Saturday, 27 October 2012

What is a Genocide?

What is a Genocide?

Genocide is mass murder - the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group.

What is the definition of a genocide according to the UN?

Article 2 of the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide defines genocide as...

"any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life, calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; [and] forcibly transferring children of the group to another group."

Where did the term genocide come from?

The term genocide was coined following the Holocaust in WW2. Since then, it seems that as a human race, we have still not learnt from the horrors of the Holocaust.

Examples of 'genocide'

In the Bosnian genocide of 1995, 8000 Bosnian men and boys were slaughtered in Srebrenica. In the Rwandan Genocide an estimated 800,000 people were slaughtered within 3 months in 1994.  I will be blogging about the Rwandan genoide in the next article.

Friday, 19 October 2012

What is International Development?

What is International Development?

International development is concerned with the long term development of countries and communities in the developing world.  International development work combines academic theory and research with practical implementation of development work on the ground.

What is International Development concerned with?

International development is concerned with developmental and policy level decisions that can alleviate poverty and improve the living conditions of a population.  Therefore, International development may include work to develop infrastructure, education and health care systems.  It can also include working closely with governments of (often previously colonised) countries. For eample, the Africa Governance Initiative (set up by Tony Blair) works closely with the governments of African countries such as Rwanda and Malawi to help them to develop independence.

Should International Development be seen as different to Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief?

Yes, the main difference is that international development's focus on long term effects. Some humanitarian aid and disaster relief may involve short term or emergency supplies such as food and medical supplies. International Development would be more concerned with the long term re-development. such as the development schools and hospitals is a post-conflict or disaster area.

What are the challenges of International Development?

International developments key concern in sustainability. It aims to fulfil the needs of the people themselves, rather than what aid workers 'think' that other countries need. This means that a lot of research and collaborative work is needed to make international development a success, which can be challenging.

International development workers need to have a sound understanding of political and historical contexts of developing countries. They also need to understand the bigger picture and long term plans for a country.  This can be challenging on a personal level when someone wants to help a particular individual, but this would not fulfil the aims of their international development project.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Welcome to my International Development Blog

After spending time in India and Rwanda, I wanted to create a blog to discuss current issues relating to international development. I have an MA in South Asian studies and I am the founder of Kigali Crafts Ltd. I hope that you will find my blog informative and inspiring. I don't claim to be a political expert, so please comment on my blog to share your knowledge. Please be aware that the blog is for information on international development issues, not political opinion!