United Nations

While conceding that nations will disagree about when and how to step in as "tyrants ... commit wanton murder," President Obama told the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday that "we must get better" at preventing atrocities.

The president again laid out his case for strong international action to hold Syrian President Bashar Assad accountable for his regime's alleged use of chemical weapons. Then Obama told world leaders that:

Suzette Grillot and Rebecca Cruise discuss the cargo ship stopped in Panama on its way to North Korea with missiles and fighter jets on board, and Pakistani women’s education activist Malala Yousafzai’s speech before the United Nations.

Sanam Naraghi-Anderlini, the co-founder of the International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN), joins Grillot and Cruise for a conversation about gender and security in the 13 years since the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1325.

Lyn Gately / Flickr Creative Commons

Last week Panamanian authorities stopped a North Korean ship carrying cargo from Cuba that violates UN sanctions against the reclusive Asian country.

Rebecca Cruise, the Assistant Dean of the University of Oklahoma’s College of International Studies, says Panama has exercised its legitimacy by trying to uphold the sanctions as the ship passed through its territory.

“Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon came out and praised Panama for taking this action, and claimed that it really is the responsibility of all members of the United Nations to uphold these types of sanctions,” Cruise says. “They have legitimacy as the Panama Canal goes through their territory.”

Eskinder Debebe / UN Photo

Earlier this week Pakistani Taliban commander Adnan Rasheed wrote a letter to 16-year-old women’s education activist Malala Yousafzai saying he wished the October 2012 attack on her life hadn’t happened.

The letter came shortly after Yousafzai’s July 12 speech before the United Nations, where she said the attack gave her a renewed sense of strength, power and courage.

“The attack on her was not in response to her support for girls' education, but because she was critical of the Taliban,” says Suzette Grillot, the Dean of the University of Oklahoma’s College of International Studies. “He encourages her to come back to Pakistan and pick up her pen in the name of Islam.”

Devra Berkowitz / UN Photo

In 2000, the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution requiring states and non-state actors settling conflicts to consider and respect women’s rights, and include women in the negotiating process.

Sanam Naraghi-Anderlini helped draft UN Security Council Resolution 1325. She’s the co-founder of the International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN) and the author of Women Building Peace: What They Do, Why They Matter.

“Because [women] are in civil society, they’re often not related to political parties or military parties,” Naraghi-Anderlini says. “But they want to have a voice because they’re taking responsibility when others are talking about power. So it’s kind of that duality of power and responsibility, saying ‘We have a voice as well, and we have needs, and we have solutions to bring to the table.’”

On Tuesday the U.N. General Assembly approved a treaty to regulate the global arms trade, and the panel explores what role the CIA is playing in Arab and Turkish military aid to Syria.

Ambassador Cynthia Schneider joins Suzette Grillot and Joshua Landis to discuss how culture influenced her diplomacy while representing the United States in the Netherlands between 1998 and 2001.

isafmedia / Flickr

The U.N. General Assembly overwhelmingly approved the first international treaty regulating the multi-billion dollar global arms trade Tuesday.

Iran, North Korea and Syria voted "no" on Tuesday, while Russia and China, both major arms exporters, abstained.

Suzette Grillot is the co-author of the 2009 book The International Arms Trade. She says Syria opposed the treaty because it does nothing to prevent weapons from flowing to non-state actors, like the Syrian opposition.

House Spends Evening Debating United Nations Takeover

Mar 14, 2013
United Nations

Cities and counties in Oklahoma would be prohibited from entering into any agreements with organizations accredited by the United Nations under a bill approved by the Oklahoma House.

The House on Wednesday voted 67-17 for the bill sponsored by Bethany Republican Rep. Sally Kern that targets Agenda 21, a plan developed by the United Nations to help cities and countries become more environmentally sustainable. No Republicans opposed the measure, which now heads to the Senate.

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