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  • Special Report posted April 7, 2016 by Steven Groves A Manual Adapting the Law of Armed Conflict to Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems

    On April 11, 2016, the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) will hold a week-long meeting on lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS) in Geneva.[1] Previous meetings were held in 2014 and 2015 to discuss the legality of LAWS under the law of armed conflict (LOAC) and international human rights law.[2] Some nations that attended these meetings, as well as all…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • Issue Brief posted September 22, 2014 by Brett D. Schaefer A U.S. Agenda for the 69th Session of the U.N. General Assembly

    The 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) officially opened on September 16. The early part of the UNGA session, generally highlighted by a high-level summit and the theatrics of the General Debate featuring speeches by most of the world’s leaders, garners a great deal of media attention that quickly falters once the real grind of the session begins.…

  • Posted on April 14, 2014 by Charlotte Florance / Brett Schaefer Is a U.N. Mission to the Central African Republic the Answer?

    The United Nations Security Council on April 10 authorized a U.N. peacekeeping operation for the Central African...…

  • Posted on March 31, 2014 by Bruce Klingner North Korea Threatens 'New Form' of Nuclear Test

    North Korea threatened on March 30 to carry out a “new form of nuclear test for bolstering up our nuclear...…

  • Posted on December 10, 2013 by Ana Quintana President Obama Shakes Hands with Cuban Dictator

    Earlier today at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service, President Obama shook hands with Cuba’s dictator, Raul Castro....…

  • Posted on December 9, 2013 by Alexandria Lane Fans of Iran's President Make "Yes We Can" Music Video

    After extracting a favorable agreement at the Geneva talks, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is on top of the...…

  • Posted on November 24, 2013 by James Phillips A Bad Nuclear Deal with Iran Could Lead to War

    The deal that the Obama Administration struck at the Geneva talks yesterday amounts to a flawed agreement that risks...…

  • Backgrounder posted November 4, 2013 by Bruce Klingner Time to Get North Korean Sanctions Right

    Responding to North Korea’s third nuclear test in 2013, President Barack Obama declared that North Korea’s nuclear weapons program was a “threat to the U.S. national security and to international peace and security.”[1] The U.N. Security Council similarly warned that North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats posed “a clear threat to international peace and security.”[2]…

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  • WebMemo posted July 21, 2011 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D. The U.N. Arms Trade Treaty: Still Seriously Flawed

    On July 11–15, the United Nations held a third meeting of the Preparatory Committee for the Arms Trade Treaty. The committee discusses the content of the treaty in advance of a meeting of the conference in 2012 to finalize the treaty and open it for ratification. This treaty is purportedly intended to address the absence of commonly agreed international standards for the…

  • Issue Brief posted September 19, 2013 by Baker Spring, Brett D. Schaefer Framework for Removing Syrian Chemical Weapons: Reasons for Skepticism

    The framework agreement for destroying Syria’s chemical weapons (CW) arsenal and its supporting infrastructure[1] is imprecise, unrealistic, and unlikely to be fulfilled. On the basis of the requirements of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), which Syria has now agreed to join, and historical experience in executing the CWC, even under ideal circumstances and assuming…

  • WebMemo posted July 9, 2010 by Bruce Klingner Another Feeble Response to North Korean Aggression

    The U.N. Security Council’s timid reaction to North Korea’s blatant and heinous attack of a South Korean naval ship is extremely disappointing—though not unexpected. China and Russia had been signaling for weeks that they were eager to abandon all concepts of upholding the rule of law and international rules of behavior in favor of meekly maintaining the peace. As for the…

  • Backgrounder posted August 6, 2012 by Brett D. Schaefer United Nations: Credits Owed Should Be Returned to Member States

    Abstract: For years, the United Nations has retained surplus appropriations for closed peacekeeping operations and credits owed to the U.S. from the Tax Equalization Fund. U.N. financial rules and regulations state that the U.N. should “surrender” these funds (reimburse or credit them toward related assessments) after a specified period. Instead, the U.N. has retained…

  • Backgrounder posted November 4, 2013 by Bruce Klingner Time to Get North Korean Sanctions Right

    Responding to North Korea’s third nuclear test in 2013, President Barack Obama declared that North Korea’s nuclear weapons program was a “threat to the U.S. national security and to international peace and security.”[1] The U.N. Security Council similarly warned that North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats posed “a clear threat to international peace and security.”[2]…

  • Issue Brief posted April 17, 2013 by Brett D. Schaefer Congress Should Challenge the Administration’s UNESCO and U.N. Peacekeeping Budget Request

    Secretary of State John Kerry is testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee this week concerning the President’s fiscal year (FY) 2014 request for the international affairs budget. A number of items deserve scrutiny, but two in particular warrant opposition: (1) a request for changes in law that would allow U.S.…

  • Issue Brief posted April 30, 2013 by Brett D. Schaefer U.S. Should Oppose Return to U.N. Peace Enforcement

    The U.N. Security Council recently adopted resolutions to create an “intervention brigade” to supplement the U.N. Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) and to establish the U.N. Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). The Security Council’s approval of the Mali mission where there is no peace to…

  • America at Risk Memo posted May 17, 2010 by Steven Groves The Interdependence of National Security and National Sovereignty

    There is a clear difference of opinion between people who believe in a national defense policy directed solely by the protection of U.S. security interests and others—sometimes referred to as “transnational progressives”—who believe that the United Nations Security Council and other elements of the “international community” should have an influence on U.S. decisions…

  • Issue Brief posted September 22, 2014 by Brett D. Schaefer A U.S. Agenda for the 69th Session of the U.N. General Assembly

    The 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) officially opened on September 16. The early part of the UNGA session, generally highlighted by a high-level summit and the theatrics of the General Debate featuring speeches by most of the world’s leaders, garners a great deal of media attention that quickly falters once the real grind of the session begins.…

  • WebMemo posted March 4, 2011 by Brett D. Schaefer, Steven Groves The Motivation for the Referral of Libya to the ICC: Political Pressure or Justice?

    The killings and other atrocities committed in Libya, if confirmed, likely rise to the level of crimes against humanity, which are under International Criminal Court (ICC) jurisdiction in the Rome Statute. But the ICC is supposed to be a court of last resort, becoming involved only if national authorities prove unwilling or unable to pursue the alleged crimes. It has yet…

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  • Issue Brief posted September 22, 2014 by Brett D. Schaefer A U.S. Agenda for the 69th Session of the U.N. General Assembly

    The 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) officially opened on September 16. The early part of the UNGA session, generally highlighted by a high-level summit and the theatrics of the General Debate featuring speeches by most of the world’s leaders, garners a great deal of media attention that quickly falters once the real grind of the session begins.…

  • Backgrounder posted November 4, 2013 by Bruce Klingner Time to Get North Korean Sanctions Right

    Responding to North Korea’s third nuclear test in 2013, President Barack Obama declared that North Korea’s nuclear weapons program was a “threat to the U.S. national security and to international peace and security.”[1] The U.N. Security Council similarly warned that North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats posed “a clear threat to international peace and security.”[2]…

  • Issue Brief posted October 18, 2013 by James Phillips U.S. Should Maximize Pressure on Iran at Nuclear Talks

    The Geneva talks have once again raised hopes for a breakthrough in the long-stalled nuclear negotiations with Iran. Western diplomats have expressed “cautious optimism” about the prospects for success after two days of talks. But Iran has not budged from its defiance of key elements of multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions; it has merely adopted a softer and more…

  • Issue Brief posted September 19, 2013 by Baker Spring, Brett D. Schaefer Framework for Removing Syrian Chemical Weapons: Reasons for Skepticism

    The framework agreement for destroying Syria’s chemical weapons (CW) arsenal and its supporting infrastructure[1] is imprecise, unrealistic, and unlikely to be fulfilled. On the basis of the requirements of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), which Syria has now agreed to join, and historical experience in executing the CWC, even under ideal circumstances and assuming…

  • Issue Brief posted April 30, 2013 by Brett D. Schaefer U.S. Should Oppose Return to U.N. Peace Enforcement

    The U.N. Security Council recently adopted resolutions to create an “intervention brigade” to supplement the U.N. Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) and to establish the U.N. Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). The Security Council’s approval of the Mali mission where there is no peace to…

  • Issue Brief posted April 17, 2013 by Brett D. Schaefer Congress Should Challenge the Administration’s UNESCO and U.N. Peacekeeping Budget Request

    Secretary of State John Kerry is testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee this week concerning the President’s fiscal year (FY) 2014 request for the international affairs budget. A number of items deserve scrutiny, but two in particular warrant opposition: (1) a request for changes in law that would allow U.S.…

  • Issue Brief posted January 28, 2013 by Bruce Klingner North Korea Nuclear Test: Time for U.S. and U.N. to Get Serious on Sanctions

    North Korea has again openly defied the international community, first by launching a rocket in violation of United Nations resolutions and then threatening those that seek to punish—however meekly—the regime for its transgressions. Yet the United States and the U.N. remain reluctant to fully implement measures to make sanctions more effective. This policy timidity…

  • Backgrounder posted August 6, 2012 by Brett D. Schaefer United Nations: Credits Owed Should Be Returned to Member States

    Abstract: For years, the United Nations has retained surplus appropriations for closed peacekeeping operations and credits owed to the U.S. from the Tax Equalization Fund. U.N. financial rules and regulations state that the U.N. should “surrender” these funds (reimburse or credit them toward related assessments) after a specified period. Instead, the U.N. has retained…

  • Issue Brief posted July 9, 2012 by Brett D. Schaefer U.S. Should Hold WIPO Accountable and Dissuade Future Violations of U.N. Sanctions

    It is becoming increasingly clear that the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has transferred technology to North Korea and Iran that are prohibited by United Nations Security Council sanctions and U.S. law. These violations have spurred a State Department investigation and were raised at a House of Representatives Judiciary Committee hearing on June 27. The…

  • Issue Brief posted April 12, 2012 by Bruce Klingner North Korean Missile Launch Demands Strong U.S. Response

    North Korea defied international pressure and launched its Unha-3 missile on April 12. U.S. and South Korean officials indicate that the missile failed several minutes after launch. Although Pyongyang had characterized the launch as that of a peaceful civilian satellite, it is a blatant violation of existing U.N. Security Council (UNSC) resolutions that preclude any…

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Find more work on UN Security Council