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October 5, 2021

International Organizations
The Role of the UN Secretary-General

The United Nations’ top leadership position has broad authority to steer the organization’s agenda, but its impact has varied widely since 1946.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres sits for a photograph at the UN headquarters in Manhattan.

September 28, 2021

United Nations
The Role of the UN General Assembly

The UN General Assembly hosts a much-watched debate of world leaders each year but has struggled to make its work more substantive. After an unprecedented all-virtual assembly in 2020, this year’s me…

A wide shot of the UN General Assembly Chamber as President Biden speaks.

June 10, 2021

Space
U.S. Leadership in Space: A Conversation With General John Raymond

General John Raymond discusses the establishment of the U.S. Space Force, current and potential national security threats in outer space, and areas of cooperation between the United States and both f…

Play General John Raymond sitting at a table during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.

December 11, 2020

Transition 2021
Transition 2021: Should a Retired General Be Secretary of Defense?

Each Friday, I look at what is happening in President-Elect Joe Biden’s transition to the White House. This week: Biden’s nomination of General Lloyd Austin to be secretary of defense raises question…

Retired General Lloyd Austin speaks at a podium as President-Elect Joe Biden sits behind him.

July 15, 2020

South Korea
Remembering General Paik Sun-yup

Without Paik’s herculean effort, South Korea as we know it today—a vibrant, capitalist, and liberal democracy—wouldn’t exist.

General Paik Sun-yup, 1950

October 13, 2020

International Organizations
Nigerian (and American) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Finalist for WTO Director General

The two finalists for the position of director general of the World Trade Organization (WTO) are Yoo Myung-hee, Republic of Korea, and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a Nigerian and (since 2019) an American citizen.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a Nigerian woman running for WTO director general, raises her left arm while speaking. She is wearing a traditional headdress.

November 5, 2020

Election 2020
U.S. Ballot Counting Continues, WTO Selects Director General, and More

The world awaits the results of the close U.S. presidential election, the World Trade Organization (WTO) is scheduled to select a new director general, and Myanmar holds fraught elections.

Podcast County employee opens mail-in ballots at the Luzerne County Bureau of Elections.

October 15, 2020

U.S. Congress
U.S. Senate Votes on COVID-19 Relief Bill, Bolivia’s General Election, and More

The U.S. Senate votes on a COVID-19 relief bill; Bolivians head to the polls for a twice-postponed general election; and New Zealand, considered to have one of the most successful pandemic responses,…

Podcast Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) arrive to watch the casket with the remains of Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) being carried from the U.S. Capitol building, in Washington.

September 9, 2021

News Release
CFR Welcomes Carl Minzner as Senior Fellow for China Studies

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) welcomes Carl Minzner to its David Rockefeller Studies Program as a senior fellow for China studies. At CFR, Minzner will research and write on issues related t…

January 7, 2020

Iran
Death of Iranian General Soleimani Provokes Muted Reaction in Africa’s Giants

Nigeria and South Africa are the giants of Africa, with the two largest economies on the continent.  Both have had long-term relationships with Iran, though South Africa’s has been the closer. Thus far, the official reaction to Soleimani’s death from Nigeria and South Africa has been muted or non-existent, reflecting caution. Though the Nigerian inspector general of police has put his forces on “red alert,” likely fearing action by the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) or other alleged Iranian proxies, there has been no apparent word from the government. In South Africa, the fiercest reaction came from the African National Congress (ANC), while Naledi Pandor, the South African foreign minister, called for calm.

Women hold pictures of Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani, head of the elite Quds Force, who was killed in an air strike at Baghdad airport, during a funeral procession and burial at his hometown in Kerman, Iran, on January 7, 2020.