I think Edward Saïd wrote somewhere that the USA can never hope to contribute to sustainable peace in the Middle East until it is willing and able to describe the situation there objectively, comprehensively and accurately. Good advice for President Obama and his new Secretary of State as they embark on four challenging years in the region. And good advice meanwhile for anyone, be they doctor, secretary of state, international NGO staff member or anyone else, who takes on responsibility to help others fix their problems.
Firstly, thank you to International Alert for inviting me to join this forum. The blog entries so far promise to provide for plenty of interesting debate tomorrow. I hope to be able to contribute to this debate with some comments on Spain's experience.
I took part in a round table discussion in a post-conflict country recently, looking at aid effectiveness there.
Among the salient details on the table, and which will be familiar from elsewhere:
It had been a long time coming. Since the first meeting of the High Level Panel, set up by Ban Ki Moon and co-chaired by the British, Liberian and Indonesian Heads of State in New York the massed ranks of civil society had been looking forward to this meeting with expectations and anxiety in equal measure.
Our Programming Framework provides International Alert peace practitioners with some guidance in the complex and difficult task of building peace. It also offers those we work with and are accountable to greater clarity about what we do and why we do it. Most importantly, it is designed to enable peacebuilders to be better able to identify and measure the impact of their actions, so that they can be more effective in what they do.
Here Chris Underwood, Senior Policy Advisor at International Alert, recounts his recent trip to the UN General Assembly in New York.
Photo of UN staff raising awareness of the MDG deadline of 2015 by MT_bulli (www.flickr.com/mt_bulli).
Photo of the UN General Assembly by Africa Renewal/John Gillespie (www.flickr.com/africa-renewal).
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.
This report reflects the findings of the preparatory phase of a three-year research project exploring the role of gender in peacebuilding. Whilst addressing key research questions, the report identifies three approaches to gender that are evident in peacebuilding: gender-blind, those based on UN Security Council Resolution 1325, and gender-relational. The third – and hitherto unexplored – approach, is based on a strategy of benefit-sharing and solidarity-building between men and women, and uses a context-specific gendered power analysis as its starting point. The report calls for further exploration of the validity of this approach as an effective strategy for both analysing conflict and designing peacebuilding interventions, and it is this that will be the focus of the remaining two years of the project.
This week, fifty organisations from around the world released a document calling for the post-2015 framework which will replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to include a commitment to conflict prevention and peacebuilding.
Bringing peace into the post-2015 development framework: A joint statement by civil society organisations
English and French versions