A lot happened on New Year's Eve in Cologne, much of it contradictory, much of it real, much of it imagined. Some was happenstance, some was exaggerated and much of it was horrifying. In its entirety, the events of Cologne on New Year's Eve and in the day
The discussion around whether or not the Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL) is Islamic began as soon as the group entered onto the world stage. It throws up a number of queries for policy makers in the United States, Europe, and the Arab world, and the policy p
World headlines blare the news that negotiators in Paris have reached a global climate change agreement. Yet underneath the soaring rhetoric were hard politics that can tell a lot about the longevity of the deal.
One of the biggest economic surprises of 2015 is that the stunning drop in global oil prices did not deliver a bigger boost to global growth. Despite the collapse in prices, from over $115 per barrel in June 2014 to $45 at the end of November 2015, most m
The deadly West African Ebola epidemic has largely faded from headlines, replaced by mounting concern over conflict in the Middle East, terrorism, and refugees streaming into Europe. But while Guinea and Sierra Leone were declared free of the disease in N
The Paris climate summit (also known as COP 21) has adopted a new “Paris Agreement”. The agreement has the potential to mark a laudable and historic shift in how the world negotiates cooperation on climate change. It does not justify the over-the-top clai
There was widespread relief among mainstream voters in France this evening, after Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Front (FN) failed to score a single victory at elections to the country’s 13 regions. Her party shook France a week ago by topping voting
Global carbon dioxide emissions from burning coal, oil and gas as well as from industrial activities grew by just 0.6% in 2014, according to researchers from the Global Carbon Project of the organisation Future Earth.The researchers say emissions have gro
Record-strength hurricanes, submerged coastal cities, scorched dust bowls – these are the sort of apocalyptic images that are often used to illustrate the devastating consequences of climate change. But for millions of farmers in Latin America and the Car
The two-week United Nations conference on climate change is halfway over, and no matter what else happens, it has already been a clear-cut success in two critical areas.
Ever since it started at the end of September, Russia’s military engagement in Syria has given rise to many questions, contradictory interpretations, different hopes and fears. While some have seen it as anti-Western policy, others have hoped that it will
As economic recovery finally begins to take hold in Europe, the imperative for policymakers is to ensure that growth can be sustained far into the future. Fiscal and monetary stimulus may have been appropriate at the peak of the crisis, but they will do l
The Chinese Discovery of the World is one of major stories of our age: For the first time in China’s 2,500 years of history, millions of its citizens are venturing beyond their home towns and cities and out beyond the boundaries of the Middle Kingdom itse
Iraq’s most urgent challenge is to eliminate the Islamic State (IS), but that battle will be just a prelude to myriad conflicts in liberated areas such as Sinjar and Tuz Khormato if the rival parties can't reach a consensus on their future status.
Over the coming year, one of the multilateral system's most important tasks will be to implement first steps toward achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs, or
In 1992, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change rightly called for a stabilisation of greenhouse gas concentrations at a level that would prevent dangerous climate change. The UN Climate talks that have just begun in Paris can and should underpin t
The roots of the Middle East’s many conflicts lie in the unraveling of the Ottoman Empire at the beginning of the twentieth century and the failure since then to forge a stable regional order. As the international community works toward securing a durable
In just over a month, China will assume the G-20 presidency. Over the next year – and especially at the organization’s September summit, to be held in Hangzhou – China plans to help lay the groundwork for a world economy that is more “innovative, invigora
When world leaders convene in Paris this week for the United Nations Climate Change Conference, their task will be to reach a global agreement on curbing greenhouse-gas emissions. A successful outcome, demonstrating that countries can work together for th
Turkey's downing of a Russian fighter jet in Syria has raised the stakes in an already crowded and complicated conflict. The Nov. 24 incident will also likely undermine efforts to find a solution to the country's protracted civil war.
Trade negotiators rarely get to celebrate a victory. The United States, for example, has been negotiating over 15 bilateral free trade agreements, with none concluded since the Korea-US agreement was finalized at the end of 2010. This makes the recently f
For 2015, The Diplomat presents “Diplomatic Access,” a series of exclusive interviews with ambassadors from the Asia-Pacific region. By talking to these diplomats, we’ll give readers a sense of each country’s perspective on various regional economic and s
What’s at stake: France will chair and host the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) at the end of the year. While the scientific community has reached a consensus that climate-warming trends
ISIS, with its horrific attack on purely civilian targets in Paris, has established new realities about its nature, capabilities and intentions. The need for its elimination can now no longer be in doubt. It is not that Parisian lives are more important t
Henry Kissinger has noted that in his adult lifetime, the United States has fought five major wars and began each one with great enthusiasm and public support. But in each of them, Americans soon began to ask, “How quickly can you withdraw?” In three of t