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Abstract: The new publication proposes a working definition of water security developed from contributions made by the broad range of organizations, agencies, programmes and institutions that form UN-Water. It is intended to serve as a starting point for dialogue on water security in the UN system. The Brief, produced by UN-Water Task Force on Water Security, aims to capture the dynamic and constantly evolving dimensions of water and water-related issues, and offers a holistic outlook for addressing water challenges through the umbrella of water security.
Abstract: Le présent rapport se penche sur la fourniture irresponsable et/ou illégale d'armes et de matériel en
rapport aux parties en conflit en Côte d'Ivoire et sur leur utilisation abusive, plus particulièrement lors
du conflit armé de janvier à avril 2011. Il entend ainsi prouver la nécessité d'une action plus
énergique de la communauté internationale en vue d'aider la Côte d'Ivoire à mettre fin à la survenue
persistante de crimes relevant du droit international et de violations graves des droits humains, y
compris des cas de violences liées au genre envers les femmes et des filles.
Les points troublants abordés dans ce rapport posent des questions fondamentales à la communauté
internationale concernant l’absence de contrôle effectif par les États des transferts internationaux
d’armes classiques et notamment la facilité relative avec laquelle les embargos des Nations unies sur
les armes peuvent être tournés.
Sur la base d’une analyse des faits, le rapport propose des recommandations essentielles. Amnesty
International exhorte tous les États membres des Nations unies, ainsi que les États non membres
chargés d'une mission d'observateur permanent auprès des Nations unies, à déployer tous les efforts
possibles lors de la prochaine conférence finale des Nations unies sur le Traité sur le commerce des
armes, prévue du 18 au 28 mars 2013, pour se mettre d'accord sur un texte prévoyant des règles
solides pour protéger les droits humains et faire respecter le droit international humanitaire. Ces
règles doivent être cohérentes avec les obligations qui incombent aux États conformément au droit
international, et permettre aux États de réglementer de manière efficace, par le biais de mécanismes
de contrôle solides et transparents, tous types d'armes, de munitions et d'équipement associé, y
compris les technologies, les pièces et les composants. Amnesty International est convaincue que le
cas de la Côte d’Ivoire, parmi d'autres, offre la preuve que, sans la mise en oeuvre solide d'un Traité
solide sur le commerce des armes dans le monde, ainsi que d'autres mesures spécifiques prises par
la communauté internationale, les embargos sur les armes décidés par le Conseil de sécurité des
Nations unies, comme celui imposé à la Côte d'Ivoire en novembre 2004, continueront d'être violés.
Abstract: This is a summary of an event held at Chatham House on 4 March 2013. The speakers discussed the humanitarian situation in Burma, arguing that improvements in human rights have not kept pace with the country's momentum towards political and economic reform.
Abstract: On March 25, the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence at Brookings hosted General John Allen, former commander of the International Security Assistance Force, for a discussion of the U.S. and NATO mission in Afghanistan.
General Allen led forces in Afghanistan for 19 months, from mid-2011 through February 2013. Prior to that, Allen was deputy commander of the U.S. Central Command from June 2008 through mid-2011. Brookings Senior Fellow Michael O'Hanlon, just back from his most recent research trip to Afghanistan, joined General Allen in a discussion on the mission as it progressed during his time in command through the current period.
Abstract: This policy brief examines the steps needed to improve women’s participation in peacekeeping, highlights the problem inherent in commonly cited arguments for increasing women peacekeepers and proposes key recommendations.
In recent years some UN member states have attempted to increase the number of women in peacekeeping operations (PKOs) (including introducing all-female units) as part of an effort to mainstream gender in UN institutions, but also to challenge and transform the predominantly masculine PKO culture. However, these efforts are largely isolated and ad hoc. While all these efforts aim at increasing the number of women participants in PKOs, achieving gender balance does not automatically translate into gender equality or gender mainstreaming.
To increase the meaningful participation of women in PKOs, women need to be integrated into senior, decision-making and leadership posts; all-female contingents should be trained and deployed in, and integrated into mixed-gender environments; and deploy women who are ready to substantively change the PKO environment. Numerical targets, women’s “feminine qualities” and quick fixes for addressing sexual violence in PKOs aside, policymakers should deploy women to assist in gender mainstreaming in PKOs and in changing local women’s lives.
Abstract: Human rights are under severe threat in the North Caucasus, a region in the Russian Federation
comprising six republics – Chechnya, Dagestan, Ingushetia, Kabardino-Balkaria, Karachaevo-Cherkessia
and North Ossetia – as well as Stavropol Krai (Region)1. The day-to-day lives of many people in the North
Caucasus, as well as the wider political, economic and social context in this region of the Russian
Federation, are very much defined by the threat which armed groups pose to security and the response
from the Russian authorities. With regularly reported attacks against law enforcement officials, members
of local administrations, prominent figures and members of the general public, the Russian authorities are
faced with the need, and in fact have an obligation, to ensure that the local population can enjoy security.
However, any efforts to combat the threat posed by armed groups, and in particular to identify and bring
to justice those responsible for any alleged crimes, must observe the rule of law and fully respect human
For years, Amnesty International has been receiving regular reports of human rights violations in the North
Caucasus committed by members of law enforcement agencies in the context of the fight against armed
groups. The organization has researched and documented numerous cases of human rights violations in
the region, which include torture and other ill-treatment, as well as enforced disappearances and
extrajudicial executions.2 Such violations are frequently characterised also by the lack of adequate
response on the part of the Russian authorities. More often than not in such cases, the alleged violations
are not investigated promptly, thoroughly, effectively, independently and impartially as required by
international law.3 Other institutions too, have expressed concerns about the authorities’ failure to
investigate and the problem of impunity in the region. In relation to the cases of a number of “human
rights activists, lawyers and journalists”, the PACE expressed “its bewilderment and anguish at the fact
that to date none of these cases has been elucidated by the investigating system” and insisted that the
authorities “bring to trial in accordance with the law all culprits of human rights violations, including
members of the security forces, and to clear up the many crimes which have gone unpunished”.4
Abstract: Preventive diplomacy and conflict prevention are intended to stop armed conflicts before they
escalate. Conflict prevention is a broader concept referring to the monitoring, containment,
and reduction of risk factors that shape war onset, intensification, and spread. Both constructs
were conceived in the latter half of the 20th century, which was characterised by a sizeable
array of international or interstate wars. There has since been a growth in capacities to
anticipate and prevent conflicts before they erupt. This report considers historical trends,
emerging opportunities, and recurrent challenges associated with preventive diplomacy and
conflict prevention. Recommendations for future conflict prevention activities include sharing
but not aligning conflict analyses, aligning conflict analyses with local understandings and
terminology, researching drivers of peace separately from drivers of violence, studying the
micro-determinants of success in preventive action, beginning a dialogue on the co-ordination
of preventive action, and ensuring sufficient and flexible financing for preventive action.
Abstract: Bien qu’elle ait le potentiel d’être l’une des nations les plus riches d’Afrique, la RDC demeure en bas du podium sur la liste des pays en termes d’index de développement humain. Ceci est en partie dû à des structures étatiques faibles, à la corruption, aux problèmes de gouvernance, et à des décennies de violence qui continuent de toucher l’est du pays. Les groupes armés congolais et étrangers à l’Est se battent pour le pouvoir, pour les ressources naturelles, ou à cause de différences ethniques.
Abstract: This document provides an overview of the origins and current challenges of displacement flows by refugees and IDPs in Afghanistan. Furthermore, it presents, based on an open-source research, the potential flows that could occur in Afghanistan post 2014. Related information is available at www.cimicweb.org. Hyperlinks to source material are highlighted in blue and underlined in the text.
Abstract: Western governments focus heavily on the presence of Islamist extremists in the
Sahel and have provided technical assistance in an attempt to strengthen the
capacity of the security sectors and justice systems in the countries of the region
to hold them back. But the preoccupation with West Africa’s war on terror has
meant that the destabilising impact of organised crime has been consistently
underestimated, if not ignored altogether. As rebuilding begins in Mali, all signs
point to the same oversight happening again. Organised crime is not the primary
driver of the current conflict in Mali, but any effort to stabilise or resolve this
conflict should explicitly take the presence of organised crime, illicit resource
flows and criminal networks into account.
Abstract: While the planning process for the deployment of the African-led international support mission to Mali (AFISMA) was laboriously under way, events followed in rapid succession when the armed groups occupying the northern part of the country seized the town of Konna on 10 January 2013. This offensive triggered the French military `Operation Serval` and the arrival of AFISMA troops, including in Bamako, in support to the Malian army. In light of the new situation introduced by the military intervention, this report aims at analyzing the changing political and security dynamics while assessing the prospects for the management of the profound crisis of governance that contributed to taking Mali to the edge of the abyss.
Abstract: Alors que le processus de planification du déploiement de
la Mission internationale de soutien au Mali sous conduite
africaine (MISMA) se mettait laborieusement en place,
les évènements se sont subitement accélérés, avec la
prise, le 10 janvier 2013, de la localité de Konna par les
groupes armés qui occupaient la partie septentrionale
du pays. Le déclenchement subséquent de l’opération
militaire française Serval et le début du déploiement
de la MISMA, y compris à Bamako, en appui à l’armée
malienne, induisent de nouvelles dynamiques politiques
et sécuritaires. Plus globalement, et à la lumière de cette
nouvelle donne, il s’agit d’évaluer les perspectives de
règlement de la profonde crise de gouvernance politique et
sécuritaire qui a mené le pays à la situation actuelle.
Nepal is one of the post-conflict countries affected by violence from explosive devices. We undertook this study to assess the magnitude of injuries due to intentional explosions in Nepal during 2008-2011 and to describe time trends and epidemiologic patterns for these events.
We analyzed surveillance data on fatal and non-fatal injuries due to intentional explosions in Nepal that occurred between 1 January 2008 and 31 December 2011. The case definition included casualties injured or killed by explosive devices knowingly activated by an individual or a group of individuals with the intent to harm, hurt or terrorize. Data were collected through media-based and active community-based surveillance.
Analysis included 437 casualties injured or killed in 131 intentional explosion incidents. A decrease in the number of incidents and casualties between January 2008 and June 2009 was followed by a pronounced increase between July 2010 and June 2011. Eighty-four (19.2%) casualties were among females and 40 (9.2%) were among children under 18 years of age. Fifty-nine (45.3%) incidents involved one casualty, 47 (35.9%) involved 2 to 4 casualties, and 6 involved more than 10 casualties. The overall case-fatality ratio was 7.8%. The highest numbers of incidents occurred in streets or at crossroads, in victims' homes, and in shops or markets. Incidents on buses and near stadiums claimed the highest numbers of casualties per incident. Socket, sutali, and pressure cooker bombs caused the highest numbers of incidents.
Intentional explosion incidents still pose a threat to the civilian population of Nepal. Most incidents are caused by small homemade explosive devices and occur in public places, and males aged 20 to 39 account for a plurality of casualties. Stakeholders addressing the explosive device problem in Nepal should continue to use surveillance data to plan interventions.
Abstract: This paper reports the results of a study undertaken during 2012 by Tufts University for the Assessment Capacities Project (ACAPS), as part of the latter’s “Operational Learning” strand of work. This study is designed to complement the work of ACAPS on strengthening needs assessment by addressing the question of how assessments and other sources of information and analysis are used by humanitarian decision makers. The study is based on a combination of literature review, case studies, and key informant interviews.
The pressure to demonstrate that responses and claims about impact are grounded in evidence has been growing over recent years. Humanitarian donors are increasingly under similar pressures to demonstrate effectiveness and account for impact. This is partly a matter of showing that their decisions regarding policies and programs are well-founded and evidence-based. But, humanitarian contexts are almost by definition ‘‘non-ideal” for gathering data. Decisions often have to be made quickly, sometimes with relatively little access to current information or accurate data. The question about informed decision making may therefore come down to what constitutes a “well enough” informed decision in the circumstances; or what constitutes “good enough” information and analysis on which to base a response. Whatever the quality of information, no assumption can be made that the increased availability of good information and analysis will in itself result in better informed decisions. In reviewing the way decisions are made in practice, the study considers the ways in which such information is used (or not) at different points in the process, which varies across different kinds of decisions in different contexts.
The study is based around three main questions. First, how do decision makers in the humanitarian sector currently use information and analysis? Second, what factors, other than information and analysis, are influential in making decisions? Third, what would enable better-informed response decisions? In order to address these overarching questions, the study looks first at some of the main processes of decision-making in the humanitarian sector and the factors that appear to have most influence on decisions of different kinds. It goes on to look at the way information and analysis is currently generated in the humanitarian sector—both through formal and informal means—and related questions of relevance and credibility. These two topics are then brought together in addressing the question of the use of information by decision makers, and what might enable more informed and evidence-based response decisions.
Abstract: The premise of most Western thinking on counterinsurgency is that success depends on establishing a perception of legitimacy among local populations. The path to legitimacy is often seen as the improvement of governance in the form of effective and efficient administration of government and public services. However, good governance is not the only possible basis for claims to legitimacy. The author considers whether, in insurgencies where ethno-religious identities are salient, claims to legitimacy may rest more on the identity of who governs, rather than on how whoever governs governs. This monograph presents an analytic framework for examining these issues and then applies that framework to two detailed local case studies of American counterinsurgency operations in Iraq: Ramadi from 2004-05; and Tal Afar from 2005-06. These case studies are based on primary research, including dozens of interviews with participants and eyewitnesses. The cases yield ample evidence that ethno-religious identity politics do shape counterinsurgency outcomes in important ways, and also offer qualified support for the argument that addressing identity politics may be more critical than good governance to counterinsurgent success. Key policy implications include the importance of making strategy development as sensitive as possible to the dynamics of identity politics, and to local variations and complexity in causal relationships among popular loyalties, grievances, and political violence.
Abstract: Reckless and illegal arms supplies from Europe, Africa and China to the warring parties in Côte d'Ivoire over the past decade continue to fuel grave human rights abuses and violent crime in the country, Amnesty International said in a detailed report launched at the United Nations (UN) headquarters.
This report documents how a handful of states and a network of multinational arms traffickers supplied weapons and munitions to both sides in the conflict who committed war crimes and a range of human rights abuses including horrific violence against women and girls.
The arms transfers took place both before and after the UN Security Council imposed an arms embargo on the country in November 2004.
Abstract: The International Dialogue on Migration 2012 aims to enhance synergies between humanitarian and migration perspectives in the search for appropriate responses to migration crises. The second workshop in the series focuses on the plight of migrants who are caught up in crises in their countries of transit or destination. When countries of destination or transit experience political turmoil, conflict or natural disasters, their migrant populations often have few means to escape and ensure their own safety. Risks and vulnerabilities are exacerbated when migrants are in an irregular situation, or when countries of origin lack the resources, capacity and access to protect and assist their nationals abroad. Some migrants may be unable or unwilling to leave the crisis zone, while others may be forced to cross borders into neighbouring countries. As a result, repercussions may be felt regionally and beyond. Ultimately, migrants may escape crises by returning or being evacuated to their countries of origin, but challenges do not end there: countries of origin may struggle to receive and reintegrate large numbers of returnees, while the sudden loss of remittances may leave their families and home communities without income. The departure of migrant workers may also leave gaps in the labour markets of countries of destination which may in fact depend on migrant labour for post-crisis recovery and reconstruction.
The overall objective of the workshop is to support States in devising a framework of policies and actions to address the situation of migrants in crisis situations. Consistent with IOM's mandate and Strategy Document (activity 7), the IDM provides a forum for IOM Member and Observer States, as well as international and non-governmental organizations and other partners, to share experiences and perspectives on migration matters with a view to identifying practical solutions and fostering greater cooperation.
Abstract: This is a transcript of a speech made by Sir John Holmes, UN Emergency Relief Coordinator (2007-10), on 14 March 2013 at Chatham House.
Sir John Holmes argue that despite the best efforts of humanitarian organizations, the provision of aid to the world's most vulnerable groups is not immune from political interference. He discussed the problems of dealing with the governments of both donor and recipient countries, drawing on his experiences in Sudan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Burma.
Abstract: The issue of terrorist motivations and pathways towards violent extremism has been the subject of numerous studies in recent years. Much of that work, however, has focused on open source literature. Less attention has been given to understanding the individuals themselves and their personal experiences within terrorist organisations.
To help address this gap, ASPI and the Centre of Excellence for National Security, a constituent research unit of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) in Singapore, undertook a joint research project to conduct personal interviews with members of the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) terrorist organisation who are serving or have served prison sentences in Indonesia. The project was directed by Carl Ungerer.
Abstract: After years of intense, cartel-related bloodshed that has claimed tens of thousands of lives and shaken Mexico, new President Enrique Peña Nieto is promising to reduce the murder rate. The security plan he introduced with the backing of the three biggest parties gives Mexico a window of opportunity to build institutions that can produce long-term peace and cut impunity rates. But he faces many challenges. The cartels have thousands of gunmen and have morphed into diversified crime groups that not only traffic drugs, but also conduct mass kidnappings, oversee extortion rackets and steal from the state oil industry. The military still fights them in much of the country on controversial missions too often ending in shooting rather than prosecutions. If Peña Nieto does not build an effective police and justice system, the violence may continue or worsen. But major institutional improvements and more efficient, comprehensive social programs could mean real hope for sustainable peace and justice.
The development of cartels into murder squads fighting to control territory with military-grade weapons challenges the Mexican state’s monopoly on the use of force in some regions. The brutality of their crimes undermines civilian trust in the government’s capacity to protect them, and the corruption of drug money damages belief in key institutions. Cartels challenge the fundamental nature of the state, therefore, not by threatening to capture it, but by damaging and weakening it. The military fight-back has at times only further eroded the trust in government by inflicting serious human rights abuses. Some frustrated communities have formed armed “self-defence” groups against the cartels. Whatever the intent, these also degrade the rule of law.
Abstract: Global policy highlights the importance of women’s participation in peace processes and peacebuilding. Yet the impact of international commitments is not felt on the ground. Most peace agreements do not address the specific concerns of women. And women are still excluded from political processes.
This first Accord Insight presents nine articles drawn from previous editions of Accord that examine the roles women have played in addressing violence and building peace. The case studies cover a period from 1998 to 2010 and contexts as far apart as Bougainville and Sierra Leone, Aceh and Northern Ireland. They document women’s first hand peacebuilding practice: the challenges they faced, the opportunities they created and the lessons they have drawn from their experiences.
The articles depict women in different contexts taking varying approaches to peacebuilding. They demonstrate women peace activists’ resilience and innovation to influence those set on violence, to mediate and promote reconciliation, and women’s capacity to mobilise and organise for peace despite exclusion from official negotiations.
Abstract: In the past, forced displacement was usually the result of conflict and related
human rights violations. However, people increasingly are being forced to
leave their homes as a result of disasters. Over the past few years the number
of people displaced as a result of natural disasters has far exceeded those
displaced by conflict. Why is this happening? What are the consequences? And
what can be done about it?
These issues were the focus of a workshop on forced displacement and
natural disasters co-hosted by Norway and Switzerland in Vienna on
September 5, 2012. The workshop brought together representatives from states
as well as international and non-governmental organizations to share their
experiences in dealing with post-disaster displacement and to discuss ways of
finding durable solutions for those affected by such dramatic events. It also
provided an opportunity to identify and close gaps in international law and
policy, particularly in relation to the rights of persons who cross borders
seeking refuge as a result of natural disasters. The workshop participants were
also briefed on the new Nansen Initiative, an intergovernmental process
launched by Norway and Switzerland that seeks normative and institutional
measures to protect people displaced by natural disasters.
Abstract: Colombia has one of the longest-running armed conflicts in the world, as well as the highest number of internally displaced persons (IDPs). Oxfam research in the department of Nariño and in the Montes de María area of the department of Bolivar found that the Colombian government’s stabilization program (the National Consolidation Plan, or NCP) has not promoted peace, good governance, or sustainable development, as intended. The United States is one of the leading donors to NCP, along with Spain and the Netherlands. In the areas where we carried out our research, our interviewees clearly indicated that the NCP and other stabilization efforts had failed to make communities more secure, often leaving them less safe. We found severe limitations in attempts to promote conflict-sensitive development. This briefing paper explores these issues and offers recommendations to improve both security and development in Nariño and Montes de María.