The butterfly effect teaches us that seemingly insignificant actions can have enormous future consequences. A tiny pair of fluttering wings can disturb the air in a way that helps trigger a hurricane halfway around the world. Witness Syria, where the Arab Spring made its debut in 2011 in the form of a tame wave of … Read more The Syrian War and the Refugee Crisis: Spawning the Rise of the Far Right
When the United Nations Security Council recently approved timelines to begin peace talks and institute a national cease-fire in Syria, the language in the resolution gave no hint of the magnitude of such undertakings, nor did the congratulatory speeches afterward by diplomats delve into the details. That means the nitty-gritty work is left to the … Read more As Syrian Peace Talks Take Shape, How Will Women Take Part?
The United Nations has wedged its way into playing a monitoring role in a possible cease-fire in Syria and a convening role in gathering the Syrian government and opposition parties to try to meet for formal talks by Jan. 1. The goal is to begin negotiating an end to the prolonged war there, which has produced … Read more At Vienna Talks on Syria’s Future, the UN Finds Several Roles to Play
Seizing a chance to respond more coherently to the deadly situation in Syria, the European Union and Jordan are proposing a “resilience plan” to alleviate the humanitarian emergency while pushing for a political course to stop the Syrian government from killing what’s left of its people. The European Union is also moving ahead in October … Read more Europe Pushes Ahead for More Aid to Syrians and to Disrupt Human Smuggling
Four working groups formed to dissect and discuss the Syrian crisis in concrete terms are being set up by the United Nations in a plan conceived by Staffan de Mistura, the UN envoy in Syria since July 2014. The working groups and their Syrian interlocutors will discuss safety and protection; political and legal topics; military … Read more A UN Envoy Tries Something New in Syria
As the Syrian government increasingly resorts to using heavy armaments and long-distance aircraft — and possibly chemical weapons — to attack the opposition movement and other enemies, the risk of children being killed or maimed in the fighting has risen sharply, says the United Nations Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children … Read more Children Trapped in Syria Suffering From the War