Women, Peace … Read more

Life for Women and Girls in Afghanistan Grows Deadlier

Afghan woman in a burqa, Kabul.

With the deadline for the departure of American and NATO troops from Afghanistan just a year away, civilian casualties in the country remain alarmingly high, says a new report from the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (Unama). Although the report said the number of casualties had decreased for the first time in six years, … Read more

 

The Masterminds Behind Security Council Resolutions

Security Council Meeting on the situation in Cyprus

The United Nations Security Council bases its resolutions on agenda items as varied as the renewal of a peacekeeping force mandate in Haiti to responding to a missile launching in North Korea. With resolutions’ language often dense legalese that recalls, recognizes, emphasizes, demands and, at times, condemns and deplores the issue at hand, the style … Read more

It’s Official: Osama bin Laden Delisted From UN Sanctions

Osama bin Laden

Osama bin Laden, the leader of Al Qaeda who was killed by United States Navy Seal forces on May 2, 2011, in Pakistan, was at last officially removed from the international sanctions list by the United Nations last month. What took so long? At the UN, the answer is almost always in the procedures. The recent … Read more

Guatemala’s Role on the Security Council, as Viewed by Its Ambassador

Gert Rosenthal, Guatemala's ambassador to the UN

Gert Rosenthal does not sound like a Spanish name, but the mother of Rosenthal, the Guatemalan ambassador to the United Nations, was born there and his father was German. To complicate matters, “a little accident happened,” he said, as his parents, Florence and Ludwig, left Germany in the 1930s, and Rosenthal was born in Amsterdam. … Read more

Illegal Gold Mining Runs Rampant in Eastern Congo

Internally displaced people in Congo

Gold is now one of the most problematic conflict minerals in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, and United Nations Security Council sanctions on the illegal mining of natural resources, including gold, have done little to prevent smugglers from profiting, says a new report from a German foundation. The foundation, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, is a … Read more

 

The International Court Judge’s Fight for Justice

Judge Song of the ICC

  The president of the International Criminal Court, Judge Sang-Hyun Song, told a Columbia University audience recently that a major challenge facing the court is what he called a steady lack of political support from the United Nations Security Council and UN member states. “We need a far more consistent and vigilant approach by the … Read more

GOINGS-ON

India’s UN Ambassador Is Retiring

Ambassador Puri of India

Hardeep Singh Puri, 60, the Indian ambassador to the United Nations, has announced his retirement, which will take effect at the end of February. Ashoke Mukherji, The Times of India reported, is likely to be Puri’s replacement at the UN. Puri has been ambassador to the UN since 2009. He led the country through its … Read more

GOINGS-ON

UN Counterterrorism Director Staying on Briefly

Mike Smith, Executive Director of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED),

Mike Smith, the executive director of the Security Council’s Counterterrorism Committee Executive Directorate, is to be reappointed to a six-month term through June as a search for his successor begins, he confirmed with PassBlue. Smith would not say whether he wanted to extend his term for a longer period, but he noted that he intended … Read more

France’s Intervention in Mali Just Got More Complicated

Mbera refugee camp in Mauritania.

In its fifth day, France’s air assault against Al Qaeda-related militias and other regional Islamic extremists continues to rattle central Mali and the de fact border region separating the country from its northern territory, which was seized by a range of terrorist groups last spring. Contrary to France’s assertion earlier this week, it said more … Read more

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