Around 780 million people of the mother-earth are living in the poorest countries of the world. These countries are officially described as the Least Developed Countries (LDCs). They are continuously struggling against hunger, poverty and disparity. Though they represent 11 % of the world population, which are living in 49 LDCs’, they have the stake of less than 5% of the global resources.
Over the years, the poor countries of the world have been facing series of discriminatory treatments by the most advanced parts of the world resulting marginalization in the global economy. The world powers, through their different wings like International Financial Institutions (IFIs), have imposed destructive policies based on neo-liberal doctrine. The so-called ideology claims that ‘people are best served by maximum market freedom and minimum intervention by the state’. Continue reading
On the prospects of a Development Army here
…Several problems remain, not least the effectiveness of Development work at present in places such as Iraq and Afghanistan. Billions have been spent in both places and much of the funds are often misappropriated. Whether the military’s involvement in the future will make those handling such funds more accountable remains to be seen.
Secondly many in the Development sector opposed both the invasion of Afghanistan and then later the attack on Iraq. Their willingness to be involved and associated with any future operations may be doubtful and therefore may throw into jeopardy any possible future involvement with the Military.
General Dannatt’s speech may embolden those who believe in ‘Liberal interventionism’ as championed by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. It may be that this method, usually associated with intervention by one or more country in the affairs of another may well in the end only sit well with a supra national organisation such as the United Nations. Seen as being above narrow national interests, the Development sector may prove to be more of a natural bedfellow with UN Blue Berets’ than with any one nations’ military.
This interesting study conducted by the Peace Dividend Trust assesses peacekeeping missions, their costs and benefits. It also debunks some of the negative myths and confirms some of the commonly held views on the subject. The Preface states:
United Nations peacekeeping missions presently spend about $5 billion a year and are
regularly criticized for a wide array of damage they are thought to do to the war-torn
economies into which they deploy. They are criticized for inducing inflation, for
dominating the real estate market, for co-opting the best local talent and for drawing the
most capable people away from both government and the local private sector. Despite
the broad range of criticisms, however, data on these economic impacts had not been
regularly collected or analyzed.1 Although nearly everyone who has been on a
peacekeeping mission in any capacity has an opinion on the topic, the actual economic
impact of a complex peace operation has been assessed only once, in 1993, in Cambodia,
while the United Nations operation there was still underway. There have been no other
detailed assessments of economic impact, until now.
Read the full text of this insightful study – though many might not agree with all the broad conclusions..