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Climate change [What Think Tanks are thinking]

05-04-2019

The United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, on 28 March urged governments worldwide to come to the UN summit on climate in September 2019 with concrete plans to boost action against global warming. The call followed the publication of the annual report on climate change by the World Meteorological Organization, which warned about the dire consequences of the continued rise of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. In the same month, hundreds of thousands of students and pupils in 120 countries ...

The United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, on 28 March urged governments worldwide to come to the UN summit on climate in September 2019 with concrete plans to boost action against global warming. The call followed the publication of the annual report on climate change by the World Meteorological Organization, which warned about the dire consequences of the continued rise of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. In the same month, hundreds of thousands of students and pupils in 120 countries have sought to draw politicians’ attention to climate change by walking out of classes to stage repeated street protests. This note brings together commentaries, analyses and studies by major international think tanks and research institutes on climate talks and wider issues relating to climate change. Earlier publications on the issue can be found in a previous edition of 'What Think Tanks are Thinking' published in November 2018.

The 2016 election of a new UN Secretary-General

21-10-2016

On 13 October, the United Nations General Assembly appointed a European, António Guterres, to the post of UN Secretary-General, after a selection that was, in part, unprecedentedly transparent. For the first time in history, the nominated candidates had the opportunity to present their vision in public dialogues organised in the General Assembly with member states and civil society representatives. Guterres emerged somewhat unexpectedly as the chosen candidate – without much diplomatic wrangling ...

On 13 October, the United Nations General Assembly appointed a European, António Guterres, to the post of UN Secretary-General, after a selection that was, in part, unprecedentedly transparent. For the first time in history, the nominated candidates had the opportunity to present their vision in public dialogues organised in the General Assembly with member states and civil society representatives. Guterres emerged somewhat unexpectedly as the chosen candidate – without much diplomatic wrangling in the Security Council, and defying expectations that the next secretary-general would be a woman and/or an eastern European, according to the principle of diversity which holds sway in the UN. Given his strong political and diplomatic experience and his commitment to the refugees cause (he served as head of the UN Refugee Agency), his election has raised expectations that he will improve the UN's functioning and address current global challenges, especially the Syrian crisis and the refugee crisis. In his vision statement, Guterres emphasised the importance of a 'diplomacy of peace' for his future mandate, focusing on the prevention of conflicts through political means. The commitment to human rights, sustainable development, women's empowerment and the value of diversity embodied in today's increasingly multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and multi-religious societies defines his approach to rising global challenges. He intends to make the UN more efficient and more decentralised.

Cyber diplomacy: Confidence-building measures

28-10-2015

The growing importance of internet-enabled platforms for delivery of government, financial, and public services makes them one of the key priorities for national security. Over recent years, state, state-sponsored and non-state actors (i.e. terrorist organisations, organised crime groups) alike have resorted to intrusive techniques to gain the economic, political or security upper hand over their competitors and adversaries. The evolving landscape of threats, and challenges linked to attribution ...

The growing importance of internet-enabled platforms for delivery of government, financial, and public services makes them one of the key priorities for national security. Over recent years, state, state-sponsored and non-state actors (i.e. terrorist organisations, organised crime groups) alike have resorted to intrusive techniques to gain the economic, political or security upper hand over their competitors and adversaries. The evolving landscape of threats, and challenges linked to attribution of attacks to specific perpetrators, have further increased the risks of misunderstanding and misperception of operations in cyberspace. Against this background, a number of international and regional organisations in Europe, Asia and Latin America have embarked on the process of developing confidence-building measures in cyberspace, with a focus on improving communication and information exchange, transparency and verification, cooperation and restraint measures. While these are welcome, there is growing concern that the nascent global 'cyber stability regime' may be undermined by diverging concepts, methods and measures elaborated within these diverse frameworks. The European Union has embraced the peaceful development of cyberspace as one of its key priorities in the EU Cybersecurity Strategy. It contributes actively to the ongoing debates about norms, provides support to regional confidence-building processes, and pursues the objective of a stable, safe and secure cyberspace by providing funding for capacity building in partner countries.

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