The NYU Center on International Cooperation, like our partners and colleagues around the world, is adapting our work to cope with the impact of the COVID–19 pandemic and contribute within our own areas of expertise. This message from CIC Director Sarah Cliffe explains how our work on peace, justice, inclusion, and reducing inequalities will continue, as we also strive to to contribute to the global conversation about how governments, multilateral institutions, and civil society can respond to COVID–19.
A neighbor in her seventies or eighties paused last week when she saw my husband playing in the garden with our four-year old daughter, in the lockdown we now face. She told him that she was on her way to have her one daily cigarette—no doubt medically inadvisable, but why not have a small pleasure now?—and that she was thinking about how the world had changed with “the virus.” And then she said, “you know, I think that there are birds chirping now in Beijing, people can breathe the air better in Rome and Madrid.
South Africa is preparing to back one of the largest infrastructure projects on the continent: the Inga III hydroelectric dam in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 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 foreign policy, arguing that the contradictory and uncertain dynamics of South African support for the dam puts into question the bankability—and indeed the feasibility—of the whole project.
Afghanistan, along with the rest of the world, faces major uncertainty from the COVID-19 pandemic—a shock that complicates this assessment of the Afghan peace process and the challenges that lie ahead, After nearly two years of formal negotiations, the United States and the Taliban signed an “Agreement for Bringing Peace to Afghanistan” in Doha, Qatar on February 29, 2020.
The novel coronavirus pandemic poses widespread risks to public health and economic stability around the world—but it also has particularly worrying implications for the recent progress towards ending the decades-long conflict in Afghanistan. The pandemic will greatly complicate efforts to overcome the already significant obstacles to the implementation of the Afghan peace process foreseen in the February 29 agreement between the United States and the Taliban. The prevalence of the virus in Afghanistan is still unknown, given the weakness of healthcare systems and the lack of testing.