With a chill setting in on the Geneva-based world trade talks, the Bush administration has shifted into high gear on negotiating smaller free trade agreements. But there are mixed views on how much the new deals matter and what they are doing to the global trading system.
After a few moderate successes, the UN reform process has run into trouble over efforts to change the way the organization funds its programs. The dispute pits the UN's richest and most powerful states against a large group of developing nations.
The European Union scolds Serbia for its inability—some would say refusal—to hand over Ratko Mladic, the disgraced Bosnian Serb military leader and indicted war criminal who has eluded capture for over a decade.
Global trade negotiators have reached an impasse on efforts to reduce barriers on farm goods. Without a deal soon, experts fear it may be too late to rescue the "Doha Development Round," posing risks to the credibility of the World Trade Organization.
Former Pentagon official Paul Wolfowitz is now reveling in the role of reformer at the World Bank, where he has made corruption a major theme of his first year as chief. But fighting corruption, like building democracy, may be the work of generations.
Governments have frozen some $140 million in terrorists' assets since the 9/11 attacks, yet terrorist groups have adapted to remain financially viable. To keep up, governments, too, must change their tactics.
Former Liberian president and strongman Charles Taylor has been taken to Sierra Leone under UN custody to face war crimes proceedings. His case will be watched closely on a continent where predatory leaders are rarely held accountable for their crimes.
The UN Security Council is trying to agree on the proper course of action toward Iran's nuclear program. Despite the myriad proposed strategies for dealing with Tehran, continued negotiations seem most likely.
UN negotiators have produced a proposal for revamping the UN's top human rights body. But U.S. opposition to the proposal, which it says will not prevent repressive states from joining, could slow the UN rights reform process.
Kosovo's independence is in view, experts say, after years of war, occupation, ethnic infighting, and protracted negotiations. Final settlement talks are aiming to close a chapter on one of Europe's most intractable disputes.
In mid-February, the United States government's long-standing position that it does not opine on sovereignty disputes in the East and South China Seas was given an important and long-implicit caveat: Washington does insist that all sovereignty claims accord with international law, and as has long been stated, these cannot rely on coercion.
As protests roiling developing countries have spiraled into government collapse, general instability, and—in the case of Ukraine, at least—possible war, numerous observers have blamed the Obama administration for its seeming passivity.
Sheila A. Smith and Research Associate Charles T. McClean argue that U.S. interests are affected by all three of Japan's territorial disputes with its neighbors. While the United States cannot resolve these disputes, it can and should do all that it can to promote peaceful dispute resolution and a lessening of military tensions.
The interactive Global Governance Monitor tracks, maps, and evaluates multilateral efforts to address today's global challenges.
CFR Experts Guide
The Council on Foreign Relations' David Rockefeller Studies Program—CFR's "think tank"—is home to more than seventy full-time, adjunct, and visiting scholars and practitioners (called "fellows"). Their expertise covers the world's major regions as well as the critical issues shaping today's global agenda. Download the printable CFR Experts Guide.
The authors argue that it is essential to begin working now to expand and establish rules and norms governing armed drones, thereby creating standards of behavior that other countries will be more likely to follow.
The author examines Pakistan's complex role in U.S. foreign policy and advocates for a two-pronged approach that works to quarantine threats while integrating Pakistan into the broader U.S. agenda in Asia.