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Promoting the prevention and settlement of conflicts
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Lessons from the Climate Ambition Summit: The Road to COP28

Thu, 09/11/2023 - 21:09
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IPI hosted a policy forum on November 9th, entitled “Lessons from the Climate Ambition Summit: The Road to COP28” to discuss the outcomes from the Climate Ambition Summit held earlier this year and the lessons to carry into COP28.

The Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Climate Action and Just Transition, Selwin Charles Hart, sat down with IPI’s President, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, to provide an updated look at the climate crisis in the current volatile geopolitical context. Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein opened the conversation with the question at the center of the climate emergency upon us: “We are weeks away from COP28 and the challenge has never been greater, are our goals still within reach?”

Selwin Hart’s answer focused on both the urgent challenges we face—namely, geopolitical division, a growing trust deficit between developed and developing countries, an ever-narrowing window of opportunity to avert the climate crisis—and the newly available avenues that provide some hope for the future. “We’ve never had this level of clarity on what needs to be done, by whom, and on what timeframe. The solutions to the climate crisis have never been cheaper or more accessible.”

The discussion highlighted one of the core areas for which the Peace‚ Climate‚ and Sustainable Development team at IPI has been able to provide crucial support, the Loss and Damage Fund. The Special Adviser to the Secretary-General detailed what will be needed for the fund in the future: “We need to remain vigilant to ensure that the fund works, that it is well resourced, that innovative sources are explored, & that this fund truly benefits people & communities on the frontlines of the climate crisis.”

Looking ahead, the speakers articulated the need for clear commitment, transparency, and concrete proposals of support from COP28 attendees.

In the lead-up to COP28, the event provided an important forum to discuss the fractured geopolitical environment, the ability of the multilateral system to deliver strong results against a ticking clock, and the possibility of long-term solutions.

Refining the Global Goal on Adaptation ahead of COP28

Mon, 06/11/2023 - 20:06

As the 2023 UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) approaches, it is increasingly crucial to understand and develop clear actions for not only mitigation but also adaptation. While mitigation has the clear numerical target of limiting warming to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels, adaptation is a complex concept that cannot be captured in a single figure. Ahead of COP28, there is a need for conceptual clarity as to what exactly the Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA) aims to achieve and how it can be globally applicable when adaptation is so often locally implemented.

One way to clarify the GGA is to adopt well-being as the ultimate outcome toward which countries should be working. Well-being is a state where one can pursue one’s goals and thrive. This requires having adequate physical health, water, food, and a healthy environment, even as the impacts of climate change worsen. Adaptation actions that further this goal should be assessed by their effects on present and future human and environmental well-being. Whenever possible, these actions should be both transboundary, reaching across national borders and administrative or jurisdictional boundaries, and transformational, addressing the systemic root causes of climate impacts and working toward a more stable, flexible, and equitable future.

This policy paper lays out the various climate risks that affect each of the four pillars of the GGA: human health, water security, food security, and biodiversity. It then details adaptation actions that can be taken in response to these risks, as well as indicators for improvement. While each step of the adaptation policy cycle should be robust and well-funded, these four pillars are the areas where progress is most crucial to achieving the GGA. When crafting a framework for transformational adaptation in these four areas, negotiators and technical experts can draw on existing, agreed-upon frameworks and indicators that point the world toward the goal of well-being for people and planet.


Building Trust, Building Peace: Israel-Palestine and the Importance of Moral Consistency

Mon, 30/10/2023 - 23:47

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On October 30th, IPI President Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein delivered the keynote address at the Opening Ceremony of the 10th annual Geneva Peace Week at the Maison de la Paix in Geneva, Switzerland. This year’s theme was “Building Trust, Building Peace: An Agenda for the Future.”

Speaking to the assembled delegates, President Al Hussein said, “If we are to build trust and peace, we need to be as morally consistent as we can…Building trust and building peace can only be achieved if states hold themselves — and expect others do the same — to one set of rules applicable to all. It is that basic and elemental. And peacemaking must become a core part of what a new UN will look like, it has been lost and must now be recovered.”

Read full remarks here >>

The Role of Women’s Organizations in Combatting Gender-Based Violence in Conflict-Affected Contexts

Wed, 25/10/2023 - 22:36
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In collaboration with the Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation and the Permanent Mission of Sweden to the UN, IPI convened a hybrid policy forum on the margins of the UN Security Council’s Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) on October 25th. The event, entitled “The Role of Women’s Organizations in Combatting Gender-Based Violence in Conflict-Affected Contexts,” provided a platform for advocates, activists, and researchers to come together and discuss the role of women’s organizations in addressing conflict-related gender-based violence (GBV).

The world is currently grappling with the highest number of conflicts since WWII, marked by pervasive conflict-related GBV and rampant impunity for perpetrators. Panelists underscored the vital role of women’s organizations in combatting GBV in conflict settings. However, they also highlighted the dire need for increased funding and substantive support to allow these organizations to conduct advocacy and programming to end conflict-related GBV.

The event began with opening remarks from the Vice Minister for Multilateral Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Relations of Colombia, Elizabeth Taylor Jay, who spoke about Colombia’s experiences with implementing the WPS agenda in Colombia where “women and feminist movements and organizations have been the main protagonists.” Next, Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of Sweden to the UN, Andreas von Uexküll, spoke about the danger of conflict-related sexual violence being the “world’s least condemned crime of war” and the need for member states to loudly condemn these crimes and support every avenue for justice.

Kvinna til Kvinna Foundation launched a new report, titled “They came together not to be silenced—gender-based violence in conflict & the role of women’s rights organizations” at the event. The report sheds light on the work of women’s organizations in four conflict-affected countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, and Ukraine.

Jessica Poh-Janrell, Advocacy Advisor of Kvinna till Kvinna, presented the report’s findings, identifying six themes of convergence among the four regions. She reported: “States have been unprepared, unable and, in some cases, unwilling to provide victims and survivors with sufficient support and hold perpetrators to account.” Women’s rights organizations have played an essential role in filling these critical gaps in services, yet they remain severely underfunded.

Panelists from several regions offered their perspectives on the context-specific challenges women’s organizations confront today and their implications for the international community’s response to GBV.

Adrijana Hanušić Bećirović, Senior Legal Adviser at Trial International in Bosnia and Herzegovina, spoke about how the war is still “omnipresent” in the hearts and minds of the victims in Bosnia and Herzegovina and a key part of the path to peace is establishing truth and providing justice for victims.

Oksana Potapova, Researcher and Women’s Rights Activist in Ukraine, drew attention to the continuum of violence that women endure and emphasized that GBV can serve as an early warning sign for conflict.

Solange Lwashiga, Executive Secretary Caucus des Femmes from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, spoke about the need to speak up to support change and the strategy of women’s organizations to break the silence around GBV in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Letitia Anderson, Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, grounded the discussion in the historical legacy of GBV within contexts of war. She articulated that sexual violence in conflict is a political issue and that it creates an undue burden on civil society to respond to these realities on the ground without political support.

All speakers made clear that gender equality and peace are inextricably linked and that gender-based violence is a political issue with a political economy.

Opening Remarks:
Elizabeth Taylor Jay, Vice-Minister for Multilateral Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Relations, Colombia
Andreas von Uexküll, Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of Sweden to the UN

Jessica Poh-Janrell, Advocacy Advisor, Kvinna til Kvinna
Adrijana Hanušić Bećirović, Senior Legal Adviser at Trial International, Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina
Oksana Potapova, Researcher and Women’s Rights Activist, Ukraine
Solange Lwashiga, Executive Secretary Caucus des Femmes, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Letitia Anderson, Team Leader for Political Advocacy & Communications, UN Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict

Phoebe Donnelly, Senior Fellow and Head of Women, Peace, and Security, International Peace Institute

Understanding Masculinities to Dismantle Patriarchal Power Structures

Mon, 23/10/2023 - 21:10
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Ahead of the UN Security Council’s Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security, IPI co-hosted a panel discussion on October 23rd with the New Lines Institute and Equimundo. The event entitled “Understanding Masculinities to Dismantle Patriarchal Power Structures” was organized in response to the Secretary General’s call to dismantle patriarchal power structures in his New Agenda for Peace policy brief. The panel featured representatives from member states, UN agencies, and civil society discussing patriarchal structures, masculinities, and the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda.

Arlene B. Tickner, Deputy Permanent Representative of Colombia to the UN, opened the discussion by advocating for a shared definition of patriarchy and masculinity because we can’t dismantle something we do not understand. She described patriarchy as “a political-social system rooted in socially defined gender roles that operates to create both oppression and privilege.” Ambassador Tickner went on to explain that patriarchy insists that certain men, particularly those who are heteronormative and white, are naturally superior to those perceived as weak, in particular females (including trans women). This system grants them the inherent right to dominate and rule through distinct forms of power and violence.

Kat Fotovat, Principal Deputy Director of the Office of Global Women’s Issues for the U.S. Department of State, emphasized the importance of engaging men and boys in the promotion of the rights of women and girls through US foreign policy. She recognized the pervasiveness of patriarchal structures, describing patriarchy as “vast and insidious, replicated and made invisible by the nature of having existed for centuries.” She called for institutionalized policies and programming that recognize how gender-based violence and gender inequality are fundamentally rooted in unequal power structures that prioritize men.

Gary Barker, President of Equimundo, identified men’s increasing economic marginalization as a key driver of the global regression in gender equality. Economic vulnerabilities, he explained, breed resistance from men, allowing far-right groups to instrumentalize these feelings of loss in their messaging against gender equality.

Sarah Douglas, Deputy Chief of the Peace and Security section at UN Women, noted that global military budgets have exceeded previous records for the 8th consecutive year, reaching a level of $2.2 trillion. At the same time, funding for women’s organizations in conflict zones has decreased from 0.5% to 0.3% of Official Development Assistance (ODA) in fragile settings. She noted that male-dominated approaches to peace and security, which prioritize militarized responses, have contributed to the current conflict-ridden state of the world.

Emily Prey, Director of the WPS Portfolio at the New Lines Institute, emphasized the role of research in advancing the effectiveness of policy and conflict prevention programs. She noted that decades of research show that patriarchy is a net negative for society, which is why it is vital to educate men and boys to gain their support for dismantling the structures that ultimately harm all of society in the long term.

Dean Peacock, Director of the Mobilizing Men for Feminist Peace Initiative of WILPF, redirected attention to the legacies of colonialism and land dispossession in the Global South as a fundamental challenge to building a far-reaching movement that attracts both men and women to advocate for gender equality. He stressed the importance of contextualization to address structural factors that contribute to gendered harms in conflict settings.

Speakers offered innovative strategies for advocating, mobilizing political will, promoting education, developing programming, securing funding, and conducting research, related to masculinities and gender equality, all of which will be necessary to dismantle patriarchal systems.

Welcoming Remarks:
Adam Lupel, Vice President and COO, International Peace Institute

H.E. Arlene B. Tickner, Deputy Permanent Representative of Colombia to the UN
Kat Fotovat, Principal Deputy Director, Office of Global Women’s Issues, US Department of State
Gary Barker, President and CEO, Equimundo: Center for Masculinities and Social Justice
Sarah Douglas, Deputy Chief of UN Women
Emily Prey, Director of the Gender Policy Portfolio at New Lines Institute
Dean Peacock, Director of the Mobilizing Men for Feminist Peace Initiative, WILPF

Phoebe Donnelly, Senior Fellow and Head of the Women, Peace, and Security Program, International Peace Institute

Health and Peace: The Future of International Emergency Health Responses during Violent Conflict

Wed, 18/10/2023 - 21:10

Recent health emergencies such as the 2018–2020 Ebola crisis in DRC, in conjunction with the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, demonstrate the importance of health responses that take the local context into account, especially in settings that are already affected by violent conflict. When humanitarian health responses fail to understand and adapt to their impact on conflict dynamics, they risk exacerbating those dynamics, impeding the health response, and placing health workers at risk. As healthcare becomes increasingly and globally politicized, it is more crucial than ever to recognize the links between health and peace and promote a more deliberate approach to delivering emergency health responses in violent conflict environments.

In this context, this paper first discusses the global normative environment for emergency health responses in situations of violent conflict and proposals to strengthen the links between international health and peace activities, especially the GHPI. Second, it examines the concepts at the core of the GHPI initiative and considers their operationalization in violent conflict environments. Third, it summarizes the emergency health response to the 2018–2020 Ebola epidemic in eastern DRC, how it interacted disastrously with conflict dynamics, and the lessons learned from the experience. Finally, it highlights several risk areas that emergency health interventions working at the humanitarian-peace nexus in conflict will likely face and considers options for mitigating their impact.

The paper concludes by offering the following recommendations, aimed at supporting the further development of the conceptual framework for the health and peace agenda and informing the operationalization of the GHPI and similar initiatives.

  • WHO should develop the GHPI conceptual framework further, including by elaborating on when health actors should pursue peace-responsive programming and how they should coordinate with peace and security actors, as well as the relationship between the GHPI and political processes.
  • WHO should design a strategy to operationalize the GHPI in violent conflict settings, including by developing tools, guidance, and training on conflict-sensitive analysis and programming; identifying the political skills required of those leading the implementation of such programming; and clarifying how to manage ethical dilemmas.
  • The Executive Office of the Secretary-General should conduct a formal assessment of the Ebola emergency coordinator position during the 2018–2020 Ebola crisis.
  • The UN Department for Safety and Security should review security risk assessment processes and safety and security measures and develop an inventory of safety and security measures that could be used in place of armed security.
  • The UN Department of Peace Operations should review operational guidance for armed escorts and area security during site visits.


Responsible Management and Use of Data in UN Peace Operations

Tue, 10/10/2023 - 19:06

In recent years, the UN has embarked on an ambitious project to use data more extensively and effectively to improve the safety of peacekeepers and the implementation of peace operations’ mandates. The increasing availability of various types of data in UN peace operations and the development of new tools for its acquisition and analysis present novel opportunities, enhancing peace operations’ ability to predict and respond to violence; understand the population’s sentiments towards peacekeepers; and provide better analysis to senior mission leadership, UN headquarters, and the UN Security Council. However, UN peace operations’ greater use of data also increases their vulnerability to irresponsible handling of data, information leaks, and cyberattacks and raises ethical challenges over data ownership, host-state sovereignty, the potential to cause social harm, and algorithmic biases.

This issue brief provides an overview of how UN peace operations acquire data and use it in their decision making. It also discusses UN policy frameworks on responsible data management and analyzes the challenges peace operations face in acquiring, using, and disseminating data. It concludes with recommendations for member states, UN headquarters, and peace operations personnel to manage and use data more responsibly and effectively:

  • Improve the data-management skills of UN personnel;
  • Strengthen the policy framework for the effective and responsible use of data;
  • Provide adequate and predictable funding for data acquisition, analysis, and use;
  • Enhance internal and external communication about the ways in which UN peace operations gather and use data; and
  • Encourage the proactive use of data in strategic decision making.


Local Perceptions of UN Peacekeeping: A Look at the Data

Mon, 25/09/2023 - 17:37

Recent anti-UN protests have fueled concerns that some UN peacekeeping operations are facing a “crisis of legitimacy” among host-state populations. Without local legitimacy, there are questions about whether peacekeepers should be present. Peacekeeping operations also depend on local legitimacy to effectively implement their mandates. It is therefore important to understand how local populations perceive UN peacekeepers.

While researchers have studied local perceptions within specific peacekeeping contexts and compared historical data on local perceptions in past peacekeeping operations, few have compared recent data on local perceptions of current missions. This article therefore explores existing data on local perceptions of the four current multidimensional UN peacekeeping operations: the missions in the Central African Republic (CAR), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Mali, and South Sudan. This data points to several cross-cutting insights that could help inform conversations around local perceptions of UN peacekeeping.

The paper concludes that there is wide variation in perceptions of peacekeepers, both between and within peacekeeping contexts and across time. This means that it rarely makes sense to talk about UN peacekeeping operations having or lacking “legitimacy.” Instead, they have multiple “legitimacies.” Understanding the factors behind these legitimacies requires better data on and nuanced analysis of local perceptions.


Civil Society’s Crucial Contribution to Promoting and Protecting Human Rights

Thu, 21/09/2023 - 16:30
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IPI together with the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs cohosted the thirteenth annual Trygve Lie Symposium on September 21st on the topic of “Civil Society’s Crucial Contribution to Promoting and Protecting Human Rights.” The event took on a particularly urgent tenor this year as recent attacks on human rights all over the world were juxtaposed against the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders.

The discussion focused on recognizing the contributions of civil society in the fight for human rights. Panelists addressed contemporary threats to fundamental freedoms and the interrelated challenge of repression of civil society towards the essential questions of the event: Why is civil society getting weaker? And what can we do to strengthen it in the struggle for human rights?

Key to understanding the increased repression of civil society is an analysis of the factors that have contributed to recent attacks on human rights and human rights defenders. H.E. Anniken Huitfeldt, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway, provided the necessary framework. She opened with a reflection on 75 years of progress in fulfilling human rights but contrasted this progress with the rise of authoritarianism and democratic backsliding in the last decade. All speakers made clear that under authoritarian governments, disinformation campaigns, pushback against women’s and LGBTIQ+ rights, impunity for rights violations, concerted attacks against journalists and free speech, and military aggression thrive.

While the weakening of democratic institutions is tied to the rise of authoritarian tactics, panelists articulated the way a strong and supported civil society sector goes hand in hand with a strong democracy. Hina Jilani, Member of The Elders, illustrated the full scope of the kind of antidote to authoritarianism that civil society can be in her remarks: “Human rights defenders are not only a part of strengthening democracy, they are an indication of democratization itself and a model of further development.” Within this relationship between civil society and democracy, Lysa John, Secretary-General of CIVICUS identified how an explosion of civic action has been met with equal levels of repression and backlash. Calling 2020, “the year of censorship and surveillance,” she highlighted recent attempts to restrict dissent and the great threat that a loss or weakening of our fundamental freedoms of assembly and expression pose to civic organizing.

As the conversation came to a close, speakers provided strategies to combat the tactics deployed against civil society. Ulrika Modéer, UN Assistant Secretary-General highlighted the kind of intersectional approach that can maximize the contributions of civil society if the private sector and increased funding is leveraged to build greater institutional support. Zane Dalgor, Director-General of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa offered an important reminder not to romanticize or generalize when we invoke “civil society” because it is not homogenous. Instead, he called for a deeper analysis of the financial backing of certain organizations and a closer look at the weakening of progressive civil society as a way of analyzing how authoritarian governments may be instrumentalizing civic organizations.

Opening Remarks:
Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, President and CEO of the International Peace Institute

H.E. Anniken Huitfeldt, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Norway
Hina Jilani, Member of The Elders, Advocate at the Supreme Court of Pakistan, Member of the High-Level Panel of Legal Experts on Media Freedom, and founder of Pakistan’s first all-women law firm, as well as Pakistan’s first Legal Aid Center and the Women’s Action Forum (Virtual)
Lysa John, Secretary-General of CIVICUS
Ulrika Modéer, UN Assistant Secretary-General and Director of the Bureau of External Relations and Advocacy, UNDP

Douglas Rutzen, President of the International Centre for Not-For-Profit Law (ICNL)

Innovations in Implementing the Women, Peace, and Security Agenda

Wed, 20/09/2023 - 16:41
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In 2021, during their time as elected members of the UN Security Council, the Governments of Ireland, Mexico, and Kenya initiated the “Presidency Trio for Women, Peace and Security” in an effort to advance the implementation of the WPS Agenda. Since then, the activism of these three countries has evolved into the “Shared Commitments on WPS.” As of 2023, sixteen past and present UN Security Council members have joined the Shared Commitments. Today, all five newly elected member countries to the Council have pledged their commitment to making the WPS Agenda a priority. But world leaders, policymakers, practitioners, researchers, and women across the world know that there remains work to be done to bridge the gap between verbal commitment and the tangible implementation of goals.

To build on the momentum of the Presidency Trio and work towards that implementation, IPI together with the Permanent Mission of Ireland to the UN and the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, in collaboration with the Permanent Missions of the Republic of Slovenia, Japan, Switzerland, and Mexico, cohosted a symposium on September 20th entitled, “Innovations in Implementing the Women, Peace, and Security Agenda.”

This event brought together voices from civil society and national governments. Against the dire contemporary backdrop of global polarization, paralysis at the leadership level, and pushback on gender and human rights, panelists acknowledged the need for increased political will and essential transnational and cross-sector collaboration; but they also reminded the audience of current initiatives and future ambitions that have the potential to creatively address the challenges ahead.

In his opening remarks, H.E. Micheál Martin TD, Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Defence of Ireland, established one of the unifying messages of the discussion and the backbone of the WPS agenda: “It’s a simple and clear fact that women must be involved in making the policies that shape our lives and livelihoods.”

The panel discussion that followed was shaped by the transformative and urgent energy of the WPS agenda as speakers outlined the kind of coalitional network, strategy, and action across international, national, community, and civil society lines that will be required to more justly and comprehensively implement it on a global scale.

H.E. Tanja Fajon, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of Slovenia, called for national accountability on the involvement of women: “We have to start from the inside…we have to lead by example.” She emphasized the importance of strengthening women’s participation at all levels of national diplomacy. Dr. Nadine Gasman, President of the National Institute of Women in Mexico, further elaborated on the need for work at the national level with an emphasis on the crucial role of community and local action within countries to “rebuild the social fabric from women’s perspective.”

Through a historical callback to Resolution 1325, the civil society roots of the agenda, and the trajectory of WPS in the multilateral arena, H.E. Pascale Baeriswyl, Permanent Representative of Switzerland to the UN, tied local and national commitment back to the international alliances and the role of leadership on the Security Council to implement an agenda that needs political will.

Kaavya Asoka, Executive Director of the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security, concluded the discussion with a reminder that “women’s rights are not negotiable,” and that the implementation of the WPS agenda will “require extraordinary coordination and commitment from member states on the Security Council to hold the line, protect the normative agenda, and implement it, not just during thematic debates in WPS spaces, but in the most difficult negotiations processes in Syria, Myanmar, Sudan and all others on the Security Council’s agenda.”

Welcoming Remarks:

Dr. Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, President and CEO of the International Peace Institute

Opening Remarks:
H.E. Mr. Micheál Martin TD, Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Defence, Ireland
H.E. Ms. KAMIKAWA Yōko, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Japan

H.E. Ms. Tanja Fajon, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Slovenia
H.E. Ms. Pascale Baeriswyl, Permanent Representative of Switzerland to the UN
Dr. Nadine Gasman, President of the National Institute of Women, Mexico
Ms. Sarah Hendriks, Deputy Executive Director a.i. for Policy, Programmes, Civil Society & Intergovernmental Support, UN Women
Ms. Ilze Brands Kehris, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights at the UN
Ms. Kaavya Asoka, Executive Director, the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security

Dr. Adam Lupel, Vice President and COO of the International Peace Institute

IPI Hosts Foreign Ministers, Officials at 18th Annual Middle East Dinner

Mon, 18/09/2023 - 05:28

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On Sunday, September 17, 2023, IPI held its eighteenth annual Ministerial Working Dinner on the Middle East in its Trygve Lie Center for Peace, Security, and Development. The dinner drew the participation of foreign ministers and other high-level representatives.

The event was chaired by IPI President Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein and co-hosted by Qatar and the European Union, represented respectively by Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Qatar, and Josep Borrell, Vice President and High Representative of European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

Participants had a frank discussion on regional issues held under the Chatham House Rule.

Attendees included Hadja Lahbib, Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Affairs, and of Defence of the Kingdom of Belgium; Lars Lokke Rasmussen, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Denmark; Fuad Mohammad Hussein, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Iraq; Ayman Safadi, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Expatriates of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan; Murat Nurtleu, Deputy Prime Minister, and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan; Abdallah Bouhabib, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants of Lebanon; Dominique Hasler, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Education, and Sport of the Principality of Liechtenstein; Catherine Colonna, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of France; Micheál Martin, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Defence of Ireland; Sheikh Jarrah Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs; Jean Asselborn, Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Affairs of Luxembourg; Khalifa Shaheen Almarar, State Secretary of the United Arab Emirates; Sayyid Badr bin Hamad bin Hamood Albusaidi, Foreign Minister of the Sultanate of Oman; Riyad Al-Maliki, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the State of Palestine; Ahmet Yildiz, Deputy Minister of Foreign of Republic of Türkiye; Anniken Huitfeldt, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway; Mohammed bin Abdulaziz Al-Khulaifi, Minister of State to the State of Qatar; Lolwah Rasshid Al-Khater, Minister of State for International Cooperation to the State of Qatar; Sameh Hassan Shoukry Selim, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Arab Republic of Egypt; and Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Bahrain.

Also present were Luise Amtsberg, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Assistance; Jasem Mohamed AlBudaiwi, Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council; Mirjana Spoljaric Egger, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC); Prince Turki AlFaisal, Chairman of the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies and member of IPI’s International Advisory Council; Hissein Brahim Taha, Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation; Amr Moussa, Former Secretary General of the League of Arab States and member of IPI’s International Advisory Council; Rosemary A. DiCarlo, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs; Mary Robinson, Chair of the Elders, First female President of Ireland, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; Miguel Moratinos, High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations; Philippe Lazzarini, Commissioner-General of United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East; Ferid Belhaj, Vice President of the World Bank; Jeffrey Feltman, Former USG –DPPA and John C. Whitehead Visiting Fellow in International Diplomacy in the Foreign Policy program, Brookings Institute; Daniel Levy, President of US / Middle East Project (USMEP); Tor Wennesland, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Personal Representative of the UN Secretary-General to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority; Sven Koopmans, EU Special Representative for the Middle East Peace Process; and Alya Ahmed Saif Al-Thani, Permanent Representative of Qatar to the UN.

Multilateralism by the Numbers: What People Want and How to Deliver It

Tue, 12/09/2023 - 23:25
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Panelists for a high-level policy forum cohosted by IPI and the Open Society Foundations (OSF) on September 12th assessed the current health of the multilateral system and outlined strategies to strengthen multilateralism as a whole in a timely conversation ahead of the 78th Session of the General Assembly. In a bid for hope, they highlighted opportunities to bolster collective efforts and collaboration within the international community in the face of the converging and increasingly complex challenges of our time. The discussion was anchored in the principle of inclusion as speakers offered their recommendations for meaningful reform, gender equity, empowering states of all sizes, and building innovative alliances across nations, civil society, and the private sector.

IPI has been involved in the central debates of the multilateral system for many years, and this event provided the latest intervention on the evolving state of multilateralism with an updated question: Is the multilateral system on the verge of collapse? To shed light on both pressure points and areas for growth alike, the policy forum was framed by empirical data in the findings of the Multilateralism Index, produced in 2022 by IPI and the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), and drew on the results of a new global poll by OSF conducted in May and July of this year. The poll, “Open Society Barometer: Can Democracy Deliver?” surveyed more than 36,000 respondents from 30 countries representing the views of more than 5.5. billion people on global solidarity, democracy, human rights, financing for climate change and debt, and international governance.

President of the 78th Session of the General Assembly, H.E. Dennis Francis, set the tone for what will be required of all global decision makers for a cohesive multilateral system built for the advancement of all people. He delivered a call to lead by example and a pledge of transparency from the very top of the UN-based system. He highlighted three key strategies: restore trust by “vehemently denouncing behavior that violates the cherished tenets of the UN Charter;” reassess meaningful and complementary engagement in the international system; and insist on inclusion through the empowerment and involvement of all populations.

Addressing the speed and complexity of modern challenges will require agile solutions that recognize our interdependence and are willing to think imaginatively about future partnerships and alliances that break from the existing international architecture. For this task, Former President of Liberia and Nobel Peace Laureate H.E. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf emphasized the need to “prioritize the most vulnerable, marginalized populations,” in the decision-making processes that most affect them as those “who bear the brunt of interconnected challenges.” She noted the particular significance of women’s participation as key for development and sustainable peace and an essential piece of the multilateral puzzle.

As a representative of states facing existential challenges, Permanent Representative of Costa Rica to the UN Maritza Chan, reminded the audience of the pivotal role that small states can play if we provide them with the necessary resources and expertise on emergent technologies and dare to unlock their potential to address global problems in areas where they may already be leading the charge, such as AI advancement. Meghna Abraham, Executive Director of the Center for Economic and Social Rights, provided a voice for the civil society sector on the panel. She advocated for civil society as the model to follow in going beyond proscriptive silos and fostering innovative responses. Abraham firmly asserted the presence of numerous opportunities for reform but noted the contingency of those opportunities for change on “a shift in power and a shift in resources.” Underpinning panelists’ talking points, was the sentiment that in order to change the system so that it will actually work for people, enable them to survive, and have ownership in the multilateral process, we will need mobilization across disciplines and attention to the many contradictions of the very system designed to protect them.

Read the report>>

Opening Remarks:
H.E. Dennis Francis, President of the 78th Session of the General Assembly

Lord Mark Malloch-Brown, President, Open Society Foundations
H.E. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Former President of Liberia, Nobel Peace Laureate, Former Chair of ECOWAS, Founder of the Ellen Johnson Presidential Center for Women and Development, Former Co-Chair of the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response, and Co-Chair of the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Advisory Board on Effective Multilateralism (HLAB)
H.E. Maritza Chan, Permanent Representative of Costa Rica to the United Nations
Meghna Abraham, Executive Director of the Center for Economic and Social Rights

Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, President and CEO, International Peace Institute

New Technologies and the Protection of Civilians in UN Peace Operations

Tue, 05/09/2023 - 19:23

The United Nations has increasingly focused on the modernization of peace operations, including through the Strategy for the Digital Transformation of UN Peacekeeping. However, the full potential of the link between digital transformation, new technologies, and peacekeeping has not yet been realized, particularly when it comes to the protection of civilians (POC). Too often, the Department of Peace Operations (DPO) deploys new technological tools first and only then determines how to apply them to POC objectives. As a result, mission staff are often harnessing technologies for POC in an ad hoc manner.

One of the main ways new technologies can contribute to POC is through timely and effective early-warning mechanisms. Platforms like SAGE and Unite Aware can help missions analyze data on threats and violence against civilians. Intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance tools like satellite imagery and unarmed aerial vehicles (UAVs) can aid in the collection of such data. The monitoring of communication platforms can also provide contextual information and insight into trends in public opinion, giving clues about future waves of violence.

This paper attempts to contribute to the ongoing reflection on the interaction between new technologies and POC, particularly in relation to early warning. The paper reviews peace operations’ use of new technologies and data, which could be further used for early warning for POC. It then discusses the limitations and risks of the use of new technologies for POC, particularly around data protection and privacy. The paper concludes by calling for a theory of change for how new technologies can contribute to POC in peacekeeping operations.


The Climate Summit: Ambition, Credibility, and Implementation

Thu, 27/07/2023 - 21:38
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With just a few months until the SDG and Climate Ambition Summits, and with COP28 fast approaching, member states must do more to meet their climate commitments. Current projections estimate a global 2.8-degree increase in temperature by 2100. The Paris Agreement’s goal to limit warming to a 1.5-degree increase is still achievable, but global carbon emissions must be cut by 45 percent.

In response to the recent IPCC synthesis report, the UN Secretary-General has launched an “acceleration agenda” to raise ambition on cutting emissions and achieve a quantum leap in the delivery of climate justice. Last year at COP27, the UN Secretary-General called for a Climate Solidarity Pact urging all big emitters to cut emissions, efforts to secure financing for emerging economies to reduce their emissions, and an “acceleration agenda” to advance the process. These efforts require stakeholders to come together to supercharge efforts for a just transition.

To accelerate action by governments, business, finance, local authorities, and civil society, and hear from “first movers and doers,” the UN Secretary-General is convening a Climate Ambition Summit at UN Headquarters in New York on September 20, 2023. And in the words of the Secretary-General, “The world is watching—and the planet can’t wait.”

Ahead of the Climate Ambition Summit, this policy forum on July 27th examined what could be achieved from the summit. IPI President and Chief Executive Officer Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein and Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Climate Action and Just Transition Selwin Charles Hart discussed the Summit, ways to make it a success, and inspire climate action.  Al Hussein underscored that the Summit will be taking place against a backdrop where there is “a growing state of mistrust between the developing and the developed world.” At the core of this mistrust are the promises made that have not been kept.

Among the many issues affected by this distrust is the new loss and damage fund, which parties agreed to last year. Agreement on its details and operationalization will be a major test of trust and political will between countries. Read IPI’s report on loss and damage by Michael Franczak to learn more.

There are two cross-cutting themes at the core of the Summit: cooperation and acceleration. It highlights the need for cooperation across borders and across society to accelerate decarbonization and build climate-resilient societies. Engaging young people is critical, as evidenced by the Secretary-General’s establishment of a youth advisory group, whose input will feed into the summit and help push the needle.

Hart asserted that “we’ve run out of time. Decisions taken within this decade will make or break our efforts to have a livable, sustainable, prosperous, and secure future. Human activity has caused this problem, and human ingenuity and creativity can get us out.”

Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, President and Chief Executive Officer, International Peace Institute
Selwin Charles Hart, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Climate Action and Just Transition

Creating Enabling Environments for Women’s Participation in Libya

Wed, 26/07/2023 - 17:45
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The women, peace, and security (WPS) agenda consists of four pillars, including participation and protection. However, engagement on these pillars has often been disconnected, with inadequate attention to the relationship between them. This can undermine progress on both pillars, as efforts to promote women’s meaningful participation in peacebuilding processes fall short without adequate protection measures that make that participation possible.

On July 26th, IPI hosted a launch event to share research findings on the nexus of women’s protection and participation in Libya presented in a new report authored by scholars Catherine Turner and Aisling Swaine. This report builds on previous IPI research focused on protection and participation in Northern Ireland.

During the event, participants heard directly from women representing civil society organizations in the region. Founder and CEO of Karama Hibaaq Osman discussed her work with the WPS agenda and some of the challenges she’s encountered. Osman highlighted Resolution 1325, which is non-binding and falls to the discretion of governments, many of whom do not see it as a priority, leaving its success in the hands of civil society and women’s organizations. While discussing gender parity and the relevancy of women’s integration into specific male-dominated roles, such as defense minister or director of the CIA, Osman urged participants to ask the question “Is the military becoming feminized, or are the women becoming militarized?”

Co-Founder and CEO of the Libyan Women’s Platform for Peace Zahra’ Langhi, drew upon her 12 years of activism in Libya and asserted that women’s participation is grounded in traditional, customary mechanisms and local contexts, “It is not enough to empower women, we need to dis-empower warlords.”

UN Women Policy Specialist Sarah Taylor outlined key recommendations, one of which includes responding to evolving threats and evolving participation spaces, both online and offline. Senior Gender Advisor and Chief of Gender Equality Section, United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) Nada Darwazeh expressed that we don’t need women with a PhD or women to be fully engaged in politics: “What matters is that they’re there.”

The launch event provided an opportunity to share the report’s findings with policymakers and to engage in conversation with other researchers and practitioners. It further sought to help member states and UN officials align policies related to women’s protection and participation with the realities on the ground.

Welcoming Remarks:
Adam Lupel, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, International Peace Institute

Catherine Turner, Associate Professor of International Law and Deputy Director of the Durham Global Security Institute, Durham Law School (virtual)
Aisling Swaine, Professor of Gender Studies in the School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice, University College Dublin (virtual)
Hibaaq Osman, Founder and CEO of Karama
Zahra’ Langhi, Co-Founder and CEO of the Libyan Women’s Platform for Peace
Nada Darwazeh, Senior Gender Advisor and Chief of Gender Equality Section, United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) (virtual)
Sarah Taylor, Policy Specialist, UN Women

Phoebe Donnelly, Senior Fellow and Head of Women, Peace, and Security, International Peace Institute

Full, Equal, Meaningful, and Safe: Creating Enabling Environments for Women’s Participation in Libya

Wed, 26/07/2023 - 00:24

Historically, the women, peace, and security (WPS) agenda’s four pillars—prevention, protection, participation, and relief and recovery—have largely developed along separate trajectories. This has started to change with the UN Security Council’s recent progress in recognizing the link between women’s participation in peace and security and their protection, as well as the need to create “enabling environments” for women’s participation. Nonetheless, there is often a gap between international frameworks on participation and protection and the realities experienced by women, especially in conflict-affected contexts.

To address that gap, this paper analyzes the experiences of women in Libya and the obstacles they face when participating in peace and security and political processes. Using an ecological framework, it details the risks that women who participate encounter at six levels: individual, interpersonal, community, national institutional, societal, and global institutional. Through this analysis, the report deepens the evidence for and understanding of the critical relationship between protection and participation, broadens analysis of and provides pointers for the mainstreaming of WPS in UN mission mandates, and provides a new framework to advance the creation of safe and enabling environments for women’s participation.

In order to advance women’s full, equal, meaningful, and safe participation, the report offers the following recommendations.

For the Security Council and member states:

  • Continue to build on progress on mainstreaming WPS in mission mandates;
  • Prioritize the implementation of Resolution 2493’s provision on creating “enabling environments” for women’s participation; and
  • Ensure gender advisers with context-specific expertise are mandated and properly resourced in all UN missions.

For UN missions, agencies, and partners:

  • Conduct context-specific participation and protection analyses;
  • Strengthen coordination between the UN missions, UN agencies, and other international organizations working on related issues to address the full range of protection-related barriers to women’s participation; and
  • Ensure a gender-sensitive approach to the use of digital tools for participation to reflect the increased risks to women in online environments.

Twenty-First Century Challenges and Opportunities for Humanitarian Health Responses

Thu, 20/07/2023 - 21:00
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During an event cohosted by IPI and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences on July 20th, panelists discussed the challenging global context for delivering humanitarian health responses, as well as specific issues such as the need to address gender-based violence in humanitarian health responses, the imperative to localize humanitarian action, and the opportunities and risks at the intersection of health, development, and peace.

The Secretary General’s New Agenda for Peace notes “conflict and disease can intersect in multiple ways and the risk posed are currently not addressed holistically and in a coordinated manner.” The discussion, which featured participants from a range of backgrounds, contributed to an enhanced systematic understanding of these constraints.

In May 2023, in partnership with MIT Press, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences released a special issue of the journal Daedalus, “Delivering Humanitarian Health Services in Violent Conflicts,” as part of the Academy’s project on Rethinking the Humanitarian Health Response to Violent Conflict. As the launch of this special issue, the policy forum brought together academics, scholars, policymakers, and practitioners to discuss the contemporary challenges and opportunities in humanitarian health delivery.

President of the International Rescue Committee, David Miliband set the scene by highlighting two major trends in global politics. The first trend is the “growing global risks in a hyper-connected world,” and secondly, political/geopolitical fragmentation, a trend which exacerbates those risks.

Addressing the health needs of people on the move requires rethinking the fluidity of health systems and the importance to expand the paradigm of the current health system and framework. Fouad Fouad, Associate Professor of Public Health Practice at the American University of Beirut suggested a potential “health system beyond borders,” which could foster a more integrated response. International health NGOs could be uniquely well positioned to operationalize commitments to localize humanitarian health delivery and better support actors in leadership roles, noted Jennifer Welsh, Canada 150 Research Chair in Global Governance and Security at McGill University. However, there is a lack of data to assess how localization could work in the humanitarian health sector and a need for more public opinion research on local populations. Welsh reminded participants that there are preexisting tools that could be enhanced.

IPI non-resident fellow Dirk Druet expressed that “given the realities of where health emergencies are likely to take place in the future, adopting emergency humanitarian responses to operating in conflict situations is absolutely critical to helping the most vulnerable.” In the realm of emergency health situations, the international community lacks clarity on the practical implications of adopting a conflict-informed approach.

Daedalus is the Academy’s open-access quarterly journal, featuring multidisciplinary, authoritative essays centered on a theme or subject and drawing on the intellectual capacity of Academy members and outside experts. Please visit here to see the May 2023 issue.

Welcoming/Opening Remarks:
Adam Lupel, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, International Peace Institute
David Oxtoby, President, American Academy of Arts and Sciences

David Miliband, President, International Rescue Committee
Jennifer Welsh, Canada 150 Research Chair in Global Governance and Security, McGill University; Project Cochair, Rethinking the Humanitarian Health Response to Violent Conflict
Fouad Fouad, Associate Professor of Public Health Practice, American University of Beirut (virtual)
Dirk Druet, Affiliate Researcher, McGill University; Non-Resident Fellow, International Peace Institute (virtual)

Jenna Russo, Director of Research and Head of the Brian Urquhart Center for Peace Operations, International Peace Institute

Closing Remarks:
Paul Wise, Richard E. Behrman Professor of Child Health and Society, Stanford University; Project Cochair, Rethinking the Humanitarian Health Response to Violent Conflict

Options for Reconfiguring the UN Presence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Tue, 18/07/2023 - 17:39

As part of MONUSCO’s mandate renewal in December 2022, the UN Security Council called for the secretary-general to outline pathways for the mission’s transition and withdrawal from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), along with possible options for the future reconfiguration of the UN’s presence in the country, by July 2023. This past year, the rise of the M23 and other non-state armed groups in eastern DRC has led to the deployment of regional and bilateral forces, while rising anti-MONUSCO sentiment has further restricted the UN’s operating space. Following widespread and lethal civilian demonstrations against the mission’s perceived ineffectiveness throughout 2022, the government of the DRC notified the UN Security Council of its intention to reassess the agreed timetable for the mission’s departure, citing the deep displeasure of the Congolese people.

In this context, the International Peace Institute (IPI), Security Council Report, and the Stimson Center cohosted a roundtable on June 16, 2023, to discuss the UN’s presence in the DRC in the short and longer term. Convened under the Chatham House rule of non-attribution, this workshop brought together member states, UN officials, independent experts, and civil society stakeholders. The discussion sought to inform the UN Secretariat’s planning and discussions among UN member states on the prioritization and sequencing of MONUSCO’s transition and prompt creative thinking on the UN’s civilian, police, and military reconfiguration in the country, taking into account the deployment of regional and bilateral forces.

Participants raised several key considerations for MONUSCO’s transition and the UN’s reconfiguration:

  • Prioritize a gradual, responsible, and conditions-based transition that addresses benchmarks 1–4 and 15 in the joint DRC-UN transition plan, emphasizing the protection of civilians as a priority task;
  • Develop tailored transition strategies for each of the eastern provinces in collaboration with the UN country team (UNCT), the host government, and local civil society that reflect the unique conflict drivers and dynamics in each region;
  • Call upon member states in the region to uphold their political commitment to the Luanda and Nairobi peace processes, ensuring the DRC’s and the region’s long-term stability;
  • Urge member states to provide innovative, robust funding that enables the transfer of programmatic work from the mission to the UNCT, where appropriate;
  • Continue to support the delivery of humanitarian aid and DDR processes where possible;
  • Provide technical expertise in the lead-up to national elections slated for December 2023; and
  • Adopt a “right fit,” tailored approach for the UN’s longer-term reconfiguration that embraces creative thinking, goes beyond a military approach, and addresses the drivers of conflict.


Innovative Finance for Loss and Damage: Capitalizing the New Fund

Fri, 30/06/2023 - 22:04
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The historic decision on loss and damage (L&D) at the 2022 UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) calls for a new fund and funding arrangements focused on addressing L&D. It also tasks a Transitional Committee with preparing recommendations on the new fund and funding arrangements for adoption at the 2023 UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai. IPI President Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein describes this decision made at COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh as one of the most significant developments since the 2015 Paris Agreement.

IPI together with Oxford Climate Policy cohosted a policy forum on June 30th entitled “Innovative Finance for Loss and Damage: Capitalizing the New Fund.” During the event, participants discussed deficiencies and shortfalls in L&D funding and underscored innovative ways to capitalize on the new fund. Panelists also emphasized the need to take into account the global economic and political context, including the effects of COVID-19 and other crises.

With roughly six months left until COP28, the Transitional Committee will need to work efficiently to achieve its mandate, which includes determining the fund’s financial inputs or sources of capitalization. A new fund for addressing loss and damage will almost certainly require capitalization through a combination of old and new paths. Based on trends in official development assistance, contributions from developed country governments, though important, are unlikely to be sufficient to capitalize a new fund at the scale needed. Thus, it will likely be necessary to include new or “innovative” sources of finance. One idea is to combine conventional (public) contributions from donor countries and contributions from private donors using a specially designed tax, as countries have done with air travel to fund Unitaid. Such a tax could involve levies on air travel, bunker fuel, fossil-fuel extraction, greenhouse-gas emissions, or financial transactions. Another idea is to “frontload” contributions through the issuance of bonds, as the International Finance Facility for Immunisation (IFFIm) has done with its “vaccine bonds.”

Discussants asserted that multiple solutions are needed and presented several innovative options. IPI Research Fellow Michael Franczak noted the failure of developed countries to meet Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitments and introduced the option of a shipping levy. According to World Bank findings, putting a price on carbon could raise 40 to 60 billion dollars from the shipping industry between 2025 and 2050. While 22 countries have declared support for the principle of a levy on carbon emissions, many developing countries have been wary of tax burden transfers. Franczak noted the need for common but differentiated responsibility (CBDR) to effectively operationalize a carbon tax levy.

“The adverse impacts that we are already experiencing are both attributed and associated with changes in global systems,” stated Koko Warner Director of the Global Data Institute, International Organization for Migration. In many cases these impacts are irreversible and deeply challenging for our financial systems, we need to think about flexibility in the real economy. Long recognized as an authority on loss and damage, Managing Director of Oxford Climate Policy and Director of the European Capacity Building Initiative Benito Müller discussed his proposal for international climate solidarity levies and levy on air travel to finance the Loss and Damage Fund. Chris Canavan put forward the idea of using bonds or frontloading to make the Loss and Damage Fund’s financing immediately available. Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at Colby College Stacy-Ann Robinson affirmed that the conversation about innovative finance for loss and damage is about livelihood: “People matter and we need to center equity and justice.”

The panel contextualized for the New York audience current discussions on innovative finance for L&D, including within the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), in Paris at the Summit for a New Global Financial Pact, and at the International Maritime Organization, as well as best practices and examples from existing entities like Unitaid and IFFIm.

Opening Remarks:
Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, President and CEO, International Peace Institute

Michael Franczak, Research Fellow, International Peace Institute
Koko Warner, Director, Global Data Institute, International Organization for Migration
Benito Müller, Managing Director of Oxford Climate Policy and Director of the European Capacity Building Initiative
Chris Canavan, Senior Advisor, Cygnum Capital
Stacy-Ann Robinson, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, Colby College

Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein, President and Chief Executive Officer, International Peace Institute

A Measure of Peace: Key Findings from the 2023 Global Peace Index

Wed, 28/06/2023 - 21:01
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How have recent conflicts impacted global peace and what can the changing geopolitical landscape tell us about the likelihood of future conflict? On June 28th, IPI together with the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) cohosted a policy forum entitled “A Measure of Peace: Key Findings from the 2023 Global Peace Index,” to address these questions and discuss how they could impact multilateral efforts and national priorities of member states in the future.

Produced by the IEP, the Global Peace Index (GPI) is the world’s leading measure of global peacefulness. It presents the most comprehensive data-driven analysis to date on trends in peace, the economic value of peace, and how to develop peaceful societies. The GPI covers 163 countries comprising 99.7 percent of the world’s population, using twenty-three qualitative and quantitative indicators from highly respected sources, and measures the state of peace across three domains: the level of societal safety and security; the extent of ongoing domestic and international conflict; and the degree of militarization.

Michael Collins, IEP Executive Director Americas provided an overview of key findings from the 17th edition of the GPI. Collins noted that peacefulness has continued to deteriorate this year and is the lowest it has been since the inception of the index. On a positive note, there have been improvements in peacefulness, which include a reduction in political terror, and surprisingly, in terms of military expenditure. While there has been an increase in military expenditure, in terms of GDP it has decreased on a global average. Unfortunately, the 2023 GPI found that “expenditure on peacebuilding and peacekeeping totaled $34.1 billion in 2022, which equals only 0.4 percent of military spending.”

Chief of Peacebuilding Strategy and Partnerships Roselyn Akombe stressed that because the economic impact of conflict is so vast, we need to rethink and focus on peace. Akombe also outlined four takeaways from the GPI, beginning by emphasizing that “numbers count” and economists provide valuable contributions by effectively quantifying peace and providing the data that situates where we are in terms of peace. Second, the GPI is making a business case for prevention. Measuring the cost of war and comparing returns of investment demonstrate the need to collectively work towards peacebuilding and sustaining peace. Third, through reading the 2023 GPI and looking at the key asks of the UN Secretary-General in the New Agenda for Peace, there exists confirmation that we are on the right path. Ending on a positive note, Akombe highlighted that when there are systematic responses towards building peace, it makes a difference. She cited the example of terrorism, which has decreased as a result of concerted efforts to prevent violent extremism and address its underlying causes.

In terms of the devastation that we are witnessing in the world, the trend of internationalized intra-state conflict is egregious. IPI Vice President Adam Lupel expressed gratitude for IPI’s partnership with IEP and appreciatively acknowledged IEP’s work on the positive findings of peacefulness. Lupel and Collings further discussed the positive peace angle, clarifying that while the 2023 GPI found 84 countries became more peaceful, 74 countries became less peaceful. It is much more difficult to build peace than it is to destroy it.

Welcome Remarks:
H.E. Mitchell Peter Fifield, Permanent Representative of Australia to the UN

Michael Collins, Executive Director Americas, Institute for Economics and Peace

Roselyn Akombe, Chief of Peacebuilding Strategy and Partnerships, UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs

Adam Lupel, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, International Peace Institute