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

Copenhagen: time to re-think? Or just keep thinking!

As thousands of negotiators, activists, diplomats, scientists, politicians and journalists start pouring into Copenhagen for the climate summit – formally said, the 15th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change – the question has been raised whether we should want them to succeed or fail. Which, of course, begs the next question: what is success at Copenhagen?

So is Copenhagen not the time to seal a new climate deal after all? Is it time for a re-think? My own view is that it’s best never to stop thinking, then you don’t have to make the effort to start up again. Continue reading

How much will UK development policy change under a Conservative government?

The Conservative Party is set fair to win next year’s UK general election. What will happen to development policy? The Conservatives published a Green Paper in the summer, shortly after the government put out its White Paper on development, to which I gave a warm review. In this rather long post I extend the same courtesy to the Conservatives. Overall judgement: much to welcome but some reservations because the document is conservative in the wrong way.    Continue reading