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Climate change [What Think Tanks are thinking]

20-09-2019

The United Nations’ Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, will convene a special summit on climate change on 23 September, during the annual session of the UN General Assembly in New York. The meeting, entitled ‘Climate Action Summit 2019: A race we can win, a race we must win’, is meant to encourage world leaders to do more to limit emissions of greenhouse gases responsible for global warming. Guterres has said the meeting will seek to challenge states, regions, cities, companies, investors and citizens ...

The United Nations’ Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, will convene a special summit on climate change on 23 September, during the annual session of the UN General Assembly in New York. The meeting, entitled ‘Climate Action Summit 2019: A race we can win, a race we must win’, is meant to encourage world leaders to do more to limit emissions of greenhouse gases responsible for global warming. Guterres has said the meeting will seek to challenge states, regions, cities, companies, investors and citizens to step up action in the areas of energy transition, climate finance and carbon pricing, industry transition and nature-based solutions. This note offers links to a series of recent commentaries and reports from major international think tanks and research institutes on climate change and ways to mitigate it. Earlier reports on trade can be found in a previous edition of 'What Think Tanks are thinking' published in April 2019.

International Migrants Day – 18 December

15-12-2017

Each year, 18 December is observed as International Migrants Day. Nominated by the United Nations General Assembly on 4 December 2000 in response to increasing migration in the world, the day aims to draw attention to the human rights of migrants, and highlight their contribution to our societies.

Each year, 18 December is observed as International Migrants Day. Nominated by the United Nations General Assembly on 4 December 2000 in response to increasing migration in the world, the day aims to draw attention to the human rights of migrants, and highlight their contribution to our societies.

EU action for sustainability

27-06-2017

In response to the adoption of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in September 2015, the European Commission published a communication in November 2016 aimed at fully integrating the United Nations' 2030 Agenda for sustainable development into European Union policy. The European Parliament is expected to adopt an own-initiative resolution on the topic at its July plenary session.

In response to the adoption of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in September 2015, the European Commission published a communication in November 2016 aimed at fully integrating the United Nations' 2030 Agenda for sustainable development into European Union policy. The European Parliament is expected to adopt an own-initiative resolution on the topic at its July plenary session.

The future of multilateralism: Crisis or opportunity?

10-05-2017

Multilateralism lies at the core of the EU’s identity and of its engagement with the world. Both the 2003 European Security Strategy and the 2016 Global Strategy emphasised the importance of a rules-based global order with multilateralism as its key principle and the United Nations (UN) at its core, and made its promotion part of the EU’s strategic goals. Yet, in spite of widespread acknowledgement of the achievements of the multilateral international order established after the Second World War, ...

Multilateralism lies at the core of the EU’s identity and of its engagement with the world. Both the 2003 European Security Strategy and the 2016 Global Strategy emphasised the importance of a rules-based global order with multilateralism as its key principle and the United Nations (UN) at its core, and made its promotion part of the EU’s strategic goals. Yet, in spite of widespread acknowledgement of the achievements of the multilateral international order established after the Second World War, and in particular of the attainment of long-lasting peace, multilateral institutions and the liberal international order in which they are embedded have recently been the subject of severe criticism. The rise of populist nationalism has been interpreted, among other things, as a crisis in support for the multilateral order. Some of the causes of this crisis are related to the emergence of new actors in the global scene, the expansive nature of multilateral institutions, the widening gap between publics and international institutions and the decline of American power. The election of Donald Trump, who had repeatedly questioned the value of multilateral organisations such as the UN, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO), has led to even greater preoccupation about the future of global governance. In this scenario, several scholars suggest that the EU and the G20 should be proactive in safeguarding multilateralism, while acknowledging and promoting the necessary reforms to the architecture of global governance.

Annual report on human rights and democracy in the world, 2013

06-03-2015

Human rights and the promotion of democracy worldwide are top priorities for the European Parliament. They fall under the remit of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET) and of its Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI), which discusses both topical and standing issues in this field in depth.

Human rights and the promotion of democracy worldwide are top priorities for the European Parliament. They fall under the remit of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET) and of its Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI), which discusses both topical and standing issues in this field in depth.

The post-2015 development agenda

26-01-2015

Fruit of two different but increasingly converging processes, the post-2015 sustainable development agenda is set to become the universal framework guiding global and national efforts to support human development in conjunction with environmental durability, from 2016. As the final stage in negotiations approaches, the post-2015 agenda is taking shape in a novel institutional setting, characterised not only by its twin-channels – with Rio+20 state-driven and post-2015 UN-led tracks – but also by ...

Fruit of two different but increasingly converging processes, the post-2015 sustainable development agenda is set to become the universal framework guiding global and national efforts to support human development in conjunction with environmental durability, from 2016. As the final stage in negotiations approaches, the post-2015 agenda is taking shape in a novel institutional setting, characterised not only by its twin-channels – with Rio+20 state-driven and post-2015 UN-led tracks – but also by its highly participative nature. Indeed the process has ensured large space for public participation and opportunities for input from stakeholders. The broad reactions to the shape the agenda is taking, expressed as the main outcome documents are published, show that the results may not satisfy those who were expecting a truly transformative shift in the way the international community faces global challenges. According to commentators the working documents do not address the roots of poverty and economic inequality, although they follow the growth-centred path supported by the business lobby. A true human-rights approach to development is not at the basis of the agenda, although it is stressed that substantial progress has been achieved through its universal scope and the inclusion of the rule of law and peace and security-related goals in the new framework. This is an updated version of a briefing published in June 2014.

BRICS – a bloc or a bubble?

04-12-2014

BRICS stands for Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. This heterogeneous group of five large countries each underwent dramatic economic growth in the past decade. Now they are forging links among themselves, are calling for greater recognition of their weight in international institutions and are creating a development bank. But is the group here to stay?

BRICS stands for Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. This heterogeneous group of five large countries each underwent dramatic economic growth in the past decade. Now they are forging links among themselves, are calling for greater recognition of their weight in international institutions and are creating a development bank. But is the group here to stay?

Is a nuclear-weapon-free Middle East possible?

05-07-2013

A Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone (NWFZ) is seen as a useful instrument to implement multilateral agreements prohib­iting acquisition, stocking, and testing of nuclear weapons. As for the Middle East, talks have been in the air for decades. However, due to hostility between Israelis and Palestinians, frozen diplomatic relations, Israeli and Iranian nuclear ambitions and the unstable political situation in the region talks have not yet materialised. Hopes were dampened when the Helsinki conference, scheduled ...

A Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone (NWFZ) is seen as a useful instrument to implement multilateral agreements prohib­iting acquisition, stocking, and testing of nuclear weapons. As for the Middle East, talks have been in the air for decades. However, due to hostility between Israelis and Palestinians, frozen diplomatic relations, Israeli and Iranian nuclear ambitions and the unstable political situation in the region talks have not yet materialised. Hopes were dampened when the Helsinki conference, scheduled for late 2012, was postponed. But recently there have been signals that the process could be revived.

Reform of the UN Security Council

22-05-2013

The divergent responses of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to the crises in Syria and Libya – a veto on action in the former case contrasted with authorisation for action in the latter – have once again provided a reminder of the power of the UNSC's veto-wielding permanent members to determine when the UN's collective security system may come into action.

The divergent responses of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to the crises in Syria and Libya – a veto on action in the former case contrasted with authorisation for action in the latter – have once again provided a reminder of the power of the UNSC's veto-wielding permanent members to determine when the UN's collective security system may come into action.

The EU as a Global Actor : Its Evolving Role in Multilateral Organizations

15-03-2011

This study explores ways through which the EU could meet ifs full potential as a global actor and, specifically how it can act more effective in the multilateral organizations and forums. The main obstacle for the EU is the fragmented and divergent positions among the member states that occasionally arise over major international issues, and prevent the Union from acting with speed and determination required in international affairs. The departure point of this analysis is a thorough assessment of ...

This study explores ways through which the EU could meet ifs full potential as a global actor and, specifically how it can act more effective in the multilateral organizations and forums. The main obstacle for the EU is the fragmented and divergent positions among the member states that occasionally arise over major international issues, and prevent the Union from acting with speed and determination required in international affairs. The departure point of this analysis is a thorough assessment of the Lisbon Treaty. The latter provides the EU with legal personality and with new tools and competences that, if there was enough political will, could enable it to maximize its current capacity to act. Assessed against the division of competences between the EU and its Member States enshrined in the Treaty, the study looks at the current status of the EU in the most important multilateral organizations that form the central nucleus of the world governance, both in the political, defense and economic realms. For each of those organizations, the report proposes ways and means to enhance the membership status and influence of the Union. At the same time, it is recognized that the international architecture is clearly imperfect and unsuitable for global governance, often reflecting the old order and powers that emerged from World War II. Therefore, this report also provides suggestions on how to reform the system for global governance if it is to be more representative and efficient while allowing a more adequate insertion of the EU.