In a world where borders matter less and where seemingly faraway threats can become immediate problems, the fight against poverty is no longer a matter of just doing the right thing – it is a matter of doing the smart thing to ensure security at home and abroad. As seen across the globe, by exhausting institutions, depleting resources, weakening leaders and crushing hope, extreme poverty fuels instability that often leads to armed conflict and can be a breeding ground for terrorists. The reverse is also true: insecurity stemming from conflict and demographic and environmental challenges makes it harder for leaders, institutions and other stakeholders to address poverty. Simply put, poverty is both a cause of insecurity and a product of it.
To explore this tangled web, in August 2006 the Brookings Blum roundtable discussed the challenges and possible solutions with a diverse group of leaders, including policymakers, business executives and academics, and developed recommendations for change.
|2006 Brookings Blum Roundtable: Related Materials|
- Global Poverty, Conflict and Insecurity
- Susan Rice, The Brookings Institution, “Global Poverty, Weak States and Insecurity”
- Edward Miguel, University of California, Berkeley, “Global Poverty, Conflict and Insecurity”
- Operating in Insecure Environments
- Jane Nelson, Harvard University, “Operating in Insecure Environments”
- Keynote Address: “Achieving Peace in an Inequitable World”
- James D. Wolfensohn, Chairman of Citigroup International Advisory Board and Former President of the World Bank
- The Role of Leadership in Overcoming Poverty & Security in Africa
Chaired by: Mary Robinson, Realizing Rights: The Ethical Globalization Initiative
- Robert Rotberg, Harvard University, “The Role of Leadership in Overcoming Poverty & Insecurity in Africa”
- Mohammed Ibrahim, Chairman, Celtel International
- John Kachamila, Former Minister, Mozambique
- Ketumile Masire, Former President of Botswana
- Resource and Environmental Insecurity
- Colin Kahl, University of Minnesota, “Demography, Environment and Civil Strife”
- Anthony Nyong, University of Jos, Nigeria, “Resource and Environmental Security”
- Keynote Address
- Kemal Dervis, Administrator, United Nations Development Programme
- Youth and Conflict
- Henrik Urdal, The International Peace Research Institute, “The Demographics of Political Violence: Youth Bulges, Insecurity and Conflict”
- Marc Sommers, Tufts University, “Embracing The Margins: Working with Youth Amidst War and Insecurity”
- Jane Nelson, Harvard University, “Operating in Insecure Environments: The Youth Demographic”
- Transformational Diplomacy and the Route to Security
- Jennifer Windsor, Freedom House, “Breaking the Poverty-Insecurity Nexus: Is Democracy the Answer?”
- Philip Zelikow, United States Department of State
- Madeleine Albright, 64th Secretary of State
- Mary K. Bush, Chairman, HELP Commission
- Lael Brainard, The Global Economy and Development Program, The Brookings Institution
Poverty is both a cause of insecurity and a product of it. To explore this tangled web, in August 2006, the Brookings Blum Roundtable discussed the challenges and possible solutions with a diverse group of leaders, including policymakers, business executives and academics, and developed recommendations for change.
My biggest concern is that Washington is signaling to Russia that it’s OK to meddle in the politics of sovereign nations which are your neighbors. Meddling is going on from Paris to Ukraine, from east to west and north to south, within Europe and at its borders, and always with the intent of undermining the credibility and effectiveness of democratic institutions. And it is being either denied or downplayed.