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  • Author: Domenico Lombardi, Joseph E. Stiglitz, Skylar Brooks, Martin Guzman
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Much analysis of sovereign debt restructuring focuses on distributional conflict between sovereign debtors and their creditors. There is also an analytical tendency to see creditors as a relatively homogenous group with like interests. In reality, however, there is considerable diversity among creditors. Different types of creditors have different political and financial claims and thus different — at times, divergent or conflictive — interests. This means that the burden- sharing exercise of sovereign debt restructuring is played out not just between debtors and creditors, but also, importantly, between different types of creditors.
  • Author: Richard Gitlin, Brett House
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution 68/304 “Towards the establishment of a multilateral legal framework for sovereign debt restructuring processes” (UN 2014), passed by a split vote on September 9, 2014, expressed the will of many member states to move toward the development of a multilateral framework for sovereign debt restructuring. Coming a little over a decade after the rejection of the IMF's Sovereign Debt Restructuring Mechanism (SDRM) proposal (Krueger 2001) in 2003, this UNGA resolution represents a substantial renewal of interest in statutory- and treaty-based approaches to treating distressed sovereign debt.
  • Topic: United Nations
  • Author: Jennifer Spence
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: In April 2015, Canada will hand the chairmanship of the Arctic Council to the United States. As the chair, the United States will have an opportunity to shape the priorities of the Arctic Council for the next two years and communicate its vision for the future of the circumpolar region. In anticipation of acquiring this leadership role, the United States first provided a sense of its vision for the chairmanship on September 30, 2014 in Washington, DC, during the Passing the Arctic Council Torch conference supported by the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Centre for International Governance Innovation.
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Canada
  • Publication Date: 07-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: China’s coal consumption fell marginally in 2014, the first such drop this century, in large part as a result of its policies to address its severe air pollution, develop renewable and alternative energy, and transition its economy away from heavy industry. China should take advantage of its current circumstances to adopt an aggressive national coal consumption cap target and policy to peak its coal consumption as soon as possible, no later than its next Five Year Plan (2016–2020), so that it can peak its CO2 emissions by 2025. It can achieve this target by building upon its existing achievements in developing clean energy such as wind and solar power, and by prioritizing renewable energy development over coal in its western expansion. China can help lead a transition to clean energy that will contribute greatly to global efforts to keep warming to no more than 2°C, and can serve as a model for other developing countries.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Energy Policy, Industrial Policy
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Andrew Koltun, Brittany Mcnena, Nawroos Shibli
  • Publication Date: 07-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The 2013 West African Ebola crisis exposed two weaknesses: the inability of the international community to rapidly mobilize an effective response and a lack of adequate domestic health care systems for epidemic preparedness response. While a number of proposals have addressed gaps in the international response, none have yet addressed the remaining issue of building adequate domestic health systems. Although the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) 2005 International Health Regulations require that all member countries develop and implement a core set of health system capacities, funding constraints have prevented many low-income countries from meeting these requirements. This brief proposes that the World Bank, in collaboration with the WHO, should develop a Pandemic Prevention Program to assist low-income countries in building strong and robust health systems. This program would assist low-income countries in meeting their international obligations, while ensuring sustainable national ownership in order to prevent the next infectious disease epidemic.
  • Topic: Health, Infectious Diseases, World Bank
  • Political Geography: West Africa
  • Author: Luke Sauer, Jaclynn Chiodini, Christine Duong
  • Publication Date: 07-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Indigenous peoples within Canada and worldwide have the right to provide, withhold and/or withdraw consent to developments on their territories. The authors of this brief argue that with free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) becoming the new business standard when negotiating access to land and resources, industry leaders must adapt their practices to better accommodate indigenous rights. The authors recommend that the extractive industry should implement FPIC to the new business environment established by international rights frameworks and Canadian case law; negotiators should be trained in indigenous rights to FPIC, emphasizing the unique world views and concepts of land and resource stewardship; and the government should create policies that harmonize the duty to consult with the principles of FPIC to ensure good governance and stable business environments.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Environment, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 07-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The second CIGI Graduate Fellows policy brief examines Brazil's success in ensuring access to essential pharmaceuticals for its citizens, and how this success can be leveraged for other developing countries in similar circumstances. Five unique factors underlie this success, including, among others, a sustained government commitment to public health systems and an indigenous capacity to produce pharmaceuticals domestically, the emergence of a civil society coalition built around the norm of health equity, and the international harmonization of quality assurance and clinical standards related to pharmaceutical research and development. While it is unlikely that other developing countries lacking indigenous manufacturing capacity can achieve similar results in the near to medium-term future, it is instead recommended that private foundations and large bilateral aid country providers invest in a global funding mechanism. This fund would use pre-existing, innovative financing mechanisms to scale up production in the handful of developing countries that have achieved near self-sufficiency in pharmaceutical production, for the benefit of populations beyond their borders.
  • Topic: Health Care Policy
  • Political Geography: Brazil, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Joël Blit
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: This policy brief recommends that to diminish the potential for holdup, uncertainty around patent rights should be reduced. Patents should be easily searchable and more easily understood by non-legal experts. In addition, patents should be narrower and more clearly demarcated. To the extent that the welfare costs of patents appear to outweigh their benefits, the requirements for obtaining a patent should be tightened. Further, patents should be made less broad and, concomitant with the reduction in the length of the product cycle, the length of patents should also be reduced.
  • Topic: Economics, Intellectual Property/Copyright, Governance, Law
  • Political Geography: North America
  • Author: Domenico Lombardi , Kelsey Shantz
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The annual CIGI Survey of Progress in International Economic Governance assesses progress in five areas of international economic governance: macroeconomic and financial cooperation; cooperation on financial regulation; cooperation on development; cooperation on trade; and cooperation on climate change. In this year’s survey, 31 CIGI experts conclude that international economic arrangements continue to show a level of “status quo,” averaging a score of 50% across all five areas. The 2015 survey indicates a slight improvement to the result of last year’s survey, which suggested a minimal regression overall. The experts’ assessment of progress was most promising in the area of climate change cooperation, with an average score of 57%, whereas the least promising area was macroeconomic and financial cooperation, with a score of 44%, indicating minimal regression. The remaining three areas polled all fell within the “status quo” range, with trade at 46%, development at 48% and international cooperation on financial regulation at 53%. Interestingly, in the area of cooperation on development, CIGI’s experts provided a relatively mixed assessment. Responses varied based on experts’ perception of the effectiveness of current rhetoric, from 70% (indicating some progress) to 10% (suggesting major regression). Compared to last year, climate change governance has made the greatest improvement, but the remaining three areas (with the exception of development, which was not included in the 2014 survey) have all, on average, regressed further or remained stagnant. This trend is cause for concern.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Economics, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Joel Blit
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The case for patents rests crucially on three conditions: that innovation is undersupplied in the absence of patents; that patents promote increased innovation; and that the welfare benefits of any additional innovation outweigh the welfare costs associated with the temporary monopoly that patents generate. While it is probably true that innovation is undersupplied, the empirical evidence is mixed on whether patents foster innovation. This may be due to patents stifling cumulative innovation because of holdup and ex ante uncertainty over patent rights. This policy brief recommends that to reduce the potential for holdup, uncertainty around patent rights should be reduced. Patents should be easily searchable and more easily understood by non-legal experts. In addition, patents should be narrower and more clearly demarcated. To the extent that the welfare costs of patents appear to outweigh their benefits, the requirements for obtaining a patent should be tightened. Further, patents should be made less broad and, concomitant with the reduction in the length of the product cycle, the length of patents should also be reduced.
  • Topic: Human Welfare, Science and Technology, Communications