Past events at the Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS) – Spring 2016

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Financing Sustainable Development in a Time of Aid Uncertainty
1 March 2016, Danish Institute for International Studies, Copenhagen

In the fall of 2015, world leaders adopted the most ambitious global development agenda in history. Meeting the aspiring targets of the Sustainable Development Goals will require financing far beyond traditional aid. At the same time, aid itself is under major pressure as European governments cut aid budgets or divert them to meet refugee and migration issues.

In this context of massive global ambition and concurrent uncertainty on the future of aid, other actors and sources of development financing seem ever more critical, such as the private sector, private foundations and the BRICS. But what are in fact the interests and modes of operation of such actors in the context of development financing, and to what extent do they align with the aims of the SDGs? And how do national governments of developing countries themselves perceive and approach these new sources of financing?

At this event, a new DIIS report was presented, providing insights from ongoing DIIS research on the policies, mind-sets and interests of some of the many actors that will be playing a fundamental role in the complex and challenging task of financing sustainable development.


Adam Moe FEJERSKOV, PhD Candidate, DIIS
Helle MUNK Ravnborg, Senior Researcher, DIIS
Lars ENGBERG-PEDERSEN, Senior Researcher, DIIS
Mikkel FUNDER, Senior Researcher, DIIS
Neil WEBSTER, Senior Researcher, DIIS
Yang JIANG, Senior Researcher, DIIS

More information can be found here.

Kazakhstan: Opportunities for nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament
21 April 2016, Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS), Copenhagen


In 2013 Kazakhstan announced its bid for a seat as non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the years 2017/18. Kazakhstan regards itself as a global leader in nuclear responsibility, drawing upon its long experience within the nuclear field, as part of the campaign for the seat.

Kazakhstan’s nuclear experience is unusual. In the Soviet period, 456 nuclear tests were carried out at the Semipalatinsk test site, followed by a 17-year cleanup process completed in 2012. On the eve of the Soviet dissolution, Kazakhstan found itself in possession of Soviet strategic nuclear weapons amounting to, at the time, the fourth largest arsenal in the world. The weapons were returned to Russia in the early 1990s for dismantlement.

Today, Kazakhstan is the world’s largest producer of uranium ore concentrates with 41% of the world production in 2014, and production is increasing gradually. It is a founding member of the world’s first international Uranium Enrichment Centre along with the Russian Federation, Ukraine and Armenia, to provide guaranteed uranium enrichment services for nuclear energy. In addition, in 2015, Kazakhstan signed an agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to set up an IAEA Low Enriched Uranium (LEU) Bank in Kazakhstan.  The Fuel Bank will be a physical reserve of LEU available for eligible IAEA Member States owned and controlled by the IAEA.

At this seminar organized jointly by DIIS and the Kazakhstan Embassy, Kazakhstan’s Ambassador to Denmark and Sweden Dr. Dastan Yeleukenov, Tariq Rauf, Director of the Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-Proliferation Programme at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute and Senior Researcher Cindy Vestergaard (DIIS) discussed current opportunities and Kazakhstan’s role for strengthening nuclear non-proliferation and promoting nuclear disarmament.


Dr. Dastan Yeleukenov, Ambassador to Denmark and Sweden

Tariq Rauf, Director of SIPRI Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-proliferation Programme

Cindy Vestergaard, Senior Researcher, DIIS

Gry Thomasen, postdoc, DIIS


15:30-15:35 Welcome and Introduction, Gry Thomasen
Kazakhstan’s contribution to disarmament and arms control. IAEA Low Enriched Uranium (LEU) Bank in Kazakhstan, Tariq Rauf
16:20-16:30 Comments, Dr. Dastan Yeleukenov
16:30-16:45 Coffee break
16:45-17:05 Trends in Global Disarmament and Nonproliferation, Cindy Vestergaard
17:05-17:30 Q&A



Natural resources and infrastructure investments in Africa
27 April 2016, Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS),Copenhagen


Despite falling commodity prices, investments into the extraction of natural resources in Africa continue, albeit at a slower pace.

Not only are new mining and oil/gas projects potential sources of revenues for governments. Across the continent they are also linked to large-scale infrastructure projects, often providing the funding for these projects, with important implications for landscapes and livelihoods.

By activating and connecting political actors in new ways, from the local to the global, these infrastructural investments reshape existing political orderings.

Through presentations of analytical perspectives and empirical case studies this seminar aimed to shed light on an emerging research field.


Jana Hoenke, Assistant Professor, University of Groningen (currently, at the University of Edinburgh)

Joshua Kirshner, Lecturer in Human Geography, University of York

Lars Buur, Associate professor, Roskilde University

Morten Blomqvist, Senior Governance Adviser, Oxfam Ibis

Rasmus Hundsbæk Pedersen, Postdoc, DIIS

14:00-14:05 Introduction
Chair: Lars Buur
14:05-14:25 Mining, infrastructure and extractive urbanism in Tete, Mozambique
Joshua Kirshner
14:25:14:45 Petroleum investments and land acquisition standards in Tanzania
Rasmus Hundsbæk Pedersen
14:45-15:05 New political geographies? Controversies around the ports of Dar es Salaam and Bagamoyo, Tanzania
Jana Hoenke
15:05-15:20 Coffee break
15:20-15:30 Open discussion
Discussant: Morten Blomqvist
15:30-16:15 Q&A
Lars Buur