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The International Crisis Group (ICG) is an international, non-profit, non-governmental organization whose mission is to prevent and resolve deadly conflicts around the world through field-based analyses and high-level advocacy.


The International Crisis Group was founded in 1995 by World Bank Vice-President Mark Malloch Brown, former US diplomat Morton Abramowitz and Fred Cuny, an international disaster relief specialist who disappeared in Chechnyamarker in 1995. Their aim was to create an organisation, wholly independent from any government, to assist governments, intergovernmental bodies and the international community at large in preventing deadly conflict.

Organization and purpose

The ICG gives advice to governments, and intergovernmental bodies like the United Nations, European Union and World Bank, on the prevention and resolution of deadly conflict. Its primary goals are a combination of field-based analysis, policy prescription, and aggressive advocacy, with key roles being played by a senior management team highly experienced in government and by a highly active Board of Trustees containing many senior diplomats. By its own accounts, the ICG plays a major role in six ways:
  • Ringing early warning alarm bells, in the monthly CrisisWatch bulletin, and in specific ‚Äėcrisis alerts‚Äô, e.g., in Ethiopiamarker-Eritreamarker, Darfurmarker, Somaliamarker and Pakistanmarker;
  • Contributing, on both process and substance, behind the scenes support and advice to critical peace negotiations, e.g., in Sudanmarker, Burundimarker, Northern Uganda, Acehmarker, Nepalmarker and Kenyamarker;
  • Producing highly detailed analysis and advice on specific policy issues in scores of 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;
  • Providing detailed information unobtainable elsewhere on developments regarding conflict, mass violence and terrorism of particular utility to policymakers, e.g., on the Jemaah Islamiyah in Indonesiamarker and Islamic Courts in Somaliamarker;
  • Offering new strategic thinking on some of the world‚Äôs most intractable conflicts and crises, e.g., on the Iran nuclear issue, the role of Islamism worldwide, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and the way forward in Kosovomarker, Iraqmarker and the Western Saharamarker; and
  • Strongly supporting a 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 ‚Äėresponsibility to protect‚Äô.

The ICG maintains teams of analysts in 17 field offices worldwide, who are dispatched to areas at risk of outbreak, escalation, or recurrence of conflict. Based on the information these teams gather, the organization creates analytical reports with recommendations targeted at various world leaders and organizations. In addition to this work, the Crisis Group publishes a monthly newsletter, CrisisWatch, which provides a brief overview of continuing or impending violence in the world. All of the Crisis Group's reporting is available on its website.

Current officers

The Crisis Group is co-chaired by former Britishmarker politician and European Commissionermarker for External Affairs, Christopher Patten and former US Ambassador to the United Nations, Thomas R. Pickering.

Its President and Chief Executive since January 2000 has been former Foreign Minister of Australia, Gareth Evans. From July 2009 he will be succeeded by Louise Arbour, who was formerly the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and Justice of the Supreme Court of Canadamarker.


The Crisis Group raises funds from governments, charitable foundations, companies and individual donors. In 2006, 40% of its funding came from 22 different governments, 32% from 15 philanthropic organisations, and 28% from individuals and private foundations.


The Crisis Group's international headquarters are in Brussels, with advocacy offices in Washington DCmarker (where it is based as a legal entity), New Yorkmarker, Londonmarker and Moscowmarker. The organisation currently operates seventeen field offices (in Abujamarker, Ammanmarker, Bishkekmarker, Bogot√°marker, Cairomarker, Colombomarker, Dakarmarker, Dushanbemarker, Islamabadmarker, Jakartamarker, Kabulmarker, Kathmandumarker, Nairobimarker, Port-au-Princemarker, Pristinamarker, Seoulmarker and Tbilisimarker), with analysts working in over 50 crisis-affected countries and territories across four continents.

Countries and territories with ongoing Crisis Group activity

Issues research

Crisis Group's ten areas of issues research is co-ordinated out of Brussels. Reports published in 2001 and 2005 under the "Issues" heading "draw on lessons from Crisis Group's in-country experience in crisis zones around the world as well as existing studies by research institutions and think tanks."The ten research areas are Islamism, Violence and Reform, Energy Issues, The Responsibility to Protect (R2P), Peace and justice, Gender and Conflict, Climate Change and Conflict, International Terrorism, Democratisation, The European Union and its crisis response capability, and HIV/AIDS as a security issue.

Crisis Group President Gareth Evans served as co-chair of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty that first fully articulated the doctrine of the Responsibility to protect concept in 2001. The doctrine of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) holds that sovereign states, and the international community as a whole, have a responsibility to protect civilians from mass atrocity crimes.



  1. International Crisis Group - About International Crisis Group
  2. International Crisis Group - thematic issues
  3. "The Saharan Conundrum" by Nicholas Schmidle, The New York Times Magazine, p. MM34, 2-15-09. Retrieved 2-15-09.

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