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Engaging Today's Global Citizen December 2008
In the Issue


The European Union and the Changing Global Order. Across politics, economics, culture, military strength, and more, a new group of countries have growing influence over the future of the world. And a number of issues vital to US and global security are rapidly evolving due to a changing global order. The European Union (EU), while not a country in the traditional sense, is seen by the Stanley Foundation as shaping the global scene. Learn more about the EU and its political, economic, and other influences on the changing global order. This article is part of a series related to the Stanley Foundation effort "Rising Powers: The New Global Reality."

Prevention of Mass Atrocities Requires Continued Attention. From celebrities to citizen groups and public intellectuals to prominent journalists, many have called for global efforts to stop genocide and other mass atrocities. Often the call is made for the UN Security Council to take action. Stanley Foundation program associate Marie Mainil looks at how too rarely the hard questions of how to prevent mass atrocities are considered.

Calls for a Renewed US Global Engagement Strategy. Despite America's superpower status, the US government is not as effective as it should be in conducting our day-to-day relations with the rest of the world. Leaders of the US military have been among the most outspoken advocates of boosting our civilian capacity, since they often must fill the gap and perform civilian functions such as reconstruction and even diplomacy itself.

Beyond the Headlines

The Winds of Change. It's a big world out there, and there's plenty of analysis on Obama's foreign policy to-do list, and how he might approach regions like Africa and Latin America. Under an Obama administration, US relations with Turkey could chill, the embargo with Cuba could thaw, and things might remain the same with China, despite a brewing trade struggle.

There is no lack of advice for the new administration. Newsweek's Fareed Zakaria recently called on Obama to devise a grand strategy for peace in the 21st century. And the Web site On Day One, a project of the Better World Fund, is soliciting and publishing your foreign policy ideas.

President-elect Barack Obama's official foreign policy plan stands in stark contrast to the last eight years. One of the centerpieces is a renewed emphasis on soft power, with plans to expand the diplomatic corps and aid agencies. In this area the Stanley Foundation offers some advice on how to increase America's effectiveness abroad.

Age-Old Tactic Requires 21st-Century Solution. Modern day discussions of international security don't often draw upon threats dating back to the 13th century B.C. Yet maritime piracy persists as a heinous crime that, aided by modern-day technologies, requires a serious rethink by the international community. Over the past few months, the UN Security Council has adopted resolutions to counter piracy, including calling on nations with vessels in proximity to apply military force to repress the acts of piracy. But less than one month later after UNSCR 1838 was adopted, a gang of 62 Somali pirates, comprised of fishermen, warlords, and computer geeks, captured the MV Sirius Star, a Saudi oil supertanker valued at more than $100 million. This massive assault at sea prompted the latest international push toward improved patrolling at sea. The European Union just announced a bold and serious naval operation plan to counter piracy, yet such a plan poses major international legal challenges, including rules of engagement since the EU as an entity is not recognized by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, Still, utilizing new technologies to battle this age-old challenge is a formidable effort to bring down pirates. While these thugs desperately seek money and power, the real treasure will be realized when coordination among and enforcement by states remains a priority and when political progress within failed states takes hold. 

Stay Active
Tools for Action
The UN Foundation and the Partnership for a Secure America have teamed up to encourage Americans to support a renewed US-UN relationship. An ad calling for the Obama administration to pay US debts to the United Nations on time, seek a seat on the Human Rights Council, and provide concrete support for UN peacekeeping, and signed by several recognizable names in foreign policy was placed in The New York Times on November 20. You can encourage the Obama administration to do the same here.

Help Others Learn More
Two Stanley Foundation staff members participated in programs for youth that changed their lives. "In 1982 I attended the weeklong World Affairs Seminar. This high school program was a fantastic exposure to global peace and security issues as well as to multicultural students from across America. And it clearly had an impact on my worldview and career choices. The program has gotten even better over the years. I highly recommend the World Affairs Seminar to all high school students," said Keith Porter, the Stanley Foundation's director of communication and outreach. The next seminar will be held in June 2009. Applications are now available here.
Seeds of Peace has also opened its application process for the summer of 2009. There are opportunities to be a camper, a counselor, or a facilitator at this internationally praised program focused on dialogue. Representatives come from the Middle East, South Asia, and the United States. Stanley Foundation program associate Marie Mainil says, "I experienced several sessions at Seeds of Peace and give the experience my highest recommendation."

New Resource
The featured video in the latest Stanley Foundation Now Showing event-in-a-box toolkit helps viewers explore the idea of the changing global order as well as Brazil's rise in a new global reality. The toolkit has everything groups need to put together an event including event planner, moderator, and discussion guides, along with other related Stanley Foundation materials. Learn more about the toolkit and order yours today. 

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