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  • Is Palestinian Membership in the U.N. Another Area Where Obama Has Post-Election “Flexibility”?

    According to Foreign Policy, the Palestinians intend to try again this fall for membership in the United Nations. Their effort last year was stymied by U.S. opposition. Under U.N. rules, prospective member states must first receive a recommendation from the Security Council. The U.S. has a veto in the Security … More

    “Ambassador” or Not, the UNWTO Has Honored Mugabe

    Last week, the Zimbabwean newspaper The Herald published a story that was posted on AllAfrica.com reporting that, in anticipation of the upcoming 2013 U.N. World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) General Assembly meeting scheduled to take place in Zimbabwe and Zambia, “President [Robert] Mugabe and his Zambian counterpart Michael Sata have been … More

    U.N. World Tourism Organization: Confirming Embarrassing U.N. Cliches

    The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), created in 1970 and based in Madrid, identifies itself as the “United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism.” It announced last year that Zambia and Zimbabwe jointly “won the bid” to host the 20th session of … More

    The U.S. Does Not Need “International Permission” to Defend its Interests

    Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s comments earlier this week were a very revealing insight into the Obama administration’s mindset on the legal regime governing America’s decisions to use force. During the hearing, Secretary Panetta repeatedly stated that the U.S. needed “permission” from international bodies and organizations as a legal basis … More

    In the U.N. Budget, Personnel Costs Rule

    Earlier this year, the Obama Administration trumpeted the recently passed United Nations regular budget as a triumph of fiscal discipline. To some degree, it is justified in that claim. The initial appropriations for the 2012–2013 budget (at $5.15 billion) are $263 million lower than the final expenditures for the 2010–2011 … More

    Palestine Membership: More Trick Than Treat for UNESCO

    As expected, “Palestine” succeeded in gaining membership in the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on October 31 with a vote of 107 in favor, 14 against, and 52 abstentions. The result was a foregone conclusion after UNESCO’s 58-member executive board voted 40–4 with 14 abstentions earlier this … More

    The President’s Rambling U.N. Stump Speech

    President Barack Obama’s speech to the United Nations had more than a few elements of a domestic campaign stump speech. Indeed, after a few opening obligatory remarks about the history and ideals of the U.N., the President quickly launched into a detailed account of his record in office – ending … More

    Internet Mischief on the Horizon at the U.N.?

    Various news outlets are reporting that Rod Beckstrom, chief executive of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), intends to leave the organization next July. For those who are not familiar with ICANN, the organization is a nonprofit corporation charged with regulating and managing the Domain Name System … More

    The U.S., UNRWA, and the Holocaust

    The United States is the largest contributor to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). According the Congressional Research Service, “Since UNRWA’s inception in 1950, the United States has provided the agency with nearly $4 billion in contributions. U.S. contributions to UNRWA … More

    UN Security Council Resolution on Libya Lacks Foresight

    The United Nations has responded in several ways to the Libyan regime’s terrible acts over the past few weeks. None of those actions, including the premature referral of Libyan to the International Criminal Court, have seemingly given Muammar Qadhafi much concern. Attacks continue, people are dying, and Qadhafi remains intent … More