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The French response to the Corona Crisis: semi-presidentialism par excellence

GDI Briefing - 19. Januar 2038 - 4:14

This blog post analyses the response of the French government to the Coronavirus pandemic. The piece highlights how the semi-presidential system in France facilitates centralized decisions to manage the crisis. From a political-institutional perspective, it is considered that there were no major challenges to the use of unilateral powers by the Executive to address the health crisis, although the de-confinement phase and socio-economic consequences opens the possibility for more conflictual and opposing reactions. At first, approvals of the president and prime minister raised, but the strict confinement and the reopening measures can be challenging in one of the European countries with the highest number of deaths, where massive street protests, incarnated by the Yellow vests movement, have recently shaken the political scene.

Kategorien: english

Accelerating the SDGs through the 2024 Summit of the Future

GDI Briefing - vor 3 Stunden 11 Minuten

In 2024, the UN will convene the Summit of the Future on the theme, ‘Multilateral Solutions for a Better Tomorrow.’ The Summit’s aim is to reinforce the UN and global governance structures to better address old and new challenges and to formulate a Pact for the Future that would help advance the SDGs by 2030. Already before the SDG Summit in September this year (the so-called mid-term review of the Goals’ implementation), it is clear that, unless the pressure and pace are drastically increased, many Goals will not be achieved. Therefore, UN Secretary-General António Guterres conceives of the Pact for the Future as “a booster shot for the SDGs.” At the SDG Summit, Member States could define the areas where they want to make progress (the what), while strengthening multilateral capacities to do so at the Summit of the Future (the how), while also addressing gaps and new risks.

Kategorien: english

‘Everyone benefits from hydrogen as an energy source’

GIZ Germany - 7. Februar 2023 - 18:57
: Tue, 21 Jun 2022 HH:mm:ss
Frank Mischler works in Brussels to support the energy transition. In this interview, he reports on new developments and the potential role of GIZ.
Kategorien: english

Displaced women in Yemen: success through henna art

GIZ Germany - 7. Februar 2023 - 18:57
: Mon, 20 Jun 2022 HH:mm:ss
It's World Refugee Day. In Yemen, war has displaced many people in their own country. The path to building a new life starts with a secure income.
Kategorien: english

Nigeria in 2023: Bridging the productivity gap and building economic resilience

Brookings - 6. Februar 2023 - 14:18

By Wilson Erumebor

The last seven years (2015–2021) have been tough for Nigerians. During this period, GDP growth averaged 1.1 percent as the country experienced two economic recessions. Unemployment and underemployment rates increased to an all-time high of 56.1 percent in 2020, pushing 133 million Nigerians into multidimensional poverty, according to the latest data from the National Bureau of Statistics. Likewise, economic growth has not been inclusive, and Nigeria’s economy faced key challenges of lower productivity, and the weak expansion of sectors with high employment elasticity.

Another key feature of Nigeria’s economy in the last seven years has been the shift of economic activity towards agriculture and a slowdown of the manufacturing sector. As a share of GDP, agriculture expanded from 23 percent in 2015 to 26 percent in 2021, while manufacturing declined from 9.5 percent to 9 percent respectively. During this period, non-oil exports as a share of non-oil GDP averaged 1.3 percent while manufactured goods as a share of total exports remained low at 5.2 percent in 2021. Part of the problem facing the economy is the neglect of the manufacturing sector. Essentially, Nigeria is not producing enough, for both local consumption and export. The consequences of having a weak manufacturing base for a country with such a large population are evident in its foreign exchange shortages, limited number of jobs created to accommodate workforce entrants, and an import bill that can hardly be met (nor sustained) by current export earnings.

Worse still, 80 percent of workers are employed in sectors with low levels of productivity—agriculture and non-tradable services. This means that the kind of jobs needed to generate income growth and lift many Nigerians out of poverty are not available in large numbers. As Nigeria approaches the general elections in 2023, there is immense pressure on political leaders to tackle these economic challenges and implement policies that will deliver an inclusive and competitive economy.

As Nigeria approaches the general elections in 2023, there is immense pressure on political leaders to tackle these economic challenges and implement policies that will deliver an inclusive and competitive economy.

The new administration, working with stakeholders, needs to develop an agenda for economic and social inclusion. At the heart of such agenda must be improving the lives of the average Nigerian. This agenda must also include a practical strategy on how to structurally transform the economy, moving labor and economic resources from low productivity sectors to high productivity sectors.

At the top of the productivity ladder is the tradable services sector, which has the potential to improve incomes and raise overall productivity. The challenge with this sector, however, is its inability to accommodate labor in large numbers. Nevertheless, the sector is important, given Nigeria’s young population who are increasingly driving technological revolution across various sectors on the African continent. To leverage the full potential of this sector, the government will need to design and implement national skills programs aimed at upskilling young Nigerians, to ensure many more embrace digital skills and capabilities.

At the middle of the productivity ladder sits manufacturing. The sector has a much higher productivity level than agriculture and can accommodate, in large numbers, the kind of labor that is abundant in the country. Nigeria’s rising population (which is projected to reach 428 million by 2050), the existence of mineral resources, and the adoption of a single market in Africa—the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)—present a case for why manufacturing would thrive in Nigeria. The priority, therefore, for the incoming government must be to address the burgeoning infrastructure deficit and inadequate power supply, which limit the competitiveness of the manufacturing sector. In addition, the government will need to develop an industrial policy that seeks to support the scale, efficiency, and competitiveness of local firms within the manufacturing sector; bearing in mind that developing the sector is key to building economic resilience against vulnerability and future shocks. Such policies must be integrated with Nigeria’s AfCFTA strategy and support transition of small-scale firms that are often the drivers of job creation in the country.

Kategorien: english

Beyond the headlines: 8 issues we’re tracking in 2023

Brookings - 6. Februar 2023 - 13:30

By Amy Liu, Chris Meserole, Molly E Reynolds, Rashawn Ray, Keon L. Gilbert, Carol Graham, Richard G. Frank, Jenny Schuetz, Tonantzin Carmona, Glenn D. Rudebusch, John McArthur

Amy Liu Interim President – The Brookings Institution

From U.S. relations with China, Russia, Iran or Pakistan to issues like the debt ceiling, police violence, or the rise of U.S. industrial policy that can help blue and red places alike, there is no shortage of headline issues to keep track of in 2023. At the same time, there remains a plethora of challenges that will define our reality, yet may never make it onto your newsfeed. I asked some of our best and brightest about these issues – the topics not likely to be “breaking news” or brought up in this year’s State of the Union,  but are worth monitoring closely. Their answers below are just a few topics Brookings scholars will be working on in the year ahead.

The web will feel new again. Chris Meserole (@chrismeserole)
Director of Research – Artificial Intelligence and Emerging Technology Initiative

For the last fifteen years, how we create, share, and discover information online has largely stayed the same. We search the web on Google, we watch videos on YouTube, we connect on Facebook and Twitter. Although those services aren’t going anywhere, this year their look and feel will start to shift—and new applications will rise alongside them. For instance, the explosive growth of chatGPT, the new AI-assistant released by OpenAI, points toward a future where we simply ask for information rather than search the web. Likewise, the release of powerful new “generative AI” tools for audio, images, and video are poised to fill our social feeds with personalized, auto-generated digital content rather than user-created media. And as social media relies more on AI for recommended content, we’ll increasingly find new things to watch and read based on what algorithms present to us rather than what our friends have shared. While all this innovation is exciting for consumers, the policy environment will also need to keep pace. AI’s transformation of the web will add new complexity—and urgency—to a wide range of tech policy discussions, from data privacy to algorithmic transparency.

It’s not just what the House of Representatives does, it’s how it does it. Molly Reynolds (@mollyereynolds)
Senior Fellow – Governance Studies

While many eyes are on the debt limit and avoiding a government shutdown, another big challenge for the year ahead will be how the House actually runs – or doesn’t. Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy made a range of promises to holdouts in his party to secure the necessary support to win the gavel. But how many of those promises will matter? Past Speakers have promised to open up debate on the floor of the House, only to renege when the going got politically tough. How much power will the members of the McCarthy-skeptical faction actually try to exercise over what comes up for consideration? The potential for change in how the chamber operates is real, but we’ll need to pay careful attention to how things actually play out.

It’s time to address the trauma caused by police killings. Rashawn Ray (@SociologistRay)
Senior Fellow – Governance Studies Keon Gilbert (@DrKLG4Health)
David M. Rubenstein Fellow – Governance Studies

There is growing community awareness about what police are doing and who is holding them accountable. Less covered, however, are the collateral consequences left behind after police violence. This is a pressing and timely issue, as research documents that police violence harms the mental, physical, economic, and social health of entire communities.  Following the brutal death of Tyre Nichols, five Memphis police officers were fired after “violating multiple department policies” and charged with murder. Other first responders have either been fired or removed from duty. This incident adds to a growing total of police killings following a decade high in 2022, thus adding to the growing trauma in communities. Though the Black Lives Matter movement has raised awareness and shifted policy, more reform is needed at local, state, and federal levels. 2023 may be a year towards addressing police violence, which ought to include providing necessary resources to address the “illness spillovers of police violence” following these incidents. We have developed models and response teams to provide the mental health resources after school shootings. A similar community-level and holistic response is needed to structure healing justice and restorative practices for all community members, which includes those responsible for emergency responses and public safety. Comprehensive community health is the way we heal our plagued communities from the collateral consequences of violence.

Quality mental health treatment can save lives and livelihoods. Carol Graham (@cgbrookings)
Interim Vice President and Director – Economic Studies Richard Frank
Director – USC-Brookings Schaeffer Initiative for Health Policy

For many people with mild to moderate mental illness, recent advances in the quality of mental health treatment can, evidence indicates, alleviate many of the functional consequences of those illnesses. Achieving this requires improving the match between clinical problems and treatments. For people with serious and persistent illnesses however, treatment can be much more difficult. Indeed, improving these individuals’ wellbeing (physical and mental) is often complicated by systemic socioeconomic factors, including rising housing costs, increased criminalization of disturbed behavior, and growing returns to cognitive and interpersonal skills in the labor market. Thus, solving the mental health crisis in the US will ultimately require a combination of health, economic, and social policies. Growing recognition of this issue will be essential to the national health conversation, especially as it pertains to mental health, and one likely to gain increased importance and attention in 2023. For our part at Brookings, we’ve constructed a nation-wide vulnerability index and are in the process of adapting it to include vulnerability to misinformation and radicalization, to which people in despair are particularly vulnerable. Related work is also bearing down on the implications of the increase of mental illness on labor force participation and productivity, and how that in turn is exacerbated by the new skills now required in the labor market. These are deeply interconnected – but also fairly “under-the-radar” – challenges, and all of them are likely to impact the many national debates that will play out in the year ahead.

Will 2023 be the Year of the YIMBY? Jenny Schuetz (@jenny_schuetz)
Senior Fellow – Brookings Metro

Housing affordability—or lack thereof—is one of the most urgent issues facing American families. State and local governments across the country are exploring new policies to increase the production of moderately priced homes and create more diverse housing options. Policy levers to achieve these goals include zoning reforms that legalize duplexes, rowhouses, and apartments as well as procedural changes to make housing development simpler, shorter, and more transparent. The pro-housing movement has grown rapidly over the past several years, and is one of the few issues that attracts bipartisan support. In 2023, look for even more governors and state legislatures to lean into abundant housing, from states as diverse as New York, Virginia, Montana, and Utah.

Latinos will receive more attention as the nation gears up the 2024 election. Tonantzin Carmona (@Tonantzin_LC)
David M. Rubenstein Fellow – Brookings Metro

In the aftermath of the 2022 midterms, there was a surge in media coverage on whether Latinos are migrating to the Republican Party. In reality, the results of the midterm elections were mixed and reflected historical trends. Even so, there remains a lack of understanding of Latinos by policymakers or the media, thus prompting more curiosity through the lens of issues that matter to Latinos—like the economy. Latinos usually hear about immigration issues from pundits and politicians, but, as in previous election cycles, the economy was their top concern during the 2022 midterms. According to the 2019 Survey of Consumer Finances, the average white family has five times the wealth of the average Latino family, and Latinos are eager to close this gap. Expect to hear more about public policies that can promote wealth-building and economic opportunity in Latino communities in 2023. With more Latinos in Congress than ever before, it will also be worth examining what policies Latino representatives propose to address these issues.

Climate policy curves can help frame important policy decisions. Glenn Rudebusch (@GlennRudebusch)
Nonresident Senior Fellow – Economic Studies

The extent of future climate change largely depends on policy choices made today. A new framing device, a climate policy curve, can help quantify the link between policy actions and subsequent climate outcomes. Climate policy curves (CPCs) are constructed using a model that can assess how varying efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions affect economic growth and global warming. CPCs incorporate both economic relationships and climate science and provide a useful tool for understanding what needs to be done to transition to a low-carbon economy. For example, they can quantify the climate-economic trade-off between current and future action. Limiting global temperatures can be achieved with strong climate action this year or by postponing even more significant action to the future, and CPCs can illuminate this generational burden-shifting in a straightforward way.

World leaders will debate the future of the Sustainable Development Goals in 2023. John McArthur (@mcarthur)
Director – Center for Sustainable Development

This year, the world is approaching a new crossroads in how it tackles its biggest challenges of poverty, inequality, and environmental protection—within and across all countries. These are the issues embedded in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), agreed by all countries in 2015, focused on a 2030 deadline. The situation is so stark that the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General has recently started talking about the need to “rescue” the goals. In September, the UN will host a summit of world leaders focused on how to shift gears to do better during the “second half” (until the 2030 deadline) of the SDG era. Countless lives and livelihoods depend on finding better paths forward, as does the health of the planet itself. Fortunately, there have been many breakthrough success stories since 2015, including amid the COVID-19 pandemic. But over the coming months, the world faces a major challenge in forging new forms of bottom-up international cooperation that harness new technologies and new forms of leadership to chart a better way forward.

Kategorien: english

‘Put people first’ in drive to realize Sustainable Development Goals

UN #SDG News - 6. Februar 2023 - 13:00
Addressing the opening of the Commission for Social Development’s latest session, the president of the UN Economic and Social Council on Monday said it was imperative to put people first, if the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are to be realized by the 2030 deadline.
Kategorien: english

Can One of the World’s Largest Refugee Camps Handle a Coming Rush of Arrivals?

UN Dispatch - 6. Februar 2023 - 12:30

The Dadaab Refugee Complex in Kenya hosts about 310,000 refugees, most of whom are Somalis who have fled conflict and drought.

Dadaab has been around for about 30 years. And  over the decades, it has periodically experienced sharp influxes of people.  We are in the midst of one of those moments. In 2022, 51,000 people arrived and it is projected that in 2023 90,000 people will make their way from Somalia to Dadaab.

This ballooning population is straining humanitarian agencies’ ability to provide basic services to populations in need.

My guest today, Hassan Maiyaki is the country director for Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Kenya. He describes a worsening humanitarian situation there, measured in part by a sharp rise in acute child malnutrition. We discuss why the situation is seemingly getting worse and what can be done to help provide for the basic needs of a rapidly expanding refugee population.

To listen to this episode on your favorite podcast player, go here. 

The post Can One of the World’s Largest Refugee Camps Handle a Coming Rush of Arrivals? appeared first on UN Dispatch.

Kategorien: english

Ecocentric pedagogies and green scholarships: Towards green academia

EADI Debating Development Research - 6. Februar 2023 - 11:26
By Sayan Dey In 2006, the Ministry of Education in Bhutan launched what is officially known as the Green School System. One of the many purposes of introducing this green education system was to counter the mainstream modern/colonial knowledge systems that are anti-ecological, self-profiting and capitalistic in nature, and to build knowledge systems that are …
Kategorien: english, Ticker

Ein rechtebasierter Ansatz für die Umsetzung des europäischen Green Deal

GDI Briefing - 6. Februar 2023 - 10:00

Bonn, 6. Februar 2023. Der ökologische Wandel erfordert nicht nur bei der europäischen Arktis, sondern auch darüber hinaus eine Auseinandersetzung mit dem Thema der Gerechtigkeit. Denn nachhaltige politische Maßnahmen erfordern einen rechtebasierten Ansatz.

Als Schweden im Januar 2023 den Vorsitz im Rat der EU übernahm, besuchten Mitglieder der Europäischen Kommission Kiruna, die nördlichste Stadt des Landes und Standort der größten Eisenerzmine Europas. Während des Besuchs gab das staatseigene schwedische Bergbauunternehmen Luossavaara-Kiirunavaara Aktiebolag (LKAB) den Fund der bislang größten bekannten Lagerstätte für Seltene Erden in Europa bekannt. Im Rahmen der aktuellen Dekarbonisierungsstrategie der EU, dem European Green Deal (EGD), kommt der Erkundung kritischer Rohstoffe auf eigenem Boden eine zentrale Rolle zu. In diesem Sinne gelten die Ressourcen und Flächen der europäischen Arktis als Schlüssel für den Ausbau der erneuerbaren Energien und damit für die Verringerung der Emissionen und Abhängigkeit von externen Energiequellen. Dieses Vorhaben kann jedoch im Konflikt mit anderen Formen der Landnutzung stehen – ein Problem, das der EGD nicht ausreichend berücksichtigt. Da in der europäischen Arktis auch indigene Völker leben, muss die EU bei der Umsetzung des EGD einen rechtebasierten Ansatz verfolgen, um die Selbstbestimmung indigener Völker und ihre Landrechte auch innerhalb Europas zu gewährleisten.

Die EU präsentiert sich weltweit gerne als Vorreiterin bei der Bekämpfung des Klimawandels und der Förderung der Rechte indigener Völker in der Arktis und darüber hinaus. Diese Vorreiterrolle der EU wird sogar als Rechtfertigung für das EU-Engagement in der Arktis herangezogen, auch im Hinblick auf die selbst verursachten wirtschaftlichen und ökologischen Folgen in der Region. Bei dieser Argumentation wird allerdings allzu oft übersehen, dass Lösungen zur Eindämmung des Klimawandels, wie die Förderung erneuerbarer Energien und technischer Innovationen, indigenen Völkern schaden können, da die zunehmende Beanspruchung von Landflächen zu neuen Landnutzungskonflikten in der Arktis führen kann. Sápmi liegt zum Teil in der europäischen Arktis und erstreckt sich über die heutigen nördlichen Teile Norwegens, Schwedens, Finnlands und Russlands (Kola-Halbinsel). Sápmi ist der traditionelle Lebensraum der Sámi, des einzigen indigenen Volkes in der EU. Die Sámi sind Inhaber von Rechten in der europäischen Arktis, und die jeweiligen Nationalstaaten sowie die EU selbst sind verpflichtet, internationale Standards für die Rechte indigener Völker einzuhalten. Ein Schlüsseldokument in dieser Hinsicht ist zum Beispiel die Erklärung der Vereinten Nationen über die Rechte indigener Völker (UNDRIP) von 2007, mit der das Prinzip der freien, vorherigen und informierten Zustimmung (FPIC) eingeführt wurde, welches die Selbstbestimmung indigener Völker im Zusammenhang mit Entwicklungsprojekten betrifft. Zwischen der Innen- und Außenpolitik der EU bestehen im Hinblick auf den Umgang mit indigenen Völkern jedoch Diskrepanzen. Auch wenn im EGD mögliche negative Spillover-Effekte der EU-Politik auf indigene Völker Eingang finden, fehlt ihm eine EU-interne Perspektive. Da die meisten Sámi Bürger*innen der EU oder des Europäischen Wirtschaftsraums (EWR) sind, findet in ihrem Fall der im Europäischen Instrument für Demokratie und Menschenrechte (EIDHR) verankerte allgemeine entwicklungspolitische Rahmen für indigene Völker keine Anwendung.

Da es zur Zeit keine auf indigene Völker ausgerichteten EU-internen Richtlinien gibt, hängt es von den konkreten Maßnahmen und dem dafür zuständigen Personal oder der jeweiligen Institution ab, ob Vertreter*innen der Sámi in politische Prozesse einbezogen werden oder nicht – und in welcher Form und in welchem Umfang. Diese Beobachtung deckt sich weitgehend mit anderen Analysen, die die Rolle von Individuen in der allgemeinen Arktispolitik der EU betonen. Die EU-Arktispolitik betrifft hauptsächlich die Regionen rund um den Polarkreis. Es mangelt ihr jedoch an einem internen und regionalen Ansatz, der die europäische Arktis und ihre Entwicklung mit einschließen würde, was auch für den Fall der Rechte indigener Völker in der europäischen Arktis gilt. Die Auswirkungen des EGD auf indigene Völker innerhalb der EU können nur dann politisch angegangen werden, wenn eigens für die indigenen Völker in der europäischen Arktis erarbeitete Richtlinien mit dem EGD verknüpft werden.

Die fehlende Integration indigener Völker in die EU-Politik erschwert zudem eine inklusive und gerechte Umsetzung des EGD. Die Klimakrise wirft Gerechtigkeitsfragen auf: Die Menschen, die am wenigsten zur globalen Erwärmung und Umweltzerstörung beigetragen haben, sind oft am stärksten von den Auswirkungen betroffen. Im Rahmen des ökologischen Wandels stellen sich beim Thema Klimagerechtigkeit im Kontext der europäischen Arktis und darüber hinaus neue Fragen, da die angestrebten Lösungen zusätzlichen Druck auf indigene Völker ausüben. Sie leben von dem Land, das für den Schutz ihrer traditionellen Lebensgrundlagen, Sprachen und Kulturen entscheidend ist. Daher ist ein rechtebasierter Ansatz unumgänglich. Eigens für indigene Völker entwickelte politische Richtlinien, die die Landrechte der indigenen Völker berücksichtigen und mit dem EGD verknüpft sind, würden der EU Werkzeuge an die Hand geben, um sich kritisch mit den „Machtstrukturen hinter dem Klimawandel“ auseinanderzusetzen. Ohne einen solchen rechtebasierten Ansatz für die Umsetzung des EGD in Kiruna und darüber hinaus besteht die Gefahr, dass die Ergebnisse politischer Prozesse als ungerecht und damit als nicht nachhaltig wahrgenommen werden. Das würde verhindern, dass der EGD sein volles Potential entfaltet. Und es müsste angezweifelt werden, ob die EU tatsächlich einen sinnvollen Beitrag zur Erfüllung internationaler Vereinbarungen leistet.

Anja Márjá Nystø Keskitalo ist Geographin und arbeitet als Beraterin in der EU-Einheit des Saami Council.
Jacqueline Götze ist Politikwissenschaftlerin und Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin im Forschungsprogramm „Inter- und transnationale Zusammenarbeit“ am German Institute of Development and Sustainability (IDOS).

Kategorien: english

Closing Statement of the Women’s Major Group for OEWG1.2. : Science-Policy Panel to contribute further to the sound management of chemicals and waste and to prevent pollution

Women - 6. Februar 2023 - 9:02

Women’s Major Group Closing Statement – OEWG1.2. : Science-Policy Panel to contribute further to the sound management of chemicals and waste and to prevent pollution. Statement delivered on 3 February, 2023 by Anna Holthaus, Project Coordinator “Gender and Chemicals – for a gender-responsive chemicals management.” 

Thank you Chair, 

I am Anna Holthaus, speaking on behalf of the Women’s Major Group. 

In 1962, Rachel Carson published her book Silent Spring. Her feminist ground-breaking work is widely acknowledged as a catalyst of the precautionary approach and environmental impact assessments. 

But now, more than 60 years later, the production of chemicals is still increasing and shockingly we are still far away from comprehensively understanding the effects of chemicals on women’s bodies. What we do know is that chemicals that are used today, have a ripple effect across generations. Studies have found harmful chemicals in breast milk, microplastics in the placenta, and that male reproductive health is rapidly declining. 

We need a better understanding of the impacts of chemicals, waste and pollution on half the world’s population! In addition, we must reflect on the important role of women in families, communities and to the extended societies to find better solutions to leave no one behind. Women are mostly the primary and secondary contacts with all toxic exposure for themselves, their children and even in protecting their male family members and their natural environment. 

So far, women’s roles and gender differences have hardly been analyzed, documented and understood in science due to the still-existing gender inequalities in the science sector and the lack of gender-disaggregated data. 

A paradigm shift is needed! Then political action must quickly follow, as early scientific warnings can prevent lifelong impacts on our health. That is why we are pleased that many Member States have highlighted the need for a gender-responsive Science-Policy Panel this week, and we look forward to working with you to make it happen. 

Therefore, the intersessional work of SPP should include learning from past chemical disasters and scanning the knowledge gaps. The establishment of a gender policy and implementation plan is a good start and the inclusive language in IPBES operating principles and the existing IPCCs gender policy can serve as inspiration. Nevertheless, a human rights-based approach, the full and equal recognition of women’s expertise and feminist perspectives and intersessional work free of conflict of interest must be a pre-condition for this. 

Thank you! 

The post Closing Statement of the Women’s Major Group for OEWG1.2. : Science-Policy Panel to contribute further to the sound management of chemicals and waste and to prevent pollution appeared first on Women's Major Group.

Kategorien: english

Will rising insecurity erase West Africa’s economic development gains?

Brookings - 3. Februar 2023 - 20:28

By Mounir Siaplay, Eric Werker

As West Africa enters 2023, the region faces a new period of instability following recent coups d’état in Burkina Faso, Guinea, and Mali. These coups are occurring amid continuous conflict in the Sahel region, where violence displaced more than 2.5 million people and was projected to kill some 8,000 individuals in 2022. Hostilities have moved outside the Sahel and closer to previously peaceful areas. For instance, Benin and Togo witnessed deadly attacks in 2021 and 2022, terrifying citizens and contributing to growing evidence of broadening violent activities in the region’s coastal states.

These events can no longer be viewed as isolated incidents chalked up to foreign-funded extremists hiding in the desert. A significant and growing risk of regional instability recalls the calamities of the 1990s and 2000s, when civil wars engulfed Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea-Bissau, and Côte d’Ivoire—and Mali, Niger, and Nigeria faced insurgencies—which impeded economic growth and development. West Africa’s youthful population of 429 million, growing at 2.5 percent per year (according to the U.N. population division), risks getting stuck in a rut of insecurity and stalled human development.

Two recent changes exemplify the complexity and internationalization of the region’s insecurity: the arrival of the Russia-backed Wagner group in Mali at the end of 2021 (together with a disinformation campaign) and the cessation of France’s decadelong Operation Barkhane—which once saw 5,500 troops across the region—by November 2022. Regional stability has been deteriorating despite the presence of other external military forces, including the United Nations stabilization force in Mali, the European Union Task Force under the French command, and the combined Sahel states’ “Joint Force.”

Coups and bad governance

According to the Center for Systemic Peace, a research institute, West Africa’s five successful coups in the last three years is more than what the region has experienced at any time in the last thirty years (see Figure 1). Even though these five coups have occurred in just three countries (Burkina Faso, Guinea, and Mali), failed coups in Niger, Guinea-Bissau, and Mali—and an alleged coup attempt in the Gambia as 2022 came to a close—underline the breadth of state fragility.

Figure 1. Coups in West Africa, 1990-2022

Center for Systemic Peace.
Note: Figure data visualized by the authors.

Poor governance is both a cause and a symptom of insecurity, with weak governance driving low government legitimacy and clientelistic politics, and serving as an excuse for coup makers. A look at West Africa’s governance indicators, as measured by the World Bank and reported in Figure 2, shows two important observations. One, West Africa’s scores are low on average, well below zero for an indicator that ranges from -2.5 to 2.5. Two, the subscore that has fared the worst over the past two decades is political instability and violence, including terrorism. Moreover, these governance indicators, particularly instability, are correlated with economic growth.

Figure 2. West Africa’s Worldwide Governance Indicators

Worldwide Governance Indicators.
Note: Data visualized by the authors. Governance performance scores range from -2.5 (weak) to 2.5 (strong).

As a result of the rising conflict and violence in the region, the possibility of conflict spillover to neighboring countries is elevated. Consequently, based on our analysis of data from Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), countries in the region have increased military expenditure eightfold to combat internal and external threats over the last three decades, which equates to a compound annual growth rate of close to 8-percent net of inflation. While this expenditure may be necessary to manage the threat of instability, it nonetheless represents a diversion from spending on essential social services such as healthcare or education.

Languishing growth and investment

Also, instability brings political risk, which drives investors away. According to our analysis of World Bank data, West Africa’s GDP grew, net of inflation, at a compound annual rate of 4 percent between 1990 and 2021, but on a per-capita basis, this came out to just 1.3 percent due to rapid population growth. Over that period, foreign direct investment has been minimal, with one exception corresponding to the iron ore price cycle of 2009-14; even when commodity prices picked up in 2020, investment has not seemed to follow. Furthermore, trade has been flat, and net official development assistance has been steadily declining.

The net result of insecurity, including its impacts through worse governance, higher military spending, and foregone investment, has affected West Africa’s average human development index, which as of 2021 had barely passed 0.5, significantly trailing other developing regions.

Changing the trajectory

So, what can the international community do to reverse the trends of insecurity in the region?

First, a comprehensive and politically-informed strategy for intervening to reduce fragility in the most unstable states is required. Rather than focusing on counterterrorism alone, this means investing in both political and economic constituencies to counterbalance the centralized rent creation that enables and encourages autocratic power politics. It also means considering the sociopolitical structures that support some of the highest fertility rates in the world precisely where the coup and coup attempts have taken place (with Niger and Mali taking two of the top three spots).

Second, bilateral and multilateral efforts should focus on containing the insecurity and preventing its spread to border regions and urban centers in neighboring countries. Here, a strategy is needed to invest in both state capacity, including an accountable and professional military, and legitimacy, which comes from functioning government service delivery and democratic mechanisms.

Third, international actors should partner with national and regional bodies to invest in alternative futures for the region. Diversified economies can generate more sustainable growth, broader influences in decisionmaking, and increased resilience in the face of external shocks. Creating gainful employment, particularly for the region’s youthful population and for women, may have a greater impact on reducing insecurity than military interventions. However, the changing climate, associated with a greater risk of conflict and internal displacement, adds another level of complexity.

Tomorrow’s global crisis?

West Africa risks being locked into a rut of insecurity and missed opportunities, with war economies spilling into the mainstream and progress reversing. With global attention focused on Ukraine, energy, and inflation, today’s peripheral wars risk becoming tomorrow’s global crises. Development and diplomatic actors cannot afford to abandon the increasingly fragile West African countries to strongmen and mercenaries.

Kategorien: english

For the right to health – eradicating female genital mutilation

GIZ Germany - 3. Februar 2023 - 18:36
: Fri, 03 Feb 2023 HH:mm:ss
Governments and civil society in the Horn of Africa are working together to end female genital mutilation.
Kategorien: english

Sustainable business practices: a role model at the market

GIZ Germany - 3. Februar 2023 - 18:36
: Thu, 02 Feb 2023 HH:mm:ss
From smallholder to successful businesswoman – how Grace Akot from Uganda did it.
Kategorien: english

Getting rice right in Liberia

Brookings - 3. Februar 2023 - 14:12

By Jeanine Milly Cooper

National Rice Stabilization Task Force to ensure constant availability of rice in our markets. We have set a national goal to grow 75 percent of what we consume in four cropping seasons: A 150 percent increase in production over what we are doing now.

In setting these targets, we considered the production realities of our smallholders. Realizing the adoption of yield improving technologies has been poor, and rarely sustained past project-end, we are resolving some of the challenges brought on by limited capital and labor for any given piece of land: Improving weed and pest management on farms; post-harvest processing capacities at village level (to optimize use); and access to markets and digital buying platforms. Couple these with solutions that enhance food and nutrition security, water, and energy at community level.

We work with MSMEs along the value chain to grow or build and service and maintain the seeds, tools, and equipment needed to produce, package, transport, and market rice to urban consumers. The Liberia Agricultural Commercialization Fund is providing critical financing to innovations that service food markets and helping rice processors to scale up operations.

We are building our knowledge base and creating business profiles to attract private investments.

The global food security crisis compels Liberia to draw on its legendary resilience and creativity. We are intentional about getting rice right. And we will.


Kategorien: english

Downward slide in global food prices continues: FAO

UN #SDG News - 3. Februar 2023 - 13:00
Global food prices dropped for the tenth consecutive month in January, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) said on Friday.
Kategorien: english

Transforming how we eat, ‘a critical accelerator’ towards 2030 development goals: Deputy UN chief

UN #SDG News - 3. Februar 2023 - 13:00
Countries will review progress towards transforming food systems worldwide at a three-day meeting in Rome this July, UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed and Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister announced on Friday, in the Italian capital. 
Kategorien: english

Written statement of the Women’s Major Group for OEWG1.2. : Science-Policy Panel to contribute further to the sound management of chemicals and waste and to prevent pollution

Women - 3. Februar 2023 - 11:56

Written Statement of the Women’s Major Group for OEWG1.2. : Science-Policy Panel to contribute further to the sound management of chemicals and waste and to prevent pollution.


We believe that a science-policy panel can be an important tool to understand much better how chemicals, waste and pollution are affecting our societies, our environment and our future with the right to a healthy environment. We urgently need this understanding for informed environmental action and policies. Furthermore, a comprehensive understanding is critical to leave no one behind.

As early as the 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, countries declared that: “Environmental risks in the home and workplace may have a disproportionate impact on women’s health because of women’s different susceptibilities to the toxic effects of various chemicals”1 and recognized the need to establish “develop gender-sensitive databases, information and monitoring system”2 on toxic chemicals and hazardous waste.

Nevertheless, 25 years later, the gender dimensions of chemical exposure are often not well understood due to limitations in gender-related data collection and analysis.

Therefore, it is important that the science-policy panel is established in a gender-responsive manner:

On the SCOPE of the PANEL

We believe that the future panel should focus on chemicals across their lifecycle, on the impacts of pollution, and on issues not already covered or not sufficiently addressed. In particular, we underline the need for inter- and transdisciplinary research.

As mentioned by many member states including the UK, Mexico and others, we believe the value chain approach should not be considered as part of the objective of the panel, as it would diverge from the resolution and shift the focus on products rather than on chemicals, waste, and the prevention of pollution.


We believe that the panel’s function should prioritize the functions of horizon scanning as well as the facilitation of information-sharing with low and middle income countries, and capacity building.

Under these functions, it’s key that the panel addresses the need for better gender-related data on chemicals and their effects, waste and pollution. Therefore, the science-policy panel must provide guidance to improve data collection and data availability, and should ensure its quality with gender-disaggregated data.

In line with Article 6 of the Resolution, we expect transparency, regional and gender balance, and full and effective participation in all decision-making processes, including Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities, and Indigenous peoples’ traditional knowledge.

As mentioned in INF/4, we do reiterate that collaborations with existing bodies will be key for success, both for scope and functions. The Kunming Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework adopted at CBD COP15 in December, has a specific Target (7), addressing chemicals, waste and pollution-reduction – “by reducing negative impacts of pollution from all sources by 2030; including at least half reduction of risks from pesticides and highly hazardous chemicals, and to work towards elimination plastic pollution.”

We recall that access to a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment is a universal human right, as are science-based policies to protect the human rights of individuals and communities exposed to hazardous substances and wastes in addressing impacts.

Finally, the future panel should not be misused to prevent political action. Governments should already act following the precautionary principle and adopt measures to prevent exposure to hazardous substances, on the basis of the best available scientific evidence, as required by the right to science.

As mentioned by many member states during the plenary discussions, we support ensuring a gender-responsive SPP, upholding human rights, and including both traditional and scientific knowledge in the SPP.


The science-policy panel should not be undermined by economic, commercial or political interests. This is why it will be crucial to avoid conflict of interest from the early stage of negotiations, protecting the panel from businesses and groups with commercial, economic and political interests, or any others who put profits above human rights. Failure to do so will perpetuate toxic harms, undermine science, and the credibility of the new panel.

Thank you.

The post Written statement of the Women’s Major Group for OEWG1.2. : Science-Policy Panel to contribute further to the sound management of chemicals and waste and to prevent pollution appeared first on Women's Major Group.

Kategorien: english

The future of EU blended finance and guarantees: an assessment of cooperation strategies with least developed countries in Africa

GDI Briefing - 3. Februar 2023 - 10:06

The European Fund for Sustainable Development Plus (EFSD+) is a core element of EU development cooperation and reflects the EU’s strong commitment to deploying blended finance and guarantees as development financing tools. This discussion paper examines the EU’s intentions concerning how the EFSD+ will be integrated into geographic programmes, focussing on the least developed countries (LDCs) in Africa. Based on a review of the Multiannual Indicative Programmes (MIPs) for 30 African LDCs as well as the regional MIP for Sub-Saharan Africa covering the period 2021-2027, the paper provides an overview of funding reserved for EFSD+ implementation in geographic programmes, identifies the expected EFSD+ sectoral priorities and summarises references to development finance institutions (DFIs) as EFSD+ implementation partners. This descriptive review highlights issues for the future monitoring and assessment of the EFSD+. The paper points to uncertainty about the magnitude of the management challenge that EU institutions face in EFSD+ implementation given the difficulties of predicting the scale of guarantee-backed operations in individual countries, the lack of information on the expected volume of blended finance operations, and the limited analysis of how EFSD+ tools relate to other EU funding approaches. The paper also notes that EU institutions should be more explicit about the criteria shaping EFSD+ resource commitments to clarify relevant prerequisites for the effective deployment of EFSD+ tools. Finally, the broad thematic scope for EFSD+ use implies that knowledge about how blended finance and guarantees function and how the financing approaches interact with other interventions needs to increase throughout the EU system.

Kategorien: english

Staying the course: Strengthening fundamentals despite adversity

Brookings - 2. Februar 2023 - 15:32

By Nicolas Kazadi

almost 10 percent in 2020. However, growth in the secondary (manufacturing) sector turned negative, while the tertiary (services) sector coped only marginally due to restrictions introduced across the country in reaction to the global health crisis. Unlike these other sectors, no major mines closed owing to the limited spread of COVID-19 to the mining regions.

Thinking long term: Strengthen fundamentals, implement structural policies, and build buffers

The DRC has been working on strengthening the fundamentals to achieve sustainable and lasting results. It aims to accomplish this through a systematic method—identify the bottlenecks, find solutions, and bring everyone together to implement action plans. A striking example is the recent efforts by the Ministry of Finance to accelerate revenue mobilization, which benefited a lot from the implementation of performance contracts that set up clear and ambitious targets. On the external side, international reserves reached approximately $4 billion in August 2022, from around $900 million in 2019—an increase of 344 percent.

In addition, this ambitious agenda and strong performance has been achieved thanks to the renewed engagement of DRC with international stakeholders. The government’s reform mindset is anchored by the IMF’s $1.52 billion Extended Fund Facility program, which also acts as a catalyst for additional financing from other donors. Moreover, the DRC is working on strengthening its communication with international stakeholders, bilateral partners, and investors to improve the level of information on the dynamism of DRC. For example, a conference was organized in September 2022 in Kinshasa around country risk (the DRC Country Risk Conference) to discuss the risks and opportunities of the Congolese economy. We aim at having such interactive and engaging discussions on a yearly basis, giving us the opportunity to identify challenges and design solutions.

Preparing for future shocks

The continent has experienced a succession of shocks throughout the past few years, which has been both an eye-opener and a call for action. Our pre-crisis shared goals remain valid, but both the external and domestic situations have changed. Past development progress has been eroded because of the crisis, and a significant share of our population has been pushed into poverty. Nevertheless, inclusive and sustainable growth remains a priority. Moreover, as countries embark on a clean, renewable energy transition, we see a world where increasingly; the dynamics in terms of supply and demand—and more specifically regarding energy resources—have changed. Several countries in the region have an important role to play in that respect. DRC, thanks to its massive endowment in natural resources, remains at the forefront of this chance to harness the green transition. It is now urgent to seize this opportunity.

Kategorien: english


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