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  • Author: Sara Ghebremusse
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Despite Africa's wealth of natural resources, millions of its people live in extreme poverty. Effective mining governance can help Africa address this imbalance by achieving UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 1 (to end poverty) and SDG 8 (to create sustainable economic growth and decent work for all). Reforms aimed at generating more revenue for national governments to address poverty and building new partnerships between public and private sectors to promote economic growth and boost employment can help achieve these goals.
  • Topic: Poverty, United Nations, Natural Resources, Employment, Sustainable Development Goals, Private Sector
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Michel Girard
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: There is no consensus to create a global framework for managing data governance under the United Nations. A Data Standards Task Force (DSTF) is needed to create a single data zone where trustworthy data could circulate freely between like-minded countries. This proposal is aligned with the objectives of fora such as the International Grand Committee on Big Data, Privacy and Democracy. Canada could also spearhead the launch of the DSTF with like-minded countries through the implementation of regional free trade agreements such as the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement, the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement or the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, United Nations, Trade Policy, Digitalization
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Sarah Miller
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: This paper considers how responsibility for ensuring refugee protection and access to solutions can be shared more reliably across the United Nations’ system, by examining entry points beyond traditional humanitarian actors (including peace and security actors in the United Nations), as well as the role states can play in supporting a broader response from the UN system. It draws upon a range of literature and concepts, including the Responsibility to Protect doctrine, offering a mapping and analysis of the proposed UN reforms within the humanitarian, development, financial, and peace and security sectors. It then considers how these reforms might be relevant to responsibility sharing in displacement situations and lays out some of the broader challenges to greater responsibility sharing. Finally, the paper provides recommendations for how to more fully engage these other actors — within the United Nations and beyond — to improve the prevention of, response to and resolution of displacement.
  • Topic: Security, United Nations, Refugee Issues, Displacement, Humanitarian Crisis
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Dragana Kaurin
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: For the millions of refugees fleeing conflict and persecution every year, access to information about their rights and control over their personal data are crucial for their ability to assess risk and navigate the asylum process. While asylum seekers are required to provide significant amounts of personal information on their journey to safety, they are rarely fully informed of their data rights by UN agencies or local border control and law enforcement staff tasked with obtaining and processing their personal information. Despite recent improvements in data protection mechanisms in the European Union, refugees’ informed consent for the collection and use of their personal data is rarely sought. Using examples drawn from interviews with refugees who have arrived in Europe since 2013, and an analysis of the impacts of the 2016 EU-Turkey deal on migration, this paper analyzes how the vast amount of data collected from refugees is gathered, stored and shared today, and considers the additional risks this collection process poses to an already vulnerable population navigating a perilous information-decision gap.
  • Topic: United Nations, Refugee Issues, European Union, Asylum, Humanitarian Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Asia
  • Author: Géraud de Lassus Saint-Genliês
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The Global Pact for the Environment (GPE) is a draft treaty prepared in 2017 by a French think tank, Le Club des Juristes, which aims at strengthening the effectiveness of international environmental law (IEL) by combining its most fundamental principles into a single overarching, legally binding instrument. In May 2018, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted Towards a Global Pact for the Environment, a resolution that established an intergovernmental working group to discuss the necessity and feasibility of adopting an instrument such as the GPE, with a view to making recommendations to the UNGA. As the working group nears its final session, scheduled for May 20–22, 2019, this paper discusses the extent to which codifying the fundamental principles of IEL into a treaty could increase the problem-solving effectiveness of environmental governance. The analysis suggests that the added value of the proposed GPE (or any such instrument) may not be as evident as what its proponents argue. The paper also highlights the fact that the adoption of such an instrument could generate unintended consequences that would hinder the development of more effective environmental standards in the future.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Environment, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Kerryn Brent, Will Burns, Jeffrey McGee
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: After more than two decades of UN negotiations, global greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, with current projections indicating the planet is on a pathway to a temperature increase of approximately 3.2°C by 2100, well beyond what is considered a safe level. This has spurred scientific and policy interest in the possible role of solar radiation management and carbon dioxide removal geoengineering activities to help avert passing critical climatic thresholds, or to help societies recover if global temperatures overshoot expectations of safe levels. Marine geoengineering proposals show significant diversity in terms of their purpose, scale of application, likely effectiveness, requisite levels of international cooperation and intensity of environmental risks. This diversity of marine geoengineering activities will likely place significant new demands upon the international law system to govern potential risks and opportunities. International ocean law governance is comprised of a patchwork of global framework agreements, sectoral agreements and customary international law rules that have developed over time in response to disparate issues. These include maritime access, fisheries management, shipping pollution, ocean dumping and marine scientific research. This patchwork of oceans governance contains several bodies of rules that might apply in governing marine geoengineering activities. However, these bodies of rules were negotiated for different purposes, and not specifically for the governance of marine geoengineering. The extent to which this patchwork of rules might contribute to marine geoengineering governance will vary, depending on the purpose of an activity, where it is conducted, which state is responsible for it and the types of impacts it is likely to have. The 2013 amendment to the London Protocol on ocean dumping provides the most developed and specific framework for marine geoengineering governance to date. But the capacity of this amendment to bolster the capacity of international law to govern marine geoengineering activities is limited by some significant shortcomings. Negotiations are under way to establish a new global treaty on conservation of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction, including new rules for area-based management, environmental impact assessments and capacity building/technology transfer. A new agreement has the potential to fill key gaps in the existing patchwork of international law for marine geoengineering activities in high-seas areas. However, it is also important that this new treaty be structured in a way that is not overly restrictive, which might hinder responsible research and development of marine geoengineering in high-seas areas.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, International Law, United Nations, Green Technology, Geoengineering
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Robert Muggah, Adriana Erthal Abdenur
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Today, more than 60 percent of all refugees and 80 percent of all internally displaced persons are living in urban areas. While cities are periodically overwhelmed by sudden mass influxes of forced migrants, they are remarkably effective at absorbing populations on the move. With some exceptions, the international community — the UN Refugee Agency, in particular — has been slow to empower cities to assume a greater role in protecting, assisting and promoting durable solutions for refugees, asylum claimants and other groups of concern. New compacts on migration and refugees only tangentially address cities’ pivotal role in shaping the experience of forced migrants. Instead, cities are developing solutions on their own. This paper assesses the characteristics of the urban displacement crisis and identifies challenges and opportunities confronting cities, challenging myths associated with the “refugee burden” and offering preliminary recommendations for stepping up international, national and municipal cooperation.
  • Topic: Migration, United Nations, Refugee Issues, Urban, Asylum
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Eileen Pittaway, Linda Bartolomei
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: This paper addresses the international refugee regime’s failure, despite significant international law and policy developed over the past 30 years, to address the protection needs of refugee women and girls and to promote gender equality in policy and service provision. This failure results in serious human rights abuses and squanders the enormous potential and social capital that women and girls can bring to achieving solutions. Refugee women and girls continue to suffer endemic sexual violence and discrimination and to be marginalized, their voices and capacities ignored. The current negotiation of a global compact on refugees by UN member states, led by the UN Refugee Agency, provides an opportunity to look at the reasons for this failure and its implications for women and girls, men and boys, youth, families and communities, in host countries and countries of asylum. The issue is both humanitarian and political, and includes the contentious debate about whether refugees are “burdens” or “responsibilities,” an argument mainly between the governments of the Global South, who host the majority of refugees, and those of the Global North, who provide resources. These tensions, and ideological positions held by stakeholders, all adversely impact refugee women and girls. The increased movement of refugees and the scarcity of resources have decreased the protection available for all refugees and made the plight of women and girls even more acute. The authors outline seven key barriers to refugee women and girls’ achieving gender equality in policy and practice. They explore the ways in which each barrier exacerbates and compounds the others, and recommend approaches to bring about the structural and operational changes urgently needed.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, United Nations, Refugee Issues, Gender Based Violence , Sexual Violence
  • Political Geography: Global South
  • Author: Aldo Chicop, Meinhard Doelle, Ryan Gauvin
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: This report investigates the international law and policy challenges to the determination of the international shipping industry’s contribution to climate change mitigation efforts through the International Maritime Organization (IMO), a specialized agency of the United Nations and the competent international organization with respect to shipping in international law. The report sets out the international legal framework that serves as the context for the IMO initial strategy, the challenge of regulating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from international shipping, and the process and issues in determining the industry’s “fair share” of mitigation efforts and potential legal pathways. The report concludes with general, policy and legal considerations that have a bearing on the current and possible future directions of the nascent IMO strategy. General considerations include the observation that the complexity and uncertainty underscoring the development of the IMO strategy call for a long-term planning instrument that is integrated and systemic in scope, flexible in approach and adaptive in application. As other regimes and sectors progress in developing and delivering on mitigation efforts, care should be exercised in considering lessons and tools from other sectors for application to shipping, given its uniqueness and that other sector experiences emanate from different contexts and considerations. Given continuing significant differences on GHG issues in the IMO, it is vital for the long-term IMO strategy to be advanced and maintained on the basis of the culture of consensus that has helped shape the IMO as a successful regulatory body.
  • Topic: International Law, United Nations, Policy Implementation, IMF, Shipping
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Sarah Miller
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Generally speaking, those who study forced migration and those who advocate for solutions to forced migration spend little time studying xenophobia. This paper has aimed to address that gap by examining xenophobia in the context of refugees, first by considering definitions of xenophobia vis-à-vis other terms, including racism and nativism, and next by looking at the roots of xenophobia, which include not only political, social and economic grievances and uncertainty but also competition for scarce resources and the belief that one’s own nation-state or group is superior to others. The paper then reviews some expressions of xenophobic rhetoric and actions, and their impacts, before considering key issues and challenges in overcoming xenophobia. Looking at successful attempts in combatting xenophobia provides lessons for those engaged in research and advocacy. Recommended actions include holding governments more accountable for their failures to protect people’s rights; identifying and fighting against policies that incentivize xenophobic behaviour; recognizing that pro-migrant programming can backfire; identifying political actors who promulgate xenophobia and choosing interventions carefully; and seeking greater collaboration and creativity among different actors working to combat xenophobia. The use of localized approaches emerges from the literature as particularly important. The backdrop of the UN Refugee Agency’s global compacts on refugees and for migration makes the moment ripe for further discussion on how to reduce xenophobia and increase responsibility sharing in refugee situations. Likewise, the prominence of political regimes that draw on xenophobic rhetoric and even encourage xenophobic actions means that finding new ways to reduce xenophobia is more important than ever.
  • Topic: Migration, United Nations, Refugee Issues, Xenophobia
  • Political Geography: Global Focus