Posts tagged United Nations

"A Spark in the South Caucasus?" | UN Dispatch

Next week, my students in POL 103 (International Relations) are starting a two-week UN Security Council simulation I’ve used before on the situation in Nogorno-Karabakh. So I was interested to see this (via the Duck of Minerva IR blog). 

A funny look at the United Nations, from Andy Samberg & The Arcade Fire. Guess what we’re talking about today in POL 103. Enjoy!

Map of Nagorno-Karabakh (source)
For the next two weeks, my POL 103 (Introduction to International Relations) students will be engaged in a Security Council simulation on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. 
If you want to try your own simulation, here are the basic guidelines.

Map of Nagorno-Karabakh (source)

For the next two weeks, my POL 103 (Introduction to International Relations) students will be engaged in a Security Council simulation on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. 

If you want to try your own simulation, here are the basic guidelines.

From westernhemisphereanalysis:


Bolivian peacekeepers return after a six month mission in Haiti. Bolivian President Morales praised the troops for their “solidarity and professionalism” in playing a part in the UN’s MINUSTAH peacekeeping force (via El Presidente pide a las FFAA estar listas para cualquier emergencia · la-razon.com)


Bolivia has been an active contributor to UN peacekeeping missions for some time now, and it’s fascinating to see how the units involved are treated w/ deep respect. While most attention to global politics tends to focus on the impact of “great powers,” not nearly enough has been given to the important role played by small, developing states. Yet, domestically, participation in such missions is quite significant. 

From westernhemisphereanalysis:

Bolivian peacekeepers return after a six month mission in Haiti. Bolivian President Morales praised the troops for their “solidarity and professionalism” in playing a part in the UN’s MINUSTAH peacekeeping force (via El Presidente pide a las FFAA estar listas para cualquier emergencia · la-razon.com)

Bolivia has been an active contributor to UN peacekeeping missions for some time now, and it’s fascinating to see how the units involved are treated w/ deep respect. While most attention to global politics tends to focus on the impact of “great powers,” not nearly enough has been given to the important role played by small, developing states. Yet, domestically, participation in such missions is quite significant. 

United Nations launch air strikes on Laurent Gbagbo | Telegraph

Signs of a new post-Libya international norm? Very interesting to see what the consequences will be.

The United Nations on Monday night launched air attacks against Laurent Gbagbo, the Ivory Coast strongman who has refused to relinquish power, in retaliation for “reckless and mindless” attacks on its personnel and civilians.

According to witnesses, at least four missiles were fired from UN helicopters in Abidjan, the economic capital.

Hamadou Toure, the UN’s chief spokesman in Ivory Coast, told The Daily Telegraph the UN had struck two military camps controlled by Mr Gbagbo along with the presidential palace and his residence. [read more]

Andy Samberg’s SNL Shorts are often very clever. This one’s just a fun one that includes a cameo from The Arcade Fire, but it also satirizes the United Nations. Not sure it works as an assignment, but it might spice up an IR class?

It might, however, be a good segway into why the UN doesn’t behave the way many (especially those, like me, who did Model UN in high school & college) often assume. Delegates represent their states’ interests, not necessarily some higher moral compass. And the UN is primarily a forum for states, not an independent organization that creates—let alone enforces—international law. 

(Sorry you have to suffer through an ad to watch the 2:31 minute-long SNL short.)