Tag: United Nations

Chronic Refugees: A Burden on Poor Countries

We are continually reminded of how wars result in mass human migrations: think only of Palestine, Syria, Myanmar, Afghanistan, Ukraine and Sudan. In general, poor neighbouring countries shoulder most of the burden of housing these refugees, while rich countries do little to take in their share. The result has been to create ‘chronic’ refugees in… Read more »

Exit UN, Enter the Wagner Group? The UN’s 10-year-old Mission in Mali is Ending

On 30 June, the UN Security Council had been expected to extend the mandate of the UN’s mission in Mali (MINUSMA) for a further year. On 16 June, however, the Malian foreign minister asked the UN to withdraw from the country.

Fear and Loathing in the UN Security Council

The war in Ukraine has changed the atmosphere and the dynamics within the UN Security Council. The five permanent members and veto powers of the Council distrust each other, and diplomats fear that the war will have long-lasting negative effects on other matters. How did Norway and the other elected members of the Security Council… Read more »

When Are Economic Sanctions Morally Justified?

In spite of widespread support for the sanctions against Russia after the invasion of Ukraine, international economic sanctions remain a controversial instrument in world politics. In this blog post, we discuss how the ethical criteria of just cause, proportionality, last resort and reasonable chance of success can help us think about the justice of sanctions.

Ukraine Food Export Agreement: Not Yet Delivering

The Russian invasion of Ukraine resulted in the reduction of Ukraine’s grain exports by a third. As part of its attack Russia had taken or damaged Ukrainian ports, threatened merchant ships, struck Ukraine’s rail and road infrastructure and destroyed farms. The Russian invasion was followed by rapid increases in global food prices which reached record… Read more »

The UN Security Council Takes Action

The Security Council has played an important function during the war in Ukraine. There is a general perception that the war in Ukraine has caused an existential crisis for the UN and paralyzed the UN Security Council. This perception is incorrect. On the contrary, the Security Council has shown itself to be proactive, flexible and… Read more »

Should We Abandon the UN Security Council as an Anchor for Women, Peace and Security? Personal Reflections from New York

To paraphrase Mark Twain, the reports of the UN Security Council’s death have been greatly exaggerated. That does not mean to say that the legitimacy crisis is not real nor that the long-term trajectory – escalated by the Russian invasion of Ukraine – might not be terminal. The consequences for states in weaker positions and… Read more »

Representation Is Not Enough: Women Briefing the UN Security Council

Inviting more women to brief the United Nations Security Council helps include them in decision-making on international peace and security. But despite progress, challenges remain. The Council must integrate recommendations from women’s voices into Council decisions. As the struggle over existing norms in multilateral systems has hardened, women’s rights have become a battleground in the… Read more »

Children Born of War Should be More Than an Afterthought

A recent UN report published by the Secretary General in late January is one of the first to focus exclusively on women and girls who become pregnant as a result of sexual violence in conflict and on children born of war. The term ‘children born of war’ refers to children born to civilians and enemy soldiers… Read more »