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?


UN Treaty on business and human rights 


The United Nations started negotiating a possible legally binding treaty on business and human rights in 2014.The last session of the UN working group in October 2017 discussed, for the first time, elements of a possible treaty.  In the current edition of our Global Governance Spotlight series, Carlos López analyses the state of the negotiations and crucial challenges. 

:further info here

sef: Bonn Symposium 2017

Local partnerships to implement Agenda 2030 worldwide


In 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. Read the conference report and have a look at the speakers’ presentations.

:further info here

sef: insights 7-9|2017


On the sidelines of the Bonn Symposium 2017 we had the chance to interview three international experts on local SDG implementation.

Mariam Yunusa, former Director of the World Urban Forum, speaks about why it is so important to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through local partnerships. Tasneem Essop elaborates on her motivation for the founding of the Energy Democracy Initiative in South Africa. And Abdihakim Ainte explains how he plans to equip young Somalis with better prospects for their future by conveying the SDGs. 

Read the interviews here!

:further info here