In an organisation as durable and complex as the United Nations, opportunities for reform do not come along very often. It is also singularly rare for Ireland to have a debate about its defence commitments. So 2015, the year when the UN conducts a review of peacekeeping operations and the Government prepares a White Paper on defence, must not go to waste.

Jul 10, 2015
Edward Burke, Jonathan Marley
United Nations

Welcome to what could turn out to be the most important, and potentially the most destructive, week in international diplomacy since the end of the Cold War.

Read the full World Politics Review article Iran Talks, Greece Crisis Open Make-or-Break Week for West

Jun 29, 2015
Richard Gowan
Europe, Middle East

Walking Point for Peace: An Irish view on the state of UN peacekeeping

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.

Jun 03, 2015
Edward Burke, Jonathan Marley
United Nations

Europe is trying to help Libya stem the human trafficking trade that has imperiled the lives of tens of thousands of desperate migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea.

May 14, 2015
Richard Gowan
Europe, Middle East, Libya

Would you rather follow David Cameron or Francois Hollande into battle?

Read the full World Politics Review article Small Wars Create Big Problems for U.K.’s Cameron, France’s Hollande

May 04, 2015
Richard Gowan

Lessons learned from pursuing civil-military coherence

In April 2015, CIC Associate Director Barnett Rubin joined the Danish Institute for International Studies for a seminar on Afghanistan's recent history and lessons learned from pursuing civil-military coherence. He kicked off the discussions with a keynote speech on Afghanistan from 2001 to 2014.

Apr 23, 2015
Barnett Rubin
Europe, South Asia, Afghanistan

Rich states and UN peacekeeping: time to lead by example?

The UN Secretary-General’s High-level Independent Panel has now commenced its review of peace operations as the call for peacekeeping reform once again tops the agenda. The continuing imbalance in global peacekeeping troop and police contributions leads some to question whether rich states, including the UK, are pulling their weight.

May 20, 2015
Richard Gowan
United Nations

UN Peacekeeping: A Focus for Japanese Cooperation with the United States and Europe?

Japan, European countries, and the United States have a common interest in boosting United Nations peace operations. Japan has been a prominent supporter of a U.S. initiative to encourage participation in peacekeeping operations, but to date, Tokyo’s follow-up has been constructive but limited. For Tokyo and its allies, ensuring that the UN can handle today’s ugly crises is an unavoidable task.

Apr 03, 2015
Richard Gowan
East Asia, Europe, United States
United Nations

Relations between Israel and the US are at their most strained in years, following comments by newly-re-elected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that there wouldn't be a Palestinian state on “his watch.”

Read the full Voice of America article Palestinians Consider UN Options

Apr 01, 2015
Richard Gowan
Europe, Middle East, United States

The United States sent its European allies some stern signals about their obligations to the American-led international order last week. On Monday, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power visited Brussels, where she warned NATO members to halt their “dangerous” defense cuts and called on European powers to offer more troops to United Nations peace operations.

Mar 16, 2015
Richard Gowan
Europe, United States
United Nations

Related Publications

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    The violent Basque separatist group ETA took shape in Franco's Spain, yet claimed the majority of its victims under democracy. For most Spaniards it became an aberration, a criminal and terrorist band whose persistence defied explanation. Others, mainly Basques (but only some Basques) understood ETA as the violent expression of a political conflict that remained the unfinished business of Spain's transition to democracy. Such differences hindered efforts to 'defeat' ETA's terrorism on the one hand and 'resolve the Basque conflict' on the other for more than three decades.

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    In this Lowy Institute Analysis, Richard Gowan reviews Australia’s time as a non-permanent member of the Security Council. Gowan argues that while it has not changed the world, Australia has acquitted itself well, bringing extra rigour and professionalism to the Council’s debates. It has carved out a niche on the issue of humanitarian access in the Syrian conflict, and solidified its reputation as a good international citizen and a serious country.

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