The UN Peacebuilding Fund – four years on

The decision to set up the UN Peacebuilding Commission, Peacebuilding Support Office and Peacebuilding Fund was taken in September 2005 and bit by bit the new architecture was ready for business in 2006 and into 2007. I have just finished four years on the Fund’s independent Advisory Group, the last two as its chair, so here are my reflections. Continue reading

Aid effectiveness forum at Busan: what would success be for countries in conflict?

The Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness convenes in Busan, South Korea, on 29 November. Two thousand representatives of governments, the UN, other multilateral organisations and NGOs will meet to discuss and come up with a statement on how development aid can be delivered more effectively. So what would a successful High Level Forum look like for countries affected by armed conflict, which face the toughest development challenges? 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

The big beasts of development… – and peace

Under new leadership, the UK Department for International Development is emphasising results and accountability. And as part of that, the big multilateral beasts of development – to which the UK gives £3 billion a year – are coming under the efficiency microscope. It will be good to assess them not just for efficiency but for impact, and especially their impact on peace and conflict because it is the thing they have trouble taking into account. Continue reading

Water, conflict and peace

Water is a basic condition of life. We depend upon it for daily use, for agriculture, for industry and infrastructure. A shortage, an excess and deficient quality can all undermine welfare, impair human security, hold back economic development and in some circumstances generate conflict. The London-based Foreign Policy Centre has published Tackling the World Water Crisis, an edited collection of articles in which mine looks at the peace and security issues around water. Continue reading