At the end of March, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa will be coming together for the fifth summit of the BRICS to create a separate BRICS Development Bank. Thanks to their enhanced status as regional powers, their global ambitions to exert influence in matters of politics and defence have increased at the same time, linked to clear interests in raw materials and export. By encouraging the rule of law, Germany and the EU can help African states to successfully pursue their interests vis-à-vis partners from the BRICS countries to the benefit of their own populations.

From Liberation Movement to Government

Past Legacies and the Challenge of Transition in Africa

Virtually all African liberation movements have experienced considerable difficulties in actually making the transition from struggle to government. The persistence of this phenomenon in Africa was the wellspring for an international Dialogue of leading struggle veterans, policy makers and experts in early October 2012. Experience from South Africa and indeed across Africa suggests that as the immediate euphoria of liberation subsides, problems characteristically arise that have to be traced back to the liberation movement itself.

Korean Reunification

Possibility or Pipe Dream?

After 60 years of division, the differences in the lives of people in the North and South of the Korean Peninsula are probably greater than ever, the interests of the people have shifted and the idea of one nation has perhaps become much less important. Considering the substantial differences between North and South Korea in terms of per capita income, it is reasonable to assume that South Korea would have to bear the lion’s share of the costs of reunification and that these costs would be significantly higher than was the case in Germany.

Ukraine after the Parliamentary Elections

Rückblick und Ausblick

In spite of the massive manipulation and targeted use of administrative resources well in advance of the election day, the parliamentary elections produced a strong opposition. The former governing party, the Party of Regions (PR) led by President Viktor Yanukovych, did emerge as the strongest force, but was weakened. The objective of a two-thirds majority was clearly missed. The surprise winner was without doubt the right-wing national party Svoboda, which was able to enter the Verkhovna Rada for the first time, with 10.44 per cent.

Without Prospects?

Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons in Eastern Africa

The year 2012 brought more refugee crises than almost all years in the recent past. During the first nine months of the year, more than 700,000 refugees crossed international borders. The crises of the previous year – including the drought in the Horn of Africa and fighting in Libya – and the millions of refugees who have been in exile for years mean a critical point has been reached.

Jahresregister 2012

Sämtliche Artikel der Auslandsinformationen 2012 - geordnet nach Autoren, Ländern und Themenschwerpunkten.

Colombia: Reform, Stagnation and New Hopes for Peace

A Mid-Term Asessment of the Unidad Nacional Government

In August 2010, Juan Manuel Santos took over as the new President of Colombia. In the two years since his inauguration he has pushed through a new domestic and foreign agenda. When a few weeks ago Santos declared that peace talks would begin with the FARC-Guerilla, this marked the political high point of the first two years of his government.

Economic and political relations between Europe and Latin America in advance of the 1st EU-CELAC summit in Chile

Since 1999, European Union, Latin American and Caribbean heads of state and government have met almost every two years for a joint summit to discuss the state of relations between the two regions. The seventh such summit is to be held on 26 and 27 January 2013 in Santiago de Chile, although this time it will bear a new name. Following the creation of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) in 2010, the summit has been announced as the 1st EU-CELAC summit.


The Sahel Region has turned into an uncontrollable area, vulnerable not only to Islamists, but also to extortion as well as the drug trade and human trafficking. As diplomatic initiatives have not succeeded in resolving the conflict to date, the West African ECOWAS has now petitioned the UN Security Council for a mandate for an intervention in Mali. A positive decision is expected in the near future. Those who think that they can rely purely on political negotiations must answer the question as to who would be the negotiating partner in this scenario.

Kenya decides

Challenges of the new constitution and 2013 elections

After the elections in December 2007 protests against election tampering degenerated into violent unrest, arson attacks and looting. The conflict claimed hundreds of lives. A National Accord brought an end to the disturbances in February 2008. The agreement envisaged the drafting of a new constitution. Debates around the latter continue to shape events. It will only be fully implemented come the elections in March next year.

About this series

This periodical responds to questions concerning international issues, foreign policy and development cooperation. It is aimed at access of information about the international work for public and experts.

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