NIKKI HALEY WATCH

Once Again, Haley Accuses Others for US Failure at Rights Council Reform

In the middle of last week, when the Trump administration was still unable to say how it “lost” more than 2,500 children torn from their asylum-seeking parents at the border with Mexico, Nikki Haley, the United States envoy to the United Nations, was telling a different story to a sympathetic group in Washington, D.C. “We … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

The UN Secretary-General’s Human-Rights Crisis Can Be Solved

There is a crisis in the United Nations human-rights system. Secretary-General António Guterres can lead the way out of it. Indeed, the world continues to look to the UN secretary-general to stand up for the principles of the organization. One of the highest responsibilities of the incumbent is to help steer a course toward realizing … Read more

With Trump’s Human-Rights Policies, Religious ‘Values’ Take Priority

Cubans waiting to be served food during the country's annual celebration of its revolution.

For almost three centuries, through street protests, court battles and a civil war, the United States has sporadically but steadily advanced and expanded human-rights protections and commitments in domestic and foreign policies. Now Donald Trump and the most conservative, ideologically driven officials on his team want to turn back this record in fundamental ways, as … Read more

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

In Year 2 of Trump Presidency, the US Is Still Eroding Both the UN and Women’s Rights

After a year of bombast and threats by Ambassador Nikki Haley and the ever-evolving Donald Trump administration, the tone appears to be turned down a few notches in the second year of the Trump presidency. But efforts to undermine the United Nations and what it stands for have not stopped, at least for now, even … Read more

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

Reform Eludes the Human Rights Council as Bolton Returns to the Scene

The 2018 winter session of the United Nations Human Rights Council was marked more by what didn’t happen than what did. There was still no official announcement in Geneva from the Trump administration about whether the United States would leave the Council or even seek re-election in 2019, when its current term expires. There was also … Read more

TAKE A LOOK

Tackling Sexual Violence in Humanitarian NGOs

Nearly three years ago, Megan Nobert, a humanitarian worker in South Sudan, was drugged and raped by an employee of a United Nations agency, according to her account, made public six months later. That was when Nobert decided to form the advocacy group Report the Abuse to encourage others to tell their stories and rally … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Is the US Going to Drop Out of the UN Human Rights Council?

Palestinian causes in the United Nations are gaining wider and more active support in the Arab and Islamic worlds in light of Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, in defiance of global opinion and decades of UN resolutions. The move sets the scene for reigniting intense anti-UN activity in United States Congress. There … Read more

$5 Million Grant From Microsoft Will Help UN Track Human-Rights Abuses

As political instability, conflicts and migration proliferate across the world, technology has become a potential solution for identifying and predicting human-rights violations, which play a major role instigating upheavals. Smartphones enable instant updates and eyewitness accounts of events happening around the globe, and the use of cloud computing and big-data analysis allows large amounts of … Read more

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

In Geneva, Nikki Haley Dodges Questions of US Future in UN Rights Council

In a much-anticipated series of speeches in Geneva on June 6, the United States ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, would not say whether a decision had been made by the Trump administration about US membership in the UN Human Rights Council. But she warned that if the Council, widely criticized by conservative politicians, … Read more

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

Nikki Haley’s ‘Historic’ Debate on Human Rights Left a Small Impression

Nikki Haley, the United States ambassador to the United Nations, presided over what she was determined to sell as “an historic meeting exclusively on human rights” in the UN Security Council. But her brief speech in the April 18 meeting fell far short of introducing innovations to confront violations of human rights or prevent them … Read more

TAKE A LOOK

America’s Financial Support to the UN: What’s at Stake?

With White House proposals to slash United States assessments and donations to international organizations now in play in the writing of a federal budget for 2018 — as an April 28 deadline approaches — the extent of potential losses to the United Nations is coming into sharp focus. The US, for example, has immediately begun … Read more

UN Human-Rights Chief Warns of a ‘Political Earthquake’ of Populism

In a bold excoriation of populist and nationalist movements now gripping many nations, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights told an audience of foreign policy experts, human-rights advocates and students of diplomacy in Washington, D.C., this week that the drive toward “protectionism, unilateralism and the proclamations of national or religious purity” is “deeply … Read more

How’s He Doing? António Guterres’s First Month as UN Secretary-General

António Guterres, the United Nations secretary-general

Thirty-two days in office as United Nations secretary-general, António Guterres spoke extensively to the media for the first time at UN headquarters, on Feb. 1. Indicative of the chaos gripping many parts of the world as a result of new White House actions, Guterres might be forgiven for waiting a month to address the media … Read more

In the US Congress, a Campaign Opens to ‘Punish’ the UN

It was inevitable that a triumphant Republican government in Washington, D.C., would sooner or later launch an assault on the United Nations. A near-unanimous UN Security Council resolution on Dec. 23 condemning Israeli settlements on Palestinians’ land provided the trigger. That the administration of President Barack Obama stood aside with an abstention, allowing a 14-0 … Read more

The $64,000 Question: Can the UN Survive the Trump Era?

Celebrators at the opening of the New UN House in Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan, on Nov. 26, 2016.

The United Nations will swear in António Guterres as its ninth secretary-general on Dec. 12, when the organization will be only weeks away from the inauguration of Donald Trump and the potentially most threatening, hostile political opposition to the UN ever assembled in Washington, D.C. The UN will have to be prepared to respond and … Read more

Hate Crimes Rocket Across the US, and UN Condemnation Comes Quickly

Hate crimes have risen dramatically in the United States since the election of Donald Trump as president on Nov. 8. The United Nations has quickly taken note, criticizing its strongest financial and moral supporter, America. “Recent reports of hate crimes in the United States are of great concern,” began a statement from the office of … Read more

Peter Sutherland, UN Migration Envoy, Says: Do Not Shirk the Refugee Crisis

As the special envoy to the United Nations secretary-general on international migration since 2006, Peter Sutherland, an Irishman, has minced few words on the topic of people leaving their homes in search of better lives. In his role at the UN, he advises the secretary-general on issues related to international migration and development and promotes cooperation … Read more

This American Wants the UN to Pay More Attention to Race Problems in the US

In Baton Rouge, La., Silky Slim has implored the United Nations to pay attention to what he calls the “hypocrisy” of the United States regarding the treatment of some of its own citizens, African-Americans. In fact, several UN officials have readily commented on racial and other violence in the US as well as the conditions … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

In Washington, Spotlighting the UN Human Rights Council

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The United Nations Human Rights Council, the highest organ exclusively responsible for human rights in the world body, is now 10 years old. It recently received concentrated attention here in the United States capital. Such concerted focus would have been unthinkable more than a generation ago, when this writer was active in … Read more

Fixing UN Peacekeeping Operations: The World’s Most Complicated Army

It has been almost a year since a sweeping assessment of United Nations peacekeeping operations by experts recommended significant changes from top to bottom: a reformed hierarchy in New York and greater coordination and discipline among military contingents in ever-more dangerous missions around the world. Few of their substantive ideas have been adopted. As outrage … Read more

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