Topic: Stabilizing and Improving Conditions in Failed States
Somalia, South Sudan, Chad, Syria, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Yemen, Central African Republic and Sudan – what do these states have in common?
They are all categorized under “very high alert” in the 2016 Fragile State Report. Many more states in the Middle East and Africa are listed under “high alert” and “alert” – in fact, not a single African State is seen as “stable” or more. But what does that mean?
A fragile state is a state where the government is unable to maintain its monopoly on the legitimate use of force within its territory and fails to provide for the needs of its citizens, i.e. education, water supply and public infrastructure. Human rights violations can no longer be prevented by the government, or even are perpetrated by it.
There are several indicators that help to identify the level of fragility within a state. These can be divided into economic indicators, such as GDP, government debt, unemployment, poverty and the Gini-coefficient, and social indicators, such as migration, ethnic violence, pollution, water and food shortages as well as high mortality.
With Africa as a whole being the most fragile continent, the members of the African Union will have to confront their own shortcomings in order to establish a framework that seeks to stabilize and improve the living conditions for the citizens of fragile states.
The delegates will be representing the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of their respective countries.