Nineteen years after the beginning of the Congo wars, armed conflict still affects millions in the east of the country. This essay by CRG director Jason Stearns and our senior fellow Christoph Vogel accompanies a map of armed groups, compiled by researchers across North and South Kivu, in which we catalogue over seventy groups. This is far from a static picture, and we highlight key shifts that have emerged over the past two years: a decline of regional involvement, a fragmentation of armed groups, and a modest drop in the political manipulation of armed groups.
President Xi Jinping first presented China’s vision for a “Silk Road Economic Belt” during a 2013 speech in Kazakhstan. The idea was to “forge closer economic ties, deepen cooperation, and expand development in the Euro-Asia region”. In early 2015, the contours of Beijing’s strategy began to emerge as China’s leadership laid out plans for this “Silk Road Economic Belt” through Central Asia, and a “21st Century Maritime Silk Road” through Southeast and South Asia. China referred to both collectively as “One Belt, One Road” (OBOR).
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.
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.
Since 2009, the Center on International Cooperation (CIC) at New York University has supported the development of regional approaches to Afghanistan by co-convening a series of structured dialogues among regional stakeholders. Since the initial meeting in June 2009 in Dubai, CIC has co-convened seven meetings including Istanbul (January 2010), Dubai (December 2010, April 2011), Oslo (June 2011), Dubai (September 2011), Oslo (September 2011), and Abu Dhabi (January 2013).