The Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2005 was awarded to two scholars who developed the use of game theory to analyze public policy. Their understanding of human behavior in managing conflict is a significant step towards making cooperation more likely in resolving disputes.
One outgrowth of the July 19 – 21, 2005, GPAC (Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict) work, i.e., the Global Conference on Civil Society: Forging Partnerships to Prevent Violent Conflict and Build Peace, that took place at the United Nations, in New York, is the decision, in December, 2005, by the General Assembly and Security Council, to create a Peacebuilding Commission to help stabilize and rebuild societies emerging from war. CNCR is a member of GPAC and has been working for several years to create a capacity, globally, for assisting countries to re-build after the cessation of civil strife, which, we believe, is critical to effective conflict resolution.
Jan Eliasson of Sweden, president of the General Assembly, told the New York Times (December 21, 2005) that the commission was critical for keeping war-torn countries from reverting to hostilities, which, he said, had occurred in half the cases over the past 20 years where conflicts had ended.
The commission is intended to pick up the international effort in such countries when peacekeeping missions are completing their tasks of bringing fighting to an end and monitoring cease-fires Again, in the New York Times, Secretary General Kofi Annan told the GA that while many parts of the UN had traditionally been involved in helping countries in longer-term recovery after protracted conflicts, there had never been an entity to coordinate those activities, develop expertise and strategy and focus attention on reconstruction and building of institutions. “Too often,” he said, “a fragile peace has been allowed to crumble into renewed conflict.”
The commission will have 31 members, seven of which, including the 5 veto-holding permanent members, will come from the Security Council; 7 from the Economic and Social Council; and others from nations that suppy the most troops for peacekeeping missions and also represent geographical balance. Representatives of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, among other institutional donors, are expected to attend commission meetings. The commission will advise the Security Council and submit reports to the General Assembly for debate.
In an effort to break the persistent impasse over health care coverage, and at a time when Congress has been torn by partisan battles, a nascent collaboration is taking place among 24 ideologically disparate leaders, representing the health care industry, corporations and unions, and conservative and liberal groups, a process that reached the front page of the New York Times. The group has been meeting secretly from October, 2004, to see if a consensus can be reached on proposals to provide coverage for the growing number of people who have no healthcare coverage. It intends to present its recommendations to Congress and to the Bush administration, and, several members have indicated that they would stick together to use their collective power to fight for the proposals the group generates.
Robert Pear, The New York Times, May 29, 2005