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Volume XI Issue I

October 2017

Rocket to Nowhere: U.S. and N.Korea’s Strained Relations Gabrielle Goldworm

Staff Writer

Kurds Yearn for Territorial Sovereignty

In April of 2017, news outlets such as The Atlantic and The Washington Post characterized the Trump administration’s foreign policy on North Korea as only partially defined at best. Back in March, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made this statement after meeting with South Korea’s foreign minister: “Let me be very clear: the policy of strategic patience has ended. We are exploring a new range of diplomatic, security, and economic measures.” Tillerson stated “all options are on the table” when it comes to engaging North Korea. “North Korea must understand that the only path to a secure, economically-prosperous future is to abandon its development of nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles, and other weapons of mass destruction,” he said. According to a report by the New York Times, Tillerson also rejected negotiation with North Korea saying,

Mariah McCloskey

Web Editor

Photo Courtesy of Both the United States and North Korea are advertising their preparations for war.

“Conditions must change before there is any scope for talks to resume.” However, the conflict continues to echo its cold war predecessor, in terms of lack of overt military action so far. Tillerson and other officials within the Trump administration have repeatedly softened their boss’s hardline stances in conferences following his speeches. On September 21, President Trump announced an executive order granting authority to the Treasury Department to enforce economic sanctions on North Korea and companies and individuals with whom

they do business. Amid incidents of name-calling and threats of nuclear annihilation from both sides, the act seems closer to Obama Era policies than an implementation of Trump’s so called ‘fire and fury’ approach. The North Korean government have, according to CNN, found it difficult understand the mixed signals being put out by the Trump administration, and have even reached out to Republican analysts in an effort to navigate the President’s comments at times of contradictory rhetoric. After North Korea’s

sixth nuclear test in early September, multiple speeches by both Trump and Kim Jong Un decrying the other’s madness, and displays of military power, anxiety is to be expected. One such instance occurred recently when a U.S. bomber flew close to North Korea’s coast. It is fair to note that U.S./North Korean Relations currently remain an unattractive zero-sum game for both parties. The international community remains on edge, though most agree the chance of direct military confrontation remains slim. Continue on page 4...

Sara Netanyahu Under Investigation for Charges of Corruption Alyssa Futa

Staff Writer Corruption investigations within Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s residence, which began in February of 2015, have recently directed their focus onto his wife, Sara Netanyahu. According to the Independent, Mrs. Netanyahu faces potential indictment based on misuse of government funds totaling nearly $100,000. The allegations she faces accuse her of using state funds intended for the prime minister’s residence on personal expenditure.

Independence for Iraqi Kurdistan

Photo Courtesy World Bulletin Sara Netanyahu is accused of receiving lavish gifts and paying bribes.

According to the Independent, these include using money for furniture and improvements, paying for her elderly father’s care, inflating dinner party numbers to hire private chefs, and pocketing 23,000 shekels

Inside Focus on Organ Trade Pages 6&7

($6533) in recycling funds. The New York Times reports that Mrs.Netanyahu, who assumed the responsibility of managing the Prime Minister’s residence, and Ezra Seidoff, a senior

Int’l News

official in the Prime Minister’s office, knowingly hired a chef in order to have expensive, catered meals using government funds. As a result, Mrs. Netanyahu could face bribery, fraud charges, Continue on page 3...


Approximately 70 percent of eligible voters showed up to cast a 92 percent vote in favor of independence for Iraqi Kurdistan on September 25, 2017, and the effects of the referendum are already felt worldwide. The vote was held across the semi-autonomous region and disputed territories, including the oil-rich, ethnically-mixed Kirkuk, a flashpoint city claimed by both Iraqi Kurdistan and the central government, reports the Guardian. The government in Baghdad is sectarian and dominated by Iran, in the eyes of some. “Sunnis Kurds and Shiite nationalists in Iraq will tell you that the current Iraqi government is not a government for everyone,” Michael Pregent, an Iraq expert at the Hudson Institute, said. The referendum succeeded in showing that the Kurds, not just in Iraq, but in Turkey, Iran, and Syria, still yearn for their own state. The Guardian notes the Kurdish people’s ‘age-old yearning for unconstrained self-rule’ is unceasing and has been for years. The Kurds feel they have an inalienable right to determine their future path, free from interference by foreign powers, and the recent vote proved that. The Kurds had to fight through much more than just yearning to have the opportunity to vote on this referendum. According to Al Jazeera, after Iran started military exercises at the Kurish border, it also halted flights to two airports in the Kurdish region. The Erbul and


Escalating Violence in the Central African Republic

Trumps UN Address on Global Security

Peace Corps Volunteer Zoe Sellers

On page 2.

On page 9.

On page 11.

Sulaymaniyah airports remained at a standstil at the request of Baghdad a day before a Kurdish independence referendum. “The closure of the Kurdistan Region airports is a collective punishment and blockade against the entire population of Kurdistan,” read a statement released Friday by Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) spokesman Safeen Dizayee. Iran has ordered a fuel embargo on the Iraqi Kurdistan region, according to Iranian state news agency IRNA. The ban, announced September 25, stops international shipping companies and drivers from loading and shipping fuel products from or to the Iraqi Kurdistan area until further notice. Iraq’s government has said that all measures to isolate the Kurdish region would be temporary and reversed if the Kurds annulled the results of the vote, which Iraq’s Supreme Court deemed unconstitutional, reports CNN. A report by Mehr News stated that a Spokesperson for Iran’s Supreme National Security Council said the Kurdish Regional Government’s “hasty decisions” to go ahead with the referendum would bring the security of the Kurdish people, Iraq and the region “under serious threat.” Despite reporting that the referendum would be non-binding, the semiautonomous KRG characterized it as binding. The goal is for the start of state building and negotiations with Iraq over an immediate break off. Unfortunately, this Continue on page 2...

Diplo News

Foreign Service Officer Shana Kieran Visit

On page 12.

October 2017 Page 2

International News

Escalating Violence in the Central African Republic Mia Page

Staff Writer Stephen O’Brien, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator of the United Nations, recently briefed the U.N. Security Council on the Central African Republic’s ongoing humanitarian crisis, reports Newsweek. On Tuesday, September 5, O’Brien urged the Security Council to provide support for the CAR’s failing government. According to Newsweek, O’Brien said he believes, “There’s a very deep ethnic-cleansing approach” to the acts committed by local militias. The Central African Republic, known for its many rebellions and conflicts, saw a rise in religious tensions after the forced removal of President François Bozize in 2013, reports The Guardian. Bozize won the position by way of an aggressive military coup and was in office from 2003-2013. He ruled the Central African Republic relatively peacefully until 2013, when the Muslim majority extremist group Seleka began to threaten Bozize’s rule.

The Seleka were a rebel alliance that formed in December of 2013 with the intention of establishing a Muslim government in the Central African Republic. The Seleska intended to start their revolution with the replacement of the Christian Bozize, according to Global Voices. The new rebel alliance crafted a short lived peace agreement in January of the same year, only to break it two months later executing a coup and causing Bozize to flee. On the surface, tension in the country seemed to wane following the coup by the Seleka, but in reality a radical Christian militia was formed in order to combat the new regime. Newsweek reports that the Anti-Balaka, or the Anti-Machete, began to have skirmishes with the Muslim led Seleka group soon after the coup. There skirmishes evolved into atrocities committed with the intention of a religious cleansing. After the Selka’s dissolution in 2014, former members created small factions known as the ex-Selka. Global Voices reports that on August 9, over 50 Christians were killed by the Ex-Seleka group in Bangassou. Possibly in

Independence for Iraqi Kurdistan

Continued from page 1... Chuck Schumer, and this “hasty decision” has Middle East experts led to, Iraq, Iran, Turkey, in Washington, are all and the U.S. stating that calling on the Trump they will not recognize administration to Kurdistan’s indepenrespect the results of dence. to Iraq, Iran, last week’s Kurdistan Turkey, and the U.S. Independence Referenstating that they will not dum, according to news recognize Kurdistan’s group Kurdistan 24. independence. “The It is unclear as to vote and the results what the current Trump lack legitimacy and we administration will do continue to support a moving forward with united, federal, demotheir decision to not reccratic and prosperous ognize the results of the Iraq,” U.S. Secretary of election. But regardless State, Rex Tillerson said of the U.S. and even in a statement. though Kurdistan is Kurdish officials not fully recognized as have called the meaan independent state, sures illegal and have the Kurdish people will pleaded for international continue to fight for support in confronting their state’s indepenthreats from Baghdad, dence. Tehran and Ankara. Ryan Crocker, former Contact Mariah at mariah. ambassador to Iraq, John Bolton, former ambassador to the UN, Senate Minority Leader,

Photo Courtesy The Central African Republic is now awash in media coverage over the ongoing sectarian violence and general upheaval in the country.

retaliation, the Anti-Balaka trapped 2,000 Muslims in a Catholic church in the town of Bangassou, and threatened to execute anyone who walked outside. The UN Security Council sent French military forces to the CAR in 2013 to protect civilians and aid in the transition process after Seleka’s coup. UN forces successfully formed a peace agreement between warring groups in the CAR, but the agreement quickly fell apart in 2016 after the departure of the French army. UN forces left the CAR after

rising anti-UN sentiment led to the assassination of one of their military commanders at the hands of the Ex-Seleka, reports Jeune Afrique. The escalation of the conflict in CAR brings back the memories of the Rwandan Genocide, which saw at least 800,000 people killed in 100 days in the name of ethnic cleansing. Lack of international intervention led to the severity of the Rwandan genocide in 1994, and many in the UN, including O’Brien, fear another similar case. Global Voice believes that the lack of support

from the international community in the Central African Republic will directly lead to Africa’s next genocide the likes of which haven’t been seen since Rwanda. There no sign of the African Union stepping in to stop the religious purges, and the surrounding nations can’t offer much more than a home for civilian refugees. Other countries remain preoccupied with the already overwhelming amount religious extremism in places like Yemen and Afghanistan, reports CNN. With no response from the African Union

or surrounding nations, the Central African Republic’s main source for external support is now the United Nation’s Security Council. CAR’s internal conflicts don’t appear to be a priority due to the lack of a threat on the western world, CNN reports. However, without international intervention, the Central African Republic with most likely fall into further chaos bringing about a religious genocide. Contact Mia at

Kenyan Election Results Nullified Due To Hacking Taylor Cain Staff Writer

The Kenyan Supreme Court announced Sept. 20 that it nullified the results of its August 8 presidential election after the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) failed to verify the results. IEBC declared incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta the winner with 54 percent of the vote, The New York Times reported, and opposition leader Raila Odinga took 44 percent. More than 19.7 million votes separate the two candidates, CNN reported. Odinga disputed the election results, and the Supreme Court asked IEBC to give the Court access to the computer servers, but the IEBC refused to comply with the request, The New

York Times reported. Supreme Court Justice Philomena Mwilu said the court assumes the electronic voting system was compromised or their data was interfered with, CNN reported. The unwillingness of the IEBC to give judges access to the computer further serves the court’s suspicions. The official results were based on the electronic tally, and the IEBC declared Kenyatta the winner before verifying the results with the paper tally sheets, The New York Times said. Some of the paper sheets examined by the Supreme Court lacked legitimacy markers such as water marks, signatures, and serial numbers. Judges have faced death threats since their investigation into the election began in August.

Chief Justice David Maraga criticized the police for not doing anything about it, and Al Jazeera reported that Human Rights Watch urged the Kenyan police to protect the justices. Maraga told CNN that regardless of the threats, the justices are “prepared to pay the ultimate price to protect the constitution and the rule of law.” Post-election violence was minimal, according to The New York Times, with around two deaths. The election was generally peaceful compared to the 1000 people who were killed in the 2007 post-election violence, according to CNN. The Supreme Court called for reelections within 60 days of their announcement, and the new election is scheduled for October 26, Al Jazeera reported. The opposition party said

they refused to participate in the new election unless members of the electoral commission were prosecuted, CNN reported. Odinga called on the commission for “legal and constitutional guarantees” for a free, fair, and transparent election, but will still challenge Kenyatta in October. Former U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, was in Kenya as an election observer and told CNN, “I think there is great legitimacy in the basic process” of paper ballots – only if everyone followed the process and no one altered the ballots. Contact Taylor at

International News

October 2017 Page 3

Sara Netanyahu Under Investigation for Charges of Corruption

li newspaper, and the acceptance of expensive gifts, which also involve Mrs. Netanyahu. According to the Atlantic, after Mr. Netanyahu’s 2009 election win, his family’s expensive tastes only grew. Following the election the family is alleged to have spent $2,500 on a contract for gourmet ice cream at their official residence, and a $127,000 bed in-

stalled on a government plane so they could nap on the five-hour flight to London. Mrs. Netanyahu has been investigated for stealing patio furniture. The charges facing the Netanyahu family have greatly affected the Israeli public’s trust in their elected leadership, says The New York Times. Benjamin Netanyahu has attempted to salvage the remaining trust within his

party and with the public by addressing the progress that he has made. However, the Prime Minister’s reassurances come in light of protests against him that have already taken place in Israel. Tzipi Livni, a former justice minister and member of the Zionist Union, wrote on Twitter: “The Likudniks (Israel’s right-wing political party) are not corrupt, but

Netanyahu is corrupting Israel. I am sure that many, many of the Likud voters—decent people and good citizens—are feeling uncomfortable this evening.” In light of the accusations against his wife, Benjamin Netanyahu has accused the Israeli media of targeting his family in order to organize a coup, according to The New York Times. The Prime Minister has called the multitude of cases against him and his family a “witch hunt” and discredited the Israeli law enforcement’s claims. According to BBC, Benjamin Netanyahu rebuked the allegations against his wife in a statement posted on Facebook, claiming that the obsession with his family’s downfall is absurd. He went on to support his wife and credited her character in light of the accusations and potential charges she faces. Sara Netanyahu’s “meal-booking affair” has been minimized by a multitude of the Prime Minister’s supporters. Zalman Shoval, a member of Netanyahu’s Likud party, claims that the

another UNSC resolution banning North Korean exports of “coal, iron, iron ore, seafood, lead and lead ore to other countries” and the opening of new economic and financial ventures with North Korea or North Korean nationals. The Chinese Ministry of Commerce released two separate announcements, first on August 16 and next on August 28, concerning the UNSC resolution’s implementation. On August 29, China condemned North Korea in another UNSC resolution. China most recently joined in another resolution passed on September 11 after North Korea’s latest nuclear test on September 3. In the latest round of sanctions, China agreed to ban textile exports from and certain petroleum imports to North Korea. China’s sanctions went into effect completely after October 1, according to a report by the Guardian. The res-

olution also prohibited countries’ use of North Korean workers for labor. While China has hardened its attitude towards North Korea, its core objectives have not changed, reports BBC. China does not want North Korea to collapse nor does it want a possible nuclear war right next door. In an analysis by the BBC, China’s position was summarized as “stability at home and its own firm grip on power. Its current assessment is that these objectives are best advanced by keeping Kim Jong-un in place. So while China does not want a nuclear North Korea, it wants a North Korean collapse even less and it will resist any sanctions which risk that outcome.” China favors a diplomatic approach, and sanctions serve to bring North Korea back to the negotiation table. Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, in an address to the UN General

Assembly on September 21 stated, “Negotiation is the only way out, which deserves every effort. Parties should meet each other half way, by addressing each other’s legitimate concerns” as recorded by Reuters. A few days earlier in September, Chinese state news agency, Xinhua, reported a Foreign Ministry spokesperson calling for “suspension for suspension” and a

“dual track approach” to North Korea. “Suspension for suspension” refers to North Korea giving up missile launches and nuclear tests in exchange for the ceasing of U.S.South Korea military drills. The “dual track approach” refers to focusing on denuclearization and peace negotiations separately. China does not intend to destroy North

Continued from page 1...

Photo Courtesy Olivier Fitoussi Sara Netanyahu in the Israeli parliament, February 1, 2017.

and breach of trust, potentially resulting in up to five years of prison time. The investigation, dubbed the “meal-booking affair” by Jerusalem news sources, is one of multiple charges that the Netanyahus are facing. According to Vox, Benjamin Netanyahu is the subject of investigations regarding the purchase of German submarines, collusion with an Israe-

allegations are “lacking in weight.” He is one among many Netanyahu sympathizers who seem to find the ongoing investigation ridiculous. As conflict surrounding Israel increases, it seems that some find the accusations to be pathetic in light of the current political climate. Though the Netanyahu’s could face formal charges in the near future, there has been no recent indictment involving Mrs. Netanyahu. Currently, the attorney general is merely considering indicting Sara Netanyahu on charges of fraud and breach of trust. Prosecuting the Netanyahu’s could take months as investigations continue. Whether this will have enough of an effect on the Netanyahu’s public image to change votes is still undecided. Will elections two years away, and with an already publicized propensity for lavish spending, reelection is not off the table.

Korea, reports the BBC. It has sought and continues to seek a diplomatic solution. However, with the increased tension and possibility of escalation, China has made clear through its support and implementation of sanctions that it is tired of North Korea’s behavior.

Contact Alyssa at

China Getting Tough on North Korea is Not an Illusion

Sam Stolle

Staff Writer China has long been accused of enabling North Korea. As North Korea launches missiles off its coast and over Japan, tests another nuclear device, and engages in increasingly tense ‘saber-rattling’ with the United States, including mutual threats of nuclear annihilation, China grows increasingly unhappy., reports the Guardian Now it is applying pressure. In February, China announced a ban on coal imports from North Korea according to the South China Morning Post. Since the beginning of 2017, China has implemented sanctions in line with United Nation Security Council (UNSC) decisions and provided support for new sanctions. After a North Korean missile launch on July 28, China joined in unanimously passing

Contact Sam at

Photo Courtesy China Daily Imported coal is unloaded at Lianyungang Port, Jiangsu province. The nation imported 17.03 million tons of coal in March.

October 2017 Page 4

International News

Merkel Secures Fourth Term as Chancellor Amid Unprecedented Far Right-Wing AFD Party Gains

Courtesy of AFP Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative party have won a state election, an important test ahead of the national German election.

Mark McGuire

Staff Writer German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party emerged victorious in national parliamentary elections, but suffered a larger than expected net loss of seats due to the rise of the far right-wing Alternative for Germany party (AfD). The vote ensured Merkel a fourth term as chancellor,

extending her reign to a record-tying 16 years, but also served as a reminder of the persistence of right-wing populism and its potential to disrupt democratic elections even in countries such as Germany, which were thought to be largely immune to such populist trends. The election results left Merkel weakened domestically, as her Christian

Rocket to Nowhere: U.S. and N.Korea’s Strained Relations Continued from page 1... ships with Pyongyang. Strange as it might seem, the United States According to the Wall Street Journal, the 20 and North Korea have countries have shut down been in this position before, even to the point businesses owned by the North Korean Governwhere North Korea acment, removed North cused the U.S. of declarKorean vessels from ship ing war. registries, and expelled its Despite inflammatory remarks hurled by both ambassadors. For now, the world side, the United States is continues to see words, the only side making any not deeds, as both sides headway through soft power tactics, reports consider how much direct conflict would cause the Wall Street Journal. them to lose. Through diplomatic channels, the U.S. has convinced over 20 naContact Gabrielle at tions to halt all ic and business relation-

Courtesy of KCNA North Korean leader Kim Jong-un addressing the public on July 31.

Democratic Union (CDU) party and their sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), saw their share of seats in the Bundestag drop from a near postwar high of 49.3 percent in 2013 to a record low of 34.7 percent. Following the release of electoral exit polls, the Social Democratic Party (SDP), which currently governs as part of a “grand coalition” with the CDU/ CSU faction, announced its intention to leave the current coalition to, instead, lead the parliamentary opposition. This proclamation leaves Merkel with only one genuine coalition option to form a government which is to partner with the Free Democratic Party (FDP) and the Greens, a governing combination known as the “Jamaica coalition,” due to the colors used to represent each participating political party., reports CNBC CNN reports the differences between the policies

of the CDU/CSU, FDP, and the Greens are seen as varied and complex, likely requiring extensive negotiations if a government is to be formed. Such a coalition would leave Merkel with a government that has a slightly higher than 50 percent seat count to pass legislation which could possibly stall a large number of domestic agenda items. According to CNBC, Merkel’s differences with the FDP and Greens have the potential to jeopardize French President Emmanuel Macron’s plans for EU reform. The BBC reports that the entry of the AfD into the Bundestag, following the party’s third place at 13 percent of the vote, was greeted with shock and anger by many Germans who were appalled by the idea of a far right-wing party entering parliament for the first time since the Nazis. These feelings of disdain for the AfD given Germa-

ny’s history with respect to WWII led thousands of Germans to take to the streets to demonstrate against what they view as the resurgence of a deeply hateful ideology reminiscent of the nation’s darkest past moments. According to the Guardian, opponents of the AfD cite Alexander Gauland, the party’s co-founder, and his assertion that Germans “have the right to be proud of the achievements of the German soldiers in two world wars” as one example among many that the extremism of the AfD is dangerous and should have no place in government. The AfD has garnered criticism for being anti-Semitic, especially following regional party chief Björn Höcke’s statement that the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin is a “monument of shame”. Despite this the party largely campaigned on an anti-Islam and anti-immigration platform

displaced people are now reliant on humanitarian aid and agencies for basic needs and healthcare, and the deteriorating situation is threating hundreds of thousands with the possibility of famine. Daily Mail reports that Boko Haram continues to attack rural areas despite denial from the government that such attacks are occurring, and many displaced people wish to return regardless of the risks. According to The Guardian, the agreement with the Civilian Joint Task Force was reached after a year of negotiations, and it will prohibit the enlistment of children by the group. Between

October 2015 and August 2017, the task force used over 360 children as part of their 23,000 armed forces. UN data reports that the Boko Haram has been recruiting minors since 2013, using children as young as nine to perform duties such as search operations, guarding outposts, and conducting night patrols. Since the insurgency began in Nigeria in 2009, Boko Haram has recruited more than 8,000 children, with increasingly frequent use of young girls, especially as suicide bombers. The CJTF is comprised of vigilante groups in response to Boko Haram. It primarily protects areas of communities that

that protested Chancellor Merkel’s decision to admit over 1 million refugees into Germany in 2015. Despite the fact that the German economy has flourished, under Merkel’s leadership the issues of immigration and national security seemed to resonate with a large enough portion of the German electorate, particularly in the east, to propel greater than forecasted AfD gains, reports BBC. Frauke Petry, the AfD’s chairwoman, who is widely credited with changing the focus of the AfD from the Euro to Islam and immigration, according to the Times, stunningly announced her intention to leave the party to serve as an independent member of parliament. Her claim for leaving was that the party had become too fundamentalist, making it inviable for actual participation in government. Contact Mark at

UN Deal in Nigeria’s Battle with Boko Haram

Abby Cordaro Staff Writer

Northeastern Nigeria has been torn apart by violence, humanitarian emergency, and mass displacement in recent years. The UN has reached a trademark agreement with the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) to end the use of children in the conflict against Boko Haram in northeast Nigeria. In light of a series of attacks in early September, including the killing of civilians, kidnappings, and suicide bombings, the deal is a step towards protecting human rights, the Council on Foreign Relations reports. Mass unrest in the region ensued as a result of the incredibly poor conditions facing the displaced. Over the course of the eight-year insurgency, at least 20,000 people have been killed and more than 2.6 million others forced to flee their homes, causing mass devastation of the region. The Daily Mail note that while many displaced people fled to live with relatives and friends, the remainder were forced into camps with extremely limited resources. These internally

are not securely guarded by the military., reports the Guardian However, the CJTF has come under scrutiny with Human Rights Watch and other organizations making accusations of rape and other human rights abuses. The Guardian reports that the action plan of this agreement contains provisions that will establish community reintegration programs, provide psychological and social support for child victims, and ensure authorities will attempt to reunite children with their families. Contact Abby at

Courtesy of VOA News Cameroon soldiers check a truck on the border between Cameroon and Nigeria as they combat regional Islamic extremists including Boko Haram.

International News

October 2017 Page 5

Myanmar Rejects Insurgents’ Peace Treaty Eva Rian

Staff Writer Myanmar’s government has seemingly rejected any kind of ceasefires or peace agreements with Muslim insurgents, reports Reuters. The insurgent group in question is the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), a group operating in the northern Rakhine State of Myanmar that was formed as a response to the Burmese government’s treatment of the Muslim-minority Rohingya population. In Al Jazeera’s words, the Rohingya have long been known as “the world’s most persecuted minority,” but recent events have led multiple governments, NGOs, and human rights groups to decry a marked worsening of violence. The Rohingya have long since been persecuted by the Buddhist-majority government of Myanmar that has stripped them of their citizenship, forced them out of the country, and subjected them to repeated violence, reports Economic Times.

As published in February 2017, the United Nation’s report on these human rights abuses reads like “a catalog of the most horrific acts humans can inflict on one another. The crimes include gang rapes, murders of pregnant women, and the killing of babies,” reports OZY. In the last two weeks alone, hundreds of thousands of Rohingya have fled Myanmar to nearby countries like Bangladesh, says the United Nations refugee agency. But they are far from safe in Bangladesh, which is one of the world’s most crowded nations, is not equipped to care for a massive influx of sick, traumatized people, and keeps camps in a deprived state to discourage Rohingya seeking refuge, says KOSU. Bangladesh’s Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina, has called on Myanmar to take the Rohingya refugees back. Far from stemming the flow of Rohingya out of Myanmar, the government has laid landmines across part of its border with

Bangladesh, the Independent notes, to likely prevent their return. Furthermore, international aid has largely been blocked by the government, which alleges that the supplies were being used in militant camps – a claim Amnesty International sharply denied and rebuked as “both reckless and irresponsible.” The Dalai Lama commented to The Global Citizen that he would “’definitely give help to those poor Muslims’” after analyzing the recent events. Other leaders value his opinion on the situation because he is speaking out about the matter from a religious perspective. Amnesty International recently released satellite images of the northern Rakhine state of western Myanmar, which it claims shows a targeted campaign to push the Rohingya people out of Myanmar that is undoubtedly ethnic cleansing. According to Myanmar’s government, the recent military action is in response to the Arakan Rohingya Salvation

Courtesy of Crisis Group Violence has driven 270,000 Rohingya civilians over Myanmar’s border into Bangladesh, causing a humanitarian catastrophe.

Army’s attacks on police and the burning of military compounds, reports Economic Times. The ARSA’s most recent strike in August killed multiple men from Myanmar’s security forces. This attack, Al Jazeera reports, has not only led to military action, but also caused violent backlash from Buddhists extremists and ultra-nationalist civilians. Myanmar authorities claim the arson is the work of insurgents and the army is fighting “a legitimate campaign against terrorists.” Al Jazeera also noted the Rohingya are “widely reviled as illegal migrants

from Bangladesh” and have been denied citizenship by the government. It remains impossible to verify either side’s claim, as the media and independent commissions from the UN have been denied access to the Rakhine State, where the violence ensues. Influential leaders like Pope Francis and Malala Yousafzai, the Independent reports, continue to call for an international response and express disappointment with the head of the government, Aung San Suu Kyi. Suu Kyi, perhaps best known for her efforts to increase democracy in Myanmar, which won her a Nobel

Peace Prize, continues to deny any wrongdoing on the government’s part, according to NPR. Outrage over the leader’s conspicuous silence and active denial of government wrongdoing has pushed over 365,000 to sign a petition calling for the Nobel committee to revoke her peace prize, the Telegraph reports. In response to the recent ceasefire attempt, Suu Kyi tweeted that the government has “no policy to negotiate with terrorists.” Contact Eva at

Flooding in Mumbai Challenges Economic Stability Judy Koren

Staff Writer Extreme flooding in India, specifically in the financial capital of Mumbai, raises questions of climate change and whether the major Indian city can continue as a financial superpower. According to the Guardian, floods in Mumbai, which took place in late August, battered infrastructure, including highways, homes, hospitals, and a commuter railway that carries more people daily than the population of Denmark. Villages throughout India that people were once able to return to after the flooding subsided, are now left abandoned, reports The Guardian. At least 500 people in India have died in a flood-related incident, reports The Independent, with 17 million displaced from their homes. In the city of Mumbai, rising water levels crippled a three-story building with residents inside, killing as

Courtesy of India Today

Traffic came to a screeching halt after heavy rains deluged Mumbai.

many as 33 and injuring dozens more, according to CNN. A Mumbai official claimed hundreds of residential buildings in Mumbai are in comparable condition to the one that collapsed, CNN says. In response to the natural disasters plaguing the country, India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, claimed climate change, which is making the flooding more severe, is having “a big negative impact” on the people, reports The Independent. The Guardian reports

the storms that cause the massive overflow of rain, due to an increase in atmospheric moisture, are more powerful due to climate change, and that the future does not look much better for India. The Guardian also says high tides have added to India’s unusually harsh monsoon season. With the increasing damage to India’s commercial capital, doubts of its ability to withstand being a world power are circulating, according to The National. As Mum-

bai tries to strengthen itself, India faces an economic loss of $7 billion annually from flooding alone, reports the United Nations. Interviewed by The National, Aaron Solomon, the managing partner at Solomon and Co., an Indian law firm headquartered in Mumbai, stated that, “The recent floods severely expose Mumbai’s failings as India’s commercial capital, and it is the commercial capital that showcases the economic strength of a country.”

In a time when Mumbai is trying to boost economic growth to support the economic loss, says The National, the constant flooding and increasing severity of the disasters, are damaging the reputation of the city, and limiting the possibility to encourage the creation of more jobs for its people. The National interviewed citizens of Mumbai who were directly impacted by the flooding in India’s richest city, according to the New

World Wealth report, who all believed that the city should equip itself with sustainable technology to better cope with the devastating rainfall. The suggested improvement in technology that can reduce annual loss has the potential to convince those who doubt Mumbai’s economic stability that it is a consistent force in the global economy. Contact Judy at

Focus On

October 2017 Page 6

China Renata Koch Alvarenga Staff Writer In 2014, a six-yearold child from northern Shanxi province of China woke up without eyes, after being drugged and kidnapped, The New Yorker reports. What seems like a nightmare is an all too common occurrence resulting from the high-volume organ trade occurring in China. Stories like this have been recurrent for years regarding the illegal organ trade in China, where selling organs in the black market has been an easy way of making profit. Despite being the second largest performer of transplants in the world, after the United States, many Chinese citizens do not receive organ donations, reports China Daily. This is due to the fact that there is widespread misallocation and mismanagement of organs from donors to patients. In reality, only one per-cent of the population in need actually gets out of the waiting list, reports China Daily. Facing a lack of donations due to the traditional belief that bodies need to be buried intact

in order to be reincarnated whole, hospitals have adopted the controversial practice of taking organs from executed prisoners, the Telegraph reports. The Chinese government admitted these allegations in 2009, and has since claimed to have implemented changes. According to Reuters, the constant accusations by human rights organizations led to a reform in the organ transplant sector, headed by Huang Jiefu, former deputy Minister of Health in China. Since 2014, the government has banned the practice of using organs from prisoners and hospitals can only accept organs that have been voluntarily donated. Mr. Huang told The Guardian in February of this year, “there is zero tolerance. However, China is a big country with a 1.3 billion population so I am sure, definitely, there is some violation of the law.” Mr. Huang’s skepticism is shared by the New Yorker, which points out the ambiguity in China’s commitment and its unclear enforcement mechanisms. Another issue of organ trafficking in China pertains to “transplant

tourism”, where foreigners travel to the country to get transplants at a lower cost and greater expediency than domestic procedures. Transplant tourism also faces legal challenges as many state’s legal systems do not encompass extraterritorial crimes, and are therefore difficult to prosecute, reports The Epoch Times. According to the International Medical Travel Journal, the Chinese Ministry of Health has told domestic hospitals not to give transplants to tourists, and Mr. Huang has stated that “medical institutions and staff who carried out the organ transplants against the rules will be severely dealt with according to the law.” However, due to vague enforcement methods, these punishments are difficult to carry out. Earlier in 2017, China’s organ trade was the theme of a controversy regarding the Vatican summit, as reported by The Guardian. Many attendees did not want Chinese representatives at the summit due to the state’s ties to organ trafficking. Francis Delmonico, professor at the Harvard Medical School and to

the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, highlighted the importance of Huang Jiefu at the event, given his tireless work to ban the practice of using organs from executed prisoners for transplants. The regional director for East Asia at Amnesty International, Nicholas Bequelin, criticized the standards used by the Chinese to conduct their transplants, but praises the efforts by Huang to change the current practices. Regarding the controversy about the Vatican summit, Bequelin told The Guardian, “they’re not inviting the executioner-in-chief. They are inviting the person who is energetically – unsuccessfully so far – trying to reform it.”

Health, the law initially mitigated the flow of organs in and out of Pakistan, but with no change in demand, and with indebted workers still willing to supply, crime syndicates in Pakistan revamped their operations. Dubbed “Kidney Mafias,” these organ traffickers now seek to supply the international demand for organs, reports NPR. Kidney Mafias target the illiterate and impoverished, with reports indicating that victims are coerced, abducted, and even imprisoned for their organs. The market appears to be too lucrative to be let go of so easily, with even Western clients awaiting organs from Pakistan. In the United States and United Kingdom, where the waiting list for organ recipients is rarely satisfied, many citizens turn to the black market to purchase much-needed organs, reports the

Tribune. Despite the fact that Pakistani authorities have cracked down on Western clients looking for the gift of life through the organ trade, the black market continues to satisfy in areas where our medical providers cannot. Pakistan finds itself in quite the predicament. It houses one of the largest organ trafficking networks in the worlds, which feeds on the poverty floats above much of its population. With promises of debt relief and quick income, many people desperately turn to the market, and many more clients turn to it for promises of extended life.

Contact Renata at

Pakistan Shamel Dishack Staff Writer Pakistan’s organ market poses a threat to the welfare of its population and continues to operate with no end in sight. Encompassing a large portion of the organ harvesting black market, the Pakistani market delivers promises of quick and easy funds for those who desperately need the money. Despite continued growth in Pakistan’s economy, increased income inequality pushes citizens toward more desperate means of providing for their families, reports Reuters. The market’s reach is not exclusive to Pakistan’s most impoverished regions. It is also visible in its most lucrative areas. The Punjab province is the crown jewel of Pakistan’s agricultural production, yet is also the hotbed of the illegal organ trade,

reports Reuters. Targeting impoverished farmers who are indebted to banks and feudal landlords, organ traffickers seduce these workers with promises of payment in exchange for their organs, most notably their kidneys. With the lucrative market taking a toll on workers, industry, and the general reputation of Pakistan, authorities and human rights groups continue their efforts to bring the organ trade down. In 2010, the Pakistani government passed the Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Act, prohibiting the buying and selling of organs for transplant in Pakistan. Although there are some exceptions to the law, it was designed to inhibit the number of organs that enter the market due to coercive measures, blackmail, or financial exploitation. According to Global

Contact Shamel at

organ trade

October 2017 Page 7

Syria Madison Feser Staff Writer Violence is threatening Syrians’ lives, forcing them from their homes, and making them refugees in foreign countries. As a result, displaced Syrians are turning to organ trafficking. Born out of desperation to provide for their families, an estimated 20,000 Syrians have illegally sold their organs since the start of the Syrian Civil War in 2011 according to News Deeply. Hussein Nofal, head of the Department of Forensic Medicine at Damascus University, told News Deepy that within Lebanon and Turkey, trafficking operations normally occur in and around overcrowded and impoverished Syrian refugee camps. Within Syria itself, they operate along border towns outside the reach of the Assad regime and the Islamic State’s control. Preying on the most vulnerable, organ traffickers’ offer struggling Syrians a quick, albeit life threatening, way to make money in their current conditions. One such trafficker who operates out of Beruit, known by the alias Abu Jaafar, told BBC that his “business is booming” and that he knows of at least seven other organ traffickers in Lebanon alone. Middle East organ trade has surged so drastically that Thomson Reuters reports it has taken the spotlight off China and the Philippines, previous hubs for organ trafficking. One of Jaafar’s clients, a 17-year- old Syrian boy, sold his kidney for around $8,000 to pay his family’s debts and support his mother and

five sisters, reports BBC. They fled to Lebanon from Syria three years ago after his father and brothers were killed in the conflict. Jaafar says that most surgeries occur in cheaply rented houses that are modified into temporary clinics. However, refugees are sometimes flown to other countries using false paperwork so traffickers can avoid the risks of shipping illegal organs across international borders. After these operations are performed, victims often suffer from life-threatening complications with no way to receive treatment due to their non-legal status. “I don’t really care if the client dies as long as I got what I wanted,” Jaafar told BBC. “It’s not my problem what happens next as long as the client gets paid.” Because organ donations through hospitals and clinics are legal, as is the case with many countries, traffickers have a loophole they can easily exploit. Flyers are hung around cities pleading for organ donations that will save lives of those affected by the conflict, and all list a phone number that lead to people like Jaafar. Ahmad al-Sayyed, the Attorney General of Damascus, told News Deeply that constraints on government resources leave Syrian officials unable to investigate the ads or determine if payment was given in exchange for these supposed donations. Like Nofal, al-Sayyed also claims that much of the trafficking within Syria occurs in towns that have been decimated by violence, leaving no rule of law to stop their exploitation of Syrian people.

Murhaf al-Muallem, director of the Consultative Center for Studies and Human Rights, told News Deeply that desperate Syrian refugees, understaffed Syrian officials, and even the dealers themselves are not responsible for the rise in organ trade. According to his organization, the real instigators are countries like Lebanon that are not allowing refugees to enter the workforce. “The center blames Syria’s neighboring countries for the situation, since they are not providing Syrian refugees with protection or job opportunities, which has led many of them to sell their own organs in order to provide for their families,” he claims. “Their poverty made them easy victims for the organ trade mafias.” While many Syrians are forced into situations conducive to consensual organ sales, involuntary organ harvesting may also be on the rise, reports Reuters. A fatwa issued by ISIS leadership that allows for the harvesting of organs. The ruling in question was discovered by U.S. ground forces during a raid, and states that “The apostate’s life and organs don’t have to be respected and may be taken with impunity.” Who qualifies as an apostate is up to the Islamic State Group’s own discretion. With consensual and nonconsensual organ harvesting on the rise as a result of the refugee crisis, the future looks ever bleaker for the country’s stateless people. Contact Madison at


October 2017 Page 8

Anthony Tokarz Staff Writer President Donald Trump’s address before the United Nations General Assembly on September 19 attracted widespread scrutiny and criticism. Many critics equated his emphasizing the privileges of sovereignty, a hallmark of his “America First” doctrine, with undermining U.N. principles and U.S. moral leadership. Furthermore, the criticisms levied at Trump seem to suggest that he had gone against the conventions of the UN. A more circumspect and accurate analysis, however, finds that Trump advocated a careful give-and-take relationship between sovereignty and public responsibility on the part of leaders. His thanks to other leaders for their support in the wake of hurricanes Harvey and Irma, followed by pronouncements of American strength and resilience, felt rote and perfunctory. He even resuscitated the common trope of finding the world at a crossroads, a cliché as old as the UN itself. From a structural perspective, then, Trump’s address raised few eyebrows. He differed most from his predecessor in extolling the post-WWII era as the golden age of international relations, and further in examining this through the lens of the Marshall Plan. He remarked, early on, that the pillars of successful international dialogue are “peace, sovereignty, security, and prosperity” before stating, “The Marshall Plan was built on the noble idea that the whole world is safer when nations are strong, independent, and free.” Trump did well to reintroduce sovereignty as the fundamental concept of international relations. His favoritism of the Marshall Plan taps a political tradition dating all the way to the 1648 Peace of Westphalia, which gave governments more autonomy but also greater responsibility in balancing each other’s power and preventing domination by any one of them. Trade and politics became the primary tools of this. Today, however, the United States dominates both

Trump’s UN Address On Global Security

President Trump addressing the U.N.

global trade and politics through a network of international institutions, especially those conceived of at the Bretton Woods Conference and ensure the preeminence of U.S. values and the dollar. This fact of American hegemony suggests a contradiction on the premise of “America First,” the fantasy that American greatness can persist without support for the institutions that created it. The U.S. should hesitate to interpret sovereignty as the right to renege on agreements with other nations and renegotiate trust with its allies; this would constitute an abuse of sovereignty by ignoring the need to improve the

condition of the American people. More than anything else, however, Trump attracted a lot of backlash for the following statement: “As president of the United States, I will always put America first. Just like you, as the leaders of your countries, will always and should always put your countries first.” This refers back to his celebration of “We the People” as the fundamental principle of the U.S. Constitution. He encourages leaders to undertake policies for the betterment of their people, in the belief that the enrichment of the people will free the political elites of those nations from groupthink.

Courtesy of American Greatness

If the leaders make themselves accountable to their people, they will have to undertake stronger and more long-term policies. The responsibility of accountability to citizens must balance the rights of sovereignty, in Trump’s formulation. In this matter, the notorious subject of Kim Jong Un’s North Korea rears its head, where it should. Trump’s address cites a litany of North Korean transgressions against its own people as well as against rival states. At the root of this series of complaints lay the observation that relationships cannot exist without restraint; this is especially true of international relations. Trump’s

insistence on North Korea’s denuclearization is actually a demand for proof that North Korea can show restraint. No nation benefits from North Korea’s isolation, except maybe China. It would be better for North Korea to share in the work of maintaining global order as a partner rather than keeping a tight grip on internal order as a tyrannical government. The U.S., in its vaunted capacity as the moral leader of its allies, must have the courage to push nations, allied and otherwise, to change some aspect of their governing style to fall into line with other states, i.e. potential allies, just as an individual shows love by

daring to identify and correct his friend’s bad behavior. North Korea has played up its bad behavior by antagonizing regional neighbors with aggressive missile launches and weapons development programs. The U.S. must continue to oppose this lest other nations accept it as normal. Trump likewise holds himself to a high leadership standard rooted in providing social benefit to U.S. citizens. He makes the proud assertion that “in America, the people govern, the people rule, and the people are sovereign. I was elected not to take power, but to give power to the American people where it belongs.” This begins, in his mind, with the claims in this speech, which he hoped would reorient global security priorities. Although Trump’s reactionary justification of “America First” appeals to sovereignty, he is right to point out the dangers facing nations today, not least a nuclear North Korea chief. UN member states could do well to temper their (often anti-Trump) ideals with the cold calculation necessary to ensure full participation in global events based on autonomy and the social good. Contact Anthony at

Courtesy of Institute of International Affairs Donald Trump’s speech to the UN General Assembly made clear his brazen stance on North Korea and more, much to the chagrin of the international community.


October 2017 Page 9

Australia’s LGBT Community Finally Coming Out into the Spotlight Mariah McCloskey

Web Editor

Any Australian who is registered to vote has most likely gotten a letter asking them; “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?” Australia is finally following suit of many other countries and voting on same-sex marriage rights. This process, despite finally going into action September 12 of this year, has been in the works since 2015. Two attempts at passing legislation in 2016 and 2017 both failed after the oppositional Labor and Greens parties helped block it, calling for a simple parliamentary vote legalizing marriage equality instead. While the Australian government first proposed a national vote two years ago, Australia remained divided while many other English-speaking nations passed law protecting these rights, reports Pew Research. If the results show a majority yes vote, then the government would facilitate bringing a private member’s bill before parliament in the final sitting weeks of the year. This would allow parliament to change the Marriage Act and allow same-sex couples to mar-

ry, reports the Guardian. Thousands of people marched from the state library through Melbourne’s streets as part of the Rainbow March for Equality on Sunday, October 1, reports the Guardian. Bill Shorten, Party leader of the Australian Labor Party, spoke at a marriage equality rally in Melbourne, urging supporters of the Yes Campaign to fight for just “one day” longer than the No Campaign. Almost every poll in the past decade has shown a majority of Australians support same-sex marriage. The Pew Research data published in 2013 reveals that almost 80 percent of Australians are accepting of homosexuality in general, which is one of the highest numbers in the world. Australia’s homosexuality acceptance rate surpasses the U.S.’s homosexuality acceptance rate by almost 20 percent, and yet the U.S. legalized gay marriage in 2014. Regardless of the overwhelming acceptance, there are still groups that are determined to uphold ‘traditional family values.’ Australian Neo-Nazi group, Antipodean Resistance, emerged recently to launch a homophobic offensive with a poster campaign linking same-

Courtesy of New TV from the Yes Campaign commercial calls on Australia to pass marriage equality.

sex marriage to pedophilia, according to CNN. The government pleaded for the debate to be civil and respectful, while the Senate, Australia’s upper chamber, has gone a step further. It passed special legislation that bans intimidation, threats, and vilification during the vote. The new law threatens a $12,600 ($10,000) fine for people who vilify, intimidate, or threaten harm “on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, intersex status or religion.” The stigma and prejudice are compromising the mental health of LGBT Australians. According to the Public Health Association, “pol-

icies that extend marriage to same-sex couples improve the health of lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals.” They found that the legalization of same-sex marriage could lower the rates of health care costs, due to the lowered rates of mental health issues in LGBT people, suggesting the both health and economic benefits of pro-gay marriage policies. Supporters of this legislation are rallying around the “Yes Campaign.” The campaign’s executive director, Tiernan Brady, said the campaign is, “utterly committed to a solely positive campaign because we know we all

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have to share the same country the next day,” says the Guardian. David Meagher, Editor for The Australian, stated that, “For many LGBT people this is nothing more than a national opinion poll on whether it’s OK to be gay.” He says that for many it is more than a yes or no question; it is all or nothing for both sides. “The idea this ought to be a “respectful debate” is frankly just magical thinking.” The Australian LGBT community has been fighting for the right to live their lives in the same manner as any other Australian. This kind of delay of human rights from a

DR. COURTNEY SMITH Faculty Adviser This publication is made possible through the generosity of the Constance J. Milstein, Esq., Endowed Fund.

The views expressed in The Diplomatic Envoy are those of the writers and are not intended to represent the views of the School of Diplomacy, Seton Hall University, or the CJM Fund.

first world country is absurd in the 21st century. Sixteen million Australians are eligible to participate in the vote. Many opinion polls are predicting a win for a “Yes” campaign, but unlike Australian elections, voting in the postal survey is not compulsory, so complacency and a low voter turn-out could be decisive factors, says BBC. Regardless, the final votes are not cast until November 15, and no matter what happens, it will be cause for uproar in Australia. Contact Mariah at mariah.


Gabrielle Goldworm Alyssa Futa Mia Page Taylor Cain Sam Stolle Mark McGuire Abby Cordaro Eva Rian Judy Koren Shamel Dishack Renata Koch Alvarenga Madison Feser Anthony Tokarz Catherine Doolan


October 2017 Page 10

Austria’s Conservative Right Decides EU’s Future Anthony Tokarz Staff Writer In March 2017, the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on his reelection campaign that he was playing in the “quarterfinals” of the fight against populism. He went on to describe the French presidential election as the “semifinals” and the German general election, which took place Sunday September 24, as the “finals.” Rutte spoke prematurely. Those elections were just the qualifiers, and it will be Austria’s October 15 general election which defines the coming decade of European politics. The Guardian reports that the far right, especially in Germany, has attained shocking success in dominating national political discourse through concerted efforts to manipulate internet fora. As the clouds of populism now gather over Austria, October’s election will gauge whether Austrians see them as bringing renewing rains or a hurricane of hate. The man at the center of the Austrian People’s Party (OVP), and central figure in the unfolding electoral drama, is Sebastian Kurz, who at 27 became Austria’s foreign minister and now, at 31, looks poised to become its Chancellor. After Kurz assumed control

Sebastian Kurz gives a press statement about the need for an election in Austria.

of the OVP, he consolidated most major decision-making functions to the party leader, i.e. himself. The veritable boy wonder, whom much of the media has taken to calling “wunderwuzzi’ or “wiz kid,” tries to balance support for the European Union with condemnation of its recent immigration policy. In 2016, Kurz took credit for closing the Balkan migrant route, which migrants from Turkey used to get from Greece to Germany via Austria. His party recently succeeded in legislating a ban of the burqa, banning the foreign funding of mosques by slashing migrant benefits, and shut-

tering Islamic schools that he accuses of building “parallel societies.” Kurz intends to build further on this success. Though the OVP’s platform might strike the Western ear as draconian, the Austrians rallying behind it do so in the hopes of protecting their livelihoods and culture. As of September 24, the OVP leads the nationwide polls at 33.1%, followed by a tie between the FPO and the incumbent Social Democratic Party (SPO) at 24.3%. Kurz’s newly refashioned party benefits from his youthful charisma, oratorical ability, and willingness to make sensitive issues, such as immigration, central to his campaign. The

FPO has already made overtures to the OVP by adopting its stance on economic reform, which includes lowering taxes, restricting entitlements for non-citizens, and forswearing any form of economic redistribution. Fabio Wolkenstein of the European Politics and Polity Center at the London School of Economics speculates that the most likely outcome will be a coalition between the two conservative parties. The triumph of the Austrian right will align Austria with the Visegrad states, a grouping which includes Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia. Hungary and Poland have spearheaded the Euro-skeptic

Photo Courtesy AFP

populist movement that is gaining support throughout EU member states for its defense of national sovereignty, border integrity, and cultural conservationism. Furthermore, most of the Balkan states, with the exception of Greece and Albania, also lean right, according to Stephen Wolf of Daily Kos Elections. Kurz’s victory would thus shift the political center of Central and Eastern Europe to the right, and most likely encourage right-wing populist movements throughout the continent. Furthermore, the presence of a unified conservative voting bloc in the EU Parliament could precipitate the elections in Croatia

and Bulgaria, and rightwing candidates could potentially exert unprecedented influence over the direction of the European Union. This election may even set the stage for World War I hero Józef Piłsudski’s Intermarium plan, an alliance of conservative states spanning the European continent from the Baltic to the Adriatic Seas. Kurz’s OVP will most likely win the most seats in the Austrian parliament, followed by the far-right FPO. That would catapult Kurz to the Chancellorship and result in a unified rightwing coalition. At the very least, this victory will benefit Poland and Hungary, which has come under scrutiny from the European Commission, and deliver a stinging rebuke to Germany’s Angela Merkel and France’s Emmanuel Macron, who has attempted to bring to heel the EU’s recalcitrant eastern members. Kurz has his finger firmly on the pulse of nativist sentiment and has shown himself both skilled and ruthless in exploiting it. Observers may as well view Austria’s October 15 general election as a referendum on the direction of the European Union. Contact Anthony at

Alumni Spotlight

October 2017 Page 11

Zoe Sellers Gabi Hunt Managing Editor After graduating a semester early last year, School of Diplomacy alumna Zoe Sellers (’17) headed off in March to serve in the Peace Corps as a secondary education English teacher in East Java, Indonesia. During her time at Seton Hall, Sellers majored in Diplomacy and International Relations, and minored in French. Before graduating, Sellers was a sister of Alpha Gamma Delta, served as a representative to College Panhellenic Council and the Greek Municipal Assembly, and was a volunteer for Seton Hall’s Division of Volunteer Efforts. She graduated cum laude, and plans to attend law school after

Mariah McCloskey Staff Writer While most Seton Hall students are in class at nine in the morning during the week, Catherine Doolan, a School of Diplomacy student, attends mid-morning prayer at the United Nations. Participating in morning prayer is just one of the many components to her Saint John Paul II fellowship in partnership with the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See. Doolan said she first heard about the internship through the School of Diplomacy when she asked for internship advice and expressed a strong connection to her Catholic faith. She had previously heard Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Apostolic Nuncio and Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, deliver “a talk on Pope Francis’ diplomacy” in a campus event hosted by the School of Diplomacy, which helped solidify her interest in the internship. Her faith played a large factor in her application. Doolan says she applied because, in her own words, “my faith has been a major part of my identity,” and she wanted to take on a role synthesizing this faith and her interest in diplomacy. Doolan now serves

her Peace Corps service ends in 2019. Originally wanting to serve in West Africa, she found herself in Indonesia, after selecting the “Send Me Anywhere” option on her application. Though West Africa was her dream, rooted in her French-speaking background, she is more than happy to have ended up in Southeast Asia because she “wanted to serve in the Peace Corps however [she] was needed.” Many are surprised to hear of Sellers’ decision to join the Peace Corps, as it was slightly spur of the moment, and that moving to Indonesia was her first time out of the country. Although she acknowledges the undoubtedly different cultures between Indonesia and

as an intern and advisor for the Mission, with a primary focus in security-related issues. She not only has the opportunity to “attend meetings, side events, and conferences” at the UN, but also, because of her assignment in the Security Council specifically, she attends meetings concerning security issues such as disarmament and counterterrorism. While Doolan said the Fellowship combined with her schoolwork often feels more like a “fulltime job” than just an undergraduate internship, she appreciates how it is possible for her to work at the fellowship, but also remain a full-time student through online courses. She even continues to keep a part-time weekend job. Doolan expressed how grateful she was to receive this firsthand experience while keeping up with her schoolwork. Doolan is one of many students given the opportunity to witness diplomacy firsthand and see its depth beyond simply reading about it in a classroom setting. She has had the honor of “meeting diplomats who range from staff to actual permanent representatives,” and has received insight on their experiences and immense knowledge. For example, she had the chance to spend

the U.S., Sellers does not think the adjustment was too difficult because of shared foods and experiences, like McDonald’s, movie theaters, and malls. However, her daily schedule does involve a few things remarkably different then her life in America: bucket showers, nasi pecel (a traditional Javanese salad she considers her favorite Indonesian food), and the Indonesia soap operas she gets to watch with her host mother. In addition to teaching three English classes a day to eighth and ninth graders, she helps with her school’s English Club and coaches a girls’ basketball team. To decompress, she enjoys running, cooking herself vegan dinners, and riding her bike (in spite of a few

minor accidents acclimating to the street traffic). Though she considers most days to be fairly “mundane,” Sellers has already experienced a few unique experiences, including observing the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, and celebrating various other holidays. Indonesia, which is the most populated Muslim country in the world, celebrates holy days and holidays with huge festivities made possible by immense community involvement. Sellers detailed fasting with her host family and reminisced on Eid Al-Adha celebrations, which she considered her most memorable experience. She explained that the community celebratory effort, citing the example of animal sacrifice

Catherine Doolan

during Eid Al-Adha, was amazing to be welcomed into and to witness. It is important to note, though, that Sellers’ experience has not always been easy. She often feels uncomfortable looking so starkly different from those around her. She travels a lot, and explained she’s not just the “only white person,” but also usually the only one wearing short sleeves, no hijab, and bearing tattoos. It is often difficult to cope with the unwanted attention. However, she does not consider sticking out to be a negative thing, and she acknowledges that most people are simply fascinated by her. Despite sometimes feeling worn out from taking endless pictures and being called

“bule” (foreigner), she emphasized that she has never felt afraid or unsafe. Speaking a shared language (in just a few months, Sellers is at an advanced level in Bahasa Indonesian) and having community allies in combatting unwanted attention has kept that feeling of security. As time has gone on, she has felt more comfortable advocating for herself as she has assimilated and fostered a greater understanding of the culture. Moving forward, Sellers hopes to employ more “gender equitable teaching practices” and engage in a dialogue with her students about respect. Contact Gabi at gabrielle.

Courtesy of Cathrine Doolan

some time speaking with Archbishop Paul Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States for the Holy See, on his experience in the area of diplomacy after he addressed the General Assembly on behalf of Pope Francis. Doolan was also fortunate enough to represent the Holy See at a counterterrorism event hosted by President Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Theresa May. There she was able to learn about current counterterrorism strategies against online propaganda spread by terrorists. When asked about the Holy See’s goal in working with the UN, Doolan

said she felt that their duty is to communicate the Catholic Church’s centuries of experience in contributing to humanity and participating in diplomacy. She believes the Catholic Church is “highly respected by the international community” because of its tremendous contributions in “assisting humanitarian and peacekeeping missions globally.” In terms of her personal growth, she said her work with the Holy See has given her the opportunity to promote the dignity of life, push for further human development, and advocate for the poor.

Doolan said the fellowship has “reinforced” her interest in security issues, and she now she feels she has “true working experience in diplomatic relations” that will help her throughout her career. She considers the fellowship “the most rewarding experience” in her life. According to Doolan, her ability to “go to the United Nations every day and help represent the Holy See is an extraordinary experience.” Despite the challenges, Doolan says she would not “change a thing” about her internship. For students looking to apply to the fellowship

in the future, Doolan’s advice is to contact Dr. Catherine Ruby, Director of Internships and Career Development for the School of Diplomacy, to better understand the application process and fellowship commitment. She also recommends researching the Holy See’s “extensive history in diplomacy and understanding the core tenants of Pope Francis’ diplomatic mission.” Contact Catherine at

Diplomacy News

October 2017 Page 12

Foreign Service Officer: Shana Kieran Mariah McCloskey

Web Editor On September 27, the School of Diplomacy hosted Shana Kieran, a Foreign Service officer who works in the Foreign Press Center of the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, or as she called it, the “diplomacy arm” of the U.S. Department of State. After graduating from Yale with a degree in Near Eastern Studies, she was inspired to join the Foreign Service because of a family friend who wrote her letters while traveling to Siberia. As a child, she became enamored with the prospect of traveling the world as a job, but it was not until she was in high school, in the aftermath of September 11, that she realized

she wanted to pursue a career with the U.S. government. Thus, Kieran applied for the Foreign Service immediately after graduating, and now serves as a public diplomacy officer. She organizes cultural programs, academic exchanges, and engages with local people wherever she serves. In her words, her job consists of “extend[ing] the self beyond a narrow area of service.” This description aptly summarizes the past eight years she has spent traveling around the Middle East teaching people about the United States and assisting in any way possible. She cited a specific example during her time in Iraq, where she was able to speak with locals often; to her,

such conversation is the “core of diplomacy.” Through open dialogue, Kieran felt she was able to better understand their thoughts, concerns, and fears during that time. She has traveled well over 40 countries since she joined the Foreign Service. While she stayed in some of those countries during her permanent residency, others were merely quick visits for lectures or events. “It’s a great way to see the world and still feel like you’re making a difference.” Kieran explained. In addition to describing her work, Kieran also offered tips on applying to join the Foreign Service. Kieran described the beginning of the application process as simple;

the first step is visiting To her, the difficulty came during the subsequent three-step process that gets increasingly more difficult, which involves a written exam, group oral exam, and then one-on-one interview. The written exam is roughly three hours and consists of a general knowledge and current events section, a short essay section, and an English knowledge and grammar section. The group oral exam, according to Kieran, involves solving a task alongside six other applicants in front of a judging panel. The applicants are observed and then judged based on how quickly and calmly they solved the task. The panel looks for a diverse

group of people who can “think clearly and work effectively.” Finally, if an applicant is fortunate to pass the first two stages, there are one-on-one interviews. A judge will sit down with the applicant and have them go through scenarios to see how they think. “It’s kind of like a choose your own adventure [game]” Kieran reminisced, where judges are examining whether the applicant demonstrates “clear thought process[es]” while under pressure. Once an applicant passes this final round, he/she is hired and sent on the first assignment to another country for three years. After that time period passes, there is an opportunity to receive

tenure-like status. Kieran told students that Foreign Service officers are lucky because after receiving tenure, they enjoy a stable job government job, unlike that of political appointees. In regard to whether the change in administration affected her job, Kieran responded that although this is the first change in presidency since her hiring, many of her coworkers who had gone through changes in administrations claimed that the impact would be minimal. Kieran said she will continue to do her job and work to the best of her abilities. “When I go to bed, I feel I do more good than harm.” Contact Mariah at mariah.

Cheers to 20Years: Diplomacy Celebrates its 20th Anniversary Gabi Hunt Felipe Bueno

On September 8, the School of Diplomacy and International Relations held its Dean’s Welcome event, as it does every year, to greet students old and new and to honor the beginning of a new academic year. This revered tradition is so beloved because it highlights the best aspect of the School of Diplomacy: its professionalism and inclusivity towards all members regardless of background. Despite its annual occurrence, the Welcome Barbecue this year was different. The cherished event brought a larger turnout than ever before, and the atmosphere was energized by tradition: 2017 marks the 20th anniversary of the founding of the School of Diplomacy. As McQuaid Hall’s south lawn began to fill with bustling bodies, both new and returning students congregated to enjoy the barbecue and its warm weather. Students, staff, and faculty sat together to break bread and discuss everything from their summer vacations to their current research endeavors. Associate Dean of External Affairs Elizabeth Halpin led opening remarks honoring this special anniversary, highlighting

the School’s accomplishments over the past two decades. In particular, she emphasized the School’s commitment to creating a diverse environment of students from around not only the U.S., but also the world, and its cultivation of a professional environment to prepare all students to become global leaders. She also underscored the School’s strides to become the most preeminently engaged international affairs college with the U.N., referencing the School’s own founding in collaboration with the United Nations Association of the United States of America. Following her warm welcome, Dean Halpin introduced Andrea Bartoli, the Dean of the School of Diplomacy. In classic fashion, Dean Bartoli’s optimism and deep love for the school exuded through his words and actions. Characteristic of the School as a whole, Dean Batoli provoked introspection and placed individuals at center of international affairs. In an exercise performed by faculty, staff, and students alike, Bartoli showed that many of the world’s challenges are analogous to the challenges that individuals face when striving for personal and professional development.

Photo Courtesy of School of Diplomacy

“If one gets better, all will benefit,” Bartoli proclaimed, his words a manifestation of the school’s strategic goal. “If I get better at being the Dean everyone will have a lighter burden, a greater reach, and longer path. We must take ourselves seriously. If we do not take ourselves seriously nobody will.” While the Dean’s words instilled a sense of community, they also issued a challenge to the incoming students. “How would you know that you are the best student that you could be?” he pressed. The Dean’s Welcome is less like the passing of a torch and more like the presenting of a gift, “The first 20 years that we are closing now are yours. The new 20 will be ours together,” proclaimed the Dean. The School’s mission

to prepare its students to become global leaders is very much a gift that places responsibility on individuals, who will hopefully go on to serve the world as leaders. While the School of Diplomacy’s success has undoubtedly been propagated by its world-class faculty and staff, the role of our student’s cannot be downplayed in the shaping of the School. Indeed, much has happened in the first twenty years of the School of Diplomacy. The School has enjoyed visits from high-profile leaders, distinguished practitioners, and peacemakers in the field through its Global Leaders Forum: special guests include Kofi Annan, Mikhail Gorbachev, Leymah Gbowee, and Samantha Power. Through the Tom and Ruth Sharkey Distin-

guished Visiting Scholars Program and Sergio Vieira de Mello Endowed Visiting Chair in the Practice of Post-Conflict Diplomacy, the School has brought in former special coordinators, representatives, and diplomats to serve as guest lecturers and adjunct faculty. Hugh Dugan, who served as a career diplomat in the U.S. Department of State for 32 years and was appointed a Sharkey Scholar in 2015, was present at the Welcome and will be teaching a course this semester. Over the years, the School of Diplomacy has built connections with the UN, Supreme Court, and most recently, the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See, where at least one position per semester is reserved for a School of

Diplomacy student. In addition to these connections, the School boasts a popular Washington, D.C., semester program, where students can take courses with Diplomacy faculty and receive Seton Hall credit while interning full-time in the Capital. The Dean’s words remain true: the actions of students that have helped nurture these relationships are a gift to all those who came after them. In that sense, the school’s celebration of 20 years is not a reflection of the past, but a celebration of the future and of the leaders who will come to shape it. Contact Gabi at and Felipe at

October 2017  

FOCUS on Organ Trade, Independence for Iraqi Kurdistan, Trumps UN Address on Global Security, Foreign Service Officer Shana Kieran Visit to...