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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.

Sep 15, 2017
Paige Arthur

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.

Sep 15, 2017
Sarah Cliffe
United Nations
Nikki Haley, Elsina Wainwright

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.

Aug 02, 2017
Elsina Wainwright
United States
United Nations
Peace and Security

By Sarah Cliffe

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?

Jul 10, 2017
Sarah Cliffe
United Nations
South African Army, Antonio Garcia

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.

Jun 02, 2017
Antonio Garcia
Sub-Saharan Africa
Peace and Security

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Programs in Focus

  • China-U.S. Cooperation in Central and South Asia

    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.

  • All the President's Wealth: The Kabila Family Business

    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

  • The Roadmap for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies: A Call to Action to Change our World

    The roadmap was developed by the Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies, a multi-stakeholder partnership that brings together UN member states, international organizations, civil society, and the private sector to accelerate delivery of the SDG targets for peace, justice and inclusion.

    It is available in English, French, and Spanish

    The Center on International Cooperation co-founded and currently hosts the Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies.

  • Global Peace Operations Review

    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.