April 28, 2022Sub-Saharan Africa
Invoking historical rough justice and persistent infantilization by the West, African countries have, to widespread astonishment, refused to give a full-throated backing to Western sanctions against Russia. Seventeen of the thirty-five abstainers from the United Nations General Assembly vote on March 2, 2022, to condemn the Russian “aggression against Ukraine” were African. More troublingly, even more African countries abstained from voting on the UN April 7, 2022, resolution to suspend Russia from the UN Human Rights Council over “gross and systematic violations and abuses of human rights” in Ukraine. The latter list included South Africa, Cameroon, Ghana, and Nigeria, which hitherto had joined 140 other UN members to condemn the Russian invasion.
April 27, 2022Climate Change
Nothing about the present climate crisis or its implications is natural. Perhaps how the world deals with a warming planet shouldn't be either.
March 22, 2022Sub-Saharan Africa
The apparent reluctance of many African countries to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has caught many Western governments, diplomatic experts, and observers of Africa’s international relations by surprise. Although twenty-eight African countries voted in favor of the March 2, 2022, UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution demanding that Russia “immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw all of its military forces from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders,” notably, seventeen African nations abstained while no votes were recorded from another eight. Unsurprisingly, Eritrea, whose leader Isaias Afwerki enjoys a close relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and who has long staked out an anti-Western diplomatic stance, joined Belarus, North Korea, Russia, and Syria in voting against the resolution. In total, 141 (out of 194) UN member states endorsed the resolution.
January 7, 2022Treaties and Agreements
In lists of state parties to globally significant treaties, the United States is often notably absent. Ratification hesitancy is a chronic impairment to international U.S. credibility and influence.
October 4, 2021China
China's decision to stop funding coal plants abroad is an important step, but real progress will require phasing out coal at home.
June 16, 2021Ethiopia
As the horrific suffering in Ethiopia’s Tigray region continues, the United States and other members of the international community are sounding ever more urgent alarms.