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High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development 2023 – a blueprint for the SDG Summit?

How can we build on the momentum from the HLPF for a successful SDG Summit?

In July 2023, Member States came together to assess progress on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the United Nations (UN) High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development. As we reach the halfway point to the deadline of achieving the 2030 Agenda, the HLPF discussions concentrated on the key policy areas in which accelerated progress is needed. At this critical inflection point, only 12% of the 140 SDG targets are on track and the UN Secretary-General’s latest SDG Progress Report issues a dire “Rescue Plan for People and Planet” to put the world on a better path. The SDG Summit, taking place from 18-19 September 2023 in New York, will be an opportune moment to reverse our current trajectory and redouble efforts towards SDG implementation. This country report offers a synthesis of key themes from the HLPF and prospective outlook on the SDG Summit.

IMAGO / Xinhua

The EU's migration agreement with Tunisia

Perception in Tunisia and Macroeconomic and Geostrategic Relevance

"Recently, the European Union and Tunisia signed a memorandum of understanding on a "strategic and comprehensive partnership." In addition to the planned closer cooperation in the areas of economy and trade, long-term energy and mobility partnerships are to be established. The core area, however, is migration management to limit irregular migration across the Mediterranean. For the EU, the agreement is the first yardstick for its future migration policy with the countries of North Africa. For the Tunisian government, the prospect of early financial aid and an expansion of economic cooperation in the midst of a national budget and debt crisis represents an important potential lifeline. However, key questions regarding the implementation of the agreement remain unclear. "

IMAGO / Kyodo News

How the election in the Kingdom of Cambodia prepares the country for a new role in the region

Same same but different?

On 23 July 2023, the Cambodian people cast their votes in the national parliamentary elections. With 120 of 125 seats in the national parliament, the Cambodian People's Party (CPP) is once again the strongest ruling party. At first glance, this result is unsurprising, as it continues the pattern from the last election in 2018. However, a closer look reveals that the preconditions for this year's election, as well as its consequences for the years to come, outline a new political landscape in Cambodia. The consequences for the region are significant.


Spanien hat entschieden - vorläufig

Nationalwahlen am 23. Juli. Fast alle Parteien sind Wahlgewinner und Wahlverlierer

Es erscheint paradox: Bei den Nationalwahlen an diesem 23 Juli sind fast alle Parteien sowohl Wahlgewinner als auch Wahlverlierer. Nur VOX ist ausschließlich Wahlverlierer, weil diese Partei nach dem Verlust von 19 Mandaten und 623.235 Stimmen über keine machtpolitische Option verfügt.


The Wagner Group in Belarus

Possible scenarios based on their previous activities worldwide

The alarming reports about the relocation of the private military company (PMU) Wagner to Belarus after the aborted "March on Moscow" raise a number of questions with regard to national and regional security: Will the Wagner Group act as a political actor in Belarus? Which "instruments" from previous missions in other parts of the world could it bring to bear? And what danger is there for Ukraine and NATO countries if Lukashenka openly fantasises about "excursions" to Poland by his new guests?


Sjunik: Between hope and fear - geopolitics under the burning glass

A political travelogue from Southern Armenia

Iran opened a consulate last year in Kapan, the administrative center of the Syunik region in southern Armenia. Russia has now announced that it intends to follow suit, and local sources said the Americans and French are also considering setting up consular posts in Kapan. If that were to happen, four major powers would have a diplomatic presence in a relatively remote small town in southern Armenia with a population of just over 40,000. On the one hand, all of this shows how important this part of the South Caucasus has become basically overnight - having previously been almost completely forgotten for decades. There is also now a growing awareness of the opportunities and dangers that the peace process between Armenia and Azerbaijan holds. A two-day trip to Syunik, to the southernmost point of Meghri on the Iranian border, was brimming with insights and insights.

IMAGO / Hoch Zwei Stock/Angerer

Demographic Development in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Consequences of the Significant Decrease and Aging of the Population

The shrinking population is not a novelty in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). Political and economic shortcomings are the main reasons driving emigration, especially of qualified workforce. The Bosnian-Herzegovinian diaspora (citizens living abroad) is proportionally one of the largest in the world. Additionally, an aging population due to declining birth rates is a growing concern. These two factors together have led to an estimated decline in the population by an average of 25,000 people per year during the period 2013 - 2020. The last census in 2013 counted around 3.5 million residents. Projections suggest a 55% population decline by 2070. The remaining approximately 1.56 million people are likely to face a drastically changed societal structure. This poses significant challenges to the labor market and social systems, particularly the pension, healthcare, and education systems. Addressing these challenges effectively requires sustained political will over an extended period to secure Bosnia and Herzegovina's future in the face of the expected drastic demographic changes. Initial steps in this direction have been taken, and more are planned. However, successful mitigation of the challenges of demographic change requires both the implementation of planned measures and the adoption of additional far-reaching actions.


Israel's Judicial Reform

Despite massive opposition, the Knesset passes a core element of the controversial judicial reform

On July 24, the right-wing coalition government, led by Benjamin Netanyahu, voted to abolish the so-called “reasonableness clause”. Until now, the clause allowed the court to declare government decisions, or even the appointment of ministers, as "unreasonable" and thus prevent them. The opposition boycotted the vote and left the plenary amid loud protest - symbolically the vote went 64:0. Now, the passed law, which is a core element of the controversial judicial reform, restricts the Israeli Supreme Court's ability to act.


Kyriakos Mitsotakis and the new stability in Hellas

Balance of the first legislative period and challenges of the new government

Greeks were called to the polls twice within five weeks in May and June to elect a new parliament. In both rounds of voting, which took place on the basis of different electoral laws, the Nea Dimokratia of the new and old head of government Kyriakos Mitsotakis won over 40% of the vote. Now it can govern with an absolute majority for the next four years. What are the reasons for the high approval rating? Why was the opposition unable to score, and how will the new Greek government work in the future? - this country report provides the answers.

Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung e. V.

Digital Solutions for better Inclusion in Romania

Inclusion worldwide – current status from Romania

In 2010, Romania ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The purpose of the Convention is to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities and to promote respect for their inherent dignity. Unfortunately, inclusion of persons with disabilities is not yet a reality in Romania. Accessibility in everyday life, participation of children with disabilities in school, integration of disabled people in the labour market, efficient medical, nursing and care support, etc.: Wherever you look, there are serious deficits in Romania. But there are also people who are taking action and looking for solutions. Also digital solutions.

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