Sitting here in Washington, D.C., it can sometimes seem that the whole world is focused on what’s going on in our (relatively) small town. The U.S. Inauguration is one week away and Congress is in the midst of hearings on the new administration’s cabinet picks, and as a result, news feeds and social media streams seem to have only one topic in mind. But the world is much larger than Washington—despite its influence and reach—so we’ve decided to take a broader look outside our fishbowl and focus on what else is going on in the world. (Spoiler note: Washington is still mentioned in most of these articles… attempting to break completely free of U.S. news at the moment is proving to be fruitless.)
For this week’s roundup, we take a look at some of the conversations and discussions happening around the top global conflicts, humanitarian issues and priorities to watch in 2017 as portrayed by the media and other online outlets.**
Uri Friedman writes about the Council on Foreign Relation’s annual survey on the likelihood and impact on U.S. interests of 30 possible conflicts in the coming year. As he reports, “The greatest unknown for U.S. interests in the world might be the United States itself.” You can read more at the CFR’s Global Conflict Tracker.
10 Conflicts to Watch in 2017 (Foreign Policy)
Jean-Marie Guéhenno reports, “From Turkey to Mexico, the list of the world’s most volatile flashpoints got a lot more unpredictable this year.”
The writers over at IRIN report, “While 2016 taught us to expect the unexpected, IRIN’s eyes and ears on the ground have given us an idea of what to look out for in the new year. We can’t promise everyone else will be covering these stories, but here are ten we’ll be watching.”
Top 10 Conflicts to Watch in 2017 (Stand Now Blog)
This student movement led blog takes a look at the most critical areas of conflict in the upcoming year. Timmy Hirschel-Burns writes, “[A]nticipating the future course of conflicts is a vital component of atrocity prevention, and forecasting efforts are growing increasingly sophisticated…it’s worth looking ahead to conflicts that could deteriorate or emerge in 2017 in order to assist prevention efforts. Civilians have often bore the brunt of conflicts, and sadly 2017 is unlikely to be different.”
After a year of record humanitarian needs, Umberto Bacchi writes that 2017 looks to be even more challenging for aid agencies as they brace for the fallout from protracted conflicts and other escalating crises. He speaks with several organizations working in the humanitarian field, including the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, to get a sense of 2017 priority areas.
And we’ll end with a little optimism:
In this op-ed, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General Izumi Nakamitsu writes that “despite the horror of 2016, in Syria, Yemen, Lake Chad Basin and many other areas, I remain hopeful that the international community will deliver on its big promises to change the way it works. Stubbornly clinging to hope is essential after this year. But I also have seen the clear foundations for change being laid.”
Are you a writer, videographer, photographer or blogger publishing interesting stuff linked to armed conflict, international humanitarian law (a.k.a. the law of armed conflict), innovation, compassion, history, etc. that you think deserves a shout-out here? Send us a link and we might feature your content next week. Write to: nclark (at) icrc (dot) org
**The usual Intercross disclaimer: Just because something is featured here, doesn't mean we endorse or agree with it, and the views expressed on the platforms we're highlighting don't necessarily represent those of the ICRC.**