Behind the Baker Plan for Western Sahara

by Toby Shelley | published August 1, 2003

On July 31, 2003, the UN Security Council voted to "support strongly" former Secretary of State James Baker's proposals for resolving the Western Sahara dispute, the last Africa file remaining open at the UN Decolonization Committee. Baker has been the personal envoy of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan since 1997, charged with making progress in the 1991 Settlement Plan for the Western Sahara even after Annan had damned it as a "zero-sum game," while also pursuing alternatives.

Using and Abusing the UN, Redux

by Marc Lynch
published in MER225

On September 12, 2002, George W. Bush delivered a forceful address to the United Nations General Assembly to rally support for an American campaign against Iraq. Challenging the UN to enforce its own resolutions, Bush warned the assembled delegates that failure to back the US war against Iraq would condemn the institution to irrelevance. While the speech contained little that was new -- most notably, it failed to offer the long-promised evidence of Iraqi nuclear weapons -- it did succeed in returning the UN to the center of the developing US-Iraqi showdown. Bush received numerous plaudits, even among those who oppose war, mainly for the simple fact that he approached the UN at all.

Irrelevance Lost

by Marc Lynch | published March 20, 2003

The UN Arab Human Development Report

A Critique

by Mark LeVine | published July 26, 2002

With great fanfare and evident satisfaction, the UN Development Program and the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development in June released the "Arab Human Development Report 2002" (AHDR). The Report, authored by a team of Arab scholars and policymakers with an advisory committee of "well-known Arabs in international public life," is the first UN Human Development Report devoted to a single region. Its release in Cairo was accompanied by a London press conference which received significant attention in the Western media.

How the Sanctions Hurt Iraq

by Colin Rowat | published August 2, 2001

(This article was updated on November 14, 2001.)