Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, President of France from 1974 to 1981, died on 2 December 2020, aged 94. This appreciation of Giscard d’Estaing was written after the conclusion of his two years as Chairman of the European Convention in 2003. The author, Tony Brown, worked as an Advisor to the Oireachtas Members of the Irish Delegation to the Convention The Convention’s success in producing, with near unanimity, a comprehensive constitutional text owed much to Giscard’s presidency marked, in the words of the Financial Times, by “a mix of charm, guile and a certain authoritarianism that one would have expected from a former inhabitant of the Elysée.” Although initially adopted by EU governments, it was not until 2009 that the Lisbon Treaty, containing its main elements for the reformed governance of the EU, was signed and approved, in Ireland’s case after two referenda.
On 20 July 2020, Achim Steiner, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme, gave an address to the IIEA. This briefing summarises many of the concerns that the UNDP has in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic and the potential for an economic recession. It also outlines how the UNDP is working with countries around the world to develop strategic responses to the impacts of the pandemic.
On 16 June 2020, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women, gave an address to the IIEA. This briefing summarises how women have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and highlights some measures which UN Women have outlined for governments to build more equal and resilient societies.
On 27 April 2020, David Nabarro, Special Envoy of the WHO Director-General for COVID-19, gave an address to the IIEA. This briefing summarises the key points of this address and provides an overview of the steps taken by the WHO in response to the outbreak, how governments are responding to the crisis and what can be done to help the developing world.
This paper for the IIEA, Patrick Keatinge, Co-Chair of the IIEA’s Security and Defence Group and Professor Emeritus at Trinity College Dublin, examines how Ireland’s Security and Defence Policy has evolved; how it is reflected in Ireland’s response to the main security challenges; and how it is understood in public debate today.