Global conflict and the sustainable development goals (SDGs)

By James Copestake

The decision of the international ‘community’ to come up with a new set of development goals to take over from the MDGs in 2015 and to see us through to 2030 was not one that readily filled me with excitement. Even their formal approval at the UN General Assembly in New York in September largely passed me by. And when I discovered they comprised no fewer than 17 goals and 169 targets then, yes, it did occur to me that this might be a hugely costly bureaucratic exercise: a fable of synergy, partnership and rationality jarring against a global reality of sharp trade-offs, conflict and insanity… Continue reading

Islamist food aid won’t radicalise Pakistan’s earthquake survivors

By Ayesha Siddiqi

(This blog was originally published by the Guardian)

The magnitude 7.5 earthquake that rocked parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan last week has left hundreds dead, most of them in the far more densely populated Pakistan. Rescue and relief efforts have swung into action, albeit hampered by the constraints of reaching hard-hit communities in remote, mountainous areas. And alongside these efforts come the usual politicking and promotion of political agendas that take place after a natural disaster. Continue reading