Peace, Conflict, and Human Rights

Contingency Planning Memorandum

Crisis Over Ukraine

Author: Steven Pifer

As a 2009 Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) Contingency Planning Memorandum "Crisis Between Ukraine and Russia" argued, a major Ukraine-Russia confrontation has significant implications for the United States. Despite ongoing diplomatic efforts, few aspects of the Minsk II agreement have been implemented and heavy fighting could resume, precipitating an even deeper crisis between Russia and the West. 

See more in Ukraine; Conflict Assessment; Territorial Disputes

Op-Ed

Managing Europe’s Perfect Storm

Author: Richard N. Haass
Project Syndicate
 "The Chinese often point out that in their language the character for crisis and opportunity are one and the same," writes CFR President Richard N. Haass. "But, while it is indeed true that crisis and opportunity often go hand in hand, it is difficult to see much opportunity in Europe’s current circumstances."

See more in Europe; Refugees and the Displaced; International Organizations and Alliances

Primary Sources

UN General Assembly: Declaration of Leaders' Summit on Peacekeeping

On September 28, 2015, the UN Peacekeeping Summit met during the UN General Assembly. U.S. President Barack Obama spoke and announced new presidential guidance to expand U.S. support in UN peacekeeping. The summit also affirmed the recommendations of the High Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations from September 11, 2015, which includes addressing sexual abuse of civilians by peacekeeping personnel.

See more in Global; Peacekeeping; United States

Op-Ed

The Key to Resolving Syria’s Refugee Crisis? Ending Its War.

Authors: Elliott Abrams and Michael Singh
Wall Street Journal

A wave of Syrian refugees has caught Europe and the United States flat-footed, leaving the European Union scrambling to devise a plan to deal with those arriving on its shores and Americans debating our role in the matter. A humanitarian reaction is natural–but woefully inadequate, because refugees will keep coming as long as the Assad regime continues to brutally repress Syria’s Sunni majority. Only by bringing the conflict to an end will the flow of ever more thousands of refugees stop.

See more in Syria; Europe; Conflict Assessment; Refugees and the Displaced

Other Report

Rebuilding Economic and Political Stability in Ukraine

Ukraine faces two severe and immediate challenges: armed pro-Russian separatists in the eastern part of the country and a sharp, nationwide economic deterioration stemming in no small part from that military threat.CFR convened a group of experts to discuss Ukraine’s economic challenges and identify possible ways for outside actors to support Ukrainian policymakers

See more in Ukraine; Territorial Disputes; Conflict Assessment

Event

The Future of UN Peace Operations

Speaker: David Haeri
Speaker: Paul D. Williams
Speaker: Paul B. Stares

The speakers assessed the current challenges facing UN peace operations and also discussed the future contribution of the United States, prior to the summit hosted by the Obama administration in late September on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. 

This meeting is made possible by the generous support of Carnegie Corporation of New York and will be on the record.

See more in Global; Peace, Conflict, and Human Rights

Primary Sources

European Agenda on Migration

On May 13, 2015, the European Commission reviewed the Schengen Agreement to clarify its agenda on migration, in response to the influx of migrants from Ukraine, the Middle East, Asia, and North Africa who were seeking asylum in Europe. Implementation packages were released May 27 and September 9, with details on refugees distribution, funds for countries receiving and settling refugees, and search and rescue operations for traveling refugees. 

See more in EU; Migration; Refugees and the Displaced