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News & Politics

Global Dispatches -- Conversations on Foreign Policy and World Affairs

Mark Leon Goldberg

Long form interviews with foreign policy influencers, and deep discussions with experts on topical issues in global affairs.
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30:13 | Sep 19th

The United Nations General Assembly, better known as UNGA, kicks in New York this week.  Hundreds of heads of state, business and civil society leaders and dignitaries of all stripes will descend on the UN for a week of events, meetings, and of cours...Show More

21:54 | Sep 17th

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres discusses climate change in this special episode of the Global Dispatches podcast.  On Tuesday, September 17th Antonio Guterres sat down with Mark Hertsgaard of The Nation and Mark Phillips of CBS New...Show More
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17:07 | Sep 16th

The UN General Assembly convenes at United Nations headquarters in New York next week. As in every year, UNGA is an annual opportunity for heads of state to come to the United Nations to meet each other and address the world.   What distinguishes the...Show More

21:32 | Sep 12th

In late August it appeared that the United States was very close to an agreement with the Taliban that would see US troops withdraw from the Afghanistan. Leading the negotiations on the US-side was Zalmay Khalilzad, a widely respected former US Ambas...Show More

30:06 | Sep 9th

Tanzania has long been recognized as stable country, generally more advanced in its democracy than many other countries in East Africa. To be sure, democracy in Tanzania was certainly imperfect and flawed. But there did exist a degree of press freedo...Show More

27:27 | Sep 5th

Japan and South Korea are in the throws of a dispute - and its getting worse. What was a trade war escalated to the security realm last month when the South Korean government announced that it was pulling out of a key intelligence sharing agreement w...Show More

59:41 | Sep 2nd

Greg Stanton has spent a career researching and fighting genocide. He speaks candidly about the psychological toll of this line of work and managing the PTSD which he confronts to this day.  Stanton is a descendent of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and as yo...Show More

31:14 | Aug 29th

Fires raging in the Amazon have captured the world's attention and put focus on the policies of the Brazilian government.  The true extent of the fires is not yet known--but most sources suggest that the scale of the fires and deforestation underway ...Show More

36:24 | Aug 26th

About 75% of the world's population live in societies that practice of form of dowry payment. This is also known as brideprice and it is essentially wealth that a potential husband must pay to the family of his would-be wife. But in this way, bridepr...Show More

32:50 | Aug 22nd

The fish you eat may have been caught by slaves. Most Thai fishing boats operating in the South China Sea are dependent on migrant labor. But many of those vessels are essentially floating slave ships in which migrant workers are forced into a kind o...Show More

33:24 | Aug 19th

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the IPCC, released a report in August demonstrating the harmful relationship between climate change and how we humans are using land for food and agriculture.  The warnings are dire. Agric...Show More

29:01 | Aug 15th

In August 2017, hundreds of thousands of ethnic Rohingya muslims from Myanmar fled across the border to Bangladesh. The Rohingya are a minority population that have long faced discrimination by the Buddhist Burmese majority. In the summer of 2017, th...Show More

33:01 | Aug 12th

In the summer of 2014, ISIS forces swept through parts of Iraq that were home to the Yazidi people. This is an ethnic minority that has lived in Northwestern Iraq for centuries -- and suddenly they were under attack.  What transpired was a genocide. ...Show More

32:52 | Aug 8th

When Ben Rhodes first met Aung San Suu Kyi she exuded the all traits that made her such an international icon for human rights and democracy. It was 2012, and Ben Rhodes, who was the deputy national security advisor, was accompanying Barack Obama in ...Show More

31:04 | Aug 4th

The Horn of Africa region, which includes parts of Somalia, Kenya,  Ethiopia, is experiencing a severe drought. This region has been particularly vulnerable to droughts in recent years--but the situation this summer has become increasingly dire and i...Show More

36:32 | Aug 1st

Ethiopia is in the midst of a fairly remarkable democratic renewal. Since taking office in April 2018, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has accelerated a process of political opening, including a greater freedom of press, the release of political prisoners,...Show More

28:19 | Jul 29th

One of the largest cities in India is running out of water. Is this our climate future? Monsoons typically provide the bulk of water for Chennai, which is one of the largest cities in India. It is on the south eastern coast of the country, in the Tam...Show More

30:02 | Jul 24th

Since taking office the Trump administration has taken unprecedented steps to sharply reduce both the number of refugees who are resettled in the United States and also the number of people who can claim asylum. This has included significantly loweri...Show More

30:43 | Jul 22nd

North Korea is under the world's most stringent set of international sanctions. This includes, since 2006, a ban on exporting of luxury goods to North Korea. This has not stopped Kim Jong Un from amassing a fleet of high end cars. He is regularly see...Show More

30:14 | Jul 18th

In 2015, the world adopted the Sustainable Development Goals. These are 17 goals around improving health, welfare and the environment that members of the United Nations agreed to achieve by 2030. The "SDGs," as they are known, built upon a previous s...Show More

29:56 | Jul 15th

Ash Carter served as President Obama's Secretary of Defense from 2015 to 2017. What made Ash Carter so unique among his predecessors was that by the time he became the Secretary of Defense, he'd already spent nearly 30 years working at the Pentagon. ...Show More

25:12 | Jul 11th

Uighur Muslims in the Xinjiang province of Northwestern China are living in a police state like no other on earth. Using counter-terrorism as a pre-text, Chinese authorities have rounded up over a million Uighur men and women, forcing them into what ...Show More

27:43 | Jul 8th

When Reccep Tayyep Erdogan party, the AKP, won a landslide victory in Turkey's 2002 general elections he became a very different kind of Turkish leader from his predecessors. The AKP is a religious party in what was an avowedly secular political trad...Show More

26:54 | Jul 3rd

I've been following with glee the US Women's National Soccer Team's run in this year's World Cup. At time of recording, the United States was set to face either Netherlands or Sweden in the finals.  It turns out that political science has something t...Show More

28:48 | Jun 28th

Events are unfolding rapidly between the United States and Iran. At time of recording, it was reported that Trump ordered and then called off a military strike against Iran in retaliation for the downing of a US surveillance drone over the gulf of Om...Show More

26:46 | Jun 27th

Congressman Mike Gallagher is a Republican representing the eighth district of Wisconsin, which includes the city of Green Bay. Congressman Gallagher has an interesting profile, which includes a PHD in International Relations. He's very thoughtful an...Show More

29:17 | Jun 23rd

Donald Trump's pick to serve as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations is unlike any other previous nominee for the US-UN role. Kelly Knight Craft currently serves as the US Ambassador to Canada, a position she was conferred for the fact ...Show More

25:20 | Jun 19th

According to the latest estimates from the World Health Organization, an outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo has killed over 1400 people. This makes it the second worst ebola outbreak in history, following the 2014 outbreak in West ...Show More

24:52 | Jun 16th

The protests in Hong Kong represent a key turning point for China, Hong Kong, and the world. Hong Kong is in the midst of the most significant protest movement since China assumed sovereignty in 1997.  These protests were sparked by a proposed law th...Show More

28:36 | Jun 13th

Sudan is at a crossroads. In April, popular protests lead to the ouster of the country's longtime ruler, Omar al Bashir. He was toppled in a coup -- but the peaceful protests did not stop. Rather, the protesters held their ground and rallied outside ...Show More

32:53 | Jun 9th

In 2003, before the US invasion of Iraq, there were an estimated 1.2 million Christians living there. Today, that number is less than 250,000 -- an eighty percent drop in less than two decades.   If this trend continues, a religious minority that has...Show More

08:02 | Jun 7th

Over the course of six years of running this podcast, I have interviewed hundreds of astounding people who have lived fascinating lives and led storied careers in international affairs. This includes foreign ministers, diplomats, famous academics, jo...Show More

24:34 | Jun 5th

According to the latest data, over 41 million people were internally displaced last year due to conflict and violence, according to a new report from the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center. This is a record high and excludes an additional 17 mil...Show More

27:39 | May 31st

In 2020 the West African Country of Ghana will conduct a census. This is a massive undertaking. Some 60,000 people will be deployed across the country in an effort to count every single person in Ghana.     Last week, in a reporting trip to Ghana, I ...Show More

30:42 | May 29th

Sherwin Bryce-Pease is the United Nations Bureau chief for South African Broadcast Corporation, SABC News. We have a wide ranging discussion about happenings at the United Nations, including debates and discussions at the Security Council about the d...Show More

27:37 | May 23rd

Air pollution results in the premature death of 7 million people around the world each year. It is a major global killer harming people in nearly every corner of the globe.  My guest today, Beth Gardiner is a journalist who traveled the world examini...Show More

23:29 | May 19th

Several countries have laws on the books that enables governments to freeze the assets of corrupt foreign officials. Canada is one of those countries, and now one Canadian Senator is trying to take that law one step further by redistributing the froz...Show More

21:27 | May 15th

Over the last several weeks an estimated 140,000 people have been displaced by escalating fighting in Idlib, Syria.  Syrian regime forces, backed by Russia, have scaled up their attacks in what is the last part of Syria controlled by rebel forces.   ...Show More

26:44 | May 10th

The spread of child sexual abuse material on the internet has grown at an exponential pace in the last fifteen years, since the advent of social media.  This is truly a global problem, affecting every country on earth. The tools of technology can be ...Show More

26:02 | May 8th

There is an escalating humanitarian crisis in Cameroon where more than half a million people have been displaced by conflict.  This conflict erupted in earnest in late 2017 and early 2018 in a series of attacks and reprisals between Anglophone separa...Show More

28:57 | May 3rd

My guest today Supriya Vani interviewed every living female Nobel Peace Prize winner for her 2018 book Battling Injustice: 16 Nobel Peace Prize Laureates.  In this conversation we discuss some common traits that she found across these women and she t...Show More

23:56 | May 1st

Today's episode is a cross over promotion with the new podcast: How to Fix Democracy. How to Fix Democracy is an interview series in which prominent thinkers, writers, politicians, technologists, and business leaders discuss some fundamental question...Show More

22:02 | Apr 27th

According to the World Health Organization 800,000 people die due to suicide every year. My guest today, Bob Filbin is helping to pioneer a way to sharply reduce that number.  Bob Filbin is the Chief Data Scientist of Crisis Text line. This is a text...Show More

33:05 | Apr 24th

Battles are raging in Tripoli between forces aligned with the UN-backed government and a renegade general named Khalifa Haftar. Haftar and his militias had controlled eastern parts of the country, including the city of Benghazi, but in recent weeks h...Show More

24:34 | Apr 19th

In mid march, Cyclone Idai struck southern Africa, ravaging parts of Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe. Of these countries, Mozambique was hardest hit. The storm struck the port city Beira and surrounding areas, creating a massive inland flood plane. A...Show More

35:24 | Apr 17th

Some truly remarkable events are unfolding in Sudan, where protesters have secured the ouster of longtime ruler Omar al Bashir. After nearly thirty years as an authoritarian president and dictator, he was deposed in coup on April 11. But the proteste...Show More

25:52 | Apr 15th

Among the many barriers to quality healthcare in the developing world is the high cost of medicine. This is due, in part, to frequent disruptions in the supply chain. Customers who visit a pharmacy to purchase medicine can't be guaranteed that the me...Show More

30:01 | Apr 9th

South Africa is experiencing what demographers call a "youth bulge." This occurs when young people make up a very large percentage of the entire population. There are youth bulges similar in many countries in the developing world, including in Africa...Show More

30:34 | Apr 7th

The world has never been safer, wealthier or healthier. So why is it that our foreign policy is dominated by fear and inflated perceptions of threats that can harm us?  My guest today, Michael Cohen, and co-author Micah Zenko seek to answer that ques...Show More

29:15 | Apr 3rd

Not long ago, the social entrepreneur Bright Simons had a lofty goal of restoring social bonds between farmers and consumers. He tried to create a platform to pair organic farmers in Ghana with consumers of organic products. That project failed --  b...Show More

31:21 | Mar 29th

The White House confirmed that Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi is to meet President Trump at the White House on April 9. The invitation to the White House was offered amid a deepening crackdown on human rights and a further erosion of the rule...Show More

27:09 | Mar 27th

Global trade is changing how women work. Supermarkets and major brands source much of their materials and manufacturing in the developing world as part of a "Global Value Chain." This is a way of obtaining raw materials and bringing goods to market t...Show More

23:58 | Mar 22nd

The second worst Ebola outbreak in history is currently unfolding in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Since August last year there have been nearly 1,000 confirmed cases and over 600 deaths. The DRC is a very large country and these cases are so far...Show More

30:31 | Mar 19th

Getting bitten by a poisonous snake is not just an individual injury -- rather it is now recognized as a global health hazard. In fact, the World Health Organization estimates that between 80,000 and 136,000 people die from snakebite in each year. To...Show More

27:29 | Mar 16th

Today's episode is the second installment of my new series "UN Correspondent Chat." As the name suggests, this series includes wide ranging conversations with in-house reporters at the United Nations who discuss what is driving the agenda at Turtle B...Show More

31:19 | Mar 14th

I caught up with CNN's Chief International Correspondent Clarissa Ward not long after she returned from reporting inside Taliban controlled territory in Afghanistan. She is one of the only western journalists to access Taliban territory to see what l...Show More

24:45 | Mar 8th

In late January, the Trump administration began a pilot program on the border between Tijuana and San Diego in which migrants who claim asylum are sent back to wait in Mexico as their asylum claims are processed. This is known formally as the Migrant...Show More

22:36 | Mar 6th

For the past several weeks Algeria has been rocked by mass protests that harken to the Arab Spring. The protests were triggered by the decision of longtime ruler Abdelaziz Bouteflika  to run for another term in office in elections scheduled for April...Show More

22:16 | Mar 1st

"Sometimes you gotta walkaway,"   That is how Donald Trump described the failure of he and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to come to an agreement during their summit in Hanoi, Vietnam.   So now that this meeting has ended in failure what comes next ...Show More

30:08 | Feb 27th

Tensions are rapidly escalating between India and Pakistan, following a suicide bombing in India controlled Kashmir that killed scores of Indian security forces. In retaliation, India bombed what it called a terrorist camp inside Pakistani territory....Show More

27:29 | Feb 23rd

Energy Poverty conventionally refers to the lack of household electricity. Over 1 billion people live without reliable sources of electricity -- but a new group seeks to change how we think about energy poverty.   My guest today, Todd Moss is the fou...Show More

32:30 | Feb 20th

As I am recording this, the United States is deep into negotiations with the Taliban over some sort of political arrangement that would enable the Taliban's entrance into Afghan politics while the US drew down its troop levels. The specifics of these...Show More

20:09 | Feb 14th

We have known for years that vaccinations, including routine childhood vaccinations for diseases like measles, mumps and rubella prevent children from dying on a fairly massive scale. We also know that as a health intervention, most vaccines and vacc...Show More

29:37 | Feb 13th

Thousands of Haitians have taken to the streets in anti-government protests that quickly turned violent. Several people have been killed and a great amount of property has been damaged in these protests.  Haiti, of course, is no stranger to political...Show More

28:14 | Feb 10th

The riddle of how to avoid the so-called "resource curse" has bedeviled a generation of policy makers, economists and academics.   Resource curse refers to the negative consequences that befall a country when it discovers a valuable natural resource,...Show More

31:34 | Feb 6th

About a decade ago, Simon Moss co-founded Global Citizen with a few friends in Australia. It has since grown into a behemoth of global advocacy on issues related to ending extreme poverty around the world. I've known Simon for years and have watched ...Show More

29:44 | Feb 1st

Zimbabwe was rocked by protests in mid-January in the most significant public display of dissatisfaction with the government of Emerson Mnangagwa. Mnangagwa you will remember deposed longtime Zimbawe ruler Robert Mugabe in a coup in November 2017  --...Show More

28:39 | Jan 30th

My guest today, Dr. Sharifullah Dorani is the author of the new book America in Afghanistan: Foreign Policy and Decision Making from Bush to Obama to Trump’ as the title suggests, the book examines the history of US involvement in Afghanistan from 20...Show More

32:01 | Jan 25th

Today's episode is the launch of a new series: UN Correspondent Chatter. From time to time I'll check in with an in-house reporter at the United Nations headquarters in New York to discuss the latest news, buzz, and intrigues around Turtle Bay.   I'm...Show More

24:42 | Jan 24th

On January 23rd, the 35-year-old head of the Venezuela's National Assembly Juan Guiado declared himself president of Venezuela, promising to would serve in that role on an interim basis before free elections could be held. He was quickly recognized a...Show More

26:05 | Jan 20th

Dr. Aaron Davis, has one of the greatest titles of anyone I have ever interviewed in the last four years of doing this podcast. He is head of coffee research at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.     And in that role, he co-authored of two new scientifi...Show More

29:41 | Jan 17th

The Democratic Republic of Congo held elections on December 30th that would mark the country's first peaceful transfer of power since its independence in 1960. The long serving ruler, Joseph Kabilla had effectively delayed these elections for years, ...Show More

25:42 | Jan 12th

A protest movement in Sudan is posing the biggest challenge to the genocidal regime of Omar al Bashir in decades. The protests began just before Christmas, ostensibly over an increase in the price of bread and they quickly spread. Predictably, the re...Show More

28:19 | Jan 9th

World Bank president Jim Yong Kim is stepping down at the end January. He made that announcement on January 7th, surprising most observers for the fact that he is resigning from his post with three years left in his second term.  This coming vacancy ...Show More

31:02 | Jan 4th

You would not really know it from the headlines, but more irregular migrants and refugees are arriving to Europe via Morocco than are arriving to Italy via Libya or to Greece via Turkey. In fact, as the numbers of migrants arriving to Europe declined...Show More

28:53 | Jan 2nd

On December 1st, a business executive named Meng Wanzhou was arrested while transferring through the Vancouver airport at the request of US authorities. Ms Meng is the CFO of the Chinese telecom giant Huawei and now faces extradition to the United St...Show More

22:59 | Dec 26th, 2018

One of the worst mass atrocities in recent times took place in Sri Lanka during the final days of that country’s long civil war. In May 2009, tens of thousands of people were killed by Sri Lankan armed forces over the course of just a few days as the...Show More

26:12 | Dec 20th, 2018

State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert is Donald Trump's nominee to serve as the next US Ambassador to the United Nations. If confirmed, she will replace of course Nikki Haley, who served in the role for nearly two years. Heather Nauert is a fo...Show More

29:28 | Dec 16th, 2018

Massive infrastructure projects like the building of ports, roads and railways are becoming more and more commonplace in the developing world. According to my guest today, the reason we are seeing more of these projects is a burgeoning global rivalry...Show More

24:10 | Dec 12th, 2018

A protest movement in France known as the Gilets Jaunes, or Yellow Vests, has become a political crisis for French President Emmanuel Macron. The protest movement began over a hike in a fuel tax, but has grown into something much more and is now thre...Show More

26:25 | Dec 9th, 2018

Over 180 countries are endorsing what is known as the Global Compact for Migration. The text of this non-binding agreement was finalized over the summer, and countries are meeting in Marrakech Morocco on December 10th and 11th to formally launch the ...Show More

28:51 | Dec 6th, 2018

The Kingdom of Bahrain is the smallest country in the Middle East. It is an island in the Persian Gulf connected to Saudi Arabia by a causeway. And it is home to a very large US naval base, that houses the Navy's fifth fleet.    Bahrain is also in th...Show More

31:37 | Nov 30th, 2018

Diplomats, scientists, advocates and other concerned parties are gathering in Katowice, Poland for a major international climate conference that is serving as a followup to the Paris Climate Agreement. The meeting is formally called the 24th Conferen...Show More

27:43 | Nov 29th, 2018

Michelle Gelfand is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Maryland and author of the new book Rule Makers, Rule Breakers: How Tight and Loose Cultures Wire our World. The book, which is written for a popular audience, is based on a scientifi...Show More

27:27 | Nov 21st, 2018

My guest today, Diana Mitlin, is a professor of global urbanism at the Global Development Institute at the University of Manchester. Much of her work focuses on issues surrounding informal urban settlements, commonly known as slums. In this episode w...Show More

26:39 | Nov 16th, 2018

Harold Hongju Koh is one of the America's leading scholars of international law. He is the Sterling Professor of International Law at Yale Law School, where he formerly served as the dean. He's also served as the Legal Advisor in the State Department...Show More

26:13 | Nov 13th, 2018

On October 31, South Sudanese rebel leader Riek Machar entered the capitol city of Juba for the first time in two years to attend a peace ceremony. The ceremony in Juba was intended a confidence building measure toward the implementation of the peace...Show More

22:28 | Nov 8th, 2018

In mid September, I was sitting next to the journalist Sally Hayden while attending a press briefing near the United Nations when phone started buzzing with WhatsApp messages.  Refugees and migrants stranded in a prison in Libya had gotten her number...Show More

25:34 | Nov 7th, 2018

As was expected, Republicans have held onto control of the Senate while Democrats have won a solid majority in the House of Representatives.  So what does this mean for foreign policy and global affairs? On the line with me to talk through some of t...Show More

26:38 | Nov 2nd, 2018

Mark Lowcock is the top humanitarian official at the United Nations, serving as the Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and the UN's Emergency Relief Coordinator.   When a manmade or natural disaster strikes, his UN Office for the Coordi...Show More

29:56 | Nov 1st, 2018

For 27 years, the question of what to formally call the country informally known as "Macedonia" has been a diplomatic thorn in the side of Europe and the Balkans.  Macedonia became independent upon the dissolution of the former Yugoslavia in 1991. Im...Show More

34:35 | Oct 26th, 2018

The International Criminal Court is likely to open an investigation into alleged crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Afghanistan. Much of the focus of the investigation would be crimes committed by the Taliban, but actions by American...Show More

20:39 | Oct 23rd, 2018

The challenge was immense About twenty years ago, India accounted for over 60% of all polio cases worldwide -- in fact it was considered a "hyper" endemic country. Then, the Indian government teamed up with the United Nations and other partners, incl...Show More

21:54 | Oct 19th, 2018

On October 17 Canada became the second country in the world to legalize the recreational use of Cannabis. The first was Uruguay, which decriminalized Cannabis a few years ago. But Canada's move is arguably more significant to international relations ...Show More

21:11 | Oct 18th, 2018

An ongoing Ebola Outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo has sickened over 250 people, and resulted in over 130 deaths as of October 18. Now, the DRC is experienced in handling Ebola outbreaks. A separate outbreak in the country's Equateur provi...Show More

29:46 | Oct 12th, 2018

On October 2, Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi walked into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, seeking to retrieve some marriage documents relating to his upcoming wedding.  He never came out. Turkish authorities believe he was tortured and murdered by ...Show More

33:16 | Oct 11th, 2018

My guest today Ivo Daalder served as the United States ambassador to NATO under President Obama from 2009 to 2013. He is now the president of the Chicago council on foreign relations and he is the co-author, with James Lindsey, of the new book, The E...Show More

29:41 | Oct 5th, 2018

My guest today, Nicola Banks, is a lecturer in global urbanism and urban development at the University of Manchester. She has conducted some pioneering research on the role of the NGO sector in global development. Some of her findings, including that...Show More

24:02 | Oct 3rd, 2018

I met the Foreign Minister of Kosovo Behgjet Pacolli in a hotel lobby not far from the United Nations where the foreign minister had spent several days during the UN General Assembly last week.    I was interested in learning from the foreign ministe...Show More

25:14 | Oct 1st, 2018

If you want a glimpse of a dystopian future in which authoritarian leaders harness the power of social media to carry out human rights abuses and suppress their political opponents, you need to look no further than the Philippines today.   There are ...Show More

28:37 | Sep 25th, 2018

Every year during UN Week there are a number of substantive and important issues discussed, new initiatives launched and new partnerships formed, typically around some big important global issues. It is a week in the diplomatic calendar in which a lo...Show More

31:14 | Sep 19th, 2018

All eyes turn to the New York and the United Nations as world leaders gather for the opening of the United Nations General Assembly, better known UNGA. This is always the busiest week of the diplomatic calendar and on the line the help make sense of ...Show More

29:27 | Sep 14th, 2018

In this special episode of Global Dispatches Podcast we are bringing you the story of how UN Peacekeepers partnered with the people and government of Liberia to help transform the country from one of the bleakest places on the planet, to one of the m...Show More

33:34 | Sep 12th, 2018

My guest today, Anand Giridharadas, is the author of the new book Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World. The book is a piercing examination of how the global elite have co-opted our mechanisms of social change. This trend manifest...Show More

28:31 | Sep 7th, 2018

The world is experiencing a dam building boom. According to research by my guest today David Hulme there are plans underway around for the construction of over 3,700 new dams around the world. And this explosion in dam building comes after a period i...Show More

27:00 | Sep 5th, 2018

1.5 million Syrian refugees are in Lebanon today. But as the fighting quells in areas of Syria, some of these refugees are considering returning home.    Who gets to return, the places to which they will return, and the circumstances under which refu...Show More

22:37 | Aug 29th, 2018

In mid-August a UN human rights body called the Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination said that up to 1 million ethnic Uighurs in China were imprisoned in massive internment camps.    Subsequent reporting in places like the Wall Stre...Show More

54:47 | Aug 24th, 2018

Ambassador Princeton Lyman passed away on August 24th at the age of 83.  In January 2017, he came on the podcast to discuss his remarkable life and career, which included serving as the US ambassador to South Africa during the end of apartheid and tr...Show More

28:43 | Aug 22nd, 2018

The Syrian war may be entering its final phase. Rebel fighters, from various factions, are now concentrated in Idlib, in northern Syria.  Idlib is the place to which civilians and members of armed groups were permitted to escape as part of evacuation...Show More

50:05 | Aug 19th, 2018

On March 21, 2020 North Korea shoots down a South Korean civilian airliner, mistaking it for a US bomber. This sets off a series of events that leads to the launching 13 nuclear armed ballistic missiles towards the United States. Several of these mis...Show More

29:26 | Aug 15th, 2018

Dr. Vanessa Kerry is the Co-founder and CEO of Seed Global Health. This is an international NGO that works in five sub-Saharan countries to bolster the education of medical professionals.    We kick off discussing the newest ebola outbreak in the DRC...Show More

21:22 | Aug 13th, 2018

On August 19th 2003 the United Nations headquarters in Iraq at the Canal Hotel in Baghdad, was hit with a truck bomb. At least 22 people lost their lives in this attack, including the UN's top official in Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello.  In subsequent ...Show More

44:51 | Aug 9th, 2018

In 2014, I spoke with New Yorker writer Robin Wright about her life and career as a foreign affairs journalist.

33:21 | Jul 30th, 2018

On August 7th, 1998 my guest today John Lange was the acting United States Ambassador to Tanzania when a truck bomb exploded outside the embassy in Dar es Salaam. He did not know it at the time, but this bombing was part of a coordinated attack on US...Show More

38:48 | Jul 29th, 2018

Michael Scott Moore spent 977 days as a hostage of Somali pirates. He is a journalist and in 2012 he set out for the Somali coast on a reporting trip when he was kidnapped. What followed was a two and a half year ordeal that he masterfully recounts i...Show More

32:17 | Jul 27th, 2018

David Kaye, is the author of the UN's first ever report on the regulation of user generated online content. That is, how governments and companies like Facebook and Twitter police their users.  David Kaye is the UN's special rapporteur for the freedo...Show More

27:39 | Jul 25th, 2018

Ivan Duque won a run-off election on June 17th to become the next president of Colombia. Duque is a right of center politician who has been a sharp critic of the peace deal negotiated by president Juan Manuel Santos that ended a half century long con...Show More

27:32 | Jul 22nd, 2018

The year is 1985. Ronald Regan is president. Margaret Thatcher is prime minister of the United Kingdom. Michael Jackson, White Snake and George Michael are dominating the billboard charts. Back to the Future is a smash hit at the box office. And scie...Show More

27:09 | Jul 18th, 2018

At the United Nations in mid-July officials gathered for an annual checkup on progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals. The SDGs, as they are known, are a set of 17 anti-poverty, health and environmental goals that in 2015 the world agreed ...Show More

28:11 | Jul 13th, 2018

Like me, my guest today Joshua Keating, loves maps. His new book "Invisible Countries: Journeys to the Edge of Nationhood" is about borders we see on maps and the borders we don't see.  Josh Keating is a longtime foreign affairs journalist and now an...Show More

34:29 | Jul 11th, 2018

Sunitha Krishnan literally rescues girls from sex slavery. She is the founder of the Indian NGO Prajwala which both physically removes girls from sexual bondage and provides social, medical and psychological support for their rehabilitation.  She's b...Show More

21:00 | Jul 8th, 2018

Nicaragua is in the midst of a deepening political and security crisis. Over the last three months the government has been increasingly violent in its response to a growing protest movement.  Over 240 people have been killed since April, when protest...Show More

20:03 | Jul 3rd, 2018

Parfait Onanga-Anyanga is the Special Representative of the Secretary General in the Central African Republic. This makes him the top UN official in CAR, which includes overseeing a UN Peacekeeping mission of over 14,000 personnel.     That mission i...Show More

22:40 | Jun 29th, 2018

The World Health Organization estimates that around 7 million people die every year from the air they breathe. Air pollution is a major killer around the globe and one that disproportionately affects low and middle income countries.    There are two ...Show More

30:49 | Jun 27th, 2018

Something truly remarkable in African history and global affairs occurred on June 26 when Eritrean leaders flew to the capitol of Ethiopia for peace talks.  In the late 1990s the two countries fought each other in a brutal war, and despite a peace ag...Show More

20:15 | Jun 22nd, 2018

Mary Robinson was the first female President of Ireland, serving from 1990 to 1997. She then served as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and has since undertaken a variety of roles at the UN system, focusing on human rights, gender equality a...Show More

24:34 | Jun 19th, 2018

My guest today, Kari Hong is an assistant professor at the Boston College law school and an expert on US asylum policy and law. As you can imagine, we have an extended conversation about the tragedy unfolding at the Southern US border, where the Trum...Show More

46:00 | Jun 14th, 2018

For many years Tom Catena was the only doctor in the Nuba Mountain region of Sudan. This is an area on the border between Sudan and South Sudan. In 2011 it was the site of intense fighting between government forces and local groups aligned with the S...Show More

26:04 | Jun 13th, 2018

When I last spoke with my guest today, Kelsey Davenport, the saber rattling between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un had reached a fever pitch. North Korea was launching nuclear and missile tests; the United States was undertaking aggressive military dri...Show More

32:14 | Jun 10th, 2018

I spent the last weekend of May at a conference in Stockholm called the New Shape Forum. This was an ideas festival and prize competition and workshop all around new ideas for better organizing the world to confront catastrophic global risks.   The G...Show More

25:52 | Jun 7th, 2018

My guest today, David Beasley is the executive director of the World Food Program. We caught up not long after he visited both the Sahel region of western Africa and from North Korea, where the World Food Program is actively engaged. We kick off disc...Show More

23:16 | Jun 1st, 2018

Amy Israel is the global health thought leadership and policy director for the health and pharmaceutical company, Lilly.  In that role, she's recently launched a new pilot project to combat high rates of diabetes in three neigbourhoods of the city of...Show More

30:22 | May 30th, 2018

Kristine McDivitt Tompkins made history earlier this year when she completed what is said to be the largest ever transfer of land from a private entity to a government. In a ceremony in Chile with President Michelle Bachelet at her side, Kristine McD...Show More

32:21 | May 24th, 2018

The ebola outbreak ongoing the Democratic Republic of the Congo is the most severe ebola outbreak since the 2014 calamity in west Africa that killed over 11,000 people. Citing figures about this outbreak is a bit tricky because the situation remains ...Show More

31:47 | May 23rd, 2018

I was a bit skeptical when my guest today told me that every person on the planet, in any 24 hour period, is somehow impacted by the work of the UN and other international entities in Geneva. Still, Michael¬†M√łller would be in a position to know. He i...Show More

31:52 | May 18th, 2018

For this episode, I wanted to explore a different way to understand the crisis in Yemen.   Yemen has two main ports, Hodeidah to the north, on the Red Sea and Aden to the south, on the Gulf of Aden. Of these two ports, Hodeidah is by far the bigger o...Show More

38:55 | May 16th, 2018

It's been a tumultuous week in Israel and Palestine. On the same day that the United States formally opened its embassy in Jerusalem, dozens of Palestinians were shot to death by Israeli soldiers along the border between Gaza and Israel.  That incide...Show More

21:59 | May 11th, 2018

Around the world the HIV rates for men and women are more or less equal. Except, that is, in sub-saharan Africa which is the only region in the world where the HIV rates for women are substantially higher than that of men. Scholars call this the "fem...Show More

28:01 | May 9th, 2018

No journalist covered the ins and outs of the negotiations over the Iran nuclear deal as closely as Laura Rozen. She is a reporter with the middle east news website Al Monitor and in the negotiations that lead up to the July 2015 deal, her reporting ...Show More

29:34 | May 4th, 2018

Dr. Tom Frieden lead the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 2009 to 2017. He now has a new role: President and CEO of Resolve to Save Lives, an initiative of Vital Strategies.   And in this role he has an audacious goal: to save 100 m...Show More

31:29 | May 2nd, 2018

My guest today, Elizabeth Economy, is the author of the new book The Third Revolution: Xi Jinping and the New Chinese State. The book examines the transformative changes ongoing in China today under the leadership of Xi Jinping.  Xi Jingping has cons...Show More

47:19 | Apr 27th, 2018

In the hierarchy of the State Department the Secretary of State, of course, sits on top. Below the Secretary of State is the Deputy Secretary of State and below the Deputy Secretary is the number three post at the state department, the Under-secretar...Show More

26:47 | Apr 25th, 2018

My guest today, Paul Stares, is the author of the new book Preventative Engagement. How America Can Avoid War, Stay Strong, and Keep the Peace. The book identifies what Stares calls "the American predicament" in which United States remains the princi...Show More

33:08 | Apr 20th, 2018

Latin America is experiencing its worst-ever refugee crisis. By most estimates, several thousands of Venezuelans are fleeing the country every single day.  In recent weeks the pace and scale of this refugee crisis has sharply increased. There is no e...Show More

31:52 | Apr 18th, 2018

We are in a period of profound domestic turmoil here in the United States. I clearly don't need to run down the list of everything out of the ordinary that is happening in DC -- you know full well this is not normal.    But I am curious to learn how ...Show More

49:43 | Apr 16th, 2018

Suzanne DiMaggio specializes in what is called Track Two diplomacy with countries that have limited or no diplomatic relations with the United Stats. In practice, this has meant that she's spent countless hours over the last nearly twenty years in me...Show More

25:27 | Apr 12th, 2018

What happened to Iraq's oil wealth? That is the central question of the book: Pipe Dreams: The Plundering of Iraq's oil Wealth by my guest today Erin Banco.   Erin Banco is an investigative reporter at the Star Ledger in New Jersey, where she covers ...Show More

44:52 | Apr 5th, 2018

My guest today is the renowned journalist Steve Coll. He is a staff writer at the New Yorker, dean of the Colombia School of Journalism and former president of the New America Foundation think tank.  In 2005 he wont he Pulitzer for his book Ghost War...Show More

25:52 | Apr 4th, 2018

A few weeks ago I was having lunch with a former high ranking US diplomat whose work focused on Russia and Europe. I asked him where he thought Vladimir Putin might target next to sow instability and without missing a beat he said: Bosnia. A scatteri...Show More

1:04:44 | Mar 30th, 2018

On September 21, 2001, Rais Bhuiyan was working behind the counter at a gas station outside Dallas, Texas when a man named Mark Stroman walked in brandishing a sawed-off shotgun. Stroman was a self-proclaimed white supremacist in the midst of a deadl...Show More

31:15 | Mar 29th, 2018

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency, known as UNRWA, is facing a crisis. This is the humanitarian agency that provides relief for Palestinian refugees in the West Bank, Gaza, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria. This includes running hospitals and schoo...Show More

27:03 | Mar 27th, 2018

I got my start in journalism covering John Bolton when he was the US Ambassador to the United Nations.  At the time, I was a reporter for the political monthly The American Prospect. I sometimes quip that I owe my career to Bolton because covering hi...Show More

45:11 | Mar 23rd, 2018

Wanjira Mathai is a Kenyan environmental and civic leader. She is the chair of the Wangari Mathai Foundation, which is named after her mother who won the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize.   Much of Wanjira's work focuses on the intersection of women's empower...Show More

35:11 | Mar 20th, 2018

By the end of this month the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission in Liberia will no longer exist. The mission, known as UNMIL, is closing shop after nearly 15 years in operation, and its closing this is a major milestone and success for both Liberia ...Show More

33:03 | Mar 18th, 2018

Maggy Barankitse is the founder of Maison Shalom, an orphanage and school that was created in Burundi in the wake of the Civil War there in the 1990s. Like in neighboring Rwanda, the conflict in Burundi involved acts of genocide pitting ethnic groups...Show More

30:30 | Mar 14th, 2018

I am still catching my breath over the news that Rex Tillerson was fired and CIA Director Mike Pompeo has been nominated as his replacement as Secretary of State. That happened, of course, just days after a South Korean diplomat announced a summit be...Show More

51:12 | Mar 11th, 2018

Joseph Kaifala was just a child when civil war broke out in Liberia and Sierra Leone. The war came to his town in 1989 and as a seven-year-old was imprisoned with his father. They were eventually released and Joseph and his family spent much of the n...Show More

28:46 | Mar 7th, 2018

As the United States enters its next election cycle, our democracy is still extremely vulnerable to disinformation campaigns from Russia. Other democracies, particularly in Europe, are also vulnerable to this kind of threat and, indeed, have also bee...Show More

46:57 | Mar 2nd, 2018

Noubar Afeyan is a business leader, entrepreneur and philanthropist. In 2015, along with other decedents of survivors of the 1915 Armenian genocide, he co-founded the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative.  This initiative, as Noubar explains, seeks to empo...Show More

28:15 | Feb 28th, 2018

My podcast guest today Pablo Yanguas is a research fellow at the Global Development Institute at the University of Manchester. He is the author of the new book "Why We Lie About Aid: Development and the Messy Politics of Change." In this conversation...Show More

55:50 | Feb 23rd, 2018

Sulome Anderson was in utero when her father, the journalist Terry Anderson, was kidnapped in Beirut. She met him for the first time as a six year old, when he was finally released by his Hezbollah linked captors. Her book The Hostage's Daughter inv...Show More

25:30 | Feb 21st, 2018

The conflict in Syria has entered a new phase. ISIS has been defeated, yet in many ways the war is metastasizing. In places like Eastern Ghouta, on the outskirts of Damascus, the war is as brutal as ever. After days of extremely heavy bombing, the UN...Show More

42:33 | Feb 16th, 2018

Djibouti is the only country in the world that hosts military bases for both the United States and China. The US base, Camp Lemmonier, hosts US special forces and its only a few kilometers from China's only military base outside of Asia. France, the ...Show More

29:23 | Feb 15th, 2018

It's budget season in Washington, DC. And this year (like last year) the White House has requested massive cuts to foreign affairs spending in general, and to the United Nations in particular. The Fiscal Year 2019 budget request from the White House ...Show More

51:24 | Feb 12th, 2018

To the people of Kiribati, climate change is an existential threat.  This is an Island nation in the pacific -- it is a string of atolls about halfway between Australia and Hawaii. It has a population of about 100,000 and is known for its vast Tuna ...Show More

26:51 | Feb 7th, 2018

All eyes turn to South Korea for the start of the Winter Olympics this week. There is always a political political component to this Olympics and indeed all major international sporting events. This year, much of the commentary will focus on how the ...Show More

31:10 | Feb 2nd, 2018

Last week, the Polish Senate passed a law that would make it a criminal offense to claim that Poland was complicit in Nazi crimes. The Israeli government strongly opposed this measure, as do most people who care about honest academic discourse. Never...Show More

35:39 | Jan 31st, 2018

Max Boot is a foreign policy commentator and historian. Just this week he was named a contributing writer to the Op-ed page of the Washington Post. He is the author of several books;  his most recent is The Road Not Taken: Edward Lansdale and the Am...Show More

30:54 | Jan 25th, 2018

You've may of the Doomsday Clock. This is a rubric created by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists at the dawn of the nuclear age to demonstrate how close humanity is to nuclear annihilation. Midnight symbolizes doomsday -- and the closer the clock move...Show More

33:10 | Jan 24th, 2018

Over 10,000 people have fled from English speaking regions of Cameroon to neighboring Nigeria in recent weeks. They are escaping an ongoing crackdown by Cameroonian security forces against a movement that is demanding greater autonomy for English spe...Show More

35:23 | Jan 21st, 2018

Tancintaro, Mexico claims to be the "avocado capital" of the world, selling one million dollars worth of the fruit per day. But what makes Tancitaro truly interesting is that the orchards--and the town itself--is under the protection of a militia fun...Show More

32:10 | Jan 17th, 2018

Shanti Bhavan is a school in the Tamil Nadu state of southern India that serves children from the Dalit community. These are the some of the poorest children in the country. Systemic inequality has kept many members of this community in extreme pover...Show More

46:03 | Jan 15th, 2018

Lidia Bastianich is a chef, restauranteur, cookbook author, TV personality, entrepreneur and for the purposes of this conversation, most importantly a refugee. She was born on the Istrian Penninsula to an ethnic Italian family. This is a region on th...Show More

53:22 | Jan 10th, 2018

Robert Malley is the new president and CEO of the International Crisis Group. He took over on January 1st. The International Crisis Group, of course, provides the public and policymakers with analysis of conflicts and potential ways out of conflict a...Show More

28:07 | Jan 5th, 2018

At the very end of last year I had the opportunity to moderate a panel at the United States Institute of Peace that served as the launch of a new report called the Global Terrorism Index.  This is a one-of-its kind quantitative examination of the imp...Show More

26:38 | Jan 3rd, 2018

Iran is in the midst of its most significant protest and popular uprising since 2009, when the so-called Green Revolution was quashed by the government.    Now, since December 28th, tens of thousands of people -- possibly more -- have taken to the st...Show More

47:34 | Dec 31st, 2017

Since 2013, the government of Australia has enforced a policy of sending any refugee or migrant who arrives who arrives by boat to detention centers in Papua New Guinea or the remote island nation of Nauru. They do so without exception.  Daniel Webb...Show More

32:25 | Dec 22nd, 2017

On Thursday, December  21 the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly approved a resolution condemning the United States' decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The resolution passed 128 to 9, with 35 abstentions, despite the fact that ...Show More

21:26 | Dec 19th, 2017

Munira Khalif is the US Youth Observer to the United Nations. This is a position created in partnership between the State Department and the United Nations Association of the United States to help give youth a voice in official and semi-official dipl...Show More

30:00 | Dec 15th, 2017

The International Committee for the Red Cross/Red Crescent, otherwise known as the ICRC, is a singularly unique international organization. It was founded over 150 years ago to care for soldiers wounded in battle and has evolved substantially since t...Show More

1:00:05 | Dec 13th, 2017

Dr. Mozhdeh Ghasemiyani is a psychologist with Doctors without Borders. She is a Kurdish refugee to Denmark and recently delivered a TED Talk describing her refugee experience. In the talk she draws on her knowledge as a psychologist specializing in ...Show More

46:22 | Dec 8th, 2017

Michael McFaul served as US Ambassador to Russia in the Obama administration from 2012 to 2014. Prior to that he served on the National Security Council where he helped shape was known at the time as the "Reset" with Russia.  He has a book coming out...Show More

26:13 | Dec 6th, 2017

The United States will formally recognize Jerusalem as Israel‚Äôs capitol and intends to move its embassy there from Tel Aviv ‚ÄĒ thus, decreed President Trump from the White House yesterday. The move bucks decades of US policy, which sought to include t...Show More

45:20 | Dec 1st, 2017

Dr. Joanne Liu is the International President of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), otherwise known as Doctors without Borders. She is a Canadian Pediatrician by training and has been with MSF for almost her entire career. She became the international h...Show More

53:31 | Nov 29th, 2017

Agnès Marcaillou is the director of the United Nations Mine Action Service. This is the UN agency that helps clear mine fields, defuse IEDs and clean up unexploded ordinance around the world. It is the UN Bomb Squad.  In this conversation, we discuss...Show More

49:33 | Nov 21st, 2017

David Miliband is President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee. This is the large global humanitarian organization that, among other things, serves refugees and advocates on their behalf. David Miliband is the former foreign secretary of t...Show More

36:24 | Nov 19th, 2017

Zimbabwe has had exactly one leader in its entire 37 year history as an independent country. That was, until November 14th Robert Mugabe was deposed in an apparent coup. What happens next is still very much in the air. Right now, Robert Mugabe and hi...Show More

30:36 | Nov 16th, 2017

Over the last several weeks, ISIS has been systematically losing territory. Its last stronghold in Iraq, the city of Hawija, was liberated in early October. A few weeks later, ISIS' de-facto capitol in Raqaa, Syria fell to US-backed forces. ISIS no l...Show More

51:20 | Nov 13th, 2017

Peter Galbraith helped uncover and confront two genocides. As a staffer in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in the 1980s, Peter compiled evidence of Saddam Hussein’s genocide against the Kurdish people. Later, as the United States Ambassador to...Show More

29:14 | Nov 8th, 2017

Saudi Crown Price Mohammad bin Salman consolidated power in a pretty dramatic fashion by detaining would-be rivals and diminishing other power centers in the country. These moves coincided with an apparent rocket attack, launched from Yemen, toward t...Show More

25:35 | Nov 6th, 2017

Donald Trump's approach to sovereignty is not unique in American history. There is a longstanding political tradition that seeks no compromise with the world and see's all interactions with allies and adversaries as zero sum. What is different is tha...Show More

27:46 | Nov 2nd, 2017

If California were a country, it would be the sixth largest economy in the world. Its population is greater than countries like Poland and Canada.  So what happens in California can very much impact the rest of the world. And one fairly direct manife...Show More

44:14 | Oct 27th, 2017

Farida Nabourema spoke from an undisclosed location in West Africa, out of fear for her personal safety. Farida is a prominent Togolese activist and these are very tense times in Togo. Several people were killed in protests in recent months amid a gr...Show More

37:41 | Oct 25th, 2017

Safwan Masri set out with a simple question: of all the countries caught in the turmoil of the Arab Spring, how is it that Tunisia was the only country to successfully replace a long ruling despot with a more or less functioning democracy? His new bo...Show More

48:22 | Oct 20th, 2017

Exactly two weeks to the day before this interview, Beatrice Fihn received a phone call from Norway. It was the Nobel Committee informing her that the NGO she leads, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, was awarded the 2017 Nobel Pe...Show More

22:00 | Oct 18th, 2017

A case that is pending before the Supreme Court of the United States could have profound implications for human rights and corporate social responsibility around the world. The case is called Jesner vs. Arab Bank. It is a lawsuit in which The plainti...Show More