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From think tanks – July 5, 2022

AROUND THE WORLD

Argentina

  • July 4, 2022. By World Nuclear News. Argentina is preparing to refurbish Atucha I, the first nuclear power reactor in South America, so that it may generate power for a further 20 years. A framework to regulate the work has been agreed. Refurbishment for Atucha 1 : Regulation & Safety

Asia

  • July 5, 2022. By Milton Mueller, East Asia Forum. Is there an Asian digital regime? There was, though it was closer to a global regime based on neoliberal principles of free trade and globally distributed supply chains in which Asia played a special part. But that order is disintegrating, as nations inside and outside Asia revert to a new form of neo-mercantilism focused on digital technologies. In this new model, national security seeks to displace trade and growth on the agenda. Asia and digital neo-mercantilism

Australia

  • July 4, 2022. By World Nuclear News. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is already working with Australia on the “complex” issue of ensuring nuclear safeguards in relation to its proposed acquisition of nuclear-powered submarines under the trilateral AUKUS partnership, the organisation’s Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said today. IAEA working with Australia on safeguards for nuclear subs: Grossi : Regulation & Safety

Australia – Pacific

  • July 5, 2022. By Sarah McCosker, Joanne Wallis, Melissa Conley Tyler, The Interpreter. One tool that is often overlooked in Australia-Pacific cooperation is the role of legal engagement, including support for local capacity and enhancing international legal cooperation. Pacific island countries are dealing with security issues at multiple levels. Nationally, countries are responding to challenges including illegal fishing, transnational crime and other threats, compounded by gender inequality. At a local level, community leaders and security agencies struggle to control violence and subnational conflicts. In some areas, law and order challenges and the proliferation of firearms mean that risks to individual safety are very real. Engaging with the Pacific: the legal angle

Australia – Vanuatu

  • July 5, 2022. By Patrick Wall, The Interpreter. An ambitious plan to bring one of the world’s most pressing issues to the world’s highest court – which began as an idea that was kicked around by a few law students at the University of the South Pacific in Vanuatu – is now quickly gaining momentum. In September, Vanuatu will ask the United Nations General Assembly in New York to request that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) give an advisory opinion that “set[s] out with clarity the obligations of States under international law to protect the rights of present and future generations against the adverse effects of climate change”. From Port Vila to the Peace Palace

BRICS

  • July 5, 2022. By , The Strategist. The virtual summit of BRICS leaders in Beijing late last month brought a slew of proposals to strengthen the group’s economic and geopolitical influence. Can BRICS become the anti-G7 that Russia and China want it to be?
  • July 4, 2022. By Zongyuan Zoe Liu, East Asia Forum. When the inaugural BRIC summit took place in 2009, it was a moment of relative triumph for its members. While the West dealt with the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, BRIC countries — Brazil, Russia, India and China — enjoyed temporary shelter from the turmoil. When South Africa joined the bloc in 2010, the BRICS agenda expanded beyond economic cooperation and now includes a wide array of global governance issues, including security. The second-coming of the BRICS

China – Pacific

Ethiopia

  • July 4, 2022. By Crisis Group. Ethiopia’s federal and Tigray regional governments are finally gearing up for direct negotiations. In this Q&A, Crisis Group expert William Davison discusses why the feuding parties are edging toward peace and what the main obstacles are to achieving it. At Long Last, Ethiopia Prepares for Peace Talks

Europe

France

  • July 5, 2022. By HRW. As he enters his second term, French President Emmanuel Macron and the French government should ensure that human rights are central to all their policies, both at home and abroad. Human Rights Watch recommends 14 human rights priorities for the French president and government in this agenda. A Human Rights Agenda for France

India

  • June 27, 2022. By Deepak Sriram Krishnan, Akhilesh Tilotia, Vaisakh Suresh Kumar, Anya Bharadwaj and Kajol, World Resources Institute. In this paper, we consider what India must do to meet its 30 GW offshore wind target. We attempt to answer this question by examining the existing situation in India regarding offshore-wind-related issues, analyzed under categories relevant to India (policy, finance, infrastructure, regulations, and environmental impacts)—and by drawing lessons from successful countries. Winds of Change: Learnings for the Indian Offshore Wind Energy Sector
  • July 4, 2022. By Sambuddha Mitra Mustafi, ORF. In mid-May 2022, El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele hosted what has been dubbed the first “Davos of Bitcoin”, in the presence of central bankers from 44 developing countries. Seen in isolation, this event may seem fringe and insignificant, but when seen in the context of the erosion of dollar dominance, high global inflation, great power conflict, and talks of changing world order, the Bitcoin event is a sign of the emerging interest around a contender for the next global reserve currency. The Bitcoin business: Securing India’s strategic interests
  • July 4, 2022. By Deepak Sinha, ORF. A career in the military is like no other, entailing sacrifices in some cases even the ultimate, that has more to do with intangible factors such as dignity and honour than financial remuneration. It is thus short-sighted to make the Agnipath Scheme solely about reducing expenditure incurred by the military.  Given the huge impact it will have on India’s social fabric and the army’s ethos and functioning, the repercussions could be damaging. Given our fragile security environment and China’s aggressive designs, employing such a radical reform may not be prudent. History might repeat itself, as witnessed in 1962 when India was caught by surprise as Nehru and Menon initiated reforms that led to immense turbulence within the higher leadership and dissonance between the General Staff and line units during the Sino-Indian War. The Agnipath Scheme: Overcoming structural flaws
  • July 5, 2022. By Roland Rajah, The Interpreter. One cost of the past two years of limited air travel is that it became too easy to lose touch with what was really happening in other countries. Having not returned in a number of years, a trip last month was a reminder that it’s always impressive to absorb, even fleetingly, how fast emerging economies such as India are changing, and notwithstanding the pandemic, largely improving. Better infrastructure, cleaner streets, more and better cars, fewer but better motorbikes, fancier shops and restaurants, way more mobile phones. The pace of change is well beyond what most people in rich countries like Australia are used to. India’s economy after Covid

Israel

  • July 5, 2022. By Crisis Group. The fragile hybrid government in Israel lasted one year and seven days before falling apart. In this Q&A, Crisis Group expert Laure Foucher and USMEP’s Daniel Levy explain why a more homogeneous right-wing coalition is a likely outcome of fresh polls. Israel’s Governing Coalition Crashes, Setting Stage for New Elections

Japan

  • June 29, 2022. By Kiyomi de Zoysa, World Resources Institute. Japan is a country that confronts a wide array of natural hazards — from earthquakes and tsunamis to frequent typhoons, deadly heatwaves and landslides. But the country has also been proactive in boosting its resiliency to these disasters. The world has a lot to learn from its experiences. Profiles of Adaptation: Japan

Myanmar

  • July 4, 2022. By Nilanjan Ghosh, Prarthana Sen, ORF. The hydropower projects in Myanmar are riddled with challenges, therefore, a more holistic approach needs to be adopted, making sure all the stakeholders are on board. Dams as displacers: A heavy social cost to incur

Netherlands

  • July 4, 2022. By World Nuclear News. A team of seven international experts visited the High Flux Reactor (HFR) in Petten, the Netherlands, on behalf of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to examine the way in which operator the Nuclear Research and Consultancy Group (NRG) manages the ageing of its installations. IAEA assesses ageing management at Dutch research reactor : Regulation & Safety

North Korea

  • July 4, 2022. By Genevieve Kotarska, RUSI. Given the threat posed to North Korea by climate change and Pyongyang’s willingness to cooperate on the issue, it could provide an opportunity to build bridges with the country. The North Korean Climate Conundrum

Russia – Turkey

  • July 4, 2022. By World Nuclear News. The Atomenergomash factory in Volgodonsk, Russia is manufacturing the bottom of the reactor pressure vessel for Turkey’s Akkuyu 4. Hot metal for Akkuyu 4 : New Nuclear

Russia – Ukraine

  • July 4, 2022. By  Peter Dickinson, Atlantic Council. The Mayor of Ukrainian Black Sea port city Odesa announced last week that he was making British Prime Minister Boris Johnson an honorary citizen. This was not the first time Ukrainian officials have sought to show their appreciation for the UK leader. A number of Ukrainian towns and villages have already announced plans to unveil Boris Johnson streets. Meanwhile, when the British PM survived a recent Westminster no confidence vote, senior government figures in Kyiv flooded social media with congratulatory posts. Why Ukraine loves Boris
  • July 5, 2022. By Crisis Group. Since late February, when Russian forces crossed the Ukrainian border en masse, India has steered what it portrays as a neutral course on the war. It has abstained on UN votes condemning Russia’s invasion. New Delhi refuses to publicly blame Moscow for the crisis, even while emphasising India’s traditional respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity. It has maintained India’s historically close ties to Moscow, increasing Russian oil imports and receiving Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on a diplomatic visit in April. India’s Response to Russia’s War in Ukraine
  • July 5, 2022. By , Project-Syndicate, The Strategist. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s intentions in Ukraine are not in doubt. He wants to end its status as an independent political entity and incorporate its territory within the Russian Federation. In his opinion, achieving this goal would undo two great historical errors committed in the last century: first, allowing a Ukrainian republic to exist within the Soviet Union, and, second, allowing this republic to become an independent nation-state. Europe’s fate is intimately linked to Ukraine’s survival
  • July 5, 2022. By Rachel Stohl, Elias Yousif, Defense One. The donated weapons pouring into Ukraine—more than $6.1 billion so far from the U.S. alone—have been welcomed by Kyiv, but they also carry a variety of potential national security and strategic consequences. Defense planners, lawmakers, and the public should develop safeguards to keep these weapons from feeding future conflict, violence, and instability.  The Risks of US Military Assistance to Ukraine
  • July 4, 2022. By Jack Watling and Nick Reynolds, RUSI. Based on fieldwork conducted in Ukraine, this Special Report outlines what is needed to defeat Russia’s invasion. Ukraine at War: Paving the Road From Survival to Victory
  • July 5, 2022. By Andrey Sushentsov, Valdai Discussion Club. US President Joe Biden recently admitted that the conflict over Ukraine will become protracted, making it a kind of competition of wills between Russia and Europe. The conflict is really turning into a duel of endurance potentials: there is a determination on the Russian side to see things through to the end, there are no doubts about Ukraine’s determination to wage war, despite the large number of losses and the growing tension in society. Until the last Soviet cartridge is fired in Kyiv’s arsenal, until the mistakes of the command give rise to a cascade of tactical defeats at the front, and as long as their Western sponsors support them with weapons, Ukraine will fight. We can state that both sides consider temporary resources to be their advantage. Legitimation of War and Ukraine’s Potential for Endurance6

South Africa

South Korea – USA

  • July 5, 2022. By Choong Yong Ahn, East Asia Forum. South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol set the tone of South Korea’s new economic diplomacy by declaring he would ‘build a nation that espouses liberal democracy and ensures a thriving market economy’. Yoon’s commitment in his inaugural address on 10 May 2022 to ‘work together with like-minded nations that respect freedom’ is particularly important for Seoul to navigate turbulent economic competition in the Asia Pacific amid an ever-intensifying US–China rivalry. Yoon vows to build a value-based alliance with Washington

Syria

  • July 5, 2022. By Crisis Group.  The UN Security Council is considering renewing an understanding whereby UN agencies transport aid to Idlib, an area held by Syrian rebels. In this Q&A, Crisis Group experts Richard Gowan, Dareen Khalifa and Ashish Pradhan explain why the arrangement remains essential. A Vital Humanitarian Mandate for Syria’s North West

UK 

  • July 4, 2022. By World Nuclear News. Rolls-Royce SMR has shortlisted six potential locations in the UK for the first of three factories for the manufacture of its small modular reactor (SMR) power plants. The first plant will produce the vessels for the 470 MWe pressurised water reactor. Rolls-Royce narrows search for site of first SMR factory : New Nuclear

USA

  • July 4, 2022. By World Nuclear News. Global Laser Enrichment (GLE) has executed of a non-binding Letter of Intent (LOI) with Duke Energy Carolinas and Duke Energy Progress to develop areas of mutual interest and cooperation in the nuclear fuel supply chain. It recently executed a similar LOI with Constellation Energy Generation. GLE working with US companies to support laser enrichment commercialisation : Corporate
  • June 30, 2022. By World Resources Institute. The U.S. Supreme Court curtailed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate carbon emissions from the power sector. The Supreme Court ruled that the agency is not authorized to consider shifting generation from dirtier to cleaner power generating sources when establishing greenhouse gas emissions standards under the Clean Air Act provision in question. STATEMENT: US Supreme Court Curtails EPA’s Authority to Regulate Power Plant Emissions
  • July 5, 2022. By Naval News. The U.S. Navy’s Unmanned Carrier Aviation program office (PMA-268) conducted its first lab integration event June 28-30 at Pax River to demonstrate how the MQ-25’s Ground Control Station (GCS) will command the unmanned aircraft in the carrier environment. MQ-25 team completes first lab integration event

Yemen’s Red Sea

  • July 4, 2022. By Crisis Group. A floating oil storage facility in Yemeni waters is on the verge of breaking or blowing up. Time is running out to raise the remaining $20 million needed for a salvage operation to prevent ecological and economic damage of historic proportions. How to Avert an Imminent Disaster off Yemen’s Red Sea Coast

TOPICS

Climate action

  • June 28, 2022. By Katie ReytarDarby LevinElizabeth GoldmanFred StolleMikaela Weisse and Peter Potapov, World Resources Institute. We know that deforestation is an ongoing, devastating problem — satellite data has been tracking it closely for years. But another question has remained more elusive: How much new forest is growing?  Thanks to new data from researchers at the University of Maryland and WRI, we now have an answer:  Tree cover — lots of it —is cropping up all over the globe.   Where New Forests Are Growing
  • June 28, 2022. By World Resources Institute. World Resources Institute’s Aqueduct is preparing new projections on water stress, demand and supply, expected by early 2023, thanks to support from inaugural Aqueduct Pro Sponsors Microsoft and Moody’s Analytics. These will be among the first water projections using the latest CMIP6 climate forcings from the Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. Working Group II Contribution to the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report. RELEASE: WRI Aqueduct Preparing Water Projections Using Latest Climate Data

Cybersecurity & Disinformation

  • July 5, 2022. By , Info Security.  Companies invest extensively in order to protect themselves from cyber-risks and threats; their future survival and reputation depend on it. However, they are only as strong as their weakest link, which, typically, is the supply chain, a fact their adversaries know only too well. Is There a Weak Link in Your Supply Chain?

Defense

Digital  & Tech

  • July 5, 2022. By Kyle Wiggers, TechCrunch. Although finance teams ultimately control budgets within their companies, investment in technology under the chief financial officer’s purview had been limited — at least until recently. That’s the assertion of Tesorio CEO Carlos Vega, who observed that, prior to the pandemic, most cash management processes had been run in spreadsheets and Word documents. Tesorio’s tools aim to help businesses automate payments collection
  • July 5, 2022. By Kyle Wiggers, TechCrunch. Onomondo, a startup offering a dedicated wireless network for internet of things (IoT) devices, today announced that it raised $21 million in a funding round led by Verdane with participation from Maersk Growth, People Ventures, and The Danish Growth Fund. In an email, CEO Michael Karlsen told TechCrunch that the new cash will be put toward productization, go-to-market efforts, and marketing as Onomondo scales its team from 50 people to around 100 by the end of the year. Onomondo secures cash to expand its wireless network for IoT devices
  • July 5, 2022. By Ingrid Lunden, TechCrunch. Quantum computing has been making quantum leaps of progress in the last several years — going from theoretical concept to multiple testing environments, to help organizations prep for a time when quantum computers, and their unparalleled processing power, become a scaled reality. Now, UK-based Oxford Quantum Circuits is announcing £38 million ($47 million) in funding to fuel the growth of its own contribution to the space — a patented 3D processor architecture it calls Coaxmon, plus quantum-computing-as-a-service that will run on it. OQC says that this Series A is the largest to date for a UK-based quantum computing startup. UK’s Oxford Quantum Circuits snaps up $47M Series A for ‘QaaS’

Digital Health