Publications

GAPW has created a diverse portfolio of publications ranging from daily monitoring of UN negotiations to full length manuscripts from well-known publishers.

Most of these publications (with explanations of their context and partnerships) are available from our homepage or, in some cases, via our program description pages.   Some of our publication highlights include the following:

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Scrutinizing the UN Security Council’s Thematic Obligations

Summer 2014

GAPW has long understood the need to engage a full range of diplomatic and civil society initiatives to increase the accountability and effectiveness of the UN Security Council.  From working methods and the use of the veto to the makeup of permanent and non-permanent membership, we have attempted to stay in creative relationship to a number of reform initiatives, especially the Accountability, Coherence and Transparency (ACT) group chaired by Switzerland.

As fires rage worldwide, and as more threats to peace and security are identified by the Council (the latest of which are ISIS and the Ebola epidemic), the need to link Council activities, especially in the thematic areas, to a wider range of capacities and preventive initiatives of states, civil society and UN secretariat offices is paramount.  Especially this past summer, the Council has too often seems overwhelmed with crises while sidelining many potential collaborators and neglecting core aspects of the UN’s preventive architecture.

With leadership from Dr. Vesselin Popovski and Dr. Trudy Fraser (our Peace and Security Fellow), GAPW was honored to contribute to “The Security Council as Global Legislator,” published by Routledge.   Melina Lito and Robert Zuber contributed an essay entitled “The Security Council as legislator and norm builder: Impacts on efforts to promote the Women, Peace and Security agenda.” This essay examines themes that have guided our own gender-focused activities.

As noted by Routledge, this volume seeks to reframe discussions of whether the Security Council – in the current composition and working methods – is representative, capable or productive. Rather it assesses whether legislative activity by the Security Council can be beneficial to international peace and security. The authors examine and critique the capacities of the Security Council to address thematic international threats - such as terrorism, weapons proliferations, targeting of civilians, recruitment of child soldiers, piracy – as an alternative to the traditional model of addressing country-specific situations on a case-by-case basis. Ultimately, the book seeks to assess the efficacy of the Security Council as global legislator in terms of complementing the Security Council’s mandate for the primary maintenance of international peace and security with other preventative and norm-setting capacities.

For access to the Popovski/Fraser volume, please click here.

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Peacekeeping and Rapid Reaction:   Towards the Establishment of Cosmopolitan Capacities for Rapid Deployment

October 2013| Bradford, UK

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By David Curran, Melina Lito, Jonathan Gilmore and Catherine Jones

The Division of Peace Studies at the University of Bradford hosted a workshop on 8th July 2013 supported by Global Action to Prevent War and Armed Conflict (GAPW), and the World Federalist Movement Canada, titled “Peacekeeping and Rapid Reaction: Towards the establishment of cosmopolitan capacities for rapid deployment.” The workshop had two main goals. Firstly to chart the theoretical and practical development of peacekeeping operations, incorporating cosmopolitan approaches to international conflict resolution; secondly, to analyse the role of standing, rapid reaction peacekeeping capacities (at national and international levels) as suitable tools for governments, regional organisations and the United Nations.

This report outlines policy considerations which were evident during the discussions. A key theme emergent in the workshop was the requirement for dialogue over a number of areas - such dialogue would focus not just on where current capacities are short, but would also interrogate a range of possible ‘answers’ to capacity challenges.

The publication is available here.

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Assessing UN-Media Relations

September 2013| New York, NY

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For the past two years GAPW has been developing and establishing the UN-focused media initiative, matching:points. In the shorter term, the initiative is designed to examine the state of UN media coverage and promote more effective cooperation between UN journalists, UN Secretariat departments and UN missions. The longer-term goal is the elevation of the United Nations’ profile based on more intensive media coverage of a wider range of UN stakeholders and policy challenges, mostly communicated via social media and other web-based resources.

matching:points consists of three elements, the first being the production of a brief with recommendations for the UN media community based on a series of interviews with UN correspondents, UN staff, and diplomats from various missions. The brief is supposed to serve as a reminder to the adherence of relatively well known, common and global media standards, rather then the reinvention of an entire, already existing system.

The second component refers to organizing stakeholder meetings based on the recommendations made in the brief.

To date, we have organized events on Obstacles UN-based journalists Encounter during Their Daily Reporting, and How to Cover Disarmament Issues More Effectively. A forthcoming event will focus on The Image of the UN in Central/South American States. Finally the initiative attempts to provide coverage of a wide range of important UN policy discussions that might otherwise remain underreported.

The initiative is directed by Lia Petridis Maiello a European journalist who writes on different UN matters for diplomats and for various international media outlets.

For GAPW’s brief on UN media relations, please click here.

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November 2012

1UNODA Publication, “Civil Society and Disarmament 2012 - Applying a Disarmament Lens to Gender, Human Rights, Development, Security, Education and Communication: Six Essays”

The publication features six essays on disarmament topics by civil society actors. The essays are:

  • Merging Disarmament and Development Priorities
  • Minimizing the impact of illicit small arms and diverted weapons transfers in the commission of atrocity crimes, human rights violations and other violence
  • The Role of Non-Nuclear Weapon States to Advance the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons
  • Incorporating a Women, Peace and Security Lens into Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) Programmes and Priorities
  • Encouraging Government Efforts to Increase Participation of Women in Disarmament Policy, Education and Advocacy
  • New Communication Tools in Disarmament Education: Using social media and technologies to enhance cross-cultural movement building

The downloadable PDF is available here.

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March 2012 | New York, NY

att_prizeman_fes_brief_pagenumber001Published in the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) ‘International Policy Analysis’ series, “From Preparations to Negotiations for an Arms Trade Treaty” is a policy analysis paper detailing the various facets of the evolving process of the ATT from its inception in the original General Assembly resolution from 2006 through the upcoming July 2012 UN negotiating conference.

Global Action’s International Coordinator, Katherine Prizeman, lays forth the primary issue areas to be negotiated and the main summary positions of the regional blocs and main actors as well as the political context within which the treaty will have to be negotiated this summer. Perhaps most importantly, the author offers a series of recommendations to be considered that will provide for the best chances of formal adoption of an effective and robust ATT in the long term.

For full access to the paper, please click here.

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bulletin57_pagenumber001GAPW has been featured in the July/August newsletter of our partner the Bonn International Center for Conversion (BICC). Our International Coordinator Katherine Prizeman provided an article discussing how human security concerns have been redefined through new media and social technology widening public discourse on issues of global concern from mass atrocity crimes to disarmament. Commonly known as Web 2.0, social media tools and networking technologies have altered the rules of engagement for diplomacy, both official and unofficial. Human security challenges no longer fall exclusively under the purview of state officials and UN staff, but are open to a growing number of academics, advocates and avid networkers.

GAPW has embraced this media movement as it has helped to expand our communication opportunities to better service and engage with diverse global constituents and advocate for the integration of new perspectives into policy at UN Headquarters. We believe that an expansive network of diverse communication tools is indispensable to the work of a multifaceted human security agenda.

For the full newsletter from BICC, please click here.

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U.S. MILITARY SPENDING: Hundreds of Billions for Foreign Wars. How Much for National Defense? by Randall Forsberg and Alex Carlin (Updated by Alex Carlin July 2011)

“Alex Carlin’s brilliant report shows, once and for all, that we can safely cut the Pentagon’s annual allowance by $500 billion so long as we are willing to stop acting like an empire.” Matthew Rothschild, Editor and Publisher, The Progressive

Following in the footsteps of GAPW co-founder Randy Forsberg, Alex Carlin has revised an earlier piece co-written with Forsberg that examines the vast amounts of US military spending that is less about defending the US homeland and more about fulfilling core foreign policy objectives. Massive military expenditures overseas - including military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan and the presence of US military personnel and bases in dozens of other countries — constitute an enormous (and often needless) portion of the regular defense budget. Carlin breaks down the most recent numbers and helps us take charge of a budget that is much more likely to bankrupt our children than provide the security we seem to crave.

It is commonly understood that military spending, while perhaps beneficial in local contexts, is the least cost-effective way to promote economic growth in the US or any other nation. Despite this fact, global military budgets continue to expand. And in cases such as the US where modest defense cuts are being contemplated, voices from politics, policy and the military are raised in protest. Many believe in the pursuit of a globalized military based in part on US entitlement and in part on the dubious assertion that ‘we need to fight them over there so we don’t have to fight them over here.’

Alex Carlin’s updated article on US military spending is available here.

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“Trust but Verify: Building Cultures of Support for the Responsibility to Protect Norm,” by Robert Zuber and Ana Carolina Barry Laso

gr2pPublished in the September 2011 edition of the Global Responsibility to Protect Journal, GAPW Director Robert Zuber and former staff member Ana Carolina Barry Laso explore how truth issues permeate all security policy deliberations, including recent UN discussions around the R2P norm and implementation of its three ‘pillars.’ The authors underscore the importance of trust in three areas—trust in the viability of the norm itself, trust in the persons most closely related to the norm, and trust in the institutions and persons responsible to ‘house’ and ultimately implement the norm. The authors suggest that as the implementation process shifts from the ‘first pillar,’ state-controlled preventative and early warning capacities, to the ‘third pillar,’ last resort direct responses to atrocity crimes, the need for dependable bonds of trust between policymakers, R2P advocates, and diplomats is evermore vital.

For the full article, please click here.

For access to the whole journal, please click here.

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“Small Arms Trade: Disarmament vs. Regulation?”

May 2011 | UN Headquarters, NY, NY

logoWe are thrilled to announce that Jessica Erdman, a research assistant at Global Action, has recently been published in World Politics Review as she discusses the recent Meeting of Government Experts (MGE) on the Program of Action on small arms and light weapons. In her article entitled “Small Arms Trade: Disarmament vs. Regulation,” Jessica highlights the importance of addressing the small arms and light weapons (SALWs) trade, which is at worst unregulated and at best uneven. She discusses small arms in light of former Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s famous assertion that small arms are the “real weapons of mass destruction.” In contrast to the regulatory systems for chemical and biological weapons, the regulation of the international trade in SALWs is in dire need of systemization. Jessica also appropriately underscores the linkage between small arms proliferation and human rights abuses.

For the full article, please click here.

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Women’s Participation as a Development Priority

March 2011

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GAPW is pleased to announce that a co-authored article by Jenneth Macan Markar, Kavitha Suthanthiraraj, and Robert Zuber has been included in InterAction’s March edition of its “Monday Developments Magazine.” The article underscores the importance of women’s participation for development.

Women have long fought for an equal voice in the home, at work and in government. Moreover, most development-related officials, whether from religious organizations, civil society, international NGOs or governments have long recognized the positive benefits of having more women involved in the formation and implementation of security and development policy, helping to address daunting obstacles to full participation caused by major disruptions in the security sector. But even in dire circumstances, there are strategic opportunities for development and faith based groups to help overcome participation barriers. Over the past decade the critical importance of women’s participation in peace processes and policies has been recognized through numerous international institutions, resolutions and state commitments-including UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (SCR 1325), adopted in October 2000. A limited number of states have adopted SCR 1325 National Action Plans, and a set of global indicators to track implementation was formally approved by the Council on 26 October 2010.

Given our view that our responsibilities to the MDGs and implementation of SCR 1325 go hand in hand, development organizations are urged to work more closely with UN agencies, rights-based groups and local/regional women to guarantee participation. In this effort SCR 1325 can both guide and inspire faith based and development organizations in their efforts to promote full participation of women in political, development and peace processes.

For the full article in PDF form, please click here.

For access to the full March edition of “Monday Developments Magazine” from InterAction, please click here.

See also recent remarks by Executive Director Of UN Women, Michelle Bachelet, on rule of law and development as they relate to women.

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Healing the Wounds: Speech, Identity & Reconciliation in Rwanda and Beyond

healing_the_wounds_final_pagenumber001The Program in Holocaust and Human Rights Studies and the Human Rights and Genocide Clinic at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, in association with Global Action to Prevent War, has released a new report, “Healing the Wounds: Speech, Identity and Reconciliation in Rwanda and Beyond.” The report is based on a 2009 conference at the Cardozo Law School in New York during which a distinguished group of scholars and practitioners examined the ways in which individual and group conceptions of identity are defined and enforced through the intervention of law and, in particular, the 2008 Rwandan “genocide ideology law.”

Following the conference, the strengths and limitations of this legal strategy were examined with implications for policy and practice for both the international community and the governments of states emerging from cycles of violence. A central challenge confronting all societies emerging from genocide, other mass atrocities, or ethnic conflicts is establishing a durable, trusting relationship across ethnic and religious lines. These policy recommendations seek to address this challenge.

For the report in PDF form, please click here.

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Promoting Women’s Participation in Conflict and Post-Conflict Societies

GAPW has written and published a book on “Promoting Women’s Participation in Conflict & Post-Conflict Societies” in conjunction with the NGOWG on Women, Peace and Security and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. The book was just launched at the United Nations University in Tokyo and will soon be launched at the United Nations in New York.

book-coverThis volume, the second in a projected three-part series, represents a large and growing global community’s determination and passion for promoting women’s full participation in peace policies and processes. The objective of this report is to highlight national and community-based initiatives undertaken by women’s organizations and civil society actors seeking a more prominent role for women at the peace table. Therefore, the book examines the different roles played by women worldwide - as government representatives, activists, leaders of NGOs and women’s networks or simply concerned citizens – who have persevered through threats and conditions of violence to initiate transformative processes within conflict and post conflict societies.

The ultimate goal of the book is to encourage policymakers at the UN and other international organizations to acknowledge what many of us have known for some time: the full participation of women is absolutely essential to building, maintaining and restoring peaceful communities. Please contact (coordinator@globalactionpw.org) for information on how to obtain a hardcopy of the book..

A PDF version of the full text can be found here.

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“Trust and Distrust: The Possibility of a UN Emergency Peace Service”

Final Report from Study from April 2007-August 2010

uneps_report_pagenumber001Between July 2007 and August 2010, interviews on the UN Emergency Peace Service (UNEPS) proposal were conducted with over 80 respondents from different professional, political, religious and cultural backgrounds. They included senior academics, current and former diplomats and other government officials, and experts from leading non-governmental organizations working on issues of peace and security. The interviewees were from Africa, Latin America, Southeast Asia, North America, and Australia. They offered a combination of person and professional opinions on the proposal. Interviews were mostly conducted face-to-face though some were over the phone. Respondents’ attitudes were also captured through regional round-table discussions held by Global Action to Prevent War (GAPW) often in collaboration with local universities or think-tanks as well as discussions and interactions from previous UNEPS conferences

The full report can be accessed here.


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Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations in Consultative Relationship with the UN

January 2011

Dr Lester Ruiz, one of our most valued associates, recently presented a paper at the General Assembly of the Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations (CoNGO).  His remarks, both wise and occasionally controversial, are intended to get NGOs like GAPW to think longer and harder about the ways in which we do our ‘business.’

Specifically, he recommends steps that we have tried to follow in our own practice - including the need for UN-based NGOs to more vigorously engage diverse elements of civil society worldwide and more effectively act as a conduit for local and regional perspectives on human security issues.  He also advocates for NGOs to occasionally ‘hold the mirror’ up to their own practices in the same way that we try to do with governments.

Ruiz’s piece is challenging, but provides many insights for those of us in this sector needed to refresh our role in the UN community and in the much broader community of civil society engagement.

For the full paper, click here.

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December 2010 | UNU, Tokyo, Japan

unu-logo-3c-11Global Action to Prevent War and United Nations University Institute for Sustainability and Peace (UNU-ISP) have collaborated on a policy brief based on an expert’s panel held at the UNU on 8 September 2010, in partnership with the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security and Soka Gakkai International. The panel drew together a diverse group of academics, advocates and policymakers from UN agencies as well as organizations in Japan, the Phillippines, Australia, Pakistan and the US. All participants have worked at various levels– academic, policy, direct-action– to contribute to efforts towards ensuring the full participation of women in peace policies and processes, and ending impunity for gender-based violence.

This brief also draws upon the report Promoting Women’s Participation in Conflict and Post-Conflict Societies: How Women Worldwide are Making and Building Peace by Kavitha Suthanthiraraj and Cristina Ayo, published by GAPW in conjunction with the NGOWG on Women, Peace and Security and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.

For the full policy brief in PDF form, please click here.

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Standing for Change in Peacekeeping Operations

Global Action launched this publication during a workshop on Peacekeeping and Civilians Protection in Jakarta, Indonesia in June 2009.

Standing for Change in Peacekeeping Operations.”

The aim of this publication is to provide diverse regional perspectives on the need for UN-based standing capacity such as UNEPS. Over 70 interviews were conducted in Latin America, Africa, North America and South East Asia with senior academics, current and former diplomats, UN and government officials, UN mission staff and experts from leading non-governmental organizations. Research work was undertaken by GAPW staff and by Annie Hero from the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies (CPACS) at the University of Sydney.

Juan Mendes, former Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide, made an important contribution to the publication, providing an analysis of challenges to the prevention of genocide based on his 32 months of experience inside the UN.

This volume represents a new stage in the evolution of the United Nations Emergency Peace Service (UNEPS) project. Focusing on diverse regional perspectives, key recommendations have been incorporated to help refine the UNEPS proposal, push forward the standing capacity agenda and ensure that UN peacekeeping can respond effectively to the humanitarian and security emergencies for which it is ultimately held accountable.

For a PDF version of the publication, please click here.

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