Nuclear Iran: Diplomacy still the best strategy

Mellisa attended the IISS Regional Security Summit: the Manama Dialogue in Bahrain. Mellisa Is an airborne Tactical Coordinator in the Royal Australian Air Force. and she is also studying a Masters of Science, focusing on Operations Research and Statistics.

Abstract

After thirty years of heavy sanctions and the constant threat of military intervention, Iran has failed to be deterred from its ambitious nuclear intent. Recently, Tehran has indicated it will cease higher enrichment of uranium if sanctions are lifted and its right to enrich is duly recognised. With Iran showing increasing flexibility in recent negotiations, the best way forward is a diplomatic one. Previous attempts for diplomacy by a number of countries, notably the P5+1, have failed as a result of breakdowns in communication due to public hard line statements by each of the nations, concurrent sanctions and military threats delivered by Israel, the United States and on occasion the European Union (EU). Sidelining sanctions, removing immediate threats to their sovereignty and then making a shift for private bi-lateral negotiations between the United States and Iran have a greater change of yielding a successful outcome. The involvement of Washington may also help allay particular security fears by Israel whose influence on previous negotiations has been unhelpful. Removing the crippling sanctions and a shift for diplomacy should not be viewed as a reward, but a pragmatic tool for achieving a successful outcome for all relevant parties. The West can ensure that by lifting sanctions and removing direct military threats, they have done everything in their power to discourage nuclear proliferation and prevent an ongoing conflict rather than encourage both.

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The emergence of Islamist parties in the Middle East

Farooq attended the IISS Regional Security Summit: The Manama Dialogue in Bahrain. Farooq is a public servant in the Department of Defence's International Policy and Strategy Group focusing on Afghanistan .Farooq studied a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) and a Masters in Counter-Terrorism Studies at Monash University.

Abstract

Over the course of a month or so in late 2011, elections in Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia empowered Islamist parties in the Middle East, allowing them to govern their respective countries for the very first time in modern history[1]. Islamist partiers, such as Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and Tunisia’s Ennahda, are on the rise, leaving behind them a number of secular parties who are quickly losing support.  These domestic changes will have significant regional implications and the international community more broadly.  The west must look to employ more ambitious political and economic agendas to ensure that they are not ignoring the emerging parties in the Middle East in their engagement. Encouraging these Islamist parties to focus more on democracy and its core values, such as gender equality, is a start.  However, beyond this, the west should focus more on specific issues, such as ensuring that Islamists continue to maintain existing treaties and uphold international human rights standards.  The west should also look to create greater employment opportunities and help establish regular legal frameworks with the immediate focus being on short-term goals that can be implemented within a three to five year period. To do this, western countries must look to build new relations across communities in the Middle East and expand their engagement beyond the select few political actors who have previously supported their own agenda.  This may not decrease the perceived suspicion that exists between the west and Islamist partiers.  But it may improve relations and send a message to Islamist parties that the west is not ignoring them in their dealings with the region. This short paper attempts to briefly outline the rise of Islamist parties in the Middle East since the recent Arab uprising.  It argues that the west and its allies should now look to adopt greater political and economic measures in response to the political changes that have occurred in the Middle East.  The paper also attempts to briefly highlight that the Middle East remains strategically important to Australia, noting Australia’s economic and trade interests and the region’s destablising impact on the global security environment.

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Australia and the Kyoto Protocol: How they can breathe life into the second commitment period

Ryan attended the 2012 UNFCCC COP18 in Doha where he represented Swinburne University of Technology. He is currently a Bachelor of Journalism and Art student

Abstract

The first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol will end on 31st of December 2012 and a second commitment period (2CP) of the Protocol is currently on the negotiating table. Australia has announced that they will sign up for the 2CP at COP18 in Doha, with a 5% reduction target to 2000 levels under certain conditions. This is the lowest reduction target in their target range based on international progress and is not ambitious enough for Australia to make substantial gains. Australia’s economy will benefit significantly through an increase in ambition that is comparable to other countries acting internationally.

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The Kyoto mechanisms: How to reconcile CDM and Ji in a new international agreement

Kahil attended the 2012 UNFCCC COP18 in Doha where he represented Griffith University. He is currently studying a Bachelor of Law and Arts and he recently completed a course on environmental law at Maastricht University in The Netherlands.

Abstract

The future roles for the Clean Development Mechanism (‘CDM’) and Joint Implementation (‘JI’) within the second Kyoto commitment period, and a future international agreement, is considered. The CDM has played a vital role in delivering climate-related finance and technology transfer to developing nations, incorporating the developing world into the solution for this global issue. However, there are fundamental issues with the mechanism that must be addressed; concepts such as sustainability, additionality and governance need to be reformed and improved. Moreover, the CDM operates as an offsetting mechanism that, without a global emission cap binding on all parties, allows for actual greenhouse gas emission increases. JI offers a solution as to how the CDM’s benefits can be continued under an agreement where parties assume binding caps; it has been significantly undervalued. A future international climate agreement should maintain and extend JI to incorporate the concerns levelled against the CDM, and thereby continue the positive benefits that the CDM has delivered.

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Engaging indigenous peoples in carbon markets

Elizabeth attended the UNFCCC COP18 in Doha where she represented The Australian National University. She is currently a Bachelor of Arts/Science student and she is also completing the Australian National Internships Program with the Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change.

Abstract

Carbon markets are emerging globally as a tool that countries use to address the challenges of climate change by reducing or offsetting their carbon dioxide emissions. This paper examines the opportunities for the engagement of indigenous communities in carbon markets. Indigenous communities that engage in carbon markets by conducting projects that contribute to mitigating or offsetting emissions may be able to access co-benefits. However, the state of the international carbon market is fragmented and has provided mixed success in engaging indigenous communities. But, there may be opportunities via international climate change negotiations for the improvement of the state of carbon markets and indigenous communities’ role in them. Finally, this paper makes several recommendations for improving the engagement of indigenous people in carbon markets.

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