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Conference Marathon

Swisspeace Annual Conference

Swisspeace Annual Conference

On Tuesday, 3 November I will attend the Swisspeace Annual Conference. The topic is “Rebels with a Cause? Understanding and Dealing with Non-State Armed Groups During and After Violent Conflicts.”

The Swiss NGO has invited some high-level speakers that have field experience in negotiation with non-state actors, such as the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, and our partner Small Arms Survey. For more information on non-state actors, you can check the ISN keyword on our website that contains a lot of publications.

Then on the following Thursday, I will attend the annual conference of UNO-Academia on “Collective Security and Maintenance of International Peace and Security: What are the Stakes?”. UNO-Academia is a network between all the Swiss universities that gathers research on UN-related topics.

According to the program, academics will be joined by policymakers to develop a comprehensive approach on the above mentioned question. For a short summary of the concept of “Collective Security”, you can check out this story from ISN Security Watch partner World Affairs Journal by Peter Beinart. The conference will be preceded by a roundtable discussion in which I have been invited to speak:  “Youth Meets the United Nations: Which Role for Youth in the United Nations?”.

Of course, I’ll update you next week with the outcomes of these conferences. If it happens that you are also taking part in the same conferences, it would be a pleasure to meet you there.

Risk Communication in Security Policy

CSS Analysis no 62

CSS Analysis no 62

Researchers from the ISN-supported expert community on crisis and risk have just published a new policy paper.

According to Myriam Dunn Cavelty and Jonas Hagmann, the concept of risk communication has so far been applied almost exclusively in the context of technical and environmental risks.

They show how the concept can be useful for foreign and security policy, too.

You can download the paper here.

Bruce Riedel on the US Af-Pak Strategy

CIPS PodcastsBruce Riedel chaired the task force who reviewed the US strategy in Afghanistan and Pakistan last winter.

The Centre for International Policy Studies (CIPS), an ISN partner, has published a podcast of his talk at the Ottawa Roundtable on Security and Intelligence.

After a long career at the CIA and advising three US presidents to the US presidency, Riedel is now a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

In his talk, he presents the key conclusions of the Af-Pak strategic review released in March 2009. By the way, here is the US white paper summarizing the recommendations which came out of the review.

Riedel also outlines developments in Afghanistan and Pakistan in the last six months and looks at the direction US policy is likely to, or should, take.

Further ISN resources on the topic:

The Intricate Ways of Cybersecurity

crnThe CSS Expert Community “Crisis and Risk Network” (CRN) has just released a new report on strategies and policies in the field of Cybersecurity. Based on the cybersecurity strategies of the US, the UK, NATO and other actors, the paper explores what cybersecurity actually means, puts forward possible responses to the perceived threats and discusses that with a focus on the Swiss situation. The authors argue that the underlying problem to cybersecurity policies is that it remains unclear what is threatened, who is threatening, and what the potential consequences of cyberattacks could be.

The paper can be downloaded here.

Resetting the Nuclear Disarmament Agenda

Mikhail Gorbachev / Photo: European Parliament,flickr

Mikhail Gorbachev / Flickr - European Parliament

I’m on my way to the 3rd Geneva Lecture Series, which is hosting Mikhail Gorbachev, former president of the Soviet Union.

The Series gathers high-level panelists to discuss contemporary topics. This afternoon, Gorbachev will talk about nuclear disarmament. His venue is highly symbolic.  At a time when the world is deeply concerned about Iran’s motives and North Korea’s arsenal, they could not have chosen a better speaker.
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