International Crisis Group

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Founded in 1995, the International Crisis Group is a non-governmental organization formed to alert world policymakers about impending crises. Its founders were motivated by the humanitarian disasters in Rwanda and Somalia. The current president and chief executive is Louise Arbour, Former U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, who took office in July 2009.

That founding group included Morton Abramowitz (former U.S. Ambassador to Turkey and U.S. Ambassador to Thailand|Thailand, then President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace), Mark Malloch Brown (later head of the United Nations Development Programme, UN Deputy Secretary-General and UK Minister); the first chair was George Mitchell. It has a worldwide staff of 130, of 46 nationalities.


  • Early warning in the monthly CrisisWatch bulletin, and in specific ‘conflict alerts’, such as the Ethiopia-Eritrea Conflict, Darfur Conflict, Georgia-Russia Conflict, Somalia, Sri Lanka and Pakistan;
  • Supporting peace negotiations, including Sudan, Burundi, Uganda|Northern Uganda, Zimbabwe, Aceh, Nepal and Kenya;
  • Analyzing specific policy issues in 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, as, for example, on the Jemaah Islamiya in Indonesia, the many jihadist groups in Pakistan and Afghanistan and the Islamic Courts Union in Somalia.
  • New strategic thinking on some of the world’s most intractable conflicts and crises, including the Iranian nuclear program, the role of radical Islamism worldwide, the Arab-Israeli Conflict, and the way forward in Myanmar/Burma, Cyprus, Kosovo, Iraq and the Western Sahara;
  • Supporting a international law|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’.