February 2022

Dear reader,


"Strengthening Resilience – Reducing Inequalities" is the focus of the sef: Annual Programme 2022, which the Foundation's Board of Trustees adopted today. The resilience of societies and political systems is increasingly being put to the test. In 2022, sef: will therefore focus on the question of how states and societies, but also the international community, can better prepare themselves for the impacts of climate change and pandemics. Reducing inequalities plays an important role as these strongly influence the vulnerability of social groups and states.

Already this evening, you have the opportunity to gain a first insight into our annual topic at our online event "Addressing social polarisation actively".

As usual, you will find more information on this and on the other current projects of sef: and INEF in this newsletter.

Kind regards,

Elena Sondermann,
Institute for Development and Peace (INEF)


Ingo Nordmann,
Development and Peace Foundation (sef:)


CC BY-ND 2.0 PP Pilch/flickr.com

Addressing social polarisation actively

Forum Frauenkirche Online

TODAY! 10 February 2022, 7pm, online

When societies are drawn into the maelstrom of ever-increasing polarisation without strong forces to oppose this trend, there is a risk of division and even violent confrontation. But there is also a wealth of experience worldwide which can prevent societies from drifting apart even further. At the Forum Frauenkirche Online, we ask Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, former Minister of Justice, and Lena Slachmujilder, Senior Vice President of Programs at Search for Common Ground, where politics and society, culture and religious communities can start to actively counteract social division.

For further information, have a look at the programme. Register now and receive the login details for the Zoom session.

© istock.com/typo-graphics

Competition for land: Strategies for conflict-sensitive climate action

Brandenburg Online Dialogue "Learning with Africa"

24 March 2022, 5pm, online

In many countries and regions, land is a scarce resource and therefore in great demand. This applies to Brandenburg and to many regions in Mozambique. An increasing demand for renewable energies to reach global climate targets exacerbates the situation and further intensifies competition for land. What can be done to find lasting and peaceful solutions to land conflicts and, at the same time, reconcile climate action and sustainable development? This is what we will be talking about at the second Brandenburg Online Dialogue "Learning with Africa" with experts from Brandenburg and Mozambique.

The programme as well as the possibility to register can now be found on our website.

CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 flickr.com/UNAMID

Climate change and conflicts

Potsdam Spring Dialogues

29/31 March and 5/7 April 2022, 10am, online

Climate change jeopardises a lot of the progress in peace and security issues in Africa, and can exacerbate risks of violent conflict. At the same time, adaptation to climate change is much harder in conflict-prone areas. Against this backdrop, the Potsdam Spring Dialogues 2022 will explore and assess the various strategies taken by regional and international organisations in Africa to tackle the mutually reinforcing risks of climate change and conflict. We will discuss with representatives from regional and international organisations, academics and civil society experts from Africa and Europe to identify workable solutions. The event is taking place online in four sessions, each with a distinct focus area, on 29/31 March and 5/7 April 2022.

The programme is now available on our website. Participation is possible with a personal invitation. In case you are interested to take part, please write to nordmann@sef-bonn.org.

© ILO-Harare-Zimbabwe-Credit-KB_Mpofu_ILO

The pandemic as a multidimensional crisis

SAVE-THE-DATE: Dresden Forum for International Politics

30 June/1 July 2022, Dresden

The Dresden Forum for International Politics, originally planned for January 2022, will exceptionally take place in the summer due to the current pandemic situation. The event will consider which lessons we should learn from the Coronavirus pandemic for future global cooperation, and which course now needs to be set within – and beyond – international health policy.
You will find more information on our website shortly.


Aligning AI Governance Globally: Lessons from current practice


Considering data and artificial intelligence (AI) as global commons could be crucial in ensuring that these key technologies of the 21st century benefit all of humanity. However, efforts of AI development and governance across the world have so far been highly fragmented. This results not only in risks but also in missed opportunities. In GLOBAL TRENDS. ANALYSIS 03|2021, Amandeep Singh Gill describes how a holistic commons approach, shared vocabulary and values and digital public infrastructures could be powerful ways to better align the governance of AI globally and unleash its potential.

A UN Cybercrime Convention – Putting human rights and development front and centre

Global Governance Spotlight 5|2021

In 2022, the UN member states will commence negotiations on a global treaty to counter cybercrime. More international cooperation in this field is urgently required. But there are risks as well. Vague commitments – on the monitoring of Internet traffic, for example – could be used by authoritarian regimes as a pretext to clamp down on activists and opposition forces, ostensibly in order to combat crime. To prevent this, human rights must be strengthened as a frame of reference, Mischa Hansel writes in Global Governance Spotlight 5|2021.

On the crisis and future of the nuclear nonproliferation regime

Article in “Zeitschrift für Friedens- und Konfliktforschung” (ZeFKo)

INEF member Carmen Wunderlich, together with Jana Baldus and Harald Müller, undertakes a critical review of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Current developments - the lack of genuine disarmament, disputes among NPT member states, the perceived competition between the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and the NPT, and actual cases of proliferation – constitute a comprehensive crisis of the non-proliferation regime. The authors argue in their paper that three developments are necessary to restabilise the regime: a cooperative settlement of the power struggles among the major powers, a depolarization of inter-group divisions in the NPT, and a return to the principle of nuclear war prevention as a common maxim for action.

Democracies and the shift towards greater sustainability

Article in Earth System Governance

Can democracies and their governments shape a large-scale transformation toward sustainability in time? This is one of the central questions that provided the impetus for a study co-authored by Ayşem Mert, Senior Fellow at the Käte Hamburger Kolleg (KHK)/Centre for Global Cooperation Research (GCR). The study has analysed and combined research findings from the research fields "Sustainability Transformation" and "Democracy-Environment Nexus" since 2011, and translated them into policy recommendations.


sef: Board of Trustees adopts annual programme 2022

At its meeting on 10 February 2022, the sef: Board of Trustees has adopted the annual planning for 2022 with a focus on "Strengthening Resilience - Reducing Inequalities". This is the first time that sef: – on the recommendation of its Advisory Board – has given itself an annual motto under which it will place all its projects. Specifically, it will implement the annual focus in four sub-areas: 1. Preparedness through a global pandemic treaty?, 2. Overcoming the pandemic in global solidarity, 3. Strengthening disaster risk management regionally and locally, and 4. Proactively addressing climate-induced conflicts.

New INEF research programme

At the inter- and transnational level, the question of who is allowed to set binding rules for a group is even less clear-cut than it appears to be at the national level. Against this backdrop, the new INEF research programme is dedicated to the overarching theme of “Contested Authority in Transnational Governance.” Processes by which authority is created, the role of non-state actors, the contested nature but also the absence of authority are the focus of the three research areas “Global Governance for Sustainable Development”, “Human Rights and Regulation in the Global Economy” and “Social Conflicts and Resilience”.

Development and Peace Foundation (sef:)
Dechenstraße 2 | 53115 Bonn | Germany

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Institute for Development and Peace (INEF)
Lotharstraße 53 | 47057 Duisburg | Germany

© sef: 2023

The Development and Peace Foundation (sef:) was founded in 1986 on the initiative of Willy Brandt. It is a cross-party and non-profitmaking organisation. sef: provides an international high-level forum for shared thinking on the complex challenges of globalisation. It is linked to the Institute for Development and Peace (INEF) by a cooperation agreement. The aim of INEF’s application-oriented research is to build bridges between theory and practice. It is one of three host institutions of the Käte Hamburger Kolleg / Centre for Global Cooperation Research.