These are brief reports of workshops organized, hosted or co-sponsored by CIGI at which CIGI fellows and senior researchers present and discuss preliminary findings of their work. These workshops are usually part of larger projects that will result in other published outputs in due course.

 

Workshop Series: "Iraq’s New Reality”: Waterloo, June 9-11, 2009; Washington, August 4-5, 2009

CIGI and the Stimson Center in Washington, DC, convinced of a strong link between Iraqi reconstruction, security and a political process of national reconciliation involving all Iraqis, have launched a series of activities to shape a better understanding of the Iraqi dilemma and to encourage dialogue between concerned actors.
 
This project partnership, entitled Iraq’s New Reality, is co-chaired by CIGI Senior Visiting Fellow Ambassador Mokhtar Lamani (former Arab League Special Envoy to Iraq) and Stimson Center President & CEO Ellen Laipson. The project includes a series of workshops being held in both Canada and the United States examining several specific issues, which will lead up to a field mission to the region and a final conference in March 2010. These workshops are gathering leading experts on a selection of key issues and will produce a series of short briefs summarizing the discussions and offering recommendations to parties involved in the Iraq situation.
 
The first workshop took place in June 2009 in Waterloo, Canada, and focused on the humanitarian aspects of the Iraqi crisis; refugees, minorities, the Iraqi brain drain, the failure of returnee policies, sectarianism in the Iraqi system and the shifting priorities of the international community. Its report will be posted on both CIGI and Stimson’s websites shortly.

The second workshop took place in August 2009 in Washington, DC, and focused on the security issues affecting the situation in Iraq; its conditions on the ground, US and Iraqi perspectives on SOFA implementation, Iraq’s role in regional security and the implications for the future of Iraq.

The third workshop will focus on institutional issues associated with systems of governance, particularly the positions of Iraqi groups vis à vis the federal system.  It will take place in October 2009 at the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa. Immediately following the workshop, a separate meeting on the US-Iraq relationship will take place.

The final workshop will take place in December 2009 in Washington, DC, and will examine the regional dimensions of the Iraq situation.

Following the regional workshops a short field mission to the region will explore different Iraqi views. Ultimately, the project aims to host a larger conference in March 2010, based on the outcomes of the workshop series and the field mission, to explore Iraq’s new realities and prospects for stability.

 

“ACUNS annual meeting”: St. Augustine, Trinidad, June 4-6, 2009  

At the 2009 annual meeting of the Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS) on June 4-6, CIGI showcased the depth and diversity of its research expertise on small, middle and emerging powers. The conference was convened at the Institute of International Relations (IIR) at the University of the West Indies in St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago. It was chaired by ACUNS Executive Director Patricia Goff and IIR Director Timothy M. Shaw, both CIGI senior fellows.

"The UN System in a Shifting Global Order" panel saw CIGI researchers Manmohan Agarwal, Gregory Chin, Andrew Thompson and Andrew Schrumm examine how the emerging powers/BRICSAM are transforming the functions and mechanisms of global governance. Before a standing-room-only audience, the panel members discussed an array of issues, including the G20, the economic crisis, peace-building and energy security. A special book presentation of The Diplomacies of Small States: Between Vulnerability and Resilience (Palgrave, 2009), edited by Andrew F. Cooper and Timothy M. Shaw, spotlighted CIGI's research on challenges facing small developing countries in an increasingly globalized world.  Cooper and Shaw summarized strategies employed by small states to transcend size and carve out influential niche roles in international affairs.

Headquartered at Wilfrid Laurier University, ACUNS is an international professional association for scholars, teachers and practitioners active in research on institutions of global governance. CIGI and ACUNS regularly partner on projects.

 

“Preparing for Zimbabwe’s Growth Take-off”: Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, May 22-23, 2009

The “Preparing for Zimbabwe’s Growth Take-off” roundtable was held on May 22-23 in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. It was organized by CIGI, the Development Enterprise Africa Trust (DEAT) and other regional partners.

Experts, policy makers and academics gathered to offer advice on how to facilitate engagement in private sector-led economic reconstruction efforts. The topics considered included: the costs associated with unlocking the private sector potential by addressing the backlog in infrastructure; broader reconstruction costs; and the need for and challenges associated with attracting foreign direct investment (FDI). Experts discussed the imperative to foster an investment climate that enables the private sector to flourish and fulfill its role as the main engine of growth. Zimbabwe’s economic outlook is positive; the country is well poised to join a cluster of the fastest growing economies in sub-Saharan Africa over the next decade.

DEAT plans to release an action plan with specific recommendations that arose out of the event.

 

“Impact of the global economic crisis and challenges to governance in Asia”: Singapore, April 20-21, 2009

A conference jointly organized by CIGI and the South Asia Centre at the National University of Singapore was held on April 20-21. It was a broader collaboration between CIGI and the Lee Yuan Kew School of Public Policy at NUS. The conference focused on the economic and political problems facing the countries of Southeast and South Asia, and the role of regional and international organizations in resolving these problems.

Participants included Distinguished Fellows Manmohan Agarwal and Jorge Heine, faculty members from the different departments of the university and academics, policy makers and students. Strengthening regional institutions in response to the current economic difficulties was an important theme of the workshop. Countries in South Asia have weathered the crisis better than those in Southeast Asia, in large part due to high rates of investment financed largely by domestic savings, though inflows of foreign capital were important. Southeast Asian countries have experienced a large fall in investment and currently have large surpluses in their balance of payments (BOP).  The role of ASEAN in the context of decreasing tensions between the major players in Asia was also analyzed. A lively discussion occurred regarding whether India could play an important role.

The papers from the conference will be published. A second conference will be held in a year’s time; the focus will be an analysis of regional organizations from South Asia, Southeast Asia and Latin America in the areas of international trade and achieving social goals.

 

“Iraq: Reconciliation, Reconstruction and its Future”: Waterloo, April 16-17, 2009

The “Iraq: Reconciliation, Reconstruction and its Future” workshop took place at CIGI on April 16-17. It was organized by Senior Visiting Research Fellow Mokhtar Lamani and Senior Fellow Bessma Momani. The participants considered three broad themes: political reconciliation, economic reconstruction, and human rights and minorities.

Leading academic experts, including David Cameron, Marc Lemieux, David Romano, Matteo Legrenzi, Joseph Sassoon, Michael Bell, John Packer, Rex Brynen, Marie-Joelle Zahar, and Hussain Shaban, convened in Waterloo for the workshop.

Workshop highlights included the roundtable discussion about some of the most relevant issues facing Iraqis today, including the property rights of internally displaced persons (IDPs). Citizenship was debated with specific reference to whether Iraq can have a federation and a true citizenry with so many competing ethnic groups. Also discussed were the experiences of past US interventions, such as in the Balkans. The roundtable session ended with a discussion and ultimately a consensus that there is a role for “middle powers” such as Sweden, Norway, the Vatican and Canada, specifically with respect to refugee outflows and humanitarian assistance.

An edited volume of papers will be published by CIGI and Wilfrid Laurier Press will be available later this year.


Inter-American Cooperation at a Crossroads”: St. Augustine, Trinidad, April 14-16, 2009

CIGI convened the “Inter-American Cooperation at a Crossroads” workshop in partnership with the Centre d’Études Interaméricanes at Laval University and hosted by the Institute of International Relations at the University of the West Indies. The workshop was organized under the guidance of Associate Director Andrew F. Cooper.

The participants considered regional cooperation in the Americas, which is currently complicated by competing visions and strategies.

Held on site in St. Augustine, Trinidad, on April 14-16, 2009, the workshop benefited from immediate proximity to the actual Summit of the Americas venue in Port-of-Spain.

Thirty internationally renowned academics, practitioners and NGO experts involved in inter-American cooperation attended the workshop. The keynote presenters included: Ms. Alexandra Bugailskis, Canada’s assistant deputy minister, Latin America and the Caribbean and summit sherpa; Ambassador Albert Ramdin, OAS assistant secretary general; and Dr. David Malone, president of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC).  Their presentations set the tone for the workshop, which charted the course of inter-American cooperation, discussed shortcomings, and helped provide a map out of this regional crossroads.

Many papers presented at this workshop will be compiled for an edited volume by Andrew F. Cooper, CIGI Senior Fellow Timothy Shaw and University of Laval professor Gordon Mace. The volume is slated for publication in 2010.

 

"CIGI/UWO Financial/Economic Crisis Workshop": London, April 1, 2009

On April 1, CIGI and UWO convened a day of research related to the financial crisis. Experts presented their ideas and work-in-progress on various dimensions of the crisis: financial regulation, policy responses, intellectual approaches, distributional aspects, impacts on developing countries, bail out plans and stimulus packages, and trade and protectionism. Distinguished Fellow John Whalley and Senior Fellow Manmohan Agarwal discussed their latest research findings.

Other presenters were Eric Santer from the Bank of Canada; Pierre Siklos from WLU; David Laidler, Jim Magee, Igor Livshits and Ben Lester from UWO; Rick Harris from SFU; Manmohan Agarwal from CIGI; and John Whalley from CIGI and UWO.

The materials presented touched on financial regulation and securitization as part of the key elements of the crisis as well as historical analogies to the 1930s. Emphasis was also placed on the potential for the crisis to spread and have lasting impacts outside of the financial sector. Experts commented extensively on the special situation in the developing countries with an interruption of growth, a trade compression, and FDI repatriation.

Canada was seen as performing relatively well with sounder financial institutions than elsewhere in the OECD.

 

“Global Governance … New Approaches?”: Paris, April 28-30, 2009

Following the recent G20 Summit in London, participants from CIGI’s Breaking Global Deadlocks project convened in Paris on April 28-30 to consider the summit’s repercussions, future approaches to managing the global crisis and issues such as international security, climate change and energy security. OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria participated in the workshop. 

Since its inception, CIGI, with funding support from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), has promoted the idea of more inclusive and representative global summits to deal with world problems. Working behind the scenes, the Breaking Global Deadlocks project, has led to a “Track II” process to make the case for raising the G20 finance ministers’ group to leaders’ level. Some 30 “Track II” meetings have been held around the world during the last five years to examine in detail the proposal for an expanded group of leaders as an international problem-solving mechanism.

 

"International Financial Governance: Toward the London G20 Summit": London, UK, Feb. 9, 2009

In early February, researchers from CIGI, The Brookings Institution and the Centre for Global Studies held a major event with senior UK officials entitled "International Financial Governance: Toward the London G20 Summit." Held in London, the consultation focused on five priority issues identified by UK officials as important in their preparation of the G20 London Summit:  (1) IMF resources and IMF governance reforms; (2) new institutional mechanisms for reform of financial oversight, supervision and regulation; (3) World Bank reform; (4) mechanisms for delivering international cooperation on economic issues; and (5) gaps, roles, relationships and needs in international economic cooperation.    

The group had the attentive ear of the UK cabinet secretary, the G20 sherpa and approximately 15 other officials in this day-long event hosted by the UK Cabinet office. Many of the recommendations discussed were adopted by the British in the preparatory material for the summit and endorsed by the G20 finance ministers. The group was welcomed by Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who spoke for about 20 minutes and answered questions from the group. Also in  attendance were economists from the Peterson Institute for International Economics, the Center for Global Development and the G24 in Washington, as well as several notables from the UK, Sir Michael Jay, G8 sherpa for Tony Blair, Ngaire Woods from Oxford and Cyrus Rustomjee , former G20 deputy for South Africa.

The opinions expressed in this article/multimedia are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of CIGI or its Board of Directors.