As Heads of Government gather in the New York for the UN’s 70th general assembly, the world is facing a 1940s moment. After a pause for relative unity at the end of the cold war, great power tensions are rising again. Concerns over inequality and migration have spurred the rise of left and right wing parties (and candidates for existing parties) across the developed world. More people have been forcibly displaced from their homes than at any time since the end of World War II.
On July 31, 2015, the Permanent Mission of Finland to the United Nations and New York University’s Center on International Cooperation (CIC) co-hosted an informal discussion among a small number of experts on the report of the Advisory Group of Experts’ review of the UN Peacebuilding Architecture. The experts unpacked the review by addressing 3 questions: (a) what are the strongest recommendations of the report; (b) which issues will be the most challenging in the intergovernmental process; and (c) what is the best strategy to move forward the recommendations.
Last week had no shortage of shocking images to illustrate our collective paralysis in the face of the Mediterranean refugee crisis. A three year old boy dead on a beach, waves lapping around his shoes. Thousands of forcibly displaced people marching through the heart of Europe watched by silent onlookers. Borders going back up in Schengen under the guise of traffic control and migrant searches.
On May 7, 2015, New York University’s Center on International Cooperation (CIC) hosted an informal consultation on updating the rules and infrastructure for globalization. The consultation involved senior officials and experts in the fields of diplomacy, security, development and law. The objective of the consultation was to identify priority normative areas of action for the next UN Secretary-‐General (UNSG), and to take stock of the political feasibility of pursuing multilateral action in those areas.
This synthesis report is based on a series of ‘reality check’ roundtables that explored the challenges of delivering the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets that will replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2016.
A number of European countries are considering playing a greater military role in UN peacekeeping. However, they have many concerns about the UN's systems for managing missions, which differ markedly from NATO and EU standards. In this paper, based on in-depth interviews with Irish officers and policy-makers and UN officials, Edward Burke and Jonathan Marley give detailed insights into their experiences and lessons.
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.