GEOPOLITICS

The US Is Driving the New Talks on Western Sahara, Involving Morocco and Algeria

Horst Koehler, a former German president who has been the United Nations special envoy for Western Sahara since last year, is bringing the parties to the longstanding conflict over that region to a roundtable meeting in Geneva soon. Koehler expressed his intent last summer to bring all the relevant players together by the end of … Read more

With Trump’s Human-Rights Policies, Religious ‘Values’ Take Priority

Cubans waiting to be served food during the country's annual celebration of its revolution.

For almost three centuries, through street protests, court battles and a civil war, the United States has sporadically but steadily advanced and expanded human-rights protections and commitments in domestic and foreign policies. Now Donald Trump and the most conservative, ideologically driven officials on his team want to turn back this record in fundamental ways, as … Read more

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

Nikki Haley’s Chief of Staff Is Leaving New York to Work for Her in D.C.

David Glaccum, the chief of staff for Nikki Haley, America’s envoy to the United Nations, is leaving the New York office to move to Washington, D.C., where he will apparently continue working for Haley as a senior adviser based in the State Department. His move will allow him to be closer to his family, which … Read more

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

Nikki Haley’s Twists and Turns, Leading Down a Path to Nowhere

Nikki Haley is the most popular member of Donald Trump’s national security team, according to a recent Quinnipiac University poll, which found that 63 percent of voters approve of the job she is doing as United States ambassador to the United Nations. Just 17 percent disapprove. (Only 39 percent approved of Trump’s performance, the poll … Read more

 

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

Reform Eludes the Human Rights Council as Bolton Returns to the Scene

The 2018 winter session of the United Nations Human Rights Council was marked more by what didn’t happen than what did. There was still no official announcement in Geneva from the Trump administration about whether the United States would leave the Council or even seek re-election in 2019, when its current term expires. There was also … Read more

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

Will Trump’s Musical Chairs Leave Nikki Haley Without a Seat?

Nikki Haley insisted all along that she had no desire to become Donald Trump’s secretary of state. But with Mike Pompeo, the CIA director, in line to succeed Rex Tillerson as the State Department’s top dog, Haley may soon find that her thinking was a big mistake. Haley asked Trump right from the start not … Read more

In the US Congress, a Campaign Opens to ‘Punish’ the UN

It was inevitable that a triumphant Republican government in Washington, D.C., would sooner or later launch an assault on the United Nations. A near-unanimous UN Security Council resolution on Dec. 23 condemning Israeli settlements on Palestinians’ land provided the trigger. That the administration of President Barack Obama stood aside with an abstention, allowing a 14-0 … 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

 

WORLDVIEWS

From Rice to Power at the United Nations

Samantha Power

President Obama’s choice of Samantha Power to become the next United States ambassador to the United Nations and her recent confirmation by the Senate sends a strong, positive signal to all human-rights defenders. “As one of our country’s leading foreign policy thinkers, Samantha knows that our nation’s interests are advanced with strong and principled American … Read more

BOOKS

Reasons to Love and Criticize the UN

Minustah in Haiti peacekeepers

In his new book, “Living With the UN: American Responsibilities and International Order,” Kenneth Anderson forces readers who lean sympathetically toward the United Nations to consider why they support it despite its faults. On the other hand, the acerbic views of Anderson, a law professor at American University, about the UN are deeply colored by his … Read more

BOOKS

Kofi Annan: Lessons in Futility

Kofi Annan

  Kofi Annan‘s existential crisis during his decade as United Nations secretary-general was without question related to the US-led invasion of Iraq. But the most fascinating part of his new memoir, “Interventions: A Life in War and Peace,” is the account of his numerous attempts to nudge the world toward a Middle East peace deal. … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

The Unesco-US Relationship: It’s Complicated

Prague's Vlata River.

When it comes to mysteries, the United States’ decision to rejoin Unesco in 2002 under a Republican administration and after nearly two decades’ absence remains puzzling, but it appears the move can be traced to Hollywood. Unesco (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) has always borne the brunt of criticism from US politicians. Allegations … Read more

 

WORLDVIEWS

The US-UN Dance Recovers Its Balance

Susan Rice

CANBERRA — The United Nations is located at the cross-section of Interdependence Avenue and Multilateral Cooperation Street in Manhattan. But its destiny lies at the intersection of Indifference Avenue and Hostility Street in Washington. That was the case, at least, under the George W. Bush administration through the mode of John Bolton, the United States … Read more

Romney’s New Adviser Provokes Reactions on Past UN Work

Romney spokesman

The appointment last week of Richard A. Grenell to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign staff as national security and foreign policy spokesman has already caused a stir in political and journalism arenas, suggesting that Romney’s foreign policy will be hawkish with Grenell on board. Grenell, who is 45, joins the Romney camp with a solid Republican … Read more

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