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.
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.
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.
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.
A recent article on additive manufacturing sounded the alarm over the use of this technology for the production of a nuclear weapon. While the authors, Matthew Kroenig and Tristan Volpe, are correct to assert that additive manufacturing is changing proliferation, today’s clear and present danger comes from conventional weapons, not just nuclear warheads.
Global leaders including the United States participated in the Paris Climate Change Conference (also called Conference of the Parties 21, or COP21), which took place November 30 to December 11, 2015. They extended negotiations one day and 195 nations adopted the Paris Agreement (FCCC/CP/2015/L.9/Rev.1). According to the UN's press release, the agreement's "main aim is to keep a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius and to drive efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels."
There is no other area of global governance—not climate change, not management of the oceans, not monetary policy, not peacekeeping—in which the nations of the world have agreed to cooperate more closely than on the rules governing international trade. But over the past half-century, each step toward greater trade cooperation has been a bit harder than the last.
French economist Thomas Piketty has won the fourteenth annual Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) Arthur Ross Book Award for Capital in the Twenty-First Century(Belknap Press) and will receive $15,000. On December 9, CFR will honor the awardees at a cocktail reception hosted by Gideon Rose, editor of Foreign Affairs and chair of the independent award jury.
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 »