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

GEOPOLITICS

Pompeo’s Visit to the UN Caps a Week of Dizzying Global Politics

Capping a week of neck-wrenching U-turns by the president of the United States after his pro-Russia speech in Helsinki on Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with the 15-member United Nations Security Council in New York on July 20 — to discuss North Korea. Pompeo and Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Washington to UN Refugee Agency: If You Want Our Money, Put Our Name on It

The United States is the biggest donor to the UN Refugee Agency, and the Trump administration wants the world to know it. A new framework, or agreement, signed by the State Department and the refugee agency (UNHCR) requires it to acknowledge US contributions in most — and eventually all — of its public-information materials. What … Read more

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

No Winners in Washington’s Human-Rights Blame Game

It’s a poor workman who blames his tools, a popular French proverb cautions. But that’s just what Ambassador Nikki Haley has been doing in trying to justify Washington’s exit from the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council. Haley has looked long and hard in her scramble to identify the villains responsible for Washington’s exit. As … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Trump’s Nominee Lost the UN Migration Agency Vote. Is It a Signal?

The unexpected, decisive rejection of the Trump administration’s candidate to head the premier United Nations agency for resettling refugees and other migrants appears to be a warning. Which is that other nations are not prepared to indefinitely defer to the power of the United States when human rights and democratic values are assaulted by the … Read more

UN Budget Committee O.K.’s Major Reform of the UN, as Peacekeeping Is Squeezed

The United Nations has been given the green light from its 193 member nations to embark on a major overhaul of its operations, based on a trio of reform proposals put forth by Secretary-General António Guterres in the last year and recently agreed on by delegates. The changes — primarily affecting the world body’s peace … Read more

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

The UN’s Report on Poverty in the US Is Rebuked by Nikki Haley

When Philip Alston decided to focus a report on the United States, in his role as the United Nations special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, the goal was to spur a larger discussion. However, in the past week there has been a slow-motion volley of criticisms instead, as Nikki Haley, the US ambassador … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Do We Even Need the UN? An Academic’s Quest to Find the Answer

Would the world be better off without the United Nations? The question couldn’t be more important in the age of Trump and his rejection of multilateral institutions as well as traditional allies. Thomas G. Weiss, Presidential Professor of Political Science at the City University of New York Graduate Center, took on this question, speaking extensively … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

In Hodeidah, the Norwegian Refugee Council Hangs On to Save Yemenis

As the attack on Hodeidah, a major port in western Yemen on the Red Sea, moves into its second week, led by the coalition of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the rest of the world seems to be sitting and watching the destruction. The Norwegian Refugee Council, an independent nongovernmental organization, has been … Read more

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

As Expected, the US Quits the UN Human Rights Council

In a long-expected decision, the United States announced it was withdrawing from the United Nations Human Rights Council, the world body’s primary organ for promoting and protecting the rights of people worldwide. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, delivered comments on June 19 in the late … Read more

P5 MONITOR

The Perils of Kim-Trump Diplomacy on the UN Security Council

Could the Kim-Trump meeting in Singapore on Tuesday displace the United Nations Security Council’s mandate to regulate the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, as the United States succeeded in doing when it withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal? Chances of abolishing the UN sanctions regime on North Korea without the Council having the last … Read more

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