On July 15, 2014, European Commission Presidential Candidate Jean-Claude Juncker outlined his plan for the next European Commission and his ten priorities. After he was elected, he gave an opening statement to the European Parliament in Strasbourg on October 22, 2014, discussing his choices for officials that would form his College and work on implementing his plan. On September 9, 2015, President Juncker delivered his State of the Union speech and an update on the status of the priorities.
The seventieth session of the United Nations General Assembly was held September 28 through October 3, 2015. U.S. President Barack Obama, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, and Cuban President Raúl Castro Ruz were among the speakers of the September 28 session and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko spoke on September 29. Speeches discussed the conflict in Syria, the terrorism of the self-proclaimed Islamic State, economic development, and territorial disputes.
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.
U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jingping met September 25, 2015, to discuss both countries' previous commitments to combat climate change in preparation for the Paris Climate Conference from November 30-December 11, 2015. They also discussed trade and investment initiatives and cyberespionage.
Pope Francis spoke before a joint session of Congress on September 24, 2015, the first time a pope has spoken to Congress. He discussed immigration, poverty, and care for the environment, quoting parts of his encyclical released in June 2015.
On May 13, 2015, the European Commission outlined 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.
On September 9, 2015, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker spoke about issues the European Union is facing, including the influx of refugees, the relationships of Greece and of Britain to the EU, the conflict in Ukraine, and climate change. He released updates for the European Agenda on Migration and for the ten priorities of the European Commission (first outlined in 2014).
South Korean President Park Geun-hye spoke on August 15, 2015, marking the anniversary of Japan's surrender during World World II. President Park discussed the development of the South Korean economy and relations with North Korea and with Japan. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe gave a speech on the end of World War II the previous day. See CFR.org's timeline, "Last Days of Imperial Japan" for background information.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe spoke on August 14, 2015, commemorating the end of World War II. South Korean President Park also spoke on this topic on August 15. See CFR.org's timeline, "Last Days of Imperial Japan" for background information.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry held a press conference after the P5+1 and Iran negotiations concluded on August 14, 2015. He discussed how the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action addresses Iran's pathways to building a nuclear weapon.
President Barack Obama and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon met on August 4, 2015, to discuss several international initiatives that the United States is addressing with the UN, including climate change, humanitarian crises, political violence, and economic development.
President Barack Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency announced the Clean Power Plan on August 3, 2015. The plan provides a toolkit for states to implement to reduce the carbon emissions from existing fossil-fueled power plants. This plan is an update of the 2014 proposed plan and a step in the larger Climate Change Plan.
President Barack Obama spoke at the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa on July 28, 2015. He discussed the ten year renewal of the African Growth and Opportunity Act and additional reforms and other assistance the United States and African leaders work on to increase trade, investment, and growth on the continent. He also addressed the need for presidents to respect term limits and transfer power peacefully and for nations to provide equal treatment for women and girls.
The United Nations Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) released this consensus report (A/70/172) on rules of behavior in cyberspace, particularly during peacetime. The report recommends that nations should not use information and communication technologies to attack critical infrastructure or interrupt the information systems of emergency services.
In July 2015, foreign ministers from China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States (E3/EU+3) met with the foreign minister of Iran in Vienna to negotiate the text of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), developed in April 2015. On July 14, the foreign ministers agreed to the plan, which involves limitations on Iran’s nuclear program and lifting of some United Nations Security Council and other multilateral and national sanctions on Iran related to its nuclear program. The JCPOA includes a main text and annexes on nuclear, sanctions, civil nuclear energy cooperation, a joint commission, and implementation.
Leaders of euro member states held a special Euro Summit on Greece. On July 12, 2015, the leaders "agreed in principle that they are ready to start negotiations on an ESM [European Stability Mechanism] financial assistance programme for Greece."
Rates of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in low- and middle-income countries are increasing faster than in wealthier countries. The Independent Task Force outlines a plan for collective action on this growing epidemic.
The authors argue that the United States has responded inadequately to the rise of Chinese power and recommend placing less strategic emphasis on the goal of integrating China into the international system and more on balancing China's rise.
Campbell evaluates the implications of the Boko Haram insurgency and recommends that the United States support Nigerian efforts to address the drivers of Boko Haram, such as poverty and corruption, and to foster stronger ties with Nigerian civil society.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2014 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass. Read and download »
Now Available: Foreign Policy Begins at Home
The biggest threat to America's security and prosperity comes not from abroad but from within, writes CFR President Richard N. Haass in his provocative new book. More