Global Trends 2013

Peace - Development - Environment

Tobias Debiel, Jochen Hippler, Michèle Roth, Cornelia Ulbert (ed.)
Translated by Hillary Crowe

Published by Stiftung Entwicklung und Frieden (SEF), Bonn October 2012
96 pp, ISBN 978-3-927626-46-1, EUR 12.00

Since the last edition of Global Trends was published three years ago, the demands being made of global governance institutions have increased to such an extent that the system of international relations appears to be permanently under pressure. A series of global shocks – the world financial crisis and the food crisis being two examples – have thrown the gaps in global governance and the repeated failures of the climate process into sharp relief.

At global level, a climate of distrust of the United Nations (UN), fuelled over many decades, and the erosion of its problem-solving capacities through the systematic use of blocking tactics have done much to undermine institutionalised multilateralism. Instead, attempts are being made to alleviate the pressure in the system through a move towards sectoral – in other words, thematically specialised – forums and a multitude of alternative forms of global governance outside the established multilateral institutions.

The resulting fragmentation of global policy-making, combined with a proliferation of international and transnational forums, is creating new complexities in international relations and is tending to reinforce the inequalities between actors. At the same time, the increasing multipolarity in the system offers opportunities to forge new alliances which no longer (have to) abide by the rules of conventional power politics.
In this scenario, the state's role appears to be undergoing a process of long-term change, reflected also in an altered understanding of what sovereignty means, both internally and externally. Social protest movements are increasingly objecting to the lack of provision of national and global public goods by governments and their failure to control dominant market forces. The burgeoning middle classes in many developing countries are a major force to be reckoned with here. Technological advances such as the Internet offer new opportunities for political participation, transnational networking and public access.

The major global governance gaps mentioned at the start clearly show that the Western   economic model and concept of progress cannot provide a frame of reference for the wider world – and that it is the major industrialized nations, first and foremost, which need to   change course. The finite nature of our natural resources, and the limited and in some cases almost exhausted carrying capacity of the Earth's ecosystems, including the atmosphere, mean that a "business as usual" approach is not an option. As a result, a broad debate has begun at the national and the international level about how prosperity and welfare should be defined, also in light of the interests of future generations.

The authors of this new edition of Global Trends have undertaken in-depth analyses of these developments, briefly outlined here, and present their findings, underpinned by statistical data and factual information.


Peace must grow from within – but how?


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


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


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


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