• Syria


    Five New Security Council Members, Many New Agendas

    by  • November 3, 2012 • Security Council • 1 Comment

    UN General Assembly elects nonpermanent Security Council members

    As the five newly elected United Nations Security Council members prep for their seats, what will their work look like when they take office Jan. 1 for two years? It’s impossible to predict how the winners – Argentina, Australia, Luxembourg, South Korea and Rwanda – will fill their nonpermanent seats among Britain, China, France, Russia [...]

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    Kofi Annan: Lessons in Futility

    by  • October 24, 2012 • BOOKS, Secretary-General, US-UN Relations • 5 Comments

    Kofi Annan

      Kofi Annan‘s existential crisis during his decade as United Nations secretary-general was without question related to the US-led invasion of Iraq. But the most fascinating part of his new memoir, “Interventions: A Life in War and Peace,” is the account of his numerous attempts to nudge the world toward a Middle East peace deal. [...]

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    Ban Ki-moon Invokes Strong Words for Iran, Syria and the Nonaligned

    by  • August 30, 2012 • Middle East, Secretary-General • 3 Comments

    Ban Ki-moon meets with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Iran.

    Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, speaking on Aug. 30 to the 120-member Nonaligned Movement meeting in Tehran, took a swing at his hosts, saying that denying the Holocaust and threatening Israel’s existence is racist and undermines the values of the United Nations. “We must prevent conflict between all UN member states,” he said, without naming Iran. “And [...]

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    Annan Assembles a Veteran Team for Syria

    by  • March 22, 2012 • GOINGS-ON • 4 Comments


    Kofi Annan, with the Security Council now fully behind his mediation mission in Syria, has gathered a group of experienced former United Nations officials and diplomats to work with him as he seeks the end of hostilities and, ultimately, a political settlement in Damascus. The latest addition to the former secretary-general’s team is Jean-Marie Guéhenno, [...]

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    Security Council Vents Frustration Over Syria Crisis

    by  • March 1, 2012 • Middle East, Security Council • 3 Comments

    British ambassador to the UN

    In a voice of rare unanimity on the situation in Syria, the 15-member UN Security Council conveyed its “deep disappointment” that Valerie Amos, United Nations under secretary-general for humanitarian affairs, was turned down by the government to enter the country to assess the humanitarian crisis. The press statement was read by Mark Lyall Grant, the [...]

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    General Assembly Condemns Syria in a Strong Vote

    by  • February 16, 2012 • General Assembly, Middle East, Peace and Security • 7 Comments

    Syrian resolution

    The General Assembly overwhelmingly supported a resolution condemning the relentless “widespread and systematic” human-rights violations committed by Syrian officials and demanded that the government stop all violence and protect its people. The resolution, though not enforceable, also called on Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad, to cede office to a vice president and begin negotiations to form [...]

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    Human Rights Chief Calls for More Action in Syria

    by  • December 5, 2011 • Human Rights, Middle East, Peace and Security • 2 Comments

    Voting for a resolution on Syria in a special session at the Human Rights Council on Dec. 2, 2011.  JEAN-MARC FERRE/UN PHOTO

    As violence continues unabated in Syria despite tough economic and travel sanctions from such big players as the Arab League, the European Union, Turkey and the United States, the head of the UN’s high commissioner for human rights has spoken out by calling for international intervention to protect civilians against government attacks. Navi Pillay, the [...]

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    A Man for the Moment in the Middle East

    by  • November 15, 2011 • Libya, Middle East • 2 Comments

    Nabil Elaraby, left, secretary-general of the Arab League, with UN Secretary-General Ban ki-moon at a Paris conference in support of the new Libyan government last spring.

    Nabil Elaraby is a name to remember as crisis builds in Syria and citizens in other countries in the Arab world worry about where their hard-won revolutions are taking them. Elaraby, a 76-year-old Egyptian diplomat, is secretary-general of the Arab League, a position he has held for less than five months. But his impact on [...]

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