March 2019 review

TransConflict is pleased to present a selection of articles published during March, plus updates from the Global Coalition for Conflict Transformation.

 Suggested Reading Conflict Background GCCT

1) Why is multilateral diplomacy so difficult?

Matthew Parish – Multilateral diplomacy is difficult, and we may only now be learning how most effectively to undertake this art. But it is necessary. There are too many geopolitical confrontations in the contemporary age, in which the bipolar conditions of Cold War have evaporated, for us not to pursue multilateral diplomacy as a course of last resort in every opportunity in which it has at least the remotest possibility to deliver a positive outcome. The world is too dangerous for the international community to adopt any other philosophy. Read on…

2) The Balkans – the feast feeding Russia’s and Turkey’s hunger

Dr. Alon Ben-Meir and Arbana Xharra – The EU should insist on democratic reforms and adherence to human rights, against which it would accelerate the membership process of Balkan states. This will provide them confidence that their prospective membership is real by virtue of the EU’s practical deeds and continuing political engagement, which will give the Balkan states diminishing incentives to accommodate either Turkey’s or Russia’s ambition to lure them into their orbit.Read on…

3) Does Bosnia need a new constitution?

Matthew Parish – The only way to manage the problems pertaining to constitutional reform is finally to abolish Bosnia’s fourth arm of government, international oversight; encourage the country’s three groups subsequently to negotiate reform of its constitutional system finally outside the shadow of international oversight. This should be the international community’s plan to secure Bosnia’s European future. Read on…

4) Syria – concerns raised and possible next steps

Rene Wadlow – The Syrian situation has grown increasingly complex since 2011 with more death and destruction as well as more actors involved and with a larger number of refugees and displaced persons. Efforts have been made to create an atmosphere in which negotiations in good faith could be carried out. Good faith is, alas, in short supply. Efforts must continue. An anniversary is a reminder of the long road still ahead. Read on…

5) Saudi Arabia’s new regional power play

Christian Kurzydlowski – Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman has enhanced his country’s profile, and redefined Saudi decision-making regarding foreign policy. He is not afraid to undermine, and test existing alliance structures. Where once Saudi monarchs were tempered through consensus, Mohammed bin Salman new narrative of his vision of Saudi Arabia confers decision making through near absolute authority. Read on…

6) No will, no way – stalled efforts to deal with the past in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice – Despite several areas of modest progress, the government of Sri Lanka has overwhelmingly failed to bring about the changes that are needed to heal the wounds of the past and ensure that Sri Lanka will never again experience the kind of mass violence that has marked its recent history. Read on…

7) On virtual currency and terrorist financing

Christian Kurzydlowski – Cryptocurrencies as a source of terrorist financing is of yet, limited. But to assume that this will remain static is potentially dangerous. If terrorist actors are increasingly turning to digital methods to expand their influence, utilizing brand marketing as a medium of connecting with their target demographics, why should the use of Virtual Currencies be any different? Whether through choice or necessity, VCs can offer terrorist actors another supply conduit, one which regulatory cohesion has yet to mould. Read on…

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