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  • Author: Paige Arthur, Céline Monnier, Leah Zamore
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, the newly released secretary-general’s report on peacebuilding and sustaining peace contains, as usual, a wealth of examples of the steps that the United Nations (UN) system is taking to implement the sustaining peace resolutions. It also suggests a welcome and surprising finding: the conflict prevention agenda—once thought to be on life-support at the UN—has found new vigor. This briefing examines the new report, finding that it moves the prevention agenda forward in several key respects, from deepening political buy-in among member states and partners, to a greater embrace of conflict-sensitive approaches in the field. The briefing also identifies key opportunities for prevention to take root in the UN’s practice—including continued strengthening of expertise on prevention; deepening partnerships with the IFIs; leveraging links with violence reduction initiatives, especially relating to SDG16; focusing on area-based approaches to address multiple risks; and more action on humanitarian-development-peacebuilding nexus approaches.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, United Nations, Peace, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Carlos Alvarado Quesada, Michael D. Higgins, Retno Marsudi, Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Winnie Byanyima, Fitsum Assefa Adela, James Love, Mariângela Simão, Alberto Rodriguez, Sarah Cliffe
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: On September 25th, during the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, leaders from around the world came together to call for a fair and equitable approach to the development, production, and distribution of vaccines for COVID-19. This high-level event, hosted by the president of Costa Rica and co-sponsored by the World Health Organization, UNAIDS, and CIC/the Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies, explored ways to ensure universal access to COVID-19 health technologies.
  • Topic: United Nations, Peace, Humanitarian Crisis, governance
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Leah Zamore, Knut Gerlach, Ben Oppenheim
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: Describing the coronavirus pandemic as a “global health crisis unlike any in the 75-year history of the United Nations” the UN has in recent days called for the launch of a large-scale, coordinated, and comprehensive multilateral response to combat the virus and its attendant economic and social consequences. It has published a set of action plans that aim to avert the potentially catastrophic impact of the virus, especially on the world’s most vulnerable and impoverished communities.
  • Topic: United Nations, Governance, Reform, Multilateralism, Humanitarian Crisis, COVID-19
  • 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: Leah Zamore, Karina Gerlach, Ben Oppenheim
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: Describing the coronavirus pandemic as a “global health crisis unlike any in the 75-year history of the United Nations” the UN has in recent days called for the launch of a large-scale, coordinated, and comprehensive multilateral response to combat the virus and its attendant economic and social consequences. It has published a set of action plans that aim to avert the potentially catastrophic impact of the virus, especially on the world’s most vulnerable and impoverished communities.
  • Topic: United Nations, Governance, Multilateralism, Humanitarian Crisis, COVID-19
  • 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: 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: 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: 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
  • 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: Paige Arthur, Céline Monnier
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: Development is an essential tool for conflict prevention, as often root causes are related to lack of equitable access to economic opportunities, or a combination of political and economic inequalities that fuel grievances—as highlighted in the 2011 World Development Report and the 2018 UN–World Bank Pathways for Peace report. Some risk factors may therefore need to be addressed with development tools. Drawing on field research and on member state reporting at the recent High-level Political Forum in July 2019, this briefing highlights development measures countries have taken to support prevention, and highlights ways the UN system can better assist these efforts. This paper highlights practical examples of how countries are using development tools for preventive purposes. We draw on field research from Colombia, where there has been a high degree of creative and innovative initiatives to address violence, as well as presentations for the voluntary national reviews on SDG16 at the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF). We conclude by drawing lessons for the UN system.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Development, United Nations, Economy, Peace
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Leah Zamore
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: Crises In 2016, global policymakers came together to confront a critical policy dilemma: what is, or should be, the role of humanitarian action in a world beset by “permanent emergencies” that do not end, in which the root causes are overwhelmingly structural and political? One major outcome of the summit was the commitment to a “new way of working” based on linking the “triple nexus” of humanitarian, development, and peacebuilding (HDP) efforts. Our new report shares the results of a major independent review of the implementation of this process.
  • Topic: United Nations, Fragile States, Crisis Management, Humanitarian Crisis
  • Political Geography: Africa, Middle East, Lebanon, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Somalia, Chad
  • Author: Alexandra Novosseloff, Marc Jacquand, Paige Arthur
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: Peace Operations Review 2019 takes stock of recent trends in peace operations. With articles from Alexandra Novosseloff, Marc Jacquand, and Paige Arthur, the review: Summarizes five key trends in peace operations, touching on the issues of UN reform, the role of the Security Council, transitions, an enhanced "spectrum" of peace operations, and resources vs. mandates. Examines UNAMID's innovative approaches to the forthcoming transition in Darfur. Surveys the current state of affairs of protection of civilians mandates, with proposals for greater focus on risk management.
  • Topic: United Nations, Peacekeeping, Peace
  • Political Geography: Africa, Darfur, 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, 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
  • 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: 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: 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 Gowan, Bruce D. Jones
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: Congratulations. You have not only won a second five---year term at the United Nations, but you also won with a minimum of fuss. In a month in which the Security Council has been rocked by disputes over Syria, all fifteen members backed you. Last week, the General Assembly gave you unanimous support.
  • Topic: International Organization, United Nations, International Affairs, Governance
  • Political Geography: United States, Syria
  • Author: Bruce Jones, Camino Kavanagh
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: As we began the process of drafting this review, citizens across the Middle East and North Africa took to the streets to demand an end to the abusive practices of the security services, more representative and responsive government institutions, the protection of their rights, greater access to economic opportunity, participation in decision-making, and access to justice. They began demanding, in short, the rule of law.
  • Topic: Security, Cold War, Democratization, International Cooperation, Post Colonialism, United Nations, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia, North Africa
  • Author: Jake Sherman, Megan M. Gleason (ed), W.P.S. Sidhu (ed), Bruce Jones (ed)
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: In the past several years, key governments and multilateral institutions have devoted considerable effort to the task of more effectively integrating development and security policy responses to the related challenges of countries affected by conflict, post-conflict peacebuilding, and conflict prevention. The looming deadline of the Millennium Development Goals, has focused attention on this important nexus and the near impossibility of crisis-and conflict-affected states achieving these goals unless development and security is more effectively integrated. Despite progress on several fronts, including at the United Nations and at the international financial institutions, developing policy for effective development and security engagement remains a challenge in both conceptual and operational terms – not least because discussion of political, security, economic, and humanitarian issues traditionally has occurred in different multilateral fora, among different sets of stakeholders.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Economics, Humanitarian Aid, International Trade and Finance, United Nations