International Crisis Group

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International Crisis Group is an "independent, non-profit, non-governmental organisation committed to preventing and resolving deadly conflict."

About

  • 1995, the year Crisis Group was founded
  • US$15.5 million, annual budget for 2009
  • Some 130 permanent staff worldwide, from 46 nationalities speaking 53 languages
  • Over 60 conflict and potential conflict situations covered
  • Around 90 reports and briefings published annually
  • Over 80 issues of the monthly CrisisWatch bulletin published since 2003
  • Over 860 full-length reports and briefings published since 1995
  • Over 25,000 targeted recipients of reports
  • Over 140,000 people subscribing online to receive reports
  • Over 2.4 million website visits annually
  • Over 14,000 media mentions annually
  • Over 200 opinion pieces published annually
  • President and CEO: Louise Arbour, Former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (since July 2009)

1. The International Crisis Group is now generally recognised as the world’s leading independent, non-partisan, source of analysis and advice to governments, and intergovernmental bodies like the United Nations, European Union and World Bank, on the prevention and resolution of deadly conflict. Our work has been applauded by, among others, former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan (‘a global voice of conscience, and a genuine force for peace’); former U.S. President Bill Clinton (‘in the most troubled corners of the world, the eyes, the ears and the conscience of the global community’); successive U.S. Secretaries of State (Condoleezza Rice: ‘a widely respected and influential organisation’, Colin Powell: ‘a mirror for the conscience of the world’ and Madeleine Albright: ‘a full-service conflict prevention organisation’); the President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso (‘a highly influential and inspiring voice in the field of conflict prevention’); Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Ángel Moratinos (‘an indispensible source of information for governments and a wide range of institutions actively working towards peace and conflict resolution’); and U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke (‘a brilliant idea ... beautifully implemented’ with reports like CrisisWatch ‘better than anything I saw in government’). Crisis Group has regularly received similar endorsement from influential media, such as Quentin Peel of the Financial Times (‘an essential dose of detailed analysis and hard-nosed realism’) and The Economist (‘invaluable’ reports).

2. Crisis Group was founded in 1995 as an international non-governmental organisation on the initiative of a group of well known transatlantic figures who despaired at the international community’s failure to anticipate and respond effectively to the tragedies in the early 1990s of Somalia, Rwanda and Bosnia. They were led by Morton Abramowitz (former U.S. Ambassador to Turkey and Thailand, then President of the Carnegie Endowment for Peace), Mark Malloch Brown (later head of the UN Development Programme, UN Deputy Secretary-General and UK Minister), and its first Chairman, Senator George Mitchell. The idea was to create a new organisation – unlike any other – with a highly professional staff acting as the world’s eyes and ears for impending conflicts, and with a highly influential board that could mobilise effective action from the world’s policymakers.

3. From small beginnings – a two-person office in London, and a tiny field staff in the Balkans and West Africa – Crisis Group has grown very rapidly over the last decade . It currently employs worldwide some 130 permanent staff, representing between them 46 nationalities and speaking 53 different languages, plus at any given time around 20 consultants and 40 interns. They are located on the ground in nine regional offices and fourteen other disclosed locations covering between them over 60 countries or situations of actual or potential conflict; in four advocacy offices, in Brussels (the global headquarters), Washington DC, New York and London; and as liaison presences in Moscow and Beijing. Crisis Group publishes annually over 80 reports and briefing papers, as well as the CrisisWatch bulletin assessing every month the current state of play in some 70 countries or areas of actual or potential conflict. Publications are distributed widely by email to over 25,000 targeted recipients and over 140,000 website subscribers, and are available free of charge on our website, which has grown enormously in popularity in recent years, with over 2.4 million visits in 2009.

4. What distinguishes Crisis Group from other organisations working on conflict analysis, prevention or resolution is a unique combination of field-based analysis, sharp-edged policy prescription and high-level advocacy, with key roles being played – very unusually for an NGO – by a senior management team highly experienced in government and by a highly active Board of Trustees containing many senior statesmen and women used to making things happen. Crisis Group’s Board is co-chaired by Lord Christopher Patten, formerly EU Commissioner for External Relations, Governor of Hong Kong and UK Cabinet Minister; and by Ambassador Thomas Pickering, former U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Russia, India, Israel, Jordan, El Salvador and Nigeria and Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, and former Senior Vice President for International Relations at Boeing. Crisis Group’s President and CEO has been, since July 2009, Louise Arbour, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda. She succeeded Gareth Evans, former Foreign Minister of Australia (1988-96) and a member of many international panels and commissions, who served as President between January 2000 and July 2009.

5. Crisis Group’s reports, and the advocacy associated with them, have had a very significant direct impact on conflict prevention and resolution in regions across the world, as policymakers wrestle with how to handle Islamist terrorism, nuclear proliferation, local conflict and the multiple problems associated with failed, failing and fragile states worldwide. We are generally seen as playing a major role in six main ways:

  • Ringing early warning alarm bells, in the monthly CrisisWatch bulletin, and in specific ‘conflict alerts’, eg in Ethiopia-Eritrea, Darfur, Georgia-Russia, Somalia, Sri Lanka and Pakistan;
  • Contributing, on both process and substance, behind the scenes support and advice to critical peace negotiations, eg in Sudan, Burundi, Northern Uganda, Zimbabwe, Aceh, Nepal and Kenya;
  • Producing highly detailed analysis and advice on specific policy issues in scores of conflict or potential conflict situations around the world, helping policymakers in the UN Security Council, regional organisations, donor countries and others with major influence, and in the countries at risk themselves, do better in preventing, managing and resolving conflict, and in rebuilding after it: recent examples include Iraq (particularly the Kirkuk issue), Guinea, Colombia, Sudan’s Southern Kordofan, Haiti, Tajikistan and Bangladesh;
  • Providing detailed information unobtainable elsewhere on developments regarding conflict, mass violence and terrorism of particular utility to policymakers, eg on the Jemaah Islamiyah in Indonesia, the many jihadi groups in Pakistan and Afghanistan and the Islamic Courts in Somalia.
  • Offering new strategic thinking on some of the world’s most intractable conflicts and crises, challenging or refining prevailing wisdom, eg on the Iran nuclear issue, the role of Islamism worldwide, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and the way forward in Myanmar/Burma, Cyprus, Kosovo, Iraq and the Western Sahara; and
  • Strongly supporting a rules-based, rather than force-based, international order, in particular significantly influencing UN resolutions and institutional structures in relation to the new international norm of the ‘responsibility to protect’.

6.Crisis Group’s international headquarters are in Brussels, with major advocacy offices in Washington DC (where it is based as a legal entity) and New York, a smaller one in London, and liaison presences in Moscow and Beijing. The organisation currently has regional offices or local field representation in Baku, Bangkok, Beirut, Bishkek, Bogotá, Bujumbura, Dakar, Damascus, Dili, Islamabad, Istanbul, Jakarta, Jerusalem, Kabul, Kathmandu, Kinshasa, Nairobi, Port-au-Prince, Pretoria, Pristina, Sarajevo, Seoul and Tbilisi, and with analysts working in over 60 crisis-affected countries and territories across four continents. These include in Africa, Burundi, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda and Zimbabwe; in Asia, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China-Taiwan, Indonesia, Kashmir, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar/Burma, Nepal, North Korea, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan; in Europe, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus, Georgia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Russia’s North Caucasus, Serbia, and Turkey; in the Middle East and North Africa, Algeria, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel/Palestine, Gulf states, Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Yemen; and in Latin America and the Caribbean, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Haiti, Guatemala and Venezuela. 7. Crisis Group’s annual budget is now $15 million. It raises funds from governments (some 54 per cent), institutional foundations (26 per cent), and individual and corporate donors (20 per cent), most in the welcome form of core funding (over 70 per cent) rather than being earmarked for specific programs.[1]

Leadership

As at 2010;[2]

  • Lord Christopher Patten Co-Chair, Crisis Group Former European Commissioner for External Relations, Governor of Hong Kong and UK Cabinet Minister Chancellor of Oxford University
  • Thomas R. Pickering Co-Chair, Crisis Group Former U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Russia, India, Israel, Jordan, El Salvador and Nigeria Vice Chairman of Hills & Company
  • Louise Arbour President & CEO Former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda

Executive Committee:

  • Morton Abramowitz Former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State and Ambassador to Turkey
  • Cheryl Carolus Former South African High Commissioner to the UK and Secretary General of the ANC
  • Maria Livanos Cattaui Member of the Board, Petroplus Holdings, Switzerland
  • Yoichi Funabashi Editor-in-Chief, The Asahi Shimbun, Japan
  • Frank Giustra President & CEO, Fiore Capital
  • Ghassan Salamé Dean, Paris School of International Affairs, Sciences Po
  • George Soros Chairman, Open Society Institute
  • Pär Stenbäck Former Foreign Minister of Finland
  • Adnan Abu-Odeh Former Political Adviser to King Abdullah II and to King Hussein, and Jordan Permanent Representative to the UN
  • Kenneth Adelman Former U.S. Ambassador and Director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency
  • Kofi Annan Former Secretary-General of the United Nations; Nobel Peace Prize (2001)
  • Nahum Barnea Chief Columnist for Yedioth Ahronoth, Israel
  • Samuel Berger Chair, Albright Stonebridge Group LLC; Former U.S. National Security Advisor
  • Emma Bonino Vice President of the Senate; Former Minister of International Trade and European Affairs of Italy and European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid
  • Wesley Clark Former NATO Supreme Allied Commander, Europe
  • Sheila Coronel Toni Stabile, Professor of Practice in Investigative Journalism; Director, Toni Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism, Columbia University, U.S.
  • Jan Egeland Director, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs; Former UN Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator
  • Mohamed ElBaradei Director-General Emeritus, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); Nobel Peace Prize (2005)
  • Uffe Ellemann-Jensen Former Foreign Minister of Denmark
  • Gareth Evans President Emeritus of Crisis Group; Former Foreign Affairs Minister of Australia
  • Mark Eyskens Former Prime Minister of Belgium
  • Joschka Fischer Former Foreign Minister of Germany
  • Jean-Marie Guéhenno Arnold Saltzman Professor of War and Peace Studies, Columbia University; Former UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations
  • Carla A. Hills Former U.S. Secretary of Housing and U.S. Trade Representative
  • Lena Hjelm-Wallén Former Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister of Sweden
  • Swanee Hunt Former U.S. Ambassador to Austria; Chair, Institute for Inclusive Security and President, Hunt Alternatives Fund
  • Mo Ibrahim Founder and Chair, Mo Ibrahim Foundation; Founder, Celtel International
  • Igor Ivanov Former Foreign Affairs Minister of the Russian Federation
  • Asma Jahangir UN Special Rapporteur on the Freedom of Religion or Belief; Chairperson, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan
  • Wim Kok Former Prime Minister of the Netherlands
  • Ricardo Lagos Former President of Chile
  • Joanne Leedom-Ackerman Former International Secretary of International PEN; Novelist and journalist, U.S.
  • Lord Mark Malloch-Brown Former Administrator of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and UN Deputy Secretary-General
  • Lalit Mansingh Former Foreign Secretary of India, Ambassador to the U.S. and High Commissioner to the UK
  • Jessica Tuchman Mathews President, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, U.S.
  • Benjamin Mkapa Former President of Tanzania
  • Ayo Obe Legal Practitioner, Lagos, Nigeria
  • Güler Sabancı Chairperson, Sabancı Holding, Turkey
  • Javier Solana Former EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, NATO Secretary-General and Foreign Affairs Minister of Spain

Chairmen Emeritus:

Senior advisers

Crisis Group's Senior Advisers are former Board Members (to the extent consistent with any other office they may be holding at the time) who maintain an association with Crisis Group, and whose advice and support are called on from time to time.[3]

Staff

As of 2010;[4]

References