Activities

 

Past events and resources: 

We have made all the material on the past events open-source, feel free to download them. We trust you will find the material useful.

  • 8 February 2017

The changing patterns in the production, trade and consumption of drugs – the impact upon international relations

a presentation by

Thomas Pietschmann (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime)

Thomas Pietschmann is the person in charge of the periodic “World Drug Reports” at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. The event will be co-organized by the Austrian Foreign Policy and United Nations Association (ÖGAVN) who will also host the event at its premises in the Stallburg.

Presentation [PDF]

 

  • 17 May 2016

Migration and Development

issues and policies in an international comparison

The keynote speaker, Malin Frankenhaeuser, leads the Migration and Development Competence Centre at the Vienna based International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD)

With comments by

Petra Dannecker (Department of Development Studies, Vienna University, and

Ilker Ataç (Department of Political Science, Vienna University/VIDC Wien)

Presentation [PDF]

 

  • 25 February 2016

presentation and discussion

On the implementation of the “Sustainable Development Goals”

by

Sylvia Meier – Kajbic, Ministry for Europe, Integration and International Affairs;

Norbert Feldhofer, Federal Chancellery

 

  • 17-18 December 2015

“Environmental Policy – An Endeavour critical for achieving Sustainable Development ”

2nd Workshop

The second workshop in the „Joint seminars“ series on “Environmental Policy – An Endeavour critical for achieving Sustainable Development ” was hosted by the Austrian Development Bank (OeEB), at the premises of the bank in Vienna’s historical center. The event provided an opportunity for the participating students and experts to discuss the various aspects of the topic. Participants from developing countries as well as the invited experts shared their experience with all the others and supplied material for further study.

Documents, reports and presentation of the workshop [ZIP]

  • 02 December 2015

Launch presentation

2016 UNIDO Industrial Development Report

by Mr. Li Yong, UNIDO Director General

on Wednesday, December 2nd, 6:30 pm

at the OeEB ( Austrian Development Bank ) „Reitersaal“, Strauchgasse 3, 1010 Wien

Details [pdf]

Press release: http://www.unido.org/news/press/-8d24229499.html

 

  • 30 October 2015

Workshop

Environmental Policy- An endeavor critical for achieving sustainable development

Program presentations:

[PDF] The role of environmental policy in the Austrian Development Cooperation, by Elisabeth Sötz, ADA Advisor Environment & Natural Resources

[PDF] Environmental Policy- A critical endeavor for achieving  sustainable development, by Filippo Montalbetti, United Nations Environment Programme – UNEP Regional Office for Europe

[PDF] Industrial policy for Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development, by Smeeta Fokeer, Research and Industrial policy Advice Unit, UNIDO

 

  • 30 June 2015

Informal pre-summer Chapter get together

The peaceful, or not so peaceful, rise of China and its impact on global order – the medium and long-term perspective

A discussion with Waltraut Urban

PDF

  • 6 May 2015, 6.p.m

    International Financial Institutions in a Changing World Order

    Lecture by Kurt Bayer (economist, 2002-2004 Austrian Executive Director at the World Bank, 2008-2012 at the European Bank for Reconstruction and  Development)

    And

    Konstantin Huber (development practitioner, 2008-2012 Austrian Executive Director at the World Bank, currently at the Department for International Institutions at the Austrian Ministry of Finance)

    C3 – Centrum für Internationale Entwicklung, Sensengasse 3, 1090 Vienna

  • 16th December 2014

SID Vienna Chapter Annual General Meeting 2014

The Annual General Meeting of the Chapter was held on 16 December 2014 at the Vienna University for Business and Administration,Welthandelsplatz 1, 1020 Vienna. It was preceded by a tour of the campus and followed by a Lecture on “Climate Policy and Development” by Reinhard Mechler who had just returned from Lima where the UN Climate Change Conference was held from 1-12 December 2015.

About our lecturer Reinhard Mechler [PDF]

Lecture slide by Reinhard Mechler: [PDF]

Minutes of Annual General Meeting [PDF]

 

  • October 2014

Measuring and comparing human well-being and human achievement

a presentation by the Chapter President Thomas Nowotny

Detailed presentation: [PDF]

  • July 2014

The coming world – order and the policy cleavage between wealthy, “emerging” and poor countries

Contribution by the Chapter President Thomas Nowotny to the SID Journal ‘Development’ on the future of global governance.

As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change had reaffirmed just recently, it is 95 percent certain by now that the earth’s warming is caused by human activity. The “greenhouses gases” thus emitted stay entrapped in the upper atmosphere and prevent heat from being radiated back into outer space. While there still is no certainty on how much the earth’s surface temperature, and on how much sea-level will rise as a consequence, most experts agree that the results will be dire in the long run – especially after some tipping points will have been reached with subsequent massive release of methane gases into the atmosphere. All countries of the earth – all of its inhabitants will be affected. Yet poor countries and poor persons will be hit hardest.

That insight is not a recent one. It already had informed the Rio Earth Summit of 1993 with its passing of the “United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change”. That was followed by the 1995 Kyoto Protocol that set binding limits to the amount of greenhouses gases emitted by the established, wealthy, already fully industrialized countries. No such binding limits were set to the emissions coming from the poorer and from the “emerging” countries. Yet even not all wealthy states proved willing to bind themselves to firm targets in curtailing greenhouse gas emissions; notably so the United States, which – until quite recently and until it had been overtaken by China – had been the main source of these emissions.

The Kyoto Protocol is set to expire by 2015. In the meantime efforts were made to also have the United States and the emerging countries such as China and India accept binding limits; and to include them in the successor regime that would have to be in place in 2015 already. Without the full participation of these countries, without their accepting strict and binding limits to their greenhouse gas emissions, efforts to stop global warming will be in vain. Between 1990 and 2010 the European emissions had been lowered by 15%; those of China had increased by 280%; those of India by 198%

share in world – wide emission of greenhouse gases

China…………… 29%

US…………….. 16%

European Union.. 11%

Both China and India will be massively affected by the consequences of global warming. A good part of their citizens live in low lying delta regions where big rivers empty into the sea. With the level of the ocean rising, these regions and their mega cities would likely have to be abandoned. So why do China and India keep largely aloof from efforts to combat the causes of such a rise in the sea level? They seem to have other, more urgent priorities.

This is not the only field, in which global governance is being hampered by serious policy differences between the established, wealthy, already “post – industrial” countries on the one side, and the still poorer, but rapidly “emerging” ones on the other. That gap seems to widen. Today it would no longer be possible, for example, to again find consensus in the United Nations on an international “responsibility to protect” humans that have become victims to violent internal conflict in weak and war – torn states. Obviously too, the Rio + 20 conference of 2013 could not duplicate the great strides made in the first Rio Earth Summit 20 years earlier. The results of Rio + 20 were meager. No progress could be registered on the crucial issue of global warming; and no progress either on other pressing issues such as a dearly needed global and strict regime for fishery on the high seas.

But if we look into the more distant past, or even just observe what has happened in the last 60 years, we will find similar, and even very serious policy differences that stood between the rich and the poor countries. One such difference emerged in the early Sixties of the last century over a “New Economic Order” and the challenges posed by the Latin – American “ Dependencia” theory. Present day policy difference thus have their precedents. Without doubt, such differences had even been more marked in these early Sixties. But they had narrowed since and especially after the collapse of the Soviet empire and after the fracturing of the “Non – Aligned Movement”.

So why should we worry as they have become a bit wider again over the last twenty years? …

Read the entire article: [PDF]

 

  • 18 September 2014, 6:00 PM

    Welfare, Wealth and Work for Europe

    lecture and discussion by Dr Margit SCHRANZENSTALLER – ALTZINGER

    Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO)

    The European Commission  is funding and promoting, and the Austrian Institute of Economic Research – WIFO is coordinating a project involving 33 European research institutes. The aim of the project  (“Welfare, Wealth and Work for Europe”) is the search for a new political/ economic model which would substitute  for the  existing  European social and economic model (or better : models). This is because these existing, traditional models have sometimes proven to be inefficient and even dysfunctional by frequently not fully integrating essential social and environmental constraints; or by ignoring worldwide economic and demographic trends.

    At the Austrian Institute of Economic Research – WIFO – Dr Margit Schratzenstaller is deeply involved in the coordination of this important European project. On September 18th she gave a presentation on its present state and findings at a conference jointly organized by the Vienna Chapter of the Society for International Development (SID – Vienna) and the Austrian Society for International Relations and the United Nations (ÖGAVN) :

    Fight against unemployment and rising inequality should dominate the economic agenda. European monetary and – even more important – fiscal policy should boost overall economic demand. For this to have lasting positive effects, such measures would have to be accompanied by structural policies, that raise European economic capacities and also lead to a re–industrialization (especially among EU’s Southern member states). Industrial policy (yes – the word may be used again) should be geared to  the high value added sectors. The reform of the financial/banking sector is one of these essential structural reforms. The progress made in this field is insufficient still.

    In accordance with rising life expectancy, European states are held to continue  raising the effective age of retirement, at the same time though, lower the number of hours worked so as the “distribute available work more evenly”. Generally, social expenditures have to be re – balanced with lesser transfers, but more investments in the skills and capacities of citizens. Overall, note has to be taken of the fact –evident by now – that an ample, but sound and future proof welfare state is not detrimental to economic success; but promotes it instead.

    Future progress should not just be gauged in terms of per capita GDP, but by the inclusion of other gauges such as “resource productivity” or “poverty risk”.

     

  • 20 January 2014, 11:00 AM

Presentation

Industrial Development Report

by Mr. Li Yong, Director General of United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)

Presentation: [PDF]

Speech: [PDF]

  • 29 October 2013
  • 18 – 19 December 2013

SID-UNIDO-ADA Workshops

“Development of Human Settlements – Challenges for Sustainability”

Program details:

29 Oct: SID-UNIDO-ADA WS 1,2013 [PDF] Reports and Slides [ZIP]

18-19 Dec: SID-UNIDO-ADA WS 2,2013 [PDF] Reports and Slides [ZIP]

  • 24 October 2013
Joint seminar with the Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU Wien) and UNIDO

Bilateral and/or multilateral programme/project funding and the empowerment of women

on 24 October 2013 at the Vienna International Centre

The programme is designed for students of the Vienna University of Economics and Business.

Programme details: SID-WU, WS 1, 2013 (3) [PDF]

Reports and Slides for download: [ZIP]

  • 5 June 2013

The Role of the International Financial Institutions (IFIs) – What works and what does not

 a lecture and discussion with Dr. Kurt Bayer

In cooperation with ÖGAVN and ÖFSE.

In the development of still poorer countries, the International Financial Institutions are important both through the financial services they render as well as through their agenda and theme setting. Kurt Bayer will reflect on success and failure in both of these areas.

Dr Kurt Bayer had worked for more than 20 years as an empirical economist  at the renowned Austrian WIFO; thereafter  for 10 years at the Austrian Ministry of Finance, where he dealt with economic policy and the international financial institutions. Following that, he served for 2 years  as board member of the World Bank in Washington; and, subsequently,  for 5 years on the board of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development ( EBRD ) in London, He is author of many publications and an avid and mostly critical “blogger” (http://kurtbayer.wordpress.com )

The slides used in this lecture: Kurt Bayer slides OEGVN [PDF]

  • 4 March 2013

Food Globalization, Food Sovereignty, Food Security

A discussion among the Vienna chapter of SID

The issue of “food security “and of “food sovereignty” have come to figure prominently in the discussion on emerging global challenges. Accordingly, both find mention in the concluding document of the 2012 Rio + 20” earth summit.

Yet the issues and questions underlying these catch words seem in need of closer scrutiny, as they sit at the center of several dichotomies:

–         small scale agriculture versus large scale, capital intensive agriculture

–         an agricultural market open to exports and imports versus markets more self-enclosed

–         intensive agriculture with the heavy use of costly inputs versus low- input – agriculture

–         a human needs approach to the issue, versus one based on the economics of production and use of agricultural products

–         assistance to small scale farmers some of which produce not very much over the subsistence level, so as to “keep them on the land” and so as to slow urbanization; versus forced rapid urbanization with the concomitant need to drastically increase agricultural productivity

–         the use of bio – fuels so as to lessen the emission of greenhouse gases versus the imperative that in the use of agricultural products priority has to be assigned to the feeding of humans – to the fight against hunger

–         The view of financial markets and of future contracts evening out overly strong fluctuations in the prices of agricultural products, versus the view that far from dampening the volatility of such prices, the intervention of financial markets would have heightened it.

The discussion on these choices has to be conducted against the background of trends in the production and in the consumption of agricultural products. Up unto recently and if seen in terms of global averages, a secular trend has been in the direction of ever lower real prices and of a steadily increasing per capita production. Today though, we have to ask whether these long term trends might have become reversed. The increase in per hectare productivity has slowed since quite some time and prices for some staples such as rice wheat and corn have spiked. In parts, that might be due to merely temporary factors and disturbances – such as droughts or flooding in some of the main exporters of such staples, or to the impact of mere speculation detached from the reality of agricultural markets. But other likely causes would be of a more long term nature:

–         Changing diets of the “new middle class” in some of the “emerging countries” with an increase in the consumption of meat

–         A rise in demand due to the expanding use of agro-fuels

–         Increasing cost of production with the further rise of productivity requiring expensive inputs such as fertilizers, costly irrigation, or the substitution of purchased seeds for the use of those from last year’s harvest

In order to take account of these various aspects of food production and food consumption, the Vienna Chapter of SID had thus invited some outside experts to its meeting on March 4th, expecting them to approach the issue from different angles even at the cost of arriving at policy recommendations that were contradictory.

Michael Obersteiner from the International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis basically made the case for “big and globalized agriculture”. By now, production and consumption are densely interlinked in a global system. “Big” producers have a massive economic advantage over smaller ones. Small scale agriculture can survive with the help of the state only; that is with the help of states such as the European ones, which are wealthy enough to funds such luxury from public coffers. The global and complex nature of this system of agricultural production creates “strategic players”, such as for example Morocco, that sits atop 50 percent of a limited and rapidly dwindling supply of phosphate, which is an absolutely indispensable ingredient of fertilizers. Those who can dispose of such inputs have thus become “strategic” in the sense that oil producers have been strategic in the 20th Century.

The impact of agro-fuels on the price and volume of food available worldwide would be negligible

The counterpoint to these arguments was set by Professor Michael Hauser (University of Agriculture Vienna – BOKU). It would be wrong to analyze agriculture just under the aspect of supply and possible further gains in hectare productivity. But even when concentrating just on this supply side, one should not rely blindly on results of experiments in the laboratory. These may point to possible further substantial gains in productivity (“closing the yield gap” in particular in Africa). But the results of such experiments cannot be simply translated into a dramatically improved actual practice.

In Africa, for example, agriculture followed three distinct tracks: (i) large-scale production based on land-grabbing; (ii) few small-scale farmers selling primarily to local markets; and (iii) a large majority of small-scale farmers (subsistence farming) who would have to be politically humoured so as to prevent a rural exodus and combat a potential increase in populism and rabble-rousing in urban settings. Agricultural policies therefore impacted with widely differing consequences upon these three groups, and produced differing results as to the volume and price of agricultural products available locally.

In more general terms, it has to be realized that food security was not solely an issue of sufficiently large agricultural production. It also is an issue of purchasing power; of differences in wealth and income; and dependent on the different channels used in the distribution of food. Increases in productivity therefore do not automatically lead to reduced food – insecurity.

Yet over and above the function to provide food, agriculture has many other functions too, such as environmental ones, societal ones and cultural ones. These are important.

Hermi Trupke (formerly with the International Fund for Agricultural Development – IFAD) expanded on these societal correlates of recent trends in agricultural production. Rising prices impacted differently on rural farmers and the urban population and specifically upon the urban poor. Whereas the urban poor would suffer from rising food prices, the rural farmers would profit from them (and as Michael Obersteiner had pointed out earlier, rising prices might even be seen as something positive as they would prompt an increase in production).

In the past, small scale farmers had been the economically most efficient producers. They also had benefitted from the increase in productivity brought about by the “Green Revolution”. The relative advantage of small scale farming has now been reduced to an advantage but in the realm of growing fruits and vegetables, as small farmers cannot afford the purchase of machinery that provides such an edge to large scale farming. The latter is bound to come dominate in the production of grain. In a sense that highly mechanized large scale farming might be seen as a “mechanistic version of colonialism”. Its long term ecologic impact might be negative too.

Gertrude Klaffenboeck (Director of the Vienna Chapter of the “Food First Information and Action network – FIAN) emphasized that access to food was a fundamental human right. The issue should thus be seen as a political one and the economics of agriculture would have to adjust to this priority of politics and to the human right to live without hunger. Ms Klaffenboeck shared the concern over land-grabbing and spoke of the need for firmer governance in service of this goal of combating hunger. Where necessary, land should be re – distributed and local farming should be supported by the provision of the necessary inputs so as to arrive at “food sovereignty”. Women should have a stronger voice on the issue and participatory land use should be promoted. Global markets were demonstrably not the best providers of food to the poor. The historic record substantiates the advantages of small scale agriculture. In 19th Century Europe already, distribution of land to those who worked on it had promoted modernization and the industrial revolution. That experience was replicated in the 20th century in countries like the East – Asian ones, which had been successful in exiting from poverty.

Georg Lennkh ( former head of the development assistance division in the Austrian ministry of foreign affairs and special envoy to Africa ) pointed to the fact that 80 percent of Africa’s arable land remains unused or severely underused. Lack of solid governance is the main obstacle in overcoming this situation. For example, most African countries have not yet established land title registers, thus impeding long- term investment in agriculture. But some physical obstacles also prevent the full use of the land. In many parts of Africa (as in much of East Africa) water is a scarce. Dealing with that scarcity is contingent upon the existence of an effective public administration; as is a rational approach to dealing with foreign direct investment in agriculture. It has its place in a “policy mix”, but needs to be tightly controlled and regulated. Civil society has an important role in the process of making the public administration effective and accountable – as can be seen in some states such as Senegal.

In the following discussion the following salient points were raised

a)     Local agricultural production would be increasingly shaped by their insertion and place in global supply chains.

b)    Farm production is just one link in the complex system of bringing food to the consumer. Other elements are the existence of agro – food industries; the logistics of agricultural and food transportation; the availability of safe storage so as to prevent rampant spoilage; the system of wholesale and retail; etc

c)     Agricultural production is not environmentally damaging as if by necessity. Much depends on choice, policy and management. A case in point is the poor quality of soil and lack of humus. It can be attributed to shortcomings in soil management. But such shortcomings can be corrected and indeed, soil health and the efficient use of soil were justifiably gaining in importance.

d)    Sufficient water for irrigation is increasingly become a strategic input. Here too, the problem can at least be alleviated by better management.

It finally needs to be mentioned that Mr Obersteiner’s thesis of the negligible impact of agro – fuel production had prompted some dissent (as it also had been articulated by some international organizations).

  • 18 September 2012

Civil Society, NGOs, the United Nations in the Context of Rio + 20

A lecture by Thomas Stelzer

Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations, New York

Due to his position and recent work, Thomas Stelzer is certainly well qualified to assess the relationship between the various actors engaged in the preparation and the working of this major UN conference, which many commentators have assessed to be moderately successful at best, given the wide gap in interests and perceptions of the major UN members involved. In view of that cleavage, Thomas Stelzer assessed the result of the conference as the best possible one under these circumstances.

It succeeded in putting a broadly defined concept of “development” back into the center of a global political process. While some of the hoped for concrete results did not materialize, the conference had, on the other hand, set the frame and pace for such open-ended political processes, one of which will center on the definition of more comprehensive, quantifiable targets, which, as of 2015, will substitute for the Millennium Development Goals.

In the run – up to the Rio +20 conference and at the conference itself, the presence and input of NGOs had been as massive as at no prior, similar occasion. NGOs will continue in such prominent function in the political processes that now have been initiated by the conference and his office will facilitate them in exercising this their role as providers of inputs; but also, and mainly, as groupings that hold governments accountable for keeping to their international engagements.

Thomas Stelzer ended by pointing to some of the most glaring non – stainable trends and growing problems – such as inequality, dysfunctional financial systems, food scarcity or climate change – that weigh upon the future of the world and that need to be tackled by joint, global efforts, not least of efforts by major Non-Governmental Organizations.

  • Summer semester 2012

SID-UNIDO-ADA-IIASA workshop series

The workshops in 2012 constituted the core of a broader project extending over the whole of the summer semester. The meetings also offered opportunities for direct discussions and networking among the participants. The workshops were held in Vienna and Laxenburg. The central theme of this year’s project was the access to energy for all and its importance for sustainable development, a topic high on the agenda of the UN now and in the future.

Please visit the project page for more information and documents.

  • 5-7 June 2012

2nd Workshop on “Energy Access for all – the Role of Local Initiatives for Energy Management”

Schedule: [PDF]

  • 24 May 2012

“Die Rolle der Weltbank in der globalisierten Welt und die österreichische Perspektive”

Ein Vortrag von Dr. Konstantin Huber

Executive Director at the World Bank

for Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Czech Republic, Hungary, Republic of Kosovo, Luxembourg, Slovak Republic, Slovenia and Turkey

Die Weltbank zwischen Armutsreduktion und Krisenbekämpfung; neue und alte Ansätze für Low Income und Middle Income Countries; die Rolle der Weltbank zu Global Public Goods und im Klimaprozess; ihre Stellung im Spannungsfeld nachhaltiger Entwicklung; zwischen öffentlichem Sektor, privatem Sektor und Zivilgesellschaft; ihre zukünftige Bedeutung im Rahmen einer neuen Finanzarchitektur.

Summary: [PDF]

Documentation of the event: [http://www.oefse.at/Downloads/publikationen/Tagungsdoku_24_05_2012.pdf]

  • 11 April 2012

Food Security – the Global Perspective 

Lecture by Dr Steffen Fritz 

the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis – IIASA 

Presentation: [PDF]

  • 18 October 2011

THE FUTURE OF MICROCREDITS FROM A GENDER PERSPECTIVE: CHALLENGES AND CHANCES

a WU-SID Seminar

A poster show and panel discussion was part of a joint WU-SID Seminar in which international students of a course on “Selected Topics in Gender Studies” offered by the Gender and Diversity Management Group of the Vienna University of Economics and Business investigated the potential challenges and chances of microcredit programmes. Members of the Vienna Chapter of SID contributed by serving as interview partners for the students conducting research for their seminar papers and by participating in the panel discussion.

The students presented their research in a poster show.

The panel session was opened by Thomas Nowotny, President of the Vienna Chapter of SID and after an introduction by Edeltraud Hanapi-Egger the panellists

• Wolfgang Böhm

• Teresa Salazar de Buckle

• Hermi Trupke-Senkowsky

• Tezer Ulusay de Groot

presented a critical review of the state of the art and attempted to assess the challenges and chances for the future of micro-credit systems in the emerging economies worldwide with special emphasis on gender issues.

The panel was moderated by Uwe Schubert

Presentations are available to download: [ZIP].

* Speakers and panelists

Thomas Nowotny (Doz.Dr.) President of the SID Vienna Chapter and former Austrian diplomat. He teaches political science at the University of Vienna.

Edeltraud Hanappi-Egger (Univ.Prof. Dr.) Professor for “Gender and Diversity in Organizations” at the Management Department, Vienna University of Economics and Business

Wolfgang Böhm (Ing. Dr.) Working since 1970 in development. 5 as volunteer in printing engineering in Cameroon. Followed by study in mass communication and social anthropology. At the same time working in the selection and preparation of the volunteers. Since 1983 working as desk officer for Mission Austria on pastoral programmes and since 1992 also with ”Dreikönigsaktion der Katholischen Jungschar” on development programmes. Presently desk officer for Kenya, Ethiopia and the Middle East.

Teresa Salazar de Buckle (MA Sc.Chemistry) Member of SID, Vienna chapter, GOAL expert and former Head of Integrated Programmes in UNIDO. International Consultant with expertise in the use of systems approach to industrial sector analysis and evaluation including gender participation in industrial development and micro-enterprise development. Practical experience in selected South, Central American and African countries.

Hermi Trupke-Senkowsky (Dr. Social and Economic Sciences)Member of SID. Advisor on Credit Schemes for Small Industries, Lagos; Economic Research Department of the Central Bank of The Gambia, Banjul; Consultancies for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and development economist with the International Fund for Agricultural Development IFAD (United Nations, Rome). Extensive experience with credit and related activities in developing countries, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. Well acquainted with the specific problems and opportunities faced by rural women in the poorest areas of the developing world where even the smallest forms of micro-credit schemes can make a significant difference for the social and economic status of the women and their families.

Tezer Ulusay de Groot (MA Economics and Management)Tezer Ulusay de Groot is currently working as an international development consultant. Previously, she was as team leader for UNIDO´s integrated programs in various African and Arab countries and worked in international development projects in Asia. She also supported the development of SME Policy for the United Republic of Tanzania, which was subsequently ratified. Ms. Ulusay de Groot has broad experience in the area of developing women´s entrepreneurship, women´s economic empowerment as well as private sector development and clustering of enterprises. She has written numerous reports, project documents, conference papers and a UNIDO working paper.

Uwe Schubert (Dr. Ph.D) Vice president of SID, Vienna chapter, retired professor of environmental economics, Vienna University of Economics and Busines

  • 18 May 2011

World Population, Female Education and Sustainable Development

a lecture by Prof. Wolfgang Lutz.

Prof. Lutz is founding Director of the new Witgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital “combining his current function as leader of the World Population Programme of IASSA, Director of the Vienna Institute of Demography of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and Professor of Applied Statistics at the Vienna University of Economics and Business.

Prof. Lutz provided an overview of world population trends from 1000 to 2100 and of projections from 2000 to 2100. He illustrated a population decline in Eastern Europe and an increase in Sub-Saharan Africa. He gave projections for the European Union up to the year 2050 for both men and women and the percentage of the population above the age of 65. He demonstrated the growth of the world’s human capital in a table that showed a mildly optimistic education trend scenario for the world’s population aged 15 years and above in terms of levels of educational attainment for the period 1970-1950. On the basis of that scenario, his conclusion was that the world was moving towards a global community of 2-6 billion well-educated, and hence healthy and wealthy people.

He showed the global distribution of human capital and the related trends for the period 2000-2030, together with the demography of educational attainment and economic growth. He argued that complementing primary education with secondary education in broad segments of the population would in all likelihood lend a strong boost to economic growth.

His tables demonstrated the relationship of fertility rates to the level of educational attainment and infant mortality to mothers’ education. The conclusion to be drawn from those relationships was that female education was key to reducing world population growth.

Prof. Lutz concluded that a policy focus on female education and basic health was a multiple win strategy. It offered a number of major benefits: the reduction of mortality and disability, avoidance of unintended pregnancies, the determination of desired family size – and hence the reduction of population growth, as well as the elimination of poverty. He also believed it would enhance adaptive capacity to climate change. The issue at stake was one of establishing how the international policy community could be made aware of such findings that ultimately would have a major bearing on the manner in which priorities could be set for international sustainable development policies in the future.

Download link of the PowerPoint slides of the presentation: [PDF]


  • 10 March 2011

Drug Production, Drug Trafficking and Drug Abuse – an Impediment to Security and Development

A panel discussion organized jointly by the Vienna Chapter of the Society for International Development, the Directorate for Security Policy at the Federal Ministry of Defense and the Austrian Institute for International Affairs.

The panel:

Akire Fujino, Special Advisor to the Executive Director, Division for Policy Analysis and Social Development United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC Vienna)

Bernardo Perez Salazar, Columbia, Instituto Latinoamericano de Altos Estudios, Senior Policy Advisor to UN-HABITAT

Otmar Höll, Director, Austrian Institute for International Affairs, OIIP

Thomas Nowotny, President, Vienna Chapter, Society for International Development

Colonel Frank from the Federal Ministry for Defense and Sports welcomed the participants and stressed that the subject of the panel was of great interest to the Ministry as currently new strategies and activities were being considered. Therefore, drug production trafficking and abuse and their negative influence on security and development is an appropriate subject to be discussed at this time. Mr. Fujino gave a summary of a century of Drug Control Activities and Conventions by the United Nations and its predecessor, the League of Nations, as well as an overview of Opiates, Canabis , Cocaine, Amphetamine type stimulants and precursor chemicals required for their production. He described cultivation and manufacture areas as well as the main trafficking routes and cited examples of sustainable alternative development efforts [PDF]. Mr. Perez Salazar outlined the development of drug production and trade in the Andean countries, the policies and practices applied by authorities and guerrillas and their consequences. He stressed that at the same time, efforts to reduce drug supply and demand have been mostly ineffective and have lead to serious human rights violations [PDF]. Mr. Höll stressed security issues and policy approaches and the effects of drug production and trafficking on “Fragile States” which he illustrated with the case of Afghanistan. He also outlined conventional and alternative counter measures [PDF]. Mr. Nowotny summarized that by now all existing drugs have become available in all regions of the world. He stressed that drug trafficking and drug use create not just social problems but serious challenges to internal and external security. However, present policies attempting to limit supply and criminalizing consumption have not only failed; they have had mostly negative consequences and concluded that more emphasis should therefore be on curtailing demand [PDF].

Thank to Mr. Perez Salazar, his full research article is now available to download: [PDF]

  • 25 November 2010

Presentation and Panel Discussion on

The Real Wealth of Nations: Pathways to Human Development

Organized jointly by the Vienna Chapter of the Society for International Development (SID) and the United Nations Information Service in Vienna (UNIS).

Presentation by Dr. Isabel Pereira, a leading member of the report’s core team.
Opening remarks by Jens Wandel, Director, UNDP Bratislava Regional Centre.
Panel discussion with:
Rober Zeiner, Director of Programs and International Projects, Austrian Development Agency (ADA)
Dr. Werner Raza, Director, Austrian Research Foundation for International Development (ÖFSE)
Thomas Nowotny, President, the Vienna Chapter of the Society for International Development (SID)
Maher Nasser, Director, United Nations Information Service Vienna (UNIS)

The first UNDP Human Development Report was published 20 years ago (with some inputs from SID). Its aim was to shift policy debates beyond a sole focus on Gross Domestic Product per capita as the primary means for measuring a country’s development. The Report introduced a new Human Development Index, which gave equal weight to other indicators including life expectancy and literacy rates. This initiative has been followed by many others which build on these early efforts to measure the progress of societies, including through the complementary work of such institutions as the OECD, the Sarkozy Commission, and various NGOs. For its part, the Human Development Report has evolved as well. The 2010  20th anniversary edition – with an Introduction by Nobel laureate Amartya Sen – constitutes an important step further in the evolution of the human development approach and its implications for social and economic policies.

The webstory, photos and the UNDP film are now all posted on the UNIS website at the following link:

http://www.unis.unvienna.org/unis/en/events/2010/HDR-presentation.html

  • 26 -29 October 2010

Workshop

Social & Environmental Responsibility of Business:

The Role of Small- and Medium-scale Enterprises in Advancing

the Global Sustainable Development Agenda

Organized by the Vienna chapter of the Society for International Development jointly with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, the Austrian Development Agency and the International Network for Educational Exchange.

The goal of the workshop was to promote a constructive dialogue between academia, business representatives and policy-makers responsible for driving sustainable development objectives through the Corporate Social Responsibility movement in Europe and abroad.

The workshop was an integral part of the seminars on sustainable development and Corporate Social Responsibility at three Vienna universities – the University of Economics and Business, the University of Resources and Life Sciences and the University of Vienna – with foci particular to the universities at which the seminars are being held.

National and international experts offered insights into the general context of the topic and introduced specific issues for in-depth discussion in four working groups (for details see workshop programme and individual PowerPoint presentations). Scholars, representatives of companies and NGOs, as well as interested visitors participated actively. A poster show of companies and NGO’s provided opportunities to get first hand information and promote networking.

80 people attended the workshop. Participants included students from the three Vienna universities (about 50%), representatives of Austrian companies and companies from Costa Rica, Ethiopia, India, Peru and Serbia, as well as a number of NGOs and interested individuals.

Following materials of the workshop are free to download:

Details of the program [PDF]

The PowerPoint slides of the presentations [ZIP]

Speking notes [ZIP]

Working papers of students from the University of Vienna [ZIP]

  • 30 September 2010

President’as Statement to CONGO Civil Society Development Forum [PDF]

  • 30 June 2010

SID letter to Minister of Foreign Affaires re budget cuts in development cooperation [PDF]

  • 17 May 2010 at 6 p.m.

Climate Change – Looking beyond Copenhagen

A discussion by:

  • Fabian Wagner, Senior Scholar in IIASA’s Atmospheric Pollution and Economic Development Program, on: “The Road from Bali to Cancun: High Expectations, Low Results?”
  • Joanne Bayer; Leader of IIASA’s Risk and Vulnerability Program (and Lead Author at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), on: “Adaptation and Insuring the Most Vulnerable”
  • Florian Kraxner, Deputy Leader of IIASA’s Forestry Program, on: “What can Biosphere Management Contribute”

The Vienna Chapter of SID, together with the Austrian Foreign Policy Association invited three experts from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis – IIASA to make presentations on the topic of “Climate Change Looking Beyond Copenhagen”. The first presentation [pdf] on “mitigation” – that is on the lowering of greenhouse – gas emissions – showed that in the already wealthy countries a reduction of emissions by up to 25 % could be achieved rather easily and with close to zero overall costs. Beyond that point, costs are rising steeply. The goal of keeping the rise in temperatures below the margin of two centigrades will be difficult to reach at the target date 0f 2050.

The second presentation dealt with “adaptation” that is with policies to adapt to an increase in the world`s surface temperatures. In particular it demonstrated that populations in poorer countries could shield against some natural disasters via rather low cost insurance schemes.

  • 22 March 2010
A Path to Equitable Global Development -Degrowth in the North and Sustainable Growth in the South?
By: Friedrich Hinterberger, Scientific Manager, SERI– Sustainable Europe Research Institute; Rico de Faria, Managing Director, Global Options and Linkages, SID; Teresa Salazar de Buckle, SID
The excessive use of non-renewable resources and the associated exploitative pattern of life are no longer sustainable. Development thinking has to focus on achieving a better quality of life. Simply equating development with economic growth is an untenable approach. Responsible consumption coupled with genuine redistribution is called for: in short, global cooperation between producers and consumers to control climate change, increase resource productivity and limit resource consumption. At the same time, achieving sustainable, equitable, stable and democratic development focused on increasing living standards and well being calls for a mix of value systems that offered an effective response to the problems and challenges posed by living, regardless of actual geographic location.

See the attachments [ZIP] for presentations on limits to resource use and value systems in a developmental setting

  • 14th Dec. 2009

The international Monetary Fund and the present economic crisis – a critical analysis

By: Dr. Ulrich Baumgartner: former senior staff member of the IMF; Professor Kunibert Raffer: Institute of Economics at the University of Vienna
Facilitation:Ruth Picker, Global Responsibility – Austrian Platform for Development and Humanitarian Aid
Lessons drawn from the global economic crisis in the thirties informed the establishment and original mission of the International Monetary Fund. Since then, developments in the world economy and the collapse of the Bretton Woods system have brought about significant changes in the Fund’s mandate and activity. The current world economic crisis has highlighted the need for further reform of the IMF, including its activities in poorer countries. Proposals to that effect have been made – but can they be realized?
see attached summary [PDF] and PowerPoint slides [ZIP]
 
 

13th UNIDO General Conference

 
  • 28 May 2009:

Panel discussion on the environmental aspects of sustainable development – a critical review,

A joint undertaking in collaboration with the Vienna University of Economics and Business
Moderator: Uwe Schubert, Professor of Environmental Economics.
In the context of the world financial, economic and social crisis, the panel focused on the extent to which current environment-related activities can contribute to an environmentally sustainable development,
See attached summary [PDF] and PowerPoint slides [ZIP]

  • 27 November 2008:

Environmental challenges for capitalism

Lecture by Miguel Angel Centeno, Professor of Sociology and International Affairs, Princeton University, USA.
See attached summary [PDF]

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