Archive for the ‘Chatham House (UK)’ Category

Inertia of the Humanitarian System Means More Famines are Inevitable

July 26, 2012 Comments off

Inertia of the Humanitarian System Means More Famines are Inevitable
Source: Chatham House

Early warnings that could prevent food shortages from developing into famines are not triggering early action among humanitarian agencies or donor governments, resulting in thousands of avoidable deaths, says a new Chatham House report. Instead, the humanitarian system tends to mobilize only once a crisis hits, when it is by definition too late to prevent an emergency.

Modern early warning systems provide a crucial window of opportunity during which the humanitarian system can intervene to avert disaster and prevent the downward spiral into destitution and starvation that can follow from drought. This opportunity is being wasted, according to the report, launched on the first anniversary of the 2011 Somalia famine declaration.

The report author, Rob Bailey, says, ‘Organizations need to look carefully at how they can reward decision-makers for appropriate early action and penalize inappropriate delay. Unless the humanitarian system gets to grips with the fundamental constraints of perverse incentives and adverse politics, more avoidable catastrophes are inevitable.’

US Election Note: International Trade Policy after 2012

June 29, 2012 Comments off

US Election Note: International Trade Policy after 2012
Source: Chatham House

The 2012 presidential election is occurring as the US economy emerges from a significant recession. While trade is a small part of the campaign debate, it remains an emotional ‘wedge issue’ for the electorate. This paper lays out the likely trade policy of either a second-term Barack Obama administration or an incoming Mitt Romney administration.

Non-communicable Diseases will Cost Global Economy $47 Trillion by 2030

February 6, 2012 Comments off

Non-communicable Diseases will Cost Global Economy $47 Trillion by 2030
Source: Chatham House

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are the greatest cause of deaths and disability for humans and have a serious economic impact, says a new Chatham House paper, Silent Killer, Economic Opportunity: Rethinking Non-Communicable Disease. The cumulative losses in global economic output due to NCDs will total $47 trillion, or 5% of GDP, by 2030. The author, Sudeep Chand, says modest investments to prevent and treat NCDs could bring major economic returns and save tens of millions of lives.

NCDs, such as heart disease, cancer, asthma and depression, have their place alongside economic risks such as infectious diseases, illicit trade, migration, terrorism and food security. They have global scope, cross-industry relevance and a high economic and social impact. Economic policy-makers and businesses concerned with capital and labour costs have good reasons to consider the burdens from NCDs. Sustainable, balanced economic policy can consider low rates of NCDs as a measure of success. Where the economic benefits outweigh the costs, civil society has a major role to play in harnessing an effective response to NCDs.

+ Full Report

New Report: UK Foreign Policy Goals Cannot Be Achieved by Military Power Alone

October 23, 2011 Comments off

New Report: UK Foreign Policy Goals Cannot Be Achieved by Military Power Alone
Source: Chatham House

Strategic communications should become a more prominent component at the highest levels of government, at an early stage in the development of government strategies, during a crisis response or a contingency operation and generally as a critical component of policy-making, says a new Chatham House report.

Recent operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya have underlined that UK foreign policy goals cannot be achieved by military power alone. Increasingly important are non-military means and ‘soft’ power in order to connect with populations both at home and abroad. Strategic communications, correctly defined, are an integral part of this approach.

Strategic Communications and National Strategy, aims to raise awareness of the role of strategic communications and clarify how it can contribute to facing future security challenges.

The report considers the contribution strategic communications can make to national security strategy in its broader sense as directed, managed and delivered not only by the highest levels of government but by all constituent pillars of governance, including the military, diplomacy and trade, throughout the policy process.

Although the UK government clearly has a good understanding of the importance of strategic communications, this understanding is relatively limited in its sophistication and imagination, and policy in turn proves difficult to coordinate and implement.

+ Full Report

On Europe’s Fringes: Russia, Turkey and the European Union

July 31, 2011 Comments off

On Europe’s Fringes: Russia, Turkey and the European Union
Source: Chatham House

  • Russia and Turkey, significant powers on the fringes of the European Union, both have awkward relations with Brussels.
  • As Russia’s and Turkey’s strength becomes greater and the EU’s declines, the relationships between them will increasingly involve political as well as economic factors.
  • Turkey is economically and politically closer to Europe than Russia is, while Russia’s relationship with Europe mainly consists of a mutual energy dependency.
  • Russia’s unpredictable business environment remains a key constraint on its deeper integration with the EU. The Turkish economy faces challenges, but Turkey has a much better business environment than Russia.
  • The EU’s own economic deficiencies suggest that it needs to remain circumspect in dealing with both countries. But Turkey, in particular, should be considered more of a foreign policy partner.
  • + Full Paper (PDF)

    India’s Developing International Role

    June 13, 2011 Comments off

    India’s Developing International Role
    Source: Chatham House

    Within a short time, India has evolved from a country with a marginal role to a key participant in global decision-making. But many agree that India’s ability to play a greater global role would evolve more naturally were the country’s domestic development challenges met.

    In recent years Western countries have encouraged India to play a more active global role, as have other emerging powers. India has attempted to do so in many areas, and it has sought to be recognized as a global actor, not least by campaigning for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council.

    A new Chatham House report, For the Global Good: India’s Developing International Role, explores India’s growing influence on international affairs, trade and investments, security and democracy, and the environment, including climate change.

    Given its size and population, India has potential to make a significant contribution in tackling climate change through its domestic policies on renewable energy, adopting low-carbon technology and forest conservation.

    The report also assesses its role in Afghanistan, by far the most important example of Indian overseas assistance today. India, the fifth larges provider of aid to Afghanistan, sees a stable, pro-Indian government in Afghanistan as a strategic benefit and the country remains a ‘special case’ in India’s foreign policy thinking.

    + Full Report

    UK Policy Towards Africa Shifting to Strategic Interests and Trade

    June 12, 2011 Comments off

    UK Policy Towards Africa Shifting to Strategic Interests and Trade
    Source: Chatham House

    Budget cuts and a renewed focus on private sector investment in Africa as a driver of development has led the UK government to over-haul many aspects of its diplomatic engagement with states in sub-Saharan Africa, says a new paper.

    While no embassies in Africa are threatened with closure for now, many have seen staff cuts which mean fewer UK staff are responsible for larger areas. These staff cuts are so widespread that a new style of British diplomatic mission know as a ‘micro post’ is emerging in Africa. If successful such a model may be rolled out globally over coming years.

    ‘These changes are all taking place against longer-term uncertainties over the extent to which the FCO, on Africa as elsewhere, is capable of fighting its case in Whitehall for sufficient funding and continued relevance’, says the paper’s author, Tom Cargill.

    ‘This is risky for the United Kingdom’s reputation globally: a crisis for Africa could conceivably force a ‘South of Suez’ withdrawal that would call into question the United Kingdom’s permanent position on the UN Security Council and international standing generally’.

    + More with Less: Trends in UK Diplomatic Engagement in Sub-Saharan Africa


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