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  • Author: Fleur Heyworth, Catherine Turner
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: The Geneva Centre for Security Policy
  • Abstract: The number of civil wars tripled in the decade to 2015. In this context, mediation is widely recognised as a critical tool for promoting the peaceful settlement of disputes, and for conflict prevention and resolution. The UN Secretary General, António Guterres, has made mediation a strategic priority, stating in his latest address to the Security Council that “innovative thinking on mediation is no longer an option, it is a necessity.” i In addition, regional organisations including the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the European Union, and the Organization for Security and Co-operation (OSCE) are also increasing their mediation capacity. It is also increasingly recognised that those who lead high-level mediation processes need to be more representative of diverse stakeholders who bring different perspectives and experiences. Increasing the diversity of mediators is important, because the experience of the mediator will determine how they assess the relative priority of issues in the peace process, and how they are able to connect across tracks to lead inclusive processes. The barriers to inclusion of people with diverse backgrounds are highlighted by the lack of representation of women: this specific field is recognised as one of the most ‘stark and difficult to address gaps’ in achieving gender parity.ii As stated by Mossarat Qadeem, the exclusion of women is not about culture, it is about power.iii A gendered lens helps us to identify the processes, biases and barriers which contribute to the marginalisation and exclusion not just of women, but of all stakeholders who should be at the peace table.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, Civil War, Leadership, Peace
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Tobias Vestner
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: The Geneva Centre for Security Policy
  • Abstract: The Arms Trade Treaty and the Wassenaar Arrangement both seek to address the challenge posed by unconstrained transfer of conventional arms but differ in structure and approach. There are opportunities for synergies furthering the regimes’ common purpose. States members to both regimes can accentuate and interweave the strengths of the Arms Trade Treaty and the Wassenaar Arrangement. Transferring cutting-edge standards on export controls from the Wassenaar Arrangement to the Arms Trade Treaty would bolster the Arms Trade Treaty and foster global harmonization between exporting and importing countries. Political momentum on certain issues within the Arms Trade Treaty process may benefit the Wassenaar Arrangement’s further development. A derivative of the Wassenaar Arrangement’s regular ‘General Information Exchange’ on regions, transfers, and risky actors could be institutionalized within an Arms Trade Treaty working group. Sharing within the Wassenaar Arrangement information, concerns and practical challenges of states parties to the Arms Trade Treaty could make the Wassenaar Arrangement’s work more effective. Coordinating both regimes’ outreach activities, mentioning each other’s work and using each other’s documents for capacity building could mainstream arms transfer controls, prevent perceptions of conflicting standards as well as enable efficiencies regarding national efforts for compliance with international standards.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Treaties and Agreements, Arms Trade, Exports
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jeremy Lin
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: The Geneva Centre for Security Policy
  • Abstract: The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) fulfills a critical role in international financial governance as the global standards-setter for antimoney laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT). Money laundering and terrorist-financing challenges are evolving, particularly as AML/CFT regimes in developed countries become more robust and illicit financial flows move deeper into primarily cash-based informal economies. Recent political maneuvering by FATF member states to influence the organization’s decisions and global AML/CFT standards-setting has demonstrated that the FATF and AML/CFT policymaking are vulnerable to individual state interests and that the organization’s political independence needs to be strengthened. To more effectively address the above challenges, the FATF should establish an independent oversight function, provide clearer guidance and technical support to countries with deficient AML/CFT regimes, and expand the diversity of its membership.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism, Monetary Policy, Governance, Financial Crimes
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Miroslav Tuma
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations Prague
  • Abstract: This essay discusses the main elements of the American security document called the Missile Defense Review 2019, which was presented by the US Ministry of Defense in January 2019. It covers the possible reasons for the postponed publication of the document and informs about the main legal documents dealing with the peaceful use of space. It compares the current document with the similar one from 2010, which was published by the Obama administration. It also focuses on the possibility of the deployment of US spacebased interceptors in the Earth’s orbit. In this context it analyses the possible negative consequences of such a development, especially that it could lead to the beginning of a phase of a high risk weaponization of outer space and the start of an arms race in that domain.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Weapons , Space
  • Political Geography: North America, Global Focus, United States of America
  • Author: Brian Wakamo
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Foreign Policy Research Institute
  • Abstract: Companies willingly censor or condemn free speech to retain market share in authoritarian countries. Just ask Daryl Morey
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Chris Dougherty
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: The 2018 National Defense Strategy (NDS) shifted the Department of Defense (DoD) away from a strategy focused on counterterrorism and deterring regional threats like Iran toward competing with, deterring, and, if necessary, defeating Chinese and Russian aggression. DoD is portraying the President’s Budget Request for Fiscal Year 2020, which is the first such request submitted since the release of the NDS, as a down payment on the long-term investments required to develop a future force that can execute this strategy. Given the price tag of $750 billion, Congress and the American people should, in the words of Ronald Reagan, trust DoD, but verify that this is money well spent on advancing the priorities of the NDS
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Masahito Ambashi
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: The Vientiane–Hanoi Expressway (VHE) has been one of the most anticipated transportation projects between Lao PDR and Viet Nam. This report (1) explores the potentiality of the corridor between Hanoi and Vientiane as designated by the Greater Mekong Subregion Economic Development Program; (2) illustrates impacts on economies and industries of Lao PDR and surrounding countries of the VHE; (3) sets out industrial development strategies for Lao PDR, Viet Nam, and Thailand that take maximum advantage of the VHE; and (4) suggests appropriate financial mechanisms to construct the VHE. Thus, this report focuses on how Lao PDR and neighbouring countries can benefit from the expressway by strengthening relevant industries and forming a Bangkok–Vientiane–Hanoi industrial corridor from the perspective of global value chains and production networks developed in the Mekong region
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Koichi Iwabuchi
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: This paper critically considers the operation and objective of Japan’s ‘creative industry’ policy and suggests how to redesign it to align it with recent attention to cultural diversity. But the paper’s scope goes beyond business and extends to defining ‘creativity’ as a means to enhance civic dialogue, sympathy, and inclusion, to imagine a better society. The ‘creative industry’ can include independent and non-profit cultural projects that promote diversity by involving artists, museums, non-governmental and non-profit organisations, public service corporations, local communities, volunteers, and researchers. Such a redesign is compatible with the creative industry policy’s aim to advance social inclusion and democratisation by promoting grassroots creativity.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Ponciano Intal
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: The volume consists of papers on critical elements for an integrated and connected Seamless ASEAN Economic Community up to 2040. The critical elements include seamless trade facilitation, managing nontariff measures, strategies on standards and conformance, engendering skills mobility and development, service sector development and open investment environment, competition and intellectual property policy, seamless logistics and connectivity, data flows and electronic payments in the digital economy, capital market deepening, and good regulatory practice.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Simon Tay
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: The papers in Volume II discuss the imperative of collective leadership and ASEAN centrality in light of the greater uncertainty in the global trading system and on regional security which have been underpinning ASEAN’s outward oriented strategy and development. It is suggested that ASEAN’s major Dialogue Partners in East Asia and the United States as well as ASEAN itself can be important contributors to strengthening collective leadership in East Asia and to enhancing ASEAN Centrality. The last paper in the volume presents ideas on how to strengthen ASEAN’s institutional ecosystem, which is important for ASEAN to be able to assert ASEAN centrality in an increasingly uncertain and changing regional environment.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus