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Syria Needs Cross-Border Aid. Washington Needs Focus.


The war in Syria continues to constitute one of the most complex contexts in the Middle East today, with few realistic policy solutions available to end the conflict. That said, the upcoming July 10 debate over the renewal of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2533 (UNSCR 2533) concerning cross-border humanitarian aid marks a flashpoint that […]

A Quest for Relevance: The United Nations’ Tryst with Youth


It was an ordinary Monday afternoon when some of my colleagues and I at the United Nations Women’s Headquarters in New York suddenly disappeared from our offices in unison. We rushed to a small conference room at lunch with determination in our pace and long lists of ideas and demands in our notepads. After many […]

Women in Peacekeeping: Moving from Numbers to Leadership


BY ESTHER BRITO In 1993, women represented only 1% of all UN uniformed personnel deployed in peacekeeping missions. In 2017, women peacekeepers remained at 4%, far from the UN target of 15%. The role of women in peacekeeping operations (PKOs)—not only as a matter of principle, but as a necessary condition for their success—has only […]

U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Timothy R. Koster

What’s in a deal anyway: Idlib DMZ violations harm peace process


The Idlib de-militarized zone (DMZ) deal is a powerful tool for advancing peace, but only if Turkey and Russia commit the resources to properly enforce it. The implementation of the Idlib DMZ holds powerful consequences for the ongoing Syrian constitutional committee and the broader peace process.

Are Global Goals Always Good? Reflections on the first anniversary of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals


BY GRANT TUDOR September 25 marks the first anniversary of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): a list of global ambitions for improving the state of things. The first is to “end poverty.” The goal’s various targets, which intend to elaborate on what exactly is meant by ending poverty, tell us that by 2030 all […]

Ban Ki-Moon Has Sparked a Diplomatic Crisis in Western Sahara


Ban Ki-Moon’s criticism of Morocco’s 40-year “occupation” of Western Sahara during his visit to the territory on March 8, 2016 has sparked the most serious crisis in the region in decades. Morocco denounced the Secretary General’s “biased” rhetoric, and “irreversibly” expelled U.N. peacekeepers stationed in Western Sahara. The U.N. Mission for the Referendum in Western […]


The 70th Anniversary of the United Nations: Lessons for Responding to the Neglected Syrian Civil War


BY ORGA CADET This week, more than 150 heads of state will convene at the UN’s headquarters in New York for the 70th session of the General Assembly. The theme? “The United Nations at 70: the road ahead for peace, security and human rights.” One of the session’s objectives is to “draw lessons from the […]

Preventing Unilateral Actions: How to Exercise Preemptive Self-defense within the Scope of International Law


BY YASIR GOKCE The United States has been employing preemptive self-defense as a justification for use of force as it carries out its war on terror. Preemptive use of force became a national security strategy under the Bush administration following the terrorist attacks of 9/11. As part of this strategy, there have been many instances […]

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