The humanitarian crisis in northern Syria is on the verge of becoming a COVID-19 catastrophe. A decade of conflict has left the healthcare system in ruins—and millions of displaced people in Idlib province were already suffering due to a lack of shelter and sanitation. This policy briefing delves into roots of the humanitarian crisis in Idlib, details the current capacity of the exhausted healthcare system amid the ongoing conflict, and examines what these constraints mean for mounting a response to the spread of the coronavirus. 

May 05, 2020
Hanny Megally
Middle East, Syria
Humanitarian Crises

Barnett Rubin, director of CIC's Afghanistan-Pakistan Research Project, was quoted in a Common Dreams article about the assassination of Qassem Soleimani.

"I don't see any way to stop what is coming, war from the Mediterranean to the Indus and harsh repression in the U.S. that may vitiate the 2020 election. This is the test for the Democrats: have our leaders learned anything since 2003? I fear the answer," Rubin wrote on Twitter. 

Jan 03, 2020
Middle East

Who remembers Aleppo? A year ago, the Syrian city appeared tragically central to international diplomacy. Yet, Syria has slid into the category of persistent conflicts that worry U.N. diplomats but seem irresolvable.

Oct 27, 2017
Richard Gowan
Middle East, Syria
Peace and Security

The President of the Human Rights Council, Ambassador Joaquín Alexander Maza Martelli of El Salvador, has announced the appointment of CIC Senior Fellow Hanny Megally of Egypt to serve as a member of the Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic.

Oct 18, 2017
Hanny Megally
Middle East, Syria
Peace and Security

Russia is flexing its diplomatic muscles at the United Nations again. Moscow appears intent on using the U.N. to complicate American efforts to put pressure on North Korea and sow confusion over its own intentions toward Ukraine. Western diplomats should be alert, because Russia is a fine player of the U.N. game.

Sep 11, 2017
Richard Gowan
Middle East, Syria
Peace and Security

A refugee crisis is what happens when large numbers of people fleeing poor, violent countries seek asylum in rich, peaceful countries, raising agonizing moral and political questions. This of course is what occurred in 2015, when a million refugees from Syria and elsewhere poured across Europe’s borders, provoking a backlash that brought nationalist parties to the verge of power and threatened the Continent’s liberal order. The refugees were the cause, rather than the victims, of the crisis in question.

Sep 11, 2017
James Traub
Europe, Middle East, Syria
Peace and Security
Diplomacy in Action, Richard Gowan

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.

May 31, 2017
Peace and Security

CNN's Fareed Zakaria in a recent report on the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan highlights Barnett Rubin's War on the Rocks article "It's much bigger than Afghanistan: U.S. strategy for a transformed Region".

May 02, 2017
Barnett Rubin

Why is Tunisia producing the world’s largest numbers of jihadi foreign fighters when the country is seemingly the one success story emerging from the 2011 Arab uprisings? It is a conundrum that has confounded analysts not least because the answers have been very contradictory. Delving back into Tunisia’s modern history may help in contextualizing the answer to this question. It points to decades of heavy-handed top down secularization policies, oppressive human rights practices, a mismanaged economy that privileged the few and neglected large parts of the country, and bad neighbors.

Jun 28, 2016
Hanny Megally
Middle East
Peace and Security

The eagerly-awaited United Nations Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism (PVE) is an ambitious and much-needed shift toward tackling the root causes that lead to radicalization. It is a bold strategy that combines a UN system-wide response with an “all of government approach” to violent extremism.

Feb 09, 2017
Hanny Megally
Middle East
Peace and Security

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