Kashmiri Muslims in Danger as Hindu Politicians Cancel Their Rights

It has always been relatively easy for Indian governments from both the political left and right to keep Kashmir from the eyes of the world. At no time has this been more obvious than now. Landlocked, under the guns of half a million Indian troops and paramilitaries, cut off sporadically from all modern communications and … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Dear UN Security Council: Remember to Protect the Children

Every time the budget committee of the United Nations meets, as it did in June, child-protection advocates enter a familiar existential crisis: will the United States and China cut UN budgets specifically allocated to specialists on child protection in peacekeeping missions? I am often asked by people in the UN why a child-rights advocate like … Read more

A Survey on Mali for Malians: What They Want for Their Country

Since 2012, a German political think tank has surveyed Malians regularly on their country’s current affairs across a legion of crises. These include the 2013 jihadist incursion in the nation, the French-led militarization to oust the jihadists, the post-conflict stabilization work done by the United Nations and a new cycle of intercommunal violence erupting in … Read more

How Uruguayan Peacekeepers Found the Two Dead UN Experts in Congo in 2017

Two years have passed since the shooting murders of Michael Sharp and Zaida Catalán, independent experts working for the United Nations Security Council in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in March 2017. Sharp, a 34-year-old American, and Catalán, a 36-year-old Swedish-Chilean, had gone on a mission, without UN escorts, to find information about atrocities … Read more

 

Serving the UN Where Violence Never Ends: One Person’s Story

Simon Handy, a specialist in African politics and conflict, is a veteran of a hazardous and tormented mission in the Central African Republic that left him with an enduring cause that still haunts him. He argues that when a United Nations mission changes or is abandoned, as was the case for him, staff members can fall … Read more

Trump’s Strong-Arm Cuts Put UN Peacekeepers Out in the Cold

The Trump administration’s unilateral decision to stop paying its full United Nations peacekeeping bills is hanging peacekeeping missions out to dry while creating financial woes for the countries that provide the blue-helmeted troops and police officers, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres is warning. The UN’s member nations owed the peacekeeping operations just under $2 billion in … Read more

With Scandals Rife Across the UN, Are Managers at Fault?

A sea of new or lingering allegations of harassment and corruption in numerous agencies and programs in the United Nations system appears to be washing over a sprawling organization battered by scandal. Poor or careless management and oversight, from top to bottom, is partly to blame, but so is persistent, overt politicization of high-level appointments … Read more

SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENCY

UN Security Council Presidency: Two Old Friends Share an Office, Part 2

To try to show European unity before a key parliamentary election for the European Union in May, France and Germany teamed up for the United Nations Security Council presidencies in March and April, respectively. After the first stint by France — including a Council trip to Mali and Burkina Faso in the Sahel region of … Read more

 

WORLDVIEWS

Why Developing Nations Send So Many Troops to UN Peace Ops

Africa, Asia and Latin America provide more than 90 percent of military and police personnel to United Nations peace operations and contribute about 15 percent of the budget. China, hardly a legitimate representative of the Global South as the world’s second-largest economy and a permanent member of the Security Council, inflates the budget number because its financial … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

The UN’s Gender Parity Goals: The Backlash Begins

One year into the United Nations’ new strategy for gender parity among staff members at all levels, a gendered backlash has emerged, even as parity has been achieved at the highest echelons of the world body. Political will from UN leaders beyond the secretary-general and member states is needed to ensure that where the UN … Read more

SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENCY

Ivory Coast’s Priorities in the UN Security Council: Postwar Peace

The Ivory Coast holds the rotating presidency in December in the United Nations Security Council at a pivotal point in its membership in the world body. The West African country was elected to its current term in the Council just as the last peacekeeping troops left in 2017, ending the UN’s presence there after a … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

When Is an Attack on UN Peacekeepers a War Crime and When Is It Not?

The recent attack by a militia on the United Nations mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in which seven peacekeepers were killed, highlighted a question that the Security Council has hesitated to confront for years. What are the consequences when UN peacekeeping missions become parties to the conflict? The Security Council responded to the latest attacks on Monusco, as the … Read more

 

The UN’s Combat Troops in the Congo: ‘They Were Not Supposed to Die’

United Nations peacekeepers working for the mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo were killed by a militia in a jungle in North Kivu Province on Nov. 15, leaving seven soldiers dead: six Malawians and one Tanzanian. Ten were injured. Twelve members of the Congolese armed forces were also killed, as national forces and … Read more

The UN Secretary-General Pushes Ahead on Peacekeeping Reform

Responding to a December request from the General Assembly for details on how he proposes to staff and pay for sweeping changes in political affairs and peacekeeping at the United Nations, Secretary-General António Guterres has drafted a 50-page explanation for member states to consider. The General Assembly had agreed in principle to his original 16-page … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Unprepared and Unprotected: UN Peacekeepers’ Lives Must Be Saved

The 15 deaths and 43 injuries to United Nations troop personnel in the North Kivu Province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in December would not, sadly, have surprised those of us who have served in peace enforcement missions with the UN. These are difficult and dangerous places, where rebels have many advantages of … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Guterres’s Grand Plan to Remake the UN’s Peace and Security ‘Pillar’

António Guterres, the UN secretary-general

Considerable restructuring of the peacekeeping, political affairs and peace-building departments of the United Nations is being proposed by Secretary-General António Guterres as he continues to embark on reforming the world body, which contends with increasingly complex crises and conflicts each year. In a 16-page document obtained by PassBlue and to be submitted soon to the UN’s 193 … Read more

 

WORLDVIEWS

Dear Mr. Guterres: Please Be a Hammarskjoldian Secretary-General

As much as this moment of unity among the United States, Russia and other Security Council members coming together on António Guterres as the next United Nations secretary-general is to be relished, it’s not just the who that matters. It’s the what of the job. Unless the big powers are willing to let Guterres play … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Special Envoys: Viceroys of the UN

SYDNEY, Australia — As with most innovations at the United Nations, the genesis of the concept of the special representative, or special envoy, of the secretary-general can be traced back to Dag Hammarskjold, the UN secretary-general. Special envoys were dispatched earlier than the Hammarskjold era; they included Folke Bernadotte, a Swede, and his successor, Ralph … Read more

The UN Tightens Rules on Peacekeeping Troops’ Medical Status

Peacekeepers from Ecuador, left, and Chile providing care at the Fraternite Notre Dam Medical Clinic, above the hills of Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti. LOGAN ABASSI/MINUSTAH

Almost five years after a rampaging cholera epidemic coursed through the Artibonite River region of Haiti and moved rapidly around the country, the United Nations, which acknowledges that a deadly strain of the disease originated in or around a Nepali peacekeepers’ base, is tightening medical prevention rules for soldiers and police. National governments will now … Read more

UN Security Council and Troop Contributors Chided by Review Panel

While restructuring at the top of the United Nations and better strategies and tactics for troops on the ground are issues provoking discussion and controversy after the recent release of a report by a high-level panel on current and future peacekeeping, less attention has been paid to the experts’ admonitions to the Security Council and … Read more

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