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During the years, GPF has worked on many global issues, ranging from international security to food and hunger to the world cultural heritage. In this section you will find analyses and information on these issues.

In September 2016, the International Criminal Court (ICC or the Court) found Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi, a Tuareg Malian citizen, guilty of the war crime of intentionally directing attacks against buildings dedicated to religion, education, art, science or charitable purposes, historic monuments in the context of the armed conflict in Mali. He was sentenced to nine years of imprisonment whereas, in theory, he could have been sentenced to a maximum of 30.

Climate Change Resilience – An Opportunity for Reducing Inequalities

The World Economic and Social Survey 2016: Climate Change Resilience – An Opportunity for Reducing Inequalities will be released on 3 October. It advances our understanding of the climate and development nexus, particularly as it relates to challenges for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Trade Policies in Times of De-Globalisation

"Free trade has both been negatively affected by and an active contributor to an anti-globalisation backlash in the public opinion of many advanced economies. Further trade liberalisation is increasingly resisted. Much of the backlash can be viewed as a reaction to the underlying policies that, in the past, have produced many »losers« – not just »winners« – and especially have increased income inequality. Most of the »low-hanging fruit« in trade liberalisation has already been harvested. In the search for further [...]

Homage to Boutros Boutros-Ghali (1922-2016)

On 16 February 2016 Egyptian diplomat Boutros Boutros-Ghali died aged 93. He was so far the only Secretary-General of the United Nations, who served in office one term only (1992-1996). In his homage, Henning Melber (among other things Policy Advisor to Global Policy Forum) remembers the first African Secretary-General and draws a comparison between him and Dag Hammarskjöld. "As different as Hammarskjöld and Boutros-Ghali might have been in their background, their socialization, their character and personality, as much alike was [...]

In a post on the blog „Business & Human Rights in Ireland” Shane Darcy summarizes his impressions of the United Nations Business and Human Rights Forum, held in Geneva from 16 – 18 November, giving a good overview of the current state of the process. The annual event saw 2,300 attendees, representing States, business, civil society, academia and various international organisations. It also offered the chance to participate in numerous discussion panels and side events over three days touching on [...]

the ICC opens a case against Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi for the destruction of cultural heritage in Mali

A few days ago, on 26 September 2015, the first suspect in the Mali investigation, Ahmad Al Mahdi Al Faqi was surrendered to the International Criminal Court (ICC) by the authorities of Niger. The charges against him centre on the destruction of cultural heritage during the war in Mali 2012. It is the first case at the ICC in which war crimes against cultural heritage are the main accusation, which is particularly timely in light of the vicious trend of [...]

A new article by Marina Lostal on the recent destruction of cultural heritage in Iraq. Iraqi officials have reported that, last Saturday 7 of March, the Islamic State destroyed Hatra, a 2,000-year-old fortified city around 100 km south-west of Mosul. The Islamic State is believed to have bulldozed the site and looted the cultural artifacts housed inside, including gold and silver objects. The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, has declared that “[t]he destruction of Hatra marks a turning point in [...]

A new article by Marina Lostal about the UN Security Council banning all trade with Syrian antiquities. On 12 February 2015 the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 2199 (2015) banning all trade with Syrian antiquities removed from the country since 15 March 2011 and reaffirming the same prohibition concerning Iraqi cultural objects illegally exported since 6 August 1990.

Recent reports have confirmed damage to five of the six Syrian world heritage sites during the current armed conflict as well as extensive looting of several of its archaeological sites on the Syrian Tentative List of world heritage. This article examines the role and fate of Syrian world cultural heritage from the beginning of the conflict, maps out the different cultural property obligations applicable to Syria while illustrating, where possible, how they may have been violated. Then, it assesses if [...]

A human rights impact assessment of UPOV 1991 based on case studies in Kenya, Peru and the Philippines

Pioneering research by an international group of NGOs compiled in the report "Owning Seeds, Accessing Food" reveals the potential human rights impacts of stronger plant variety protection laws on vulnerable groups in developing countries. These laws are based on the 1991 Act of the International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV 91), which was designed with the commercialized farming systems of the developed countries in mind. In contrast to developed countries, the largely small-scale agricultural sectors [...]

The World Bank’s Doing Business Report has been criticized by a global coalition of Civil Society Organizations to contain major methodological flaws. Such shortcomings threaten to undermine not only the report’s credibility but also the World Bank’s effectiveness in achieving its goals. Experts argue that a comprehensive overhaul of the existing indicators in the report will be necessary if it is still to serve as a useful instrument to assess the contribution of business to global development. Moreover, there is [...]

A critical view on the Responsibility to Protect

Global Policy Forum and Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung—New York Office publish a joint report on the concept of a Responsibility to Protect (R2P). "In whose name? A critical view on the Responsibility to Protect” by Lou Pingeot and Wolfgang Obenland provides an overview of the history and content of R2P, its positive contributions and its flaws. It concludes that R2P does not give a satisfying answer to the key question it is supposed to address: how best to prevent and, if [...]