The UN’s long process of developing the post-2015 global follow-up to the Millennium Development Goals continues with the Open Working Group working on Sustainable Development Goals. Last week they released a draft. It has many plenty of goals and targets but lacks an overall concept of what progress means today. What might the wise have said about it in days gone by? Continue reading
The conflict horizon 2: Rising pressures
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
International development post-2015
The UN High Level Panel (HLP) on the Post-2015 Development Agenda has reported. Compared to the current Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) the big change is that peace and good governance have been brought in front and centre where they belong. The HLP’s report is far from the last word in a continuing debate on international development but it marks an important moment and has a lot – though not everything – to offer. Continue reading
The unequal state of the world
The state of the world is not just one thing. Continue reading
EU leaders: where’s the headline energy?
EU government leaders have put no headline energy into trying to end the warfare torturing eastern Congo for the past month. And you can’t blame that on being distracted by Israel retaliating against random rocket attacks from Gaza with an 8-day bombardment until Egypt brokered the ceasefire on 21 November. Heads of EU governments weren’t headline visible on Gaza either. They’re distracted by other things. Continue reading
The UN High Level panel on post-2015: new goals for old?
The UN High Level Panel looking at development goals after 2015 has been in London for the past three days for an intense round of meetings. In the late afternoon of Friday 2 November, about a third of the panel members met around 200 representatives of civil society organisations in a “town hall” style meeting – i.e., no speeches by the panel, everything driven by questions from the floor. Continue reading
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 debate – today and post-2015
Further to my 24 September post on the re-emerging debate in Britain about foreign aid, I neglected a major reason why the government’s commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of GDP on development assistance isn’t changing: Prime Minister David Cameron is co-chair of the UN High Level Panel on the future of development. No surprise, then, that he confirmed the 0.7 per cent commitment straight after the panel’s first meeting. 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
A scorecard for Busan: did the High Level Forum help conflict-affected countries?
At the end of November, 2,000 representatives of governments, international agencies and NGOs met in Busan as the 4th High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness. But how effective was Busan for conflict-affected countries? Continue reading