World Affairs
World Affairs

World Affairs is a nationally syndicated radio broadcast that airs every Monday at 8:00 pm on KQED public radio and uploaded to for rebroadcast by NPR stations across the nation. World Affairs brings you, the listener, informative and engaging conversations that explore issues and opportunities that transcends borders. Tune in to hear thought leaders, change makers and engaged citizens share ideas and learn from one another in conversations that matter. Founded in 1947, following the San Francisco conference that established the United Nations, World Affairs remains one of the most vibrant global affairs organizations in the United States.

Airs on:
MON 8pm-9pm, TUE 2am-3am, SAT 4am-5am
59 min

Making Sense of A Disaster in Haiti

Just weeks after the assassination of Haiti’s president, the island nation was rocked by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake. More powerful than the deadly 2010 earthquake that killed more than 200,000 people, the 2021 quake hit a remote part of Haiti, but it still killed more than 2,000 people and destroyed tens of thousands of homes. We start with an audio diary from Jean Simon Féguens, an English teacher from Les Cayes, one of the cities hardest hit by the disaster. Next, former US Ambassador to Haiti Pamela White reflects on lessons learned about aid distribution after the 2010 earthquake. Then, we turn to Haitian author Évelyne Trouillot and historian Leslie Alexander, for a conversation about Haiti’s turbulent history since its revolution. In 1804, Haiti became the first nation to free itself from slavery. According to Trouillot and Alexander, it has been paying for its freedom ever since.  Guests: Leslie Alexander, Professor of History at Arizona State University, activist and author; Evelyne Trouillot, Author, Poet and Professor of French at Universite d’Etat d’Haiti; Pamela White, Former US Ambassador to Haiti, 2012-2015; Jean Simon Féguens, English Teacher in Les Cayes, Haiti Hosts: Ray Suarez, Co-host, WorldAffairs; Teresa Cotsirilos, Co-host & Senior Producer, WorldAffairs If you appreciate this episode and want to support the work we do, please consider making a donation to WorldAffairs. We cannot do this work without your help. Thank you.
59 min

Where Will Afghanistan’s Refugees Go?

The US led what the White House called one of the biggest airlifts in history as Afghans fled Taliban rule. That exodus has become part of a longstanding humanitarian crisis involving the U.S., Europe, parts of Asia and the Middle East. On this week’s episode, we hear from Nazanin Ash, Vice President of Global Policy and Advocacy at the International Rescue Committee and Kelsey P. Norman, Fellow and Director, Women’s Rights, Human Rights, and Refugees Program, Baker Institute, about the evolving situation for Afghan refugees: where displaced people are going, how they’re getting there, and what waits for them on the other side.  Then, journalist Hana Baba talks with former refugee Maryan Hassan and author Ty McCormick, whose book "Beyond the Sand and Sea" tells the story of Hassan and her family’s heroic journey from Somalia, to the world’s largest refugee camp in Kenya, and eventually, on to the United States. Guests: Maryan Hassan, Former refugee; Ty McCormick, Journalist and author of "Beyond the Sand and Sea"; Nazanin Ash, Vice President, Global Policy and Advocacy at International Rescue Committee; Kelsey Norman, Director of Women’s Rights, Human Rights and Refugee Program at Rice University’s Baker Institute Hosts: Philip Yun, CEO, WorldAffairs; Hana Baba, Journalist and Podcast host; Ray Suarez, Co-host, WorldAffairs If you appreciate this episode and want to support the work we do, please consider making a donation to WorldAffairs. We cannot do this work without your help. Thank you.
59 min

Why is Mexico Suing US Gun Makers?

The majority of murders in Mexico have one thing in common: the victims were killed with American guns. Now, the government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador is suing a slew of American gun manufacturers for their “destabilizing effect on Mexican society”—and they’re seeking $10 billion in damages. This week, we take a look at the “Iron River,” a stream of American guns that wreak havoc south of the border. Journalist Ioan Grillo, and author of Blood Gun Money: How America Arms Gangs and Cartels, helps us analyze Mexico’s unprecedented lawsuit, and the complex world of arms trafficking. Guests: Ioan Grillo, journalist and author of Blood Gun Money: How America Arms Gangs and Cartels Hosts: Ray Suarez, co-host, WorldAffairs If you appreciate this episode and want to support the work we do, please consider making a donation to WorldAffairs. We cannot do this work without your help. Thank you.
59 min

Escape from Kabul

How did Afghanistan fall to the Taliban so fast? Civilians are fleeing, journalists are hiding as the Taliban goes door to door to find them, and women are being forced out of workplaces. In this episode, we do our best to unpack the war in Afghanistan, the misguided way it began and the catastrophic way it ended. We hear from former US ambassador to Afghanistan, Karl Eikenberry, and Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist, Massoud Hossaini, who witnessed it all. Guests: Karl Eikenberry, former US ambassador to Afghanistan and retired US Army lieutenant general; Massoud Hossaini, Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist from Afghanistan Hosts: Ray Suarez, co-host, WorldAffairs; Teresa Cotsirilos, producer, WorldAffairs; Philip Yun, CEO, WorldAffairs If you appreciate this episode and want to support the work we do, please consider making a donation to WorldAffairs. We cannot do this work without your help. Thank you.
59 min

The Secret Meeting that Transformed the World Economy

On a  Sunday night in 1971, many Americans were at home watching “Bonanza” when President Nixon interrupted the broadcast to share some urgent news. He was taking the US off the gold standard, a move that completely upended the world’s economic order and became part of a series of policy changes that became known as “the Nixon Shock.” In this episode, NPR’s Chief Economics Correspondent Scott Horsley talks with Jeffrey Garten, former Undersecretary of Commerce in the Clinton Administration, about what this move meant for the US economy and its implications today. Guests: Scott Horsley, NPR's Chief Economics Correspondent; Jeffrey E Garten, Dean Emeritus, Yale School of Management, former Undersecretary of Commerce, and author of Three Days at Camp David: How a Secret Meeting in 1971 Transformed the Global Economy Host: Philip Yun, President and CEO, World Affairs If you appreciate this episode and want to support the work we do, please consider making a donation to WorldAffairs. We cannot do this work without your help. Thank you.
59 min

The Colombian Military Complex

It’s been a few weeks since the president of Haiti was brazenly murdered in Port Au Prince. Though we’re not sure who ordered the assassination, we do know who carried it out. Eighteen Colombians, most former soldiers, were arrested in connection with the July 7 assassination. Seven received training in the United States. So how did this happen? This week, we’re looking at Colombia, its increasingly tenuous peace process, and how US intervention has shaped the country, for better or for worse. We also take a deep dive into the protests that have resurged in recent weeks, why they started in the first place, and what the Colombian people hope to see change. Guests: Adam Isacson, Director of Defense Oversight at the Washington Office on Latin America; Laura Duarte Bateman, organizer and Communications Manager at California Collaborative for Immigrant Justice; Alexander Fattal, documentarian, author and Associate Professor at UC San Diego; and Juanita León, Founder and Director of La Silla Vacía Hosts: Teresa Cotsirilos, Producer, WorldAffairs; Ray Suarez, co-host, WorldAffairs If you appreciate this episode and want to support the work we do, please consider making a donation to WorldAffairs. We cannot do this work without your help. Thank you.
17 min

In Carmen's Hands

Carmen Carcelén lives in a small town on the Colombia-Ecuador border. One night in 2017, she invited 11 beleaguered Venezuelan migrants into her home for a meal and a decent night's sleep. From there, word of Carmen's shelter spread on hand-written notes along the migrant route all the way back to Venezuela. In this episode, journalist Kimberley Brown takes us to that small town in Ecuador, where Carmen has now housed more than 10,000 migrants. If you'd like to make a donation to Carmen, we can help make that happen. Please send us an email at feedback@worldaffairs.org.
40 min

Rethinking Foreign Aid

When a wave of citizen-led uprisings swept the planet last summer, the Black Lives Matter movement forced a moment of reckoning at many international institutions. The word “racism” used to be taboo in many donor circles, but now people are talking openly about the role that race and colonialism have played in making foreign aid ineffective. Will this momentum affect meaningful, systemic change or is it just rhetoric? Degan Ali, a Somali-American who heads the Nairobi based NGO ADESO, talks about the future of aid with Eileen O'Connor, Senior Vice President of the Rockefeller Foundation. Guests: Degan Ali, Somali-American director of aid organization ADESO; Eileen O'Connor, Senior Vice President of the Rockefeller Foundation and former official in the Obama Administration Host: Ray Suarez, co-host, WorldAffairs If you appreciate this episode and want to support the work we do, please consider making a donation to WorldAffairs. We cannot do this work without your help. Thank you.