New index to monitor social protection floor implementations worldwide
At the 101st International Labour Conference in 2012, 184 members unanimously adopted the Social Protection Floors (SPFs) Recommendation No. 202, which provides guidance to members for establishing and maintaining SPFs as a core element of their national social security systems, guaranteeing access to essential health care and a basic income over the life cycle.
In support of the principle of regular monitoring, the Social Protection Floor Index (SPFI) has been developed. It assesses the degree of implementation of national SPFs, by detecting protection gaps in the health and income dimension and indicating the magnitude of financial resources needed to close these gaps in relation to a country’s economic capacity. The SPFI thus informs members, trade unions, civil society organizations, and other stakeholders about the need for corrective policy action, compares the implementation of SPFs across members, and, in future, monitors members’ progress over time. In the long run, it is hoped that the SPFI can contribute to achieving a fairer and more inclusive globalization.
The discussion paper A Social Protection Floor Index - Monitoring National Social Protection Policy Implementation is available here: fes.de/lnk/24-
Towards universal social protection coverage
FES Side Event, 8.2.2016 in New York
A side event at the occasion of the 54th session of the Commission for Social Development, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung along with ICSW, ILO, IASSW and in cooperation with the Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors organizes a Side Event on social protection, human rights and the new 2030 Development Agenda on 8.2.2016 in New York.
Human dignity-- the quintessential core of human rights-- has been recognised as an essential element for delivering on the sustainable development goals, while social protection figures prominently among the set of SDGs. Strengthening social protection is seen not only as one of the best ways to reduce poverty, insecurity and inequality in the world, but also as an effective means to achieve sustainability. More and more countries approach social protection as an investment in the present and in the future of societies and as a proven contributor to development.
The side–event seeks to highlight the role of the Social Protection Floor Initiative for implementing existing international human rights law and the newly adopted 2030 Development Agenda. For achieving that “no one is left behind” the value of universal coverage and access to social protection is crucial.
Further information on the event and the speakers is available here.
Side Events by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung during the COP 21 summit in Paris
COP Readiness Course / Civil Society Perspectives on Low Carbon Development
From 30.11. to 11.12.2015 the 21st Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 21) takes place in Paris. Expectations are high as the negotiations have a special significance: A new international Climate Protocol - to replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol - is supposed to be agreed on this week.
The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung accompanies this summit with two Side Events on location:
A »COP Readiness Course«, to better enable participants from the global South to look behind the scenes and get an overview of what really goes on during negotiations, i.e. to understand who aims for what and who is blocking things from moving forward altogether. The second event is discussion on Civil Society Perspectives on Low Carbon Development (in cooperation with Brot für die Welt, WWF, Germanwatch and IndyAct), which focuses on the combination of Low Carbon Development and poverty reduction.
Find further informationen at http://www.fes-sustainability.org
Moreover, Pedro and Luciano, 2 young bloggers from Brazil who are part of an international Youth alliance and thus participate in the youth activities at COP 21, write about it all in our FOCUS COP 21 blog at http://www.fes-sustainability.org.
Documentary and Video Statements
International Learning Project, 18.-24. October 2015 at FES Berlin
The FES invited 25 young activists from all over the world, from Indonesia to Peru, from Poland to Zimbabwe, to Berlin in October 2015 to spend one week discussing international climate politics and policies. The program included a face-to-face UN simulation game, trips to best practice climate projects, meetings with experts and an ideas lab in which participants developed ideas for an alternative climate policy.
Two video features summarize the week and present participants' statements:
Further information on FES activities during and in preparation of COP21 is available at www.fes-sustainability.org.
TTIP, TPP and the rise of Mega-regionals
Consequences for the world trading system
International Symposium on 23/24 November 2015 at FES Berlin
The last 25 years have seen a sharp increase in bilateral and regional free trade and investment agreements around the world. Especially as negotiations at the WTO’s Doha Round drag on without any ambitious conclusion in sight, a number of WTO members have turned to bilateral and regional trade agreements, which are usually being concluded outside the jurisdiction of the WTO. Thus, they potentially undermine a multilateral trade framework.
The current debate focusses on two so-called mega-regional free trade agreements: the »Trans-Pacific Partnership« (TPP) and the »Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership« (TTIP). Both agreements follow a deep-integration agenda with investment chapters and far-reaching behind-the-border-provisions.
Apart from setting technical standards, they touch upon public policy issues such as labour rights, consumer protection, animal welfare or environmental protection that are not primarily trade-related, and, according to its critics, risk to unduly restrict the regulatory sovereignty and the policy space for democratically legitimized decision makers. Intellectual property rights and legal privileges afforded to foreign investors are also contested fields. Additionally, as »Mega-regionals«, both TPP and TTIP could threaten the WTO’s central role in global trade governance and in the shaping of global trade policies.
The full programme of the symposium and the public panel discussion on the evening of 23 November 2015 are available here.
To register for the public panel debate you can - until 19th November - fill out our Online Registration Form.
The conference will be simultaneously translated in English and German.
FES honors commitment to peace-building between and peaceful coexistence of Jews and Arabs in Israel
5 November 2015 at FES Berlin
The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung’s Human Rights Award 2015 recognizes Ilan Sadeh’s and Hasan Atamna’s long-standing and persistent commitment to peace-building between and peaceful coexistence of Jews and Arabs in Israel on behalf of the seven mayors taking part in the Shared Communities initiative. The award winners work tirelessly for an accommodation of Jewish and Arab interests and for an inclusive civil society commonly shaped by Arabs and Jews. They advocate for equally respecting the civil and human rights of both groups. In Israeli society, rent by conflicts as it is, this is not to be taken for granted. Thus, it merits our utmost recognition and respect.
In Israel, participation in social cooperation projects requires courage, as there is a strong tendency in both parts of society to reject cooperation, integration and confidence-building measures. Distrust, animosities and silent or open opposition to participation in the Shared Communities Initiative are part and parcel of Ilan Sadeh’s and Hassan At-amneh’s everyday work. They nevertheless decide day-in day-out to carry on along the path they have chosen, thereby helping to bring about a better future.
The award ceremony will take place on 5 November, 2016, 16:30 h, at Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Hiroshimastr. 17, 10785 Berlin.
The laudation will be held by Reinhold Robbe, Director of DIG e.V..
Further information on the program is available in theflyer.
We kindly ask you to register for this event by using our online form.
Detailed information on the FES Human Rights Award and this year's as well as previous awardees is available atwww.fes.de/themen/menschenrechtspreis.
Strategies for the Improvement of Working Conditions within Global Supply Chains
3-4 September 2015 at FES Berlin
Grave fire and construction hazards in the workplace, extreme working hours, inadequate pay, gender based violence and restrictions on trade union rights as well as violence against trade unionists are all part of the everyday reality of global supply chains. These conditions have been the subject of increased political and societal debate since the fire disasters in Pakistan and Bangladesh in autumn 2012 and the Rana Plaza catastrophe in Bangladesh in spring 2013. Trade unionists and civil society actors are taking action in a variety of forms in production countries, in consumer states and on the international level in an effort to improve working conditions in global supply chains.
Over the course of our two-day symposium we analyzed and reflected on these various international and national strategies. The focus was on the question of how existing efforts can be improved and better linked with one another. We also examined the role law and legal interventions can play in this context.
For the complete program of the complete conference programm, please see here.
The event is jointly organized by Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund (DGB) and the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) and is supported by the Hans-Böckler-Stiftung and the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung.
Fourth international conference on security policy in a period of global upheaval
10-11 September 2015 at FES Berlin
The FES holds its central foreign and security policy conference, the Tiergarten Conference, on September 10th and 11th, 2015. Renowned international experts will discuss »Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-Proliferation in a Period of Global Upheaval« during a two-day expert workshop and a public panel discussion in the evening of September 10th.
Global arms control and non-proliferation are in crisis. Disarmament and conversion have stalled and countries are rearming. The escalation of armed conflicts, such as those in Syria or Central Africa and, not least, the outbreak of the Ukraine crisis, are painful reminders of the need to step up disarmament and arms control efforts and agreements on the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and of conventional weapons.
Traditional approaches to cooperative arms control and existing instruments of non-proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons are no longer effective. New impulses towards disarmament and arms control are needed in the multi-polar world of the twenty-first century. The rise of China and the ambitions of old/new powers such as Brazil, India or Iran have changed the balance of power in the global security architecture.
The conference focusses on how to establish a new multilateral architecture for arms control and joint security, that is capable of mitigating the current global arms race. Furthermore, we will discuss potential solutions to new arms control challenges, such as the automation of weapons systems or the digitalisation of warfare.
For the complete program of the public panel discussion on 10 Sept., please see the leaflet.
Further information is available at the conference website.
Discussion and Reception on occassion of the IAFFE Annual Conference
15. and 16. July at FES Berlin
During the International Association for Feminist Economics (IAFFE) Annual Conference, the FES hosted two high-ranking events.
A panel discussion on »Caring Democracy« took place on 15. July at 17:30 h. Leading feminist political scientist Joan Tronto introduced this concept and summarized why care should be at the core of democratic political life. Experts from different regions commented on her theses, including Soledad Salvador of the Interdisciplinary Center for Development Studies Uruguay and Yumiko Yamamato of the United Nations Development Program Asien-Pazifik.
During a reception on 16. July, the German Federal Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, Andrea Nahles explained how solid social and labour policies can enhance gender justice - especially in times of crisis. Michael Sommer, Vice-Chairman of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, opened the event.
A summary of the panel discussion and Joan Tronto's speech by Lara Laila Gärber is available here.
FES launches Civil Society Guide for National Social Protection Floors
While governments are turning back to austerity measures and restrictive social policies, the recently released Civil Society Guide for National Social Protection Floors empowers activists to advocate for effective social protection systems.
In light of the international economic crisis, a common understanding amongst international policymakers emerged: social protection is not only a human right, but also a necessity. If effective social protection systems are in place in times of crisis, they automatically stabilize the economy. If they aren’t, the social fallout is significant. Thus, social protection systems are far from being just cost factors in national budgets. First experiences of developing countries implementing social protection floors (SPFs) prove that they are affordable and that they can foster development and growth.
The real challenge facing us now is to transform the lessons learned during the crisis into substantial action. In 2012, the international community reached a consensus on social protection for the first time as 184 countries committed themselves to implementing SPFs for all their citizens. Three years later, governments respond to the fiscal crisis by turning back towards restrictive social policies. What seems to be lacking is a long-term political commitment to invest in social protection systems. In this situation, it is the people themselves who need to advocate for social justice
The Civil Society Guide for National Social Protection Floors aims at strengthening the role of civil society and trade unions in designing and implementing effective social protection systems. It enables them to hold their governments accountable for their responsibility to provide social security for all.
The complete Guide is available here: www.fes.de/GPol/pdf/CivilSocietyGuide.pdf
An overview of the Guide's main issues in German is available in the International Policy Analysis »Social Protection Floors - Chancen der Umsetzung«.
On the eve of the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the United Nations (June 26, 1945) we want to take a close look at the core task of the UN: to provide for international peace and security. The Charter of the United Nations describes the aspiration for the UN with a pathos echoing the two devastating world wars which preceded its establishment: »to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war (…)«. The world organization has come a long way since its foundation. We want to seize this years’ jubilee momentum for a profound assessment of the UN’s performance, its current deficiencies and future potentials in terms of international peace and security.
Angela Kane, the UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs has already confirmed her participation.
Open detailed programme
- Event in cooperation with DGVN -
FES' and SIPRI's New Geopolitics of Peace Operations Initiative launches Final Report and Perspective
The global security environment is changing as a result of globalization and nontraditional security challenges . At the same time, the power balance and security relations between established and emerging powers underpinning the contemporary arrangements for conflict management, appear to be changing. Power and political influence are shifting away from the West (Europe and North America) towards other global regions and to emerging powers such as Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Russia, South Africa and Turkey.
The final report of the New Geopolitics of Peace Operations Initiative aims to provide insights into the views of major troop- and police-contributing countries (TCC/PCCs) and emerging powers in the different regions on the main future challenges to international peace and security; interpretations of relevant norms and concepts in peace operations; the main objectives for participation in peace operations; organizations' capacities and legitimacy to address the regional and global challenges of conflict; and the challenges to peace operations. Focussing on the core challenges, the FES Perspective by Xenia Avezov, Jair van der Lijn and Marius Müller-Hennig provides a condensed overview of the Initiative's findings.
The New Geopolitics of Peace Operations Initiative was conducted by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) and the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) from 2012 to 2015. SIPRI and FES organized a series of regional dialogue meetings with emerging powers and troop-contributing countries. In addition, SIPRI has conducted research resulting in a number of reports and policy briefs. The Initiative's final report was launched during a panel discussion in Mid-February in New York.
The final report »The Future Peace Operations Landscape - Voices from stakeholders around the globe« is available here: http://bit.ly/19vDxnI
For more information on the New Geopolitics of Peace Operations Initiative, please go to Global Peace and Security Policy or visit www.sipri.org/research/conflict/pko/new-geopolitics-of-peace-operations.
New Impuls online at Frient.de
by Marius Müller-Hennig
2015 will be a decisive year for development and peace in many respects. The EU has designated 2015 the European Year of Development. In New York, new goals for sustainable development will be adopted. The future of development financing will be discussed in Addis Ababa, the G7 will meet in Germany, and a new climate deal will be agreed in Paris. Marius Müller-Hennig is worried that this will deflect media and professional attention away from key reforms of the UN peacebuilding architecture. In this Impuls article, he offers an overview of the forthcoming change processes and the associated challenges.
Fartuun Adan honored for establishing Human Rights Center
Award Ceremony with Kurt Beck and Christoph Strässer, 4.12.2014 in Berlin
This year's FES Human Rights Award goes to the founder and director of the Elman Peace and Human Rights Center in Mogadishu. Fartuun Adan figths for the rights of women and children in a country with one of the worst women's rights records worldwide. Her Human Rights Center was the first non-governmental organization providing survivors of gender-based violence and vulnerable women with legal and psychological support, health care and shelter. Furthermore, it advocates for long-term reconciliation and development, and cooperates with OXFAM, ILO and others to support the social reintegration of former child soldiers.
The award ceremony took place on 4 December, 2014 at Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Berlin. The laudation was hold by Christoph Strässer, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid.
The complete program is available in the flyer.
An audio feature and an interview with the award winner are available in the Multimedia section.
Photos of the award ceremony are available in the Picture Gallery.
Futher information on the award winner and on the political context is available at: www.fes.de/themen/menschenrechtspreis/en.
Side Events, Live Reports and Publications
1-12 December 2014, Lima, Peru
At the beginning of December, Lima hosted both the official negotiations of the 20. UN Climate Change Conference and the parallel event Peoples Summit on Climate Change organized by civil-society organizations and social movements.
The FES organized two side events in each of these frameworks, with our staff and partners providing first-hand reports and comments in the FES Sustainability Blog.
Furthermore, an International Policy Analysis on Latin American perspectives on COP 20 has been published, as well as an interview with experts from Peru on civil society's expectations. The FES also supported a seminar on climate reporting from all over Latin America prior to COP 20.
Detailed information in the event »Taking Climate Cooperation to a New Level: Incentives and Alliances For Transformative Action« is available in the leaflet.
An overview of all FES Activities is available here: FES @ COP 20
Workshop Report and Participants' Demands Now Available Online
Expert Conference on 23. and 24. October 2014 at FES Berlin
Global Care Chains link the world. According to Russel Hochschild, such a chain could start with a poor family's oldest daughter raising her siblings and continue with her mother caring for the children of another women, who - as the last »link« of the chain - works abroad as a rich kid's nanny.
These care workers depend on each other, in part because their occupation continues to be devalued, unpaid and invisible. It is also for this reason that many women in Europe are only able to reconcile their carreers and their families with the support - or through the exploitation - of migrant women living and working under precarious conditions.
The increasing demand for care work, the lack of public care services and of gender-sensitive social and labour policies are leading women to assume unpaid care work or to emigrate for paid care work. Destination countries may postpone the provision of egalitarian systems of public childcare and fill the gaps through migrant care workers.
These and further challenges posed by Global Care Chains were at the heart of the FES Gender Team's two-day expert conference on 23. and 24 October. Participants from Chile, the Philipines, South Africa, Uruguay, Israel, Bolivia, Hong Kong, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Poland, South Korea and Germany developed recommendations on how to tackle the global care crisis.
Mechthild Rawert, Member of the German Bundestag, summarizes the participants' positions in her report: Weltmarkt Pflege: Globale Versorgungs- und Pflegeketten.
The confernce program is available here: Program.
German Policy in the UN Human Rights Council
Public Debate on October 6th, 2014 at FES Berlin
In the public discourse, Germany's international responsibility is increasingly associated with armed humanitarian operations or with arms supply. An approach based on the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) is rarely discussed. Germany will face it's international responsibilities especially if it will be elected for the presidency of the UN Human Rights Council in January 2015. The expectations that might arise from this presidency were at the heart of the public panel discussion on October 6th, as well as the question how a future cooperation between Human Rights Council and Security Council might look like.
Audio Podcasts (in German)
The expert conference on 6/7 October dealt with on the challenges of the next presidency of the UN Human Rights Council. Germany is among the candidates up for election in 2015. Read the programme of the expert conferencehere.
* A cooperation between FES, German Institute for Human Rights and Forum Menschenrechte *
Intervention Strategies revisited
3rd Tiergarten Conference on 11 September 2014 in Berlin
The question of the right way for the international community to deal with crises and conflicts is still under discussion. The crisis in Ukraine, the civil war in Syria and the attacks of the terror group Islamic State in Iraq still ask for engagement by the international community. The competing views – intervene or keep out of it – between the West and countries such as Russia or China have more than once thwarted concerted action within the framework of the United Nations. But even among western countries the debate is open. The arguments put forward by advocates of intervention range from the universality of human rights and the responsibility to protect through to the defense of international law. Still, military intervention »out of area« remains deeply controversial and divisive.
This year’s Tiergarten Conference is going to focus on the issue of intervention strategies. How can we best assure security, freedom, stability and peace not only in the Western world, but in every part of it? What can be learnt from the past 20 years' experiences – and what are the consequences for international security policies? Do conventional »boots on the ground« strategies still make sense? What consequences can we expect from technological change? Will drones and the like give us the option of a »clean warfare«? And what does all that mean for a European security architecture, which, in the light of the Ukraine crisis, looks ever more necessary?
These questions will be addressed by German and international politicians and experts during this year’s Tiergarten Conference on 11 September 2014. The FES-Tiergarten Conference provides an annual platform where politicians, academics and experts from all over the world come together to debate key issues in international affairs, thus contributing to a better informed national and international debate on the major global challenges of our times.
The complete program is available here: PDF
Further information is available at: www.tiergarten-conference.org
Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung supports Degrowth-Conference
The Fourth International Conference on Degrowth for Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity will take place in the German city of Leipzig from September 2-6, 2014. The focus of the 2014 conference is on concrete steps towards a society beyond the imperative of growth. The conference will give room for scientific debates, exchange between activists and economic pioneers as well as artistic approaches to the subject. Both scientific insights and concrete projects and policies will be presented, experimented with and discussed.
The complete program is now available and registration is possible at www.degrowth.de.
As part of its activities concerning degrowth, the FES is again among the supporters of the Degrowth-Conference. Our colleague Nina Netzer, head of the International Energy and Climate Policy program, will be the moderator of a workshop on »A worldwide energy revolution?« on 5 Sept., with contributions by Camila Morena, environmental activist from Brazil, Alice Kaudia, State Secretary for the Ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resources in Kenya, and others.
Further information is available on the website: www.degrowth.de
Interview Series in the Run-up to Conference
With an interview series published in the Post Growth section of FES Sustainability, the project Stream Towards Degrowth introduces debates on and actors fighting for a socio-ecological transformation.
In the run-up to the 4. International Degrowth-Conference, we focus on the diverse approaches to degrowth, that form an important part of the sustainability discourse. The interviews are conducted in the context of the joint event series »Wege in eine ökologisch und sozial gerechte Gesellschaft« of FES, Urania e.V. and the 4. International Degrowth-Conference.
In the first interview, Christine Bauhardt, Professor for Gender and Globalization at Humboldt-Universität Berlin, talks about »Degrowth – seen from the future«.
Key Elements To a Gender-Just Development Agenda
Second International Debate over the Post-2015 Agenda, 27 May 2014 in Berlin
An end to the global gender divide was one key objective set out in the Millennium Development Goals. It is apparent that this can no longer be attained, however. In spite of scattered minor successes in the direction of the objective, the overall assessment is negative: women and girls still possess less power than men throughout the world, they are underrepresented in many areas – in education, decision-making positions in politics and business and on the labour market. Why is the record so bad and what needs to be done for the new development agenda to improve the situation of women and girls throughout the world?
Answers to these and other questions were discussed at a debate that took place within the framework of our cooperative project with the Marie-Schlei-Verein. Linking up to the results produced by the first debate, we focussed on the question of how just economic, political and social participation of women and girls can be strengthened throughout the world.
The event report highlights our discussions on political and economic empowerment of women in the post-2015 agenda, on opportunities and barriers to a decent work-approach from an Asian perspective, on securing the livelihood of women, and on care and sustainability. Furthermore, it summarizes the input by Elke Ferner, Bundestag delegate for the SPD and State Secretary in the Federal Ministry for Family, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, on equality policy in Germany and on the 58th meeting of the UN Women’s Rights Commission that took place in New York in March 2014.
- Event in cooperation with Marie-Schlei-Verein e.V. -
One question, two perspectives:
FES Sustainability and SGI news investigate the relationship between sustainability and democracy.
The series Democracy & Sustainability investigates the factors that influence the success or failure of sustainability policy. Two authors tackle the same question from different perspectives, and present their findings simultaneously on FES Sustainability and SGI News.
With their article series »Democracy & Sustainability« FES Sustainability and SGI news investigate the relationship between sustainability and democracy. Part 5 focuses on the social dimension of the sustainable development paradigm. Using the examples of Peru and the Nordic Countries, Paul Maquet, Mi Ah Schoyen and Marianne Takle discuss the meaning of democratic participation and social inclusion and analyse how they are changing.
Visit FES Sustainabilty and engage in the discussion - we appreciate your interest!
New Responsibility – New Pathways?
Peacebuilding in the 21st Century
The Peacebuilding Forum 2014 took place on May 7-8, 2014 in Berlin and was organised by the Working Group on Peace and Development (FriEnt) and FES. A comprehensive documentation and background articles are available on the official website and a photo gallery provides pictures of the event.
More than 150 German and international participants of the Forum discussed the challenges peacebuilders face in an increasingly complex world. Among the most important topics were how peacebuilding activities can come to terms with increasingly complex constellations of conflicts and actors, if today's international processes such as the Post-2015 agenda and the New Deal For Engagement in Fragile States open up new perspectives for peacebuilding, what role civil society peacebuilding initiatives can play, and which role Germany should play to do justice to it's »new external responsibility«.
Comments on central topics of the Forum are available at the Peacebuilding Forum Blog, including the article »Security Governance – Still a Touchy Issue For Peacebuilders?« by Marius-Müller Hennig, FES.
In this blog you will also find several video interviews with some of the international participants.
Photos are available in the gallery.
- Event in cooperation with FriEnt -
Building Workers Power
3rd ITUC World Congress, 18-23 May, 2014 in Berlin
Over 1500 trade unionists from 161 countries gathered at the Berlin City Cube in Berlin, Germany from May 18 to 23 for the 3rd International Trade Union Confederation World Congress, taking place every four years. The ITUC is the largest democratic organisation in the world representing 325 national trade unions and working people all over the world. The 2014 theme is Building Workers’ Power.
This year's congress developed the guidelines for international trade union work. Three subplenaries dealt with the growth of trade unions, realising rights and sustainable jobs. For information on the program visit theCongress website.
The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung supported the participation of 35 trade union leaders in the congress and in the annual conference of the Global Labor University.
Values, Structures and Institutions need to be changed
Concept Note published online
Mainstream economics systematically excludes reproductive work and natural resources from accounting sheets. Women’s networks therefore call for an economy that does not aim at monetary profit and further economic growth, but at meeting human needs and ensuring the sustainable use of natural resources.
In 2013, the FES in cooperation with genanet discussed at various occasions with experts and activist from different research areas and women’s rights movements about how to establish economies that are both gender-just and sustainable. The discussions showed the diversity of approaches and positions. Obviously, a shared understanding of how care and sustainability can be linked economically was still missing. As a result, the idea of writing a concept note on gender, care and sustainable economy was born.
A group of women with diverse professional and geographical backgrounds conceptualized a sustainable and caring economy of the future. Their agenda of change is now available at FES Sustainability and includes concrete steps as well as new and general ideas for transforming the current economic rationality.
In the long run, the authors aim at deriving policy recommendations for national and international political actors dealing with the reform and transformation of current economic and development models.
»On Gender, Care and Sustainable Economy. A concept note« is available here: www.fes-sustainability.org/en/blog
Providing sustainable development for all and fighting climate change – these are two major challenges the world faces today. The project »Exploring Sustainable Low Carbon Development Pathways« aims to point out ways how to combine both: climate protection and sustainable development. As a joint initiative by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), Bread for the World (BftW), World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Climate Action Network International (CAN-I) and ACT Alliance of Churches, the project is led by the common understanding that any future development model has to be:
Low Carbon. That means with a minimal output of greenhouse gas emissions.
Ecologically Sustainable. That means fully respecting planetary boundaries.
Human Rights-based. That means with a strong focus on poverty reduction and participation.
Socially Inclusive. That means creating wealth and employment while absorbing negative social impacts.
Just. That means equally sharing burdens and opportunities between different stakeholders.
Nationally appropriate. That means respecting countries different backgrounds and challenges towards sustainable development.
The project was started in 2013 in four pilot countries: Kazakhstan, Peru, Tanzania and Vietnam. In close co-operation and ownership with different national partners from civil society, politics and science we aim to
•Explore Sustainable Low Carbon Development Pathways in these countries which could serve as regional and international examples.
•Show that Low Carbon Development is not only possible but economically and socially beneficial.
•Create platforms for dialogue at the national level for a range of different stakeholders.
•Support and intensify networks between civil society actors in the respective countries and regions.
Pioneers of Change - 21 Good Practices for Sustainable Low Carbon Development in Developing Countries
This publication has been created within the framework of the project Exploring Sustainable Low Carbon Development Pathways. Based on 21 studies from different developing countries and economic sectors, it shows that climate protection and poverty reduction are not necessarily in competition, but that they can be combined. At the same time, the authors illustrate the challenges that exist on the path to sustainable development models and those on the agenda at the UN climate summit in Paris, and they outline sustainable policy approaches for an equitable socio-ecological transformation.
FES Special Release, October 2015
Conceptualizing Protest and Conflict - Report From an Interdisciplinary Conference*
In recent years, the world has been shaken by protests demanding real democracy and justice for socioeconomic grievances. This interdisciplinary report explores how governments and institutions of global governance can better respond to contentious politics and protests. Are they expressions of aspirations, grievances and demands? Or are they conflicts to be managed and subdued? From the point of view of government and governance, protests disrupt smooth governance, requiring management by experts in conflict resolution. From the point of view of protest movements and social justice campaigns, the performance of contentious acts must be carried out by people themselves – non-experts – acting directly on their own behalf and for the transformation of their economies and societies. This state of play is a zero sum game. To go beyond it, governments need to listen to protests. Even riots should be seen first as expressions of injustice and demands for its reversal rather than as conflicts to be put down.
FES Study, July 2015
Hold-Out or Silent Supporter? - Implications of the Humanitarian Initiative on Nuclear Weapons for Germany*
Even though the world community agrees on the need for nuclear disarmament, states differ in their visions of how to achieve this goal. The recently rejuvenated »humanitarian initiative« points to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons and aims to accelerate progress on nuclear disarmament by legally prohibiting nuclear weapons. Focussing on three hypothetical scenarios, the author examines the legal, political, military and economic implications of the German government's decision to engage in the initiative. Furthermore, she identifies three factors that highly influence the federal governement's willingness to join a treaty banning nuclear weapons.
FES International Policy Analysis, July 2015
Realizing Women's Human Rights in Development - Recommendations on Financing for Sustainable and Equitable Development*
From September 2015, the UN Sustainable Development Goals will replace the Millenium Development Goals. Prior to this, a consensus is needed on how to finance the new agenda. Women's organisations are concerned that women's rights and gender equality might not be sufficiently considered in this process. Against this background, the Women’s Working Group on Financing for Development presents policy recommendations for a gender-sensitive and human rights based outcome of the Financing for Development process. This paper asserts that the establishment of fair rules and democratic multilateral governance on trade, investment, tax, financial and monetary policies is a precondition to remove global obstacles to fulfill states obligations regarding women’s human rights and to achieve sustainable development.
FES Perspective, July 2015
Ban Ki-moon Successor - A democratic UN starts with a democratic election of its leader
Historically, the selection of the UN Secretary-General (SG) has been dominated by the Permanent Five Members of the Security Council using their veto power to determine a lowest common denominator compromise candidate. This publication explains how the search for Ban Ki-moon’s successor has become a global call for a substantial overhaul of this outdated and undemocratic process. The author discusses reform propositions and explains why UN Member States should throw their weight behind this movement for democratizing the UN: First, a successful overhaul of the SG selection process would benefit their reputation as constructive UN actors. And second, it would increase credibility and effectiveness of the global organization.
Perspective FES New York, June 2015
Learning from the »Energiewende« - What Developing Countries Expect from Germany
»Energy transformation is the best thing Germany can extend its help to other countries, especially developing countries!« The expectations for Germany are high. Thereby, the desire for knowledge transfer and support for the development of strategic competence rank above the hope for financial support and more direct investment, as well as the desire for technical cooperation and technology transfer. Funding practices until now have only partially met these expectations.
FES Study, April 2015
Shared Prosperity in Emerging Economies - From paradigm shift to reality shift*
Inequality has increased in most countries over the last decades. For a long time, this was considered a necessary evil or even a good thing. Inequality was seen as a condition for growth and prosperity. Since the financial crisis that began in 2008 and the great recession that followed, this paradigm has shifted. Even the bastions of conventional economic wisdom - such as the International Monetary Fund - are increasingly concerned. At the core of this analysis are the big emerging countries, in which growth and inequality are related to each other in different kinds of ways. The author shows that fiscal and labour market policies as well as social investments are key to successful corrections of inequal distributions of income.
FES International Policy Analysis, December 2014
The Return of Geopolitics - Trade policy in the era of TTIP and TPP*
The future of the multilateral trading system looks bleak. The main reason is the return of geopolitics in a new multipolar world characterized by a declining willingness to cooperate. The lack of progress in the WTO Doha round is the main factor for the current mushrooming of preferential trade agreements. The new and very large US-led trade projects TTIP and TPP exclude the main emerging powers China, Russia, India and Brazil. These projects are answers not only to the standstill at the multilateral trade negotiations, but also to a declining competitiveness vis-à-vis emerging nations and a declining ability of both the USA and the EU to shape the rules of cross-border commerce.
FES International Policy Analysis, December 2014
Peace Operations in a Changing World Order - Unpacking Core Challenges*
International peace operations face enormous challenges. While recent crises and conflicts highlight the continuous demand for new operations, international power structures are changing as new powers emerge. Building upon the results of two years of FES-SIPRI-dialogues, this perspecitve analyses four core challenges: (1) a debate about peace operations that is fraught with conflicts dividing actors, (2) a problematic approach to risks, (3) an uneven division of burdens, (4) an exaggerated trust in regionalism.
FES Perspective, November 2014
Reforming the International Monetary and Financial Architecture
The international monetary and financial architecture has experienced important reforms in recent years, yet profound limitations remain. Major gaps in the regulatory framework concern financial cross-border regulation, debt management, macroeconomic coordination, monetary and governance reform. The author calls for an international monetary reform involving three elements: the design of an apex organization more representative than the G20, advanced participation of developing countries in the Bretton Woods Institutions and on the Financial Stability Board, and the design of a multi-layered financial architecture, with active participation of regional and sub-regional institutions.
FES International Policy Analysis, August 2014
Exploring Sustainable Low Carbon Development Pathways - Overall Situation of Low Carbon Development Strategies (LCDS) in Peru*
Peru does not only host this year's climate negotiations (COP 20), but also suffers from some of the world's most significant environmental problems. The country's ecological diversity ranging from tropical rainforests to glaciers is increasingly threatened by deforestation, increasing demand for arable and grazing land, irregular mining and mega projects in road construction and oil production. The authors analyze how the international climate negotiations could contribute to a sustainable development policy on the national level in Peru.
FES Special Release, August 2014
An Urgent Need for Clarity - On the Post-2015 Development Agenda and Financing for Development*
In September 2015 at the UN, heads of state will lower the flag of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and raise the new standard of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They must also address by what means the post-2015 development agenda will be implemented. This publication examines both the opportunities that exist to advance international cooperation for development in the multiple intergovernmental negotiations taking place between August 2014 and September 2015 as well as the pitfalls that could lead to outcomes empty of commitments. In particular, the paper looks to the third International Conference on Financing for Development, to be held in Addis Ababa in July 2015, as a key forum for shaping a new development agenda that is both holistic and pragmatic.
Perspective FES New York, August 2014
Investment Protection at a Crossroads - The TTIP and the Future of International Investment Law*
With the debate surrounding the transatlantic trade agreement TTIP, the controversy over global investment law has well and truly arrived in Europe. Existing investment protection rules jeopardise public finances through the threat of actions for damages. They bypass the rule of law with their private parallel law for corporations and represent an encroachment on the regulatory autonomy of states. They undermine democracy in favour of the private property rights of foreign investors. Nevertheless, the current politicisation of the issue in the EU also presents opportunities for a fresh start in investment policy without unilateral investor rights to sue states in private tribunals and without special property rights for foreign investors that go beyond constitutional guarantees of the protection of property, but with binding obligations on investors, such as duties to respect human rights and workers’ rights.
FES International Policy Analysis, July 2014
A Caring and Sustainable Economy - A Concept Note from a Feminist Perspective*
How can we create the sustainable and socially just economy of the future? Feminist economists' position is clear. Sustainability can only be realized if the - still marginalized and neglected - care work sector is integrated into economic thinking and acting. Fundamental structural changes and a new economic rationality are needed. A group of feminist economists and activist analyses possible pathways.
FES International Policy Analysis, June 2014
Towards a Global Energy Transformation
Our energy system is in a crisis: The centuries-long dependence on fossil fuels has led to serious environmental damage, as well as centralized production, distribution, and ownership structures from which only few benefit. At the same time, large parts of the world population have no access to electricity. Therefore, we need a global energy transformation. The authors outline how this could be achieved and analyse why it has not been implemented yet.
FES Study, June 2014
(The Right to) Strike and the International Labour Organization - Is the System for Monitoring Labour and Social Standards in Trouble?
Whether countries comply with international labour and social standards is monitored by the International Labour Organization (ILO). Since 2012, this monitoring system is in danger, because employers refuse to recognize the right to strike as an international norm. Is the ILO about to loose its last sanction mechanism?
FES Perspective, May 2014
China as a Permanent Member of the United Nations Security Council
China's role as a permanent member of the UNSC is mostly discussed with regard to prominent decisions, including its abstention in the case of Lybia and its veto in the case of Syria. However, its membership is essential for China's international agenda. It perceives the council as a central stabilising element of international relations and regards its reform as a starting point for a fundamental reform of the system of global collective security. China's position within the UNSC has gradually, yet significantelly changed during the last decades. By now, it is the largest supplier of P5-troops for UN Peacekeeping Missions and the sixth largest financial contributor to the UN. Despite its fundamental reservations, China has in many cases flexibly and pragmatically supported the UN peacekeeping system.
FES International Policy Analysis, April 2014
Exploring Sustainable Low Carbon Development Pathways - An Introduction to International Debates*
Fighting climate change and guaranteeing sustainable development for all are two of today's greatest global challenges. Therefore, countries and actors worldwide are searching for sustainable and low carbon development pathways. This publication outlines the basis of and international debates on low carbon development. It is part of the joint project »Exploring Sustainable Low Carbon Development Pathways« of Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Brot für die Welt, World Wide Fund for Nature, Climate Action Network International and ACT Alliance of Churches.
FES Special Release, February 2014
Climb-Down in Climate Protection? EU Facing a Far-Reaching Decision in Aviation Policy
Is the EU a major global player or a provincial entity? That is going to be decided upon on February 2, 2014, when the European Parliament will vote on whether emissions from the EU’s international air traffic should no longer be covered by the European emissions trading scheme (EU ETS). This will determine the fate of an ambitious EU law according to which, beginning in 2012, emissions from international air traffic were included fully in the ETS. The author reflects on the background of the decision ahead and analyses the impact for the role of the EU in international climate policy.
Perspective FES Berlin, January 2014
International Framework Agreements - An Instrument for Enforcing Social Human Rights?
A central concern of the internationalen trade union movement is the application of social human rights into global economy. Global trade union associations have been using International Framework Agreements as a strategic instrument with transnational corporations. But how suitable are these agreements when it comes to applying social and labour policy standards effectively even at the periphery of global value added chains? The authors analyse this proven instrument of trade union action.
FES Study, January 2014
For our publication series, click here.