- By Colum LynchColum Lynch is Foreign Policy’s award-winning U.N.-based senior diplomatic reporter. He previously wrote FP’s Turtle Bay blog, for which he was awarded the 2011 National Magazine Award for best reporting in digital media. He was also the silver medal recipient of the 2013 Elizabeth Neuffer Memorial Prize for a three-part series documenting the U.N.’s systemic failure to protect civilians in Darfur, Sudan. Colum’s investigations have uncovered an American spy operation in Iraq, Russia’s monopoly of the $1 billion-a-year U.N. aircraft leasing market, and a Chinese diplomatic campaign to silence U.N. investigators scrutinizing Chinese arms deals in Africa. His deep digs into the U.N. bureaucracy have exposed sexual misconduct by U.N. blue helmets from Bosnia to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and documented monumental dysfunction in the U.N. office charged with rooting out misconduct and corruption. He now devotes his reporting chops to documenting President Donald Trump’s efforts to reorder the international system. Born in Los Angeles, Colum 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. Before moving to FP, Colum reported on diplomacy and national security for the Washington Post for more than a decade. He has appeared frequently on national news programs, including the Lehrer NewsHour, as well as on MSNBC, NPR, and the BBC.
President Barack Obama opened his U.N. General Assembly speech by eulogizing the fallen American ambassador, J. Christopher Stevens, who was killed in an attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, "the city he helped to save."
Obama portrayed Stevens as an American patriot who "embodied the best of America," an Arabic speaker who gained a deep understanding of the countries where he served and built bridges with foreign cultures. He died, Obama said, while helping to set up new culture center and hospital in Benghazi.
The U.S. president tried to draw a contrast between the optimism represented by Stevens life with that of the forces of extremism simmering beneath the surface in the Middle East. "We must reaffirm," he said, that our future will be determined by people like Christopher Stevens, not his killers."
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