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Foreign Policy Centre

Ideas for a fairer world

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> Trouble in the Neighbourhood? The future of the EU's Eastern Partnership- seminar series

The Foreign Policy Centre is holding a series of four seminars in the Trouble in the Neighbourhood? The future of the EU's Eastern Partnership project, in partnership with the European Commission Representation in the UK, to be held in London, Birmingham and Edinburgh in February and March 2015. The project will take stock of recent developments in the EU's relationship with the countries in its eastern neighbourhood: Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Moldova, Belarus and Ukraine. The issue of the EU's role in the region and the influence of the Russian-led alternative the Eurasian Economic Union have been at the heart of a major geo-political upheaval. The decision by Ukraine's then President Yanukovych to reject Eastern Partnership under pressure from Russia in the summer of 2013 lit the spark for the dramatic subsequent events in, while Armenia's made a similar switch under Russian pressure ahead of the key November 2013 Vilnius summit. The seminars will look at the key planks of the EU's approach to the region including the offers of Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreements, visa reform, funding for reform projects and political engagement. The seminars will examine both the EU's objectives in the region and how Europe is perceived by the Eastern Partnership countries themselves, along with how the domestic political situation in EU member states (most notably the UK) and the Eastern Partners shapes the relationship.

The seminars are free and open to all. Please RSVP to events@fpc.org.uk


> Lima calling, but UN climate summit leaves massive workload for 2015

In this new FPC article Stephen Minas examines the outcome of the recent climate summit in Peru. He looks at the continuing divide between developed and developing countries about how responsibility for tackling climate change is shared, looking at the extent of the proposed differentiation of country responses.


> Investing in women's economic resilience & social wellbeing: Rethinking the role of private sector development in Africa

Part of the 'Africa Rising? Building Africa's Productive Capacity for Inclusive Growth' series

In a series of Foreign Policy Centre (FPC) roundtable discussions - supported by Nestlé - the FPC seeks to explore how business can play a more constructive role in building resilience to improve women's economic and social wellbeing across Africa. The proposed series of roundtable discussions come at a time when global development priorities are being reshaped and redefined in the wake of a post-2015 UN Millennium Development Goals' agenda. In addition, 2015 marks the 15th anniversary of the adoption of Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security. This resolution promotes the importance of women in building peace and security in states affected by conflict. All this is coupled with the fact that the global economic recovery remains fragile. Existing inequality and insecurity disproportionately affects women, and has been compounded by the unprecedented global economic crisis, on-going austerity and mounting uncertainty. These conditions present very real challenges for public spending dedicated to development. As such, understanding the development transformation role played by business and enterprise has become increasingly important.


> New FPC Publication- Iran Human Rights Review: United Nations

This new edition of the Foreign Policy Centre's Iran Human Rights Review (IHRR) focuses on the relationship between Iran and the United Nations. Academic and civil society experts put forward a range of different perspectives with a particular focus on how the country interacts with UN human rights mechanisms and its commitments under international law. The review looks at issues including the lack of access to Iran for UN Special Rapporteurs, the country's approach to the Universal Periodic Review process, the problems facing the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the Islamic Republic Government's approach to questions of international law and practice in the context of the wider Iranian human rights tradition.

The Iran Human Rights Review: United Nations was edited by FPC Senior Research Associate Tahirih Danesh with Adam Hug, FPC Policy Director. Contributors include: Taimoor Aliassi (The Association for Human rights in Kurdistan for Iran-Geneva, KMMK-G), Elahe Amani (Women's Intercultural Network), Ali Ansari (University of St Andrews), Tori Egherman (Arseh Sevom), Hassan Nayeb Hashem (Südwind), Hossein Rassam (Rastah Consulting), Raha Shadan, Pardis Shafafi (University of St Andrews) and Dan Wheatley (Syracuse University).


> New FPC Report- Employment, enterprise and skills: Building business infrastructure for African development

Employment, enterprise and skills report

by Josephine Osikena, Anna Owen and Deniz Ugur

'Employment, enterprise and skills: Building business infrastructure for African development' is a new Foreign Policy Centre report focused on employment expansion across Africa.

With a foreword provided by the President of the African Development Bank, Dr Donald Kaberuka, the publication represents the culmination of a series of roundtable discussions which took place in 2013/14 and were supported by the UK's development finance institution, CDC Group.

Africa has become one of the highest global growth regions, boasting 16 of the world's top 30 fastest growing economies. Yet almost 78 per cent of workers across Africa either work for themselves or engage in unpaid family work. This rate of vulnerable employment is the world's highest relative to other global regions.

Productive employment does more than simply provide incomes, improve livelihoods, support welfare, promote wellbeing and tackle poverty. Jobs, and more significantly good jobs, have a transformative ability to determine the structure and impact of economic growth on wider development. Yet, the growing buoyancy of African economies is undermined by their lack of structural diversity. This can be illustrated by a number of critical questions. Are ordinary people directly feeling the benefits of record economic growth rates across Africa? What impact are economic growth rates having on the nature and structure of employment across the continent? Is economic growth translating into the development of modern productive well integrated economic sectors? Essentially, is economic growth delivering broad-based structural transformation? Given Africa's growing demand for jobs, this report attempts to explore the pivotal role played by employment in deepening and widening economic growth across Africa.

This publication and its associated events form part of a wider project series being developed by the Foreign Policy Centre entitled: Africa Rising? Building Africa's Productive Capacity for Inclusive Growth. Additional supporters include Barclays and Nestlé.