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Global Dispatches -- World News That Matters
30 minutes | 3 days ago
A Coup and then Protests as Myanmar Slider Deeper into Crisis
On February 1st, the Burmese military mounted a coup, deposing and detaining the civilian leadership of the country. The military arrested the de-facto civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other key members of her ruling party. This coup is a major setback for Myanmar's transition to democracy and a key foreign policy challenge for the new Biden administration. Why was there a coup in Myanmar and what happens next? Guest: John Sifton, Asia Advocacy Director Human Rights Watch. Premium Subscription: https://www.patreon.com/GlobalDispatches
31 minutes | 6 days ago
An Historic Moment in the Fight Against COVID Shows Why Cold Chains Are Key to Global Health and Development
On February 24 the very first shipments of a COVID-19 vaccine from COVAX arrived in Ghana. COVAX is the international cooperative effort around the development and distribution safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines. Ghana became the first country to receive COVID-19 vaccines through COVAX when 600,000 doses landed at the airport in Accra. On hand to receive these doses was an old friend of mine, Owusu Akoto. He is the founder and CEO of a Ghanian cold chain logistics company called Freezelink. It was an historic day for COVAX, a hopeful day for Ghana and an exciting moment for my friend who started this company just a couple years ago as a social enterprise to combat food waste in Ghana. He explains the sometimes unheralded role that cold chain technologies and logistics play in a country's economic and social development. https://www.humanityinaction.org/
32 minutes | 10 days ago
The Crisis in Yemen is Entering a Dangerous New Phase
The conflict in Yemen is entering a new phase. The Houthi rebel group that controls much of the country is launching a new offensive in an oil rich region of the country. Meanwhile, the Biden administration has breathed new life into international diplomatic efforts to end the war by ending US support to the Saudi Arabia lead military campaign. This episode examines how the Yemen conflict has evolved over the years and where it may be headed next. Guest: Gregory D. Johnsen, Brookings Institute and former member of the UN Security Council's Panel of Experts on Yemen.
28 minutes | 13 days ago
Why Countries Just Can't Quit Coal? New Research Offers Some Clues
We know that countries around the world sometimes favor coal because it is cheaper. But new research from my guest today Jan Steckel aims to pinpoint some of the political forces that drive investment in coal. Steckel along with his research collaborator Michael Jakob are coordinating a series of global case studies to understand the non-economic factors associated with investment in coal-fired power. This episode, produced in partnership with the Sustainable Energy Transitions Initiative (SETI) examines how politics drives new investments in coal in the developing world. Their framework is published online here, and a case study on Vietnam is published here.
23 minutes | 17 days ago
Will Biden Pull US Troops From Afghanistan?
President Biden must soon make a key decision about American troop levels in Afghanistan. There are currently about 2,500 American troops in Afghanistan, but under a deal negotiated last year between the United States and the Taliban all American troops would be withdrawn from Afghanistan by May 2021. This deal was negotiated by the Trump administration and it is unclear whether or not the new Biden administration will honor it. Guest: Jessica Donati of the Wall Street Journal, author of Eagle Down: The Last Special Forces Fighting the Forever War.
29 minutes | 19 days ago
An Opportunity for Climate Diplomacy Opens for the Biden-Harris Administration
2021 will be a consequential year for multilateral diplomacy on climate change. A number of key meetings are on the diplomatic calendar and they come just as the new Biden-Harris administration in the United states is seeking to leave its mark on international climate action. The geo-politics of this moment in climate diplomacy are complex and the new administration must skillfully navigate a path forward in order to make good on its promise to treat climate change like the priority it is. Guest: Rachel Kyte, Dean of the Fletcher School at Tufts University. Today’s episode is produced in partnership with the Better World Campaign as part of a series examining the opportunities for strengthening multilateral engagement by the new Biden-Harris administration and the incoming 117th Congress. To learn more and access additional episodes in this series, please visit http://getusback.org/
24 minutes | 24 days ago
Why Farmers in India Are Staging Mass Protests
Over the last several weeks farmers in India have staged mass demonstrations to protest new government agricultural policies. The farmers say these new laws would be financially ruinous and allow large corporations to dictate the price of agricultural goods. Now, the apparently ever growing size of these farmer protests, particularly around New Delhi, have brought worldwide attention to these mass protests. Guest: Michael Kugelman, the Senior Associate for South Asia at the Woodrow Wilson Center.
28 minutes | a month ago
What Comes Next for USAID?
The United States Agency for international development, USAID, is the premier global development agency of the United States government and one of the largest global development organizations in the world. As USAID goes, so goes global development. As Samantha Power prepares to lead USAID, this episode examines the global development priorities the new administration may pursue. Guest: Sarah Rose, policy fellow at Center for Global Development.
30 minutes | a month ago
A Fresh Approach to Middle East Peace
With the peace process between Israel and Palestine seemingly intractably stalled, a new peace building plan that is modeled on Northern Ireland seeks to build grassroots support for peace. Peace-builder and advocate Joel Brunold explains how the Middle East Partnership for Peace Act, recently passed by US Congress, can build momentum for a lasting resolution to longstanding conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.
34 minutes | a month ago
Coup in Myanmar and Aung San Suu Kyi's Fall from Grace (Re-release)
A military coup in Myanmar (also called Burma) has toppled the civilian government lead by Aung San Suu Kyi. In this 2019 episode, former deputy National Security Advisor to Barack Obama Ben Rhodes explains Aung San Suu Kyi's rise to prominence in Burmese politics and how she ultimately fell from grace as a human rights icon, once revered in the West. The episode covers the political dynamics and recent history of Myanmar that lead to the January 31 military coup (hence the re-release.)
28 minutes | a month ago
Crisis in the Central African Republic
The security and humanitarian situation in the Central African Republic has rapidly deteriorated over the last several weeks. Rebel group control a key road from which goods, food and humanitarian supplies is imported to CAR from neighboring Cameroon. The capitol city, Bangui is under an effective siege. On the line to discuss what is happening in the Central African Republic is Hans de Marie Heungoup, the Central Africa senior analyst with the International Crisis Group.
29 minutes | a month ago
Alexey Navalny and Protests in Russia, with Amb. Michael McFaul
On January 23, protests erupted in several cities and town across Russia in support of Alexey Navalny, the anti-corruption activist who was poisoned in an assassination attempt last August. Navalny returned to Russia and was promptly arrested. On the line with me to discuss the significance of these protests and what they signal about politics in Russia today is Michael McFaul, who served as US Ambassador to Russia from 2012 to 2014. Link to McFaul's International Security article Support the Show!
22 minutes | a month ago
Nigeria, the Most Populous Country in Africa, is Desperate for COVID-19 Vaccines
Nigeria has a population of over 200 million people. It is the largest country in Africa. The country is now in the midst of a second wave of COVID infections which is straining an already fragile health system. But Nigerian officials have not been able to secure any doses of any COVID-19 vaccine for their frontline health workers--let alone general population. My guest today, Dr. Faisal Shuaib heads Nigeria's National Primary Healthcare Development Agency and a member of the country's COVID-19 task force. He explains the impact of the COVID--19 in Nigeria and the difficult task of securing doses of the vaccine.
28 minutes | a month ago
Bobi Wine and the Fraught Elections in Uganda
On January 14th, Uganda held national elections for president and parliament. The incumbent was the 76 year old Yoweri Museveni, who has ruled Uganda since 1986. His main challenger was a 38 year old music star turned politician who goes by the stage name Bobi Wine. Museveni claimed victory and his security forces have laid siege to Wine's home. On the line to help me understand the current state of play of the fraught election and its aftermath in Uganda is Rosebell Kagumire. She is a writer and editor at a the publication African Feminism and I caught up with her from Kampala, Uganda.
29 minutes | 2 months ago
The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons Becomes International Law
A treaty to ban the use of nuclear weapons becomes international law on January 22, 2021. The treaty seeks to do to nuclear weapons what previous international treaties have done to chemical and biological weapons -- that is, prohibit their use on humanitarian grounds. Nobel Peace Prize winning Beatrice Fihn, executive director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, discusses exactly this treaty obliges of its member states and also the broader politics surrounding the effort to get countries to sign onto the treaty. Beatrice Finh -- exec dir of int'l camp to abolish nuclear weapins
25 minutes | 2 months ago
The Siege of the US Capitol and the Future of US Foreign Policy
Ambassador Klaus Scharioth, who served as German Ambassador the United States from 2006 to 2011, discusses the implications of the Pro-Trump insurrection on US foreign policy and international relations. https://humanityinaction.org https://patreon.com/GlobalDispatches
25 minutes | 2 months ago
What the Criminal Conviction of Saudi Women's Rights Activist Loujan al-Hathloul Says About the Future of Saudi Arabia
Loujan al-Hathloul is a 31 year old Saudi women's rights activist in prison for challenging laws that inhibit women in Saudi Arabia. In early January 2021, she was handed down a nearly six year prison sentence, though much of the sentence was suspended and she may be released as early as February or March. On the line to discuss her case and what the persecution of Loujan al-Hathloul can tell us about the future of Saudi Arabia, is Sari Bashi, a consultant with the advocacy group DAWN -- Democracy for the Arab World Now.
35 minutes | 2 months ago
Mozambique is Experiencing a Surge of Violence as Crisis Worsens in Cabo Delgado Region
There is a worsening Jihadist insurgency in a province in Northern Mozambique called Cabo Delgado. The insurgency began in 2017, but in recent weeks the fighting has intensified substantially. Over half a million people have been displaced -- most over the last few months. And in early January 2021, the French energy company Total announced it was suspending operations on a massive $3.9 billion natural gas project in the region amid concerns about the safety of personnel. Zenaida Machado is a senior researcher with the Africa Division of Human Rights Watch. I caught up with hear from Maputo, the capitol of Mozambique. She explains the history of this insurgency, including how this group has shifted tactics from targeted assassinations to more recently capturing territory, including strategically important cities and corridors.
33 minutes | 2 months ago
How the United States Can Strengthen UN Peacekeeping and Support International Peace and Security
One of the most visible tools of international cooperation on peace and security are UN Peacekeepers -- Blue Helmets. Today there are about 95,000 uniformed personnel deployed to to 13 missions around the world. Though the United States deploys very few boots on the ground to peacekeeping missions, it is the single largest funder of UN Peacekeeping. And, as a veto-wielding member of the Security Council, it also determines where peacekeepers should be sent. This means that the United States hold tremendous potential to determine the effectiveness of UN peacekeeping. Victoria Holt has spent a career studying what makes UN Peacekeeping effective and designing policies to strengthen American support for UN Peacekeeping. Victoria Holt is Vice President at the Henry L Stimson Center and served as Deputy Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Security during the two terms of the Obama administration. Today’s episode is produced in partnership with the Better World Campaign as part of a series examining the opportunities for strengthening multilateral engagement by the new Biden-Harris administration and the incoming 117th Congress. To learn more and access additional episodes in this series, please visit http://getusback.org/
26 minutes | 2 months ago
How the Biden-Harris Administration Can Advance a Global Human Rights Agenda
The last four years have altered the global human rights landscape in some pretty significant ways. The Trump administration by and large abandoned multilateral forums for advancing a human rights agenda, like the UN Human Rights Council, while at the same time China began to more proactively engage in those platforms. Suzanne Nossel, makes the compelling argument that the time has never been more urgent for the United States to re-assert itself at multilateral human rights platforms like the UN Human Rights Council. Suzanne Nossel is the CEO of PEN America and author of Dare to Speak: Defending Free Speech for All. She served as Deputy Assistant Secretary State for International Organizations during the Obama administration where she helped design and implement US policy towards the Human Rights Council. Today’s episode is produced in partnership with the Better World Campaign as part of a series examining the opportunities for strengthening multilateral engagement by the new Biden-Harris administration and the incoming 117th Congress. To learn more and access additional episodes in this series, please visit http://getusback.org/
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