2017: it’s been some year, eh? It was the first year of the Trump presidency. All UN members bar one were signed up to the Paris Climate Change Agreement. The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was open for signature and the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons won the Nobel Peace Prize. North Korea carried out more missile tests and one nuclear test and moved closer to having a nuclear ICBM capable of hitting targets in the continental US. The Iran nuclear deal came under severe pressure despite Iran implementing it fully. The people of Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Libya continued to suffer the ravages of violent conflict. Elsewhere in the region and outside it, people faced the threat of random terrorist attacks. Arms spending and arms trading continued to rise. In SIPRI’s Peace Points series of short films, I set out some views on these events and trends as they unfolded.
Best wishes for a peaceful 2018!
The Conflict, Security and Development Conference is run by students at King’s College London. This year they asked me along to give the closing keynote and thoughtfully interviewed me beforehand so I could run through some of my main points. The interview falls into three sections: the first is on the central importance of institutions in building peace, the second on the role of NGOs like International Alert, and the third on the sort of challenges to peace and security that lie ahead, the compound risks we face in the coming decade and beyond.
Last week’s communiqué from the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Lübeck included a statement on climate change and security. In welcoming a report, A New Climate for Peace, to which my organisation International Alert contributed, the communiqué moves the issue forward and declares it to be worthy of high level political attention. Unfortunately, what is to be done is not so clear. Continue reading
Posted in Climate change, Conflict & peace, Resilience
Tagged adelphi, Climate change, climate conflict, COP 21, disaster risk reduction, EU Institute for Security Studies, food security, fragile states, G7, human security, International Alert, transboundary water disputes, UNFCCC, Wilson Center
The Stockholm Resilience Centre has produced a new study of the planetary boundaries, a concept it first unleashed on the planet in 2009. It reveals a worsening situation. It has received considerable media attention as an issue of environmental impact. But it is much more than that. Continue reading
Scanning forward across the conflict horizon reveals looming risks after two decades of growing peace. Connecting people and connecting issues, drawing on what we have learned over the past 20 years or so of peacebuilding, can renew the growth of peace. Continue reading
Posted in Conflict & peace, International development
Tagged adaptation, Climate change, climate conflict, demography, EM Forster, gender, global inequality, Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), International Alert, international institutions, migration, natural resources, peacebuilding, population, resilience, Thomas Piketty, Ukraine, urbanisation
Over the past two decades the world has become more peaceful. Today, rising pressures are generating increased conflict risk. We have learned a lot. Now, can we take advantage of that? Because we will need to. Continue reading
Posted in Conflict & peace, International development, The State of the World
Tagged Climate change, climate conflict, conflict risk, corruption, demography, inequalities, Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Malthus, Millennium Development Goals, natural resources, planetary boundaries, population, poverty, resilience, Stockholm Resilience Centre, tax evasion, urbanisation
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