November 2004 - Over the past 15 years, a fascinating experiment has taken place in Europe regarding the codification of minority rights. As communism collapsed in 1989, several ethnic conflicts broke out in the Caucuses and Balkans, and commentators feared that ethnic violence would spiral out of control throughout Central and Eastern Europe. In response, Western democracies decided to "internationalize" the treatment of national minorities in postcommunist Europe, creating a pan-European regime to monitor whether countries are meeting European standards in the treatment of their minorities. Some of these standards have been formulated by the High Commissioner on National Minorities of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)–a position established in 1993. Other standards were formulated by the Council of Europe (COE) in its 1995 "Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities." Complying with these OSCE and COE standards is required for countries to ‘join the West,' and in particular to join the European Union (EU) and NATO.
Marc Levy and Patrick Philippe Meier recommend that assessments and early warning systems integrate environmental variables more completely and effectively. The authors assert that the international system has little capacity to monitor and assess conflict and cooperation on environmental issues.
To celebrate its tenth anniversary, the 10th edition of the newly redesigned ECSP Report asked top thinkers to identify the next steps for environment, population, and security. Complete report.
Excerpts from recent official statements in which environment and population issues are prominently cited in the context of security and national interests.
ECSP Report 12 analyzes conflicts over natural resources, which are increasingly depleted by population growth, environmental degradation, poverty, and over-consumption. Complete report.
Experts review new publications.
Severely eroded and deforested, Ethiopia's land is increasingly turning to desert, due to the country's high population growth, unsustainable land use, and lack of land ownership. Featuring footage from Sean Peoples' trip to Ethiopia last year, this video looks at the efforts of two projects to address the country's complex challenges with integrated solutions.
PECS News Issue 3 features a report from the Wilson Center's forum on HIV/AIDS in Southern Africa, and an article on urban health in megacities by University of Michigan International Development Associate Brian Hubbard.
The key to achieving sustainable growth in Ethiopia lies in reducing the rate of population growth, managing the environment, and building the platform for development, writes Sahlu Haile.
Excerpts from recent official statements in which environmental issues are cited in the context of security institutions and national interests, and reviews by experts of new publications.