This is an expanded and updated version of remarks originally given to a conference organised by Mitvim – the Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies and the Leonard Davis Institute for International Relations at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem on 17 May 2020. A conference summary is available here.
Deadly and disruptive as it already is, and terribly as it could yet worsen and spread, the 2020 coronavirus outbreak could also have political effects that last long after the contagion is contained. Crisis Group identifies seven points of particular concern.
The African Union is best positioned to send peacekeepers to the continent’s various war zones. But it often lacks the funds available to the UN’s blue helmets. A compromise over co-financing peacekeeping missions would serve the conflict prevention goals of both institutions.
As Josep Borrell steps into his role as the new EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Crisis Group highlights seven countries where European leadership can combine political, financial and technical resources to rebuild and sustain peace and stability.
The UN General Assembly kicks off on 17 September amid general scepticism about the world body’s effectiveness in an era of rising great-power competition. But the UN is far from paralysed. Here are seven crisis spots where it can make a positive difference for peace.
Wracked by divisions and political infighting, the UN Security Council is failing to respond to some of the world’s most pressing crises. To overcome dysfunction and retain credibility, the council’s members should prioritise the few cases where international cooperation is still possible.
Wars can be prevented or mitigated by early, clear and well-designed political and diplomatic engagement. Yet policymakers are increasingly stretched by a myriad of global crises. Refocusing on knowledge, relationships, frameworks, strategic communication and pathways to peace is crucial to limiting and resolving the world’s current upsurge in deadly conflict.
The UN Security Council has lost some credibility as the weeks have gone by, mainly thanks to U.S. obstructionism.
Covid-19 has laid bare the costs of confronting a global crisis with a flawed international system. The only worse outcome would be to confront the next crisis with no system at all.
My sense is the U.S., in particular, will be very wary of making any concessions on sanctions [for coronavirus] that they worry they will not be able to reverse down the road.
A corto plazo, [la retirada del INF] apenas ofrece a Washington nuevas posibilidades en el plano militar.
While Russia is very keen for the Europeans to start funding Syrian reconstruction, most big EU donors want to set very strict conditions for doing so while Assad is in power.
On the whole UK diplomacy at the UN has been quite good on a number of issues. But the colonial legacy resonates so deeply at the general assembly.
Every year Crisis Group publishes two additional Watch List editions that complement its annual Watch List for the EU, most recently published in January 2020. These publications identify major crises and conflict situations where the European Union and its member states can generate stronger prospects for peace. The Spring Edition of the Watch List 2020 includes entries on Côte d’Ivoire, Myanmar, northern Syria, Yemen and Venezuela.
Crisis Group’s President & CEO Robert Malley addressed the UN Security Council’s virtual Arria session on climate and security risks on 22 April 2020. Without global action, he said, climate change could prove to be a slow-moving version of the current COVID-19 pandemic.
At least twelve conflict parties have signed on to UN Secretary-General António Guterres’s appeal for a worldwide cessation of hostilities amid the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a promising start, and despite setbacks in some places, the Security Council should endorse the call wholeheartedly.
Even as COVID-19’s toll mounts, the world should brace itself for attacks by ISIS, which believes it can exploit the disorder the contagion is causing. This continuing jihadist threat requires the sort of international cooperation that militants hope the virus will sap.