Seventy-five years have passed since international development cooperation was born. After the end of the war in 1945, Europe was rebuilt and independent countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America invested in their future according to the conditions of that time. After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, aid was transformed into a collaboration that touched on deeper social transformation and international partnerships. At the turn of the millennium, the UN member states adopted the Millennium Development Goals, which fifteen years later were replaced by the Global Goals. Democratic waves around the world broadened participation in societal decisions. Technology and globalization promised solutions in almost every area, and development assistance was involved as a midwife.
Today we live in an uncertain world, colored by reduced democratic space, increased inequality, geopolitical and economic tensions and climate change. What will be the role of development assistance in this era of uncertainty? What can the success of development aid teach us so far about the challenges we now face? How can Sweden and the EU act on issues such as human rights in an increasingly tense international situation where more and more states are choosing authoritarian and corrupt models?
Every year, FUF awards a FUF prize to a person who is considered to have made particularly good contributions to global development. For the year 2020, this prize has been awarded Mats Karlsson.
Mats Karlsson has been an active and driving voice in development issues throughout his professional life. He started at Sida in 1984 and then worked with development in Africa for 30 years. He has also worked on global cooperation issues, both at the World Bank and the UN, and as Secretary of the Commission for Global Cooperation, led by Ingvar Carlsson. He has also had a commitment to Central and Eastern Europe, including the liberation of the Baltic states before 1989. Mats has also pursued key issues of partnership in development cooperation, both in his role as Chief Economist, State Secretary, at the World Bank and as an adviser to Kofi Annan. Today, he also has a special interest in the EU's role in the world.
The FUF prize is awarded at a digital ceremony led by FUF's new chairman Anna Blücher. The dividend is followed by a discussion on the theme of development aid's third wave between Mats Karlsson and Lena Ag, Director General of the Swedish Gender Equality Authority, former head of Kvinna till Kvinna, long-term employee at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and active in Greenpeace.
The call requires pre-registration to access the Zoom link. Registration closes at 23:55 on 21/4. Feel free to enter the link well in advance of the call