Global Dispatches -- World News That Matters

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Journalists, policymakers, diplomats and scholars discuss under-reported news, trends and topics from around the world. Named by The Guardian as “One of 27 Podcasts to Make You Smarter” Global Dispatches is podcast about foreign policy and world affairs.

Mark Leon Goldberg

    • Sep 21, 2023 LATEST EPISODE
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    Latest episodes from Global Dispatches -- World News That Matters

    Live From the UN General Assembly: The Climate Ambition Summit | Why So Few Women Leaders?

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 21, 2023 21:44

    Throughout this week there has been a notable lack of female leaders. By my count just seven of the 99 Presidents or Prime Ministers to address the General Assembly were women.  This is a recurring issue in every UN General Assembly I've covered since 2005. In our second segment today, I discuss the issue of women's political representation with Hibaaq Osman, founder and CEO of Karama a movement working in the Arab Region on ending violence against women and promoting women's political participation. For our first segment, I speak with Pete Ogden, Vice President for Climate and the Environment at the United Nations Foundation. The Climate Ambition Summit convened on Wednesday by Antonio Guterres was the centerpiece of climate diplomacy at UNGA this year. Pete Ogden explains what happened at that summit and how events at the UN and throughout New York this week are helping to shape the outcome of the next major moment in climate diplomacy, COP28, which kicks off in Dubai in late November. The Global Dispatches podcast is teaming up with the United Nations Foundation for a special daily series during the 78th United Nations General Assembly.  Get our newsletter  

    Live from the UN General Assembly: Global Health on the Agenda | A Big Meeting on Financing Sustainable Development

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 20, 2023 32:16

    Today is Wednesday, September 20th and it was a very busy day at the United Nations. Of all the days this week, today was arguably the most packed with high level consequential meetings. Throughout the day today was the Secretary General's Climate Ambition Summit. We will bring you full coverage of that in tomorrow's episode. Also today, the Security Council held a meeting on Ukraine, which featured Zelenskyy's first time addressing the Security Council in person since Russia's invasion. There were two key meetings on Global health, one on Pandemic Preparedness and Response, the other on Universal Health Coverage. I will be speaking with Kate Dodson Vice President for Global Health at the United Nations Foundation about those meetings as well as a key meeting on Tuberculosis later in the week during our second segment.  Our first segment features Vera Songwe, Chairwoman and Founder of the Liquidity and Sustainability Facility and Co-Chair of the High Level Panel on Climate Finance who discusses the crucial topic of Financing for Development.  The Global Dispatches podcast is teaming up with the United Nations Foundation for a special daily series during the 78th United Nations General Assembly.  Get our newsletter

    Live From the UN General Assembly: Key Moments from Biden and Zelenskyy's Speeches | Climate on the Agenda

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 19, 2023 33:14

    Tuesday, September 19th marks the start of the United Nations General Assembly "General Debate." This is the parade of Presidents and Prime Ministers who address the world from the rostrum in the United Nations General Assembly hall. The day follows a familiar pattern each year: the Secretary General kicks off, followed by the new President of the General Assembly, who is Dennis Francis of Trinidad and Tobago. By tradition the President of Brazil is the first leader of a UN member state to speak, followed by the President of the United States. Joining me to discuss these speeches and more is Anjali Dayal, Associate Professor of International Politics at Fordham University's Lincoln Center Campus and Maya Ungar of the International Crisis Group. We spoke just as Volodymyr Zelenskyy concluded his first in-person UNGA address since Russia's invasion of Ukraine. That is our first segment today. Our second segment features Butti Almheiri, UN Foundation Next Generation Fellow for Climate, who previews some of the climate focused themes this week. The Global Dispatches podcast is teaming up with the United Nations Foundation for a special daily series during the 78th United Nations General Assembly.  Get our newsletter

    Live From the UN General Assembly: The Key Stories to Watch During UNGA78 | A Summit on the Sustainable Development Goals

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 18, 2023 31:25

    Monday, September 18 marks the kickoff to what is known around the United Nations as "High Level Week." The main event today was the Sustainable Development Goals Summit, which was intended to revive progress towards the SDGs following years of reversals during COVID. In the words of Antonio Guterres' opening remarks today, "the world needs an SDG rescue plan." Joining us on the second half of the show to discuss the SDG Summit is Navid Hanif, Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development in the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA).  To kick off and set the stage for all of High Level Week is Elizabeth Cousens, President and CEO of the United Nations Foundation. We discuss some of the key stories that will drive the diplomatic agenda during the 78th United Nations General Assembly and preview some of the major events and meetings happening throughout the week. This is your vital UNGA78 scene setter. Global Dispatches is teaming up with the United Nations Foundation for a special daily series during the 78th United Nations General Assembly. This is episode one of four.   

    How Interpol Works | Interpol Secretary General Jurgen Stock

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 14, 2023 35:43

    Interpol is the International Criminal Police Organzation. It was established 100 years ago to facilitate the cross border cooperation of national police agencies.  Interpol is an international organization with very high name recognition, but few people have a decent understanding of how it works.  As it happens, before I became a foreign policy journalist I did an internship at Interpol's headquarters in Lyon, France. And it is there that I caught up with my guest today, Interpol Secretary General Jurgen Stock. He is a former German police officer who is entering his tenth and final year as the Secretary General. In our conversation we discuss some broad trends in the transnational organized crime that he has witnessed in his tenure, and how Interpol is evolving to meet those challenges. We discuss how Interpol manages geopolitical friction and rivalries among its 195 member states, to stay true to its original mission of facilitating international police cooperation.  Spotify users can get access to our bonus episodes and premium content through a Patreon Subsciption. Apple Podcasts can get this directly in the app.  Get our newsletter!       

    Why One of the Most Successful US Foreign Aid Programs is Suddenly Under Attack | PEPFAR's Uncertain Future

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 11, 2023 27:02

    PEPFAR is an acronym that stands for the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. It is the largest foreign aid program targeted at a specific disease, and it is widely considered to be one of the most successful US foreign aid programs ever.  George W Bush who started the program in 2003. It continued and expanded under President Obama and even thrived during the Trump years. But today its fate is uncertain. Funding for PEPFAR is provided by congress every five years, and typically this is a highly bi-partisan and wholly uncontroversial affair. It was due to be re-authorized this year -- but with the end of the fiscal year rapidly approaching, this legislation has not gone through.  At issue is domestic politics around abortion. Anti-abortion groups in the United States have falsely accused PEPFAR under the biden administration of somehow indirectly or secretly supporting abortion. This idea has infected Republican politics -- several Republican members of congress who once supported PEPFAR are now preventing a vote on its re-authorization, threatening to undermine what one of these very members of congress once called "The most successful foreign aid program since the Marshall plan." On the line to discuss PEPFAR's history of success and its uncertain future is Gayle Smith, CEO of the One Campaign and former head of the US Agency for International Development. 

    Remembering Bill Richardson (From 2015)

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 7, 2023 30:58

    Bill Richardson passed away on September 1st at the age of 75. He was a long serving member of Congress and Governor of New Mexico, former Secretary of Energy and US Ambassador to the United Nations. But his most lasting impact on international affairs was his freelance work as an international hostage negotiator. He would travel in his personal capacity to places like North Korea, Burma, and autocratic regimes around the world to help free people wrongfully detained abroad. He had a knack for negotiating with particularly nasty foreign leaders, earning him the moniker, "Undersecretary of Thugs." When we spoke in 2015, Richardson had recently published a book about his experiences negotiating with autocrats called "How to Sweet Talk a Shark." And in our conversation, Richardson recounts stories and lessons learned from his work as a freelance diplomat dedicated to the release of hostages and political prisoners. We kicked off discussing how his unique bi-cultural upbringing and early experiences as a politician in New Mexico helped him develop the kinds of skills he would later deploy in negotiations with people like Saddam Hussein.  I really appreciated this time with Bill Richardson. He was famously a very good talker, and this interview did not disappoint. The paywall on this episode is removed in remembrance of Bill Richardson.  Full archives available to premium subscribers via Apple Podcasts, Patreon (for Spotify Users) and   

    Guatemala: The Astonishing Election of Bernardo Arévalo Threatens a Corrupt Political Establishment

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 5, 2023 30:24

    On August 20th a former academic, diplomat and now anti-corruption crusader Bernardo Arevalo stunned the world with a landslide victory in Guatemala's presidential election. Arevalo won with over 60% of the vote, besting a former first lady who represented Guatemala's long dominant conservative -- and corrupt -- political establishment. This was a truly unexpected result. People who professionally observe Central American politics, including Ivan Briscoe, were taken by surprise.  Ivan Briscoe is Program Director for Latin America and the Caribbean at the International Crisis Group. As he explains, Arevalo is genuinely committed to democracy and rooting out corruption -- and this is putting him at odds with the incumbent corrupt establishment. And despite the election results, the establishment is fighting back and taking measures to prevent Arevalo from wielding power in office and enacting meangful change. We kick off with a discussion of Arevelo's fascinating biography before having a longer conversation about the significance of his landslide victory.  Newsletter:  Patreon  Spotify Premium Feed

    Why The Expansion of BRICS Captures the Geopolitical Zeitgeist

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 31, 2023 31:42

    BRICS stands for Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. It is a significant grouping for the sheer size of the countries involved. BRICS account for 40% of the world's population and nearly one third of global GDP.  In late August BRICS held a much anticipated summit in Pretoria in which they agreed to add six more countries into the club: Argentina, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt. You would be correct in thinking this is an odd grouping of countries, but as Ali Wyne explains, the attractiveness of joining BRICS outweighs the rivalries that some of these these countries might have with each other. And that, he says, captures the zeitgeist of geopolitics today. Ali Wyne is a senior analyst with Eurasia Group's Global Macro-Geopolitics practice, focusing on US-China relations and great-power competition.  Support the show on Patreon Premium Episodes on Apple Podcasts + Spotify  Get Our Newsletter: 

    What's Next for Al Qaeda and The Islamic State | Peter Bergen

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 28, 2023 31:02

    Peter Bergen is one of the world's foremost experts on global jihadist movements like the Islamic State and Al Qaeda. He is a journalist who has covered this beat for decades, including the first television interview with Osama Bin Laden in 1997.  Peter Bergen discusses where Qaeda and the Islamic State stand today, including how the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan has impacted these global Jihadist movements. We also discuss why the Western Sahel region of Africa has become the geographical base of so many al Qaeda and Islamic State splinter groups. We discuss those questions and many more in detail, but kick off with a plug of Peter Bergen's new podcast, In the Room.  In The Room  Our newsletter:  Support our work on Patreon

    The Poaching and Trafficking of Pangolins is Sowing Instability in Central Africa

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 24, 2023 32:42

    Pangolins are small mammals with hard scales and vital to biodiversity in forrested regions. They are also the most trafficked mammal in the world.  Although they are a protected species in internatinal law, transnational organized criminal groups profit from trafficking Pangolins This includes the Congo Basin in Central Africa. International organized criminal groups run poaching and trafficking networks in which most poached pangolins are exported to China and Southeast asia, where they are a key ingrediant in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Pangolin meat is considered a high-end delicacy.  According to my guest today Oluwole Ojewale these networks rake in millions and are a destabilizing force across several countries in the Central Africa. Oluwole Ojewale is the Regional Organized Crime Observatory Coordinator for Central Africa at the Institute for Security Studies. As he explains in our conversation Pangolin trafficking is part of a broader criminal network of illicit wildlife trafficking that funds armed groups, including terrorist groups active in the Central Africa.       

    The Story of an NGO Rescue Ship That Saved 50 Migrants Stranded in the Mediterranean Sea

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 21, 2023 26:11

    The number of migrants and refugees who are dying at sea while crossing the mediterranean is at a four year high.  Nearly 2,000 people are confirmed to have died in the medditeran thus far in 2023, although the real number is likely higher. In one tragedy alone, about 600 people drowned off the coast of Greece in June.   The most popular migrant route in recent months has been from Tunisia to Italy. That was where the MSF/Doctors Without Borders Rescue Ship the Geo Barents was patrolling in early August when it came acorss a crowded migrant boat that had been adrift for days. My guest today,  Margot Bernard of MSF, describes this rescue operation in detail. And through her account of this rescue, explains how policies of European countries are contributing to a surging number of deaths at sea.  Please support our unique brand of humanitarian journalism by getting a paid subscription on Apple Podcasts/supporting through Patreon/ or via Substack  

    Ethnic Cleansing Has Returned to Darfur. Is Genocide Next?

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 17, 2023 32:12

    In 2003 a militia drawn from ethnic Arab tribes in Darfur, known as the Janjaweed, partnered with the government of Sudan in a genocidal campaign against non-Arab tribes in the region. An estimated 300,000 people were killed in the 2003-2004 Darfur genocide. In August 2023, there is mounting evidence of ethnic cleansing is again underway in Darfur, and the US Holocaust Memorial Museaum is warning that there is risk of a full blown genocide.   As Cameron Hudson of the Center for Strategic and International Studies explains, what is happening in Darfur today is reminiscent of the Genocide 20 years ago. We kick off discussing the current campaign of ethnic cleansing underway in Darfur.  He then explains how the genocidal Janjaweed militia became the Rapid Support Forces, which are carrying out these atrocities while battling for control of the whole of Sudan in a full blown civil war that began in April. We discuss how the Rapid Support Forces funds its operations, and the support it is receiving from the United Arab Emirates. Global Dispatches will bear witness to the unfolding crisis in Darfur even as it is far from the headlines of most western outlets. We will offer original reporting, and give you the analysis and context you need to understand this crisis as it unfolds through a series we are calling Darfur Genocide Watch. To access this series and support our work, become a paid subscriber in Apple Podcasts, via Patreon or via Substack  

    How the UN Prevented a Massive Oil Spill off the Coast of Yemen

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 14, 2023 20:55

    For the last eight years a decrepit old oil tanker off the coast of Yemen has been like a ticking time bomb, threatening to unleash unprecedented disaster in the Red Sea. The 47 year old oil tanker, the FSO Safer, was fraying and decaying -- and filled with one million barrels of oil. For reference, this is about four times the amount that the Exonn Valdez spilled in 1989. The UN estimated that a spill from the SFO Safer would cause an ecological, environmental and humanitarian disaster acroess the Red Sea region, destroying pristine reefs, and imperling costal fishing communities in Yemen, Somalia, Djbouti, Eritrea and beyond. It would take 25 years for fish stocks to replenish. The cleanup alone would cost $20 billion. But today's epsiode is about how that disaster was averted. On Friday, August 11th the United Nations announced that the FSO Safer's 1 million barrels of oil had been offloaded. This was the culmination of a massive political, diplomatic and logistical undertaking and my guest is the person who was at the center of it all, the UN's top offical in Yemen David Gressly.  David Gressly is an Assistant UN Secretary General, with whom I spoke from Aden just hours after the last oil had been pumped out of the FSO Safer. We kick off discussing the circumstances in which the oil became trapped in the old vessel, which is very much part of the story of Yemen's civil war. But this is a good news story of a crisis averted. 

    Why Kenya May Send Troops to Haiti

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 10, 2023 29:33

    Haiti is in the midst of the worst humanitarian and security crisis in years. Gang related violence is surging - and the Haitian National Police are overwhelmed and incapable of restoring order.  According to some estimates gangs now control about 80 percent of Port-au-Prince. This rampant insecurity is driving a humanitarian crisis. Hundreds of thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes. About half the country is experiencing food insecurity.  Amid surging violence and insecurity, Prime Minister Ariel Henry appealed to the international community to send help and asked the United Nations Security Council to support a foreign military or police intervention in Haiti. For a long time, no county was willing to step up and volunteer to lead an intervention in Haiti -- that was until Kenya said that it was willing to lead a UN-backed multinational intervention in Haiti. But is this even a good idea? Joining me to discuss that question and many more is Renata Segura, Deputy Director for Latin America and the Caribbean at the International Crisis Group. We kick off discussing the gang violence and security challenges in Haiti before having a long conversation about the international dynamics driving a potential Kenya-lead intervention in Haiti.    Listening on Spotify? Go here to find our bonus episodes and premium content. 

    The Coup in Niger and What Comes Next?

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 7, 2023 33:38

    On July 26th, the democratically elected president of Niger Mohamed Bazoum was deposed in a military coup. This coup seemingly came out of nowhere. Now, a country that had been a key US ally and a French ally in the region is suddenly in turmoil. There is also a good deal of concern that the new Nigerienne junta may turn to Moscow for support, just like the coup leaders in Mali and Burkina Faso.  Joining me to discuss the coup in Niger and what comes next is Leonardo Villalón, professor of African Politics at the The University of Florida. We kick off discussing the possible motivations of the coup leaders and then have a long conversation about the domestic, regional and geopolitical implications of this coup.  

    What Does Political Science Teach Us About Why Countries Use Private Military Groups like Wagner and Blackwater?

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 3, 2023 33:46

    The Wagner group was a key fighting force in Ukraine until its leader, Yevgeny Prigozhin,  attempted a mutiny. 20 years before Wagner was tapped to fight in Ukraine, the United States turned to the private security firm, Blackwater, during its occupation of Iraq. Like Wagner, Blackwater was a for-profit entity that was fighting alongside one of the most powerful militaries in the world. And also like Wagner, Blackwater was credibly accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity. So why is it that countries turn to private groups like this during wartime? I put that question to Dr. Benjamin Tkach, associate professior of political science at Mississippi State University. He is a researcher who studies security privatization, including private military contractors and mercenaries. We kick off briefly defining our terms: what do we mean by "mercenary" and "private security and military company?" We then have a long discussion about the corporate structure of the Wagner Group and its deployment in Africa and Ukraine. Benjamin Tkach compares Wagner today to Blackwater 20 years ago to help answer the question of why powerful countries turn to private groups in times of war. Get our newsletter!   

    Kenya's National Security Advisor Monica Juma

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 31, 2023 25:11

    Monica Juma is the National Security Advisor to Kenyan President William Ruto. Kenya is a stable democracy in a tough neighborhood. There is an ongoing Islamist insurgency across the border in Somalia, and nearby Sudan is in the midst of a spiraling civil war. On top of this all, the Horn of Africa is experiencing the worst drought in 40 years. I asked Monica Juma about each of these challenges, starting with how climate change is impacting Kenya's national security.    Today's episode was recorded live at the Aspen Security Forum. It is the last of three interviews I conducted on site in the middle of July, the others including Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Oleksandra Matviichuk and International Relations scholar Joseph Nye.     

    Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Oleksandra Matviichuk on Documenting Russian War Crimes in Ukraine

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 27, 2023 23:00

    Oleksandra Matviichuk is a 2022 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. She is a human rights lawyer who leads the Center for Civil Liberties, a Ukrainian human rights organization.   Oleksandra Matviichuk has been systematically documenting Russian war crimes and crimes against humanity since 2014, when Russia first annexed parts of Ukraine. Since the full-scale invasion of Ukraine last year, her work has intensified and includes advocating for ways to bring perpetrators to justice. We kick off discussing her work prior to the 2014 annexations and 2022 Russian invasion and then have a powerful conversation about reconciling her values as a human rights lawyer and the desperate need for a swift Ukrainian military victory against Russia.   I caught up with Oleksandra Matviichuk at the Aspen Security Forum, where we recorded our conversation live.  Please visit to get our free newsletter and learn more about our work. 

    Joseph Nye on Soft Power Competition Between China and the United States | Live From the Aspen Security Forum

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 24, 2023 17:05

    I caught up with legendary international relations scholar Joseph Nye at the The Aspen Security Forum. This conference was a target rich environment for snagging great guests for the podcast and I have some excellent episodes coming up, including a conversation with the most recent Nobel Peace Prize laureate, the Ukranian Human Rights Lawyer Oleksandra Matviichuk and Kenya's National Security Advisor Monica Juma.  I speak with Joseph Nye, best known for coming up with the concept of "Soft Power" describes the sources of Chinese soft power today and how that factors into geopoliticsl competition with the United States. We also discuss what opportunities might be harnessed to avoid a new Cold War between the United States and China. 

    Uncovering Russia's Systematic Abduction of Ukrainian Children

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 20, 2023 26:29

    Since the start of the war, Russia has abducted tens of thousands of Ukrainian children. These kidnappings have been well documented by Ukrainian authorities and civil society groups. Last March, the International Criminal Court issued arrest warrants for Vladimir Putin and his children's affairs commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova for the "unlawful transfer of children from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation." What happens after these children have been abducted is revealed in a new documentary by my guest today Isobel Yeung, senior correspondent for Vice News. She reported from both Ukraine and Russia to uncover a system of re-purposed summer camps and foster families who have assumed guardianship over abducted Ukrainian children. She interviews the ringleader of it all-- the alleged war criminal Maria Lvova-Belova.  

    The NATO Summit in Vilnius and What Comes Next for the Alliance

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 13, 2023 21:44

    NATO held a Major summit in Vilnius, Lithuania on July 11th and 12th. Top on the agenda, of course, was Ukraine including Ukraine's potential future NATO membership. Another key issue on the agenda was Sweden. Last year, both Sweden and Finland asked to join NATO. Finland is in, but Turkey had been blocking Sweden's membership. That abruptly changed in Vilnius, paving the way for all Nordic countries to become NATO members. Joining me to discuss what happened at this meeting, and what the Vilnius summit suggests about the future of NATO is Jim Goldgeier a professor of International Relations at American University and a longtime scholar of NATO and transatlantic affairs. We kick off discussing the debate around Ukraine's potential membership before discussing many of the other issues on the agenda in Lithuania, and what meeting means for NATOs future and the war in Ukraine.   

    Can The International Shipping Industry Be Part of the Climate Solution?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 13, 2023 27:29

    The international shipping industry is a major greenhouse gas emitter, accounting for about three percent of all greenhouse gas emitted last year. For reference, this is roughly equivalent to the total annual emissions of Germany.  Because these emissions occur on international waters, the shipping industry was purposefully left out of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. Instead, a UN agency called the International Maritime Organization is the forum for multilateral diplomacy to curb emissions in international shipping. In early July members of the IMO met in London for negotiations.   Joining me to discuss why this meeting was so significant to international efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions is Susan Ruffo, Senior Director and Senior Advisor for Ocean and Climate at United Nations Foundation. We kick off discussing the impact of international shipping on climate change and then have an extended conversation about what happened at this meeting of the International Maritime Organization, which includes a new target for emission reduction and progress towards enacting a levy on carbon emissions from shipping.           

    The Geopolitical Implications of Taiwan's Upcoming Presidential Elections

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 10, 2023 29:27

    Taiwan will hold presidential elections in January 2024. Needless to say, these elections will have extremely consequential geopolitical implications. The two main candidates have differing views of Taiwan's relationship with China. Lai Ching-te of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is the current Vice President and represents the stronger pro-independence faction of Taiwanese politics. His main rival, Hou Yu-ih of the Kuomingtang (KMT)  supports closer relations between Taipei and Beijing. And this year there is a surprising third party candidate, Ko Wen-je of the Taiwan People's Party (TPP), who is is shaking up what is conventionally a two party presidential contest. Joining me for an in-depth conversation about Taiwanese politics and these upcoming elections is Kharis Templeman, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution where he is the program manager of the Project on Taiwan in the Indo-Pacific Region. We kick off discussing the political history of Taiwan following the Chinese civil war and then have an in-depth conversation about each of the candidates' positions on the key issue of cross straight relations. 

    What Happened at the Summit for a New Global Financing Pact

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 3, 2023 25:36

    Less developed countries rightly lament the lack of access to funding for sustainable development that donor countries routinely promise, but rarely deliver. To remedy, dozens of Presidents, Prime Ministers and high-level officials met in Paris for the Summit for a New Global Financing Pact to rethink the "global financial architecture" to support developing economies grow in a climate compliant way. This summit was intended to kickstart momentum toward new funding opportunities for sustainable development, including enacting reforms at the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.  This was a big moment for the sustainable development community and joining me to explain what happened is Clemence Landers, a senior policy fellow at the Center for Global Development. We kick off discussing why such a meeting was necessary in the first place, including a trifecta of crises that is driving economic distress in less developed countries today. We then discuss the outcomes of the meeting, and what it means for global development and climate change debates going forward. 

    Amed Khan: A Philanthropist on the Frontlines in Ukraine

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 29, 2023 24:51

    Amed Khan has been described as a "direct action philanthropist." He goes to the frontlines of humanitarian crises on his own and uses his personal wealth and networks to deliver whatever the communities say they need. For the past two years, Amed Khan has been in Ukraine near the frontlines of fighting in places like Bakhmut. When we spoke he had just returned from Kherson, which experienced catastrophic flooding following the sabotage of a major dam upstream. We kick off discussing how he got into this line of work in general, and to Ukraine in particular. As he explains he has a long history in Ukraine, but more recently worked with Ukrainian special forces to help rescue Afghans as Kabul fell to the Taliban. This was just months before Russia's invasion of Ukraine. We discuss why "frontlines philanthropy" is a unique approach to humanitarianism, the advantages and limitations of which we discuss at length.        

    What is Driving a Political Crisis and Protests in Senegal

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 26, 2023 21:27

    Over the decades, Senegal has earned a reputation as a reliably stable democracy in West Africa. But recent events have put that reputation to test.  Over the last month, Senegal has been rocked by widespread protests against the government of President Macky Sall. These protests were sparked by the arrest and conviction of a prominent opposition party leader, Ousmane Sanko. The government response to these protests has been brutal. More than a dozen people have been killed, many by live ammunition fired into crowds of protesters. Joining me to discuss recent events in Senegal is Carine Kaneza Nantulya, deputy director within the Africa division at Human Rights Watch. We discuss what lead to these protests and what Human Rights Watch uncovered about the government's deadly response. We then have a broader discussion about what is driving democratic backsliding in Senegal

    Why The United States is Rejoining UNESCO

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 21, 2023 21:48

    Back in 2017, the Trump administration announced that the United States would formally leave UNESCO, the UN's education, science and cultural organization. When the Biden administration came to office it promised to reverse course and rejoin UNESCO.  On June 12 this year it announced a plan to do just that.  Joining me to discuss America's complicated relationship with UNESCO and explain why the Biden administration is seeking to rejoin is Peter Yeo, President of the Better World Campaign and Senior Vice President at the United Nations Foundation.  We kick off discussing what exactly UNESCO does and how it supports American interests before having a longer conversation about this recent frought history between UNESCO and the US. Peter Yeo then explains the process by which the Biden administration is seeking to rejoin UNESCO. 

    What Sudan's Refugee Crisis Teaches Us About Africa's Borders

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 19, 2023 24:28

    Since fighting broke out in Sudan on April 15th this year, more than million people have been displaced internally and internationally. Many of the borders across which Sudanese have fled are not functional borders -- that is, there is no process to register or screen people who are entering a country. According to my guest today, non-functional porous borders are exacerbating an aleady dire humanitarian crisis.  Margaret Monyani is a senior migration researcher at Institute for Security Studies in South Africa. We kick off discussing why the African Union is focusing more heavily on border control and administration before having a longer conversation about what Sudan's refugee crisis tells us about African borders today. 

    A Political Earthquake in Thailand

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 15, 2023 25:58

    On May 14th, Thailand held general elections. The results were a shock to the Thai political system.   Since a 2014 coup, the military leaders have dominated Thai politics. A main opposition party has challenged military rule, but has been genereally thwarted at every turn.  However, this year a third party emerged victorious: and their vision for the country represents a radically progressive shift in Thai politics.  The Move Forward Party, lead by a charismatic Harvard and MIT educated 42 year  Pita  Limjaroenrat won the elections. And they did so, according my guest today, by chanellening a kind of progressive populism that can change Thailand's domestic political culture and foreign policy in big ways.  Prashanth Parameswrn is a Fellow at the Wilson Center and founder of the ASEAN Wonk Substack Newsletter.  We kick off discussing the political context in which Move Forward won these elections. We then have an extended conversation about how the Military Junta has rigged the Thai political system in such a way that the Move Forward Party may never actually be able to form a government. Even if they did, the threat of a coup would loom large. We then have an extended conversation about what this election means in terms of Thai foreign policy and geopolitical competition in Southeast Asia between the US and China.         

    Why Saudi Arabia Bought the Entire Sport of Professional Golf

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 12, 2023 23:05

    On June 7th, the Professional Golf Association announced a merger with a Saudi backed rival golf legue know as LIV Golf. Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, which is controlled by Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, backed this deal. The chairman of the Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund will serve as the chairman of this new yet-to-be named golf league.  In other words, Saudi Arabia just bought the sport of Professional Golf.  This move comes on the heels of other Saudi forays into professional sports, including the purchase of the Newcastle United Premier League soccer team in 2021. The Saudi purchase professional golf is a clear example of an attempt to rehabilitate its public image through sports, otherwise known as "sportswashing."   Joining me to discuss this Saudi public diplomacy gambit is Alex Ward, National Security Reporter for Politico.  We kick off discussing the lessons learned from Saudi Arabia's purchase of Newcastle United and then have a conversation about the PGA merger in the context of Saudi Arabia's politics and foreign policy.  Get our free newsletter: 

    Did Russia Sabotage a Dam to Thwart a Ukrainian Counteroffensive?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 8, 2023 26:19

    In the early hours of Tuesday, June 6th a major Dam on the Dnipro river in Russian occupied Ukraine suffered catastrophic damage. Floodwaters are now rushing downstream and sending tens of thousands of people fleeing. The path of these destructive floodwaters roughly follows the frontlines between Russian and Ukrainian forces in Southern Ukraine and this breach comes just as Ukraine's much anticipated counteroffensive gets underway. This obviously raises the question: did Russia sabotage the Kakhovka dam to thwart a Ukrainian counteroffensive?  I'm joined today by the former US Ambassador to Ukraine John Herbst.  He is a retired career foreign service office and now the senior director of the Atlantic Council's Eurasia Center. We kick off discussing the destruction of the Kakhovka Dam, including the likelihood that it was deliberately destroyed by Russia. We then have an extended conversation about what the destruction of this dam means for Ukraine's counteroffensive.

    Why Tuberculosis Remains Such a Leading Global Killer

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 5, 2023 28:47

    The second leading cause of death from infectious disease around the world is Tuberculosis, following COVID. 10 million people globally develop TB each year, and in 2021 1.6 million died from Tuberculosis.  So why is a disease that is preventable and curable still inflicting such a major toll on the health and welfare of so many people and what can be done to reduce the burden of TB around the world? Joining me to answer these questions and more is Dr. Lucica Ditiu, executive director of the Stop TB Partnership.  We kick off discussing trends in TB around the world including how covid impacted efforts to reach global targets around reducing sickness and death from TB. We then have a longer conversation about what can be done to accelerate progress against this deadly disease.     

    The Global Ban on Chemical Weapons Hits a Snag

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 1, 2023 24:55

    In 1993, governments around the world agreed to a landmark arms control treaty, the Chemical Weapons Convention. It prohibits countries from building chemical weapons, using chemical weapons and requires countries to destroy whatever stockpiles of chemical weapons they may have.  The way treaties like this work is that governments come together every few years for what are known as "Review Conferences" in which they assess past progress and set priorities for the coming years.  In the middle of May, members of the Chemical Weapons Convention gathered in The Hague for a five year review conference. And that is where things hit a few snags, according to my guest today Mary Wareham.  Mary Wareham is the advocacy director of the Arms Division of Human Rights Watch. We kick off discussing the history and some successes of the Chemical Weapons Convention. We then have a longer discussion about the complicated diplomatic dynamics of maintaining an an effective ban on chemical weapons use and development.   

    Ecuador is in the Midst of a Political Crisis

    Play Episode Listen Later May 30, 2023 24:59

    On Wednesday May 17th, Ecuador's President Guillermo Lasso invoked a constitutional provision known as muerte cruzada, or "mutual death." The move dissolves the parliament and enables Lasso to rule by decree for six months when new elections are held. This political upheaval comes at a time of surging violence in Ecuador, driven largely by gang violence related to cocaine trafficking. Joining me to discuss the political crisis in Ecuador, explain what is driving a surge in violence in the county -- and the connection between the Ecuador's politics and rising crime is Glaeldys Gonzalez a fellow for the Latin America and Carribbean program at the international crisis group.   

    How Small States Can Influence World Politics

    Play Episode Listen Later May 22, 2023 27:20

    The study and analysis of Great Power Competition is all the vogue in international relations and foreign policy circles. And understandably so, the rise of China, the actions of Russia and America's approach to geo-politics are indeed setting the conditions in which some big global shifts are playing out. But that does not mean one should ignore the role that small states are playing in international politics. If you overlook small states, you are missing a complete picture of international relations today.  My guest today, Tom Long is author of the book  "A Small State's Guide to Influence in World Politics" and associate professor of international relations at the University of Warwick.  He studies how smaller states have successfully shaped internationally affairs to their advantage.

    What Would Happen if China Invades Taiwan?

    Play Episode Listen Later May 18, 2023 32:59

    The year is 2026, and China has just launched an invasion of Taiwan. What happens next was the subject of a comprehensive non-classified War Game simulation lead by the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Our guest, Mark Cancian, is a retired Marine Colonel and senior advisor at CSIS and one of the lead conveners of this War Game.  We kick off discussing how the War Game was designed before having a longer conversation about the outcomes it predicted. This includes death tolls, the role of Japan and whether or not the US and Chinese homeland are attacked.  I'll cut to the chase: after 24 iterations, the most probable outcome was the defeat of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, but at a staggeringly high cost to Taiwan and the United States.   

    How Ukraine Should Prepare for a Russian Ceasefire Proposal

    Play Episode Listen Later May 15, 2023 35:30

    Ukraine is widely expected to launch a counter-offensive to reclaim territory captured by Russia. And if Ukraine is successful on the battlefield, Russia may float a ceasefire proposal, that more likely than not would be disingenuous and merely an attempt to stall for time.  These are some of the conclusions of a recent Red Team exercise conducted by the Public International Law & Policy Group (PILPG) which gathered a number of experts to predict Russia's approach to a potential ceasefire negotiation. Joining me to discuss their findings and how a Russian ceasefire proposal might upend international support for Ukraine is Dr. Paul Williams, founder of Public International Law & Policy Group which is a pro bono law firm supporting states and governments involved in, among other things peace and ceasefire.   

    What's Newsworthy? A Behind the Scenes Look at "Global Dispatches"

    Play Episode Listen Later May 11, 2023 27:38

    This is a a special crossover episode featuring Global Dispatches host Mark Leon Goldberg taking questions from veteran journalist Ray Suarez, from the On Shifting Ground podcast. They discuss trends in international reporting and why humanitarian journalism is a vital part of the media ecosystem. Regular Global Dispatches listeners will get a unique understand of how the show is put together every week.   

    Can "The Big Catch Up" Boost Childhood Vaccinations Worldwide?

    Play Episode Listen Later May 8, 2023 33:21

    Before COVID more and more children around the world were receiving their routine vaccinations on time and in full. But COVID severely interrupted that progress. Now, we are seeing lagging indicators of interrupted childhood vaccinations in the form of outbreaks of vaccine preventable diseases like measles and diphtheria.  To reverse this trend a number of global health entities have joined forces for what they call “The Big Catch-up” to boost vaccination among children following declines driven by the COVID-19 pandemic. joining me to discuss trends in routine childhood vaccinations around the world, the impact of COVID 19 on those trends and what can be done to restore progress is Dr. Ephrem Lemango, associate director of immunization at UNICEF headquarters in New York.       

    A Brewing Crisis at the Southern US Border

    Play Episode Listen Later May 4, 2023 26:55

    On May 11th a pandemic-era policy, known as Title 42, will expire. This was a Trump administration policy which used public health concerns as a pretext expel migrants from the United States before they could claim asylum under US and international law. Title 42 has continued under the Biden administration but is set to expire. American officials are bracing for a massive increase in the number of people seeking asylum at the southern US border.  This is shaping up to be a humanitarian crisis and bureaucratic crisis rolled up into one.  Joining me to help explain recent migration patterns in the Americas and the Biden administration's approach to migration at the southern US border is Yael Schacher, director for America's and Europe and Refugees International. We kick off discussing one key node in an increasing number of migrants journeys known as the Darien Gap. We then have a broad discussion about the patchwork of US policies intended to handle asylum claims and offer a legal pathway to entry to the USA. 

    The Foreign Policy Implications of Turkey's National Elections

    Play Episode Listen Later May 1, 2023 33:59

    Turkey holds elections on May 14th. For the first time in twenty years, President Erdogan is facing a serious challenge at the ballot box. The opposition has unified behind candidate Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, a 74 year old career politician whose low-key demeanor is a stark contrast to President Erdogan's bombastic charisma. As my guest today Dr. Lisel Hintz explains, Turkey's struggling economy and the fallout from the earthquakes earlier this year are re-shaping the political landscape.  Dr. Lisel Hintz is Assistant Professor of International Relations at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. We kick off discussing some of the domestic political dynamics driving this election and then have a discussion about the foreign policy implications of the elections. This includes Turkey's relationship to NATO, its position on Russia and Ukraine and regional dynamics in the Middle East.  

    How International Diplomacy Failed to Stop Sudan From Sliding Into Civil War

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 27, 2023 27:20

    In the ten year history of this podcast, it is rare to have episodes on the same topic in back to back weeks. But the unfolding crisis in Sudan is such an important topic that it demands attention.  Last week, I spoke with civil society activist Hala al Karib, who was trapped in her house in Khartoum as fighting erupted. She very  much offered an informed local perspective on what was happening around her. Today, we are taking a global perspective on Sudan's burgeoning civil war with Cameron Hudson. He's a senior associate in the Africa Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and a long time Sudan policy hand in Washington DC.  We kick off discussing why this conflict erupted when it did. We then spend a good deal of time discussing how and why this incipient civil war is very much an international affair, including a discussion of the diplomatic failures that lead to this moment. 

    Hostage Diplomacy and the Case of a Wall Street Journal Reporter Detained in Russia

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 24, 2023 29:07

    On March 29th, Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich was arrested in Russia and charged with espionage. The charges are spurious, but the intentions are clear: Evan Gershkovich is now a hostage in Russia and his release will require a delicate diplomatic balancing act.  My guest today Dr. Dani Gilbert is an academic who studies what she calls "Hostage Diplomacy." She is the Edelson Fellow in US Foreign Policy and International Security at the John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding at Dartmouth College. We last spoke in June 2022, following the arrest of the American basketball star Britney Griner. In our conversation today, we discuss the differences and similarities between the Griner case and the Gershovich situation. We also discuss what processes might lead to Gershkovich's release and how this latest wrongful detention of an American abroad fits into larger patterns around government sponsored hostage taking.  

    A Major Crisis is Unfolding in Sudan

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 20, 2023 20:43

    On Saturday, April 15th fighting broke out in Khartoum and elsewhere in Sudan. At time of recording, hundreds of people have been killed, all commercial air travel has been suspended, and international aid operations have come to a halt. In the massive city of Khartoum, millions of people are sheltering in place, with dwindling supplies of food and water-- and that includes my guest today Hala al-Karib, a Sudanese activist, research practitioner and director of the Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa.  When I last spoke with Hala al-Karib for the podcast in late February, she more or less predicted the crisis we are seeing today which is the result of a failure of a transition to democracy in Sudan. Hala al-Karib explains that despite the predicable failure of the democratic transition in Sudan, people were still caught off guard by the actual outbreak of fighting. We then go on to discuss some of the broader conflict dynamics and what can be done to pull Sudan back from the brink of all out civil war. 

    A Seismic Geopolitical Shift is Underway in the Middle East

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 17, 2023 31:38

    Over ten years ago, most Arab countries in the Middle East cut ties with the Syrian government during the civil war and supported armed groups dedicated to the overthrow of the Bashar al-Assad regime. Meanwhile, Iran was Assad's key backer.  But now, in the Spring of 2023 a big shift is underway. Saudi Arabia and Iran are taking steps towards rapprochement and Arab governments throughout the region are re-opening embassies in Damascus and re-establishing diplomatic relations with Syria. Joining me to explain what is driving this regional re-alignment is Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma and the Mackey Chair. We kick off discussing how the outbreak of the Syrian civil war impacted regional diplomacy and why now we are seeing such profound changes in the the geopolitics of the Middle East.   

    What is "Humanitarian Journalism?"

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 13, 2023 25:55

    About six years ago, I received a request for an interview from an academic in the United Kingdom named Martin Scott who was doing journalism related research. That interview helped to inform the new book: "Humanitarian Journalists: Covering Crises from a Boundary Zone" by Martin Scott, and coauthors Mel Bunce, and Kate Wright -- all of whom are academics.  The book identifies and defines what the authors call "humanitarian journalism" which combines conventional journalistic norms like objectivity with certain key humanitarian principals like the moral equivalence of all lives, regardless of geography. The book explicitly cites my work, as well as that of a small number of other journalists who do what they called humanitarian journalism. I talk with Martin Scott, Associate Professor in Media and Global Development at the University of East Anglia about the concept and practice of "humanitarian journalism."

    Two Outbreaks of the Ebola-like Marburg Virus Have the Global Health Community on Edge

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 10, 2023 26:04

    At time of recording, there are two ongoing outbreaks of Marburg Virus Disease, one in Tanzania and the other in Equatorial Guinea. Marburg is in the same family of diseases as Ebola and is extremely deadly, with a case-to-fatality ratio of up to 88%. Humans can become infected through contact with fruit bats, and like ebola, Marburg is transmissible between humans through contact with bodily fluids.  Joining me to discuss these outbreaks is Dele Ogunseitan, a professor of population, health and disease prevention at the University of California Irvine and a Visiting professor at Stanford University's Center for Innovation in Global Health. He also leads the training and empowerment objective for a USAID project called One Health Workforce Next Generation.  We kick off discussing the history of Marburg before having a longer discussion about these two outbreaks and what can be done to stop Marburg from spreading further. 

    These Are the Major Global Demographic Trends as the World Population Hits 8 Billion

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 6, 2023 26:32

    On November 15, the world population officially surpassed 8 billion people, according to United Nations estimates. The milestone was reached just 12 years after the world marked 7 billion people, and it is projected that global population will hit 9 billion people by 2037 So what are the key demographic trends driving population growth? Where is population growing fastest? Where is it declining? And what do the age structures of populations around the world tell us about the future of our planet? To answer these questions, we are joined by John Wilmoth, head of the Population Division at the United Nations Department of Economic and Social affairs.  We kick off with a brief history of population growth and with a discussion of the so-called demographic transition, which is the long process in which populations steadily live longer and have few children. 

    Just Giving People Money is Really Effective at Ending Extreme Poverty. So Why Aren't Big Aid Agencies Embracing Cash Transfers? | Rory Stewart

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 3, 2023 27:10

    My guest today Rory Stewart is an author, former diplomat and politician who served as the United Kingdom's Secretary of State for International Development. He is currently the CEO of Give Directly, an international NGO that specializes in no-strings attached cash transfers. This includes to people impacted by sudden onset crises and as a tool to provide basic income for people living in extreme poverty.  When we caught up, Rory Stewart had just returned from the earthquake affected areas of southern Turkey where Give Directly has a program to support small business owners impacted by the earthquake. We discuss the value and utility of conditionless cash transfers in emergency situations before transitioning to a longer conversation about the potential role that such cash transfers can play in reducing endemic extreme poverty around the world.  As we discuss, this is an empircally effetive way to combat extreme poverty, but it is not yet widely adopted by major donor governments, for reasons he explains.   

    The Hidden Economics of Female Genital Mutilation | From: "The Hidden Economics of Remarkable Women" podcast

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 30, 2023 26:14

    We present an episode of the Hidden Economics of Remarkable Women podcast, which is now in its third season. Each episode tells the story of how women are creating change through economic empowerment. In this new season, the Hidden Economics of Remarkable Women is partnering with journalists around the world to cover underreported ways women are challenign the status quo. For the season three opener, which we share with you today, the show takes us to Kenya where reporter Eunice Maina some of the econimic incentives that perpetuate female genital mutilation -- and how to end the practice. The Hidden Economics of Remarkable Women is from Foreign Policy magazine and hosted by Reena Ninan.

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