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  • Author: Leah Zamore, Hanny Megally, Tayseer Alkarim
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: After five years of devastating conflict, Yemen now faces an escalating COVID-19 crisis. The effects of the war have drastically diminished the country’s ability to cope with a pandemic, and the economic impact of the crisis is rapidly becoming devastating as well. If allowed to take hold, COVID-19 threatens the lives of nearly 30 million people who are already suffering through the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Nor is the risk posed by COVID-19’s spread in Yemen limited to Yemenis. A pandemic that recognizes no borders or fault-lines cannot fester anywhere without threatening health security everywhere. Yet the international response so far has been both muted and slow. A new approach is urgently needed—one that aims not only to address the immediate threat that COVID-19 poses, but to tackle the underlying conditions that have left Yemen so uniquely vulnerable to the virus in the first place. This report explains how Yemen became so vulnerable to COVID-19, traces the impact of the pandemic so far, including the risk to vulnerable groups, and offers a critical perspective on the international action necessary to prevent further catastrophe in a country already suffering the world’s worst humanitarian crisis—from renewed pressure for a ceasefire to a dramatically scaled-up humanitarian response.
  • Topic: Conflict, Crisis Management, Humanitarian Crisis, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Yemen
  • 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: Said Sabir Ibrahimi
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: Afghanistan faces many hurdles in coping with the COVID-19 pandemic: a prolonged armed conflict, a lack of social protection systems, limited healthcare capacity, and insufficient preparedness and coordination mechanisms. The Afghan government has developed a response plan and secured aid from international donors, but effective implementation remains challenging. This briefing by Said Sabir Ibrahimi and Dr. Naqibullah Safi provides an overview of the current state of the COVID-19 response in Afghanistan against the background of the ongoing conflict. It also details the additional challenges that hamper Afghanistan’s ability to deal with the crisis and provides recommendations for mitigating them.
  • Topic: Health Care Policy, Conflict, Crisis Management, Humanitarian Crisis, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, South Asia
  • Author: Paul von Chamier, Nendirmwa Noel, Sarah Cliffe, Leah Zamore
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, policymakers must navigate public perceptions of coronavirus risk and government responses. This task is all the more challenging given press coverage focusing on outliers and extreme views, polarization and disinformation on social media platforms, and the relative dearth of reliable public opinion polling. These constraints notwithstanding, understanding people’s perceptions of the impact of COVID-19 and their priorities emerging from this crisis will be crucial for building back better. This two-part briefing pulls together data from several global, regional, and national polls conducted over the past month and a half to provide a descriptive summary of trends in public opinion towards COVID-19. The first part of the briefing, by Paul von Chamier, Nendirmwa Noel, and Elizabeth Angell, focuses on global polls tracking levels of public trust in government and other institutions, and public perceptions of the trade-offs involved in calibrating lockdown measures. Overall, the results suggest that most people around the world are highly concerned about the pandemic, supportive of a strong government response, and willing to suffer economic losses in order to save lives—although not without limit. The second part, by Leah Zamore and Sarah Cliffe, focuses on polling from low-income countries, especially in Africa, which find similar trends. However, the greater vulnerability of low-income households in those countries and the practical barriers to some social distancing and lockdown measures mean that public support will decline as people experience greater hardships. The briefing suggests that adequate and equitable government support is a vital prerequisite to sustaining trust—and thus the global public health response.
  • Topic: Governance, Public Opinion, Humanitarian Crisis, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Hanny Megally, Leah Zamore, Tayseer Alkarim
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic poses a dire risk to the tens of thousands of people imprisoned in Syria’s archipelago of prisons and detention facilities, many in conditions so ghastly that they constitute crimes against humanity. These facilities function as overcrowded torture chambers by design. Thousands have already died in detention due to such circumstances, and those still living are especially vulnerable to the spread of coronavirus. If COVID-19 is permitted to take hold, the devastation among the prison population will be swift and fatal. Nor will it stop at the prison walls. What can be done to avert a catastrophe that threatens not only the up to 100,000 who may still be alive in detention, but also the war-weary Syrian population at large? This briefing outlines a two-step approach to averting the looming disaster, calling first and foremost for immediate and large-scale prisoner releases, because no prevention or mitigation efforts will succeed unless the challenges presented by overcrowding are addressed. While releases are underway, the living conditions of those who remain imprisoned must be radically transformed to safeguard health and prevent the pandemic from taking hold.
  • Topic: Prisons/Penal Systems, Humanitarian Crisis, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Syria
  • 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: Leah Zamore, Ben Phillips
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: A growing body of evidence shows that the COVID-19 crisis is significantly affecting people’s priorities for the future. With economies around the world suffering the impact of the pandemic, the global public wants governments to adopt bold approaches in response—and polls from a range of countries show that large majorities believe their actions have not been strong enough. In this briefing, Leah Zamore and Ben Phillips examine global polling data to show what kinds of policies—including those previously deemed “radical”—are now garnering widespread support. They find that people want governments to act boldly both in responding to the immediate economic crisis and in fundamentally transforming the social contract moving forward. The briefing examines polling on a range of topics, from wide support for redistributive programs and a rejection of austerity policies, to the growing popularity of measures that check corporate power in favor of workers and consumers.
  • Topic: Governance, Public Opinion, Economy, Humanitarian Crisis, 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
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: A new report from CIC’s Congo Research Group and Phuzumoya Consulting, I Need You, I Don’t Need You: South Africa and Inga III, places South Africa’s backing of Inga III in the context of its foreign policy. The report argues that South Africa’s current Inga policy is contradictory, oscillating between the desire to project an image of being a pan-Africanist power promoting the continent’s economic development, and the reality that committing to the project makes little financial or energy policy sense. A power purchasing agreement from South Africa is critical for the dam’s construction—but buying electricity from Inga III will be risky for South Africa, especially since it may end up being expensive than other sources. The resulting uncertainty about whether South Africa will ever really be an anchor client for Inga III thus puts into question the bankability—and indeed the feasibility—of the whole project.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa, Congo
  • 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: 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: David Steven, Maaike de Langen
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented global emergency. It is not only a health crisis but also a human rights crisis. Justice actors face daunting responsibilities as they design, implement, and enforce new measures to prevent the spread of infection. Measures that heighten the risk of human rights abuses can undermine trust, at a time when the justice system most needs to maintain the public’s confidence. For better or for worse, justice systems and justice workers are on the frontline of this pandemic. This Pathfinders briefing, drafted by lead authors David Steven, Maaike de Langen, Sam Muller, and Mark Weston with the input of more than 50 justice experts from around the globe, discusses the most pressing priorities that the public health emergency poses for justice leaders and proposes seven areas for urgent action as the tide of infections continues to rise. It is the first in the Justice in a Pandemic series.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Governance, Rule of Law, Crisis Management, Peace, 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: Scott Guggenheim
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: This policy briefing examines how governments, multilateral organizations, and international financial institutions can leverage existing and new community-based responses to deal more effectively with the health, social, and economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. Governments around the world are stretched to their limits trying to cope with not just the health risks of the COVID-19 virus, but also the economic fallout as people lose their jobs and entire sections of the economy close down. In this policy briefing, Pathfinders adviser Scott Guggenheim argues that governments must harness an underutilized but highly effective tool—traditional community solidarity and volunteerism.
  • Topic: Governance, Food Security, Humanitarian Crisis, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Sarah Cliffe
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank conducted their first virtual Spring Meetings amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This briefing summarizes the discussions, which focused on the economic impact of the pandemic, and provides key takeaways on topics such as debt relief, financing for COVID-19 response, multilateral partnerships, and efforts to support global supply chains. In this readout of the 2020 Spring Meetings, CIC director Sarah Cliffe details the historic—but ring-fenced—debt moratorium and accelerated financing deal that were reached, as well as efforts to inject more global financing through an exceptional issue of IMF Special Drawing Rights. The briefing also covers partnerships between the United Nations and the international financial institutions, including a call for collaboration on global supply chains for medical equipment, agricultural inputs, and other goods and services.
  • Topic: Governance, Finance, Multilateralism, Crisis Management, Humanitarian Crisis, IMF, COVID-19, Supply
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Sarah Cliffe, Paul von Chamier, Nendirmwa Noel
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: Lockdown measures have been an integral tool in the fight against COVID-19. But they come at a high cost, given their impacts on economies, employment and incomes, education, food systems, mental health and even the potential for civil unrest. This policy briefing by Sarah Cliffe, Paul von Chamier, and Nendirmwa Noel examines how countries are balancing the need for lockdown with policy measures to alleviate their effects and plans for reopening. It provides comparative data on the stringency of lockdowns, showing that while there has been a convergence towards more stringent measures over time, there is also wide variation among countries—even among those in the same region, or income group. A brief case study of Sierra Leone and snapshot examples of policy from ten other countries illustrates the range of answers to the question of how much lockdown is enough.
  • Topic: Employment, Economy, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sierra Leone, Global Focus
  • Author: Leah Zamore, Tayseer Alkarim
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: The humanitarian crisis in northern Syria is on the verge of becoming a COVID-19 catastrophe. A decade of conflict has left the healthcare system in ruins—and millions of displaced people in Idlib province were already suffering due to a lack of shelter and sanitation. Now, with the coronavirus pandemic posed to spread to an area with just 600 doctors and fewer than 50 adult ventilators for four million people, the situation is dire. Why is Idlib the last refuge for internally displaced Syrians, and what can donors, international humanitarian actors, and local organizations do to ensure that they are not left behind as the world grapples with COVID-19? This policy briefing by Tayseer Alkarim, Hanny Megally, and Leah Zamore delves into roots of the humanitarian crisis in Idlib, details the current capacity of the exhausted healthcare system amid the ongoing conflict, and examines what these constraints mean for mounting a response to the spread of the coronavirus. The briefing explains how donors and international humanitarian organizations can take action now to support local institutions, increase testing and treatment capacity, improve availability of PPE and public information, and press for an immediate ceasefire. The plight of Idlib is one of the most complex humanitarian dilemmas of our time, influenced by prolonged conflict, a looming COVID-19 outbreak, and the ongoing failure of the international community to take effective action. A further failure to minimize the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Idlib will cost lives—and risk global health security further by allowing the virus to spread in one of the places that is least-equipped to contain it.
  • Topic: Health, Conflict, Humanitarian Crisis, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Syria, Idlib
  • Author: Said Sabir Ibrahimi
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: Afghanistan faces many hurdles in coping with the COVID-19 pandemic: a prolonged armed conflict, a lack of social protection systems, limited healthcare capacity, and insufficient preparedness and coordination mechanisms. The Afghan government has developed a response plan and secured aid from international donors, but effective implementation remains challenging. This briefing by Said Sabir Ibrahimi and Dr. Naqibullah Safi provides an overview of the current state of the COVID-19 response in Afghanistan against the background of the ongoing conflict. It also details the additional challenges that hamper Afghanistan’s ability to deal with the crisis and provides recommendations for mitigating them.
  • Topic: Foreign Aid, Conflict, Humanitarian Crisis, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, South Asia
  • Author: Hanny Megally, Elena Naughton
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: Tens of thousands of people have been unlawfully detained by the Syrian government and other parties to the conflict in Syria. In most cases, their fate—and if they are alive, their whereabouts—remains unknown. Many families have been waiting for word of their spouses, children, and other relatives since mass protests first began in 2011. This situation is adversely affecting not only Syrians inside the country—including over 6.5 million who are internally displaced—but also many of the 5.6 million refugees who are likewise desperately seeking answers about family members from abroad. This joint report from the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) and the Center on International Cooperation (CIC) recommends a set of urgent steps that should be taken to assist families in obtaining information about the whereabouts of their loved ones, gaining access to them, and achieving their prompt release. Authored by CIC's Hanny Megally and ICTJ's Elena Naughton, the report details the scope of the detention crisis and argues that answers and coordinated action are needed now. Time is of the essence, as the COVID-19 pandemic appears to be accelerating in Syria, putting those detained in overcrowded and unsanitary prisons at further risk. Any meaningful progress toward a political agreement in Syria will be dependent on more than a negotiated ceasefire or reduction in violence and urgent access to humanitarian assistance. There will be little or no possibility of lasting peace without addressing critical issues, like the question of the missing, detained, abducted, and forcibly disappeared.
  • Topic: Prisons/Penal Systems, Syrian War, Crimes Against Humanity, Humanitarian Crisis, State Abuse
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Sarah Cliffe
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: The protests that have roiled the United States over the past weeks are rooted in an issue at the heart of the divisions in American society: racism, and in particular racism within the security forces. But their extent and impact are unprecedented in recent decades. What makes this moment different from previous waves of protests? This briefing by Sarah Cliffe draws on comparative global analysis to ask whether the US now risks large-scale civil conflict. It examines how the combination of a public health crisis, systemic generalized inequality and racial disparities, growing socioeconomic hardship, the political manipulation of racial and religious identities and the potential trigger of the forthcoming presidential election have exacerbated long-standing tensions in American society.
  • Topic: Race, Protests, Crisis Management, Police, COVID-19, Civil Unrest
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • 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: Céline Monnier
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: COVID-19 is creating a series of crises that increase the risk of conflict worldwide. Beyond the health impact, issues like worsening inequality, food insecurity, human rights abuses, and political tensions can deepen pre-existing social fractures in any country, creating additional layers of grievance. Addressing these risks early on and building resilience to them is key to preventing the potential for violence. But the pandemic also brings new opportunities for peacebuilding. A system-wide implementation of the sustaining peace approach is critical to ensure that United Nations response contributes to decreasing risks for violent conflict in the longer term—including efforts to “build back better.” This report draws on interviews with 25+ individuals across the UN system and member states to highlight some of the key challenges for peacebuilding in the immediate COVID-19 period as well as in the longer term. The report documents how entities across the UN have made positive steps toward implementing a sustaining peace approach, and provides recommendations for deepening these gains across the system.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Inequality, Peace, Humanitarian Crisis, COVID-19
  • 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: Burak Akçapar
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: Since the launch of the Mediation for Peace initiative by Turkey and Finland in 2010, there has been an upsurge of activity at the United Nations (UN) and several regional organizations to promote mediation as a conflict resolution method. The UN General Assembly, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) have set out to develop mediation norms, procedures, and capacities. The assets and motivations of international actors, including foremost nation states, to provide mediation services as part of their foreign policy have been widely studied. However, the actual role played by specific leading nations in the promotion of mediation at international forums lacks a framework of analysis. This essay aims to fill this gap by employing the concept of “policy entrepreneurship” to explain the role of individual actors in transforming the politics, norms, and capacities that pertain to mediation. In this regard, the article discusses Turkey’s activities in the field of mediation and their transformative outcomes in a bid to test the proposed framework. It concludes that as the only country that co-chairs the friends of mediation groups simultaneously in the UN, the OSCE and the OIC, the distinguishing contribution of Turkey as a policy entrepreneur lies in its efforts to feed and shape the normative basis and capacities of international peace mediation efforts.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Sarah Cliffe
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: UN Secretary-General António Guterres was appointed in 2016 on an explicit reform platform. In 2017, we published commentaries on his reform proposals. Now that those reforms that have been approved are moving into implementation, we publish this simple guide to what has been achieved and the potential potholes still ahead.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Riva Kantowitz
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: This article, continuing CIC's work of exploring innovative finance for sustaining peace, examines important related conversations in the humanitarian and peacebuilding sectors, and efforts and tools in finance that could be utilized for sustaining peace. It also examines potential gamechangers such as blockchain and artificial intelligence—technologies and methods that have the potential to radically shift the way in which these tools are employed.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • 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: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Paige Arther
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: As the world faces a significant upward trend in conflict—including a tripling of civil wars since 2007 and conflict increasingly prevalent in middle-income countries—practitioners in peace and security have sought to expand their toolkits to take advantage of the revolution in information gathering, data analytics, ICTs, and machine learning. On March 20, 2019, participants from around the world showcased 25+ innovative, data-driven approaches that are transforming the methods and the effectiveness of those working on early warning, conflict prevention, peacebuilding, stabilization, and international security
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: This review is based on a framework of both recognition and redistribution: i.e. that tangible redistributive outcomes are important in social protection, but so is the sense of recognition, meaning that the recipients of social protection are treated as equals, without loss of dignity or humiliation; and that differences in identity and circumstances are taken into account. This framework captures and incorporates recent innovations in social protection that include key aspects of subjective well-being, including dignity and respect, empowerment and agency, identity and belonging; strengthens the horizontal solidarity within communities and vertical relationships with the state; and recognizes citizens should be accorded rights and a voice in program design and implementation.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • 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
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • 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: Paul von Chamier
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: The dynamics of socio-economic inequality and technical solutions geared toward addressing it have been well identified. The inability of many societies to deploy those solutions nonetheless is of a political nature. The focus of the debate should therefore be to understand the political dynamics around the subject and to learn to navigate the interests of key stakeholders. Throughout modern history, countries would transition back and forth between progressive, income-neutral, and sometimes even regressive fiscal systems. In doing so, they responded to shifting global and domestic contexts. This policy paper demonstrates that the decision on the progressivity of a tax system and fiscal spending is at its core a political rather than an economic or a technical one.4 When there is enough political momentum to address economic inequality, appropriate policies are usually found
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Paige Arthur
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: The United Nations acknowledges that prevention is first and foremost a national priority. Indeed, governments routinely undertake efforts to reduce the risks of violent conflict, even when such actions are not formally called “prevention.” Bringing attention to nationally led efforts to reduce risks and build resilience can provide opportunities to create a positive narrative around prevention and to improve their effectiveness through an accompaniment and capacity-building approach. Such efforts also show how nationally led prevention can strengthen sovereignty, particularly as it both strengthens protective factors against violence and addresses risks.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Alex Evans
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: All over the world, countries at widely varying levels of development and with very different histories are grappling with a similar challenge: breakdown of common ground in politics. The exact contours of the problem vary from one country to another, and variously include falling trust, declining citizen engagement in politics, shrinking civic space, rising autocratization, or increasing political polarization in public attitudes or political party positioning. Yet across these areas, there are underlying themes – above all, the emergence of concerns about whether citizens and leaders share a sense of the common good, or have the capacity to reach compromises on complex issues.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jason Stearns
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: The Democratic Republic of the Congo held national presidential and legislative elections on December 30th 2018. The elections, which had been delayed by two years, were mired in controversy. The national electoral commission declared opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi the winner of the presidential poll. However, a leak from the same commission, whose results were extremely similar to those released by the Catholic Church’s observation mission, showed that Martin Fayulu, another opposition leader, clearly won the elections.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jeni Klugman
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: It is well known that gender inequality is bad for economic growth. Better gender equality is associated with gains in terms of income, economic growth, and national competitiveness. What is less widely recognized is that greater gender equality—in terms of labor force participation, wages, education, health, and assets—can work to close income gaps in society more broadly.
  • 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
  • Author: Paige Arthur
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: As the world faces a significant upward trend in conflict—including a tripling of civil wars since 2007 and conflict increasingly prevalent in middle-income countries—practitioners in peace and security have sought to expand their toolkits to take advantage of the revolution in information gathering, data analytics, ICTs, and machine learning. On March 20, 2019, participants from around the world showcased 25+ innovative, data-driven approaches that are transforming the methods and the effectiveness of those working on early warning, conflict prevention, peacebuilding, stabilization, and international security.
  • Topic: Security, Civil War, Science and Technology, Conflict, Peace, Data
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Paige Arthur, Céline Monnier
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: This policy brief examines how ECOWAS has successfully addressed the concerns of their member states in West Africa to build nationally led, upstream prevention strategies. ECOWAS’ upstream prevention approaches support national sovereignty by putting the ownership of early response and structural prevention in the hands of national actors.
  • Topic: Security, Sovereignty, Governance, Peace
  • Political Geography: Africa, West Africa
  • 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
  • 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
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: Inga III is a huge hydroelectric project that could supply much of the Democratic Republic of Congo and the African continent with energy. For several years, discussions about the project between the Congolese presidency and two international consortiums have been held behind closed doors. In this report, released on October 28, Resource Matters and the Congo Research Group tell the story of the negotiations around the world's largest hydroelectric site. The report argues that there is currently no guarantee that the population will benefit from the electricity generated by the future power plant.
  • Topic: Development, Energy Policy, African Union
  • Political Geography: Africa, Congo
  • Author: Paul von Chamier
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: This discussion brief is a contribution to the Grand Challenge on Inequality and Exclusion, an initiative of the Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies. Inequality and exclusion harm society in a number of ways, ranging from fraying trust in institutions and increasing volatility in politics, to causing economic damage, physical insecurity, and higher rates of crime and suicide. This brief lays out an array of tangible costs to show that inequality is damaging not only on normative, but also social and economic grounds. The areas of analysis include public health problems, such as anxiety, obesity, and unplanned teenage pregnancies; impacts on safety and security, including homicide rates and violent conflict; and the economic effects of GPD gaps caused by gender discrimination, vertical income inequality, and ethnicity-based discrimination. It also addresses the territorial dimensions of inequality and exclusion, and presents evidence that inequality is a force driving volatile politics, social unrest, and falling levels of trust in public institutions today.
  • Topic: Security, Inequality, Public Health, Exclusion , Civil Unrest
  • 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