United Nations Association Geopolitics Discussions

Boulder Creek Room (first floor behind the spiral staircase)

Boulder Public Library, main branch, 1001 Arapahoe Ave.
(Usually the last Thursday of the month, 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.)

See United Nations & International Affairs for third Thursday UNA sponsored discussions.

 (Archive of Readings for both groups: http://www.unaboulder.org/archive/discussion-reading-links/.)

Contact: Robert McNown


Last Updated: February 18, 2020

February 27, 2020  “How India has unconstitutionally removed the autonomy of Kashmir.”
      Resource person - Ather Zia, Ph.D, a political anthropologist at the University of Northern Colorado, Greeley and author of Resisting Disappearance: Military Occupation and Women's Activism in Kashmir.

July 25, 2019  “General discussion on the state of the world.”
      Resource persons - All attendees. Please pick a country or topic and be ready to say a few words about it and why you think it is important.

June 27, 2019  “The Bretton Woods Institutions - WTO, World Bank, IMF - can they survive attacks from the left and the right?”
      Resource person - Robert McNown. Robert is a retired Professor of Economics at CU Boulder and President of the Boulder Chapter of the United Nations Association.

May 30, 2019  “International Sport, Geopolitics, and Social Influence.”
      Resource person - Sarah Hartley specializes in International Sports Law and teaches courses at CU Law School on the topic.

April 25, 2019  “Watson Scholar's projects to help their native countries.”
      Resource persons - Several Watson Scholars will discuss the projects they are developing to implement in their home countries. They are working on these projects while studying here in Boulder. There will also be comments on growing up in their homelands and their first perspectives on the US.
Johanam Abdalla (Guatmala), and Yousra Kherkhache (Algeria), have already accepted and there may be other students from Haiti and Rwanda.

March 28, 2019  “Tajikistan, the “Stans”, and The Silk Road and Chinese plans.”
      Resource person - Peter Kleinman. Peter and several Boulder friends spent several weeks in Tajikistan this summer biking and visiting Dushanbe, the capital, which is a Boulder Sister City and the source of our famous tea house.

February 28, 2019  “Personal perspectives on the US Border Immigrant “crisis”.”
      Resource persons - several immigrants from Central American countries.

January 31, 2019  “The United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women.”
      Resource person - Veronica Hrutkay. Ms. Hrutkay has several careers going as a nurse and member of the US Army R. She is a member of the Board of the UNA/BC and is heading an effort by many local NGOs to have the cities of Boulder County ratify or support the treaty.

November 29, 2018  “Tariffs, China, and Trade.”
      Resource person - Robert McNown. Robert is the President of the UNA/BC and a retired Professor of Economics at CU Boulder.

October 25, 2018  “Climate Change Crisis.”
      Resource person - Jim Dimmick. A member of the Boulder Chapter of the Citizens' Climate Lobby, Jim works to find solutions to issues related to climate change.

September 27, 2018  “Singularity University and the Technological Utopia.”
      Resource person - María Inmaculada Maseda Virosta. Inma holds a M.A. in Instructional Technology & Media, from Columbia University. She has worked in International Affairs and Education.

NOTE: There will be no Geopolitics meeting in August.

July 26, 2018  “Foreign Policy Approaches. What is Negotiation?”
      Resource person - William Kellogg. Bill has a degree in Public and International Affairs.
Reference - Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In, by Roger Fisher.

May 31, 2018  “Ethics of Internet Probing.”
      Resource person - Prasanth Prahladan, a PhD student of Computer Science at CU Boulder researching social interactions in a networked global society.

April 26, 2018  “Iran: Some historic background and perspective on Iran's role in the Middle East and relations with the United States.”
      Resource person - Harry R. Moody, Ph.D. from Columbia, in philosophy and comparative religion. He speaks Farsi and traveled to Iran in 1978 just before the Revolution and has had many friends and contacts with Iran over the years.

March 29, 2018  “Trade, tariffs, nationalism and globalization.”
      Resource person - William Kellogg. Bill has a degree in Public and International Affairs.

February 22, 2018  “South Sudan: Perspectives on the Crisis.”
      Resource person - Mr. Losuba Wongo, former officer in the army and member of Parliament of South Sudan.

January 25, 2018  “Political Prisoners Around the World.”
      Resource person - Mike Sweeney. Retired from Tech Industry, Mike is working on a program to track political prisoners world wide.

November 30, 2017  “Iran in the broader context of the Middle East and Geopolitics.”

October 26, 2017  “North Korea.”
      Resource person - Ron Forthofer.

July 27, 2017  “Italy: Tourism and Dipolmacy.”
      Resource person - Alex Lander, Ph.D. candidate at CU studying the history of U.S. foreign relations.

June 22, 2017  “Cyberspace: the technical and political implications.”
      Resource persons - Omer Gibreel, Fulbright scholar at CU - Atlas program, and Michael Skirpan PhD candidate at CU in communication of technological issues.

May 25, 2017  “Globalization: the positive and the negative.”
      Resource persons - Bill Kellogg - Degree in Public and International Affairs, Mustafa Naseem - Instructor in CU's Atlas Program, and Naquetta Hicks (Nikki) - native of Nigeria, global background in areas as diverse as aerospace, financial management, Africa, international relations, immigrant aid, and refugee issues.

April 27, 2017  World Order 2 Series - “Climate Change.”
      Resource person - Dr. Kathleen Miller, a Scientist III working with the Boulder National Center for Atmospheric Research's Climate Science and Applications Program, is an economist who conducts research on climate impacts, vulnerability and adaptation. Much of Dr. Miller's recent work has focused on water resource planning in the context of the potential impacts of climate change.

March 30, 2017  Third meeting in the World Order 2 Series - “Refugees.”
      Resource persons - Susanne Stadlbauer, Ph.D.Resident Fellow, Center for Media, Religion and Culture, University of Colorado Boulder (Susanne's current research focuses on Syrian refugees in southern Germany including interviews on their journeys, reasons for leaving Syria, and future goals), and
Maytham Alshadood, a Transplant Medicine RN, Interpreter/Translator, Refugee Healthcare Navigator, Refugee Health Researcher, and a Community Organizer. He attended The College of Veterinary Medicine in Mosul, Iraq. He also worked for the U.S. Department of Defense in Iraq. Born and raised in Baghdad, he moved to the U.S. in 2008. Maytham graduated with Honors from the University of Colorado College of Nursing and is currently working at the University of Colorado Hospital while also serving his community through the International Rescue Committee in Denver.

February 23, 2017  “International Public Health.”
      Resource person - Carl Tintsman, who has worked world wide on the elimination of polio.

January 26, 2017  “The Future of the International System: the case for Sovereign Obligation.”
Reading: Richard Haass, “The Case for Sovereign Obligation”.

October 27, 2016  “Russia and the US: Syria, Ukraine and other hot spots.”
      Resource person - Ron Forthofer.

September 29, 2016  “Immigration and Asylum.”
      Resource person - C. Paige Gardner, an attorney at Gardner Immigration Law, P.C., in Boulder.

July 28, 2016  “Wastewater treatment performance on a national and regional scale and policy implications for water management and conservation.”
      Resource person - Bihu Suchetana, is pursuing her PhD in Civil Engineering at University of Colorado Boulder.

June 30, 2016  “Climate Change, Environment, and Boulder.”
      Resource person - Brett KenCairn, Senior Environment and Climate Planner, city of Boulder.

May 26, 2016  “The Sister City Concept: Person to Person Diplomacy.”
      Resource persons - Mary Axe and others who have been involved with Boulder's current Sister Cities.

April 28, 2016  “A Time Traveler's View of Uzbekistan and China.”
      Resource persons - Jeff and Joanne Wade spent a good part of last year traveling around the world. They will present a reflection on these travels.

March 31, 2016  “TPP Trade Agreement - the good and the bad.”
      Resource person - Dr. Keith Maskus, CU Boulder, Professor of Economics.

February 25, 2016  “Brazil - a BRIC in crisis.”
      Resource persons - Colleen Scanlan Lyons (CU faculty, who organizes student study in Brazil), and students.

January 28, 2016  “The meaning of gender in the 21st century.”

December 3, 2015  “Jordan and the Middle East: a personal perspective.”
      Resource person - Major Ashkan Angha an instructor in the ROTC program at CU who returned late this Spring from several years as US Army Military Attache in Amman, Jordan.

October 29, 2015  “UN Sustainable Development Goals.”

September 24, 2015  “Europe in Crisis: Greece and the future of the EU.”

July 30, 2015  “World Health Today: WHO, Doctors Without Borders, Ebola, Gates Foundation Report.”

June 25, 2015  “South Africa: On the Brink?”
      Resource person - Rob Luneburg, former AID worker and long time resident of Africa.

May 28, 2015  “Yemen.”

April 30, 2015  “When great powers intervene: Iran and Libya.”
      Resource persons - Ron Forthofer and Tom Mayer.

March 26, 2015  “The Middle East/Islam.”

February 26, 2015  “Cuba: New beginnings, old concerns.”
      Resource person - Spense Havlick. Spense has been involved with the Cuba-Boulder Sister City project for a number of years.

January 29, 2015  “Germany: still the powerhouse of Europe?” Reading in the 12/01/14 New Yorker on Angela Merkel.

October 30, 2014  “The Future of NATO: Afghanistan, Ukraine, the Islamic State.” Readings.

September 25, 2014  “Migration: an International Crisis.”
      Resource person - John Price.

July 31, 2014  “Understanding China.”
      Resource person - Azuraye Wycoff, last Spring's UNA/BC intern. She has spent the past year studying in China.
      Note: This meeting will be held at the George Reynolds Branch of the library.

June 26, 2014  “UN Development Goals 2015: Issues of Health - disease eradication with focus on polio.”
      Resource person - Carl Tintsman. Carl received the UNA/BC Human Rights Award in 2007 for his work helping to direct a joint UNICEF and WHO program on polio eradication that has nearly wiped out the disease world wide.

May 29, 2014  “UN Development Goals 2015: Issues of Governance - TRADE - Globalization or Protection? GATT, NAFTA, TPP, and other trade agreements.”
      Resource person - Michael Keaveny. Mike is a retired Foreign Service officer. He held posts in Canada where he had exposure to NAFTA and worked on trade issues.

April 24, 2014  “Human Trafficking and Gender Based Violence.” Readings.
      Resource person - Professor Roma Debabrata, President of STOP, an NGO that is affiliated with the UN Women's Organization. She is based in India and teaches at the Miranda House, Delhi University. She is a member of the SAARC regional task force relating to Trafficking in Women and Children and Promotion of Child Welfare.

March 27, 2014  “Representing foreign countries at Model UN conferences.”
      Resource person - Brenn Anderson Gregson from Boulder High School. The Boulder High Model United Nations Team represented the Republic of Congo - Brazzaville, and Uruguay at the most recent national conference at UC Berkeley. We will hear about issues facing these two nations.

February 27, 2014  “Privacy or Piracy - NSA, Google, Target, Drones, Snowden - the ethical and geopolitical issues.”
      Resource persons - Tyler Abboud and Bill Kellogg.

January 30, 2014  “Conflict, or clean water and good health? Lessons from Kenya.” Readings.
      Resource person - Judy Pitt.

December 5, 2013  “The EU and The Middle East - Turkey in the middle.”
      Resource person - James Harmoush, CU International Affairs major with emphasis on the Middle East, and past officer of the CU Model UN.

October 31, 2013  “Cultural Differences and Their impact on Geopolitics.”
      Resource persons - Orah Elron (Israel), Ulla Langer (Finland), and Antonio Anduaga (Peru).

September 26, 2013  “India and the Issue of Tibetan Refugees.” Readings.
      Resource person - Chela Kunasz, who has worked in India with Tibetan Refugees for a number of years.

July 25, 2013  “China Today.” Readings.
      Resource person - Reed Chervin, a CU graduate student, who is writing his thesis on Wellington Koo, a well-known Chinese diplomat.

June 27, 2013  “Afghanistan - implementing US policies from the perspective of a returned army sergeant.” Readings.
      Resource person - Sergeant Jared Ruger, now assigned to the Army recruiting office in Boulder. Because of military regulations his comments will not relate to the making of US policy or what it should be. Rather he will focus on the perspective of those who have been ordered to implement those policies.

May 30, 2013  “Will a UN Treaty on gun sales have any impact on gun ownership?” Readings.
      Resource person - Dan Baum, author of the recently published book, Gun Guys: A Road Trip.

April 25, 2013  “Hugo Chavez Frias: Rewriting History, Becoming the Future?” Readings.
      Resource person - Mariana Bolivar Rubin.

March 28, 2013  “Bhutan - As the Dalai Lama ages, what is the future for the small Buddhist nations?” Readings.

February 28, 2013  “Democratic Republic of the Congo and its neighbors, quagmire of Africa. Is peace possible?”
      Resource person - Michael Burch. Readings.

January 31, 2013  “Pakistan: current issues.” Readings.
      Resource person - Mehreen Ahmed.

November 29, 2012  “International Corporations and US Foreign Policy.”    Readings.

October 25, 2012  “The U.S. election and foreign policy.”
      Resource persons - Douglas Snyder and Michael Cude.

September 27, 2012  “Kosovo - lessons learned when ‘coalitions of the willing’ intervene.”
      Moderator - Ron Forthofer. Readings.

July 26, 2012  “Burma: a look at its history and what the future holds.”
      Resource person - Dr. Kyaw Win. Readings (pdf). Books on Myanmar suggested by Dr Win: Andrew Marshall, The Trouser People, Emma Larkin, Secret Histories, and Bertil Lintner, Burma in Revolt.

June 28, 2012  “Post-conflict trauma and geopolitics.”

May 31, 2012  “China's Trade Policy: Partner, Competitor, Exploiter.” Readings (pdf).

April 26, 2012  “The Media and Geopolitics: the media's impact on foreign relations from Wikileaks to the New York Times to the Arab Press.”

March 29, 2012  “South Africa: What's going on?”
Resource Person: Brendan Bosworth, Fulbright Scholar from South Africa studying at CU, will introduce the topic with some personal observations.

February 23, 2012  “What is causing the euro crisis, and how can it be resolved?”

January 26, 2012  “Sovereignty: has it outlived its usefulness?”

December 1, 2011  “Is Islamic, but non-Arab, Turkey a viable model for post-Arab-Spring democracies in the Arab world?”

October 27, 2011  “Pakistan: Friend or foe?”

September 29, 2011  “The Muslim Brotherhood: What is it?”

August 25, 2011  “Is there a global free market? What is the range of economic thinking, analysis, and allegations on that question?”

July 28, 2011  “Brazil, the soft BRIC.”

June 30, 2011  “Taking stock ten years after 9/11: Who is winning the global struggle?”

May 26, 2011  “Libya: Lessons learned, mistakes made, and its future?”

April 28, 2011  “Egypt: Its political future and its impact on the Arab Middle East.”

March 31, 2011  “Will the world's reserve currency continue to be the U.S. dollar?”

February 24, 2011  “The political future of Kashmir: Can a shared culture and ethnicity trump religion?”

January 27, 2011  “Will there be resource wars over rare-earth metals and other strategic metals?”

December 2, 2010  “What is the influence of ethnic minorities on Russian geopolitical decisions?”

October 28, 2010  “The influence of NGOs on developing nations: Are their approaches more effective than policies of sovereign states?”

September 30, 2010  “Mexican drug wars: Who benefits from them?”

August 26, 2010  “Afghanistan: Can stability and true nationhood ever be achieved by combining such diverse ethnicities?”

July 29, 2010  “Are current U.S. foreign, military, trade, and agricultural policies counterproductive? What should be the goals of these U.S. policies?”

June 24, 2010  “Using mainstream vs. alternative media: Does it matter where we get our information about geopolitics?”

May 27, 2010  “Land-grabbing: Shifting resources from the poor to the wealthy.”

April 29, 2010  “Global corruption:  What is it?”

March 25, 2010  “The illusion of American omnipotence:  Whither Afghanistan and Iraq?”

February 25, 2010  “Finite global resources:  Can resource wars over water be avoided?”

January 28, 2010  “What caused the failure of U.S.-Russian cooperation since the Cold War?  What can be done to mend relations?”

December 3, 2009  “The global financial crisis of 2008-09: How has it impacted the ‘emerging-market’ economies and how will their future be affected?”

October 29, 2009  “Why have US post-Cold War policies towards Russia backfired?”

September 24, 2009  “The Evolving Geopolitics of North Africa: Are These Nations Caught in the Middle?”

August 27, 2009  “India and China: Are They in Line for Superpower Status?”

July 30, 2009  “The Evolving Geopolitics of North Africa: Are These Nations Caught in the Middle?”

June 25, 2009  “What Should Be the U.S. Policy Toward Pakistan and Afghanistan?”

May 28, 2009  “How Can U.S.-Iranian Relations Be Improved?”

February 26, 2009  “The increasing number of populist governments in South America: A revolt against U.S. domination?”

January 29, 2009  “The Islamic influence on geopolitics.”

December 04, 2008  “The potential impact of the U.S. election on geopolitics.”

Sponsored by the United Nations Association (UNA) Boulder Chapter.

See also, UNA sponsored International Affairs discussions.