Michael von der Schulenburg, former head of the UN mission in Sierra Leone and deputy head of its mission in Iraq, offers an overview of the evolution of peacekeeping and peacebuilding and suggestions for the future. This is an independent think-piece for the High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations formed by Ban Ki-moon.
Since the end of the Cold War, crises from the Balkans to Central Asia and Africa have forced international organizations to adapt, expand, and cooperate to end civil wars, manage humanitarian challenges, and contain terrorist threats. The Power of Dependence, which includes a foreword by CIC Associated Directors Barnett Rubin and Richard Gowan explores the complex relationship between two of these organizations: NATO and the United Nations.
A new article by CIC’s Ben Oppenheim, along with Enzo Nussio, analyzes the challenges of reintegrating former members of insurgent and paramilitary groups after war. While disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration programming (DDR) is a key component of many post-conflict reconstruction processes, there is relatively little evidence about the longer-term trajectories of former fighters.
Europe should expect ever-increasing pressure from refugees on its southern borders unless it is prepared to bear the cost and risk of military operations to control conflict in Europe’s southern neighbourhood, according to this policy paper. It says while the growing refugee problem generated by conflicts in the Middle East and Africa calls for a more interventionist response from the EU, Europeans have preferred to leave the job to others, notably the UN.
Peacebuilding continues to gain recognition in international and national spheres for the crucial role it plays in laying the foundations for sustainable peace. In the last two decades, the United Nations has developed its peacebuilding architecture (PBA) in order to strengthen its responses to countries recovering from conflict. Within this larger context, 2015 will be a critical year for peacebuilding as member states undertake a comprehensive review of the UN PBA.
Until recently, 95% of the bandwidth for talking and thinking about the post-2015 agenda was focused on goals and targets. Now that the Open Working Group (OWG) on the post- 2015 agenda has reported, though, policymakers and opinion formers are starting to think more seriously about the ‘how’ as opposed to the ‘what’ – and what a new Global Partnership on development, as well as the overall political outcome on means of implementation (MOI) more broadly, might look like by the end of next year.
The five major emerging economies – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) – have gained on the world stage and their presence is being felt in every multilateral institution. Among them India – the world’s largest democracy with a burgeoning economy and a long history of engagement with the multilateral order – is of special significance. For BRICS watchers in general and anyone interested in the future of India in particular, twenty-two scholars of international repute have produced one of the most comprehensive volumes on India’s role in the evolving global order: Shaping the Emerging World.
On March 11-12, 2014, CIC and the Chinese Institute of International Studies (CIIS) co-hosted two trilateral discussions, the US-China-Afghanistan Dialogue and the US-China-Pakistan Dialogue. CIC Director Dr. Barnett Rubin and CIIS's Qu Xing and Dong Manyuan chaired the event, which brought together a group of nearly 30 scholars, US officials, and former officials from the four countries for candid, in-depth discussions on approaches to the upcoming transition in Afghanistan.
The trilateral meetings followed three previous sessions of a US-China bilateral dialogue that began in July 2012.
Member states are increasingly looking to 2015 as a milestone for progress on United Nations Security Council reform. 2015 marks the seventieth anniversary of the UN, fifty years since the implementation of the last (and only) Council enlargement, and ten years since the 2005 World Summit. This paper provides an overview of the current context, an explanation of global perspectives on UNSC reform, and analysis of discussions on UNSC reform in and around the African Union. CIC’s recommendations outline a number of potential practical steps that can be taken to help facilitate tangible progress by 2015.
The UN development system stands at a crossroads. It can either embrace the deep reform required to remain relevant to development in today’s global economy, or face the prospect of continued marginalization. The path chosen at this fork in the road depends on the commitment of all relevant actors – UN agencies and governments – as well as strong leadership: from governments, from within the UN development system, and from the Secretary-General.
Recent months have seen increasing interest in the idea that Rio+20 could be the launch pad for a new set of ‘Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDGs). But what would SDGs cover, what would a process to define and then implement them look like, and what would some of the key political challenges be? This short briefing sets out a short summary of current thinking on the issue, followed by thoughts about the way forward.