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."
Leaders from Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa met on July 9, 2015, in Ufa, Russia for the Seventh BRICS Summit, which marked the entry into force of the BRICS's New Development Bank (NDB), which the leaders expect to begin accepting investment requests in the beginning of 2016. The declaration also states the leaders' concerns on international security issues such as corruption, nuclear weapons, instability and conflict, and terrorism, and their commitments to social issues like global health and education.
National People's Congress of China released this draft text on July 6, 2015, and it will be available for public comment through August 2015. The law outlines the Chinese government's goals for security standards for technical systems, networks, and user data. It requires companies with operations in China to comply with government requests for regulating and restricting technology use. See also the broader National Security Law passed on July 1, 2015.
National People's Congress in China passed this law on July 1, 2015. It outlines the government's authority to respond to threats to China's assets and activities in its borders and territories, as well as in cyberspace, space, the deep sea, and polar regions. The law also establishes a national security leadership system for crisis management. On July 6, 2015, the National People's Congress released the text of its proposed Cybersecurity Law that provides additional guidance on technology security standards.
Finance ministers from fifty-seven countries met in Beijing in October 2014 and signed a memorandum to establish the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which will focus on funding infrastructure to boost economic development in the Asia Pacific region. The Articles of Agreement were opened for signature on June 29, 2015 and must be ratifed domestically by December 31, 2016.
These reports, mandated by Congress in the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 and the Trade Act of 1974, describe the performance of other governments in practicing their international commitments on civil, political, individual, and worker rights, as defined by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The UN and the Chinese government produce similar reports.
Pope Francis released this document on June 18, 2015. The encyclical states that humans have made "irresponsible use" of the Earth, that climate change affects most people living in poverty, and that all must unite to protect the planet.
On December 31, 2014, the NATO mission in Afghanistan was replaced by a non-combat mission for training and advising the Afghanistan National Defense Security Forces (ANDSF) and Afghan security ministries. This report from the U.S. Department of Defense, prepared in accordance with the National Defense Authorization Act 2015, describes the progress of the ANDSF and how the United States is providing support. See also previous reports on "Progress toward Security and Stability in Afghanistan."
Department of Defense released a Law of War Manual that applies to all services on June 12, 2015. The document discusses law of war publications produced previously by different services within the military.
Group of Seven (G7), which includes leaders from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission, met in Schloss Elmau, Germany on June 7-8, 2015. They released a declaration on commitments to low-carbon emission strategies, economic issues, and several foreign policy issues, such as the violence in Ukraine, nuclear safety, and addressing health threats such as Ebola and antimicrobial resistance.
U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar signed a 10-year defense framework agreement on June 3, 2015. The agreement follows up on part of U.S. President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's joint statement from January 2015.
This legislation was introduced to Congress on April 28, 2015, as H.R. 2048 Uniting and Strengthening America by Fulfilling Rights and Ensuring Effective Discipline Over Monitoring Act of 2015. President Obama signed it into law on June 2, 2015. The act is an overhaul of the National Security Council's intelligence gathering program, the largest reform of the program since the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter spoke on May 30, at the 2015 International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Shangri-La Dialogue. He discussed the United States' interest in economic development and security infrastructures in the Asia and Pacific region.
Chinese Admiral Sun Jianguo spoke on May 30, at the 2015 International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Shangri-La Dialogue. He discussed "China’s policies, concepts, practices and proposals on safeguarding peace and security," including China's construction and navigation projects in the South China Sea and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
CNN correspondent Barbara Starr interviewed Defense Secretary Ash Carter on May 24, 2015. Secretary Carter stated that the reason the self-proclaimed Islamic State gained territory in Iraq is that "Iraqi forces just showed no will to fight."
On May 22, 2015, the Department of Justice released its guidance on the use of drones in the United States "to support kidnapping investigations, search and rescue operations, drug interdictions, and fugitive investigations" and outlines requirements for their use in regards to civil liberties, accountability, and protection of privacy.
On September 22, 2010, President Barack signed a Presidential Policy Directive on Global Development, or the U.S. Global Development Policy, which calls for "the elevation of development as a core pillar of American power and charts a course for development, diplomacy and defense to mutually reinforce and complement one another in an integrated comprehensive approach to national security." In 2012, the Global Development Council was established and in 2014, it produced its first report of recommendations for implementing the U.S. Global Development Policy.
On May 14, 2015, President Obama met at Camp David with delegations from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and Bahrain. They discussed the security relationship between the the United States and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), particularly in addressing terrorist threats from the self-proclaimed Islamic State and al-Qaeda, transferring defense technologies, and negotating with Iran.
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