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  • Author: Jeni Klugman
  • Publication Date: 01-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Complex humanitarian emergencies have caused widespread death and suffering over the last two decades. While recent tragedies in Bosnia, Rwanda and Angola have made the world more aware of the terrible human toll involved, the international community has yet to develop effective policy responses to stem such crises.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Development, Economics, Genocide, Human Rights, Migration, Politics
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Rwanda, Angola
  • Author: Frank Ching, Lee Kuan Yew, George Hui, Sunny Kai-Sun Kwong
  • Publication Date: 10-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: During my yearly visits to Hong Kong over the last thirty years, I was struck by the upbeat, can-do spirit of its people. However troublesome the situation, such as the noisy demonstrations of the imitators of the Red Guards in 1966 and 1967, or the economic downturn caused by the sudden quadrupling of oil prices in 1973, Hong Kong people were not dismayed or despondent. So when I spent a few days in Hong Kong at the beginning of June this year, I was surprised by its completely different mood. The people I met seemed frustrated at finding themselves in a situation where the solutions were not obvious. Much of the present malaise in Hong Kong arises from the problems of a transition that proved more difficult than expected. In part it was because of the five years of the last governor's policies, aggravated by the Asian financial crisis. Until the territory has come through this transition phase it is not possible to make any long-term forecasts on Hong Kong's future.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Economics, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Israel, Hong Kong
  • Author: John V. Mitchell
  • Publication Date: 12-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Current trends in transportation are unsustainable. A struggle for new means of mobility is beginning. Changes are inevitable. There is uncertainty about growth in the supply of fuel for vehicles after 2020. (See Briefing Paper No. 10, Changing Oil, by Norman Selley, forthcoming January 2000).The transport sector will be required to contribute to the reductions in GHG emissions required under the Kyoto Protocol. This will involve going beyond the 20-30% improvements envisaged by current voluntary commitments such as those by the Association of European Automobile Manufacturers in Europe, since such improvements extend trends which are already embedded in 'business as usual' projections.To manufacture clean petroleum fuels to protect urban air quality against increasing volumes of vehicle traffic will require increases in hydrogen inputs which cannot be achieved without significant increases in CO2 emissions (unless restrictions on the expansion of nuclear power are lifted).
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Environment, Science and Technology
  • Author: David Simon, Alexander Johnston
  • Publication Date: 12-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Shortly before he became President of the 'new South Africa' in May 1994, Nelson Mandela stressed that his country's relations with the region's poorer and weaker neighbours would be characterized by 'sensitivity and restraint'. This declaration of intent was welcome given South Africa's traditional dominance as the hegemonic power during the apartheid era and the resulting crude and at times violent exploitation of its neighbours' dependence, in varying degree, on the Republic's economy for a wide range of goods and services, for transport links and a market for employment. Indeed, South Africa's accession to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in 1994 offered the promise of a new deal in regional relations, with the new member acting as an 'engine of growth' and as a cooperative and enthusiastic supporter of purposeful and sustained regional integration.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Cooperation, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Christopher P. Hood
  • Publication Date: 11-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Ishihara Shintaro, known for his strong views particularly on Japan's relationship with the United States, became Governor of Tokyo on 11 April 1999. This paper considers the significance of his election, and whether it symbolizes a rise in nationalism in Japan.
  • Topic: International Relations, Nationalism, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, Israel, Tokyo
  • Author: John Chown
  • Publication Date: 08-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Currency boards have been suggested for Russia, and adopted elsewhere in eastern Europe. Brazil's fixed rate has had to be abandoned, but Argentina is considering replacing its currency board with dollarization, and suggesting this solution for the rest of Latin America. Fixed exchange-rate regimes (and the crawling peg in Russia) have collapsed in Southeast Asia but Hong Kong, which had a formal currency board, has (so far) survived.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, Central America, Caribbean, North America
  • Author: Joel Peters, Becky Kook
  • Publication Date: 08-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: On 17 May 1999 Ehud Barak secured a stunning victory in the Israeli elections, defeating incumbent Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu with a majority of almost 400,000 and gaining slightly over 56 per cent of all the votes cast. While polls in the days immediately prior to the election had signalled Netanyahu\'s defeat, no one had anticipated such a landslide victory. After three turbulent years of Likud government, Barak\'s election slogan \'Israel wants a change\' clearly captured Israeli public disillusion with Netanyahu, who lost the trust and support of voters throughout the country.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Government, Peace Studies, Politics
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Walt Patterson
  • Publication Date: 08-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: As governments around the world liberalize their electricity systems, they are overturning the guiding principles that have shaped electricity for the past century. Yet they continue to regard electricity as a public service. The consequent inconsistencies and contradictions are already evident, and intensifying. This Briefing Paper outlines the implications. It is based on a research project now under way in the Energy and Environmental Programme, entitled Keeping the Lights On: Public Service in Liberalized Electricity. For details please see the back page.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: David Bright
  • Publication Date: 06-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: One of the most interesting consequences of the development of the European Union has been the stimulus it has given in recent years to the rediscovery of region within European states. As the supra-state functions of the European institutions in Brussels have burgeoned and the intrinsic sovereignty of the state in Europe has declined, so regions have acquired an ever greater social and political significance. Of course, in some cases, the state was traditionally federal in nature—as with Germany\'s Länder system—and, politically at least, regional aspirations have been satisfied. In the past two decades, however, regional aspirations have expanded into social and cultural spheres that require a new, defined political context. Even in such long-established states as the United Kingdom, such pressures now have to be acknowledged as sub-state factors enter into the complex array of political elements that go to make up the contemporary Union. In this context the Spanish experience is illuminating, both in the way it demonstrates how such tendencies should be accommodated and in the way in which regional populations respond. It is, in fact, a paradigm for a development that will become inevitable and universal as the power of the state declines within the wider structures of contemporary \'Euroland\'.
  • Topic: Government, Religion
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany
  • Author: Christiaan Vrolijk
  • Publication Date: 04-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The Kyoto Protocol agreed in December 1997 was a landmark, but not an end point. Negotiations are on going to fill in the gaps left in the Protocol. From 2 to 14 November the Conference of Parties met again to follow up on Kyoto in its fourth session (COP-4) in Buenos Aires. After the media hype of the Japan meeting, the lack of news coverage was not entirely deserved. Although discussions had to focus on filling in the details in the framework of the Kyoto Protocol, these details will determine just how big a step Kyoto was The Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC) was negotiated at the \'Earth Summit\' in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and has entered into force in 1994. Under the Convention the Parties have committed themselves to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations \'at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system\'. The headline commitment for the countries listed in Annex I of the Convention, the industrialized countries, is to return greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels, and to show a reversal in the trend of growing emissions before the year 2000. The Conference of Parties meets annually as the supreme body of the Convention, dealing with various issues related to it. The Kyoto Protocol, negotiated at COP-3 in Japan, is a Protocol to the FCCC, and as such was also on the negotiating table of the COP in Argentina. It sets out renewed, and now legally binding, emission reduction commitments for the Annex B Parties (the industrialized and former COMECON countries). The overall commitments add up to a 5% reduction from 1990 in a basket of greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, some industrial gases (HFCs, PFCs, SF6) and emissions and removals from land-use change and forestry (LUCF). After its entry into force, the Meeting of Parties (to the Kyoto Protocol) will take over the responsibility for the Protocol issues Many Annex B Parties that have taken up commitments under the Kyoto Protocol stressed the importance at working on the rules for the mechanisms of the Protocol. The EU also stressed the need for limits on the use of these mechanisms and a compliance regime. The G77/China stressed the importance of a debate on the adverse effects and impact of responses. One of the commentators said that Article 17 on international emissions trading \'contains the basic principles, but its main feature is the fact that it can be interpreted to anyone\'s liking\'. Many articles leave room for further work by the COP. Even if the text was not deliberately ambiguous, only general principles were described, so that the 170 Parties at the negotiations could reach agreement, with a later COP to decide on the details of the issue This paper will first briefly discuss the science of climate change and then consider the Buenos Aires Plan of Action and the most important individual issues of the conference.
  • Topic: Environment, International Cooperation, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: China