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April 28, 2022

Sub-Saharan Africa
Africa Must Be Wary of Cutting Its Nose to Spite Its Face

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.

Kenyan Ambassador to the United nations sits in front of his microphone.

April 27, 2022

Climate Change
To Reduce Growing Climate Dangers, the World Needs to Consider Sunlight Reflection

Nothing about the present climate crisis or its implications is natural. Perhaps how the world deals with a warming planet shouldn't be either.

The sun reflects off the water in a picture taken by German astronaut Alexander Gerst from the International Space Station and sent on his Twitter feed on July 17, 2014.

March 22, 2022

Sub-Saharan Africa
Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine May Drive a Wedge Between the West and 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.

United States Ambassador to the United Nations wearing a red jacket speaks into a microphone while seated at the United Nations.

January 7, 2022

Treaties and Agreements
On International Treaties, the United States Refuses to Play Ball

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.

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks during the seventy-sixth Session of the General Assembly at UN Headquarters in New York on September 21, 2021.

December 9, 2021

Elections and Voting
Ten Elections to Watch in 2022

Numerous countries will hold elections in 2022. Here are ten to watch. 

Voting

October 25, 2021

Global Governance
The G20 Was Made for Moments Like This

The planet is on fire, the pandemic smolders on, and the global recovery is faltering. The G20 was created for just such challenges, and the Rome summit offers it a chance to rise to the occasion. 

People stand in front of the G20 media center at the Palazzo dei Congressi in Rome, Italy, which will host the G20 summit from October 30-31 on October 22, 2021.

October 4, 2021

China
Making Sense of China’s Pledge to Stop Building Coal-Fired Power Plants Abroad

China's decision to stop funding coal plants abroad is an important step, but real progress will require phasing out coal at home.

A coal-burning power plant can be seen behind a factory in the city of Baotou, in China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region October 31, 2010.

September 21, 2021

United Nations General Assembly
Biden’s Forceful UN Address: Let’s Get to Work

U.S. President Joe Biden made his first address before the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, September 21, 2021. His message, both to his domestic and foreign audiences, was clear: The United States is…

U.S. President Joe Biden addresses the 76th Session of the U.N. General Assembly in New York City, U.S., September 21, 2021.

September 16, 2021

United Nations
Biden’s Tricky UN Message to a Troubled World

Biden faces a dual challenge at the UN General Assembly. He must convince the world that the U.S. is committed to multilateralism while persuading the American public that the UN can be an indispensa…

U.S. President Joe Biden gestures with both hands as he delivers a foreign policy address with an American flag in the background as Vice President Kamala Harris listens during a visit to the State Department in Washington, DC, on February 4, 2021.

June 16, 2021

Ethiopia
As Policymakers Raise Alarm about Tigray Crisis, More Action is Needed

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. 

An Ethiopian refugee stands as she is registered by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) at the Um Rakuba refugee camp which houses Ethiopian refugees fleeing the fighting in the Tigray region, on the Sudan-Ethiopia border, Sudan, November 28, 2020.