Council of Councils is an initiative of the Council on Foreign Relations Explore CFR

Global Memos

These briefs are a feature of the Council of Councils initiative, gathering opinions from global experts on major international developments. For older versions, visit the Global Roundups archive.

The New EU Approach to Relocation of Refugees: Can it work, is it just?

Oct 6, 2015

The recent wave of refugees from a troubled Middle East, South Asia, and Africa has exposed weaknesses in the existing EU approach to dealing with asylum seekers. Daniel Gros and Sergio Carrera of the Center for European Policy Studies assess the EU's approach to the recent refugee crisis, arguing that profound changes are needed at the legal level and on the ground.

Read more ›

Toward More Fair and Effective Peacekeeping

Sep 9, 2015

The seventieth General Assembly will be a critical opportunity for member states to review the progress and consider the remaining challenges of UN peace operations in the past decade, writes Marcos Tourinho of the Getulio Vargas Foundation in this preview of the upcoming UN Peacekeeping Summit. 

Read more ›

Russia and the BRICS: Priorities of the Presidency

Jul 7, 2015

On July 8–9, Russia will host the heads of Brazil, India, China, and South Africa at the seventh BRICS summit, in Ufa. In this preview of the summit, Sergey Kulik of the Russian Institute of Contemporary Development argues that the BRICS bloc intends to become an influential actor in global governance and lays out the top five priorities Russia is pursuing during its presidency of the BRICS.

Read more ›

The Nexus Between the Conflicts in the Mideast and Ukraine

Jun 5, 2015

Two simultaneous conflicts in Europe and the Middle East have brought the international order into flux. Thomas Gomart of the French Institute of International Relations argues that while it may be tempting for foreign policymakers to consider "Syraq" and "Rukraine" as unrelated crises, the tensions in Eastern Europe have strong implications for the situation in the Middle East, and vice versa.

Read more ›

Closing Rifts in the Nuclear Order

Apr 30, 2015

The 2015 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty review conference provides a good opportunity for the treaty’s 190 member states to preserve and strengthen the nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament regime. Oliver Meier of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs argues that overcoming differences on nuclear disarmament and maintaining a zone free of nuclear weapons in the Middle East are likely to be two key preconditions for success in New York.

Read more ›

The Panama Summit and the Withering Inter-American Ideal

Mar 19, 2015

The upcoming Summit of the Americas will witness a historic moment in inter-American relations: the return of Cuba to a hemispheric forum, taking a seat alongside the United States, argues Natalia Saltalamacchia of COMEXI, in this preview of the summit taking place in Panama on April 10 and 11.

Read more ›

A Chinese Perspective on the BRICS in 2015

Feb 6, 2015

The BRICS continue to gain momentum on the international stage, yet with slowing economic growth and changing geopolitical dynamics around the world, the BRICS place in global governance is in flux. Considering the forum's future from China's perspective, Haibin Niu of the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies discusses the evolving role of the BRICS in the year ahead.

Read more ›

The Tricky Path to a Global Climate Agreement

Nov 24, 2014

Previewing the elements that will make next week's UNFCCC meeting in Peru a success, Samir Saran and Vivan Sharan of Observor Research Foundation argue that, "in Lima and Paris, the global community must ensure that obsession with the legal nature of the post-Kyoto agreement does not detract from achieving what is eminently possible."

Read more ›

What Will Define Success at the Brisbane G20 Summit?

Nov 3, 2014

There are high expectations that Australia's G20 presidency, which concludes at the end of 2014, will help reenergize the forum. Mike Callaghan, director of the G20 Studies Center at the Lowy Institute for International Policy, identifies the major elements that would define the upcoming G20 Leader's Summit in Brisbane as a success, including achieving significant progress on a few key outcomes that demonstrate clear evidence of cooperation and an emphasis on follow-through and the implementation of commitments.

Read more ›