Sunday Reads

Kissinger Charts A Path Forward In The Middle East
Writing in the Wall Street Journal, former secretary of state Henry Kissinger asserts that Russia’s involvement in Syria represents a fundamental shift in the Middle East and a resulting destabilization in the region not seen since 1973.

The lack of US leadership has left a vacuum which has been filled by chaos, including in Libya, Yemen, Syria and Iraq – all of whom have become “targets for nonstate movements seeking to impose their rule.” He adds that across Iraq and Syria, ISIS is now the greatest foe to world order.

In order to restore some semblance of order, Kissinger advocates moving away from a “public debate deals with tactical expedients” and the establishment of several principles — restraining ISIS; limiting Russia’s role in Syria; and restoring those lands conquered by ISIS to local Sunni rule.

Kissinger also says the US should “implement the military assurances in the traditional Sunni states that the administration promised during the debate on the Iranian nuclear agreement, and which its critics have demanded.”

The Need To Transform Africa’s Agriculture Sector
Rwandan President Paul Kagame contends that without a major transformation of how Africa feeds itself, the recent economic growth experienced in many nations will be limited by the inability of the rural poor to advance.

African agriculture is still dominated by small-scale farmers who lack access to productivity-boosting technology, focus mainly on a narrow range of products, and remain poorly linked to markets, manufacturing, and the broader economy,” he writes.

“Africa can and should be the world’s breadbasket. But to realize this vision – and to do it in an environmentally sustainable way – its agricultural sector must undergo a genuine transformation that entails higher capital investment, significant crop diversification, and improved linkages to burgeoning urban consumer markets,” adds Kagame, who co-wrote the piece with K.Y. Amoako, the head of the African Center for Economic Transformation.

Why Accountability Is Vital To Electoral Democracy
Several international development leaders sat down with Richard Jones of Devex to explain why accountability is essential to democracy.

Yves Leterme, the intergovernmental organization’s secretary-general, and Pippa Norris, an academic and director of the Electoral Integrity Project, were among the speakers.

The conversations are part of a series called Democracy Matters and is a joint effort of Devex and the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance.





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