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

Terrorists Pushed Back by France in Mali

Dioncounda Traore, interim president of Mali

The French military has stepped into the mire of Mali, retaking the de facto border town of Konna, which was recently usurped by a loose coalition of Islamic rebels and terrorists who have dominated the northern two-thirds of the country since a military coup in March 2012. That action opened the door for Tuareg rebels … Read more

Pakistan Formally Complains to India on Gunfire in Kashmir

Mohammad Masood Khan

Pakistan has lodged a formal complaint on the “repeated, unacceptable and unprovoked attacks” on Pakistani soldiers by the Indian army, said a statement released on Jan. 11 from the foreign secretary, Jalil Abbas Jilani. He has summoned the high commissioner of India, Sharat Sabharwal, to the Foreign Office and lodged the protest after Indian troops … Read more

GOINGS-ON

Former Timorese President Chosen as UN Envoy in Guinea-Bissau

Jose Ramos-Horta, new chief of the UN peace-building mission in Guinea-Bissau

José Ramos-Horta has been appointed the new United Nations envoy to Guinea-Bissau. The former Timorese president and Nobel Peace Prize winner is replacing Joseph Mutaboba, a diplomat from Rwanda, as the special representative and chief of the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau. Mutaboba, 63, finishes his assignment, which lasted nearly four years, at the end … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Germany’s ‘Added Value’ to the Security Council

Peter Wittig, German ambassador to the UN

  BERLIN — When Germany began its two-year tenure in 2011 as a nonpermanent member of the United Nations Security Council, its diplomats promised to hold a debate on climate change and to improve the protection of children in armed conflict, to name just the top items on their list. Now in December 2012, with … Read more

A Place for Women at the Table

Vandana Devi and Gulabi Bahadur, two elected women representatives from Jhabua district in Madhya Pradesh listen to UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet speak during the National Leadership Summit in Jaipur, India on 4 October 2012.

  A dozen years have passed since the United Nations Security Council made history by adopting a resolution that addressed women’s rights during conflicts and required their participation in preventing wars and in peace talks. Until Resolution 1325was approved, post-conflict reconstruction had been mostly the realm of those possessing the Y chromosome in the eyes … Read more

The Syrian War, Picked Apart by a Diplomat Who Knows

Jean-Marie Gguehenno of Columbia University

The new creation of a national Syrian coalition to make the opposition groups more coherent could propel a much-needed breakthrough in the country’s 20-month civil war, Jean-Marie Guéhenno a professor of international and public affairs at Columbia University, told an audience there on Nov. 13. It has been a costly affair humanitarian-wise: close to 40,000 … Read more

Five New Security Council Members, Many New Agendas

UN General Assembly elects nonpermanent Security Council members

As the five newly elected United Nations Security Council members prep for their seats, what will their work look like when they take office Jan. 1 for two years? It’s impossible to predict how the winners – Argentina, Australia, Luxembourg, South Korea and Rwanda – will fill their nonpermanent seats among Britain, China, France, Russia … Read more

Finland and Others Compete for Coveted Security Council Seats

Helsinki street

HELSINKI – As the United States prepares for its much-awaited presidential election on Nov. 6, another hotly contested vote is readying at the United Nations Security Council on Oct. 18. Numerous countries are vying for the five open nonpermanent seats, among them Australia, Finland and Luxembourg, who are competing for the two seats being vacated … Read more

Protecting Children’s Rights in Troubled Landscapes

Special Representative Rhadika Coomaraswamy meeting with Chadian President Idriss Déby

The Security Council has waded deeper into the tricky waters of protecting the rights of children in armed conflict despite protests of sovereignty from some countries, passing a resolution that clarifies the mandate for the UN special envoy on safeguarding children. The resolution, submitted by Canada and 30 other primarily Western countries, was adopted with … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Close Cooperation Is Useful Between the General Assembly and Security Council

Nassir Abdulaziz Al Nasser of Qatar, the outgoing General Assembly president.

BERLIN — If you ask people on the street which United Nations organ has more influence, the Security Council or the General Assembly, they will most probably answer: “The Security Council,” since it has the primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security and is the only UN organ that can issue legally binding decisions … Read more

As UN Monitoring Mission Dies in Syria, a New Envoy Is Named

Gerard Araud of the Security Council

The United Nations Security Council will not renew the mandate for the monitoring mission it set up in Syria this spring to supervise a peace plan that never materialized. The mandate for the UN Supervision Mission, called Unsmis, expires Aug. 19. The unarmed mission, renewed in July for 30 days, is down to 100 officers … Read more

A Former Child Soldier Grows Up in Colombia

Jesus Martinez, former child soldier in Bogota

  BOGOTÁ – Jesús Martínez has money on his mind: his monthly budget of $250, his $75 rent and the $7,500 he will soon receive from the government. Eighteen-year-old Martínez, which is not his real name, never touched a peso until he was 16 and fled the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or the Farc, … Read more

Kofi Annan Resigns as Special Envoy for Syria

Kofi Annan, joint special envoy for Syria

Kofi Annan, the joint special envoy for the United Nations and the Arab League for the Syrian crisis, resigned today, leaving any residual hope for a peaceful resolution to the conflict gone for now. The resignation seems to have taken the UN by surprise, though Gérard Araud, the French ambassador to the UN, said after … Read more

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