The Brotherly Leader and Guide of the Revolution / Photo: US Navy/Wikipedia
Maybe it’s that Beoduin-style tent he likes to pitch in the most interesting places, or maybe his fashion sense, but Colonel Muammar Gaddhafi has made it his task to keep himself and his country in the international spotlight. But what may not be apparent is Libya’s importance in the geopolitical sphere – our theme for this week.
Parag Khanna of the New America Foundation gives his views on Libya’s position on the regional and global scale in the latest edition of ISN Podcasts.
And don’t forget that you can follow us on Twitter and join our Facebook fan page.
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.
Silenzio. Press freedom under fire in Italy, photo: Zingaro. I am a gipsy too/flickr
Not many countries on Reporters Without Borders’ Press Freedom Index 2009 have reason to celebrate. The index sees many countries like Iran and Israel, quite predictably, slip as a consequence of protests, wars and crackdowns in the past year.
While it may not be a surprise that reporters in conflict zones or in countries that are slipping deeper into authoritarianism face severe restrictions and harassment, countries that have always prided themselves on their freedom and openness are slipping down the ranks at an alarming rate.
As the accompanying analysis suggests, several EU members, most notably France and Italy, have slipped down the index and now find themselves ranked in places 43 and 49, respectively, well below countries like Jamaica, South Africa, Mali, Uruguay and Macedonia; countries that may not always have been associated with the concept of free press. In Berlusconi’s fiefdom this is no surprise, but why is France almost as badly off as Italy? And, one might add, why is Spain ranked just one below France at place 44? What is wrong with the grand old dames of Europe? » More
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 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: