GEOPOLITICS

Kofi Annan’s Path to Humanitarian Intervention

Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who died on Aug. 18, in Switzerland, was deeply committed to peace and the UN Charter, as well as human rights and humanitarian action. He led a debate about harmonizing these principles and rebalancing the sovereignty of countries with the rights of people within them. During his 10 years as secretary-general, which … Read more

A Task for the Next UN Secretary-General: Review the Special Envoy System

When a tough independent report sharply criticized the United Nations in December for its bungled attempts to cover up, or at least ignore, the sexual abuse of children by peacekeeping troops in the Central African Republic in recent years, it named among the people responsible for letting the children down Leila Zerrougui, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s … Read more

BOOKS

Falling Flat in Syria: How Not to Fight Jihad

Sun Tzu’s classic work on the art of war advises would-be warriors to “know your enemy.” What were Western powers and the United Nations thinking when they first pondered ways to stop Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from beating, torturing, bombing and even gassing his own people after the first hesitant protests against his rigid rule? … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

From Brahimi to Ramos-Horta, a 15-Year Peacekeeping Quest

SYDNEY, Australia — In August 2000, Lakhdar Brahimi, a prominent United Nations diplomat from Algeria, submitted his landmark review on UN peacekeeping to the secretary-general at the time, Kofi Annan. The previous year had been crucial for peacekeeping. The retrenchment of the mid-90s had subsided and a new era of peacekeeping activism had begun. Missions were deployed … 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

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