GOINGS-ON

Trump Names a UN Critic to the Organization’s Crucial Contributions Panel

Brett Schaefer, a fellow in international regulatory affairs at The Heritage Foundation, a conservative policy research organization in Washington, D.C., has been nominated by the White House to serve as a member on the United Nations committee on contributions, which advises the General Assembly on apportioning dues that countries pay to the UN’s budget. The … Read more

Is This a Case of Nepotism at the UN’s World Food Program?

A son of David Beasley, the World Food Program executive director, worked briefly this year for the UN agency, but it is not clear what his status was, given original discrepancies. Beasley is a former governor of South Carolina, and the agency’s largest donor is the United States. Among dozens of names, Beasley is rumored … Read more

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

Ambassador Haley Goes Out With a Hug

So it’s happened again. Big deal. A top Trump administration official has jumped ship, one of dozens to do so less than two years into the president’s term. But this time was definitely different. When Nikki Haley announced she was stepping down, she did so from the Oval Office in a joint appearance with Trump, … Read more

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

Nikki Haley Resigns the US Ambassadorship, Surprising the UN Community

Nikki Haley, the United States ambassador to the United Nations, has announced she is resigning her position and leaving at the end of the year. Unlike the string of previous Cabinet members who have left the Trump administration, Haley seems to be departing on good terms with the president. Her departure was first reported by Axios … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Striking a Better Balance in the Newest UN Peacekeeping Reforms

Just days before the United Nations held a meeting with heads of state and foreign ministers on Secretary-General António Guterres’s Action for Peacekeeping initiative, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2436 on peace operations, on Sept. 21. Drafted by the United States, the resolution is the result of collaboration between Council members and other … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Nations Face an Era of Chaos as Trump Offends the World at the UN

The UN audience could only gasp when Donald Trump made his stormy debut in the United Nations General Assembly in 2017 as president of the United States. This year they laughed in his face. The gap between the US and the rest of the world has demonstrably widened under the Trump administration, and this phenomenon … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

New US Policies on Visas Can Hurt Same-Sex Couples at the UN

The recent decision by the United States State Department requiring all foreign nationals working in America for international organizations, including the United Nations, to be married in order for their same-sex spouses to receive a derivative visa, called the G-4, increases the challenges faced by LGBTIQ+ couples in same-sex relationships. This much is clear. Under … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Europe and Others Help Fund the UN Palestinian Agency, Filling US Void

The European Union, Germany, Norway, Ireland and Kuwait stepped in this week to donate a total of $118 million in financing to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (Unrwa), after the United States cut $304 million of its annual support to the agency for this year. The … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

In a First, Trump Chairs the UN Security Council, but Nothing Happened

  President Donald Trump chaired a United Nations Security Council meeting on stopping the spread of weapons of mass destruction and seized the occasion again to lambaste Iran, which he had earlier this month intended to make the sole focus of the Sept. 26 session. Pushback came from most of the other Council members, who … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

At the UN, Trump Declares: America Embraces ‘Patriotism’

Donald Trump, the president of the United States, arrived late for the opening day of the 73rd United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 25. His speech began on an awkward note as he elicited laughter from the world audience for boasting about his accomplishments. During his speech, he also aggressively rejected the global approach to … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

The UN Shudders as ‘Trump Week’ Closes In

A year after his bombastic debut at the United Nations as president of the United States, Donald Trump returns on Monday, Sept. 24, to lead a US effort to spur global action to stem the narcotics and opioid plagues. Could the US be asking the UN for help this time? The morning meeting on drugs … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

The UN Is Under Siege, So Where Is the Secretary-General?

Was it only two years ago that so many people were elated by the appointment of António Guterres as secretary-general of the United Nations? After public debates organized by the president of the General Assembly and informal ones by the 1-for-7-Billion “Find the Best UN Leader” coalition, he emerged as the top candidate in the … Read more

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

Ambassador Haley’s Delusions of Grandeur

There’s a rumor going around that Donald Trump is a master diplomat, a whiz at foreign affairs whose America First policies have taken the world by storm and won widespread admiration for his leadership skills. Check out the recent New York Post column by a Fox News analyst, Ralph Peters, claiming that the president’s foreign policy expertise, … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

The UN Mission in Lebanon, Saved From the US Ax for Another Year

BEIRUT — In late August, the United Nations Security Council unanimously renewed its peacekeeping operation in southern Lebanon, called Unifil. The less confrontational tone around the negotiation of Resolution 2433, contrasting with the heated debate on the renewal a year ago, can be read as a positive sign for Lebanon and the UN. It represents … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Kashmir’s Long Tragedy Rears Its Head in the News and at the UN

In his final months in office as United Nations high commissioner for human rights, the outspoken Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein did what no former holder of that office would or could do: he issued a blistering report on Indian abuses in the disputed territory of Kashmir. It is a story that Indian governments have long tried … Read more

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

Washington’s Main Priority in the UN Security Council: Iran

Welcome back to our monthly column, Security Council Presidency, providing insight into the United Nations Security Council member sitting in the rotating seat of the president every month. The column began in July, when Sweden was president, led by the country’s ambassador to the UN, Olof Skoog. We interviewed Karen Pierce, the British ambassador, for … Read more

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

Can Jane Holl Lute, a New UN Envoy, Work a Miracle on Cyprus?

The newest person to venture into kick-starting talks between the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots on the long-divided island of Cyprus in the Mediterranean is Jane Holl Lute. She is an American with a military and national-security background who has been assigned the task by the United Nations secretary-general, António Guterres. Since the two … Read more

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

Nikki Haley, Another Year Older and Deeper in Debt

It can be upsetting to see government officials, as they so often do, report vast new wealth on their annual financial disclosure forms shortly after taking a new government job. What enabled them to take in all that money just after starting a new career? Well, we can relax as far as Nikki Haley, the … Read more

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

Haley’s Midterm Report Card at the UN

The Trump administration has been in office 559 days and counting. Nikki Haley, a former Republican governor of South Carolina and now the American ambassador to the United Nations, has been in office since Jan. 25, 2017. Since her nomination, Haley has undergone two Congressional hearings, the first in January 2017 with the Senate Foreign … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Richard Falk on Palestine, Israel and the UN in the Trump Age

Richard Falk is a well-known American academic and writer who from 2008 until 2014 was the United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in Palestine since 1967, a post that invariably invites controversy. For Falk, who has never been shy of taking provocative stances, the work compelled him to declare, among other things, that Israel’s … Read more

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