United Nations

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Snapshot,
Mohammad Ali Shabani

In a YouTube address last November, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif dropped Tehran’s usual mantra about Iran’s right to enrich and spoke instead of negotiating with dignity. The video went viral in Iran, and the sentiment behind it seems to be paying off in Geneva.

Snapshot,
Sarah E. Mendelson

With the MDGs coming to an end in 2015, the international community is now close to agreeing to what comes next. And here, there is some good news for those working to end trafficking. In several places, the draft goals explicitly and implicitly address combating human trafficking and ending modern slavery.

Snapshot,
Fran Quigley

A deadly 2010 outbreak of cholera in Haiti was quickly traced to a UN camp, but the UN has been slow to take responsibility. In response, Haitian lawyers and advocates have decided to sue the international organization for damages. They might not win their case, but their efforts could at least leave Haiti with a better-functioning legal system.

Essay, Jan/Feb 2014
Stewart Patrick

International cooperation is increasingly taking place outside formal institutions, as frustrated actors turn to informal groups and ad hoc venues. The resulting clutter may be unsightly, but it’s here to stay -- so the challenge is to make it work as well as possible.

Snapshot,
Bilal Y. Saab

A UN peacekeeping mission has kept the peace along the Israeli-Syrian border for 40 years. But the strain of war is crushing the force -- making it even likelier that the Syrian conflict will engulf the wider Middle East.

Snapshot,
Timothy William Waters

Despite protests from Libya, the ICC's decision to try Saif al-Islam, the son of the Libyan dictator Muammar al-Qaddafi, might seem to offer a chance for real justice. It doesn't.

Snapshot,
Betcy Jose

Much of the recent debate about Syria stressed the importance of preserving the taboo on chemical weapons, which were banned in part because they are difficult to control and can harm civilians who are not the intended targets. Yet it appears that the Assad regime purposefully targeted civilians and, by doing so, broke an even more important international norm.

Snapshot,
Mohsen Milani

It is difficult for Iran and the United States to know the other's true intentions. But there are two ways to find out. The first is to actually begin direct bilateral negotiations. The other is to work together at the Geneva II conference on Syria.

Snapshot,
Amy E. Smithson

In the coming days, the United Nations will have to translate the U.S.-Russian accord on Syrian weapons into an actionable plan. Here's how that plan could succeed -- or fail.

Snapshot,
Richard Price

The global horror at Syria's alleged use of chemical weapons means that, even short of of a strike, it would take a peculiar leader to judge that he could follow suit without risking sanctions, military attack, or loss of legitimacy and isolation. In other words, the world has already helped reinforce the taboo on chemical weapons, and it can continue to do so through other acts of condemnation.

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