May 2018

On May 18, Professor Mary Beth Altier participated in a closed meeting at the Council on Foreign Relations with members of the National Intelligence Council and other experts on the topic of “Populism and Extremism.” The “blue sky” discussion will help shape the next Global Trends Report (2022) published by the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI).



Professor Kevin Chen Joined the Annual Profit & Loss Panel to discuss Global Macro Risks. The panel rotates in different cities globally, focusing on the current major risk factors in the world. The New York one was hosted at the Marriott Hotel Times Square, more than one hundred financial institutions attended. The main topic this year was the impact of Federal Reserve interest rate hikes to the emerging market countries.


On May 16 and 17, Professor Anne Marie Goetz participated in an Expert Group Meeting at UN Women to discuss content for the October Secretary-general’s report on women, peace and security. This annual report will have an ‘In Focus’ section this year on the topic of conditions under which women’s participation in formal conflict resolution can be said to be meaningful and effective. Professor Goetz spoke on a panel on ‘Measuring meaningful participation’ and raised concerns about shrinking democratic space for women’s peace activism in a number of fragile states and conflict-affected contexts.

On May 21 and 22 Professor Goetz also participated in the inaugural peacemakers workshop of the new Women, Peace and Security Program at Columbia University (Earth Center). The WPS Program, led by Nobel Peace Laureate Leymah Gbowee, seeks to magnify the impact of everyday women peacebuilders and contribute to a greater understanding of why, how, and in what ways women have been able to successfully influence sustainable peace in their own communities. Much current research and activism on women, peace and security focusses on contexts of armed conflict or threatened use of weapons of mass destruction. The Columbia University Women, Peace and Security Program, however, aimed to focus its inaugural work on peace struggles closer to home. The participants were US-based grassroots and social change practitioners working on issues less commonly associated with open armed conflict, but nevertheless eroding security, issues such as racial justice, economic equity, sexual and reproductive rights, incarceration, immigration, environmental sustainability, and other topics. Participants came from ten states across the United States and represented a range of ideologies, strategies, and commitments to social justice.


On May 8, Professor Jennifer Trahan participated an event at the UN entitled “The International Law Commission and the fight against impunity,” sponsored by the Missions of Brazil, Republic of Korea, Slovakia and Switzerland to the UN. The event also marked the 20th anniversary of the International Criminal Court’s Rome Statute and the 70th anniversary of the ILC. Professor Trahan’s presentation covered the ILC’s early drafting work on the crime of aggression. Keynote speeches were delivered by President of the International Criminal Court Judge Chile Eboe-Usuji, and UN Legal Counsel and Under-Secretary General Miguel de Serpa Soares. Members of the ILC representing the US, Spain and Portugal joined Professor Trahan on the panel.

On May 30, Professor Trahan and Liechtenstein’s Permanent Representative to the UN Christian Wenaweser conducted a briefing to members of the United Nations Security Council on the International Criminal Court’s crime of aggression. The briefing took place at the Permanent Mission of Liechtenstein to the United Nations. The briefing explored both the Security Council’s role related to the crime, as well as the potential for deterrence once the crime’s jurisdiction activates on July 17, 2018.

Professor Trahan has also had a chapter in a book published. The book is entitled “Seeking Accountability for the Unlawful Use of Force,” edited by Leila Sadat (Cambridge Univ. Press 2018). Professor Trahan’s chapter is entitled “The Crime of Aggression and the International Criminal Court.” The Chapter provides a brief overview of the negotiations of the International Criminal Court’s crime of aggression. It then discusses key features of the crime’s amendment package adopted in Kampala, Uganda, including the definition of the crime, the conditions for the ICC’s exercise of jurisdiction over the crime, the elements of the crime, and certain understandings. It also discusses the crime’s jurisdictional reach–both the competing views that existed, as well as the result seemingly concluded in the activation decision at the December 4-14, 2017, meetings of the ICC’s Assembly of States Parties. The Chapter concludes with suggestions of how commencement of the exercise of ICC crime of aggression jurisdiction could impact state decisions regarding uses of force as well as the ICC’s docket. The official launch of the book will occur at Leiden University in The Hague, Netherlands, on June 15, an event which Professor Trahan is attending.


On May 22, Professor Edward Goldberg had an OP/ED published in The Hill  – “Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin: Global rivals to be King of Chaos” describes why Putin’s foreign policy might be rational based on Russia’s current position in the world while Trump’s foreign policy is in direct contradiction to America’s long term advantages and interests. 


In May, Professor Chloe Demrovsky was accepted as a 2018-2019 delegate in the United States-Japan Leadership Program (USJLP) hosted by the US-Japan Foundation. The purpose of USJLP is to develop a network of communication, friendship and understanding among the next generation of leaders in the U.S. and Japan. The Program aims to foster a continuing dialogue among rising stars in leadership from a variety of backgrounds and professions. It starts this process by bringing together some 20 young leaders, ages 28-42, from each country for two intensive weeklong conferences over two years, with discussions revolving around historical and current issues in bilateral relations, as well as issues reaching beyond our two countries. Through serious conversation as well as recreation and shared cultural activities it seeks to nurture lifelong friendships.

Prominent members of the Program include: Foreign Minister Taro Kono, National Security Council Senior Director for Asia Matthew Pottinger, member of Japan’s House of Representatives Motohisa Furukawa, renowned violinist Midori Goto and pianist Gohei Nishikawa, Claire Chino (Managing Executive Officer, Itochu Corporation), Johnathan Capehart (The Washington Post), Nikole Hannah-Jones (The New York Times Magazine), CNN anchor John Berman, medical journalist Dr. Mona Khanna, composers Todd Frazier and Christopher Theofanidis, racing driver Keiko Ihara, architect Satoshi Okada, NASA astronaut Dan Tani, actor Tetsuya Bessho, U.S. State Senators Aaron Ford (Nevada) and Benjamin Allen (California), former U.S. Ambassador to Sweden Mark Brzezinski, and Olympic silver medalist Yuko Arimori.


Dr. Waheguru Pal Singh Sidhu spoke on Dealing with Missile Treats in Asia at an event in Vienna organized by the Foundation pour la Recherche Stratégique and the European Union to coincide with the annual meeting of the parties to the Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (HCoC). The presentation focused on the complex challenges of missile proliferation in Asia and suggested ways in which these might be addressed at the unilateral, bilateral, regional and global level. The packed meeting was attended by high-ranking diplomats from both HCoC subscribing and non-subscribing states. 

Additionally, in the latest issue of The Nonproliferation Review Dr. Sidhu challenged the concept of “strategic elimination” proposed by noted non-proliferation expert Lewis A. Dunn in the same issue. The article (attached) argued that Dunn’s “redefined global agenda for nuclear disarmament,” where “older nuclear powers” reduce their arsenals is “deja vu all over again”; this road is well traveled and it goes nowhere. The article also proposed ways to bridge the growing gap between adherents of the old Non-Proliferation Treaty and the new Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

In the past months, Dr. Sidhu also penned the following op-eds for the widely circulated Indian business newspaper, Mint:

The emerging great Indo-Pacific game,

Donald Trump’s dangerous triple gamble,

20 years after the Shakti tests,

Reforming the UN: problems and prospects, and

What can be expected from a Trump-Kim meeting?