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  • Author: Filippo Cutrera
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: BRICS Policy Center
  • Abstract: The present paper has three main objectives: first, to show that, over the first decade of existence of the group, between 2009 and 2018, the BRICS have manifested an increasing interest in expanding their cooperation beyond the traditional areas of economy and development to the field of global security; second, to present the content of their common security agenda and how it has developed throughout this period; third, to identify the main factors influencing the agenda-setting process of the group as well as the main challenges to further advancement. The research will conclude that the high levels of informality in the group’s cooperation and heterogeneity in the interests of its members have enabled BRICS to formulate common positions and to establish cooperation mechanisms on a broad range of issues of international security.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, National Security, Regional Cooperation, International Security
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, India, South Africa, Brazil
  • Author: Richard Gowan, Nora Gordon
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: International pressure for substantial reforms to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is mounting, fueled in part by its abysmal performance in the Syrian crisis. Yet major obstacles to reform remain. Three of the five permanent members of the Council (China, Russia and the US) are opposed or at least skeptical towards any significant changes to the institution in the near future. There is still a lack of common vision for change amongst the various coalitions and regional groups involved in the debate in New York, and policy-makers outside the immediate orbit of the UN address the issue sporadically, if at all. A concerted push for reform by the "G4" aspirants for new permanent Council seats (Brazil, Germany, India and Japan) in 2011 did not result in a vote as it failed to elicit the required support of two-thirds majority in the General Assembly.1It is not clear that the current frustration over the Council's response to Syria can be translated into a concrete agenda for reform that could win a greater level of support in the immediate future.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, United Nations, Reform
  • Political Geography: Africa, Japan, India, Brazil, Germany
  • Author: Lysa John
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: In July 2014, a new multilateral and Southern-led development bank is expected to be launched by the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – better known as the BRICS. The BRICS Development Bank will provide a fresh source of finance for developing and emerging economies to meet their development needs. Little has been made public regarding the proposed Bank's core mandate or activities but while governments negotiate the technicalities of the Bank, it is critical that they also provide a solid vision of the principles, priorities and objectives on which the Bank's activities and operations will be premised. This policy brief recommends that these include commitments to: ending extreme poverty and inequality, with a special focus on gender equity and women's rights; aligning with environmental and social safeguards and establishing mechanisms for information sharing, accountability and redress; leadership on the sustainable development agenda; the creation of mechanisms for public consultation and debate; and the adoption a truly democratic governance structure.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Gender Issues, International Cooperation, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa, Russia, China, Europe, India, Asia, South Africa, Brazil, South America
  • Author: Bianca Selway
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: With fifteen UN peacekeeping missions already in operation and another in the Central African Republic on the horizon, UN peacekeeping continues to be in high demand. Today, DPKO deploys more than 83,000 troops, 13,000 police, and 2,000 observers, contributed voluntarily by member states. A majority of these are provided by African and South Asian member states, which together provide 74 percent of the UN's uniformed personnel. Latin America has a longstanding history of participating in UN peacekeeping, stretching back more than fifty years to some of the earliest peacekeeping operations. At present, Latin America contributes almost 7 percent of all UN troops and nearly 2 percent of UN police. Two Latin American states occupy spots in the group of top twenty uniformed contributors: Uruguay with a total of 2,164 uniformed personnel and Brazil with 1,755. Latin American contributions are predominantly military contributions (as opposed to police) to the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), with support to missions in sub-Saharan Africa amounting to less than 2 percent of the total uniformed deployments to the region.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, United Nations, Foreign Aid, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Asia, Brazil, United Nations, Latin America
  • Author: Naureen Chowdhury Fink, Paul Romita, Till Papenfuss
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: Much has already been written about the 2011 Security Council. This has been with good reason. The current configuration of powerful non-permanent members with aspirations for permanent seats is notable. As a result, there has been widespread speculation regarding the impact so many large members will have on the tone and substance of the Council's work this year. Like last year, when countries like Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, and Turkey all served together, the collective strength of the non-permanent or elected membership is impressive.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Cooperation, International Organization, United Nations, War
  • Political Geography: Japan, Turkey, Libya, Brazil, Mexico, Nigeria
  • Author: William R. Cline, John Williamson
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: A widespread currency war is in prospect. The term was first introduced by Guido Mantega, the finance minster of Brazil. He envisaged the International Monetary Fund (IMF) developing an index that measures whether currencies are held artificially low to boost exports (popularly referred to as “currency manipulation”). If that IMF exercise did not lead to an easing of such exchange market intervention, he suggested that an undervalued exchange rate could eventually be considered a commercial subsidy.
  • Topic: Economics, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: Brazil
  • Author: Anna Korppoo, Thomas Spencer, Kristian Tangen
  • Publication Date: 02-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The Copenhagen climate summit was seen as a set-back for the eu. It was left out of the final meeting between the usa and major developing countries which lead to the Copenhagen Accord, and had to accept a deal that fell below its expectations. Due to the impact of the economic crisis, the eu's current target of a unilateral 20 % reduction is no longer as impressive as it seemed in 2007–2008; this is undermining the eu's claim to leadership. In order to match the higher pledges of Japan, Australia and the us, as well as shoulder its fair share of the industrialized countries' aggregate 30 % reduction, the eu would have to pledge a 35 % reduction. The eu's practise of attaching conditionalities to its higher target gives it very little leverage. However, there might be a case for the eu to move unilaterally to a 30 % reduction in order to accelerate the decarbonisation of its economy and capture new growth markets. Doing so could support stronger policy development in other countries such as Australia and Japan, and help rebuild trust among developing countries. But on its own it would be unlikely to have a substantial impact on the position of the other big players—the usa, China, India, and Brazil. The incoherence of the eu's support of a “singe legal outcome” from the Copenhagen summit, based on the elements of the Kyoto Protocol, was a major cause for its isolation. The us remains domestically unable to commit to this type of a ratifiable treaty while developing countries are not yet ready to commit to absolute targets. A return to a two-track approach, involving the continuation of the Kyoto Protocol and the negotiation of a new instrument for the usa and major developing countries, may be a more politically and practically feasible approach, while retaining the goal of working towards a legally binding instrument for all key participants over time.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Europe, India, Brazil, Australia
  • Author: Jean-Christophe Hoste
  • Publication Date: 02-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: A political commitment was reached in Copenhagen between five countries: US, China, India Brazil and South Africa. The rest of the conference simply “took note of it”, most with resignation, many with anger. This policy brief will have a closer look at the climate change negotiations from an African perspective. It will try to answer three questions to see whether the outcome of the negotiations was as unacceptable as South Africa said it was. First, what was the African Common Position and what were some of their demands? Second, how did the negotiating strategy to defend the African Common Position on climate change evolve? Third, why did South Africa call the agreement it negotiated with the US, China and India unacceptable but did it not decline to be part of that deal?
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, Globalization, International Cooperation, Politics, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: United States, China, India, South Africa, Brazil