President Obama has announced that the U.S, will maintain 8,400 troops in Afghanistan until the end of his term. The international military presence does not only affect the balance of forces between the government and the Taliban insurgency based in Pakistan.
Agenda 2030 states that “there can be no sustainable development without peace and no peace without sustainable development.” Peace is identified as one of five areas of ‘critical importance for humanity and the planet’ – along with people, prosperity, the planet, and partnership:
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.