Notebook

The OSCE’s Afghanistan Challenge

The Taliban takeover of Afghanistan poses three specific sets of challenges for the OSCE and its participating States: instability in Afghanistan; the resultant threats to regional security and stability; and the impact of the evolving local and regional situations on the entire OSCE area and relations among OSCE participating States and hence the ability of the Organisation to develop an approach to Afghanistan in line with its mandate for comprehensive and cooperative security.

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China: A Challenge or an Opportunity for the OSCE?

China has become a significant actor in the OSCE area at a time of deep divisions among participating States. As China, Russia, and the West now represent three rival great powers competing for influence in Eurasia, participating States’ narratives on China are polarised, driven, in part, by fundamentally different underpinning value systems. However, regardless of whether the ever-increasing Chinese presence are considered a challenge or an opportunity for the OSCE, the Organization needs to face China, not ignore it.

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Building peace through subnational governance: The case of Libya

Amidst the pandemic and an unprecedented economic downturn, millions of people continue to face the compounding effects of violent conflict. Disputes over control of territory and resources play an oversized role in many of these conflicts — as evident, for example, in Ethiopia, Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Myanmar.

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Yemen: Engaging, Not Isolating

Five years of war in Yemen have caused one of today’s worst man-made humanitarian crises. To resolve the conflict the Biden administration will have to grasp the nettle of subnational governance reform and be prepared to work with – not against – the Houthis in finding a sustainable political settlement.

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Libya: Subnational Governance as an Anchor of Stability

As the Libyan people see renewed prospects for peace, subnational governance may represent an integral part of a resolution to protracted instability. For such a solution to work, it will require broad participation in the negotiation process, the absence of internal and external spoilers, and that the institutional arrangements agreed upon must address the main drivers of conflict effectively.

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A New Dynamic for Post-Soviet Conflict Settlement?

The protracted conflicts across the post-Soviet space have returned to the center of regional and international politics over the past several months. First, it was the military escalation between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh, then the prospect of a new push to settle the conflict over Transnistria.

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