Global Geopolitics

Storming of Capitol Hill Reminiscent of a Banana Republic

The storming of Capitol Hill in Washington DC by an unruly mob is reminiscent of an insurrection in a “banana republic” --as hilariously portrayed in the 1971 Woody Allen comedy “Bananas” spoofing a revolt in a fictional Latin American country.

Sir Brian Urquhart: Embodiment of the UN

Sir Brian Urquhart, who died on January 2 at the age of 101, served the United Nations in high posts for four decades, beginning in the organization’s earliest days.

The Night Arafat, Facing Death Threats, Slept in the UN Chief’s Office

The United Nations, which is commemorating its 75th anniversary, continues to remain bogged down in one of the world’s most politically and militarily volatile regions: the Middle East.

A UN Power Monopoly That Cries Out for a Break

Will four strong contenders for permanent seats in the UN Security Council (UNSC)-- Germany, India, Japan and Brazil—help break the monopoly now being held by the big five, namely the US, UK, France, China and Russia?

Biden’s Opportunity To End Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Recently I had an opportunity to brief a group of European diplomats and journalists on a variety of conflicts, with a focus on the Middle East. During the Q&A I was asked which of the region’s conflicts Biden should tackle first.

When Big Powers Clash, the UN’s Most Powerful Body Disappears

At the height of the Cold War back in the 1960s, a Peruvian diplomat, Dr. Victor Andres Belaunde, characterized the United Nations as a politically wobbly institution that survives only at the will-- and pleasure-- of the five big powers.

US Presidential Election Part 3: President Trump’s Legacy of Mismanagement of the Pandemic

Covid-19 is on track to be the deadliest and one of the most catastrophic epidemics since the 1918-1919 flu pandemic, which infected about 500 million people or one-third of the world’s population at the time. The number of deaths was estimated somewhere between 17 and 50 million, and possibly as high as 100 million worldwide.

Not all 74 million Trump Voters Can be Racists

Donald Trump will have to leave the White House in January. Although there will be a few skirmishes in the US courts in the coming weeks to sort out whether some votes were legitimate or not, the outcome won’t change.

A Potential Weapon Kills Over 1.5 Million Worldwide –Without a Single Shot Being Fired

The world’s major military powers exercise their dominance largely because of their massive weapons arsenals, including sophisticated fighter planes, drones, ballistic missiles, warships, battle tanks, heavy artillery—and nuclear weapons of mass destruction (WMDs).

The Unprecedented US Presidential Election and its Consequences

American democracy has survived a dangerous virus, and it has even come off the ventilator, but whether it will be restored to full health or will suffer for a long time (like a long Covid) from the negative effects of the virus of personality cult, chauvinism, populism, racism, militarism and, yes let’s say it, fascism, remains to be seen.

On the Back of the Pandemic, the Militarisation of Latin America is Gathering Momentum, Analysts Warn

During the Covid-19 pandemic, armed forces in Latin America have been taking on essential tasks: manufacturing protective equipment, delivering food and treating civilians in hospitals. In at least a dozen countries, soldiers have been deployed to enforce containment measures, often using brute force, on populations made up of largely poor informal workers.

The Silence of the International Community on Western Sahara

For my entire life, I have been forgotten. I am a Sahrawi refugee, born and raised in the Algerian desert, where my people have remained displaced for 45 years, awaiting the moment when we can finally return to our homeland, Western Sahara.

US Republican Party’s Soul in Danger as Trump Hijacks the GOP

What has happened to the Republican Party? Picking Donald Trump in 2016 as the Republican candidate, giving him victory in primary after primary and later tolerating his idiosyncrasies and unpredictably dangerous behaviour and policy decisions were bad enough however much one tries to digest them as vagaries of the democratic tradition.

The Armored Divisions of the European Union

An anecdote tells, never sufficiently confirmed, that in the hardest moments of the Second World War when Stalin was dictating his orders of battle to his subordinates, he was told that perhaps it would be advisable to consult with the Pope. The Soviet dictator replied: "And how many armored divisions does the Pope have?"

Trump’s “America First” Foreign Policy Faces an Unceremonious Burial

The ouster of Donald Trump from the US presidency last week may well be the dawn of a new era for multilateralism – and perhaps for a besieged United Nations— after nearly four years of misguided political rhetoric emerging from the White House.

How Did Trump Get this Far?

To believe that Biden's triumph is the end of the drama that has unfolded since January 2016 is an example of a mirage with fatal consequences. Pretending that those more than 70 million voters who have followed Trump to the end will disappear from the map on January 20 with the inauguration of Biden and Harris reveals a blindness to how much America has changed in recent generations.

UN at 75: Slow Death or a New Direction – Part 2

Kofi Annan’s Secretary-General-ship was a second honeymoon for the UN, coming six years after the fall of the Berlin Wall it was a moment of hope and alignment between the major powers of which he took ample advantage.

UN at 75: Slow Death or a New Direction – Part 1

Let me begin with an appeal to our venerable friend, the UN: get down on the ground with the grandchildren. Just having celebrated its 75th birthday, we can hear your knees creak! The UN, for as long as I have known it up close- since its thirties- has often seemed prematurely old.

Building Blocks for Nuclear Ban Treaty: NPT & Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) will become binding law for participating states on January 22, 2021. Entry into force was triggered on October 24, the date marking the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, when Honduras become the 50th state to ratify the TPNW, reaching the threshold set by the treaty.

US Groups Linked to COVID Conspiracies Pour Millions of ‘Dark Money’ into Latin America

Half a dozen US Christian right groups have poured millions of dollars into Latin America and have promoted misinformation about COVID-19 and other health and rights issues, openDemocracy can reveal today.

The Day After

For Europe, the region closest by culture and political tradition to the United States, the mood of the day after the presidential election may be very different from that assumed a priori depending on the verdict.

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