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  • Author: Lorenza Errighi
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: If 2020 was the year of “mask diplomacy”, as countries raced to tackle the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and acquire the necessary protective gear and equipment, 2021 is likely to be remembered as the year of “vaccine diplomacy”. Growing competition between states to secure the necessary quantities of vaccines to inoculate their population has already become an established feature of the post-COVID international system and such trends are only likely to increase in the near future. It normally takes up to a decade to transition from the development and testing of a vaccine in a laboratory to its large-scale global distribution. Despite current challenges, the speed of COVID-19 vaccination campaigns is unprecedented. To put an end to the current pandemic – which in one year has led to the loss of 2.6 million lives and triggered the worst economic recession since the Second World War – the goal is to ensure the widest immunisation of the world population in a timeframe of 12 to 18 months. In this context, COVID vaccines emerge as instruments of soft power, as they symbolise, on the one hand, scientific and technological supremacy and, on the other, means to support existing and emerging foreign policy partnerships and alliances with relevant geopolitical implications. From their experimentation in laboratories, to their purchase and distribution, the vaccine has emerged as a significant tool for competition between powers, often associated with the promotion of competing developmental and governance models across third countries.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Health, Vaccine, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Mely Caballero-Anthony
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: Averting the catastrophic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic requires no less than a coordinated and effective global response with the participation of all actors at multiple levels of governance. Asia must seize the opportunity to define its role in this endeavour.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Health, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Christopher Datta
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: Across the developing world the United States runs aid programs that have met the laudable goal of reducing infant mortality and maternal death resulting from childbirth. We have done some astonishing things, such as completely eliminating smallpox. Now we are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by working to equip local communities with the tools needed to fight back against the coronavirus. Effective and inexpensive vaccines are everywhere administered to countless children who would otherwise die or be crippled by disease. More vaccines are on the way, perhaps even one for malaria, one of the biggest killers in the developing world. It is nothing short of a miracle. And yet the impact of these efforts in many countries could well be a legacy of war, famine, misery and the creation of new and even worse diseases.
  • Topic: Development, Diplomacy, USAID, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Global Focus, United States of America
  • Author: Carter Wilbur
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: As the U.S. shifts its focus to Great Power Competition (GPC), the relationship between USSOF and embassies worldwide must likewise shift to reflect a whole-of-government approach. In Part 1, I took stock of the current relationship between U.S. embassies and U.S. Special Operations Forces (USSOF), which, while good overall, is too often geared to separate efforts rooted in the counter-terrorism context, where a USSOF unit’s narrow mission against a terrorist cell requires minimal coordination with the embassy’s broader political and economic missions. There are more ways embassies and USSOF can support each other than are currently being realized. The next step is for both sides to develop a more symbiotic, institutional relationship. To that end, I propose five points to guide the development of USSOF-embassy relations, based loosely on the “Five SOF Truths” that have summarized USSOF philosophy since 1987.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Armed Forces, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus, United States of America
  • Author: June Carter Perry
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: What is a Diplomat in Residence in 2020? In order to reach out to potential future Foreign Service Officers (FSOs), the Department of State places experienced officers at colleges and universities in sixteen regions of the United States. The FSOs assigned as Diplomats in Residence (DIRs) offer guidance and advice on careers, internships and fellowships to students and professionals in the communities they serve. Although one might compare their roles to those of recruiters for corporations or universities, in fact, the DIR’s responsibilities are much broader. Based on my position as Diplomat in Residence at Howard University 2001-2002, the DIR is a counselor, a teacher, a mentor and sometimes a parent.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Foreign Aid, Memoir
  • Political Geography: Global Focus, United States of America
  • Author: Renee M. Earle
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: A few weeks ago, on July 4, we Americans celebrated our country and its freedoms, and we clearly have much to be grateful for – and also much to ponder. Seen both from within the U.S. and from much of the rest of the world, early Massachusetts Colonialist John Winthrop’s idealized “city on the hill” where “the eyes of the people will be upon us,” no longer looks as bright, and this should worry us. Much has been written to lament America’s retreat from the world stage during the current administration, which has been driven apparently by the mistaken notion that the U.S. can escape what affects the rest of the world simply by opting out or by saber rattling to get its way. But the longer the U.S. continues down this path, the question changes from whether the U.S. will want to reassume its 20th century role to whether the rest of the world will be willing to welcome back the America it perceives today. To watchers around the globe the America that led the world to increases in stability, prosperity, democracy, and human rights has disappeared in the trashing of international treaties and trade agreements, riots against racial discrimination, police violence, and our inability to deal effectively with the corona virus pandemic.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Global Focus, United States of America
  • Author: Charles Ray
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: The issue of militarization of American foreign policy is one that has simmered for decades. The American preference for employment of economic pressure and/or military force as a ‘quick-fix’ to deal with international problems instead of a more nuanced diplomatic approach is not a phenomenon of the 20th or 21st century. The increased militarization of U.S. foreign policy of the last decade is a continuation of a trend that has existed in one form or another for most of the nation’s history. The over-reliance on military power in foreign affairs, the militarization of U.S. foreign policy, dramatically increased with the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, and the 9/11 terrorist attacks. However, almost from the beginning of the founding of the republic, under pressure from business interests concerned with maintaining or increasing their prosperity or groups interested in maintaining their positions of influence or power, American political leaders have often resorted to use of force for a short-term solution.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, International Affairs, History, Militarization
  • Political Geography: Global Focus, United States of America
  • Author: Raymond A. Smith
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: Dr. Smith’s 2011 book, The Craft of Political Analysis for Diplomats offered suggestions for doing political analysis better, from the viewpoint of a foreign service officer who had spent most of his diplomatic career practicing the craft. In this follow-on piece, Smith expands on his original discussion with thoughts on the cardinal sins of political analysis.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Political Analysis
  • Political Geography: Global Focus, United States of America
  • Author: Benjamin E. Bagozzi, Ore Koren
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Political Violence @ A Glance
  • Abstract: At a time when global cooperation is needed more than ever, new research suggests that pandemics may weaken diplomatic connections between countries and lower the probability that nations will establish new diplomatic ties. Diplomacy is one of the most enduring forms of international political interaction. Administered through embassies, consulates, and their political and bureaucratic support staffs, on-the-ground diplomatic relations are a key tool for international political negotiation, cooperation, trade promotion, dispute settlement, foreign intelligence management, and cultural exchange.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Communications, Peacekeeping, Negotiation, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Ambassador Donald Steinberg
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Our Secure Future
  • Abstract: The White House has now released its long-awaited Strategy on Women, Peace, and Security (WPS). The strategy is mandated under the bipartisan Women, Peace, and Security Act of 2017, which requires the Administration to develop a broad national strategy to support meaningful roles for women around the world in peace operations and political, civic, economic, and security systems. The White House has instructed the Departments of State, Defense, and Homeland Security and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to produce specific implementation plans within 120 days. The short 15-page text is not the comprehensive strategy required by Congress, but rather a statement of principles and priorities that these four agencies are to use to adopt action plans. As such, it is vital that members of Congress and civil society organizations now assist these agencies in making time-bound, measurable commitments backed by accountability provisions and ample resources, and then hold the Administration’s feet to the fire.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Women, WPS
  • Political Geography: United States, Global Focus
  • Author: Misha Nagelmackers-Voinov
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: The Geneva Centre for Security Policy
  • Abstract: Long considered a natural partner for peace through economic diplomacy and bilateral trade agreements, business has increasingly become ignored or demonised. The private sector comprises a wide diversity of organisations and is the part of the economy that is not run by a state, but by individuals and companies for profit. Small businesses/micro-companies serve as a good starting point for a conflict resolution process because they often constitute the only form of economic activity in a conflict zone. MNCs have a range of options to respond to conflict, but cannot openly take part in conflict resolution and peacebuilding initiatives, and rarely become involved officially. Track Two diplomacy is their more likely area of involvement. The United Nations has frequently supported the view that the private sector can be a powerful agent of change. However, the UN still engages only two players in conflict resolution and peacebuilding: civil society/NGOs and armed actors. UN peace operations have never been expressly mandated to consult with business or use its influence to build peace. Combining the resources, expertise and leverage of all possible actors would produce a more formidable force for peace. World affairs would benefit from integrating the private sector into a new UN system of governance; new routes are possible for a truly inclusive approach, recognising the business sector’s positive contribution to sustainable peace through informal mediation and collaborative engagement.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, Economy, Business , Peace, Sustainability
  • Political Geography: United Nations, Global Focus
  • Author: Charles A. Ford
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: The United States is the world’s leading exporter, the world’s leading importer, and the world’s primary source and destination of funds for foreign investment. Our position as the best place in the world to do business—the most reliable in which to buy, the most lucrative in which to sell, and the safest and surest in which to invest or to raise capital—is the cause, not an effect of American global leadership. Protecting and expanding the US role as the world’s supplier and customer of choice for goods, services, ideas, capital, and entrepreneurial energy should be a foreign policy objective second only to securing the homeland.”
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, International Political Economy, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: America, Global Focus
  • Author: John Berry
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: Over 200 years ago, one of our founding fathers Benjamin Franklin urged us to innovate, with the warning: “When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.” One of our greatest presidents, Abraham Lincoln, was not only a talented statesman, he was an inventor and tinkerer extraordinaire. Innovation lies at the very heart of what it means to be an American. From the beginning, our country was a grand experiment. We believed then—and now—that freedom plus hard work equals progress. Innovation, invention, and creativity help turn progress into success.
  • Topic: Development, Diplomacy, International Cooperation, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: America, Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 05-2013
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Public International Law Policy Group
  • Abstract: The Public International Law & Policy Group’s (PILPG) Ceasefire Drafter’s Handbook is a guide intended to effectively supplement the activities of negotiators and drafters of ceasefire agreements. This Handbook draws from PILPG’s experience in ceasefire negotiations, as well as state practice and comparative analysis of over 200 ceasefire agreements from Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America. As part of the ceasefires practice area, PILPG also provides negotiation simulations, strategic memoranda, training modules, and negotiation and drafting assistance to pro bono clients. For more information about PILPG’s ceasefires work, please visit www.pilpg.org. This Handbook includes an Introduction to Ceasefires and an Annotated Ceasefire Template. The Introduction to Ceasefires provides information on the core elements of ceasefires, the effects of asymmetry on ceasefire agreements, the role of third parties, and the legality of ceasefire agreements. The Annotated Ceasefire Template describes core provisions and provides sample language for drafters to incorporate into ceasefire agreements. Although each template section offers drafters a guiding framework, it may be necessary to reshape the provisions to address the nuances of each situation. This Handbook’s comparative provisions and sample language are included to provide options from existing ceasefires to assist the drafter. A full-text database of all the agreements cited in the footnotes can be found on PILPG’s ceasefire database at www.pilpg.org/ceasefire-database/. There are three Annexes to the handbook. Annex A provides a map of geographic ceasefire elements, Annex B provides a sample chart of assembly areas, and Annex C provides a sample timeline of implementation activities.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Treaties and Agreements, Conflict, Negotiation, Peace, Ceasefire
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Public International Law Policy Group
  • Abstract: The Public International Law & Policy Group’s (PILPG) Peace Agreement Drafter’s Handbook is a comprehensive guide on how to draft a peace agreement based upon comparative analysis of more than 60 peace agreements over a period of more than 30 years. This Handbook is intended to assist drafters, mediators, negotiators, and anyone else interested in the substantive and practical contents contained in peace agreements. PILPG designed this Handbook to facilitate drafting peace agreements quickly, efficiently, and effectively. The Handbook does not proffer advice on how to negotiate or otherwise reach an agreement. Rather, the Handbook is designed to facilitate the ability of parties and other actors to translate political agreements into legally-binding treaty language. Emphasis is placed on crafting provisions in such a way as to enhance their full and effective implementation, as well as the durability of the agreement itself. The Handbook sets out the essential components and core elements found in most peace agreements because approximately 60–70 percent of all peace agreements draw on similar components and language. However, every conflict is unique and drafters may have to adjust certain elements to enhance an agreement’s relevancy and applicability to a particular conflict situation or post-conflict environment. Therefore, each chapter should be considered as ad hoc, and reshaping the new agreement to address the nuances of each party’s needs will be necessary. Similarly, the comparative provisions and sample language provided in the Handbook are by no means exclusive, recommended, or mandatory. The purpose of the Handbook is to assist a drafter prepare a well-crafted agreement and enhance the durability of future agreements by drawing upon the best practices from prior agreements. The Handbook consists of several chapters, all of which follow the same basic format. Each chapter focuses on a particular section commonly found in peace agreements, such as ceasefires, economic restructuring, and property restitution. Each chapter first identifies the basic elements in that section of a peace agreement. For instance, in ceasefires, the basic elements include the identification and definition of prohibited acts, separation of forces, and verification, supervision, and monitoring. The primary notes found in each chapter provide a brief overview of a specific element. These elements are then addressed through comparative analysis. The analysis provides for the drafter language found in other peace agreements from which the most relevant to the drafter’s conflict can be selected. Each section then concludes with sample language.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements, Peace
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Public International Law Policy Group
  • Abstract: The Public International Law & Policy Group’s (PILPG) Post-Conflict Constitution Drafter’s Handbook is intended to assist drafters of constitutions in post-conflict situations. The Handbook draws from PILPG’s experience in facilitating post-conflict constitution drafting processes, as well as comparative state practice, and is based upon analysis of over 150 constitutions from post- conflict and stable states. The Handbook is divided into sixteen chapters, each of which covers a core section in post-conflict constitutions. The chapters include: the Preamble, State Structure and Devolution of Powers, the Executive, the Legislature, the Judiciary, International Legal Obligations, the Electoral System, Financial Matters and the Central Bank, Human Rights, Minority Rights, Women’s Rights, Defense and Security, the Role of Religion, Customary Law, Natural Resources, and Extraordinary Measures. Within each chapter, the Handbook describes core provisions and provides sample language that may be used as a basis for constitutional provisions. In some instances, the Handbook provides several options that the drafter may choose from. The sample language is identified as “Option One” and “Option Two.” In others, the Handbook provides optional language that drafters may include. In those instances the sample language is identified as “Optional.” The intent of this handbook is to provide the drafter with options in structuring constitutional provisions. Since every post-conflict situation is unique, the drafter may change certain elements to enhance the constitution’s relevance and applicability to a particular context. The purpose of the sample language is merely to provide options from ratified constitutions to assist the drafter. The Handbook also contains two annexes. Annex I provides a list all of the constitutions cited in the footnotes and a link to their location on the World Wide Web. Annex II provides a compilation of all the sample language. PILPG is committed to supporting constitution drafters in fulfilling their roles, and, upon request, can provide additional assistance in considering particular provisions and language.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Peacekeeping, Conflict, Negotiation, Peace
  • Political Geography: Global Focus