Peace, Conflict, and Human Rights

Primary Sources

President Obama's Remarks on Europe

President Barack Obama spoke at the Palais Des Beaux Arts in Brussels on March 26, 2014. He spoke about the history of formation of democracies in Europe and the importance of maintaining European regional security and the sovereignty of individual countries. President Obama argued for the United States and other countries to support Ukraine and to isolate the Russian government after Russia's annexation of Crimea.

See more in Europe; Russian Federation; Democratization; International Law

Ask CFR Experts

How critical is Hamas to the success of an Israeli-Palestinian peace treaty?

Asked by Yijia Liang, from Upper Arlington High School
Author: Robert M. Danin

Hamas, which refuses to recognize Israel in any form, opposes the negotiations taking place between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and believes that Israel should not exist. Its control of Gaza, constituting roughly 40 percent of the population (overall 4.4 million) slated to be part of a Palestinian state, would pose a major impediment to the success of any Israeli-Palestinian peace treaty. The current reality—a divided Palestinian polity with Gaza under Hamas' rule and the West Bank under PLO rule—is a formidable challenge to the viability of any peace agreement signed between Israelis and Palestinians. For instance, in the event the PLO and Israel reached an agreement, with Gaza under Hamas, how would the PLO take control and create a unified Palestinian state consisting of both Gaza and the West Bank?

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See more in Middle East and North Africa; Peace, Conflict, and Human Rights

Primary Sources

Russian President Putin's Remarks on Treaty with Crimea

Author: Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin gave these remarks before the Russian parliament, stating that Crimea could become a part of Russia. After the speech, Russian and Crimean officials signed a treaty to unify the two regions. The United Nations passed a resolution on March 27, 2014, on Ukraine's territory.

See more in Russian Federation; Ukraine; Ethnicity, Minorities, and National Identity; Sovereignty

Must Read

Washington Institute: The Assad Regime Winning by Inches?

Author: Jeffrey White

"The regime's political goals are to remain in power, restore its control over as much of Syria as it can, and render the political opposition an irrelevant exile movement. Its military goal is to reduce the armed opposition to a manageable terrorist threat. This does not imply that the opposition has to be completely eliminated or that every inch of lost ground has to be recovered. Yet the regime has never shown any intention other than to fight, and it fights essentially everywhere in Syria."

See more in Syria; Conflict Assessment

Must Read

Majalla: Iran's Fourth Estate

Author: Arash Karami

"The state of the Iranian media can serve as a bellwether for understanding where the country is headed. In the past, the restrictions under which Iranian journalists had to operate fluctuated as the political fortunes of conservatives and reformists shifted."

See more in Iran; Censorship and Freedom of Speech

Op-Ed

Israel Gets No Credit From Obama for a Year of Moderate Settlement Construction

Authors: Elliott Abrams and Uri Sadot
Washington Post

President Obama recently complained about "aggressive" settlement construction by Israel, but the facts are otherwise. The new statistics show that Israel is building energetically in Jerusalem and in the blocs it will obviously keep, and slowing construction in smaller settlements beyond its security barrier in areas that may someday be part of a Palestinian state. Elliott Abrams and Uri Sadot explain.

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

Must Read

Financial Times: North Korea: Glimmer of Hope

Author: Simon Mundy

"After the starvation of up to 1m people in the famine demonstrated the state's inability to feed its people, it was forced to turn a blind eye to the informal markets that sprang up. For residents of cities such as Hyesan, near the border with China, the opportunity to engage in illicit trade with Chinese merchants has been especially lucrative."

See more in North Korea; Peace, Conflict, and Human Rights

Testimony

The Northern Ireland Peace Process Today

Author: Richard N. Haass

In his testimony before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs' Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations and Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats, Richard N. Haass discusses his role as the chair of the Panel of parties in the Northern Ireland Executive and the remit of forging consensus on the use of flags and emblems; the regulation of parades, commemorations, and attendant protests; and contending with the past.

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

Must Read

Foreign Policy: The New Tyranny

Author: William Easterly

"The international professionals perpetrate an illusion that poverty is purely a technical problem, distracting attention away from the real cause: the unchecked power of the state against poor people without rights. The dictators whom experts are advising are not the solution -- they are the problem."

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