In a Single Day, US Congress Castigates Both the UN and Obama Over Israeli Vote

While Washington is caught up in the unfolding drama about the extent and motives of Russian hacking and possible attempted manipulation of the 2016 American presidential election, another story is playing out around threats to “punish” the United Nations. On Jan.5, the United States House of Representatives voted to repudiate the Security Council resolution on … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

The Syrian War and the Refugee Crisis: Spawning the Rise of the Far Right

The butterfly effect teaches us that seemingly insignificant actions can have enormous future consequences. A tiny pair of fluttering wings can disturb the air in a way that helps trigger a hurricane halfway around the world. Witness Syria, where the Arab Spring made its debut in 2011 in the form of a tame wave of … Read more

BOOKS

Explaining the Nobel Peace Prize

Since 1901, Nobel Prizes have been presented to the designated laureates at ceremonies held on Dec. 10 , the anniversary of Alfred Nobel’s death. As stipulated in his will, the prizes in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine and literature are awarded in Stockholm, presented by the King of Sweden. The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded … Read more

A New Year at the UN: Getting Serious About Global Disorder?

Government leaders from around the world are gathering in New York for the opening on Tuesday of the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly, an event haunted by momentous crises demanding undivided attention and action from all member countries. Responses in both the General Assembly (whose powers are limited) and the Security Council (stalemated … Read more

Nuclear Security Summit Set to Open in US, Without Putin

With the terror attacks in Brussels still fresh in the memories of arms controllers, a global summit, the last of four held at the urging of President Barack Obama, will take place in Washington, D.C., on March 31 and April 1. Its focus is on preventing nuclear material from falling into the wrong hands. The … Read more

Climate Talks Produce a New Draft Accord and More Hope

With barely two days left to reach an international agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions to slow global warming, a new version of the draft agreement was released Wednesday in Paris. But outstanding disputes remain over how much nations will be prepared to reduce the use of fossil fuels, which emit the most carbon dioxide, … Read more

At the UN’s Big General Assembly Day, Big Egos on Display

Monday marked another memorable day for the United Nations, drawing a record number of international leaders for the opening of the General Assembly, but it took an altogether different tone than Friday’s welcome for Pope Francis. On Friday, at the start of a three-day special session of the assembly devoted to the adoption of the … Read more

Obama Speaks to the UN: Together, We Must Strike Out Terrorism

Amid hypertight security at United Nations headquarters in New York, President Barack Obama told the packed mass of 100-plus global leaders meeting at the opening day of the 69th General Assembly session that the United States, in a current world of “pervasive unease,” cannot take on the fight against violent extremism and other serious international … Read more

For UN Member Nations, ‘Vulnerability Is a Global Phenomenon’

Hassan Rouhani

The annual United Nations debate of the 68th General Assembly got off to a contentious start on Sept. 24 with pointedly worded but divergent speeches by Brazil’s president, Dilma Rousseff, and Barack Obama, the president of the United States. The two countries traditionally kick off the annual debate, held every September in New York for … Read more

 

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