Experts from the Platform periodically publish articles analyzing issues and events affecting security, justice, governance and other contemporary global challenges.


  • The UN-75 Declaration, a Daring Commitment for a More Perfect World

    by Richard Ponzio and Cristina Petcu On the heels of the 1930s Great Depression and in the midst of global turmoil — World War II — leaders from the Republic of China, the Soviet Union, the United States and the United Kingdom gathered in 1944 at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, D.C., to consider a new … Continued

  • Will the UN-75 Declaration Signify More Than a Birthday Party?

    by Richard Ponzio WASHINGTON, D.C. — United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres used his annual State of the World speech to the General Assembly last month to outline his 2020 priorities. He stressed four threats to progress in the 21st century: growing geostrategic tensions and mass violence in fragile states, creating an unprecedented refugee crisis; the … Continued

  • The Looming Accelerant: the Growing Links between Climate Change, Mass Atrocities, and Genocide

    By Robert Kiel The purpose of this commentary is to show climate can act as a risk multiplier for mass atrocities and genocide, which policymakers will need to account for as climate change is predicted get worse. The current International Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) and other scientific reports describe dire effects on the environment … Continued

  • Stimson Center Presents 2020 Proposals on Fragility, Climate Governance

    By Delia Paul Ahead of the UN’s 75th anniversary in 2020, the Stimson Center, a US-based think tank, presented proposals to strengthen the UN, address climate, peace and security challenges, and reinvigorate global governance. The report provides a roadmap for maximizing results at the UN General Assembly’s (UNGA) high-level meeting to mark the anniversary in … Continued

  • Will “UN@75” Revive Multilateralism?

    By Fergus Watt and Richard Ponzio Despite the polarization and stasis that characterizes so much of the present politics at the United Nations, Secretary-General António Guterres is betting that the 75th anniversary of the organization, in 2020, will provide an opportunity for the international community to begin to address the “crisis in multilateralism,” and to … Continued


  • Reviving Multilateralism on the Road to 2020

    by Richard Ponzio, Joris Larik and William Durch As humanity struggles with mass violence, mass migrations and the widening effect of climate change, the international system inaugurated nearly 75 years ago to manage such global problems seems to be crumbling. Over the last year, the United States has turned its back on the United Nations … Continued

  • UN, World Bank Reports: Policy Breakthroughs on Sustaining Peace?

    by Richard Ponzio United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres’ much-anticipated Report on Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace was released in late January, in the lead-up to the UN General Assembly High-Level Meeting on Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace to be held this week in New York, in accordance with the General Assembly and Security Council “peacebuilding resolutions.” Breaking … Continued

  • Peaceful Settlement of Disputes and Conflict Prevention

    by Richard Ponzio The peaceful settlement of disputes and conflict prevention are closely interconnected. Conflict prevention takes the peaceful settlement of disputes one step farther by attempting to address both the immediate and the deeper causes of conflict. Contemporary approaches to conflict prevention also emphasize the linkage between peaceful societies and the promotion of inclusive … Continued

  • Hitting the Reset on the UN?

    By Richard Ponzio and Michael Schroeder Today the U.S. president will preside over a high-level meeting on United Nations reform on the sidelines of the annual General Assembly meetings in New York.  It holds out promise for urgently needed reforms. With the backdrop of Trump administration threats to take a sledgehammer to the U.N. budget and its recent … Continued

  • Mobilizing Smart Coalitions and Negotiating Global Governance Innovation

    By Richard Ponzio and Tom Buitelaar Drawing lessons from three international commissions and two international campaigns since the mid-1990s, Tom Buitelaar and Richard Ponzio, Director of the Just Security 2020 Program, consider the conditions and strategies for successful “smart coalitions” of state and non-state actors working to realize ambitious global governance reforms. Reform strategies that … Continued

  • A Fool’s Errand? The Next Secretary-General and United Nations Reform

    By Richard Ponzio and Michael Schroeder With the recent election of António Guterres as the next United Nations Secretary-General, the focus will soon shift to the next Secretary-General’s reform priorities, with a particular emphasis on how he should spend his first year in office. The view in many policy circles is that the UN urgently … Continued

  • Just Security and the Crisis of Global Governance

    by William Durch, Joris Larik, and Richard Ponzio Published in the August-September 2016 issue of the IISS policy journal Survival, this article considers how the intersection of justice and security—or just security—is critical to understanding and tackling today’s global governance threats and challenges. The authors’ companion edited volume to the Commission on Global Security, Justice … Continued

  • Beyond UN 70: Sustaining Momentum for Peacekeeping & Peacebuilding Reform

    By Richard Ponzio Peacekeeping is one of the cornerstones of the United Nations and was, is and will be an essential tool for creating lasting peace in war-torn societies. The international system has changed in many ways since the first deployment of peacekeepers in 1948; new actors and challenges have emerged and mandates have evolved. The … Continued