Mideast / S. Asia

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‘Kafkaesque’: UN Human Rights Council mirrors abusive global village

‘Kafkaesque’: UN Human Rights Council mirrors abusive global village

Special to WorldTribune.com By John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — In a riveting election for new members of the Human Rights Council, the General Assembly voted for 18 new members. Yet, given that all prospective candidates were unopposed, the perfunctory ballot simply selected a list of states where everyone won, including some notorious human rights […]

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UN speeches in review: Moralizing, demonizing and occasional common sense

UN speeches in review: Moralizing, demonizing and occasional common sense

By John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — In a week of speeches which swirled from the sublime to the ridiculous or were simply just boring, the recent UN General Assembly debate reached some notable exceptions. Among the sonorous drone of 193 addresses, either restating the obvious or repeating by rote the contemporary global mantra of […]

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UN session opening contrasts with last year’s N. Korean crisis

UN session opening contrasts with last year’s N. Korean crisis

By John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — Presidents, Prime Ministers, Kings and Potentates have converged in New York for the 73rd UN General Assembly. The annual rite of Autumn brings together world leaders from 193 member states to discuss and hopefully try to solve key global crises ranging from the wars in Syria and Yemen, […]

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UN peacekeeping; vital but tarnished tool

UN peacekeeping; vital but tarnished tool

By John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — One of the UN’s most vital, unsung, but necessary operations concerns its global peacekeeping missions. For more than sixty years, the UN “Blue helmets” have seen service from the Sinai to Cyprus and the Congo. In 1988, UN Peacekeeping won the Nobel Peace Prize. But in recent years […]

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Syrian endgame threatens new migrant surge

Syrian endgame threatens new migrant surge

By John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — After seven years of bitter fighting, twelve million civilians displaced, and more than a half million people killed, Syria’s relentless civil war may be coming to a dramatic conclusion. The final showdown seems set for the north-western province of Idlib, a rebel stronghold, where three million civilians are […]

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World turns blind eye to ‘world’s worst humanitarian’ crisis in China-backed Burma

World turns blind eye to ‘world’s worst humanitarian’ crisis in China-backed Burma

By John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — A “climate of fear and persecution” face Burma’s minority Rohingya population as a year of unrelenting human rights abuses and forced expulsions continue by the country’s Beijing-backed military rulers. As UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres told a stunned Security Council meeting, “The massive refugee emergency that began one […]

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Europe’s woes are much larger than the Donald

Europe’s woes are much larger than the Donald

By John J. Metzler PARIS — The American mainstream media template, dutifully reflected and jaded by most of the European press, paints a tempestuous picture of the relationship between our European partners and what is presented as a capricious and domineering Trump Administration. Rifts over NATO defense spending, the Iran nuclear deal, and trade and […]

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UN Security Council merry go round

UN Security Council merry go round

By John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — In its annual membership rotation, the UN General Assembly has chosen five new members; Belgium, Germany, Indonesia, Dominican Republic and South Africa, who will serve two-year stints on the powerful fifteen-member Security Council. The election, or more properly selection, is based both on geographical and regional representation as […]

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The overlooked Iranian people and a broken deal’s billion dollar questions

The overlooked Iranian people and a broken deal’s billion dollar questions

By John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — Just days after the global sigh of relief regarding the upcoming United States-North Korea Summit, world opinion swung back into bitter criticism over the Trump Administration’s announcement that it was scrapping America’s participation in the Iran Nuclear Deal, the penultimate diplomatic legacy of the Obama Administration. Indeed the […]

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What Macron said about French-American ties (page A10 in the NY Times)

What Macron said about French-American ties (page A10 in the NY Times)

By John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — Stressing the shared values and security interests which have united France and the United States for over two centuries, French President Emmanuel Macron visited Washington, D.C. This first formal State Visit of the Trump presidency was reserved for the USA’s oldest European ally, not to mention enduring friend […]

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