UN appointments frequently centre as much on politics as they do on qualifications for the role.
The official opening of the League of Nations, 15 November 1920.
Wikipedia/A. Frankl - National Library of Norway
Both the EU and UK would do well to heed the lessons of the League of Nations when it comes to membership withdrawal.
Barry Tuck via Shutterstock
Like the League of Nations before it, the UN is often dismissed as a powerless talking shop or a proxy for the great powers. It's much more than that.
These days neither the public nor governments consider passports as a serious obstacle to freedom of movement.
In the 20th century, governments considered the “total abolition” of passports as an important goal and discussed the issue in several international conferences.
Map of the Sykes–Picot Agreement showing Eastern Turkey in Asia, Syria and Western Persia, and areas of control and influence agreed between the British and the French in May 1916.
Royal Geographical Society via Wikimedia Commons
The leaders of Islamic State do not see their caliphate as an exercise in theocracy for its own sake, but as an attempt at post-colonial emancipation.