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  • Author: Paige Arthur
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: As increasing political and budgetary pressures have come to bear on UN peace operations in recent years, more attention has been paid to ensuring that drawdowns are undertaken in a way that sustains the gains of a mission’s presence. This policy briefing highlights a number of missed opportunities and argues for greater collaboration between the UN, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) ahead of a mission’s departure to build greater synergies between the country’s political and economic pathways. The brief begins by summarizing the economic challenges related to UN transitions, including diving deeper into the debate on whether or not these transitions create a “financial cliff”—in particular, in relation to official development assistance and foreign direct investment. We then describe three key opportunities for the UN, the Bank, and the IMF to leverage their respective mandates and comparative advantages during mission drawdowns, seizing the moment around transitions to support a country’s pathway to peace in ways that also lessen its economic burdens and supports key reforms. These opportunities include: Generating better alignment and planning between the three institutions in transition moments, with a focus on maintaining and strengthening peacebuilding gains while also seeking to unlock broader economic opportunities; Collaborating across areas of expertise to assess budgetary and resourcing gaps that may prove crippling to a country’s emergence from fragility, if not addressed; Activating levers for additional peacebuilding financing and to support reform, from the UN’s PBC and multi-partner trust funds, to IMF support to improve access to financial markets, to the sensitive use of the World Bank’s new FCV envelopes in IDA19 . The brief is based on desk research as well as interviews with a small number UN, World Bank, and IMF representatives involved in the transition process in Timor-Leste, Côte d’Ivoire, and Liberia, as well as the expected transition in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
  • Topic: Politics, United Nations, Reform, Multilateralism, Peace, IMF
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Céline Monnier, Daniel Mack
  • Publication Date: 07-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: The consequences of violence worldwide are dire. More than half a million people die from violent deaths each year. In 2019, violence cost the global economy $14.5 trillion USD, or $1,909 USD per person. Countries with armed conflicts account for 80 percent of humanitarian spending. Beyond these cold numbers, the human toll of violence results in the suffering of families, trauma-affected communities, and increased fear and hopelessness. Different types of violence—such as crime, violent extremism, and armed conflict—are often interlinked and share risk and resilience factors. Although currently siloed, the UN system has the capacities and knowledge to develop approaches to prevention that cut across interlinked forms of violence. This policy paper makes the argument that the UN can and should adopt a more integrated violence prevention strategy across these three forms of violence. It draws from desk review of UN and academic documents, interviews with UN staff working on different types of violence prevention across the UN system, and a workshop among them. The paper discusses why there is a need for more integrated prevention approaches across different types of violence, what benefits that would bring, and what challenges need to be overcome first. It concludes by making four recommendations: governments should use the SDG 16.1 framework to bring actors together at national level; member states should ask the UN to develop evidence-based guidelines on prevention for countries to implement themselves; the UN should initiate a strategic dialogue at headquarters between fields to better identify commonalities in approaches; and country teams should develop an integrated strategy with specialized sub-strategies.
  • Topic: United Nations, International Security, Peace, Inclusion
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Knut Gerlach, Robert Kang
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: 2020 is the 75th anniversary year of the United Nations (UN), and it has already shaped up to be a year of unprecedented international shocks and potential for transformation, from COVID-19’s impact to the current mobilization for racial justice in many areas of the world. What does this mean for global trust in international cooperation and multilateral institutions? This briefing by Karina Gerlach and Robert Kang examines recent global polling data, finding a growing demand for international cooperation but diminished trust in international institutions to play a role in the response to COVID-19. It also looks at shifts in member state leadership and perceptions of United States-China rivalry, arguing that middle power alliances and regional networks offer a path forward for international cooperation even in difficult circumstances.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, United Nations, Reform, Multilateralism, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Marc Jacquand
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: In recent years, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, and the United Nations (UN) have increased their collaboration and strengthened their respective capacities to engage more effectively in fragility, conflict, and violence (FCV) contexts. Recent global developments, particularly the COVID-19 pandemic, point to the need to accelerate such efforts and deepen collaboration between these three institutions. Everywhere—including in high-income countries—political turbulence and contestation of traditional governance arrangements are increasing the stakes and impact of macroeconomic decisions, and now of pandemic response measures. This extremely challenging global landscape, where risks intersect with increasing virulence, is calling out for greater collaboration between the IMF, the Bank, and the UN, as the three institutions to which many countries that find themselves facing such crises often turn. This briefing by Marc Jacquand makes the case for increased collaboration on four levels: factual, financial, political, and counterfactual. It also lays out the challenges, both internal and external, that impede collaboration. Finally, it makes recommendations for institutional improvements to facilitate more effective joint work in FCV contexts.
  • Topic: United Nations, Governance, Reform, Multilateralism, Crisis Management, IMF, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Paige Arthur
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: In 2018, the United Nations (UN) and the World Bank published a groundbreaking report driven by the conviction that the international community’s attention must urgently be rebalanced from crisis response to prevention. Pathways for Peace offered a joint framework for conflict prevention, and as it has gathered momentum, other international financial institutions (IFIs)—such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF)— have re-examined their approach to fragile and conflict-affected countries. Now, with the UN and the IFIs mobilizing in response to the COVID-19, the progress made in recent years will be tested. There is a risk that these opportunities will be overshadowed by the colossal need generated by the pandemic—but the scale and urgency of the crisis is also creating new opportunities for UN-IFI collaboration. This briefing provides an external perspective on the evolution of the UN-IFI relationship over the past three years. The first part of the stocktaking will focus on the UN-World Bank relationship, followed by a brief overview of partnership with the IMF. It is written for a broad audience—across the UN system, the World Bank and other IFIs, UN member states, civil society, and beyond—and aims to build consensus on next steps needed to accelerate implementation of a preventive approach.
  • Topic: United Nations, Fragile States, Multilateralism, Crisis Management
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Karina Gerlach, Robert Kang
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: 2020 is the 75th anniversary year of the United Nations (UN), and it has already shaped up to be a year of unprecedented international shocks and potential for transformation, from COVID-19’s impact to the current mobilization for racial justice in many areas of the world. What does this mean for global trust in international cooperation and multilateral institutions? This briefing by Karina Gerlach and Robert Kang examines recent global polling data, finding a growing demand for international cooperation but diminished trust in international institutions to play a role in the response to COVID-19. It also looks at shifts in member state leadership and perceptions of United States-China rivalry, arguing that middle power alliances and regional networks offer a path forward for international cooperation even in difficult circumstances.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Race, United Nations, Reform, Multilateralism, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: China, Global Focus, United States of America
  • Author: David Steven, Maaike de Langen
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered what may be the worst global recession since the Second World War—and the impact of this second-order crisis will be widespread, including in the justice sector. Access to justice has been affected by the public health response to the coronavirus, but it will also be challenged by the economic downturn. The first in this series—Justice for All and the Public Health Emergency set out recommendations for how justice systems and actors can respond to the health impacts of the pandemic. This second briefing now turns to the question of how the economic downturn will affect access to justice—and how justice systems and partners can play a role in the recovery. The briefing examines how the economic effects of COVID-19 impact common justice problems, and how justice systems can anticipate and innovate in response. It provides recommendations for how justice systems and actors can react nimbly to the pandemic’s effects, and look ahead for opportunities to build back better, reshaping justice systems so they can support more inclusive, sustainable, and resilient economies.
  • Topic: United Nations, Global Recession, Rule of Law, Crisis Management, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Paige Arthur, Céline Monnier
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: In this policy briefing, our fifth in our series on prevention at the UN, we draw on examples from Côte d’Ivoire and Timor-Leste to illustrate how countries have developed integrated actions on prevention that cut across sectors, including security, development, and human rights. We then highlight options for the UN to better support these strategies through cross-pillar approaches and identify practical ways forward for governments implementing prevention approaches.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, Development, Human Rights, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Africa, Timor-Leste, Côte d'Ivoire
  • Author: Sarah Hearn, Alejandra Kubitschek Bujones, Alischa Kugel
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: There is a broad agreement that the United Nations' "Peacebuilding Architecture" (PBA) has failed to live up to the high hopes that existed when the 2005 World Summit agreed to establish the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) and its related entities, the Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO) and the Peacebuilding Fund (PBF).
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, United Nations, Peacekeeping
  • 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