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Diplomacy & Defense Think Tank News

Viele reden von multipolarer Weltordnung – was aber soll das genau sein und bringen?

SWP - Tue, 07/11/2023 - 05:30
Wo der Weltpolizist USA mit der Durchsetzung der 1945 festgelegten regelbasierten internationalen Weltordnung immer mehr überfordert scheint, grassiert der Ruf nach Multipolarität. Profitieren würden davon Staaten, die auf Geld und Gewalt als Mittel der Politik setzen.

Refining the Global Goal on Adaptation ahead of COP28

European Peace Institute / News - Mon, 06/11/2023 - 20:06

As the 2023 UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) approaches, it is increasingly crucial to understand and develop clear actions for not only mitigation but also adaptation. While mitigation has the clear numerical target of limiting warming to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels, adaptation is a complex concept that cannot be captured in a single figure. Ahead of COP28, there is a need for conceptual clarity as to what exactly the Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA) aims to achieve and how it can be globally applicable when adaptation is so often locally implemented.

One way to clarify the GGA is to adopt well-being as the ultimate outcome toward which countries should be working. Well-being is a state where one can pursue one’s goals and thrive. This requires having adequate physical health, water, food, and a healthy environment, even as the impacts of climate change worsen. Adaptation actions that further this goal should be assessed by their effects on present and future human and environmental well-being. Whenever possible, these actions should be both transboundary, reaching across national borders and administrative or jurisdictional boundaries, and transformational, addressing the systemic root causes of climate impacts and working toward a more stable, flexible, and equitable future.

This policy paper lays out the various climate risks that affect each of the four pillars of the GGA: human health, water security, food security, and biodiversity. It then details adaptation actions that can be taken in response to these risks, as well as indicators for improvement. While each step of the adaptation policy cycle should be robust and well-funded, these four pillars are the areas where progress is most crucial to achieving the GGA. When crafting a framework for transformational adaptation in these four areas, negotiators and technical experts can draw on existing, agreed-upon frameworks and indicators that point the world toward the goal of well-being for people and planet.


«Unterstützung für die Ukraine wird fragiler»

SWP - Mon, 06/11/2023 - 13:00
Der Blick der Weltöffentlichkeit richtet sich aktuell nach Gaza. Für die Ukraine eine schwierige Situation, denn das Land ist auf Unterstützung aus dem Westen angewiesen. Im «Tagesgespräch» analysiert die Sicherheitsexpertin Claudia Major die Lage.

The Netherlands and Germany, European friends with Africa

SWP - Mon, 06/11/2023 - 11:24


Africa’s place in the world has changed drastically over the last decades. With a young, self-assured and well-connected population, it is claiming a more prominent position on the world stage. Geo-political interest in the continent has surged, with countries such as China, India, the Gulf States, Russia and Turkey having increased their presence across Africa in the competition for good-will and resources. In this context, the influence of the EU and the Netherlands is waning. Africans look to Europe with mixed feelings, as the continent represents a bounty of opportunities while also harbouring a colonial past that seems to apply double standards at times. In view of continued instability, armed conflict and unrest, as well as persistent gaps in living standards when compared to European societies, more cooperation is not only necessary, but urgently needed.

Responding to calls from the Dutch Parliament and the government’s Advisory Council for International Relations to redefine Dutch cooperation with Africa so that it stands on equal footing and is based on mutual interests, the Netherlands and its African partners have begun formulating a 10-year strategy. Consultations with stakeholders from civil society, academia and diplomacy from Africa and the Netherlands have provided a starting point for the Netherlands’ first continent-wide strategy. With the EU as our primary vehicle for action, we are committed to contributing towards the African Union’s Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want, which will extend those elements of the SDG agenda that we are committed to beyond 2030.

The Africa Strategy of the Netherlands is an integrated agenda relating to 1) economic development on an equal footing, 2) security and stability, 3) migration, reception and return and 4) poverty reduction, sustainability and inclusion. Having been published in May 2023 and discussed in Parliament in early October 2023, implementation has just started and is being followed with a fixed action agenda for the short, medium and long term. Concrete actions include aiming for dialogue with African countries on priorities in the framework of EU Global Gateway projects, improving matters regarding the issuing of visas for entrepreneurs from growth markets and strengthening local civil society on the basis of local ownership. At the same time, “how to” questions still remain, especially with regard to ensuring genuine equality in the implementation of the strategy.

What does equality and the pursuit of shared interests mean in practice? What language and attitudinal changes are needed to genuinely build equal relations? How does this relate to different fields of implementation – from diplomacy, trade promotion and knowledge exchange to development programming? How do we ensure a sustainable government-wide commitment? How do we shape an effective monitoring and evaluation process while highlighting what works and what does not? And how do we involve our African partners throughout?

Finding answers to these questions requires attitudinal changes on the part of diplomats, business people and development professionals as well as other Dutch actors with connections to Africa. Equality requires a mutual understanding of positions, looks for cooperation on the basis of shared interests and puts the relationship first. More engagement is needed with partners across the African continent to ensure this strategy delivers the desired results – from government, civil society and business to academia. It also requires working with domestic and international implementation partners. In the process of formulating our strategy, we looked closely at the strategic approaches of our friends in Europe. Initiative taken by the German Government, in particular by formulating the BMZ Africa Strategy and currently the revision of the Africa Policy Guidelines, are a point of influence and very welcome. . Germany has taken responsibility for its historical legacy by addressing the more difficult periods of its past and drawing lessons on how future generations may live together. Similarly, the Netherlands and its Ministry of Foreign Affairs are trying to take on their historical responsibility to address colonialism, slavery and institutional racism. Having adopted a Feminist Foreign Policy that is focussed on addressing systematic inequality world-wide, the current Africa Strategy is a logical next step for the Netherlands to take regarding its international responsibility.

Lofty declarations and policy objectives alone are not enough. The challenge is for governments in Europe as well as Africa to take responsibility and move towards a secure, just and prosperous future. In this endeavour of working towards mutual interests and benefits, there is a possibility to lead by example and share the opportunities for leadership with the women, men and youth in Africa, Europe and beyond.

Disclaimer: This blog post provides the author’s perspective on the Netherlands’ Africa Strategy for 2023-2032. Though it reflects on a strategy submitted by Ministers to parliament, it may not precisely and fully reflect the position of the Government of the Netherlands. The author is an independent advisor within the government, contributing to the diversity of thought.

Dr Melle Leenstra is Strategic Policy Advisor at the Africa Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (BZ) of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Responsibility for content, opinions expressed and sources used in articles and interviews lies with the respective authors.

Politikwissenschafter zum Krieg in Isarel

SWP - Mon, 06/11/2023 - 09:58
Politikwissenschafter und Nahost Experten Peter Lintl, von der Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, spricht über den Krieg in Israel. Die israelische Armee hat Gaza-Stadt eingekreist und habe laut eigenen Angaben damit den Gazastreifen in zwei Hälften geteilt.

Nahostkrieg: Islamwissenschaftler hält Zerstörung der Hamas für möglich

SWP - Thu, 02/11/2023 - 23:57
Nach Einschätzung von Guido Steinberg kann das israelische Militär die Zerschlagung der Hamas erreichen – allerdings nur mit hohen Verlusten und mit monatelangen Kämpfen. Das Bild der Stärke der Hamas sei von den Ereignissen am 7. Oktober geprägt.

Terror in Israel und Krieg in Nahost: Was nun?

SWP - Thu, 02/11/2023 - 17:41
Die Politikwissenschaftlerin Dr. Muriel Asseburg beobachtet den Nahost-Konflikt seit vielen Jahren. Sie analysiert in SWR1 Leute, welche Folgen der Angriff der Hamas auf Israel für die gesamte Region haben könnte.

Was wird aus Gaza? – „Wenn das jetzt kein Weckruf ist…“

SWP - Thu, 02/11/2023 - 17:40
Seit dem Wochenende rückt die israelische Armee im Gazastreifen mit Bodentruppen vor. Politologin Muriel Asseburg über die gescheiterte Politik der letzten Jahre, humanitäre Feuerpausen und die wahrscheinlichsten Szenarien für die Zukunft der Region.

Where can international cooperation in Gaza come in, Ms. Asseburg?

SWP - Thu, 02/11/2023 - 17:39
The armed conflict between Israeli forces and the Hamas is escalating. What does this mean for Gaza, a region that was already heavily dependent on external aid? Questions for Dr. Muriel Asseburg, Senior Fellow at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) in Berlin.

„Die deutsche Afrikapolitik muss geostrategischer gedacht werden!“

SWP - Thu, 02/11/2023 - 11:45


Megatrends Afrika: Welche aktuellen Entwicklungen und Herausforderungen machen es nötig, dass Deutschland seine Afrikapolitik neu ausrichtet?

Dr. Katja Leikert: Afrikas Staaten werden zu Recht immer selbstbewusster und fordern mehr Respekt und größere Mitbestimmungsrechte auf globaler Ebene ein. In Europa reden wir uns seit Jahren ein, wir würden diese Forderungen ernst nehmen. Doch das tun wir nur sehr bedingt. In vielen Bereichen sind wir noch immer zu paternalistisch und beharren auf unseren Privilegien. Das schadet unserer Glaubwürdigkeit und unseren Beziehungen. Mit einem immer stärker aufstrebenden afrikanischen Kontinent – dessen zukünftige Entwicklung starke Auswirkungen auch auf Europa haben wird – können wir uns das nicht länger erlauben.

Eine akute Herausforderung ist die Zukunft unseres Engagements im Sahel. Die dramatischen Entwicklungen der letzten Monate zeigen deutlich, dass es für uns dort so nicht weitergeht. Ein vollständiger Rückzug aus der Region ist jedoch keine Lösung. Das Risiko ist zu groß, dass die Instabilität des Sahel auch auf die Küstenstaaten Westafrikas übergreift. Wir sollten aktiv bleiben, aber brauchen dafür endlich eine vernünftige Strategie.

MTA: Wie sollte die deutsche Afrikapolitik neugestaltet werden, um die Zusammenarbeit mit afrikanischen Staaten zu verbessern und die nachhaltige Entwicklung in Afrika zu fördern?

KL: Unser starkes Engagement in der Entwicklungszusammenarbeit hat viel Gutes erreicht, aber wir müssen stärker darüber hinausdenken. Es reicht nicht aus, wenn unsere Bundesregierung die enormen wirtschaftlichen Chancen des afrikanischen Kontinents nur anerkennt. Sie muss aktiver deutsche Firmen mit ins Boot zu holen, um diese Chancen auch zu nutzen.

Privatwirtschaftliches Engagement ist für eine rasche und zugleich nachhaltige Entwicklung unabdingbar. Nur so können zeitnah komplexere Wertschöpfungsketten in den jeweiligen afrikanischen Staaten realisiert werden.

Ein erster Schritt hierbei wäre es, unsere Entwicklungszusammenarbeit enger mit Maßnahmen der Außenwirtschaftsförderung zu verzahnen. Wir sollten für deutsche Unternehmen, die in Afrika aktiv werden wollen, eine zentrale Anlaufstelle einrichten, die den Zugang zu Informationen und Fördermitteln massiv erleichtert. Bisher ist dies gerade für kleine und mittelständische Unternehmen noch eine zu große Hürde.

MTA: Wie wollen Sie sicherstellen, dass die deutsche Afrikapolitik sowohl die eigenen Interessen als auch die Bedürfnisse und Prioritäten der afrikanischen Staaten und Gesellschaften berücksichtigt?

KL: Wir müssen uns unserer eigenen geostrategischen Interessen in diesem Kontext überhaupt bewusster werden und diese klarer definieren. Erst dann können wir unser entwicklungs- und wirtschaftspolitisches Engagement in Afrika auch strategischer denken. Die aktuelle Zerfaserung des deutschen, aber auch europäischen Engagements vor Ort führt zur Verschwendung von ungenutzten Potenzialen.

Gleichzeitig müssen wir verstärkt darauf achten, afrikanische Partner nicht zu bevormunden, sondern auch mit divergierenden Interessen konstruktiv umzugehen. Hier braucht es die Bereitschaft auf unserer Seite, maßgeschneiderte Kooperationskonzepte erarbeiten. Gerade bei Fragen der wirtschaftlichen Entwicklung und des Klimaschutzes braucht es manchmal mehr Verständnis für die Position des Gegenübers.

Dabei ist es die Aufgabe beider Seiten, bei jeglichen Projekten auch auf die sozialen Auswirkungen zu achten. Wenn beispielsweise der Aufbau von grüner Wasserstoffproduktion in manchen afrikanischen Staaten zu Wasserverknappung und sozialer Verdrängung führen würde, muss dies in den Planungen frühzeitig und mit Nachdruck angesprochen werden.

MTA: Welche blinden Flecken nehmen Sie in der deutschen Afrikapolitik wahr, die Sie gerne stärker auf die politische Agenda setzen würden?

KL: Die französische Präsenz in Afrika nimmt ab. Das wird in Deutschland zwar wahrgenommen, was daraus für uns folgt, wird nicht entschlossen genug diskutiert. Hier braucht es zuerst eine umfassende Analyse, was die von Präsident Macron vor einigen Monaten angekündigte neue französische Strategie für uns wirklich bedeutet. Und dann gilt es ein klares Selbstverständnis davon zu entwickeln, wie wir uns vor dem Hintergrund dieser Änderungen in Afrika neu aufstellen können, wollen und müssen.

Ein weiterer blinder Fleck, wie oben bereits angeschnitten, ist die zu kurz greifende staatliche Unterstützung für deutsche Unternehmen, die in Afrika aktiv werden wollen. Das Potenzial ist in vielen afrikanischen Märkten riesig. Auch Interesse ist in der deutschen Wirtschaft vielerorts gegeben. Die bisher verfügbaren Instrumente der Außenwirtschaftsförderung sind jedoch an vielen Stellen nicht ausreichend. Hier sollte die Bundesregierung dringend nachbessern.

Dr. Katja Leikert (CDU) ist Mitglied des Deutschen Bundestages. Sie ist Mitglied im Auswärtigen Ausschuss und dort für die CDU/CSU Bundestagsfraktion Berichterstatterin zu Grundsatzfragen der deutschen Afrikapolitik. Dieses schriftliche Interview wurde im September 2023 geführt und ist Teil unserer Mini-Serie „Vier Fragen“, in denen wir Abgeordnete nach ihren Prioritäten für die neuen Afrikapolitischen Leitlinien fragen.

Building Trust, Building Peace: Israel-Palestine and the Importance of Moral Consistency

European Peace Institute / News - Mon, 30/10/2023 - 23:47

Download Remarks

On October 30th, IPI President Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein delivered the keynote address at the Opening Ceremony of the 10th annual Geneva Peace Week at the Maison de la Paix in Geneva, Switzerland. This year’s theme was “Building Trust, Building Peace: An Agenda for the Future.”

Speaking to the assembled delegates, President Al Hussein said, “If we are to build trust and peace, we need to be as morally consistent as we can…Building trust and building peace can only be achieved if states hold themselves — and expect others do the same — to one set of rules applicable to all. It is that basic and elemental. And peacemaking must become a core part of what a new UN will look like, it has been lost and must now be recovered.”

Read full remarks here >>

The Role of Women’s Organizations in Combatting Gender-Based Violence in Conflict-Affected Contexts

European Peace Institute / News - Wed, 25/10/2023 - 22:36
Event Video 

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In collaboration with the Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation and the Permanent Mission of Sweden to the UN, IPI convened a hybrid policy forum on the margins of the UN Security Council’s Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) on October 25th. The event, entitled “The Role of Women’s Organizations in Combatting Gender-Based Violence in Conflict-Affected Contexts,” provided a platform for advocates, activists, and researchers to come together and discuss the role of women’s organizations in addressing conflict-related gender-based violence (GBV).

The world is currently grappling with the highest number of conflicts since WWII, marked by pervasive conflict-related GBV and rampant impunity for perpetrators. Panelists underscored the vital role of women’s organizations in combatting GBV in conflict settings. However, they also highlighted the dire need for increased funding and substantive support to allow these organizations to conduct advocacy and programming to end conflict-related GBV.

The event began with opening remarks from the Vice Minister for Multilateral Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Relations of Colombia, Elizabeth Taylor Jay, who spoke about Colombia’s experiences with implementing the WPS agenda in Colombia where “women and feminist movements and organizations have been the main protagonists.” Next, Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of Sweden to the UN, Andreas von Uexküll, spoke about the danger of conflict-related sexual violence being the “world’s least condemned crime of war” and the need for member states to loudly condemn these crimes and support every avenue for justice.

Kvinna til Kvinna Foundation launched a new report, titled “They came together not to be silenced—gender-based violence in conflict & the role of women’s rights organizations” at the event. The report sheds light on the work of women’s organizations in four conflict-affected countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, and Ukraine.

Jessica Poh-Janrell, Advocacy Advisor of Kvinna till Kvinna, presented the report’s findings, identifying six themes of convergence among the four regions. She reported: “States have been unprepared, unable and, in some cases, unwilling to provide victims and survivors with sufficient support and hold perpetrators to account.” Women’s rights organizations have played an essential role in filling these critical gaps in services, yet they remain severely underfunded.

Panelists from several regions offered their perspectives on the context-specific challenges women’s organizations confront today and their implications for the international community’s response to GBV.

Adrijana Hanušić Bećirović, Senior Legal Adviser at Trial International in Bosnia and Herzegovina, spoke about how the war is still “omnipresent” in the hearts and minds of the victims in Bosnia and Herzegovina and a key part of the path to peace is establishing truth and providing justice for victims.

Oksana Potapova, Researcher and Women’s Rights Activist in Ukraine, drew attention to the continuum of violence that women endure and emphasized that GBV can serve as an early warning sign for conflict.

Solange Lwashiga, Executive Secretary Caucus des Femmes from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, spoke about the need to speak up to support change and the strategy of women’s organizations to break the silence around GBV in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Letitia Anderson, Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, grounded the discussion in the historical legacy of GBV within contexts of war. She articulated that sexual violence in conflict is a political issue and that it creates an undue burden on civil society to respond to these realities on the ground without political support.

All speakers made clear that gender equality and peace are inextricably linked and that gender-based violence is a political issue with a political economy.

Opening Remarks:
Elizabeth Taylor Jay, Vice-Minister for Multilateral Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Relations, Colombia
Andreas von Uexküll, Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of Sweden to the UN

Jessica Poh-Janrell, Advocacy Advisor, Kvinna til Kvinna
Adrijana Hanušić Bećirović, Senior Legal Adviser at Trial International, Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina
Oksana Potapova, Researcher and Women’s Rights Activist, Ukraine
Solange Lwashiga, Executive Secretary Caucus des Femmes, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Letitia Anderson, Team Leader for Political Advocacy & Communications, UN Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict

Phoebe Donnelly, Senior Fellow and Head of Women, Peace, and Security, International Peace Institute

Understanding Masculinities to Dismantle Patriarchal Power Structures

European Peace Institute / News - Mon, 23/10/2023 - 21:10
Event Video 

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Ahead of the UN Security Council’s Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security, IPI co-hosted a panel discussion on October 23rd with the New Lines Institute and Equimundo. The event entitled “Understanding Masculinities to Dismantle Patriarchal Power Structures” was organized in response to the Secretary General’s call to dismantle patriarchal power structures in his New Agenda for Peace policy brief. The panel featured representatives from member states, UN agencies, and civil society discussing patriarchal structures, masculinities, and the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda.

Arlene B. Tickner, Deputy Permanent Representative of Colombia to the UN, opened the discussion by advocating for a shared definition of patriarchy and masculinity because we can’t dismantle something we do not understand. She described patriarchy as “a political-social system rooted in socially defined gender roles that operates to create both oppression and privilege.” Ambassador Tickner went on to explain that patriarchy insists that certain men, particularly those who are heteronormative and white, are naturally superior to those perceived as weak, in particular females (including trans women). This system grants them the inherent right to dominate and rule through distinct forms of power and violence.

Kat Fotovat, Principal Deputy Director of the Office of Global Women’s Issues for the U.S. Department of State, emphasized the importance of engaging men and boys in the promotion of the rights of women and girls through US foreign policy. She recognized the pervasiveness of patriarchal structures, describing patriarchy as “vast and insidious, replicated and made invisible by the nature of having existed for centuries.” She called for institutionalized policies and programming that recognize how gender-based violence and gender inequality are fundamentally rooted in unequal power structures that prioritize men.

Gary Barker, President of Equimundo, identified men’s increasing economic marginalization as a key driver of the global regression in gender equality. Economic vulnerabilities, he explained, breed resistance from men, allowing far-right groups to instrumentalize these feelings of loss in their messaging against gender equality.

Sarah Douglas, Deputy Chief of the Peace and Security section at UN Women, noted that global military budgets have exceeded previous records for the 8th consecutive year, reaching a level of $2.2 trillion. At the same time, funding for women’s organizations in conflict zones has decreased from 0.5% to 0.3% of Official Development Assistance (ODA) in fragile settings. She noted that male-dominated approaches to peace and security, which prioritize militarized responses, have contributed to the current conflict-ridden state of the world.

Emily Prey, Director of the WPS Portfolio at the New Lines Institute, emphasized the role of research in advancing the effectiveness of policy and conflict prevention programs. She noted that decades of research show that patriarchy is a net negative for society, which is why it is vital to educate men and boys to gain their support for dismantling the structures that ultimately harm all of society in the long term.

Dean Peacock, Director of the Mobilizing Men for Feminist Peace Initiative of WILPF, redirected attention to the legacies of colonialism and land dispossession in the Global South as a fundamental challenge to building a far-reaching movement that attracts both men and women to advocate for gender equality. He stressed the importance of contextualization to address structural factors that contribute to gendered harms in conflict settings.

Speakers offered innovative strategies for advocating, mobilizing political will, promoting education, developing programming, securing funding, and conducting research, related to masculinities and gender equality, all of which will be necessary to dismantle patriarchal systems.

Welcoming Remarks:
Adam Lupel, Vice President and COO, International Peace Institute

H.E. Arlene B. Tickner, Deputy Permanent Representative of Colombia to the UN
Kat Fotovat, Principal Deputy Director, Office of Global Women’s Issues, US Department of State
Gary Barker, President and CEO, Equimundo: Center for Masculinities and Social Justice
Sarah Douglas, Deputy Chief of UN Women
Emily Prey, Director of the Gender Policy Portfolio at New Lines Institute
Dean Peacock, Director of the Mobilizing Men for Feminist Peace Initiative, WILPF

Phoebe Donnelly, Senior Fellow and Head of the Women, Peace, and Security Program, International Peace Institute