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
Natural resources in a conflict context
For a developing country facing high poverty levels, a growing population with high expectations despite a poor revenue base and weak institutions, but with an abundance of natural resources, exploiting them looks like the path to glory. Experience from a range of countries shows that, to put it mildly, it’s not so straightforward. The World Economic Forum has published a report on the topic – Natural Riches?. Continue reading
New Deal – real deal ?
In both low and middle income countries, well established arguments and solid evidence confirm that there is no real development without peace and only the peace of the graveyard without development. These conclusions have shifted the fulcrum of discussion about development over the past several years. But they have not yet added up to telling anybody how to do it. Continue reading
The state of the world’s states
The state is the organising principle of national and international politics and states are the subject of abundant historical research, academic theory and contemporary analysis. That perhaps makes it a little strange to say that both the state as a category and states in general tend to be taken for granted. But that’s how it is – and it’s a problem. Continue reading
The world’s state of war and peace
Most of the trends that The State of the World Atlas looks at are ones that are visible across the last two decades since the Cold War ended. During that period, peace is one of the big, under-reported (though not unqualified) good news stories. Continue reading
Do British development NGOs not want to discuss development?
The UN High Level Panel looking at development goals after 2015 is coming to London and will meet representatives of British development NGOs who, it seems, don’t want to discuss development with them. 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.
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
Development aid – its opponents and proponents
A new debate is heating up in Britain about overseas development assistance – ODA. To foreign observers struck by how international generosity became a cross-party consensus here, it may come as something of a surprise that development aid is under pressure. But it is real and should be heeded for well-honed arguments are needed. Continue reading
Looking at some peacebuilding assumptions
My most recent post (29 Jan) reflected about peacebuilding inside the bounds of the European Union as well as outside. My thinking grew out of International Alert’s recently started work in the UK. Going a bit further, some more thoughts have appeared in the online magazine and discussion forum, openDemocracy. What follows is an abridged version. Continue reading