Situation Update Briefs

SUB: Rising Water Insecurity Will Compound Regional Security Challenges

Key Takeaways On 26 July, the Kazakh Ministry of Agriculture imposed a six-month ban on the export of certain agricultural products in a bid to relieve the growing pressure on the sector amid the worst drought seen in parts of Central Asia in over a decade. The development is the latest in a series of …

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SUB: Israel – New Government Ends Economic Instability, but Tensions Over Key Policy Areas Remain

Overview On 13 June, the Knesset voted in a new coalition government, officially ending former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s 12 consecutive years in power. Leader of the ultra-right-wing Yamina party, Naftali Bennett, and leader of the centrist Yesh Atid party, Yair Lapid, successfully formed a government consisting of Arab, left-wing and nationalist parties, representing one …

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SUB: US Power Grid Protection and Infrastructure Developments

Key Takeaways In April, the Biden administration launched a 100-day plan to upgrade power grid cyber security through a series of voluntary initiatives and the establishment of an incentive-based framework to catalyse public-private partnerships, which aim to mitigate emerging threats and security vulnerabilities. Notably however, several high-profile cyber-attacks have curtailed the Biden administration’s push to …

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SUB: Gender Inequality and Covid-19

Key Takeaways  The Covid-19 pandemic is disproportionally impacting working women, with many taking on additional childcare, household and remote learning responsibilities. The financial toll from the absence of women contributing to the workforce could stunt GDP growth by over USD 1 trillion by 2030. However, if companies address gender imbalances worsened by the pandemic, global …

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SUB: China – New Development Strategy Sets Lofty Economic Ambitions in the Face of Persistent Geopolitical Challenges

Key Takeaways  China’s lawmakers and top political advisors are set to formally adopt the new socio-economic development blueprint that has already been drafted and endorsed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) at the annual plenary meetings in Beijing. The 14th Five-Year Plan (FYP) will guide development strategy and policy for the next five years, with …

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SUB: COVID-19 Vaccines: Challenges and Opportunities

Key Takeaways  Optimism around Covid-19 vaccine development is giving way to logistical challenges in actioning complex immunisation programmes. Facing delays and the risk of resurgent case rates on the back of new variants, governments will continue to implement restrictions to mitigate transmission of SARSCoV-2, the virus that causes the disease, Covid-19. The strength of economic …

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SUB: Japan & US – Renewed Bilateral Security Commitment Could Trigger Domestic Unrest and Sustain Tensions with Beijing

Key Takeaways  The agreement to extend the bilateral cost-sharing arrangement on US forces stationed in Japan has raised concerns over potential anti-US protests and unrest in Okinawa, given the significant opposition to US military presence among the local population. Most notably, the US military’s apparent disregard of the Covid-19 restrictions and perceived disruptive training activities …

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SUB: Iran-South Korea – Vessel seizure drives tensions in final weeks of trump administration

Overview On 4 January, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) seized a South Korean-flagged oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz amidst an ongoing dispute over Iranian funds held in South Korean banks. The assets, totaling roughly USD 7 billion, were frozen in September 2019 when the US tightened sanctions on Iranian petrochemical exports, which included …

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SUB: Ethiopia – Conflict in the Tigray region: current situation and scenarios

Latest Developments since 6 November Fighting between the military and forces loyal to the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) has escalated in the Tigray Region in the past few days. The federal government claims that in fighting over 7-8 November the army had taken control of a large swathe of western Tigray, primarily in the …

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