The Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) and OEF Research, a program of the One Earth Future Foundation (OEF) co-hosted a presentation and panel discussion on the role of local business communities in repairing fragile states.
Fragile States continue to garner international attention, and the need to overcome this problem cannot be ignored. They put pressure on the global community by creating devastating poverty and restricted access to basic services for citizens. Fragile States also produce terrorism, piracy, human trafficking, and other dark network activity that puts the well-being of the global community in danger at much higher rates than secure states. One key way to address these problems is through the influence and conduct of the business community.
This event began with a presentation on the new report Firm Behavior in Fragile States: The Cases of Somaliland, South Sudan, and Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, and the panelists discussed how the lessons learned from the report can be used in other regions and countries.
Director of the Al Quds Center for Political Studies, Oraib Al Rantawi, talks about how he moved from being a journalist to the head of the Al Quds Think-Tank. Al Rantawi was a reporter and journalist from 1978-1993, covering a wide array of topics for pan-Arab newspapers, including the civil war in Lebanon and the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Al Rantawi and guest host Anna Kompanek further discuss Al Quds partnership with CIPE, working for the past decade to engage political parties in Jordan with the economic reform process. They discuss the progress that has been made since the beginning of the partnership, as well as the political climate in Jordan and the opening space for public-private dialogue.
This podcast was recorded in the field, and the sound quality may vary.
Senior Manager for Strategic Partnerships at the Alliance for Peacebuilding Stone Conroy discusses the processes and vehicles that organizations can use to resolve conflict. He also discusses the need to engage a wide range of players in these efforts including businesses, non-profits, governments, the media, military, academia, and others. Conroy also talks about the drivers behind conflict, and identifies “a sense of injustice” as one of the most powerful forces for dissatisfaction that can lead to violence.
Conroy describes a project in Nigeria and how the marketplace brought people together, providing an opportunity for peacebuilding. He talks about how business associations can contribute to peace and conflict resolution, using Northern Ireland as an example. He describes the Northern Ireland business alliance, a collection of companies drawn together because of the conflict, as the “unsung heroes” of the Irish peace process. He talks about the convening power of business association and how they can gather a wide range of stakeholders to address a conflict situation.
Finally, he discusses a new, cutting-edge Alliance project bringing together peacebuilders, spiritual leaders and neuroscientists to look at how the brain can be “rewired” to be more peaceful. Pilot projects are planned for Minneapolis, Chicago, and in Bogota, Colombia. He also discusses previous work of this type with gang members, rewiring the way they respond to an attack or situation to reduce the likelihood of continued violence in communities.
Recording of an event CIPE recently co-hosted with the International Real Property Foundation on the topic The Role of Property Rights and Property Markets in Sustainable Urbanization and Economic Growth. Listen to experts discuss how property rights and the institutions that support them –ranging from appropriate regulation to transparent financial markets– are key to sustainable development. Robust private property markets promote social stability, strengthen democratic institutions, and promote economic growth.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) call for equal rights, in particular by the poor and the vulnerable, to ownership and control over land and other forms of property. The SDGs also call for inclusive and sustainable urbanization, an imperative echoed at the recent United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (HABITAT III). Important progress has been made. Yet, billions of people around the world today still remain without access to secure property rights and the means to build sustainable settlements and economies.
The event speakers explored these global reform priorities, and how to accelerate and measure progress. This event took place on the sidelines of the World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty.
Maya Eristavi, CIPE's representative with USAID’s Governing for Growth (G4G) Project, talks about the role of women in Georgian society and how women in business have been taking on a larger role in society, especially since the fall of the Soviet Union. She also talks about the young entrepreneurs and businesswomen who have benefitted from the comprehensive free-trade agreement Georgia has with Europe.
Maya also reflects in growing up in Tiblisi, studying abroad in America in the late 90s, and how this shaped her attitude towards business and put her on the path to where she is today.