The Chemical Weapons Convention is widely recognised as the most successful multilateral disarmament instrument. Yet, recent developments (especially in Syria) show that the prevention of chemical attacks and the prosecution of perpetrators remains highly complex. This fifth episode of the Clingendael Spectator series on arms control analyses how the OPCW can maintain the Convention effectively in the face of political contestation.
The small Western Balkan nation of Kosovo repatriated 110 citizens, including men, women, and children, in April 2019, making it one of a very small number of countries that has actively repatriated citizens involved with the Islamic State. This policy brief examines Kosovo’s response to the phenomenon of foreign fighters, how the return of foreign fighters and their families from Syria has been handled, and what has happened during the year since their return. What lessons can be learned by EU countries, including the Netherlands, in handling the complex issue of how to manage the return of foreign fighters and their families?
When, in 2018, the People’s Republic of China published its first Arctic strategy, claiming that the Middle Kingdom is a ‘near-Arctic state’, many a snigger could be heard throughout the world of Arctic diplomacy. Yet, it is quickly becoming clear that China has built a geostrategic presence in the Arctic that is not to be sniggered at. It is already reshaping circumpolar politics in fundamental ways.
In the run-up to the 2020 US presidential election, it is time to reflect on the impact of Trumps presidency on various countries across the globe. How do different countries look back upon four years of President Trump? In this opening episode of the Clingendael Spectator series “Four Years Trump: Taking Stock and Looking Forward”, Shi Yinhong explains from a Chinese perspective how Trump sought rivalry with China on all fronts.
Shi Yinhong – Professor of International Relations at the Renmin University of China
Paris saw a new and disturbing terrorist incident by the end of April. A 29-year-old man, called Youssef T., wounded two policemen. He told the police that he carried out the attack because of the situation in Palestine. He also stated to be sympathetic towards the goals of ISIS. Oh and by the way, more than 23.000 people died from the coronavirus in France over the last two months.
COVID-19 is not the only crisis, and probably not the biggest crisis in the Sahel.
The global coronavirus crisis has produced many negative effects, including an increase in cybercrime that targets health organizations, such as hospitals and medical research centers.
Digital connectivity will feature prominently in the upcoming EU–Japan summit scheduled for May 2020, and in the EU–Africa summit of November 2020. On both occasions, digital Official Development Assistance (ODA) deserves a more prominent place on the agenda than seen so far. For Japan, this means implementing coordinated digital development initiatives and aiming for greater contributions to the e-economy and e-government, and for African governments, the European Union (EU) should identify real needs that inform targeted, request-based action on digital ODA.
In its recently published annual report, the Dutch general intelligence and security service AIVD notes that intelligence services of other countries often play a key role in covert influencing operations that target political decision-making directly, or focus on the manipulation of public perceptions indirectly. One of the countries mentioned continuously with regard to these kinds of activities is Russia. Of old, this country has been most adept at covertly influencing the perceptions and public opinion in other countries, which can have a disruptive effect on policy-making processes. However, being done covertly, these activities have tended to remain hidden in the shadows. Lately though, they can’t seem to stay out of the limelight. Recent operations by Russia’s intelligence services, in particular the military intelligence service GRU, are a case in point. Only rarely has an intelligence service of a major power received so much public attention over such a short period of time as has happened to the GRU.
In response to the death of 36 of its troops in a Russo-Syrian airstrike in Idlib, the Turkish authorities encouraged migrants to go to the Greek border to pressure the European Union into action. The move was motivated by Erdogan’s desperate attempt to save face at home.