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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 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."

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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.

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Ebola and Cultures of Engagement: Chinese Versus Western Health Diplomacy

Oct 3, 2014

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has killed more than 3,000 people, highlighting the ineffectiveness of existing health institutions in Africa. This brief considers Western and Chinese approaches to the Ebola outbreak as well as their long-term health diplomacy strategies, while considering how these contrasts reflect the differences in Western and Chinese diplomatic engagement on the continent more generally. Considering the merits and gaps of both horizontal and vertical healthcare approaches, Erica Penfold and Pieter Fourie argue that international health diplomacy should place greater emphasis on building horizontal, integrated healthcare systems to avoid similar pandemics.

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The World Conference on Indigenous Peoples: A View From Indonesia

Sep 22, 2014

The first UN World Conference on Indigenous Peoples will take place on September 22 and 23 in New York. Over one thousand indigenous and non-indigenous delegates will gather to discuss the realization of the rights of more than 370 million indigenous peoples around the world. Vidhyandika Perkasa of the Indonesian Centre for Strategic and International Studies and Nukila Evanty of the Rights Foundation in Jakarta, provide an in depth look at the major challenges facing indigenous communities, through the lens of Indonesia's experience.

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The Two Radical Sources of Instability in the Middle East

Aug 15, 2014

The turmoil in the Middle East points to the resurgence of ultra-radical factions of Islam, Sunni jihadist groups and their Shia counterparts, which exploit sectarian politics as a means to increase their political leverage and influence in the region. These factions, independent of their sectarian affiliations, present violent, expansionist, and distorted views of Islam, writes Ambassador Murat Özçelik, former undersecretary of public order and security in Turkey, former Turkish Ambassador to Baghdad, and former special envoy of Turkey to Iraq.

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The Challenge of Humanitarian Intervention Since Rwanda

Aug 6, 2014

In 1994, states failed to mount a humanitarian intervention to stop the massacre of eight-hundred thousand Tutsis and moderate Hutus at the hands of Hutu extremists in Rwanda. Reflecting on the twenty years since the Rwandan genocide, Fred Agwu of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs considers the evolution of and challenges facing humanitarian intervention.

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Next Steps in Arctic Governance

May 14, 2014

Overwhelming evidence of climate change and growing access to natural resources have raised the Arctic's strategic importance. David Runnalls of the Centre for International Governance Innovation, suggests three major issues the United States should focus on during its chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 2015.

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A Liberal Coalition for Internet Governance

Apr 18, 2014

The revelations by former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden that the NSA is conducting broad surveillance in both the United States and abroad, as well as spying on foreign leaders' communication, proved to be an important turning point for the future of Internet governance. To protect the openness of the Internet while assuaging tensions, three major reforms should be undertaken, writes expert Annegret Bendiek.

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Indonesia’s Struggle Against Terrorism

Apr 11, 2014

Since the 2002 bombings in Bali, the Indonesian government has developed a counterterrorism strategy that seeks to address both the immediate threat and underlying causes of terrorism. Indonesia's multipronged approach to counterterrorism and continued efforts to thwart radicalism provide valuable examples for other nations, writes expert Iis Gindarsah.

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Building a Better Drug Control Regime

Mar 21, 2014

The impact of the drugs trade and the failure of the prevailing narcotics control system to bring it under control are shocking, but debate is intensifying over putting more emphasis on demand reduction, writes expert Virginia Comolli.

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