Ian Williams

Annan’s 44-year run

Ian Williams speaks to the outgoing United Nations secretary general about his time in the organisation and his world view.

AU to stay on in Darfur

The African Union Peace and Security Council, meeting in New York on the fringes of the United Nations annual general assembly meeting, has agreed to extend the AU force in Darfur until the end of the year. This goes some way towards heading off an impending crisis over the issue, which UN secretary general Kofi Annan and US President George W Bush had put at the top of the agenda.

SA’s arms in for a twisting

South Africa's temporary seat on the United Nations Security Council is likely to be a mixed blessing. Since the end of the Cold War, members have had to weigh the cost of their principles as the United States has twisted elbows to get its way. An American diplomat famously told Yemen during the first Gulf War that its council vote against Desert Storm was the most expensive it had ever cast.

How the West was nearly won

In an interview here this week, African National Congress president Nelson Mandela dwelt at some length on the pressure exerted by mass action.

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