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author: John Pace

Knowledge management: experience from international organisations

2002

In this chapter, John Pace decribes the three-phase evolution of knowledge management in the human rights program of the United Nations. The realisation that knowledge management is a necessity came during the third phase. The author also describes the complex system of monitoring bodies and ad hoc mechanisms, and the developments that took place following four decisions taken in the mid-eighties.
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Knowledge management in the United Nations human rights program is a relatively recent phenomenon. It may be said to be symptomatic of the evolution of human rights activities over the years since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. This evolution may be classified into three distinct phases. The first phase was the phase when the United Nations system was busy setting standards. The second phase is that when the system was seeking ways and means of obtaining the implementation of the standards, and the third phase is that when the system started to look at the ways in which it could apply its experience towards creating conditions that would enable governments to prevent negative situations of human rights from further deteriorating or from developing. The first phase takes us till roughly around the second half of the seventies, the second phase would take us to somewhere around the mid-eighties, and the third phase brings us to today.

In the first phase the characteristic of the flow of information was more or less outward: we had a core or nuclear idea which needed to be shared and developed into international standards of human rights. These standards would be universal standards and would apply to all persons. This first phase took about 25 years, and consisted very much of the process of defining where the sum total of the national values met around a common denominator, which was reflected in the standards of the Universal Declaration. So, this was a period of reflection, consultation, negotiation and formulation, and was dedicated to the immediate process of setting of standards. But it really never touched people; it really never touched the individual.

In the second phase we started to get close to realities. It was the time when we were first authorised by the Commission on Human Rights and later by the General Assembly to gather information; to go to countries to meet individuals. We were able to inform ourselves directly of realities in human rights situations and we started to bring that back and apply it to testing the standards that had been developed over the previous years. Of course, the situations that we tested were the very denial of the situations that were envisaged by those standards. So the gap was immediately apparent; seemingly impossible to bridge. This was the time when it was fashionable to call human rights situations, situations that were anything but human rights situations since, in fact, they were situations of violations of human rights. So we went around in a number of countries, all impossible human rights situations. This period taught us a lot in terms of the gap that we had to bridge between those realities and those standards and also it taught us the need to reflect on ways in which this gap could be bridged.

The second phase was interesting also because at this time we experienced a dramatic increase in information emanating from local groups, non-governmental organisations, both international and local. They were not all the most objective of sources, but the quality of the information was generally authentic, and in any event most useful in re-constructing the factual situation when direct access was denied us. To some governments, these were subversive or opposition groups, and hostile sources. We did not really let the terminology affect our work, because for all we knew, both sides were right. What interested us at this phase was trying to record and to get an idea of the experiences that were actually being made by people on the ground, and the reasons for those experiences.

This led us to the third phase, where we started to apply this knowledge that we were deriving from the information we were collecting, in order to try to find ways and means of addressing or redressing these phenomena. It should be understood that what was happening was an all around evolution and not an invention of the international bureaucracy. It was the international political consensus, if you like, the intergovernmental common denominator that was enabling us to move from the earlier stages of discussing theory to the testing of these standards against realities.

It is at this third phase, with the procedures that had developed over the years, that knowledge management became a necessity. These procedures all depend on the receipt and application of information. Since they had been developed over a number of years and through different processes, it was necessary to provide a common pool where this mass of information generated by these procedures could be located in order to facilitate its use.

What are these tools and where are these information sources? At the core is the human rights programme of activities and at the core of these activities are those necessitated by the six main international conventions. Of these conventions, we have the two covenants, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

The fact that there are two covenants—as distinct from one Universal Declaration is, of course, the result of an aberration that took place in the fifties, the division—artificial division—of civil and political rights from economic, social and cultural rights, a division that never reflected realities.

In addition to these two covenants, we have four conventions: the Convention on Rights of the Child, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

The two covenants and the other four conventions each have their own treaty monitoring body, consisting of a group of experts elected by the States Parties. These treaty bodies review information contained in reports presented by States Parties and other sources; they are intended to conduct their work through dialogue with representatives of States submitting reports and in certain cases, with inter-governmental bodies and non-governmental organisations. They meet at regular intervals throughout the year and from time to time issue General Comments or make Observations intended to aid with the interpretation of provisions of the international instrument in question.

In addition, there are extra-conventional procedures, which are heavily dependent on information since they are fact-finding in nature. Today there are something like 50 such procedures, also known as ad-hoc mechanisms, that consist of Special Rapporteurs or Working Groups, some dealing with situations in specific countries, and others looking into certain phenomena. These have thematic mandates, so they look into such allegations as those of disappearances and arbitrary detentions, etc. They are intended to buttress the conventional implementation that I have just described.

The third procedure developed over the years, and most recently, is that of technical cooperation, under which the United Nations provides assistance to governments directly through the human rights programme, and less directly, through the rest of the United Nations system, to create conditions, build institutions, and strengthen institutions within their society for addressing potential negative human rights situations. Technical cooperation is, like the other procedures, heavily reliant on information and analysis.

It is relevant to mention here the developments that led to change in the support of these three principal procedures. These developments may be summarised by referring to four decisions, all of which were taken in the mid-eighties.

The first is the decision of 1986 to adopt the Declaration on the Right to Development—you would have heard a lot about it and some of you who are more familiar with human rights will wonder why on earth I am mentioning this one. Then there was, in 1987, the decision to set up a Voluntary Fund for Technical Cooperation, which permitted the possibility of applying extra-budgetary resources to institution building. In 1988 came the decision which authorised for the first time the undertaking of human rights education and training. This decision enabled us to develop the tools by which we could deliver the technical cooperation support. The fourth decision was in 1989, to convene the World Conference on Human Rights that took place in 1993, the second World Conference on Human Rights that had taken place in the history of the UN.

The reason for the convocation of a World Conference was the need for agreement on the priorities to be set in the search for the realisation of international human rights norms. The international community, having finished with the formal Conventions, having more or less saturated the potential for extra-conventional mechanisms, having tried technical cooperation, found the need to see where the international system was going; and during the three years of my life between 1990 and 1993 when I had the doubtful honour of coordinating the World Conference, we saw emerging around various regions this energy, as it were, to do something about human rights standards. In Asia, for example, the regional meeting in preparing for the World Conference in 1993 was the first meeting ever of the Asian Governments around a human rights agenda. The African regional meeting spun off some of the richest non-governmental organisations in human rights that we had not seen before. The same may be said with regard to the Americas; the regional meeting in Costa-Rica.

The preparation of the World Conference was a process which took the shape of a pyramid, consisting not just of intergovernmental meetings, not mere statements and declarations, but which took place through a very hard fought blow by blow process around the world in various manifestations. By 1993, when the World Conference adopted its Declaration and Programme of Action, it had in it a number of elements that enabled us to turn to a wider, more meaningful implementation of human rights standards. This was essentially inspired by the fact that by that time the knowledge of the realities was such around the table that nobody anymore could deny that these issues could be seen as something that they were not. So you had a situation where, for instance, an inter-governmental body like the Commission on Human Rights took up issues which a few years earlier were unheard of. When I started as Secretary of the Commission on Human Rights in 1978, it was my duty to advise the Chairman to stop a speaker, to cut the microphone for any speaker who mentioned a country by name. Today, virtually any human rights situation, any situation that has a human rights aspect to it, one way or the other is taken up in the same body: it is not solved, but it is addressed and the governments concerned respond on the merits. Even though some issues may not lead to decisions of substance because of procedural preferences they are on the table and they are addressed in substance.

The World Conference produced a clear priority for democracy, development and human rights. Governments gave themselves an agenda—whereby they could now address human rights in a much wider, a much more total context. What was missing was the institution and that was taken care of a few months later when the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights was set up, in December 1993. This created the vehicle which would clear the way for this process to realise itself.

As soon as this institution was set up, it became necessary to re-structure the secretariat to enable it to support the High Commissioner’s mandate in addition to carrying out its earlier functions. It was possible for us to start examining that information and that knowledge that we had acquired over the preceding years with a view to applying it in a constructive and forward looking manner.

In order to do that we devised this tool called “Huricane”, which stands for Human Rights Computerised Analysis Environment. Huricane was set up in order to enable us to marshal the information that we had been accumulating over the years; to set up a system for receiving information in order to create a common pool to serve all the activities of the human rights program. Moreover, it is intended to serve as a tool for monitoring the status of realisation of the right to development.

Huricane consists of eight databases serving as baskets for storing information. These eight databases, once Huricane is complete, will be interrogated by a search engine that we are developing, that would enable us to re-construct the picture in regard to the situation of civil, cultural, economic, political or social rights. This would enable us to assist governments in their efforts to create the conditions to enable them to meet their international human rights obligations. (The order of the rights—alphabetical—that I have just used is, in itself, significant, since it underlines the integral nature of the five groups of rights. It is worth mentioning here, by way of parenthesis, that the resolution establishing the High Commissioner for Human Rights was the first in several decades that used this order. In the last decades it has become accepted to refer to human rights in two distinct groups: civil and political rights on one hand and economic, social and cultural rights on the other. The significance in the use of the alphabetical order is in the fact that this was symptomatic of the change of culture of human rights that was taking place—the return to the “integrated” approach to human rights.)

Huricane is made up of two types of information. One is the information that exists on the public media, such as the World Wide Web and the other public sources, and the other one is the information on our Intranet, the internal web where we store our own information. The idea was to try to bring the information more or less on the same manageable level. So we had to identify the common attributes, such as the human rights subject, the mandate or legislative authority, and the country concerned. In order to obtain a first list of relevant subjects, we examined the work of the Commission on Human Rights over the preceding 20 years and drew up from the work of the Commission what we felt were the key-subjects that the Commission had taken up over that period. Hence you will find a wide range of subjects like asylum, internally displaced persons, fair trial, right to food, etc.

Having done that, we then identified its components. Component number one was our Treaty Body system. It should be kept in mind at all times that the raison d’être of the United Nations human rights programme is the international legal regime of the International Bill of Human Rights. Governments ratify conventions and undertake obligations under which they have to report, and it is our duty to make sure that we make this process fair and feasible for governments. Now, during the early years, when the treaties were still in their post-adoption stages, the focus was on ratification by governments. There was therefore a need to provide governments with the knowledge and means to meet the obligations that they undertake when they ratify an international human rights treaty. Thus, this first database in Huricane contains all the information relating to the status of these treaties, such as details on each of the ratifications, including reservations, reporting status, and so forth. The full text documents are then included whenever they make reservations etc.

The next database contains the second component. This is made up of documents prepared for the so-called charter-based bodies, viz. the Commission on Human Rights and the General Assembly. This one is designed in three languages and it has the possibility to incorporate internal documents such as reports that we get from our field offices (there are 22 such offices), reports from evaluation missions, and other such internal reports.

The third component is our digital registry. This contains incoming mail and copies, or evidence of the follow-up that is given to this mail. This is done by scanning in the hard-copy mail, which enables it to be accessible to everyone on his or her screen. So far this covers mail coming in through the mail-room. Correspondence coming in through fax lines will be integrated through the installation of a central electronic fax server that will receive messages and direct them into the registry system. This will also have the advantage of avoiding the diffusion of multiple copies of hard copy of the fax traffic. It ensures monitoring of correspondence for follow up and continuity. It also makes it possible to follow correspondence attributed to others; these views are organised by the date of the registry, by registry number (the date and number are entered electronically), by the date that it was sent, by sender, by country or by mandate (subject).

The fourth component is the News/Statements Database where we have selected certain news sources which are relevant to the subjects making up the menu that I referred to earlier. The other components are:

    • Communications Database. This is the database where individual complaints received under the established procedures are stored. These are confidential procedures that governments have devised either in the Commission on Human Rights, or in a human rights treaty.
    • External Sources Database. This is a bibliographical source which we use in order to make sure that we also have outside material that is, in some cases, also retained in full text.
    • Thematic Mandates Database. This database contains the material that comes in from the so-called Athematic mandates. These are procedures established by the Commission on Human Rights to look in to allegations of violations of certain rights, and include allegations of enforced and involuntary disappearance, arbitrary detention, summary or arbitrary execution.

The sum total of information stored in these databases embraces human rights standards across the board. The multiple database search engine makes it is possible to draw up a profile that enables a reconstruction of the sum total of the human rights picture.

The search engine enables two types of searches, one by country or human rights subject and the other one permits full text retrieval.

Now you see, in fact, what we are doing is simply organising and applying the experience that we had made over the years. I will wind up with one example. In developing our tools for training—we were only authorised to do so as of 1988—we had to start with those sectors of society that were more likely, by virtue of their office, to be in contact with larger groups of people. So we started with the Administration of Justice sector, and specifically, law enforcement. In this group, we also had to address the human rights training of the armed forces. This was in 1994. This represented a formidable task, knowing full well how difficult the military culture, the armed forces culture, had been for us traditionally to assimilate to the respect for human rights. Thus, in order to overcome this barrier, the first thing we did was to look at the experiences that had accumulated over the preceding twenty years, which would show what we considered as negative situations of human rights resulting from or attributable to, in one form or another, armed forces behaviour. Having done so, we brought together twenty or so military persons, of various ranks and backgrounds, for a week to Geneva and we shared these experiences with them. From these discussions there emerged three types of situations where military behaviour was directly related to human rights situations, and which could form the basis of a human rights training program for armed forces personnel. The first was the situation illustrated by the Chile case. Chile was a very good case history because you had a government that was taken over by the military and substituting the government structure. You had generals who were government department ministers. This was hypothesis number one. Hypothesis number two was when the armed forces were called in to perform what were normally considered as police duties, like crowd control, where, being trained as soldiers, they applied their training and caused loss of life and limb. And the third sector was the behaviour of armed forces in peace-keeping operations, where, even though the colour of the cap had changed, the training had not—and therefore the resulting behaviour was still not very different from what it would have been during normal service, at least in some instances.

This exercise consisted of—no more and no less—simply sharing with them what we knew from the preceding twenty years. And they did not like that, since their military training and culture was intended to prepare them for loftier goals. Since that time we started working on developing a module for training. What had seemed impossible became very likely, simply by the application of facts; letting the facts speak for themselves.

This is the philosophy behind Huricane. Its purpose is no other except to enable governments to ascertain for themselves the relationship between a given situation and the international standards to which they have adhered, not in an accusatory or punitive sense, but in the sense of prevention, of enabling the creation of conditions to address and redress negative situations of human rights.

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The study Towards a secure cyberspace via regional co-operation provides an overview of the international dialogue on establishing norms of state behaviour and confidence-building measures in cyberspace.

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Searching for Meaningful Human Control. The April 2018 Meeting on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (Briefing Paper #10)

In this briefing paper, Ms Barbara Rosen Jacobson analyses the debate of the April 2018 meeting of the Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW). The group was established to discuss emerging technologies in the area of lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS).

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Renewing the United Nations System

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 Role of Diplomacy in the Challenges to Maritime Security Cooperation in the Gulf of Guinea: Case Study of Nigeria

There is presently a pervading feeling that the West and Central African states are long overdue to take control of their maritime environment. However, these expectations show no indication of materialising in the short term.

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Backstabbing for Beginners: My Crash Course in International Diplomacy

On 21 April 2004, the Security Council adopted resolution 1538(2004), the most embarrassing resolution in the history of the United Nations. The resolution appointed an independent high-level inquiry whose mandate was to 'collect and examine information relating to the administration and management of the Oil-for-Food Programme, including allegations of fraud and corruption on the part of United Nations officials, personnel and agents, as well as contractors, including entities that have entered into contracts with the United Nations or with Iraq under the Programme.'

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Use of language in diplomacy

Part of Language and Diplomacy (2001): Ambassador Stanko Nick takes a practical approach, examining issues such as the choice of language in bilateral and multilateral meetings, the messages conveyed by language choice, difficulties posed by interpretation, and aspects of diplomatic language including nuance, extra-linguistic signalling, and understatement. Language, according to Nick, is not a simple tool but "often the very essence of the diplomatic vocation."

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Surrender is Not an Option: Defending America at the United Nations and Abroad

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Organisational culture of UN agencies: The need for diplomats to manage porous boundary phenomena

The goal of this article is to introduce readers to the complexity of the organisational culture of UN agencies in order to limit possible misunderstandings about the functioning of the UN and its agencies and in order to make diplomatic interactions with UN agencies as efficient and as effective as possible.

Global Health, Aid Effectiveness and the Changing Role of the WHO

The challenge of regionalism

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Development Co-operation Report 2014: Mobilising Resources for Sustainable Development

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Global Health Diplomacy: Concepts, Issues, Actors, Instruments, Fora and Cases

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Multilateral Conferences: Purposeful International Negotiation

Ron Walker was a member of the Australian diplomatic service for 37 years, for the last 22 of which (1975-96) he specialized in multilateral diplomacy. His book on this subject is not an academic book. Instead he has done for multilateral diplomacy what Kishan Rana has done for bilateral diplomacy, namely, provided on the basis of long and wide experience, much at a senior level, a splendid handbook of practical advice for the novice.

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Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

The study of regional integration

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Herding Cats: Multiparty Mediation in a Complex World

Review by Geoff Berridge

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Global Environmental Politics

Power: The nexus of global health diplomacy?

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Outcome document of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development: Addis Ababa Action Agenda

Summitry as intercultural communication

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’.

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Multistakeholder Diplomacy – Challenges and Opportunities

This book is a collection of papers from Diplo’s February 2005 conference in Malta and from research interns involved in our Multistakeholder Diplomacy internship programme.

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The Role of the United Nations in Making Progress Towards Peace in Burundi

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Common African Position on the Post-2015 Development Agenda

The participatory approach that led to the elaboration of the Common African Position (CAP) on the post-2015 Development Agenda involving stakeholders at the national, regional and continental levels among the public and private sectors, parliamentarians, civil society organizations (CSOs), including women and youth associations, and academia. This approach has helped address the consultation gap in the initial preparation and formulation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

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Diplomacy as an instrument of good governance

The functioning of diplomacy is influenced by a complicated combination of different interrelated factors. This paper briefly analyses their impact on the evolution of diplomacy and discusses how diplomacy as an instrument of good governance should adjust itself to meet the new challenges, to become more relevant, open and agile, to modify its methods and to fully utilise opportunities offered by the technological revolution.

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Diplomacy at the Highest Level: The Evolution of International Summitry

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UN conferences on the spot – voices from civil society

In the fourth chapter of the book, Britta Sadou, focuses on non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Sadou introduces this particular group as civil society actors and continues by discussing possibilities provided to NGOs by various UN summits. The author highlights some of the main world conferences during the 1990s and early 2000s and poses two important questions - Has the time of those huge events come to an end? What could be the alternatives?

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The Reform of the United Nations

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Knowledge management: experience from international organisations

In this chapter, John Pace decribes the three-phase evolution of knowledge management in the human rights program of the United Nations. The realisation that knowledge management is a necessity came during the third phase. The author also describes the complex system of monitoring bodies and ad hoc mechanisms, and the developments that took place following four decisions taken in the mid-eighties.

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Peacemaking 1919

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Diplomacy with a Difference: The Commonwealth Office of High Commissioner, 1880-2006

Book review by Geoff Berridge

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On Behalf of My Delegation,…: A Survival Guide for Developing Country Climate Negotiators

The one hundred pages of this book are in fact a useful Survival Guide for those approaching climate change negotiations for the first time. It has been written for developing country delegates, but delegates from other countries can also profit from its reading the same way that a similar survival guide for industrialized country delegates would be useful for those coming from developing countries, because it is necessary to know both sides of the story

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United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

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The United Nations and Development: From Aid to Cooperation

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Ten theoretical clues to understanding United Nations reform (Briefing Paper #6)

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The complexification of the United Nations system

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Multilateral Conferences: Purposeful International Negotiation

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Digital Diplomacy as a foreign policy statecraft to achieving regional cooperation and integration in the Polynesian Leaders Group

Established in 2011, the Polynesian Leaders Groups serves to fulfill a vision of cooperation, strengthening integration on issues pertinent to the region and to the future of the PLG. Its nine – American Samoa, French Polynesia, Niue, Cook Islands, Tokelau, Tuvalu, Tonga and Wallis Futuna, is argued to have strength in numbers, resources and diversity, and a positive addition to the growing regional diplomacies in the South Pacific.

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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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Multilateral Aid 2015: Better Partnerships for a Post-2015 World

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Global Warming and Global Politics

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Changing with the World: UNDP Strategic Plan 2014-17

With the changing world as the backdrop, and building on our core strengths, our vision is focused on making the next big breakthrough in development: to help countries achieve the simultaneous eradication of poverty and significant reduction of inequalities and exclusion. This is a vision within reach, with the eradication of extreme poverty and major reductions in overall poverty feasible within a generation. It should be possible as well to make significant inroads against income and non- income measures of inequality and exclusion within this time frame.

The Grand Decade for Global Health: 1998-2008

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Multilateral Diplomacy for Small States: The Art of Letting Others Have Your Way

Multilateral Diplomacy for Small States: The Art of Letting Others Have Your Way

The Hypocrisy Threatening the Future of the Internet

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The Charter of the United Nations: A Commentary

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Diplomacy on a south-south dimension

Building international diplomacy requires understanding ourselves, others, and how we relate together. It also involves understanding how others relate among themselves. In efforts to internationalise and build a truly global future, the consideration of contacts among all parts of the world becomes critical. The sustained diplomatic cooperation that has taken place in the last 50 years between China and African nations is an instructive example. This major phenomenon is the focus of this paper.

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Consensus Rule Processes

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Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems: Mapping the GGE Debate (Briefing Paper #8)

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5th MIKTA Foreign Ministers’ Meeting: Joint Communiqué

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UN Conferences: Media events or genuine diplomacy?

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Environmental Diplomacy: Negotiating More Effective Global Agreements

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How to Run the World: Charting a Course to the Next Renaissance

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International Diplomacy Volume I: Diplomatic Institutions

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Manual on Compliance with and Enforcement of Multilateral Environmental Agreements

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The UN and the world diplomatic system: lessons from the Cyprus and US- North Korea talks

In Bourantonis, D. and M. Evriviades (eds), A United Nations for the Twenty-First Century(Kluwer Law International, 1996), pp. 105-16

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Governance fore Health in the 21st Century: A study conducted for the WHO Regional Office for Europe

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Triangular Co-operation and Aid Effectiveness: Can triangular co-operation make aid more effective?

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The Role of Regional Cooperation in Eradicating Poverty and Aid Dependency in East Africa

The hypothesis of this thesis is that regional cooperation and integration are effective tools in alleviating poverty within nations and reducing their dependency on foreign or development aid.

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The United Nations: An Introduction

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Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

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International Diplomacy Volume IV: Public Diplomacy

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Reinventing NATO’s Public Diplomacy

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Small States at the United Nations

The proliferation of small states in the past few decades has brought small and larger states on the same playing field. Their increase in number triggered a wave of studies, raised concern by 'realists' and some powerful states, and led to an affirmation that at the United Nations, all states are equal, regardless of size.

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Our Global Neighbourhood

Regionalism versus Multilateralism

The literature on regionalism versus multilateralism is growing as economists and political scientists grapple with the question of whether regional integration arrangements are good or bad for the multilateral system. Are regional integration arrangements "building * blocks or stumbling blocks," in Jagdish Bhagwati's phrase, or stepping stones toward multilateralism?

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Managing Global Chaos

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Security Council reform: Why it matters and why it’s not happening

From U Thant to Kofi Annan: UN Peacemaking in Cyprus, 1964-2004

2004 marked the fortieth anniversary of the United Nations presence in Cyprus. Since March 1964, the UN has been responsible for addressing and managing both peacekeeping and peacemaking efforts on the island.

The inertia of Diplomacy

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...

What is Global Health Diplomacy? A Conceptual Review

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The Oxford Handbook on the United Nations

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Small states and NATO: Influence and accommodation

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What’s the World Health Organization For?

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Mediation in the Yugoslav Wars: The Critical Years, 1990-95

Assessing implementation mechanisms for an international agreement on research and development for health products

The Member States of the World Health Organization (WHO) are currently debating the substance and form of an international agreement to improve the financing and coordination of research and development (R&D) for health products that meet the needs of developing countries. In addition to considering the content of any possible legal or political agreement, Member States may find it helpful to reflect on the full range of implementation mechanisms available to bring any agreement into effect. These include mechanisms for states to make commitments, administer activities, manage financial co...

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Old diplomacy in New York

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Mainstreaming Development in the WTO

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Tunis Agenda for the Information Society

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Humanitarian intervention and international society

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Palestinian statehood diplomacy: The Palestinian UN bids of 2011-2012

The Palestinian Authority (PA) launched an intense diplomatic campaign to garner a supporting vote in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), which was finally realized in 2012 by an upgrade to a 'non member observer state', granting Palestine a set of new privileges. It represents a victory for Palestinian diplomacy and presents a model of statehood diplomacy that received support as much as criticism. It stirred discussions about statehood and state recognition, and exposed the limited success of international interventions in post-conflict state building efforts.

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China is waking up to the benefits of good diplomacy in Asia

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ASEAN Education Ministers Meeting (ASED)

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Leadership Selection in the Major Multilaterals

Inspired by the damaging leadership contest fiascos of recent years in certain international organizations, not least that in the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1998-9, this is a timely and important book. Kahler emphasises that if these bodies do not abandon their old, creaking 'club system of governance' and get their acts together, they will lose their already precarious support in the US Congress and forfeit that of their increasingly assertive members among the developing countries, particularly the large emerging market-economies. With the institutions of global governance thus put at...

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The road to dignity by 2030: ending poverty, transforming all lives and protecting the planet

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International Diplomacy Volume III: The Pluralisation of Diplomacy

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Facing the challenges of an Africa-wide ICT strategy

'There is a need to address these challenges to enhance the capacity of the AU organs, institutions and member states to better respond to instances of ICT policy in Africa. As part of the evolving African governance architecture, there is a need to formulate an ICT strategy...' - Eliot Nsega from Uganda

Negotiating the Balkans: The Prenegotiation Perspective

The issues, the activities and the relations preceding the formal international negotiations have increasingly become an area of a special theoretical interest.

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Contemporary Diplomacy: Representation and Communication in a Globalized World

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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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United Nations Handbook 2015-16

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The IberoAmerican System and its Influence in the Ibero-American Regional Summit Diplomacy

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The Clash of Globalizations: Essays on the Political Economy of Trade and Development Policy

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Enhancing Global Governance: Towards a New Diplomacy

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Security for small states

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Negotiating Public Health in a Globalized World: Global Health Diplomacy in Action

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Small developing economies and the multilateral trading system: A Caribbean perspective

Small developing economies are often constrained in participating in the negotiation and regulation of multilateral trading rules due to severe cost and resource limitations. This article argues that, despite the costs and difficulties, small states must remain engaged in the multilateral trading system in order to ensure that their specialised commercial interests are recognised and to protect their rights. Umbrella entities like the Caribbean Regional Negotiating Machinery (CRNM) provide a means of maximising the influence of small states in an international forum such as the World Tra...

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The Milennium Development Goals Report 2015

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The MIKTA Way Forward (Briefing Paper #2)

Ms Rosen Jacobson assesses the potential, risk, and future of MIKTA, a cooperation scheme comprising Mexico, Indonesia, the Republic of Korea, Turkey, and Australia, which was officially launched in September 2013.

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The Organization of Global Negotiations: Constructing the Climate Change Regime

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A United Nations for the Twenty-First Century

Regional and Multilateral Trade Agreements: Complementary Means to Open Markets

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Funeral summits

Berridge, G. R. (1996) 'Funeral summits', in David H. Dunn (ed.), Diplomacy at the Highest Level: The evolution of international summitry (Macmillan - now Palgrave Macmillan: Basingstoke).

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Strengthening the region’s participation

‘Witnessing the open community policy development process at the AfriNIC community led me to further appreciate the importance of the Policy Research Phase of the Diplo IGCBP. AfriNIC-13 was an eye opener...’ - Maduka Attamah from Nigeria

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Democratic Intergovernmental Organizations? Normative Pressures and Decision-Making Rules

At first sight, the very choice of the title of this book may indicate that the author, Alexandru Grigorescu, was not sure about the existence of such thing. Indeed, to be or not to be democratic is not a top concern on the internal agenda of international organizations. Therefore, Grigorescu’s fresh endeavour to find an answer to such a purposeful question is ab initio a praiseworthy academic démarche.

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The development of multilateral diplomacy and its fundamental role in global security and progression.

This dissertation is written to present the notion of peace and security to be the direct result of international cooperation through multilateral means

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The European Union and the Latin American and the Caribbean Dialogue: Building a Strong Partnership

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Culture and Organizations: Software of the Mind

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The ‘Working’ Non-Aligned Movement: Between Belgrade, Cairo, and Baku – The NAM’s Leadership Visibility

The objective of this chapter is to highlight lessons learned, promote best practices, and carry takeaways that are useful for other levels of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), or even other forums.

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Multilateral Negotiations: From Strategic Considerations to Tactical Recommendations

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The Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and the Accra Agenda for Action

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Diplomacy Before and After Conflict

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Reforming the United Nations: The Challenge of Working Together

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Negotiating and Navigating Global Health: Case Studies in Global Health Diplomacy

The globalization of public health: the first 100 years of international health diplomacy

Global threats to public health in the 19th century sparked the development of international health diplomacy. Many international regimes on public health issues were created between the mid-19th and mid20th centuries. The present article analyses the global risks in this field and the international legal responses to them between 1851 and 1951, and explores the lessons from the first century of international health diplomacy of relevance to contemporary efforts to deal with the globalization of public health.

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Message on Switzerland’s International Cooperation in 2013-2016

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A History of the United Nations. Volume I: The Years of Western Domination 1945-1955

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Engineering Influence: The Subtile Power of Small States in the CSCE/OSCE

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The evolution of diplomacy in the Caribbean

This paper will focus on the development of diplomacy in the Caribbean and how it impacts the development of small Caribbean States, paying attention to the regional, bilateral and multilateral levels of diplomacy.

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The WTO Agreements: Deficiencies, Imbalances and Required Changes

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Alliances and Small Powers

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Global Health and Foreign Policy

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We the Peoples: The Role of the United Nations in the 21st Century

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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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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Hanging In There: The G7 and G8 Summit in Maturity and Renewal

Preventive Diplomacy in Southeast Asia: Redefining the ASEAN Way

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What are the priorities for small states in the international system?

There is no evidence that the vigorous political action needed to implement the recommendations of previous reports on the vulnerability of small states in the Commonwealth will be forthcoming in the near future. In matters of security, economics and particularly the environment, the collective interests of small states do not appear to have been recognized in the international community. Major donors find dealing with small individual demands from multiple small states difficult, but a regional approach simplifies matters and should be the primary area of concern. The Vulnerability Index prov...