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Policy Brief NO. 24 November 2012

Canada-US Arctic Marine Corridors and Resource Development1 John Higginbotham, Andrea Charron and James Manicom Key Points John Higginbotham John Higginbotham is a senior distinguished fellow at Carleton University. In his previous roles with the federal government, he coordinated Canada’s Asia-Pacific Gateway Initiative at Transport Canada, was an assistant deputy minister in three departments and served abroad in senior positions in Washington, Hong Kong and Beijing.

Andrea Charron Andrea Charron is assistant professor in political studies at the University of Manitoba. She is also a research associate at Carleton University’s Centre for Security and Defence Studies at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (NPSIA), where she was a postdoctoral fellow.

• The Arctic region stands at the cusp of tremendous economic development. Efficient, secure, environmentally sensitive marine transportation systems and smart public infrastructure could facilitate offshore and onshore energy, mineral, ecotourism and local community development. • Current Canadian and American government policies, regulations and investment in support of Arctic maritime infrastructure and resource development are inadequate. There is an urgent need for strengthened, comprehensive and innovative national Arctic economic development policies, and Canada-US federal, regional and corporate cooperation in the Arctic. • Public leadership and private investment, through the development of smart and strategic transportation infrastructure, is urgently needed in the North American Arctic to drive development and facilitate economic activity.

Introduction The shrinking Arctic ice cap is creating unprecedented geophysical change in the circumpolar region, a trend that is very likely to continue. Together, this “great melt” and the delineation of extended national economic zones afford increased access to economic resources in the Arctic Ocean. Intense activities in commercial,

James Manicom James Manicom is a research fellow at The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), contributing to the development of the global security program. Previously, he held fellowships at the Ocean Policy Research Foundation in Tokyo and the Balsillie School of International Affairs. His current research explores Arctic governance, East Asian security and China’s role in ocean governance.

investment, diplomatic, legal, scientific and academic sectors abound in the new Arctic, but the region’s long-term significance is only gradually penetrating North American public consciousness. Media reports such as the recent, virtually icefree trans-polar transit of a Chinese icebreaker through the Russian Northern Sea Route, or the transit of the Northwest Passage by a large cruise ship, are only the tip of the proverbial economic iceberg. In preparing for the commercialization 1 This policy brief is drawn in large part from discussions at the Arctic Marine Corridors and Resource Development Round Table. The event was held in a House of Commons facility in Ottawa, June 2012.


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About the Arctic Marine Corridors and Resource Development Round table CIGI, Carleton University’s NPSIA, the Yukon government, the United States embassy and Canadian federal departments partnered in organizing a round table, bringing together Canadian and American industry and government experts on Canada-US Arctic marine corridors and resource development in June 2012 in Ottawa. The invitation-only event was organized by CIGI and NPSIA as part of Carleton University’s transport policy initiative. The round table gathered 60 Alaskan and Canadian political and business leaders, including those from Canadian and American shipping and resource development companies, senior Alaskan, territorial and federal officials and think tank experts on the Arctic and Canada-US relations for a constructive discussion of Arctic opportunities. Carleton University’s Dean of Public Affairs, André Plourde, emphasized the importance of Arctic questions facing participants. The round table was then opened by Terry Audla, newly elected president of the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, Canada’s national Inuit organization. Former Alaska Senator and Governor Frank Murkowski co-chaired the round table with Canadian Senator Dennis Patterson, former premier of the Northwest Territories. The Alaskan group included Representative Bob Herron, an influential legislator. Pierre Poilievre, member of Parliament and parliamentary secretary to the minister of transport, infrastructure and communities, addressed the group on behalf of the minister, drawing attention to the Canadian government’s priority Northern Strategy and recent measure to streamline resource project permitting processes. Alaskan Lieutenant-Governor Mead Treadwell, an elected official and a leading Arctic expert, opened the working session. He reviewed international Arctic developments, discussed opportunities and challenges in the Arctic in the mining and energy sectors and noted the emerging gap between North America and Russia in transport infrastructure and icebreaker capacity.

of the Arctic Ocean, Canada and the United States, as major nations bordering the Arctic, face enormous opportunities in protecting economic and environmental interests; however, a number of challenges impede the fulfillment of this vision.

Governance and Infrastructure Challenges As the Arctic Ocean’s sea ice continues to melt, developing the North American Arctic’s marine, resource and community potential is a clear imperative for both Canada and the United States. Such development will require an intense and focused effort in multi-level domestic and binational governance. At the same time, a dramatic gap in leadership and infrastructure is emerging between North America on one side, and Russia and Scandinavia on the other, in maritime transport facilitation, search and rescue facilities, port infrastructure and resource development priority in the Arctic Ocean. The lack of progress in developing public-private infrastructure in the North American Arctic is the product of a well-intended but complex and incoherent governance structure in the North American Arctic. The organizational structure of the two North American

Copyright © 2012 by The Centre for International Governance Innovation. The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Centre for International Governance Innovation or its Operating Board of Directors or International Board of Governors.

governments means that national responsibility for the Arctic is fragmented among numerous federal agencies and departments, all of which face budget pressures and are mostly preoccupied with southernbased issues. The economic development potential of the Canadian territories and Alaska is not yet fully understood by Ottawa and Washington. New business opportunities in the Canadian and American Arctic

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regions could contribute directly to local, regional and national economic growth.

Canada-US Arctic Marine Corridors and Resource Development


Leaders in both Alaska and the Canadian territories have expressed frustration with the lack of national strategic vision, resources and divided accountability in southern capitals. While northern governments have local knowledge and public trust, and are working to strengthen their capacities in the maritime field, they have limited authority and face complex jurisdictional issues. Given their budgetary and capability constraints, northern municipal governments, including Aboriginal communities, are struggling to provide adequate services to their people and need the solid economic development that comes with better public infrastructure, private investment and economic activity. A coherent, multi-layered, binational Arctic governance strategy would not only accelerate resource and transportation development in the Arctic of each country, but would give greater substance to the work of international governance institutions such as the Arctic Council. Valuable work is already underway at several multilateral organizations: the Arctic Council, which Canada and the United States will sequentially chair beginning in 2013; the Inuit Circumpolar Council, which the Canadian chapter will chair beginning in 2014; and the United Nations’ International Maritime Organization. But multilateral diplomacy is complex: the players and interests are many, and progress is often slow. Despite the slow progress, work is still being done. The Canadian federal government has a number of current programs that support resource project development and mapping, bathymetric work, ice monitoring, offshore petrochemical leasing, and environmental and scientific research. Further, the Canadian and American governments are pursuing international discussions on search and rescue, oil spill remediation and polar shipping standards. Good binational cooperation exists

Sea ice retreat in the Beaufort Sea. Top image acquired May 13, 2012; bottom image acquired June 16, 2012. Source: NASA Goddard Photo and Video.

between the two countries’ coast guards and between military authorities through the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). Economic activity in the Arctic would benefit from planned and improved public-private infrastructure. The poor infrastructure in the North American Arctic impedes economic growth and the development of local jobs that private investment in energy and mineral projects could be creating. This lack of infrastructure slows community development, delays essential maritime environmental protection regimes and undermines the North American continent’s long-term economic and security interests. Policy Brief No. 24 November 2012


The Centre for International Governance Innovation in the world. Russian Arctic policies target expanded offshore resource exploitation and the establishment of the Northern Sea Route as the pre-eminent trans-Arctic marine highway. Russia recently introduced legislation that codifies and administers the Northern Sea Route. Meanwhile, Canada and the United States have only one operational medium-sized icebreaker apiece (see figure, “Major Icebreakers of the World”). Both North American nations’ plans for vessel retirement, refurbishing and new construction will influence the

Canadian Coast Guard ship Louis S. St-Laurent ties up to the US Coast Guard cutter Healy in the Arctic Ocean, September 5, 2009. The two ships are taking part in a multi-year, multi-agency Arctic survey that will help define the Arctic continental shelf.

details of this picture, but not the striking imbalance of planned capacity. While Russia’s Northern Sea Route has physical advantages over its North American

The private sector remains deeply uneasy about

counterpart, the question that arises is whether

lengthy delays in project approvals, multiple, complex

the emerging Russian monopoly over trans-polar

and overlapping layers of governance, and the lack of

commercial marine transportation and rules is in North

American and Canadian federal government planning

America’s economic or security interests.

and action on strategic marine transport, resource

There is a lack of deep water ports in the North American

development and infrastructure issues.

Arctic. In light of the economic opportunities in the

The responsibility for Canadian and American marine

North and the concomitant increase in maritime traffic,

transportation and ports in the North American Arctic

there is an urgent need to build adequate port capacity.

cannot simply be downloaded to the private sector on

All possibilities should be examined, for example, the

an ad hoc, stovepiped project-by-project basis. The costs

development of trans-shipment hub ports in western

and risks to individual small- and medium-sized project

Alaska and eastern Canada, forming either end of a

proponents are often prohibitively high, and regional

North American Arctic marine highway (as Russia

synergies are lost if a project proceeds, however well

plans for Murmansk and Petropavlovsk); a shared


port between Alaska and Yukon in the Beaufort Sea to support stranded gas development in both the United

Maritime Transportation and Resource Development Challenges An imbalance exists between marine corridor development and icebreaker capacity. As part of a forward-looking and comprehensive Arctic strategy, the Russian Federation is building new nuclear and conventional icebreakers to add to what is already the largest icebreaker fleet Policy Brief No. 24 November 2012

States and Canada; and another port in Bathurst Inlet in the Northwest Territories to serve new mines. These ports would support resource projects, anchor a possible “North American Marine Corridor” and act as coordinated poles of growth for other maritime and surface activities, including ecotourism. Further development of the Alaskan port at Skagway, which serves Yukon commercial and mineral development, and Canada–Alaska rail link proposals should be

Canada-US Arctic Marine Corridors and Resource Development







Varanda (2008)








N Project L-60 (Estimated 2016)


Vaygach (1990)

Taymyr (1989)

Project L-60 (Estimated 2015)

Vladislav Strizhov (2006)

Yuri Topchev (2006)



Krasin (1976)

Admiral Makarov (1975)


St. Petersburg (2008)

Moskva (2007)

Kapitan Dranitsyn

Kapitan Sorokin

Vladimir Ignatyuk

Yermak (1974)

Vitus Bering (2013)

Alexey Chiriov (2013)

Project 2260 (Estimated 2015)

Project 21900M (Estimated 2015)

Project 21900M (Estimated 2015)

Fesco Sakhalin (2005)

Sakhalin (2005)

Vasiliy Golovnin (1988)

Akademik Federov (1987)

Smit Sibu (1983)

Smit Sakhalin (1983)

Dikson (1983)

Mudyug (1982)

Magadan (1982)

Kigoriak (1978)

Dudinka (1970)

Tor (1964)

R-70202 (2013)

R-70202 (2014)

R-70202 (2015)


+ 5 under construction + 8 planned



Project L-60 (Estimated 2017)

Akademic Trioshnikov (2011)





Project L-110 (Estimated 2017)



Yamal (1993)










Sovetskiy Soyuz




50 Let Pobedy (2007)





Kapitan Khlebnikov Kapitan Nikolayev (1981) (1978) B




Talagi (1978)

R-70202 (2016)



Oden (1989)


Ymer (1977)



Vidar Viking (2001)


Tor Viking II (2011)



Nordica (1994)


Fennica (1993)



Atle (1974)


Balder Viking (2011)


Kontio (1987)


Otso (1986)



Sisu (1976)

Urho (1975)

Hvidbjornen (1993)

Vaedderen (1992)





Frej (1975)

Botnica (1998)


Louis S. St.-Laurent

Terry Fox (1983)

John G.Diefenbaker (Estimated 2017)

Amundsen (Estimated return 2013)

Henry Larsen (1988)

Des Groseillers (1983)

+ 1 planned



Polar Sea (Inactive 2011)

Polar Star (Estimated return 2014)

Healy (2000)

Aiviq (2012)

Pierre Radisson (1978)

+ 1 planned Polar Research Vessel (TBD)

Nathaniel B. Palmer (1992)



Brage Viking (2012)



Magne Viking (2011)


Loke Viking (2011)


Njord Viking (2011)


Xue Long (1993)

+ 1 planned


Power Plant

≥ 45,000 BHP Power Plant



+ 1 planned

≥ 20,000 BHP < 45,000 BHP


Power Plant

Almirante Oscar Viel (1967)


≥ 10,000 BHP < 20,000 BHP



Tarmo (1963)

Polarstern (1982)

Under Construction

Name (anticpated completion)

Polar Research Vessel (Estimated 2016)


Name (anticpated completion)

NOTES Government owned or operated




Shirase (2009)





Data derived from various sources Updated:

October 12, 2012

Agulhas II (2012)

An electronic copy of the most current chart is located at:



Unavailable N Nuclear Power B Designed for Baltic use Been to the North Pole*

* Courtesy of Robert K. Headland – Scott Polar Research Institute

Araon (2009)



+ 1 planned


Aurora Australis (1990)






Thetis (1991)

Vessels were selected and organized based on their installed power measured in Brake Horse Power (BHP). Vessels with less than 10,000 BHP were not considered to be capable of

Almirante Irizar (estimate return 2012)



Polar Support Vessel (Estimated 2014)

Triton (1992)

Svalbard (2002)

Polar Research Vessel (Estimated 2015)

Direct Questions and Comments to: Doug Jackson - 202 372-2643 e-mail: OR LCDR Mike Krause- 202 372-1540 e-mail

Developed and maintained by the US Coast Guard Office of Waterways and Ocean Policy (CG-WWM) Policy Brief No. 24 November 2012


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examined with the same priority. Urgent action is

creating a more pressing need for improved marine

required to improve the safety and efficiency of small

safety. The St. Lawrence Seaway is an example of Canada-

community ports north of the Arctic Circle. According

US cooperation where territories and management are

to the Canadian shipping industry, conditions are

shared for common advantage. Ensuring harmonization

inefficient and unsafe.

of national policies and regulations in the North

Aboriginal communities need to be engaged and consulted in economic development that directly affects and could benefit them. The Aboriginal inhabitants of the Arctic must benefit fairly from all projects and be fully involved in the development of their traditional lands and waters as they become more accessible. As a result

American Arctic is vital. For instance, Canada and the United States could require all captains in the North to have an oil spill contingency plan (perhaps in-line with the US Oil Pollution Act of 1990) until the Arctic Council’s plan is unveiled.

of Aboriginal land claims and other government


agreements, a coherent distribution of rights and

To overcome these challenges, an ideal North American

responsibilities is emerging; however, ongoing disputes over implementation impede investment and economic growth, and a comprehensive aboriginal marine development vision remains incomplete. Safety and environmental concerns need to be addressed. There is a growing risk of future Arctic marine accidents, whose outcomes result in serious loss of life and environmentally damaging oil spills. International search and rescue and oil spill mitigation agreements can mislead observers to believe that there is sufficient North American capacity to implement them confidently. Increased traffic, unsafe vessels, inexperienced captains, insufficiently trained and tested crews and operators, unreliable charts, weak to

Arctic strategy directed by the Canadian and American federal governments would include the following recommendations: • Support destination shipping in the short term and North American polar transit over the longer term, should this become economically feasible. Shipping distances are shorter between East Asia and the North American East Coast through the North American, rather than Eurasian, Arctic Ocean. Legal differences between the two North American nations could be finessed in practical, binational ways without sacrificing any party’s position of principle.

non-existent disaster response and salvage capacity,

• Create North American Arctic marine “highways.”

and the inherent challenges of Arctic operations need

Safe, secure and efficient maritime corridors or

to be addressed urgently. Aboriginal, local and national

shipping lanes could be agreed to binationally,

economic development initiatives are suffering as a


result of these deficiencies.


The disparity in safety regulations, equipment and training between vessels sanctioned by the US government to navigate the Arctic and itinerant vessels is a concern. Shipping in the Bering Strait has increased, Policy Brief No. 24 November 2012




regulation Arctic



management and regulation would help to ensure that key routes would be the first to receive upto-date and accurate charts, real-time movement monitoring and aids to navigation, tested search and

Canada-US Arctic Marine Corridors and Resource Development


rescue capabilities, and available robust icebreaker

national, binational and international efforts to

service. Tighter regulation of itinerant marine

promote economic development in the Arctic.

traffic is needed to improve safety and security, based on the present shortcomings of existing international maritime law. Plans for an AlaskaYukon rail corridor should be revisited, as should other surface infrastructure elements, including allweather airports, serving northern deep-water and community ports. • Establish a strict and safe temporary North American Arctic maritime regulatory regime in anticipation of the International Maritime Organization’s mandatory Polar Code, as Sweden and Finland have done in the Baltic Sea. Norway and the Russian Federation are currently developing robust cooperative binational arrangements on energy, border and other issues, and Finland and Norway have recently agreed on major new binational




• The North American Arctic maritime and resource development agenda is largely a domestic economic issue, not an international diplomatic or political matter. Essential North American Arctic economic interests should be addressed directly and not be slowed by multilateral inertia. • Canada and the United States should implement a





mechanism or wise persons’ group that would help to focus federal, Alaskan, territorial and Aboriginal entities’ energies on meeting the new Arctic challenges that require integrated solutions and new public resources. A strong, new Arctic development voice from the business communities of both countries together is urgently required. • More purposeful policy coordination is essential

cooperation. Canada and the United States should


consider adopting a similar strategy, building upon

be strengthened in regional and aboriginal

the innovative operation of processes currently

governments. Alaska and the territories should

managed by binational mechanisms such as the

have a formal regional cooperative arrangement as

Canada-US St. Lawrence Seaway Development

do western, central and eastern states and provinces

Corporation, the International Joint Commission

in the south.

and the Beyond the Borders agreement, as well as the North American Aerospace Defense Command and the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Ways Forward • The extensive Arctic expertise held by Canadian and US private sectors, the Government of Canada’s increased attention to the North and current North American federal governments’ Arctic programs form a strong and essential foundation for future






• Canadian and American non-governmental and academic experts should explore the role of business and public-private partnerships in the Arctic, the need for a high-level Canada-US machinery to deal with Arctic issues, better ways to inform the two countries’ federal legislatures, local communities and the general public on complex Arctic issues, as well as the overall policy and infrastructure capacity gaps in the two countries. • Internationally, Canada’s chair of the Arctic Council should focus unambiguously upon responsible Policy Brief No. 24 November 2012

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marine, resource and community development, regularly reviewing national progress in meeting goals and developing concrete cooperation among Arctic states, permanent participants and others. • A small but useful step would be to re-open Canada’s consulate in Anchorage. Senior Alaskan stakeholders are surprised and disappointed with the Canadian government’s decision to close its mission in Anchorage as a deficit-reduction measure, given the identified need for more, rather than less, sophisticated binational dialogue on North American Arctic development cooperation.

Conclusion New federal Arctic leadership and resources, as well as strengthened national and local coordination, are urgently required in both countries. Enhanced CanadaUS binational cooperation in the Arctic over the next decade — on the foundation of a shared northern border and unique historic, economic, military and people-to-people ties — is also essential, given the changes affecting the Arctic. Policy Brief No. 24 November 2012

Canada-US Arctic Marine Corridors and Resource Development

Advancing Policy Ideas and Debate CIGI produces policy-oriented publications — commentaries, papers, special reports, conference reports, policy briefs and books — written by CIGI’s experts, experienced practitioners and researchers. Through its publications program, CIGI informs decision makers, fosters dialogue and debate on policy-relevant ideas and strengthens multilateral responses to the most pressing international governance issues.

CIGI Papers CIGI Papers present well-considered policy positions and/or research findings, insights or data relevant to policy debates and decision making. This category includes papers in series linked to particular projects or topic areas.


no. 8 — oCtober 2012

Zero: The SurpriSing and unambiguouS policy relevance of The cuban miSSile criSiS James G. blIGht and janet m. lanG

Policy Briefs Policy Briefs develop information and analysis, followed by recommendations, on policy-oriented topics. They are found useful by policy makers, policy specialists, the media and interested scholars.

Policy Brief no. 2 ocTober 2012

Zero: The SurpriSing and unambiguouS policy relevance of The cuban miSSile criSiS James G. BliGht and janet m. lanG None of the nuclear-weapon states “has an employee, let alone an inter-agency group, JameS g. blighT and janeT m. lang

tasked full time with figuring out what would be required to verifiably decommission all its nuclear weapons.” — Jessica T. Matthews, Preface to Abolishing Nuclear Weapons: A Debate Where black is the color, where none is the number. — Bob Dylan, “A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall”

James G. Blight is the CIGI chair in foreign policy development and professor at the Balsillie School of International Affairs (BSIA), and the Department of History at the University of Waterloo. janet M. Lang is research professor at the BSIA and the Department of History at the University of Waterloo. Blight and Lang are the authors or co-authors of six previous books on the Cuban missile crisis. Their newest book, The Armageddon Letters: Kennedy/Khrushchev/Castro in the Cuban Missile Crisis, was published in September 2012 by Rowman & Littlefield. For information about the project, see:

Key poinTS • The threat of nuclear war is more multi-dimensional than ever, requiring sustained attention by the world’s leaders and citizens. Nuclear weapons must be abolished. Zero is the right number of weapons in the world. • A robust, deep and sustained appreciation of the Cuban missile crisis — a nuclear war that came within an eyelash of happening — is the prerequisite for energizing movement toward nuclear abolition. Focusing on the nearness to doomsday can provide an engine for paralyzed

Drawing on a quarter century of research on the Cuban missile crisis, this paper argues that given what is now known about what actually happened in Cuba by October 1962, the escape from nuclear catastrophe seems even more miraculous and the drive to rid the world of nuclear weapons is even greater. CIGI PaPers

no. 7 — auGust 2012

From Bretton Woods to the euro: hoW Policy-maker overreach Fosters economic crises PIerre sIklos

are more than adequate to reach zero nuclear weapons if empowered to do so by the international community. These include the Non-Proliferation Treaty, the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty.


Policy Brief NO. 1 JULy 2012

RESPONDING TO DISASTER: NEGLECTED DIMENSIONS OF PREPAREDNESS AND THEIR CONSEQUENCES KEy POINTS • Disaster responders must develop communications strategies that clearly identify both what is and is not known in a timely way, and provide, if at all possible, a basis for risk assessment by individuals, communities, national authorities and international contributors. • Responders must search for ways to provide urgently needed public goods without undermining public authority. • Responders must address the psychological as well as the physical needs of victims. • Greater steps must be taken to improve global and regional disaster preparedness.

INTRODUCTION The international community has become adept at responding to disasters.

Drawing on a quarter century of research on the Cuban missile crisis, this policy brief offers takeaways and recommendations for moving towards zero nuclear weapons. Responding to Disaster: Neglected Dimensions of Preparedness and Their Consequences CIGI-BSIA Policy Brief No. 1 (July 2012) Andrew S. Thompson and David A. Welch

This paper considers the relevance of the Bretton Woods system for the prospects of reform of the international monetary system and in the context of the ongoing euro area financial crisis, exploring the challenges that must be met in attempting to reform the current international monetary system and euro area policies.


no. 6 — auGust 2012

Sovereign DebtorS in DiStreSS: Are our inStitutionS up to the ChAllenge? susan sChadler

When a disaster hits — whether natural or as the consequence of human activity — humanitarian relief can be on the ground almost anywhere in the David A. Welch is CIGI chair of global security at the BSIA and professor of political science at the University of Waterloo. An awardwinning author and scholar, David is an expert in foreign policy decision making and international security. He also hosts CIGI’s podcast series Inside the Issues.

From Bretton Woods to the Euro: How Policy-Maker Overreach Fosters Economic Crises CIGI Paper No. 7 Pierre Siklos August 2012

mechanisms of global governance that are already, at least on paper,


Andrew S. Thompson is adjunct assistant professor of political science at the University of Waterloo, and the program officer for the global governance programs at the Balsillie School of International Affairs (BSIA). He is a specialist in the fields of international human rights, civil society movements and fragile states, and has written extensively on these issues.

Zero: The Surprising and Unambiguous Policy Relevance of the Cuban Missile Crisis CIGI Paper No. 8 James G. Blight and janet M. Lang October 2012

committed to zero nuclear weapons. • The existing global governance mechanisms for reducing nuclear threats



Zero: The Surprising and Unambiguous Policy Relevance of the Cuban Missile Crisis CIGI-BSIA Policy Brief No. 2 (October 2012) James G. Blight and janet M. Lang


Sovereign Debtors in Distress: Are Our Institutions Up to the Challenge? CIGI Paper No. 6 Susan Schadler August 2012

world in less than 24 hours. The international community has developed an elaborate network to respond to catastrophes involving the collaboration of international agencies, humanitarian relief organizations, national governments and concerned individuals. The collective ability to help save lives quickly is unprecedented in human history; the problem remains, however, that one never knows in advance where disaster will strike, what the immediate needs of those affected will be or what conditions the first responders will confront. Given these uncertainties, how can disaster-response planners best position themselves to take action? It is natural, inevitable and desirable to look to past disasters in order to improve responses to future ones, but lesson-drawing, in such cases, is rarely systematic, as responses to disasters are, by their very nature, typically ad hoc.

Policy Brief no. 23 JUne 2012

Unleashing the nUclear Watchdog: strengthening and reform of the iaea Key Points • The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is the nucleus of the global nuclear governance system. • Since its establishment in 1957, the IAEA has evolved deftly, shedding unrealizable goals and adding new roles when requested, while coping with and learning from catastrophes and alarming non-compliance cases — Chernobyl, Iraq, North Korea, Iran — and adapting to tectonic international changes such as the end of the Cold War and the 9/11 attacks. • Today, it fulfills irreplaceable functions in the areas of nuclear safeguards, nuclear safety and the promotion of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and is steadily developing a role in nuclear security. • The Agency has maintained a reputation for technical proficiency and effectiveness, despite (or perhaps because of) zero real growth imposed on it for much of the past 27 years. • The IAEA can thus be regarded as a “bargain” for international peace and security; if it did not exist it would have to be invented. • Nonetheless, the Agency is in need of both strengthening overall and reform in some areas.

Through a comparison of responses to the recent disasters in Haiti and Japan, this policy brief identifies neglected dimensions of disaster response preparedness and offers suggestions for improvement. Unleashing the Nuclear Watchdog: Strengthening and Reform of the IAEA CIGI Policy Brief No. 23 (June 2012) Trevor Findlay

A CIGI and INET conference brought together global experts on sovereign debt crises. This paper expands on the ideas put forward during the discussion, highlights relevant recent history and research, and proposes an action plan.


no. 5 — July 2012

How Global watcHdoGs Missed a world of trouble Paul BlusteIn

How Global Watchdogs Missed a World of Trouble CIGI Paper No. 5 Paul Blustein July 2012

• In recent years, the Agency has suffered increasing politicization of its governing bodies, become embroiled in a protracted compliance dispute with Iran and faltered in its response to the Fukushima disaster. • In addition, like any 55-year-old entity, the Agency faces “legacy” issues — notably in its management and administration, use of technology, financing and “public diplomacy.” • The IAEA also faces significant external challenges: avoiding non-compliance surprises by exploiting new technologies to detect undeclared nuclear activities; preparing for the uncertain trajectory of nuclear energy post-Fukushima; gearing up for equally uncertain roles in verifying nuclear disarmament; meeting stakeholders’ expectations of improved transparency and accountability; and making ends meet in a period of international financial stringency. • Above all, the Agency needs the renewed support of all its stakeholders, but especially its member states, in depoliticizing the Agency’s governing bodies; complying fully with their obligations; providing the organization with the necessary legal and other authorities; and contributing, in cash and kind, to all of the Agency’s activities.

trevor findlay A CIGI Senior Fellow since 2006, Trevor Findlay holds the William and Jeanie Barton Chair in International Affairs at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University in Ottawa, where he is a professor and director of the Canadian Centre for Treaty Compliance. He is a graduate of the University of Melbourne and the Australian National University, and a former Australian diplomat. For seven years he was Executive Director of the Verification Research, Training and Information Centre in London, United Kingdom. His previous project for CIGI, from 2006 to 2010, culminated in his four-volume report on The Future of Nuclear Energy to 2030: Implications for Safety, Security and Nonproliferation. Professor Findlay is currently a joint fellow with the International Security Program and the Project on Managing the Atom at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University, where he is writing a book on the IAEA.

The conclusions of the June 2012 report on the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) by Trevor Findlay are outlined in this policy brief, which contains recommendations for strengthening and reform of the IAEA.

Based on interviews with scores of policy makers who worked on the Financial Stability Forum (FSF) and thousands of pages of previously undisclosed documents, this paper examines the FSF and brings to light the failure of regulators to keep pace with the globalization of the financial system.

Download CIGI papers and reports free from: Policy Brief No. 24 November 2012


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About CIGI The Centre for International Governance Innovation is an independent, non-partisan think tank on international governance. Led by experienced practitioners and distinguished academics, CIGI supports research, forms networks, advances policy debate and generates ideas for multilateral governance improvements. Conducting an active agenda of research, events and publications, CIGI’s interdisciplinary work includes collaboration with policy, business and academic communities around the world. CIGI’s current research programs focus on four themes: the global economy; global security; the environment and energy; and global development. CIGI was founded in 2001 by Jim Balsillie, then co-CEO of Research In Motion, and collaborates with and gratefully acknowledges support from a number of strategic partners, in particular the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario. Le CIGI a été fondé en 2001 par Jim Balsillie, qui était alors co-chef de la direction de Research In Motion. Il collabore avec de nombreux partenaires stratégiques et exprime sa reconnaissance du soutien reçu de ceux-ci, notamment de l’appui reçu du gouvernement du Canada et de celui du gouvernement de l’Ontario. For more information, please visit

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Canada-US Arctic Marine Corridors and Resource Development  

In preparing for the commercialization of the Arctic Ocean, Canada and the United States, as major nations bordering the Arctic, face enormo...

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