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"BRICS Plus" - Brief analysis Latin America

While the BRICS summit in Johannesburg and the expansion of the alliance that took place at the summit generated little media coverage in Mexico, Central America, the Andean states and Uruguay, the event was followed with greater interest in the member country Brazil, as well as in Chile. In the left-wing authoritarian states of Bolivia and Venezuela, the BRICS expansion also received a great deal of official attention, as the heads of state of both countries travelled to Johannesburg as observers or joined in via video message, reaffirming their interest in becoming members themselves. Argentina's potential membership of BRICS+ has become a topic of discussion in the presidential election campaign, with the country on the Rio de la Plata now debating the pros and cons of joining at the turn of the year.

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"BRICS Plus" - Brief analysis Middle East and North Africa

Four of the six potential new BRICS members - Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) - belong to the Middle East and North Africa region. The motives of these four countries for joining BRICS are diverse: while Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE are primarily interested in expanding their economic partnerships, membership of the BRICS group means a way out of economic and political isolation for Iran. Several other countries in the region such as Bahrain, Kuwait, Algeria, Sudan and the Palestinian territories have applied for membership. While Egypt, the UAE and Iran officially joined on January 1, 2024, Saudi Arabia is still hesitant to officially accept the invitation to join the alliance.

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"BRICS Plus" - Brief analysis Sub-Saharan Africa

For the first time in its history, the BRICS Summit took place on the African continent in Johannesburg. The theme of the summit, "BRICS and Africa: A Partnership for Growth, Sustainable Development and Multilateralism", also reflects the BRICS' growing interest in Africa. In addition to the fact that two African countries, Egypt and Ethiopia, will be accepted as full members of the alliance from 2024, the participation of 30 African heads of state and government at the summit also manifests the importance that African countries now attach to the BRICS. South Africa and Ethiopia, as current and designated member states, as well as Nigeria and Kenya, which are regarded as regional powers and influential geopolitical players, are paying particularly close attention to the topic. In many other sub-Saharan African countries, however, it plays a rather subordinate role in public and political discourse.

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"BRICS Plus" - Brief analysis Europe and North America

Overall, government representatives from Europe and North America were noticeably reticent to make public statements on the most recent BRICS summit and the BRICS expansion. The low media attention is also associated with the fact that the BRICS should not be overrated. Calls to join the BRICS alliance, such as in Serbia or parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina, are not echoed at all. Overall, the BRICS alliance tends to be seen as an anti-Western alliance of states in Europe and North America, although its influence is considered to be low primarily due to its great heterogeneity. Some observers even see the BRICS as weakened by the strong fragmentation, for example in Canada and Sweden: even defining common goals is becoming increasingly difficult, and Egypt and Argentina are considered to be rather economic brake pads than drivers.

Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung e. V.

„Leaving No One Behind?“ – Inklusion in Japan im Stresstest

Inklusion weltweit – Aktueller Stand aus Japan

Der erste Blick auf die Straßen Japans verheißt Gutes: die gelben, gerillt und genoppten Markierungen ziehen sich wie ein stetes Band entlang der Fahr- und Fußwege, entlang an Überquerungen und Bahnsteigen. Fast überall im Land finden Menschen mit eingeschränkter Sehkraft sicher ihren Weg. Wenige wissen, dass diese taktilen oder tastbaren Pflastersteine einst in der Okayama Präfektur erfunden wurden. Erste behindertengerechte Vorkehrungen reichen in Japan sogar 700 Jahre zurück; seh- und gehbehinderte Menschen hatten je nach Art ihrer Arbeit sogar ein Anrecht auf Sänften.

IMAGO / Xinhua

A leap into the unknown

Libertarian Javier Milei is the new president of Argentina

The winner of the run-off election for the office of President of Argentina is Javier Milei. The libertarian candidate from the La Libertad Avanza party, which was only founded two years ago, won a surprisingly clear victory with 55.69% of the vote and a lead of over 11% against the Peronist candidate and incumbent Minister of Economy and Finance Sergio Massa with 44.3%. In the general elections on October 22, the latter had been able to claim first place in the voters' favor with just under 37% of the vote and a 7% lead over Milei. Voter turnout was 76.35% and the proportion of abstentions was lower than expected at 1.55%, with 1.62% of votes being invalid. The Libertarian won in 20 of the 23 provinces and in the autonomous city of Buenos Aires. He probably also owes his clear victory to the support of prominent figures from the conservative Propuesta Republicana (PRO) party. Although their presidential candidate Patricia Bullrich did not make it into the run-off, almost 24% of voters had given her their vote in October. Just three days after the election, both former President Mauricio Macri and Patricia Bullrich publicly spoke out in favor of Milei and against Massa. However, the initial euphoria over the election victory could quickly evaporate, even for the newly elected president, against the backdrop of the enormous challenges, particularly in economic policy.

Marco Urban

75th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The 1948 Declaration formulated a claim, but it is by no means the end of the matter.

When the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, under the leadership of Eleanor Roosevelt, draft-ed the Declaration in 1947, the goal was to bridge deep divisions between liberal states and authoritarian regimes, between secular and religious countries. The result was thirty concise articles. Their adoption by the UN General Assembly on December 10, 1948—although not legally binding—was an astonishing histor-ical development. Since then, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights has not remained free of criticism. And when it comes to human rights violations, we are often dealing with massive offenses. The implemen-tation of human rights in social and political reality therefore remains an ongoing challenge. This is currently evident in the developments in the Middle East.

David Canales / Zuma Press / ContactoPhoto (europa press)

Re-election of Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez

Fragile minority government will increase polarization

Pedro Sánchez (PSOE) has been re-elected as Prime Minister of the Spanish government with the help of separatist parties from Catalonia and the Basque Country. He is imposing a high price on Spain for his decision. The country is more divided than ever. The relatively young democracy is in danger of being compromised.

Adobe Stock / Robert Kneschke

Renewal of political parties - Digitalisation and political parties

On hybridisation, dialogue orientation and cultural and structural change: How can established parties adapt to the new realities of digitalisation?

In times of accelerating digitalisation, adapting to new social realities is one of the key challenges for established parties. Which paths established parties take in this regard and which instruments they can and should use are not just exciting scientific questions. They are questions that are of crucial importance for the future of our representative democracy.

Adobe Stock / Pamela Ranya

Chad - The next candidate for upheaval in the Sahel?

An important partner in the Sudan crisis

Is Chad the next candidate for upheaval in the Sahel? The Central African country looks more stable than Mali, Niger or Burkina Faso. Chad is an important Western ally in a volatile region where Russia has been expanding in its neighbours Libya, Sudan and the Central African Republic and also a key humanitarian hub as some half a million refugees have fled civil war in Sudan. But military president Mahamat Deby has been cracking down on the opposition and delaying elections. He has come also under criticism for working closely with France. So how stable is Chad?

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