Author: Stewart M. Patrick Global Summitry: Politics, Economics, and Law in International Governance
A defining feature of twenty-first century multilateralism is growing reliance on informal, non-binding, purpose-built partnerships and coalitions of the interested, willing, and capable. But the new multilateralism also presents dangers, among these encouraging rampant forum-shopping, undermining critical international organizations, and reducing accountability in global governance, writes Stewart Patrick.
The United Nations Security Council approved this resolution on December 18, 2015. The document provides a timeline for a ceasefire and a Syrian-led political transition. It also discusses how the UN will monitor political negotiations, provide humanitarian assistance, and fight terrorist groups in the region.
The second World Internet Conference (WIC) was held in Wuzhen, China, from December 16-18, 2015. The theme for the conference was "An Interconnected World Shared and Governed by All: Building a Community of Common Future in Cyberspace" and conference leaders proposed the Wuzhen Initiative as a continuation of the work of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS).
Preventing further intensification of Syria’s civil war should be the top priority for U.S. policymakers in 2016, according to leading experts who took part in the Council on Foreign Relations’ eighth annual Preventive Priorities Survey.
Writing in the Washington Post, Philip Gordon, James Dobbins, and Jeff Martini argue that the best path to peace in Syria starts with a ceasefire based on agreed zones of control, with political negotiations to follow.
The Center for Preventive Action's annual Preventive Priorities Survey (PPS) evaluates ongoing and potential conflicts based on their likelihood of occurring in the coming year and their impact on U.S. interests. The PPS aims to help the U.S. policymaking community prioritize competing conflict prevention and mitigation demands.
Steven A. Cook testified before the House Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa and argued that although the coup d’état that brought General Abdel Fatah al-Sisi to power has not resulted in stability, prosperity, or democracy, Egypt is too important for the United States to walk away.
UN General Assembly Resolution 56/183 in December 2001 endorsed the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), which encourages global discussions on how to benefit from the digital revolution while addressing the digital divide. The International Telecommunication Union hosted two phases in Geneva from December 10 to 12, 2003, and in Tunis from November 16 to 18, 2005. From February 25 to 27, 2013, WSIS participants met in Paris to evaluate progress and goals. In December 2015, the UN produced a draft resolution on the outcome of the WSIS from the past ten years and renewed the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) for another ten years.
World Trade Organization (WTO) particpants created the the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) in December 1996, which eliminated tariffs on specific technology product exports. From 2012 to 2015, WTO participants negotiated how to expand the ITA to cover additional technologies.
In October, the Chinese Communist Party announced the end of its one-child policy—which has spurred relentless criticism from human rights advocates since its enactment in 1979—and the launch of a new rule permitting married couples to have up to two children. In China, many reacted with joy at the news of this policy shift.
As climate plays a growing role in energy markets, serious energy analysis can no longer choose to focus only on traditional energy economics and geopolitics, write Michael Levi and Ed Morse. Policymakers, analysts, companies, and investors that deal in traditional energy will need to become much more sophisticated in their understanding of climate policy.
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 2015 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 »