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.
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).
The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon released this report (A/70/357-S/2015/682) on September 2, 2015, following a June 2015 report from the High-level Independent Panel on Peace Operations (A/70/95–S/2015/446).
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.
This resolution was adopted on July 28, 2015, and extends the length of the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) until March 30, 2016. One reason for the extension is for UNSOM to help monitor the 2016 electoral process in Somalia.
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."
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. The AIIB was inaugurated on January 16, 2016 with the first board of directors meeting and began accepting investment projects.
India now matters to U.S. interests in virtually every dimension. This Independent Task Force report assesses the current situation in India and the U.S.-India relationship, and suggests a new model for partnership with a rising India.
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 report outlines a plan for collective action on this growing epidemic.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2016 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 »
The Fall 2016 issue of CFR's member newsletter, the Chronicle, is a guide to CFR's most important news since August 2016, and includes announcements about new programs, partnerships, fellows, meetings, publications, and members. Read it now.
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