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NTS Bulletin

NTS Bulletin November 2011 (Issue 2)

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MAIN HIGHLIGHT

Corruption, a Threat to Human Development

Bribery by companies when doing business abroad is a significant form of corruption, and is particularly serious when vital sectors of a nation’s economy and public services are involved. In a recent survey of more than 3,000 business executives worldwide on the extent to which companies from 28 of the world’s leading economies engage in bribery when doing business abroad, Transparency International found that the public works contracts and construction sectors are the most susceptible to bribery. Other susceptible sectors are real estate, property, legal and business services, oil and gas, and mining. The sectors least susceptible to bribery on the other hand are agriculture and light manufacturing as well as civilian aerospace and information technology.

The prevalence of bribery by foreign companies in key sectors such as public infrastructure and energy resources could have adverse effects on human development and security. Besides distorting the fair awarding of contracts, such bribery reduces the quality of basic public services, limits opportunities to develop a competitive private sector, and undermines trust in public institutions. Engaging in bribery also creates instability for the companies doing the bribing and presents ever-growing reputational and financial risks. An important first step in the fight against foreign bribery is for a government to have an effective anti-corruption system in place. Governments must set an example to companies by prohibiting corruption within the public sector and upholding high standards of integrity with no impunity.

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INTERNAL AND CROSS-BORDER CONFLICT

News & Commentaries

Selected Publications

This NTS Alert examines the role of the Cambodian government in redressing past gross human rights abuses through the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) trials. It is argued that the government has made crucial contributions to the pursuit of justice against past atrocity crimes despite some insufficiencies.

This NTS Alert examines the role of the UN and non-governmental organisations in promoting human security in Cambodia through transitional justice. It argues that close collaboration and coordination between the government and other stakeholders are crucial for the rebuilding process in Cambodia.

This article seeks to explain why Cambodia implements transitional justice mechanisms for mass atrocity crimes committed by the Khmer Rouge regime. It notes that transitional justice has gained increasing prominence in the practice of international human rights principles. It argues that the desire to be recognised as a legitimate member of international society is a key motivation behind the Cambodian government's efforts to redress past abuses.

Events and Announcements

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MIGRATION

News & Commentaries

Selected Publications

This report considers migration in the context of environmental change over the next 50 years. It observes that environmental change will affect migration through its influence on a range of economic, social and political drivers which themselves affect migration. This means that the challenges of migration in the context of environmental change require a new strategic approach to policy. Policymakers should take action to reduce the impact of environmental change on communities and at the same time plan for migration events.

This paper outlines how the prolonged presence of refugees in neighbouring countries may affect peacebuilding in the country of origin both positively and negatively. Most importantly, the presence of ‘spoilers’ among the refugee population and the potential politicisation of refugees in exile may undermine peacebuilding. Also, mass repatriation of refugees could put pressure on fragile institutions and services, further undermining reconciliation upon return.

Events & Announcements

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TRANSNATIONAL CRIME

News & Commentaries

Latest Publications

This report offers a roadmap of the law governing pillage as applied to the illegal exploitation of natural resources by corporations and their officers, and provides a blueprint for prosecuting corporate plunder during war. It observes that the illegal exploitation of natural resources has become a prevalent means of financing conflict in countries such as Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, East Timor, Iraq, Liberia, Myanmar and Sierra Leone. The report therefore seeks to guide investigative bodies, war crimes prosecutors, and judges engaged with the technicalities of pillage.

This study looks at the illicit financial flows emerging from drug trafficking and other transnational organised crime, and their socioeconomic implications. The best estimates put criminal proceeds in 2009 close to 3.6 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) or USD2.1 trillion. Of this, an estimated USD1.6 trillion or 2.7 per cent of GDP is laundered. Drug trafficking was responsible – in economic terms – for the largest profits of transnationally operating crime groups. Within the area of drugs, the cocaine market appears to be the single largest market (retail sales of USD85 billion in 2009) dominated by transnationally operating crime groups.

Events & Announcements

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WATER SECURITY

News & Commentaries

Selected Publications

This document provides a synthesis of actions undertaken by 21 Nairobi Work Programme (NWP) partner organisations, and highlights the results obtained and lessons learned on freshwater issues in particular. It argues that good adaptation actions for freshwater resources are central to building resilience to climate change and also to responding effectively to its impacts. It calls for improved actions in four areas, namely assessment and research, adaptive actions on the ground, awareness raising and capacity building, and policy support.

This report presents a broad analysis of transboundary water resources, pressure factors, quantity and quality status, and transboundary impacts, as well as responses and future trends. It also documents national and transboundary legal and institutional frameworks for water management and cooperation. The report seeks to provide a picture of the expected impacts on transboundary water resources, including the measures planned or in place, to adapt to climate change.

Events & Announcements

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Terms of Use:

You are free to publish this material in its entirety or only in part in your newspapers, wire services, internet-based information networks and newsletters and you may use the information in your radio-TV discussions or as a basis for discussion in different fora, provided full credit is given to the author(s) and the Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS). Kindly inform the publisher (NTS_Centre@ntu.edu.sg) and provide details of when and where the publication was used.

About the Centre:

The Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies was inaugurated by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Secretary-General Dr Surin Pitsuwan in May 2008. The Centre maintains research in the fields of Food Security, Climate Change, Energy Security, Health Security as well as Internal and Cross-Border Conflict. It produces policy-relevant analyses aimed at furthering awareness and building capacity to address NTS issues and challenges in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. The Centre also provides a platform for scholars and policymakers within and outside Asia to discuss and analyse NTS issues in the region.

In 2009, the Centre was chosen by the MacArthur Foundation as a lead institution for the MacArthur Asia Security Initiative, to develop policy research capacity and recommend policies on the critical security challenges facing the Asia-Pacific.

The Centre is also a founding member and the Secretariat for the Consortium of Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies in Asia (NTS-Asia). More information on the Centre can be found at www.rsis.edu.sg/nts.


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