Governance Above and Beyond Compliance

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By Ulysses Smith (co-authored with Lance Croffoot-Suede)

It was once possible to satisfy regulators by having a compliance officer check a series of boxes indicating compliance with applicable regulations, but this is no longer the case. Companies are now expected to maintain compliance programs that are tailored for their industries, their business lines, risk factors, geographic regions and work force...

To Achieve Peace and Security in the World, Don't Forget Governance

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By Ulysses Smith (co-authored with Lance Croffoot-Suede)

At the heart of much of the unrest in the world today, and its associated threats to peace and security, are long-standing failings of governance. ISIS rises on the rubble of failed states, drawing into its orbit individuals disenfranchised by a globalization that has not served their interests. Corruption blights communities or entire political systems, causing populations to rise up in anger. Illicit financial flows rob countries of desperately needed resources to support education, health and other means of developing societies, exacerbating poverty and reinforcing social strife, in an amount conservatively estimated at $50 billion annually for Africa alone. Development and humanitarian interventions fall short of global needs and ambitions, often as a result of being poorly governed...

Governance: When a ‘narrow, cramped view’ of Compliance Won’t Do

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By Ulysses Smith (co-authored with Lance Croffoot-Suede)

Ours is a world of transparency. Actions that take place in an obscure corner of the world are now 140 characters away from pinging across the globe and toppling the market capitalization of major corporations. An oil spill in the Niger Delta, a disgruntled indigenous community near a mine in Peru, an emissions scandal in Europe – these situations now erupt instantaneously in the public eye, with the potential to dramatically impact share value in just minutes...

Standing Up for Democratic Governance

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By Ulysses Smith  

2017 was a tough year for democratic governance around the world. A short list of countries which have experienced significant challenges – in the form of brazen assaults on foundational principles, noisome erosions of governing norms, convulsive disruptions of institutions, or mild indifference to sub-ethical behavior - includes Cambodia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Germany, Honduras, Kenya, Poland, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe...

Prioritizing Human Security: Delivering a United Nations That Prevents Atrocities

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By Ulysses Smith
This post was co-authored by Seher Khawaja, a member of the New York City Bar Association’s United Nations Committee.

In 1945, following the countless brutalities of the Second World War, 51 countries joined together to form the United Nations. The first of their four goals was to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war. Sixty years later, 191 UN Member States recognized a universal “Responsibility to Protect” among nations. As R2P’s 10th anniversary approaches, many will assess its successes and failures. To do so fairly, however, it is necessary to consider the Security Council’s role in helping to fulfill — or not — the promise of R2P. 

Secretary-General’s Synthesis Report on Post-2015 Agenda: A Missed Opportunity

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By Ulysses Smith

The much-anticipated Synthesis Report of the UN Secretary-General on the Post-2015 Development Agenda was issued on Thursday. Entitled “The Road to Dignity by 2030: Ending Poverty, Transforming All Lives and Protecting the Planet,” the report articulates a “call to action to transform our world beyond 2015.” A noble exhortation to be sure, one that, it is safe to say, absolutely no one can argue with. But unfortunately the report falls short of making a valuable contribution to the wider discussion around the new development agenda, particularly when it comes to navigating the difficult road ahead.

New Global Child Support Convention Holds Promise for Millions of Children Worldwide

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By Ulysses Smith, Menaka Nayar

In 1924, the League of Nations — precursor to the United Nations — passed the Declaration on the Rights of the Child, proclaiming that “mankind owes to the Child the best that it has to give,” and that “[t]he child must be given the means requisite for its normal development, both materially and spiritually.”

For Post-2015, International Community Should Focus on Enabling Sustainable Development

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By Ulysses Smith

Now that the high-level meetings have concluded, and the echoing of motorcade sirens has faded from the canyons of Manhattan’s East Side, it is time for the international community to roll up its sleeves and get to the business of deciding the world’s new development agenda, known as the Post-2015 Agenda, the successor to the Millennium Development Goals which expire at the end of next year.