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  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: More international involvement is needed in all spheres of youth activity in Central Asia, where around half the population is under 30. In a world where many people expect progress with each generation, most of the young in this region are worse off than their parents. They have higher rates of illiteracy, unemployment, poor health, and drug use and are more likely to be victims or perpetrators of violence. Few regions have seen such sharp declines in the welfare of their youth, and the combination of declining living standards with a demographic bulge brings increased risks of political instability and conflict. Current trends must be reversed if the region is to avoid more serious economic and political problems.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Demographics, Economics, Education, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Central Asia
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Navigating the treacherous shoals of the Iraq conflict with a steady hand, Jordan appears to have emerged unscathed from the turbulent months just past. The Hashemite Kingdom adjusted its rhetoric to fit the public mood while backing U.S. policy in Iraq and in the Israeli-Palestinian struggle, managed to overcome its principal weaknesses and now faces the post-war world with renewed confidence and authority.
  • Topic: Democratization, Demographics, Development, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Israel, Palestine, Arabia, Jordan
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The decision to award the Nobel Peace Prize to Shirin Ebadi, a courageous human rights lawyer, has focused renewed attention on the deep divisions and tensions within Iran. How these work out, and how Iran defines its role in the world, will have a critical impact on a range of wider security issues, from Iraq and Afghanistan to the Arab-Israeli conflict and the future of nuclear non-proliferation.
  • Topic: Security, Demographics, Development, Economics, Politics, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iran, Israel, Arabia
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The announcement on 21 October 2003 of an agreement between Iran on the one hand and Britain, France and Germany on the other, is an important and welcome step in resolving the controversy surrounding Tehran's nuclear program. But it would be wrong to assume that it ends it. The challenge now is to use the breathing space provided by the agreement to tackle the questions – about its implementation, the future of Iran's uranium enrichment activities and Iran's own security concerns – that, for the time being, it has deferred.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Government, Nuclear Weapons, Politics
  • Political Geography: Britain, Iran, France, Arabia, Germany
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Recent events require that policymakers revise substantially the conventional assessment that Macedonia is the foremost political “success story” of the Balkans. In fact, it is an underperforming post-conflict country still very much at risk, unable to tackle – operationally or politically -- its security challenges without upsetting an uncertain ethnic balance. Clear-eyed analysis of the dynamics driving unrest, from criminality and weak policing to an equally weak economy and corruption, is needed if a country that narrowly avoided war in 2001 is to secure long-term stability. Specifically, Macedonia cannot yet safely do without the presence of an international security force.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Balkans, Macedonia
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: La signature d'un accord définitif de cessez-le-feu et la suspension permanente des hostilités, aussi élusives soient-elles aujourd'hui, risquent de produire le retour massif d'une population déracinée qui n'attendra pas que le pays soit fin prêt à les accueillir pour rentrer chez elle. Le rapatriement et la réinstallation rapides d'environ un million de Burundais ne pourront se faire dans de bonnes conditions que s'ils bénéficient d'une préparation minutieuse. Aujourd'hui, le gouvernement de transition comme la communauté internationale n'ont pas pris la mesure des conséquences politiques qu'un tel retour pourrait avoir sur le pays, notamment pour la gestion de la question foncière. Les conflits fonciers pourraient en effet devenir une nouvelle source de déstabilisation pour la transition au lendemain de la signature d'un cessez-le-feu définitif.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Cooperation, Migration
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The domination of Afghanistan's political landscape by armed parties and individual commanders is still the principal obstacle to implementation of the political process that was agreed at the Bonn conference in late 2001. Without a credible process of disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration of former commanders and fighters into society (DR), it is inconceivable that any of the key elements of that political process - including the adoption of a new constitution, judicial reform, and elections - can be meaningfully implemented. More international engagement across the country - in the form of both security contributions and economic assistance - remains the essential ingredient.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Development, Economics, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Central Asia
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Tackling conflict and providing security in Afghanistan requires a greater effort to deal with local disputes that frequently flare into violence and lead to wider problems. Although these attract less attention than the threat from the resurgent Taliban, they are important as they produce an environment of insecurity which destroys all quality of life for ordinary civilians and undermines the legitimacy of the Afghan Transitional Administration in Kabul. Local commanders often exploit these disputes to consolidate their positions, further weakening the authority of the central government.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Development, Government, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Central Asia, Kabul
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Eighteen months after the rupture of peace talks between its predecessor and the main insurgent group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the Uribe administration has entered upon a high risk-high gain negotiating process with the main paramilitary group, the United Self-Defence Forces of Colombia (AUC), that will test its skill and its good faith.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Politics
  • Political Geography: Colombia, South America, Latin America
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The massive car bomb in Najaf on 29 August 2003, which took the lives of over 90 Iraqis, including the prominent cleric Ayatollah Mohammad Baqir al-Hakim, has put renewed focus on the fate of the country's Shiites. The attack comes in the wake of the attempted killing of other prominent clerics, including Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Saed Al-Tabatab'i al-Hakim, al-Hakim's uncle. Although it is too soon to assign blame, it is not too soon to assess potential consequences: a heightened sense of insecurity; anger, directed both at the former regime and at the current occupiers; intensified intra-Shiite rivalry; and a growing risk of sectarian conflict as militias loyal to different groups vie for control.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Politics, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Arabia