Few if any Taliban leaders say they want to re-establish the Islamic Emirate or revive the policies that drew the world’s opprobrium upon them when they controlled the Afghan state in the 1990s.That is the conclusion drawn in this report by Borhan Osman of the Afghanistan Analysts Network and Anand Gopal, author of No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War through Afghan Eyes from interviews with members of the Taliban’s political wing and analysis of the movement’s official publications.
Partnerships are expected to play a critical role in sharing the knowledge, expertise, technology and financial resources that will support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. This report analyzes the role that global platforms and partnerships can play in catalyzing delivery of the new goals, brining together actors from multiple sectors behind a common set of objectives, enabling each other to play to their strengths and maximizing the contribution of others.
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.