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100 countries at UN rebuff Russia on Crimea; See below who backed Moscow

A monitor displayed the vote in the General Assembly on March 27. [CLICK ON IMAGE TO ZOOM] / NPR

John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — In a resounding rebuff to Russia, the UN General Assembly has reaffirmed Ukraine’s territorial integrity and has characterized the recent referendum which incorporated the Crimean peninsula into Russia as “invalid.” While President Vladimir Putin signed a treaty joining Crimea with Russia, the Kiev government has committed itself never to [...]

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UN swamped by a ‘Perfect Storm’ of humanitarian disasters


John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — Faced with the ongoing civil war in Syria, the natural disaster in the Philippines, and a spreading civil conflict in the Central African Republic, the UN humanitarian agencies are confronting a near perfect storm of political and natural disasters. Add the continuing needs from earlier trouble spots such as [...]

Posted in Africa / Europe,BB Columnists,Central African Republic,Columnists,COMMENTARY,Exclusives,John Metzler,Life,Mideast,NE Asia,Newsletter,Philippines,Syria,Top Stories,United Nations,World Links | Read More »

As Putin’s global popularity soars, Georgia’s outgoing president warns of a new ‘Soviet Union’

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili.  /AFP/Stan Honda

Special to By Aaron Kovac Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has been notorious for his criticism of Vladimir Putin’s Russia. As he prepares to leave office at the end of his term this month, many wonder whether his successor will prove to be as aggressive in standing up to Georgia’s “Big Brother”. It would be [...]

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Drones seen going where peackeepers can’t to monitor Sudan border

UN envoy to South Sudan Hilde Johnson.  /UN Photo/Tim McKulka

Special to WASHINGTON — The United Nations has been urged to procure unmanned aerial vehicles to monitor the disputed border area between Sudan and South Sudan. UN special envoy to South Sudan Hilde Johnson said UAVs could help help international peacekeepers monitor the Sudanese border. Ms. Johnson told the Security Council that UN and [...]

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Into the breach: UN peacekeepers mostly succeed in a dangerous game

UN peacekeeper soldiers at training ceremony in Lima Peru on Dec. 22, 2008.  /Karel Navarro/AP

John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — Peacekeeping is fraught with risk, but it is also filled with promise, stated UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. “Our Blue Helmets bring hope to millions of people in some of the most troubled parts of the world,” advised the Secretary General in a somber ceremony honoring fallen peacekeeping troops, [...]

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U.S.-Morocco crisis: Major exercise canceled over W. Sahara

Special to CAIRO — Morocco and the United States have been plunged into a crisis that led to the cancellation of a major military exercise. Diplomats said Rabat and Washington underwent a sharp decline in diplomatic and military relations when the United States supported a Security Council effort to expand the authority of a [...]

Posted in Africa / Europe,Exclusives,Morocco,Newsletter,Stateside,Top Stories,U.S. Military,United Nations | Read More »

UN survey cites rise of the Global South

Brazil's economy is now bigger than Great Britain's.  /Felipe Dana/AP

John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — “The rise of the South is unprecedented in its speed and scale…when dozens of countries and billions of people move up the development ladder as they are doing today, it has a direct impact on wealth creation and broader human progress,” cites the glowing introduction to the UN Development [...]

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Who’s paying and not paying their fair share at the UN?


John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — It’s long been an economic truism that the United States pays the lions share of the UN budget. Moreover the European Union (EU) countries contribute the largest bloc of dues of the 193 member organization. Well, there’s good and bad news. The USA’s budget assessment is no longer as [...]

Posted in Africa / Europe,Columnists,COMMENTARY,Exclusives,Japan,John Metzler,Life,NE Asia,Newsletter,Stateside,Top Stories,U.S. Politics,United Nations,United Nations | Read More »

Will ignoring West Africa’s drug hub curse world with another Somalia?

Soldiers in the Guinea-Bissau capital, Bissau, on Oct. 21.  /AFP/Getty Images

John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — It should come as no surprise that a country haunted by the aftermath of civil war, challenged by military coups, mired in corruption, and facing the undertow of poverty would be a prime candidate for drug smuggling. Add a geographic location on the nexus of transportation routes, but off [...]

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Terror crisis in Mali, desecration in Timbuktu and the suppression of millions: World shrugs

Senegalese and Malian soldiers train with U.S. special forces.  /U.S. Army Africa

John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — Regions of a vast landlocked country, remote but strategic, has fallen under the control of Al Qaida terrorists and fundamentalist forces. Hundreds of thousands of people have fled a regime which persecutes women, imposes stringent Sharia law, and desecrates and destroys ancient towns and even mosques. The outside world [...]

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