The UN Secretary-General’s New Agenda for Peace: What new challenges will it address?

What issues are likely to be covered in the Agenda for Peace? Why is it important? 

UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, has called for a ‘New Agenda for Peace’ that can help the United Nations and international community address the many complex challenges the world faces today.  

In this edition of the World Stage podcast, NUPI’s Cedric de Coning is in conversation with Asif Khan, the Director of the Policy and Mediation Division of the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs of the United Nations.

The ‘old’ Agenda for Peace refers to a policy document that was first released by UN Secretary-General Boutrous Boutrous Ghali in 1992. It was a landmark policy document that framed the UN’s peace and security’s theory of change around preventive diplomacy, peacekeeping and peacebuilding.

This podcast considers the main issues that the New Agenda for Peace needs is likely to address, including new issues like the climate-peace nexus, and the risks and opportunities that new technologies like Artificial Intelligence may pose for international peace and security.

The ugly duckling of the foreign services

Visiting prisoners, assisting lost travellers and distressed expats. Consular work is often considered the ugly duckling of the foreign services, far away from the negotiating tables and corridors of power. Still, the duties of the consuls also include dramatic crises evacuations, such as the recent dramatic extractions of diplomats and foreign nationals from Sudan.

Ian Kemish has a rich career in the the Australian Foreign Service, including as head of the consular service. His experiences from the diplomatic frontline have resulted in the book ‘The Consul’.

In this episode of The World Stage, Ian Kemish and NUPI’s Halvard Leira unpack the many-faceted and increasingly important role of consular work.

UN peace operations and the political economy of civil war

UN peace operations are overwhelmingly deployed within societies fractured by civil war. To understand why the UN has encountered difficulties, operational and political, in these settings, one must understand the political economy of civil war.

These informal networks of power and their consequences for efforts to end wars and build lasting peace, are examined this episode of The World Stage.

Professors Mats Berdal (King’s College London), Jana Krause (University of Oslo), and Cedric de Coning (NUPI) discuss how the power structures and conflict dynamics generated by these political economies interact with the UN missions themselves.

Understanding the roots of Kurdish resilience to violent extremism in Iraq

What are the reasons behind the limited impact of violent extremism and the Islamic State in the Kurdistan region of Iraq?

In this episode of the NUPI podcast The World Stage, Dlawer Ala’Aldeen (Middle East Research Institute), Juline Beaujouan (University of Edinbrugh & Open Think Tank) and Morten Bøås (NUPI) are standing at the top of the citadel of Erbil in the Kurdistan region of Iraq to discuss this topic.

This podcast is part of the PREVEX project. The project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 870724.

Locating missing persons in Ukraine

How do you find missing persons in the midst of war?

Kathryne Bomberger, Director-General of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), explains how her organisation investigate cases, search for, and identify missing persons in wartime Ukraine. The conversation is hosted by NUPI researcher Tora Berge Naterstad.

Norway’s work on climate, peace, and security in the UN Security Council

Climate security was one of Norway’s priority areas during its period as an elected member of the UN Security Council (2021–2022). What did Norway achieve?

Hans Olav Ibrekk, Norway’s Special Envoy for Climate, Peace and Security, and Florian Krampe, director of the Climate Change and Risk Programme at SIPRI, take stock on Norway’s effort and lessons learned for others that will be working on this agenda in the future. Cedric de Coning, Research Professor at NUPI, is hosting the conversation.

Russia-West relations before, in and after the war on Ukraine

Was there ever a deal to be had with Putin before the war? Is Russia mainly motivated by domestic or foreign policy considerations? And is there anything Western leaders can do to win hearts and minds in Russia?

In this episode of The World Stage, Kadri Liik, senior policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, and Julie Wilhelmsen, research professor at NUPI, discuss Russia-West relations before, in and after the war in Ukraine.

How to engage with China?

In this episode of The World stage, Rana Mitter, Professor at the University of Oxford, and Bjørnar Sverdrup-Thygeson, Senior Research Fellow at NUPI, will first give an overview of China’s key domestic issues, before analysing Beijing’s foreign policy goals.

Norway has a lot of experience dealing with The Soviet Union, and later, Russia, but China is a very different kind of actor. How should we politically position ourselves with a state that combines authoritarian governance with a historically unique economic success?

Rana Mitter has co-written a report on resetting UK-China relations. What are his key points for reconceptualising Norway’s relationship with the authoritarian superpower?

The emergence of Non-Western and Global International Relations

In this episode of the World Stage podcast, NUPI’s Cedric de Coning is in conversation with Amitav Acharya and Stein Tønnesson on the emergence of non-Western and Global International Relations.

The discipline came into being as an academic field during the past half-century when the US and its Western allies were the driving force behind globalization and the establishment of the global governance architecture. As a result, IR scholarship was mostly pre-occupied with international relations from a western perspective, and western – especially American – scholars, universities and research institutes dominated the field. Global IR is a movement to open up the field to non-western or Global IR theorizing and research.

Amitav Acharya is a distinguished Professor of international relations at American University in Washington D.C. and one of the leading proponents of a movement in International Relations scholarship to globalize the theory and focus of IR research.

Stein Tønnesson is a former Director of the Peace Research Institute of Oslo. His research has focused on the dynamics of peace and conflict in Asia.

Cedric de Coning is a Research Professor with NUPI’s Center for United Nations and Global Governance, and the coordinator of the Effectiveness of Peace Operations Network (EPON).

How to make UN peace operations more effective?

The UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, has set a process in motion to re-think the UN’s role in peace and security in the current global context. A team in the UN Secretariat is currently drafting a policy think piece called the New Agenda for Peace, which will be one of several thematic areas that will be considered at the 2024 Summit of the Future.

The ‘old’ Agenda for Peace was a major policy document that was produced under UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali in 1992. It framed the way the UN understood and approached preventive diplomacy, peacemaking, peacekeeping, and peacebuilding for the following two decades.

The New Agenda for Peace is perhaps less ambitious, but the process provides us with an opportunity to reflect on how the UN’s concepts and capabilities need to be adapted to remain relevant in today’s rapidly changing global landscape.

We have invited Ian Martin to help us talk through these questions. Ian has led the UN’s human rights work in Rwanda and the process to organise a popular consultation in Timor-Leste. He was the deputy head of the UN peacekeeping operation in Ethiopia and Eritrea, and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Nepal. Following the 2011 international intervention, he was the UN’s Special Representative in Libya.

From 2014 to 2015, Ian was a member of the Independent High-Level Panel on United Nations Peace Operations, which is why we are looking in this episode at what the findings of this Panel has to offer for the New Agenda of Peace.

In this episode Ian is in conversation with Cedric de Coning, a research professor with NUPI’s Center for United Nations and Global Governance, and the coordinator of the Effectiveness of Peace Operations Network (EPON).

Security realities of freezing politics and thawing landscapes in the Arctic

Russia’s re-invasion of Ukraine in 2022 has had immediate and ongoing effects for Arctic security and cooperative governance at both a regional and international level. The region is impacted by the increased sanctions, the withdrawal of Western companies from Russia, the Western disconnect from energy dependencies, and has also witnessed an increase in hybrid security incidents. In addition, climate change continues at to change the environment at a staggering pace in the north.

In a new report from NUPI and the Wilson Center, researchers argue that leaders must continue to address Arctic governance challenges and take concrete steps to mitigate and manage risks, regardless of the cessation of cooperation with Russia and the radical uncertainty shaping the broader political environment.

This episode is with Mike Sfraga and Elana Wilson Rowe.

Russian youth, war, and independent journalists in exile

The Russian online magazine DOXA is this year's winner of the Norwegian Student Peace Prize. The committee highlights their work exposing corruption and sexual harassment at universities, documenting state persecution, and fighting government disinformation, as well as their uncompromising reporting on Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Because of the development in the political situation in Russia over the last years, the magazine now works through a network of editors who live in exile, local informants, and anonymous journalists.

In this episode of The World Stage, DOXA editors Ekaterina Martynova, Nikita Kuchinskii and Aleksandra Guliaeva speaks to Tora Berge Naterstad about their work, their generation of young Russians, and how this generation is reacting to Russia’s war on Ukraine. How do these three make sense of the turbulent journey that has taken them from joining a student newspaper at their university, to being part of a network of Russian independent journalist in exile across Europe? 

Rethinking radicalisation and resilience in Mali and the Sahel

What does resilience against radicalisation and violent extremism look like in Mali and the Sahel? And which drivers are present for the spread of extremism?

In this episode of the NUPI podcast The World Stage, Abdoul Wakhab Cissé (ARGA) and Morten Bøås (NUPI) are sitting at the bed of the river Niger. This mighty waterway floats from the high plains of Guinea through Mali and Niger before it makes its way to the Atlantic Ocean through Nigeria. They are discussing the manifestation of violent extremism in Mali and neighbouring Sahel countries like Niger and Burkina Faso.

This podcast episode is part of the EU-funded PREVEX project that aims to understand drivers of violent extremism and how local communities respond and resist through various ways of expressing resilience. PREVEX is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme under grant agreement No 870724. Read more about the project here:

Putin’s potential headache: The anti-mobilization protests in North Caucasus

After Vladimir Putin’s announcement of the partial mobilization of the war in Ukraine in September, people, and in particular women, took to the streets in several of the republics in the North Caucasus. They protested this mobilization, saying that this war was one they couldn’t agree sending their sons into.

Even if these demonstrations on an international scale were quite small, and that they ended almost as quickly as they emerged, the protests can be seen as a sign of an increasing discontent with the center of power in Moscow.

In this episode of the NUPI Podcast The World Stage, Badri Belkania explains why the protests in Chechnya and Dagestan are important, what they are a sign of and what they could turn into. Host for this episode is Marie Furhovden.

Abkhazia between Russia and the outside world

We take a closer look at Abkhazia, a de facto state in Southern Caucasus, and focus on its efforts to secure diplomatic ties in the post-Soviet space and beyond, as well as its relationship with its patron state, Russia.

In this episode of NUPI's podcats series 'The World Stage', we turn our attention to Abkhazia, a de facto state in Southern Caucasus at the eastern coast of the Black Sea, and we will focus on its efforts to secure diplomatic ties in the post-Soviet space and beyond, as well as its relationship with its patron state, Russia with the help of two guests: Dr Donnacha Ó Beacháin, Professor at the School of Law and Government, Dublin City University, and Pål Kolstø, Professor at the Department of Literature, Area Studies and European Languages at the University of Oslo.

Host is Tamta Gelashvili (the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs and the University of Oslo).

The next migration crisis: Is the EU better prepared?

In this podcast episode we take a closer look on how the EU will handle a new migration crisis.

A new wave of mass migration to Europe might be building up according to several indicators. Is the EU better prepared now than during the refugee crisis in 2015? Or could this looming crisis be a new threat to the EU that will come on top of the war in Europe? How will that affect the European unity that we have been witnessing faced with the war in Ukraine?

Listen in as Research Professor Pernille Rieker from NUPI interviews Professor Christian Kaunert from Dublin City University and University of South Wales.

Bridging or dividing people? A conversation about Bosnia and Herzegovina and Mostar in particular

In this podcast episode we’ll take a closer look at the relationship between the different ethnic groups in Mostar after the Balkan wars.

What influences the resilience of different population groups to radicalization and violent extremism?

One of the case study areas in the EU-funded PREVEX project is the Balkans. In this episode of the NUPI podcast The World Stage, we are zooming in on Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The famous bridge in Mostar represents a symbolic background for the social fabric that has suffered from the war in the 1990’ies. In 1993 the bridge was destroyed in the civil war that raged in the former Yugoslavia. On one side of the bridge, the Bosniak community was predominant, on the other side, the majority were Croats.

The bridge was later rebuilt, but how are the relations between people in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Mostar today, nearly three decades after the war ended? Do people from the different ethnic groups mix, socially, at school or at work? How is this different from before the war? What are the lessons to be learnt and what are the main challenges today? And with the recent general elections in the country, is there any hope for change?

Listen in as Senior Research Fellow at NUPI, Kari Osland, discusses this with Professor Edina Becirevic (Security Studies at UNSA and co-founder of Atlantic Initiative) and politician Lana Prlic (Representative in the Parliament of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Vice President for SDP BiH).

How important are traditional values for Putin’s support?

How important are traditional values for Putin’s support? How are they related to the war in Ukraine? And what does the future look like for the Putin regime?

In the last decade, Russian authorities have adopted a strongly antiliberal rhetoric with attacks on Western secularism, multiculturalism, and alleged moral decay. This rhetoric has been followed up with new laws against blasphemy and “propaganda of non-traditional sexual orientations among minors”, decriminalization of wife battery, etc.

In this episode of The World Stage, Tora Berge Naterstad discusses findings from the project “Value-based regime legitimation in Russia” (LegitRuss) with Professor Henry Hale.

Most people aren’t radicalized

Why are some communities more likely to experience violent extremism than others? And why do most people living in enabling environments stay clear of radicalization?

These are two of the core questions of the NUPI led EU project PREVEX that is now in its third year of research.

In this episode of The World Stage, Marie Furhovden has invited three of the researchers involved in this project; Diana Mishkova, Luca Raineri and Stéphane Lacroix to give a run through of the findings in the project so far. Towards the end, Steven Blockmans is giving his view on what the research from this project can be utilized in the EU.

Useful or useless? The Ukraine UN ambassador's take on the UN Security Council

Has Russia's invation of Ukraine pushed the UN Security Council to the brink of existential crisis?

As one of the veto powers, Russia is blocking all resolutions on Ukraine. And from the looks of it, the Security Council is paralyzed on an international crisis of historical dimentions. But is this really the case?

Therese Leine, senior communications advisor, and Dr. Niels Nagelhus Schia, senior research fellow and social antropoligist, from The Norwegian Institute of International Affairs, visited the UN to find out.

The guest in this episode of The World Stage is Sergiy Kyslytsya, Ukraine's ambassador to the UN.

The EU’s role in European security and defence

On the 21 of March 2022, the Council of the EU adopted a Strategic Compass, a roadmap for the EU to become a stronger security and defence actor. But what does this really mean, and does it change the EUs role as a security actor in any significant way?

These are some of the questions that were discussed in this episode of The World Stage. Guest is Steven Blockmans, Research Director at CEPS and Professor at Amsterdam University. Host for this episode is Pernille Rieker, Research Professor and coordinator for the NUPI Centre for European studies.

Is this the end of academic freedom in Russia?

The eyes of the world are now pointed towards the horrible war in Ukraine. But right on the other side of the border, a concerning trend has been taking place for some time already. The Russian governments’ grip on freedom of speech is tightening, day by day, restricting the everyday activities and professional life of Russian citizens.

What does this mean for Russian academics? And is the latest development essentially the end of academic freedom in Russia?

Host for this episode is Marie Furhovden (NUPI) alongside,  Julie Wilhelmsen (NUPI), Aude Merlin (l'Université libre de Bruxelles) and Mark Youngman (University of Portsmouth)

Can Europe get out of Russian gas?

After the invasion of Ukraine, Europeans are now rethinking its relationship with Russia, and its dependence on Russian gas. There is a strong desire by EU and European countries to reduce its dependence on Russian energy. 

Can Europe reduce its dependence on Russian gas? Is there a realistic roadmap? What are the steps that are necessary? And what would it take, in terms of investments, finance and political willingness?

What can Norway do in order for Europe to ease this transition? Can Norway produce more gas?

If Europe succeeds, what will this mean for Russia? And what are the Russians thinking about the current European strategy?

In this episode, Jarand Rystad (CEO, Rystad Energy), discuss these questions together with Jakub Godzimirski (Research professor, NUPI) and Ulf Sverdrup (Director, NUPI).

The Ukraine war and the NATO responses in the Baltic and the High North regions

On March 24, all Heads of State and Government in NATO met in Brussels for an Extraordinary NATO Summit to discuss NATO's response to the ongoing war in Ukraine. A few days before this, we had the chance to talk with NATO General Jörg Vollmer, Commander of Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum, and Lieutenant General Yngve Odlo, Commander of the Norwegian Joint headquarters in the Norwegian Defence about the challenges that Russia represents in the Baltic and High North Regions, and how NATO and Norway can best respond.

Host for this episode is Senior Research Fellow and Head of Research Group on Security and Defense at NUPI, Karsten Friis.

Europe, Norway, and the Ukraine crisis

How does the war in Ukraine affect security, trade, economy, and migration in Europe and in Norway?

With Mark Leonard (Director, ECFR) and Ulf Sverdrup (Director, NUPI).

The conversation is moderated by Tore Myhre (International Director, The Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise - NHO).

This is a recording of a NUPI seminar held on 16 March 2022.

NATO's future at a time of war

A discussion with the Head of NATO's Policy Planning Unit, Dr Benedetta Berti, about the new security situation in Europe and NATOs new Strategic Concept.

Host for this episode is Senior Research Fellow and Head of Research Group on Security and Defense at NUPI, Karsten Friis.