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Mapping threats to peace and democracy worldwide: Introduction to the Normandy Index

03-06-2019

The 'Normandy Index' aims to measure the level of conflict in the world. It is to be presented for the first time on the occasion of the Normandy Global Peace Forum in June 2019, as a result of the partnership between the European Parliament and the region of Normandy. The Index has been designed and prepared by the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) and developed by the Institute for Economics and Peace. This paper sets out the initial findings of the 2019 exercise and explains how the ...

The 'Normandy Index' aims to measure the level of conflict in the world. It is to be presented for the first time on the occasion of the Normandy Global Peace Forum in June 2019, as a result of the partnership between the European Parliament and the region of Normandy. The Index has been designed and prepared by the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) and developed by the Institute for Economics and Peace. This paper sets out the initial findings of the 2019 exercise and explains how the index can be used to compare peace – defined on the basis of a given country's performance against a range of predetermined threats – across countries and regions. It is complemented by 25 individual country case studies, derived from the Index. The paper is part of the EPRS contribution to the Normandy Global Peace Forum, alongside two studies: on the EU's contribution to peace and security in 2019, and on the EU's support for peace in Colombia.

South-South and triangular cooperation in Latin America

26-03-2019

Over the past few decades, South-South and triangular cooperation (TrC) among developing countries has been acquiring increasing importance as a necessary complement to traditional North-South development cooperation. The United Nations (UN) High Level Conference on Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries held in Argentina in 1978 set the basic framework for this form of cooperation with its Buenos Aires Plan of Action (BAPA). The model was recently modified by the UN 2030 Agenda for Development ...

Over the past few decades, South-South and triangular cooperation (TrC) among developing countries has been acquiring increasing importance as a necessary complement to traditional North-South development cooperation. The United Nations (UN) High Level Conference on Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries held in Argentina in 1978 set the basic framework for this form of cooperation with its Buenos Aires Plan of Action (BAPA). The model was recently modified by the UN 2030 Agenda for Development and its 17 sustainable development goals, together with the Addis Ababa Action Agenda for financing development cooperation. The Latin American region has been a pioneer of South-South cooperation (SSC), both bilateral and regional, as well as of TrC and SSC with other developing regions. Its various regional and sub-regional integration mechanisms, including the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), and the Ibero-American Conference, have established their own cooperation bodies. Moreover, since 2006, this cooperation has been described in detail in an annual report on South-South cooperation in Ibero-America. The 2019 UN High Level Conference on South-South Cooperation, held in Buenos Aires from 20 to 22 March 2019, 40 years after the Buenos Aires Action Plan (BAPA +40), presented a unique opportunity to tailor SSC and TrC more closely to the 2030 Agenda and its sustainable development goals. The EU took part in the conference and contributed to the outcome document. The EU promotes this type of cooperation as part of its European Consensus for Development, and has launched a regional facility to this effect.

Women in politics: A global perspective

28-02-2019

Fair representation of women in political life has a positive impact on gender mainstreaming in various policies. The United Nations has set a dedicated target within the sustainable development goals dealing specifically with women's access to leadership. The available data on the presence of women in parliaments and in governments show a positive trend, but much still remains to be done to ensure an equal presence of both genders in decision-making. The European Union supports gender equality in ...

Fair representation of women in political life has a positive impact on gender mainstreaming in various policies. The United Nations has set a dedicated target within the sustainable development goals dealing specifically with women's access to leadership. The available data on the presence of women in parliaments and in governments show a positive trend, but much still remains to be done to ensure an equal presence of both genders in decision-making. The European Union supports gender equality in politics, and the European Parliament has reaffirmed the importance of such a policy on various occasions.

Cooperatives: Characteristics, activities, status, challenges

26-02-2019

Cooperatives are autonomous associations of people aspiring to achieve their objectives through a jointly owned and democratically controlled enterprise. International organisations, such as the United Nations and the European Union (EU), value the role cooperatives play for society, the economy and (international) development. There are 3 million cooperatives worldwide; together, they provide employment for 280 million people, equating to 10 % of the world's employed population. The 300 largest ...

Cooperatives are autonomous associations of people aspiring to achieve their objectives through a jointly owned and democratically controlled enterprise. International organisations, such as the United Nations and the European Union (EU), value the role cooperatives play for society, the economy and (international) development. There are 3 million cooperatives worldwide; together, they provide employment for 280 million people, equating to 10 % of the world's employed population. The 300 largest cooperatives and mutuals in the world had a total turnover of US$2.018 trillion in 2016. In the EU there are some 131 000 cooperatives, with more than 4.3 million employees and an annual turnover of €992 billion. While cooperatives have grown in importance for the (social) economy over the past four decades, they face both long-standing and new challenges, resulting from globalisation or the presence of myriad national laws, but also from organisational and governance issues. Cooperatives have become more product-based and less region-based (in terms of member representation). In addition, cross-border-oriented cooperatives and producer organisations often experience legal uncertainty because of the absence or inconsistent application of international legislation. Policy- and law-makers are currently discussing a number of initiatives aimed at creating a level playing field for cooperatives, both in the EU and globally, that would allow them to compete with investor-oriented firms without giving up their social and cultural orientation. An enabling European legal framework could provide transversal recognition of the cooperative business model across the different sectors of the economy. While small and emerging cooperatives need more targeted funding, and assistance with capacity-building and organisational aspects, larger cooperatives require more EU and national-level support in order to achieve their aims in terms of professionalisation.

Child marriages: Still too many

01-06-2018

Although the official age of adulthood varies across countries, several international conventions, in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which has been signed by 140 states, apply the definition of 'child marriage' to any couple where at least one member – usually the girl – is aged under 18. The practice of child marriage challenges both children's rights and gender equality, and exposes child brides to serious abuses and health risks. Child wives drop out of school and have ...

Although the official age of adulthood varies across countries, several international conventions, in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which has been signed by 140 states, apply the definition of 'child marriage' to any couple where at least one member – usually the girl – is aged under 18. The practice of child marriage challenges both children's rights and gender equality, and exposes child brides to serious abuses and health risks. Child wives drop out of school and have little access to economic resources, which hinders potential development opportunities for their community. The European Union not only constantly condemns child marriage but also endeavours to tackle this practice through targeted aid programmes. The European Parliament will again voice its concerns about the issue during the European Development Days 2018.

The European Year for Development: Demography and Migration

27-08-2015

If current trends continue, the world will have 9.7 billion inhabitants in 2050, but population growth will be unevenly distributed. The 1994 Cairo International Conference on Population and Development was a milestone that focused on the well-being of individuals, rather than numerical targets. There has been progress promoting human rights, education, gender equality, sexual and reproductive health, and reproductive rights, but rapid urbanisation and climate change represent new challenges. The ...

If current trends continue, the world will have 9.7 billion inhabitants in 2050, but population growth will be unevenly distributed. The 1994 Cairo International Conference on Population and Development was a milestone that focused on the well-being of individuals, rather than numerical targets. There has been progress promoting human rights, education, gender equality, sexual and reproductive health, and reproductive rights, but rapid urbanisation and climate change represent new challenges. The international community has recognised the need to promote regular, safe and orderly international migration to harness the potential benefits of migration. Contrary to widespread views, emigration rates rise with economic development until countries reach an upper middle income status. The role migration plays in spurring development should be more widely recognised. Human mobility will be integrated in the post-2015 development agenda, and the Sustainable Development Goals will include migrationrelated targets. The EU is addressing the migration-development nexus in its Global Approach to Migration and Mobility, which is implemented through policy dialogues and cooperation projects in third countries. The European Parliament has insisted that the rights of migrants – particularly women – be part of the post-2015 agenda.

Illicit small arms and light weapons: International and EU action

13-07-2015

Small arms and light weapons (SALW) are one of the main instruments of armed violence around the world, both in conflict and non-conflict situations, with significant impact on entire societies from a humanitarian and socio-economic point of view. The international community, in particular the United Nations, has identified the proliferation and traffic of illicit SALW as an important field of action, and in this context, it has established a binding framework to prevent, combat and ultimately ...

Small arms and light weapons (SALW) are one of the main instruments of armed violence around the world, both in conflict and non-conflict situations, with significant impact on entire societies from a humanitarian and socio-economic point of view. The international community, in particular the United Nations, has identified the proliferation and traffic of illicit SALW as an important field of action, and in this context, it has established a binding framework to prevent, combat and ultimately eradicate the illicit trade in SALW in all its aspects. The main political process – the UN Programme of Action – emerged from the disarmament and arms control agenda, while the legally binding Firearms Protocol is part of international law enforcement cooperation. Recently, the Arms Trade Treaty has made a significant addition to the efforts of regulating trade in SALW. The European Union is an active promoter of the instruments and processes aimed at fighting against illicit SALW: it has created its own policy framework on firearms and SALW, it is a staunch supporter of norms at international level and an important provider of assistance to countries around the world to deal with the illicit trade and proliferation of SALW.

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