Annual Report 2017
Because as international relations focused on conquering new markets, as wealth gaps widened and inequalities deepened, in many areas of the world the spirit of democracy was weakened by the steady rise in nationalism. In Hungary, Russia, Turkey and Mexico, civil society was corroded and the rights of associations and citizens threatened. With leaders no longer defending these fundamental rights on the international stage, we witnessed the insidious undermining of human rights.
Meanwhile, new challenges have emerged that are destabilising the political status quo. By 2050, the urban population of sub-Saharan Africa will have risen by 720 million, while that of Europe will have increased by only 36 million. The migration flow between Europe and Africa is irreversible.
But 2017 was also a year of mobilisation and denouncement. We saw citizens around the world rise up in support of those fleeing crises and poverty. While governments in the United States and Europe were building walls and signing shameful agreements with countries such as Libya where migrants and refugees are subjected to appalling abuse, women and men showed overwhelming solidarity.
The debate on the status of women in the world also took a major new turn in 2017, with the #metoo movement creating a watershed moment for emancipation. Women have been able to overturn existing relationships of power and domination and politicise their condition by denouncing all forms of violence and harassment.