ONU

Alors que la 73e session annuelle de l’Assemblée générale des Nations unies (AGNU) s’est ouverte le 18 septembre dernier, il peut être instructif de se pencher sur les plus de 310 résolutions qui ont été adoptées lors de la précédente session, ceci du point de vue du vote des pays postsoviétiques*. Que nous indiquent-ils de leur évolution dans le système international?

L’exception du Turkménistan

Depuis 1991, les pays de l’espace postsoviétique évoluent différemment dans le système international. Un premier groupe d’Etats est plutôt proche de la Russie et participe à un nombre élevé d’institutions formées autour de celle-ci. A titre d’exemple, l’Union économique eurasiatique (UEEA) compte parmi ses Etats membres l’Arménie, la Biélorussie, le Kazakhstan, et le Kirghizistan.…  Seguir leyendo »

The headquarters of Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in The Hague. Photo: Getty Images.

The recent revelations about the cyberattacks conducted by Russian military intelligence (GRU) in several countries did not come as a surprise. The UK and its allies have been calling for public attribution of cyberattacks coupled with, when appropriate, a series of diplomatic and economic responses, and even retaliation-in-kind. The thinking behind this is that attribution, coupled with sanctions initiated by a united front of like-minded states, could create a deterring effect.

However, these revelations also play into wrangling over cyber regulation at the UN level. Russia is planning to submit two UN resolutions later this month, one on a code of conduct to regulate states behaviour in cyberspace and one on a new UN cybercrime convention.…  Seguir leyendo »

As world leaders have been gathering in New York for the annual U.N. General Assembly, the memory of the late Kofi Annan looms large in our minds. Despite Annan’s achievement in breaking the glass ceiling for black Africans and becoming the first black African to become the secretary general of the United Nations, more than a billion of us in sub-Saharan Africa are still struggling to get our voices heard internationally.

The United Nations was designed for a different world, born as it was in the aftermath of World War II when colonial empires still dominated much of the globe. Sadly, although the world has moved on, the United Nations’ governance has not.…  Seguir leyendo »

El nuevo contrato social para hacer frente a los tremendos desajustes que ha traído la globalización, que tenga a todas las personas en el centro de su acción sin dejar a nadie atrás y que, además, nos ponga en la senda de salvar al planeta, ya está diseñado. Existe y tiene nombre. Sus objetivos y metas están pactados y son muchos los Gobiernos, líderes económicos y destacados activistas de la sociedad civil que están decididos a que se cumpla. Nadie discute la urgencia ¿Qué requerimos para que se hagan realidad? Voluntad, energía y determinación. Trabajo sin pausa hasta 2030. El plan está tan pautado, vigilado y trabado, que no tiene escapatoria de cumplimento una vez asumido.…  Seguir leyendo »

Era el otoño de 2001, en algún momento entre los atentados terroristas del 11 de septiembre en Estados Unidos y la invasión de Afganistán por parte del presidente norteamericano George W. Bush. Yo estaba caminando por Venecia con Richard C. Holbrooke, que había sido embajador de Estados Unidos ante las Naciones Unidas en la presidencia de Bill Clinton. El celular de Holbrooke sonó. Del otro lado de la línea estaba el entonces secretario general de las Naciones Unidas Kofi Annan.

Holbrooke esperaba la llamada. Él y Annan hablaron con la confianza cálida nacida de su cooperación durante el segundo mandato de Clinton.…  Seguir leyendo »

In the summer of 2004, I traveled to Sudan with Kofi Annan, the secretary general of the United Nations. Mr. Annan, who died Saturday at age 80, was hoping to put an end to the genocidal violence that the Sudanese president, Omar Bashir, had launched against the people of Darfur. I watched Mr. Annan sit quietly in a blazing hot shed while a local government official blamed the violence on the Darfuris themselves, handing the secretary general a list of alleged rebel atrocities and complaining bitterly about the role of the United Nations in taking their side. Only when he had finished did Mr.…  Seguir leyendo »

Srebrenica es recordado como un enclave en Bosnia-Herzegovina donde, a partir del 11 de julio de 1995, se cometió el mayor genocidio acontecido en Europa después de la Segunda Guerra Mundial, cuando en un par de días fuerzas serbias masacraron a cerca de 8.000 musulmanes bosnios.

A pesar de haber transcurrido 23 años de estos hechos, solo se habla de los principales criminales responsables, Slobodan Milosevic, el general Ratko Mladic y Radovan Karadzic, pero poco o nada de la enorme responsabilidad de la comunidad internacional en este abominable crimen cometido en la Europa de Maastricht .

Indiferencia , prejuicios anti musulmanes y hasta complicidades de algunos de los principales países, y hasta del entonces secretario general de las Naciones Unidas Boutros Ghali, se sumaron para no detener semejante tragedia.…  Seguir leyendo »

July 2016 – Malakal, South Sudan – A U.N. peacekeeper stands guard as civilians enter the Protection of Civilians (POC) site outside the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) compound in Malakal, South Sudan on Wednesday, July 13, 2016.(Jane Hahn for Washington Post)

Syria’s seven years of conflict have had devastating consequences, with hundreds of thousands of people dead and over 4 million refugees. Would the story be different if the United Nations Security Council had managed to come to an agreement and deployed a peacekeeping operation (PKO) early in the conflict?

Would a PKO have been able to resolve this conflict? Despite popular conceptions to the contrary (see also here and here), a large body of research has shown that PKOs are surprisingly effective at keeping the peace.

How PKOs contribute to peace

Here are four ways PKOs contribute to peace. This intervention reduces the amount of violence during conflict, reduces the duration of conflict, increases the duration of peace following conflict — and limits the risk that conflict in one country spreads to neighboring countries.…  Seguir leyendo »

U.N. peacekeepers from Rwanda serve at a U.N. base in Malakal, South Sudan, in 2016. (Jane Hahn for The Washington Post)

Over the past 20 years, U.N. peacekeeping deployments have increased by more than 600 percent. Currently, the United Nations manages 14 peacekeeping operations worldwide, staffed by more than 95,000 military personnel, police, civilians and volunteers.

For almost all of these, a common mandate is to protect civilians — which is important not just in immediately saving lives, but also in sustaining peace over the long run. Recent academic research has focused on how well peacekeepers do at reducing conflicts’ virulence and spread.

But do armed peacekeepers actually protect civilians from harm? That’s been debated lately. A recent report, delivered to U.N.…  Seguir leyendo »

Decía Churchill que era siempre mejor «hablar y hablar que disparar y disparar». Se refería con ello a los relativos méritos que concedía a las entonces recién creadas Naciones Unidas y a otras instituciones internacionales de la familia. Mi buen y admirado amigo y colega, el embajador Inocencio Arias, piensa por el contrario que la ONU es un «cachondeo», castiza expresión a la que da amplio recorrido en un artículo recientemente publicado en estas páginas y en el que procede a una cuasi total y radical desautorización del organismo internacional. Para ello fundamentalmente se basa en un dato suficientemente conocido: el derecho de veto de los cinco miembros permanentes del Consejo de Seguridad –Estados Unidos, Rusia, China, Francia y Reino Unido– les autoriza a campar ampliamente por sus respetos en temas que estiman afectan directamente a sus intereses nacionales.…  Seguir leyendo »

¿Son las Naciones Unidas la organización más antidemocratica del planeta? Sí, sí, yes, yes, oui, oui, da, da. Sin ninguna duda, como prueba fehacientemente el drama sirio en estas fechas. Una nación –repito, una sola; en este caso el villano es Rusia– puede paralizar cualquier intento de la comunidad internacional de tratar de pacificar ese país y detener la pavorosa sangría de muertos (¿400.000?) y desplazados o exilados (5.000.000). Aunque la mayoría del planeta, a veces la inmensa mayoría, quiera actuar y poner coto.

La Carta de la ONU, su constitución, es una auténtica monstruosidad jurídica si nos ceñimos a criterios mínimamente democráticos.…  Seguir leyendo »

 

Since late November—when the International Criminal Court’s Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, announced that she would seek permission to open an investigation into the situation in Afghanistan that includes allegations against U.S. personnel—the United States and the ICC have been on a slow motion collision course.  But it’s still not clear whether that collision will happen.  Both parties have good reason to maneuver past each other and some means to do it.  The stakes are high for the court, and how these maneuvers unfold could have a profound impact on its future work.

Why Washington should not want a collision with the ICC

As I described in November, and John Bellinger more recently detailed, the George W.…  Seguir leyendo »

La tragédie syrienne sera-t-elle le tombeau des Nations unies ? Après la tragédie d’Alep, celle de la Ghouta orientale pose la même question assortie de deux nouvelles interrogations : la première sur la capacité du Conseil à faire respecter ses propres résolutions ; la seconde, brûlante, sur le contrôle des armes chimiques.

Face à la Ghouta orientale, le Conseil a montré qu’il n’est désormais plus bloqué en raison du droit de veto de l’un au moins de ses cinq membres permanents, comme cela avait été le cas à Alep. Mais il est désormais impotent, et le spectre de la faillite de la Société des nations rôde plus que jamais.…  Seguir leyendo »

A U.N. peacekeeper stands guard as civilians enter the Protection of Civilians (POC) site outside the United Nations Mission in South Sudan compound in Malakal, South Sudan, on July 13, 2016. (Jane Hahn for The Washington Post)

The year 2018 marks the 70th year of U.N. peacekeeping. Against the backdrop of ongoing and intense violence in places such as Syria and Congo, what happens next for this form of conflict intervention?

Various proposals are on the table in the lead-up to an overhaul of the United Nations peace and security architecture by 2020. The splashiest scheme, announced recently in a report to the U.N. secretary general, recommends that U.N. peacekeeping “troops should use overwhelming force and be proactive and preemptive” as a way to safeguard the safety and security of U.N. troops. This report, spearheaded by retired Lt.…  Seguir leyendo »

Cuando se fundaron las Naciones Unidas, sus metas principales, como declarara en preámbulo de su Carta, incluían salvar a las generaciones futuras del “flagelo de la guerra” y reafirmar “la fe en los derechos humanos fundamentales”. Desde entonces han pasado más de 70 años, y el mundo tiene más armas que nunca (y más avanzadas) y abundan los conflictos armados que provocan muertes en gran escala y causan sufrimiento tanto a combatientes como civiles.

Entre los conflictos más candentes se encuentra el de Siria, que según fuentes de las Naciones Unidas ha dejado unos 500.000 muertos y heridos, y ha desplazado a millones.…  Seguir leyendo »

A refugee from South Sudan has their biometrics registered at a refugee camp in Uganda. Photo: Getty Images.

‘Protecting children on the move starts with better data.’ Those are the words of a statement recently released by UNICEF. It goes on to say that ‘reliable, timely and accessible data are essential for understanding how migration and forcible displacement affect children and their families and for putting in place policies and programmes to meet their needs’.

UNICEF is not alone in reaching such conclusions about the importance of data. In 2015, the International Organization for Migration opened a Global Migration Data Analysis Centre, with the purpose of ‘delivering real-life benefits for migrants and governments’. In October last year, UNHCR and the World Bank announced that they were establishing a join data centre which will ‘greatly improve statistics on refugees’ and ‘enable a better informed and more sustainable response to forced displacement’.…  Seguir leyendo »

The remains of what the United States said was an Iranian rocket’s Qiam guidance component on display in Washington in December. Credit Cliff Owen/Associated Press

Last week, the United Nations published a report with news a lot of people don’t want to hear. A panel of experts found that Iran is violating a United Nations weapons embargo — specifically, that missiles fired by Yemen’s Houthi rebels into Saudi Arabia last year were made in Iran.

The mullahs in Iran don’t want to hear this news, because it proves Iran is violating its international agreement. Die-hard defenders of the Iran nuclear deal don’t want to hear it because it proves, once again, that the Iranian regime can’t be trusted. And some members of the United Nations don’t want to hear it because it is further proof that Iran is defying Security Council resolutions, and the pressure will be on the U.N.…  Seguir leyendo »

Delegates listen while United Nations special rapporteur on the human rights situation in the Palestinian territories presents his final report before the UN Human Rights Council on March 24, 2014 in Geneva. The UN Human Rights Council today hears the latest report on the rights situation in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)

The Trump administration struck a blow to yet another multilateral institution this month when it slashed funding to the U.N. Relief and Works Agency. UNRWA is not a perfect institution, but it has provided critical humanitarian services, including healthcare and education, to Palestinian refugees since 1950. What will be next on the chopping block? We fear it may be the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva.

After all, Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., has placed caustic criticism of the council near the center of the U.S. government’s current U.N. policy. Even before it withdrew from the U.N. Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, turned its back on the U.N.…  Seguir leyendo »

Newly arrived Rohingya refugees wait to enter a refugee camp in Bangladesh, January 2018. Photograph: Manish Swarup/AP

The UN human rights chief, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, recently announced he would not be seeking a second term in office. “To do so, in the current geopolitical context, might involve bending a knee in supplication… lessening the independence and integrity of my voice,” he explained.

His vivid words implied that human rights advocacy has become untenable and this statement of resignation – from a highly respected and effective voice – is a tragic indictment of the current state of play. Consider, for a start, the Trump administration’s record, including attempts to ban Muslim travel and exclude transgender people from the military, and how it highlights a UN system now deprived of an important historical champion.…  Seguir leyendo »

Large numbers of migrants transit through the city of Zakany in Hungary on their way to seek work in Germany and other European nations in 2015. | GETTY IMAGES

Managing migration is one of the most profound challenges for international cooperation in our time.

Migration powers economic growth, reduces inequalities and connects diverse societies. Yet it is also a source of political tensions and human tragedies. The majority of migrants live and work legally. But a desperate minority are putting their lives at risk to enter countries where they face suspicion and abuse.

Demographic pressures and the impact of climate change on vulnerable societies are likely to drive further migration in the years ahead. As a global community, we face a choice. Do we want migration to be a source of prosperity and international solidarity, or a byword for inhumanity and social friction?…  Seguir leyendo »