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  • Publication Date: 08-2005
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Open Society Foundations
  • Abstract: Produced by the Open Society EU Monitoring and Advocacy Program and Mental Health Initiative, Rights of People with Intellectual Disabilities: Access to Education and Employment is a series of 12 country reports on the rights of people with intellectual disabilities in Europe. The reports monitor the degree to which existing international standards and national legislation are heeded and applied. Each report includes specific policy recommendations targeting both domestic and international decisionmakers.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Disability, Mental Health, Domestic Policy
  • Political Geography: Greece, Estonia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Croatia, Latvia
  • Publication Date: 05-2005
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Open Society Foundations
  • Abstract: Gender equality is still far from being a reality in Central and Eastern Europe, according to the report Equal Opportunities for Women and Men: Monitoring Law and Practice in New Member States and Accession Countries of the European Union, published by OSI's Network Women's Program. The findings and recommendations in Equal Opportunities for Women and Men are based on monitoring conducted by national gender equality experts and local NGO representatives in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Turkey. The report describes existing national institutional mechanisms, policies, and programs on gender equality, and highlights several shortcomings. The research identified a general lack of awareness among men and women about how gender inequality affects their daily lives as well as a lack of political will to enforce existing national and EU gender equality policies. The report's key recommendations include a call for governments to establish regular monitoring of how equal pay principles are practiced in both the public and private sectors and making these monitoring results public; they urge the governments in Bulgaria, Hungary, and Poland to adopt official gender equality strategies; and appeal to all governments to collect gender disaggregated statistical data, without which gender equality policies can hardly be successful.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Women, Men, Equality
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia
  • Author: Plamen Pantev
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institute for Security and International Studies (ISIS)
  • Abstract: Perception1 of security threats is a dynamic process determined by the outside world and the perceiver’s culture, attitudes, expectations, needs, experience and other attributes. Each interpreter, depending on her or his respective analytic point of view, subjectively defines the facts in the security realm. Values, beliefs and cognitions constitute the bulk of any perception, including about security issues. A value is a preference for one state of reality over another. A belief is a conviction that a description of reality is true, proven or known. And cognition is information derived from the environment that can be substantiated through physical evidence or perceptual observation. Cognitions are key elements in establishing perceptual systems and in changing those systems. The threat perceptual systems of the Western Black Sea countries – Bulgaria and Romania, are strongly influenced by their values, beliefs and cognitions as sovereign nations with specific geopolitical positions and interests. They are also shaped in the context of their membership in NATO, as future EU members and as US allies on whose territories would be stationed American military bases.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Geopolitics, Risk
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eurasia, South Caucasus, Black Sea
  • Author: Plamen Pantev
  • Publication Date: 11-2005
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institute for Security and International Studies (ISIS)
  • Abstract: This Research Report focuses on the issue of the interpretation of the meaning of the term ‘Europeanisation’. It is followed by a discussion of two constraining factors of Europeanising the foreign, security and defence policy. Lastly, it deals with the interrelationship of ‘security’ and ‘regional integration’ – an issue that is generally disregarded by analysts and politicians, but that can lead to a methodological miss-match, creating obstacles to the course of a less contradictory Europeanisation of the foreign, security and defence policy of the EU.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, European Union, Europeanization
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Jeffrey P. Bialos, Stuart L. Koehl
  • Publication Date: 01-2004
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Transatlantic Relations
  • Abstract: At the end of the day, missile defense is and should be here to stay as a key element of U.S., and in all likelihood, European defense strategy for the twenty-first century. The threats are real and there is an emerging consensus about creating defenses against it. While the “macro” issues of ABM withdrawal and initial fielding of the U.S. midcourse segment are behind us, there are very legitimate issues that warrant debate on both sides of the Atlantic. We now need to focus on making the right choices to provide a better balance of capabilities between various strategic, regional, force protection, and homeland security needs. Moreover, U.S.-European engagement on missile defense is potentially, but not inevitably, a win-win proposition—binding alliance partners together geo-politically, creating a layered, multi-national plug and play “system of system” architecture, and enhancing our ability to fight wars together. And, an enhanced coalition war fighting capability is likely to have beneficial spillover effects on the broader Transatlantic relationship; it is axiomatic that countries that fight wars together tend to have congruent interests in a range of areas. But for this to happen, Europe needs to begin to seriously consider its missile defense needs soon and apply resources to the task and the United States needs to resolve the underlying technology transfer issues and questions of roles and responsibilities. Thus, with hard work and good will, multi-national cooperation between the United States and its allies offers “win-win” from the standpoint of strengthening the alliance and our mutual security.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Nuclear Weapons, Military Strategy, Weapons , Missile Defense
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Europe
  • Author: David Cortright, George A. Lopez, Alistair Millar, Linda Gerber
  • Publication Date: 09-2004
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Fourth Freedom Forum
  • Abstract: The project examines how the CTC and the CTED can more effectively implement the mandates of Security Council Resolutions 1373, 1377, 1456, 1535, and other relevant measures. The project addresses the following specific research topics: financial asset controls; technical assistance to enhance member state implementation capacity; international, regional, and subregional coordination; linkages between counter-terrorism assistance and development aid; and the need to respect human rights while implementing counter-terrorism mandates.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, United Nations, Counter-terrorism, UN Security Council
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 07-2004
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Open Society Foundations
  • Abstract: In early 2004, the 200th anniversary of Haiti's independence, violence once again burst into flame as rebel soldiers overran much of the country and forced President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to resign. The country the soldiers fought over is the poorest in the Western Hemisphere, one of the poorest anywhere. Its infrastructure—roads, electricity, water, sanitation—is deteriorating, almost to the point of nonexistence. The schools cannot make a dent in the illiteracy rate. The health care system cannot stop the spread of preventable diseases. The months of political violence, following years of government repression, have made living conditions worse—at least in the short term. The international community, which reduced its presence in Haiti several years ago in response to the corruption and mismanagement of the government, must now return to help Haiti recover, restore order and stability, and complete the job of establishing truly democratic values and institutions. The few bright spots in the chaos and dysfunction that have overwhelmed Haiti are a small number of successful civic organizations that desperately need funding to survive and expand. FOKAL, the Soros foundation in Haiti, is a leading force among these grassroots groups. FOKAL stands for the Fondasyon Konesans Ak Libète in Creole (in French, the Fondation Connaissance & Liberté). Its programs improve conditions for young people and rural communities, instilling optimism and hope and a commitment to work for the common good. Through civic organizations such as the ones described in this report, Haitians are tackling a mountain range of problems. A strong civil society offers the only lasting solution to political repression and violence. This report tells the story of FOKAL and some of the programs that deserve support because they work in a country where so much doesn't. It is a journey through the unfinished business of Haiti.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Civil Society, Development, Infrastructure, Repression
  • Political Geography: Haiti
  • Publication Date: 04-2004
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Open Society Foundations
  • Abstract: This report, the sixth in a series from Iraq Revenue Watch, criticizes the timetable set by the International Advisory and Monitoring Board (IAMB) for review of expenditures by the Coalition Provisional Authority’s Development Fund for Iraq (DFI). According to the report, “Under its current mandate, the IAMB has less than three months to account for $7.3 billion of DFI expenditures made by the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA). Unless the Board is able to work beyond June 30, there is no way it can provide an accurate and public accounting for so much money.” Furthermore, the report concludes that “the delay and absence of IAMB oversight of the CPA is particularly worrying in light of recent reports by inspector generals at the Pentagon, USAID, and the General Accounting Office noting pervasive violations of contracting procedures in the allocation of U.S. and Iraqi funds for the reconstruction of Iraq.” These problems are only exacerbated by the lack of Iraqi involvement in the IAMB, the report notes, bringing into question the legitimacy of the IAMB’s operations in the eyes of the people it was designed to serve.
  • Topic: Military Affairs, Budget, Revenue Management, Public Spending
  • Political Geography: Iraq
  • Publication Date: 04-2004
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Open Society Foundations
  • Abstract: This report, the fifth in a series by the Open Society Iraq Revenue Watch, evaluates the level of transparency in budget reporting by the Baghdad-based Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA). On the eve of the transition to a new Iraqi government, the report finds that although the CPA’s financial procedures and documents have improved, they still fail to meet internationally recognized standards for fiscal decision-making and reporting. The report calls upon the CPA and the Governing Council to make further improvements in accordance with these standards. Budgetary transparency and accountability can help assure that Iraq does not revert to the tyranny of secrecy practiced under Saddam Hussein.
  • Topic: Military Affairs, Transparency, Revenue Management
  • Political Geography: Iraq
  • Publication Date: 10-2004
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Open Society Foundations
  • Abstract: Recent audits expose serious failures in American oversight of Iraq’s revenues and U.S. reconstruction funds, according to a report by the Open Society Institute’s Iraq Revenue Watch project. The audits—released in late July by the Coalition Provisional Authority Inspector General (CPA-IG)—paint a picture of disorder and negligence. Contractors made little effort to control costs, while the Coalition Provisional Authority, which was in charge of managing Iraqi reconstruction funds, failed to adhere to federally mandated procedures for awarding and overseeing contracts. “The CPA did not do its job regarding the oversight of reconstruction funds,” said Svetlana Tsalik, director of the Revenue Watch project. “It failed to stop the misuse and waste of money that belonged to the Iraqi people and American taxpayers.” An analysis of the data suggests that of $1.5 billion in contracts, the CPA awarded U.S. firms 74 percent of the value of all contracts paid for with Iraqi funds. Together with its British allies, U.S. and U.K. companies received 85 percent of the value of all such contracts. Iraqi firms, by contrast, received just 2 percent of the value of contracts paid for with Iraqi funds. “Government favorites such as Kellogg, Brown and Root benefited at the expense of Iraqi companies whose workers badly need jobs,” said Tsalik. The report, the sixth in a series by Iraq Revenue Watch, finds that 60 percent of the value of all contracts paid with Iraqi funds went to Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown & Root (KBR)—the same company that Pentagon auditors in December 2003 found had overcharged the U.S. government for as much as $61 million for fuel imports into Iraq. A criminal investigation of KBR was launched by the Department of Defense in February 2004. The CPA-IG audits confirm the findings of previous ones. A report released in July 2004 by the International Advisory and Monitoring Board, the watchdog body set up by the United Nations, found numerous problems in the CPA’s control and use of Iraqi oil assets during the occupation. These include the absence of oil metering to control theft, poor record-keeping on oil sales, an absence of oversight of spending by the Iraqi ministries, the use of noncompetitive bidding procedures for some contracts, and the CPA’s refusal to transmit crucial information to the UN-mandated body. A recent Pentagon audit of KBR’s billing system, which shows that systematic deficiencies in the company’s accounting and billing procedures incurred significant costs to U.S taxpayers and to Iraqi oil revenues, is further proof of mismanagement. Following the model of its American predecessor, the Iraq interim government to date has provided scant information about how it is managing Iraq’s oil revenues.
  • Topic: Oil, United Nations, Military Affairs, Budget, Transparency, Revenue Management
  • Political Geography: Iraq