The Great Debate

How ambitious the world?

September 25, 2013

For more than a decade, the very idea of multilateralism often seemed to be on life support — damaged by the Iraq invasion and its messy aftermath, buffeted by the global economic crisis and bruised by the difficulty of coming to agreement on critical trade and climate issues in Doha and Rio, respectively. Now, the world’s attention is riveted on whether the United States and Russia’s agreement to avert the immediate crisis triggered by the use of chemical weapons in Syria can be effectively overseen by the United Nations Security Council.

For U.S.-Iran, it’s all in the timing

September 24, 2013

Four years after President Barack Obama famously extended his hand of friendship to Iran, Tehran finally seems willing to unclench its fist. The most decisive geopolitical handshake of this decade may take place today at the United Nations.

First chapter for ending extreme poverty

May 30, 2013

Children queue for free porridge at a local government feeding program in Tondo, Manila, Oct. 29, 2011. REUTERS/Erik De Castro

For Russia, Syria is not in the Middle East

May 20, 2013

Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with (clockwise, starting in top left.) U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, British Prime Minister David Cameron, next Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. REUTERS/FILES

from David Rohde:

A failure to lead at the U.N.

April 12, 2013

It is the world’s most important organization, yet remains one of the most dysfunctional.

Arms trade treaty may point a way forward for the U.N.

April 9, 2013

For years governments told us in meetings that an Arms Trade Treaty was a fanciful idea – merely a twinkle in our campaigning eye. But earlier this month an Arms Trade Treaty was adopted by an overwhelming majority at the United Nations General Assembly. Thanks to the democratic process, international law will for the first time regulate the $70 billion global arms trade.

Helping Iran safeguard its nuclear stockpile

April 4, 2013

Diplomats from six world powers  are due back in Kazakhstan on Friday for talks with Iran about its controversial nuclear program. From the hawkish “bomb-bomb-bomb-Iran” crowd to the “jaw-jaw-not-war-war” folks, there is no shortage of ideas about how to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue.

Why we must ratify world rights of disabled

December 3, 2012

It could happen to you. Whether from a car accident or an injury sustained in service, your life, your mobility and your perspective could be changed in an instant.

Mideast’s WMD ‘red line’ gauntlet

December 3, 2012

“Red lines” are all the rage this year. Even as the swirl of Middle East headlines focus on Gaza and Egyptian politics, the region remains under two “red lines.” If Iran and Syria, respectively, cross the nuclear and chemical weapons thresholds, it would generate a strong, if undefined, Israeli and American response.

Re-thinking U.S.-China relations

November 19, 2012

The United States and China have been searching for a new way to frame their relationship.  President Barack Obama’s trip this week to Southeast Asia, the focus of much U.S-Chinese tension, reminds us that with new leadership now set in both countries, it is time for them to carry on with that important task.