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  • Author: John Whalley, Sean Walsh
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The United Nations climate change negotiations currently underway and now seemingly likely to conclude only six to 12 months after the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) hosted meeting at Copenhagen in December 2009, are beset by a series of obstacles, the most fundamental of which reflect the North-South divide, largely between the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and non-OECD economies. In this brief we argue that movement across this divide is the single most important element in a successful conclusion to the negotiation. Current obstacles reflect asymmetries between developing and developed countries both in terms of growth in carbon emissions — and hence the costs of reducing emissions proportionately relative to some base date level, but also in terms of historical emissions as a source of damage. These are compounded by the imprecision of the negotiating mandate — a lack of a clear definition of the basic principles involved, particularly in the case of the original UNFCCC principle of common yet differentiated responsibilities, which accepts but does not clearly delineate differentiated responsibilities for developing and developed countries on climate change. Significant movement in the negotiating position of either side (or both) is likely a necessity for a climate deal to be reached even in post-Copenhagen negotiations. However, the recent unilateral commitment by China to reduce emissions by 40-45 percent per unit of GDP from a 2005 base year by 2020 is a positive first step.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Environment, Treaties and Agreements, Third World
  • Political Geography: China, United Nations
  • Author: Nazery Khalid, Ibrahim Hj Mohamed, Rakish Suppiah
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Maritime Institute of Malaysia
  • Abstract: The proposal to build a bridge across the Straits o f Malacca will have significant impacts on the shipping, environment and trade dynamics in the sea lane. This commentary discusses the potential repercussions of this megaproject from th e maritime perspective.
  • Topic: Development, Environment, International Trade and Finance, Maritime Commerce, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Southeast Asia
  • Author: Sabine Kurtenbach
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute for Development and Peace
  • Abstract: Conflict and violence have become an important context for development cooperation during the last decade. Donors not only have to cope with the consequences of conflict in their day-to-day work on the ground, but also need to develop strategies in the fields of early warning and prevention, as well as instruments for conflict analysis and conflic-sensitive approaches for cooperation. At the same time, external actors have been important supporters for many peace processes aiming at the termination of armed conflicts and violence. When wars or armed conflicts end (or at least when violence on the ground decreases) the hope for sustainable peacebuilding grows. UN General Secretary Ban Ki Moon pointed out the importance of the immediate post-conflict/post-war period in a report to the Security Council on June 11, 2009: “The immediate post-conflict period offers a window of opportunity to provide basic security, deliver peace dividends, shore up and build confidence in the political process, and strengthen core national capacity to lead peacebuilding efforts.” This gives a first impression of the many challenges internal and external actors face; at the same time experiences on the ground show that liberal peacebuilding conceived as a profound transformation process is a difficult endeavour.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Development, War, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Author: Koen Vlassenroot
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: In the pursuit of security and development in Africa, more and more reference is being made to the concept of fragile states. This paper explores the meaning of this concept and considers the attention that is being paid to it as a consequence of integrating security and development into the policy of the major donor countries. In an African context state fragility is a cause of numerous conflicts, but also a major focal point of peace processes and donor interventions. This paper is intended to be a warning against a too narrow focus on security in the process of combating fragility. It pleads for an integrated policy, based on the pursuit of sustainable development and emphasises the strengthening of the authority and power of the state and the promotion of local economic and social development.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Political Violence, Development, Economics, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: Africa