Editor's Choice

2020 Editor’s Choice: Global Observatory Must Reads

In a step toward balance (and perhaps sanity), the editors of the Global Observatory have assembled some of 2020’s “must read” articles that were not about the pandemic, noteworthy either for their analysis, topic, timeliness, and/or popularity. While not an exhaustive list, they give a more complete look at another year on the GO.

Women, Peace, and Security

In October, the GO published an article series on women, peace, and security (WPS) to mark the twentieth anniversary of the groundbreaking UN Security Council resolution on WPS. The series featured many essential reads, and the below are a good starting point:

  • Women, peace, and security experts at the International Peace Institute (IPI) look ahead to the next 20 years of the WPS agenda.
  • In an interview with IPI’s Gretchen Baldwin, Madeleine Rees talks about the state of the WPS agenda and the lessons it offers for responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • IPI’s Phoebe Donnelly interviewed Cynthia Enloe on the WPS agenda and how to make sure it doesn’t become overly-simplified.


These are two of the important articles on aspects of peacekeeping that perhaps deserved a wider readership:

  • IPI’s Namie Di Razza article on peacekeeping, protection of civilians, and COVID-19 looked at the harsh reality of how the coronavirus pandemic is expanding and aggravating protection concerns.
  • After the UN Security Council passed a resolution in August on women peacekeepers, Dustin Johnson and Gretchen Baldwin analyzed its historical importance and implications for peacekeeping.

Coups and Conflicts

Though UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for a global ceasefire at the outset of the pandemic, conflicts, standoffs, and political upheavals continued. A few articles covering these events were notable:

…And a Few on the Pandemic

Many of the articles covering some aspect of the coronavirus pandemic can be found in the GO’s top ten countdown on Twitter, but there were many others that deserve a read. These three stood out:

  • Ngozi Erondu and Emmanuel Agogo described the risks facing global south countries with the spread of COVID-19 due to healthcare systems and multilateral challenges.
  • An article by Philip Obaji took a closer look at the dangerous impact of misinformation on efforts to contain the coronavirus in Africa.
  • Colin Walch wrote on the ways that armed conflict and the wildlife trade exacerbate both disasters and pandemics, and what can be done about it.