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  • 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: 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: 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, 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: 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: Elsina Wainwright
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: The Asia Pacific has experienced thirty years without interstate conflict, but a number of long-running, low-level internal conflicts continue in Southeast Asia, and several South Pacific states have recent experience of instability. Tensions also remain at the inter-state level, and shifting power dynamics between the US, China, and other Asian states have the potential to foster regional instability. In addition, a raft of transnational threats, such as resource scarcity and climate change, are creating new uncertainty.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Political Violence, International Cooperation, Regional Cooperation, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Australia/Pacific, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Bruce Jones, Shepard Forman, Jake Sherman, Rahul Chandran, Yoshino Funaki, Anne le More, Andrew Hart
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: The May 2008 thematic debate in the UN Security Council debate identified three primary weaknesses in international performance to support stabilization and early recovery from conflict: A strategic gap – there was no evidence of strategy that encompassed political, security, development and humanitarian tools across bilateral and multi-lateral actors, and no framework for prioritization. A financing gap – the instruments of international assistance are neither flexible nor dynamic enough. Further, and specific gaps were identified for: standing capacity for strategic planning at country level; support to political processes and implementation of agreements; funding that is realistic, flexible and responsive; there is a gap in the ability to spend development money early. A series of capacity gaps – in leadership and implementation, in sheer availability of civilian resources, and in purposeful training.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Security, International Cooperation, Peace Studies, United Nations, International Security
  • Author: Richard Gowan
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: In the last sixth months, NATO and the UN have both confronted the possibility that their largest individual peace operations may fail. In Afghanistan, NATO troops have struggled to contain the Taliban. In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) the UN was unable to halt rebel attacks that displaced as many as 250,000 people last September.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, Security, International Cooperation, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: Taliban, Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Author: Richard Gowan
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: The London Summit on 2 April marks a potential turning-point in making international institutions fit for the 21 st century – but it is not clear how farreaching its impact will be. The Summit affirms the status of the G20 as a forum to address institutional reform. While it may begin to lay the groundwork for an overhaul of the Bretton Woods institutions, it is far from guaranteed that even major reforms of the global financial framework will stimulate comparable progress in security cooperation, over climate change or on international law.
  • Topic: Globalization, International Cooperation, International Organization, Non-Governmental Organization, Political Economy
  • Author: Alex Evans, David Steven1
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: Copenhagen got us little further than Bali: a weak political declaration, with 2ºC as the only number. In some respects, the result moves us backwards: the politics are worse, while numbers previously agreed by the Kyoto club are omitted here. The conditions to turn a political declaration into a comprehensive deal appear absent.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, International Cooperation
  • Author: Peter Middlebrook, Gordon Peake
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: Security sector reform (SSR) in weak and fragile state environments encompasses a broad range of efforts to improve the capacity, governance, performance, and sustainability of the security system. Financial dimensions of SSR include the allocation of resources according to well-defined priorities, both across sectors and within the security system, and ensuring that expenditure is transparent, efficient and effective. Issues of financial management were central to the origins of SSR in the 1990s, and they are no less central to security sector reform today. Yet current SSR strategies and programming all too often pay insufficient attention to public finance issues. As a result, the medium and long-term fiscal implications of short-run policy decisions are not factored into early post-conflict engagement processes. The negative consequences include unsustainable reforms, the squeezing out of other vital sectors, and, conversely, the under-provision of security. This paper argues for the “right-financing” approach to be adopted for the security sector – striking an appropriate balance between current security needs and the goal of building a fiscally sustainable security sector based on realistic resource projections. This paper makes four policy proposals.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Democratization, Government, International Cooperation
  • Publication Date: 03-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: Global demand for peacekeepers continued to rise in 2007. By the end of the year, there were over 160,000 peacekeepers in the field. The UN remained the centerpiece of the international peacekeeping system, providing nearly 50 percent of all peacekeepers in the field. In 2007, the UN's deployments of uniformed personnel grew by 10 percent to 83,000 personnel. In addition, there were nearly 20,000 civilian staff serving in UN peace operations.
  • Topic: Security, International Cooperation, Peace Studies, United Nations
  • Author: Christine Wing
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: Questions related to nuclear weapons are highly contested in the international arena—including the question of how these weapons constitute a challenge to human and international security. Does the challenge exist mainly in the incorporation of these weapons into military doctrines, or in the possibility that more states and/or terrorists will acquire nuclear capabilities? Have nuclear weapons and nuclear deterrence prevented major wars, or are they ultimately destabilizing—or could both be true?
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Cooperation, Nuclear Weapons, War
  • Author: Alex Evans
  • Publication Date: 10-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: This briefing paper explores the difference between the EU and US-Australian positions on global climate policy in the wake of the 2007 Heiligendamm G8 summit and the UN High Level Event on climate change. It notes that although the two have very different analyses of the urgency of responding to climate change, they still concur on two of the most fundamental issues in post-Kyoto policy on climate change mitigation: neither side is arguing for a quantified ceiling on CO2 levels in the atmosphere, and neither is arguing for developing countries to take on quantified targets.
  • Topic: International Relations, Climate Change, International Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: United States, Australia
  • Author: Ian Johnstone, Alhaji M.S. Bah
  • Publication Date: 05-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: The inter-related conflicts and peace processes in Sudan present a monumental peacekeeping challenge. The protracted crisis in Darfur has put the African Union – and the broader international community -- to a severe test. Plans for a hybrid African Union-United Nations operation there continue, but Khartoum remains opposed. Meanwhile, implementation of the north-south peace agreement is faltering, with the UN mission struggling to keep it on track in the face of indifference from both parties and frequent hostility from the north.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Development, International Cooperation, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan
  • Author: Richard Gowan
  • Publication Date: 09-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: The summer of 2006 was open season for political sniping at United Nations peace operations, bookended by wrangling over the Darfur conflict and the Israel/Hizbollah conflict in the Lebanon. In early June, a delegation of Security Council ambassadors visited Sudan to negotiate the deployment of around 15,000 troops to Darfur. They were promptly followed by the organisation's Under-Secretary General for Peacekeeping, Jean-Marie Guéhenno. But a combined total of a month's negotiations failed to deliver any deal.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, International Cooperation, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Sudan, Israel, Lebanon
  • Author: Tessa Whitifield
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: This paper traces the evolution of groups of Friends—understood as informal groups of states formed to support the peacemaking of the United Nations—from the emergence of Friends of the Secretary-General on El Salvador in 1990, at a moment of post-Cold War optimism regarding the UN's peacemaking capacity, to the more complex (and crowded) environment for conflict resolution of the mid-2000s. The intervening fifteen years saw an explosion of groups of all kinds to support peacemaking, peacekeeping and post-conflict peacebuilding, a mirror of the extraordinary upsurge in a range of efforts to address global security in this period. Analysis of the groups is complicated by the great diversity they represent, including in the impact they have had on the processes with which they have been engaged. Indeed Annex I distinguishes four different categories of groups engaged with the UN in conflict resolution: Friends of the Secretary- General, Friends of a country, Contact groups and Implementation and/or monitoring groups. This paper's primary focus is on groups that have supported UN-led mediation efforts; however its analysis and conclusions embrace both issues specific to UN leadership, and broader considerations of the efficacy of group engagement in conflict management.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Cooperation, Peace Studies, United Nations
  • Author: J. Matthew Vaccaro
  • Publication Date: 03-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: This memo outlines the perspectives of US foreign policy practioners concerning the role of international organizations in managing security issues. The memo is based on contemporary literature, numerous interviews with current and former US foreign policy practioners, and the views of the author, a former practioner. The author argues that an instrumental perspective of international organizations prevails among practioners regardless of the party-affiliation of the Administration. He concludes by proposing a methodology that can be used to understand and predict US participation within international organizations on security matters.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Shepard Forman
  • Publication Date: 06-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: Since the early 1990s, the UN system, the World Bank Group, and bilateral donors have been involved in a broad array of state-support and peace-building functions in the aftermath of conflicts – many of them protracted – that have either severely weakened or largely decimated the institutions of governance. Designated variably as post-conflict reconstruction or peace-building, these activities have included a wide variety of administrative and public management tasks, ranging from political observation and negotiation in El Salvador, to technical assistance and advisory services in Mozambique, to the “light [but extensive] footprint” in Afghanistan and the full-fledged governing authority assumed by UNTAET in East Timor and UNMIK in Kosovo.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Cooperation, Peace Studies, United Nations, Governance
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Kosovo, Mozambique, El Salvador, Timor
  • Author: Stewart Patrick, Shepard Forman, Princetown Lyman
  • Publication Date: 03-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: This paper outlines a new conceptual framework for U.S. foreign policy appropriate to a global age. It argues that constructive multilateral engagement is essential if the United States is to grapple with the challenges and take better advantage of the opportunities presented by globalization. The paper emerges from a collaborative study sponsored by the Center on International Cooperation (CIC) to examine the causes and consequences of U.S. ambivalence toward multilateral cooperation.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 04-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: On March 31 — April 1, 2004, the governments of Germany and Afghanistan will co-host a conference in Berlin entitled "Afghanistan and the International Community: A Partnership for the Future." At this conference, the Afghan government will present to donor governments and international financial institutions its plan for rebuilding the country, "Securing Afghanistan's Future."
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Asia
  • Author: Barnett Rubin, Abby Stoddard, Humayan Hamidzada
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: A year and a half after the defeat of the Taliban, anger is rising in Afghanistan at the slow pace of reconstruction. Success in reconstruction means meeting goals, not fulfilling pledges or being generous. The overriding goal is enabling Afghans to build a country that contributes to, rather than threatens, their own and global security. As the government of Afghanistan becomes better organized and articulates both this goal and what is needed to reach it more clearly, it has become evident that donors underestimated the amount of assistance required. Initial pledges fell short even of underestimates of the needs and were far less than in other comparable cases. Initial disbursements, which in past cases have always exceeded subsequent ones, came relatively quickly and nearly met pledges, as donors have highlighted (see figure 1). But most of these disbursements went for emergency humanitarian needs, not reconstruction. Implementation of those reconstruction projects that have been funded has been exceedingly slow, leaving little to show on the ground. As of May 2003, donors reported that in 17 months they had completed reconstruction projects with a total expenditure of only $191 million, out of $2.1 billion pledged to reconstruction for the first twelve months. Furthermore, according to Afghan government figures, only 16 percent of the total disbursements (including for humanitarian purposes) had passed through channels controlled by the struggling Afghan government and had thus failed to build that government's capacity or legitimacy. The pervasive insecurity outside of Kabul prevented implementation of major projects and sapped the public's confidence in the new authorities. Failure to strengthen the government and provide security will doom the reconstruction effort even if contributions increase. The government has articulated an ambitious policy framework for reconstruction and asked for both reconstruction and security assistance. Success is possible, and at a modest cost. Failure by the US and other major states to respond will doom Afghanistan, the region, and the world to a repetition of anarchy that gave birth to the Taliban and refuge to al-Qaida.
  • Topic: Development, International Cooperation, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Asia, Taliban
  • Author: Abby Stoddard
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: Non-governmental humanitarian organisations have evolved into a crucial pillar of the international humanitarian architecture. This Briefing Paper reviews the issues and trends affecting the humanitarian non-governmental sector in the wake of the sea-change in the geopolitical agenda after 11 September. Events since threaten to change the landscape of non-governmental humanitarian action in important ways, and are likely to widen the rift between US and European NGOs. Old questions, to do with relations with governments or armed forces or the shape and proper place of advocacy, have become sharper, while new challenges, such as the consolidation of the aid oligopoly, have emerged. While humanitarian agencies have to a surprising extent carried on 'business as usual', they are steeling themselves for uncertain times ahead.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Non-Governmental Organization
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Abby Stoddard, Bruce Jones
  • Publication Date: 12-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: In interpretation of the mandate provided by General Assembly Resolution 46/182 and subsequent, related resolutions, the Inter Agency Standing Committee (IASC) has set for itself the following core objectives: To allocate responsibilities among agencies in humanitarian programmes; To identify areas where gaps in mandates or lack of operational capacity exist; To resolve disputes or disagreement about and between humanitarian agencies on system-wide humanitarian issues. To advocate common humanitarian principles to parties outside the IASC; To develop and agree on system-wide humanitarian policies; and To develop and agree on a common ethical framework for all humanitarian activities.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Non-Governmental Organization
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: The Afghan people have been promised a lot in the last two years. New rules for a new world would be written in their country. Regime change would deliver Afghans, finally, from oppression and violence, while a Marshall Plan would give them a chance to rebuild their lives.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Asia
  • Author: Shepard Forman, Maurizio Iacopetta, Charles Grayboy, Yoram Wurmser
  • Publication Date: 06-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: This explanatory note accompanies five tables developed and prepared over the past two years by graduate assistants at the Center on International Cooperation (CIC), New York University. Together, the tables describe CIC's preliminary efforts to aggregate the costs of international public goods and services provided through intergovernmental organizations. It does not account for bilateral funding nor for expenditures from non-governmental and other private actors. While the data is partial and subject to methodological deficiencies, it does provide a framework for estimating annual expenditures associated with the provision of goods and services through intergovernmental organizations as well as an indication of their distribution across sectors and regions. Reporting our findings at this early stage of the work is intended to encourage commentary on both the methodology employed and the findings to date, as well as to stimulate further research on the costs and financing of the international public sector.
  • Topic: Government, International Cooperation, Non-Governmental Organization
  • Political Geography: United States, New York
  • Author: David O'Brien
  • Publication Date: 04-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: The emergence of an international humanitarian system, the codification of international humanitarian law and the corresponding creation of supportive organizations, is arguably one of the most welcomed forms of multilateralism in the 20th century. At the close of this century, billions of dollars are raised annually by the UN system to alleviate the suffering caused by natural disasters and war but this financial support is declining and increasingly unable to meet humanitarian needs. This declining resource base, along with a search to diversify sources of funding and the recognition that some emergencies receive adequate attention while others do not, raises question for the need for new burden-sharing arrangements.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Development, Ethnic Conflict, International Cooperation, International Organization, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Shepard Forman
  • Publication Date: 01-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: The hopes and aspirations for international cooperation that marked the end of the Cold War had their most exuberant expression in the industrialized countries' ambitious approach to humanitarian intervention. Confronted with an unprecedented number of internal conflicts and media images of mass suffering, the Security Council charged the United Nations with more than a dozen new missions between 1987 and 1996. Conceived largely as peacekeeping operations, these interventions nonetheless took on the requirements and drama of humanitarian assistance as genocide, mass migrations and starvation took their toll on millions of people.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Ethnic Conflict, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: United Nations