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  • Author: Mavic Cabrera-Balleza, Eleonore Veilet Chowdhury, Helena Gronberg, Annalise Moser
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (GNWP)
  • Abstract: The forthcoming 15th anniversary of UNSCR 1325 once again brings to the fore the importance of monitoring policy implementation. In the last 15 years, greater accountability to the resolution has been a consistent call from civil society, the UN and Member States. However, only a handful of Member States are actually monitoring the progress and achievements as well as the gaps and weaknesses in the implementation of the resolutions. The 2014 edition of Women Count, Security Council Resolution 1325: Civil Society Monitoring Report, demonstrates once again that while it is labor intensive and time consuming, monitoring is a doable and relevant exercise. It also illustrates that while funding is absolutely necessary, the lack of it should not be an excuse to not monitor. On the fifth year of Women Count, the civil society monitoring of UNSCR 1325, civil society groups from Azerbaijan, India, Iraq, Kenya and Libya are participating in this independent monitoring report for the very first time. Moreover, we are for the first time including a territory, Nagorno-Karabakh in monitoring and analyzing the applicability of the WPS resolutions in different socio-political and cultural contexts. 21 countries were monitored in 2014 bringing the total number of countries monitored in the last five years to 24. Beyond just a figure, this number represents the wealth of data, information and analysis on how UNSCR 1325 has impacted the lives of women around the world—in conflict-affected countries, in developed and non-conflict countries, in middle income countries; in countries with or without National Action Plans. GNWP’s participation in the ongoing Global Study on Women, Peace and Security is informed by the findings and recommendations in the last five years of this monitoring exercise. I would like to emphasize that some of the findings and recommendations such as those on women’s lack of representation in official peace negotiations, lack of local level action, as well as the persistent problem on lack of funding for women’s peacebuilding work at the grassroots level are not new and in fact some of them have been articulated prior to 2010. However, the civil society monitoring initiative presents new evidence and fresh insights.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, Gender Issues, United Nations, Women, Negotiation, Peace, WPS
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Mitchell E. Daniels Jr., Thomas E. Donilon, Thomas J. Bollyky
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Rates of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in low- and middle-income countries are increasing faster, in younger people, and with worse outcomes than in wealthier countries. In 2013 alone, NCDs killed eight million people before their sixtieth birthdays in developing countries. A new CFR-sponsored Independent Task Force report and accompanying interactive look at the factors behind this epidemic and the ways the United States can best fight it. NCDs will affect U.S. interests because of their human, economic, and strategic consequences. "More patients will get sick, suffer longer, require more medical care, and die young. Given the scale of these trends, the results will reverberate," the Task Force warns. It is projected that the NCD epidemic will inflict $21.3 trillion in losses in developing countries over the next two decades—a cost nearly equal to the entire economic output of those countries in 2013. "These economic consequences will undercut potential U.S. trade partners and allies and may reduce domestic support for governments of U.S. strategic interest." The Task Force says the United States and like-minded partners can help developing countries meet the NCD challenge at relatively modest cost and "slow the rise of this epidemic, lessen its worst effects, and help provide national governments with the time and technical assistance needed to tackle this emerging crisis sustainably on their own." The U.S. government should take two immediate steps, the Task Force says: examine its global health priorities and spending and ensure their continued effectiveness; and convene governments and other potential partners from around the world to develop a plan for collective action on NCDs in low- and middle-income countries. The Task Force encourages the United States to focus on the NCDs and risk factors most prevalent among the working-age poor in developing countries. Low-cost interventions are available and should be integrated into existing U.S. global health efforts. Based on these criteria, the Task Force maintains that: In the short term U.S. leadership would have a significant effect on cardiovascular disease, tobacco control, liver cancer, and cervical cancer. "Low-cost, prevention-based solutions exist for each challenge and the United States is in the position to help local governments implement them." More on: Noncommunicable Diseases Global Public Health Threats and Pandemics In the medium term U.S. leadership would make a tremendous difference to address diabetes and treatable and curable cancers, such as leukemia and breast cancer. "The Task Force has identified several NCD challenges for which effective interventions are widely used in the United States and other high-income countries, but not yet sufficiently low cost or usable in low-infrastructure settings . . .With U.S. leadership, more population and implementation research, and collaboration with private sector and philanthropic partners, progress on adapting these interventions for cost-effective, low-infrastructure use is foreseeable in the near term." U.S. collaboration with developing countries and the private sector may help ameliorate poor diets and nutrition, physical inactivity, and obesity. It could also help integrate mental health into primary care and provide low-cost chronic care programs and technologies.
  • Topic: Health, International Cooperation, Governance, Health Crisis
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Robert F. Noriega, Felipe Trigos
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Key points in this Outlook: Key Latin American governments, such as Brazil and Mexico, must adopt economic, fiscal, and energy policies that will maximize job creation, sustainable growth, and energy self-sufficiency. The performance of Latin American economies has a disproportionate effect on US prosperity, heightening the costs of the Obama administration’s indifference toward the region. The American economy will benefit from more vigor and vision as US policy encourages economic partnerships with Latin America that cultivate a healthy private sector, energy interdependence, and greater competitiveness in a global market.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Bilateral Relations, Global Markets, Economic Growth, Economic Policy
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Latin America, Mexico
  • Author: Ziya Alili, Rashad Hasanov, Farhad Bayramov, Vugar Bayramov
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Economic and Social Development (CESD)
  • Abstract: CESD- Center for Economic and Social Development, Azerbaijan has developed new research paper titled as “Competitiveness in Azerbaijan: Assessing Sectorial Economic Policies”. This publication was developed and printed with the support of Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung. This research paper assesses economic diversification and cross-sector competitiveness in Azerbaijan by employing extensive qualitative and quantitative methodologies. The paper will measure the extent to which Azerbaijan’s economy is labor- and GDP-diversified or not. If it is not, we must ask what kind of policies can be developed for sectorial diversification and economic development. This paper will further analyze the government’s fiscal and monetary policies aimed at developing better, quantitatively based recommendations.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Diversification, Fiscal Policy
  • Political Geography: Azerbaijan, South Caucasus
  • Author: Lenka Peťková
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Global Political Trends Center
  • Abstract: Commemorating Amb. Suna Çokgür Ilıcak, Global Political Trends Center (GPoT Center) of Istanbul Kültür University in collaboration with the Center for Strategic Research (SAM) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey, and the Faculty of Social and Economic Sciences (FSES) of the Comenius University in Bratislava organized the second panel discussion held in her memory. Amb. Suna Çokgür Ilıcak, who had passed away while serving as Turkey's Ambassador to Slovakia, played a pivotal role in strengthening relations between the two countries. The panel discussion entitled "Turkey and the EU: Turning Long-Term Relations into Effective Collaboration" took place on March 6, 2014 on the premises of the FSES with the participation of students, academics, local civil society and media representatives, experts and members of the diplomatic corps based in Bratislava.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, Politics, European Union
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Slovakia
  • Author: Costa Constanti, Takis Hadjidemetriou, Mete Hatay, Praxoula Antoniadou Kyriacou, Sami Özuslu, Chrysostomos Pericleous
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Global Political Trends Center
  • Abstract: The publication you are holding in your hands represents a selection of contributions ranging from personal experiences with the Cyprus problem to the suggestions for the international community, which were discussed during the recent rounds. The six important contributions will help you to grasp the intricate nature and complexity of the Cyprus problem.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Territorial Disputes, Dialogue
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Cyprus
  • Author: Metthew Bryza, Kalev Stoicescu, Natalja Jegorova
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: International Centre for Defence and Security - ICDS
  • Abstract: The strategic value of the Arctic region is increasing as sea ice diminishes and previously inaccessible regions become open for exploration and exploitation. The Arctic has the potential to provide various natural riches and economic benefits—such as minerals, hydrocarbons, fisheries, and shorter shipping routes—alongside opportunities to strengthen international cooperation. However, the wealth of the region brings with it a potential threat to international stability. The mix of countries and international organizations with growing interests in the Arctic represent a diverse subset of the international community, stretching from Europe to the Far East. Furthermore, it brings a new dimension of confrontation to historical adversaries. For instance, four of five Arctic Ocean littoral states are members of NATO—and the fifth is Russia.
  • Topic: NATO, Climate Change, International Cooperation, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Nordic Nations, Arctic, Baltic States
  • Author: Henrik Breitenbauch, Martin Hurt, Tomas Jermalavicius, Pauli Järvenpää, Piret Pernik
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: International Centre for Defence and Security - ICDS
  • Abstract: The Estonian Government began employing an integrated approach to national defence in 2010. Pursuant to the National Defence Strategy, subsequent steps will include submission for Cabinet approval of the non-military sections of the National Defence Development Plan for 2013-2022. These sections deal in a coordinated manner with both military defence and essential non-military activities. The Ministry of Defence is currently drafting a National Defence Act. The report was commissioned in order to document the current state of implementation of the integrated national defence model. The Estonian Government began employing an integrated approach to national defence in 2010. Pursuant to the National Defence Strategy, subsequent steps will include submission for Cabinet approval of the non-military sections of the National Defence Development Plan for 2013-2022. These sections deal in a coordinated manner with both military defence and essential non-military activities. The Ministry of Defence is currently drafting a National Defence Act. The report was commissioned in order to document the current state of implementation of the integrated national defence model. The report identifies conditions for the successful interactions of national security and defence stakeholders in the strategic framework of comprehensive security and integrated defence. It reviews the literature on comprehensive and integrated approaches to complex security and defence challenges and extracts some key factors underpinning the effective whole-of-government and whole-of-society efforts. It then considers experiences of several nations – Denmark, Finland, The Netherlands and Sweden – in building integrated security and defence systems. Finally, the paper investigates the ‘state of play’ in Estonia when it comes to implementing the concept of integrated defence. It closes with the recommendations to Estonia‘s policymakers.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Government, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eurasia, Finland, Estonia, Denmark, Sweden, Netherlands
  • Author: Alexander Verschoor-Kirss, Anna Bulakh
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: International Centre for Defence and Security - ICDS
  • Abstract: The Vilnius Summit of the Eastern Partnership (abbreviated EaP), held in November 2013, reiterated the stated goal of the previous summit in Warsaw of “building a common area of shared democracy, prosperity, stability and increased interactions and exchanges.” The Vilnius Summit of the Eastern Partnership (abbreviated EaP), held in November 2013, reiterated the stated goal of the previous summit in Warsaw of “building a common area of shared democracy, prosperity, stability and increased interactions and exchanges.” Both the European Union and its partners came to an important conclusion: that the peaceful resolution of conflicts through building trust and good neighborly relations is essential to economic development, social development, and cooperation in the region. Before the EU and EaP countries can reach this laudable goal, however, this partnership needs to address the shared security threat revealed by the current crisis in Ukraine: Vladimir Putin’s Russia.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, European Union, Partnerships, Democracy, Regional Integration
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine
  • Author: Scott Helfstein
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point
  • Abstract: The report makes four main points that run counter to previous conceptions of crime-terror connectivity and the global illicit network. 1) Rather than operating in numerous smaller networks, the criminals and terrorists in our study are largely subsumed (98%) in a single network of 2,700 individuals with 15,000 relationships. Connectivity among actors within the illicit marketplace is relatively high. This should not be construed to say that the network is a cohesive organizational entity. Rather, the phenomenon observed and documented here is a self-organizing complex system built through social connections from the bottom up. 2) By most measures of connectivity, terrorists are more central than almost all other types of criminals, second only to narcotics smugglers. The transnational nature of some terrorist actors allows them to link disparate criminal groups. Importantly our study does not provide evidence that terrorists are shunned by criminal actors because of their ideological motivations. 3) The conventional wisdom that explains crime-terror connectivity as a product of failed or economically poor states is challenged here. Generally speaking, connectivity between terrorists and criminals is highest in resource-rich countries that have little incentive to support substate actors (comparative advantage theory) and resource-poor countries that are incentivized to support criminal or terrorist groups (augment state capabilities theory). 4) Despite the interest surrounding big data and data science, the results of data acquisition and utilization often falls short of their potential. A growing number of data sources and tools offer an opportunity to conduct analyses addressing global challenges like the crime-terror “nexus.” Advancing this agenda requires asking questions in unique ways and pursuing creative approaches and partnerships to aggregating and analyzing data.
  • Topic: Crime, Terrorism, Finance
  • Political Geography: Global Focus