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Diplomacy & Defense Think Tank News

Which agreements boost agricultural trade in Africa?

One of the main features of today’s global trade system is the proliferation of regional trade agreements (RTAs). The proliferation of RTAs in recent years has been coupled with broader and deeper coverage under these agreements. Broader coverage increasingly includes more policy areas that may be trade-related (tariffs and nontariff measures) or non trade-related (behind-the-border policies, intellectual property rights, movement of capital and people, competition policy, and others). In this regard, the scope of RTAs has been expanded by WTO members and signatories of RTAs from just 8 policy areas in the 1950s to 17 policy areas today. Deeper agreements include an increasing number of commitments within each policy area. They are also increasingly accompanied by legal requirements, such as stronger transparency and enforcement mechanisms. This chapter assesses the role of RTAs in boosting agricultural trade in Africa. Our analysis extends beyond estimating the overall impact of agreements on African trade to assess the relative importance of the detailed  agreements’ provisions, including both broader and deeper coverage, in boosting agricultural trade.

Multilateralism by the Numbers: What People Want and How to Deliver It

European Peace Institute / News - Tue, 12/09/2023 - 23:25
Event Video 

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Panelists for a high-level policy forum cohosted by IPI and the Open Society Foundations (OSF) on September 12th assessed the current health of the multilateral system and outlined strategies to strengthen multilateralism as a whole in a timely conversation ahead of the 78th Session of the General Assembly. In a bid for hope, they highlighted opportunities to bolster collective efforts and collaboration within the international community in the face of the converging and increasingly complex challenges of our time. The discussion was anchored in the principle of inclusion as speakers offered their recommendations for meaningful reform, gender equity, empowering states of all sizes, and building innovative alliances across nations, civil society, and the private sector.

IPI has been involved in the central debates of the multilateral system for many years, and this event provided the latest intervention on the evolving state of multilateralism with an updated question: Is the multilateral system on the verge of collapse? To shed light on both pressure points and areas for growth alike, the policy forum was framed by empirical data in the findings of the Multilateralism Index, produced in 2022 by IPI and the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), and drew on the results of a new global poll by OSF conducted in May and July of this year. The poll, “Open Society Barometer: Can Democracy Deliver?” surveyed more than 36,000 respondents from 30 countries representing the views of more than 5.5. billion people on global solidarity, democracy, human rights, financing for climate change and debt, and international governance.

President of the 78th Session of the General Assembly, H.E. Dennis Francis, set the tone for what will be required of all global decision makers for a cohesive multilateral system built for the advancement of all people. He delivered a call to lead by example and a pledge of transparency from the very top of the UN-based system. He highlighted three key strategies: restore trust by “vehemently denouncing behavior that violates the cherished tenets of the UN Charter;” reassess meaningful and complementary engagement in the international system; and insist on inclusion through the empowerment and involvement of all populations.

Addressing the speed and complexity of modern challenges will require agile solutions that recognize our interdependence and are willing to think imaginatively about future partnerships and alliances that break from the existing international architecture. For this task, Former President of Liberia and Nobel Peace Laureate H.E. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf emphasized the need to “prioritize the most vulnerable, marginalized populations,” in the decision-making processes that most affect them as those “who bear the brunt of interconnected challenges.” She noted the particular significance of women’s participation as key for development and sustainable peace and an essential piece of the multilateral puzzle.

As a representative of states facing existential challenges, Permanent Representative of Costa Rica to the UN Maritza Chan, reminded the audience of the pivotal role that small states can play if we provide them with the necessary resources and expertise on emergent technologies and dare to unlock their potential to address global problems in areas where they may already be leading the charge, such as AI advancement. Meghna Abraham, Executive Director of the Center for Economic and Social Rights, provided a voice for the civil society sector on the panel. She advocated for civil society as the model to follow in going beyond proscriptive silos and fostering innovative responses. Abraham firmly asserted the presence of numerous opportunities for reform but noted the contingency of those opportunities for change on “a shift in power and a shift in resources.” Underpinning panelists’ talking points, was the sentiment that in order to change the system so that it will actually work for people, enable them to survive, and have ownership in the multilateral process, we will need mobilization across disciplines and attention to the many contradictions of the very system designed to protect them.

Read the report>>

Opening Remarks:
H.E. Dennis Francis, President of the 78th Session of the General Assembly

Lord Mark Malloch-Brown, President, Open Society Foundations
H.E. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Former President of Liberia, Nobel Peace Laureate, Former Chair of ECOWAS, Founder of the Ellen Johnson Presidential Center for Women and Development, Former Co-Chair of the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response, and Co-Chair of the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Advisory Board on Effective Multilateralism (HLAB)
H.E. Maritza Chan, Permanent Representative of Costa Rica to the United Nations
Meghna Abraham, Executive Director of the Center for Economic and Social Rights

Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, President and CEO, International Peace Institute

Halbzeitbilanz zur 2030-Agenda

SWP - Mon, 11/09/2023 - 02:00

Am 18./19. September 2023 wird zum Auftakt der UN-Generalversammlung das Gipfel­treffen zu den Zielen nachhaltiger Entwicklung (SDGs) stattfinden. Die Staats- und Regierungschefs werden dabei zur Halbzeitbilanz der SDGs sprechen. Bislang dienten die 2030-Agenda und die dort aufgestellten Ziele als eine Art Kitt, der die Vereinten Nationen trotz geopolitischer Verwerfungen zusammenhielt. Ob das jetzt – wenn Taten auf Worte folgen müssen – weiter so bleiben wird, ist noch offen. Wie Analysen offenbaren, mangelt es auf nationaler wie globaler Ebene am politischen Willen. Für einen erfolgreichen Gipfel muss das Zusammenspiel zwischen nationalen Verpflichtungen samt Rechenschaftslegung einerseits und internationaler Unterstützung und Anreizen andererseits stimmig ausgestaltet werden.

Globales Meeting unter Stress

SWP - Thu, 07/09/2023 - 16:05
Auf dem G20-Gipfel schlagen geopolitische Spannungen durch: Russlands Angriffskrieg – und die neue Rivalität zwischen China und Indien. Wie konfliktfähig ist G20 noch?

Workshop series in November: Learn to use the SOEP over lunch (every Tuesday)

On every Tuesday in November the SOEP offers another online workshop "SOEPcampus: Learn to use the SOEP over lunch" which consists of 4 parts. Thus, this online workshop series gives a short online introduction to the data of the Socio-economic panel study. Participants will be introduced to the content of the study, its data-structure, sample selection and weighting strategy and they will be provided with an overview over the study documentation.

To join the workshop, please register (name, institution) with Janina Britzke and you will receive the login data one week before the event. The workshop will be held in English and participation is free of charge. For further information please read here

New Technologies and the Protection of Civilians in UN Peace Operations

European Peace Institute / News - Tue, 05/09/2023 - 19:23

The United Nations has increasingly focused on the modernization of peace operations, including through the Strategy for the Digital Transformation of UN Peacekeeping. However, the full potential of the link between digital transformation, new technologies, and peacekeeping has not yet been realized, particularly when it comes to the protection of civilians (POC). Too often, the Department of Peace Operations (DPO) deploys new technological tools first and only then determines how to apply them to POC objectives. As a result, mission staff are often harnessing technologies for POC in an ad hoc manner.

One of the main ways new technologies can contribute to POC is through timely and effective early-warning mechanisms. Platforms like SAGE and Unite Aware can help missions analyze data on threats and violence against civilians. Intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance tools like satellite imagery and unarmed aerial vehicles (UAVs) can aid in the collection of such data. The monitoring of communication platforms can also provide contextual information and insight into trends in public opinion, giving clues about future waves of violence.

This paper attempts to contribute to the ongoing reflection on the interaction between new technologies and POC, particularly in relation to early warning. The paper reviews peace operations’ use of new technologies and data, which could be further used for early warning for POC. It then discusses the limitations and risks of the use of new technologies for POC, particularly around data protection and privacy. The paper concludes by calling for a theory of change for how new technologies can contribute to POC in peacekeeping operations.


The Crisis Governance of the European Union

SWP - Mon, 04/09/2023 - 10:38

Since 2010, amid a series of overlapping crises, the EU has introduced far-reaching instruments both within and beyond the EU treaties that have expanded its responsibilities. These instruments often have a structure-defining character and/or have served as precedents in subsequent crises. An analysis of the decision-making processes on three key crisis instruments during the Covid-19 pandemic – vaccine procurement, the SURE programme to support national short-time working schemes and the recovery fund NGEU – reveals deficits in the democratic legitimacy of the EU’s crisis governance. The “emergency Article” 122 TFEU, which was used for all three crisis instruments, largely excludes the involvement of the European Parliament. As NGEU was linked to the EU’s Multiannual Financial Framework, the EP was involved but politically marginalised by the member states in the Council. Because standard EU procedures were used, the German Bundestag was informed in all three cases and was even able to secure more extensive information rights than the EP. However, this cannot replace European-level parliamentary control. As far as the capacity to act in decision-making processes is concerned, Article 122 TFEU with majority voting allowed for very quick decisions to be made regarding vaccine procurement and SURE, but not NGEU. The model of NGEU – with a link to the Multiannual Financial Framework and lengthy national approval procedures – is therefore not suitable as a model for crisis instruments. There are clear deficiencies in the transparency of decision-making pro­cesses and implementation as well the allocation of political responsibility. In the short term, the EU should increase the transparency of crisis in­struments; in the long term, it should introduce a clear definition of a “state of emergency”, with appropriate limits, into the EU Treaty, while strengthening the role of the EP.

Social Media-Redakteur*in (w/m/div)

Politikberatung gehört zu den Kernaufgaben des DIW Berlin. Um seine Forschungsergebnisse und Empfehlungen in die wirtschafts- und sozialpolitische Debatte einzubringen, betreibt das Institut eine intensive Öffentlichkeitsarbeit. Die Abteilung Kommunikation bereitet Themen und Inhalte für unterschiedliche Zielgruppen in verschiedenen Formaten auf. Dazu gehören insbesondere Pressearbeit, Print- und Onlinepublikationen, Website- und Social-Media-Kommunikation sowie Veranstaltungen.

 Zum nächstmöglichen Zeitpunkt suchen wir eine*n

Social Media-Redakteur*in (w/m/div) (Vollzeit).