WORLDVIEWS

Ban’s Second Term: It’s Time to Involve UN Diplomats

un secretary general

BERLIN — Like his predecessors, the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon started his second term, in January, by presenting a program to the General Assembly and to the public, adorned with a momentous title: The Five Year Action Agenda, “The Future We Want.” It outlines in ambitious rhetoric the key areas where Ban thinks the … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

The UN Revisits Syria, With Sharp Words and Passion

Syria and the UN

Iran was the one country to stand up in support of Syria’s procedural challenge to the right of the UN General Assembly to debate the spiraling political violence back home, and with good reason: the aggressiveness with which the Arab states along the Persian Gulf are pressing for the ouster of President Bashar al-Assad from … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

For Syria, Only More Questions

The failed vote in the United Nations Security Council on Feb. 4 over a resolution committing the UN to the Arab League’s Syria transition plan opens the door to an international free-for-all in which Syrian factions enlist foreign patrons, Russia mortgages itself to a terminally ill regime and Iran has an opening to forge closer … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

George Kennan’s Ambivalence Toward the UN

WASHINGTON — As one of the great strategic thinkers, historians and essayists of the cold war era and the author of the doctrine of containment, which informed American foreign policy for most of that period, George F. Kennan had a realist view of the United Nations, driven by national interest. The wide attention and praise … Read more

 

WORLDVIEWS

In Washington, the Human Rights Council Endures Scrutiny

WASHINGTON — The United Nations Human Rights Council is attracting more attention here by both supporters and critics in the government and beyond. Some of the council’s defenders and naysayers, speaking at various Washington venues last month, ultimately expressed the same goal: to see the rights body improve. The council’s action last winter recommending that … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Sticking With a Story After the Media Forget

Do you want know what happens to news reports in parts of the world after they seemingly drop from the front page? Do you get frustrated by constant coverage of certain stories at the expense of others? Do you think that the US media and the US foreign policy establishment should pay some attention to … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

New Members, New Chances? Security Council Elections

BERLIN — This month, the United Nations General Assembly elected Azerbaijan, Guatemala, Morocco, Pakistan and Togo as nonpermanent members of the Security Council for the next two years. Three of the new members, Guatemala, Morocco and Pakistan, were elected in the first round of voting, Togo was in the third and Azerbaijan, in the seventeenth. … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Saving the Troubled Khmer Rouge Tribunal

[This essay was updated on Nov. 23, 2011] The United Nations sent its top legal official to Cambodia this week in a belated effort to deal directly with the threatened implosion of a war crimes tribunal charged with bringing to trial leaders of the apocalyptic Communist regime that presided over the deaths of at least … Read more

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