Peace Report 2024 \ A Rudderless World

Berlin, June 10, 2024.

Press release on the presen­tation of the Peace Report 2024 at the Federal Press Con­ference

The global death toll from wars and conflicts is at an all-time high: The wars in Ukraine and Gaza, military coups and jihadist violence in Africa result in tens of thousands of victims. At the same time, the fight against climate change, poverty and hunger falters. In Europe and the USA, authoritarian and extremist move­ments are putting demo­cracies under pressure. This is the global political starting point for the Peace Report 2024, in which Germany‘s leading peace research institutes make recom­mendations to policymakers on how to reduce the causes of conflict and break the spiral of violence.

Download the press release here.


Many of the political successes of the 1990s and 2000s seem to have vanished: Multi­lateral treaties have eroded, inter­national institutions have lost influence and demo­cratic achieve­ments, such as the indepen­dence of the judiciary or freedom of the press, have been curtailed even in European countries. In this world, which seems no longer to have a compass, Germany's leading peace research institutes offer points of reference in the latest Peace Report.

Brutal Attack and Human Suffering: Gaza as a New Trouble Spot

The Hamas attack on October 7, 2023 has deeply shaken Israel: more than 1,000 people were murdered in the brutal massacre and another 250 were abducted. The atrocities committed by Hamas, which denies Israel's right to exist, have shocked the inter­national community.   

Despite the right to self-defense, the peace research institutes are critical of the Israeli army's military response in the Gaza Strip due to the many civilian casualties. According to the peace researchers, Israel is violating inter­national humani­tarian law, and the German govern­ment should advocate for Israel’s compliance with the decisions of the inter­national courts. The Report insists that in order to provide short-term relief for the people on the ground, the first priority must be to improve the humani­tarian situation in the Gaza Strip, work towards the release of the hostages and achieve a ceasefire. At the same time, work must be done on a viable peace solution for the entire region. Despite all political resistance, the German govern­ment should work towards an inter­nationally responsible transition phase for the Gaza Strip after the end of the war that allows for humani­tarian supplies, economic recovery and political prospects. In the long term, the German govern­ment should work towards a two-state solution, even if this is hardly feasible at present.

Weapons, Diplomacy and Inter­national Support for Ukraine

In the war against Ukraine, military logic and diplo­matic approaches must be intel­ligently combined. The peace report’s experts advocate for main­taining pressure on Russia – for example in the form of sanctions – and continuing to support Ukraine militarily. In order to be able to enter into peace nego­tiations with Russia in the medium term, Ukraine needs reliable security guarantees from the West. The form and content of peace nego­tiations should be prepared now and potential third parties should be sounded out.

Defining Develop­ment Cooperation with Putschists and Autocrats

More than half of the world's violent conflicts take place in sub-Saharan Africa, mostly as battles between govern­ments and jihadist armed groups. In recent years, seven coups d'état in West Africa have exacerbated the unstable situation. The three military regimes in Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger have found a new security partner in Russia in particular. All three countries play a central role in the further develop­ment of the Sahel region. In addition, their humani­tarian and security policy develop­ment is of trans­national impor­tance, especially with regard to migration and illegal trade. Germany should therefore continue its diplo­matic and develop­ment policy engage­ment in the region and define guidelines for dealing with putschists and autocrats.

Poverty, Hunger and Violent Conflicts are Mutually Dependent

Limiting climate change and combating poverty, hunger and social inequality have not been as success­ful as they should be. Only 15% of the Sustainable Develop­ment Goals set by the global community in 2015 have been achieved so far. The experts in the Peace Report recom­mend involving local actors and structures more responsibly in develop­ment cooperation in the future and at the same time embedding them in inter­national and national aid structures.

2023 was the warmest year since weather records began. Crop failures, flooding and other conse­quences of climate change are destroying liveli­hoods. Poverty and social inequality are on the rise, particularly in countries of the Global South – the most common causes of violence, as the military coups in West Africa show. If the number of armed conflicts increases, the number of displaced people also rises.

Reducing the Risk of Nuclear Escalation Through Arms Control

In 2023, global arms spending increased. An effective arms control policy can contain expensive arms-race dynamics, the risk of further military confron­tations, and the danger of nuclear escalation. New technologies such as artificial intel­ligence and unmanned weapons systems revolutionize warfare. At the same time, they increase the ability to react on the battlefield and thus increase the risk of escalation in conflicts. Inter­nationally binding rules for the develop­ment and use of these techno­logies are urgently needed. Additionally, IT systems and critical infra­structures should be better protected against cyber attacks.

Strengthening the Resi­lience of Demo­cratic Institutions

When wars and conflicts determine foreign policy, demo­cracies are also under pressure domestically. Many people have lost trust in demo­cratic institutions. Populist, extremist and autho­ritarian movements have gained influence. Politicians should take dis­satis­faction and social grievances seriously and work to strengthen democratic institutions to ensure their inde­pendence even in the face of changing majorities.

The complete Peace Report with detailed information, figures and assess­ments on the individual aspects is available to download at: friedensgutachten.de



About the Peace Report and the Publishing Institutes

The Peace Report is the annual publication of the Bonn Intern­ational Centre for Conflict Studies (bicc), the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg (IFSH), the Institute for Develop­ment and Peace (INEF) at the University of Duisburg-Essen and the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt (PRIF).  In the Peace Report, the leading German peace and conflict research institutes analyze current inter­national conflicts, highlight trends in inter­national foreign, security, and develop­ment policy and provide clear recom­mendations for policy­makers. Inter­disci­plinary teams of authors work together on the chapters and contribute different perspectives.

More information at friedensgutachten.de.

Präsentation in Berlin