The interactions between natural risks in the Arab region, climate change effects, water scarcity, and lack of food self-sufficiency represent a serious challenge to policies and plans in Arab countries and cities. Over the last three years, climate-related disasters have cast their shadow on around 50 million people in the Arab region.
By Amal Dababseh
In an interview with Sandra Schulz from German radio station Deutschland funk René Wildangel, head of the Heinrich Böll Foundation’s office in Ramallah, warns of an Israeli ground invasion in Gaza and a repetition of the "absolutely disastrous war" of 2008. Instead, an immediate cease fire and new policy options to include Gaza in regional negotiations are needed.
By René Wildangel/Sandra Schulz
It was the second visit of Hillary Clinton in Bosnia and Herzegovina without any positive outcome. Unfortunately, the situation will surely deteriorate further and chances for helping the country to become a really functioning and democratic state will grow smaller
By Kurt Bassuener
The NGO Monitor inquired again about our funding for "+972 - Advancement of Citizen Journalism", which helps managing and editing their site 972mag.com. The NGO monitor cites a number of contributions to the site as too critical of Israel and accuses the site of being part of the international campaign to demonize Israel. We neither share this general assessment nor do we agree with everything that is posted on 972mag.com.
In Afghanistan, natural resources and conflict have a intimate and complex relationship. In conflict assessment surveys, access to natural resources have been consistently reported as the cause for more than half of local level conflict incidents in Afghanistan. In particular, access to land and access to water are regularly cited by communities across Afghanistan as two top two causes of conflict.
Ramil Safarov’s surprise extradition on 31 August 2012 and his immediate pardoning upon arrival to Baku has raised a few intriguing questions not only outside Hungary but inside the country. It shows that Hungary’s current government is prepared to go a long way – if necessary, against fundamental human rights – in order to secure its economic interests.
By Kristóf Szombati
Since protests in Syria arose, Western press increasingly deals with the situation of Christians in the country. In most articles they are presented as a threatened minority. The media coverage is likely to promote the picture of an upcoming Islamization in Syria after the fall of Assad.
This month, two events occur back-to-back: the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (“Rio +20”) in Brazil and the Group of 20 (G20) Summit, in Mexico. This paper asks how the powerful G20 might influence outcomes of Rio+20.
By Nancy Alexander and Peter Riggs
In this essay, the president of the Heinrich Boell Foundation, Barbara Unmuessig, critically reflects on the opportunities for and the shortcomings of the concept of a "Green Economy" to influence economic policy making globally, its relationship to the paradigm of sustainable development and the need to rethink our understanding and focus on growth.
By Barbara Unmüßig
This paper outlines the tasks and character of an international mission aimed at supporting Israel and Palestine in the implementation of a peace agreement. It is the result of intensive consultation among a group of high-level experts - amongst them security experts from Israel, Palestine, Europe and Canada. The consultation process was organized by the Heinrich Böll Foundation.
By The Core Group
The security needs of Afghan men and women differ. Whereas men bear the brunt of the direct impacts of conflict, women disproportionately suffer from the indirect effects such as increased levels of domestic violence, decreased access to health care and poverty. Due to this difference in security needs, gender must be taken into account when evaluating the relationship between citizens and the Afghan National Police (ANP).
On November 23rd Heinrich-Boell-Foundation organized the international conference “10 Years after Petersberg: Where does Afghanistan stand today?” that addressed the current state of affairs in the country, the role of the regional neighbors and inquired about future prospects for Afghanistan.
One of the clear messages of the international community to the Afghan administration in the recently-held Bonn conference on Afghanistan was that the world is commited to support Afghanistan even after 2014. However, the question of what these commitments will look like, remains unanswered.
Last December the second Japanese-German Dialogue on security affairs took place in Berlin. The expert round table talked about the perspectives on security related issues in East Asia. The topics included the role of China, the situation on the Korean Peninsular and the question, how to deal with the Russian nuclear potentials.
The Pashtuns are the ethnic majority in the border area of Afghanistan and Pakistan, but the Pakistani government is not caring about their issues. In the war on terror they often feel like cannon fodder.
The second Bonn Conference which took place on December 5th in Germany, is an attempt to correct the various mistakes of the past. At least formally, all parties agree that the Afghan conflict cannot be settled my military means. By boycotting the conference, Pakistan is taking a step in the wrong direction.
The International Conference on Afghanistan in Bonn is a critical opportunity for the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the international community to reaffirm their mutual commitment to work together. Afghan civil society institutions propose the following points to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the international community. They believe these issues will help enable both parties to support a common and unified vision for the future of the Afghan people and the country as a whole.
In 2014 Western combat troops will leave Afghanistan after 13 years of engagement. In the wake of this caesura certain policy changes of actors of the international community have taken place. This report traces these changes in the cases of the negotiations with the Taliban and German governmental development cooperation.
After Germany lost World War II it had to acknowledge that it is a middle power that cannot dominate Europe. It therefore focused on rebuilding relations with former enemies through confidence building measures, economic cooperation and total restraint from military adventurism. Could this strategy be a role model for India and Pakistan as well?
By Britta Petersen
The current situation in Afghanistan is difficult. The violence is increasing, and neither the international forces or the Afghan government seem to be able to prevent this. A peace process between the government and the rebels which regulates the distribution of power in the state, could pacify the situation.