Current developments in Armenia, following the April 2018 revolution (also known as the ‘Velvet Revolution’) and the advent to power of Nikol Pashinian, seem to prompt a mix of optimism and caution.
Does the EU support capacity building in the security sectors of third countries which have a governance element or is it content to play down or forgo that governance aspect? In Dennis Blease’s opinion the former is SSR and the latter is not.
Even if gender equality were not a desirable objective in its own right, we know that gender equality is a key component of stability and security. It follows that gender analysis should inform all external conflict prevention interventions, and that gender equality should be moved from the periphery of EU conflict prevention to its heart, as a specific objective.
On 12 June 2018, the prime ministers of Greece and Macedonia signed an historic agreement on the new constitutional name of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), which will change to “Republic of Northern Macedonia”. This is expected to end a dispute which has poisoned the relations between the two countries since 1991, and to contribute to stability through a strategic partnership.
Despite growing political tensions, Pakistan had remained Afghanistan’s largest trading partner until 2015. However, from 2016 onwards, Iran has taken over as the country’s key trading partner. Understanding, and addressing, challenges to trade between Afghanistan and Pakistan will help both governments to revive economic ties.
How to re-introduce a degree of objectivity in thinking in countries debilitated by conflict is a task like any other in capacity building efforts. Arguably, if this is done successfully then the whole process can in simple terms take less time, and the problem of the lack of stamina amongst capacity builders is less of an issue.