Tag Archives: human security

The conflict horizon 1: Untold good news

Peace is the big, under-reported good news story of the 20-plus years since the Cold War ended. There are fewer wars than in the 1980s. There have been more peace agreements, and an increasing proportion of them endure for longer.

Good. Because the next 20 years will make the last 20 seem like a rehearsal for the real thing. Continue reading

The case for the EU having an external action service

EU High Representative and EC Vice-President Catherine Ashton steps down from leading the European External Action Service in late 2014. She has presented her review of the organisation and how to make it more efficient. But despite her best efforts the basic case for the EEAS remains unclear to many. Winning that case depends not on efficiency alone but on whether the EEAS meets an important need.  Continue reading

Resources – the coming crunch and some things that could be done about it

As I remarked already, and it’s the starting point for the new edition of my State of the World Atlas (published this week), the human population is seven times greater than it was 200 years ago but our use of resources is disproportionately greater still: we produce 50 times as much, using 60 times as much water and 75 times as much energy. Where is that all going – and perhaps more to the point, how long can it keep on going? A new report offers insights. Continue reading

DRC’s deadlock – new dangers, new beginnings

Democratic Republic of Congo: In Kinshasa , the summit meeting of La Francophonie replete with heads of state, resounding speeches and ringing declarations; in the east, 2 million displaced people and rising tension as the M-23 rebels sit just 15 kilometres from Goma, capital of North Kivu province, held back only by an uncertain ceasefire; on TV, repeated statements that this is the 187/8/9th day of aggression by Rwanda.

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Assisting development = assisting what, precisely?

All around are the signs and sounds of a steady gearing up for the renewed development debate. Before it gets swamped by a demand for commitments based on GDP percentages, targets and indicators, it would be a good idea to reflect a little on what we really mean by development. Continue reading

Peacebuilding IN Europe?

In 2001 – a different time and a different world – the EU Gothenburg summit agreed to make the prevention of violent conflict a priority for the EU. Measured by money, it’s now the world’s biggest player in peacebuilding. But look around Europe now and we can ask, should peacebuilding also start to be a priority inside the EU? Continue reading

England’s riots: If the UK were a fragile state…

Last week, rioting and looting gripped England. At a time when many people are feeling in one way or another bad about our country, it seemed salient (and perhaps inevitable) to ask, if the UK were a fragile state, how would we approach the events of last week, their aftermath and the future? Continue reading

From the UK gov’t, a good message on development and peace

The UK’s International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell made a speech in London on 16 September setting out his and DFID’s approach on development, security, conflict and peace issues. It was barely noticed by the press. That’s a shame because it was very important – far more so than what he and other members of the government are saying this week at (or about) the UN Millennium Summit in New York. Continue reading

So what’s wrong with the MDGs?

This week’s UN summit will call for a big renewed effort to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. But there are reasons for starting to think a bit further ahead. A new report from International Alert asks us to get ‘beyond the MDGs”. Continue reading

DFID leaks about aid and security

As the UK government reviews its bilateral and multilateral aid programmes and moves towards reshaping aid policy, there have been a couple of leaks and a bit of background noise.  So what do they add up to and what do they tell us about how the wind blows?  Continue reading