Upgrading the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission into an Empowered Council

The Stimson Center’s Just Security 2020 program was pleased to partner with the Doha Forum in producing the inaugural report of the Forum for the 2019 Edition.

The world needs a new kind of leadership and vision, combined with new norms, tools, and institutions.

Just Security in an Undergoverned World examines how humankind can manage global problems to achieve both security and justice in an age of antithesis.

Just Security in an Undergoverned World examines how humankind can manage global problems to achieve both security and justice in an age of antithesis.

Just Security in an Undergoverned World examines how humankind can manage global problems to achieve both security and justice in an age of antithesis.

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Below is the latest research, including reports, action plans, and background briefs produced by Stimson’s Just Security 2020 program and its partners.

In addition, to strengthen the intellectual foundations for this project and inform the work of the Platform in crafting its reform agenda, The Stimson Center, along with its former partner The Hague Institute, commissioned more than 20 background papers to be authored by the members of the former Albright-Gambari Commission’s Research Team.


UN75 Policy Briefs

UN75 Policy Brief #6: Foster Socio-Economic Recovery, Prevent and Soften Cross-Border Shocks, and Lessen Inequality Worldwide

The remarkable transmissibility of COVID-19 and the speed and extent of its global spread in the first quarter of 2020 sent stock markets and bond yields tumbling worldwide, leading the heads of the IMF and OECD to predict that the world was headed toward a recession. Just as the original G20 became a Heads of State and Government forum in November 2008 to more effectively address that era’s growing global financial crisis, so must the global economic governance system be strengthened now to limit the socio-economic dislocations produced by the current global pandemic, generate an equitable and broad-based recovery, and reduce, at large, the volatility of our increasingly hyperconnected global economy.

UN75 Policy Brief #5: Boosting the Reach and Resilience of International Justice Institutions

International courts and dispute settlement institutions are an integral part of rules-based global governance. However, in today’s environment characterized in many places by an “anti-multilateralist turn,” they are subject to severe political pressures and criticisms, while they often lack the universal reach, enforcement mechanisms, and resilience to effectively carry out their mandates. This policy brief recommends increasing the universal acceptance of international justice institutions, in particular the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and the International Criminal Court (ICC). Moreover, increase their enforcement powers, preserve their independence, and enhance their resilience against political pressures.

UN75 Policy Brief #4: Create a UN Parliamentary Network as an Advisory Body to the UN General Assembly

The increasing transnational nature of global challenges requires a shared commitment to cooperation and collective action based on multilateral principles. Such action, however, requires both representative and legitimate decision-making, two elements that are insufficiently embedded within the UN system. This UN75 policy brief recommends establishing a UN Parliamentary Network (UNPN) as an advisory body to the UN General Assembly (UNGA). The UNPN would act as a platform for direct participation, input, and accountability claims by the peoples of the world on governance matters pertaining to the UN.

UN75 Policy Brief #3: Upgrading the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission into an Empowered Council

Over the past ten years, the world has become less peaceful. Moreover, the gap between the most peaceful and least peaceful countries has increased between 2008-2019. Violent conflict is the main driver of humanitarian needs, with projections showing that, in 2019 alone, nearly 132 million people will require humanitarian assistance. This policy brief recommends a strong UN Peacebuilding Council to replace the current Peacebuilding Commission. It is time for the UN Peacebuilding Commission to be upgraded into a Council with enhanced powers and responsibilities, and mandated to lead on policy development, coordination, resource mobilization, conflict prevention, and peacebuilding efforts not addressed directly by the Security Council.

UN75 Policy Brief #2: Enabling the Transfer of Green Technology

In the second of 10 global governance innovation policy briefs, the Platform recommends the establishment of a Green Technology Licensing Facility (GTLF) within the UN Green Climate Fund. Some current programs do promote technology transfer and climate adaptation in the Global South, but myriad licensing and IPR laws hinder the process. To meet Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Climate Agreement, most countries will need large investments in green technology. Solar and wind power, in particular, will be needed to help countries turn away from fossil fuels. But green tech is often caught in a complex web of patent and IPR laws, which can make it hard, if not impossible, for many states to acquire the needed technology.

UN75 Policy Brief #1: Defining Climate Adaptation Goals

From September 2019 to June 2020 (when the UN 75 Political Declaration negotiations are expected to conclude), Stimson’s Just Security 2020 program aims to publish a series of 10 global governance innovation policy briefs to focus policymakers, opinion leaders, global civil society and the business community on the need for more dynamic and creative global solutions to looming global challenges. In support of the United Nations Climate Change Summit, on 23 September 2019, in New York, the series’ first policy brief recommends that countries define one or more climate adaptation goals and gauge their achievement in terms of measurable impact on local human security.

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Global Policy Dialogue Action Plans and Background Briefs

UN75 Regional Dialogue for Africa: Toward Innovation and Renewal of Global and Regional Governance

The UN75 Regional Dialogue for Africa (30 March–10 May 2020) served as a platform to encourage an Africa-wide conversation on improving the performance of today’s global institutions and African regional institutions in addressing the critical issues of peace and security, climate governance, sustainable development, humanitarian action, and human rights. In response to the postponement of the UN75 Africa Dialogue scheduled for 14-15 April in Abuja due to the coronavirus pandemic, the adopted online format allowed participants the flexibility to contribute to all three thematic segments of the e-consultation at their convenience. The online dialogue was structured in three separate two-weeks segments.

UN75 Regional Dialogue for the Americas: Toward Innovation and Renewal of Regional and Global Governance

The UN75 Regional Dialogue for the Americas (20 March–26 April 2020) was designed to bring diverse, multistakeholder, regional perspectives and actionable ideas into the final months of preparations for key global policy milestones of 2020, including the UN 75 Leaders Summit and the 2020 Review of the UN Peacebuilding Architecture. Originally planned for 19–21 March 2020 in Bogota, Colombia, the co-organizers decided to take this in-person conversation online, for the time being, due to the fast
spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. The dialogue serves as a platform to open the conversation around key issues and questions on the future of multilateralism and its impact at the global, regional, and national levels in the Americas. The inputs have been synthesized—on a not-for-attribution-basis—and consolidated in this summary report.

Action Plan from the Global Policy Dialogue on Climate Governance: Innovating the Paris Agreement & Beyond

This 23 October 2019 Global Policy Dialogue contributed ideas and capabilities to a growing transnational network for global governance renewal and innovation, using current reform proposals as points of departure. Organized in Seoul, Republic of Korea and in partnership with the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), the GPD sought to establish broad areas of consensus on priority global governance reform innovations; provide fresh ideas and perspectives to help strengthen and build greater global support, for ongoing, official reform efforts from within the multilateral system of governance; and engage a broad network of organizations and individuals committed to growing a coalition of states and non-state actors to achieve critical global governance reforms by 2020.

Background Brief for the Global Policy Dialogue on Climate Governance: Innovating the Paris Agreement & Beyond

This Background Brief informed the Global Policy Dialogue on Climate Governance: Innovating the Paris Agreement & Beyond and was based on a one-month (in two segments) e-consultation from 16 September to 13 October 2019, and which examined how global structures, actors, mechanisms, laws, instruments, policies, and processes can be modernized and enhanced to address the complexity of the challenges brought about by climate change.

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Action Plan from the Global Policy Dialogue on Security, Justice, and Economic Institutions

This Action Plan synthesizes the discussions and recommendations of the Global Policy Dialogue on Security, Justice, and Economic Institutions, which was convened from 5-6 June 2019 in Washington, D.C. The dialogue’s fifty participants—representing diverse global and regional policy-making, scholarly, activist, and practitioner perspectives—gathered to respond collectively to major global policy challenges associated with security, justice and economic institutions; to better understand current global and regional responses (including those championed by UN Secretary-General António Guterres); and to consider and refine major global and regional governance innovation initiatives and the strategies to bring them to fruition.

   

Background Brief for the Global Policy Dialogue on Global Security, Justice, and Economic Institutions

This Background Brief informed the Global Policy Dialogue on Security, Justice, and Economic Institutions convened in June 2019 at the Stimson Center. The global policy dialogue provides special attention to the need for enhanced cooperation and coordination between the United Nations and regional organizations, and between the United Nations and non-state actors from civil society and the private sector (e.g., the Albright-Gambari Commission’s idea of a “UN Global Partnership”, to better harness the ideas, networks, capabilities, and diversity of non-state actors in the work of the, heretofore, primarily intergovernmental United Nations).

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Action Plan from the Global Policy Dialogue on Preventive Action, Sustaining Peace, and Global Governance

This Action Plan synthesizes the discussions and recommendations of the Global Policy Dialogue on Preventive Action, Sustaining Peace, and Global Governance, which was convened by the Center for Conflict and Humanitarian Studies of the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies, the Stimson Center, and the Doha Forum on 17 December 2018. It coincided with the 18th edition of the Doha Forum, which took place from 15 to 16 December 2018.

Background Brief for the Global Policy Dialogue on Preventive Action, Sustaining Peace, and Global Governance

This Background Brief summarizes major global policy challenges associated with the theme of preventive action, sustaining peace, and global governance; current global and regional responses (including by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres); and major global and regional institutional reform initiatives. Special attention is given to initiatives that are most relevant to challenges faced within the Greater Middle East.

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Special Reports

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Reimagining Governance in a Multipolar World

This inaugural Doha Forum Report considers current trends—both ominous and optimistic—in governance worldwide and the core principles to which world leaders will need to recommit if humanity is to continue to move forward in the 21st century. The chief purpose of this report is to provoke debate and better inform discussions among the influential participants from governments, civil society, the media, academia, think tanks, and the private sector attending the 2019 Doha Forum—thereby contributing to its mission of promoting the exchange of ideas, policy-making, and action-oriented networks.

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Central Asia’s Growing Role in Building Peace and Regional Connectivity with Afghanistan

In its 2017 strategy for South Asia, the Trump administration called on Pakistan to reduce support for the Taliban and encourage them to enter into peace negotiations. Yet as crucial as Pakistan will be to peace in Afghanistan, a similarly persuasive argument can be made for Afghanistan’s northern neighbors—the Central Asian Republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajiki stan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. In this Special Report, Stimson Non-Resident Fellow Humayun Hamidzada and Just Security 2020 Program Director Richard Ponzio examine the vital economic and political roles these countries can play to support a just and lasting peace in Afghanistan and the region.

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Background Papers

The following papers elaborate on how and where the core concepts of security and justice intersect in a particular policy or institutional context, review progress to date by a range of global (state and non-state) actors on the most pressing global challenges, and discuss where and why their efforts may still be insufficient. They offer supporting arguments for recommendations for reform, paying particular attention to global security and justice implications. Their added value resides in taking the debate further intellectually, elaborating concepts and reform recommendations for the topic area which are both ambitious yet realistic (i.e. achievable in the next 3-5 years).

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The Evolution of and Future Prospects for Transnational Environmental Crime Prevention

Dr. Peter J. Stoett (Concordia University)

This background paper will pursue the question of whether and how international organizations and criminal law can help us deal effectively with transnational environmental crimes (TEC) and, more broadly, environmental injustice. The paper will also explore the question of whether the climate change justice agenda can benefit from the expanded pursuit of transnational environmental crime. Can international environmental law, refurbished, act as a mitigating factor in climate change? We conclude that while international legal instruments can help spur additional action, in themselves they will do little at this stage. We reach several conclusions: What is needed is a revitalized pursuit of TEC, which will have incidental benefits for the climate justice agenda, and the creation of new norms (de lege fereranda) to cope with the immense challenges posed by TEC. In the long run, a new international environmental court is optimal, but it will need a clear agenda and not a murky mission to stop all ecocide on the planet.

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Ensuring sustainable peace: Strengthening global security and justice through the UN Peacebuilding Architecture

Prof. Necla Tschirgi (University of San Diego)

Cedric de Coning (Norwegian Institute of International Affairs)

While demand for international peacebuilding assistance increases around the world, the UN’s Peacebuilding Architecture (PBA) remains a largely ineffective and marginal player in the peacebuilding field. There are many reasons for the PBA’s shortcomings, including its original design, the Security Council’s uneasy relations with the Peacebuilding Commission, turf battles within the UN system, and the changing nature of conflicts that require for peacebuilding interventions. In its current incarnation, the likelihood of the PBC becoming a critical player in peacebuilding—even for second or third level conflicts—is very slim. It simply does not have the political clout, the expertise or the resources to assert itself. Yet, for the international community, the opportunity cost of keeping the PBA afloat in its current form is quite high. This is an unsustainable state of affairs. This paper examines various options for making the PBA a more effective instrument of conflict management and peacebuilding.

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Preventing the Kinds of Conflicts that are Hardest to Resolve and Most Costly in Lives

Prof. Edward Newman (University of Leeds)

Dr. Eamon Aloyo (The Hague Institute for Global Justice)

Progress in conflict prevention depends upon a better understanding of the underlying circumstances that give rise to violent conflict and mass atrocities, as well as the warning signs that a crisis is imminent. In recent decades there has been a substantial amount of empirical research on the causes of violence and the driving forces of conflict. The policy implications of this must be exploited to a greater degree so that the conditions that enable widespread violence can be addressed before it occurs. The prevention of violent conflict and mass atrocities involves a range of social, economic and institutional factors, and it highlights broad challenges – many of which are international – relating to deprivation, inequality, political access and environmental management. It also involves overcoming a number of acute political obstacles that are currently embedded within the values and institutions of global governance. From this perspective, the paper presents a range of proposals related to structural conflict prevention and crisis response, as well as the prevention of mass atrocities.

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Reforming and Innovating the United Nations Security Council

Dr. Vesselin Popovski (United Nations University, Tokyo)

There is almost universal recognition that Security Council membership and working methods are obsolete and that there is a need for reform. However, the process of reform has been dragging on with very little achievements since the 1965 expansion of the Council’s membership. This paper undertakes a historical voyage through the previous attempts to reform the Council, and after assessing the current proposals on the table, it ends by summing up some recommendations. These include expanding the membership, allowing members to be re-elected immediately for consecutive terms, and restricting the use of the veto.

Rule of Law, Security and Transitional Justice in Conflict-Affected Societies

Prof. Dr. Anja Mihr (HUMBOLDT VIADRINA Governance Platform, Center on Governance through Human Rights)

Prof. Dr. Chandra L. Sriram (University of East London)

This paper assesses how in conflict-affected societies, demands for accountability, often in the form of transitional justice mechanisms, interact with processes and actors seeking to promote rule of law and the reform of the security sector. Outlining the primary actors working in the fields of transitional justice and rule of law, the authors examine whether transitional justice processes have impeded institution building or strengthened it, based on primary and secondary research. They consider the ways in which such processes do or do not support related reforms to the security sector and address the ways that rule of law and transitional justice programming must take into account and engage with informal or non-state processes.

Strengthening Security, Justice, and Democracy Globally: The Case for a Consultative Parliamentary Body at the United Nations

Dr. Luis Cabrera (Griffith University)

This background paper aims to identify the strongest current case for democracy at the global level. It shows ways in which security, justice and democratic governance can be seen as tightly interconnected at their foundations, and how popular participation at the global level could play an important role in promoting physical security and more just outcomes within the UN system and beyond. To come to a practical solution, it examines various models proposed for a UN and related parliamentary assemblies.

Intervention and Peace Operations: Dilemmas of Internal Conflicts and Transnational Threats

Dr. Sofía Sebastián (The Stimson Center)

The hybrid and fragmented nature of current conflicts represent one of today’s most pressing global security challenges, with crises spanning a broad swath from western Africa to the Himalayas. This paper examines issues of intervention and security as applied to conflicts that feature significant levels of armed fragmentation and are afflicted by varying levels of transnational threats. These include, among others, terrorism, transnational crime networks and cross-border sectarian insurgencies. It evaluates the policies, strategies, and mechanisms in place to address these threats and makes recommendations for a strengthened, comprehensive international response. The paper draws from the Malian conflict to reflect on these issues.

Mobilizing Smart Coalitions and Negotiating Global Governance Reform

Tom Buitelaar (The Hague Institute for Global Justice)

Dr. Richard Ponzio (The Hague Institute for Global Justice)

Drawing lessons from three international commissions and two international campaigns since the mid-1990s, this study considers the conditions and strategies for successful “smart coalitions” of state and non-state actors working to realize ambitious global governance reforms. Reform strategies that harness the strengths of diverse partners over a sustained period are shown to increase their prospects for success. The background paper concludes by advocating for two distinct reform vehicles for channeling the ideas, resources, networks, and political support of smart coalitions: Reform through Parallel Tracks and the convening of a World Summit on Global Security, Justice & Governance in 2020.

Natural Resources, the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, and Global Governance

Dr. Volker Lehmann (Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, New York)

Focusing on minerals and carbon-based energy resources, this background paper posits the interconnectedness of all types of natural resources. A comprehensive governance regime for natural resources, therefore, has to address the interlocking challenges for the environment, security, and justice, in particular as regards the need to avoid the “resource curse” in fragile countries. Beyond current frameworks such as the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), Lehmann argues that more needs to be done to increase the responsiveness of companies to transparency demands, but also to prevent leakage of revenues through tax loopholes.

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Non-State, Regional, and Local Actors at the Intersection of Global Security and Justice

Dr. Jan Wouters (Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies, KU Leuven)

Dr. Joris Larik (The Hague Institute for Global Justice)

Non-state actors, comprising entities as diverse as Microsoft, Greenpeace, al-Qaida, the African Union and global celebrities and philanthropists, have grown considerably in importance and influence in the global arena. This observation is at the very heart of recasting what was long known as international relations as global governance. With a view to optimizing the clout of non-state actors as a force for good in global governance, this paper aims to carve out the roles that different types of non-state actors play at the intersection of security and justice in addressing global challenges. It further proposes ways in which they can contribute more to a mutually reinforcing relationship between the study’s core concepts of security and Justice.

The Role of the State in Securing Internet Access and Freedom in the Global South

Sunil Abraham (The Centre for Internet & Society, Bangalore)

Sash Jayawardane (The Hague Institute for Global Justice)

The Internet’s positive impact on economic growth and social development in advanced economies has been fuelled by largely unfettered access to online content and the availability of requisite physical and technical infrastructure. Many countries in the Global South lag behind on both these factors, with significant implications for economic growth and socioeconomic, civil and political rights. This paper delineates the appropriate scope of state involvement in facilitating access to Internet content and infrastructure in the Global South, with due regard for the role of the private sector and civil society.

Gender and Women Inclusion as a Cross-cutting Issue in Global Governance, Security and Justice: Challenges and Opportunities

Sarah L. Bosha (The Stimson Center)

Marie-Laure Poiré (The Hague Institute for Global Justice)

This paper addresses how women experience more adverse and differentiated impact than men in situations of conflict and climate change, and how decision-making processes and mechanisms still either include too few women or exclude them altogether despite global support for increased women’s participation in such roles.  It examines the important role women have played in peace and security in fragile and conflict-affected states despite significant barriers, with examples from Liberia, Somalia, and Northern Ireland. The paper also examines women’s role in climate change and post-conflict reconstruction, making the case that in the changing global governance, security and justice apparatus, gender mainstreaming and women’s inclusion is paramount.

The UNFCCC and the Future of Climate Governance

Dr. David Michel (The Stimson Center)

Ricky Passarelli (The Stimson Center)

This paper traces the history of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) with an eye towards the Paris Climate Conference in 2015, illuminating the policy challenges and choices that established the current governance regime. The authors explore the emerging landscape of regional, multi-sectoral, and non-state institutional structures and consider potential options and practices for advancing more effective climate governance.

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Recent

  • Reimagining Governance in a Multipolar World

    Since 2000, the Doha Forum has served as a premier platform for global dialogue on critical issues facing the world, bringing together thought leaders from governments, civil society, the media, academia, think tanks, and the private sector to promote the exchange of ideas, mutual understanding, policymaking, and action-oriented networks. During the 2019 edition of the … Continued

  • The Evolution of and Future Prospects for Transnational Environmental Crime Prevention

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    While demand for international peacebuilding assistance increases around the world, the UN’s Peacebuilding Architecture (PBA) remains a largely ineffective and marginal player in the peacebuilding field. There are many reasons for the PBA’s shortcomings, including its original design, the Security Council’s uneasy relations with the Peacebuilding Commission, turf battles within the UN system, and the … Continued

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    Progress in conflict prevention depends upon a better understanding of the underlying circumstances that give rise to violent conflict and mass atrocities, as well as the warning signs that a crisis is imminent. In recent decades there has been a substantial amount of empirical research on the causes of violence and the driving forces of conflict. The policy … Continued

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