The Syrian war, currently overshadowed by its offshoot in Iraq, remains a ruinous blight on international diplomacy. Nearly half a year after the furiously hyped but fundamentally hopeless peace talks between the government and moderate rebels in Geneva, no end to the fighting is in sight.

Read the full World Politics Review article Syria’s Chemical Arms Destroyed, but Aid Effort Unravels

Jul 07, 2014
Richard Gowan
Middle East, Syria

The UN security council has voted unanimously to authorise deliveries of humanitarian aid to rebel-held areas of Syria, without the approval of the Damascus regime, in a rare show of international unity that diplomats say will help get food to 1.3 million people trapped behind the lines.

Read the full Guardian article UN security council votes to deliver aid to rebel-held areas of Syria

Jul 14, 2014
Richard Gowan
Middle East, Syria

Eighteen months into their two-year term on the Security Council, Australia’s diplomats at the UN have become masters of crisis management. For more than a year they have played a major role in talks on humanitarian aid to Syria, forging a fragile consensus with Russia and China on the need to assist the suffering.

Read the full Sydney Morning Herald article Australia's battle at the UN

Jun 10, 2014
Richard Gowan
Europe, Middle East, Syria, South Asia
United Nations

Last October, with security concerns in Libya mounting, the United Nations dispatched a high-level delegation to Tripoli to determine whether U.N. staff could function safely in a country beset by Islamist extremists and renegade militias that had killed America's top envoy, attacked foreign embassies, raided the country's oil resources, and temporarily abducted both the Jordanian ambassador and the former Libyan prime minister.

May 29, 2014
Richard Gowan
Middle East, Libya

On February 22, 2014, the United Nations Security Council did something that they haven't done since September 2013 on the Syria file: They agreed to come together and pass a resolution.

Read the full Huffington Post article Time to Enforce the Security Council's Syria Resolution

May 28, 2014
Richard Gowan
Middle East, Syria

Après presque deux ans d'efforts, Lakhdar Brahimi jette l'éponge. Dans les couloirs de l'Organisation des Nations unies (ONU), où sa démission était régulièrement annoncée, son départ ne surprend personne.

Lit l'article entier de Le Monde Lakhdar Brahimi, le médiateur de l'ONU en Syrie, jette l'éponge.

May 14, 2014
Richard Gowan
Middle East, Syria

The paper Fueling a New Order? The New Geopolitical and Security Consequences of Energy examines impacts of the major transformation in international energy markets that has begun. The United States is poised to overtake Saudi Arabia and Russia as the world’s largest oil producer and, combined with new developments in natural gas, is on track to become the dominant player in global energy markets. Meanwhile, China is in place to surpass the United States in its scale of oil imports, and has already edged out the U.S. in carbon emissions.

Apr 15, 2014
Bruce Jones, David Steven, Emily O'Brien

The United States said on Friday it would not grant a visa to Iran's proposed U.N. ambassador, citing the envoy's links to the 1979-1981 hostage crisis, in a rare step that raises questions about how much influence the White House can wield over the world body.

Read the full Reuters article here.

Apr 11, 2014
Richard Gowan
Middle East, United States
United Nations

On March 11-12, 2014, CIC and the Chinese Institute of International Studies (CIIS) co-hosted two trilateral discussions, the US-China-Afghanistan Dialogue and the US-China-Pakistan Dialogue. CIC Director Dr. Barnett Rubin and CIIS's Qu Xing and Dong Manyuan chaired the event, which brought together a group of nearly 30 scholars, US officials, and former officials from the four countries for candid, in-depth discussions on approaches to the upcoming transition in Afghanistan.

Mar 11, 2014
Barnett Rubin
China, Central Asia, Middle East

Russia agrees to a UN resolution on Syria.

Read the full Le Monde article here

Feb 23, 2014
Richard Gowan
Europe, Middle East, Syria

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