GEOPOLITICS

A New Peace-Building Podcast Series Delves Into East Africa’s Complexities

A new series called “Peacebuilders,” offering a weekly podcast of interviews with a diverse array of African and other professionals on vital issues they confront in their work in East Africa, has been introduced by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. The nine-part series debuted on May 1, with the first one focused on the … Read more

In Burkina Faso, a US Ambassador Wins Over a Slice of Francophone West Africa

Tulinabo Mushingi, center, the US ambassador to Burkina Faso

OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso — Nowhere can the positive presence of the United States in West Africa be more obvious than in the quiet, dusty nation of Burkina Faso, a mostly rural state surrounded by six other countries of ranging stability: Benin, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger and Togo. Near the heart of a well-coordinated international, … Read more

BOOKS

The Surprising Confessions of a Peacemaker

When war breaks out, you would think the easy answer would be to send in a United Nations peacekeeping mission, right? In fact, it is fairly rare and extraordinarily challenging to pull such a mission together. Even then, the mission can end up a flop, making little or no difference as the years crawl by. … Read more

The UN’s Mission in Mali: A Deadly Fight Against Terrorists

The United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali, the most demanding and bloodiest operation in the organization’s global portfolio, is moving its major functions from its base in Bamako, the capital, to Gao, a remote city also on the Niger River, and other camps in the north. The goal is to keep a vigilant eye on … Read more

 

Mandela’s Reach Knew No Bounds

Nelson Mandela

Late in September 1999, a quiet man whom the Indonesian military had painted as a fearsome terrorist turned up in my office at the United Nations, where he had come to help plan the future of a new country, Timor-Leste. He was José Alexandre Gusmão, better known by his nom de guerre, Xanana. He told … Read more

Bosnia-Herzegovina: Hopelessly Divided

Ćumurija Bridge, Sarajevo

It was the 29th minute of the decisive World Cup qualifying match in March between Bosnia-Herzegovina and Greece. A midfielder, Zvjezdan Misimovic, a Bosnian Serb, delivered a beautiful pass to a striker, Edin Dzeko, a Bosnian Muslim, who headed the ball into the goal. The multiethnic teamwork led to two more goals and 3-1 victory, … Read more

The UN Approves a New Peacekeeping Force to Fix Mali

Displaced Malians

The United Nations Security Council has authorized a new, ambitious stabilization mission to be deployed in Mali, consisting of nearly 13,000 military and police personnel who will begin operating on July 1 with a mandate of one year to provide security to “key population centers.” The mission, called Minusma (for Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in … Read more

Life for Women and Girls in Afghanistan Grows Deadlier

Afghan woman in a burqa, Kabul.

With the deadline for the departure of American and NATO troops from Afghanistan just a year away, civilian casualties in the country remain alarmingly high, says a new report from the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (Unama). Although the report said the number of casualties had decreased for the first time in six years, … Read more

 

Guatemala’s Role on the Security Council, as Viewed by Its Ambassador

Gert Rosenthal, Guatemala's ambassador to the UN

Gert Rosenthal does not sound like a Spanish name, but the mother of Rosenthal, the Guatemalan ambassador to the United Nations, was born there and his father was German. To complicate matters, “a little accident happened,” he said, as his parents, Florence and Ludwig, left Germany in the 1930s, and Rosenthal was born in Amsterdam. … Read more

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