07 JANUARY 2021
"This document contains links to articles and/or press agency release from multiple open sources, agencies and academia. The contents, ideas or opinions in the document do not reflect NSD-S HUB or NATO views neither conform to the organization naming convention”
READING OF THE WEEK
IMF Annual Report 2020: A Year like no other
International Monetary Fund (IMF)
It has been a crisis like no other. To tackle the health emergency, countries had to bring economic life to a standstill during the Great Lockdown. This created the worst recession since the Great Depression.
The IMF acted swiftly to help people and countries, while enormous uncertainty clouded the prospects for the global economy and the world continued to wrestle with the pandemic’s unknowns.
NORTH AFRICA / SAHEL / SUB – SAHARA
Green Recovery and Green Jobs in Africa: The Case of Ghana
South African institute of International Affairs (SAIIA)
The Ghanaian economy experienced a positive growth trajectory over the past decade; however, the economic structure has not changed as the country continues to depend on natural resource extraction (gold and oil). This has had a significant negative environmental impact on Ghana. The COVID-19 pandemic has eroded the country’s economic gains. In spite of the government’s response to mitigate its negative socio-economic impact, the path to recovery is likely to be slow and long as the government expects to regain fiscal stability in 2024.
Trends in Development Assistance to new Renewable Energy in Sub-Saharan Africa
Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS)
The paper demonstrates a shift to promoting market-led approaches that aim at mobilising private capital for power-sector investments. Whereas more capital has indeed been mobilised for new renewable energy projects the paper suggests that more support is needed if a transition to cleaner energy and universal access to energy services are to be achieved. Furthermore, the promotion of market-led approaches poses not only opportunities, but also a number of challenges to governments and donors.
African Union, United Nations, and the Crisis in Ethiopia
The Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM)
Ethiopia’s military offensive in Tigray achieved the central government’s primary goal of regaining control over state territory. However, the Ethiopian authorities has not proposed a viable political solution, which heralds a long-lasting guerrilla conflict. Their rejection of African Union (AU) mediation means there is a need for greater international effort—including by Europe—at stabilisation.
A Feminist Foreign Policy to Deal with Iran? Assessing the EU’s Options
Disputed nuclear activities, regional proxy wars, and a regime built on discrimination against women and other marginalized groups: Iran hardly seems like a policy field that would be amenable to a feminist approach. Yet this is precisely what the European Union (EU) needs today: fresh thinking to help develop a new strategy toward Iran. Feminist foreign policy critically reflects international power structures, focuses on the needs of all groups of people, and puts human security and human rights at the center of the discussion. Feminist foreign policy begins at home. To start with, the EU would need to ensure that its strategies and policies do not recreate inherent gender inequalities, such as those found in the gendered and prioritizing distinction between “hard” and “soft” power.
Whither the Iran Nuclear Deal?
The Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic studies (BESA)
The incoming Biden administration is keen to return to the nuclear deal with Iran, provided it contains “some amendments.” This is in contrast to the Europeans, who are mostly willing to return to the agreement as it stands. The director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is demanding that a new nuclear agreement be signed, or at least that the previous agreement be changed in such a way as to prevent Iran from achieving nuclear break-out.
The Production Gap
SEI / IISD / ODI / E3G / UNEP
This report highlights the discrepancy between countries’ planned fossil fuel production levels and the global levels necessary to limit warming to 1.5°C or 2°C. This gap is large, with countries aiming to produce 120% more fossil fuels by 2030 than would be consistent with limiting global warming to 1.5°C.
The COVID-19 pandemic and associated response measures have introduced new uncertainties to the production gap. While global fossil fuel production will decline sharply this year, government stimulus and recovery measures will shape our climate future: they could prompt a return to pre-COVID production trajectories that lock in severe climate disruption, or they could set the stage for a managed wind-down of fossil fuels as part of a “build back better” effort.
Is the Coronavirus Catalyzing New Civic Collaborations for Open Government?
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
From Africa to Latin America to Europe, the coronavirus pandemic has generated a surge in public demand for government transparency and accountability. To seize this window for reform, elite and grassroots civic actors concerned with open governance must overcome the cleavage that has long existed between them.
Thus far, the pandemic has catalyzed some new civic collaborations, but not at the scale or depth needed to seize that window. In general, civil society groups report feeling more isolated during the pandemic. The pandemic has dramatically changed the operations of elite and grassroots actors alike. The impact of those changes on collaboration between the two depends on preexisting levels of technological capacity.
The humanitarian impact of combined conflict, climate and environmental risks
Overseas Development Institute (ODI)
The intersection of conflict, climate change and environmental risk has been the subject of academic research for more than two decades. It has featured in reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and been the subject of a plethora of media articles. It has been hotly debated at the United Nations (UN) Security Council and scrutinised by the world’s largest military powers. However, little space has been dedicated to exploring the implications for the humanitarian sector.