The long conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh this month recaptures global attention the only way it ever has: through new bloodshed. Azerbaijan’s swift seizure of the ethnic Armenian enclave has ignited a humanitarian crisis. Most of the territory’s 120,000 residents are fleeing to Armenia, raising the specter of ethnic cleansing. The international community must urgently secure safety for civilians, long the primary victims of this war.
For the first time ever, all five presidents of the Central Asian republics (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) met in-person with a U.S. president as part of “C5+1” summit on the sidelines of last week’s U.N. General Assembly.
In recent months, a drumbeat has built around the U.S. effort to negotiate a normalization agreement between Israel and Saudi Arabia. The deal would be a tectonic shift in Middle East geopolitics, but also carries major implications for other actors beyond the three negotiating parties. Israel would, of course, benefit from normalized relations with the Saudis — long seen as the “holy grail” of potential normalization agreements for the country. The Saudis, in turn, would see their interests advanced through strengthened U.S partnership in key areas. But this deal could also have serious implications for the future of the Palestinian national movement and, further afield, for the role of China in the Middle East.
As China has increasingly positioned itself as a global leader and foremost champion of the Global South, Xi Jinping and other top Communist Party officials have been vociferous in their critiques of the U.S.-led international order. Through a bevy of initiatives and proposals — like Xi’s Global Security Initiative — offered in recent years, Beijing has made clear that it wants to see a wholesale reform of global governance. At the June 2022 BRICS summit, for example, Xi called for a “new type of international relations” that rejects hegemony and zero-sum thinking. What this ultimately amounts to is Beijing’s effort to undermine U.S. global leadership as the U.S.-China rivalry intensifies.
Reconciliation is the long-term process that helps conflict parties build trust, learn to live together cooperatively, and create a stable peace. But what makes reconciliation genuinely transformative? This report draws on a qualitative analysis of 20 prominent reconciliation processes and interviews with experts who guided them to identify the qualities that made the processes successful. The report‘s insights and recommendations can help governments, multilateral organizations, and nongovernmental actors develop more responsive and responsible reconciliation initiatives.
At the opening of the 2023 session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Secretary-General António Guterres highlighted for world leaders the preamble of the organization’s Charter, which says that the “people of the United Nations” are “determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war.” Yet, he explained that “instead of ending the scourge of war, we are seeing a surge of conflicts, coups and chaos.” Indeed, in 2022, there were 55 state-based and 82 non-state conflicts raging around the world, and the period from 2017 to 2021 saw the highest death tolls from non-state actors in armed conflict since 1989.
As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine moves toward its second full winter, observers note that typically heavy rains and then cold may enforce a season of slower fighting. But the war’s most meaningful “next season” may well be not the winter but the nine to 10 months until next summer. Three factors critical to Ukraine’s defense and Europe’s security will evolve by the summer in ways that could open a path toward a just and lasting peace — or could leave the region facing indefinite warfare and threat.
Donna Charles, director of West Africa and Sahel in the Africa Center at the U.S. Institute of Peace, testified on September 27, 2023, before the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security Subcommittee on Counterterrorism, Law Enforcement and Intelligence's hearing on "The Future of Homeland Security: Addressing the Rise of Terrorism in Africa." Her expert testimony as prepared is presented below.
Tunisia’s transition to democracy remains incomplete and under stress. Since the presidential measures to suspend the parliament, dismiss the government and draft a new constitution were enacted in 2021, socioeconomic conditions have continued to deteriorate, and risks of unrest have increased. Meanwhile, the ambitions of the 2011 revolution for rule of law, accountability, economic prosperity and human dignity are far from being realized. USIP works with Tunisians to improve national and local governance and security, rebuild trust and strengthen civil society.
Maritime security is a critical issue for Southeast Asia and the geopolitical underpinnings of this topic cannot be underestimated. This is especially the case for small powers as they navigate a maritime domain that is caught in the middle of — and driven by — great power politics. While maritime security in Southeast Asia is often the stage on which the U.S.-China competition plays out, this extends beyond the competing claims of regional states in the South China Sea, with important environmental and resource issues also at stake. Within this context, the Philippines is in a unique position for three reasons.