Development ministers meet on MDGs, finance
At Monday’s EU Council meeting of Development Ministers, several stressed the importance of maintaining poverty eradication as the focus of the future development agenda, while addressing gaps in the existing MDGs framework, such as sustainable growth or fragility and conflict. In relation to financing for development, the EU, inter alia, decided to incorporate tax administration into policy dialogue with partner countries, support reform and help to combat illicit capital flows. Council conclusions also call for mainstreaming of civil society in all areas of cooperation. EU Member States also agreed that they should coordinate better in the programming process of future cooperation to ensure policy coherence for development and support for social protection.
Governance indicators ‘a really tough topic’
Some kind of governance indicators will probably make their way into the post-MDG development framework. Harvard Professor Matthew Andrews tries to provoke a debate on measuring governance, ‘a really tough topic’. In his blog, Andrews asks “What is there we can measure that relates to the way authority is exercised, by government, that is broadly relevant across highly different developing countries, that does not impose too rigid a 'form' based agenda, and may even promote more functionality and development?” He argues that governance is best assessed on the basis of outcomes and outputs, not on the processes by which these outcomes occur, as these depend on contextual realities.
Corruption and discrimination keep women out of peace processes
The new report ‘Equal Power – Lasting Peace’ from the Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation shows that formal decision forums on conflict are not including enough women. This is contrary to a UN Security Council Resolution passed 12 years ago which emphasizes that women must participate on the same terms as men in all parts of peace processes for stability to be sustainable. The most common obstacles for participation that women face include poverty, legislation and corruption.
EU Nobel: neither complacency nor self-flagellation
In times of rising Euro-scepticism, the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union last week will give a boost to its supporters. “It is not the time for self-flagellation, but there is also no reason for complacency” writes ECDPM’s Geert Laporte in a commentary on the Talking Points blog. From a global perspective, Europe is losing political and economic ground in the world. Its double standards in dealing with human rights violations and conflict have undermined its credibility, Laporte points out. The Nobel Peace Prize could be an incentive for the EU to critically review its role in the world and work towards building a more dynamic and coherent foreign policy.
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