Major oil producers in West Africa and Latin America can make an important contribution to US energy security, since they are not affected by the intractable problems of the Middle East. They have problems of their own, however, and to mitigate them, the U.S. should encourage transparency and democratic processes in the distribution of oil revenue.
43 of 48 sub-Saharan African countries have held multiparty elections, but this superficially rosy picture hides a much starker reality. In most of these countries democracy is a sham. In Africa today, stemming state decay is a more urgent task than building democracy.
Increasing oil production in Iraq will not alleviate the potential problems in other important oil producing regions, including West Africa, Latin America, and new producers in the Caspian region. The United States must anticipate energy security threats from these regions and prepare for them in advance.
NGOs frequently call on oil and mining companies to not only improve their own practices but also those of the countries in which they operate. But private corporations cannot reform developing-country governments; neither can the governments of industrialized countries, the World Bank, or the NGOs. Much of the change can only come from inside, and the process will be slow and convoluted.
The Carnegie Endowment hosted a meeting to introduce the United States Commitee for Refugees' World Refugee Survey 2001. Experts discussed refugee trends in 2000.
A large swath of Africa has been engulfed by war for several years. The situation is unlikely to improve because the conflicts arise from the disintegration of postcolonial states—the order that was imposed on Africa by outside states. Wars will continue to flare up until a new order emerges, either imposed by the international community or based on new territorial and political arrangements.
In the 1990s, the Clinton administration led the international community in pursuit of a grand vision of reforming African countries into modern free-market democracies. That vision, however, was a poor match for the reality of conflict and stagnation on the ground. U.S. resources fell short of the rhetoric, and the policy yielded few results.
Carnegie's International Migration Policy Program hosted a briefing to discuss a recent survey of mortality in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and its implications for the humanitarian and policy-making communities.
The Great Lakes Region of Africa has the greatest need of humanitarian aid yet receives the lowest proportion of resources relative to that need. Bishop Phillip Straling, Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Wenski, Father Michael Perry, and Lacy Wright discussed their recent trip to the region in a talk moderated by Kathleen Newland.
Time and again, US officials have stated that they do not want America to become the policeman of the world. Yet the one institution that can help the United States from being placed in that role-the United Nations-has been treated shabbily by the United States. The United States must re-affirm the UN’s mission with concrete action, beginning with the payment of long-overdue UN dues.