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UNU Research & Policy Briefs

Briefs are listed latest first.

Policy Brief No. 8, 2010

Maximizing the Impact of UN Security Council Resolution 1325: 10 Years On

Maximizing the Impact of UN Security Council Resolution 1325: 10 Years On
(414 KB PDF)

By Robert Zuber, Nicholas Turner and Cristina Ayo

Over the past decade the critical importance of women’s participation in peace processes and policies has been recognized through numerous international institutions, resolutions and state commitments—including UN Security Council resolution 1325 (SCR 1325), adopted in October 2000. A limited number of states have adopted SCR 1325 action plans, and a set of global indicators to track implementation was finally approved by the Security Council on 26 October 2010. Despite the promise of SCR 1325, many experts and advocates have been disappointed with the progress made by states and by the UN system.

This brief assesses the 10 years since the adoption of SCR 1325, identifying lessons learned and emerging best practices, as well as shortcomings. It suggests what can be done to energize and advance the implementation of SCR 1325 in the near future, and recommends ways in which new actors can contribute to this process, including the newly-established UN Women.

Policy Brief No. 7, 2010

Satoyama–Satoumi Ecosystems and Human Well-Being: Assessing Trends to Rethink a Sustainable Future

Satoyama–Satoumi Ecosystems and Human Well-Being: Assessing Trends to Rethink a Sustainable Future
(455 KB PDF)

By Anantha Kumar Duraiappah, Koji Nakamura, Kazuhiko Takeuchi and Maiko Nishi

The Japan Satoyama Satoumi Assessment (JSSA) is a study of the interaction between humans and terrestrial–aquatic ecosystems (satoyama) and marine–coastal ecosystems (satoumi) in Japan. The study examines and analyses changes which have occurred in these ecosystems over the last 50 years and identifies plausible alternative futures of those landscapes in the year 2050 taking into account various drivers such as governmental and economic policy, climate change, technology, and socio-behavioural responses. This brief suggests that the health of satoyama and satoumi ecosystems is interlinked with human well-being and biological diversity. Recommendations for policymakers based on the study’s findings are also presented here.

Policy Brief No. 6, 2010

The Global Impact of the Southern Engines of Growth: China, India, Brazil and South Africa

This Policy Brief focuses on links between the developing countries of Brazil, India, China and South Africa and the global economy, with a special emphasis on the implications of China’s spectacular growth on developing economies and the rest of the world. The issues considered include changing patterns in trade, capital flows, and commodity prices. Both positive and negative impacts are identified and implications for international governance and foreign policies of various nations are explored.

Policy Brief No. 5, 2010

Enhancing Development through Policy Coherence

Enhancing Development through Policy Coherence
(606 KB PDF)

By Amelia U. Santos-Paulino

Policy coherence implies that donors in pursuing domestic policy objectives should avoid adversely affecting the development prospects of poor countries. To achieve policy coherence donors and multilateral institutions need to ensure security and political stability; foresee the impacts of macroeconomic policies on developing-country growth; increase both market access and capacity-building for developing economies; support governance structures that help to maintain financial stability; and improve aid effectiveness in developing countries. In this regard, the completion of pending international commitments, such as the Doha Development Round, is fundamental. The monitoring and evaluation process for policy coherence also remains a challenge.

Research Brief No. 2, 2010

Towards a Human Security Approach to Peacebuilding

Towards a Human Security Approach to Peacebuilding
(487 KB PDF)

By Madoka Futamura, Edward Newman and Shahrbanou Tadjbakhsh

In recent decades, international peacebuilding and reconstruction after civil wars have managed to promote stability and contain conflict in many regions around the world, ending violence and enabling communities to rebuild their lives and societies. However, the peacebuilding record indicates that there are problems related to the effectiveness and legitimacy of peacebuilding, especially related to the promotion of liberal democracy, market reform and state institutions. This brief considers these limitations and argues that a new human security-based approach may offer insights for a more sustainable form of peacebuilding.

Policy Brief No. 4, 2010

Promoting Entrepreneurship in Developing Countries: Policy Challenges

This policy brief provides some fresh perspectives on the relationship between entrepreneurship and development, and considers policy design issues. It reports on the UNU-WIDER two-year research project “Promoting Entrepreneurial Capacity”, which aimed to understand whether and how entrepreneurship matters for development, how it could derail development, how entrepreneurs function in high growth as well as in conflict environments, and how female entrepreneurship differs across countries at various stages of development.

Policy Brief No. 2, 2010

The Responsibility to Protect Minorities and the Problem of the Kin-State

The Responsibility to Protect Minorities and the Problem of the Kin-State
(408 KB PDF)

By Nicholas Turner and Nanako Otsuki

Genocide and ethnic cleansing have all-too-clearly demonstrated the dangers of failing to protect minority groups. A “kin-state” with strong ethnic, cultural, religious or linguistic links to a minority population abroad, may be well-placed to assist in its protection. But unilateral interference by kin-states can raise tensions with host-states, endangering international peace and security.

If a state neglects its primary responsibility to protect minorities under its jurisdiction, the subsidiary responsibility lies with the international community as a whole, not the kin-state in particular. Kin-state interest in minorities abroad must be pursued through constructive engagement, rather than unilateral interference.

At the same time, international and regional organizations must build domestic state capacity while strengthening the tools and political will to deliver timely collective responses when states fail in their responsibilities. Bilateral and multilateral mechanisms alike can counter nationalist rhetoric and policies by emphasising that a diverse, well-integrated society is in the interest of both the majority and minorities.

Research Brief No. 1, 2010

The Global Financial Crisis and Africa’s “Immiserizing Wealth”

The Global Financial Crisis and Africa’s “Immiserizing Wealth”
(380 KB PDF)

By Alexis Habiyaremye and Luc Soete

Before the current global recession, many resource-rich African countries were recording unprecedented levels of growth due to a raw material price boom. However, the collapse in raw material prices and the ensuing severe economic difficulties have again exposed the vulnerability of these countries’ natural resource export-focussed economic structures.

In this research brief, we describe how Africa’s abundance of natural resources attracted disruptive and predatory foreign forces that have hindered innovation-based growth and economic diversification by delaying the accumulation of sufficient stocks of human capital. We suggest that for their long-term prosperity, resource-rich African countries shift their strategic emphasis from natural to human resources and technological capabilities needed to transform those natural resources into valuable goods and services to compete in the global market.

Policy Brief No. 1, 2010

Sexed Pistols: The Gendered Impacts of Prolific Small Arms

Sexed Pistols: The Gendered Impacts of Prolific Small Arms
(258 KB PDF)

By Vanessa Farr, Henri Myrttinen and Albrecht Schnabel

The diverse impact of small arms and light weapons (SALW) on women, men, girls and boys has rarely been considered in the formulation of small-arms policy, small-arms collection or control, or even in small-arms research. Understanding of how prolific SALW reinforce and maintain gender- and age-specific violence before, during and after conflict has to improve considerably.

This policy brief examines the connection between guns and gender and discusses methodological challenges and priorities in gendered small-arms research, policy and advocacy. Stereotypes have to give way to an understanding of the multiple roles of both small-arms users and victims, as gender is only one among many social categories defining individuals' approaches to and experience of small-arms violence. Fortunately, new and encouraging policy initiatives have emerged, although significant gains are yet to be made towards achieving inclusive policy implementation and improving weapons collection programmes; disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR); and security sector reform (SSR) activities.


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