G7 Executive Talk Series
BUILDING THE FOUNDATIONS OF RENEWED TRUST g20g7.com The G7 Magazine for VIP’s, Delegates, Diplomats and World Leaders
› LEAD FEATURE: The Future of Work › GCEL: In Today’s Digital Era Can New Technology Deliver Inclusive Economic Growth? › INTA: Brands and Innovation Not So Strange Bedfellows
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G7 Executive Talk Series
Lead Feature 14 / The Future of Work: Creating Tomorrow’s Talent By Ana C. Rold
Features 12 / From the Low Growth Trap to Sustainable Growth : The Case for a Coordinated G7 and G20 Policy Approach By Gianluca Riccio
28 / A West Divided Against Itself (With A Little “Help” from Russia) By Sean S. Costigan
30 / Policing Virtual Neighborhoods in Post-Conflict Countries By Robin Hofmann
32 / Partners in Crime: U.S. and Mexico in the Central American Refugee Crisis
By Jeanette Bonifaz
38 / The World Faces Looming Crises and G7 Leaders Must Look to Their Citizens to Help Build the Peace
Publisher: Chris Atkins email@example.com 001-801-7835120 (ext 200) Editor-in-Chief: Ana C. Rold firstname.lastname@example.org
By Shamil Idriss and Mike Jobbins
40 / President Trump’s View on NATO: A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy?
Creative Director: Christian Gilliham email@example.com (+44) 7951 722265
By Merve Demirel
42 / How to Master the Climate Labyrinth By Lucas Bretschger
46 / We Can No Longer Ignore the Syrian Refugee Crisis
Publishing Firm: The CAT Company, Inc.
By Caysie Myers
58 / Is the ICC Fishing in The Right Pool?
CEO & Founder: Chris Atkins
By Akshan de Alwis
62 / Alternative Facts, Twitter and Socrates By Scott T. Masey
66 / The Islamic State is Losing at Home but Gaining Abroad By Justin Leopold-Cohen
68 / Access to Information is Crucial to Helping Curb Famine in Africa By John J. Martin
70 / Impact Convergence 2.0: A Development Approach Like No Other By Peter Humphrey and Taynah Reis
Special Editorial Feature: GCEL 06 / In Today’s Digital Era: Can New Technology Deliver Inclusive Economic Growth? 08 / A Digital Economy Platform Created by All of Us - For All of Us
President of EMEA: Tyrone Eastman President-International: Mike Nyborg Sales Executives: Richard Reale
72 / What Does Brexit Mean for European Defense? By Karlijn Jans
74 / Taking Action Against Terrorism By Steve Killelea
78 / China and Afghanistan: Rite of Passage for Global Powers By Justin Leopold-Cohen
81 / Internet Privacy Around the World By Ryan Keenen
Branded Stories 24 34 48 52 54 82
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86 / Afghan Peace Accord with Hezb-i Islami Unlikely to Have Effect on Negotiations with Taliban By Franz J. Marty
88 / Africa and the European Union: Securing a Sustainable Economic Future By Britt Bolin
90 / Breaking New Ground in Shared Value By Scott T. Masey
92 / Book review: ‘The death of Expertise’ by Tom Nichols Review by Joshua Huminski
Interviews 18 / Siva Yam, President, U.S.-China Chamber of Commerce: The Year of the Rooster By Paul Nash
20 / Minister Durante Mangoni
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G7 Executive Talk Series
› LEAD FEATURE: The Future of Work › GCEL: In Today’s Digital Era Can New Technology Deliver Inclusive Economic Growth? › INTA: Brands and Innovation Not So Strange Bedfellows
BUILDING THE FOUNDATIONS OF RENEWED TRUST g20g7.com The G7 Magazine for VIP’s, Delegates, Diplomats and World Leaders
01_G7_Cover 2017.indd 1
G7 Executive Talk Series
GCEL Interview by: G7 Editorial
In Today’s Digital Era –
CAN NEW TECHNOLOGY DELIVER INCLUSIVE ECONOMIC GROWTH? The Digital Economy is the Foundation to Build Renewed Trust
ince the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), trust between policy-makers and citizens has been diminishing, which raises questions about the effectiveness of G7 summits and similar forums. QUESTION: What are your thoughts about the root cause of this discontent?
RESPONSE BY DANIEL FUNES DE RIOJA: The GFC was the most challenging economic environment we experienced since the Great Depression. When they were confronted by difficult market forces, ruinous forces in some cases, policy-makers restored stability to financial markets. This certainly was the first priority, but they haven’t been able to deliver sustained and inclusive economic growth.
While our public-sector leaders have recommended a number of good policies, there is more work to be accomplished. To bridge the gap between policy-makers and citizens, leaders must implement new policies by combining the efforts of the global-economy stakeholders—policy-makers, people and trusted service-providers—under an Implementable Policy Formula (IPF). Moving forward with this mindset, stakeholders can work together and capitalize on what each one does best. This IPF must be based on the following:
Daniel Funes De Rioja Argentina 2018, B20 Chairman
I. A Common Denominator Among Policies: It is essential to focus on consistent elements of tangible, measurable policies that quickly deliver positive effects to the real economy. II. Validation and Definition from the Ground Level: There is a need for real-economy participants to define the digital tools they need to work effectively and to validate the benefits they will deliver. III. Industry Capability and Commitment: Once the benefits are validated, we must secure industry resources for rapid implementation. With stakeholders using the IPF, we can turn our diminishing trust to hope, hope to confidence and confidence to reality.
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Briefly recalling recent developments relating to the IPF, the 2016 China G20 Leader’s Communique set forth the Digital Economy Development and Cooperation Initiative as a key policy directive to reenergize the global economy. This followed the 2015 Turkey B20, where the Digital Economy was identified as a common denominator impacting 17 of 25 key policy recommendations. At the ground level, nearly 95% of G20 citizens involving 71 government ministries, industry associations and academia defined the digital tools they need to reach business excellence. Now that citizens have defined the digital tools they need, the tech industry must come together to provide them so we all can close the gap between policy-makers’ intentions and citizens’ economic needs. Let me add another couple clarifying points. It is important to be careful and holistic when we define the Digital Economy. We must also not lose focus as we consider where our efforts can deliver the greatest positive impact. Some have defined the Digital Economy as robotics, artificial intelligence or the Internet of Things, which are product oriented solutions, versus a holistic solution that is more expansive and impactful. Policy-makers have voiced an urgent need for the Digital Economy to spur sustainable economic growth and create millions of jobs around the world. The citizens at the ground level have defined the digital tools they need to work effectively. We must focus our efforts by applying the formidable power of the Digital Economy where it will have the greatest impact: the USD 140 trillion business-to-business (B2B) marketplace, which encompasses manufacturing, agriculture and services industries around the world.
QUESTION: Since the global economy is interconnected, how can the Digital Economy tools deliver a significant long-term economic impact?
The only viable option for the MIC and LIC is to establish efficient, transparent operations, which will attract foreign and domestic investments, increase buying power and improve citizens’ lives.
RESPONSE BY DANIEL FUNES DE RIOJA: First, we must pay special attention to the powerful demographic trends that have stalled traditional monetary, fiscal and tradepolicy efforts to revitalize the global economy. We must take a bold new approach to understand and address our economic challenges so we can deliver a large, long-term impact.
THE COST OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY MUST NOT HINDER ECONOMIC GROWTH To look at the broader picture, the world is divided into three categories: high-income countries (HIC), mid-income countries (MIC) and low-income countries (LIC). In 1980, the HIC were 21% of the world’s population. Today, it is 16%, and estimated to reach 11% by 2050. The MIC and LIC comprise 84% of the world’s population and are growing rapidly. In the HIC, the population is aging, birth rates are low, salaries are high and production capacity exceeds demand. In the MIC and LIC, the population is young and growing, but personal incomes are at least 80% lower than the HIC. To address the foregoing, we know of the diverse, challenging realities that affect various countries; the HIC cannot clone people and a number of them face challenges to open their borders wider.
When we apply new Digital Economy tools to digitize trade activities, we will create greater efficiency and transparency, as well. This will reduce trade and operating costs and decrease the risk of doing business, which will attract substantial new investment, increase financing and insurance, as well as grow trade among nations and regions. This will build the purchasing power of the MIC and LIC, which will provide new demand to fill the HIC’s excess capacity. This practical, viable plan delivers a multifaceted method of developing a larger global economy and providing greater prosperity. I encourage the technology industry to unite and deploy new, innovative digital tools to heighten efficiency and transparency across the global B2B marketplace. Since SMEs represent up to 80% of employment in a sizeable percentage of countries, the cost and complexity of technology must not restrict its adoption. With the right Digital Economy tools, we can rebalance and grow the global economy and we can do this swiftly. ›
The only viable option is to build the purchasing power of the MIC and LIC, creating vast new markets for HIC products and services. Taormina. Italy 2017 ❙ 07
G7 Executive Talk Series
GCEL Continued from page 07
A DIGITAL ECONOMY PLATFORM
CREATED BY ALL OF US - FOR ALL OF US QUESTION: How much can we expect from traditional methods of stimulating national economies and what other efforts can deliver what we need? RESPONSE BY CAPTAIN SAMUEL SALLOUM: As the shadows of the GFC linger, economic growth is too often tepid and economic disparity fuels global tension. Protectionist measures continue to gain ground. Fears of another recession mount, even amid fresh memories from the last financial crisis. Since the GFC, governments have supplied the biggest fiscal stimuli since the Great Depression, but economic weakness persists. Debt restructuring and financial engineering cannot address our economic malaise. Our world needs a substantive economic step forward, but it will not be delivered through traditional measures including fiscal, monetary and trade policies. Benefits from those tools have been exhausted. The question remains: How can we foster economic growth that is global and sustainable? International experts believe that a fully developed Digital Economy is the way to take this step, but it remains elusive for one simple reason — it lacks the engine to power it.
This problem is mainly due to the Logistics industry making vertical investments to enhance what is in fact a horizontal process. The fact that Logistics is global trade’s weakest link is a fundamental concern because it connects our world by shaping and steering the flow of goods. Once we deliver efficiency to logistics using a Digital Economy Platform (DEP), we will increase operating efficiencies, which will decrease trade and operating costs. The DEP also provides dynamic, validated information needed to deliver greater efficiencies in the Commerce, Finance and Insurance industries.
QUESTION: What does a Digital Economy Platform look like and how can we work together using today’s technology to facilitate economic growth that is global and sustainable? RESPONSE BY CAPTAIN SAMUEL SALLOUM:
OUR WORLD NEEDS A SUBSTANTIVE ECONOMIC STEP FORWARD, BUT IT WILL NOT BE DELIVERED THROUGH TRADITIONAL MEASURES
New digital tools for trade will also maximize the use of physical infrastructure and provide trade-data transparency to support investments and maximize their returns, which is in line with the G7 Ise-Shima Principles for Promoting Quality Infrastructure Investment.
The Internet delivers email and information, and it connects consumers with products, but it doesn’t drive the foundation of the world’s economy—the USD 140 trillion business-to-business (B2B) marketplace— which remains relatively old-fashioned and based on manual processes.
Perhaps most importantly, moving forward in this direction will de-risk international trade and build the buying power in midand low-income countries, which will create vast new markets for their high-income counterparts. In this way, we can rebalance the global economy and grow the economic pie instead of competing over the same one.
Trade, the core of the B2B marketplace, depends on four key pillars, Commerce, Finance, Insurance as well as Logistics, which is the weakest link because of its fragmentation and inadequate automation.
We can only achieve this by deploying new digital trade tools that will reduce excess trade costs, increase financing and investment, better connect buyers and sellers, and grow world trade.
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Internationally, experts agree that by applying the Digital Economy to our global value chains, it can reduce annual domestic and international trade costs by USD 3.7 trillion, increase global trade by USD 7.7 trillion, increase global GDP by 17% and create more than 300 million jobs across the world by 2030.
Following more than 10 years of research & development, a multi-dimensional publicprivate partnership of more than 150 governments through their pan-regional representatives, 26 NGOs/IGOs and the world’s leading tech firms have united under a call for action to deploy a Digital Economy Platform that captures high-quality Big Data to seamlessly unite e-Commerce, e-Finance, e-Insurance and e-Logistics, and achieve broader economic integration. Since trade is of national-security importance to all nations, the Digital Economy Platform cannot be led by one organization, country or region. We all must be part of it. This understanding has been made clear through the real-economy participants at the ground level, who specified the digital tools they need. Their insights were collected through a diagnostic assessment of trade practices by more than 70 G20 government ministries, industry associations, academic institutions and private-sector experts. Nearly 95% of the G20 citizens agreed on and defined the digital tools they need, making it clear that they want a Digital
Economy Platform with four fundamental elements: 1. It must be owned, governed and deployed with involvement of the world’s public and private sectors to address potential geopolitical and monopolistic concerns.
WE CAN REBALANCE THE GLOBAL ECONOMY AND GROW THE ECONOMIC PIE INSTEAD OF CONTINUALLY COMPETING OVER THE SAME ONE.
2. The platform must be free of cost to the end user and sustainable through revenue from new e-Commerce, e-Finance and e-Insurance services. 3. The Platform must encompass new digital tools deployed by the world’s leading technology firms, 26 of which have signed strategic agreements as a first step for selection to deploy the Digital Economy Platform. 4. It must include a global data security standard that provides a multi-layered mechanism to safeguard stakeholders’ privacy and information security. These elements support recent proposals by G20 leaders to build a global community with a shared future in cyberspace that promotes connectivity, with information infrastructure as the foundation for economic growth.
Captain Samuel Salloum Co-Chairman, GCEL
This is how we can ensure that economic growth is shared by everyone.
Taormina. Italy 2017 ❙ 09
G7 Executive Talk Series
SDGs Authored by: Erika Veberyte
The Value of Individual Leadership to Advance the Sustainable Development Goals Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals will require every individual to act and contribute their skills to promoting the Goals.
hen the world leaders adopted the Millennium Development Goals in 2000, among the eight core goals were women’s empowerment and gender equality. By 2015 – the target date for achieving the Goals – it was clear that progress had been slow. Did the pre-existing baseline inequalities or declarative statements, rather than actionoriented work, prevent progress? From a gender perspective, it was both. However, baseline inequalities were often overcome by determined actions of motivated individuals. These individuals live among us, and are today’s leaders who are driving the work to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Transforming our world by 2030 and achieving seventeen Sustainable Development Goals will involve more than simple advancement on 169 targets of the new universal Agenda. It will require every individual to act and contribute their skills to promoting the Goals. Selima Ahmad, a successful business woman, 2014 Oslo Business for Peace Awardee, and Founder of Bangladesh Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BWCCI) is one of such leaders. Her individual actions are furthering the progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals through tackling gender inequality. As a business owner, Selima recognizes the importance of creating a business that is a responsible world citizen, and produces a positive social impact for the benefit of all members of society. Since founding BWCCI in 2001, she has empowered more than 9,000 women into business. Going beyond the basics of offering technical training, she has provided financial backing to women. This, in turn, has afforded income-generating
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activities, and today these women entrepreneurs are creating employment opportunities for others. Additionally, Selima has stood up for her fellow women entrepreneurs by facilitating the establishment of the first public rent-free venues. Today, these public venues offer women micro-entrepreneurs the possibility to display and sell their products across Bangladesh. Furthermore, she established a hotline offering legal consultations, which provides continuous support to women who are treated unfairly by the government and private institutions simply because of their gender. Additionally, Selima built a strong coalition of business organizations, which successfully lobbied for a separate allocation of funds within the national budget to support the development of women-owned businesses. As a result, the government of Bangladesh has created a special fund, which today is collateral-free and with low-interest rates. Stella Famumbod is also one of the many leaders around the world who are changing the plight of women and girls in their countries. She Heads the InterFaith Vision Foundation Cameroon (IVFCam) and has been vital in the passage of gender equality laws. A widower herself, she ensured that the Metta Charter on Widowhood established equitable inheritance and custody rights for widows upon their husband’s death. This meant that widowers in Cameroon would be able to remain in their family homes after their husband’s death, rather than be thrown into the street with their children. Today, Stella is leading the work to build a National Women’s Caucus. It aims to coalesce 106 female Cameroonian leaders serving in
office, including Senators, Deputies, Mayors, Ministers, and women’s non-profit organizations. Its goal is to create a common platform across the entire country that engages women in decision-making at all levels of governance. Stella believes that through coordinated action, an effective women’s caucus will be able to further the respect for human rights and gender equality, thus strengthening democracy in Cameroon. Realizing that democracy is impossible without equal opportunities for women and men in political decision-making, two Ukrainian women launched Gender Monitoring of Ukraine Parliamentary Elections in 2012 and 2014. Maria Alekseyenko, Chair of the Board of the Women’s Consortium of Ukraine and Larysa Magdyuk, Independent Gender Expert, wanted to draw public’s attention to the lack of women in politics.
In addition to providing an overview of political party electoral agendas and candidates’ lists, they also analyzed the media coverage of candidates from a gender perspective. Moreover, they offered recommendations for enhancing women’s role and participation in the political life of Ukraine. Ultimately, through Gender Monitoring of Elections, they aimed to raise the overall public awareness of equal opportunities for both genders – in elections and beyond. Evidence shows that gender equality is not only a moral imperative, it makes economic and political sense. Women and men bring different experiences to constructing a prosperous and inclusive society. Understanding that leadership is the ability to inspire others, these and many other women leaders are motivating us to act. Action is what will bring the biggest breakthroughs
during today’s period of uncertainty and global challenges. The fact that G7 members are focusing on the Sustainable Development Goals during their 43rd meeting in Italy this May, elevates the importance of individual action and its ability to transform the world into environmentally conscious, economically sound, and gender inclusive place to live. ■
AS A BUSINESS OWNER, SELIMA RECOGNIZES THE IMPORTANCE OF CREATING A BUSINESS THAT IS A RESPONSIBLE WORLD CITIZEN, AND PRODUCES A POSITIVE SOCIAL IMPACT FOR THE BENEFIT OF ALL MEMBERS OF SOCIETY.
Erika Veberyte has twenty years of experience in international relations and global development. She has served as national security adviser to the Speaker of Parliament and President of Lithuania during Lithuania’s accession to the EU and NATO; as a senior Lithuanian diplomat in Washington, DC; most recently led the Women’s Democracy Network.
Taormina. Italy 2017 ❙ 11
G7 Executive Talk Series
Sustainable Growth Authored by: Gianluca Riccio
From the Low Growth Trap to Sustainable Growth : The Case for a Coordinated G7 and G20 Policy Approach The G7 must steer G20 countries by encouraging governments and policymakers to expand their focus from being the guardians of financial stability towards enablers of growth and investment.
n Brisbane back in 2014 G20 leaders committed to reforms to raise world GDP by 2% by 2018. Since then implementation has been sorely lacking, in fact governments have often been going in different directions – for example, looking at a key Growth component, trade, research from the OECD, WTO and UNCTAD, shows that 145 new trade-restrictive measures were applied by G20 countries between October 2015 and May 2016. The result is that when global leaders meet again in Taormina in May 2017, they face a decidedly mixed economic picture. G7 Leaders are consistently reiterating the importance of focusing efforts on a sustainable Growth, “Business at OECD” is clear that to meet the G20’s growth target we need the rapid and internationally consistent
implementation of well targeted policies that encourage private sector led growth. This is particularly true to unlock the potential of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), whose participation in global value chains (GVCs) not only supports growth in our economies, but also enhances their own productivity and innovative potential. In fact, GVCs offer an ideal platform from which to evaluate policies and assess their end-to-end impacts, hence identifying unintended consequences. They represent a nexus between investment, innovation and trade and improving them offers a high potential to boost GDP, increase employment, and improve working conditions and long-term industrial development. The G7 must steer G20 countries to translate broad-based growth sentiment into action on
the ground encouraging governments and policymakers to expand their focus from being the guardians of financial stability towards enablers of growth and investment. Indeed, the need to avoid parochialism is more important than ever in the current economic and political climate. In turn, the private sector must offer solutions and take more ownership of actions as well. Identifying what governments should do, and how, to support SME access to GVCs was the focus of a senior level roundtable held at the OECD in March 2017, as a joint initiative between Business at OECD and the German B20. It focused on the recommendations needed to achieve a sustainable balance among financial stability, inclusive growth, and returns on investment by joining the dots across all the relevant policy areas.
A conceptual framework developed in 2014 1 and updated to capture the G20 priorities in 2017 2 Building Resilience: The G20 has set itself the task of growing economies and strengthening stability of their financial architecture. Both are needed, but it is their balance that ensures resilience. Focussing only on financial stability without proportionate economic growth policies, may result in safe but stagnating economies. Improving Sustainability: Growth is not only important in itself; the type and quality of growth also matters. Good quality economic growth is achieved through longer-term investments (e.g. digital, infrastructure, global health, climate and energy), which can only be obtained by ensuring proportionate return on such investments.
Gianluca Riccio: 2014
Assuming Responsibility: In an increasingly interconnected world, such return on investments need to be balanced with the required stability (not just financial) of the affected markets, as impacts go beyond the investments’ immediate boundaries. Hence tackling the causes of displacement, fighting anti-corruption and terrorism, and targeting agriculture/food security. 1 The 3-axis (Economic Growth, Financial Stability & Return on Investment) equilibrium concept was developed by Gianluca Riccio in 2013 as part of the BIAC work on unintended consequences of Financial Regulation – BIAC (2014) “The case for a more coordinated approach to financial regulation: A BIAC discussion paper” 2
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G20 (2017), Priorities of the 2017 G20 Summit.
WE DEVELOPED THREE OVERARCHING RECOMMENDATIONS: RECOMMENDATION 1: Improve coordination and consultation in implementation, and better assess the impact of regulation to minimize cross-border and cross-policy inconsistencies, and thereby minimize unintended consequences. Within the framework of reinforcing financial stability, economic growth, and return on investments there is a critical need for broader and independent (from those bodies setting policy) economic impact assessments. This is needed to determine the cumulative effects of policies and other regulatory initiatives – both domestically and across borders. Similarly, the implementation phase of financial and tax regulations would be significantly improved by introducing an international, principles-based implementation process, and a more formal mechanism for continuous and systematic cross-border dialogue between national regulators. Minimising inconsistencies by applying these measures would ensure reduced compliance costs, both direct and indirect, for SMEs and ensure alignment between regulation 1.0 and 2.0. RECOMMENDATION 2: Raise SME access to finance, both debt and equity, and skills through an integrated financing approach,
fostering timely payments, and better leveraging opportunities offered by digital, trade finance and green finance. There is a need for all actors to take action, rather than only focusing on measures for governments. The growing willingness of private and public stakeholders to undertake their own distinct voluntary initiatives needs to be encouraged. G7 policy approaches should enable, and not hinder, private sector-led initiatives. This does not mean a change of roles, but rather better leveraging successful or promising initiatives and sharing best practice. A case in point is given by long-terms investments: it is not sufficient to provide public funding, it is critical that funding is available in a regulatory environment that supports the long-term nature of such investments, e.g. regulations that support rather than curtail longer dated investment or equity financing. RECOMMENDATION 3: Maximize access to data and sharing of information through digital platforms for a coordinated response to global challenges, including cyber security. Leveraging the use of digital technologies and information exchange enhances the flow of financing, skills, and investment throughout GVCs - this is no longer an opportunity, but a “must” requirement in today’s world. However, there are material pitfalls to doing so, the most prominent being cyber security risk. These can only be managed through
coordinated efforts and we encourage the G7 to keep its emphasis on data coordination and harmonization. The G20 Action Plan on SME Financing, which provides a framework to facilitate dialogue between the relevant international fora and the G7 and G20 work streams, is particularly important in this regard. These three recommendations offer medium-term guidance to G7 leaders as they look to improve global economic performance by supporting SME access to GVCs. To see real progresses continuity between G20 Presidencies is paramount. The work of past taskforces must be reviewed and adequate forward momentum across Presidencies must be ensured. As we highlighted to the Turkish, Chinese and now German presidencies, policy consistency is a necessity for achieving a sustainable balance between financial stability, economic growth, and return on investment. ■
Gianluca Riccio, CFA is Vice Chair of the Business at OECD Finance Task Force, Member of the B20 taskforce on Financing Growth & infrastructure, and member of the B20 Cross-thematic working group on SMEs.
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G7 Executive Talk Series LEAD FEATURE
Future of Work Authored by: Ana C. Rold
The Future of
Creating Tomorrow’s Talent
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Future of Work
ne of the largest concerns of today’s world is the future of jobs. What will the job market be like in 2050? How will technology have changed the workplace? And most importantly, will there be enough jobs for everyone? A recent Gallup world poll reveals that when asked to rank important factors in their lives, respondents said that jobs—specifically, great jobs—were at the top of the list. With the exponential growth of technology, however, many are left to wonder whether the job landscape of the future will be too dependent upon artificial intelligence and robotics to have room for a human element. And although these concerns are justified, there is still hope for a future where humans and technology work together toward a better world for all. ›
IMAGINE THE WORLD YOU WANT FOR YOURSELF AND YOUR LOVED ONES: IS THIS A DYSTOPIAN WORLD WHERE WE GIVE IN TO THE CHALLENGES OF THE TECHNOLOGICAL REVOLUTION? OR IS THIS A WORLD OF ABUNDANCE, WHERE LIFE AND WORK BECOME EASIER, MORE EFFICIENT, AND BETTER? WHICH WORLD WOULD YOU WANT TO LIVE IN AND WORK HARD FOR? ANA C. ROLD
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G7 Executive Talk Series
Future of Work
› Technology’s advancement will impact the workforce From the printing press that enabled the Reformation to the computers of today’s technological boom, technology has been evolving at unprecedented rates. But whether or not the trajectory of these advancements will continue to bring abundance – or change course toward a more dystopian landscape – is still unknown. We are moving toward a fully interconnected society Through technology, information can now flow freely and is readily almost anywhere. And with technology such as sensors, smart systems, and the Internet of things, virtual reality, machines, and the real world are becoming increasingly interconnected and interdependendent. Technology is changing the job landscape. While scientific and technological advancements have brought substantial benefits thus far, the future of jobs may not be so great. With advances in new technology such as artificial intelligence, both blue collar and white collar jobs may be in competition with sophisticated machines and intelligent 16 ❙ g20g7.com
OUR PERCEPTION OF PRIVACY, SOCIAL INTERACTION, AND WORKING CONDITIONS NEEDS TO BE REVISED TO FIX THE CONNECTED SOCIETY THAT IS NOW EMERGING. LINO GUZZELLA
technology. However, it is also possible that the future of humans and machines may very well be one of symbiosis. There are many different perspectives on the future. While some foresee a utopian paradise enabled by efficient systems and robotics assistants, many view the advancement of technology as a gateway to a digital doomsday where robots have surpassed humans and taken over the workplace. However, the realist approach of acknowledging the dangers of technology while embracing their ability to help us may be the most beneficial of all. Creativity and critical thinking are key to improving the human element in the workforce. In order to keep up with advancing technology in the workforce, individuals need to acquire more creativity, critical thinking, and entrepreneurial skills to become indispensable assets in the age of technology.
Higher education needs to expand its curriculum In addition to teaching students about core competencies, higher education institutions should also begin to focus on extracurricular qualifications, such as critical thinking, creative thinking, and entrepreneurial action, as well as how to become an economic actor and a productive member of society. Creativity and critical thinking skills can be learned From questioning tradition to trying new things to entering creative spaces, critical thinking and creativity can be taught not only in school, but also at home. ■
Ana C. Rold is the Founder and CEO of Diplomatic Courier, a Global Affairs Media Network based in Washington, DC and with an audience spanning 180 countries. Ms. Rold has served as Editor-in-Chief of the G7 and G20 Summit magazines since 2009. She teaches Comparative Politics at Northeastern University.
WHAT WE DO
ICC Italy works to meet the needs of Italian business operating in today’s fast paced global economy. Through policy advocacy, the development of rules and guidelines, and specialized training courses, we deliver practical tools and professional advice on a wide range of topics, from sustainable development and climate change to banking regulation and global taxation, marketing and anti-trust.
IP | DATA PROTECTION DESCRIZIONE
Practical steps to protect the company’s innovation and information. 14 June - Data Protection workshop
I dati, sia personali che commerciali, costituiscono sempre più spesso un preciso valore economico per le imprese, un bene aziendale che è opportuno sapere come gestire internamente e tutelare da appropriazioni ed usi non consentiti. E’ quindi opportuno che le imprese ricevano indicazioni per farsi parte attiva nel disegnare e implementare politiche aziendali, per definire i necessari adeguamenti al nuovo scenario legislativo; ciò anche al fine di ottimizzare e assicurare il ritorno degli investimenti sostenuti per raccogliere, sviluppare e conservare i dati. Il Convegno ha lo scopo di fornire indicazioni alle imprese in merito alla tutela dei dati, anche alla luce di due novità normative, il Regolamento UE 2016/679 in materia di protezione dati personali e la Direttiva UE 2016/943 in materia di protezione del know-how e delle informazioni commerciali riservate.
The world’s largest business organization
Shaping the rules, driving innovations
LA TUTELA DEI DATI ALL’INTERNO DELL’IMPRESA Le novità del Regolamento UE 2016/679 e della Direttiva UE 2016/943
Mercoledì, 14 giugno 2017 ore 10.30 - 13.00 c/o Unindustria Lazio Sala Argento (I Piano) Via A. Noale, 260 Roma
Enhancing the IG system, negotiating and managing disputes in the food sector, guidelines on labelling and packaging. 9 June - Italian Food industry in Asia seminar
ore 10.30 - 11.00 Saluti e apertura dei lavori Dott. Marcello Bertoni – Vice Direttore Generale Unindustria Lazio Prof. Avv. Maria Beatrice Deli – Segretario Generale ICC Italia Avv. e RA Mattia Dalla Costa – Partner CBA Studio Legale e Tributario; Presidente LES Italia ore 11.00 - 12.30 I dati e la loro tutela all’interno dell’impresa Avv. Marco Venturello – Venturello e Bottarini, Avvocati
Il responsabile privacy: funzione e compiti Avv. Davide Ajello – Compliance Manager, Direzione Corporate Antitrust e Privacy Compliance Menarini Industrie Farmaceutiche Riunite
Il responsabile segreti commerciali e banche dati: funzione e compiti Avv. Gian Paolo Di Santo – Senior Partner, Responsabile Dipartimento IP Pavia e Ansaldo Studio Legale
In one of the capitals of the world’s fashion industry, specialized expertise on the business, stustainability and legal aspects of fashion.
Ore 12.30 – 13.00 Considerazioni conclusive e dibattito Avv. Elio De Tullio – De Tullio & Partners, Intellectual Property Attorneys
La partecipazione è a titolo gratuito fino ad esaurimento posti
Per informazioni e/o prenotazioni contattare la Segreteria di ICC Italia ai numeri di telefono 06 42034320/21 o scrivere una e-mail all’indirizzo: firstname.lastname@example.org
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DISPUTE RESOLUTION Bringing together leading experts to debate hot topics in the ADR field, within the world’s leading arbitration institution.
INTERNATIONAL SALE Shaping the trade and investment policies and contracts as a driver for economic growth. 22 June - Sale of equipment conference
INCOTERMS® Guidance to the rules that have become an essential part of today’s language of trade. 30 May - Documentary credits seminar
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G7 Executive Talk Series
Interview By: Paul Nash
Siva Yam, President, U.S.-China Chamber of Commerce
Year of The Rooster: What to Expect from China’s Economy in 2017 and the Impact of Trump’s Trade Policy
iva Yam, CPA, CFA, is president of the United States of America-China Chamber of Commerce, a not-for-profit organization that was founded by the late Prescott Bush Jr. and dedicated to promoting trade and investment activities between the United States and China. A certified public accountant, Yam also holds the chartered financial analyst designation. He is an investment banker with over 20 years of experience in mergers, acquisitions, public offerings and private placements of securities, venture financing and privatization. He has served as advisor to a number of venture funds and corporations including the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. He is also managing director of Siva Yam & Associates, LLC, a private consulting and investment banking boutique, which specializes in cross border business and trade, and He received his M.B.A. from Duke University on a Fuqua Fellowship and his bachelor of business administration, magna cum laude, from the University of Wisconsin. He also graduated from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University with honors and is fluent in both English and Chinese.
PN: Mr. Yam, what do you think we can expect from China’s economy in 2017? SY: 2017 will likely prove to be another challenging year for China’s economy. Its performance this year will depend very much on whether or not the global recovery can improve China’s exports. Nevertheless, China entered the year on firmer footing. It reported a relatively strong fourth quarter of economic growth in 2016, registering 6.8% on-year, which beat expectations of 6.7% as consumer spending in China increased and the property market rebounded. However, other indicators, such as days-of-receivables (a measure of the average number of days a company takes to collect payments on goods sold), as well as inventory levels have both increased, suggesting that China’s economic health is less than robust.
China (PBOC) surprised financial markets by raising lending rates to banks by 10 basis points. Why did this happen? SY: This rate increase in China can be viewed as a shift towards a neutral monetary policy as economic fundamentals improve. The increase was made to guard against financial risks and curb asset bubbles as the economy stabilizes in an uncertain environment. Recent statements by the government suggest there are few options left to attempt to jump-start the economy. China’s statement about strengthening its pillars of economic development and growth, including continuing economic reforms, bolstering the manufacturing sector, stabilizing the housing market, and accelerating urbanization merely represents a re-packaging of strategies that were implemented last year.
PN: According to the Chinese calendar, 2017 is the year of the Rooster. On the first working day of the Chinese New Year, China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of
PN: Why is China’s economy growing at a slower pace now than it has in the recent past? SY: The slow growth of China’s economy is fundamental in nature. China’s economic
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growth is starting to stabilize amid the country’s transition toward greater domestic consumption and away from manufacturingand investment-led growth, which have created overcapacity and led to speculation in real estate and a lack of investment in improving productivity, quality, and innovation. There has been too much reliance on directive from the government. This is further complicated by flights of financial and human capital. PN: What has become of China’s ‘GoingOut’ strategy, by which Chinese companies have been encouraged to expand abroad— can it help to spur growth going forward? SY: Realizing the perils of excess capacity and a poor understanding of market forces and innovation, The Chinese government embarked on the so-called ‘Going-Out’ strategy back in the early 2000s to encourage companies to bring home to China a better understanding of open-market dynamics, modern management practices, new technology, and innovation. Unfortunately, most Chinese companies have done poorly in managing their acquisitions abroad. Many of them have invested in the real estate and hospitality industries, largely entrusting their management to third parties, thereby learning little that can help improve their own competitiveness. PN: Until domestic consumption in China reaches Western levels, how do you think China can best deal with overcapacity in its manufacturing sector? SY: To deleverage excess capacity, China has already started to focus on trade with newly emerging countries, in particular, with neighbors such as Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Bangladesh, etc. These countries believe in trade and have strong appetites for Chinesemade commodity-type products such as home appliances, clothing, and accessories. This means that China will have to pursue a two-pronged approach: on the one hand, to export manufacturing to those countries, while at the same time to help them to build up their economies so that they can afford to buy Chinese goods. PN: And what can you say about China’s so-called “new Silk Road” initiative? SY: China’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative, although not a trade agreement per se, does intend to create a new “Silk Road” to integrate countries around China, thereby
in need of Foreign Direct Investment ( FDI), which, most of the time, is driven by exports. The uncertainty created by the Trump administration is forcing countries to diversify their reliance on trading with the U.S.
forming the largest free-trade zone in the world. President Obama understood the implications of this and came up with the “Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) to offset China’s growing domination of international trade. Although there are many trade agreements in the world, none of them seems to be relevant unless they include either China or the United States. Unlike the United States, many other countries, although economically advanced, such as Japan, Germany, South Korea, Taiwan and others, rely on trade to survive, as they do not possess all the resources they need to be self-sufficient. It’s natural, therefore, that they pursue a different path from the U.S. Now, with the death of TPP, most Asian countries will have no choice but to jump onboard China’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative. China’s trade with the United States amounts to about US$600 billion a year, but it also records about US$350 billion in trade with ASEAN countries. Now, with a potential surcharge to be imposed on imports from China into the U.S. by the Trump
CHINA’S “ONE BELT, ONE ROAD” INITIATIVE, ALTHOUGH NOT A TRADE AGREEMENT PER SE, DOES INTEND TO CREATE A NEW “SILK ROAD” TO INTEGRATE COUNTRIES AROUND CHINA, THEREBY FORMING THE LARGEST FREE-TRADE ZONE IN THE WORLD.
administration, China needs to come up with an alternative plan. ASEAN countries could potentially provide a very attractive alternative, as they are among the fastest growing economies in the world. Their Consumers have strong appetites for products made in China such as home appliances, clothing items, consumer electronics, and industrial users need entry to mid-level machine tools. At the same time, they are
PN: In short, how would you summarize the main challenges China will face this year? SY: To summarize, China will continue to face many difficult challenges in 2017. Chief among them are uncontrolled, speculative investment in fixed assets, including real estate, but a continued under-investment in technology and innovation, which is a continuation of what we’ve seen over the past 20 years or so. Other challenges include an excessive reliance on government directive and the inordinate influence of personal relationships (or “guanxi”) in business dealings, China will also have to contend with the continued obsolescence of its core manufactured goods, rapid technological change, the advent of ever more sophisticated manufacturing technology, and the continued flight of financial and human capital from the country. Perhaps a more alarming issue that could emerge concerns China’s outbound investments that are fundamentally long-term real estate speculations financed largely by short-term debt instruments. The resulting mismatch of asset/liability durations, together with a poor understanding of underlying asset valuations, plus an obsession with ‘trophy’ properties and a ‘must-win’ attitude, all combine to create a potential time bomb which could eventually destroy China’s financial health. The lack of any internal mechanisms to deal with these problems presents an unprecedented challenge to the Chinese government. The most likely way for China to overcome this challenge will be for it to build stronger relationships with neighboring countries. Ironically, while China is trying to bolster its economic relationships with many of its neighbors. It has also locked horns with them from a military perspective. However, all conflicts have some economic dimension to them. China’s neighbors are now among the fastest growing economies in the world: having recently opened their markets, many are poised to build strong consumption and manufacturing bases with foreign direct investment. In the end, China will likely tone down its aggressiveness towards them and begin to court them to foster stronger trade partnerships. ■ Taormina. Italy 2017 ❙ 19
G7 Executive Talk Series
Minister Durante Mangoni Promoting a full-fledged culture of integrity by leveraging G7 common values
lfredo Durante Mangoni is Coordinator for Anticorruption at the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He has dealt with legal diplomacy and civil and criminal justice since 2013 when he was appointed diplomatic adviser to the Minister of Justice. He is a contributor to reviews on legal affairs. His foreign posts include Moscow as First Secretary; Benghazi as Consul General; Tokyo as Minister and Deputy Head of Mission. In Rome, he worked on development cooperation, economic affairs and EU matters (Justice/ Home Affairs) and as deputy Asia director and adviser to the Minister of Labour and Welfare. Corruption in business threatens the integrity of markets and fair competition, distorts resource allocation, and undermines public trust. Italy has recently devoted significant efforts to tackle the problem, broadening the scope and punishment of corruption offences.
ED: Minister Durante Mangoni, being the Coordinator for anticorruption at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will you outline the position of the Italian Government on business integrity for the G7 Presidency? ADM: In its work plan, the Italian Presidency is envisioning an agreement with partners on the promotion of a full-fledged culture of integrity, by leveraging G7 common values and high standards. An effective public integrity system paired with the mobilization of collective multi-stakeholder efforts. Together they can spur inclusive growth and sustainable development, assure fair and efficient resource allocation—for example in public procurement and delivery of quality services—stimulate competition and investment and foster innovation. Curbing bribery of public officials and promoting responsible business conduct is crucial to enabling a level-playing field for companies and to creating equitable market conditions for business development, competition, and innovation. The private sector has a fundamental role to play, along with professionals, academia and civil society, to affirm integrity values and standards in their interactions with the public sector and with each other. The Presidency therefore aims at defining G7 key messages on supporting legally-shaped economic environments based 20 ❙ g20g7.com
on whole-of-society integrity systems. This objective is vital not only for sustainable growth: without it, tax loyalty and democratic processes become endangered. A weak culture of integrity creates a vacuum filled by policy capture and corruption. ED: The fight against corruption is specifically mentioned in the 2030 Agenda of the United Nations as one of the targets of Goal 16 “Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies.” As the SDGs call to action for business, this commitment represents an opportunity for the private sector to leverage its collective effort to steer and amplify national anti-corruption policies. How is the Italian Government fostering ethical and responsible business conducts and encouraging self-regulation by business? ADM: Italy has built up several tools to inspire best integrity practices in business and foster effective compliance. The most relevant is our regime on the liability of legal persons (Decree 231/2001) that recommends companies adopt and implement adequate organizational models to tackle corruption and manage the risk of unlawful behaviors, rewarding them with an exemption from corporate liability. Important emerging economies inspire their laws to this model.
I can also recall further instruments: MoUs co-signed by public authorities and trade associations; compliance rating; incentives (mostly reputational ones) for firms that adopt standards overpassing those required by law when competing for public contracts; the discipline on whistleblower protection (rules applicable to the private sector to be finalized by the Senate). Recently, Italy implemented EU legislation on the disclosure of non-financial statement (social and environmental information, respect of human rights, integrity measures), which is instrumental to encourage self-regulation and responsible conduct by businesses. Let me also mention the activity of the Italian National Contact Point of the OECD Guidelines on Multinational Enterprises: it has been the first NCP among G7 countries to have implemented, last September, a peer-review as requested by the G7 Elmau Summit in order to strengthen governmental action to support responsible business conduct. Last, but not least, Italy is one of the first countries in the UN to have adopted last December a National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights. I believe that all these accomplishments are consistent with the cross cutting character of Goal 16 of the SDGs. ED: Fighting corruption within the private sector requires a systematic organization to ensure that integrity becomes part of the corporate culture at all levels. Imposing severe sanctions often proves inadequate, especially among SMEs—which often lack in resources to fully comply with anticorruption requirements—while the promotion of integrity awareness within companies appears more effective. How is the Italian Government acting in this regard? ADM: The Italian experience favors a policy approach focused on integrity’s value dissemination within companies, which proves more productive than a solely repressive option. Italian SMEs have traditionally meant a “silent social responsibility and integrity”, more visible due to their capillary presence at local level. This feature has spawn societal and environmental values in small industrial districts and can be also assessed in terms of welfare. In the same vein, for more than a decade the government has promoted initiatives to support the formal immersion of the proclivity of Italian SMEs towards CSR: in 2003, while holding the EU Presidency, Italy spearheaded the adoption
responsibility, looking at the supply chains, at the stakeholders and also at the size of companies. The implementation of anticorruption laws and regulations has to consider various indices according to the company dimension. A one-size organizational model does not fit all. On the other hand, corrupt practices in SMEs are not detectable looking only at the organizational model.
of a CSR toolkit for SMEs to help them in the self-certification of CSR activities. Since 2016, the Foreign Ministry has encouraged the Global Compact Network Italy to spread among its business members the new availability for SMEs of the Global Compact Express Communication on Progress, allowing them to adhere to the UN GC fulfilling minimum requirements. Next, actions should accompany the evolving trends of business models, from
compliance to “doing good”. The reputational advantage is also a competitive advantage. A company investing in compliance and integrity not only prevents malfeasance but saves money, as well as extending benefits throughout the community. Due diligence and audit functions detect business practices that are unlawful but cause a waste of resources too. In Italy, as well as other countries, governments should encourage businesses to adopt a widened concept of
ACTIONS SHOULD ACCOMPANY THE EVOLVING TRENDS OF BUSINESS MODELS, FROM COMPLIANCE TO “DOING GOOD”. THE REPUTATIONAL ADVANTAGE IS ALSO A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE. A COMPANY INVESTING IN COMPLIANCE AND INTEGRITY NOT ONLY PREVENTS MALFEASANCE BUT SAVES MONEY, AS WELL AS EXTENDING BENEFITS THROUGHOUT THE COMMUNITY.
ED: Ensuring integrity, especially in the business sector, is crucial for the global competitiveness of our country; its economic attractiveness for foreign investors indisputably depends on the international corruption perception. What actions are required to improve both the coherence of international ranking of our country, as well as its reputation? ADM: Significant steps were taken to improve the Italian anticorruption system, on the prevention side with the new role of ANAC (Autorità Nazionale Anticorruzione) and enhanced law enforcement and judicial measures, like asset freezing and confiscation. Recent peer-reviewed reports (UNCAC; GRECO) acknowledge these efforts. We are now developing coordination mechanisms to entrench the preparation of those reviews by all actors involved in terms of content and data exposed. However, we often combat against perceptions of high corruption. The current predominantly perception-based index of corruption is flawed and fails to provide a credible assessment of the real dimension of corruption in specific countries and its time variation. The perception-based measurements not only lack of actual corruption evidence—since they are based on no evidence—they do not provide any information about how corruption is concretely affecting citizens and companies. In Italy, we see a paradox: the more institutions, including the judiciary, counter corruption and expose it, the perception of corruption increases in public opinion. In other words, several inputs of detection (as mandatory prosecution, judiciary totally independent from government, freedom of information leading to resounding exposure of corruption cases by media) may negatively affect the perception insofar they hint that corruption is much more widespread than it actually is. For that reason, the Italian G7 Presidency is keen on encouraging experimental research and statistical surveys on more effective and reliable corruption › Taormina. Italy 2017 ❙ 21
G7 Executive Talk Series
› measurements—both at national and international levels. We are planning a G7 workshop next autumn to address the issue of more reliable indicators for accurate corruption measurement, moving from t he present still experimental stage (which characterizes all corruption indicators) to a more scientifically sound and effective measurement able to truly serve the advancement of anticorruption policies. To manage accurate data is relevant both for developed and developing countries, in order to nourish better governance, to appraise public administration performance, and to adjust countermeasures against corruption. Future anticorruption exercises should develop a jurimetrics approach to assess levels of corruption, accountability of the public sector, and the positive effect of anticorruption policies. ED: The G7 in Taormina will anticipate some of the issues that will be dealt with at the G20 in Germany. The ICC and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs are both members of the G20 Anticorruption Working Group which, in its 2017-2018 Action Plan, encourages a truly global dialogue on anti-corruption and the sharing 22 ❙ g20g7.com
IN ITALY, WE SEE A PARADOX: THE MORE INSTITUTIONS, INCLUDING THE JUDICIARY, COUNTER CORRUPTION AND EXPOSE IT, THE PERCEPTION OF CORRUPTION INCREASES IN PUBLIC OPINION.
of best practices. What are the strategies in place to involve the private sector and the civil society to advance the integrity agenda towards implementation? ADM: Let me clarify that G20 and G7 are different processes with specific visions and approaches and therefore play distinct roles in shaping international anticorruption strategies. The G7 has dealt with anticorruption only since last year, whereas since 2010 the G20 has nurtured a consolidated institutional framework based on the high-level AntiCorruption Working Group. The G20 ACWG has defined high level principles and standards on integrity in the private sector. The OECD has given its contribution to this
objective. The German G20 Presidency is currently working on several issues: liability of legal persons, organizing against corruption, risk areas like illegal wildlife and sports. Nevertheless, the multi-stakeholder vision will be emphasized in all relevant fora. Concerted action by institutions, involving public (judiciary included) and private sectors, together with civil society, academia, youth, and media is of paramount importance if we seek an effective preventing, mitigating and repressing strategy against corruption. In the near future, in adherence with the ACWG Action Plan and its Implementation Plan, some policy areas shall be addressed: the relationship between integrity and State Owned Enterprises (SOEs), strategically relevant because of their global operation in critical sectors such as finance, infrastructure and natural resources; the growing nexus between corruption and organized crime; the technical cooperation and training programs in the field of anticorruption, encompassing institution building, law enforcement, capacity building and value dissemination, bearing also in mind that G20 countries may be beneficiaries as well as donors of such assistance. ■
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G7 Executive Talk Series
Branded Story / Interface Authored by: Erin Neil Hare, Meezan, President Chief Sustainability and CEO of Global Officer Visions for Interface, Communication Inc.
From Negative to Positive: The New Path of Sustainable Business Interface relies on optimism to drive positive business with positive impacts.
wenty-two years ago, an unlikely chain of events was set off in an unlikely place – in the heart of an ‘avowed capitalist’ – an entrepreneur who was, at the time, 60 years old and at the top of his career as the founder and CEO of Interface, a billion dollar commercial carpet tile company based in Atlanta. Today, that company finds itself on the brink of victory – poised to celebrate a key milestone in a journey to eliminate the company’s environmental footprint by 2020. And yet, ever restless in its quest to create a lasting positive impact on the world, the company has proposed a new mission to address the biggest challenge facing humanity: to reverse climate change. Erin Meezan has been at the helm of sustainability for the company for 7 years. In 1994, our Founder and CEO Ray Anderson challenged our company to adopt a bold new vision, zero footprint. His challenge was sparked by a personal epiphany, prompted by a question from a visionary project manager working on a
green building. He asked, “What is Interface doing for the environment?” Spurred to answer this question, our founder created a task force and was asked to deliver the kick off speech. As he was thinking of his speech, a book landed on his desk – The Ecology of Commerce, by Paul Hawken. Hawken’s thesis was – and is – that the Earth and all of its natural systems are in decline, and that business and industry are not only the culprit, but also the most well-positioned to reverse the damage. Ray was catalyzed by Hawken’s premise, and with the same entrepreneurial spirit by which he had built a market for modular carpet where none had existed, he challenged the company to chart a course forward, toward zero environmental footprint. Interface didn’t have a map for zero footprint, but Ray’s vision was the compass. As the path unfolded before us, a passion for this higher purpose of sustainability took hold with our people and our culture was transformed. We embraced that original vision to the point that it became part of our DNA, and over the last 22 years we have revolutionized our company, our operations and our products, deeply reducing the environmental impacts of our business and creating products that manifest our Mission Zero™. Along the way, innovative thinking has contributed to our bottom line, with products that have broken new ground in terms of design and performance, and created a support and love for the Interface brand that has been unprecedented. By the numbers, some of the most significant accomplishments we have achieved to date include: ■ Greenhouse gas emissions reduced per unit of product 92% from 1996 ■ Globally, 84% of energy used at Interface comes from renewable sources ■ Waste to landfill has been reduced by 91% ■ Water use reduced by 87%
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■ 50% of the materials we use to make all our products are from recycled or bio-based sources ■ The carbon footprint of our products has been reduced by 50% since we started our sustainability mission In a more abstract way – and perhaps a better measure of our impact – is the role we have played in proving what’s possible for business. We’ve been called “the most sustainable company in the world” and we’ve heard from countless companies about our role as a “case study” of sorts – an open and accessible example of what is possible when industry takes a broader view of its place in society. As our zero footprint goal year of 2020 approaches, our focus is shifting from the focused drive to zero that has typified the first 22 years, towards the positive impacts we can create through our business to impact our people, our communities, and the world at large. Shifting to Positive Business As Interface is poised to achieve our zero footprint goals, we’re also mindful of a shift happening in the world – and in our business. The expectations of business are changing, away from a “responsible business” mindset to a positive impact approach. This thinking expects more of businesses than profitability and stakeholder engagement. It’s a way of thinking of business as a mechanism to deliver positive impacts, and as a way to solve bigger problems. At Interface, we’re excited about this shift to positive business. Positive business as an approach is still evolving. An exact definition doesn’t exist yet, but some important principles are emerging. One powerful principle is partnership and how companies must form relationships with other organizations to create more equitable and more significant impacts. In fact, according to the 2016 Sustainability Leaders study by GlobeScan and SustainAbility, sustainability experts believe that governments and the private sector equally share the responsibility for advancing sustainable development over the next two decades. In addition, multi-sector partnerships are seen as playing a critical role. We’ve not only seen the power of partnerships to amplify our impact in our explorations of positive business, but we find it to be essential. Our Net-Works® project is a great example of making a positive impact.
At its heart, Net-Works is a partnership with an NGO (the Zoological Society of London), a global yarn manufacturer (Aquafil), Interface and local communities in the Philippines. These partners came together to create an innovative supply chain program that harvests used fishing nets from the Danajon Bank as a source for recycled yarn for Aquafil, and ultimately Interface. Without the expertise, reach and resources of these organizations, Interface would not have been able to create a program that aspires to impact one million people by 2020. It’s often one unique non-traditional member of these business partnerships -local communities -- that illustrates another important principle of being a positive business: creating an inclusive approach. More specifically, this means ensuring that affected communities are involved in creating the positive effects. By working to involve local community members in the design and governance of the Net-Works program and by paying them for the net collection, Net-Works is creating a powerful new wmodel of inclusive business. Another idea we’re exploring at Interface illustrates a final principle important for positive businesses: using a restorative approach. This means making sure the solutions we deploy in our business are not just environmentally sensitive, but illustrate a restorative approach. In collaboration with Biomimicry 3.8, Interface is asking how we might operate our factory locations like a high performing ecosystem and provide similar services as local ecosystems to the places where we work. It sounds metaphorical, but we’re exploring standards for factory sites modeled on services of local ecosystems that will give us measurable goals and targets. ›
POSITIVE BUSINESS AS AN APPROACH IS STILL EVOLVING. AN EXACT DEFINITION DOESN’T EXIST YET, BUT SOME IMPORTANT PRINCIPLES ARE EMERGING. Taormina. Italy 2017 ❙ 25
From something negative comes something positive. 84% of the energy used to manufacture our carpet tiles around the world comes from renewable sources*, helping us produce carpet in a more sustainable way. By 2020, we plan on using more than 90% renewable energy. Because weâ€™re not just creating a more beautiful product, weâ€™re creating a more beautiful world. Join us in making a positive impact at interface.com. *Interface Americas now operates using 96% renewable energy.
Introducing the World Woven™ Collection Weaving global inspiration into positive change.
■ Restore nature’s proven ability to cool, mimicking nature’s strategies ■ Create new business models to drive change
› Driving Positive Impacts in the World Interface has always been optimistic, beginning with our belief that our company could change, and later that we could be an example of sustainable business. It started with our commitment to climb what Ray Anderson described as Mount Sustainability – the analogy he created to impart the enormity of moving to a zero footprint company. By setting a bold vision that inspired our company, followed by creating a plan to achieve it and not wavering, we’ve empowered our company and shown that optimism can lead to action and change. Fast forward 22 years and Interface is applying this same optimism to the next step on our sustainable business journey – Climate Take Back. This next step is grounded in one simple reality - there is no such thing as a sustainable business in an unsustainable world. For all the progress we’ve made in 22 years, we’re still working in an unsustainable system. This is particularly true when you look at the threats we face from global climate change. We need to start by changing how we think about climate change: it’s an opportunity, not a problem. We need to consider new platforms to focus on reversing not mitigating it. Many of the tools already exist, other solutions are rapidly coming online. We believe we can reverse climate change if we focus on four key areas: ■ Only take what can be replaced and keep our emissions to levels that can be managed ■ See carbon as a resource and use it as a building block
Expectations on business to drive sustainable development are rising, and those of national governments are declining, according to the 2016 Sustainability Leaders study. But, public and private industry partnerships continue to be critical for the ongoing success of positive business initiatives. We think this sends a clear signal to businesses about the need to adopt a positive business approach that sets more ambitious sustainability goals, like Climate Take Back – and seeks not just to minimize the impacts of businesses on the planet, but asks, how can we maximize the positive impacts of businesses? This will require new partners, new approaches to business that are more inclusive and equitable, new ways of collaborating – through innovative, crosssector, public-private partnerships. We need to look for new, innovative approaches to mapping how business can solve global challenges, perhaps by mapping business objectives to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as a starting place. We also need to create new ways to measure the impacts of positive business. At Interface, we are taking the first steps to solve a big global challenge – climate change – that will require the collective abilities of many companies, NGOs and government bodies. We need to work together. It starts with us sharing our ideas and a plan for our business and partnering with global leaders to uncover ways they can begin to address this bold goal in their institutions. We have taken a stand naming the bold goal of reversing climate change to start a different conversation, to create a sense of optimism and opportunity around carbon – and to work with others to identify and implement solutions that will get us there. We have been successful leading by example in the past and we plan to approach Climate Take Back in the same way. And we’re ready for the world to join us. ■
WW865 Autumn Warp
Large and small squares, planks and skinny planks.
As Chief Sustainability Officer for Interface, Erin Meezan gives voice to the company’s conscience, ensuring that strategy and goals are in sync with the aggressive sustainability vision established in 1994. She leads a team that provides technical assistance and support to the company’s global business, addressing sustainability at all levels – from operations and management, to employees and customers, and in policy forums.
To learn more visit interface.com
G7 Executive Talk Series
Geopolitics Authored by: Sean S. Costigan
A West Divided Against Itself (With A Little “Help” from Russia) Russian efforts to unsettle Western institutions and governments show no signs of abating.
o matter your political allegiance, it should be clear by now that Western institutions are suffering through a period of sustained uncertainty. Across the Western hemisphere, domestic political pressures have mounted as new discussions come to the fore to curb illegal immigration, roll back globalization, confront terrorism, reduce big government and deal with varieties of economic malaise. Amidst this dynamic, Russian efforts to unsettle Western institutions and governments show no signs of abating. After successfully meddling in the US elections process and sowing discord among Republicans and Democrats alike, Russian intelligence agencies and their proxies continue to press the advantage in a vulnerable Europe. Such efforts range from subtle plays to overt aggression. From Sweden come reports that agent provocateurs attempted to bribe youth to make mayhem on camera. In what many considered to be a dry run for Russian efforts against France and Germany, The Netherlands had seen such consistent Russian hacking efforts against their government systems that they decided to count election results by hand. In France, media companies, supported by Google, have created a system to push back against fake news that could affect their presidential elections. In the Czech Republic, “state-like”
actors hacked into dozens of foreign ministry accounts in an attack akin to the Russian hack of the DNC. In Romania people have taken to the streets in mass protest against weakening anti-corruption efforts, and Russia is using the protests as cover to shake Romania’s stance on the hosting of a missile shield. For their support of Western institutions, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that Romania and Poland are in the “cross-hairs.” Critics on the Left and more recently on the Right argue that Russia would not seek to engage in such activities. After all, doesn’t Russia subscribe to the principles of noninterventionism they articulated? What would they gain? Furthermore, isn’t it more the case that the West has no one else to blame for its political schisms, apparently weak institutions, poorly conceived foreign policies and backwards cybersecurity? Like so many gross characterizations, these critiques make sense up to a point. Certainly, Russia under Putin does not appear to engage in many trivial external matters, but it does act when it counts. The Russian government thinks hybrid warfare; hacking and disinformation— known to experts as active measures—are simply fair game. After all, for years Russia has accused Western countries of social engineering against their government and its allies through what it considers to be front
IN ROMANIA PEOPLE HAVE TAKEN TO THE STREETS IN MASS PROTEST AGAINST WEAKENING ANTI-CORRUPTION EFFORTS, AND RUSSIA IS USING THE PROTESTS AS COVER TO SHAKE ROMANIA’S STANCE ON THE HOSTING OF A MISSILE SHIELD. FOR THEIR SUPPORT OF WESTERN INSTITUTIONS, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN HAS SAID THAT ROMANIA AND POLAND ARE IN THE “CROSS-HAIRS. 28 ❙ g20g7.com
organizations like NGOs or wealthy foundations, chief among them the Soros Foundation. Whatever the rationale, Russia actively maintains an aggressive program against near-abroad politicians, as well as other people in power and governments further afield that it considers of interest. Through a combination of criminal cutouts, intelligence agencies and military action, Russia is positioning itself to benefit in the near term from chaos in the West. And why would it not? By and large such measures are inexpensive and, at least tactically, effective. When it comes to cybercrimes against political adversaries, denials are the norm. Hiding behind the veil of attribution and using the media to push stories that are purportedly in the public interest is all part of the game. Consider how inexpensive it is in this social media age to run disinformation campaigns, to turn accusations of fake news against the accusers with a deluge of yet more bogus information. Unhappy with a specific turn of events in the West? Simply alter the conversation through more fake news, for instance Russia Today reporting that the West was responsible for the Ebola virus epidemic. Publicly, Western institutions can do little against Russia’s favorite media outlets except refute their veracity. Wikileaks, for instance, is a world-class public relations network whose work is expressed by striking out against the West without concern for damage to people, earning it criticism from its own high-profile supporters. Russia Today, while serving as a mouthpiece of Russia, is also a chief amplifier of Wikileaks. Edward Snowden is always available too when the opportunity arises to make Western institutions look poorly or help create divisions. This is all of a piece, and should be recognized as such. Creating confusion makes it difficult for democracies to act, particularly in concert with one another. The West has also made consistent strategic missteps that have become the foreign policy equivalent of low hanging fruit. For instance, committing to “strategic patience” in Syria in
2015 might have seemed prudent or the least bad choice among only bad choices. But given Russia’s willingness to commit troops to support its own interests and declare it is fighting a global struggle for Christian values and civilization against terrorism, strategic patience might also be considered tacit out-sourcing of foreign policy. Likewise holding onto knowledge that Russia was actively hacking American democracy, only to wait until December 2016 to tell Putin to “cut it out” was too little, too late. The takeaway lesson is that if the West will not engage where it counts, Russia is paying attention. Whereas the West may now be seen as feckless or persuaded only by its own interests, Putin’s Russia is seen as active and assertive global player. If anyone harbors doubts about the efficacy of Putin’s efforts on the world stage, consider that a WIN/Gallup poll found four NATO nations would rather pick Russia to defend them. Furthermore, right wing parties in Europe are lining up to curry favor with Putin. And in the U.S. a recent Gallup poll reveals that Putin has a favorable rating among 22% of Americans, up from 13% two years ago. Clearly the West and Russia badly need a reset. Since the heady days of political transformation after the collapse of the Soviet Union, one could argue that Western institutions have done well by improving security and economic conditions in Europe as a whole. Along the way the West worked tightly with Russian counterparts to mutual advantage on many security and economic concerns. Few would criticize having better, pragmatic and fair exchanges with Russia as anything other than necessary and positive. But that is unlikely to come about if Russia continues to sew discord in the West. For a time Russia may tactically gain from a divided West, but it is no basis for mutual trust and— more pointedly—there is no predicting the future. At this juncture, along with efforts to pragmatically work together with Russia where possible, the West should readily call out Russia for meddling whenever and wherever it occurs. ■
Sean S. Costigan is a professor at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies and Executive Editor of the quarterly journal Connections. The views expressed here are his own.
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G7 Executive Talk Series
Security Authored by: Robin Hofmann
Policing Virtual Neighborhoods in Post-Conflict Countries Today, police officers across the globe walk the beat through cyber neighborhoods utilizing Twitter, Facebook and Co. to liaise with citizens, for searches and counter-terrorism efforts.
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ngaging citizens as partners in the provision of security is a common policing strategy in the developed world. Such “community policing” strategies, in which cooperating with communities to identify security needs and problems, and to gather intelligence, is a pivotal “Western” policing export. This strategy is not new but it has been no less than revolutionized by the possibilities of social media. This has ramifications for international police missions to conflict-prone countries. Today, police officers across the globe walk the beat through cyber neighborhoods. Twitter, Facebook & Co. are widely used by the police for trust and image building, for liaising with citizens, for searches and even for counter-terrorism. In Finland, for example, a unit called “Nettipoliisi” specializes in social media community policing. The idea is to take a virtual approach and shift from the traditional street and neighborhood community policing activities of the past to the Internet. Police departments in Berlin and Manchester regularly conduct so-called ‘tweetathons’. For 24 hours, all emergency calls that reach the control room are posted on Twitter. The aim is to increase transparency, inform about the complexity of police work and raise awareness of the misuse of emergency call lines. Even more promising is the collaborative potential of social media. The police in The Netherlands provides an app linking people directly to community police officers, and the public can upload photos and videos of suspicious events. The Boston Marathon bombers were mainly identified by social media users cooperating with the police, which had specifically encouraged people to support their investigations. Moreover, after the England summer riots in 2011, thousands of rioters were identified and, later, convicted, following analysis of a huge amount of social media data. This list could go on but the point should be clear: social media has become an integral part of the community-policing approach. For international peacebuilding assistance in conflict-ridden countries, many lessons may be drawn. The police component of such missions has increased significantly over the last decades. Consequently, “Western” policing styles, community-policing and social media use included, are imported to developing and post-conflict countries. Peacebuilding has become police-building,
with a strong emphasis on police and security sector reform. Can social media be used for the policing in these special settings? Up until now, coherent social media strategies for police mission have been lacking. The reason is simple: smartphone and computer density is not as high as in developed countries. User rates of social media platforms are considerably lower. However, user and accessibility rates are increasing rapidly. Besides, where police performance is weak a phenomenon called “do-it-yourself” policing is on the rise, and a merger of social media and community policing takes place: citizens increasingly use social media for criminal investigation, crime prevention and public security mainly independent of the official police. Ushahidi, for example, is a website created after the Kenyan presidential elections in 2007 to collect eyewitness reports of erupting violence, and data was used to generate ‘heat maps’ of violence. Ushahidi has since been used in a number of areas and countries, including the mapping of violence in South Africa and Congo, the tracking of pharmacy stock outs in Malawi, Uganda and Zambia, and the monitoring of elections in Mexico and India. In Kosovo, a sexual reporting app crowdsource data to create hot spot maps of sexual harassment incidents. The maps are made publicly available, giving women a clearer picture of where harassment most often occur. In cities such as New Delhi, Jakarta,
Nairobi and Bogota, a similar system crowd-source data to inform users about local safety, including even information on street lightning. The flip side of all this, especially in volatile, conflict-prone countries, is that social media data easily can be employed to incite violence and to promote conflicts. Moreover, data protection issues are a considerably larger problem in such countries because independent police oversight is weak. And finally, restrictive governments can use social media to prevent information reaching certain groups in society, use it for identifying dissenting groups, or simply shut the means of communication down. Promising though they may seem, social media are therefore no magic bullet for the policing of communities, especially not in conflict-ridden countries. For international police missions, the balancing of these new and the traditional tools, such as diplomacy and political dialogue, becomes pivotal. At the very least, developing coherent social media strategies for police mission should be a part of the mandates. ■
Dr. Robin Hofmann is a research assistant at the University of Bochum, Germany. Dr. Hofmann holds a PhD in law, focusing in security sector reform in post conflict countries.
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G7 Executive Talk Series
Refugee Policy Authored by: Jeanette Bonifaz
Partners in Crime: U.S. and Mexico in the Central American Refugee Crisis
resident Donald Trump’s promise to secure the US-Mexico border by building a wall, in addition to his pledge to deport an unprecedented number of undocumented immigrants, has sparked condemnation from US Democrats and Mexican government officials alike. While it is their right to denounce what they perceive to be discriminatory policy proposals and xenophobic rhetoric emanating from the White House, it is worth noting that both the Mexican and US governments have a harrowing record with regard to the
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protection and recognition of refugees from the Central American countries of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras— a region known as the Northern Triangle. When it comes to the Central American refugee crisis, one of the most devastating humanitarian crises in recent history, the United States and Mexico have acted as partners in crime. Trump’s policy proposals are a continuation, in an even more pernicious manner, of what these escapees of violence and poverty have been subjected to for years.
The Northern Triangle is one of the most dangerous regions in the entire world, and many of its citizens are attempting to flee unmerciful violence, poverty, and overall despair before it overwhelms them and their families. According to a 2016 report by Amnesty International, “El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras have become virtual war zones where lives seem to be expendable and millions live in constant terror at what gang members or public security forces can do to them or their loved ones.” Nevertheless, in direct violation of
Article 33 of the 1951 Refugee Convention, which states that “[n]o Contracting State shall expel or return (“refouler”) a refugee in any manner whatsoever” to the countries where they face danger, Mexico and the United States have established schemes that do exactly that. In 2014, Mexico launched the Southern Border Program, a border security initiative that aims to stop Central American migrants long before they reach the US-Mexico border. This program is politically beneficial to the United States, since it makes it easier to
outsource its dirty workand avoid accountability. Former US President Barack Obama even praised Mexico’s efforts by stating that the US-Mexico border was more secure in part “because of strong efforts by Mexico, including at its southern border.” While the Southern Border Program has decreased the number of apprehensions at the US border, it has not actually stopped citizens from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras from attempting to flee to Mexico and the United States. In fact, the program has increased the amount of danger and violence these migrants face. Migrants are now facing heightened human smugglers’ fees and longer and more dangerous routes, making them more likely to fall victim to organized crime and human trafficking. Despite the fact that Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto pitched the program as protective of immigrants, so far the evidence proves otherwise. Mexico’s treatment of Central Americans fleeing their countries illustrates a clear double standard, as it is denying its southern neighbors the same opportunity many of its citizens have utilized over the years. Mexican citizens, although recently at an all-time low, have immigrated to the United States for decades – though it is worth noting they often receive less than ideal treatment from the US security apparatus. Despite this, over the past three years, the Obama administration provided equipment, training, and more than $75 million to Mexico’s southern border security. Consequently, Mexico has been cracking down on Central American refugees with increasingly alarming zeal. Mexico security enforcement and apprehensions increased significantly between 2010 and 2015, as deportations from Mexico rose by approximately 180 percent. Both the US and Mexican governments are deporting potential asylum seekers who face incredible danger in their home countries, some of whom are killed shortly after their return. While immigration in both countries is a security issue, it is first and foremost a humanitarian issue that calls for comprehensive and humane policy responses, as mandated by international law. With Trump’s domestic immigration enforcement executive orders and his promise to deport between 2 and 3 million undocumented immigrants, the need for a regional approach based on humanitarian law in stronger than ever. From former
WHEN IT COMES TO THE CENTRAL AMERICAN REFUGEE CRISIS, ONE OF THE MOST DEVASTATING HUMANITARIAN CRISES IN RECENT HISTORY, THE UNITED STATES AND MEXICO HAVE ACTED AS PARTNERS IN CRIME. American presidents George W. Bush to Barack Obama, who received the nickname Deporter-In-Chief because of the unprecedented number of deportations under his watch, undocumented immigrants have lived in constant fear of being returned to their countries. Raids of undocumented immigrants have reportedly increased since Trump took office and will likely continue to do so given the expanded criteria of who is considered a criminal. As inequality and poverty continue to devastate communities, war continues to escalate, and climate change threatens to displace millions, the number of people forced to leave their countries will not subside. Mexico’s Southern Border Program has decreased US apprehensions while increasing human rights violations and |failing to deter emigration from the Northern Triangle. What is needed is a regional approach based on international human rights and humanitarian law that protects refugees and asylum seekers who are fleeing their home countries in order to survive. If Mexico and US lawmakers in the United States want to make a difference, it is not enough to criticize the Trump administration. They need to look at their own policies to understand how they have contributed to the current crisis. ■
Jeanette Bonifaz is a Latin America Fellow at Young Professionals in Foreign Policy (YPFP). Jeanette earned her BA in International Relations, Latin American Studies, and International Development from American University in 2013. Her work has been published online in Common Dreams, openDemocracy, the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, The Huffington Post, and CEPR’s The America’s Blog: Analysis Beyond the Echo Chamber.
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G7 Executive Talk Series
Branded Story / Eden Roc at Cap Cana
Relais & Chateaux’s Eden Roc at Cap Cana Completes Addition of Luxury Two-Bedroom Beach-Front Suites New beachfront suites double accommodations, open April 1 at ultra-luxury Dominican Republic resort March 23, 2017 (Punta Cana, Dominican Republic) – The Dominican Republic continues to increase its offerings as a luxury destination with Eden Roc at Cap Cana’s completion of 26 Two-Bedroom Beachfront Suites, rounding out an expansion that has already revealed a completely renovated Beach Club with infinity pool; ocean view fitness center equipped with state-of-the-art machines, aero yoga and wellness areas; BLUE Grill + Bar; and refreshed private beach with bar. One of just four Relais & Chatêaux properties in the Caribbean – and only in the Dominican Republic – Eden Roc presents the most diverse suites offering with lavish, casita-style Boutique Suites and two multibedroom villas, all with private pools and remarkable comforts, and now premium beachfront suites. New Beachfront Suites Eden Roc at Cap Cana’s guest accommodations are now twice as nice with the new 26 Two-Bedroom Beachfront Suites – each with
TWO NEW ROOM TYPES ARE AVAILABLE AT THE EDEN ROC CAP CANA – BEACHFRONT ONEBEDROOM SUITES (1,194 SQ. FT.) AND BEACHFRONT TWO-BEDROOM SUITES (1,786 SQ. FT.) 34 ❙ g20g7.com
stunning ocean views – increasing the resort’s overall inventory to 60 all-suite rooms. Two new room types are available at the Eden Roc Cap Cana – Beachfront OneBedroom Suites (1,194 sq. ft.) and Beachfront Two-Bedroom Suites (1,786 sq. ft.). A rustic palate of sand and gray tones fill the rooms with light and are mixed with natural woods and chic fabrics to create an elegant rustic atmosphere in paradise. The decor stays true to the destination with handmade Dominican art and sculptures in each suite. All suites have a full ocean view with a terrace or balcony – a new distinction for the resort. Plush goose down feather duvets and pillows by Hanse, with luxurious bed linens, plush bathrobes and slippers by Rivolta Carmigani ensure a good night’s rest in each King size bed. Stylish bathtubs, contemporary rain shower heads and a large-scale cedar wood walk-in closet add to the luxurious living at Eden Roc Beach Club. Bedrooms and living spaces feature satellite TV on 55-inch LCD flat screens, entertainment system with Bose surround sound speakers, and a smart technology iPad to control light, electronics and sound via the resort’s dedicated app. A work area, full kitchen and dining set for six people round out the new accommodations experience. As with every Eden Roc at Cap Cana stay, all rooms include private transportation from and to Punta Cana International Airport, full American breakfast (served daily at the BLUE Grill + Bar and Mediterraneo restaurants), Wi-Fi, and daily housekeeping and concierge service. Located at the exclusive Eden Roc Beach Club and blending urban, rustic and chic styles with an oceanfront view, BLUE Grill + Bar offers tasty and healthy dishes inspired
by the art of Robatayaki and Nikkei cooking techniques, a culinary fusion between Japanese and Peruvian cuisine. The private Beach Club extends the resort out to the Caribbean Sea and provides an intimate setting shaded by palm trees, thatched umbrellas and daybeds. In addition, the resort boasts three dining outlets, spa and fitness facilities, and access to the endless amenities of the Cap Cana community. Guests will enjoy world-class golf, a full marina, equestrian center and
Eden Roc at Cap Cana
outdoor pursuits from zip lining to water sports, and more. Four-nights required. Book now until April 30, to travel April 1st until December 22nd 2017. About Eden Roc at Cap Cana Eden Roc at Cap Cana is a five-star Relais & Chateaux resort nestled in Cap Cana, the most exclusive gated beachfront community of the Dominican Republic. The 30,000-acre community is home to pristine beaches, towering cliffs and tropical forests, a bustling
marina, and the No. 1 golf course in the Caribbean and Mexico, a Jack Nicklaus signature course. Blending the impeccable standards of the French and Italian Rivieras with the warmth and relaxed charms of the Caribbean, Eden Roc at Cap Cana presents 60 all-suite accommodations – lavish Boutique Suites and two multi-bedroom villas, all with private pools and remarkable comforts, and new 26 two-bedroom beachfront suites revealed in Spring 2017. The resort recently enhanced its beach club with Blue Flag certified private beach to add an infinity pool and Nikkei-themed BLUE Grill + Bar. Culinary experiences also include fine-dining Mediterraneo Restaurant with Executive Chef Gianluca Re Fraschini at the helm; oceanfront La Palapa, featuring international cuisine with traditional local influence; and a visiting celebrity chef series providing one of the most diverse gastronomic experiences in the Caribbean. Eden Roc at Cap Cana boasts world-class spa and fitness facilities, a kids club for children ages 4-12 and intimate function space for corporate retreats and events. The Forbes Travel Guide recognized resort is a proud member of Virtuoso Hotels & Resorts, as well as Ensemble Travel Group,
Altour Hotel Collection, Fine Hotels & Resorts, AAA, Signature Travel Network and the International Association of Golf Tour Operators. About Relais & Châteaux Relais & Châteaux is an exclusive collection of over 520 of the finest charming hotels and gourmet restaurants in 60 countries. The prestigious family of hoteliers and Grands Chefs from around the world shares a passion and a personal commitment to ensure that customers are aware of moments of exceptional harmony, an unforgettable celebration of the senses. ■
For more information about Eden Roc at Cap Cana, please call (809) 469-7469 or visit www.edenroccapcana.com Taormina. Italy 2017 ❙ 35
G7 Executive Talk Series
Peacebuilding Authored by: Shamil Idriss and Mike Jobbins
The World Faces Looming Crises and G7 Leaders Must Look to Their Citizens to Help Build the Peace
s world leaders gather for the 43rd G7 Summit in Sicily, they face a dizzying range of urgent challenges: climate change, new security threats, humanitarian crises, and the future of workers buffeted by a volatile global economy. These challenges all demand immediate collective action. However, the international system is less equipped now than at any point in the past twenty years to meet these rising challenges. In addition, the G7 leaders face immediate and long-term questions about the future of the organization (and the world) that have not been raised since the end of the Cold War—all this, while experts and commentators fret about the end of the liberal international order. This
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moment presents unique opportunities to shore up the achievements of the statebased international architecture and buttress that architecture with new space for citizen-led action. In the past century, arguably the best investments ever made by G7 powers and their allies were the mechanisms and institutions that stabilize this invaluable international structure, which is intended to keep the peace between States. The United Nations, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and the European Union emerged from the ashes of World War II, driven by dedicated leaders and a population hoping to prevent the next global cataclysm. Since
their establishment, the data on violent conflict makes unequivocally clear that humankind has had tremendous success. The number of deaths from violent conflict— both per-capita and in real numbers—has been declining substantially and steadily for three generations. Additionally, this decline is supported by the more recent creation of other critical regional bodies such as the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Mechanisms for cooperation usually prevent wars, accelerate peace processes, and set the stage for steady economic growth. Yet, this international organization is strained, and we are in a moment of crisis. The cooperation mechanisms
established to prevent and mediate wars between states are struggling to address the conflicts, fragility, and misrule within states. In extreme cases like Syria, Iraq, Libya, and Afghanistan, the inability to address internal conflicts have unleashed new transnational forces: an unprecedented refugee crisis, the rise of stateless extremist movements, and the concomitant rise of extreme nationalist movements in otherwise stable countries. Cyclical crises in “fragile states”, like the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, or Somalia, have claimed millions of lives, billions of dollars, and required tens of thousands of peacekeepers with little hope for a speedy end. Security threats have become intertwined with social phenomena, which states cannot cope with on their own. The cracks in the foundation of the international architecture are on display for all to see. Public trust in institutions is diminishing and populist movements are generating support by railing against their shortcomings. Citizens around the world feel more uncertain and insecure in this rapidly changing world, even if the data make clear that we are decades into one of the safest
and most secure periods in human history. As the G7 leaders gather, they must re-commit to shoring up the gains made by the formal architecture, while also committing to supporting a new informal architecture capable to deal with the new crises of today and tomorrow. Leaders must support the institutions that have prevented the outbreak of inter-state war on anything like the scale that it was prior to 1945. Supporting those institutions in the 21st century means necessarily undertaking some changes to ensure they remain relevant and responsive to today’s world. That includes reviewing membership, funding, and decision-making structures that reflect the post-WWII order; embracing efforts to eliminate waste and redundancy; and ensuring more accountability and democratic engagement directly with the citizenry. Yet, withdrawing from these institutions or hastening their collapse would be akin to smashing a hole in the hull of a ship that has sprung a leak. At the same time, the G7 leaders must realize that ordinary citizens are more engaged in local and global affairs than they were seventy years ago, and seize
this opportunity to support an informal architecture that complements the formal systems. The organization that we lead, Search for Common Ground, has been one of thousands of local and international civil society groups working to build this architecture. From interfaith committees that disarmed militias in the Central African Republic to Track II diplomacy by scientists that helped secure the P5+1 nuclear agreement with Iran, we have seen ordinary citizens step up to support the formal peace architecture. Such results of citizen-led peacebuilding have been concrete, tangible, and uniquely in the capacity of citizens— not States—to produce. To ensure that the hard-won reduction in violence continues for the next seventy years, G7 leaders must seize the opportunity presented by the current crisis of global governance. It is a moment to plug the leaks in the formal mechanisms of interstate cooperation, while recognizing that governments alone will not succeed without creating opportunities and partnership with civilian-led efforts to build a more peaceful, just, and prosperous world. ■
TO ENSURE THAT THE HARD-WON REDUCTION IN VIOLENCE CONTINUES FOR THE NEXT SEVENTY YEARS, G7 LEADERS MUST SEIZE THE OPPORTUNITY PRESENTED BY THE CURRENT CRISIS OF GLOBAL GOVERNANCE.
Shamil Idriss is the President and CEO at Search for Common Ground, the world’s largest dedicated conflict transformation organization. Shamil leads Search in ending violent conflict in more than 35 countries globally, including some of the most devastating conflict zones in the Middle East and Africa.
Left & Above: In the Democratic Republic of Congo, Search for Common Ground leads mediation and training programs involving local communities, the Army, United Nations and armed groups, in order to prevent violence and support international efforts to end more than two decades of violence.
Above: In country and around the world, Search for Common Ground works with artists and journalists in radio, TV, creative and online media to promote understanding and tolerance. From game shows to reality TV, to call-in programs, media actors shift public discourse and make or unmake a peace process.
Photo Credit: Search for Common Ground
Photo Credit: Search for Common Ground
Mike Jobbins is the Director of Global Affairs and Partnerships at Search for Common Ground. He leads Search’s work on thematic priorities, including Countering Violent Extremism, Business and Human Rights, and responses to humanitarian crises.
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G7 Executive Talk Series
NATO Authored by: Merve Demirel
President Trump’s View on NATO: A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy? As the biggest contributor of funds and arms to NATO, a US withdrawal would considerably weaken the organization’s posture and effectiveness.
S Vice President Mike Pence finished what appeared to be a reassurance tour throughout Europe, letting America’s NATO allies know that “the United States of America strongly supports NATO.” But America’s allies remain wary, and rightfully so. President Donald Trump’s perspective on NATO, when juxtaposed with his sympathy towards Russian President Vladimir Putin, should raise serious concerns about the organization’s future. While NATO’s original role as a Cold-War military alliance has inevitably changed in the post-Cold War era, Russia’s intervention in Ukraine in 2014 has forced the organization to revisit its roots – containing Russia while ensuring the security and territorial integrity of its members. As the biggest contributor of funds and arms to NATO, a US withdrawal would considerably, perhaps catastrophically, weaken the organization’s posture and effectiveness. As such, Trump’s stated view of NATO as “obsolete” may be a prophecy that, in the end, fulfills itself. The United States has been a cornerstone of NATO since its inception, contributing to it significantly over the years. This has, at times, created tension between the United States and other NATO members who have not been contributing their fair share, which Trump focuses on heavily in his frequent criticism of NATO. Trump’s Defense Secretary James Mattis recently used his first NATO meeting to remind its members of this obligation. “America will meet its responsibilities, but if your nations do not want to see America moderate its commitment to the alliance, each of your capitals needs to show support for our
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common defense,” he said. The President’s skeptical views on NATO stand in stark contrast to his warm embrace of Putin. While détente between the United States and Russia should be encouraged for global safety and security reasons, Trump’s affinity for Putin renders the United States vulnerable to Russian subterfuge. In response to Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and its human rights abuses, the United States Congress imposed sanctions on Russia. Trump, however, has suggested that these sanctions could be lifted if Russia agrees to reduce its nuclear arsenal. Further, the recent phone conversation between Trump and Putin reportedly omitted any discussion of Russia’s involvement in Ukraine. The newly reignited conflict in Eastern Ukraine between the Ukrainian military and Russian-backed separatists is the Trump administration’s first test on Russian aggression in the region. While Nikki Haley, US Ambassador to the United Nations, condemned Russia’s activities, Trump’s response was more alarming. Instead of taking any meaningful action, he simply stated that he would work with all the parties “to restore peace along the border.” This lack of unity within the administration may be a chink in the United States’ armor that Russia can further exploit to its benefit. Trump’s misguided proposals, combined with his strange affinity for Putin, represent a dangerous paradigm shift for NATO. By turning a blind eye to Russia’s illegal activities, Trump risks undermining the concepts of democracy and rule of law, enabling Putin to act with impunity towards his neighbors, and subverting NATO’s mission and promise of territorial integrity.
If Trump – whether it is due to his view of NATO as obsolete or his hesitance to oppose Putin – allows the United States to stay on the sidelines in the event of conflict between NATO and Russia, his claims of NATO’s impotence will become reality. If NATO allies cannot depend on the United States for its support under Article 5, which
commits NATO members to come to each other’s aid if one should come under attack, what then deters Russia from meddling in the affairs of its NATO-aligned neighbors? The US deployment of troops in Poland, pursuant to agreements that predate the Trump presidency, may appease NATO members for now, but NATO’s future stands uncertain. Even before Trump was elected president, Baltic NATO members increased military presence close to their borders, and also agreed to increase military spending out of fear of Russian encroachment. Not only must European NATO members prepare for the possibility that they may receive much less US support from Trump than under his predecessors, they must also formulate contingency plans to effectively support their Eastern European allies and stand together against Russian aggression. Nevertheless, there may still be hope for US-NATO relations. In his conversations with German and French leaders last month, Trump reaffirmed NATO’s “fundamental importance,” seemingly retreating from earlier remarks. Then, on a phone call with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Trump emphasized “strong support for NATO.” More recently, Vice President Pence’s comments in Brussels echoed that sentiment. So, while America’s NATO allies are right to be wary, perhaps Trump’s rhetoric is simply a gambit to induce them to contribute a bit more to the alliance. As of now, it is unclear if Trump will walk back his remarks and support NATO, just as every president before him has done, or compromise one of the last bulwarks against recent trends of Russian intervention in the region. With so much uncertainty, all we can do is wait for his next move and hope, for the sake of peace and stability, that his actions do not cause his negative NATO rhetoric to become a reality. ■
THE PRESIDENT’S SKEPTICAL VIEWS ON NATO STAND IN STARK CONTRAST TO HIS WARM EMBRACE OF PUTIN. WHILE DÉTENTE BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND RUSSIA SHOULD BE ENCOURAGED FOR GLOBAL SAFETY AND SECURITY REASONS, TRUMP’S AFFINITY FOR PUTIN RENDERS THE UNITED STATES VULNERABLE TO RUSSIAN SUBTERFUGE.
Merve Demirel is the International Law & Governance Fellow at Young Professionals in Foreign Policy (YPFP). She earned her JD from American University in 2012. Merve has a background in foreign policy and international law.
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G7 Executive Talk Series
Climate Change Authored by: Lucas Bretschger
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How to Master the Climate Labyrinth
Damage from climate change occurs in the long-run but political actorsprefer reacting to imminent and more visible threats.
f nothing more, the world’s current political situation illustrates the vast complexity of political decisions. Climate policy sets a prime example, stretching complexity to its outer-limits. Damage from climate change occurs in the long-run and with uncertain outcomes, but political actors prefer reacting to imminent and more visible threats. While the benefits are imperative, climate policy is perceived to come at a significant economic cost and yield a wide variety of effects on countries and industries. The governing rules of the United Nations climate policy require both international negotiation and unanimous agreement. Under these conditions, it is not surprising that the world’s climate policy efforts resemble a journey much like that of the Minoan labyrinth from Greek mythology. In the story, only the wise use of Ariadne’s thread helped Theseus to find his way through a seemingly unnavigable system. Paris Agreement and Economic Growth The adoption of the Paris Agreement on climate change presented an Ariadne’s thread for international climate policy. Ratified by 129 parties, to date, signing the climate agreement required countries to acknowledge stringent climate policies as beneficial on a global scale. While a positive step forward, current country contributions to climate policy are inequitable and aggregate emission reduction insufficient. Concerns abound that stringent climate policies harm economic growth, provide an uncertain benefit, and, in an international context, are imbalanced. These issues impair the advancement of policy ambitions. Economics offers essential insight into the central issues and how they can be addressed. In the Business World, a popular “rule of thumb” for economic growth relates higher fossil fuel prices to lower economic growth (Economist 2016). In contrast, international studies find that a green economy with high
carbon prices supports growth, income, and jobs; labelling the trade-off between economic progress and environmental sustainability “a myth” (UNEP 2011). The two statements apply to different structures and timelines. Of course, an economy bears the cost of reducing the use of fossil fuels - if everything else remains constant. Policy, however, always triggers further action, especially in the long run. The concept of induced innovation - first proposed by Sir John Hicks - describes how rising energy costs lead to faster advances in energy efficiency. Another relevant effect involves sectoral change that favors energy efficient sectors and describes how growth effects differ across industries. Conversely, the lack of climate policy also has a growth effect: one that is negative. Global warming not only harms current output, but also harms capital stock and infrastructure, diminishing economic growth, as shown in the book, “Greening Economy, Graying Society.” The Momentum of Climate Policy Ambitions While climate policy positively affects the world’s economies in the long run, it does not favor all countries and sectors equally. Considering the different responsibilities, it becomes crucial to define guidelines for equitable burden sharing in international climate policy. While country pledges under the Paris Agreement are now available, it is not clear how they compare. The UN Climate Convention relies on the concept of “Common, but Differentiated Responsibilities,” which for practical use, must be made operational. The ETH Zurich climate calculator allows the transparent evaluation of country contributions. While the official negotiation process does not rely upon a comparative approach, a systematic review and comparison of contributions could give countries confidence in their own position and increase their ambitions. › Taormina. Italy 2017 ❙ 43
G7 Executive Talk Series
› Increased policy ambitions are urgently needed: current emission trajectories do not lead to agreed temperature targets. The record breaking year, 2016, saw an increase of close to 1.5°C warming. The larger the propagation of impulses stemming from international policy comparison, the greater the momentum becomes for national climate policies. There are some encouraging signals in this regard. China, for example, ordered 11 provinces to stop more than 100 coal-fired power projects, with a combined installed capacity exceeding 100 gigawatts. This illustrates that effective policy requires decommissioning of resource stock and resource owners have to be prepared for wealth depreciation, also known as, “stranded assets.” Technologies to replace fossil fuel-based mobility and heating are already available; it is a question of political implementation. In Norway, 40% of newly registered cars in the country are electric making the country a world leader per capita in electric car ownership. The Dutch government also sets an example, proposing a new bill that requires all new cars be completely carbon-free by 2035 at the latest. Uncertainty Requires More Stringent Climate Policy Of course, anticipating many of the elements along the path to a sustainable future presents a challenge. Uncertainty and doubt form an integral part of life and skepticism a common attitude - especially among scientists. Uncertainty prevails, because the long-term damage of climate change seems far off in the future, its progression is slow and erratic, but it will affect the economy in the form of random shocks. Storms, floods, and droughts will occur more frequently and in greater strength impacting the world’s economies on local and national levels. Stern (2016) stresses that climate shocks and uncertain events are not sufficiently represented in the current research on climate change, concluding that “current climate models are grossly misleading” and that “many estimates do not account for factors such as catastrophic changes and tipping points.” These major climate events include: the melting of Greenland’s Ice Sheet, a collapse of the Atlantic thermohaline circulation, the disintegration of West-Antarctic Ice Sheet, and a dieback of the Amazon rainforest. Such “high-consequence” outcomes might result in a global income loss comparable to that of the 1930s’ Great Depression. The dependence of such shocks on the degree of global warming 44 ❙ g20g7.com
is well recognized, in principle, but not yet integrated into standard economics. Should the existence of uncertainty be a reason to delay climate policy? Results from recent research conclude the opposite: With uncertainty it is not a less, but rather a more stringent climate policy that is required (Bretschger and Vinogradova 2014). It is comparable to life insurance, for example, which is more expensive and more valuable when the negative events are uncertain. Scientists have derived a solid foundation for an efficient and equitable climate policy, based on equitable burden sharing, uncertainty factors, and the growth effects of climate change. While top-down approaches serve as guidelines, real policy making occurs from the bottom-up, reflecting the preferences of countries and voters. In more climate vulnerable countries, this approach has already been successful. Almost 50 countries committed to one hundred percent renewable energy by the middle of the century – a result of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Morocco. Contributions from the remaining regions in the world included plans that, while optimal for individual countries, do not serve the world community as a whole. Technical progress may also help governments set more ambitious targets over time, induce further innovation, as well as, scale and learning effects. When big countries and supranational organizations persistently push forward climate policy agendas, as Germany did when deciding to prioritize climate action during its G20 presidency, it perpetuates progress. Public skepticism about climate policy will always be present to some extent and has to be considered, especially when it comes to funding climate change policy. Creating a Prosperous Global Economy Environmental policies resulting in limited costs, but a strong impact on emission
reduction and income growth appear to be especially desirable. When governments credibly commit to stringent policies over a long period of time, market expectations accelerate change and create policy-enforcing momentum (Bretschger and Schaefer 2017). Public investment in new networks - like charging stations for electric mobility - can act as a commitment device and frame general expectations about a carbon-free future. If the process of international comparison and policy propagation is effective, the rate of emission reduction can be steadily increased and temperature targets eventually met. When the world succeeds in stabilizing greenhouse gas concentrations at a level the UN climate convention identified, “…would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system,” only then will we have found our way out of the climate labyrinth. It is almost certain that such a state would promote a prosperous global economy. Getting there requires that countries willingly and wisely hold onto the thread of Ariadne: adopting climate policies that lead to a carbon-free economy in the second half of the century. ■
References: Bretschger, L. (2015): Greening Economy Graying Society, CER-ETH Press, ETH Zurich, Zurich. Bretschger, L. and A. Schaefer (2017): Dirty history versus clean expectations: Can energy policies provide momentum for growth? European Economic Review, in Press. Bretschger, L. and A. Vinogradova (2014): Growth and Mitigation Policies with Uncertain Climate Damage, CER-ETH Working Paper Series, 14/202, ETH Zurich. Economist (2016): Who’s afraid of cheap oil? Leaders, The world economy, Print edition Jan 23rd 2016. ETH climate calculator, www.ccalc.ethz.ch. Hicks, J.R (1932): The Theory of Wages, Macmillan, London. Stern, N. (2016): Current Climate Models are grossly misleading, Nature, 530, 407-409. UNEP (2011): Towards a Green Economy: Pathways to Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication, www.unep.org/greeneconomy.
Lucas Bretschger Bretschger is Professor of Economics/Resource Economics at ETH Zurich, Research Associate at Oxford University, and President of the European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (EAERE). He has been a member of the Swiss Delegation at the UN climate negotiations.
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ETH ZÃ¼rich / Gian Marco Castelberg
G7 Executive Talk Series
Rufugee Crisis Authored by: Caysie Myers
We Can No Longer Ignore the Syrian Refugee Crisis The international community must do more to share the burden placed on primary refugee host countries.
n September 2, 2015, the world came together for just one moment when the body of Aylan Kurdi, a three-year-old Syrian boy, washed up on the shores of Bodrum, Turkey. The photo went viral, trending on twitter and other social media platforms. The same tragedies happen every day to an untold number of Syrian children, yet they do not receive the same recognition. The stories are buried under a constant flow of social media posts and viral videos. Even the death of Aylan Kurdi has now been forgotten. But we can no longer turn a blind eye to the help and support these refugees need, especially the children. In January 2014, I arrived in Istanbul, Turkey for a six-month study abroad program. I was immediately captured by the sights and sounds of the city. My time there was my first experience living in a big city, and I loved every second of it. But something from my memory is missing. In 2014, the number of Syrian refugees in Turkey approached and passed one million, with approximately 100,000 residing in Istanbul at that time. The question I pose to myself now is why had I not seen them? Was the child selling gum on the corner of he street a refugee? What about the woman begging passersby for donations, her child t her side? Two years later, after numerous interactions with experts, I am much more aware of the refugee and humanitarian crisis created by the conflict in Syria. It is easy for us, miles and continents away, to neglect crises that do not directly affect our daily lives. Turkey is host to 2.7 million Syrian refugees, the highest in the world. Half of the Syrian refugees in Turkey are under the age of 18. Nearly 260,000 refugees live in temporary housing units, with the rest residing in urban settings. This puts a major burden on Turkey to support the refugees financially. Turkey has allocated approximately $12 billion towards humanitarian relief for the Syrian refugees, but the international community has provided
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only $512 million in aid to help Turkey support its Syrian refugee community. In an attempt to prevent a “lost generation,” Turkey has also worked to provide education to refugee children and job permits to adult refugees. 50% of refugee children are not in primary school, and only 22% of refugee adolescents receive secondary education. Even with such numbers, Turkey has created temporary schools for refugee children to learn Turkish and English, and continue their schooling. In 2017, all refugee children in Turkey will be required to attend Turkish public schools for better integration and socialization. A study by psychologists Selcuk Sirin and Lauren Rogers-Sirin shows that these children also have mental health needs to be addressed, with 45% exhibiting PTSD symptoms. Among those refugee children, 44% also show symptoms of depression, and 20% are diagnosed as clinically depressed (i.e. suicidal). How can we continue to ignore these statistics when they show that refugee children are suffering from disaster and mental health deterioration at a rate more than 10 times that of other children worldwide? The U.S. accepted its 10,000th Syrian refugee this year, a number that pales in comparison to Turkey, and even Germany. In 2015, Germany welcomed more than one million refugees, 40% of which were from Syria. Unfortunately, we are witnessing a rise in xenophobia throughout the U.S. and other Western countries. The current administration has done little to help end the war in Syria and must be held accountable for the lack of support in the humanitarian crisis. The future administration must step up and take action where the current administration left off, but seems unlikely in the current political climate. Negative rhetoric against refugees that has intensified recently has only served to add fodder to the fire of xenophobia, heating the hate of those who are against immigrants and refugees seeking to build better lives in America. Syrians are fleeing their homes due
to prolonged conflict, and many others from around the world still look to America as a place of opportunity and a more peaceful future for themselves and their families. Persecuting immigrants and keeping them out goes against the very foundation of America. Immigration is a central part of our history and will continue to be an essential part of our future. The Syrian conflict has created the most serious refugee crisis since World War II. It has global ramifications, and so it requires global commitment to be resolved. Beyond accepting more refugees, we also need to support countries where large refugee populations have already been settled. This is known as burden sharing, which is a key
term used when referring to the humanitarian crisis not only by Turkey but also by former United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and designate Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres. Turkey is one of the U.S.’s closest allies. It has been commended by the international community for its above and beyond support of its Syrian refugee community, but there is still more to be done. Turkey cannot provide a sustainable support system to its Syrian refugees without the financial and political support of its allies in the international community. Earlier this year, former president of Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD), Dr. Fuat Oktay, visited Washington
D.C. to discuss the need for international cooperation and expressed disappointment over the limited financial contributions from the UN and EU to Turkey. Dr. Oktay called for the international community to substantially increase aid to Turkey in order to address concerns about the “lost generation” of children living outside of the temporary refugee centers who are less likely to receive aid due to limited quantities. In the U.S., we need to overcome the growing xenophobia and racism to realize that refugees are as human as we are. We should treat the refugees we have taken in with respect and provide them with opportunities for healing and success, but we should also accept more as a part of the
burden sharing so needed during this current crisis. Politicians in the global community need to stop demonizing and dehumanizing refugees by using them as political ploys. It is time to stop turning a blind eye to this crisis and to allow our understanding and empathy to guide us as we learn more and do more for our Syrian brothers and sisters. ■
Caysie Myers is a coordinator at Turkish Heritage Organization and focuses on humanitarian crises and aid response, specifically the Syrian refugee crisis.
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G7 Executive Talk Series
Branded Story / International Trademark Association
Brands and Innovation: Not So Strange Bedfellows
rom a consumer’s perspective, the relationship between brands and innovation arguably seems quite clear. Any fan of innovative technology surely remembers the first time he slid his fingers across the screen of an Apple iPhone or got behind the wheel of an almost silent Tesla electric car. From a brand owner’s perspective, a tangible connection between brands and innovation can seem somewhat more elusive. Specifically, how the interplay works on a day-to-day basis and how crucial branding can be to innovation itself is not obvious. With greater clarity and insight, however, a business can be poised to maximize and monetize its innovation. The Measurement Challenge Measuring the link between brands and innovation can be challenging because both
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are somewhat conceptual. Interbrand, a global brand consultancy, has devised a methodology for assessing the value of brands, and it publishes an annual list. Interbrand’s 2016 list includes many that you would expect to see—Apple, Amazon, Google, and IBM. One thing these companies have in common is that they have all proven effective in bridging the gap—and establishing a positive relationship—between their brand and innovation. Their ability to continually innovate, reinvent, and enhance consumers’ brand experience is what sets them apart. At the heart of a strong brand lies a trademark. A trademark is any word, name, symbol, or device (or any combination of these) that identifies and distinguishes the goods of a business from those of others. An examination of the role of trademarks in business development can help shed some
light on the relationship between brands and innovation. Trademarks allow fair competition in the marketplace: consumers know that the product they are buying is genuine. Moreover, trademarks provide protection for innovations from being copied in the marketplace, and allow for fair competition, one of the key building blocks of innovation. The value of trademarks has been demonstrated through various studies analyzing their contribution to national and regional economies. The results are impressive. A study by United States Patent and Trademark Office of industries that rely most heavily on IP—namely, patents, trademarks, and copyrights—found that trademark-intensive industries contributed 23.7 million jobs to the U.S. economy in 2014. The study also found that workers in trademark-intensive industries earned US $1,236 per week, compared to the US $896
earned by workers in other industries. Together, IP-intensive industries in the United States accounted for 38.2% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2014 ($6.6 trillion in value added), up from 34.8% in 2010. A similar European study presented equally impressive results. From 2011 to 2013, IP-intensive industries generated more than 42% of total economic activity in the European Union, with 36% (E4.8 trillion) produced by trademark-intensive industries alone. Similarly, IP-intensive industries accounted for 27.8% (more than 60 million) of all jobs in the EU during this period; trademark-intensive industries alone generated nearly 46 million jobs (21%). Moreover, the wage premium for IP-intensive industries was 46% above that for other industries. The U.S. and the European studies, which are conducted periodically, demonstrate not only that trademarks are vital to a successful economy but also that their contribution increases as the economy grows. As evidenced by Trademarks in Latin America, a similar study published in early 2017, industries that intensively use
trademarks contribute significantly to a country’s economy. The study, which focuses on Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Panama, and Peru, reveals that trademark-intensive industries contributed significantly to increases in employment, salaries, and international trade. Across the five countries, these workers’ share of the workforce ranges from 8% to 26% of total employment, and their contribution to GDP is between 10% and 21%. These findings underscore the huge potential for economic growth that can be unlocked by promoting trademarks within the business communities, and by further developing national trademark systems and trademark-intensive industries. Bridging the Gap Two key ways in which brands, and the trademark rights that underpin them, fuel innovation are (a) through market pressure put on a business to live up to its reputation for innovation, and (b) through allowing a business to distinguish its innovative products from those of competitors. The battles between Google, Apple, and Samsung over the smartphone market are a case in point in both instances.
A STRONG BRAND CAN HELP A COMPANY EDUCATE THE PUBLIC ABOUT A NEW PRODUCT AND CREATE AN ENDURING LINK BETWEEN THE BRAND AND ITS CUSTOMER BASE.
There is a risk here of overstating the case. When talking about brands and innovation, there can be a tendency to confuse correlation with causation—the fact that an innovative business has a strong brand and has registered many trademarks does not necessarily mean that its trademarks play a role in producing that innovation. And a reputation for innovation is not always the same thing as being innovative. Nevertheless, research into the link between trademarks and innovation has produced some interesting findings. A study of trademarks in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg and found that 60% of recently registered trademarks corresponded with a broad range of innovative activities. Most of these trademarks were filed just prior to the introduction of a new product or service. A related study into the motives behind trademark filings found “making the innovativeness of our new products and services more credible” to be one of the top five reasons for filing a trademark. Trademarks, in this light, may be more closely linked with innovation in the later stages of product development and innovation not captured by other IP, particularly for service innovations and innovation in small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs). Other research has shown that the relationship between brands and innovation varies depending on the product and the type of innovation. If you are launching a new product that cannot be covered by other forms of IP, such as a patent or a copyright, a trademark provides a way to distinguish— and protect—your product in the marketplace. Innovations that take place at a distance from the consumer (such as early-stage research and development) are less closely related to branding. This makes sense. A pharmaceutical company conducting early-stage R&D into a new cure for a disease, for example, may not yet be focused on the branding of the end product, but in the months before launch, the brand and the trademark will become a vital part of the successful launch of the new drug. Placing the Brand at the Heart of Innovation A strong brand can help a company educate the public about a new product and create an enduring link between the brand and its customer base. This is particularly true for start-ups and SMEs, which generally file fewer trademarks than established › Taormina. Italy 2017 ❙ 49
G7 Executive Talk Series
Branded Story / International Trademark Association
› corporations. Without a strong, protected brand, a business arguably is unable to make its innovation viable in the marketplace. In this vein, trademarks enable businesses to capitalize on their innovation. To do this effectively, businesses must think about branding early in the product development process and place trademarks at the core of their brand strategy. Too often, the brand strategy and the innovation strategy are developed and implemented independently. The two should be linked and complement each other. This will ensure that all new developments, whether products, services, or an overarching business model, are protected and can be monetized.
INNOVATION CAN ALSO POSE A CHALLENGE. YOUR BUSINESS MUST HAVE A STRATEGY IN PLACE TO MANAGE IT EFFECTIVELY.
The Challenge of Innovation Innovation can also pose a challenge. Your business must have a strategy in place to manage it effectively. In 2010, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg famously shared his company’s motto: “Move fast and break things. Unless you are breaking stuff, you are not moving fast enough.” Indeed, the world of business is littered with examples of brands that once were praised for their innovation but then got left behind.
New technologies such as 3D printing, wearable technology, virtual reality, the Internet of Things, and artificial intelligence (AI) are presenting disruptions in the marketplace that many brand owners are forced to navigate. If, for example, consumers perceive advances in AI as leading to widespread job losses, it could have a negative impact on the brand of a company pursuing this technology. To counter this, business leaders should persistently question
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the potential impact of their company’s innovations on the brand. To Mr. Zuckerberg’s point, things may break, but will your company be able to put them back together again? For innovative companies such as Facebook, innovation means taking the pieces and building a superior product. That is good branding! The Bottom Line The trademarks that underpin brands allow for robust competition in the marketplace by promoting freedom of choice. And competition fuels innovation. The contribution of your trademarks to your bottom line may depend on how effectively your business has combined its brand and innovation strategies. While investors in Silicon Valley flock to the most innovative ideas and invest in them, the market will ultimately decide which innovations survive. Indeed, the two are intertwined, and arguably they have pushed many companies to the top of Interbrand’s list of the top global brands. As David Ogilvy once said, “In the modern world of business, it is useless to be a creative original thinker unless you can also sell what you create.” ■
G7 Executive Talk Series
Branded Story / ISCA Authored by: Antony Sprigg
Converting the Halo Effect to a Virtuous Cycle: How Infrastructure Sustainability will Unlock Sustainable Infrastructure and the Capital Needed
nfrastructure is good! It creates jobs and stimulates the economy.” Well that is not necessarily true, especially when the wrong infrastructure solution is implemented or when infrastructure is poorly delivered and operated. The upstream and downstream impact on the economy, society and environment can be massive and compromise the infrastructure’s social licence, thus affecting financial performance and future investments. If we don’t acknowledge and deal with the macro misnomer that ‘infrastructure is good’, then the gap will continue to exacerbate between attracting private capital and sufficient suitable project availability. This is an OECD and non-OECD issue. This perception is what I am terming the halo effect of infrastructure. Donors, multilaterals and sovereigns, as well as capital and service providers, respond by encouraging the identification of and investment in ‘sustainable infrastructure.’ The Brookings Institution article titled “Delivering on sustainable infrastructure for better development and better climate” associated with the comprehensive paper with the same title (authored by Amar Bhattacharya, Joshua P. Meltzer, Jeremy Oppenheim, Zia Qureshi and Nicholas Stern published Friday December 23, 2016) enshrines this response very well and provides a valuable first principal definition, the current context, trends and drivers for the need for “sustainable infrastructure”. Sustainable infrastructure can and should be the means to decarbonise the global economy, deliver on the sustainable development goals and be a practical means, through each investment, to facilitate social and economic equity, sustainable production and resource utilisation. It is also a fundamental lever to protect biodiversity habitats, indigenous communities and heritage while enabling cities and regions
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to be resilient to change. In contrast, ‘bad infrastructure’ tends to accelerate current negative impacts including biodiversity habitat destruction, climate change and social and economic inequity, again reinforcing the message conveyed in the Brooking’s article. As opportunities and investments pitched as sustainable infrastructure solutions rapidly grow, there is a risk that the halo effect extends to what should be positive and effective approaches to infrastructure delivery. While there are detailed business cases that carefully set out bank ability and fund ability of a project, many of the critical sustainable infrastructure attributes can get stripped out at procurement and through “value” engineering exercises resulting in “unsustainable” infrastructure outcomes. This danger is not a hypothesis, these scenarios unfold all the time, whether the investment is a road or a port or a wind farm. So how can we as an industry ensure that each, and every “sustainable infrastructure” asset is planned, procured, delivered and operated in accordance with the Brookings article sustainable infrastructure definition? The answer is infrastructure sustainability, no this is not semantics. The tools and processes are available and have been deployed by originations like Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA). Infrastructure sustainability (IS) is defined as infrastructure that is planned, designed, constructed and operated to optimise environmental, societal and economic outcomes over the long term. (IS Technical Manual, Version1.2, 2016 . This is achieved through developing and facilitating the systematic deployment (including significant ongoing industry consultation) of applied quadruple bottom line benchmarked performance and rating tools. ISCA’s IS rating scheme, for example, has a current coverage which addresses stakeholder engagement and
community participation, heritage, resource efficiency, emissions, pollution and waste, management and governance, climate change risk, biodiversity and energy and carbon. The scheme is granulated to 44 credits benchmarked from business as usual to industry best practice. The benchmarked range reflects the sustainability performance spectrum which is essentially business as usual (which is different in different jurisdictions) to net gain (which is the ultimate goalto reverse so many of the cumulative infrastructure impacts locally and globally). The IS rating scheme has been applied to over $82B of new build infrastructure projects (most asset classes, capital values and contract types) and over $60B of current asset operations (e.g. airports, waste water treatment facilities, road networks and so on). The scheme is not a construction green tick, rather it is a whole of life sustainability performance framework where ratings can be achieved at the end of design, construction and through operations. The rating is independently verified by third party. Each rating process is a collaborative journey with the client and project team to ensure the best outcomes can be realized including reducing costs, mitigating risks, and enhancing social and environmental outcomes. Importantly the process starts off with a materiality assessment (an adjustable weighting assessment) which identifies the key risks and opportunities from a sustainability perspective for the project and asset. The IS rating scheme is inherently aligned with many of the Sustainable Development Goals and therefore immediately assists an asset and its associated organizational entities to be able to report on SDG performance and establish an improvement pathway and trajectory. The scheme complements incumbent policies, standards, safeguards and regulation and not duplicate. Because of international partnerships established by
ISCA, the same modus operandi is applied in the scheme but is flexible to local tailoring, addressing unique cultural elements. The next generation of the rating scheme is dealing with some of the typical “elephants in the room” like best practice in business cases, inclusion of externalities, benefits realization, indigenous inclusion, skills and jobs creation for the long term, and social and ethical procurement (and consequently picks up many aspects of human rights issues). ISCA also recognizes the importance of data and is therefore looking into how deploying the IS scheme can assist organizations, projects and assets be more data ready so that the right data can be collected and used to enhance decision making and other business processes. By making the information and data collection more efficient for pursuing an IS rating, the scheme will continue to reduce burden and unlock beneficial outcomes. Infrastructure sustainability is the applied means of ensuring the more principle based “sustainable infrastructure” attributes and expectations on an investment by investment or project by project basis are identified, performance expectations established (for construction, operation and deconstruction) and embedded and measured throughout the assets life from planning through to delivery and operations. The resultant Infrastructure Sustainability Rating should be considered just as vital as a financial rating and the underpinning data, objectives and targets should be used to assist with investment/ project/asset decision making. The fact that it is a project/asset rating engaging all key elements of the supply chain and drives industry collaboration and competition, another healthy change management lever to drive performance. Importantly, rating tools and selfassessment frameworks like IS can also be applied to current operating assets, to benchmark, identify areas of improvement and ensure effective implementation and outcomes realised. In fact globally the IS rating scheme, IS for Operations, is the only one that has a rating bespoke for assets and asset managers for sustainability. Infrastructure Sustainability frameworks and rating tools need to be benchmarked locally and aligned globally where possible and a performance regime established encouraging beyond business as usual solutions and outcomes. This sends the right market signals, as this occurs (as we have seen in Australia and New Zealand) smarter
more sustainable products and materials are brought to market more competitively, the construction sectors innovation shackles are unlocked and so on. The pursuit of the sustainability rating then advances in earnest through detailed project design and construction. The more clients that mandate and register projects to undertake the voluntary rating scheme prior to procurement and make the rating a contractual requirement in the design and operations, the more competitive the industry becomes and step changes occur. Intelligent (and self-benefiting) deployment of the IS scheme encourages knowledge sharing and collaboration even in very restrictive contractual arrangements. Performance against them can become an indicator of performance in other areas from financial to safety and quality, and should be utilised as a fundamental risk management and opportunity realisation framework (including improving bottom line performance where possible). Through engagement with a number of countries in Asia, ISCA has learnt that deployment of the IS scheme becomes a rapid local regulatory backfill empowering the project proponents, particularly in an environment where there is intergovernmental corruption. In countries where there is policy and economic inertia (or revertia … to coin a phrase) particularly regarding governance, environmental and social issues (including climate change, environmental protection and restoration and human rights and equity issues), deployment of the IS scheme backfills and reinforces regulatory frameworks and environments which typically result in sovereign and other risks impeding local and international investment. Correspondingly we have also observed that systematic deployment of the IS scheme can result in green and red tape reduction, reducing planning and approval costs and at the same time establishing a collaborative model between regulators, project procurers and deliverers to work towards the best environmental or social outcome (e.g. noise or soil reuse). This nexus between “sustainable infrastructure” and “infrastructure sustainability” should be utilised by sovereigns, donors and multilaterals, and institutional investors to be able to identify more of the “right” projects and consequently unlock billions (if not trillions) available for
ISCA CEO and a Federal Minister awarding a project for an Infrastructure Sustainability rating.
investment (but currently being held back). There has been international interest in ISCA and the IS scheme as mentioned previously for some time now. The approach we follow is to establishes partnerships providing access to tools, training, processes and communities of practise. It is clear that local tailoring of the scheme is facilitates institutional “ownership” triggering a whole of industry adoption of infrastructure sustainability principles and processes. This is how ISCA’s partnership with Chinais progressing where we are assisting a local NGO to develop a China version of IS and in parallel engaging with key Central Government Bureaus. At the risk of suggesting that “infrastructure sustainability” is some sort of panacea (where it could be at times if leveraged appropriately), systematic deployment of schemes like ISCA’s from planning and in parallel across current assets, can result in cities, policy makers, planners and operators pragmatically and quickly understanding what a smart, resilient and healthy city and town might look like for them This statement is predicated on the observation that infrastructure underpins our cities and “dumb infrastructure” will ensure smart, resilient and healthy cities can never ultimately be realised, whereas the converse is obviously true. Infrastructure sustainability enables more effective and efficient planning, designing and delivery of infrastructure as so many of the key issues are inherently unlocked throughout the process. ■ Antony Sprigg, CEO Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia Taormina. Italy 2017 ❙ 53
Astana EXPO 2017 Future Energy 10 june - 10 september 2017 www.expo2017astana.com
Branded Story / Astana Expo 2017
Akhmetzhan Yessimov Chairman of the Board at NC Astana EXPO-2017
he development of green technologies is a key objective of the international society which is facing global climate change, striving for stable development and an energy efficient lifestyle. This summer, between June 10 and September 10, the International Specialized Exhibition EXPO 2017 “Future Energy” will take place in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, with 115 countries and 20 international organizations due to take part. As the organizers of this key event in the sphere of renewable energy, we are glad that during the G20 summit the climatic and energy challenges of the modern world will be discussed. EXPO 2017 is an excellent platform for demonstrating all the achievements of the countries in the field of renewable energy and also a powerful impetus for the
further growth of green energy. It should be mentioned that alongside preparations for EXPO 2017, Kazakhstan (a party to the Paris Agreement) has been actively pursuing the policy focused on the development of renewable energy. It is planned to increase the share of renewable energy sources in the national energy mix to 10% by 2030. By 2050, half of all electric energy generated in Kazakhstan will be green. By late 2020, over 100 renewable energy facilities will be commissioned in Kazakhstan. We would like to take the opportunity to invite everyone to visit Astana this summer, to exchange experience and explore new green technologies, as well as to see Kazakhstan as a unique tourist destination. ■
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G7 Executive Talk Series
Branded Story / Astana Expo 2017
Astana EXPO 2017 Future Energy
10 june - 10 september 2017 www.expo2017astana.com
Global Energy Future to be discussed at Astana EXPO 2017
The International Specialized Exhibition Astana EXPO 2017 “Future Energy” will showcase recent developments in the sphere of renewable energy.
stana will present itself as a city where the world will learn about the most advanced green technologies and achievements. Representatives of 115 countries and 20 international organizations will participate in EXPO 2017, with each a pavilion of its own. World-famous scientists and experts, politicians and members of the business community will discuss global issues related to developing renewable energy sources at various forums and themed conferences during the Astana EXPO 2017. They will draft global policy documents for promoting an energy efficient lifestyle and actively introducing renewables. As part of EXPO 2017, the following events are due to take place: the Ministerial Conference “Meeting the challenge of sustainable energy”, the 14th Eurasian Media Forum, the 11th
KAZENERGY Eurasian Forum, as well as many others. The architecture and design of EXPO 2017 are based on the principles of energy efficiency. The key facilities of the exhibition are partially powered by solar, wind and geothermal energy. The Smart Grid system, which will be used at the exhibition for the first time in Kazakhstan, allows reducing energy losses during transportation by up to 50%. In addition, locally manufactured photovoltaic panels are installed on the roof of the Sphere, and the upper part of the building is equipped with two noiseless wind turbines. EXPO 2017 covers an area of 174 ha, with the exhibition area spanning 25 ha. The centrepiece of the exhibition is a building called the Sphere, which total area is 24,000 square meters. On the eight floors of the
world’s largest spherical structure, which has already become a tourist attraction in Astana, the use of space, solar, biomass, wind, water and kinetic energy will be showcased in an interactive and informative way. The guests of EXPO 2017 are to include heads of state, executives of the largest global and Kazakhstani companies, including the exhibition sponsors such as Shell, Samsung, NCOC, JCS Samruk-Energy, as well as representatives of international organizations such as the UN, UNESCO, UNICEF, UNIDO, IRENA, the World Bank, OPEC, etc. In addition, the visitors of EXPO 2017 will be treated to a large-scale entertainment program, concerts of world-famous pop stars, art exhibitions and various shows that will certainly be a memorable experience for even the most discerning spectators. Overall, over 5 million visits are expected. The hosts have prepared special tourist routes for the guests and residents of Kazakhstan. Apart from a visit to EXPO 2017, they include trips to the country’s tourist attractions. Thus, the following sites will be available for visiting: twelve natural parks in various regions of the country with unique places such as the Sharyn Canyon, the Kolsay Lakes, the Borovoye, Bayanaul and Karkaraly national parks; UNESCO World Heritage Sites (the Mausoleum of Khawaja Ahmed Yasawi, the Petroglyphs of Tamgaly and historical sites along the Silk Road); and special destinations, such as the Baikonur Cosmodrome, which is the largest spaceport in the world. Thus, EXPO 2017 is to become one of the most meaningful events to take place in 2017. ■
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International Criminal Court Authored by: Akshan de Alwis
Is the ICC Fishing in The Right Pool? The August 2016 trial of Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi has exposed tensions over the kinds of perpetrators that the International Criminal Court (ICC) is expected to target.
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he August 2016 trial of Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi has exposed tensions over the kinds of perpetrators that the International Criminal Court (ICC) is expected to target. A member of Ansar Dine, Al Mahdi, has been sentenced to nine years of jail time for the war crime of destroying religious sites in Timbuktu, during the 2012 civil war in Mali. But was he the type of perpetrator that the ICC should have been going after in the first place? Just days after Al Mahdi was surrendered to the ICC, he was derided as a “small fish”, unfit for prosecution at the ICC because he wasn’t a sufficiently senior-level perpetrator. Fatouma Harber, a teacher in Timbuktu, wrote that Al Mahdi “is just a little fish. But in Mali it is the little fish who are caught.” Mixed in with criticisms that Al Mahdi didn’t warrant attention from the ICC, there have also been those who claim that he is, in fact, a senior perpetrator — but of sexual violence as well as cultural crimes. Criticism of Al Mahdi’s trial at the ICC derives from a phrase regularly invoked by the ICC’s prosecutors, namely that the institution seeks to bring those “most responsible” for international crimes to justice. The ICC’s Office of the Prosecutor explains on its website that “[i]t is responsible for examining situations under the jurisdiction of the Court where genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes appear to have been committed, and carrying out investigations and prosecutions against the individuals who are allegedly most responsible for those crimes.” The question is thus whether Al Mahdi can be considered the most responsible for the crimes with which he has been charged— the destruction of mausoleums and shrines in Timbuku. In their thougtful essay, Eva Vogelvang and Sylvain Clerc recently argued that Al Mahdi isn’t likely to be the most responsible: “It is questionable whether Al Mahdi is indeed the most responsible for the crimes. He might have been involved in the destruction of the religious buildings, but it is likely that other members of Ansar Eddine and Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb were equally involved in the commission of these crimes. The fact that he was the head of the “Hisbah” does not make him the individual who bears the greatest responsibility for the destruction of religious buildings. Coincidentally, it has been argued that Al Mahdi is on trial because all of the militant
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leaders of the various extremist militia groups have been killed or otherwise escaped.” Vogelvang and Clerc conclude that the decision of prosecutors to target Al Mahdi “can only be seen as an attempt to expand the jurisdiction of the ICC and an attempt to secure a fast conviction”. The problem here, and one shared by both critics of the ICC as well as the institution’s prosecutors, is that it hasn’t been made sufficiently clear that the Court can, in certain cases, target low- and mid-level perpetrators when doing so will potentially help to identify and prosecute the most responsible perpetrators. In recent years, there has been an apparent trend away from the previously iron-clad belief that ICC prosecutors must, in all situations, go after those most responsible. The struggles of the Court to ensure that the most senior figures it targets are successfully surrendered and prosecuted at the ICC is well known. Joseph Kony in northern Uganda, Omar Al Bashir in Sudan, Uhuru Kenyatta in Kenya, Muammar Gaddafi in Libya… the list goes on. One of the Court’s predecessors, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, had similar troubles in its early days. As a matter of strategic policy, it subsequently focused on targeting “small fish” in order to build up evidence and a body of legal precedents which could consequently help it prosecute more senior perpetrators in the Balkans. Prosecutors and investigators at the International Criminal Court are doing the same thing. Information on the Court’s website continues to state that the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) “identifies the gravest incidents and those most responsible for hese crimes.” However, according to the 2012-2015 Strategic Plan of the ICC’s Office of the Prosecutor, and reiterated in its Policy Paper on Sexual and Gender-Based Crimes, ICC investigators are willing to abandon a singular focus on the “most responsible” perpetrators if going after lower-level perpetrators will help build cases against those most responsible. According to the Plan, the ICC: “will aim at presenting cases at confirmation hearing that are as trial ready as possible. If meeting such a threshold would not be possible at the moment of applying for an arrest warrant or a summons to appear, the Office intends to only proceed with the application if there are sufficient prospects to further collect evidence to be trial – ready within a reasonable timeframe.”
VOGELVANG AND CLERC CONCLUDE THAT THE DECISION OF PROSECUTORS TO TARGET AL MAHDI “CAN ONLY BE SEEN AS AN ATTEMPT TO EXPAND THE JURISDICTION OF THE ICC AND AN ATTEMPT TO SECURE A FAST CONVICTION.” “The required evidentiary standards to prove the criminal responsibility of the most responsible might force the OTP sometimes to change its approach due to limitations on investigative possibilities and/or a lack of cooperation. A strategy of gradually building upwards might then be needed in which the Office first investigates and prosecutes a limited number of mid – and high – level perpetrators in order to ultimately have a reasonable prospect of conviction for the most responsible. The Office will also consider prosecuting lower level perpetrators where their conduct has been particularly grave and has acquired extensive notoriety.” Given the ICC’s record to date, this seems to be a reasonable approach. Whether we blame it on the OTP or blame it the current state of global politics, singularly focusing on those perpetrators “most responsible” for international crimes has simply not worked almost in all cases. It is, of course, fair to criticize the strategies employed by the OTP. It should certainly be more public in outlining its strategies, especially when it targets figures like Al Mahdi who may not be the most responsible for the crimes he faces. As Marieke de Hoon writes, “the Court should move toward openness and transparency, explaining its choices and why they are made,
and engaging in a dialogue on these choices.” Confirming the indictment against Al Mahdi could be considered a clear break from the initial rationale behind the establishment of the ICC. The ICC was set up to exercise its jurisdiction over persons for the most serious crimes of international concern. Inevitably, the question remains how to identify the “persons who have committed the most serious crimes of international concern”. Moreover, the question has arisen whether the destruction of religious buildings qualify as one of the most serious crimes of international concern. The Prosecutor has stated that attacks against religious buildings are so grave that they warrant action by the international community. This is a fair interpretation of the gravity threshold of the ICC. However, the ICC needs to draw the line as to their jurisdiction. Article 17(1)(d) of the Rome Statute promulgates that a case is inadmissible before the ICC if the case is not of sufficient gravity to justify further action by the Court. The most recent example of a case that was not considered grave enough by the OTP is the so-called Flotilla incident. In this incident, Israeli special forces killed 10 activists on board a vessel that was about to breach the Israeli naval blockade of Gaza. The OTP concluded that the case was not of sufficient › Taormina. Italy 2017 ❙ 59
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or not a case is of sufficient gravity seems to be arbitrary. The composition of the Pre-Trial Chamber, and its interpretation of the gravity threshold, plays a larger role than envisioned by the States Parties in the establishment of the ICC. One has to wonder whether the OTP and ICC should not spend its already limited resources on the prosecution of the actual persons most responsible for the most serious crimes of international concern. The confirmation of charges was also remarkable given that Al Mahdi had already been indicted for terrorism in Niger before the ICC issued its arrest warrant. When the ICC was established, the States Parties agreed that the ICC would be complementary to national legal systems and thus it would not replace the national legal systems. This means that if a state is able and willing to prosecute a suspect, this state would be given the opportunity to prosecute the suspect under its national law.
› gravity and therefore decided to stop its investigation. In its analysis, the OTP defined the principle of gravity as: i whether the individuals or groups of persons that are likely to be the object of an investigation, include those who may bear the greatest responsibility for the alleged crimes committed; and ii the gravity of the crimes committed within the incidents which are likely to be the focus of an investigation” Subsequently, the OTP defined the elements that are to be taken into account when assessing the gravity of the crimes, namely, the “scale, nature, manner of commission of the crimes and their impact.” The OTP considered in the Flotilla case that the investigation would not be directed against those most responsible for the crime, that the scale and nature of the crimes were of insufficient gravity, that the evidence was insufficient and finally, that there was insufficient evidence that the impact of the crimes went beyond the direct victims. While the issue of “gravity” in the Flotilla case, has – as of yet – not been completely resolved, the OTP’s position in this matter is clear. It is important to note that the Pre-Trial Chamber in the Flotilla case requested the OTP to reconsider its decision not to continue its investigation, a decision which was appealed by the OTP yet subsequently denied by the Appeals Chamber on the basis of a technicality. When applying the above-mentioned gravity criteria to the case of Al Mahdi, it is not immediately understandable why the case would qualify for prosecution by the ICC, when the Flotilla case did not. It is questionable whether Al Mahdi is indeed the most responsible for the crimes. He might have been involved in the destruction of the religious buildings, but it is likely that other members of Ansar Eddine and Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb were equally involved in the commission of these crimes. The fact that he was the head of the “Hisbah” does not make him the individual who bears the greatest responsibility for the destruction of religious buildings. Coincidentally, it has been argued that Al Mahdi was on trial because all of the militant leaders of the various extremist militia groups have been killed or otherwise escaped. Even though the destruction of religious buildings is incorporated in the Rome 60 ❙ g20g7.com
Statute, one must assume that the drafters envisaged that these crimes would only be prosecuted once committed in combination with other crimes that qualify as a war crime. The ongoing trial of Bosco Ntaganda in the ICC shows how the crimes of the destruction of religious buildings, albeit of the noninternational variety, are prosecuted in connection with other war crimes. The destruction of religious buildings is merely one charge out of thirteen war crimes and five crimes against humanity allegedly committed by Ntaganda. As a result, the Ntaganda case as a whole passes the gravity threshold without question. The problem with the Al Mahdi case is therefore not so much whether the war crime of destroying religious buildings passes the gravity test, but if the charges as a whole pass this test. The OTP tried to demonstrate the impact of the crimes on the international community by reminding us of the public outcry that ensued after the footage that was released of the destruction of cultural heritage in Syria. There are grounds to state that, as the Prosecutor did, an attack on religious buildings affects humanity as a whole. However, this fulfils only one of the elements of the gravity of the crimes, and therefore does not automatically mean that the ICC should be the designated institution to target the perpetrators. With the recent decision of the OTP in the Flotilla case and the confirmation of charges against Al Mahdi, the decision over whether
However, in this case, when Niger was informed that the ICC would be willing to investigate and prosecute Al Mahdi, they transferred him into the custody of the ICC and relinquished their jurisdiction over him. Niger never indicated that it was not willing or able to prosecute Al Mahdi, as required by the Rome Statute. According to the Rome Statute, Article 17(1)(a), a case is inadmissible when the case is being investigated or prosecuted by a state which has jurisdiction over it, unless the state is genuinely unwilling or unable to carry out the investigation or prosecution. Thus, the decision to prosecute and sentence Al Mahdi seems to be contrary to the complementarity principle of the ICC, and against the rationale of establishing the ICC in the first place. Furthermore, as it is disputable whether or not it would pass the gravity threshold, one must wonder whether it would not have been better if he had been prosecuted by the authorities of Niger. He would still have had to answer for his alleged crimes and, if successfully prosecuted, extremist militias would be shown that the destruction of cultural and religious heritage is indeed punishable by domestic law. ■
Akshan de Alwis is Diplomatic Courier magazine’s United Nations Correspondent based in New York City.
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The Fourth Estate Authored by: Scott T. Massey
Alternative Facts, Twitter and Socrates
t times, history seems to repeat itself; or as Mark Twain purportedly said, if it does not, “at least it rhymes. Today’s contentious arguments over “fake news” and “alternative facts” are such an occasion for rhyme. These issues bend Western history back upon itself to its very origins, to the stage-setting events springing from the confrontation between Socrates and the Sophists, and how in response Plato created the university. In this ancient event, there are both parallels and lessons for today. The First “Fake News/Alternative Facts”: The Trial and Death of Socrates In ancient Greece, the Sophists were the first “professional,” i.e., paid, teachers. Their name roughly translates as “wise ones”, and their “wisdom” consisted in a hypercleverness that would appeal today to Bill Maher. The Sophists’ core curriculum consisted of three basic lessons. First, that different cultures and people hold widely different views of what is right and wrong. Hence, the Sophists taught, when confronted with anyone advocating for a traditional moral claim, the wise, “clever” thing to do is to interrupt and counter each claim by noting that there are other people and cultures who have a contrary opinion, thereby making all value claims equal and any appeal to a specific moral standard look ridiculous and parochial. The second lesson of the Sophist curriculum is that justice is simply “the interest of the stronger,” or at least a convention without substance beyond its enforcement. Third, and this is where the curriculum became monetized, the Sophists offered to teach the sons of wealthy families—or anyone willing to pay—how to “make the worse appear the better cause” in the democratic assemblies where legislation was passed. Obviously, this was a valuable skill to those seeking social and political advantages then, as it is today for the clients of professional, well-paid lobbyists, spokespeople, marketers, and consultants. Against this thin cosmopolitanism and
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relativism anchored in self-interest, Socrates was the perfect foil. In Socrates, the Sophists and their powerful political allies met their match. He was a rhetorical equal and superior to the Sophists at dinner parties and in the marketplace; and more than that, he embodied a simple and immovable moral rectitude that spoke for itself—res ipsa loquitur. Unable to outmaneuver him in debate, the Sophists and their allies were placed side by side with a person of real moral integrity. The comparison was not flattering. As a result, Socrates had to die. And so, trumped up charges of impiety and corrupting the youth were brought forward; Socrates was brought to trial; and we know how the story ends. The Platonic Response But of course, the story emphatically does not end with Socrates’ execution by hemlock at the hands of the Athenian assembly and courts. One of Socrates’s closest associates, Plato, son of a prominent, wealthy, aristocratic Athenian family was appalled by the injustice of the death. The experience of seeing “facts” and “evidence” totally subverted into “fake news” to justify the execution of a man of Socrates’ intellectual and moral caliber shook Plato to the core. He spent the rest of his life creating a full-blown intellectual and institutional response to Socrates’ death, and in the process, he invented the university and the philosophical and scientific methods that created Western culture. To put it simply, Plato realized that to save society from the unbridled self-interest unleased by the Sophists, their worldview had to be overwhelmingly and systematically refuted. To this end, Plato founded the Academy, a learning community on the outskirts of Athens in a forest dedicated to the hero Academos (hence, the Academy) in the “groves of Academe.” Here Plato gathered the best minds of his day into a community organized around the logical pursuit of truth and rational dialogue. ›
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› Like Socrates the person, the Academy as a community embodied a set of transcendent norms about finding out what’s what, a commitment to personal integrity, and a commitment to accept the outcome of rational discovery, whether it served one’s interests, confirmed one’s beliefs, or not. This act was pivotal for the world. Out of the Academy came the first mathematical model of the universe, which with a series of tweaks and adjustments, held sway for over a thousand years. At the Academy, the scientific and humanistic disciplines were first created that still underlie the modern university. And from the Academy came Aristotle, the star pupil of the school, who created formal logic, taxological biology, systematic physics, aesthetics, political science, and perhaps one of the best works on ethics ever written. To clear the Sophists from the field of public life, Plato created the university. The Platonic academic community did everything the Sophists claimed was impossible—it attracted people from different cultures and backgrounds to form a new community created by reason. In this new community, different people worked together to set objective standards of inquiry and argument, self-governance, and a rule of life guided by discovery of truths they did not know prior to inquiry. Both the creation of this community of learners, and the intellectual output of their work became a living refutation of the Sophists and a demonstration that transcendental norms for knowledge and society personified by Socrates can be discovered, and with great benefit. In essence, Plato and the Academy created the first, and still the largest virtual reality community. The First Virtual Reality As Alfred North Whitehead has said, “all philosophy is a series of footnotes to Plato.” While it is too much to say that Plato created Western culture, it is not too much to say that with the founding of the Academy and its course of investigations, Plato did establish the centrality of dialogue, mathematical models, and the core principles of discovery through inquiry that have shaped our culture ever since. Plato’s organizing ideas created a fulcrum or center point, a main theme, around which serious intellectual and cultural activity in the West has since revolved. Over the centuries, up to almost the present time, a constellation of works has been created in the West in conscious 64 ❙ g20g7.com
response to each other around the pivot point forged by Plato. Across centuries, what we might call the “knowledge workers” of the Western world, have recalled and known the works of their predecessors and peers, and have continued an unbroken dialogue with them, whether in agreement and elaboration, or in sharp disagreement. Dante echoed Virgil who echoed Homer. Einstein echoed Plato and Mozart. Galileo created in opposition to Aristotle. Eliot echoed jazz and John of the Cross. In short, a force field of ideas emerged post-Plato, in sustained interaction, commentary, remembrance, and challenging dialogue. This was, and is, if you will, a carbonbased Facebook, a platform of “likes” and “dislikes” articulated at depth in large scale, spanning across time and distance, and across the boundaries of death. The community is open to anyone who wants to join the conversation; and the ticket price is learning how to play. Plato, Descartes, Einstein, Shakespeare are all still there in the continuing dialogue. This was the first “virtual reality,” a virtual realm created whole cloth out of human reason and imagination. The force field of ideas contained in the so-called “canon” is separate and superimposed on the world of direct experience, much as a video game or online community is a separate, superimposed reality from the world around us. But the virtual reality of Platonic culture and the virtual reality of today’s internet, social media and games are vastly different. The Sophists Return: Post Modernism and Twitter Philosophical ideas matter, although their impact may not be immediate. Plato’s ideas, stemming from his encounter with Socrates, changed the course of human history and created the oldest continuously functioning human institution, the university—and through the university, the largest codex of continuously expanding knowledge ever created. Ideas matter today, as well, and in the life of current Western democracies, we are beginning to see a return to a Pre-Socratic mindset, along with a professional elite who profit from it. All around us in the Western democracies, a vast cultural amnesia is being spread by our elites, wiping out centuries of vital cultural memory, and the first signs of impact are deeply disturbing. Indeed, the
PLATO’S ORGANIZING IDEAS CREATED A FULCRUM OR CENTER POINT, A MAIN THEME, AROUND WHICH SERIOUS INTELLECTUAL AND CULTURAL ACTIVITY IN THE WEST HAS SINCE REVOLVED. impacts we are beginning to experience should disturb us today, as the death of Socrates disturbed Plato over two thousand years ago. Perhaps the most formally developed statement of the re-emergent Pre-Socratic worldview is given by Postmodernism. Postmodernism is in many ways a recapitulation of the curriculum of the Sophists. Postmodernists maintain that truth is community-oriented, i.e., culture-relative; that there are no universal or transcendent truths; and that language is an instrument of “empowerment,” i.e., power. In other words, like the Sophists, Postmodernists maintain that different people and communities believe different things, and there is no “metanarrative” in which those claims can be compared and adjudicated; truth and justice are nothing more than manifestations of power structures; and, hence, language, “narrative” is used for “empowerment” —i.e., changing the balance of power
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in one’s own favor. (While the leitmotif of Postmodernism is to “expose” the way dominant narratives subjugate minority communities, i.e., how language causes oppression, there is nothing in the view to disincent dominance through language. That Postmodernists choose to champion the narratives of subjugated communities can only be viewed as a preference, or personal choice. From the perspective of Postmodernism, the conflict among different narratives is by definition unending, since there is no meta-narrative that can adjudicate among the multiple narratives. Hence, Postmodernist critique provides the perfect “paragraph parade” for today’s tenure-track social scientists and humanities professionals. As with the Sophists, the view also carries an air of cosmopolitan cleverness and quasi-moral authority, but notably without the baggage of obligation or substance.) While these ideas have been developing among intellectual and cultural elites who profit from professional services and communications in Western democracies, a vast new technological infrastructure has also been created that can deliver this mindset to the masses instantaneously. For example, twenty-four-hour cable news provides a dominant medium for separating “narrative” from scientific or moral substance. Cable broadcast has become the equivalent of the ancient arena in which gladiators of
narrative battle each other. The medium and the message are a perfect fit—broadcast is broadcast and every point of view broadcast appears to have equal standing and merit. The aim is not to persuade or discover the facts through reason or knowledge, but to showcase a never-ending battle to talk the loudest, longest, and have the last word. How does this practice of “shaping the narrative” differ from the ancient art of making the worse appear the better cause? Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms and the Internet in general are further tools for postmodern cultural influence. Online, every point of view and its opposite are presented in infinite variety with equal purchase on our attention. The medium does not include a methodology for adjudicating claims made in virtual space. This virtual community does not collaborate in setting intellectual rankings of claims and rules of inquiry, as the Platonic academy did, because to do so would be to privilege one narrative over another, and so to subjugate one community to another. In these and many other ways, we have recreated the conditions and ideas of Pre-Socratic Athenian democracy. But while the ideas are essentially the same, the scale and the stakes are vastly greater. Today we have powerful technological platforms that promulgate and empower Pre-Socratic/ pre-scientific points of view on a global scale. Today, we confront, not reckless graffiti on an
ancient alley wall, or the subversion of justice in isolated communities; but a situation in which every idea and every self-interest can be promulgated and mobilized instantly and spread to billions of people everywhere. As Plato and the tradition of Western culture recognized, democracy cannot survive in a society which rejects all standards of truth, rational discourse, fair procedure, and measured response. When cultural and political leaders in democracies are agnostic about truth and justice as were the Sophists, and hence believe that the cultural and political institutions of democratic society are to be used to serve their own interests without normative checks, democratic institutions cannot survive. Democracy requires a moral warrant of self-governance to underwrite its operations. So today we are faced with the need to come up with a response to a globally enabled Pre-Socratic, pre-scientific mentality—a response of equal force and integrity to the response marshalled by Plato. If our democracies are to survive, we will need to restore the purchase of reason in our daily lives and interactions with each other. We will need to remember and re-join the real virtual reality we call culture. We will need to restore our capacity for the willing submission of our own ideas to the rigorous, public discovery of truth; and we will need to restore the self-discipline to acknowledge higher norms that, while never perfectly stated or implemented, are nevertheless understood. We will never create a perfect circle, but we understand what one is. In like manner, we will never articulate every truth or fully comprehend the good and beautiful, but the true and the good and the beautiful remain the necessary North Stars to guide and to govern our common struggles and longings in democratic society. ■
Scott T. Massey, PhD, Chairman and CEO, CumberlandCenter, is a national leader in innovation, economic development and strategy with extensive experience with regions and universities. Massey has founded and led major institutions, led regional economic strategy, developed innovation metrics, and worked with universities on tech transfer and commercialization. He is the Founder and CEO of the Global Action Platform.
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Islamic State Authored by: Justin Leopold-Cohen
The Islamic State is Losing at Home but Gaining Abroad IS has been on the defensive recently but outside its base in Iraq and Syria, it continues to expand. alue Award will recognize and encourage corporations to address major societal challenges.
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ately the forces of the Islamic State (IS) have been on the defensive; over the last few months, it has been consistently pushed back by the Western-backed Iraqi Army. Before celebrating, it is important to examine IS’s presence outside its base in Iraq and Syria, and how it continues to expand. On the IS home-front in the Northern Iraqi city of Mosul, there has been fierce fighting, and on March 7, 2017, the Iraqi army managed to recapture important government facilities. Among the recaptured territory were “the supreme court, central bank and electricity and water authority headquarters,” all of which represent important locations for day-to-day governance. IS also has been pushed back in Syria as fighting in Raqqa has shifted in favor of anti-IS militias, which on March 6 of this year, took control of a major city road, severely limiting IS’s ability to maneuver in the city. This may indicate that Raqqa could change hands once again, having been taken by Assad opposition forces in 2013, and later by IS. There are a multitude of players involved in the fight against IS in Raqqa, including “Kurdish and Arab militia members trained and equipped by the United States, Turkish soldiers, [and] the Syrian [Assad] forces,” meaning the fighting will likely continue even if IS is driven out. Such losses in Iraq and Syria weaken the IS base, but globally, the picture is different, and the worldwide presence that IS has obtained in the last few years remains strong. By way of social media, IS has inspired lone wolf attacks across Europe and the United States. As well, separate from these individual actors, there are 43-affiliate groups that have pledged their allegiance to IS, or operate as allied chapters with similar goals. Thus, even as these victories in Iraq and Syria continue, IS could very possibly remain a global terror threat through inspired attacks and affiliate groups. Recently, there even have been signs pointing to IS branching out to new target areas in which it has yet to be heavily involved such as Israel and China. In Israel, which has a long history of dealing with terrorist groups such as Gazabased Hamas and Lebanon-based Hezbollah, there has been a growing presence of IS-linked activity. November of 2016 saw a border clash on Israel’s northern border with Syria, between Israeli soldiers and IS militants. At the beginning of 2017, shortly after the deadly
truck attack in Nice, France, there was a truck attack in Jerusalem in what Israeli authorities believe is an IS-linked attack. A month after that truck attack, IS claimed responsibility for a rocket attack on Israel’s southern city of Eilat. The rocket was fired from the Sinai Peninsula, which is believed to be home of some 800 to1000 militants. Most recently, reports have emerged that large numbers of Hamas’s “commando” units have been leaving Gaza and joining the IS fighters in the Sinai. Hamas defection to IS was originally thought to be a bone of contention between the two groups, however Israeli Major-General Yoav Mordechai recently called out the Gaza group for trying to cover up official Hamas-IS cooperation. Fighting with Israel might seem like an easy move for IS; the two are very much at odds, and after all, geographically speaking, Israel is not far from major IS strongholds in the Middle East. Unlike Israel, though, IS has branched out far from its usual stomping grounds and has laid eyes on China. On March 1, IS released a video stating that China should expect to be attacked by IS in the future. This message was the “first direct threat against China” by the group. The threat came from IS fighters originating from “China’s Uighur ethnic minority.” Due to oppressive policies in China, some of the Muslim Uighur population were motivated to travel to IS stronghold regions to fight as “soldiers of the Caliphate.” A spokesman for the Chinese foreign ministry did not comment on the video, but stated: “East Turkestan [an Uighur area] terrorist forces have been posing a severe threat to China’s security.” Though these IS-pledged Uighur fighters have yet to act on the threat, if they did, it could lead to another front for IS fighters. The recent targeting of both Israel and China by IS could mean several things. Possibly they are not as fazed by their losses in Mosul and Raqqa as we might hope and are still capable of reaching out globally. Another possible rationale is that IS has, indeed, been struck a heavy blow, and is reaching out for the sake of appearances to keep up recruitment and fear. Nothing is certain. ■ Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not represent the views of the U.S. government, or any other government or institution.
Justin Leopold-Cohen completed his undergraduate degree in American History at Clark University. He later interned with the Hudson Institute’s Center for Political and Military Analysis, and now is involved in graduate studies at Johns Hopkins University, nearing the completion of a Master’s Degree in Global Security Studies.
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Food Security Authored by: John J. Martin
Access to Information is Crucial to Helping Curb Famine in Africa Many African nations have been disproportionately affected by the devastation inflicted on food growth by war and drought.
amine is on the rise worldwide, with the total number of people facing severe hunger surpassing 100 million this year. Many African nations – particularly Nigeria, Somalia, and South Sudan – have been disproportionately affected in this influx, caused by the devastation inflicted on food growth by war and drought While free information and transparent policy frameworks would force governments to face public accountability and demonstrate results during such food crises, open data remains unreachable for most people in these countries. Thus, transparency will improve government response to famine in Africa only if more people are afforded access to information. The hunger crisis has reached unconscionable levels throughout Africa. In Somalia, 110 people died from starvation over the span of just two days in early March. The Somali government also declared a state of national disaster earlier this year because of severe droughts. They are not alone, as civil war and insurgency have sparked famine in South Sudan and Nigeria, respectively. Various governmental and nongovernmental organizations have given hundreds of millions of dollars in humanitarian aid to these nations because of the food scarcity. But this aid is frequently abused by regimes in developing countries. Nigeria, Somalia, and South Sudan are no exceptions, with each being ranked “highly corrupt” by Transparency International – South Sudan and Somalia being ranked the most corrupt globally. Even when this money is not funding the personal exploits of government officials, it is often mishandled. According to Dominique Burgeon, director of the emergency division at the Food and Agricultural Organization, “A lot is going to food assistance and barely anything is going to help farmers who have decided to stay on their land.” This spending
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is wasteful and shortsighted. Open data is a public means to monitor – and therefore critique – how humanitarian aid is allocated by officials. Ideally, this makes spending more efficient and minimizes suffering in countries enduring famine. The G20 stressed this idea during its 2015 summit, developing six “Open Data Principles” to promote public sector transparency and “enable decision-makers to design better policies” at the risk of having misconduct exposed. Ostensibly promising, this is ultimately impractical for a country like Somalia where only 1.7 percent of its people are internet users. Likewise, fewer than half the people in South Sudan and Nigeria can acquire data electronically. If citizens have no easy way to access government information, how would providing open data result in any more accountability than now? For open data to truly improve government response to these famines, data must be easily accessible. The movement to expand access to information must be fought in both the legal and technological arenas. Few countries in Africa have laws that adequately protect the right to obtain or spread information publicly. And in countries that do, as in Zimbabwe, laws are often crafted in a way that actually restricts access to information – a byproduct of “benevolent” authoritarianism. Without massive reforms in the next few years, short-term solutions to these legal obstacles must come from private institutions. International Media Support has made such strides in Somalia, providing twenty-five local correspondents a support system that allows them to more safely reach out to Somalis about humanitarian issues on various media platforms. Technological infrastructure generally remains weak in Africa. Seeing that research indicates higher internet use could lead to better government transparency, private
campaigns to boost internet availability are as vital to improving access to information as are legal remedies. For example, the Free Basics program offers access to a limited version of the internet for free on mobile phones, carrying websites with basic information on healthcare, finance, public policy, and local news. This is especially important in countries like Somalia, where more than one-third of the population has access to mobile internet, far more than those with access to Wi-Fi. Free Basics was introduced to Nigeria last year, and has since generated well over 25 million users worldwide. The program has yet to reach Somalia and South Sudan, but this will hopefully change. While having limited
internet access carries its own unique problems, it is certainly better than having no access at all. Increasing access to information in the developing world is essential to bridge the gap between the provision of open data and its actual value to the public. Therefore, the
global access to information movement should be treated as an integral part of the solution to the growing hunger crisis in African communities. Although transparency does not harvest food directly, it leaves less leeway for leaders to mismanage humanitarian aid since citizens will know how their leaders
TECHNOLOGICAL INFRASTRUCTURE GENERALLY REMAINS WEAK IN AFRICA. SEEING THAT RESEARCH INDICATES HIGHER INTERNET USE COULD LEAD TO BETTER GOVERNMENT TRANSPARENCY, PRIVATE CAMPAIGNS TO BOOST INTERNET AVAILABILITY ARE AS VITAL TO IMPROVING ACCESS TO INFORMATION AS ARE LEGAL REMEDIES.
are using it. Open data is important, and there still much progress to be made. But it is also imperative to not put the cart before the horse; establishing access to this data must take priority. Not being able to know is something the people of Somalia, South Sudan, and Nigeria simply cannot afford. ■
John J. Martin is the Global Transparency Fellow at Young Professionals in Foreign Policy (YPFP). John earned his BA in International Relations from New York University in 2016.
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Global Development Authored by: Peter Humphrey and Taynah Reis
Impact Convergence 2.0: A Development Approach Like No Other Technology is democratizing economic access in ways that allow disadvantaged women to bypass many “old boys” networks and crack glass ceilings.
n March, the United Nations hosted the fourth iteration of The Power of Collaboration Global Summit, an approach to leverage technology, investment and philanthropy for the attainment of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). At its heart lies the realization that there is no real development without women. Technology is democratizing economic access in ways that allow heretofore disadvantaged women (in particular) to bypass many “old boys” networks and crack a few glass
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ceilings. Information distribution leads to knowledge and knowledge empowers. Here capital acquisition rises to the top of development possibilities, particularly at the microfinance level where very small loans are made to individuals and small collectives. These can come from venture capital (e.g. a Western millionaire learning of a highly marketable folk art opportunity in Burkina Faso), specifically dedicated banks, aid agencies and even corporate finance with an inherent interest in the product produced.
With varying degrees of marital discomfort, the approach routinely accelerates family income and can be responsible for a cash ingress that the male’s crop yields or hard labor fail to deliver. So, part of the approach is to keep these men from letting their insecurities torpedo these new sources of income. That resistance certainly varies from culture to culture and there are indeed plenty who revel in their wives’ newfound success. In the Middle East, access to account creation no longer needs the male concurrence that so many banks and hawalas expect. An independent financial profile brings freedom and confidence, both a threat to certain cultural norms. Mobile account creation can also bring salvation to refugees
whose movement may have left them completely disenfranchised from their home financial network, no matter how elementary that was. The Blockchain Revolution Beyond Bitcoin In this new dawn of technology, blockchaining adds tremendous value, from data/information to knowledge/ wisdom, allowing decision makers to think, act and manage resources, smarter and collectively. Here is a revolution born of information availability on a scale never seen before. In essence a blockchain is a distributed ledger checked by all its viewers and assured by digital signatures. The money-exchange hawalas found in Muslim culture are wonderful early examples of trusted transparent ledgers. Implicit is the trust that comes when a single version of truth is seen globally on multiple platforms, democratically available to very humble stakeholders with nothing more than a cheap cellphone or even just occasional access to the village’s one computer. Some very simple folks can market directly to Western retailers who benefit from absence of middleman costs. And with trust comes automatic contract fulfillment, accelerating all manner of economic interaction. A trusted common ledger can mean food-tracking from farm to retail and an end to massive wasteful all-encompassing recalls when problems are instead addressed by the surgical precision of a recall from just one problematic farm or processing plant. A common ledger can mean no repetition in crop-enhancing gene excision or gene transfer experiments in crop engineering or pharmaceutical trials of natural materials (“We already tried this turmeric protein on malaria—it was worthless—but there are seven other diseases that need to be tested.”) The ledger allows each plant component to be systematically tried against each condition, almost assuring hits that would otherwise have been missed.
Solar arrays comprised of individual homes can share a common kilowatt ledger to track production and use, with or without the concurrence of the local utility. At low latitudes, the network as a whole may generate an energy surplus which national law can compel these utilities to purchase. Crowdsourced problem solving and human rights data extraction (e.g. elucidating mass graves and political prison camp minutiae on Google Earth imagery) can also benefit— it is very much a “1+1=3” approach. And disaster relief need not be duplicative. When parallel relief efforts are subdividing costs (e.g. USAID and ECHO are separately purchasing tents from China for Southeast Asian tsunami recovery, they can nonetheless benefit from buying in bulk, take advantage of the cost savings per unit and bypass any local government skimming). Common ledgers can bring “Go Fund Me” style collaboration as aid agencies, donors and philanthropists are apprised of needs and hopes at the village, town and district level in struggling nations. Imagine a missionary in Nepal wants to build a school or the mayor of a town in Kenya wants to finish an abandoned well or a remote Kazakh district wants a satellite downlink or a Brazilian NGO wants to complete a biodiversity study or a Fijian chieftain wants to try a solar desalination scheme. All of these projects would be posted so that NGOs, aid agencies and philanthropists could shop for their favorites and contribute to the cause. The beauty of this is that it bypasses wasteful levels of government interference. All too often, efforts such as these pass through (corrupt or careless) third world bureaucracies that make some of the funds disappear. The bottom line: blockchain technology should result in simultaneous efficacy increase and cost diminution, freeing up resources for additional aid, loans or relief. We would do well to migrate current efforts on to these verifiable common ledgers which take a whack at the global plague of corruption. ■
COMMON LEDGERS CAN BRING “GO FUND ME” STYLE COLLABORATION AS AID AGENCIES, DONORS AND PHILANTHROPISTS ARE APPRISED OF NEEDS AND HOPES AT THE VILLAGE, TOWN AND DISTRICT LEVEL IN STRUGGLING NATIONS.
Peter Humphrey a conference participant, is a former U.S. diplomat, occasional foreign affairs professor and frequent intelligence analyst. He attended and later taught at DIA’s National Intelligence University. Humphrey worked as senior all-source intelligence analyst in Battelle’s Special Program’s Office, specializing in ‘open source’ augmentation of classified studies. He also taught at U.S. Department of Defense’s National Defense University while researching at its Institute for National Strategic Studies. Taynah Reis a conference organizer, is a Brazilian code warrior, co-founder and CEO of a hardware, software and games development company Green Tech Impact, Inc. She is president of Green Cross Brasil, founder of the Women’s Exponential Impact Initiative and chief technology officer/ UN representative for the Foundation on Support of the UN. Expert in Big Data, data mining, solar energy and networking of Smart City sensors, her passion is using technology to bypass centuries of development in elevating the world’s poorest.
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Brexit Authored by: Karlijn Jans
What Does Brexit Mean for European Defense? Brexit has created a window of opportunity for new defense initiatives that can transform European defense coordination.
he European Union has been in a state of crisis-management since the economic and monetary crisis in 2008. While the focus on security threats on Europe’s southern and eastern borders, as well as terror threats, has crowded out the political space to discuss new defense policies or integration, it is essential that European leaders prioritize measures to make the Union safer as a whole. Still, the Union’s loss of one of its highly capable military members, the United Kingdom, further complicates efforts towards common defense
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policies. In order to fill the post-Brexit defense gap, the European Union needs to get serious about strengthening and deepening European defense cooperation in a wide array of areas. Ironically, Brexit has created a window of opportunity for such a change in dynamics and new defense initiatives that can transform European defense coordination. The United Kingdom is one of the military superpowers on the European continent. Britain is a major contributor to NATO operations—it is one of the few EU member states that has maintained NATO’s 2 percent
defense spending pledge—and European Union missions under the Union’s Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP) framework. Nevertheless, the United Kingdom, which recognizes NATO as the primary military forum to ensure the security of its territory, has often hampered proposed far-reaching EU security and defense initiatives by arguing that EU defense cooperation would duplicate and undermine the effectiveness of NATO efforts. Ironically, it was the United Kingdom (along with France) that took the initiative in 1998 to establish a European security and defense policy (the predecessor to the CSDP), which included a European military force capable of autonomous action. Now, with the United Kingdom out of the equation, the European Union has more space to forge new initiatives on defense cooperation and integration. While the United Kingdom has been a notorious opponent of deeper European defense cooperation, its role in CSDP
missions remains important. It is a partner in 12 of the current 16 missions that the CSDP runs separately from NATO and is one of the five biggest contributing members in all missions. The United Kingdom is also ranked as the third biggest contributor to the European Defense Agency, an EU executive agency tasked with developing new European military capabilities. In the post-Brexit environment, the question arises as to whether another member state is able or willing to step in and provide the needed resources to successfully continue these missions. Brexit does not completely close the door on continued UK contribution to EU missions. The United Kingdom could continue to fulfill its role through the CSDP framework—should it wish to do so—through a third country partnership. However, the Union will lose strategic UK capacities as a result of Brexit aside from crucial military capabilities. British staffers and officers bring military and strategic knowledge to mission headquarters,
the EU diplomatic service, and the European External Action Service. EU members, therefore, need to get serious about what defense spending and investments will look like without the United Kingdom. It will be important to evaluate needed CSDP mission capabilities in the areas of information and strategic communications and intelligence sharing, amongst others. There are signs that some member states, as well as the European Commission, view Brexit as an opportunity to further proposals on European defense cooperation in different areas. Indeed, European defense cooperation is the only effective way to combat shortfalls in European military capabilities, since no single European country can afford to maintain a full-spectrum of military capabilities on their own. With recent proposals from the Franco-German axis, the Visegrad group of Eastern European states, and Italy, as well as recent proposals by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, it seems the European Union is finally pushing toward creating the needed conditions to stimulate long overdue defense cooperation between member states. Looking at the current internal and external security environments of the European Union, it is indeed high time that member states take genuine action to address the widespread issues concerning defense cooperation, including funding gaps, joint procurement capability, and more efficient planning, command, and political decision making structures. While it is true that the European Union will lose a significant and capable military partner as a result of Brexit, the United Kingdom will remain a close and active ally to many members through the NATO alliance. Still, Brexit sends a crucial reminder that EU member states and the Union as an institution need take concrete steps towards European defense cooperation and coordination. In March, the European Union is expected to present the long anticipated plan for a European Defense Union, which will set in stone measures for structured defense cooperation between member states as well as a new EU military headquarters. In order to take advantage of this opportunity, however, member states need to step up efforts in smart defense spending and more aggressively address the capability gap from which the Union has been suffering due to decades of underspending and underinvesting. ■
BREXIT DOES NOT COMPLETELY CLOSE THE DOOR ON CONTINUED UK CONTRIBUTION TO EU MISSIONS. THE UNITED KINGDOM COULD CONTINUE TO FULFILL ITS ROLE THROUGH THE CSDP FRAMEWORK—SHOULD IT WISH TO DO SO—THROUGH A THIRD COUNTRY PARTNERSHIP.
Karlijn Jans specializes in defense and security policies. She currently works as a strategic analyst at the The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies. Karlijn received an LL.M in European Law from Maastricht University and MA in European Studies from King’s College London. She has been a part-time modular student at the Netherlands Defence Academy and chairs the Netherlands Atlantic Youth Association. Karlijn is also a Europe Fellow at Young Professionals in Foreign Policy.
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Counterterrorism Authored by: Steve Killelea
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Taking Action Against Terrorism
G7 leaders must aim to implement progressive peace policies in order to create systemic positive change across society.
he rise of modern terrorism can be traced back to the beginning of the Iraq war. In 2003, there were approximately 3,000 deaths resulting from terrorism. This number has climbed rapidly over the past decade, increasingly nearly ten times, to more than 29,000 deaths in 2015. Although terrorism affects nations from all corners of the world (in 2015, 65 countries recorded one or more terrorism-related deaths), it is also highly concentrated, with four groups accounting for 74 percent of deaths: Al-Qaida, Boko Harem, Taliban and Islamic State. All of these groups follow an extreme form of Wahhabism that see other Muslim groups as heretics. One of the more startling facts is that 99.5 percent of all terrorist deaths occur in countries with an ongoing conflict or that have high levels of state sponsored terror extra-judicial killings, torture and imprisonment without trial. However, 2015 and 2016 did see a disturbing 650% growth in terrorism in the OECD countries, with France, Belgium and Turkey experiencing some of the most devastating attacks in their history. â€ş
IN 2003, THERE WERE APPROXIMATELY 3,000 DEATHS RESULTING FROM TERRORISM. THIS NUMBER HAS CLIMBED RAPIDLY OVER THE PAST DECADE, INCREASINGLY NEARLY TEN TIMES, TO MORE THAN 29,000 DEATHS IN 2015. Taormina. Italy 2017 â?™ 75
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Deaths from terrorism: 2000-2015
Source: START GTD, IEP
THE GLOBAL TERRORISM INDEX (GTI) ANALYSES THE DIRECT AND INDIRECT IMPACT OF TERRORISM ON 163 COUNTRIES COVERING OVER 99 PERCENT OF THE WORLD’S POPULATION, PROVIDING A COMPREHENSIVE OVERVIEW OF THE STATISTICS, TRENDS AND SOCIO-ECONOMIC FACTORS ASSOCIATED WITH TERRORISM.
› These worrisome findings present an immediate need to understand the drivers of violent extremism and how best to combat them. The sheer volume of attacks suggests that terrorism is now a much greater threat to political stability in OECD countries. Socio-economic analysis of terrorism in OECD countries finds that it is associated with higher levels of crime, poverty, unemployment, less belief in the political system and a distrust of the media. Many of these factors are also associated with the rise of extreme politics in Europe. Addressing the root causes of both of these problems is paramount to a successful and stable Europe. Terrorism is a particularly emotional form of violence. It is an attack on society as a whole and as a large number of deaths can result from a single attack, this often triggers entire nations to respond with fear and panic. However, it is important to remember that other forms of violence, despite being less ‘flashy… less reported on…’ result in many more deaths. In 2014, 437,000 people died from homicides, while over one 76 ❙ g20g7.com
million people committed suicide. According to research conducted by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), the past year has seen some improvements in the overall death rate, but this was offset by the spread of terrorism into new countries. Twenty-three countries recording their highest levels of terrorism ever. The Global Terrorism Index (GTI) analyses the direct and indirect impact of terrorism on 163 countries covering over 99 percent of the world’s population, providing a comprehensive overview of the statistics, trends and socio-economic factors associated with terrorism. The 2016 GTI, notably, recorded a 10 percent fall in the number of deaths when compared to the previous year - the first decline since 2010. This decrease is credited to military interventions against ISIL and Boko Haram in their central areas of Nigeria and Iraq, resulting in a 32 percent reduction in deaths in these areas. However, this decrease was juxtaposed with an expansion of these groups into neighboring countries.
Boko Haram has expanded into Niger, Cameroon and Chad, increasing the number of people it has killed through terrorism in these three countries by 157 percent. Similarly, ISIL and its affiliates are now active in 28 countries in 2015, up from 13 in the prior year. This growth is largely why a record number of countries recorded their highest levels of terrorism in any year in the past 16 years, making 2015 the second deadliest year on record. As well as expanding to other areas, ISIL in particular, has encouraged attacks in OECD countries. From 2014 to July 2016, ISIL has been involved in 125 attacks in OECD countries, which resulted in 586 deaths. Policies countering terrorism will need to take into account that globally, we are investing vast sums of money in our attempts to contain violence, while the economic effects of violence are also depressing many economies. In the long run, advances in peacefulness rely on holistic and systemic improvements in the attitudes, institutions and structures that create and sustain peaceful societies, in other words, Positive Peace. What is important is to build societies that are resilient and do not create the conditions that lead to violence. Positive Peace creates the underlying conditions for societies to thrive economically and socially. Improvements in Positive Peace create a greater capacity for resilience and adaptability. G7 leaders must therefore aim to implement progressive peace policies, which focus on strengthening their weakest societal and institutional flaws, creating systemic positive change across society. Countries with higher levels of Positive Peace are better equipped to respond to and prevent violent outbreaks, civil unrest and international conflicts. Global responses and cooperation are the key to successful policies and interventions in combatting terrorism. ■
Steve Killelea is an accomplished entrepreneur in high technology business development and at the forefront of philanthropic activities focused on sustainable development and peace. In 2007, Steve founded the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), an international think tank dedicated to building a greater understanding of the interconnection between business, peace, and economics with particular emphasis on the economic benefits of peace.
Hawaii Island Retreat
G7 Executive Talk Series
Afghanistan Authored by: Justin Leopold-Cohen
China and Afghanistan: Rite of Passage for Global Powers
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he two high Asian states, China and Afghanistan, which share a small border in the Wakhan region, were subject to a recent flurry of news coverage concerning a Chinese military endeavor underway in Afghanistan. If true, it suggests that perhaps China may be following in the footsteps of the United States, which has had a military presence in Afghanistan since 2001, or going even further back, to emulating the Soviet Union, which engaged in a 10-year war there from 1979-1989. While China has had confrontations with Afghanistan in the past, this resurgence began with denial. Asian media sources reported throughout late February that Chinese military patrols had crossed into Afghanistan while Chinese Defense ministry spokesman, Ren Guoqiang, stated that even though Chinese security forces do have counterterrorism cooperation along the ChinaAfghanistan border, “reports in foreign media of Chinese military vehicles patrolling inside Afghanistan do not accord with the facts.” This denial of operations comes amid numerous allegations and photographic evidence dating back to November 2016. Some analysts and think tank scholars are concluding the Chinese statements that “the law enforcement authorities of the two sides have conducted joint law enforcement operations,” is a way to say that China is getting more involved in Afghanistan, while still avoiding actual confirmation of a military role. The distinction between military or law enforcement is important to the Chinese,
who have similarly used these distinctions and technicalities when deploying Coast Guard vessels, but not Navy ships into the South China Sea, to assert its territorial claim with a domestic agency. Though it remains unclear what type of operation is underway, or if one is underway at all, China has been “acting as a growing regional power with security interests it wants to deal with itself rather than abrogating such responsibility to others,” and as it has usually attempted the more diplomatic route with Afghanistan, the lack of success may be turning it away from soft power options and towards a more direct approach, “recognizing the need for greater security engagement.” The United States has its own long history in Afghanistan, it being the beachhead of the War on Terror in the wake of the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington DC, and has had a significant military presence there ever since. In the early 2000’s, there was “support from the American public, Congress, the international community and the Afghan people themselves,” though when a decade had passed and support waned in 2014, then-President Barak Obama announced that the U.S. had to “recognize Afghanistan will not be a perfect place…and it is not America’s responsibility to make it one. The future of Afghanistan must be decided by Afghans” —a statement which concluded by citing the withdrawal of American forces by 2016 (though the following year, it was announced that nearly 10,000 American servicemen would remain until at least 2017). ›
THE UNITED STATES HAS ITS OWN LONG HISTORY IN AFGHANISTAN, IT BEING THE BEACHHEAD OF THE WAR ON TERROR IN THE WAKE OF THE 9/11 ATTACKS ON NEW YORK AND WASHINGTON DC, AND HAS HAD A SIGNIFICANT MILITARY PRESENCE THERE EVER SINCE. Taormina. Italy 2017 ❙ 79
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IT REMAINS TO BE SEEN HOW PRESIDENT TRUMP WILL MOVE AHEAD IN AFGHANISTAN, OR WHETHER HE WILL LET CHINA TAKE THE REINS IN THE REGION, WHICH WAS SPECULATED IN 2012 DURING THE INITIAL TALK OF WESTERN WITHDRAWALS.
› Now the choices fall to President Donald J. Trump. The situation in Afghanistan remains fragile, with the Kabul government controlling approximately 60 percent of the nation’s territory, the Taliban controlling 15 percent, and the remainder contested between various other factions including the Islamic State and al-Qaida. It remains to be seen how President Trump will move ahead in Afghanistan, or whether he will let China take the reins in the region, which was speculated in 2012 during the initial talk of Western withdrawals. In 1979, it was the Russians (then Soviets) attempting to control Afghanistan, when they dispatched military forces to secure a Marxist regime that was dealing with a growing insurgency “among both tribal and urban groups, and all of these—known collectively as the Mujahideen.” Russian forces quickly found themselves in a decade long quagmire, and in “1988 the Soviet Union signed an accord with the United States, Pakistan, and Afghanistan and agreed to withdraw its troops.” At present, though Russian forces have long since departed, at the end of 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin revealed Russian intelligence sharing with Afghanistan-based Taliban against ISIS forces in the region— 80 ❙ g20g7.com
which are speculated to be the first steps of a Russian push to have a larger political and military presence in the region. Such a move could very well have them butting heads against the Chinese who have thrown their backing to the Afghan government. While Russia may be claiming to be anti-ISIS, China has a multitude of reasons for wanting to get involved in Afghanistan. One, and possibly chief of these reasons, is to end the sanctuary its neighbor provides to the Islamic Uighur insurgents who operate in Western China, often fleeing across the border in Afghanistan, a conflict that has cost hundreds of lives in recent years. There’s also the recent proclamation by ISIS of its intent to attack China, which is thought to be retaliation for Chinese mistreatment of the Muslim Uighur population. Afghan government officials have largely been welcoming towards more Chinese involvement, often supplying information on Uighur militants, and requesting China be more involved in peace making. Additionally, in the past, China has had numerous dealings with Afghanistan over mining of rare minerals, with some of these contracts amounting to as much as $3 billion.
A more stable Afghanistan is definitely in China’s best interest; it can assert regional power, gain a measure of security, and prosper economically. Though China still denies having a military presence within Afghanistan, it is clearly involved and will have to be wary not to make the same mistakes as the U.S. or the Soviets, as well as be on the lookout for future involvement from Trump and Putin. ■ Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not represent the views of the U.S. government, or any other government or institution.
Justin Leopold-Cohen completed his undergraduate degree in American History from Clark University in 2013. He later interned with the Hudson Institute’s Center for Political and Military Analysis before beginning his graduate studies at Johns Hopkins University, pursuing a Master’s Degree in Global Security Studies.
Internet Privacy Authored by: Ryan Keenen
Internet Privacy Around the World
The issue of internet traffic and data being sold to third parties is not new to the rest of the world, but global concerns usually focus on government surveillance and censorship.
ecently, U.S. Congress blocked a set of new rules proposed by the FCC that would further restrict how Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) could share web traffic information. This has sparked public outrage amongst Americans who are afraid that their internet traffic will become publicly available for purchase. AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon have responded to public outcry stating that their customers have nothing to worry about. The issue of internet traffic and data being sold to third
parties is not new to the rest of the world, but global concerns usually focus on government surveillance and censorship. Government infringement on internet privacy is not only reserved for regimes; it is common practice in most of the world on the basis of preventing and solving crime. No matter which world government conducts these types of activities there is always the possibility of abuse. Countries who have a track record for censorship, like North Korea, have close to no privacy on the internet.
NO MATTER WHICH WORLD GOVERNMENT CONDUCTS THESE TYPES OF ACTIVITIES THERE IS ALWAYS THE POSSIBILITY OF ABUSE. COUNTRIES WHO HAVE A TRACK RECORD FOR CENSORSHIP, LIKE NORTH KOREA, HAVE CLOSE TO NO PRIVACY ON THE INTERNET.
Those who do have access are limited to the 28 websites that North Korea hosts within the country. China, a country of 1.3 billion people with 731 million internet users, takes such an active role in censorship that critics have named it “The Great Firewall of China.” Critics of the Chinese government are the main targets of censorship, often preventing news of protests from reaching the outside world. Recently Russia has passed new legislation that requires logging and tracking on all web traffic and data that passes through Russian territories or is created by Russian citizens. These laws passed in the name of security have can be harmful to businesses, forcing companies to purchase and maintain additional IT infrastructure in order to comply. Companies like Private Internet Access, a Virtual Private Network (VPN) service provider, responded to the change in policy by pulling all of their business from Russia. Nordic countries such as Sweden and Switzerland are highly regarded as safe havens for internet privacy. This makes them a business hotspot for companies and individuals who are looking to keep their data secure. This not only is beneficial for the security minded but also those who wish to hide their illegal activity. In a recent report The Office of the United States Trade Representative named Switzerland an internet privacy haven. This is due to difficulties in tracking those who break U.S. copyright laws since Swiss courts consider information such as IP addresses personal information and therefore prohibited from being tracked. Those who want to keep their internet traffic private, have some tried and tested options for keeping their data secure. The first practice is that you should never send any personal information to a website that is not secure, or transmitted via HTTP instead of HTTPS. Most internet browsers will show a locked padlock next to the website address to let you know that the connection is secure. If you are trying to hide the websites that you are visiting, using a VPN service can obfuscate your web traffic even from your internet service provider. VPN’s work by encrypting your web traffic and sending it out of servers at another physical location. Several providers offer free VPN services but be wary that you get what you pay for and those providers may be selling your web traffic. ■ Taormina. Italy 2017 ❙ 81
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Branded Story / TCG Authored by: Neil Hare
In the Post World War II International Order: It is Time for Change in Taiwan There is currently underway a reorganization of the international order and agreements put in place in the years after WWII. Arguably, this movement began with the Brexit victory last July, and has been punctuated with the election of Donald J. Trump last November.
resident Trump has made it clear that he will evaluate and change many of the international agreements and organizations that have presided over the last 70 plus years, including defense pacts, trade agreements, and nuclear non-proliferation treaties. He’s told NATO countries they must pay their fair share of defense costs, Israel that he is open to a “One State” solution, and Russia that he is amenable to working with them in Syria towards defeating ISIS. There is another and very important region of the world where change is needed and that is Taiwan. One of President Trump’s first phone calls after his victory was with the leader of the current government of Taiwan, Republic of China (ROC) Tsai, Ing-wen – something no U.S. President has done in over 40 years. For many, this signaled the end of the “One China” Policy. In a subsequent phone call with Chinese (PRC) President Xi
Jinping, President Trump reaffirmed the “One China” Policy, putting U.S. policy somewhere in the ‘active’ middle. The Taiwan Civil Government (TCG), an educational and advocacy group in Taiwan, argues that the time for change is now. Founded in 2008 by businessman Dr. Roger Lin, the TCG boasts a membership base well over 70,000 members, with rapidly growing new membership rates. The TCG is working aggressively to educate people in Taiwan and Washington, D.C. about the history of Taiwan and the immediate need for a future of self-determination and diplomatic recognition. The Taiwanese people have remained in diplomatic limbo since the end of World War II. In the treaty of San Francisco of 1952, Japan accepted defeat and turned over Taiwan and other islands in the region to the U.S. as the “principal occupying power.” Rather than take over full control ›
THE TAIWAN CIVIL GOVERNMENT (TCG), AN EDUCATIONAL AND ADVOCACY GROUP IN TAIWAN, ARGUES THAT THE TIME FOR CHANGE IS NOW. FOUNDED IN 2008 BY BUSINESSMAN DR. ROGER LIN, THE TCG BOASTS A MEMBERSHIP BASE WELL OVER 70,000 MEMBERS, WITH RAPIDLY GROWING NEW MEMBERSHIP RATES. 82 ❙ g20g7.com
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Branded Story / TCG
Above: Mrs. Julian Lin and Nigel Farage in Washington, DC during the inauguration of President Donald J. Trump. Left: Dr. Roger Lin and Mrs. Julian Lin.
TAIWAN HAS TWO POLITICAL PARTIES AND REGULAR ELECTIONS BUT THE TCG DOES NOT RECOGNIZE THESE PARTIES OR THE ROC GOVERNMENT AS LEGITIMATE. THE ROC IS A CHINESE GOVERNMENT IN EXILE AND DOES NOT REPRESENT TAIWAN, AND TAIWAN IS NOT THE ROC IN EXILE. › of Taiwan, the U.S. installed Chiang Kai-Sheck as the Administrator of Taiwan, who ran the island nation for the next 25 years under U.S. protection. U.S. policy towards Taiwan shifted under President Richard Nixon with the opening of China in 1972. It was during that time that, President Nixon accepted the “One China” policy, essentially agreeing to not officially recognize Taiwan as an independent sovereign nation. In 1979, the Taiwan Relations Act removed the assurance of US military support in case of attack, but did provide for robust arms sales. This new relationship, upholding the “One China” Policy while still supporting and maintaining relations with Taiwan, became known as the policy of “strategic ambiguity.” Taiwan has two political parties and regular elections but the TCG does not recognize 84 ❙ g20g7.com
these parties or the ROC government as legitimate. The ROC is a Chinese government in exile and does not represent Taiwan, and Taiwan is not the ROC in exile. Neither the United Nations, nor most countries recognize Taiwan’s sovereignty. A Taiwanese passport is not widely accepted, and when Taiwan participates in the Olympics, they must do so under the banner of Chinese Taipei rather than their own nation’s flag. The TCG asserts it is time for the U.S. to remove the policy of strategic ambiguity and take a more active role in letting the people of Taiwan determine their future. TCG argues that under international law everyone has the right to a nationality, can’t be arbitrarily deprived of their nationality nor denied the right to change it. The post WWII world order is shifting,
but the import of freedom, independence and human rights that was won at great cost must be upheld. In this case, that means self-determination for the people of Taiwan. The time for change is now. ■ Editor’s Note: This material is distributed by Global Vision Communications on behalf of the Taiwan Civil Government. Additional information is available at the Department of Justice, Washington, DC.
Neil Hare is President and CEO of Global Visions Communication, a Washington, DC-based PR and Marketing Agency. He is a writer, creative think tank and an expert on communications and business strategy.
G7 Executive Talk Series
Afghanistan Authored by: Franz J. Marty
Afghan Peace Accord with Hezb-i Islami Unlikely to Have Effect on Negotiations with Taliban The display of the accord as a potential blueprint for a peace deal with the Taliban is founded on exaggerated hopes rather than reality.
abul, Afghanistan: On September, 29 2016, the Afghan government and Hezb-i Islami lead by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, an insurgent group that gained notoriety during the resistance against the Soviet invasion in the 1980s and the subsequent civil war in the 1990s, signed a peace accord – the first and so far, only peace accord with an insurgent group since the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001. Although the peace agreement with Hezb-i Islami is slowly implemented and raises different questions, it is in no danger of falling apart. However, the display of this accord as a potential blueprint for a peace deal with the Taliban, by far the largest insurgent group in Afghanistan, and, accordingly, an end to the decade long conflicts in Afghanistan is founded on exaggerated hopes rather than reality. The peace accord with Hezb-i Islami essentially stipulates that Hezb-i Islami is obligated to accept the Afghan constitution, declare an “eternal ceasefire”, stop all military activities, “dismantle its military structures”, and cut any ties with terrorist organizations and other illegal armed groups. In return, the Afghan government has to take steps to lift international sanctions against Hezb-i Islami and its members, release its imprisoned members and prepare the repatriation of refugees affiliated with the group (who are mainly located in a camp near the Pakistani city of Peshawar) as well as include Hezb-i Islami in the political system. So far nearly none of this has been implemented. Given Hezb-i Islami’s “almost total absence on the battlefield” (with the last confirmed attack dating back to February 2014) the declaration of an “eternal ceasefire” has a symbolic rather than a real impact. And while the United Nations Security Council on February 3, 2017 lifted sanctions against Hezb-i Islami leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, he and the party are, as of this month, still blacklisted by individual nations such as
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the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union, with no information, whether and when they will be removed from such separate sanction lists. Other obligations, particularly the release of Hezb-i Islami prisoners and the return of refugees and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar to Afghanistan, are, according to local media reports from early February 2017, in preparation and imminent, but have not been realized yet. In fact, the release of prisoners appears to be an especially delicate issue: Hezb-i Islami seemingly requested amnesty for around 2,500 alleged imprisoned members, whereas the government already cut down this list to only 488 names (with a further reduction possible).Furthermore, many imprisoned Hezb-i Islami members were reportedly also convicted on criminal charges, raising questions about their release. It is also not yet apparent, how exactly Hezb-i Islami will be included in the current, already complicated system of internal Afghan politics. In addition to possible struggles with other political groups, many members of a strong political wing of Hezb-i Islami, which had to officially denounce ties to the armed wing of the party, were already serving in government positions long before the peace accord and continue to do so, and it has to be seen, whether such members will cooperate or vie for government positions with Hezb-i Islami members coming in from the cold. In addition to the implementation of such comparatively clearer commitments, it also has to be noted that article 4 of the accord puzzlingly states a disagreement rather than an agreement on the question of international military forces in Afghanistan, declaring that the government and Hezb-i Islami have their own opinions regarding the withdrawal of international military forces and that Hezb-i Islami – recognizing its commitment under the accord – wants a reasonable schedule for the withdrawal of such foreign forces.
While one might think that such issues could have the potential to threaten the peace accord, official statements by Hezb-i Islami dispel such worries, reaffirming the groups commitment to the agreement. This was also confirmed by two high-ranking military commanders of Hezb-i Islami in exclusive interviews with Diplomatic Courier in January 2017. Both commanders – Qari Mohammad Yousuf Baghlani, a member of Hezb-i Islami’s military commission, and Mohammad Mirwais, Hezb-i Islami’s overall commander for Afghanistan’s northern provinces – expressed some discontent due to the slow implementation, but staunchly stated that this poses no danger to the accord in itself. Baghlani even reassured that Hezb-i Islami would – even in case problems with the implementation of the accord should continue – not take up arms again. With respect to prisoners, Baghlani asserted that the main problem is that many Hezb-i Islami members, due to different reasons, amongst them the fear of repercussions, had concealed their true allegiance when imprisoned and sometimes even posed as Taliban. This has also been claimed by other Hezb-i Islami representatives, but could not be independently verified. Regarding the open question of international military forces on Afghan soil, both commanders didn’t give clear answers, but rather said that “if the government fulfills its obligation under the peace accord, the government and Hezb-i Islami will soon bring security to Afghanistan and international military forces won’t be necessary anymore”. Even though not explicitly commenting on it, neither commander contested the notion that a withdrawal of international military forces won’t happen any time soon. This apparently also shows that the military wing of Hezb-i Islami is, at least for the foreseeable future, pragmatically tolerating the presence of foreign forces in Afghanistan. Yet another open question with unclear
answer is the disarming of Hezb-i Islami. While Baghlani said that Hezb-i Islami is only waiting for the Afghan government’s plan in this regard, Mirwais indicated that “in certain places with no government presence, Hezb-i Islami groups should remain armed to defend such areas”. Be that as it may, frequent assertions that the peace accord with Hezb-i Islami could serve as a template for a peace agreement with the Taliban are highly questionable. First of all, the official Taliban statements consistently and clearly reject any peace negotiations under the current circumstances, especially the presence of international military forces which the Taliban see as an illegal occupation. While this might to some extent be propaganda and some Taliban might be open to negotiations, the renown independent Afghanistan Analysts Network correctly pointed out that – contrary to Hezb-i Islami, which always was much more politically focused and interested in gaining power within the current system – the Taliban clearly prioritize the armed struggle (as acknowledged by a United Nations report from December 2016), therefore suggesting that the drawing of parallels between the two groups is “artifical”. This does not necessarily mean that the Taliban are purely driven by ideology and immune to a political settlement; however, it seems that vast parts of the Taliban, if not the movement as a whole, are not interested in what the Afghan state is willing or, for that matter,able to offer them – i.e. political inclusion in a modern democratic system. ■
WITH RESPECT TO PRISONERS, BAGHLANI ASSERTED THAT THE MAIN PROBLEM IS THAT MANY HEZB-I ISLAMI MEMBERS, DUE TO DIFFERENT REASONS, AMONGST THEM THE FEAR OF REPERCUSSIONS, HAD CONCEALED THEIR TRUE ALLEGIANCE WHEN IMPRISONED AND SOMETIMES EVEN POSED AS TALIBAN.
Franz J. Marty is a freelance journalist currently based in Kabul, Afghanistan. He covers a broad range of topics, but focuses on security and military issues. He can be followed @franzjmarty on Twitter.
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G7 Executive Talk Series
Africa Authored by: Britt Bolin
Africa and the European Union: Securing a Sustainable Economic Future Securing a sustainable future for Africa will require intensive international cooperation from all G20 countries.
ould the coming century belong to Africa instead of Asia? The idea of “Africa Rising” has taken off in recent years based on Africa’s fast-growing economies, young population, natural resource wealth, and expanding consumer class. Despite these advantages, Africa must grapple with a number of problems that could hinder its economic, political, and social progress. Its population is projected to double to 2.4 billion people by 2050, and could double again by 2100. Africa has the fastest urban population growth rate in the world, but its cities lack the basic infrastructure to adequately manage influxes of people. Security concerns, such as the threat of terrorism, also present significant risks to both northern and sub-Saharan Africa. In an increasingly interconnected world, these problems will not remain Africa’s alone. Securing a sustainable future for Africa will require intensive international cooperation from all G20 countries. However, the European Union has a special role to play due to its historical, geographical, economic, and political ties to the continent. In order to ensure sustainable economic progress for Africa in the coming decades, the European Union should focus on three key areas in which it can make significant long-term contributions: agriculture, trade, and regional integration. Agriculture, and its importance for issues including population pressures and climate change, is crucial for Africa’s economic development. Africa possesses more than half of the world’s uncultivated arable land. Agriculture makes up roughly one-third of the continent’s gross domestic product and employs over two-thirds of African workers. Yet Africa’s agricultural production per capita
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has not increased since 1961. Moreover, nearly 220 million people in sub-Saharan Africa suffer from undernourishment. The dramatic projected population growth by 2050 and the increasing effects of climate change will only add to food insecurity issues across the continent. Unfortunately, the European Union’s agricultural policies to date have been more damaging than beneficial for African farmers. The EU’s Common Agricultural Policy provides “export refunds” that allow European farmers to dump subsidized exports in developing markets at artificially low prices. This undercuts local producers who cannot compete with cheap European agricultural products and drives them out of business. The European Union has proposed ending such market-distorting subsidies by 2018, but more efforts are needed for Africa’s long-term sustainable agricultural development. African farmers suffer from myriad problems, including lack of investment and capital, low productivity, poor storage, inadequate infrastructure and transportation, and unreliable electricity. The European Union should focus its development and assistance efforts on addressing these critical issues, as even small efforts could bring large improvements. European expertise could help African countries adopt more efficient farming methods and technologies, focus financial assistance on key infrastructure and transport projects, and improve storage capacities to prevent food wastage and blight from disease and rot. Trade is another area in which the European Union can assist sustainable economic development in Africa. European trade policies are viewed skeptically in Africa. Since the signing of the Coutonou
Agreement in 2000, the European Union has introduced and negotiated Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with individual African countries and regional communities. While EPAs are reciprocal, they are asymmetric in that the European Union provides full duty free market access while partner countries open around 80 percent of their markets to the Union. Critics contend that African countries receive no concessions for removing protections for nascent industries and opening their markets to direct competition from cheaper and better quality European goods. The European Union should recognize that many African countries are in various stages of development and do not yet have diversified industrial economies. Therefore, some forms of protection may still be necessary to develop and encourage domestic African industries. In order for Europe and Africa to mutually benefit from trade, the
THE EUROPEAN UNION SHOULD RECOGNIZE THAT MANY AFRICAN COUNTRIES ARE IN VARIOUS STAGES OF DEVELOPMENT AND DO NOT YET HAVE DIVERSIFIED INDUSTRIAL ECONOMIES. THEREFORE, SOME FORMS OF PROTECTION MAY STILL BE NECESSARY TO DEVELOP AND ENCOURAGE DOMESTIC AFRICAN INDUSTRIES.
EPAs should take into account the potentially distortive effect of forcibly opening African markets to free competition. Finally, one area in which the European Union is particularly well-positioned to share expertise is on regional integration. Africa has long been an enthusiastic proponent of regional integration, even if it has been more successful in some regions than others. The
continent currently has eight regional economic communities, three of which are highly integrated and developed. Although Africa will never have a political union as in Europe, the benefits of open borders and trade cooperation could greatly enhance economic prospects. The European Union could play an important advisory role for Africa’s regional communities by assisting
them with the design and coordination of an economic union. “Rising Africa” will face innumerable challenges in coming decades, including continuing conflicts, corruption, autocracy, and impediments to developing health and education sectors. The European Union can contribute significantly to meeting these challenges by changing its distortive economic practices towards Africa and focusing on improving outcomes in agriculture, trade, and regional integration. ■
Britt L. Bolin is a Europe Fellow at Young Professionals in Foreign Policy (YPFP). Britt is also a doctoral candidate in political economy at the University of Mannheim, where she earned her MA in political science in 2016.
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G7 Executive Talk Series
Shared Value Authored by: Scott T. Massey
Breaking New Ground in Shared Value
The Global Shared Value Award will recognize and encourage corporations to address major societal challenges through innovative business strategy, that is, to create “shared value.”
lobal Action Platform and KPMG International launched a new collaboration last September at the United Nations in New York during UNGA week to recognize and encourage corporations to pursue shared value strategies that promote social progress and shared prosperity. The multi-year collaboration between KPMG International and Global Action Platform creates an annual global award for shared value. The collaboration builds on work with a distinguished steering committee of independent senior executives, economists, civic leaders, and scholars, including Mark Kramer, who with Michael Porter co-authored the concept of “shared value”. The focus is on developing metrics and criteria for effective shared value corporate strategy, nominating companies excelling in this area, and honoring achievement annually at the Global Action Summit, moderated and hosted this year by Fareed Zakaria (CNN). The Global Shared Value Award will recognize and encourage corporations to address major societal challenges through innovative business strategy, that is, to create “shared value.” The award promotes private sector engagement and innovation that improve the quality of life and build prosperity for companies, individuals, communities, regions, and the world. The 2016 Global Shared Value Awards were presented to Danone (Paris) and Bridge International Academies (Nairobi) by Fareed Zakaria (CNN) and Dr. Scott T. Massey (Chairman, Global Action Platform) at the 2016 Global Action Summit. The Global Shared Value Award recognized Danone for the company’s commitment to reconceiving products and markets through a 100M euro fund to support local initiatives with positive ESG impacts, which has funded 64 projects in 28 countries; its Nutricia Research programs that team with public/ private/academic organizations in 55 countries
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to develop food and health innovations; and its high ranking on environmental, health, nutrition, packaging, and water related risk management. Presenters also noted Danone’s commitment to enable local cluster development through work with local farmers; and strong management commitment to shared value corporate strategy. “According to CEO Emmanuel Faber “for Danone, business is about value creation, in a way which goes beyond a traditional economic definition. Our belief is that long term, sustainable growth comes only through focusing on the benefits we can bring to the people, the cultures and the communities with whom we work. We constantly seek to align our vision of the world, our mission and our businesses: we believe we have a special responsibility, as expressed in our Manifesto, to help and support people in adopting healthier and more sustainable eating practices. Danone has a long heritage of balancing economic and social commitments, and I am proud that we are continuing to be recognized. This builds on our credentials as a responsible business, with Danone already a component of leading social responsibility indexes, including the FTSE4Good Index, Dow Jones Sustainability Index, Vigeo, and the Ethibel Sustainability Index.” Most recently, Danone was recognized, along with only four other companies, by the United Nations for its global leadership in promoting gender equality and family health through the launch of a new global parenting policy. Emmanuel Faber, Global CEO of Danone committed to implement a comprehensive parental policy offering, among other benefits, an 18-week gender neutral paid parental leave policy for the global work force as the Inaugural HeForShe Thematic Champion for Paid Parental Leave. As a result of this shared value initiative, Danone becomes a UN Women’s HeForShe Inaugural Thematic Champion – an honor
awarded to those whose work is seen by the UN to be promoting gender equality around the world. The Global Shared Value Award (SME Category) recognized Bridge International Academies for the company’s outstanding record in reconceiving education for a new market; improving gender equality through education that serves male and female students equally; enabling local cluster development through training of local teachers and educational leaders; and a strong management commitment to the principles and metrics of shared value business strategy. “We are honoured to receive this prestigious award to recognise our 100,000 children in Africa who are learning to become confident adults, ready to achieve their dreams and make their own mark on the world. This award highlights that when communities, companies, governments and families work
together to truly generate shared value, that everything is possible,” said Jay Kimmelman, CEO and Co-Founder of Bridge International Academies. Bridge International Academies has now expanded its educational services beyond Africa to India, opening four high quality,
vibrant community schools with 485 pupils. These were set up with physical infrastructure support from the local government. The parents in this region using Bridge schools are mostly agricultural labourers and daily wage earners living on an income of INR 8000 a month. Bridge follows the national curricular
KPMG INTERNATIONAL IS EXCITED TO BE WORKING WITH THE GLOBAL ACTION PLATFORM TO RECOGNIZE EXCELLENCE IN CREATING SHARED VALUE. BUSINESS HAS A CRITICAL ROLE TO PLAY, IN PARTNERSHIP WITH CIVIL SOCIETY, GOVERNMENTS AND THE DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY IN WORKING TOWARDS THE ACHIEVEMENT OF THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS (SDGS).
framework and adheres to the Andhra Pradesh syllabus. Bridge’s social enterprise approach, not only provides education to low income students, but also recruits and trains teachers and managers from the neighbourhoods it serves. Although Bridge has only been in India for a short time, the early indicators have been very positive. “At this critical transition in the national and global economy, Global Action Platform is honored to work with KPMG International in the creation of this ongoing shared value initiative and Award,” states Dr. Scott T. Massey, Founding Chairman and CEO. “Our international alliance of universities and businesses are working to create scalable, sustainable solutions for abundant food, health, and prosperity for every person. We see this new partnership as an important way to advance these goals. KPMG brings tremendous thought leadership and analytics that can deepen our understanding of shared value and help us expand its impact.” “KPMG International is excited to be working with the Global Action Platform to recognize excellence in creating shared value. Business has a critical role to play, in partnership with civil society, governments and the development community in working towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Creating shared value, which is good news for business and the community, is an essential way of building towards the achievement of the SDGs” said Timothy A.A. Stiles, Global Chair of International Development Assistance Services, KPMG. The Shared Value Award will be presented annually at the Global Abundance Dinner, which serves as the closing ceremony of the Global Action Summit. This year’s Summit takes place 14-15th November 2016 in Nashville and will be hosted by Fareed Zakaria (CNN) for an audience of 500 global leaders and live streamed to a global audience. ■
Scott T. Massey, PhD, Chairman and CEO, CumberlandCenter, is a national leader in innovation, economic development and strategy with extensive experience with regions and universities. Massey has founded and led major institutions, led regional economic strategy, developed innovation metrics, and worked with universities on tech transfer and commercialization. He is the Founder and CEO of the Global Action Platform.
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G7 Executive Talk Series
Book Review Review by: Joshua Huminski
The Death of Expertise By Tom Nichols
NICHOLS SEES THE GENESIS OF THIS REJECTION OF EXPERTISE AND FACTS STEMMING FROM PUBLIC DISCOURSE, HIGHER EDUCATION, THE GOOGLE EFFECT, JOURNALISM, AND FROM EXPERTS THEMSELVES. 92 ❙ g20g7.com
itting down to review Tom Nichols’ “The Death of Expertise” proved to be more difficult than I initially expected. Not due to any fault of the book or Nichol’s thesis, but from attempting to find a starting point—a hook if you will from which to begin—because there are simply too many from which to choose. Subtitled “The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why It Matters”, Nichols’ book could hardly be more timely. It seems that America is in the midst of fundamental rejection of facts. In December, the President-Elect Donald Trump claimed during an interview that “nobody really knows” if climate change is real. An astounding statement by any elected official, but coming from the person who will next occupy the Oval Office it is simply staggering. This is despite the fact that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded that human activity is “extremely likely” to be responsible for driving the changes in our environment. This is despite the fact that among peer reviewed scientific papers more than 97% endorsed the principles of anthropogenic global warming (AGW). Turning away from the hotly contested climate change issue, look to anti-genetically modified organism (GMO) campaigns. According to Pew Research “millennials” are more likely to believe that GMOs are bad for one’s health and that “organic” foods are better for you. This is despite the fact that 88% of the members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) conclude that GMOs are safe to eat. From where does this fundamental rejection of facts and expertise spring? This is the question that Nichol attempts to answer. In attempting to do this he is successful on some accounts and less so on others. Nichols sees the genesis of this rejection of expertise and facts stemming from public discourse, higher education, the Google effect, journalism, and from experts themselves. In the first instance conversation and disagreements now seem to go beyond basic disputes to outright hostility – it is no longer
a matter of people disagreeing, now the opponent is stupid or wrong for having that opinion. It’s no longer an argument over principles, it’s an argument over the level of intelligence of the debater. Taken together with the great equalizer of social media – disputes quickly spiral out of control, particularly when no social filter is applied online. While social media connects people in ways never before possible, it also equalizes the playing field in the worst of ways – a layperson now enjoys the same platform as an accomplished statesperson, scientific expert, or thought leader. The proliferation of higher education too is both a great equalizer, but also creates a false sense of knowledge. Nichols takes the higher education system to task for creating environments that are cushy to the point of luxury for students, detracting from the focus on education. He laments the creation of environments where the students run the campus, complaining about issues that make them uncomfortable, demanding “safe spaces”. Universities in many instances according to Nichols are nothing more than degree factories that confer a false sense of accomplishment and knowledge upon the graduating students. Now laypeople have the world’s knowledge at their fingertips – again, a blessing and a curse. With the few taps of the finger or a request to Siri, any question is answerable, but often people only peruse the surface, scanning a page or a document, and certainly not looking at the sources. “I Googled it” is a common refrain when asked about the source of knowledge. Many consume their news and information from Facebook alone – an issue Nichols should have explored more. Make no mistake about it, Facebook is a media company. Despite protestations to the contrary, the social media platform now competes alongside the likes of Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC in the provision of news, breaking or otherwise. With its algorithms, it customizes content it believes a viewer would like to see or agree with leading to greater segregation of news sources and input. Added to the fact that fake news proliferated across Facebook and most people lack the ability to differentiate fake from real news, the implications of the social media giant’s dominance is truly concerning. Turning deftly to journalism, Nichols highlights some concerning trends that have been apparent, if underappreciated. The pursuit of revenue dollars upended the model
of journalism. Now it is all about “clicks” – what will get users to view content. It is no longer about high quality in-depth research stories, it is about “listicles” from BuzzFeed or short, punchy stories with attractive graphics. Traditional media outlets can’t compete without adapting to this new model. Journalists no longer have the opportunity to become experts, to become enmeshed in their subject area, and to learn the questions to ask. They are, above all, now content generators – it is about articles or content per day, not the piece that requires lengthy research efforts and in-depth analysis. Experts too are to blame for the erosion of their prominence. Yes, experts do get things wrong, sometimes spectacularly so. Unfortunately, the mistakes get more attention than the accuracies or when the process corrects itself. When an untruth is released into the wild, it propagates like wildfire before it is captured and put down, if ever. With the permanence of the worldwide web, sometimes things like vaccinelinked autism never go away. Nichols clearly identifies multiple sources of the erosion of the belief in experts and their prominence in today’s society. Where he falls short is on the assessment of the rejection of knowledge and facts. It seems to be more in vogue than ever to be uninformed, to be unengaged, to care about the world. It is a lament heard often that social media is turning the populace into vapid narcissist with at best a shallow knowledge of the world around them. Look at the number of “memes” on the Internet that circulate like wildfire with half-truths, complete inaccuracies, or outright lies, but look to at the extent at which they are shared, consumed, and promoted. For every “Cosmos” by Neil Degrasse Tyson there are a dozen or more “Real Housewives” programs. “Duck Dynasty” and its ilk dominates television while informative programming like NOVA languishes on public television. Of course, this criticism is found during every period. Undoubtedly Roman elites complained about the stupidity of popular plays and comedies. But the Romans never had the interconnectivity society enjoys today. So, why does it all matter? At its core an educated citizenry is necessary for democracy to survive and flourish. If individual citizens cannot make informed decisions or trust that those they elect are advised by educated and informed experts, then what is the point of a democracy? ■ Taormina. Italy 2017 ❙ 93
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Published on May 24, 2017