U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley presents recovered segments of an Iranian rocket during a press briefing at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington, Dec. 14, 2017 (AP photo by Cliff Owen).

In this week’s Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s editor-in-chief, Judah Grunstein, managing editor, Frederick Deknatel, and associate editor, Omar H. Rahman, take a look at some of the top international affairs stories of 2017. For the Report, WPR columnist Richard Gowan joins Peter Dörrie to explain why 2017 was a year of living dangerously for the United Nations and discuss the year ahead for U.N. diplomacy. If you like what you hear on Trend Lines, as well as what you’ve seen on WPR, please think about supporting our work by subscribing. We’re currently offering a 25 percent discount on the first […]

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One year ago, the United Nations appeared to be poised between a moment of renewal and a total meltdown. An energetic new secretary-general, Antonio Guterres, promised to revitalize the organization after a decade of drift under Ban Ki-moon. The former Portuguese prime minister talked about a “surge of diplomacy” and the need to prevent looming conflicts. Listen to Richard Gowan discuss this article on WPR’s Trend Lines Podcast. His audio starts at 29:32: Yet he seemed doomed to run headlong into opposition from the administration of incoming U.S. President Donald Trump. The president-elect had repeatedly belittled and dismissed the U.N., […]

A U.N. peacekeeper from Brazil attends the end of operations ceremony for the United Nations Stabilization Mission, Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Oct. 5, 2017 (AP photo by Dieu Nalio Chery).

In late November, the United Nations undersecretary-general for peacekeeping operations, Jean-Pierre La Croix, asked Brazil to contribute troops to the U.N. mission in the Central African Republic. This week, Brazil reportedly agreed to that request. Though it has traditionally eschewed military interventionism, Brazil has assumed an increasingly prominent role in peacekeeping missions in recent years. In an email interview, Kai Michael Kenkel, an associate professor at the Institute of International Relations at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, discusses Brazil’s engagement in peacekeeping operations and how this plays politically at home. WPR: What is the recent history of […]

Palestinian Ambassador to the United Nations Riyad Mansour and U. S. Ambassador Nikki Haley confer before a Security Council meeting at United Nations headquarters, Dec. 8, 2017 (AP photo by Richard Drew).

The United Nations is a slow, imperfect and often unsuccessful peacemaker. We should celebrate that. Last week, U.N. officials were grappling with three crises that have each been on the organization’s agenda for over half a century. On Tuesday, Undersecretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman flew to North Korea to call for “open channels” of diplomatic communication with Pyongyang to avoid a nuclear confrontation. His visit came just over 70 years after the U.N. General Assembly first set up an international commission to facilitate the reunification of the northern and southern halves of the country, a dream that remains as […]

German Chancellor Angela Merkel steps off the podium with other EU and African leaders after a group photo at the latest EU-Africa summit, Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, Nov. 29, 2017 (AP photo by Geert Vanden Wijngaert).

Is Germany about to retreat from the world? Berlin has become an essential advocate for liberal internationalism in recent years. But it may turn inward again. Germany has long been a payer rather than a player at the United Nations and other multilateral institutions. While disbursing large quantities in foreign aid, and cautiously experimenting with stabilization missions in the Balkans and Afghanistan, Berlin generally avoided taking a real leadership role in global affairs. The priority for Berlin was always Europe, and that remains the case. But as Germany has become more powerful within the European Union, it has discovered that […]