COVID-19

A UN Diplomat From the Philippines Has the Coronavirus as It Hits New York

As the number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus keeps rising in New York City this week, the United Nations remains open for business for diplomats and for staff members who are not telecommuting, while tourists were banned as of March 10. Yet as of early evening on March 12, it was revealed by the … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Another Eastern European Nation Gets Tangled in US Politics

Richard Grenell - acting national director of intelligence

Days after Richard Grenell was recently named by President Trump as the United States’ acting national director of intelligence — America’s chief spy — a media site reported that Grenell had worked for an Eastern European politician whom the US has accused of corruption and barred from the country. Grenell, who is in the job … Read more

US Ambassador Kelly Craft Resumes Campaign Donations with a Big Gift to Trump

Kelly Craft has taken a big step toward helping to ensure her political future, lavishing a campaign contribution of $360,600 on the re-election of her boss, President Donald Trump. The gift is the first that Craft, the United States ambassador to the United Nations, has dished out since joining the diplomatic corps as ambassador to … Read more

Palestine v. Israel, and the US Democratic Race: Our Double-Episode Podcast

President Trump has made good on his campaign promises to redefine America’s relationship with the rest of the world — for better or for worse — and the United Nations has in many ways been the epicenter of his “American First” policy abroad. Most recently, his peace proposal for Israel and Palestine scraps decades of … Read more

Despite Common Rejection of Trump’s Mideast Plan, Some Hope to Restart Talks

A few days after Jared Kushner, President Trump’s adviser and son-in-law, met with United Nations Security Council members offsite in New York to sell the United States’ Mideast deal for peace, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas came to the Council to vehemently oppose it. While Abbas’s criticisms were echoed by most members of the Council, the … Read more

Will Trump’s ‘Vision’ Shake Up the Middle East?

President Trump with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu in the White House

When is a peace plan not a peace plan? Look no further than Donald Trump’s cynically timed initiative to end the decades-long conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. If a breakthrough does result, it will be in spite of itself. Released in late January after three years lurking in the shadows, it would jettison decades of … Read more

Reading the US Presidential Tea Leaves: Do the Candidates Even Care About the UN?

President Trump was at the United Nations last fall telling world leaders that “the future does not belong to globalists” when Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the United States House of Representatives would launch an inquiry into his possible impeachment. It was the same General Assembly whose derisive laughter at Trump’s boast a year before of … Read more

Trump vs. Iran: What’s the UN for, Anyway?

President Trump, Vice President Pence and advisors

Donald Trump may have dodged the big one in the Middle East for now. But recent events make clear that the president and his tragic idea of leadership may yet drag the United States into a major war with Iran — and there’s good reason to believe it wouldn’t be pretty. He may still dazzle … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

From a Royal Palace to Ivy Halls: A Dissident’s View of the Arab Spring

Hicham Alaoui was a young prince — only seven years old — in 1971, when he witnessed a devastating military coup unfold against his family inside the Moroccan royal palace. The assailants did not succeed in overturning the 350-year-old monarchy, then under the rule of his uncle, King Hassan II, but Alaoui saw his own … Read more

The Topic Was the UN Charter, but the Backdrop Was a Just-Averted US-Iran War

Six days after the killing of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani of Iran by the United States and high-wire threats sent between President Trump and top officials of Iran, the 15 members of the United Nations Security Council and other nations finally had a chance to speak about the fight in an open forum. As fears … Read more

Look Out, UN, Here Comes More Kentucky

Mitch McConnell, the United States Senate Majority Leader, is known for his obstructionist role as Donald Trump’s enforcer and enabler of domestic policies and executive orders. Lately, the senator from Kentucky has also begun maneuvering in foreign policy and diplomacy, notably involving United Nations appointments. Last year, he lobbied Trump for months to get Kelly … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

The Top 10 PassBlue Stories of 2019: From Strongmen to Sexual Harassment

Once again, 2019 marked incredible upheaval and change across the world, just as 2018 did so universally, signaled by the continued rise in nationalism and revolts by women against repression and violence in their daily lives. Reporting on how United Nations member states — all 193 of them — acted in 2019 was a challenge … Read more

At the UN, Scrooge Haunts the Holiday Season

Vassily Nebenzia, the Russian ambassador to the UN

In this season of giving, the United States delegation offered free bourbon from Kentucky to the media and is splurging on a holiday party paid for by Kelly Knight Craft, the US ambassador, while in more serious business at the United Nations, the Russians not only held up a vote for one day regarding a … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

For South Sudan, the Promise of Full Dialogue Lies Ahead

ROME, Italy — The clock is ticking for South Sudan. Many powerful players in the international community have expressed openly their disappointment at the reluctance of South Sudan power-brokers to resolve their violence-prone country. Meanwhile, the people of South Sudan are clearly signaling their readiness for peace and their support for new approaches that could … Read more

Why US Voters Shy Away From Global Topics: New Surveys Emerge

If people beyond North America are puzzled if public-opinion polls in the world’s most powerful country draw blanks from voters when asked about international affairs, two new surveys offer explanations. Schools and the Internet are prime suspects, many voters reveal when they say they don’t know enough to make informed opinions. Such an admission can … Read more

SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENCY

Kelly Knight Craft’s Menu for the UN: Bourbon, Basketball and Bonding

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

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