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  • Author: Yezid Sayigh, Henry Siegman, Michel Rocard, Khalil Shikaki
  • Publication Date: 06-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The Interim Period of Palestinian Self-Government Arrangements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip as stipulated in the Declaration of Principles signed by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the state of Israel on September 13, 1993, came to an end on May 4, 1999. During that period the two parties signed additional agreements on the transfer of functional and territorial jurisdiction to the Palestinian Authority, which assumed direct responsibility for the conduct of daily life and for cooperation and coordination with Israel in a wide range of spheres. Progress toward a permanent settlement of the decades-old conflict between Palestinians and Israelis, as well as toward peaceful relations in the region, requires the establishment of a capable, credible, and meaningful Palestinian political entity. Good governance is a necessary condition for the success of the peace process, and therefore all parties bear a responsibility to assist and facilitate the strengthening of Palestinian public institutions. The United States, the European Union, Norway as chair of the international donor community, and the international community as a whole hold this view firmly. They have demonstrated a sustained commitment to these goals, extending strong political support, reassurance, and diplomatic input to the process. Moreover, the international community pledged $4.1 billion in assistance for Palestinian reconstruction and development in 1994-98, of which some $3.6 billion was committed against specific projects and $2.5 billion of which was actually disbursed by the end of 1998. Around 10 percent of total disbursement was directed toward Palestinian institution-building. The construction and consolidation of effective and democratic governing institutions based on transparency and accountability is a major step on the road to attaining genuine self-determination for the Palestinians, peace and security for Israel and its neighbors, and stability for the region as a whole. This is the basis for the Palestinians to gain ownership over the assistance, investment, and planning programs that are at present shepherded by the international donor community and its representative institutions on the ground. Ownership is necessary for the Palestinians to make a successful transition from externally assisted emergency rehabilitation and post-conflict reconstruction to sustainable social and economic development, greater self-reliance, and confident competitiveness in global markets. A primary goal of the Palestinian Authority, and of its partners and counterparts in Israel and the international community, should therefore be to achieve good governance, based on the following: a constitutional government; political accountability and judicial review; the transparent and accountable management of public resources; the rule of law and citizens' rights; democratic participatory politics and pluralist civil society; and an effective and responsive public administration. The issue is not only one of organization—that is, of the structures composed of individuals working toward common ends. Even more important, it is one of the rules, norms, and practices that define public institutions and their operating culture and determine relations with their constituents. The Palestinians are moving into a new and decisive phase in their national history, and the purpose of this report is to assist in identifying what needs to be done in order to make that transition successfully.
  • Topic: Government, International Cooperation, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Norway, Palestine, Gaza
  • Author: Zbigniew Brzezinski, Council on Foreign Relations, F. Stephen Larrabee
  • Publication Date: 04-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The Independent Task Force on U.S. Policy Toward Northeastern Europe sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations was formed to examine the policy challenges confronting the United States in northeastern Europe and recommend measures to advance U.S. interests in the region. The Task Force felt that northeastern Europe deserves special attention for several reasons. First, during the Cold War, northeastern Europe was a strategic backwater and received relatively little attention in U.S. policy. However, since the end of the Cold War, the region has become an important focal point of U.S. policy. The Clinton administration has given northeastern Europe high priority and viewed the region as a laboratory for promoting closer regional cooperation and reknitting Europe—both eastern and western—into a more cohesive economic and political unit. As Secretary of State Madeleine Albright noted in her speech in Vilnius, Lithuania, in July 1997, “Our challenge is to build a fully integrated Europe that includes every European democracy willing to meet its responsibilities. That goal embraces the Baltic nations.” Thus, to some extent, northeastern Europe can be seen as a test case for the Clinton administration's general approach toward post-Cold War Europe. Second, northeastern Europe is also a test case for the administration's policy toward Russia. One of the key elements of the administration's policy has been its effort to reach out to Russia and to include Russia in regional cooperation arrangements in northeastern Europe. This effort has been designed to integrate Russia gradually into a broader European framework as well as to defuse Russian concerns about the integration of the Baltic states into Euro-Atlantic institutions, especially NATO. This policy is seen by the administration as a litmus test of its effort to overcome the old zero-sum Cold War paradigm and demonstrate that greater regional cooperation can bring benefits to all, including Russia. Thus, how well this policy succeeds will have broader implications for the administration's policy toward Russia as a whole. Third, three critical areas of U.S. policy interest—the Baltics, the Nordics, and Russia—intersect in northeastern Europe. Instability in the region would affect all three interests. Moreover, the Baltic region is the one region in Europe where a U.S.-Russian confrontation is still conceivable. Thus, the United States has a strong stake in defusing the potential for conflict in the region and promoting its stable economic and political development. Fourth, the United States faces a number of critical challenges in the region. One of the most important is managing the security aspirations of the Baltic states. The Baltic states are tied to Europe historically and culturally. They share Western values and aspirations. Having thrown off the shackles of communism and Soviet domination, the Baltic states, like their counterparts in Central Europe, want to join Europe and Euro-Atlantic institutions. How the United States seeks to accommodate their security aspirations will be a major test of the U.S. commitment to creating a “Europe whole and free” and its ability to overcome the zero-sum logic of the Cold War. Fifth, the policy challenges in northeastern Europe—particularly those in the Baltic subregion—directly touch on Russia's security interests and have important implications for U.S.-Russian relations. Top Russian officials have reiterated on numerous occasions that Baltic membership in NATO could have serious repercussions for Russia's relations with NATO and the newly established Russia-NATO Council in particular. Although such statements should not necessarily be taken at face value, they highlight the sensitivity of the Baltic issue among the Russian policy elite and ensure that it will remain a highly contentious issue in U.S. relations with Russia. Sixth, the issue of security in northeastern Europe directly affects U.S. relations with the Nordic states, especially Sweden and Finland: the Baltic states are in the Nordic states' strategic backyard. Thus, how the Baltic issue is handled has direct implications for Nordic security—and especially for relations of the Nordic states with Russia. Neither Sweden nor Finland wants to see the Baltic or Nordic region become a gray zone or flash point. At the same time, neither wants to assume the primary responsibility for the security of the Baltic states, which would overburden the capability of either nation. Finally, security issues in northeastern Europe pose important dilemmas for U.S. policy toward NATO. The Baltic issue is the trickiest and most sensitive part of the enlargement puzzle. The Clinton administration has committed itself to helping the Baltic states gain membership in NATO. But many senators have reservations about further enlargement, especially to the Baltic states. So do many of America's NATO allies. Thus, gaining support for Baltic membership could be difficult and will require the administration to build a consensus for its policy both in the U.S. Senate and within the alliance.
  • Topic: Cold War, Communism
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Ted Galen Carpenter, Mark Falcoff, Adrian Karatnycky, Gary C. Hufbauer, Robert D. Blackwill, Leslie H. Gelb, Allen R. Adler, Mario L. Baeza, Philip Peters, Bernard W. Aronson, Jeffrey L. Bewkes, Rodolfo O. De La Garza, Daniel W. Fisk, Craig Fuller, M. Farooq Kathwari, Franklin W. Knight, Susan Kaufman Purcell, Peter W. Rodman, Riordan Roett, William D. Rogers, Alexander F. Watson
  • Publication Date: 01-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: This report addresses the current state and the future prospects for the transatlantic relationship. The broad challenge the U.S.-European partnership faces in the period ahead is threefold: to persuade others around the world in post-Cold War conditions to abide by internationally accepted norms and patterns of behavior and the rules of the international institutions that embody them; to deal skillfully with the emerging new power centers, of which China and India are the most prominent; and to meet the current serious threats to Western interests, especially in the Middle East, when these threats often seem to ordinary citizens more remote, abstract, and complex than during the Cold War. This daunting effort will clearly require transatlantic policies that involve a delicate and flexible combination of incentives and disincentives applied to these other countries in a highly discriminating manner in widely differing circumstances. Designing and sustaining such policies will be no easy task for Western governments with compelling domestic preoccupations in the full glare of the media spotlight.
  • Topic: Security, Cold War, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Middle East
  • Author: Ted Galen Carpenter, Mark Falcoff, Adrian Karatnycky, Walter Russell Mead, Gary C. Hufbauer, Leslie H. Gelb, Allen R. Adler, Mario L. Baeza, Philip Peters, Bernard W. Aronson, Jeffrey L. Bewkes, Rodolfo O. De La Garza, Daniel W. Fisk, Craig Fuller, M. Farooq Kathwari, Franklin W. Knight, Susan Kaufman Purcell, Peter W. Rodman, Riordan Roett, William D. Rogers, Alexander F. Watson
  • Publication Date: 01-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: In reviewing U.S. policy toward Cuba, this Task Force is well aware that we are undertaking one of the most difficult and perhaps thankless tasks in American foreign policy. Our domestic debate about Cuba has been polarized and heated for decades, but this report seeks to build new common ground and consensus with hope and confidence. What shapes our recommendations is a sense that U.S.–Cuban relations are entering a new era. We have tried to analyze the nature of this new era, understand the American national interest vis–â–vis Cuba at this time, and develop an approach to Cuba policy that avoids the polarization of the past.
  • Topic: Communism
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America, North America
  • Author: Gordon Brown
  • Publication Date: 09-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Only a year ago, an increasingly turbulent and inadequately supervised financial system threatened global instability.Since the height of the financial instability last september, the world has taken rapid and decisive action and the world has started to put in place new long term disciplines to promote greater stability.
  • Topic: Economics, International Cooperation, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, America, Europe
  • Author: Jerome A. Cohen
  • Publication Date: 09-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: My talk today has two parts. The first will comment on the roles of the various actors in the famous decision of the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal in the “right of abode” cases and the subsequent interpretation of the Basic Law by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (“Standing Committee” or “NPCSC”). The second part will focus specifically on a fundamental and immediate constitutional question now confronting the various actors - whether an interpretation of the Basic Law by the NPCSC is binding on the courts of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (“HKSAR”).
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, International Law
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, Hong Kong
  • Author: Madeleine Albright
  • Publication Date: 06-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Secretary Albright: Thank you very much, Les, that was very generous of you. Thank you. Good evening to all of you in this fantastic new setting—members of the Council on Foreign Relations and distinguished colleagues, friends and guests. NATO's confrontation with Belgrade over Kosovo has ended in accordance with the conditions the Alliance set. Now we face the even harder task of building a lasting peace there and throughout Southeast Europe. This evening, I would like to discuss with you this historic challenge.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, NATO, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Europe, Kosovo
  • Author: Bill Richardson
  • Publication Date: 06-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: When I was U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, I was often inspired by one of the world's most-original humanitarians: Dag Hammarskjold.Each time I return to New York, I'm reminded of his beliefs—of all that we can do when we grasp the past, respect the present, and use the knowledge from both to clarify a vision for the future. When we do so, we often do our best work.
  • Topic: Security, International Political Economy, United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States, New York, Middle East
  • Author: K. Simitis
  • Publication Date: 04-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Thank you very much for the opportunity you have given me today to develop some thoughts as to the role of my country within our broader region, South-East Europe, and to do so before this distinguished body, the Council on Foreign Relations. Of course, I would never have imagined that my speech would be so timely, unfortunately, for reasons which have to do with the continuing crisis in Yugoslavia. The recent developments there, I fear, have confirmed in the minds of many observers of events around the world, those stereotypes which have prevailed for more than a century in the Balkans,—that it still the powder keg of Europe. Of course, no one can deny that the history of the Balkans is one of turbulence. It is appropriate to remind you, that the history of other European regions is also full of wars and other atrocities. Unfortunately, in some cases, far greater than those which took place and are taking place in the Balkans. I would also add, that the perturbed development of the Balkans has also been marked by long-term, economic and social under-development.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Greece, Yugoslavia, Balkans
  • Author: Kofi Annan
  • Publication Date: 01-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Thank you, Pete, for those generous words of introduction. I am delighted to join you tonight to inaugurate the Peter G. Peterson Center for International Studies here at the Council on Foreign Relations. Allow me to begin by paying tribute to everything Pete has done to strengthen your mission. The Council's work is vital not only to this audience and to your many members. It has far greater implications. The Council has over time become an indispensable source of reflection and renewal in foreign affairs. It has helped us all to understand better the global challenges that lie ahead; it has advocated the engagement of the United States in international affairs, and always stood fast against the dangers of American isolationism.
  • Topic: International Relations, United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States, America