TOPIC: WOMEN

‘We Do Not Ask. We Act’: A Syrian Women Activist Tells It Like It Is

Mariam Jalabi, a co-founder of the Syrian Women’s Political Movement and the Syrian National Council’s representative to the United Nations, reflected on Syria’s future in a recent conversation with Jamille Bigio, senior fellow in the Council on Foreign Relations’ Women and Foreign Policy program. Jalabi’s work focuses on women’s inclusion in politics and decision-making, and her … Read more

BOOKS

An Eloquent Homage to Syria’s Past, in Case It Has No Future

As one of the world’s oldest areas of human settlement, Syria has seen it all: glory and irrelevance, conflict and calm, dynamism and stagnation, tyranny and tolerance. While it has gone through long periods of international obscurity — pretty much ignored by the Roman and Ottoman Empires, for example — it has at times also … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Why Syria Will Need a UN Peacekeeping Force (Called Unshams)

After seven years of horrific fighting, it appears that the Syrian civil war is inching toward a conclusion. In the wake of recent alleged chemical attacks unleashed in Eastern Ghouta, Bashar al-Assad’s regime is squeezing remaining rebel forces, largely herding them — and thousands of civilians — into the northwest in Idlib Province, where an … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Why Turkey’s Model Work Permits for Refugees Don’t Actually Work

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A major problem with Turkey for the millions of refugees there, it has a model work permit system for the newcomers, but it still bars them from the country’s labor market. Such problems can be overcome, experts contend, so that the refugees can work for decent wages in Turkey. Izza Leghtas, a … Read more

BOOKS

A Hint on Confronting Islamist Power. Or Maybe Not.

Will it never end? When will time run out on the array of shape-shifting militant Islamist movements intent on moving into shaky trouble spots around the world to impose their extreme ideology, harness the population and hijack the local economy? How long will it take for the international community — the ubiquitous West — to … Read more

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NIKKI HALEY WATCH

‘I Don’t Go Rogue on the President’: Nikki Haley’s Contradictory Testimony to Congress About the UN

Photo: Nikki Haley and the Egyptian ambassador to the UN, Amr Aboulatta

Five months into her stint as United States ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley faced two days of often-sharp questioning on June 27 and 28 by influential panels of the United States Congress. They demanded justification for the Trump administration’s decision to slash funding to the United Nations, particularly cuts to the UN Population … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Was America’s Attack on Syria Legal? An Asian Expert’s View

The images of civilians, particularly children, being asphyxiated by chemical substances and dying in Idlib Province of Syria on April 4 were a game changer. Judging that the chemical attack was carried out by the Syrian government, the United States, two days later, attacked Syria’s Shayrat airbase with 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles. The US action … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Can António Guterres Fend Off Trump’s War on the UN?

When António Guterres was chosen by the United Nations Security Council in October to become the next leader of the UN, neither he nor anyone else could have predicted precisely who would be commanding the Oval Office of the White House in January 2017, just as Guterres’s term opened. Now that Donald Trump has assumed … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Russia and US Clash on Syria in the UN Security Council, Once Again

Russia called for an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council on Friday, a day after the United States launched a missile attack in Syria. But Russia’s deputy ambassador to the UN, Vladimir Safronkov, faced a tough response from the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, who castigated the Russians for supporting Syria’s … Read more

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WORLDVIEWS

Syrian Women on the Opposition Side Play a Direct Role at Peace Talks

GENEVA — As the latest round of the United Nations-led Syrian peace negotiations gets underway here, Syrian women activists are demanding — and playing — a central role. Achieving the goal of a democratic, inclusive Syria, in light of the country’s decades-long history of patriarchy is not easy. Many Syrian men — and some women … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Women Are Invisible at the Syria Peace Talks

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Jan. 22, millions of women around the world took to the streets to march for equal rights, equal representation and equal access in all avenues of public and private life. On Jan. 23 in Astana, Kazakhstan, 55 delegates met to try to reach an agreement on the war in Syria. Not … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Feelings Hurt, Yemeni-Americans in New York City Protest the Trump Immigration Ban

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Thousands of Yemeni-Americans in New York City turned out to peacefully — if not passionately — protest the White House ban on immigrants entering the United States from seven Muslim-majority countries, including Yemen. The protesters waved American and Yemeni flags, shouting slogans like “United we stand against the Muslim ban.” Held at … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Take a Look: Global Refugee Law and US Areas Affected Most by Trump Ban

The public furor and enormous protests by many thousands of Americans nationwide have led experts to try to explain where the decisions made by Donald Trump fall short of legality in both national and international law. From Hollywood to the world of sports to the corridors of the United States Congress, people are saying that … Read more

Educators on the UN Denounce Trump’s Crackdown on Refugees

More than 700 educators and students, meeting at United Nations headquarters in New York recently, called on the international community to protect refugees’ lives, encourage countries to take in “large numbers of refugees and migrants” and do more to ensure they get an education and are protected from sexual and gender-based violence. Acting as President … Read more

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WORLDVIEWS

The Syrian War and the Refugee Crisis: Spawning the Rise of the Far Right

The butterfly effect teaches us that seemingly insignificant actions can have enormous future consequences. A tiny pair of fluttering wings can disturb the air in a way that helps trigger a hurricane halfway around the world. Witness Syria, where the Arab Spring made its debut in 2011 in the form of a tame wave of … Read more

Universal Breast-Feeding Goals Blocked by Industry, UN Report Suggests

Although more countries have been passing laws to promote and to protect breast-feeding, the breast-milk substitutes industry continues to present a formidable challenge to achieving universal breast-feeding goals, a new report by United Nations agencies and a large advocacy group reveals. The laggards? Some of the richest regions in the world. Europe, for example, remains … Read more

How Syrian Women Landed at the UN Peace Talks and What It All Means

Some members of the UN-led Women's Advisory Board

GENEVA — Like approaching a mirage, in early 2016 Syrian women have made significant steps closer to the central negotiating tables of the extremely fragile intra-Syrian peace talks. It’s a process that Syrian women and the United Nations have been building since mid-2013. And in the Geneva III peace negotiations — structured so far as proximity … Read more

Fleeing Violence, Syrian Women Try to Cope in Turkey and Lebanon

GAZIANTEP, Turkey — Amima and Fatima Jebari are Syrian sisters who fled last year to the southern Turkish city of Gaziantep, near the Syrian border, after the Free Syrian Army entered their village in the north, they said, and violence ensued between the rebel group and the government forces of Bashar al-Assad in the continuing … Read more

There Is No Military Solution for Syria

Only close cooperation between the United States and Russia can end the “terrible tragedy” in Syria, says Lakhdar Brahimi, the highly respected international mediator in the Middle East for more than two decades. Brahimi, who led United Nations missions in Lebanon, Afghanistan and Iraq before becoming the special joint envoy of the Arab League and … Read more

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