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Abstract: China and India remain locked in a stagnant embrace when it comes to the most intractable of security dilemmas: the Sino-Indian border issue. A closer look at Chinese and Indian strategic, scientific and academic experts' security perceptions vis-à-vis one another reveals that there is much more to the Sino-Indian security dynamic than meets the eye. Chinese and Indian strategic analysts hold divergent interests when evaluating each other's military modernization, the former preoccupied with India's naval development and the latter with China's army. Technical analysts in each country share a similar level of interest in the other's aviation and aerospace programs. Scholars exhibit a strong, if not symmetrical, level of focus on the other country's nuclear strategy and status. Using this tripartite discourse as a baseline, this essay provides both a quantitative and qualitative analysis of each group's perceptions to better understand Sino-Indian security relations and to propose measures within each arena to enhance mutual understanding. It shows that the Sino-Indian security dilemma cannot be simply viewed through the prism of the border anymore.
Abstract: On June 2, 2011, Peacebuild, with the financial support of the International Development
Research Centre, convened a day-long discussion on the tumultuous changes taking place in the
Middle East and North Africa.
Objectives for the roundtable were to share up-to-date information on current and longer-term
political issues and dynamics, to assess areas for possible support for democratic transitions in
the region, identify areas of relevant Canadian expertise – diaspora, NGO, academic, business
sector, governmental -- and, based on the discussion, generate a set of policy options and/or
recommendations for people-to-people support, NGOs, academics and the Government of
Participants in Cairo, Ottawa and Montreal were linked into a wide-ranging discussion, which
first focused on hearing activist and expert views from the epicentre of regional change – Egypt.
Among the questions explored with human rights activist Hossam Baghat, strategic analyst
Mustafa El-Labbad, activist author May Telmissany and IDRC regional expert Roula El-Rifai were
the makeup of the reform movements in the region and their objectives, what is the real extent
of political Islam’s influence in the Middle East and what has been the role of the armed forces
in the transitions?
Abstract: The Palestinian Center for Human Rights has prepared this
report for the July 2011 High-Level Segment of UN-ECOSOC. This
session will review the implementation of the education-related
Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations
Development Agenda, which pledged to achieve universal primary
schooling by 2015.
The right to education constitutes one of the most fundamental human
rights. It concerns the progressive development of the individual, both
as a person, and as a responsible citizen. It is one of the main factors
enabling an individual or family to raise their standard of living, and
is central to the progressive economic, social and cultural development
and growth of society. Specifically, with respect to the development
agenda, the 2000 Dakar Framework for Action highlighted that
"quality is at the heart of education", noting that "a quality education
is one that satisfies basic learning needs". Thus, PCHR note that the
education-related MDG can be said to contain a twin focus: on quality,
and universal accessibility.
As is widely acknowledged, the fulfillment of the MDGs is jeopardized
in conflict countries; within the 2000 Dakar Framework for Action,
governments identified conflict as "a major barrier towards attaining
Education for All". This is evident in the occupied Palestinian territory, where the achievement of the MDG on education – as with all
MDGs – is currently proving unattainable as a result of illegal policies
enacted as part of Israel’s longstanding occupation.
It is imperative that ECOSOC address the impact of Israel’s policies
and practices in the oPt – including occupied East Jerusalem – as they
are the core issue preventing the progressive achievement of the MDGs
and the human right to education.
PCHR note that Israel’s actions with regard to the right to education are
inconsistent with its binding obligations under international law. PCHR
asks that the international community take all appropriate measures to
end Israel’s repeated violations of international law which inhibit basic
human rights, including education, and development goals in the oPt.
The rule of international law must be upheld so that it can protect
civilians, and safeguard the rights of future generations.
Abstract: Since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in November 2006, one of the
greatest challenges for the Government of Nepal has been to maintain public security.
This has not been easy in a country where police posts and government offices were
displaced for many years as a result of the conflict. In the Terai in particular, non-state
armed groups have taken advantage of this law and order vacuum, and have engaged in
killings, abductions, threats and extortion. This has taken a severe toll on local
communities, and also on the morale of the police. In response, the Government of
Nepal has increased its police presence in the Terai and expanded the roles of the
paramilitary Armed Police Force and the Nepal Army in the context of national parks,
without a corresponding increase in support to and reform of the civilian police and
criminal justice system. There are preliminary indications that violent criminal activity
has decreased since the Government began implementation of its Special Security Plan
in 20091 . Though the Plan incorporates a commitment to protecting human rights, 2
credible allegations of unlawful killings have continued to surface, most of which,
according to information received by OHCHR, have gone uninvestigated.
OHCHR supports government efforts to counter criminal activity, increase public security
and enhance respect for the law, but stresses that these initiatives should be consistent
with international human rights standards and the Interim Constitution. Unfortunately,
over the years, OHCHR monitoring teams have documented a troubling pattern in which
the security forces resort to the use of excessive and sometimes unwarranted lethal
force during their operations. Drawing on OHCHR’s monitoring experience, this summary
of concerns attempts to identify problems of law, policy and practice that contribute to
persistent allegations of extra-judicial killings, and the failure to fully investigate such
allegations. It provides a tool to address extra-judicial killings with concrete and specific
recommendations developed in consultation with or building upon the work of partners
including members of civil society organizations, the National Human Rights Commission
- NHRC, the Office of the Attorney General, and police personnel at the regional and
district levels. The summary of concerns was developed with the cooperation of the
Nepal Police and Armed Police Force Human Rights Cells, and formal comments on a
draft version were received from the Nepal Police, Armed Police Force, NHRC, Office of
the Attorney General and the Nepal Army. OHCHR believes that strong and effective
policing can best be achieved by respecting international human rights standards.
Abstract: In Kyrgyzstan the risk of instability remains.
The country practices genuine elections
and power-sharing, is open to international
engagement, and promotes basic rights
such as free speech. In 2010 Kyrgyzstan
adopted a new Constitution, moving
away from a super-presidential model to
a system in which the president and the
parliament share power more equally. Its
economic performance is positive: the IMF
assessed that the economy recovered
quickly due to improved security and
political stability, better-than-expected
agricultural performance and a timely fiscal
stimulus. However, it is the only ex-Soviet
state to undergo two turbulent regime
changes – the so called ‘Tulip-1’and
‘Tulip-2’ revolutions of 2005 and 2010 –
and is affected by a strong regional split
between the North and the South, one of
the factors behind both ‘revolutions’. This
makes Kyrgyzstan a country of paradoxes
where it mixes positive developments with
severe threats to its stability.
Abstract: This report analyses the role of global arms trade in civil wars, focusing specifically on Sri Lanka. The war between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam - ltte - was one of the world’s most violent and long-lasting armed conflicts. An estimated 84 000 people lost their lives, while hundreds of thousands were displaced. Severe human rights abuses accompanied the armed conflict, which started in 1983 and ended with a government military victory over the ltte in 2009 – a victory that, however, did not end the underlying conflicts that had caused the war.
The experiences from Sri Lanka vividly illustrates how contemporary armed conflicts remain one of the most pressing global problems, causing death, displacement, poverty, social divides and personal trauma. Civil wars such as the one in Sri Lanka are enabled by weapons provided through the global arms trade. A global process is currently under way, aiming to develop an Arms Trade Treaty - att - – a comprehensive and binding agreement that would control the international trade in conventional weapons. The treaty is being negotiated in a series of preparatory committee meetings, leading up to a negotiating conference in 2012.
This in-depth study of arms supplies to Sri Lanka aims to contribute to the debate about arms trade and a potential international treaty. The report illustrates the workings of the global arms trade and the limitations of current arms trade regulations, while also connecting the arms deals to its real consequences in armed conflict. The report shows how the arms trade was part of and has affected both the conflict and conflict resolution attempts in Sri Lanka. It looks at the human suffering and economic consequences of the war, investigates from where the Sri Lankan government and the ltte obtained their weapons and, finally, identifies the gaps between arms trade regulations and the rhetoric by international actors, on the one hand, and the practices of arms trade on the other.
Abstract: Searching for the roots of terrorism after the attacks
of 9/11, the world’s attention turned to Pakistan and
to Pakistan’s religious schools, the “madrasas”. This
put pressure on the Pakistani government to reform
the madrasas and ignited a long standing debate on
the role of religious education in Pakistan and its links
to radicalisation and militancy. This policy brief argues
that the madrasa debate is not premised on a fair
description of reality. The madrasa sector is diverse.
The majority of Pakistan’s madrasas are moderate
institutions, concerned with promoting Islamic beliefs
and knowledge. This makes it important to distinguish
between moderate and militant madrasas. Madrasas
must be seen as part of an Islamic tradition of
learning, not primarily as political groups, but rather
as socio-cultural institutions that are revered by many
in Pakistan today.
The madrasa community has resisted state
interference and rejected government control over
curricula in favor of the authority of religious experts.
Likewise, madrasas are wary of financial dependence
on the government, which is associated with state
control. The government’s ambiguous relationship
to militant groups is also condemned by madrasas
who argue that the government is clamping down
on moderate schools, while madrasas known to have
links to militant groups are protected and therefore
Abstract: The present report was prepared pursuant to Security Council resolutions 1612
(2005) and 1882 (2009). It is the first report on the situation of children and armed
conflict in Iraq to be presented to the Security Council and its Working Group on
Children and Armed Conflict. It covers the period from January 2008 to December
The report highlights trends and patterns of grave violations committed against
children in the context of the continuing conflict in Iraq, such as the recruitment and
use of children; including use of children as suicide bombers, the killing and
maiming of children and attacks on schools and hospitals. The report also identifies
parties to the conflict responsible for such grave violations.
The report appreciates the security challenges facing the United Nations and
child protection stakeholders in Iraq, and notes that access to affected populations
and children for monitoring and verification purposes was not consistent. The report
welcomes the efforts of the Government of Iraq to address some of the child
protection concerns during the reporting period. The report also highlights areas for
advocacy and response, and concludes with a series of recommendations to all
parties in order to address remaining challenges and further enhance child protection.
Abstract: The decades-old conflict in Mindanao, southern Philippines, is often framed as a Muslim–
Christian conflict and reinterpreted as such within the US-led global war on terror, with the
Muslim secessionist movement standing accused of providing a hub for international jihad.
In the meantime, global economic integration has made it easier to ignore the agrarian roots
of violent conflict in Mindanao, enabling national and sub-national actors, including the
international community and the Muslim or Moro separatists, to dismiss the issue of
agrarian justice. We counter these arguments by using an agrarian political economy
framework to uncover the roots of resilient violence in Mindanao, using historical narratives
of the region from the end of the nineteenth century that accentuate the links between
state-making, control of land and labour, and processes of agrarian modernization. We
emphasize the critical role played by the Muslim landed elites who shaped processes of
state-making by brokering the interests of their clans with exogenous actors at the national
and international level.We shed light on emerging state policies and competing interests
among other landed and agribusiness elites that resulted in the spread of a parallel
underground economy, renewing opportunities for violence and crime within semiautonomous
Abstract: The Syrian uprising has defied conventional expectations
and patterns established elsewhere in the region from the
outset. It happened, first of all, and to many that in itself
was surprising enough. The regime was not alone in believing
in a form of Syrian exceptionalism that would
shield it from serious popular unrest. Once the uprising began,
it did not develop quickly, as in Egypt or Tunisia. Although
it did not remain peaceful, it did not descend into
a violent civil war, as in Libya, or sectarian affair, as in
Bahrain. To this day, the outcome remains in doubt. Demonstrations
have been growing in impressive fashion but
have yet to attain critical mass. Regime support has been
declining as the security services’ brutality has intensified,
but many constituents still prefer the status quo to an
uncertain and potentially chaotic future. What is clear,
however, is the degree to which a wide array of social
groups, many once pillars of the regime, have turned
against it and how relations between state and society
have been forever altered.
The regime’s first mistake in dealing with the protests was
to misdiagnose them. It is not fair to say that, in response
to the initial signs of unrest, the regime did nothing. It decreed
an amnesty and released several prominent critics;
officials were instructed to pay greater attention to citizen
complaints; and in a number of localities steps were taken
to pacify restive populations. But the regime acted as if
each and every disturbance was an isolated case requiring
a pin-point reaction rather than part of a national crisis that
would only deepen short of radical change.
Abstract: In recent months, relatively small demonstrations in Syria have developed into widespread mass protests. On 14 May, a devastating security operation began in Tell Kalakh, a town in the western governorate of Homs near the border with Lebanon. Scores of men were arbitrarily arrested, tortured and at least nine died in custody. Amnesty International considers that the Syrian army and security forces committed crimes and other violations during this security operation that, when taken in the context of other crimes and human rights violations elsewhere in Syria, amount to crimes against humanity.
Abstract: This paper is a gendered analysis of peacebuilding capacity in the context of forced migration. Scholars have tended to focus primarily on potential threats from conflict-generated diasporas1 rather than on how they contribute to peace processes in their homelands. Understanding how the millions of refugees affected by armed conflicts may, as non-state actors, help to facilitate peace making and peace building not only addresses some of the needs of refugees, but develops new policy and practices necessary to address contemporary ethno-political conflict. This study of women from Burma in exile reinforces the need to implement UNSCR 1325 in a way that strengthens the peace capacity of diaspora women‟s organizations in host countries as well as those at home.
Abstract: Almost a decade after the overthrow of the Taliban in Afghanistan, the government of President Hamid Karzai is promoting talks with them as well as other insurgent groups. Facing a never-ending cycle of instability and conflict; escalating violence and high numbers of civilian casualties as well as pressure for an exit strategy from troop-contributing countries, there is strong domestic and international consensus on the need for a negotiated settlement.
In January 2010, a few months after the disputed presidential elections in which Karzai re-claimed the presidency despite massive fraud, at an international conference on Afghanistan (the "London Conference"), he garnered support for a peace process that would "reintegrate" insurgents who are willing to come to the table. In June 2010, the government held a Consultative Peace Jirga (assembly) in which the framework was set for the reconciliation process (the jirga was boycotted by some opposition politicians and by the Taliban). This was followed up by another ―International Conference on Afghanistan‖, this time held in Kabul in July 2010, in order "to endorse an Afghan Government-led plan for improved stability," including "commitments by donors to support programs to reintegrate combatants."
Abstract: The war if Iraq has received only limited attention in the US media and various research centers over the last year. It remains, however, a critical aspect of US national security, and involves more vital US strategic interest than the conflict in Afghanistan.
This report provides an overview of the political, security, and economic developments in Iraq, as well as developments in the Iraqi energy sector and shifts in international and US aid to Iraq. It summarizes the current capabilities and size of Iraqi security forces (ISF), and their dependence on aid.
It also summarizes the cost of the war to date to the US, the patterns in the withdrawal of US forces, and current plans for the US military withdrawal from Iraq. A separate sections summarizes plans for US State Department-led effort to create a strategic partnership with Iraq under the Strategic Framework Agreement.
Abstract: Opium poppy cultivation has re-emerged in Balkh and Badakhshan in 2011. In Badakhshan,
it has spread across several districts in rainfed areas and, according to informal estimates,
the cultivated area has doubled from official figures of 1,100 hectares (ha) in 2010 to
around 2,200 ha. In Balkh—which was declared “poppy-free” in 2006—opium’s return
has been more location-specific; it is currently being planted openly on a small scale in
Chimtal District. While a rise in opium prices has played an important part, a range of
contextual factors including power, insecurity, social identity, agro-ecology and location
are also important in explaining the crop’s re-emergence, as well as the patterns of
difference within and between the two provinces.
Driven by a fall in production in the South in 2010, the rising price of opium is a
contributing factor to the expansion of cultivation. However, this has also taken place
in the context of a failing rural economy; many households are food insecure, rural
employment is scarce and there is rising insecurity. In the eyes of many rural informants,
promises made in 2006 to support the rural economy as a return for giving up opium
poppy cultivation have not been met. There is also a sense, especially in Badakhshan,
that southern provinces are being rewarded with greater levels of development funding
despite their failure to give up the crop.
Abstract: Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) moved into North Sudan's South Kordofan state capital Kadugli at the start of the month, triggering large-scale fighting with Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) units from the region. The UN reported heavy bombardment of villages by the SAF, widespread civilian casualties and at least 73,000 people forced to flee. It also accused the government of blocking aid deliveries and intimidating peacekeepers.
Violence spilled over into South Sudan, with several villages bombed by the North. On 28 June the government and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (North) signed an agreement on political and security arrangements for South Kordofan and Blue Nile states.
In Afghanistan, a standoff between parliament and President Hamid Karzai threatens to deepen the country's political crisis.
Proposals by Senegal's ruling party to amend the constitution were condemned by opposition politicians as undemocratic and sparked unprecedented violent protests.
Myanmar/Burma saw its worst clashes since 2009, as fighting broke out between government forces and the Kachin ceasefire group. Tens of thousands have been displaced and some 20 reportedly killed.
In Mexico, a number of incidents highlighted the deterioration in security around Monterrey, the country's second city, industrial hub and capital of Nuevo León state.
In Venezuela, speculation about President Hugo Chávez's health intensified, leading to infighting within his ruling PSUV party and highlighting the country's lack of alternative leadership.
Abstract: This 2010 Afghanistan Cannabis Survey updates the first-ever Afghanistan Cannabis Survey that was
produced in 2009 by the UNODC and the Ministry of Counter Narcotics (MCN). Based on years of
evidence from cannabis seizures that pointed to Afghanistan as a main cannabis producer, the 2009 survey
was the initial effort to systemically estimate cannabis cultivation and production in the country. The
findings confirmed Afghanistan’s role as a major grower of cannabis, but also discovered that the country
produced more cannabis resin or hashish than any other nation. The reason why was found to be the
country’s high yields, up to 145 kg of resin per hectare as compared to Morocco’s 40 kg per hectare.
The 2010 survey – based on data from yield studies, satellite imagery and village-level interviews with
farmers and headmen – found indications of both stability and change relative to the 2009 survey. Once
again, due to very high yields, Afghanistan produced the world’s largest supply of hashish, with a
production estimate of between 1,200 and 3,700 tons of cannabis resin a year – an estimate largely
unchanged from the year before when the resin yield was estimated to be 1,500 to 3,500 tons a year.
Abstract: This report updates Amnesty International’s Breaking the law: Crackdown on human rights
lawyers and legal activists in China (ASA 17/042/2009) published in 2009. Focusing on
new regulatory and policy instruments, the current report documents how the government
exerts control over lawyers in three ways: first, by trying to rein in their behaviour through
increasing demands to conform to party ideology; second, by using administrative procedures
to discipline and stop lawyers and others who have taken on human rights cases; and third,
by carrying out violent acts, illegal under China’s own laws, against people who persist when
all other forms of pressure on them have failed to end their human rights activism. In the most extreme case, human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng has now been forcibly disappeared for
more than a year in a second lengthy detention, leading to serious concerns for his safety. In
the last few months, other lawyers have also been subject to enforced disappearances; most
recently, Shanghai lawyer Li Tiantian was held incommunicado for three months before being
released in her home town in Xinjiang on 24 May 2011.
The report also sets out the latest developments in the cases highlighted in the 2009 report,
considers ways lawyers have challenged efforts to control them, and analyzes recent trends in
the development of the rule of law and in patterns of repression. It provides some evidence of
the impact that controls on human rights lawyers have had on citizens access to justice.
Abstract: Balochistan is Pakistans largest province,
comprising approximately 43 percent of the
countrys total land area. It is rich in mineral
resources and is the second major supplier of
natural gas in an energy-starved Pakistan. Control
over these resources and the extent of provincial
autonomy have long remained contentious issues.
But a larger issue has remained the exclusion of
the Baloch people from the decision making
regarding how their affairs are governed and
persistence of the state with the use of force to
address questions that are essentially political in
Earlier, HRCP had conducted detailed factfinding
missions to Balochistan in 2005 and 2009.
In October 2009, the entire Executive Council of
HRCP spent one week in Balochistan, visiting
various parts of the province to see firsthand the
human rights situation as well as to meet senior
government officials and representatives of the
people. At the conclusion of the 2009 mission,
HRCP had suggested the following
recommendations with a view to improve the
situation. These remain as relevant and direly
needed today as they were in 2009.
Abstract: The Pakistan government’s inability to provide for the security and prosperity of its own people has led to questions about its sovereignty, whether in terms of its monopoly of violence, fiscal solvency, or human security. But rather than asking questions of the Pakistani government, Pakistanis are content with blaming Washington for the country’s ills. Washington wants Pakistan to succeed, even though, admittedly, the United States has often compromised long-term goals for short-term access. Pakistan can certainly do better by following India’s example of self-sufficient economic growth. Pakistanis should also question Chinese and Saudi intentions as vigorously as they do those of the United States. Both countries have used Pakistan for their own interests, without attempting to invest in the country’s people. Pakistan can only escape the leash of donors and manipulative outsiders by raising revenue, securing its territory, providing for its citizens, and becoming a responsible international actor.
Abstract: Afghan civilians are caught in the middle of an intensifying military campaign against a fractured armed insurgency. Despite the U.S. military’s claims of progress, insurgent attacks are up by 50% over last year, and more than 250,000 people have fled their villages in the past two years. U.S. funded and trained militias are only exacerbating this explosive situation. As the U.S. begins to draw down its forces and transition responsibilities to the Afghan government, the Obama administration must mitigate further displacement and ensure that the Afghan government takes greater responsibility for the protection of displaced people. In addition, the UN must strengthen its capacity to respond to the growing humanitarian needs.
Abstract: The sea lanes of Indo-Pacific Asia are becoming more crowded, contested and
vulnerable to armed strife. The changing deterrence and
warfighting strategies of China, the United States and Japan involve expanded
maritime patrolling and intrusive surveillance, bringing an uncertain mix of
stabilising and destabilising effects.
Nationalism and resource needs, meanwhile, are reinforcing the value of territorial
claims in the East and South China seas, making maritime sovereignty disputes
harder to manage. Chinese forces continue to show troubling signs of assertiveness
at sea, though there is debate about the origins or extent of such moves. All of these factors are making Asia a danger zone for incidents at sea.
While the chance that such incidents will lead to major military clashes should not be
overstated, the drivers – in particular China’s frictions with the United States, Japan
and India – are likely to persist and intensify. As the number and tempo of incidents
increases, so does the likelihood that an episode will escalate to armed confrontation,
diplomatic crisis or possibly even conflict.
This report, part of the Lowy Institute’s MacArthur Foundation Asia Security
Project, explores the major-power maritime security dynamics surrounding China’s
rise. It focuses on the risks and the management of incidents at sea involving Chinese
interactions with the United States, Japan and India. The report concludes with some realistic recommendations to reduce risks of crisis
and escalation under conditions of continued mistrust.
Abstract: This document reformats the latest annual US State Department country reports on terrorism (http://www.state.gov/s/ct/rls/crt/2009/index.htm), to provide a single source showing the reports for the entire Middle East, North Africa, Central Asia, and South Asia.
This report provides an overview of US government assessments of the role of given state and non-state actors in sponsoring or conducting terrorist activities. It also describes the role of other states in fight internal terrorism and in cooperating in the international struggle against terrorism.
As such, it provides both a useful overview of official unclassified US government views, and a basis for discussing ways to improve cooperation in counterterrorism and conduct a dialogue on different US, other country, international organization, and independent expert views of terrorism and who should be designated as a terrorist.
Abstract: There are many definitions of terrorism and many ways to count it. The key, from a US policy viewpoint,
is how the US government makes that count and what data it uses for measuring the threat and shaping its
counterterrorism policies. With this in mind, the Burke Chair has compiled a set of tables showing
terrorist attacks in North Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, and South Asia from 2007-2010.