Browse by Theme: Conflict & Fragility

Opium dominates political and economic life in Afghanistan to an extent unparalleled anywhere in the world.

Years of war and years of drought have created a fertile environment for opium poppies to thrive, as the state weakened and farmers' access to other markets collapsed.

Today, the thriving opium economy - and the insecurity it breeds - are the greatest threats to building a stable, secure Afghanistan.

The impact of the Afghan opium trade is far-reaching both within Afghanistan and globally.

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On 31 October 2000 the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1325, which stands as a landmark for the recognition of women’s rights in armed conflict.

Women are not only recognized as victims, but also as important actors in the post-war reconstruction.

The resolution addresses the need to increase women’s representation in peace processes and to support women’s peace initiatives.

It also addresses women’s vulnerability in armed conflict, particularly through gender based violence, and the need to prosecute such crimes.

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Humanitarian agencies are experiencing unprecedented threats and dilemmas in their work.

The conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq in particular have led some to identify a new ‘politicisation’ of aid.

Aid workers in both places have died in unprecedented numbers; coalition armies have used humanitarian assistance as both a tactic to win hearts and minds, and as a reward for intelligence gathering and cooperation.

The use of the word political is wide of the mark, however.

Humanitarian agencies are themselves political; humanitarianism has never been as political as in the last decade with its radical calls for military intervention to prevent and contain conflict.

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