Getting Downtown: International Affairs Events in DC 04/08 – 04/12

Getting Downtown: International Affairs Events in DC 04/08 – 04/12

Monday, April 8th

SSANSE Project: Symposium on Russia and China’s Political Interference Activities in NATO Small States

Time: 8:45am – 12:15pm

Location: Woodrow Wilson Center, 6th Floor – 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20004

Information: For both Russia and China, foreign political interference activities are a useful and cost-effective method of foreign policy. In Russia, it is theorized as “smart power”, while China still uses the Soviet-era term “united front work”. The activities of Russia and China go well beyond accepted norms of public diplomacy and are having a corrupting and corrosive effect on many societies. This half-day symposium focuses on Russia and China’s Political Interference Activities in NATO Small States. The world is seeing a return of both “might is right” politics and spheres of influence. As history has shown, the weakness of small states in a time of rising security threats can undermine the security of larger powers. The Symposium examines case studies of some representative small NATO states experiencing Russia and China’s political interference activities, the patterns of interference to look for, and discusses what is to be done.

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Iraqi Public Opinion 16 Years After the Invasion

Time: 10:00am – 11:00am

Location: CSIS Headquarters, 2nd Floor 212B – 1616 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036

Information: Join CSIS’s Burke Chair in Strategy for a discussion with Dr. Munqith Dagher, who will present findings from a major series of public opinion surveys and analyses of Iraqi public opinion on the country’s political and social landscape 16 years after the invasion. His presentation covers critical issues like the level of national unity versus polarization and divisions by region, party, ethnicity, and sect. He addresses the level of support for the new government, reactions to the fighting, and goals for the future. These are critical inputs to U.S. policy in addressing its future relations with a key strategic partner, and in understanding the level of U.S., Iranian, and other outside competition for influence and support in Iraq. Dr. Dagher is the Chairman of the Al Mustakilla Research Groups (IIACSS), and a leading Iraqi expert on polling and public opinion analysis. Hosted by Anthony Cordesman, Dr. Cagher’s presentation will explore the current Iraqi landscape, what it means for Iraq’s immediate future, and the prospects of progress towards near-term stability.

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Testing the Resilience of Brazils Democracy

Time: 10:00am – 11:30am

Location: Woodrow Wilson Center, 6th Floor – 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20004

Information: The last five years have exposed the fragilities of Brazil’s democracy, amidst widespread corruption investigations, growing polarization, and deep economic uncertainty. The election of far-right populist Jair Bolsonaro to the presidency in October 2018 further exacerbated divisions, underscoring difficult questions about the quality and long-term sustainability of the country’s political system, built on the Constitution of 1988. 

Professor Oscar Vilhena Vieira, a gifted jurist and political scientist, offers sobering answers to these questions, as well as several recommendations to strengthen governance and democratic institutions in his new book A Batalha dos Poderes—a comprehensive analysis of the battles fought over the past thirty years by (and between) all three branches of government that have shaped Brazilian democracy. 

Vilhena Vieira highlights the fundamental role of the Constitution as an enabler of democratic norms and the central function occupied by the Brazilian Supreme Court in these three decades. At the same time, he warns about the need for different sectors, leaders and institutional actors to manage their conflicts on the basis of constitutional principles, or risk never escaping “the trap” that has been built in recent years. 

Vilhena Vieira, dean of the prestigious Fundação Getúlio Vargas Law School in São Paulo wrote the bulk of his book early last year during a period of residence in Washington as Global Fellow of the Wilson Center’s Brazil Institute and Visiting Researcher at the Brazil-U.S. Legal and Judicial Studies Program at American University. An English translation of A Batalha dos Poderes, edited by the Brazil Institute, is set to be released in the coming year.

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Global Development Disrupted: A Field in Transition

Time: 1:00pm – 3:00pm

Location: Brookings Institution, Falk Auditorium,1775 Massachusetts Avenue N.W., Washington, DC 20036

Information: Global development is in transition. Donor funding is plateauing and new forms of finance are emerging. The field is being populated by new players, including China, India, other middle-income countries, foundations and philanthropists, corporations, and social impact investors. Development actors can take some satisfaction in the millions of people pulled out of extreme poverty, the advances in health and education, and for many countries’ recent attainment of middle-income status. But at the same time, they are dealing with the persistence of poverty, instability, and conflict in far too many places. These and other changes are fueling both uncertainty and creativity among development actors. They are concerned about a potential decline in donor funding but excited about new partners and alternative forms of finance. Amid this transition, concern arises over a departure from traditional norms of development. Innovative technologies and uncertainty around how to adapt them are another pressing concern. Leaders in the development arena are questioning their relevance, value added, and business models. On April 8, the Global Economy and Development program at Brookings will explore findings from “Global development disrupted: Findings from a survey of 93 leaders,” a new report that surveys development leaders and offers insights on the international development landscape. Report co-author Kristin Lord will kick off with a presentation, followed by an expert panel. George Ingram, the report’s other co-author, will moderate. Following the discussion, the panel will take questions from the audience.

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American and Russian Public Opinion

Time: 2:00pm – 3:30pm

Location: CSIS Headquarters, 2nd Floor 212B – 1616 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036

Information: At a time of unprecedented tension in U.S.-Russia relations, understanding why the two countries pursue conflicting foreign policies requires not just a close reading of their political institutions and security environments, but of how the two publics perceive each other and the world. Is Russia more or less respected than it was five years ago? Should the U.S. cooperate with or contain Russia? Are sanctions against Russia working? Do Americans want arms control? Is Russia a threat to U.S. national security? Is America the biggest threat posed to Russia? Please join us for a presentation of the findings from a new binational study of American and Russian public opinion conducted by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and the Levada Analytical Center. Researchers from the Council and Levada will discuss and provide context for public perceptions of Russia’s return to prominence on the world stage, interference in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election, the crisis in Ukraine, and the possibility of a new arms race.

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Tuesday, April 9th

The Taiwan Relations Act at Forty and U.S.-Taiwan Relations

Time: 8:30am – 5:00pm

Location: CSIS Headquarters – 1616 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036

Information: The Taiwan Relations Act, enacted by the United States Congress in April 1979, authorized continued “commercial, cultural, and other relations between the people of the United States and the people of Taiwan” in the wake of the U.S. decision to establish diplomatic ties with the People’s Republic of China. By authorizing the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and other provisions, the TRA created a framework for relations between the U.S. and Taiwan which has enabled their partnership and friendship to thrive in the absence of diplomatic relations. In observance of the 40th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act, this daylong public conference will feature analysis of the creation and implementation of the TRA, and how it continues to guide U.S.-Taiwan relations and interaction among Taiwan, China, and the United States. This conference is co-hosted by CSIS, the Brookings Institution, and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

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CPRF: Reimagining Peace Processes: Applying Best Practices in Afghanistan

Time: 9:30am – 11:00am

Location: Kenney Herter Auditorium, 1740 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington DC

Information: It is clear after 17 years of war no side in Afghanistan can militarily defeat the other. It will take a political solution not a military solution to build sustainable peace. With the possibility of U.S. troop withdrawal, peace talks have begun with the Taliban. However, to date the talks are flawed at best and many of the findings from decades of work on support to peace processes has been completely ignored especially the need to include women. From Northern Ireland to Colombia to South Sudan, past and recent peace efforts have repeatedly demonstrated inclusivity of diverse and representative voices is a crucial component of long-term peace. Please join the Conflict Prevention and Resolution Forum at SAIS on April 9th 9:30 to 11 am, as a panel of leading experts discuss how best to support the peace process ensuring an inclusive political settlement.

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Issue Launch: “Middle East Report: The Fight for Yemen” with Jillian Schwedler, Kate Kizer, and Waleed Alhariri

Time: 4:00pm – 5:30pm

Location: Elliott School of International Affairs, Room 505 1957 E St NW Washington

Information: Jillian Schwedler will discuss the latest issue of the Middle East Report: The Fight for Yemen along with Kate Kizer and Waleed Alhariri with POMEPS on Tuesday, April 9, 2019 at 4PM at the Elliot School of International Affairs, Room 505. The ongoing war in Yemen that began in 2015 has created one of the world’s worst humanitarian disasters. The scope of destruction and human suffering is catastrophic: hundreds of thousands are dead from bombing, war-related disease and malnutrition and millions remain on the brink of famine without access to drinking water or medicine. While critical awareness of the magnitude of the crisis is growing, the political and economic roots of the crisis and the complex realities of Yemeni political life are often obscured by misunderstandings. Contributors to The Fight for Yemen disentangle the social, political and economic factors that are behind the war, the cataclysmic impact of the war on Yemeni society, particularly its women, and introduce readers to the complex realities within Yemen in order to create a just peace.

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A Conversation with His Excellency Hamilton Mourão, Vice President of the Republic of Brazil

Time: 5:30pm – 6:30pm

Location: Woodrow Wilson Center, 6th Floor – 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20004

Information: The first 100 days of the Bolsonaro administration have been marked by political paralysis, in large part due to the successive crises generated by the President’s own inner circle, if not by himself. Amidst the political noise, Vice President Hamilton Mourão has emerged as a voice of reason and moderation, capable of providing direction in domestic and foreign affairs alike. Vice President Mourão has taken over management of the crisis in Venezuela and has been increasingly sought after by officials from China, Europe, and the Middle East, as well as the business community, to act as an interlocutor for the government. The former four-star general has also become a favorite of Brazilian journalists—who are frequently critical of the new administration—for his willingness to engage with the media and for his important remarks on the need for government to value a diversity of opinions. 

The Brazil Institute is honored to announce that Vice President Mourão has accepted an invitation to speak at the Wilson Center on April 9. Please join us that afternoon for a conversation on the political outlook for Brazil in the coming year and beyond.

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Wednesday, April 10th

Financing the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Time: 8:00am – 9:30am

Location: Lindner Family Commons 6th Floor, Elliott School of International Affairs, 1957 E Street, NW

Information: This event will bring together policy-makers, donors, public and private investors, staff from development financial institutions, as well as faculty and students to review current progress of SDG financing and inform an evolving action plan to help shape recommendations for alternative financing approaches and policy choices to achieve the SDGs.

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Everything in Moderation: The Human Rights Impact of Online Speech Regulation

Time: 9:00am – 10:00am

Location: CSIS Headquarters, 2nd Floor – 1616 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036

Information: The Human Rights Initiative of CSIS invites you to a public event, “Everything in Moderation: The Human Rights Impacts of Online Speech Regulation.” Over the past year, the topic of what speech should be permitted online has been heavily debated. Attacks on ethnic minorities, harassment of female journalists, and the recent live-streamed terrorist attack in New Zealand have led to calls in the US and globally to impose penalties on technology companies that fail to take down harmful content. For instance, recent EU and Australian proposals threaten severe fines or even jail time if content is not removed rapidly. The event will explore the double-edged sword of regulating speech online. For instance, efforts to minimize hate speech and discrimination online may accidentally limit the free expression of civil society actors. Striking the right balance is essential, but challenging. The event will explore how different companies regulate online speech and varied perspectives on whether and when tech companies should be liable for online speech. It will seek to identify paths forward that protect human rights and society.

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Contemporary White Supremacy in America: What are its Links to the Nazi Past?

Time: 9:00am – 5:00pm

Location: National Press Club, 529 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20045

Information: The Center for Jewish Civilization at Georgetown University is pleased to announce its day-long conference. Held at the National Press Club, this forum seeks to examine how hate groups in the United States draw upon ideas, propaganda, recruiting techniques, and worldviews from the Nazi era. In what ways do extremists in this country invoke the anti-Semitic theories and practices of their Nazi forerunners? And in what ways do they diverge and/or offer new perspectives and tools for disseminating hatred of Jews and others? Join us and our slate of renowned scholars, diplomats, journalists, and practitioners as we try to make sense of the current extremist moment in the United States. Any person with an accommodation request is welcome to email us at cjcinfo@georgetown.edu. We will try to meet these accommodation requests to the best of our ability.

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Women in Diplomacy

Time: 10:00am – 11:30am

Location: Copley Formal Lounge, 3700 O St NW, Washington, DC 20007

Information: What are unique themes, challenges, and opportunities facing women in diplomacy? Much attention has been paid to the increase of women in politics in America, but what about the role of women in diplomacy and politics outside the United States? Join SFS and a distinguished panel for a discussion on achieving positions of leadership, using power to create systematic change to lift up other women, and what work remains to be done. The discussion will be moderated by former US Ambassador for Global Women’s Issues Melanne Verveer and the panelists will include former President of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former US Ambassador to Liberia Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Libyan Ambassador to the US Wafa Bughaighis, and Afghani Ambassador to the US Roya Rahmani.

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US-China Innovation Forum: Setting the Agenda

Time: 11:30am – 5:00pm

Location: CSIS Headquarters – 1616 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036

Information: Rapid technological advancements offer a wealth of potential opportunities for business and consumers, but also present a set of serious public policy challenges for the United States, China and others. Maximizing the benefits of innovation requires strong support for R&D and open markets, and policies and practices that effectively protect intellectual property rights, privacy, and national security. Recognizing the difficulty of this multi-pronged pursuit, at our April 10 kickoff event, American and Chinese representatives from industry, finance, government and think tanks will discuss how to best foster, protect, and advance innovation. The US-China Innovation Forum is a joint initiative of the CSIS Freeman Chair in China Studies and the US-China Business Council.

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From War to Peace: the Balkans, Middle East and Ukraine

Time: 12:30pm – 2:00pm

Location: The Middle East Institute, 1319 18th St NW, Washington D.C.

Information: The Middle East Institute (MEI) is pleased to host a book talk with MEI Scholar Daniel Serwer, the director of John Hopkins SAIS’s conflict management and American foreign policy programs and the author of From War to Peace: the Balkans, the Middle East and Ukraine. 

In his book, Serwer explores how lessons learned from peacebuilding initiatives in the Balkans in the 1990s can be applied to conflicts in the Middle East. Serwer draws comparisons between the sectarian, ethnic, and religious divides of the Balkans in the 1990s and similar tensions in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen. He also explores the impact of policies such as conflict prevention, engagement of neighbors, the establishment of safe zones, partition, decentralization, and power-sharing arrangements, and how they can be effectively utilized, or not, in the Middle East.

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Thursday, April 11th

2019 Global Development Forum

Time: 8:30am – 2:00pm

Location: CSIS Headquarters – 1616 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036

Information: The Project on U.S. Leadership in Development at CSIS is hosting its 5th annual Global Development Forum (GDF) on April 11th, 2019. This half-day conference explores how the United States can work with the private sector, allies, civil societies, and multilateral institutions to tackle complex global challenges. This year’s GDF is focused on the future directions for development. Panels will focus on urbanization in Africa, development finance, youth, human rights, long-term trends in development, and water sustainability. Each year the event has grown and expanded its reach. Last year’s GDF attracted over 500 attendees and over 40 high-level speakers. The 2018 Global Development Forum examined the role and purpose of official development assistance against a backdrop of rising incomes, economic growth, youth unemployment, and other continued complex challenges in many parts of the world. The overarching theme was “Getting from Billions to Trillions” in terms of development finance, highlighting the importance of leveraging the private sector and introducing public-private partnerships in getting there. During the fourth annual GDF, the hashtag “#CSISGDF” was the number one trending hashtag in the DC metro area.

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The Latest on Brazil’s Economic Reforms: A Conversation with Economy Minister Paulo Guedes

Time: 10:00am – 10:50am

Location: Brookings Institution, 1775 Massachusetts Avenue N.W., Washington, DC 20036

Information: Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro took office in January, vowing to get the nation’s economy moving again after a four-year slump. Key to keeping that promise was his decision to name Paulo Guedes, a free-market economist and banker with a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, as minister of the economy. Bolsonaro has called Guedes his “posto ipiranga”—a full-service gas station—on all economic matters. Guedes serves as the point person on Bolsonaro’s politically controversial effort to reform Brazil’s pension system, which absorbs more than a third of federal tax revenues and is a major driver of the government’s budget deficit. On Thursday, April 11, the Hutchins Center on Fiscal & Monetary Policy at Brookings will host Minister Guedes for an update on the Brazilian economy and the government’s economic agenda. Following his remarks, he will be interviewed by David Wessel, senior fellow and director of the Hutchins Center, and will also take questions from the audience. This event will be live streamed.

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Policymaking and the Rwandan Genocide: Ethical and Leadership Challenges

Time: 12:00pm – 1:00pm

Location: Lindner Family Commons 6th Floor, Elliott School of International Affairs, 1957 E Street, NW

Information: In honor of the 25th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide: US policy-making and leadership lessons. 

Speaker: Ambassador Prudence Bushnell served as the US Ambassador to Kenya and Guatemala || Janet Fleischman, independent consultant, senior associate with the CSIS Global Health Policy Center; and former Washington Director for Africa at Human Rights Watch || Dr. Michael Bernett, University Professor of International Affairs and Political Science at GW, worked at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations from 1993 to 1994 and covered the Rwandan Genocide.

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The Seventh Annual Nancy Bernkopf Tucker Memorial Lecture on U.S.-East Asia Relations 

Time: 4:00pm – 5:30pm

Location: Woodrow Wilson Center, 6th Floor – 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20004

Information: Jack Downey, Sino-American Relations and International Law – Lessons for Today At this event, Jerome A. Cohen will analyze the story of his college classmate Jack Downey, Yale ’51 and a CIA agent shot down over China in 1952 who was not released until 1973 after President Nixon skillfully ended two decades of official American lying about the case. Cohen will also detail his own role in spurring this belated happy ending and discuss the implications of the case for international law then and now. Please join us in the Wilson Center’s Moynihan Board Room for a reception immediately following this lecture.

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What Happened In Israel: Unpacking The April 9 Election

Time: 6:00pm – 7:30pm

Location: Room 517, 1740 Massachusetts Avenue, NW

Information: After serving as Israel’s Prime Minister for more than a decade, Benjamin Netanyahu is fighting for his political survival against a newly formed Blue and White party led by three former Chiefs of the IDF General Staff. The speakers will discuss the results of the April 9 election and whether and in which ways factors such as Netanyahu’s likely criminal indictment, the violence between Israel and Hamas, and President Trump’s policies affected the choices made by Israeli voters. The panelists will also discuss the likely makeup of the next Israeli government and the potential for change in Israel’s domestic politics and foreign policy.

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Friday, April 12th

Not Giving Up on Peace – a Conversation with Amb. Husam Zomlot

Time: 10:00am – 11:30am

Location: Middle East Institute, 1319 18th St NW, Washington DC 20036

Information: he Middle East Institute (MEI) and Foundation for Middle East Peace (FMEP) are pleased to host a one-on-one conversation with former head of the Palestinian Liberation Organization to the U.S. and current head of the Palestinian Mission to the UK Ambassador Husam Zomlot. Since taking office, the Trump Administration, in tandem with the government of Israel and some in Congress, has worked to systematically delegitimize and marginalize the Palestinian leadership, undermine the premises on which the peace process was based, and normalize occupation. Yet, the PLO and PA continue to remain publicly committed to negotiated peace, non-violence, and the two-state solution. Does the Palestinian leadership truly still believe that peace is possible? And if so, how?

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Strategic and Security Challenges in the U.S.-Colombia Alliance 

Time: 11:45am – 1:30pm

Location: Hudson Institute, Washington, D.C. Headquarters, 1201 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Suite 400, Washington, DC 20004

Information: Hudson Institute will host a panel to discuss the future of the U.S.-Colombia alliance. The discussion, in collaboration with Hudson’s Center for Latin American Studies, will be moderated by Senior Fellow Lee Smith. For decades, the Bogota government has been Washington’s closest Latin American ally on core issues likes counter-narcotics, terrorism, and Central American stability. However, there are now signs of unrest. Domestically, Colombian president Ivan Duque has been compelled to manage peace negotiations with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia that he inherited from his predecessor. Increased coca production has encouraged organized crime while the political, economic, and humanitarian crisis in neighboring Venezuela continues to generate instability in Colombia and the region. Even with Colombia’s active support of the U.S.-led anti-Maduro coalition, the Trump administration has expressed growing frustration towards its ally, noting recently that “more drugs are coming out of Colombia right now than before [Duque] was president.” Going forward, the issue for U.S. policymakers will be how to preserve key gains made over the last two decades to protect the U.S.-Colombia strategic alliance.

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Shaping the World of Work: U.S. Engagement with the ILO

Time: 5:30pm – 8:00pm

Location: CSIS Headquarters, 2nd Floor – 1616 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036

Information: The U.S. was instrumental in creating the International Labor Organization (ILO) in 1919, an organization dedicated to promoting labor rights and decent work around the world. The U.S. joined the ILO in 1934 — America’s first membership to a multilateral institution — thanks in large part to the efforts of then U.S. Secretary of Labor, Frances Perkins. This event commemorates the 85th anniversary of U.S. membership to the ILO and will discuss U.S. engagement with the institution, collective achievements, and the future of work. Please join us for opening remarks from U.S. Secretary of Labor, Alexander Acosta followed by a discussion with Director-General of the ILO, Guy Ryder; Ed Potter of the U.S. Council for International Business; Cathy Feingold of AFL-CIO; and Kirstin Downey, author of “The Women Behind the New Deal.” The public event will run from 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM and will be followed by a reception with food and beverage from 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM.

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