In 1996, the Taliban movement, a majority of who were religious students from Deobandi madrasas (religious schools) in Pakistan and rural Afghanistan, established a short-lived Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. On arrival in Kabul, the Taliban barred women from working at public or private institutions and banned girls from schools. The Taliban regime said that the ban was because of a lack of facilities and security.
The New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States rests upon the mutual commitment of national and international partners to country-owned and country-led exits from fragility. Externally-imposed solutions do not work. In 2011, at the Busan Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, the New Deal was launched with a powerful message: 1.5 billion of the world’s poorest people lived in fragile situations. Without partnerships for first building peace, resilience and institutions, the eradication of poverty was not possible. The Millennium Development Goals failed to address this.
The appointment of a new United Nations Secretary-General in 2016 will provide special opportunities for the reform and renewal of the UN Secretariat. While an ambitious agenda for reform may be unrealistic, the relationship between the UN bureaucracy and Member States needs to be reevaluated. The way senior staff are recruited must change. Building a merit-based group of top level officials around the incoming Secretary-General should be a priority. Creating a special transitional team to manage their selection process could be one way to achieve this goal.
Since October 2014, the region around the town of Beni in north eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo) has been the site of some of the worst massacres in the country’s recent history. Over five hundred people have been killed and tens of thousands have fled their homes. The UN mission and the Congolese government have publicly stated that the massacres are the work of Ugandan rebels from the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).
The United States’ presence in the Indo-Asia-Pacific is transforming from a traditional alliance network (of Australia, Japan, the Philippines, South Korea and Thailand) into a web of strengthened alliances, new partnerships and creative linkages.
Washington must manage this transformation carefully, so its alliance network maintains a deterrent function and reassures allies, but does not exacerbate USChina tensions.
The India-U.S. relationship is presently stronger than at anytime in their history. The twin summits – less than six months apart – in September 2014 and January 2015 between President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have repaired, revived and revitalized the strategic partnership. Yet there remain several hurdles to deepening the relationship, notably, geopolitical differences over Iran, Russia, Syria and India’s membership of various nuclear and missile export control regimes.
There are more than 60 million people forcibly displaced by conflict or persecution worldwide - the highest recorded since World War II. The average length of displacement is now 17 years. This paper is a think piece on how approaches to forced displacement need to change if the world is to reverse this escalating human and financial crisis.
President Xi Jinping first presented China’s vision for a “Silk Road Economic Belt” during a 2013 speech in Kazakhstan. The idea was to “forge closer economic ties, deepen cooperation, and expand development in the Euro-Asia region”. In early 2015, the contours of Beijing’s strategy began to emerge as China’s leadership laid out plans for this “Silk Road Economic Belt” through Central Asia, and a “21st Century Maritime Silk Road” through Southeast and South Asia. China referred to both collectively as “One Belt, One Road” (OBOR). Both have been portrayed as an opportunity to reshape the economic and political order in Central Asia and the Asian Pacific region by promoting a network of trade routes, political cooperation, and cultural exchange. By so doing, China intends to place its sometimes-restive western and interior provinces at the heart of its engagement with Central and South Asia in an effort to accelerate development and promote stability.
The five major emerging economies – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) – have gained on the world stage and their presence is being felt in every multilateral institution. Among them India – the world’s largest democracy with a burgeoning economy and a long history of engagement with the multilateral order – is of special significance. For BRICS watchers in general and anyone interested in the future of India in particular, twenty-two scholars of international repute have produced one of the most comprehensive volumes on India’s role in the evolving global order: Shaping the Emerging World.
The Global Peace Operations Review is a website providing analysis and data on the spectrum of issues surrounding global peace and security, including civilian-led peacemaking and peacebuilding as well as uniformed peacekeeping by the United Nations, regional organizations and ad-hoc coalitions. The site’s objective is to contribute to the effectiveness of all peace operations.
We seek to provide the most comprehensive overview of multilateral contributions to conflict prevention, peacemaking, peacekeeping, and post-conflict peacebuilding. In doing so, we seek to integrate thematic and cross-cutting issues including, but not limited to, the women, peace and security agenda and countering violent extremism.
The UN development system stands at a crossroads. It can either embrace the deep reform required to remain relevant to development in today’s global economy, or face the prospect of continued marginalization. The path chosen at this fork in the road depends on the commitment of all relevant actors – UN agencies and governments – as well as strong leadership: from governments, from within the UN development system, and from the Secretary-General.
Recent months have seen increasing interest in the idea that Rio+20 could be the launch pad for a new set of ‘Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDGs). But what would SDGs cover, what would a process to define and then implement them look like, and what would some of the key political challenges be? This short briefing sets out a short summary of current thinking on the issue, followed by thoughts about the way forward.