President Barack Obama will meet with Sam Kutesa, the controversial Ugandan diplomat serving as president of the United Nations General Assembly, on Wednesday in a move that is sure to frustrate rights activists who say Kutesa's support for virulently anti-gay legislation makes him unfit to lead the world's parliament.

Sep 23, 2014
Richard Gowan
Sub-Saharan Africa
United Nations

Reports on Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Nigeria released in July 2014 at the Open Society Institute in New York reveal failures in human rights vetting for soldiers in countries that contribute to UN peacekeeping operations.

Read the full IRIN article Is the UN peacekeeper selection process flawed?

Jul 29, 2014
Richard Gowan
South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa

After a marathon negotiation session, the Open Working Group (OWG) on the Sustainable Development Goals finalized its outcome document.

In West Africa, civil wars have receded, democracy has gained ground and economies are growing. But a destructive new threat is jeopardizing this progress: with local collusion, international drug cartels are undermining our countries and communities, and devastating lives.

Jun 18, 2014
Camino Kavanagh

Over the past six months, United Nations peacekeeping has come closer to catastrophe than at any time since the Rwandan genocide and Srebrenica massacre. The UN mission in South Sudan was caught off-guard when the country imploded last December. The crisis has claimed at least 10,000 lives. More then a million civilians have fled their homes, with 80,000 sheltering in UN compounds 

Read the full Chatham House article UN Peacekeepers: Not perfect but just good enough

Jun 06, 2014
Richard Gowan

Member states are increasingly looking to 2015 as a milestone for progress on United Nations Security Council reform. 2015 marks the seventieth anniversary of the UN, fifty years since the implementation of the last (and only) Council enlargement, and ten years since the 2005 World Summit. This paper provides an overview of the current context, an explanation of global perspectives on UNSC reform, and analysis of discussions on UNSC reform in and around the African Union.

May 15, 2014
Richard Gowan, Nora Gordon
United Nations
Africa,United Nations, Security Council Reform,Nora Gordon

© Nora Gordon

After nearly a decade Africa has decided to revisit its common position on United Nations Security Council (UNSC) reform at a summit in Brazzaville, Congo this week. In 2005, Africa established a united position on UN reform in the Ezulwini Consensus.

May 15, 2014
Nora Gordon
United Nations

The UN Security Council has approved the deployment of nearly 12,000 peacekeepers to the Central African Republic (CAR). Thousands there have been killed and about a million people (a quater of the population) are in the need of aid.  

Listen to the full BBC interview here.  The CAR discussion with Richard Gowan begins at the 34:18 mark.

Apr 11, 2014
Richard Gowan

The UN is being urged to investigate allegations that it failed to report on war crimes committed by the Sudanese government in Darfur. According to Foreign Policy magazine, UNAMID -- a joint United Nations, African Union mission -- has omitted to send evidence of air raids to the UN Security Council. This is a serious claim because aerial bombardments are banned under a Security Council resolution.

Listen to the full Radio France International interview below:

Apr 09, 2014
Richard Gowan

In this commentary, Global Initiative Board Member, Camino Kavanagh who is based in Bamako, together with Prof. Stephen Ellis, renowned Africanist at the University of Leiden, raise some additional points to consider, including the extent of the narco-terrorist relationship, and the degree to which we as the international community could have seen the crisis coming.

Apr 09, 2014
Camino Kavanagh, Stephen Ellis
Sub-Saharan Africa

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