- By Colum Lynch
Colum Lynch is Foreign Policy's award-winning U.N.-based senior diplomatic reporter. Lynch previously wrote Foreign Policy's Turtle Bay blog, for which he was awarded the 2011 National Magazine Award for best reporting in digital media. He is also a recipient of the 2013 Elizabeth Neuffer Memorial Silver Prize for his coverage of the United Nations.
Before moving to Foreign Policy, Lynch reported on diplomacy and national security for the Washington Post for more than a decade. As the Washington Post's United Nations reporter, Lynch had been involved in the paper's diplomatic coverage of crises in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Sudan, and Somalia, as well as the nuclear standoffs with Iran and North Korea. He also played a key part in the Post's diplomatic reporting on the Iraq war, the International Criminal Court, the spread of weapons of mass destruction, and U.S. counterterrorism strategy. Lynch's enterprise reporting has explored the underside of international diplomacy. His investigations have uncovered a U.S. spying operation in Iraq, Dick Cheney's former company's financial links to Saddam Hussein, and documented numerous sexual misconduct and corruption scandals.
Lynch has appeared frequently on the Lehrer News Hour, MSNBC, NPR radio, and the BBC. He has also moderated public discussions on foreign policy, including interviews with Susan E. Rice, the U.S. national security advisor, Gerard Araud, France's U.N. ambassador, and other senior diplomatic leaders.
Born in Los Angeles, California, Lynch received a bachelor's degree from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1985 and a master's degree from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism in 1987. He previously worked for the Boston Globe.
The U.N. Security Council’s European powers, backed by a group of like-minded Arab states, today drafted a resolution condemning Syria’s brutal repression of protesters and endorsing an Arab League plan calling on President Bashar al-Assad to step aside.
The four-page draft, which was obtained by Turtle Bay, instructs U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to "to take all necessary measures," including through appoint a special envoy, to support the Arabs effort to promote a peaceful solution to the crisis in Syria.
The development comes after the Arab League secretary general, Nabil Elaraby, and the Qatari prime minister, Sheik Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr al-Thani, wrote to the U.N. secretary general to request the Security Council convene a ministerial meeting on Syria, where they could brief the council on the league’s latest diplomatic initiative.
The move set the stage for a potential conflict with Russia, which has criticized the Arab League for trying to foist a political settlement on the Syrian leadership. Russia’s U.N. envoy Vitaly Churkin told Turtle Bay that the Arab League was seeking to impose a "pre-cooked," political settlement on the Syrian government, and insisted that any acceptable plan would needed to be agreed to by both the government and the opposition.
The council’s four European powers, led by Britain, and supported by Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Morocco, are hoping to put their resolution to a vote next week. They are hoping that a broad show of support for the plan by the Arab leadership will persuade Russia to back down.
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