In the Nov. 22 Republican presidential debate, several candidates argued that the U.S. can no longer afford its foreign aid budget. In previous debates, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney went even one step further, explaining that the United States should not borrow money from China just to give it to other countries as aid. Instead, he argued, we should let the Chinese give aid directly to foreign countries if that is what they want to do. Romney is right to mention China, but he draws the wrong conclusion. China already provides large amounts of aid to countries throughout the developing […]

article card

In a memorandum issued by President Barack Obama and a speech made by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the administration on Tuesday unveiled a plan to “promote and protect” the human rights of gay people around the world. In addressing the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Clinton acknowledged that the “obstacles standing in the way” of protecting gay rights “rest on deeply held personal, political, cultural and religious beliefs.” According to Mark Bromley, chair of the Council for Global Equality, that suggests that Clinton has anticipated the tensions that will surely arise with the promotion of a global gay rights […]

A recently filed legal petition claiming that the United Nations acted negligently and recklessly in Haiti is raising difficult questions about U.N. accountability — and its legal immunity. The petition (.pdf), submitted Nov. 3, is already raising the possibility that a legally mandated, but rarely implemented, judicial procedure for civilians living in countries with U.N. peacekeeping missions will be enforced. As a result, the petition’s implications go far beyond the particulars of the Haiti case, in which more than 5,000 Haitians argue that the U.N. has so far failed to provide them with a means of remedy after cholera was […]