The nations of the Global South are emerging as a new class of global actors in assuming a range of pivotal activities and strategic relationships in the realms of foreign policy, global trade, and international security. They are increasingly demonstrating their capabilities to compete and even bypass the North in the cultivation and management of international relations. This new global architecture includes the challenges posed by the “Emerging Markets” such as China and India but also encompass broader issues of international peace and security that concern a more diverse set of developing countries.
In order to better understand this emerging reconfiguration of the global order, the Center for Global Studies at George Mason University organized a day long workshop on “Emerging Donors: Shifting Agendas in Development and Security” on the 8th of April 2011, at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Washington D.C.
It brought together academics, researchers, and practitioners to identify the central questions relating to the new South-South relations.
The conference was organized around two panels – one on new donors and economic development and the second on new donors and provision of international security.
The first panel “Emerging Donors and Development Assistance, Interests and Conditionalities” focused on the characteristics of aid and other forms of development assistance that flow from the new emerging donor countries of the Global South to other poor and developing countries in the South (that include post-conflict countries).
The first morning session opened with “Understanding Emerging Donors” by Vijaya Ramachandran, a Senior Fellow at the Center for Global Development. She provided a comprehensive overview of India’s emergence as a new aid donor to countries of the Global South. She highlighted the importance of India’s transformation from an aid recipient to an aid donor in the recent past, and its growing economic clout through expansion of strategic investments, notably in the Sub-Saharan African region.
Sean Burges, a Lecturer at the Australian National University, talked about “Brazil’s Foreign and Development Policies.” He discussed at length the changing dynamics of the international development cooperation agenda of Brazil. Using recent data on Brazil’s aid flows, he highlighted the regional shift of Brazil’s aid flows – from one focused on Latin American region towards a broader focus on the African region.
The third panelist, Agnieszka Paczynska, an Associate Faculty at the Center for Global Studies, addressed “Emerging Donors and Post Conflict Reconstruction.” In her presentation she spoke about the emerging trends in aid assistance from the new donors directed towards post-conflict reconstruction. Using available bilateral data on aid flows, she mapped the various emerging patterns and threw light on the key players, the magnitude of assistance, and the sectors to which they have been targeted to, particularly in the post-conflict countries.
The second panel “Emerging Donors and Provision of Security” discussed the provision of international security by the emerging donors.
Paul Amar, an Associate Professor at University of California Santa Barbara, gave a talk entitled “Global South to the Rescue: Brazil and Egypt as Emerging Leaders in Peacekeeping.” He outlined the role of Egypt and Brazil as emerging leaders in peacekeeping in the Latin American and African regions and delved into the historical evolution of Egypt’s role as a crusader of contemporary military humanitarianism in its neighboring region in Africa.
Eva Busza, the Director of the Strategic Planning Unit in the Executive Office of the Secretary General of the United Nations, expressed her views on “Global Health and Counter-Terrorism: New Security Challenges and the Role of the Global South.” She was particularly interested in the response of the ‘Global South’, notably the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) on global health and counter-terrorism, the two major emerging global threats today.
Brian Finlay, a Senior Associate at the Stimson Center, presented on “Countertrafficking and Proliferation Prevention: Bridging the Security/Development Divide in the Global South.” He examined the innovative ways in which the governments of the Global South were trying to be active participants in the non-proliferation space. He emphasized the need to learn the right lessons from such models adopted by the countries of the Global South.
The lunch keynote address “Rogue Donors? China and Other Challenges to the ‘Global’ Aid Regime,” was delivered by Deborah Bräutigam, Professor at the American University. Her lecture focused on the nature and quality of China’s aid flows to the African region. Her primary concern consisted of some of the commonly constructed “myths” about the nature of Chinese investments in Africa and she provided a detailed account of her findings from field research in Africa in tracking Chinese investments.
The workshop concluded with a roundtable discussionon directions for future research.
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