The Stanley Foundation
Seeking a secure peace with freedom and justice, built on global citizenship and effective global governance.

The Good of Global Governance
Editor's Note

Multilateral cooperation is a sign of a mature nation—one that can lead by example, influence the greater good, and be supportive of others when its resources allow. It offers the opportunity to apply a nation’s collective intellect to the world’s greatest challenges and to solve those challenges now, instead of leaving their burden to our children.

Yet increasingly, global cooperation is spun into the pejorative—as an affront to state sovereignty, a threat to national independence, an indication of political ineptitude, or a sign of weakness.

In this edition of Courier, we consider these starkly different views and the effects that such a shift in the paradigm is having on the international order. Our contributors also offer suggestions for systemic changes at the United Nations that could enhance its impact.

In our cover story, Mary Curtin, diplomat in residence at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs, writes that US withdrawal from international agreements such as the Iran nuclear deal or Paris Agreement is not a new political tactic but that such actions have a deleterious effect on American relevance and leadership and are not in the national best interest.

Also in this issue, Peter Coleman, codirector of Columbia University’s Advanced Consortium on Cooperation, Conflict, and Complexity, offers a review of the UN approach to sustaining peace, finding that the body can do more in its efforts to prevent conflict and eliminate violence by promoting opportunities for trust, cooperation, and commonality—an approach that has worked on a national level in Costa Rica.

Ashley Murphy, a doctoral candidate at Keele University in the United Kingdom, examines the role the UN Security Council should play in climate change policy as one of the few international institutions capable of enforcing cooperative agreement, and given the threat that climate change poses to peace and stability worldwide.

Stepping away from direct global governance, Munyaradzi Makoni, a freelance journalist from Zimbabwe, highlights efforts in Cape Town, South Africa, to cut greenhouse gas emissions, suggesting that cities and municipalities can contribute to a bottom-up approach in climate action policymaking that could have far-reaching implications.

And our Community Partnerships program officer at the Stanley Foundation, Jill Goldesberry, reflects on the ways our youth programs impact the future of multilateral leadership by conveying the importance of international cooperation to tomorrow’s leaders here in Iowa and around the world.

Finally, I am pleased to introduce Courier’s new editor, Mark Seaman, who has already begun curating content for our next issue. Mark joined the Stanley Foundation in June as director of communications and, in that role, will be responsible for motivating action, telling our story, and sharing our vision with concerned global citizens like you. Mark comes to the foundation with more than a decade of experience in strategic communications, issue advocacy, policy research, and humanitarian causes in the United States, Africa, and the Middle East. More about him can be found on our website.

As we consider transitions in Courier’s format and content, we hope to hear what you like and what can be enhanced. Call, e-mail, or write to us anytime.

Keith Porter, President    

Mark Seaman, Editor and Director of Communications

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The Spring 2019 issue of Courier highlights some of the impact-driven activities the Stanley Foundation pursue with its partners. This includes stories that resulted from two journalism workshops: one examining the false missile alert in Hawaii, as well as one focused on issues of conflict and instability. This issue also examines how Green Banks could help bridge the climate finance gap, explores a new initiative that hopes to bring gender equity to the nuclear field, and brings you the stories of three teachers who enhanced their understanding of the world through travel. Spring 2019 PDF. Subscribe for Free.

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As a part of our efforts to limit global warming to 1.5°C, the foundation put forward policy ideas to achieve a global turning point in emissions by 2020, built upon efforts to catalyze global climate action by countries and sub- and non-state actors, and worked with journalists to strengthen coverage of the UN climate negotiations.