NIKKI HALEY WATCH

Nikki Haley’s Chief of Staff Is Leaving New York to Work for Her in D.C.

David Glaccum, the chief of staff for Nikki Haley, America’s envoy to the United Nations, is leaving the New York office to move to Washington, D.C., where he will apparently continue working for Haley as a senior adviser based in the State Department. His move will allow him to be closer to his family, which … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Why Israel Dropped Out of the UN Security Council Race: Not Enough Votes

From the start, it was a closely watched contest pitting Germany, Belgium and Israel against one another for their regional bloc’s two seats in the next term on the United Nations Security Council. Israel has never held a seat on the Council, and as it celebrates its 70-year membership in the UN in 2018, the country … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

The UN’s Cruz Report on Improving Peacekeepers’ Security Goes Too Far

Since 1999, the United Nations Security Council has consistently entrusted its peacekeeping operations with clear authority to use force beyond self-defense — primarily for the protection of civilians. To fulfill the mandate, the Council expects UN peacekeeping forces to take preventive as well as responsive actions; to proactively patrol the local communities; to project a strong … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

John Bolton Cracks the Whip on the UN Mission in Western Sahara

The message was blunt and judgmental as the United States delivered its ultimatum on the future of the United Nations mission in Western Sahara: “MINURSO is a peacekeeping mission that should have finished its job a long time ago. This is a mission that began 27 years ago almost to the day. This was a … Read more

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

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

GEOPOLITICS

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

P5 MONITOR

Fixing Iran the European Way, Using Sanctions for Peace

Preventing the United States from collapsing the Iran nuclear deal may be impossible, but European and other global leaders are still ensuring that the Trump team knows the political costs that it will incur if it sticks to that goal. European opponents of Donald Trump’s Iran manipulations, far from floppy handwringers, are motivated by genuine … Read more

P5 MONITOR

Europe to Trump: We Are Not Giving Up on the Iran Nuclear Deal

While the Trump administration stocks up on Iran hawks like John Bolton, the new national security adviser, and Mike Pompeo as secretary of state, an impending collapse of the Iran nuclear deal could rapidly turn into a new global reality: further isolation of the United States, Saudi Arabia and Israel as the rest of the … Read more

P5 MONITOR

Trump’s Opposition to the Iran Nuclear Deal: A Zero-Sum Game?

President Donald Trump’s mid-May deadline for renegotiating the terms of the nuclear arms deal with Iran is rapidly approaching. So far, his words and actions seem to isolate the United States from its European and Asian allies while straining his credibility as a negotiator, which he needs for the scheduled meeting, also in May, with … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

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

WORLDVIEWS

How to Use UN Sanctions More Strategically to Stop Rape in War

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The weaponization of sexual violence by Syrian government forces, as part of a campaign to punish opposition communities, was stunningly documented in a recent report by investigators for the United Nations. Women and girls have been subjected to rape, gang rape and genital mutilation, perpetrated by government forces and associated militias. Often, … Read more

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

P5 MONITOR

Playing Fair With Sanctions: Is There a Method to the Madness?

Criticisms over a lack of fairness of United Nations sanctions and inconsistencies in their application are frequent and routine — and not without justification. For decades, human-rights experts have pointed to the paradox that unreliable practices, in the words of one expert, render “the UN sanctions system noncompliant with the UN’s human rights standards.” This … Read more

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

A Useful Mideast Peace Plan? Don’t Hold Your Breath

Nikki Haley is appealing to the Palestinian people for “negotiation and compromise” in search of Middle East peace, denying that Washington is biased against them even as she warns their leaders that holding out will “lead to nothing but hardship.” But the latest pitch for Palestinian engagement by Haley, the United States ambassador to the … Read more

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

Nikki Haley to Mahmoud Abbas: Get Over Trump’s Jerusalem Decision

Mahmoud Abbas, chairman of the Palestinian Authority, sticks to his well-known grievances. While Danny Danon, the Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, finger-points; Nikki Haley, the American envoy to the UN, warns everyone to stay off the topic of Jerusalem. In the latest showdown on Palestine in the UN Security Council, which welcomed Abbas and … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

The Elephant in the Room: Congo’s Vicious, Illegal Fighters

An open, informal meeting scheduled for Feb. 12 at the United Nations is meant to unite Security Council members in their efforts to rein in the recalcitrant Congolese president, Joseph Kabila, to allow the long-overdue presidential elections to go ahead this year. It is feared that Kabila’s refusal to carry out the vote, slated for … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Iran Missiles to Yemen: Is There Room for Circumstantial Evidence in UN Sanctions?

Citing an unpublished report of the United Nations panel of experts on Yemen, The New York Times said recently that Iran violated the Yemen arms embargo, according to UN experts. The same day, The Washington Post used essentially the same set of reported facts under a more judicious headline that said, in part, “Iran weapons to Yemen … Read more

BOOKS

In a World of Evolving UN Sanctions, an Emphasis on the Humanitarian Effects

Debates over how to deal with issues like North Korea’s nuclear weapons or the reliability of Iran to adhere to its role in a multiparty nuclear deal have brought questions about the value, design and human effects of sanctions to the fore at the United Nations and in national capitals. Are sanctions a tool of … Read more

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

The US and UN Sanctions: Outwitted, Outlasted, Outplayed?

With the Security Council’s unanimous vote to expand United Nations sanctions on North Korea on Dec. 22, President Trump appeared to add another high point to a victorious final week of 2017 based on his tax reform in United States Congress. But appearances deceive, as delegations’ statements in the Council demonstrated before adopting Resolution 2397 … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Unprepared and Unprotected: UN Peacekeepers’ Lives Must Be Saved

The 15 deaths and 43 injuries to United Nations troop personnel in the North Kivu Province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in December would not, sadly, have surprised those of us who have served in peace enforcement missions with the UN. These are difficult and dangerous places, where rebels have many advantages of … Read more

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