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The United Nations [electronic resource]: Working for Us All

Nearly everyone on the planet knows of the United Nations, but far fewer understand the important functions it performs in our complicated world. Michael Douglas narrates this compelling introduction to the work of the organization. Outlining the UN's creation and history, and incorporating interviews with Secretary-General Kofi Annan and other prominent leaders, the program illustrates the UN's widespread efforts in peacekeeping, police training, land mine removal, election monitoring, disaster relief, and health initiatives to combat HIV/AIDS and other epidemics. The roles of UNICEF and other subgroups are also explored. A United Nations Production.
2005; 2004

The UN Security Council [electronic resource]: Keeping the Peace

A cornerstone of the United Nations, the Security Council takes on some of the organization's most difficult duties. This program highlights the Council's role in preventing conflicts, resolving disputes, and occasionally initiating military action against an aggressor. Beginning in the era of the original "P-5" membership-the U.S., the U.S.S.R., China, France, and Great Britain-the video explores the history of the Council, examining dramatic moments in the Korean conflict, the Cuban missile crisis, the prelude to the invasion of Iraq, and other cases in which members have struggled to balance their own interests with those of the world body. A United Nations Production.
2005; 2004

The Curse of Oil [electronic resource]

This program offers a global history of the oil industry and the issues intertwined with it, from early-20th-century prospecting in South America and the Middle East to war in Iraq. The origins and significance of OPEC figure prominently in the narrative, as do several historic and violent conflicts revolving around controlling sources or flows of oil: labor strikes in Latin America, Nasser's seizure of the Suez Canal, the Iran-Iraq war, and other pivotal events. Revealing interviews feature, among others, former OPEC leader Sheikh Ahmed Yamani and former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia James Akins-who minces no words and calls oil a curse.
2006; 2003

Return to the Heart of Darkness [electronic resource]

The world largely ignored Rwanda's descent into genocide and civil war. With tensions continuing along the Congo-Rwanda border, will history repeat itself? This ABC News program examines new challenges in central and eastern Africa, reporting on the instability created by Hutu guerillas known as the FDLR. The program also analyzes successes and failures that have occurred as Rwanda tries to heal. Revisiting the shores of Lake Kivu, where vast numbers of refugees died during the violence of the mid-1990s, the program studies the efforts of the International Crisis Group to address vestiges of the tragedy and remove the FDLR-giving the world a second chance to pay attention.

Bitter Harvest [electronic resource]: War on Drugs Meets War on Terror

For many governments in the new political landscape of Central Asia, supporting America's war on terror translates into a dangerous internal juggling act. This Wide Angle documentary examines the uneasy relationship between forces aligned against the Taliban and the drug lords who control the cultivation of much of the world's heroin. With militias and tribal factions diluting centralized power, the current opium crop in Afghanistan is among the largest ever. How will the international community deal with this fact of central Asian life? Can agricultural reforms be implemented that will equal the profitability of the opium trade? And how will the United States resolve a dilemma that pits the war on terror against the war on drugs? In addition, UNDP Administrator Mark Malloch Brown ta [...]
2006; 2002

Kurt Waldheim [electronic resource]: UN Secretary-General, 1972-1981

Although dogged by scandal after his term as Secretary-General, Kurt Waldheim steered the United Nations through a precarious phase of global history-in which the Vietnam War and the space race were the most prominent of many international dramas. Waldheim's involvement in Turkish-Cypriot diplomacy and several attempts at conflict resolution in the Middle East and Central Asia are also notable, as well as his spearheading of numerous international conferences. This program presents an overview of the Waldheim mandate and records the Austrian leader's detailed reflections on his challenges and accomplishments as Secretary-General.
2006; 2005

Javier Perez de Cuellar [electronic resource]: UN Secretary-General, 1982-1991

During his two terms as United Nations Secretary-General, Javier Perez de Cuellar encountered and made use of several opportunities for international conflict resolution. He helmed the organization through the aftermath of the Falklands War and promoted the Contadora Group as a force for Central American peace and stability. Under Perez de Cuellar, the UN was also engaged in the negotiation process for Namibian independence and many issues affecting Africa and the Mediterranean region. In this program, the Peruvian statesman contemplates his term as Secretary-General and its relationship to previous and subsequent global developments.
2006; 2005

Boutros Boutros-Ghali [electronic resource]: UN Secretary-General, 1992-1996

Despite Boutros Boutros-Ghali's diplomatic accomplishments, his tenure as United Nations Secretary-General was marked by a tragic period in African history and a difficult political transition for the world body. In this program, Boutros-Ghali sheds light on global events in which the UN participated-or perhaps should have been more involved. The Egyptian scholar conveys his opinion that peacekeeping missions overburdened UN resources during his mandate, that warnings about Rwanda's ethnic conflict were ineffective, and that American officials intended, through the brusque removal of Boutros-Ghali from power, to caution his successors. Contains graphic images of genocide victims.
2006; 2005

Kofi Annan [electronic resource]: UN Secretary-General, 1997-2006

Professing the goal of "bringing the United Nations closer to the people," Secretary-General Kofi Annan ushered in a new era of UN involvement with international social and medical issues. This program features the Ghanaian-born diplomat's ideas about the role of the UN in today's world, with particular attention to the so-called Millennium Goals of ending poverty and inequality, increasing access to education, fighting AIDS, protecting the environment, and preventing humanitarian crises due to violent conflicts. Annan also poignantly shares his thoughts about the loss of Sergio Vieira de Mello and 22 others in the 2003 bombing of the UN's Baghdad headquarters.
2006; 2005

Our Own Private Bin Laden [electronic resource]

Would the collapse of the Soviet Union have been possible without American sponsorship of Islamic fundamentalism? Did U.S. policies pave the way for 9/11? Does the American media help sustain Osama Bin Laden's popularity? This documentary examines those questions, studying the machinations of key players - the CIA, Bin Laden, Afghani mujahideen and opium traders, Presidents Carter and Reagan, the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, and others - as the Cold War morphed into the War on Terror. Presenting a wide range of opinions, the program features eye-opening interviews with high-level leaders and renowned political analysts - including Milton Bearden, former CIA station chief in Pakistan; Benazir Bhutto, former Prime Minister of Pakistan; and scholar and activist Noam Chomsk [...]
2007; 2005

The Mahdi Army [electronic resource]: Iraq's High-Profile Insurgents

Led by the charismatic cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, the Mahdi Army has posed the most prominent Shiite threat to coalition forces in Iraq. This program sheds light on the militia's emergence, sporadic violence, and wavering political influence following the 2003 U.S.-led invasion. Assembling a detailed visual account from a wealth of archival news footage, the film begins by outlining al-Sadr's family history and his religious stance, then describes the Mahdi Army's shadowy tactics; its on-again, off-again adherence to ceasefires; and its climactic showdown with Iraqi security forces in Basra in the spring of 2008. For students investigating the complexity of post-Saddam Iraq, this is an ideal case study.
2009; 2008

Somali Warlords [electronic resource]: Strongmen in a Fragile Nation

Propelling their famine-wracked country into a downward spiral, power-hungry Somali leaders fought each other-until a new enemy, the United States, threatened their hold on precious food aid. This program examines the rise of the Somali warlords, primarily Mohamed Farrah Aidid, and the conflict that erupted between his followers and American military forces in 1993. Viewers will learn how mass starvation in the Horn of Africa prompted a UN and subsequent U.S. presence in Somalia, and how local, clan-based militias openly defied foreign intervention. Recounting the Battle of Mogadishu, infamous for its anti-American atrocities, the film also explores Islamist influences in Africa's "stateless society.
2009; 2008

Francis Fukuyama [electronic resource]: End of History?

Best known as the author of The End of History and the Last Man, Francis Fukuyama is a former neoconservative who argued for the overthrow of Saddam Hussein-then changed his mind before the 2003 invasion of Iraq. What caused his reversal? If the war had gone differently, would he have revised his opinion again? What strategies does he envision for promoting global democracy in the future? Fukuyama addresses those and other questions in this detailed, one-on-one interview. Topics include foreign policy differences between the U.S. and the European Union, China's unusual ability to create modern capitalism without representative democracy, and Fukuyama's concept of a "global NATO.
2009; 2008

Andrew J. Bacevich on the U.S. Imperial Presidency [electronic resource]

Is an imperial presidency destroying what America stands for? In this episode of the Journal, Bill Moyers sits down with retired U.S. Army Colonel Andrew J. Bacevich, who identifies three major problems facing American democracy-crises of economy, government, and militarism-and calls for a redefinition of the American way of life. Respected by Republicans and Democrats alike, Bacevich is author of The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism. "Because of this preoccupation with, fascination with, the presidency, the President has become what we have instead of genuine politics. Instead of genuine democracy," says Bacevich.
2009; 2008

Kosovo [electronic resource]: Black Hole of Europe

Is there a light at the end of the Balkan conflict's long, dark tunnel? Or does Kosovo represent an end game for the hatred between ethnic Serbians and Albanians? This program searches for answers as it travels through the bleak, war-torn region, presenting the expertise of politicians, activists, peacekeepers, and ordinary citizens. With animated maps that clarify focal points in the struggle over Kosovo, the film sheds light on regional history, the role of UNMIK, and the extreme poverty afflicting half of the population. On-the-ground perspective comes from beleaguered civilians, UN Special Envoy Albert Rohan, Kosovo PM Agim Ceku, KFOR North Commander Gen. Marc Duquesne, and many others.
2009; 2007

Hamas [electronic resource]: Untold Story

Produced with unprecedented access to Hamas and its operations, this program takes viewers inside Gaza's Islamic fundamentalist government in the months following its civil war against Fatah. The film observes Hamas leaders as they struggle to shape policy and follows a former militant who now heads up an Executive Force police unit-carrying out orders he doesn't agree with. Archival footage and interviews from earlier years are also included, creating a historical context in which the emergence of Hamas, as well as the problems of governance it now faces, can be examined and discussed. Fatah's ongoing control over Hamas finances is one of the many topics analyzed.
2009; 2008

China Inside Out [electronic resource]: Building Relationships With the Next Superpower

Many Americans fear China's growing strength and influence around the world. But the rise of China is an unavoidable geopolitical event, according to John Thornton, professor and director of Global Leadership at Tsingua University in Beijing. This ABC News program features interviews with Thornton and other experts who examine America's need to forge a stronger relationship with China. The program also studies China's approach to the U.S. and other nations, such as Cambodia, Angola, and Brazil. Commentators include Evan Osnos, Beijing bureau chief for the Chicago Tribune; Fareed Zakaria, editor of Newsweek International magazine; and Wang Guangya, China's UN ambassador.
2009; 2008

What Are We Doing Here? [electronic resource]: Why Western Aid Hasn't Helped Africa

Wealthy nations have sent vast amounts of monetary, medical, and food assistance to Africa. Yet much of the continent remains mired in poverty, famine, and bloodshed. Challenging viewers to rethink traditional humanitarian approaches, this film follows four young Americans as they experience firsthand the scope and intractability of Africa's suffering. From Cairo to Cape Town, viewers are taken across war-torn, famine-ridden, and AIDS-ravaged countries in which aid workers, government officials, and ordinary individuals explore the complex issues affecting millions of Africans today. Discussions focus on HIV/AIDS, armed conflict, child sponsorship, U.S. farm policies, and the role of NGOs.
2009; 2008

The Unwinking Gaze [electronic resource]: Inside Story of Dalai Lama's Struggle for Tibet

Filmed over the course of three years, this documentary offers viewers unprecedented access to His Holiness the Dalai Lama and his inner circle as they work together to convince the Chinese government of the need for a negotiated settlement on the future of Tibet. The result is a truly unique portrait of a widely revered world leader as he struggles to strike a balance between his spiritual beliefs and the realpolitik required to draw an extremely reluctant China into discussion. The Unwinking Gaze is not three years in the life of the Dalai Lama; it is his life's work condensed into three years.
2009; 2008

The United Nations Is Terminally Paralyzed [electronic resource]: Debate

As a peacekeeper, the UN has had dubious results. It did nothing for Darfur. Its 17,000 blue helmets have failed to stop the violence in North Kivu. And it never reached a resolution on whether to intervene in Myanmar. Is the United Nations terminally paralyzed-and does the democratic world need a new forum of its own? That is the two-part question in this Oxford Union-style debate as panelists make their case. Speakers for the motion call attention to repeated deadlocks in the Security Council as an obstacle to resolutions on humanitarian crises and extol the potential benefits of a league of democracies; those against emphasize that the UN is the only universally acknowledged seat of collective legitimacy and justice and express concern over the potentially ostracizing and polarizi [...]