cover art for 57- Energy and Power in the Eastern Mediterranean

PRIO's Peace in a Pod

57- Energy and Power in the Eastern Mediterranean

Scrambles for natural resources and struggles for power when such resources come to light are a frequent cause of international conflict and tension around the world. In the Eastern Mediterranean, recent discovery of hydrocarbon has only exacerbated existing tensions. This is a region that includes Cyprus, Turkey, Greece, Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine, and Israel.

Today we’re going to hear from PRIO Cyprus Centre researcher Zenonas Tziarras on this topic: he'll explain the key players, the recent history, and what kinds of issues he thinks are worth highlighting there.

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  • Women in Peace Mediation: The Israeli and Palestinian Women Working for Peace

    As tensions continue to rise in the Middle East, two women's organizations are pushing for a return to negotiation and a permanent resolution to the conflict.“Women Wage Peace” is the largest grassroots peace movement in Israel, while its Palestinian counterpart, “Women of the Sun,” is a Palestinian women's organization based in Bethlehem.They are part of a global movement to ensure women are not just represented, but also at the leadership table in peace negotiations.Their work is supported by research showing that involving women significantly increases the chances of achieving enduring peace agreements.In this episode, Xanthe Scharff, a gender expert, writer, and co-founder of The Fuller Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to groundbreaking reporting on women, tells us about her reporting on these two women’s organizations.She is followed by Torunn L. Tryggestad, PRIO’s Deputy Director who heads its Centre on Gender, Peace, and Security, and Professor Azza Karam, a specialist in religion and development, and the keynote speaker at this year’s UN High-Level Seminar on Gender and Inclusive Mediation Processes, held in Oslo.PRIO’s "Peace in a Pod" is hosted by award-winning journalist Arnaud Siad.
  • How Russians (Really) Feel about Putin and Ukraine

    As Russians headed to the polls this month, the reelection of Russian President Vladimir Putin was not in doubt.On March 17th, with over 87% of the votes in his favor, Putin secured a fifth term, becoming the longest-serving leader of the Federation since Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin. With most opposition candidates either dead, jailed, exiled, or barred from running, the path was clear, with no credible challenger to his rule.Echoing this landslide victory, polls in Russia seem to indicate Putin enjoys real domestic support, with 86% approving of the President, according to the Levada Centre, a respected Russian pollster.So beyond these official figures, what do Russians really make of their leader? And is support for the war in Ukraine as strong as the Kremlin claims?In this episode, we talk to Aleksei Miniailo, a political activist in Moscow, who started a project with social scientists and analysts to find out how the war with Ukraine is really being perceived in Russia. Pavel Baev, a Research professor at PRIO and an expert on Russian foreign policy, also joins the conversation.PRIO's Peace in a Pod is hosted by award-winning journalist Arnaud Siad.
  • UNRWA in Crisis: A Conversation with Chief Lazzarini and Norway's State Secretary Kravik

    UNRWA is in trouble. The UN agency for Palestine Refugees is accused by Israel of being infiltrated by Hamas and having had some of its staff involved in the attacks on October 7th.Nearly 2 million people in Gaza depend on UNRWA for survival as war and displacement continue after nearly four months of war.The allegations by Israel concern a fraction of the workforce in Gaza, but are having devastating consequences for the organization, threatening its very existence.While an investigation into Israel’s claims is ongoing, the United States, Germany and Sweden – the largest individual donors to UNRWA - have all paused their funding, and the European Union is wavering over what to do. However, Norway, one of the largest donors to UNRWA, says it will continue its funding.In this episode, UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini, Norwegian State Secretary Andreas Motzfeldt Kravik, and Jørgen Jensehaugen, a PRIO expert on the Arab-Israeli conflict, discuss why the organization matters more now than ever.The episode is hosted by Arnaud Siad.
  • Migration Trends in 2023: Stories From the Field with CNN’s Nima Elbagir

    From war-torn Ukraine and Sudan to the Mediterranean, 2023 marked yet another year where thousands were forced to leave their homes in pursuit of a better life.In one of the deadliest migrant boat tragedies, more than 600 people drowned on June 14 off the coast of Greece, after a fishing vessel known as the Adriana capsized and sank. A few months later, the minuscule Italian island of Lampedusa saw an influx of 10,000 individuals within days, which nearly doubled the local population. It created new urgent humanitarian needs, on an island that has already welcomed and seen thousands pass through over the years, while again fuelling a narrative by fringe political parties of an "invasion."But beyond the gripping headlines, what were some of the key migration trends that defined 2023? What realities do those embarking on the journey to Europe face? And amidst the turmoil, are European initiatives aimed at curbing migration proving effective, and at what moral and financial costs?In this episode, we hear from Maria Gabrielsen Jumbert, a Senior Researcher at PRIO and an expert on migration and humanitarian issues. She is joined by Nima Elbagir, CNN's multi-award-winning Chief International Investigative Correspondent, who just returned from an assignment in the West Bank. Nima is in Oslo to deliver PRIO’s Annual Peace Address.This episode is hosted by Emmy-award winning journalist Arnaud Siad.
  • The Targeting of Hospitals in Gaza and Beyond

    On November 15th, Israeli forces stormed al-Shifa Hospital, the largest medical complex in the Gaza Strip, in search of a Hamas base.The facility sheltered hundreds of people: wounded civilians, children, and newborns. Soon after, the World Health Organization labeled the hospital a "death zone."Healthcare facilities enjoy special protections under international law. However, from Gaza to Ukraine, and in many other places, evidence suggests that hospitals are routinely viewed as mere military targets.So, how does international law safeguard healthcare facilities, and why is it often insufficient to protect hospitals and healthcare workers?Larissa Fast, a PRIO Global Fellow and Professor of Humanitarian and Conflict Studies at the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute, University of Manchester, joins this episode as the Principal Investigator on the project 'Researching the Impact of Attacks on Healthcare.' She is accompanied by Tobias Köhler, a specialist in international humanitarian law with the Norwegian Red Cross, who has served in legal and protection roles for the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Norwegian Refugee Council.This episode is hosted by Emmy Award-winning journalist Arnaud Siad.
  • What Does China Want?

    On November 15th, the world watched as a highly anticipated meeting between Chinese leader Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden took place amid the scenic backdrop of Woodside, California. From a controversial visit by a US House Speaker to Taiwan, to a Chinese spy balloon crossing the United States – the two countries’ relations have sunk to their lowest point in decades. And from the war in Ukraine to the conflict opposing Israel and the Palestinians, and a general election in Taiwan that could decide the fate not just of the island, but the entire region – a more assertive Beijing may be attempting to redefine the rules of the game. As the country marks the end of its presidency of the UN Security Council this November, we ask a simple question: what does China want? Ilaria Carrozza is a Senior Researcher at PRIO and an expert on Chinese foreign policy. She is joined from Beijing by Zichen Wang, a Chinese public intellectual with the Center for China and Globalization, and the founder and editor of newsletter Pekingnology.This episode is hosted by Emmy-award winning journalist Arnaud Siad.
  • Special Episode: The West's Response to the War in Gaza

    In the early hours of October 7, Palestinian militants with Hamas, the Islamic group that controls the Gaza Strip, mounted a stunning and highly coordinated invasion of Israel. They rampaged through Israeli towns, killing people in their homes, attacking young rave-goers, and taking some 200 hostages. The attacks by Hamas were horrific and gruesome, some of them live-streamed on social media for maximum impact. These were soon followed by Israel declaring war on Gaza, announcing a complete siege and starting a relentless campaign of bombardments that has killed thousands of civilians, flattened entire neighbourhoods and unleashed a humanitarian catastrophe. Western leaders were quick to respond to the attacks by Hamas with France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States issuing a joint statement, expressing their "steadfast and united support to Israel” and vowing to “support the country in its efforts to defend itself.”But beyond the unified front, a number of Western countries are voicing concerns about giving Israel carte blanche in Gaza, while UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres calls for a ceasefire. PRIO Senior Researcher Jørgen Jensehaugen, a specialist on the Arab-Israeli conflict and Jan Egeland, Secretary-General of the Norwegian Refugee Council who has teams on the ground in Gaza, discuss the West’s response to the conflict, and what the situation is like for the millions of Palestinians there. PRIO's Peace in a Pod is hosted by Emmy-award winning journalist Arnaud Siad.
  • Afghanistan's Earthquakes: The Plight of Afghan Women

    In the early hours of October 7, a powerful earthquake shook Herat province in western Afghanistan. It was followed by multiple aftershocks and a second, strong earthquake on October 11. Entire villages across western Afghanistan have been destroyed and over a thousand people lost their lives. And out of the rubble and dust has emerged a shocking statistic: according to the United Nations, women and children make up the vast majority of the dead and injured.To understand why, a new report co-published by the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security and the Peace Research Institute Oslo, sheds light on the plight of Afghan women.Launched on October 24, the “Women, Peace and Security Index” measures women’s inclusion, justice and security in 177 countries, covering over 99% of the world’s population. The report provides alarming figures for Afghanistan, where women are being erased from public life, and ranks the country last on its global index. In this episode of PRIO's Peace in a Pod, Torunn Tryggestad, PRIO’s Deputy Director and head of its Centre for Gender, Peace and Security, presents some of the Index's findings. She is joined by Fawzia Koofi, former deputy speaker of the Afghan Parliament, the first woman to hold that role, and one of the rare women to have sat at the negotiating table with the Taliban in 2021. She is also the author of a memoir, “The Favored Daughter.” PRIO's Peace in a Pod is hosted by Emmy-award winning journalist Arnaud Siad. 
  • 2023 Nobel Peace Prize: And the Winner Is…

    The announcement by the Norwegian Nobel Committee on the Peace Prize is an event highly anticipated each year by millions around the world. It’s easy to see why: the names of previous Nobel Peace Prize recipients include the likes of Malala Yousafzai, President Barack Obama, Nelson Mandela, and the 14th Dalai Lama. So who will be the winner this year? And what impact can it have on those who are receiving the Prize? 351 candidates were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2023, according to the Nobel committee – the second highest number ever. And this time, all bets are on figures such as Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, or Uyghur scholar Ilham Toti, also serving a prison sentence, in China. But Henrik Urdal, Director of the Peace Research Institute Oslo, sees it differently. As is an annual tradition at PRIO, he has published his shortlist of who should get the Prize, with a focus on human rights defenders and activists. Although PRIO is not part of the Nobel Committee and does not officially nominate laureates – its shortlist is independent, research-based, and widely respected. Henrik joins host Arnaud Siad alongside David Beasley – the former Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme, who accepted the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the organization in 2020.