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Juancho Torres, AA, picture alliance.

Total Peace in Colombia?

President Petro’s Agenda between Aspiration and Reality

Since taking office in August 2022, Colombian President Gustavo Petro has pursued the vision of paz total – total or complete peace – and the reform agenda this involves as the linchpin of his government’s agenda. Negotiations with remaining guerrilla organisations and criminal groups create opportunities but involve major challenges, too.

picture alliance.

Trapped in the Crisis Mode of the Status Quo

Jordan Is Stable, Not Least thanks to German Support – But a Political Strategy Is Lacking

Jordan has become one of the top recipients of German development funds over the past decade. As a way of supporting an anchor of stability that cooperates with the West in the otherwise so troubled Middle East region, this has certainly been successful. Yet not only does international aid to Jordan risk getting mired down in details. The influx of money from abroad also takes pressure off the elites to reform, and the country is stuck in a cycle of dependency. Instead of continually embarking on new projects, development ­cooperation with Jordan needs a political strategy – and that applies to cooperation between Jordan and Germany, too.

IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

A celebration of democracy

Pro-European opposition wins Polish parliamentary elections

Poland's national-conservative government has lost its political majority after eight years in power. After all votes were counted, the democratic opposition parties won the elections to the Polish Sejm and Senate on October 15th: Koalicja Obywatelska (Citizens' Coalition, KO), Polskie Stronnictwo Ludowe (Polish People's Party, PSL) and Polska 2050 (Poland 2050) - the latter both running together in the electoral alliance Trzecia Droga (Third Way, TD) – and Lewica (Left). Observers describe this result as a historic turning point, which is marked by a record voter turnout of 74.38% - the highest since the political change in 1989. In the coming months, Poland will face important decisions regarding its domestic and foreign policy. 180-degree changes can be expected in European and German policy, in socio-political issues, and in the style and rhetoric of a new government. The economic and institutional environment remains challenging because financial leeway is becoming narrower and powerful veto players have to be taken into account. Furthermore, there are important local and European elections coming up next year, which is why there are fears that the election campaign will simply continue. The PiS in particular will make things anything but easy for the new government and will make every attempt to damage the three-party alliance.

Lula Oficial / Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0 Deed

India's G20 Presidency

A Review

India's G20 Presidency is coming to an end. The climax was the G20 summit, which took place on 9 and 10 September and turned the world's attention to the subcontinent. Surprisingly for many observers, Prime Minister Modi announced a diplomatically hard-fought final declaration on the very first day of the G20 summit. The most significant news surrounding the G20 summit came with the expansion of the G20 into a G21 with the admission of the African Union as a member. Another positive was the signing of a declaration of intent on the so-called India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC), which is seen by many observers as a viable alternative to China's Belt and Road Initiative. But apart from many positive but also negative news around the G20 summit and host India, it also revealed a lot about the domestic and foreign policy ambitions and concerns of the world's most populous country. The following G20 review looks at how India's current domestic and foreign policies are merging, something that has arguably never been more apparent than during this year's G20 presidency.

Municipal Information Security and Resilience

An analysis of the German approach to support

An increasing number of IT security incidents in municipal administrations have left behind some noticeable damage for citizens. In the worst case, the administration no longer functioned and municipal services could not be provided. Municipalities are initially responsible for their own information security and are supported by the federal and state governments. Read the analysis to find out which services are available to the municipalities, which functions the federal and state governments assume and what is necessary to improve resilience at the municipal level.

IMAGO / Afrikimages

Niger after the coup

Should Europe cooperate with the military?

Three months after the coup in Niger, the putschists rest unchallenged in power. The new leaders managed to win over many Nigeriens by rejecting military intervention by ECOWAS and kicking out French troops. There are currently no talks with RCOWAS as both sided dig in their heels. European countries have frozen military and development cooperation with Niger, Together with tough ECOEWAS sanctions this has led to a rise in poverty levels. Jihadists are trying to exploit the situation by staging more attacks on the army. Russia meanwhile is seeking to exploit Western hesitancy to talk to the putschists by offering itself as new partner. Should Western countries open a dialogue with the new governmernt in Niamey?

IMAGO / Agencia Prensa-Independiente

Decision on the political direction of Ecuador: Daniel Noboa becomes the new President

Center-right candidate Daniel Noboa, hopeful for a new political course, wins runoff election

On the election day of October 15, 2023, the young entrepreneur Daniel Noboa won 51.84 % of the votes with his non-confrontational appearance. In the extraordinary runoff election for the presidency, the majority of Ecuadorians voted against Luisa Gonzaléz, a candidate who stands for socialism of the XXI century and is considered a close confidant of Rafael Correa, who received 48.16 % of the vote. This is the third time in a row that Correísmo has lost presidential elections in a runoff. Noboa represents a course that seeks to free the population from the "Correísmo-Anti-Correísmo" scheme that has long paralyzed the country. However, the elect and soon-to-be Latin America's youngest president must reckon with powerful headwinds. For he faces a National Assembly that is dominated by deputies loyal to the Correa camp. In addition, the budget deficit at the end of the year will amount to four percent of gross domestic product and will probably put the brakes on many projects. Another complicating factor is that regular parliamentary and presidential elections are scheduled for May 2025, so the window of opportunity for implementing political measures is extremely limited.

IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

Guatemalans fight for their democracy

Large parts of the country and the capital paralyzed in Guatemala

Guatemala cannot rest easy. Following Bernardo Arévalo's surprising success in the first round of the Guatemalan presidential elections and his convincing victory in the runoff elections on August 20, tensions are intensifying. Influential forces are doing everything they can to prevent the president-elect from taking power on January 14, 2024. The Guatemalan population is resisting this "coup d'état on the quiet" (Arévalo) more strongly by the day. Since the weekend, large parts of the country and the capital have been paralyzed. There is no end in sight to this power struggle.

picture alliance/dpa | Fabian Sommer

Attack on Israel

Hamas attack shakes the Jewish state and raises questions about the country's security and future.

In the early morning hours of October 7, Hamas launched massive rocket attacks on Israel and simultaneously attacked the Jewish state on other fronts, on the ground and at sea - an unprecedented, concerted and targeted act of violence. Israel was surprised not only by the frequency of the rocket attacks, but also by the brutality of the attacks on the ground, which revealed an entirely new dimension. Terrorists were able to penetrate the heavily secured border fence around the Gaza Strip into Israeli localities in the border area, and there were numerous hostage-takings of soldiers and civilians and kidnappings of Israelis in the Gaza Strip.

IMAGO / UPI Photo

Busy Week at the East River

Ukraine, SDGs, climate change, and financing for development: The High-Level Week in New York showed the urgent need for reform and action to restore trust in multilateral solutions.

The High-level Week of the 78th UN General Assembly (UNGA78) unfolded amid a fraught backdrop of converging conflicts and crises, including an ongoing war, stalled development gains, and escalating climate change. Russia’s war in Ukraine and the UN’s inability to end it has struck a blow to the multilateral system, undermining its credibility. A multi-trillion dollar financing gap threatens hard-won progress towards the 2030 Agenda and the promise of a better, sustainable future for all. Meanwhile, the climate crisis—the existential threat of our time—steadily worsens in the absence of bold policies and initiatives.

Effective multilateral solutions to these global challenges are needed more than ever. However, in a time of deepening geopolitical division, the global community is struggling to respond to the urgency of the moment with the requisite political will and ambition. Drawing from the High-level Week discussions, this report will examine three of the most-pressing challenges for the UN system, underscoring where multilateral action has fallen short, where progress—however incremental—has been made, and what further steps are needed.

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