United Nations

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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.

Comment, Sept/Oct 2013
Jerry Patchell and Roger Hayter

To stop climate change, the international community should shift focus from setting targets countries can’t meet to compelling multinational corporations to act. The immense power wielded by a small number of companies might be just what is needed to save the planet.

Snapshot,
Suzanne Nossel

Samantha Power lacks the traditional biography and personality of a diplomat. But she could be the transformative UN ambassador that the United States needs.

Essay, Mar/Apr 2013
John W. McArthur

Since their inception in 2000, The Millennium Development Goals have revolutionized the global aid business, using specific targets to help mobilize and guide development efforts. They have encouraged world leaders to tackle multiple dimensions of poverty simultaneously and provided a standard for judging performance. As their 2015 expiration looms, the time has come to bank those successes and focus on what comes next.

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