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  • Commentary posted May 21, 2015 by Steven P. Bucci, Ph.D. Don't Be Fooled: America's ISIS Crisis Is Just Beginning

    Developments over this last weekend have left many Americans (and many of our allies) wondering about the progress (or lack thereof) of our fight against ISIS. First came news that U.S. Special Operations Forces had conducted a daring raid into Syria, killing a major ISIS leader. Then came word that ISIS had captured the city of Ramadi in Iraq. What does each development…

  • Issue Brief posted May 13, 2015 by Grace Melton At U.N., Radicals Regret Lack of “Progress” and Seek to Feminize Post-2015 Development Agenda

    Against the backdrop of ongoing negotiations over the United Nations’ new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), delegates and activists from around the world met at the U.N. headquarters in New York last month for the annual Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), which this year commemorated the 20th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women that was held in…

  • Issue Brief posted May 8, 2015 by Olivia Enos How to Assess Human Trafficking in Asia

    The State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons will release its annual Trafficking in Person (TIP) report in June. Ahead of final deliberations, the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations held a hearing to discuss the significance of the seminal TIP report’s…

  • Commentary posted May 7, 2015 by Brett D. Schaefer, Helle C. Dale, James M. Roberts Hot Air and Spurned Allies: A Tally of Obama's Foreign Failures

    The 2015 Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) was released last week to predictable fanfare. Secretary of State John Kerry declared it to be "the blueprint for the next generation of American diplomacy." In truth, the report falls far short of that goal.     The QDDR starts with proper caution. Secretary Kerry writes:   A very smart Foreign Service…

  • Testimony posted May 6, 2015 by Brett D. Schaefer Key Issues of U.S. Concern at the United Nations

    Testimony before Subcommittee on Multilateral International Development, Multilateral Institutions, and International Economic, Energy, and Environmental Policy Committee on Foreign Relations United States Senate May 6, 2015 Brett D. Schaefer Jay Kingham Fellow in International Regulatory Affairs The Heritage Foundation My name is Brett Schaefer. I am the Jay…

  • Commentary posted May 6, 2015 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. After Obama: A 7-Step Economic Recovery Plan for America

    Foreign policy should work to advance a constructive agenda—something that’s been largely lacking in the Obama era. Hopefully, the next president will come up with appropriate actions to fill that void. As a cornerstone of that effort, I would suggest a commitment to promoting free trade and more liberal markets worldwide. I’ve written before that the next president…

  • Commentary posted April 30, 2015 by Bruce Klingner Shinzo Abe’s High-Wire U.S. Visit

    History will be made on April 29. For the first time, a leader of Japan will address a joint meeting of Congress. Such recognition of a critical U.S. ally in Asia is long overdue. Japan’s phoenix-like rise from the devastation of war is a testament to the country’s policymakers and citizens. It has blossomed into a vibrant democracy and the world’s third largest economy.…

  • Commentary posted April 30, 2015 by Jim DeMint, Bruce Klingner The High-Wire Washington Visit of Japan's Prime Minister

    History will be made today. For the first time, a leader of Japan will address a joint meeting of the U.S. Congress. Such recognition of a critical U.S. ally in Asia is long overdue. Japan's phoenix-like rise from the devastation of war is a testament to the country's policymakers and citizens. Japan has blossomed into a vibrant democracy and the world's third-largest…

  • Commentary posted April 30, 2015 by Bruce Klingner Here's What the New U.S.-Japan Defense Pact Looks Like

    The United States and Japan announced their new Guidelines for Defense Cooperation on the eve of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to Washington. The agreement institutes sweeping changes to the existing 1997 guidelines, enabling greater synergistic and integrated alliance security operations worldwide. The announcement marks a major accomplishment for the alliance and…

  • Commentary posted April 29, 2015 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Memo to the President: How to Transform Civil-Military Relations

    Relations among political leaders, civilian agencies and the military blow hot and cold. At this point, things are rather chilly. For more effective coordination between civilians and soldiers, the next occupant of the Oval Office will need to instill a better leadership style, review the command at the Pentagon, and renew the ethical foundation of government…

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  • Backgrounder posted August 18, 2009 by Brett D. Schaefer, Steven Groves The U.S. Should Not Join the International Criminal Court

    The idea of establishing an international court to prosecute serious international crimes--war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide--has long held a special place in the hearts of human rights activists and those hoping to hold perpetrators of terrible crimes to account. In 1998, that idea became reality when the Rome Statute of the International Criminal…

  • Backgrounder posted June 1, 2007 by Brett D. Schaefer The United Nations Human Rights Council: A Disastrous First Year

    The United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) was established in 2006 to replace the discredited U.N. Commission on Human Rights (CHR). Despite minimal safeguards against capture of the HRC by human rights abusers-the source of the commis­sion's ineffectiveness-HRC supporters, including U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour, were quick to declare that…

  • Backgrounder posted December 4, 2012 by Steven Groves The U.S. Can Mine the Deep Seabed Without Joining the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea

    Abstract: The United States can mine the deep seabed without acceding to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). For more than 30 years, through domestic law and bilateral agreements, the U.S. has established a legal framework for deep seabed mining. In fact, U.S. accession would penalize U.S. companies by subjecting them to the whims of an…

  • Backgrounder posted June 26, 2014 by Steven Groves Accession to Convention on the Law of the Sea Unnecessary to Advance Arctic Interests

    Much has been said in recent years about a “race” or “scramble” to secure resources in the Arctic Ocean as polar ice recedes, inevitably leading to conflict in the region. But reality paints a very different picture. Over the past decades, Arctic nations have worked together to advance their shared goals for the region, and relations among the United States and other…

  • Backgrounder posted February 3, 2010 by Brett D. Schaefer Time to Rein in the U.N.'s Budget

    Abstract: Since the 2000-2001 biennial budget, the U.N. regular budget has more than doubled, reflecting the U.N.'s failure to adopt reforms to reduce waste, prevent mismanagement and corruption, and increase efficiency. In December 2007, the General Assembly broke with a 20-year tradition of adopting budgetary decisions only by consensus by approving the 2008-2009…

  • Backgrounder posted September 18, 2008 by Brett D. Schaefer United Nations Peacekeeping: The U.S. Must Press for Reform

    One of the United Nations' primary responsibili­ties—and the one with which Americans most agree—is to help maintain international peace and security. Since the end of the Cold War, the U.N. Security Council has been far more active in estab­lishing peacekeeping operations. This steep increase in missions was reversed temporarily by the debacles in Somalia, Rwanda, and…

  • Backgrounder posted March 5, 2015 by Steven Groves The U.S. Should Oppose the U.N.’s Attempt to Ban Autonomous Weapons

    As many as 40 nations are currently developing military robotics.[1] Indeed, some weapons already in use may be considered “autonomous” (or may be easily modified to be autonomous). These include Raytheon’s Phalanx Close-In Weapon System (CIWS), a “rapid-fire, computer-controlled, radar-guided gun system” designed to destroy incoming anti-ship missiles;[2] Israel…

  • Backgrounder posted November 10, 2008 by Steven Groves Why the U.S. Should Oppose "Defamation of Religions" Resolutions at the United Nations

    For the past several years, the United Nations Human Rights Council and General Assembly have adopted resolutions recognizing and promoting the concept of "defamation of religions." Proponents seek to establish an international ban on any speech that would insult, criticize, offend, or disparage any per­son's religion. Specifically, the Organization of the Islamic…

  • Backgrounder posted March 5, 2015 by Brett D. Schaefer, James Phillips Time to Reconsider U.S. Support of UNRWA

    The Palestinian Authority (PA), which was created by the Oslo peace process, has turned its back on negotiations with Israel and sought to pressure and delegitimize the Jewish state through the United Nations. Palestinian efforts to secure a one-sided Security Council resolution calling for an Israeli withdrawal to the borders that existed before the 1967 Arab–Israeli War…

  • Backgrounder posted March 6, 2008 by Brett D. Schaefer The U.S. Should Boycott the U.N.'s Durban II Conference on Racism

    The Bush Administration has taken a strong line in its opposition to the 2009 Durban Review Confer­ence, commonly referred to as "Durban II." Durban II is the follow-up meeting to the disastrous United Nations World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance held in Durban, South Africa, in 2001. The 2001 con­ference fell…

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  • Issue Brief posted May 13, 2015 by Grace Melton At U.N., Radicals Regret Lack of “Progress” and Seek to Feminize Post-2015 Development Agenda

    Against the backdrop of ongoing negotiations over the United Nations’ new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), delegates and activists from around the world met at the U.N. headquarters in New York last month for the annual Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), which this year commemorated the 20th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women that was held in…

  • Backgrounder posted April 20, 2015 by Bruce Klingner Respond Cautiously to North Korean Engagement Offers

    In what is now something of an annual rite on the Korean Peninsula, 2015 dawned with perceived signals of North Korea’s supposed desire to resurrect diplomatic ties with the United States and South Korea. Although these signals were met with predictions of another inter-Korean summit, Pyongyang’s offer to refrain from nuclear tests in return for a freeze on allied…

  • Issue Brief posted April 16, 2015 by Steven Groves U.N. Conference Debating a Ban on Autonomous Weapons: Understanding Key Issues

    This week, a ban on lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS) is being debated at the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) in Geneva. The U.S. delegation has been non-committal on such a ban, and U.S. policy currently permits the Department of Defense (DOD) to pursue the development of LAWS in a responsible manner. At the conference, the United States should…

  • Issue Brief posted April 10, 2015 by Olivia Enos North Korea Should Be Held Accountable for Persecuting Christians

    In February 2014, the United Nations Commission of Inquiry (COI) on Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea (DPRK) confirmed the world’s worst fears: North Korea is guilty of crimes against humanity.[1] In addition to the atrocities committed by the Kim regime, the report found that “there is no effective freedom of religious belief in the…

  • Backgrounder posted April 7, 2015 by Dakota Wood, Charlotte Florance, James Phillips Intervention in Libya: Lessons in Leading

    Weeds of the Arab Spring The Arab Spring undoubtedly changed the political, economic, and security landscape in the Middle East and North Africa. More than four years after the self-immolation of Tunisian street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi and the catalytic explosion of the event on social media among Arab youth populations, authoritarian regimes quickly came under fire,…

  • Issue Brief posted March 20, 2015 by Bruce Klingner The U.S. Needs to Respond to North Korea’s Latest Cyber Attack

    On March 17, Seoul accused Pyongyang of conducting a series of cyber attacks against South Korean nuclear facilities in December 2014.[1] South Korean prosecutors assert that North Korean hackers were responsible for repeated disclosures of information, including blueprints of South Korean nuclear reactors gleaned from cyber attacks, as well as threats to extort money and…

  • Backgrounder posted March 5, 2015 by Steven Groves The U.S. Should Oppose the U.N.’s Attempt to Ban Autonomous Weapons

    As many as 40 nations are currently developing military robotics.[1] Indeed, some weapons already in use may be considered “autonomous” (or may be easily modified to be autonomous). These include Raytheon’s Phalanx Close-In Weapon System (CIWS), a “rapid-fire, computer-controlled, radar-guided gun system” designed to destroy incoming anti-ship missiles;[2] Israel…

  • Backgrounder posted March 5, 2015 by Brett D. Schaefer, James Phillips Time to Reconsider U.S. Support of UNRWA

    The Palestinian Authority (PA), which was created by the Oslo peace process, has turned its back on negotiations with Israel and sought to pressure and delegitimize the Jewish state through the United Nations. Palestinian efforts to secure a one-sided Security Council resolution calling for an Israeli withdrawal to the borders that existed before the 1967 Arab–Israeli War…

  • Issue Brief posted January 12, 2015 by Brett D. Schaefer, James Phillips Provocative Palestinian U.N. Actions Require Strong U.S. Response

    The U.S. has provided billions of dollars in assistance to facilitate peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Despite America’s financial support and its repeated diplomatic efforts, the Palestinian Authority (PA) has demonstrated little serious interest in negotiating a peace agreement that recognizes Israel’s right to exist, commits the Palestinians to…

  • Issue Brief posted October 29, 2014 by Brett D. Schaefer The U.S. Should Not Rejoin the United Nations Industrial Development Organization

    The United States withdrew from the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in 1996 after concluding that the organization lacked a clear purpose and was generally ineffective. With support from the Clinton Administration, Congress refused to pay arrears that the organization claims are owed by the United States. Since this decision, UNIDO has…

Find more work on United Nations
Find more work on United Nations