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In This Issue: December 2012

The End of the Road for think.

This month’s edition marks the end of the road for think. Just a little over seven years ago the foundation started publishing think. on a monthly basis to more actively engage people like you—the citizen leader. As think.’s editor for nearly its entire lifetime, I have enjoyed working with my colleagues here at the foundation to develop content that would give our readers real world context for the policy issues we focus on in our programming.

We will continue to recognize and value the role of the public in building sustainable peace—after all, it’s in our mission statement. We hope that you too will continue to recognize the important role you have to play in encouraging all nations to actively engage in global cooperation to address the world’s problems. Active, well-informed citizens are key to pushing their leaders to take steps that lead to not just effective policy, but also to making our world a more peaceful place through concrete action.

We are developing a new (yet to be named) e-newsletter to you to help keep you informed of our work and resources. We hope you will find it valuable when it lands in your inbox. In the meantime, you can keep up with us by signing up to receive Courier—our quarterly magazine that’s available electronically or by mail in the US, following us on Twitter, liking our Facebook page, and tuning in to our YouTube channel.

Jennifer Smyser

Journalists Go In Depth on Global Security Issues

Journalists on a daily deadline, juggling multiple assignments at once, and covering some of the most complicated security issues of our time often find it difficult to stop and reflect on their coverage and understanding of the stories they write. That’s why the Stanley Foundation collaborates each year with the Thomson-Reuters Foundation on an annual Global Security Seminar for Journalists to create space for reflection and in-depth conversations about the most pressing issues facing the world today. Last month, 23 journalists from the United States, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkey, India, and more gathered in Istanbul for three days of extensive panel discussions on a variety of topics including nuclear terrorism, radical Islam, cyber security, the Arab spring, and genocide and mass atrocity prevention.

Speakers like Andy Carvin of NPR, Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic, Rolf Mowatt-Larssen of Harvard’s Belfer Center, former head of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Ehsan ul-Haq, and the Stanley Foundation’s own Rachel Gerber provided for spirited debate and lively panel discussions. The event also provided the opportunity for participating journalists to network with colleagues from other countries and expert sources they may rely on in future reporting.

The Thomson-Reuters Foundation created a live blog of the event that captured the Twitter conversation of participants. And short video and audio interviews are now online with speakers like Mowatt-Larssen, Gerber, Hugh Pope of the International Crisis Group, and Abdullah Anas, a former compatriot of Osama bin Laden turned moderate Islam advocate. Participant John Rash, editorial writer and columnist for the Minneapolis StarTribune, also wrote a column about his experience in Istanbul.

Sean Harder


Beyond The Headlines

The President Reaches Out to Burma

President Barack Obama, in his first inaugural address, said to the world, "To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist." On that chilly January day in 2009, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi was still under house arrest as a political prisoner in Burma. At that moment, very few would have believed that in less than four years, the president would be (quite literally) extending a friendly hand to the leaders of Burma, including Suu Kyi as a new member of Burma’s parliament.

Several advocacy organizations are highly critical of both the new Burmese government and President Obama’s decision to give them the spotlight. “Rather than acting to quell violence and protect civilians, Burmese officials have promulgated hatred and even encouraged a policy that amounts to ethnic cleansing at the highest level,” said one advocate. Read more.
 


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About The Stanley Foundation
The Stanley Foundation seeks a secure peace with freedom and justice, built on world citizenship and effective global governance. It brings fresh voices, original ideas, and lasting solutions to debates on global and regional problems. The foundation is a nonpartisan, private operating foundation, located in Muscatine, Iowa, that focuses on peace and security issues and advocates principled multilateralism. The foundation frequently collaborates with other organizations. It does not make grants.

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Stay Active

Tool for Action: Atrocity Prevention 2.0, Using Technology to Drive Change

Back in October, the US Agency for International Development and Humanity United announced the launch of the Tech Challenge for Atrocity Prevention in support of President Obama’s strategy for preventing mass atrocities. They opened the contest with a call for ideas on how to manipulate new technologies to help prevent these crimes, offering awards of up to $10,000 to those who “develop innovative concept papers and prototypes that help us better respond to…critical issues.” Two of the contests have already closed but the remaining three are set to open next month. Read more about the Challenge here.

New Resource: Challenges and Progress in Liberia

A new report from the Fund for Peace shares the outcome of several conflict-assessment workshops held in Liberia before and during the conviction of former President Charles Taylor for his role in the commission of crimes against humanity during the war in Sierra Leone in the 1990s.  Titled “Liberia: Turning the Page on Charles Taylor,” the report focuses on the two counties of Grand Gedeh and Bomi in particular. In addition to serving as a snapshot of the priorities and concerns of local civil society, it also looks at progress being made in the world’s fifth poorest country. See the report here

Read & Learn: First Issue of the G20 Monitor

Australia’s Lowy Institute for International Policy has released its first issue of the G20 Monitor, a publication reporting on G-20 developments and issue analysis. In its initial offering, the Monitor looks ahead at the challenges facing the G-20 in 2013. From economic and governance to-do lists to the next phase in the summitry process, it explores where the G-20 process is today and what to expect in the future. Read it here.


TSF Library

Shifting Coalitions and Potential Blocs for Asian and Pacific Leadership in the G-20

Policy Dialogue Brief
November 2012

In September the Stanley Foundation collaborated with the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies, the Global Summitry Project at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto, and the Korea Development Institute to convene the third annual Shanghai conference on Asian leadership and the G-20. The conference gathered officials and experts from the Asia and Pacific nations that are part of the G-20, as well as other countries in the region. Conference organizers wanted to identify the key ingredients for more efficient, effective, and forward-looking global governance. With the benefit of four years and seven summits since the first meeting of G-20 leaders, now is an apt moment to start assessing the G-20 summits’ record in fostering international cooperation. Read the policy dialogue brief.
 

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