GEOPOLITICS

Europe and Others Help Fund the UN Palestinian Agency, Filling US Void

The European Union, Germany, Norway, Ireland and Kuwait stepped in this week to donate a total of $118 million in financing to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (Unrwa), after the United States cut $304 million of its annual support to the agency for this year. The … Read more

This Palestinian Policewoman Has Zero Tolerance for Domestic Violence

RAMALLAH — As the head of the Palestinian Civil Police Family and Juvenile Protection Unit, Lieut. Col. Wafa Muammar is the highest-ranking female officer in the Palestinian police force and a role model for women trying to find their own space in what has been considered a man’s profession here. Among the first generation of … Read more

Palestinians Cheer New Status at the United Nations

43rd plenary meeting of the General Assembly67th session: Question of Palestine

The General Assembly voted to elevate the Palestinian territories‘ status at the United Nations to nonmember observer state from nonmember observer entity, which it has held since 1974. The vote, occurring late afternoon on Nov. 29 in a packed Assembly Hall, was preceded by several speeches, including one by Mahmoud Abbas, the chairman of the … 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

 

A Science Prize Complicates Life at Unesco and for the US

unesco science prize

Unesco is keeping a $3 million science prize after debating for months whether to drop the controversial award, which is meant to help fight diseases and was donated by the government of Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, president of Equatorial Guinea. With 33 years in office, he is Africa’s longest-serving dictator. The vote to keep the … Read more

A Man for the Moment in the Middle East

Nabil Elaraby is a name to remember as crisis builds in Syria and citizens in other countries in the Arab world worry about where their hard-won revolutions are taking them. Elaraby, a 76-year-old Egyptian diplomat, is secretary-general of the Arab League, a position he has held for less than five months. But his impact on … Read more

Palestine Quest for UN Statehood at the Security Council Stymied

It appears that the Palestinians’ request to become a full-fledged member of the United Nations by applying to the Security Council this fall has hit major stumbling blocks. As reported by Evelyn Leopold in a Huffington Post blog, the Palestinians are not expected to get the nine votes in the 15-member Security Council that they … Read more

Palestine Swept in as a Full Member of Unesco

Unesco voted today at its Paris headquarters to admit Palestine as the 195th member to the organization, seriously risking the chance that the agency will lose tens of millions of dollars immediately in contributions from the United States, its biggest donor. The agency also voted in South Sudan as the 194th member. Unesco is popularly … Read more

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