• Security Council

    The Next UN Secretary-General: Views From UN Watchers

    by  • April 3, 2016 • General Assembly, Secretary-General, Security Council • 1 Comment
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    Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary-general, and Angela Merkel, Germany's chancellor, at a press conference in Berlin on March 8, 2016. EVAN SCHNEIDER/UN PHOTO

    The results of the latest FUNDS survey of global experts, conducted during the winter of 2015-16, contains clear messages about the next United Nations secretary-general: s/he should be a world leader with integrity and political courage who will prioritize UN reform; and the election process should be open and transparent. There is more room...

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    A New Plan to Recruit Candidates for UN Secretary-General Emerges

    by  • March 3, 2016 • General Assembly, Secretary-General, Security Council, Women's Issues • 2 Comments
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    António Guterres, ex-head of the UN refugee agency and Portuguese, has opened the way for candidates outside Eastern Europe to run for secretary-general. UNHCR

    For the first time in United Nations history, officially announced candidates for the secretary-general race, underway this year, will be interviewed publicly in the General Assembly along the lines of a standard democratic election. Mogens Lykketoft, the Assembly president and a Dane, is pushing the “unprecedented transparent process,” as he put it, in selecting...

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    Syrian Women’s Group Welcomes Its Country’s Long-Awaited Truce

    by  • February 27, 2016 • Security Council, Syria, Terrorism, Women's Issues • 
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    Staffan de Mistura, UN's special envoy for Syria, and Russia's representative at the UN in Geneva.

    As the first temporary truce in years has begun in Syria, the Syrian Women’s Advisory Board, a new entity organized by the United Nations, expressed hope that the long-awaited pause in the civil war would mean that “Syrians will wake up with the hope of resuming their lives among their families and loved ones...

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    As Syrian Peace Talks Take Shape, How Will Women Take Part?

    by  • December 26, 2015 • Gender-Based Violence, Middle East, Peace and Security, Security Council, Syria, Women's Issues • 1 Comment
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    Syrian women refugees at the Keleti train station in Budapest, Sept. 4, 2015. MSTYSLAV CHERNOV/CREATIVE COMMONS

    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...

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    At Vienna Talks on Syria’s Future, the UN Finds Several Roles to Play

    by  • November 15, 2015 • Middle East, Peace and Security, Refugees, Security Council, Terrorism • 
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    At the Nov. 14 talks on Syria at the Grand Hotel in Vienna, from left: John Kerry, US secretary of state; Staffan de Mistura, UN special envoy for Syria; Sergey Lavrov, Russian foreign minister. US STATE DEPT.

    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...

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    The UN’s Demands to Stop the Violence in Yemen Fall on Deaf Ears

    by  • October 26, 2015 • Human Rights, Humanitarian Aid, Middle East, Secretary-General, Security Council • 
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    Saudi led airstrike in Sana

    While the regional coalition led by Saudi Arabia continues its aerial bombardment against the Houthi rebels in Yemen, and as ground troops — from Bahrain, Sudan and United Arab Emirates — join the Saudis in the fray, the pain dealt to civilians, especially children, has been rising ever since the war began in March....

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    The Nuances Behind Russia’s Use of the Veto on the UN Security Council

    by  • September 6, 2015 • Security Council, US-UN Relations • 1 Comment
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    tktkt

    When Russia vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution in July that called for an international tribunal to prosecute who is responsible for the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine a year ago, it was the latest in a long string of vetoes exercised by the country as a permanent council member....

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    Among Security Council’s P5, China and Russia Spending More on Defense

    by  • June 29, 2015 • Peace and Security, Security Council • 
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    Wang Yi, right, foreign affairs minister; Liu Jieyi, China's ambassador to the UN, February 2015. DEVRA BERKOWITZ/UN PHOTO

    Among the five veto-holding permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, some of the most militarized nations in the world — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States — only China and Russia have increased their defense spending in the last year. Britain, France and the US have experienced stagnant military spending,...

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    UN Security Council and Troop Contributors Chided by Review Panel

    by  • June 18, 2015 • Peace and Security, Secretary-General, Security Council, UN Peacekeeping • 
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    A new report reviewing UN peacekeeping operations recommends smarter preventive steps to avoid superficial solutions. The peacekeeping mission in Ivory Coast, above, mourns Egyptian members killed in the line of duty, February 2015. ABDUL FATAI ADEGBOYE/UN PHOTO

    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...

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    More Questions Than Answers About Europe’s Plan to End Migrant Smuggling

    by  • May 11, 2015 • Africa, Human Rights, Human Trafficking, Security Council • 
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    A transit point for human smugglers in Agadez, Niger. JOE PENNEY/REUTERS

    Will the European Union go ahead and militarily dismantle migrant smugglers’ networks operating in Libya without authorization from the United Nations Security Council and resistance to the plan from Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary-general? Federica Mogherini, the head of foreign affairs and security of the European Commission and a former Italian foreign minister, made...

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