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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 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.

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A Chinese Perspective on the BRICS in 2015

Feb 6, 2015

The BRICSácontinue to gain momentum on theáinternational stage, yet with slowing economic growth and changing geopolitical dynamics around the world, theáBRICS place in global governance is in flux. Considering theáforum's future from China's perspective,áHaibin Niu of the Shanghai Institutes for International Studiesádiscusses the evolvingárole of the BRICS in the year ahead.

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The Tricky Path to a Global Climate Agreement

Nov 24, 2014

Previewing the elements that will makeánext 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 Ízšelik, 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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