• US-UN relations

    From Rice to Power at the United Nations

    by  • August 1, 2013 • Human Rights, Security Council, US-UN Relations, WORLDVIEWS • 1 Comment

    Samantha Power

    President Obama’s choice of Samantha Power to become the next United States ambassador to the United Nations and her recent confirmation by the Senate sends a strong, positive signal to all human-rights defenders. “As one of our country’s leading foreign policy thinkers, Samantha knows that our nation’s interests are advanced with strong and principled American [...]

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    America and the West Should Invest More in the UN, Not Less

    by  • July 27, 2013 • Development, UN Agencies, US-UN Relations • 

    PAHO antimalaria campaign, Paraguay

    Institutions of global governance are weak by design not default. As Singapore’s permanent representative in New York, I encountered senior members of the American establishment who lamented the United Nations’ poor condition. The explanation was the domination by the poor and weak states of Africa and Asia and the poor quality of its bureaucrats. To [...]

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    The Masterminds Behind Security Council Resolutions

    by  • March 14, 2013 • Africa, Peace and Security, Security Council, US-UN Relations • 7 Comments

    Security Council Meeting on the situation in Cyprus

    The United Nations Security Council bases its resolutions on agenda items as varied as the renewal of a peacekeeping force mandate in Haiti to responding to a missile launching in North Korea. With resolutions’ language often dense legalese that recalls, recognizes, emphasizes, demands and, at times, condemns and deplores the issue at hand, the style [...]

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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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    The Human Rights Council Gets More Respect

    by  • September 14, 2012 • BOOKS

    Migrants locked up in a camp in Libya.

    The visibility of human-rights violations by the Syrian government amid the current turmoil owes much to the United Nations, particularly to its Independent International Commission of Inquiry, led by Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, a Brazilian lawyer, public official and professor.  Such commissions are part of a growing number of tools used by the UN to promote [...]

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    Tough Love Time for the UN

    by  • September 3, 2012 • Secretary-General, US-UN Relations • 1 Comment

    A woman wades through flood waters as she works to save her possessions from her flooded home. Tropical storm Isaac passed across Haiti overnight with high winds and heavy rains, flooding low lying areas of the capital Port au Prince and flattening camps for displaced people from the January 2010 earthquake. Photo Logan Abassi UN/MINUSTAH

    Even though Ban Ki-moon just began his second five-year term this year as United Nations secretary-general, names are already surfacing as to his possible replacement when his term is up. Technically, Ban could be appointed a third term, but no secretary-general so far has held three. Most UN academic experts who were surveyed for a [...]

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    The Unesco-US Relationship: It’s Complicated

    by  • August 20, 2012 • US-UN Relations, WORLDVIEWS • 3 Comments

    Prague's Vlata River.

    When it comes to mysteries, the United States’ decision to rejoin Unesco in 2002 under a Republican administration and after nearly two decades’ absence remains puzzling, but it appears the move can be traced to Hollywood. Unesco (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) has always borne the brunt of criticism from US politicians. Allegations [...]

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    The US-UN Dance Recovers Its Balance

    by  • June 4, 2012 • US-UN Relations, WORLDVIEWS • 5 Comments

    Susan Rice

    CANBERRA — The United Nations is located at the cross-section of Interdependence Avenue and Multilateral Cooperation Street in Manhattan. But its destiny lies at the intersection of Indifference Avenue and Hostility Street in Washington. That was the case, at least, under the George W. Bush administration through the mode of John Bolton, the United States [...]

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