But its recent history has been chaotic: a succession of weak prime ministers at the mercy of militias more loyal to regions, ideologies and individuals rather than to a central government in Tripoli.
One of Europe’s Most Persistent Conflicts Simmers on in Ukraine’s ShadowTwenty years after Armenians and Azerbaijanis signed a truce in their war over Nagorno-Karabakh, almost no subsequent progress has been made in settling what is one of Europe’s most persistent remaining conflicts. Instead, especially in the past few years, sniper attacks, shelling and land mines have killed increasing numbers of people – most recently about thirty annually. Armenia and Azerbaijan are increasing their military budgets. Baku in particular has raised its military spending from $175 million in 2003, the year that President Ilham Aliyev was inaugurated, to $3.7 billion in 2013. The crisis surrounding Ukraine, and particularly Russia’s annexation of Crimea, is making resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict even more elusive.
Riyadh and Abu Dhabi Get to WorkSince the formation of the modern Arab state system in the mid-twentieth century, no Arab country has succeeded in building and sustaining an indigenous national defense industry. Egypt tried hard, but ultimately failed because it lacked the requisite financial and human capital. Under Saddam Hussein, Iraq came closest, thanks to its skilled population and oil wealth, but it was stymied by corruption, mismanagement, and war. The Gulf countries, meanwhile, have spent lavish sums on the most modern U.S. and European arms, which they often lack expertise in handling and servicing. "Arabs don't do maintenance," the adage went.
How can Latin American cities achieve inclusive development?In April, a record 22,000 people attended the seventh World Urban Forum, convened by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), in Medellín, Colombia. This nearly doubled attendance from four years ago. Growing interest in urban development highlights how cities are increasingly transcending boundaries to shape national and global policy.
At the Forum, Medellin’s innovations and transformations took center stage and provided a roadmap for achieving inclusive growth. Across Latin America, Medellín is cited as an urban planning model in areas such as citizen mobility, public-private collaboration, and participatory governance. Still, Latin American cities remain the most unequal in the world. What will the future of these cities look like?
That's one take on what happened at Geneva.
After an exciting first year marked by renewed economic dynamism and impressive efforts to enhance Japan’s global strategic posture, Abe’s pragmatic streak appears to have been overshadowed by his conservative nationalism, marked by his Dec. 26 visit to Yasukuni Shrine to pay homage to Japan’s war dead.