BOOKS

The Rules of War Need a Major Overhaul

Donetsk People's Republic fighters in Ukraine

Evidence is piling up: the global security framework that emerged from the ashes of World War II is no longer capable of pursuing international peace. The arrangement, conceived by the major powers that won the war, has expanded into a grab bag of rules and institutions that the crises of our own era have gradually … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

The UN’s System of Selective Security

OXFORD, England — The United Nations is going through one of its many difficult periods — so far as its central task of maintaining international peace and security is concerned. In Syria since 2011 and Ukraine since 2014, the Security Council has been unable to take decisive action on momentous issues, including the taking of … Read more

What Matters Most in Choosing the Next UN Chief? Politics, Geography and Maybe Gender

The post of United Nations secretary-general may or may not be “the world’s most impossible job,” as its first occupant, Trygve Lie, a Norwegian, once described it. In any case, UN members must choose a successor to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon well before the close of 2016. Some potential candidates are already campaigning for the post. … Read more

2015: A Year of Potential Landmarks for the UN

By almost every measure, this year will be monumental for the United Nations. The organization will be 70 years old and that will inspire, as anniversaries always do, a lot of stocktaking, analysis and, of course, criticism. Past stumbles will get attention and an army of  “reformers” will offer prescriptions for the future. In 2015, … Read more

Jan Eliasson Explains His Role as No. 2 at the UN

Jan Eliasson, deputy secretary-general of the UN

Jan Eliasson has been the deputy secretary-general of the United Nations since July 2012, the second in command after Ban Ki-moon. Eliasson, 73, is a former Swedish foreign minister and was ambassador to the United States twice, among other foreign postings. He was also president of the UN General Assembly and a key UN mediator … Read more

The Syrian War, Picked Apart by a Diplomat Who Knows

Jean-Marie Gguehenno of Columbia University

The new creation of a national Syrian coalition to make the opposition groups more coherent could propel a much-needed breakthrough in the country’s 20-month civil war, Jean-Marie Guéhenno a professor of international and public affairs at Columbia University, told an audience there on Nov. 13. It has been a costly affair humanitarian-wise: close to 40,000 … Read more

GOINGS-ON

Edward Luck, Responsibility to Protect Expert, Returns to Academia

Edward Luck

Edward Luck, who has been the special adviser to the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the responsibility to protect doctrine within the prevention of genocide office since 2008, will become the dean of the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies at the University of San Diego, a private Roman Catholic school, on Aug. … Read more

The Responsibility to Protect Gets a Checkup

When the carnage of the 1990s wound down, with more than a million people dead in massacres and brutal ethnic or political wars in and around Rwanda, the Balkans and elsewhere, nations that had failed to act to stop such tragedies began seeking ways to prevent future catastrophes. From this terrible decade, the long-postponed creation … Read more

 

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