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Inside the Engine Room: Enabling the Delivery of UN Mandates in Complex Environments

European Peace Institute / News - Wed, 24/07/2019 - 16:49

Particularly in the complex environments where it increasingly deploys, the UN depends on a range of functions to implement its mandate. These include but are not limited to provision of security, facilitation of access, medical support, support to staff welfare, logistics, coordination, and risk management. Compared to substantive tasks implemented as part of mandates, these enabling functions, or enablers, have received less scrutiny. As a result, enablers—and their financial costs—are often unknown or misunderstood by member states, donors, and even UN staff.

This paper explores these enablers by explaining what they are, why they are needed, how much they cost, and how they are—or should be—funded. It then investigates the challenges the UN needs to tackle to put enablers on a path to sustainable funding, including:

  • Reporting and consolidating data: While data is not the end point, it is a necessary starting point for the UN to engage in dialogue with those who use enablers and those who pay for them.
  • Dedicating the necessary capacity: More spending on enablers is required now if lives and resources are to be saved later.
  • Managing trade-offs: The UN needs to set and articulate clear priorities to guide the difficult trade-offs between different enablers and their associated risks.
  • Integrating operations into planning: Operational planning is critical to avoid retroactive, ad hoc arrangements, especially during mission transitions.
  • Communicating the importance of enablers: Effective communication on the need for enablers is necessary to convince member states and donors to fund them.

Ultimately, there must be greater coherence between those who define UN mandates, those who fund them, and those who implement them.

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OSCE High Commissioner Zannier: Invest in Diversity

European Peace Institute / News - Thu, 18/07/2019 - 21:32
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Rising nationalist discourse and ethnic tensions have reinforced the need to prevent conflict grown from societal division. Such was the topic of a July 18th discussion on “conflict prevention through societal integration” at IPI, featuring OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities, Ambassador Lamberto Zannier.

To address the inadequate response to the minority-based ethnic conflicts of the Yugoslav Wars, the post of High Commissioner on National Minorities was established in 1992 at the Helsinki Summit of the Conference for Security and Cooperation in Europe, now the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). The High Commissioner is mandated to alert the OSCE to risks, providing early warning and action where there is a potential for minority and ethnic-based tension. “My mandate is a conflict prevention mandate,” Mr. Zannier explained. “If you look around, interstate conflicts are increasingly rare, and conflicts tend to come from within split societies.”

Mr. Zannier said he views his mandate as “an old but new conflict prevention tool,” and identified two sides to his work. The first, “quiet diplomacy,” involves watching for instances of ethnic conflict and deciding which ones could develop in a dangerous direction, and then engaging with actors and constituencies that could help accordingly. The second centers on better informing the public on best practices and lessons learned, “communicating what are things that have worked in other places, and discouraging governments from making policy calls that would create friction,” he said.

In striving to make societies more peaceful and inclusive, Mr. Zannier stressed the centrality of integration. “If there are groups not well integrated, there is a high likelihood of seeing marginalization and radicalization and potentially violent extremism,” he explained. “One of our most effective tools is working on strengthening the resilience of society itself to crisis and conflict.”

Mr. Zannier admitted that working on integration within societies is not easy, as it touches on politically sensitive issues and is often seen as a departure from the “established order.”

“What we see today are extremely complex conflicts where it is difficult for the international community to intervene, but which are also very difficult to prevent,” he said. “Very rarely is there one thing that you can solve; there is always a gap between tensions and what you manage to do.”

In his work, the High Commissioner highlighted youth engagement and education as essential. “Equal opportunities for all starts from a balanced process of education, which does not cancel the identity of those who are different,” he said. Mr. Zannier further advocated for engaging “youth as an interested party… with long-term perspectives, interested in living in a society that is stable and prosperous where they have contribution.” He described various education- and inclusion-oriented programs for youth in minority communities under his tenure that “encourage them to be part of larger political discourse in this country.” “Young people understand that they need to overcome division of the past,” he said, “and take a future-oriented approach to address issues.”

The event was preceded by a showing of a video about the 2018 Max Van der Stoel Award given by Mr. Zannier and the Government of the Netherlands, highlighting a positive example of young people working for societal integration. The discussion was moderated by Adam Lupel, IPI’s Vice President.

Preventing Violent Extremism While Promoting Human Rights: Toward a Clarified UN Approach

European Peace Institute / News - Thu, 18/07/2019 - 18:15

In response to the threat of violent extremism, the UN has adopted a comprehensive approach that involves both aligning ongoing interventions with the goals of preventing violent extremism (PVE) and implementing PVE-specific programming. These initiatives aspire to use human rights-based approaches as opposed to hard-security counterterrorism responses. To date, however, there has been inadequate research on how the UN and other international organizations can promote human rights as part of their PVE programming.

This issue brief introduces findings on the strategic shift of UN peacebuilding interventions toward PVE and the barriers these interventions face to protecting human rights, drawing on research conducted in Kyrgyzstan. It concludes that PVE approaches to peacebuilding are fundamentally ambiguous, which may be hindering promotion of human rights. These ambiguities lie both in the terminology and strategies of intervention and in the drivers of radicalization and violent extremism. By clarifying its approach to PVE, the UN can dilute the inherent contradiction in its dual role as a critic and supporter of host states and reduce the odds that its interventions legitimize human rights violations.

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Financing the 2030 Agenda: How Financial Institutions are Integrating the SDGs into Their Core Business

European Peace Institute / News - Wed, 17/07/2019 - 17:22
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The public and private sectors are often seen as having incompatible objectives, but the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have become a point of intersection as the UN and its partners create new avenues to finance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The SDGs have attracted diverse types of investments in a number of areas that support their achievement. In particular, the financial services sector has pioneered a number of innovations in both financing and promoting sustainable development.

A July 17th IPI policy forum addressed the contributions of the financial sector to the 2030 Agenda and how financial institutions are integrating the SDGs into their core business. This side-event to the UN High-Level Political Forum was organized in partnership with the UN Bahrain Office and the Al Baraka Banking Group, and it brought together several of the world’s leading financial institutions to discuss how to fund sustainable development.

In welcoming remarks, IPI Vice President Adam Lupel emphasized that in order to advance a shared and practical understanding of how to accelerate Agenda 2030, financing and financial institutions are a “critical piece of the puzzle.” Building upon his remarks, Amin El Sharkawi, UN Resident Coordinator in Bahrain, added, “The private sector is becoming an increasingly important actor in the global developmental landscape.”

“We can no longer afford to conceive of social responsibility as a specialized dimension of the private sector,” Mr. Sharkawi conceded. “We must find ways to integrate social responsibility into the very DNA of how core business is conducted.” In order to do so, he said, “We must advocate for approaches such as blended finance and green investment, both of which are becoming increasingly popular avenues for private sector support to the 2030 Agenda.”

Adnan Ahmed Yousif, President and Chief Executive of Albaraka Banking Group, said, “One of our objectives for this event is to highlight these SDGs stories from the banking and the financial services sectors.” He explained that his organization was able to focus on “seven SDGs that align with four of Albaraka goals. These are namely job creation, financing, healthcare, education and clean energy.”

“None of us expected that this agenda would resonate as strongly as it has with the private financial industry,” Elliott Harris, Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development and Chief Economist in the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), commented. But, in fact, for the private financial industry, the SDGs are becoming increasingly a “good business opportunity,” as environmental concerns are also a “risk to the balance sheets of financial institutions… making unsustainable investment increasingly unattractive.”

Mahmoud Mohieldin, Senior Vice President of The World Bank Group, argued that the finance sector’s investment in sustainable development was not simply a “PR function” of a bank or company to say that “we do what we can,” but that it was, in fact, a “good line of business.” He told the audience that most people have not yet realized the potential of private sector participation. “The opportunities are there, there could be some good examples here and there, and we see some interest in infrastructure projects, revival of PPPs, some good interest in renewable energy, there are some bits and pieces, but so far… we do not have an SDG consensus yet,” he said.

Shaikh Abdullah bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, Undersecretary for International Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Bahrain, said, “I believe that without a public-private partnership many of the goals would be almost impossible to achieve.” Asked what was lacking in public-private partnerships, Mr. Mohieldin replied, “Different tracks are not speaking to each other… Now we talk about implementation, but very few VNRs submitted by governments are providing any kind of costing, or any kind of suggestion of budget any kind of signaling to the private sector.” Development, he said, required an “integrated approach.”

Muna AbuSulayman, a global SDG philanthropist, spoke on why achieving SDGs requires immediate action and how these goals differ, for businesses, from corporate social responsibility (CSR) aims. “We are finding that it is very easy to articulate the things you are already doing and put them in the SDG framework, which speaks to the differentiation between SDG funding and CSR funding,” she said. However, “We’re not playing a more active role, a more serious role in collective work to deliver on all the SDGs. We don’t want to just capture, we want to also add, otherwise we will fail to make significant changes needed for 2030.” What was necessary was deeper involvement from the financial sector as “partners, rather than merely funders,” she said. “We need to sit at the table.” She concluded, “I don’t think we’re going to reach the 2030 SDG goals if a sense of urgency is not conveyed to the major financial institutions around the world.”

Zubaida Bai is the founder and President of, ayzh Inc and Happy Woman Fund, where she has brought the perspectives of entrepreneurship and sustainable development together to invest in women entrepreneurs. “We are missing the fact that we need to be having half the population of the world leading SDG conversations,” she said. She suggested that another entry point to achieve the SDGs would be funding education for young people, since, “Per child/per annum we are investing about 300 dollars per child in the developing world. If we look at it from the developed world we are investing about 8000 dollars per child.” But, she concluded, “There is a lot of money that is going in. In our own fund that we are setting up, we are looking at the SDGs… our core is the company needs to be led by women, or the company needs to have the intention to let us come in and allow the organization to be gender neutral.”

“How do you measure success?” asked Bruno Bastit, Senior Corporate Governance and  Sustainable Finance Specialist at S&P Global Ratings. He said that he had seen some “positive signs,” of qualitative change as a result of the SDGs. “There is something to be applauded,” he remarked, in that “two years ago, investors didn’t know what climate change was.” In reporting this progress, “people are looking for actual measurable results, measurable impact to judge whether or not things are moving in the right direction and whether indeed investors and corporates are doing their best to address the SDGs,” he continued. Annual reporting on sustainable development has to contain more content than “trees and flowers and saving the world,” he said.

Ali Adnan Ibrahim, First VP and Head of Sustainability and Social Responsibility at the Al Baraka Banking Group pointed out that the SDG funding gap is about three trillion US dollars. But, he added, there are 317 trillion dollars already in the global financial system.” “If you look at the asset management industry, it is already 79 trillion dollars. So there is enough money in the system, but somehow we need to bridge that gap, that’s the magic recipe, to make that money flow into the sectors.” He said that to develop a funding strategy, “portfolio alignment is something very important, very easy to do, at the same time it has to be a gradual bottom-up process and there has to be a buy-in from all teams and subsidiaries to make it happen.”

Amit Puri, Global Head of Environmental and Social Risk Management at Standard Chartered, highlighted how his bank chose to prioritize where to invest. “We are a UK headquartered bank, but we make over 90% of our revenue and profits in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Our footprint is in emerging markets… Financing the SDGs is inherent in our strategy,” he said, and “We believe we are doing it where it matters most… We feel it is more impactful to meet the SDGs if we do this in places like Botswana, Bangladesh, Taiwan etc.”

Rebecca Self, the CFO of Sustainable Finance at HSBC, concluded the event, saying in her experience, “it’s becoming quite clear not all of the SDGs, and particularly not all of the indicators are necessarily relevant to banks… Some or others might be more relevant for us.” But where the SDGs did apply, she argued that progress toward the SDGs isn’t necessarily clear cut. Progress can be “saying no to short-term revenue in order to achieve some of these longer term sustainability goals,” she said. “There has been progress… but there is a lot more to do.”

Jimena Leiva Roesch, IPI Senior Fellow, moderated.

Mobiltelefone im Journalistenalltag

Konrad Adenauer Stiftung - Wed, 17/07/2019 - 16:58
Saskia Gamradt 2019-07-17T14:58:00Z

Libra, Hydra ou Activa ? Les enjeux mondiaux de la cryptomonnaie imaginée par Facebook

Institut Montaigne - Wed, 17/07/2019 - 12:53

Le 18 juin, l’association de droit suisse "Libra Association" présentait un projet de cryptomonnaie destiné à offrir au monde dès 2020 "une monnaie digitale sûre et stable", le Libra, pour en faire "l’internet de la monnaie". L’annonce serait passée inaperçue, si l’association n’incluait pas Calibra, filiale ad hoc de Facebook et une trentaine d’organisations allant d’entreprises comme Mastercard, Visa, Paypal, Booking, Uber, Spotify,…

Finale CAN : les Égyptiens, entre rivalité sportive et solidarité politique

IRIS - Wed, 17/07/2019 - 12:29

Il serait intéressant de voir quelle équipe les spectateurs égyptiens vont supporter vendredi pour la finale de la Coupe d’Afrique des nations (CAN).

Vont-ils être du côté du Sénégal en vertu d’une mémoire sportive collective qui les oppose frontalement à l’Algérie ? Ou vont-ils soutenir cette dernière par procuration, car elle représente une équipe en phase avec le vaste mouvement de contestation du pouvoir, contestation interdite aux Égyptiens ? Qui de l’antagonisme sportif ou de la solidarité politique va l’emporter ?

On sait que les supporters de foot algériens ont été à l’avant-garde de la contestation contre Bouteflika, mettant à mal le poncif éculé de « football, opium du peuple ». De nombreux joueurs et l’entraîneur de l’équipe nationale ont pris publiquement parti en faveur du mouvement de contestation. Ils ont même entonné un chant anti-régime dans les vestiaires après leur qualification pour la finale. « C’est grâce au peuple que nous sommes en finale. Sans leur appui, on ne serait sans doute pas là, on tient à leur dire merci », déclarait le capitaine algérien Riyad Mahrez au journal l’Équipe après la victoire contre le Nigéria.

Al-Sissi, de son côté, espérait redorer son blason avec l’organisation de la CAN. Le joueur vedette Mohamed Salah est la fierté d’un peuple qui n’a guère de raisons de s’enthousiasmer. Hélas, il est plus brillant à Liverpool qu’avec l’équipe nationale et la déception de la CAN est venue s’ajouter au fiasco de la Coupe du monde. Les « ultras » égyptiens ont eux aussi été à la pointe de la contestation du régime Moubarak en 2011, notamment les supporters de l’Al Ahly SC. 74 d’entre eux avaient été tués lors d’un match dans un guet-apens en 2012 à Port-Saïd, où les forces de sécurité semblaient avoir voulu se venger d’eux.

Le football a opposé l’Égypte et l’Algérie pour la qualification de la Coupe du monde 2010. Le 14 novembre 2009 se jouait la dernière journée du groupe qui devait déterminer la place qualificative. L’Algérie, avant le match, avait 3 points d’avance et devait gagner sauf si elle perdait par 2 buts d’écart. En allant au stade, le bus de l’équipe algérienne avait été caillassé par les supporters égyptiens avec la passivité évidente de la police égyptienne, d’ordinaire plus réactive. Trois joueurs avaient alors été blessés. À la 96e minute, l’Égypte marquait un 2e but, signe d’une égalité parfaite entre les deux équipes, il fallait dès lors organiser un match de barrage que l’Algérie allait gagner 4 jours plus tard à Khartoum. Entre temps, les dirigeants des deux pays avaient monté le ton. Les Algériens s’étaient pris à des intérêts économiques égyptiens en Algérie et certains d’entre eux avaient été pris à partie en Égypte. Loin de calmer le jeu, Bouteflika et Moubarak, tous les deux en difficulté politique et confrontés au problème de leur succession, montaient le ton pour essayer de rassembler le peuple derrière eux et de créer un ennemi extérieur. La rivalité était d’autant plus grande qu’il s’agissait de déterminer quel serait le seul pays représentant le monde arabe à la Coupe du monde. L’Égypte et son équipe des Pharaons se voyaient comme le phare du monde arabe pour des raisons historiques ou stratégiques : la révolte de Nasser contre la Grande-Bretagne et la France après la nationalisation du Canal de Suez déclenchant le réveil du monde arabe. Les Algériens estimaient qu’ils ne devaient leur indépendance qu’à eux-mêmes. Pour eux, après le virage pro-occidental pris par l’Égypte avec les accords de Camp David, ils représentaient le véritable nationalisme arabe – et ce malgré des liens très forts avec les États-Unis. Cette rivalité du leadership arabe se greffait sur une rivalité sportive. L’Algérie ayant privé l’Égypte d’une qualification pour la Coupe du monde 1982 et les deux équipes avaient été éliminées conjointement au profit du Sénégal pour l’édition 2002. Les Algériens rappellent également que lorsque l’équipe du FLN existait, de 1958 à 1961, préfigurant l’indépendance et permettant de montrer le drapeau algérien avant l’existence de l’État, l’Égypte avait refusé de jouer contre elle pour ne pas braquer la FIFA. Et par peur de perdre, ajoutaient les Algériens.

La sécurité des supporters algériens sera-t-elle assurée ? On peut l’espérer. Tout incident grave viendrait démentir la thèse des autorités égyptiennes selon laquelle elles tiennent fermement le contrôle du pays.

Souhaitons, en tous les cas, une belle finale entre deux magnifiques équipes, représentantes de deux peuples avec lesquels les liens affectifs, humains et historiques sont nombreux.

 

 

[En chiffres] Un monde de classes moyennes

Institut Montaigne - Wed, 17/07/2019 - 10:00

Alors que le sommet du G7, qui se tiendra à Biarritz du 24 au 26 août prochains, aura pour thème les inégalités, celles-ci sont un enjeu de préoccupation mondiale - et française - constante. Dans un monde irrigué de fausses informations, où l’émotion l’emporte souvent sur la raison, il convient de dépassionner le débat public sur ce sujet, en particulier en France où les perceptions sont souvent éloignées de la réalité, dans un pays particulièrement passionné…

Pivoting from Crisis to Development: Preparing for the Next Wave of UN Peace Operations Transitions

European Peace Institute / News - Tue, 16/07/2019 - 21:28

UN peace operations are going through an accelerated period of reconfiguration and drawdown. Between June 2017 and March 2018, long-standing peacekeeping missions in Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia closed, while the mission in Haiti was reconfigured into a transitional peacekeeping mission. Looking ahead, the Security Council has mandated the closure of the peacekeeping mission in Darfur and the initial drawdown of the peacebuilding mission in Guinea-Bissau, and its attention is starting to shift to other missions.

With these upcoming transitions in mind, this issue brief explores experiences and lessons from recent UN transitions in Côte d’Ivoire, Haiti, and Liberia. Each of these transitions has been the subject of a detailed IPI policy report published as part of IPI’s project on “Planning for United Nations Peacekeeping Operations Transitions.” Drawing on this research, this issue brief recommends how to manage politics and recalibrate policies to better shape future transitions. Its recommendations include to:

  • Adopt shared and long-term political strategies, particularly in Security Council mandates and benchmarks, as well as through regular sharing of assessments from the field.
  • Ensure integration in field-level planning strategies well before the Security Council sets transition timelines, with senior leadership from the mission shaping the vision, driving planning, and providing concrete recommendations for the future UN presence in the country.
  • Strategically engage the host society to align peacebuilding priorities and to communicate the core message that the mission is leaving but the UN is remaining in the country.
  • Engage early to secure adequate financing, capitalizing on debates surrounding the transition while it is still on the Security Council’s agenda.
  • Institutionalize dedicated transition support capacity within the UN system, including policy and programmatic guidance, operational support, planning expertise, and surge capacities.
  • Sustain long-term peacebuilding through partnerships, ensuring that residual peacebuilding challenges are mainstreamed into national development plans and international and regional development frameworks.

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Taïwan : « L’élection de janvier 2020 sera une lutte à distance entre Pékin et Washington »

IRIS - Tue, 16/07/2019 - 16:49

 

L’élection présidentielle de Taïwan qui aura lieu en janvier 2020 opposera la présidente sortante Tsai Ing-wen à un candidat de l’opposition nouveau venu, replaçant de nouveau la relation Taipei-Pékin dans la campagne. En ces temps de tension avec Pékin suite à des commandes d’armes américaines, quels sont les enjeux de ce scrutin ? Éclairage par Barthélémy Courmont, directeur de recherche à l’IRIS.

Le candidat de l’opposition (KMT, nationaliste) à la présidentielle de Taïwan de 2020 vient d’être désigné, il s’agit de Han Kuo-yu, maire relativement peu connu jusqu’ici. Qualifié de populiste pro-Pékin, que révèle sa percée sur la scène politique taïwanaise ? Les relations entre Taipei et Pékin vont-elles être remises au cœur du débat ?

Assez peu connu du grand public en effet il y a encore peu de temps, Han Kuo-yu a remporté en 2018 l’élection municipale de Kaohsiung, deuxième ville du pays, et bastion du DPP (le parti démocrate progressiste) depuis 1998. Cette victoire l’a propulsé parmi les présidentiables au KMT, mais il n’a décidé de se lancer dans les primaires que très tardivement, début juin. Une campagne expresse donc, et couronnée de succès face à Terry Gou, le fondateur de Foxconn, et Eric Chu, le maire de New Taipei City. Sa percée politique traduit un manque de leadership au KMT et de grandes difficultés à définir une nouvelle ligne politique depuis la fin de la présidence de Ma Ying-jiou, en 2016. D’ailleurs, Han s’est montré à plusieurs reprises très critique de Ma, qui soutenait de son côté Gou. Le parti historique de Chiang Kai-chek n’avance pas en ordre de bataille vers l’élection présidentielle de janvier 2020, et pourtant ses chances de succès sont réelles.

Il faut cependant se montrer prudent quant aux qualificatifs de « populiste » et « pro-Pékin » dont les médias américains, le New York Times en tête, se sont immédiatement emparés pour décrire la personnalité de Han. Gou semble en effet davantage correspondre à cette description, avec notamment la révélation de la déesse Mazu ayant justifié son entrée en politique, ou encore son engagement auprès d’un rapprochement inter-détroit. Sans doute d’ailleurs ces excès n’ont pas plu à une grande partie de ses supporters. De son côté, Han n’est pas un nouveau venu en politique, puisqu’il fut parlementaire de 1992 à 2002, avant une carrière dans le monde agricole et ce retour remarqué. Il fut également candidat à la présidence du KMT en 2017. Concernant sa proximité avec Pékin, il convient d’abord de signaler que « pro-Pékin » ne signifie pas grand-chose à Taïwan, ou en tout cas ne doit pas être entendu de la même manière qu’à Hong Kong. Si Han met en avant un discours « pro-Pékin » (à savoir une volonté d’unification politique), ses chances de victoire seront quasiment nulles. En revanche, si son propos consiste à rechercher un partenariat accru avec la Chine, économique et commercial en particulier, comme sa visite à Hong Kong, Macao, Shenzhen et Xiamen en mars dernier en fut l’objet (sur les questions agricoles), son discours se rapproche de celui de Ma Ying-jiou, président de 2008 à 2016. Il est donc encore trop tôt pour juger des intentions de ce candidat. Mais il est certain que, comme les scrutins précédents, celui de janvier 2020 se fera dans l’ombre de la relation avec la Chine continentale.

Taïwan a récemment conclu une nouvelle commande d’armes avec les États-Unis. La Chine a annoncé le 12 juillet des sanctions envers les entreprises américaines impliquées dans cette transaction. Que signifient ces menaces pour Washington et Taipei ?

Les États-Unis sont, avec la Chine, l’autre grand acteur qui va jouer un rôle dans cette élection taïwanaise, et une fois encore, l’article du New York Times ne fait que le démontrer. S’il est inutile de revenir ici sur la longue relation entre Washington et Taipei, il est en revanche important de signaler quelques faits récents. D’abord l’échange téléphonique entre Tsai Ing-wen et Donald Trump au lendemain de l’élection de ce dernier, en novembre 2016, et conséquence d’un balai d’élus républicains à Taïwan entre l’élection de Tsai en janvier et celle de Trump en novembre. Cet échange téléphonique très médiatisé était une première, et un geste symbolique fort, puisque le président américain, peu au fait des réalités géopolitiques asiatiques, avait ensuite critiqué le statu quo inter-détroit. Ensuite, les (énièmes) ventes d’armes américaines à Taïwan, justifiées par la défense face aux velléités chinoises. Enfin, et de manière plus événementielle, la visite de Tsai Ing-wen aux États-Unis (non officielle, statut de Taïwan oblige) et ses appels répétés, et sans doute justifiés, à un plus grand soutien des États-Unis. Le contexte politique dans la région et sur le sujet de la relation avec la Chine est celui que l’on connaît, avec des pressions diplomatiques et économiques que Pékin fait peser sur Taipei, et la question de Hong Kong, dont l’incidence sur le scrutin taïwanais sera évidente. Les États-Unis, par ailleurs engagés dans un bras de fer sur tous les sujets avec la Chine (et qui a débuté bien avant l’arrivée au pouvoir de Donald Trump), vont chercher à favoriser l’élection du candidat qu’ils estiment le plus hostile à Pékin, et c’est Tsai Ing-wen.

Taïwan est considérée comme une province sécessionniste par Pékin et reste peu reconnue au niveau international. La Chine n’excluant pas une réunification par la force, quelles sont ses velléités pour les années à venir ? Taïwan aurait-elle les moyens de résister ?

S’il est nécessaire de faire mention des manœuvres américaines à Taïwan, justifiées par les ventes d’armes et la lutte d’influence avec Pékin, c’est évidemment surtout du côté de la Chine que les regards inquiets se tournent. Depuis l’élection de Tsai Ing-wen, la Chine s’est engagée dans une vaste campagne de dénigrement de l’exécutif taïwanais, et c’est la Chine qui a rompu les contacts. Isolement diplomatique accru, humiliations récurrentes dans les instances internationales, limitation du nombre de touristes chinois à Taïwan, ou encore l’annonce de mesures de rétorsion contre des entreprises travaillant avec Taïwan dans des secteurs jugés hostiles à Pékin sont la concrétisation d’une politique de sabotage. Les discours va-t-en-guerre, notamment celui de Xi Jinping début janvier, s’ajoutent à ces manœuvres délétères et attisent un nationalisme chinois qui reste obsédé par la question taïwanaise. Les élections municipales en 2018 avaient déjà été marquées par une ingérence de Pékin, et cette tendance ne va que s’amplifier avec le scrutin présidentiel. Pour la Chine, l’équation est simple, le KMT (jugé plus conciliant) doit revenir au pouvoir. L’élection de janvier 2020 sera ainsi, en plus d’une traditionnelle confrontation démocratique entre deux visions de Taïwan et sa société, une lutte à distance entre Pékin et Washington.

Algorithmes, données et biais : quelles politiques publiques ?

Institut Montaigne - Tue, 16/07/2019 - 10:00

Nos décisions ont toujours été biaisées. Nous avons tous des préjugés, des idées reçues, fruit de notre histoire, de notre culture, de nos expériences, qui guident inconsciemment nos choix. Pourquoi en serait-il autrement pour les algorithmes ? Dans cet article, Anne Bouverot, présidente de Technicolor et présidente de la Fondation Abeona et Thierry Delaporte, directeur général délégué du groupe Capgemini, expliquent pourquoi les biais des algorithmes sont…

[En chiffres] Pauvreté dans le monde, pauvreté en France

Institut Montaigne - Tue, 16/07/2019 - 10:00

Alors que le sommet du G7, qui se tiendra à Biarritz du 24 au 26 août prochains, aura pour thème les inégalités, celles-ci sont un enjeu de préoccupation mondiale - et française - constante. Dans un monde irrigué de fausses informations, où l’émotion l’emporte souvent sur la raison, il convient de dépassionner le débat public sur ce sujet, en particulier en France où les perceptions sont souvent éloignées de la réalité, dans un pays particulièrement passionné…

„Es ist nicht die Stunde kleingeistiger Eitelkeiten“

Konrad Adenauer Stiftung - Mon, 15/07/2019 - 16:16
Saskia Gamradt 2019-07-15T14:16:00Z

The Row over France’s Digital Tax Signals a New Chapter in US-EU Trade Bargaining

IRIS - Mon, 15/07/2019 - 12:49

The introduction of a revenue-based tax on digital giants by the French government has sparked condemnation on the part of the U.S. administration, and threats of trade retaliation, starting with an official investigation. European divisions had already led to the abandonment of an EU-wide digital tax. While EU-US tensions had so far centred on German exports, how will this new episode affect the political dynamic in Europe on trade issues? An interview with Rémi Bourgeot, economist and associate fellow at IRIS.

While the US administration threatens to retaliate against countries that would put in place a digital tax harmful to its tech giants, Donald Trump seems to also have in mind trade negotiations with the EU in general and a reform of international taxation. Is the procedure against France’s digital tax part of that broader strategy?

So far, US trade tensions with the EU had centred on Germany’s car exports and its trade surplus in general. Against this background, Donald Trump has also accused the ECB of excessively weakening the euro’s exchange rate, through its unconventional policies. Although the digital tax appeared to be a minor topic in EU-US relations compared with the dispute over the euro’s exchange rate and the trade surplus, the US administration has nevertheless been critical of European plans to implement a digital tax on revenue since the debate was initiated among EU member states.

While those vocally opposing the digital tax in Europe were mostly smaller northern member states, the US stance seemed to find a particular echo in Berlin, where the government, despite adhering to a plan devised with France, showed caution in order to avoid escalating trade tensions with the Trump administration over car exports. Since EU-wide plans for a digital tax have been ditched, it is not surprising to see Donald Trump oppose similar plans at the national level, notably in France.

Until last year, whenever the US president criticized Germany for its trade surplus, French ministers were among the first to reply and rebuke the accusations. Meanwhile, Franco-German relations entered a delicate phase when it became clearer that French-led plans for a deeper integration of the Eurozone were being rejected by Berlin. A show of European cohesion against Donald Trump’s attacks on France’s digital tax is therefore unlikely. Similarly, Emmanuel Macron’s government will probably be less inclined in the coming months to defend Germany’s trade surplus. Europe’s increased divisions could give the US administration more room to try and accelerate trade talks with the EU, the idea of which Emmanuel Macron however rejected three months ago, arguing that the US would first have to re-join the Paris climate accord.

The digital tax, whether at the EU or national level, has been criticized as it targets revenues rather than profits and raises issues of double taxation. Although it has turned into a political symbol, it was designed as a mere intermediate step until a broader and more sustainable deal is reached in order to reform international taxation. While the introduction of a digital tax by various governments is intended as a levy in these talks, Donald Trump’s attacks are similarly meant to neutralize this possible advantage, having in mind negotiations both on trade and taxation.

His administration has shown some willingness to open a negotiation on international taxation which promises to focus, at least initially, on US companies like Amazon. While tackling the French and European projects to tax digital revenues, Donald Trump however often appears critical of digital giants in the US.  The strategy seems to consist in accepting the principle of these negotiations in order to quickly extend their scope beyond the issue of the digital economy, arguing that the borders between economic sectors are now very porous, and thus to engage in a much broader bargaining, on the taxation of international economic exchanges in general.

Talks on taxation and trade are therefore closely related. The US administration has raised the idea, in order to indirectly take into account the commercial activities of international companies in a given country, of developing a tax dependent on marketing expenditure for that country. This idea evokes more a transitional mechanism, like digital taxes introduced elsewhere, than a long-term model at the global level. From a European perspective, while this approach naturally frustrates major exporting countries such as Germany, targeting marketing spending could also be problematic for other countries and sectors, particularly for French and Italian luxury goods.

The OECD, which has a clear authority in the study of tax evasion, has succeeded in involving a very large number of countries in the process of initiating negotiations on international taxation. However, it is necessary to appreciate the complexity of the negotiations on this issue, especially since it is coupled with trade. While governments finally share a common will to preserve their tax base, with sometimes similar concerns, the very definition of the scope of the negotiation is still far from being resolved.

The EU had previously suspended the project for a European digital tax, leading instead to a series of national initiatives. How much divided are EU member States on this issue?

Four northern European countries (Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Ireland) expressed their strong opposition to the proposed European tax on the turnover of large companies in the digital sector. On the other hand, a majority of member states, the largest ones in particular, supported this tax. However, they were less united than at first sight, which made it all the more difficult to achieve the unanimity required in fiscal matters. The tax plan that was rejected in March was already a reduced version of the scheme that had already been discussed at the end of last year. Despite retaining the 3% rate, this version excluded from the tax base revenues from data sale and platform fees and focused on advertising revenues alone.

The four countries opposed to the digital tax have a small domestic market and are highly dependent on exports or international revenues more generally, which, under the current system, overshadow the very limited revenues that the European digital tax would have offered them. Sweden also sought to defend the success of its national digital companies, based on the model of music streaming companies like Spotify, while pointing to the general risk of double taxation. As for Ireland, it was a matter of preserving its model consisting in hosting the European headquarters of large international groups by means of a low corporate tax rate, which encourages companies to declare a significant portion of their profits in Ireland rather than in the European countries where the gain is generated.

Several countries such as France, the United Kingdom, but also Italy and Spain have worked on the introduction of a digital tax at the national level. What are the different approaches to this issue?

The European countries which have at some point made preparations for a national digital tax (France, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, Austria) have considered variants relatively close to what had been discussed at the EU level in the months before the development of what appeared, before its rejection, to be a short-term consensus solution. These governments have considered thresholds similar to those of the European initiative and a broader set of services than advertising revenues alone, including data sales and platform fees in particular. The French government, which intends to make the tax retroactive to the start of the year, expects tax revenues of around 400 million euros this year and just over 600 million by 2021. These estimates, however modest the figures might already be, are often considered overoptimistic.

Governments embarking on this type of taxation naturally seek to engage in a negotiation both with the global companies concerned, and with other governments, against the backdrop of the negotiations that will take place within the OECD framework. A diverse group of countries in the world are following this path, whether the EU member states mentioned above, Australia, New Zealand, India, or Singapore – which indicates the general nature of the concerns behind digital taxation.

The difficulties and then the confirmation of the failure of the intermediate stage in Europe led to a preference for a global negotiation at the OECD rather than a new European initiative. In any case, the ultimate aim is to redefine the distribution of digital-related tax revenues among governments, but according to a model that should probably continue to be based on profits, or at least to take them into account. Despite the idea of trigger thresholds in current digital tax projects, the concept of revenue-based taxation raises fundamental problems that led most governments to set it aside at some point in their economic history. The current tax should therefore be considered as no more than a temporary tool.

On the one hand, digital tax projects have an important political dimension, in that, despite the relatively small amounts at stake at this stage, governments can find an opportunity to send an equalitarian message to the public. On the other hand, policy makers must address a longer-term economic question about fiscal models in a context of upheaval in commercial activities and their geographical anchoring. In this perspective, the digital tax represents the beginning of a more general debate. The current superposition of digital tax plans and the more general ambition to review international tax models in the longer term does, however, create a great deal of confusion.

Trios gagnants ? La Chine et la coopération dans les marchés tiers

Institut Montaigne - Mon, 15/07/2019 - 10:51

Les entreprises étrangères peuvent-elles tirer profit des projets d'infrastructure chinois à l'étranger ? Ont-elles besoin d'un soutien politique pour y parvenir ? Ces deux questions irriguent les débats en matière de coopération dans les marchés tiers, débats qui ont lieu dans plusieurs capitales et dans de nombreux sièges d'entreprises. La Chine a signé des accords de coopération marchés tiers avec la France, les Pays-Bas, la Belgique, l'Espagne, l'Autriche, le…

Markenkern von CDU und CSU

Konrad Adenauer Stiftung - Mon, 15/07/2019 - 02:30
Christine Bach 2019-07-15T00:30:00Z

« Le monde en cartes – Méthodologie de la cartographie » – 3 questions à Matthieu Alfré et Christophe Chabert

IRIS - Fri, 12/07/2019 - 12:46

Matthieu Alfré est diplômé d’HEC, de Sciences Po et de la Sorbonne, il enseigne actuellement en classes préparatoires et conseille des entreprises privées avec Alma Conseils. Christophe Chabert, diplômé d’HEC, est le fondateur du site www.mindthemap.fr. Ils répondent aux questions de Pascal Boniface à l’occasion de la parution de leur ouvrage « Le monde en cartes – Méthodologie de la cartographie » aux éditions Autrement.

La cartographie est-elle indispensable pour les enseignants ?

La cartographie est un outil indispensable pour tous les enseignants en histoire, en géopolitique et, à plus forte raison, en géographie. En disant cela, nous faisons notamment référence à la pensée de Philippe Pinchemel qui rappelle à juste titre que « pendant des siècles les géographes étaient des cartographes » (Géographie et cartographie, réflexions historiques et épistémologiques). La cartographie apparaît aussi indispensable pour les enseignants à deux niveaux, d’abord, dans le rapport conceptuel à leur propre discipline, ensuite, dans le rapport personnel à leur style d’enseignement.

D’une part, la cartographie conserve toute sa pertinence pour parfaire et actualiser l’appréhension des matières que nous enseignons avec passion. Croiser les cartes des journaux, des revues spécialisées et des meilleurs cercles de réflexion, comme l’IRIS, nous permet de bien documenter les évolutions récentes du monde. En outre, et nous l’avons remarqué en concevant et réalisant Le monde en cartes, produire nos propres cartes nous fait gagner autant en clarté qu’en pertinence pour appréhender encore mieux nos propres disciplines.

D’autre part, en nous appuyant sur cette approche cartographique, nous sommes plus à même de gagner en impact auprès des étudiants. D’abord, parce que les cartes restent l’un des meilleurs vecteurs de compréhension pour eux. Dans notre civilisation de l’instantané, nos étudiants sont sensibles à la « rhétorique de l’image » décrite par Roland Barthes. Ensuite, parce qu’elles leur permettent de s’entraîner à bien des épreuves écrites et orales qu’ils auront à connaître. Qu’il s’agisse de réaliser un croquis au baccalauréat, autant qu’à HEC Paris, ou de commenter des documents géographiques à l’oral de l’agrégation, les occasions de préparer les étudiants avec des cartes sont nombreuses.

Indispensable, édifiante et percutante, la cartographie demeure le support privilégié pour réaliser notre mission dans l’enseignement et la formation.

Comment définir une bonne carte ?

Les cartes font partie de notre quotidien. Il en existe une grande variété dont les objectifs peuvent être très divers. La réalisation de cartes ou croquis est une épreuve souvent redoutée dans la mesure où il est attendu des candidats de démontrer de multiples compétences. Nous allons ici passer en revue certains éléments permettant d’évaluer la qualité d’une carte dans le cadre des concours.

Avant toute chose, quatre éléments sont indispensables : un titre, une orientation (indiquer le nord), une légende organisée et une échelle (le fameux « TOLE »). Il est important de rappeler qu’il s’agit d’un travail de représentation de phénomènes. Les éléments choisis devront rendre compte de la structure et de l’organisation de l’espace ainsi que des dynamiques des territoires.

La légende se doit d’être rigoureuse, synthétique et de répondre au sujet posé. On jugera la carte sur sa lisibilité, sa clarté et la précision des localisations (nom de pays, de villes, mers et océans, massifs montagneux etc.). Le choix des figurés et des couleurs avant la réalisation de la carte est une étape essentielle qui demande un peu d’entraînement, et de bon sens. Il faut éviter les superpositions hasardeuses d’éléments rendant la carte illisible, respecter certaines conventions (s’en tenir aux formes géométriques de base pour les figurés ponctuels par exemple) et veiller à la symbolique des couleurs (libéralisme en bleu, communisme en rouge etc.).

Une carte est un élément visuel qui répond à des logiques différentes d’un texte. Elle doit attirer l’œil par son esthétisme, d’où la nécessité de s’appliquer. Une excellente carte permet au lecteur de saisir les messages principaux et les grandes dynamiques représentées avant même la lecture du contenu de la légende. Surtout, elle donne envie de se plonger dans le sujet, d’en savoir davantage et de se questionner.

Une carte est un instantané à un moment t, rapidement caduque. Son message est toujours biaisé par les choix faits par le cartographe. En définitive, la bonne carte est celle qui suscite le débat et appelle à en réaliser d’autres !

Quelle est la bonne articulation entre le commentaire et la carte ?

L’articulation entre le commentaire et la carte s’apparente à un dialogue fécond qu’il appartient au commentateur de construire avec intelligence. Pour réaliser au mieux le commentaire d’une carte, il ne faut ni produire une paraphrase servile de la carte, ni s’enfuir dans un découplage stérile entre les mots et les images. Le commentateur peut se donner pour fil directeur de toujours conjuguer le poids des mots avec le choc des cartes.

Conscient de cet impératif d’équilibre, nous proposons une approche intégrée du commentaire de cartes dans Le monde en cartes – Méthodologie de la cartographie. Ainsi, l’introduction de la section (« Les enjeux ») explique la raison d’être de nos choix de cartes. Chaque chapitre est subdivisé en cinq cartes essentielles et complémentaires. Chaque carte est introduite par une justification du sujet, préparée par une explicitation de la problématique, analysée par un commentaire soulignant les faits marquants et, enfin, prolongée par des perspectives plus larges. Alors que le commentaire est centré sur des enjeux et des défis, la carte les met en image avec des illustrations choisies.

Quelle(s) énergie(s) pour l’Afrique ?

Institut Montaigne - Fri, 12/07/2019 - 09:57

645 millions, c’est le nombre d’Africains qui n’ont pas d’accès à une source d’électricité. Et ce chiffre continuera mécaniquement d’augmenter du fait d’une croissance démographique supérieure aux nouvelles capacités de production d’électricité. Afin de répondre aux besoins futurs de ces habitants, le développement rapide de la production d’électricité est indispensable. Quelle place occupent les énergies renouvelables dans le mix énergétique du continent…

Civil Society Voices Speak in New York on Implementing SDG16+

European Peace Institute / News - Thu, 11/07/2019 - 22:48
Event Video: 
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The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is enabling a range of innovative, grassroots-led work around its goal on peace, justice, and inclusive societies (known as SDG16+). However, these actions and commitments of civil society at the national level are often overlooked in global-level discussions.

This uniquely collaborative event, Voices of SDG16+: Stories for Global Action, held during this year’s High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), had at its core a campaign that collected almost 200 video submissions of activists and changemakers working to put peace, justice, and inclusion into action. The creators of thirteen of the submissions were invited to speak at a July 11th event in New York, hailing from Afghanistan, Cameroon, Canada, Guatemala, India, Kenya, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Somaliland, and Uganda.

The event was launched by Saferworld, TAP Network, and IPI along with campaign partners: Conciliation Resources, Article 19, Peace Direct, Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC), Civil Society Platform for Peacebuilding and Statebuilding (CSPPS), World Vision, Justice for All, Pax Christi, Life and Peace Institute, and Namati, with thanks to the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the United Kingdom Department for International Development through the UN Development Programme’s Global Alliance for additional funding assistance.

In opening remarks, IPI Vice President Adam Lupel explained that this event “started as a vision among Saferworld, TAP Network, and IPI about the need to bring civil society leaders from around the world to New York to expand access for civil society at a time when we all recognize this space is shrinking.”

The first panel’s opening presentation featured Rudrani Dasgupta and Ramsha Baluch, both from Chai Ki Dukkaan in India and Pakistan. Growing up, the women were influenced by conflict narratives in school textbooks and in their communities. “Society and media told me to hate Pakistan, but the problem was, I just couldn’t,” said Ms. Dasgupta. It was when Ms. Dasgupta travelled to Pakistan for the first time that she saw for herself, “Pakistani people are not the enemy.”

During this trip, Ms. Dasgupta met Ms. Baluch, who was also questioning the hateful narrative towards India that she had been taught in class. “From our friendship was born… a democratic digital peacebuilding platform for Indians and Pakistanis to dialogue across borders,” Ms. Dasgupta continued. They asked the audience to send in messages about why India and Pakistan should reconcile by using #ChaiKiDukkaan. “We intend to bring peace to over a billion people, and for that we need collective action.”

Kate Flatley of the Women’s Justice Initiative in Guatemala said that the aim of her organization’s work was to increase access to justice for indigenous women. In order to do so, they trained community advocates to serve as first defense and support women in communities, in particular survivors of violence. She told the story of a survivor of domestic violence who participated in the women’s rights education program. As she grew more comfortable with the community, she began to speak up and to seek legal aid, said Ms. Flately, and was ultimately able to obtain a restraining order against her husband and title the land in her name.

“We can build safe homes and communities for women and girls,” Ms. Flatley asserted. “Access to justice can’t just mean providing legal services. You need to know the law to be able to use the law,” she said. “We have to ensure that we’re educating individuals on how they can begin to use the system to exercise those rights.”

Chhatra Amatya, a peacebuilder at Nagarik Aawaz in Nepal, explained that “Nagarik means citizen, and Aawaz means voice. I am in New York to bring the voice of the voiceless.” She told the audience that her organization was established in 2001, after the Nepalese royal massacre and the Maoist Insurgency (also known as the Nepalese Civil War). At this time, she said, “a lot of youth and women were displaced from their homes, they were homeless, they were suffering.” She reported that women on both sides of the conflict had been raped, and that the situation was “utter misery.”

She said four or five like-minded people felt that they must do something in a small way. “We tried to give them shelter by sponsorship,” she said. She sponsored two young people at the time and gave them a platform for monthly interaction where they would listen to stories from both sides of the civil war. “They realized after listening to the stories that they are [all], in fact, ‘the victim.’ It has nothing to do with the government side or the Maoist side,” she revealed. “That’s how we started a peace kitchen, where we feed them every week. It has been going on for 17 years.” She said she believed that “this can be replicated all over Nepal, and I can confidently say that it can be replicated all over the world.”

Asked how people in conflict-affected environments can transition “from revenge to reconciliation,” Narcisio Bangirana, Alternatives to Violence Project, Uganda, said that for him, the secret to accessing alternatives to violence is action on an individual level. Individuals, he said, “have the potential to address the conflicts around them using the natural resources within them.” His current work focused on the process of reconciling two rival ethnic groups in South Sudan: the Nuer and the Dinka. “We make them realize that actually they face the same challenges,” he said.

Tola Winjobi, of the Civil Society Coalition on Sustainable Development in Nigeria, gave background on his organization’s work to prevent human trafficking, smuggling of persons, violence against children, and gender-based violence. “We are especially concerned about those who have to travel through the frontiers of the West African communities. We are much more concerned for the young people that have to travel by road,” he said. “There’s a need [for our government] to do something about this situation in the country… Let us campaign vigorously against human trafficking, because it is an ill wind that does no one any good.”

Some of us have been working to build peace without even knowing it, according to Arlyssa Bianca Pabotoy from the Center for Peace Education in the Philippines. Her message for peace centered on the achievements of some Filipino women as inadvertent peacebuilders in their communities. She told the story of a night when she stood before two families who were ready to kill each other in the name of justice, until a crying mother held her ground and asked the others to think of the children before committing such an act.

“Her story is only one of the many stories of women, of mothers, who are at the forefront of peace and conflict,” Ms. Pabotoy said. “Without even knowing it, these women have put themselves at the frontlines of peace… leadership, decision making, peace processes, and negotiations.”

The event’s second panel was entitled “Next steps on SDG16+: how to bring the agenda forward and how civil society can be supported.” Ismail Farjar, from the Center for Policy Analysis, Somaliland, stressed the need to hold decision makers to account in his country to achieve Agenda 2030. He described the process of establishing an SDG16+ coalition, and said that in doing so, they were able to localize the SDGs, in part by translating the 17 goals into Somali. “The platforms we created help citizens to engage leaders and hold them accountable. For example, if politicians didn’t see people approaching them and asking, ‘why didn’t you do this?’ they wouldn’t do this.”

“The good thing,” he said, is that because of including the SDGs in Somaliland’s national development plan, it is “one of the few countries in Africa directly aligning with SDGs.” The next step, he continued, is to get “support so we can solve the access to justice issues and data issues.”

Justine Kumche, Women in Alternative Action NGO, Cameroon, underlined in her presentation that, “The WPS agenda and SDG16 enable each other.” The work of her organization was dedicated to women at the forefront of peacebuilding in Cameroon. “We have created the women’s peace initiative, which is an initiative that brings together wives of traditional leaders as community peacebuilders, and also princesses and female traditional leaders, to be able to drive the peace agenda at the level of the communities,” she explained

Although, she said, “we focus more on the prevention rather than reaction to violent or armed conflict… based on this, we carry out peace education programs at different levels.” These education programs, in part, consisted of summer classes for children that centered on peacebuilding solutions and coexistence. “We organize youth think tank clubs for peace,” she said. “We empower the youth to become youth champions for peace,” with focus on the language divisions of the country. She concluded by saying she was “sure that Cameroon cannot achieve SDG16 successfully if the issue of the Anglophone crisis is not resolved.”

Umulkheir Mohamed, Kesho Alliance, Kenya, addressed the “long periods of marginalization” in her region, and pointed out that idleness had proven to be a risk in her society. Youth, she said, were unemployed, stemming from a lack of education. Keeping youth informed ensured that they “understand their civic roles to fight the small challenges we have in our country—top of the list being corruption,” she said. “Our work has always been about sustainable development. I advocate for education and peace in my community,” she explained, “because when it comes to understanding leadership and government, even our educated youth are not equipped.”

Kasha Slavner founded the Global Sunrise Project in Canada “out of the need for an alternative narrative to the mainstream media,” she said. She described this initiative as a “media hub for social good.” She had felt that “what’s missing from the [mainstream media] narrative is the solutions, the fearless grassroots activists.” Through media, she said her aim was to fill the “awareness gap for young people. They know about issues… they know they want to do something, but they don’t have these languages or tools to act as a framework… Knowing about the SDGs they then have this information that they can take and personalize and act upon.”

Sophia Dianne Garcia took action in response to the dearth of young women’s perspectives in peacemaking decisions by coordinating a network of 38 young leaders in the Philippines. These women from vastly different backgrounds formed Young Women for Peace and Leadership to “advance principles of human rights, gender equality, and even youth participation.” The SDGs are inextricably linked, she said. “We believe SDG 16 can be achieved by giving so much importance to SDG 5, which is gender equality, that it should be at the center—it has synergies between all the SDGs.”

Ms. Garcia saw an opportunity to raise awareness among youth in the context of her country’s midterm elections. She said youth should know that “you have the right to make your voices count by voting. But it does not stop there, your civic duty is even beyond voting… You have to make your leaders accountable at the end of the day.” She concluded, “Through our activities, our initiatives, we hope to challenge the violent misogynist and indecent narratives present in Philippine politics,” and turn these into constructive narratives so youth can be active participants.

“[Being] affected by war stirred a passion in me to work for my community and bring a change,” said Sofia Ramyar, Afghans for Progressive Thinking, of her home country, Afghanistan. She emphasized that “if children are better at critical thinking, they will challenge the status quo, and they will reform arguments that are more peaceful… That’s how we built friendships and increase understanding.” Amid the country’s conflict environment, she said that she created programs that have “impacted over 20,000 youths in Afghanistan.”

Ms. Ramyar said that last year was the first time an Afghan representative to UN spoke on the role of youth. Asked how we could bring about change, Ms. Ramyar, concluded, “I believe the only way we can bring change is by providing a safe space for youth to come together, to talk with each other, decrease prejudices, and increase understanding. The only way we can do that is by promoting and advancing SDG16 for peace for Afghanistan.”

Jimena Leiva Roesch, IPI Senior Fellow and SDGs team lead, and Jordan Street, Policy and Advocacy Adviser, Saferworld moderated. John Romano, Coordinator of Transparency, Accountability, and Participation Network gave closing remarks, thanking Imagethink for providing a visual synthesis of the discussions

To watch the winning video submissions and to read more about the campaign visit its website at: www.voicesofsdg16plus.org

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