Trade and aid policies can have profound impact on the economies and stability of the developing world, in both positive and negative ways. The recent Earthscan publication "Trade, Aid and Security – An Agenda for Peace and Development", edited by experts of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and the World Conservation Union (IUCN), demonstrates the most significant interactions of the linkages between trade, aid and security. Based on the assumption that these issues are mutually reliant, the authors show how their relationships play out, how they influence one another and how ignorance of these linkages not only unstuck benefits, but also aggravate an already difficult situation. The book outlines that peace and security are essential preconditions for achieving sustainable development, which is in turn an effective counter to conflict and insecurity.
With a focus on poor countries that are highly dependent on the extraction of natural resources, the authors argue for a conflict-sensitive approach to trade and aid policy as well as stronger emphasis on conflict prevention in the Common Foreign and Security Policy. Trade and aid can help tackle the underlying causes of conflict, but mismanagement or wide fluctuations of resource and aid revenues can trigger economic collapses, feed grievances and sustain repressive regimes. Examples of unsuccessful revenue deployment, such as Algeria and Iraq are contrasted with more successful cases such as Botswana and Mozambique. Transparency, accountability, revenue sharing and income stabilization are considered key issues in improving revenue management. The case of Rwanda is used to illustrate how aid policy failed and may be failing again in Nigeria and Bangladesh. The book provides a comprehensive reflection of how trade and aid relate to security, and demonstrates on a very practical level how trade and aid policy can be used to help forge security and sustainable development. (Christiane Roettger)
The book is available at Earthscan Publications.
The foreword by Lloyd Axworthy and the introduction by Duncan Brack are now available online at http://www.iucn.org/publications/
Published in: ECC-Newsletter, April 2007