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Engaging Today's Global Citizen July 2009
In the Issue

South Africa and the Changing Global Order. Across politics, economics, culture, military strength, and more, a new group of countries has growing influence over the future of the world. South Africa is one of nine countries the Stanley Foundation sees shaping the global scene. Learn more about South Africa's domestic and international challenges in its pursuit of greater international status and influence. This article is part of a series related to the Stanley Foundation effort "Rising Powers: The New Global Reality."

Achieving Nonproliferation Goals. On April 28, 2004, the UN Security Council unanimously approved Resolution 1540 requiring all states to adopt "appropriate and effective" measures to prevent nonstate actors from acquiring WMDs, as well as the means for their delivery. This broad mandate requires major capacity-building efforts on the part of developing countries with the help of wealthier nations. Access to technology plays a central role to any country's domestic capacity, and accountability, to monitor what materials are being trafficked through their ports. "Resolution 1540 is the most all-encompassing nonproliferation mechanism available and the only one focused on the threat of nonstate actors," Dr. Elizabeth Turpen says in a recent Stanley Foundation policy analysis brief. Turpen, senior associate and co-director of the Cooperative Nonproliferation Program at the Henry L. Stimson Center, explains why Resolution 1540 provides an enormous opportunity for countries to work together to strengthen the international nonproliferation regime, thereby increasing US and global security.

China's Absence Proves G-8 Must Evolve. Gather the leaders of eight of the world's richest countries around a table and you'd imagine you could get a lot accomplished when it comes to solving global problems. Think again, says Stanley Foundation program officer Sean Harder. Read more about how little gets accomplished at the gatherings of the world's leaders without emerging powers like China at the table.

Beyond the Headlines

Failed States Index Shines Light on Global Hotspots. The 2009 Failed States Index, a collaboration between and the Fund for Peace, was recently released and again lists the world's most troublesome and troubled countries. This year's list includes a significant rise in the rankings for countries such as Kenya, where a power-sharing agreement could soon fail and create another round of violence. Iran was also deemed more fragile, even before the post-election protests broke out. The stability of countries like Cameroon, Guinea, Yemen, and Ethiopia is also in jeopardy. The global recession is only exacerbating stability problems in the world’s poorest countries.

South Korea's Declaration of War. When South Korea joined the US-led Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) on May 26, North Korea issued a statement the next day indicating that they considered this "a declaration of war." Kim Jong-Il's government issued a similar statement after approval of a UN Security Council Resolution that calls upon all nations to interdict and inspect North Korean ships if suspected of carrying nuclear materials. China's agreement to the sanctions when they are not participants in the PSI was surprising for a country that is typically a North Korean ally. Meanwhile, the Obama administration says it is prepared to confront North Korean ships but not board them, drawing criticism from some. Just last week a North Korean freighter returned home after being trailed by the US Navy for nearly a month. Obama and others at the UN are calling this a success for the sanctions and global nuclear security.

G-8 Leaders Condemn Iranian Government's Actions. G-8 foreign ministers criticized the post-election violence in Iran and strongly urged the Iranian establishment to settle its presidential dispute through democratic dialogue. A statement issued from the G-8 said the body "deplores" the harsh crackdowns on peaceful protesters and asked Iran to "respect fundamental human rights including freedom of expression." This comes after the deaths of at least 17 Iranians and the detention of hundreds who took to the streets in late June to protest what they saw as an illegitimate victory for President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

G-8 members have threatened to impose sanctions on Iran, but the official statement stopped short of demanding a recount of the vote. Rome originally had extended a special invitation to Iran to attend last week's summit. It argued that Iran would make a substantial contribution to talks surrounding stabilizing Afghanistan—a focus of this year’s summit. But the invitation was retracted after Tehran neglected to respond. The G-8's statement brings forward key questions: both about the international community’s role in policing a sovereign nation's internal affairs and whether or not the G-8's authority is substantial enough to have an effect on Tehran.

Stay Active
Tools for Action

In his recent speech in Prague, President Obama called for a "world without nuclear weapons" outlining steps he believes need to be taken to reach that goal. To help citizens understand why the goal is worthy of pursuit, Global Zero has created a new interactive map showing the historical spread of nuclear weapons and what can be done to eliminate them worldwide. For college students interested in the issue, they can now apply to participate in the Global Zero Student Leadership Summer program where they will join other youth activists in July and August committed to the elimination of nuclear weapons worldwide. The deadline is July 16. You can also learn more about nuclear security by visiting the Stanley Foundation’s Web site.

Watch & Learn

The Stanley Foundation's Keith Porter and Sean Harder attended last week's G-8 Summit in L'Aquila, Italy. Video dispatches from the summit are now available on the Stanley Foundation's YouTube channel. For more Stanley Foundation videos, including independent reports from around the world, expert interviews, and segments from our Now Showing event-in-a-box toolkits, please subscribe today!

What We're Reading

If you're looking for Web-based resources on nuclear security, fragile states, or the "Gs," check out our Delicious bookmarks. We add articles, blog posts, and news reports nearly daily. Set up an RSS feed today to see what we're reading.

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