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Engaging Today's Global Citizen February 2010
In the Issue

Implementing the Responsibility to Protect. The "Responsibility to Protect," often referred to as R2P, is a global pledge to stop and prevent some of the most devastating man-made atrocities in the world. At the United Nations 2005 World Summit, leaders agreed to a definition of R2P. The Stanley Foundation has been active in helping the UN promote and live up to the ideals of R2P. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recently spoke at a foundation event near New York held to examine practical steps toward R2P implementation.

Global Governance Reform: An American View of US Leadership. President Obama has trumpeted a “new era of engagement” for the US. According to a new Stanley Foundation policy analysis brief by Stewart Patrick of the Council on Foreign Relations, the strategy has three main components: a world order characterized by peaceful accommodation between established and rising powers; the collective management of transnational problems; and the overhaul of international institutions to reflect shifting power dynamics and the new global agenda. Notwithstanding its multilateral instincts, though, the Obama administration is limited in its practical ability to promote and embrace sweeping reforms to global governance. Therefore, rather than casting its lot entirely with universal organizations like the UN, Stewart says the US will adopt a pragmatic approach to international cooperation that combines formal institutions with more flexible partnerships to achieve US national interests.

Thwarting Future "Underwear" Bombers. We were reminded by the failed Christmas day plot to set off a bomb on a major transatlantic flight that the threat of terrorists intent on using weapons of mass destruction to target innocent civilians knows no borders. In 2004, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1540 (UNSCR 1540) to address the risk of terrorists acquiring nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons. It requires that all states take action to prevent nonstate actors obtaining access to weapons of mass destruction. Associate program officer Veronica Tessler shares highlights from a recent Stanley Foundation report from a major conference on UNSCR 1540.

Beyond the Headlines

Rebuilding a Sustainable Haiti. The images coming out of Haiti in the wake of the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that devastated the capital of Port-au-Prince on January 12 are heart-wrenching, and have generated a "deluge of donations." The catastrophe is all the more tragic given the fact Haiti, long considered a fragile nation before the quake, was finally achieving some semblance of stability before the earthquake hit. Now, the conversation is centered on not just how to rebuild Haiti, but how to build a sustainable and stable nation. As James Traub points out in a recent New York Times piece, state building is much more difficult than disaster relief. Experts like economist Paul Collier have called for endowing a multibillion-dollar Haiti fund. Others are pushing for the cancellation of Haiti’s $890 million of debt, and avoiding a buildup of new reconstruction debt, so the country can finally break its cycle of tragedy.

A Budget Increase for Nuclear Security. On February 1 President Obama released his proposed budget for fiscal year 2011. In his comments on the budget, Obama noted that his proposed three-year freeze in government spending would not apply to national security. So what does this mean for US efforts to secure nuclear materials? Vice President Joe Biden, in a Wall Street Journal op-ed published January 29, explained that the increased national security budget will “help meet the president's goal of securing vulnerable nuclear materials worldwide in the coming years, and enable us to track and thwart nuclear trafficking, verify weapons reductions, and to develop tomorrow's cutting-edge technologies for our security and prosperity.” The 13.4% budgetary increase for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), which has the primary responsibility for US efforts to secure nuclear materials, is the largest of any agency. The increase would seemingly have the support of the “Four Horsemen”—George Shultz, William Perry, Henry Kissinger, and Sam Nunn—based on another Wall Street Journal op-ed. Meanwhile, some argue that the increase is contradictory to Obama’s pledge to reverse the spread of nuclear weapons.

Stay Active
New Resource

In March the Stanley Foundation will release the latest of its Now Showing event-in-a-box toolkits. Radioactive Challenge features a video that helps viewers examine the challenge of securing vulnerable nuclear materials globally. The Now Showing toolkit contains everything needed to have a successful event. Included in an event planner’s guide is a timeline for setting up an event and tips to get the word out to the community. The moderator’s guide gives useful tips on facilitating a successful discussion and the discussion guide includes questions to get people talking. Also included are full color posters for promotion and background materials to provide further information on the discussion topics. Sign up now to receive your FREE toolkit in the mail when it comes available. An online version of the toolkit will be available in March.

Connect & Learn

The Stanley Foundation invites you to stay connected to us through Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. We'll be sure to keep you updated about new events, resources, and multimedia offerings through these various channels. Also, you can keep up to date on nuclear security, evolving global governance, and human protection issues on Delicious where we bookmark what we’re reading.

Tools for Action

With the White House’s release of the FY2011 budget proposal, you may find yourself wondering what all of the figures really mean. You can certainly let others do the analysis for you. Everything from defense spending to the international affairs budget is examined by experts and pundits alike. But if you want to do your own analysis, you can find allocations by department and key investments by state on the official Web site of the Office of Management and Budget.

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