WORLDVIEWS

The UN Base in Timbuktu: A Demanding Deployment in the Sahara

TIMBUKTU — Who wants peace in Mali? If everyone says they want it, why is carrying out the 2015 peace agreement and its cease-fire so difficult? Part of the challenge for the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali is not only helping to implement the agreement in the major cities, such as Timbuktu, but also … 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

UNGA72

Snubbing Trump, Europe Stands Firm on the Iran Deal

The fight over preserving the Iranian nuclear deal took a firmer direction at the United Nations on Sept. 20. After Donald Trump, the United States president, proclaimed to the General Assembly the day before that the deal was “one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into,” heads started … Read more

UNGA72

Trump Blows Up the UN, Metaphorically Speaking

Can a rebuttal happen before an event occurs? United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres took pre-emptive strikes against President Donald Trump in his speech at the opening session of the 72nd General Assembly, on Sept. 19, 2017. Rumors were rampant that Trump would deliver a strongly nationalistic speech, reportedly written by Stephen Miller, author of Trump’s … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

Building a Case for Prosecuting the Genocide of Yazidi Women

As the Islamic State’s self-proclaimed caliphate in Iraq crumbles, assessments begin to emerge of the damage left in its wake by its cultural nihilism and harsh sectarian absolutism designed to remake an Arab society. The human costs have been high in Iraq — in deaths, maiming, displacement and the enslavement of girls and women. A … Read more

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WORLDVIEWS

Flung Into Mosul, Stopping the Bleeding, Slowing Death

MOSUL, Iraq — For two weeks in early April and again in June, I was embedded in Mosul with an emergency-response division of the Iraqi army, which is fighting to retake the city from ISIS. The nonprofit organization I work for, NYC Medics, was contracted by the World Health Organization to run a trauma stabilization … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Despite the Terrorist Attack on Our Beloved Malian Resort, We Will Come Back

It always took me ages to hit the road to the Kangaba camp. Leaving downtown Bamako can be tricky, especially if your place is baco fé — on the far bank of the Niger River — as they say in Bambara, the local language. The traffic is a nightmare. On weekends, dozens of old yellow Mercedes … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Can the G5 Force Work Counterterrorism Magic in Africa’s Sahel Region?

Although the plan to deploy a West African troop contingent, called the G5 Sahel Joint Force, presents an opportunity to improve much-needed cooperation among the Sahel countries, it will not be a game-changer in the fight against the persistent security challenges in the region. Yet, without adequate financial and logistical support from the United Nations … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

US Immigration Ban Stirs Controversy at the Annual UN Women’s Forum

Despite fears that efforts by President Trump to bar visitors to the United States from a number of Muslim majority would limit attendance at this year’s annual United Nations conference on women in New York, UN officials have kept saying there will be record participation. On the first day, however, people were more worried about … Read more

António Guterres, Sounding Priestlike, Arrives for Work as UN Secretary-General

He is no longer the “next SG,” as Twitter posts have been referring in the last few months to António Guterres, the man who was selected by the United Nations Security Council in October to lead the world body as the ninth secretary-general. Guterres, a 67-year-old former prime minister of Portugal who also managed the … Read more

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Cloaked in Secrecy: How the Saudis’ $110 Million Gift to UN Counterterrorism Is Being Spent

The United Nations Counter-Terrorism Center was set up in 2011 with money from Saudi Arabia to combat terrorism worldwide. Some experts, however, now question the center’s ability to eliminate terrorist threats. There are also questions about whether the money that the Saudis donated, a whopping $110 million, is being spent effectively. The Saudi donation is … Read more

In Iraqi Kurdistan, It’s a Life of Harsh Contrasts for Women and Girls

ERBIL, Iraq — Despite the war crimes being committed against women and girls in northern Iraq since the extremist group ISIS invaded two years ago, rejection of entrenched violence and discrimination against females may be taking root among pockets of the autonomous Kurdish region here. Yet in many ways, life for women and girls remains … Read more

Nuclear Security Summit Set to Open in US, Without Putin

With the terror attacks in Brussels still fresh in the memories of arms controllers, a global summit, the last of four held at the urging of President Barack Obama, will take place in Washington, D.C., on March 31 and April 1. Its focus is on preventing nuclear material from falling into the wrong hands. The … Read more

Syrian Women’s Group Welcomes Its Country’s Long-Awaited Truce

As the first temporary truce in years has begun in Syria, the Syrian Women’s Advisory Board, a new entity organized by the United Nations, expressed hope that the long-awaited pause in the civil war would mean that “Syrians will wake up with the hope of resuming their lives among their families and loved ones without … Read more

Snakes, Scorpions and Red Tape: Europeans Adjust to the UN Mission in Mali

Since its rollout in 2013, the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali has been actively recruiting more European troops to strengthen its ranks of police, military and civilian personnel from African and Asian countries, typical sources for UN missions. The mission’s main mandate is to protect civilians, stabilize the country and carry out a peace … Read more

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Attacks in West Africa Show Regional Security Reliance on France and US

OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso — It was about 7:30 p.m. when the meeting began on the fourth floor of the Splendid Hotel here on Jan. 15 in this capital city. Fourteen people were gathered to discuss the launching of a humanitarian association, with a Burkina government minister present. Phones were put in silent mode. While the … Read more

Report Accuses Russia of Attacks on Hospitals in Syria

At the end of July, Physicians for Human Rights, a group of health care professionals who have been documenting abuses in conflict areas for nearly three decades, went to Turkey to hear the stories of Syrian doctors who are seeing a once-advanced medical system in the Syrian city of Aleppo being systematically destroyed in unrelenting … Read more

At Vienna Talks on Syria’s Future, the UN Finds Several Roles to Play

The United Nations has wedged its way into playing a monitoring role in a possible cease-fire in Syria and a convening role in gathering the Syrian government and opposition parties to try to meet for formal talks by Jan. 1. The goal is to begin negotiating an end to the prolonged war there, which has produced … Read more

We Need More Support to Expel Boko Haram, Chad’s Envoy to the UN Explains

An offensive against Boko Haram by a regional task force is preparing to deploy, led by Nigeria and its partners — Chad, Niger, Cameroon and Benin. At least that is the plan. Troops will number about 8,000 soldiers, with headquarters based in N’Djamena, Chad’s capital, and headed by a Nigerian, Maj. Gen. Iliya Abbah. The … Read more

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