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  • Author: Paige Arthur, Céline Monnier
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: After experimenting with months of lockdown and imposed social distancing measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, people everywhere now have a more immediate understanding of how prolonged crisis can create challenges for both individuals’ mental health as well as maintaining the social fabric of communities. However, social fragmentation and mental distress created by adverse environments are not new, nor are they limited to COVID-19. Gross social injustices or armed conflicts have provoked wide-spread mental suffering, broken down social norms, and undermined social cohesion since time immemorial. Generations grow up in the midst of violence, normalizing it, or losing capacity to trust others or their institutions. Hence, neglecting the psychosocial impacts of social injustices and violence on the individual and society undermines other efforts to build peaceful societies. Nevertheless, the use of mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) approaches to build peace or prevent violent conflict remains anecdotal and ad hoc. This paper summarizes the existing arguments for why MHPSS should be more systematically used to sustain peace, and offers four opportunities to use MHPSS approaches in sustaining peace efforts at the UN: Support national capacities; Integrate MHPSS as a normal part of sustaining peace strategies; Increase expertise on MHPSS as part of sustaining peace; Creative partnerships to support an integrated approach.
  • Topic: Mental Health, Peace, COVID-19, Health Crisis
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Tara Moayed
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: Communities are not homogenous. Within a single community, there are often divisions along class, ethnic, and gender lines. Further, not all communities are the same. Dynamics from one community to the next can widely differ, including power relations, land allocations, gender dynamics, mobility, and the level of government influence. James Scott, in Seeing Like A State, showed how much of the vocabulary of state administration carries with it the mechanisms to disempower local authority and invest it in state agents who can then wield state authority. Rebalancing this relationship requires finding ways to overcome the monopolies over information, decision-making, and convening power that state agents have, particularly in systems that emerged from an extractive colonial context. Ignoring these dynamics when designing a CDD project will most likely result in elite capture, and possibly lead to local conflict, increased inequality, and erode trust between citizens and the state. This research paper argues the importance of the role of the community within the Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies discussion over inequality. The paper’s case studies are based largely on government-led community-driven development (CDD) programs that aim to ensure recognition of the complicated dynamics within the community itself. Unless the heterogeneity of communities is considered and fostered through an inclusive design and facilitation process, no program or project can hope to impact inclusion, empowerment, and the citizen-state relationship. A deep understanding of community dynamics and good facilitation are prerequisites for any CDD model to have a positive social impact.
  • Topic: Citizenship, State, Community, Society, Inclusion
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Paul von Chamier
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: There is nothing equal about COVID-19. It is now well established that poor and underprivileged social groups have absorbed most of the pandemic’s negative impact. However, the connection between COVID-19 and inequality might run even deeper. During the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, one additional point of the Gini coefficient correlated with a 1.34 percentage point higher rate of weekly new infections across countries. This difference in infection rates compounds like interest every week. This means that after twenty-one weeks of the pandemic, just one additional Gini å correlates with an approximately 1/3 higher overall number of cases in a country. More equal countries might enjoy an “equality dividend” that is associated with more shock resilience during the ongoing crisis. This new research from CIC sought to understand if pre-existing systemic inequities could be linked to higher COVID-19 infection rates, examining infection rates in 70 countries from mid-March 2020 through early August 2020, or what is widely seen as the first 21 weeks of the pandemic. It also studied these nations’ levels of inequality and other potential predictive variables: government efficiency (a measure indicating quality of public services and civil service capability), urban population share, share of the population over the age of 65, lockdown measures (calculated by stringency), and geographic mobility (a population’s physical movements as measured by Google’s COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports). The study tracked inequality by using the “Gini Coefficient,” a commonly used metric for measuring income inequality within nations--or, specifically, how far a country’s wealth or income distribution deviates from a completely equal distribution. Under this calculation, the higher the coefficient, the greater the income inequality within that country.
  • Topic: Inequality, Resilience, COVID-19, Health Crisis, Society
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jeni Klugman, Matthew Moore
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: Where people live exerts a strong influence on multiple aspects of their well-being, including their access to economic opportunities, education, health and other services and to their security, as well as other goals envisioned in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In a world with high and growing levels of urbanization, policy makers are increasingly aware that the future of inequality depends largely on what happens in cities. There is also concern that rising spatial inequality can lead to social unrest, rioting, increased crime, and erode trust among separated societal groups. The World Bank estimates that half of the area that will be urbanized by 2050 has not yet been built, which implies major opportunities for the policies and decisions affecting cities to shape the world we live in. First, this paper synthesizes several research papers regarding what we already know–drawing on recent research from UNDESA and others–to outline the extent of spatial disparities, the ways that spatial inequality shapes today’s cities, and the key factors driving spatial disparities. Additionally, the paper introduces a new index designed to capture key dimensions of spatial inequality, along with analysis of results from three pilot applications in Addis Ababa, Jakarta, and Mexico City which highlights the importance of granular and up-to-date data, as well as the accumulating nature of disadvantage in poor neighborhoods.
  • Topic: Inequality, Sustainable Development Goals, Urban
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Ethiopia, Mexico
  • Author: Attiya Waris
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: There are multiple examples of solidarity taxes imposed across country contexts over previous decades. The solidarity taxes that were levied were done to mitigate effects of a crisis such as a pandemic, as well as rebuilding of nations that had been affected by world wars (examples include Zimbabwe and Germany). Considering the renewed interest in solidarity taxes in the wake of COVID-19, author Attiya Waris reviews the history of solidarity taxes, and discusses key lessons from the past, in addition to drawing these lessons and findings into policy reccomendations moving forward.
  • Topic: Tax Systems, Pandemic, COVID-19, Economic Recovery
  • Political Geography: Germany, Zimbabwe, Global Focus
  • Author: Ricardo Fuentes-Nieva
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: “Taxes are what you pay for a civilized society” stated US Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes in 1927. Time has shown that “civilized” means better lives and livelihoods for people where there is a solid tax base and collection–a necessary although insufficient condition for a society where people feel safe, heard, and participant in the decisions of the nation. A government that can efficiently collect taxes is a government with a solid administration and with legitimacy based on the fact that citizens pay their taxes by a combination of laws and a sense of duty and belonging. Paying taxes involves legal and moral obligations. The standard economic model for tax compliance assumes a cost-benefit calculation where someone balances the cost of being caught cheating the tax systems versus the benefit keeping some money hidden to the tax authorities. Yet there are other important reasons why people pay taxes that are not captured by a purely rational calculation. This background paper provides a framework that channels tax morale via trust and fairness directly and three elements for each one indirectly; trustworthiness of the government, reciprocity, and transparency/accountability for trust and three types of justice for fairness: distributive, procedural and retributive. This paper also makes a special distinction to the issue of corruption and how it relates to the elements within this framework. This paper will discuss the evidence on voluntary tax compliance, trust, and fairness, and the set of policies and actions that affect different mechanisms. It will provide a new framework based on the literature about the drivers of trust and fairness, with particular attention to the issue of corruption and also provide historical examples where specific interventions have successfully strengthened the tax system. Finally, it will provide ideas on how to identify the best sequence of interventions for increased tax morale in a specific context.
  • Topic: Citizenship, Tax Systems, Peace, Inclusion
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Amanda Lenhardt
  • Publication Date: 07-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has turned all countries’ attention to mitigating the impacts of the crisis, and with this attention has come a wave of finance to address the immediate health risks of the disease and the indirect effects on economies and on well-being. With this influx of spending on welfare and resilience, many have looked on with hope that this collective effort can be done in such a way that the world can ‘build back better.’ But, like any building project, the foundation is critical. This paper sets out to investigate whether countries are investing in the foundational social and economic structures that have led to the vulnerabilities currently upending people’s lives. Failure to address the structural inequalities embedded within societies and across the global political economic structure will ultimately leave the new structure vulnerable to collapse in the long term, and risks exposing marginalized groups to the harshest impacts of the crisis in the short term.
  • Topic: Economy, Crisis Management, COVID-19, Marginalization, Inclusion
  • Political Geography: South Asia, East Asia, South Africa, Latin America
  • Author: Sanjay Reddy
  • Publication Date: 07-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: Shared capital, defined as a broadly distributed pattern of rights over productive assets, can be a powerful instrument to address economic and social inequalities. We argue that initiatives to bring about shared capital can foster both redistribution and recognition, and thereby bring about more inclusive and peaceful societies. Based on experience, we suggest moreover that they are feasible and can be advanced by suitable policies and actions—at local, national, and global levels. Shared capital can involve distribution of various rights of an asset, including those of use, control, income, and transfer. This paper considers nine cases which feature some experience of shared capital involving various kinds of rights being distributed and relate these to different kinds of assets. In almost every case, the state has an important role to play in facilitating the distribution of rights.
  • Topic: Regulation, Inequality, Peace, Sustainability, Capital, Redistribution , Inclusion
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Erin McCandless
  • Publication Date: 08-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: States and societies are in crisis around the world, as questions arise around the nature and quality of existing social contracts. COVID-19 has laid bare profound vulnerabilities within and across societies. The global pandemic is revealing deep failures in policy visions, institutional fragility, and incapacities of states to harness societal compliance where trust and a sense of national belonging is weak. At the same time, our interdependencies have never been so clear, as all countries, developed and underdeveloped alike, confront similar challenges. Crisis, however, offers opportunity to do things better, to build forward better – strengthening social contracts at all levels. How then, can social contracts, and compacting in times of crisis, offer pathways to address inequality and exclusion? This paper considers how social contracts can offer frameworks to foster new thinking and shape transformative policy to build more inclusive societies. Such frameworks should tie bold new policy visions to robust and resilient institutional arrangements that uproot harmful structural legacies with lasting effect for inclusive and peaceful societies. They must also offer means to address material conditions of inequality, and those related to recognition, identity, and dignity. The cases of South Africa, Tunisia, Colombia, and South Korea reveal that, while not easy nor predictable, such pathways exist. Key findings in this briefing include: Inequality and exclusion stem from policy choices and are fueled by corruption; they undermine foundations of inclusive and resilient national social contracts, e.g. trust in government and societal willingness to consent to difficult policy choices; Participation in formal electoral processes is declining while protest is rising, indicating a lack of faith in existing politics and institutional mechanisms for resolving conflict and fostering consensual politics; and Civil society movements in and across countries are advancing more inclusive social contracts that tackle vulnerability and risk through a variety of innovative means that deserve greater support.
  • Topic: Peace, Justice, Social Contract, COVID-19, Inclusion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, East Asia, South Africa, Latin America
  • Author: Ian Goldin
  • Publication Date: 09-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: Social contracts determine what is to be provided and by whom. In democracies, political processes determine these outcomes, with the extent to which individuals, communities, cities, businesses, governments, and other actors and institutions provide education, health, security, infrastructure, and justice to shape what comes to be understood as the social contract. Whether prevailing social contracts produce desirable consequences, such as human rights, individual freedom, self-determination, human development, prosperity, and equality reflects their efficacy. What is considered an effective contract in the US or Europe, may however be viewed very differently in China, with the priorities and norms associated with shaping social contracts, as well as the means to achieve them, varying from country to country and over time. In this brief, author Ian Goldin shows that many existing social contracts are inadequate and require renewal to overcome countries’ failures to address the needs of the majority of their citizens. New pressures on societies arising from the pace of change associated with the technological and energy revolutions have created an urgent need to build new social contracts which ensure that no one is left behind. This need has been made all the more urgent by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has shown the extent to which large parts of society—informal sector workers, uninsured self-employed, unemployed, migrants, and others—have fallen by the wayside due to outdated or non-existent social contracts. Establishing secure and comprehensive social contracts is not synonymous with the establishment of a welfare state, as this is only one way to secure effective social contracts. How welfare states adapt to meet the new technological and energy transition, and which other models may serve to build effective social contracts is a key question.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Science and Technology, Peace, Justice, Social Contract, Transition, Inclusion
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Ian Goldin
  • Publication Date: 09-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: The world of work is undergoing a fundamental transformation that will impact on workers and job seekers everywhere. Among the key drivers of this change are the climate emergency, demographic shifts and technological revolutions. Far from heralding better lives, the employment transition which was created by the industrial revolution led to immense hardships, rapidly rising pollution and heightened levels of poverty, malnutrition, and civil strife, culminating in the French and other revolutions. Today we are faced with an even more rapid, radical, and wide-ranging transformation of work, which threatens to be as disrupting. This time, however, we have the means to analyze and prepare for change. The purpose of this research paper is to identify how employment is being transformed and to examine the options for a just transition, which will lead to improvements for workers around the world. Author Ian Goldin begins this paper by identifying the challenge we are facing. It then defines employment transitions and lays out the weaknesses of current models of employment. Finally, it suggests policy options which tackle transitional assistance for workers, aiming to draw overall conclusions on what works in different economies.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Employment, Transition, Workforce
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Nendirmwa Noel, Sarah Cliffe
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: This short memo summarizes issues linking the COVID-19 pandemic and food prices. There is a real risk of a food price crisis emerging as a result of the pandemic, for the following reasons: Food systems are facing a complex set of demand and supply shocks during the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes increased demand due to hoarding versus decreased demand due to containment measures; lower prices for food system inputs, such as petroleum, versus decreased supply due to disruption of production, transport and trade. There seems to be a risk that rice, and possibly wheat, see a price surge which disconnects them from the downward trend in other basic commodities. There is also undoubtedly a risk that specific countries and large urban settlements see sharp increases in prices of scarce commodities, as protests in Afghanistan and in Nigeria have already shown this week. The crisis is coming just as farmers in many parts of the world are about to begin planting, and action is therefore needed now.
  • Topic: Governance, Food Security, Multilateralism, Crisis Management, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Sarah Cliffe, Leah Zamore, Nendirmwa Noel
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: As the coronavirus pandemic spreads across the globe, people are also moving in response to the threat of the virus and the actions states have taken to stem its transmission. This memo examines population movements in pandemics and offers relevant policy recommendations. In this policy memo, Sarah Cliffe, Leah Zamore, and Nendirmwa Noel detail the history of population movements during pandemics, provide an overview of the internal and cross-border movements now taking place around the world, and give examples of the restrictions and other measures governments are implementing to to respond. They also supply a number of concrete policy recommendations goverments can take now to improve their management of internal and cross-border movement in the face of COVID-19.
  • Topic: Governance, Conflict, Borders, Humanitarian Crisis, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Paige Arthur, Céline Monnier
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: Over the past 18 months, CIC has facilitated a series of discussions on the United Nations secretary-general’s agenda on preventing violent conflict. This options paper consolidates key recommendations for operationalizing the prevention agenda in light of the 2020 peacebuilding architecture review. In the paper, Paige Arthur and Céline Monnier present recommendations based on the consultations CIC has held across the UN system, as well as with national actors, to support the operationalization of the 2016 sustaining peace resolutions—with a specific focus on upstream prevention that is nationally led and sovereignty supporting. The paper examines options to increase national demand for prevention approaches, opportunities to build and consolidate the UN system’s expertise on prevention, and options to increase cross-pillar approaches, which are critical to the success of prevention initiatives.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, United Nations, Peace
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Sarah Cliffe
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has had a global impact on the conduct of elections, with countries and territories across every region affected. Governments and electoral authorities have responded with innovative practices—but the challenges posed by the pandemic have also revealed gaps and weaknesses that must be addressed. Lessons from the COVID-19 era can help with preparedness for future challenges such as holding elections in the wake of natural disasters or in highly polarized contexts. In this briefing, Kevin Casas-Zamora, the Secretary-General of the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, joins CIC's Sarah Cliffe and Nendirmwa Noel to take a look at how countries have handled elections during the pandemic so far, exploring options for ensuring good election governance and preventing electoral violence. The briefing examines decisions about postponing elections or holding them as scheduled, as well as changes to the campaigning and voting processes due to public health measures. It also addresses impact on turnout, lessons on the conduct of credible elections during COVID-19, lessons for preventing election-related violence, and approaches to combat electoral misinformation and disinformation.
  • Topic: Governance, Elections, Violence, Peace, Humanitarian Crisis, COVID-19, Society
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jeni Klugman, Matthew Moore
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: COVID-19 has underlined that spatial inequality is relevant—and costly—everywhere: not only in developing countries. The pandemic has exposed sharp inequalities in prosperous cities, such as New York and San Francisco, as well as in slums and informal settlements in developing countries such as Kenya and Iran. For an estimated 1.4 billion people living in informal settlements, home is crowded, inadequate, and unsafe. In the words of one observer, “[w]ith COVID-19, we are all in the same storm. We are not all in the same boat.” This paper presents the results of a rapid appraisal carried out in May 2020. It surveys how existing urban inequalities have played out in practice, how spatial inequality has shaped the repercussions of COVID-19, and how housing-related program and community responses have helped close—or exacerbated—these gaps. It also outlines the opportunities and prospects for longer term reforms. While data and empirical analysis are still nascent, academic, government, and civil society groups, as well as news outlets, have quickly ramped up efforts to document and study the pandemic and its numerous effects. We assess emerging evidence about how the COVID-19 pandemic’s impacts reflect residential segregation, including how they differentially affect renters, people who live in informal settlements, and the homeless. The COVID-19 crisis calls for rapid and innovative responses to address strains on lives and livelihoods. Our review identifies many promising emergency responses—from temporary eviction moratoria to cash transfer programs—aimed at mitigating COVID-19’s immediate impact.
  • Topic: Inequality, Fragile States, Crisis Management, Cities, COVID-19, Health Crisis
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Maha Jweied
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: This policy paper is authored by Maha Jweied, who served in the U.S. government between 2006-2018, most recently as the Acting Director of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office for Access to Justice. Maha is currently a fellow at CIC-NYU and advisor to the Pathfinders for Justice. This paper sets out how the former U.S. Department of Justice’s Office for Access to Justice leveraged international activity and mechanisms, including the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, to advance its domestic priorities. The strategy resulted in notable accomplishments and even protected a number of them after the office was closed in 2018. The brief also recommends that the incoming Biden-Harris Administration reestablish the Office for Access to Justice, revitalize the White House Legal Aid Interagency Roundtable charged with implementing Goal 16 for the United States, link U.S. domestic priorities to all 17 Sustainable Development Goals, and prioritize the United States’ role as a leader in the global movement for equal justice for all.
  • Topic: Government, Governance, Inequality, Justice
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Ian Goldin
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: Recent decades have seen rapid increases in the use of robots and rapid advances in artificial intelligence, driven particularly by improvements in machine learning. From games like chess and Go to speech recognition and image recognition, machines have come to outperform humans in an expanding range of activities. This development has motivated many attempts to gauge the impact on the future of work for humans. Frey and Osborne estimate that 47% of total US employment is in jobs at high risk of automation within the next decade or two. Arntz, Gregory, and Zierahn in turn estimate the figure is 9% in the USA and 10% in UK, while PwC estimate 38% in the USA, 35% in Germany, 30% in the UK, and 21% in Japan are at risk. This policy paper reviews the relationships between automation, artifical intelligence, and jobs, a retrospective look at technological upheavel throughout history, and what the future of work looks like by country and sector. Additionally, the paper considers the transformation, redistribution, and recognition of what work looks like globally as a byproduct of new technologies, as well as the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on the future of work. Case studies from India and the Philippines provides prominent success stories of developing countries creating tradeable services industries, while two examples from Nordic countries and Estonia highlight novel policies in developed countries to ensure the benefits of new technologies are widely shared. Finally, Goldin provides recommendations for governments, international agencies, and other partners to to support employment and inclusive growth in the face of technological change.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, International Security, Transnational Actors, Artificial Intelligence, Workforce
  • Political Geography: Europe, South Asia, India, East Asia, United States of America
  • Author: Ian Goldin
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: With each new year of data, and each new intergovernmental report, it becomes harder to deny the scale and urgency of the energy transition required to prevent catastrophic anthropogenic climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change urges countries to take action to prevent a rise in temperature by more than 1.5°C, and warns of catastrophic consequences of a rise above 2°C. Yet current policies and pledges fall far short of hitting these targets. Worse, since harmful climate change is caused by the stock of carbon in the atmosphere, the longer we delay measures to limit the flow of new carbon into the atmosphere, the more drastic those measures will have to be. This uneven distribution of threat and responsibility raises difficult questions. Developed countries are generally more advanced in their transition to renewables, which means that some of the cheapest opportunities to reduce emissions are in developing countries. Yet the fact remains that developed countries are responsible for a larger share of historic emissions—and developing countries may have a right to pursue development unhindered, as developed countries did in earlier decades. There are therefore several elements of the “just transition” in energy. The world needs to transition to cleaner energy, and the developing world needs to keep developing, all while supporting the countries and communities that bear the highest costs of mitigation measures—and supporting those areas already beginning to feel the negative effects of climate change. This report will outline the key challenges and opportunities and conclude with a series of practical steps available to policymakers.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, International Security, Crisis Management, Inclusion
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, South Asia, Middle East, India, East Asia, South Africa, Latin America, West Africa, United States of America, Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: Beneficial owners are defined as those who are the natural persons who ultimately own/control a customer and/or the natural persons on whose behalf a transaction is being conducted. It also includes those persons who exercise ultimate control over a legal person or arrangement. The availability of this information is a key requirement of international tax transparency and the fight against financial crime.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Paige Arthur, Céline Monnier
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: Despite recent positive developments making forward progress on the Secretary-General’s call for a more preventive approach to crisis, in New York, discussions on prevention remain focused on difficult moments of crisis and must navigate deepening divisions in the Security Council. Member states agree that more effort should be made to prevent violent conflicts farther upstream, rather than to address them mainly when they are imminent or in progress (or on the Security Council agenda). However, as described in our previous briefing, “prevention” at the UN has not had enough conceptual clarity, which has raised sensitivities over a wide range of issues. This, in turn, has hindered implementation of a more strategic approach to prevention—especially upstream prevention—at the practical level. Indeed, the prevention agenda arrived at the UN just at the moment when the forces shaping multilateralism were shifting underneath it. The period of liberal internationalism ushered in by the end of the Cold War—with the United States in the lead—has receded in the wake of more statist and sovereigntist approaches to multilateralism. While member states support prevention as a general idea, they have a wide range of concerns regarding its implementation—making it difficult for member states to rally around it.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, United Nations, Crisis Management, UN Security Council
  • Political Geography: Global Focus, United States of America
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: Inequality and exclusion are among the most pressing political issues of our age. They are on the rise and the anger felt by citizens towards elites perceived to be out-of-touch constitutes a potent political force. Policy-makers and the public are clamoring for a set of policy options that can arrest and reverse this trend. The Pathfinders’ Grand Challenge on Inequality and Exclusion seeks to identify practical and politically viable solutions to meet the targets on equitable and inclusive societies in the Sustainable Development Goals. Our goal is for national governments, intergovernmental bodies, multilateral organizations, and civil society groups to increase commitments and adopt solutions for equality and inclusion.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Inequality, Sustainable Development Goals, Multilateralism, Elites, Exclusion
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Michael von der Schulenburg
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: On 11 June 2014, the UN Secretary-General, speaking in the UN Security Council, expressed his concerns about what he perceived as unprecedented violence and complexity facing present UN peacekeeping operations around the world. He suggested a thorough review of all UN peace operations was necessary; this paper is intended to make a contribution to this review. The Secretary-General’s concerns were triggered by a number of recent setbacks in peacekeeping operations and by repeated attacks on UN peacekeeping operations that resulted in the deplorable deaths and injuries to a number of peacekeepers. He gave three problem areas as the reasons for this adverse situation: (i) UN peacekeeping was increasingly mandated to operate where there is no peace to keep; (ii) some UN peacekeeping operations are being authorized in the absence of clearly identifiable parties to the conflict or a viable political process and (iii) UN peacekeeping operations are increasingly operating in more complex environments that feature asymmetric and unconventional threats.
  • Topic: Political Violence, United Nations, Peacekeeping
  • Author: Sarah Hearn, Jeffrey Strew
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were a game-changer because they channelled aid and developing countries’ revenues into a discrete package of priorities for eradicating extreme poverty. Undeniably, significant progress was made across peaceful developing countries against the eight MDGs (see box). According to the World Bank, absolute poverty has been halved (although not evenly in each country and region). In 1990, 43.1 per cent of the population in developing countries lived on less than 1.25 US dollars (USD) a day; by 2010, this rate dropped to 20.6 per cent. The world is close to attaining universal primary education too – 90 per cent of children in developing countries are completing primary education (although sub-Saharan Africa is behind at 70 %) (World Bank, 2014).
  • Topic: Education, Human Welfare, Poverty, World Bank, Children, Millennium Development Goals
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Bruce Jones, David Steven, Emily O'Brien
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: On December 16, 2013, Prince Turki bin Faisal Al Saud, Saudi Arabia's powerful former intelligence chief, gave an interview to the Wall Street Journal. He was speaking out after a turbulent four months in Middle East and Persian Gulf diplomacy, diplomacy that culminated in an interim nuclear deal between Iran and the major powers. Prince Turki, long a close friend to the United States, used the interview to blast American policy. He was critical of U.S. strategy in the region as a whole, but particularly vehement about leaving Saudi Arabia out of the loop as the United States engaged in secret bilateral diplomacy with Iran. "How can you build trust when you keep secrets from what are supposed to be your closest allies?" he fumed.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Economics, Energy Policy, International Trade and Finance, Oil
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: David Steven
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: You asked me, as an independent expert, to contribute to the General Assembly Thematic Debate on 'Ensuring Stable and Peaceful Societies.' Since receiving your request, I have completed a review of the deliberations of the Open Working Group on this issue and of other relevant contributions to the post-2015 development agenda. I have also consulted informally with representatives of member states, UN agencies, and other stakeholders. While I have found widespread support for the need to foster peaceful, non-violent, and inclusive societies, there is some disagreement as to how this objective can be achieved within the context of the post-2015 development agenda. Rather than repeat material contained in existing reports on stable and peaceful societies, I thought it would be more useful to offer some reflections on the sources of agreement between member states, and the potential to move towards consensus in areas where they disagree. This will, I hope, help all those participating in the thematic debate respond to your challenge to identify concrete ways in which peace and stability can underpin an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable future.
  • Topic: Development, Peacekeeping, Border Control
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Author: David Steven, Alejandra Kubitschek Bujones
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: In October 2013, Ambassadors from the Group of Latin American and Caribbean Countries in the United Nations (GRULAC), their key negotiators from respective capitals, civil society representatives, and UN System agencies from the region held a retreat on the Post-2015 Agenda.
  • Topic: Development, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: United Nations, Latin America, Caribbean, North America
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: This report examines the increase in drug trafficking and consumption in West Africa and their impact on the state and on society. It concludes with recommendations on how the region can respond humanely, effectively and preemptively to these problems.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, War on Drugs, Law Enforcement
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Richard Gowan, Nora Gordon
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: In this paper, New York University's Center on International Cooperation (CIC) seeks to explore potential pathways to United Nations Security Council (UNSC) reform. We begin with an overview of the current context, which has been characterized by increasing international pressure for Security Council reform. The Council's abysmal performance in the Syrian crisis has fueled the mounting pressure for reform, which includes the French proposal to limit use of the veto and Saudi Arabia's rejection of a non-permanent seat. We then offer a brief history and analysis of previous reform attempts; an explanation of global perspectives on the issue of UNSC reform; background on the Intergovernmental Negotiations (IGN) on UNSC reform in New York; and an analysis of discussions on reform in and around the African Union.
  • Topic: Security, International Security, Reform
  • Political Geography: Africa, New York, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Richard Gowan, Nick Witney
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: The EU claims to be in the business of “crisis management” – ready if need be to make “robust” military interventions to control conflict, especially in its neighbourhood. In practice, it now prefers to “outsource” such interventions to others, notably the United Nations and African Union (AU), limiting itself to supporting roles. This is not just shabby; it also saps Europe's influence in a world in which European interests and values are increasingly contested. And it places too great a burden on organisations such as the UN and AU. Unless the EU rediscovers a willingness to bear the costs and risks of military operations to control conflict, Europe can expect everintensifying refugee pressure on its southern borders. Although military force will not help in Ukraine or the turmoil of the Middle East, the EU could make a big difference if it were prepared to do more in crisis management in Africa. The EU could contribute to or complement UN or AU efforts in a variety of ways. Responding to the crisis in UN peacekeeping, Ban Kimoon has ordered a review. New EU High Representative Federica Mogherini should do the same, involving outside experts in a stock-take of international efforts to control conflict to Europe's south and commissioning specific proposals to get the EU back to playing a properly responsible security role.
  • Topic: Human Welfare, Humanitarian Aid, United Nations, Refugee Issues
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Ukraine, Middle East
  • Author: David Steven
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: The world faces old and new security challenges that are more complex than our multilateral and national institutions are currently capable of managing. International cooperation is ever more necessary in meeting these challenges. The NYU Center on International Cooperation (CIC) works to enhance international responses to conflict, insecurity, and scarcity through applied research and direct engagement with multilateral institutions and the wider policy community.
  • Topic: Development, Human Rights, Human Welfare, Children
  • Author: Richard Gowan, Thierry Tardy
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: Just over five years ago, relations between the EU and UN were strained due to the difficulties of planning and implementing coordinated missions in Chad and Kosovo. Today, relations are considerably more cordial, but there is still room to improve the two organizations’ joint planning procedures. This paper aims to assess what has been achieved in the field of planning coordination and what the remaining challenges are; it also makes some suggestions for further action.
  • Topic: United Nations, European Union
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Richard Gowan, Alexandra Novosseloff
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: This paper, the second in a series on Security Council working methods and the performance of peace operations, addresses the Council's engagement in Chad and the Central African Republic (CAR) from early 2006 to the end of 2010. While the Council explored options for deploying some sort of UN peacekeeping presence to these countries from mid-2006 onwards, these discussions were secondary to much higher-profile debates about the possibility of a large-scale force in Darfur. After Chad had stated its initial opposition to a UN military deployment, France initiated proposals for the deployments of an EU military mission linked to a UN police presence to Chad and CAR in mid-2007.
  • Topic: Security, International Cooperation, United Nations, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, France
  • Author: W.P.S. Sidhu (ed), Bruce Jones (ed), Colette Jaycox
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: The consensus decision reached at the 2010 Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) to convene a conference in 2012 on the establishment of a zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in the Middle East was, perhaps, the most salient outcome of the quinquennium gathering.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, Nuclear Weapons, Treaties and Agreements, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Ted Piccone, Emily Alinikoff
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: As the emerging global order takes shape, debate is growing more intense around the trajectory of the rising powers and what their ascendency to positions of regional and international influence means for the United States, its traditional allies, and global governance more broadly. Commentary about these rising powers— often referred to in a generic way as the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) but actually encompassing a dozen or so countries largely represented in the G-20—ranges from alarmist to sanguine. Pessimists argue that China, with its impressive economic growth and increasingly global reach, is well-positioned to challenge the United States' role of global superpower and to weaken the commitment of other rising powers, and various international organizations, to liberal values. More optimistic analysts insist that the rise of middle powers, most of which are democracies of varying stripes, bodes well for the world: millions are being lifted out of poverty, rule of law is taking hold and the international system is bound to be a more inclusive, representative one.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Economics, Globalization, Human Rights, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Poverty, Governance
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, India, South Africa, Brazil, Arabia
  • Author: Richard Gowan, Megan Gleason
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: This paper, commissioned by the Permanent Mission of Denmark to the United Nations, analyzes current trends in United Nations peacekeeping and makes predictions about the development of UN operations over the next five years (to 2017). It covers (i) the changing global context for UN operations and efforts to enhance the organization's performance over the last five years; (ii) trends in troop and police contributions; (iii) projections about potential demand for UN forces in various regions, especially the Middle East and Africa, in the next five years and (iv) suggestions about the types of contributions European countries such as Denmark can make to reinforce UN missions in this period.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, International Relations, International Cooperation, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Africa, Middle East
  • Author: Richard L. Garwin, Emily O'Brien
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: Following the death of Muammar Gaddafi in October 2011, the situation in Libya fell largely out of the headlines, with the majority of reports focused on the fragile security environment there. Meanwhile, international attention has been fixed on the crisis in Syria.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Democratization, Regime Change
  • Political Geography: Libya, Arabia, North Africa, Syria
  • Author: Alex Evans, David Steven
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: This paper provides an overview of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and their expected status in 2012; describes the background to, and options for, a post-2015 framework; and discusses how governments can best navigate the political challenges of agreeing to a new set of development goals.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Foreign Aid, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Matthieu Aikins
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: As Afghanistan approaches the 2014 deadline for assuming responsibility for its own security, and the international community becomes preoccupied with the challenge of reducing its vast entanglement with the country's politics, economy, and society, the critical question is whether NATO's transition will succeed in stabilizing Afghanistan—or whether it will result in further destabilization, as seen following the Soviet withdrawal in 1989, which eventually led to the collapse of the central government, large-scale civil war, and the country's development into a haven for international terrorism.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Political Violence, Crime, Islam, War, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Central Asia
  • Author: Alex Evans
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: Ethiopia's resource scarcity context presents a daunting challenge, but also a significant opportunity. The country's current scarcity context includes: Low agricultural yields and farm sizes: Even if farm productivity were to increase by a factor of three, the average farm would still not produce enough food for a family of five. With 83% of Ethiopia's people directly dependent on agriculture for their livelihoods, the country has a major food security challenge; 7.5 million people depend on food safety nets. Major exposure to drought: Ethiopia has erratic rainfall, and acutely limited water storage capacity: the country has only 43m3 of reservoir storage per person, compared to 750m3 in South Africa and 6,150m3 in North America. Levels of irrigation are also low: the World Bank estimates that only 5% of irrigable land in Ethiopia is actually irrigated. Limited access to energy: Ethiopia's total primary energy supply is less than 60% of the African average, and only just over a fifth of the global average. The country depends on waste and biomass for 90 of its energy needs – leading to consequences including deforestation, and soil degradation as a result of biomass not being returned to the soil. High dependence on imported oil and food: Ethiopia currently imports all of its liquid fuels and a significant proportion of its food. This creates major exposure to global commodity price volatility, with the attendant risk of balance of payments problems, inflation and outright supply interruptions.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Climate Change, Development, Economics, Poverty, Natural Resources, Food
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa, North America, Ethiopia
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: The papers included in this report relate to a conference co-hosted by the New York University Abu Dhabi Institute, the NYU Center on International Cooperation (CIC) and the Brookings Institution on 21-22 February in Abu Dhabi on “The Use of Force, Crisis Diplomacy and the Responsibilities of States.”
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Civil Society, Democratization, Islam, Regime Change
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia, North Africa