author: Geoff Berridge
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Multilateral Conferences: Purposeful International Negotiation
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The values and institutions of multilateralism are not ahistorical phenomena. They are created and maintained in the context of specific demands and challenges, and through specific forms of leadership, norms, and international power configurations. All of these factors evolve and change; there is little reason to believe that multilateral values or institutions could or should remain static in form and nature. The relationship between the distribution of power, the nature of challenges and problems, and the international institutions that emerge to deal with collective challenges is const...
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The world did celebrate as the clock struck midnight on New Year’s Eve, in one time zone after another, from Kiribati and Fiji westward around the globe to Samoa. People of all cultures joined in—not only those for whom the millennium might be thought to have a special significance. The Great Wall of China and the Pyramids of Giza were lit as brightly as Manger Square in Bethlehem and St. Peter’s Square in Rome. Tokyo, Jakarta and New Delhi joined Sydney, Moscow, Paris, New York, Rio de Janeiro and hundreds of other cities in hosting millennial festivities. Children’s faces ref...
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United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
Multilateral Institutions: Building New Alliances, Solving Global Problems
The mountain of global problems, viz. the list of world tasks that can be solved only collectively by the international community, continues to grow. At the same time, the multilateral institutions find themselves in the midst of a difficult process of change, one marked by a high degree of mistrust and fragmentation in the international community as well as by a low level of willingness and ability to tackle global tasks in the multilateral framework. This trend has been due to certain unilateral reflexes that emerged when the Cold War drew to a close and above all to the experiences th...
The Grand Decade for Global Health: 1998-2008
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Global health diplomacy: How foreign policy can influence health
Ilona Kickbusch argues that public health experts need to work with diplomats in order to achieve global health goals.
Unvanquished: A U.S.-U.N. Saga
Question: When is a diplomatic victory not a diplomatic victory? Answer: When it is achieved by means of a veto in the Security Council of the United Nations. Nowhere is this maxim more tellingly illustrated than in the Council’s meeting in New York in November 1996 which voted on the issue of whether or not […]
Diplomacy with a Difference: The Commonwealth Office of High Commissioner, 1880-2006
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The Hypocrisy Threatening the Future of the Internet
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The impact of cultural diversity on multilateral diplomacy and relations
Basic concepts mean different things in different cultures. In multilateral relations this means that looking at such a concept is always culturally biased. As a result, an interpretation according to one culture also tends to criticise different interpretations according to other cultures. This paper discusses how important it is that diplomats and politicians pay attention to and accept the fact of cultural diversity. If they do, they will understand the underlying causes of many conflicting attitudes and they may become more inclined to seek compromise and consensual approaches rather than ...
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In one of his last essays before his premature death in 1972, Martin Wight described international conferences as ‘the set pieces punctuating the history of the European states-system, moments of maximum communication’.
Unvanquished: A U.S.-U.N. Saga
Question: When is a diplomatic victory not a diplomatic victory? Answer: When it is achieved by means of a veto in the Security Council of the United Nations. Nowhere is this maxim more tellingly illustrated than in the Council's meeting in New York in November 1996 which voted on the issue of whether or not to give a full second term (five years) to the Secretary-General, the University of Paris educated Egyptian scholar-diplomat, Dr Boutros Boutros-Ghali. Of the 15 members of the Council, 14 voted in favour and one voted against. Since that member was the United States this represented a vet...
Triangular Co-operation and Aid Effectiveness: Can triangular co-operation make aid more effective?
Summitry in the Americas: The End of Mass Multilateralism?
Summits among large numbers of leaders that convene on a periodic basis are the “new diplomacy.” In the Western Hemisphere, summits continue to multiply, whether in response to specific issues or to the desire by certain countries to assert their leadership. At the same time, skepticism regarding the value of summits has become widespread. A common view is that summits are largely photo ops for leaders and that their lofty communiqués are soon forgotten, leaving a wide gap between aspirations and implementation. These frustrations notwithstanding, summits are here to stay. Gathering...
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Our object in this study is to analyse the present state of the UN 'system' and to suggest changes and reforms which might allow it to function in a more systematic and effective manner. This study is the fourth in a sequence analysing salient problems in the working of the United Nations system and recommending how to equip it better to meet the enormous challenges of a new era. Each study has benefited from the sponsorship and consistent encouragement of the Dag Harnrnarskjold Foundation (Uppsala, Sweden) and the Ford Foundation (New York, USA). The work began in 1989-1990 with issues ...
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The current world geopolitical configuration shows how after the end of a bipolar world set by the top superpowers (United States and the Ex Soviet Republic) along with other major players (such as Germany, Great Britain, France, Japan and China, the P5 United Nations Security Council members + 1 with the full capacity of veto power in all world top decisions and procedures) set up a new world reconfiguration that has emerged since the end of the twenty century and mainly in the beginning of this 21th century standing driven from some centers of power and in parasailed with the political and e...
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Diplomacy is used to manage the goals of foreign policy focusing on communication. New trends affect the institution of diplomacy in different ways. Diplomacy has received an additional tool in the form of the Internet. In various cases of interdependence and dependence interference in a country’s affairs is accepted. Multilateral cooperation has created parliamentary diplomacy and a new type of diplomat, the international civil servant. States and their diplomats are in demand to curb the excesses of globalization. The fight against terrorism also brought additional work for diplomac...
Ahead of the Curve? UN Ideas and Global Challenges
Ideas and concepts are arguably the most important legacy of the United Nations. Ahead of the Curve? analyzes the evolution of key ideas and concepts about international economic and social development born or nurtured, refined or applied under UN auspices since 1945. The authors evaluate the policy ideas coming from UN organizations and scholars in relation to such critical issues as decolonization, sustainable development, structural adjustment, basic needs, human rights, women, world employment, the transition of the Eastern bloc, the role of nongovernmental organizations, and global govern...
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Diplo: Effective and inclusive diplomacy
Diplo is a non-profit foundation established by the governments of Malta and Switzerland. Diplo works to increase the role of small and developing states, and to improve global governance and international policy development.
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