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Saskia Hollander

Saskia Hollander

Saskia Hollander is director of knowledge management at The Broker and programme coordinator and knowledge manager for INCLUDE, the Knowledge Platform on Inclusive Development Policies. She holds a PhD in political science from Radboud University Nijmegen. She previously worked at the Dutch Scientific Council for Government Policy (WRR) and the Advisory Council on International Affairs (AIV). Her professional interests include democratic institutions, the quality of democracy, political participation, and political and economic inequality.

The tragedy of the deprived

The reality behind the game of who gets what, when and how when it comes to natural resources, reveals a power play in which deprived groups in society get the short end of the stick. It also portrays an inherent tension between environmental protection and economic development, in which the pendulum generally swings in favour of the latter. As shown by the case studies analyzed in this article, although these imbalances of power are often obscured by focusing on non-political dimensions, they serve as important catalysts for resource-related conflicts, especially when they coincide with other structural socioeconomic, cultural and ethnic inequalities.

An unfinished symphony

In the last week of September, world leaders gathered in New York for the general debate marking the opening of the 68th UN General Assembly (GA). This was an important moment for the post-2015 process, as several events were organized on the global development agenda. The most vital of these was the UN Special Event towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which sets out the course for the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals (OWG), mandated to come up with a set of goals next year. Heads of state, ministers and various organizations were present to discuss the future agenda. The discussions showed that, with only two years to go, the UN is divided between middle and low income countries (MICs and LICs), which emphasize poverty reduction and economic development within an agenda based on differentiated responsibilities, and OECD countries, which prioritize a universal agenda integrating these elements with environmental sustainability.

Global action beyond aid

The Broker, together with the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM), and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, organized the Dutch launch of the 2013 European Report on Development (ERD), Post-2015: Global Action for an Inclusive and Sustainable Future. Moderated by Frans Bieckmann, chief-editor of The Broker, the event offered an informative presentation of the ERD’s main conclusions and reactions to it.

In search of EU ambition

Although the EU has great potential to push a more sustainable and inclusive development agenda, it suffers from a lack of ambition and prevalence of individual member states’ interests.

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