Diplomacy

“Nobody Wants Us”: The Alienated Civilians of Eastern Ukraine

With living conditions worsening, and crossfire still claiming casualties, people residing in eastern Ukraine’s conflict zone feel increasingly abandoned by the central government. ICG Reintegrating the area requires Russian withdrawal, but in the meantime Kyiv can and should better protect civilians and meet humanitarian needs. What’s new?  Ukrainians in Donbas, the country’s eastern conflict zone, are in their fifth year of a humanitarian crisis deepened by Russian intervention – and also by Ukrainian government policies. Many complain that their country ... Read More »

Arctic Options: Why America Should Invest in a Future with China

America needs to increase its engagement in the Arctic’s rapidly-changing geopolitical environment because inaction could lead to Washington losing future opportunities in the area. Alison McFarland The National Interest In August, the Arctic’s oldest and thickest sea ice broke up, releasing water on Greenland’s northern coast that typically remains frozen throughout the year. Occurring for the second time this year, the melting ice not only raises environmental concerns, but also brings the potential for geopolitical change. China presents a driving ... Read More »

Jeremy Hunt to Brussels: Don’t turn EU into ‘prison’

British foreign secretary says ‘it was the Soviet Union that stopped people leaving.’ Charlie Cooper Politico BIRMINGHAM, England — European leaders risk turning the EU into a “prison” that other countries will want to leave if Brussels punishes the U.K. with an uncompromising Brexit deal, U.K. Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said Sunday, comparing the… In a combative speech at the Conservative party’s annual conference in Birmingham, Hunt, addressing EU leaders directly, said rejecting Theresa May’s so-called Chequers plan for Brexit would ... Read More »

Australia must demand Myanmar war crimes tribunal, says investigator

The Morrison government should use its regional clout to demand a peacekeeping mission and war crimes tribunal in response to humanitarian crimes in Myanmar, says a top Australian investigator. Nick McKenzie & Nicole Precel The Age Michael Stefanovic, an Australian seconded to the US State Department’s Myanmar inquiry, said he was horrified by the evidence he had gathered. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is grappling whether to use the term genocide to describe the Myanmar military’s attack on members ... Read More »

Escalating Global Effort for Safe, Legal Abortion

A Day to Highlight Women’s Struggle Margaret Wurth HRW Today is International Safe Abortion Day. Today, and every day, women and girls in countries where access to abortion is heavily restricted, or banned, risk their lives trying to end unwanted pregnancies. But the fight around the world for access to safe and legal abortion is escalating. The day has particular significance this year for the United States, as the Senate Judiciary Committee considers the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the ... Read More »

Iraqi Kurdistan’s Regional Elections Test a Brittle Status Quo

The fallout continues to settle after Iraqi Kurdistan’s fraught independence referendum one year ago. Maria Fantappie ICG In this Q&A, our Iraq Senior Adviser Maria Fantappie surveys the political landscape ahead of the first regional legislative elections since the plebiscite. What’s at stake in the 30 September elections? Voters in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq will choose the 111 members of the Kurdistan National Assembly, in the fourth election since the body was founded in 1992 and the… At stake, ... Read More »

Costa Rica Launches Initiative on Environment and Human Rights

“For All Initiative” Promotes Gender Equality in Global Environmental Treaties Marcos Orellana HRW Today, Costa Rica will launch an initiative aiming to make gender equality and human rights integral components of global environmental agreements. Costa Rica’s Vice President Epsy Campbell Barr will launch the For All Initiative at the United Nations General Assembly’s high-level segment. The High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, and the Executive Director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, are expected to join the launch in New… ... Read More »

The German Government’s Shameful Kowtow Before Erdogan

In welcoming Turkey’s presidential dictator for a state visit, the EU’s largest member nation is exploring the limits of self-humiliation. A working visit would be quite enough. Benedict Neff The Globalist On September 28th and 29th, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will be honored by the German government with a state visit to Berlin. To give such an honor to a man who is relentlessly snuffing out the remaining elements of freedom in his own country is a big mistake. ... Read More »

‘MeToo must become WeToo’: Jacinda Ardern’s speech to UN rebuts Trump

New Zealand prime minister called for collective action and multilateralism in address that was applauded at the UN in New York Eleanor Ainge Roy The Guardian The prime minister of New Zealand has been met with thunderous applause at the UN for her speech espousing global cooperation and kindness from world leaders, in stark contrast to Donald Trump’s portentous rejection of globalism earlier in the week. Jacinda Ardern’s national statement was viewed by many commentators as a direct rebuttal to the US ... Read More »

China’s new world order ‘unrealistic’ if built on belt and road alone, senior US diplomatic observer says

Beijing cannot avoid dealing with the developed world if it wants to build a technologically advanced country. South China Morning Post It will not be realistic for China to build an alternative world order through its massive infrastructure investments overseas as other regional players do not want to take sides between Beijing and Washington, according to a… Miles Kahler, a senior fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations, said China’s infrastructure strategy – known as the “Belt and Road Initiative” ... Read More »

The ‘political cult’ opposing the Iranian regime which has created a state within a state in Albania

In Tirana, Borzou Daragahi meets defectors of the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran, a controversial group which has found itself the darling of Washington Independent An Iranian exile group that is a darling of Washington conservatives has set up what critics describe as “a state within a state” inside the tiny Balkan nation of Albania. From a well-guarded 84-acre (340,000 square metres, or 34 hectares) property it has forged on a hillside in the Albanian countryside, the group – called the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran, commonly ... Read More »

A Small Nation That Thinks It’s a World Power

Brexit emerged from its supporters’ nostalgia for a supposedly glorious past. Gary Younge The Nation “There are two kinds of European nations,” said Kristian Jensen, the Danish finance minister, last year. “There are small nations, and there are countries that have not yet realized they are small nations.” With Brexit, it’s become painfully obvious that the United Kingdom is among the latter. In their melancholic yearning for a time long past, those who ran the campaign to leave the European ... Read More »

Remarks by Donald Tusk to the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly

The European Union is fighting intensely to preserve the rules-based international order, which is currently under great strain, in terms of trade, security, climate change or human rights. Donald Tusk Voltaire We say this not only as countries strongly supporting the United Nations, but as a continent that cares deeply about respect, mutual understanding and solidarity between nations. As leaders, we must equip the United Nations with the means to fulfil its mandate successfully. More unity and collective action are ... Read More »

Brussels rolls out red carpet for Jeremy Corbyn

The Labour leader met with chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier and Secretary-General Martin Selmayr. By DAVID M. HERSZENHORN Politico It was the European Commission’s own vote of no-confidence in Theresa May. Top EU officials rolled out the red carpet for Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn on Thursday, welcoming May’s arch-rival to the Commission headquarters and giving him a platform at a… Corbyn, who has criticized May and her Conservative Party for mismanaging Brexit, has yet to unveil a credible departure plan of ... Read More »

South Sudanese doctor wins prestigious UN prize for lifetime spent tending to refugees

In the single functional hospital in war-ravaged South Sudan’s Upper Nile region, the only X-ray machine is broken, the sole surgical theatre is lit by a single light, and electricity is provided by generators that often break down. The World – By Holly Robertston ABC But a team of medical staff led by head surgeon Evan Atar Adaha works tirelessly to treat all those in need, regardless of their background, at Maban Referral Hospital, which serves more than 200,000 people. While ... Read More »

Comment: ‘People actually laughed at a president’: At U.N. speech, Trump suffers the fate he always feared

President Trump has long argued that the United States has been taken advantage of by other nations — a “laughing stock to the entire World” he said on Twitter in 2014 — and his political rise was countenanced on the… David Nakamura The Washington Post But at the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday, Trump got a comeuppance on the world’s biggest stage. Delivering a speech that aimed to establish U.S. “sovereignty” over the whims and needs of other nations, the… ... Read More »