Trump vs. Iran: What’s the UN for, Anyway?

President Trump, Vice President Pence and advisors

Donald Trump may have dodged the big one in the Middle East for now. But recent events make clear that the president and his tragic idea of leadership may yet drag the United States into a major war with Iran — and there’s good reason to believe it wouldn’t be pretty. He may still dazzle … Read more

The Topic Was the UN Charter, but the Backdrop Was a Just-Averted US-Iran War

Six days after the killing of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani of Iran by the United States and high-wire threats sent between President Trump and top officials of Iran, the 15 members of the United Nations Security Council and other nations finally had a chance to speak about the fight in an open forum. As fears … Read more

SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENCY

Vietnam’s Pivotal Month as Leader of the Security Council and of Asean for 2020

With tensions becoming more and more serious in the Middle East and with two crucial leadership roles to play internationally, diplomats in Hanoi are probably working hard to make sure Vietnam’s big diplomatic month of January is a success. Vietnam’s diplomacy has arrived at a critical moment, as it presides over the United Nations Security … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

The Top 10 PassBlue Stories of 2019: From Strongmen to Sexual Harassment

Once again, 2019 marked incredible upheaval and change across the world, just as 2018 did so universally, signaled by the continued rise in nationalism and revolts by women against repression and violence in their daily lives. Reporting on how United Nations member states — all 193 of them — acted in 2019 was a challenge … Read more

At the UN, Scrooge Haunts the Holiday Season

In this season of giving, the United States delegation offered free bourbon from Kentucky to the media and is splurging on a holiday party paid for by Kelly Knight Craft, the US ambassador, while in more serious business at the United Nations, the Russians not only held up a vote for one day regarding a … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Rape Prosecution Must Drive the New Rohingya Genocide Court Case

The recent case lodged by The Gambia with the International Court of Justice against Myanmar’s persecution of the Rohingya is the first time that rape will be prosecuted as genocide at the court, which is based in The Hague. The case has the potential to enhance feminist international law, while reinforcing the need to carry … Read more

BOOKS

Nikki Haley Makes Her Choice: She’s a Forever Trumper

“With All Due Respect: Defending America with Grit and Grace,” is framed as a look back at Nikki Haley’s two years as United States ambassador to the United Nations. It’s also not unreasonable to assume she’s just ticking off one more box before an eventual run for high office: Quit your government job, start tweeting … Read more

Destination Kentucky: An Unusual Choice for Kelly Knight Craft’s Security Council Trip

While most countries use their presidency in the United Nations Security Council to visit war zones and pivotal peacekeeping missions around the globe, the United States ambassador, Kelly Knight Craft, is taking her counterparts to her home state of Kentucky in December. The Security Council will be traveling to what is often called the “Horse … Read more

SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENCY

Britain’s Plan for the UN Security Council Presidency: Forget About Brexit

Karen Pierce of Britain and Riyad Mansour of Palestine at the UN

While Britain struggles to find an orderly way to exit the European Union after several years of attempting to do so, the country will highlight how other world problems affect ordinary people in its role as Security Council president in November. That focus definitely means avoiding the subject of Brexit! Britain, which has been in … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Big Powers at the UN Are Hanging Western Sahara Out to Dry

A stunning policy reversal by the United States regarding Western Sahara occurred last week, but it didn’t make many headlines. What happened? When the United Nations Security Council adopted a new resolution on Western Sahara, renewing the mandate of the UN peacekeeping mission —Minurso — there for another 12 months, the action meant America’s ambitions … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Of Oil and Kalashnikovs: At the First Russia-Africa Summit, Putin Makes Power Plays

Vladimir Putin At First Russia Africa Summit in Sochi

SOCHI, Russia — As the Turkish presidential plane carried President Recep Tayyip Erdogan across the Black Sea from Sochi, Russia, back to Ankara last week, dozens of African heads of state arrived in this resort city for the inaugural Russia-Africa Summit the next morning. During two days at a convention center in the Olympic Village … Read more

Guess Who Trump Considered for the UN Job in 2016? A Democrat

Tulsi Gabbard, the United States Democratic representative from Hawaii, met with Donald Trump immediately after his election in November 2016. Gabbard became one of the first people to talk to him and his Republican camp at their base in Trump Tower in New York, and the first of a handful of Democrats to do so. … Read more

The UN Can Do Much More to Resolve Khashoggi’s Murder, Says Agnès Callamard

Agnès Callamard

Exactly a year after Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi-born, American-based journalist, was murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, the United Nations’ special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Agnès Callamard, remains categorical: UN Secretary-General António Guterres can and should do more about the murder, and so should member states. “I am asking the secretary-general … Read more

SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENCY

Russia Is Busy as Security Council President, but Putin Is Staying Home

Russia is president of the United Nations Security Council in September just as nearly 200 heads of state and government and even a prince or two will soon travel to New York City to attend the opening session of the General Assembly. President Vladimir Putin will not be taking part in any event this month … Read more

Where’s Kelly Knight Craft? She Is Neither in Ottawa Nor at the UN

Donald Trump must have known just what he was getting into when he named Kelly Knight Craft to be the United States ambassador to the United Nations. But does Knight Craft understand the humiliating position the president is putting her into? Knight Craft, the soft-spoken wife of a billionaire coal executive from Kentucky, demonstrates scant … Read more

Who Is Kelly Knight Craft? A Podcast to Get to Know the New US Ambassador to the UN

She calls herself a homemaker, a philanthropist and a consultant, but who, exactly, is Kelly Knight Craft, the newly confirmed United States ambassador to the United Nations? This week, UN-Scripted, PassBlue’s new podcast series, features veteran journalist and PassBlue columnist Irwin Arieff, who describes how Knight Craft will handle all the hot files at the … Read more

Pompeo Finds Little Appetite at the UN for His Iran Strategy

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

In the middle of a muggy August afternoon in New York, the United Nations Security Council gathered once more to figure out how to “maintain peace and security” in the Middle East. But the recurring topic always leaves conversations wide open for interpretation by the Council’s 15 members. The concept by Poland as Council president … Read more

Kashmir May Be an Old Crisis at the UN, but the World Is Now Riveted

A familiar refrain often heard when the burgeoning crisis in Kashmir rises to the top of the news is that this is an old story from long ago; we have moved on. The United Nations is discovering, however, that there is less tolerance for indifference since India’s decrees on Aug. 5-6 to singlehandedly remake the … Read more

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

SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENCY

Why Poland Could Master Mideast Issues in the UN Security Council

Joanna Wronecka, Poland's ambassador to the UN

Even though many people think of August as vacation time, Joanna Wronecka, Poland’s ambassador to the United Nations, is not taking off anytime soon, as she is presiding over the Security Council for the month. As the Security Council is going to tackle issues affecting the Middle East and other parts of the world, the … Read more

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