Berlin Summer Dialogue 2016

© UNHCR/P. Taggart

Displacement and Forced Migration –
Rethinking prevention

Berlin Town Hall
29-30 June 2016

In 2015, the number of refugees and displaced persons worldwide reached over 60 million. Most remain inside their own national borders as internally displaced persons (IDPs) or flee to neighbouring countries. Only a very small number have so far sought refuge in Europe. Nonetheless, due to the surge in refugee numbers last year and the often dramatic circumstances in which they attempt to reach safety, which attracts considerable media coverage, there has been a noticeable shift in public attitudes in Europe and the pressure for action to be taken has increased. In addition to the question of how the refugees are initially to be cared for and subsequently integrated, the focus has shifted towards “tackling the causes of migration”. In media reports and political debates, however, the meaning of the phrase often remains unclear. A closer look at the situation reveals that the causes of displacement and forced migration are diverse and often interlinked. People leave their homes because their lives are at risk from war and armed conflict or because they lose their livelihoods, perhaps as a result of environmental change or the effects of international policy. The spread of Islamist groups in various countries also plays a role.

This year’s Berlin Summer Dialogue will provide a forum for debate about the underlying causes of displacement and forced migration and ways of tackling them – beyond short-term financial assistance and humanitarian aid. What role is played by international politics, e.g. trade or climate policy, in this context? Which political conditions in the countries of origin force people to leave their homes? What can the international community do to improve the situation in these countries? What measures can be taken in the host countries to create prospects for local communities but also for refugees – who often stay for many years – with a view to preventing further movements of people? And how can existing mechanisms be interlinked and refined to make them more sensitive to displacement and forced migration?

NEWS

Peace must grow from within – but how?

REGISTER NOW!

On 8th February 2018, we invite you to a public evening event at the famous Frauenkirche Dresden. The keynote on "Peace must grow from within – but how?" will be given by the UN Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura. Furthermore, Vera Baboun, former Mayor of Bethlehem, Tanja Gönner from GIZ and Hajer Sharief, Extremely Together Young Leader from Libya, will speak about their experience on the long and winding road to peaceful coexistence.

:further info here

sef: Bonn Symposium 2017

Local partnerships to implement Agenda 2030 worldwide

PRESENTATIONS NOW ONLINE

On 5th and 6th December 2017, sef: hosted, together with the Service Agency Communities in One World (SKEW) of Engagement Global gGmbH, the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia and other supporters, its annual Bonn Symposium. More than 120 experts discussed good examples of partnerships within and between municipalities worldwide. You will find all speakers’ presentations here. A conference report will be published soon. 

:further info here

sef: Policy Lunch 2017

Possible UN-Treaty on Business and Human Rights

REPORT PUBLISHED

At the end of October, the third negotiations on a UN-Treaty on Business and Human Rights took place in Geneva. Goal of the negotiations is a legally binding instrument for States and Businesses. With a sef: Policy Lunch, sef: and CIDSE informed the Brussels community on the outcome of the negotiations on 20 November, and discussed the European positions. Our short conference report provides an overview.

:further info here

First Parliamentary Breakfast

sef: in dialogue with Members of Parliament in North Rhine-Westphalia

On 20 December 2017, sef: welcomed nearly 20 Members of the Parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia to a Parliamentary Breakfast. The Chairperson of the Executive Committee, Renate Hendricks, provided  an overview of the history of sef: and its current projects. The subsequent discussion focussed on possible links to the one world and sustainability policy of the federal state.

:further info here

“Sustaining Peace” – Current challenges for democracy

ANNOUNCEMENT

2018 will be the start of a new high-level sef: series called Dresden Forum for International Politics. On 8/9 February 2018, international experts will convene to discuss current challenges for democracies. What are possible pathways towards lasting peace and nonviolent societies? Staffan de Mistura, UN Special Envoy for Syria, and Steve Killelea, Publisher of the Global Peace Index, have already confirmed their participation.

:further info here