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U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks to journalists on the crisis in Yemen, U.N. Headquarters, New York, April 9, 2015 (U.N. photo by Evan Schneider).

Marginalized U.N. Fights for Humanitarian Agenda in Middle East

Monday, May 11, 2015

Last week, the United Nations was thrust back into the center of international crisis management in the Arab world. In Geneva, U.N. envoy Staffan de Mistura kicked off new consultations on the Syrian conflict. In New York, European diplomats worked on a Security Council resolution authorizing military measures against people-smugglers in Libya. Yemen’s government-in-exile called on the council to authorize a full-scale intervention by ground forces in its country to defeat the Houthi rebel group, which has endured six weeks of Saudi-led airstrikes.

Does all this activity imply that the U.N. is still a useful mechanism for debating war and peace in the Middle East and North Africa? It may turn out to prove the reverse. ...

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