As part of a series of policy briefs collaboratively produced by the Global Center and the Royal United Services Institute, Dr. Jessica White addresses the implications of participation in and impacts of the fighting in Ukraine.
After Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, there was relatively wide-ranging support of the call from Ukraine for foreign volunteers to join its military efforts based on nations’ perceived alliances to Ukraine, considerations of European security, and concerns over threats from Russia and its interests and allies. This brief addresses the implications and impacts of the international call to fight in Ukraine in order to gauge potential threats and to encourage preparations for the successful return and reintegration of volunteers into civilian life. It raises awareness of the societal reintegration preparations needed by the countries of origin for the mental, physical, and potentially ideological challenges these foreign volunteers may have faced while responding to the defense of Ukraine.
With more than 1.5 billion adults unbanked globally and a growing body of data demonstrating the benefits of increased financial access, it is crucial to support financial inclusion efforts . This brief summarizes key evidence of the success of financial inclusion efforts globally and reflects on the role of financial inclusion in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Realizing the promise of financial inclusion toward advancement of the SDGs requires bridging the gaps between financial service providers and potential account holders. Digital finance offers significant promise, but the evolving nature of the landscape presents risks and barriers to access both traditional banking institutions and digital financial technology remain.
As part of a series of policy briefs collaboratively produced by the Global Center and the Royal United Services Institute, Claudia Wallner examines the relationship between the global far right, Russia, and the war in Ukraine. In her brief, she analyzes the ways in which the perception of Putin’s actions among the international far right, as well as the relationships that existed with Russia, has shifted since the beginning of the war. In addition to the far-right reactions to Russia’s denazification claims and the immediate conflict, she also looks at the reactions of the far right to issues such as sanctions on Russia and the energy crisis that has resulted from the war. Building on this analysis, she outlines key trends and narratives that have been developed or strengthened through the war and that will likely remain in the far-right discourse in the future.
This policy brief presents recommendations for a whole-of-society approach to the reintegration of former Boko Haram associates in Cameroon. The brief builds the Global Center’s engagement with local, national, and regional partners in Cameroon to strengthen the country’s response to terrorism in the Far North Region, a joint roundtable with the Centre for Peace, Security and Integration Studies of the University of Maroua, and other consultations. The Cameroonian case offers a window into the roles of different stakeholders in shaping and implementing efforts to reintegrate ex-associates and the challenges they face. This brief emphasizes the need to adapt to local specificities and to place communities at the heart of the process, which is particularly important in nontraditional disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration contexts such as the Lake Chad Basin, where peace agreements are absent and conflict is ongoing.
The Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF)’s Gender and Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (P/CVE) Policy Toolkit was developed under the leadership of the GCTF CVE Working Group Co-Chairs, the governments of Australia and Indonesia, and implemented by the Global Center with support from Professor Jacqui True and a twelve-person Expert Project Advisory Committee. The Gender and P/CVE Policy Toolkit was developed to support the implementation of the Good Practices on Women and Countering Violent Extremism (2015) and the Addendum to the Good Practices on Women and Countering Violent Extremism, with a Focus on Mainstreaming Gender (2019) by providing practitioners and policymakers with relevant frameworks, good practices, and resources for designing, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating gender-responsive P/CVE policies and programs.
The Toolkit is based on the premise that mainstreaming gender is about ensuring inclusive, equitable participation and leadership of people of diverse gender and intersecting identities, while also recognizing the diversity within a group of individuals that identifies similarly. It is about accounting for the experiences, needs, and challenges of individuals and recognizing gender differences and inequalities, as well as intersecting factors, including socioeconomic, age, disability, ethnic, and cultural identities.
The threat of violent extremism, porous borders and vast coastlines, and interconnectivity by land, sea, and air has caused Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand to adopt strong governmental approaches to tackling violent extremism and terrorism within their jurisdictions. This report explores practical examples of how governments and civil society have cooperated across Southeast Asia to support the rehabilitation and reintegration of individuals associated with violent extremism, including prisoners, detainees, and returnees. The case studies featured are examples of how governments and civil society have approached rehabilitation and reintegration across the five countries of focus, but are not intended as an assessment of the success or propriety of the actions taken nor as an embrace of the approach. Rather, they are meant to highlight discrete elements that may be informative as stakeholders consider ways to advance cooperation between governments and civil society.
This brief provides background to contextualize proposed changes to the UN’s counterterrorism funding and grantmaking mandate. They follow from the requests made by member states in the seventh review of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy for the Secretary-General to make budgetary recommendations for the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) and for a cost-effective grants-making mandate for UNOCT. The brief presents a system-wide lens through which to assess these requests by drawing comparisons to other UN entities and notes, among others, incongruities between the 2023 proposed regular budget and the Secretary-General’s priorities as stated in his report Our Common Agenda. Further, it encourages member states to seek clarification on the type of grantmaking mandate being requested by UNOCT, to whom funds will be disbursed, and to what ends. This brief builds on independent analysis by the Global Center on the UN’s comparative advantages in policy development, interagency coordination, delivery, and impact of counterterrorism and preventing violent extremism efforts, and this work is funded by the Government of Norway.
UN Photo/Cia Pak
Since the 9/11 attacks, there has been a significant increase in attacks attributable to violent extremists motivated by racial, ethnic, and anti-authority sentiment. Understanding how the finances connected to these extremists are raised, used, moved, and stored is vitally important to designing strategies to prevent and counter extremist violence, no matter the ideological, religious, idiosyncratic, racial, or ethnic motivations. This brief examines the online financing and support systems associated with U.S. anti-authority and racially or ethnically motivated (AAREM) violent extremists. It focuses on the threat as manifest in the United States and to a lesser extent the transnational dimensions of AAREM violent extremist financing. Clear linkages between U.S. and transnational violent extremists, especially within white supremacist and neo-Nazi circles, also extend to the world of financing. It concludes with several policy solutions to better combat the financial support systems of AAREM violent extremists.
Rapid advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning present both challenges and opportunities for terrorism and counterterrorism efforts. Violent extremists and other hostile actors can increasingly exploit emerging AI technologies to sow disinformation and exacerbate polarization, target humans and their information systems, manipulate data sets, and attack critical infrastructure. At the same time, the embrace of AI and machine learning by states in the service of counterterrorism has the potential to exacerbate concerns about profiling and human rights. This brief examines these threats and the ways that international organizations, including the United Nations, can and should protect against the misapplication of these technologies by states and nonstate actors alike.
The recent revelations in the Panama and Pandora papers, as well as several smaller leaks, have exposed how anonymous shell companies and the use of secrecy jurisdictions can shield wealth amounting to billions of U.S. dollars and facilitate criminal activity. The scandals exposed a system that allowed for the shifting of taxable wealth to shell companies in low-tax jurisdictions, as well as the concealment of legitimate and illegitimate assets from authorities.
This brief draws on a review of the practice of obtaining beneficial ownership information in the United States, the United Kingdom, and several countries in Africa and South Asia. It examines the existing approaches to collecting beneficial ownership information and the related challenges that practitioners experience. It concludes with recommendations for policymakers and regulators on strengthening the collection and maintenance of beneficial ownership information as a primary tool for the detection and prevention of money laundering, tax evasion, corruption, fraud, and other criminal activity.