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  • Author: Thomas G. Weiss, Martin Welz
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: After the initial post-Cold War euphoria about the potential for the United Nations (UN) to maintain international peace and security, as imagined in its Charter, from the 1990s onwards subcontracting from the world organization to regional organizations has become essentially the standard operating procedure for major military peace operations. While UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali was bullish in his 1992 An agenda for peace, the UN has by and large withdrawn from the peace enforcement business following debacles in Somalia and Rwanda—as Boutros-Ghali's 1995 Supplement to 'An agenda for peace' and the 2000 Brahimi Report recommended.
  • Topic: Security, Cold War
  • Political Geography: United Nations, Rwanda, Somalia
  • Author: Wyn Q. Bowen, Matthew Cottee, Christopher Hobbs
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: International concern over nuclear terrorism has increased steadily since 11 September 2001 (9/11), prompting a series of formal and informal policy initiatives designed, either specifically or partially, to enhance multilateral cooperation to prevent it. Key examples include the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT), the G8 Global Partnership against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction (GP), United Nations Security Council Resolutions (UNSCR) 1373 and 1540, and the establishment of an Office of Nuclear Security at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The politically most notable initiative so far has been President Barack Obama's Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) of April 2010, which raised international awareness of the nuclear terror threat and sought to strengthen preventive efforts in this area.
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Author: Phil Orchard
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Ten years have passed since the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS) unveiled the report which first introduced the language of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P), and six have passed since a modified version of the doctrine was endorsed by the member states of the United Nations in the World Summit Outcome Document. The introduction of the R2P doctrine has done two major things: it has reframed what had become an entrenched debate around the legality and legitimacy of humanitarian intervention; and it has provided an important focus for how the international community should respond. It has, Alex Bellamy argues, created 'a collection of shared expectations'.
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Author: Bernice Lee, Robert Falkner
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Environmental threats are bringing new geopolitical, economic and technological challenges to an already unstable world. We are entering a period of intensified environmental stress, in the form of accelerated ecological degradation and greater risk of shortage and disruption in energy and food supplies, as well as heightened political tensions over control of and access to resources. Current trends call into question the effectiveness of existing governance mechanisms at various levels in dealing with global environmental threats and the unequal distribution of resources.
  • Topic: Disaster Relief
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Author: Robert Falkner
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: A hundred years separate the first International Congress for the Protection of Nature in Paris (1909) and the United Nations climate summit in Copenhagen (2009). Both international conferences mark important stages on the long road towards a greener international system. Both witnessed a clash between the idealistic ambitions of environmentalists and the harsh reality of international diplomacy. Both have been described as failures. As world leaders gather in June 2012 at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) in Rio de Janeiro, held 20 years after the Rio 'Earth Summit', many observers will no doubt conclude that, despite a century of global environmental rhetoric, green norms continue to be flouted by the Great Powers. Species extinction, deforestation and the destruction of ecosystems continue unabated, while the unmitigated global warming trend threatens global climate stability.
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Author: Alexander Ovodenko, Robert O Keohane
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Political institutions are established because organized groups of people seek to achieve certain purposes that can be realized only by creating new institutions or modifying old ones. International institutions reduce transaction costs and uncertainty for governments in their future interactions within a specific issue-area. Once bargaining problems have been overcome, institutions can help to facilitate mutually beneficial cooperation among governments. However, it is rare that only one institutional design could perform these functions in a satisfactory way. So there is scope for choice.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Author: Kenneth W. Abbott
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Negotiators preparing for Rio+20 are missing an important opportunity. Reforming the institutional framework for sustainable development is a central part of the conference agenda. In the run up to Rio+20, negotiators have extensively discussed institutional reforms, but are focusing almost exclusively on intergovernmental organizations such as the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (UNCSD). At the same time, however, private sustainability governance is flourishing. Since 1992 numerous organizations created by business, civil society groups, multi stakeholder coalitions and other private actors, as well as diverse public–private partnerships, have adopted important regulatory standards and implemented significant operational programmes, covering financing, project support and information dissemination. Rio+20 negotiators remain almost wholly disengaged from these innovations.
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Author: Alex Vines
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: This decade has been a difficult time for the United Nations. Splits among the dominant powers in an increasingly divided Security Council have stymied its efforts to resolve acute global problems. The UN global system, built more than 60 years ago, is finding today's challenges overwhelming. Many issues that the United Nations should lead on are being resolved through world capitals or by regional power blocs, leaving the UN at risk of being marginalized.
  • Political Geography: China, United Nations
  • Author: Alex J Bellamy, Paul D Williams
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The international responses to recent crises in Côte d'Ivoire and Libya reveal a great deal about the UN Security Council's approach to human protection. The Council has long authorized peacekeepers to use 'all necessary means' to protect civilians, in contexts including Haiti, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Sudan, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Burundi and Côte d'Ivoire. But Resolution 1973 (17 March 2011) on the situation in Libya marked the first time the Council had authorized the use of force for human protection purposes against the wishes of a functioning state. The closest it had come to crossing this line previously was in Resolutions 794 (1992) and 929 (1994). In Resolution 794, the Council authorized the Unified Task Force to enter Somalia to ease the humanitarian crisis there, but this was in the absence of a central government rather than against one—a point made at the time by several Council members. In Resolution 929 (1994), the Security Council authorized the French-led Operation Turquoise to protect victims and targets of the genocide then under way in Rwanda; this mission enjoyed the consent of the interim government in Rwanda as well as its armed forces. In passing Resolution 1973, the Council showed that it will not be inhibited as a matter of principle from authorizing enforcement for protection purposes by the absence of host state consent. Although its response in Libya broke new ground, it grew out of attitudes and processes evident well before this particular crisis. Most notably, the Council had already accepted—in Resolutions 1674 (2006) and 1894 (2009)—that it had a responsibility to protect civilians from grave crimes, and this was evident in a shift in the terms of its debates from questions about whether to act to protect civilians to questions about how to engage.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Paris, Libya, United Nations, Balkans, Netherlands, Rwanda, Alabama, Ninewa, Lower Dir