Russia Before the Presidential Elections

Russia Before the Presidential Elections

Even tough the elections didn’t happen yet, it is clear who is going to be the future president. Putin won’t have much difficulties becoming the head of state, for the simple reason that there are no serious competitors to defeat. Therefore, it’s not right to speak about an election victory of Wladimir Putin on the18th of March, the anniversary of the annexation of Crimea. Putin is no longer only admired for his personality, but ascended to a state symbol for Russia. A sacral embodiment of the Russian state. Voting for him is voting for Russia. Voting for the opposition would mean loosing this guarantee of the Russian state which Putin embodies. Throughout his presidential term he was able to convince the population of being the maintainer of the Russian state. The opposition is now trying to undermine this legitimacy. In this election Putin needs a high turnout. Moreover the relation between Russia und the West was another topic discussed by the panelists. But to understand the relationship between Russia and the EU, it is necessary to look back in time.

Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons

Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons

Due to the global ban treaty of nuclear weapons, the International Institute for Peace organized a panel discussion in December 2017. The treaty was initiated by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, ICAN, a coalition of non-governmental organizations in one hundred countries promoting adherence to and implementation of the United Nations nuclear weapon ban treaty. Since their founding, they established a powerful groundswell of public support for the abolition of nuclear weapons. Changes to the normative order of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation are underway. Frustrated with decades of political deadlock, on July 7 this year, 122 states voted in favor of a Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons at United Nations headquarters in New York City. Some months later, on 10th of December, the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded ICAN with the Nobel Peace Prize. The agreement was formed against the will of the nuclear weapon states and their alliance partners. The main argument for the holding of these weapons is still it’s deterrent function. Current political situations regarding for example North Korea are often pointed out in that context.

THE CRACK

THE CRACK

In December 2013 photographer Carlos Spottorno and reporter Guillermo Abril got from El País Semanal the assignment of preparing a series of stories about the European Union’s external borders. After three years they published a story of what is happening on the European Union's borders, making use of an innovative narrative form. The CRACK depicts in its pages an encounter with Sub-Saharan migrants in the Gurugu Mountain, the rescue of a raft off the coast of Libya, the exodus in the Balkans, NATO tanks on the Byelorussian border, and Arctic forests, where Finn conscripts try to discover their own limits.
This is both a photographed news report and a graphic essay of sorts, set against the background of very current geopolitical events. Halfway between a photobook book and a graphic novel, inasmuch as it uses narrative elements of the latter, the end result is not a story based on actual events: these are actual events.

Eyewittness Reports in Ukraine

Eyewittness Reports in Ukraine

Due to the still ongoing armed conflict in the Donbass region in Ukraine, which started in March 2014, the International Institute for Peace and the Graphische School Vienna invited several inhabitants of the east of Ukraine to speak about their experiences in times of crisis. They have not only survived situations in the operational zone, but still experience consequences of armed conflicts every day. They were accompanied to Vienna by Ukrainian artists who travelled to the conflict region over a period of several years and now talk about their impressions and challenges regarding an uncertain future. How has the war changed the everyday life in the Donbass region? What is the motivation for people from the West or Kiev to continuously travel to the east of Ukraine? 

AGENTS OF CHANGE - African Youth between Narratives and Realities

AGENTS OF CHANGE - African Youth between Narratives and Realities

The IIP and Act.Now organised - following up on the 4th International Conference NOW on “African Youth and Migration” from September 3-5, 2017 in Kampala, Uganda and a series of Africa-Workshops and public debates organised by the Bruno Kreisky Forum, the VIDC and the IFK from 2016-2017 - a panel discussion on the topic Agents of Change. African Youth Between Narratives and Realities.

Since 2015, when the then current influx of refugees reached its climax in Europe, no other topic was discussed as intensively and as ambiguously than migration and flight.  From 29-30 November 2017, the heads of states and governments of the African Union and the EU will meet in Cote d’Ivoire to discuss common challenges and opportunities. This year’s topic of the AU-EU summit is “Investing in the youth for a sustainable future”. With the world’s largest population under 18, Africa is the youngest continent. African youth, however, is very active, they see themselves as agents of change. Migration, also within Africa, is seen as possibility to gain education and professional know-how, just like many European students profit from exchange programs.  The experience of wars, famines, demographic growth, repressive regimes and the lack of job opportunities are substantially challenging Africa’s youth. Empowerment of the African youth to improve economic and social development but also good governance and democracy in their home countries is essential and likewise the change of the current narrative on migration.

These topics have been discussed between Victor Ochen from Uganda, Hannes Swoboda, Muna Duzdar, Ana Kalin and Youssouf Diakité under the moderation of Rita Isiba.

Quo Vadis Ukraine?

Quo Vadis Ukraine?

The International Institute for Peace as part of the Platform for Dialogue and Conflict Resolution in Ukraine organized, together with the partner organizations, a Ukraine themed week in December. Therefore various experts were invited on the 11th December 2017 into the facilities of the IIP to figure out the Ukraine’s conflict status quo,  and based on the finding how the situation will evolve in the near future. 

Junior Nzita: My Life as a Child Soldier

Junior Nzita: My Life as a Child Soldier

With an estimated number of 250.000 children, the issue of child soldier recruitment continues to be a problem of high importance. Junior Nzita used to be one of those children fighting and killing with weapons for purposes they never knew. Fortunately he managed to escape the children’s army in DRC and is now running an NGO, which is trying to give perspectives to children other than serving to the weapon. In his position as a UN ambassador he tries bringing together the international community for ostracizing child soldier recruitment.

JUST INTERVENTION? Between Responsibility to Protect and Prohibition of Force

JUST INTERVENTION? Between Responsibility to Protect and Prohibition of Force

In February 2016, as a consequence of the activation of the mutual defence clause of France after the ruthless terrorist attacks in Paris, the International Institute for Peace (IIP) and the Karl-Renner-Institute organised a conference in Vienna dealing with the topic of military interventions and EU-solidarity. In the aftermath, the IIP published an anthology which tries to tackle different issues in the framework of military interventions from various perspectives, which is available now.

Armed interventions in domestic conflicts have been named as ultima ratio in the last years in order to fulfil the International Responsibility to Protect (R2P) or the right of self-defence. There is to differ between UN-mandated and therefore legitimate interventions and uni- or multilateral interventions, which we can observe momentarily in Syria, where France, Great Britain and the USA are continuing the so called “War against terror”, which already started in Afghanistan in 2001. However, the questions of the reasonability, efficiency and extent of those interventions are at the very core of the discussion. 

Which intentions are eventually leading to an armed intervention and on which theoretical and judicial basis is it exercised? Who is realizing them and which purposes are behind them? Which impacts did military interventions have in the past and which possibilities do states, like e.g. the neutral Austria or alliances such as EU and NATO have in or outside of such intervention-coalitions? When is an intervention seen as efficient and effective and sustainable? Can those interventions, as a consequence, lead to obligations of solidarity within the European Union and if so, to what kind of obligations? Which role did Europe have in this regard, which consequences did this interventionism have and is there a difference between legality and legitimacy in international relations?

About the book:

Authors from different scientific disciplines and countries as well as journalists and practitioners are addressing various questions with regard to the legitimacy, efficiency, extent and practices of military interventions from several perspectives.

BREXIT - A Game Changer?

BREXIT - A Game Changer?

Die Entscheidung der britischen Bevölkerung, die EU zu verlassen, hat die Union in eine Krise gestürzt. Während die EU und Großbritannien verhandeln, ist nur eines sicher – die nächsten Monate werden von großer Unsicherheit und einem intensiven Nachdenken über die Folgen von Brexit geprägt sein. Die Podiumsdiskussion erörtert mögliche Folgen von Brexit für Europas Beziehungen mit der Welt: Wie entwickeln sich die Beziehungen zwischen den USA und Europa? Wird sich die Rolle der EU in Regionen wie dem Westbalkan und dem Nahen Osten nach dem Brexit verändern? Welche Folgen wird es für die europäische Außen-, Erweiterungs- und Nachbarschaftspolitik geben?

U.S.-European Security Relations under the New Administration

U.S.-European Security Relations under the New Administration

In his speech in Prague in April 2009 US-President Obama presented the vision of a world without nuclear weapons. What are the options for the US Administration under President Trump regarding nuclear weapons?

Recent developments might have an impact on US-European security relations: The Preparatory Committee for the Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) held its first session in May 2017 in Vienna. Two more will take place prior to the 2020 Review Conference, which will discuss the implementation of the NPT. Currently UN negotiations are taking place on a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons under international law. This first negotiation session showed that the 132 participating countries share a vision for a world without nuclear weapons. Austria was one of the initiators of this process and remains a strong supporter.

Other issues important for US- European relations are the link between talks on conventional arms (CFE) taking place within the framework of the OSCE in Vienna and nuclear disarmament, as well as the future of the 2015 Vienna Agreement “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action” (JCPOA) with Iran after the Iranian elections.

The new U.S. Foreign Policy under Donald Trump

After a rather tumultuous start, the Trump administration seems to face a shift in several key areas, especially when we consider the foreign policy. The escalation with North-Korea, the attitude towards Russia or the intervention in Syria and Afghanistan not only illustrate a certain continuity with Obama´s policy, but rather a determined implementation of it. Almost 100 days after the beginning of Donald Trump´s presidency, a panel of experts will discuss about the new U.S. foreign policy and its consequences on the European Union and on key regions such as the Middle East or the Balkans.

Ukraine: Economic relations across the contact line and the role of trade unions

Ukraine: Economic relations across the contact line and the role of trade unions

Trade and economic exchange between Western Ukraine and the non-government controlled areas have come to a halt, which resulted in a situation of economic deprivation of the people in the non-government controlled areas. At the same time, the trade unions in Donetsk and Luhansk/Lugansk separated from the Ukrainian trade unions. Former trade union colleagues do not have official contact anymore.

The Future of Nuclear Weapons in Europe

The Future of Nuclear Weapons in Europe

The Russian Federation and the USA are modernising their non-strategic nuclear arms for Europe. Both are blaming the counter part for violating the INF-Treaty – the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which came into force 30 years ago. Is there a new trend towards a larger role for nuclear weapons in European security? Is the Trump Administration receding from the vision of a nuclear-free world? Which challenges and risks arise for those who are putting efforts into the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons? Which consequences can be drawn for the recent negotiations about a nuclear-weapons-convention (NWC)?

The Future of the Iran Nuclear Deal in the New World

The Future of the Iran Nuclear Deal in the New World

While the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) raised hope to be the beginning of an integration of Iran into the world community in 2015, this enthusiasm partly has waned nearly two years later. The difficult relations to many Arabic states – especially to Saudi Arabia, Donald Trump’s critical opinion about the JCPOA in general, the immigration ban and open threats regarding the Iranian rocket test as well as new tendencies to rising armament in NATO states pose new foreign policy challenges for Iran and the world community in general.

Report: Turkey and Austria - One Month before the Constitutional Referendum

Report: Turkey and Austria - One Month before the Constitutional Referendum

The relationship between Turkey and Austria has not been as tense as today for a long time. Whereas the long common history of these two nations has forged a collective memory, diplomatic relations are challenged by current events, especially the Turkish constitutional referendum, which will be held on Sunday, 16 April 2017. 

In addition to Turkey's significant role as a geopolitical platform for the Middle-East conflicts in Syria and Iraq, the country appears to be a key actor for a successful management of “the migration crisis” and an important partner for Austria and the EU.