More than 20 years have passed since the United Nations (UN) first committed to achieving gender parity in its managerial and decision-making positions, but the organization still has a long way to go. Karin Landgren, a former senior UN official, provided the data two years ago to show that gender parity at the UN had become a “lost agenda” under the previous Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon. And in spite of a push to have a woman at the top of the UN hierarchy for the first time, the front runners in the Security Council straw polls for a new Secretary-General were largely men. (Perhaps Wonder Woman would have stood a better chance.) Yet the new Secretary-General, António Guterres, seems determined not only to talk about change but to effect it. After ensuring a 50/50 split in his own appointments at the senior level, Guterres has released this week the report of the Gender Parity Task Force: a far-reaching “System-Wide Strategy on Gender Parity,” which does not pull any punches in describing the current situation for women trying to make a career inside the UN bureaucracy.
The UN General Assembly meetings in September will no doubt be dominated by the crises of the day: an underlying theme of discussions, however, will be the less sensational topic of UN reform. The most impenetrable of all areas of the UN’s bureaucracy, its processes for financial and human resource management are generally of little interest to those outside New York’s Fifth Committee. The subject is also somewhat “tired”—Ban Ki-Moon too had management reform as a key point of his agenda—and politicized, in particular in the context of US announcements on cuts to UN contributions.
A new brief produced by the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney looks at the role of UN Ambassador Nikki R. Haley in helping shape President Trump's views on the usefulness of the United Nations and the need for its reform, as well as the implications for Australia before it begins its important new role.
On 30th June the Secretary-General released his report on UN Development System reform. As a candidate, António Guterres signaled his determination to reform the system: this is the first of a series of ideas expected on development, on peace and security and on management systems. How does it stack up to expectations?
This paper presents a philosophical and conceptual model to determine the South African (SA) Army’s approach to future operations and war. In the pursuit of understanding the SA Army deployment strategy, ‘how do we fight’, this paper suggests an experimental model comprised of two concepts, an SA Army Capstone Concept (SAACC) and an SA Army Future Operating Concept (SAAFOC). This model is benchmarked with the concepts applied by other international armies in their determination of future operating contexts and conditions.
The UN Security Council has the potential to play a greater direct role in crisis response and mediation not only in New York, but in the field. It has done so sporadically in the past. In its early years, the Council experimented with inter-governmental missions to investigate potential conflicts and undertake mediation in cases including the Balkans and Indonesia. In the post-Cold War period, Council missions engaged directly in crisis diplomacy in multip=le conflicts, playing an important peacemaking role in East Timor in 1999.
This workshop was the fourth in the “Applying Sustaining Peace” series, and focused on how to conceptualize prevention through a sustaining peace lens. Later this year, the Secretary-General’s forthcoming report on Sustaining Peace will further explore and define sustaining peace. This workshop drew on two recent and interesting cases, the ECOWAS intervention in Gambia and the lack of regional or international intervention in Burundi. Discussing processes and progress in both countries, workshop participants analyzed the role of regional and international actors in prevention.
The implementation of South Sudan’s latest peace agreement appears to be at a standstill. Insecurity, food shortages and the breakdown in governance have forced more than 1.5 million people to ﬂee the country. President Salva Kiir’s announcement of a forthcoming national dialogue offers some hope. Yet people are divided on the legitimacy of the process: is this a ruse to detract attention from important reforms, or is it an opportunity to ﬁnally broaden the political process in South Sudan? External actors, including the African Union (AU), are also at odds with one another.
For the past 20 months, the Congo Research Group has documented the vast and eclectic business portfolio of Joseph Kabila, the president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and his family. This report presents our conclusions, based almost entirely on legal documents.
You can find the whole report and examine the underlying documents here
This publication examines the main cooperation fields between China and the US in Afghanistan and Pakistan in the post-NATO period. In doing so, this study looks at the initiation of various bilateral joint projects as a distinctive turning point in China-US relations. It argues that existence of such bilateral projects and cooperation in this region does not only produce added value for the countries in question but also have the potential to enhance the mutual relations between China and US. This study also reveals the main common priorities and practices between China and the US and concludes that they have a partial convergence in their attitude towards the infrastructure projects in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The Global Peace Operations Review is a website providing analysis and data on the spectrum of issues surrounding global peace and security, including civilian-led peacemaking and peacebuilding as well as uniformed peacekeeping by the United Nations, regional organizations and ad-hoc coalitions. The site’s objective is to contribute to the effectiveness of all peace operations.
We seek to provide the most comprehensive overview of multilateral contributions to conflict prevention, peacemaking, peacekeeping, and post-conflict peacebuilding. In doing so, we seek to integrate thematic and cross-cutting issues including, but not limited to, the women, peace and security agenda and countering violent extremism.
The India-U.S. relationship is presently stronger than at anytime in their history. The twin summits – less than six months apart – in September 2014 and January 2015 between President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have repaired, revived and revitalized the strategic partnership. Yet there remain several hurdles to deepening the relationship, notably, geopolitical differences over Iran, Russia, Syria and India’s membership of various nuclear and missile export control regimes. Perhaps the most formidable of these in terms of immediacy and proximity is the resolution of the Iranian nuclear challenge.
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.