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

GOINGS-ON

A New US National Security Council Pick May Mean More Trouble for the UN

Hugh Dugan, a retired United States Foreign Service officer and former US delegate to the United Nations, has been appointed to the US National Security Council as special assistant for international organization affairs, an integral post for government relations with the UN. Dugan was a US delegate to the UN from 1989 to 2015. Most recently, … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

Trump’s Dictator Buddies Across the World Are Not Friends of Women

In the gallery of authoritarian governments undercutting the rights of women and threatening democracy around the world, five nations stand out for a special reason. Donald Trump has made the leaders of Brazil, Egypt, India, Saudi Arabia and Turkey his friends and accomplices. In all of these countries, according to mounting evidence in numerous studies, … Read more

BOOKS

A Most Influential Actor: The US Ambassador to the UN

Everyone familiar with the United Nations knows that its relationship with its key member, the United States, has been and still is subject to far-reaching changes. The periods when the US administration and the Congress make use of the competencies of the United Nations in shaping their foreign policies depend on the administration and the … 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

TOPIC: WOMEN

Feminists Warm Up for Beijing+25 Reviews as the US Resists

This year will be an urgent moment for the United Nations and its 193 member countries to renew their commitment ensuring women’s equality in all walks of life. Twenty-five years have passed since the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action was ratified at the Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995. That document was designed … Read more

The US Raises Its UN Profile, but Not Its Support

Kelley Currie

The naming of Jonathan Moore, a senior United States Foreign Service officer, to the position of Acting Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs, signals that in the United Nations’ 75th year, the Trump administration is getting serious. The move doesn’t mean that the US is increasing support for the organization, of course, or for … 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

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

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

TOPIC: WOMEN

Rosemary DiCarlo, the Top-Ranking American at the UN, Describes Her Work Crisscrossing the World

Rosemary DiCarlo, the highest-ranking US official at the UN

On a busy day of a busy week and year, Rosemary DiCarlo, the United Nations under secretary-general for political and peacebuilding affairs, spoke frankly in an interview about her role as the first woman to be appointed to this position and as the highest-ranking American now serving the UN. DiCarlo discussed the challenges and rewards … Read more

GOINGS-ON

A UN-Centric Boutique, Sparkling in USA’s Silicon Valley

What: The small and colorful United Nations Association gift shop has been located in the same exact spot since it opened in 1974, in Silicon Valley in the San Francisco Bay Area. It sells everything from artisanal jewelry and baskets to plenty of other low-tech, mostly handmade goods in between, symbolically representing the world. The 1,000-square-foot … 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

Politics and Understaffing Delay US Funding to the Main UN Budgets

Politics and understaffing are the main reasons the United States has still not paid its outstanding dues to the general budget of the United Nations, after much news coverage of the problem in early October. The UN is experiencing an unprecedented financial crisis that threatens its peacekeeping operations globally and severely hampers its work in … Read more

BOOKS

Nikki Haley Makes Her Choice: She’s a Forever Trumper

“With All Due Respect: Defending America with Grit and Grace,” is framed as a look back at Nikki Haley’s two years as United States ambassador to the United Nations. It’s also not unreasonable to assume she’s just ticking off one more box before an eventual run for high office: Quit your government job, start tweeting … 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

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

‘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

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