Work programme for 2015 – 2020

© Stockfoto/lightwise

The end of history has not yet arrived. On the contrary, the world is changing ever more rapidly. Transnational problems are increasing, and many of the potential solutions and cooperative structures which looked promising only a few years ago are failing to produce results. Changed power relations are bringing new actors with different interests into play. This has a direct impact on the normative bases of global governance. The rules established by the Western powers are being rejected or at least challenged, but no consensus on new rules has emerged. The content, scope and universality of human rights are as controversial as the concept of national sovereignty, and even the – hitherto widely accepted – norms of international law are coming under pressure.

In parallel, the forums in which such questions were traditionally discussed, and which in most cases reflect the former dominance of Western actors, are being called into question. In their stead, a multitude of new and often informal forums, coalitions and groupings has formed. As a result, there is very little agreement among the world’s countries about the topics that should be addressed and the objectives that should be achieved, or indeed about the arenas in which these discussions should take place.

What’s more, non-state actors are steadily gaining in importance in many fields of relevance to global public goods. The logical imperatives guiding these players’ actions and cooperation are highly diverse, further increasing the complexity of, and creating fundamental challenges for, global governance.
Through its work, the Foundation explores and addresses these crises and challenges. The Foundation also stands for visionary thinking, prompting it to analyse the extent to which current global political changes offer new opportunities and how they can be utilised.

The African continent has been a regional focus of the Foundation’s interest for many years, and this will continue in future. A stated aim of the Potsdam Spring Dialogues is to follow African regional initiatives, and the Foundation therefore attaches great importance to dialogue with African experts in its other projects and programmes as well, wherever this is compatible with its thematic agenda.

The Foundation’s work focuses on three programme areas. The first deals primarily with the normative issues outlined above, while the other two have a thematic focus:

  1. Normative Challenges in Global Governance
  2. Universal Development Goals – Regional and Local Implementation
  3. International Responsibility in Crises and Conflicts
NEWS

sef: Bonn Symposium 2017

Local partnerships to implement the SDGs

REGISTER NOW!

On 5th and 6th December 2017, sef: will, together with the Service Agency Communities in One World (SKEW) of Engagement Global gGmbH, the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia and other supporters, host its annual Bonn Symposium. What are good examples of partnerships within and between municipalities worldwide? What can be done to facilitate better knowledge sharing among municipalities– and how can networks of cities make a contribution here? These questions will be discussed with international representatives from municipalities, city networks as well as from academia, business and civil society. Register now!

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sef: Policy Lunch 2017

Is a legally-binding UN Treaty on Business and Human Rights possible?

SAVE THE DATE

What is the state of the United Nations negotiations on a legally-binding Treaty on Business and Human Rights? What is the European Union’s position towards the negotiations taking place in October again? Experts will discuss the current developments at the sef: Policy Lunch on 20 November 2017. The event will take place in cooperation with CIDSE – International Alliance of Catholic Development Agencies at the Representation of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia to the EU in Brussels. Further information will follow soon.


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"More advocacy work needed"

INTERVIEW WITH CEPHAS LUMINA
Former UN Independent Expert on Foreign Debt and Human Rights

In 2012, the Guiding Principles on Foreign Debt and Human Rights were endorsed by the UN Human Rights Council. What has happened since? What still has to be done? Professor Cephas Lumina, former UN Independent Expert on Foreign Debt and Human Rights assesses the current situation in a video interview with sef: on the occasion of an International sef: Expert Workshop  on “Human Rights and the Global Economy”. The interview is also available in written form as sef: insight.

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"Women are losing out"

INTERVIEW WITH RANJA SENGUPTA
Third World Network, New Delhi

In countries of the Global South, trade and investment agreements often have a negative effect on the weakest parts of society, in particular women. Why is this so? And how can unequal power relations that foster an economic system at the expense of the weakest be challenged? At a recent International sef: Expert Workshop, Ranja Sengupta shared the results of her research in India in a video interview. The interview is also available in written form as sef: insight.

:further info here