Commonwealth Ministers Reference Book, 2007 - Trade, Aid and Security: an agenda for peace and development

By Oli Brown on May 22, 2007
In this article for the Commonwealth Ministers Reference Book (CMRB), IISD project manager Oli Brown explores the links among trade, aid and conflict. The CMRB is the flagship annual publication of the Commonwealth Secretariat and is distributed to every government minister in the 53 countries of the Commonwealth. Previous authors for the CMRB include Professors Joseph Stiglitz and Jeffrey Sachs, and U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Most conflicts nowadays are within states - poor states - and most victims are civilians, not soldiers. Rather than focusing solely on reactive responses to conflict, we need to consider how current policies can have a negative effect - in fact, how they can systematically undermine peace and development. Trade and aid policies are two of the areas that require our attention most. Powerful conduits for money, technology, ideas and influence, they both reflect and reinforce global power disparities and, if poorly designed and managed, can undermine economic and political stability.

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The Commonwealth Ministers Reference Book
, 2007