... lecture on the UN and international conflicts resolution.
The event was attended by several experts and students who got the opportunity to hear about the former experiences of the Dutch diplomat in the sphere of conflict management on behalf of NATO, as UN Envoy on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and as mediator in Ukraine.
The event was the occasion for an extensive discussion on the evolution of the role of the United Nations in conflict resolution, from its origins until the current crisis of confidence it experiences.
... for Russia in Syria?
The situation around Russia in Syria is up for debate. No doubt, Russia would like to lead a reconstruction effort in Syria, in harmony with all relevant partners, including the UN, the EU, the USA, China, India, Turkey, Iran, Israel, the Sunni Arab states including the Golf Council Countries (GCC-states), Egypt and Morocco. However, many of the parties on the list of wished-for partners are strongly hostile to each other, and it might therefore perhaps not be possible for Russia to make ...
... mediators – the Middle East quartet of the UN, the United States, Russia and the EU – working since 2002. Several settlement plans have been proposed, among them the Roadmap and the Geneva, the Egyptian and other programs, as well as the Israeli unilateral initiative, i.e. Ariel Sharon's separation wall.
However, no peace has materialized so far. The previous plans have turned unworkable, while no new approaches and ideas have surfaced to break the impasse. All previous settlement programs failed ...
... possible to persuade Russian president Vladimir Putin to cooperate with the West to achieve “regime change” in Syria. This was a miscalculation.
Credit: Algemeiner, cartoon by Chaya Light
The Liberman factor
Currently running in the background on Israel’s side of the “whatever works” scenario is a contentious political feud over the control of Israel’s security policy. Prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his foreign minister, Avigdor Liberman, hold different views on ...
... However, at some point, this must start. It is highly likely that the “Arab Spring” will lead to an increased Islamist hostility towards Israel in the Arab region.
The new regional trends are unlikely to be able to bring Palestine nearer to the UN or to a compromise with Israel. Rather, we can expect
a new round of confrontation
and aggravation of the “security deficit” in Palestine.
Growth in sympathy continues
Oddly enough, all these and many other problems are almost not related to the prospects of further expansion ...