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IMAGO / NurPhoto

Reboot of Colombia's Neighborhood Policy

President Petro seeks rapprochement with Venezuela.

Colombia and Venezuela were once part of the same state, have shared a history since their founding, wear the same colors on their flags, and share a 2,219-kilometer border. What happens on one side of the border affects the other. However, relations between the two sister states have not always been friendly and have experienced some very critical moments. The inauguration of Gustavo Petro as Colombian president in August 2022 marked a turning point for the prospects of bilateral relations, especially politically, but also economically and socially. The ultimately unsuccessful policy approach of the previous Duque government, which was characterized by non-recognition and the goal of replacing Maduro's regime, has given way under President Petro to an open attitude that is willing to engage in dialogue. Critics accuse him of not taking sufficient account of the authoritarian character of the Venezuelan government. In the course of the rapprochement, President Petro still has more than three years left in his term of office to prove that his course of détente with Venezuela is the better policy approach for strengthening democracy, security and development in the region.

Reuters / Ints Kalnins

Presidential Elections in Latvia

A Choice for Unity

On May 31, 2023, the Latvian Saeima elected Edgars Rinkēvičs, a long-time minister The election required at least 51 of the 100 votes cast by Saeima deputies.

Pexels / Maahid Mohamed

Further rise of regional parties in India?

What role do India's regional parties play in the run-up to India's 2024 general elections?

Since the 1990s, the number of Indian regional parties has steadily increased.

U.S. Mission / Eric Bridiers / flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0

Geneva Telegram - The World Health Assembly – Pandemic accord, sustain-able finance and geopolitics

The "Geneva Telegram" explores events in Geneva-based multilateral organizations on a current topic. This time, the focus is on the 76th World Health Assembly (May 21-30, 2023).

The 76th World Health Assembly (WHA) was the first after the end of the Covid pandemic declared in early May. And yet the experiences made during the Covid-19 crisis shaped the meeting - as evident from many statements on the pandemic accord under discussion. The Member States of the World Health Organisation (WHO) also discussed WHO finances: they greenlighted an increase in the assessed contributions of Member States and discussed possibilities of new financing models.

mvs.gov.ua

Indien and the „Russian arms question“

Other countries see arms exports as a strategic instrument. Germany should do the same.

Armaments cooperation with the Soviet Union and the Russian Federation has formed the basis of India's security policy since the country's independence. The friendship of both states is first of all a deep dependence of New Delhi on Moscow. A dependency from which the Indian government wants and needs to break free, since the decline of the second largest arms exporter is shifting the strategic tectonics in large parts of the global South.

Framestock / Adobe Stock

The Sky is No Limit!?

The space and satellite program of Vietnam

10 years ago, Vietnam's first earth observation satellite VNREDSAT-1 was launched into orbit with French-European support - a milestone for the emerging Southeast Asian country

IMAGO / agefotostock

Election campaign in Guatemala

Between entrenched elites and unchannelled protest

On 25 June, Guatemala will hold regular elections for the period 2024-2028. The focus will be on the presidential elections and the election of the Congress. At the same time, however, the new leaders in the 340 municipalities and the members of the Central American Parliament (Parlacen) will be elected.

Adobe Stock / GrebnerFotografie

Local elections in Albania

The Socialist Party wins most municipalities in Albania's local elections. The opposition accuses the party of electoral fraud.

On 14 May, new mayors and municipal councils were elected throughout Albania. The majority of mayoral posts were won by the Socialist Party of Prime Minister Edi Rama. The coalition "Bashkë Fitojmë" of Sali Berisha and Ilir Meta could only win a few smaller municipalities, the Democrats under Enkelejd Alibeaj none.

IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

Turkey after the first round of elections

On 14 May 2023, the Turkish elections took place

Turkey held election on May 14, 2023. Neither President Erdoğan nor opposition candidate Kılıçdaroğlu received more than 50% of the vote. Thus, a runoff election will take place on May 28. For now, the two alliances have to mobilize everything again so that their candidate can ultimately prevail. Many observers assume that the People's Alliance around incumbent president Erdoğan is better prepared. Especially, since the AK Party won the majority in the parliamentary elections. The results are itself cause for enormous disappointment on the side of the opposition which came together as the National Alliance. It remains to be seen how deep this disappointment runs and the extent to which the opposition alliance is weakened. Given the circumstances, the AK Party and its partners are very confident. The election on May 14th can certainly be described as a victory for secular nationalism. Not least because after the runoff election, nationalist leaning parties can cooperate and find solutions yet to be seen, though not anticipates at the moment.

IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

G7 in Hiroshima

A critical Juncture

In light of Russia’s war in Ukraine and an increasingly tense international environment, Japan and its fellow G7 nations hope to characterize this year’s summit in the name of peace. Hiroshima, Prime Minister Kishida’s constituency, being the target of the first offensive nuclear weapon on August 6, 1945, in history, serves to remind all G7 nations of their commitment to peace and unity in times of international uncertainties. This year’s meeting is characterized by a more inclusive approach by inviting seven non-member countries as observers in addition to shifting the G7’s gaze toward the Global South to formulate a more comprehensive political and economic approach that includes developing and middle-income nations in future policy drafts. Despite the united stance of G7 member states, each nation brings forward a specific focus of interest to the discussion. For Japan, topics of nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation as well as energy security and strengthening the Indo-Pacific are of primary importance, whereas Germany’s emphasis lies on the global impact of the Russo-Ukrainian war and the continuous support of the global community for Ukraine.