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Development and Security
Two Sides of One Coin?

Sidney E. Dean, Editor

Hampton Roads International Security Quarterly
Vol. X, Nr. 4 (October 2010)

 In his recent address to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals summit, US President Barack Obama referred to development as a "strategic and economic imperative". Speaking at the same summit, German Chancellor Angela Merkel repeated the mantra "no development without security and no security without development."

The common point made is that development aid programs are not purely altruistic and humanitarian, but also carry a real benefit for the donor nations. Poverty, mass (especially youth) unemployment, and hunger are prime breeding grounds for radical ideologies. Extremist organizations, criminal cartels and even terrorist groups can buy themselves safe havens and loyalty by providing basic services where local (and foreign) governments fail to step in. The rise of Hezbollah in Lebanon is but one example. And undemocratic nations can coopt or undermine poor neighbors in the same way.

The only way to prevent or minimize such attempts at grass-roots influence is for democratic nations to provide the aid sooner and better. In the year 2000, UN members agreed to the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) aimed (among other things) at eradicating "extreme" poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education, and furthering gender equality. The target date for meeting these goals was (and is) the year 2015.

So where does the project stand today? This was the subject of the MDG 2010 summit held in New York on 20-22 September 2010. It is also the focus of Development and Security: Two Sides of the Same Coin? We begin with a few representative presentations by several European leaders as well as by US President Obama. We then reprint in full the text of the summit's official keynote document "Keeping the Promise: United to Achieve the Millennium Development Goals". Finally - to move from the general to an example of the specific - we include three contributions about the practical impact of energy development programs in Southeast Asia.