Night-time view of the Palais de Nations in Geneva
The conference outcome shows that some form of multilateral disarmament is possible even under dire circumstances. Photo: Una Jakob

The 9th Review Conference of the Biological Weapons Convention

From November 28 to December 16, 2022, the States Parties to the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) met in Geneva for the 9th Review Conference. Their task was to review the operation of the BWC and to negotiate a new programme of work for the next five years. Even though the conference took place in a tense geopolitical climate, States Parties agreed some useful measures, such as a new intersessional working group that will address a range of topics including compliance with and verification of the BWC. Despite some shortcomings, the conference outcome represents an achievement considering the current international security and arms control realities.

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Podcast #005 // Die Nationale Sicherheitsstrategie

Unser Podcast PRIF Talk ist zurück: Ab sofort stehen die Forschungsthemen und Projekte unserer Wissenschaftler:innen ebenso wie ihre Einschätzungen zu aktuellen Fragen, Debatten und Entwicklungen der Friedens- und Konfliktforschung wieder regelmäßig im Gesprächsfokus. In der neuen Episode sprechen wir mit Sarah Brockmeier über den Entstehungsprozess der ersten Nationalen Sicherheitsstrategie für Deutschland.

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Meadow with painted stones on which is written "Every child matters".
Painted stones to commemorate victims of the IRS in Kamloops, BC. Photo: Sabine Mannitz, 2022.

A Step Towards Justice: Canada Agrees to Compensate First Nations for Loss of Culture and Language

Ten years after the Gottfriedson case class action lawsuit was filed to claim for compensation over the destruction of language and culture caused by the Canadian Indian Residential School system (IRSS), an agreement was made public in January 2023: Canada’s federal government is prepared to pay a settlement sum of $2.8 billion into a new trust fund which shall enable 325 First Nations to invest into cultural and language revitalization. The agreement is just one step on the journey to building trustful relationships between Canadian Aboriginals and the settler-colonial state, but it is an important one, overdue and urgently needed.

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Bild von Vladimir Putin mit dem Brettspiel "Risiko!"
Bild von Vladimir Putin mit dem Brettspiel "Risiko!" | Foto: Nicola Quirico/Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 4.0

Was jeder zur Risikobereitschaft des Putin-Regimes wissen sollte

Schon kurz nach Beginn der Invasion der Ukraine Anfang 2022 stellte sich heraus, dass das Putin-Regime seine Ziele nicht erreichen und einen enormen Preis für den Krieg zahlen würde. Hatte sich das Putin-Regime einfach komplett verkalkuliert oder war es gewillt, die Risiken der Invasion bewusst einzugehen? Die letztere These wird durch einen kürzlich erschienenen, frei zugänglichen Artikel von Jonas J. Driedger belegt. Die Studie zeigt, wie die steigende Risikobereitschaft des Putin-Regimes seit den mit-2000ern die militärischen Aggressionen Russlands gegen Georgien (2008), die Krim (2014), den Donbass (2014-2022) und gegen die ganze Ukraine (2022) maßgeblich beeinflusst hat.

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Frauen, die ein Banner aufhängen mit einer albanischen Aufschrift und der englischen Übersetzung „Resolution 1325 guarantees us participation in Negotiation.“
On 8 March 2006, women’s rights activists hang a banner outside the Assembly and government building in Prishtina, recalling their right to participate in negotiations, as per UNSCR 1325. | Photo: © KWN (personal editing)

22 Years of Resolution 1325: Kosovo Women’s Voices Remain Absent from the Dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia

On October 31, 2000, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) adopted Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security (WPS), recognizing the different needs and roles of women and girls during conflicts. By that time, Kosovo was one of the post-war contexts where the resolution would apply immediately. This blog article highlights the advocacy efforts of Kosovo feminist activists to include women and their needs in negotiations and dialogue, framing the discussing through the lens of Resolution 1325 and the resistance faced by actors from the international community involved in the process.

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Redwan Hussien Rameto, Representative of the Ethiopian government, and Getachew Reda, Representative of the TPLF, sign the peace agreement “Cessation of Hostilities Agreement” in Pretoria on November 2, 2022.
Redwan Hussien Rameto, Representative of the Ethiopian government, and Getachew Reda, Representative of the TPLF, sign the peace agreement “Cessation of Hostilities Agreement” in Pretoria on November 2, 2022. | Photo: © picture alliance / EPA | Alet Pretorius

Prospects for Peace in Tigray. An assessment of the peace agreement between the Ethiopian government and the TPLF

On November 2, 2022, the Ethiopian federal government and representatives of the Tigrayan rebels concluded an agreement intended to end the devastating civil war in the region. What some consider to be the world’s deadliest active conflict has caused tens of thousands battle-related fatalities and even more civilian victims due to famine and lack of medical service during the last two years. This Spotlight discusses the prospects of the current peace agreement and potential pitfalls that may undermine its stability.

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UN Secretary General Guterres gives a speech at the COP15 opening ceremony.
Guterres’ language of “humanity as a weapon of mass destruction” has to be critically engaged with. | Photo: UN Biodiversity via flickr | CC BY 2.0

Stopping the Biodiversity Apocalypse: Existential Threats and Ecological Justice at COP15 in Montreal

Global biodiversity is in a deep crisis. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres spoke of a “biodiversity apocalypse” and of “humanity as a weapon of mass destruction”. The COP15 gathering in Montreal from 7-19 December is tasked with finding a new global framework for effectively protecting global biodiversity. Despite of the scale and speed of biodiversity deterioration, the language of security obscures the key aspect of ecological injustice: not all of humanity is causing environmental destruction but specific modes of economic development and the inequitable distribution of environmental benefits and burdens between Global North and South, as well as non-human nature.     

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London, UK: Human rights campaigners protest against arms sales to Saudi Arabia. | Photo: Campaign Against Arms Trade via flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Why the Future German Arms Export Control Act Goes in the Right Direction—But Not Far Enough

On 13 October 2022, the German Ministry for Economics and Climate published draft key points for a future German Arms Export Control Act (referred to hereafter as ‘the draft’). Establishing such a law is one goal that the government defined in the coalition agreement. The draft contains several good points that can help make German arms export policy more restrictive and more closely aligned with peace, human rights and security policy goals. At the same time, the draft reveals some serious gaps that must be remedied to fully live up to this claim.

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Santa Cruz is not only the department with the highest population growth, but also the main pole of opposition to the central government in the highland city of La Paz. | Photo: Mark Taylor via flickr | CC BY 2.0

Bolivia: A New Battle over the Census. The 36-day Strike of the Santa Cruz Civic Movement against the Arce Government

In November, President Luis Arce in Bolivia faced one of the most turbulent moments of his government. In response to the postponement of the Population and Housing Census (initially scheduled for 2022) to 2024, mass protests in the country’s lowland region and the economic powerhouse of Santa Cruz effectively shut down Bolivia’s largest city. The strike was promoted by Governor Luis Fernando Camacho, who in 2019 led the movement that overthrew Evo Morales. The demand was to carry out the census in 2023 and request the redistribution of economic resources and parliamentary seats before the 2025 elections.

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