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  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: On May 7–9, 2017, the Council on Foreign Relations hosted the sixth annual conference of the Council of Councils. The conference was made possible by the generous support of the Robina Foundation for CFR’s International Institutions and Global Governance program. The views described here are those of workshop participants only and are not CFR or Robina Foundation positions. The Council on Foreign Relations takes no institutional positions on policy issues and has no affiliation with the U.S. government. In addition, the suggested policy prescriptions are the views of individual participants and do not necessarily represent a consensus of the attending members.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Tod Lindberg
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Discourse on global affairs often refers to the international community. Statesmen sometimes exhort it, as in "the international community must act"; they sometimes lament its passivity, as in "the international community has done nothing"; and sometimes they speak in its name, as in "the international community condemns this outrage."
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, Globalization, International Cooperation, International Organization, Governance
  • Author: Isobel Coleman
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Fossil fuel subsidies are a global scourge. They distort markets, strain government budgets, encourage overconsumption, foster corruption, and harm the environment while doing little to remedy inequality or stimulate development. Yet despite compelling arguments for reform, fossil fuel subsidies remain deeply entrenched. Citizens have yet to be convinced that fuel subsidies can and should be replaced with more efficient poverty alleviation programs. As a result, governments refrain from phasing out fuel subsidies for fear of triggering a public backlash, and even civil unrest. To bolster the prospects for subsidy reform, the United States should support the creation of a new public-private partnership within the World Bank, the Global Subsidy Elimination Campaign (GSEC), to work with governments to execute country-specific communication programs that would build the case for fossil fuel subsidy reform among citizens. The GSEC would start with pilot programs in select countries, and on the basis of these efforts, expand its work to other countries interested in fuel subsidy reform. If the GSEC help s generate just a 5 percent reduction in the more than half a trillion dollars that governments now spend on fossil fuel subsidies, it would free up billions of dollars for more effective anti-poverty initiatives.
  • Topic: Economics, International Cooperation, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Stewart M. Patrick, Jeffrey Wright
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Globalization has transformed the marketplace for medicines in recent decades, giving rise to new threats including the poor traceability of global supply chains, counterfeit and substandard medicines, and antibacterial resistance. Aware that public drug authorities must cooperate to meet the emerging challenges of modern medicines regulation, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been discussing with counterpart agencies abroad creating a"global coalition of regulators." Yet a coalition alone is not enough; the devil, as always, will be in the details. In pursuit of this goal, the FDA and partner medicines regulatory agencies should design a coalition with five distinct features: narrow scope, to promote realistic goals; flexibility, to adapt to future circumstances; selective membership, to maximize like mindedness, particularly in the early stages; nongovernmental (NGO) participation, to leverage the capacities of both NGOs and for-profit corporations; and institutional partnerships, to orchestrate the activities of other regulatory organizations.
  • Topic: Globalization, Health, International Cooperation, Non-Governmental Organization
  • Author: Blake Clayton
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: On June 23, 2011, the International Energy Agency (IEA) announced plans to coordinate the release of emergency oil stockpiles in an attempt to offset an ongoing loss of crude oil production in Libya. In the six months prior, oil prices had jumped more than 20 percent, as political upheaval in Libya had prevented an estimated 132 million barrels of oil from reaching the market. IEA member country policymakers feared that high oil prices risked undermining a nascent global economic recovery. To combat that threat, twelve IEA member countries made roughly sixty million barrels of crude oil and refined oil products, such as diesel and gasoline, available to the market. The release, which the IEA referred to as the “Libya collective action,” lasted from July 23, 2011, until September 15, 2011. It was only the third time in its nearly thirty-year history that the IEA, which was founded after the 1973 oil crisis, has undertaken a coordinated release, though the United States has unilaterally released strategic stocks on several occasions for reasons that include raising revenue and countering rising heating oil prices.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, International Cooperation, International Organization, Oil, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Libya
  • Author: Mark P. Lagon
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The rule of law is critical for people to have a meaningful opportunity to thrive. Still, for billions of people around the world today, the rule of law exists on paper but not in practice. Even though a theme for the United Nations General Assembly High-Level Panel in fall 2012 is rule of law, various UN programs devoted to rule of law have not had a transformative impact. Traditional intergovernmental institutions will never offer enough to achieve systemic change. To supplement them and achieve what they alone cannot, the United States should take the lead to forge a more nimble partnership with public, private, and nonprofit sectors and establish a Global Trust for Rule of Law (“Global Trust”). Similar to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (“Global Fund”), a diverse board of donor states, philanthropists, rule of law experts, and civil society representatives would run this Global Trust. Its purpose would be to build developing nations' capacity to implement rule of law and unleash the potential of marginalized groups worldwide, promoting not only human dignity but, crucially, global economic growth.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Human Rights, International Cooperation, International Law, Non-Governmental Organization, United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: David A. Kaye
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: For nearly two decades, the United Nations has created international criminal tribunals to punish those responsible for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. Since the early 1990s the United States has strongly supported the UN tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia and hybrid UN/national courts for Sierra Leone and Cambodia. The era of court-building culminated in the 1998 adoption, over U.S. objections, of a treaty to establish a permanent International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. These international courts have brought dozens of perpetrators to justice, and the UN Security Council's requests that the ICC investigate the situations in Sudan (2005) and Libya (2011) show that policymakers across the spectrum, in the United States and abroad, believe that accountability-that is, bringing individuals to justice for committing atrocities-can be an important tool to combat war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. Yet as important as these courts are, atrocities occur in places beyond their reach, and even where international courts investigate and prosecute, they lack the capacity to try all but a handful of the thousands of perpetrators of the worst international crimes.
  • Topic: Crime, Genocide, International Cooperation, International Law
  • Political Geography: United States, Sudan, Libya, Yugoslavia, Cambodia
  • Author: Adam Segal
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: After years of dismissing the utility of international negotiations on cyberspace, U.S. officials now say that they will participate in talks to develop rules for the virtual world. But which norms should be pursued first and through which venues? As a start, the United States should issue two “cyber declaratory statements,” one about the thresholds of attacks that constitute an act of war and a second that promotes “digital safe havens”—civilian targets that the United States will consider off-limits when it conducts offensive operations. These substantive statements should emerge from a process of informal multilateralism rather than formal negotiations. Washington should engage allies and close partners such as India first and then reach out to other powers such as China and Russia with the goal that they also issue similar statements. Washington should also reach out to the private corporations that operate the Internet and nongovernmental organizations responsible for its maintenance and security.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, International Cooperation, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Washington
  • Author: Whitney Shepardson
  • Publication Date: 02-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: If the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) did not exist today, the United States would not seek to create it. In 1949, it made sense in the face of a potential Soviet invasion to forge a bond in the North Atlantic area among the United States, Canada, and the west European states. Today, if the United States were starting from scratch in a world of transnational threats, the debate would be over whether to follow liberal and neoconservative calls for an alliance of democracies without regard to geography or to develop a great power concert envisioned by the realists to uphold the current order.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, NATO, International Cooperation, International Organization, International Security
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Canada, Soviet Union
  • Author: Jack Boureston, Tanya Ogilvie-White
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: In September 2008, Mohamed ElBaradei, former director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), described nuclear terrorism as the number one threat to world security. Before then, El-Baradei had repeatedly pointed out that terrorist organizations are seeking nuclear materials. “If they get it, they will use it,” he warned in 2006. Since then, the IAEA has released data from its Illicit Trafficking Database, which confirmed at least fifteen cases of nuclear trafficking in 2008 alone—a statistic that might represent only the tip of the iceberg. The release of this information coincided with the official launch of nuclear energy programs in countries where governance is patchy, regulation is weak, and terrorists are known to operate.
  • Topic: Security, International Cooperation, Nuclear Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Author: Michael A. Levi, Katherine Michonski
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Climate change has become a top-tier subject for international negotiation and debate, not only for environment specialists but also for people and institutions focused on economics, development, energy, technology, and other pressing international issues. Yet most discussions of institutions and governance for climate change remain narrow. Observers often focus on the negotiation process under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), including the Kyoto Protocol (and more recently the Copenhagen Accord), along with its associated institutions, equating success and failure in combating climate change with success and failure in those arenas. Efforts to broaden the multilateral governance discussion beyond climate-specific forums still tend to emphasize how climate efforts fit within broader environment challenges and institutions.
  • Topic: International Relations, Climate Change, Environment, International Cooperation, International Affairs
  • Author: Adam Segal, Elizabeth C. Economy, Michael A. Levi, Shannon K. O'Neil
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: If governments are to respond effectively to the challenge of climate change, they will need to ramp up their support for innovation in low-carbon technologies and make sure that the resulting developments are diffused and adopted quickly. Yet for the United States, there is a tension inherent in these goals: the country's interests in encouraging the spread of technology can clash with its efforts to strengthen its own economy of particular importance is the spread of low-carbon technologies from the United States to the major emerging economies—China, India, and Brazil. Washington's strategy to promote the spread of low-carbon technologies to these countries must combine efforts to grow and open markets for low-carbon technologies with active support for accelerating the innovation and diffusion of these technologies. Its strategy will also need to reflect the unique challenges presented by each of the three countries.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, International Cooperation, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Washington, Brazil
  • Author: Kara C. McDonald, Stewart M. Patrick
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Advancing U.S. national interests in an era of global threats depends on effective multilateral action. Global institutions inherited from the past are struggling to adapt to the rise of new challenges and powers. “The international architecture of the 20th century is buckling,” declares the new U.S. National Security Strategy. President Barack Obama has committed his administration to renovating outdated institutions and integrating emerging powers as pillars of a rule-based international order. Renovation of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and its membership must be a core component of this agenda. President Obama's announcement in November 2010 of U.S. support for a permanent UNSC seat for India is a critical first step in this direction.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, Diplomacy, International Cooperation, International Organization, United Nations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Feisal Abdul Rauf
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Imam Feisal speaks about the need for interreligious dialogue and cooperation while addressing the debate surrounding the community center near the World Trade Center.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Cooperation, Islam, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Michael T. Osterholm
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The outbreak of a new strain of deadly swine flu, which has killed more than one hundred people in Mexico and spread to the United States and Europe, has global health experts considering whether this may be the start of a long-feared pandemic. Michael T. Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, says there are a lot of unknowns about the new flu strain but so far it presents "a very different picture" from that of recent avian flu outbreaks and the 2003 sudden acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak. "Osterholm says it may be a matter of months before experts understand the disease. He cautions against international policy overreactions, citing some countries' travel warnings and bans on some imported foods from the United States and Mexico as "hysterical." He says the best way to deal with panics is to keep people informed and not create false expectations.
  • Topic: International Relations, Globalization, Health, Human Welfare, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Canada
  • Author: Lee Feinstein, David Dreier, Lee Hamilton, Adrian Karatnycky
  • Publication Date: 10-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Enhanced American leadership at the United Nations is beneficial for U.S. interests and can help strengthen the UN and the international system. For many years, however, the United States has not been nearly as effective at the UN as it can or should be.
  • Topic: Government, International Cooperation, United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Publication Date: 07-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: A consensus is emerging, made far more urgent by the war on terrorism, that U.S. public diplomacy requires new thinking and decision-making structures that do not now exist. We must make clear why we are fighting this war and why supporting it is in the interest of other nations as well as our own. Because terrorism is considered the transcendent threat to our national security, it is overwhelmingly in the national interest that the United States formulate and manage its foreign policies in such a way that the war on terrorism receives the indispensable cooperation of foreign nations.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Ruth Wedgwood, Kenneth Roth, John Bolton, Annie-Marie Slaughter, Leslie H. Gelb
  • Publication Date: 07-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: In July 1998, after years of preparatory work and five weeks of negotiations in Rome, 120 states voted to approve a “statute,” or treaty, establishing an International Criminal Court (ICC), with jurisdiction over genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the still-undefined crime of aggression. Despite our strong interest in creating a court, the United States voted against the Rome Statute, concluding that it could pose an unacceptable risk to U.S. military personnel and to your ability as commander in chief to deploy forces worldwide to protect the United States and global interests. A year later, as our principal allies prepare to ratify the statute and bring the court into being, it is time to take a clear position supporting it, opposing it, or specifying the changes needed for our support.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, International Cooperation, International Law
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Carla A. Hills, Peter G. Peterson, Morris Goldstein
  • Publication Date: 10-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Certain passages in the executive summary are italicized to highlight the task force's main findings and recommendations.
  • Topic: Globalization, International Cooperation, International Organization, International Political Economy
  • Author: Charles A. Kupchan, Morton I. Abramowitz, Albert Fishlow
  • Publication Date: 07-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The last of the six Balkan Wars of the twentieth century is over. But it is by no means certain that a durable peace is at hand. After vast death, destruction, and savagery lasting almost a decade can the peoples of the former Yugoslavia live together again in peace? If so, the region will require sustained help and support from the West. The United States and its European partners are in the midst of mustering the necessary resources and political will. There are numerous uncertainties complicating efforts to proceed with the reconstruction of the area. Whatever the international community may proclaim, the borders of Serbia, Kosovo, Bosnia, and Croatia could well change. The management of Kosovo's status and its relationship to Serbia is likely to produce serious tensions within the Alliance and between NATO and Russia. What politically will emerge from a beaten and traumatized Serbia no one can predict. Nor is it clear that Montenegro will remain as part of Yugoslavia, particularly if Milosevic continues to rule. An ethically fragile Macedonia has been badly weakened by the war and the inflow of three hundred thousand Kosovar deportees. Albania barely hangs together as a state. Neighboring Rumania and Bulgaria have avoided violence and begun to remake their societies, but they have suffered economically from the wars. The area of reconstruction is small and the population limited; the task at hand certainly is not of the dimensions of restoring post-war Europe. But the problems are daunting. Without security there will be no development. NATO forces will be needed indefinitely to keep the peace in Bosnia and Kosovo. Much more must be done to promote political and economic reform in the region, requiring vision and planning. The states of the region will first need urgent help to stabilize their economies and manage enormous humanitarian problems. They must also be able to envisage a better future, one that holds out the prospect of bringing them into Europe's political and economic mainstream. Realizing that goal will require profound changes in their economies and institutions as well as in their relationships with each other. Faced with these challenges, Western countries and a host of international institutions have begun to address how to foster the broad reconstruction of the area. The EU-sponsored stability pact, adopted in Cologne in June, is the beginning attempt at a multifaceted, coordinated approach to the problem. The G-8 has agreed on a broad program of financial assistance, and the EU has pledged 1.5 billion dollars for aid to Kosovo alone. Numerous follow-up conferences are already planned. Much more work has to be done to give reality and coherence to such efforts. Balkan reconstruction will be a protracted undertaking. It will require extremely difficult commodities – a comprehensive approach and the will, resources, and mechanisms to implement the effort. It is mostly to such a long term approach that this preliminary working paper addresses itself. It does not deal with the immediate requirements of refugee return and humanitarian assistance nor the urgent repair of human and material infrastructure. The World Bank and the IMF in cooperation with many other international organizations and interested countries are coordinating the assessment of needs and costs and have issued preliminary reports. The purpose of this working paper is to provide a broad political approach and to highlight the three key components of a comprehensive, long-term strategy: building security, integrating the region into the European Union, and fostering economic and political reform. For the purposes of this paper, we consider the region to be Serbia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Albania, Croatia, and Rumania. This is somewhat arbitrary and these states are at different stages of political and economic development. The problems of Rumania and Bulgaria are quite different than Serbia's and Kosovo's; Croatia is much further advanced than next door Serbia and Bosnia. They all have to be dealt with separately, and no single state should hold back the progress of others in entering Europe. But they also face a collective future and the region will enjoy a lasting peace only if all its states leave the past behind and move decidedly to join the wider community.
  • Topic: NATO, Ethnic Conflict, International Cooperation, International Political Economy, World Bank
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Bosnia, Kosovo, Yugoslavia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Balkans, Macedonia, Albania, Croatia
  • 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: 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