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  • Author: Scott Stedjan
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: By signing the Arms Trade Treaty on September 25, Secretary John Kerry took an important step toward a safer and more secure world. The Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) is the first-ever multilateral treaty on the global trade in conventional arms. It is a common sense agreement that establishes standards for the $40 billion legal international weapons trade and seeks to reduce the illicit arms trade.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Arms Control and Proliferation, Poverty, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Scott Stedjan, Colby Goodman
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: With the trial of Viktor Bout nearly underway and the UN negotiations on an Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) starting in the summer of 2012, this briefing paper seeks to provide the reader with a deeper understanding of the challenges the US government faces in tackling unscrupulous arms brokers abroad and to show how the adoption of a strong and comprehensive ATT could help the United States and other governments in such efforts.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Crime, International Cooperation, Law Enforcement
  • Political Geography: United States, United Nations
  • Author: Aimee Ansari
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: All actors should ensure that the people of Haiti have a central role in the process of reconstruction and that reconstruction is equitable. Those delivering assistance on the ground should immediately work to coordinate within the UN established system and with the Haitian government The UN and the US government are trying to ensure that there is adequate fuel to support the relief effort. Fuel supply will remain a concern for humanitarian agencies in the near term. In consultation with NGOs, the UN should establish a system to determine who receives fuel, for what purposes and in what priority. The Haitian government, UN and international military actors must work together to improve the security situation, pre-empting a potential deterioration of the situation, with increased patrols, transparency in operations and clear conjoined rules of engagement and chain of command. Protection, particularly for women and children, should be mainstreamed into the design of all programmes, including any camps for affected people or expansion of patrols, in consultation with affected people and local civil society. The government, UN, donors and other actors must ensure that efforts to restore and improve public services, infrastructure and economic activity prioritise poorer communities. In a socially divided society such as Haiti, there is a real danger that the better off and politically influential will secure their needs first. It is not too early to lay a new foundation for Haiti's reconstruction and development with complete debt forgiveness, aid in the form of grants not loans and a “pro-poor” approach that prioritises livelihoods and sustainable development led by Haitians from the start.
  • Topic: Corruption, Development, Disaster Relief
  • Political Geography: United States, United Nations
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The intensification and spread of the conflict in Afghanistan is increasingly affecting civilians. In 2008 there were over 2,100 civilian casualties, 55% of which were caused by militants. Despite steps to reduce civilian casualties, international military forces (IMF) caused 552 civilian deaths through airstrikes in 2008, which is up by 72% on 2007. IMF have also carried out or supported raids and search operations, a large number of which have involved an excessive use of force, including loss of life, physical assault, dam age to property and theft, as well as aggressive and improper treatment of women. Such conduct not only generates anger and mistrust towards foreign troops, but is steadily eroding popular support for the international presence in the country. Furthermore, many individuals detained by Afghan and US forces are held for long periods without charge or trial, and there are allegations of mistreatment and torture.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Human Rights, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Central Asia
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: This weekend the finance ministers of the G20 nations will meet in London. Whilst the rich world feels that the worst of the economic crisis may be behind it, the poorest countries are being hit hardest, with those living on the margins of the global economy paying for the bankers' folly with their lives.
  • Topic: Development, Education, Health, Poverty, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States, London
  • Publication Date: 08-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: In 2009, the world is faced with a dire economic situation. No one hesitates to call this situation a crisis, most governments have rushed to prioritise it, and, in response, wealthy countries have pledged $8.4 trillion in bank bailouts.
  • Topic: Education, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The military operations launched against the FDLR since early 2009 have been presented as a bid for the unity (Umoja Wetu) and peace (Kimia II) that have so long eluded eastern DRC. In that light they have received considerable international acclaim and support, particularly through the UN peacekeeping force, MONUC. Warnings of potentially devastating consequences for civilian protection over recent months have repeatedly met with the response that this is 'the price to pay for peace'. In May 2009, Oxfam and a number of its partners interviewed residents in some of the areas of North and South Kivu where that price is being exacted.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Peace Studies, United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Kate Raworth
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Copenhagen was a unique opportunity to turn the world's course away from climate disaster, towards a safe future for all of us on this small planet. Massive global public mobilization demanded it. But leaders of the major powers negotiated for their national interests, instead of safeguarding our shared destiny.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Poverty, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: When trade ministers from 35 countries gather in Geneva at the World Trade Organization [WTO] for what is being billed yet again as a last-ditch attempt to forge a Doha trade deal, they will be forced to meet an unwelcome guest: the 2008 US Farm Bill. With a host of newly bolstered subsidies that will hurt farmers in developing countries, as well as higher farm payment rates, squeezing the new Farm Bill into the 'boxes' defined under existing WTO obligations will be a remarkable trick. That speaks poorly about the willingness of the US to accept new disciplines on agricultural subsidies, and demonstrates that the US Congress is unwilling - thus far - to take the necessary steps for a new trade agreement that would prioritize development.
  • Topic: Agriculture, International Organization, International Trade and Finance, Markets, World Trade Organization
  • Political Geography: Geneva, United States
  • Publication Date: 02-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: In 2006 the Congolese people defied widespread and deeply rooted scepticism to cast their ballots in one of Africa's most historic elections. Their vote ended more than 40 years of misrule and civil war. In early 2007, despite continued threats to stability, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) faces a period of unprecedented opportunity – if the correct policy choices are made in the next few months.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Publication Date: 03-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Mali is one of the world's poorest countries, with over two-thirds of the population – mostly in rural areas – living on less than a dollar a day. Mali is also the second largest cotton producer in sub-Saharan Africa after Burkina Faso. Cotton production is generally heralded as a success story in much of West and Central Africa, providing a critical development strategy for poor African countries such as Mali and enabling both governments and farm households to access income. The World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the wider donor community have also recognised the importance of cotton in reducing poverty and supporting the country's economy. However, in recent years, much of this success has been undermined by depressed and volatile cotton prices, partly as the result of unchecked US subsidies, and the downward trend of commodity prices.
  • Topic: Agriculture, International Organization, International Trade and Finance, Treaties and Agreements, World Trade Organization
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Mali
  • Publication Date: 03-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The quiet advance of trade and investment agreements between rich and poor countries threatens to deny developing countries a favourable foothold in the global economy. Powerful countries, led by the USA and the European Union (EU), are pursuing regional and bilateral free trade agreements with unprecedented vigour. This is happening without the fanfare of global summitry and international press coverage. Around 25 developing countries have now signed free trade agreements with developed countries, and more than 100 are engaged in negotiations. An average of two bilateral investment treaties are signed every week. Virtually no country, however poor, has been left out.
  • Topic: Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Publication Date: 03-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Since enactment of the TRIPS (Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) Agreement in 1995, the USA has imposed progressively higher levels of intellectual property protection (TRIPS-plus rules) on developing countries, which undermines access to affordable medicines. The US-Jordan free trade agreement (FTA) introduced a rigid framework of TRIPS-plus rules that the USA continues to impose on developing countries, although subsequent FTAs have even stricter levels of intellectual property (IP) protection. Jordan was also required to increase the level of IP protection under the terms of its accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO).
  • Topic: Health, Treaties and Agreements, World Trade Organization, Intellectual Property/Copyright
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Jordan
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: In April 2006, key donors including the US A, EU, and Canada suspended international aid to the Palestinian Authority government (PA), following the overwhelming victory of Hamas in parliamentary elections. The Government of Israel had previously suspended the transfer of the tax and customs revenues it collects on behalf of the PA.
  • Topic: Government, Humanitarian Aid
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Publication Date: 05-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Poverty and suffering could be ended in our lifetime, and our leaders must do everything in their power to make this happen. This was the clear demand of the 40 million people in 36 countries who took part in the Global Call to Action Against Poverty in 2005. A year later, in the space of just one day, 24 million people across the world stood up against poverty as part of World Poverty Day.
  • Topic: Education, Health, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Japan, United Kingdom, Europe, Canada, Asia, France, Germany, Italy
  • Publication Date: 12-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: There is a basis for moving forward on negotiations to achieve emissions cuts… The 'Bali roadmap' process has been launched, aiming for a long term agreement on emissions cuts, including commitments by the US Future actions by developing countries to reduce emissions are to be supported by scaling up finance, technology and capacity-building from rich nations Negotiations on further emissions cuts beyond 2012 have been launched under the Kyoto Protocol, for completion by end 2009, with a guideline for reductions of 25-40% by 2020 (from a 1990 base) Australia is now included in the Kyoto Protocol, leaving the US as the only major developed country outside these negotiations.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States, Australia
  • Author: Phoenix Leung Pui Fung
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Cotton is an important crop for some of the poorest areas of China, and millions of cotton farmers depend on it for their livelihoods. Cotton's high economic returns have helped, and continue to help, bring many farmers in the poor western provinces of Gansu and Xinjiang out of poverty. Cotton production is not only essential to the development of China's textile industry; it is also a labour-intensive crop that demands a large workforce in rural areas. It has thus contributed to easing the pressures of rural underdevelopment in China, at a time when the country is faced with seriously high levels of surplus labour and lack of development potential in rural areas.
  • Topic: Globalization, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia