SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENCY

Kelly Knight Craft’s Menu for the UN Security Council: Bourbon, Basketball and Charity

GLASGOW, Kentucky — “There’s no place like home for the holidays” is the United States’ theme for the Security Council presidency in December, while at the same time, in a slight contradiction, the US wants to tackle the problem of the Council’s credibility. To illustrate her point about the Council’s “credibility,” as she said, Kelly … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Russia in Africa and Frank Talk on Feminist Foreign Policies: Our Latest Podcast Episode

African summits may be in vogue worldwide, and Russia’s recent summit in Sochi in late October was no exception. A PassBlue correspondent, Joe Penney, traveled to the Black Sea resort to report on President Vladimir Putin’s pitch to African leaders, as he promoted a second African independence, this time a financial one, with offers of … Read more

Destination Kentucky: An Unusual Choice for Kelly Knight Craft’s Security Council Trip

While most countries use their presidency in the United Nations Security Council to visit war zones and pivotal peacekeeping missions around the globe, the United States ambassador, Kelly Knight Craft, is taking her counterparts to her home state of Kentucky in December. The Security Council will be traveling to what is often called the “Horse … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Big Powers at the UN Are Hanging Western Sahara Out to Dry

A stunning policy reversal by the United States regarding Western Sahara occurred last week, but it didn’t make many headlines. What happened? When the United Nations Security Council adopted a new resolution on Western Sahara, renewing the mandate of the UN peacekeeping mission —Minurso — there for another 12 months, the action meant America’s ambitions … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

Margot Wallstrom’s Feminist Foreign Policy for Sweden Catches On Globally, She Says

Margot Wallstrom, as Sweden’s newly appointed foreign minister, announced in 2014 that her priority would be the creation of the world’s first feminist foreign policy. The concept left some in her diplomatic corps “gasping for air,” she said. Now, having recently completed a hectic five years in office despite numerous global crises, she is confident … Read more

BOOKS

Why This American Still Cherishes the UN

Americans should know more about the life of William vanden Heuvel, a former United States envoy to the United Nations office in Geneva in the late 1970s. His career of social and political activism has touched on the people of his country on issues ranging from prison reform to school desegregation — but especially on … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Of Oil and Kalashnikovs: At the First Russia-Africa Summit, Putin Makes Power Plays

Vladimir Putin At First Russia Africa Summit in Sochi

SOCHI, Russia — As the Turkish presidential plane carried President Recep Tayyip Erdogan across the Black Sea from Sochi, Russia, back to Ankara last week, dozens of African heads of state arrived in this resort city for the inaugural Russia-Africa Summit the next morning. During two days at a convention center in the Olympic Village … Read more

‘Cowboys’ May Be Running the World Food Program, but Donations Keep Coming

The World Food Program may be receiving millions of more donations from the Trump administration than under past presidencies, but its management is skidding around amid complaints of sexual harassment, retaliation, abuse of authority and, most startling, rape, according to a new external survey. Under the leadership of David Beasley, a former South Carolina governor, … Read more

Guess Who Trump Considered for the UN Job in 2016? A Democrat

Tulsi Gabbard, the United States Democratic representative from Hawaii, met with Donald Trump immediately after his election in November 2016. Gabbard became one of the first people to talk to him and his Republican camp at their base in Trump Tower in New York, and the first of a handful of Democrats to do so. … Read more

Russia, Iran, the US and Visas: The Cold War Heats Up at the UN, a Podcast Explains

While Turkey has carried out its plan to invade northeast Syria and the United Nations Security Council has failed to react in a unified way, Russia and Iran have been making their own moves in the UN headquarters in New York, to achieve a political goal: disrupting crucial General Assembly committees. Welcome back to UN-Scripted, … Read more

The Cold War Returns as Russia and Iran Disrupt UN Work to Protest Visa Denials by the US

Russia and Iran are disrupting the new cycle of United Nations committees’ work to pressure the United States to stop denying visas to their diplomats from attending the meetings in New York. While Russia often brings up visa issues to try to hold up work at the UN, such actions are no déjà vu for … Read more

Hillary Clinton on Trump’s Foreign Policy: It’s All About Waiting for His Next Tweet

Hillary Clinton glided onto a stage in Manhattan with the luxury of now being a cool-eyed outsider who can sharply question foreign policy decisions being made by the Trump administration on such controversial places as China, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan. Clinton was the keynote speaker at the Carnegie Corporation of New York’s daylong forum … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Why Wait Until Trump Starts Talking to the Paintings?

President Donald Trump

In early 1974, fresh out of journalism school, I walked into the offices of the newly created Federal Energy Office in Washington and asked for a job. Within days I was back — a freshly minted writer-editor in the public affairs office of an agency launched in response to an oil embargo imposed on the … Read more

SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENCY

Russia Is Busy as Security Council President, but Putin Is Staying Home

Russia is president of the United Nations Security Council in September just as nearly 200 heads of state and government and even a prince or two will soon travel to New York City to attend the opening session of the General Assembly. President Vladimir Putin will not be taking part in any event this month … Read more

Pompeo Finds Little Appetite at the UN for His Iran Strategy

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

In the middle of a muggy August afternoon in New York, the United Nations Security Council gathered once more to figure out how to “maintain peace and security” in the Middle East. But the recurring topic always leaves conversations wide open for interpretation by the Council’s 15 members. The concept by Poland as Council president … Read more

Kelly Knight Craft: A ‘Very Impressive Individual’ or ‘Unfit to Serve’?

Kelly Knight Craft

The Senate has confirmed Kelly Knight Craft to be Washington’s top ambassador to the United Nations, even as a key Democrat pronounced her “unfit to serve.” The move ends a seven-month vacancy in one of the country’s most senior diplomatic posts. The July 31 vote on Craft’s nomination was 56 to 34, with 5 Democrats … Read more

Will Democrats Stall Trump’s Nominee for the UN Indefinitely?

After the Senate Foreign Relations Committee just voted to place 13 Trump administration nominees across diverse positions in the State Department, Senate ranking member Robert Menendez is using another nomination as a negotiating chip to demand details on two controversial White House migration pacts with Guatemala and Mexico. Senator Menendez (D-N.J.) is blocking the candidacy … Read more

Trump’s Candidate for UN Diplomat in Geneva Faces Dissent as Senate Vote Nears

Andrew Bremberg

Is President Trump’s nominee to represent the United States at the United Nations in Geneva in last-minute trouble? A long, detailed letter, sent to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee by prominent global human-rights groups and those concentrating on women’s health, voices strong opposition to the candidacy of Andrew Bremberg as US ambassador in Geneva. The … Read more

Pompeo’s Religion Is Carrying More Sway in US Foreign Policy

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Mary Ann Glendon

When Secretary of State Mike Pompeo convenes the second of his ministerial-level, multifaith conferences on religious freedom around the world on July 16 to 18, global threats to Christianity are likely to figure prominently, if recent comments by American officials are any guide. Pompeo is a guiding light. An Evangelical Christian, he says he sees a role … Read more

President Trump’s Goal for Financing Palestinians Is a Guessing Game

The United Nations refugee agency for Palestinians is vastly short of funds for 5.4 million people, while the Trump administration is doing its best to shut down the program and initiate new, albeit controversial financing. At issue was a “workshop” in Bahrain, held last week and organized by Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of President Trump, … Read more

 

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