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  • Author: Simon Adams
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: This year the world will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the adoption of the Charter of the United Nations. But celebrations recognizing this historical landmark will occur at a time when the entire post-1945 structure of human rights, humanitarianism and multilateral diplomacy are under threat. Not since the UN was first formed have so many people been displaced by persecution, conflict and war. Not since the peak of the Cold War has the UN Security Council appeared so bitterly divided and incapable of decisive action. And as a new decade begins, there are renewed threats to international peace and security, and fresh assaults on human dignity.
  • Topic: Genocide, Human Rights, Social Movement, Refugees, Syrian War, Responsibility to Protect (R2P), UN Security Council
  • Political Geography: China, Yemen, United Nations, Syria, Chile, Myanmar, Global Focus, Xinjiang
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: A letter to the UN Human Rights Council from a number of NGOs (African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies (ACDHRS); AfricanDefenders (Pan-African Human Rights Defenders Network); Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS); Center for Reproductive Rights; Central African Network of Human Rights Defenders (REDHAC) CIVICUS; Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) – South Sudan; Crown The Woman – South Sudan; DefendDefenders (the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project); Dominicans for Justice and Peace; Geneva for Human Rights / Genève pour les Droits de l’Homme; Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect (GCR2P); Human Rights Watch; International Commission of Jurists; FIDH (International Federation for Human Rights); International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR); International Service for Human Rights; Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada; Legal Action Worldwide (LAW); National Alliance for Women Lawyers – South Sudan; Southern Africa Human Rights Defenders Network (SAHRDN); South Sudan Human Rights Defenders Network (SSHRDN); World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT)).
  • Topic: Civil Society, Human Rights, United Nations, NGOs
  • Political Geography: Africa, United Nations, South Sudan
  • Author: Gervais Rufyikiri
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: The Geneva Centre for Security Policy
  • Abstract: Since the 1960s, the period of independence of Burundi, the situation of human rights has remained worrying. The UN Human Rights Office in Burundi, established in 1995, at the height of the 1993 bloody civil war, has assisted the Government in order to protect and promote the human rights, until it shut down on February 28, 2019. The assistance provided by the Office was impactful mainly through the harmonization of national legislation with international human rights standards and the creation of institutions focused on the protection and defence of human rights. The closure of the Office is one manifestation of the embarrassment in which Burundian top leaders find themselves after neutral UN experts have reported serious human rights violations committed by state institutions that may constitute crimes against humanity. The short-term solution could result from a combination of increased pressure and diplomatic actions to negotiate with the government of Burundi the reinstatement of the UN Human Rights Office. Such actions could also help to mitigate the symptoms of poor governance, particularly with regard to human rights. For the long-term, a robust mechanism addressing the root cause of ineffective or bad governance is the right way towards a lasting solution. In this regard, we suggest a smart training program specifically addressing issues of leadership ethics within all levels and categories of the leaders, sustained by coaching and mentoring activities.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Governance, Ethics, Domestic Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa, United Nations, Burundi
  • Author: Nikol Pashinyan
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Columbia University World Leaders Forum
  • Abstract: This World Leaders Forum program features an address by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan of Armenia on comprehensive government reforms, approach to regional security challenges, and Armenia's priorities at the United Nations related to peace and security, sustainable development, human rights and cooperation with the UN in promoting good governance, fight against corruption, eradicating poverty, and other areas. The Prime Minister's address will be followed by a moderated question and answer session with the audience.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Human Rights, United Nations
  • Political Geography: New York, Armenia, United Nations
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: Since the principle of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) was unanimously adopted at the 2005 UN World Summit, the international community has looked to the UN Security Council in New York to respond when a government has been unwilling or unable to protect its population from war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide or ethnic cleansing. Paragraphs 138-139 of the World Summit Outcome Document recognize the Security Council’s unique role with regard to upholding the international community’s responsibility to protect as the body primarily responsible for the maintenance of international peace and security. However, the Human Rights Council (HRC) and other Geneva-based mechanisms are also essential for preventing atrocity crimes. Since systematic or widespread human rights violations serve as early warning signs of possible atrocities, Geneva-based mechanisms are often the first to raise the alarm regarding situations where violations and abuses threaten to deepen or deteriorate. Such mechanisms play an important role in enabling the international community to assist states in preventing mass atrocities (R2P’s Pillar II) and respond in a timely and decisive manner to atrocity risks (Pillar III).
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Law, Responsibility to Protect (R2P), UN Security Council, Atrocities
  • Political Geography: United Nations, Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: Today the UN General Assembly elected Armenia, Brazil, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Libya, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Namibia, Netherlands, Poland, Republic of Korea, Sudan and Venezuela to the Human Rights Council (HRC) for the 2020-2022 term. With the elections of Germany, Japan, Marshall Islands, Netherlands and Republic of Korea, 20 of the 47 Council members during 2020 will also be members of the Group of Friends of the Responsibility to Protect in Geneva.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Ethnic Cleansing, Responsibility to Protect (R2P), Atrocities
  • Political Geography: Japan, Sudan, Indonesia, Poland, Libya, Brazil, Germany, Armenia, United Nations, Venezuela, Korea, Netherlands, Mauritania, Namibia, Marshall Islands
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: The 42nd regular session of the Human Rights Council (HRC) was held in Geneva between 9 and 27 September 2019. As the primary international human rights body, the HRC has the capacity to prevent and respond to mass atrocity crimes, as systematic violations and abuses of human rights can be an indicator of potential genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity or ethnic cleansing. The summary below highlights major outcomes from the 42nd session as they relate to the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) populations from such crimes. As part of the session, the Netherlands delivered a statement on behalf of 53 members of the Group of Friends of R2P.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Transitional Justice, Responsibility to Protect (R2P), Atrocities, UN Human Rights Council (HRC)
  • Political Geography: Sudan, Yemen, Democratic Republic of the Congo, United Nations, Syria, Somalia, Burundi, Bolivia, Myanmar, Central African Republic
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: The 41st regular session of the Human Rights Council (HRC) was held in Geneva between 24 June and 12 July 2019. As the primary international human rights body, the Human Rights Council has the capacity to prevent and respond to mass atrocity crimes, as systematic violations and abuses of human rights can be potential indicators of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity or ethnic cleansing. The summary below highlights major outcomes and relevant dialogues from the 41st session as they relate to the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) populations from such crimes. As part of the session, the Netherlands and Rwanda delivered two statements on behalf of members of the Group of Friends of R2P.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Law, Responsibility to Protect (R2P), Atrocities, UN Human Rights Council (HRC)
  • Political Geography: Philippines, Democratic Republic of the Congo, United Nations, Syria, Netherlands, Rwanda, Eritrea
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: Today, 7 June 2019, the United Nations General Assembly elected Estonia, Niger, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Tunisia and Viet Nam to the UN Security Council for the period of 2020-2021. With their election, 6 of the 15 members of the Council in 2020 will be “Friends of the Responsibility to Protect” – having appointed an R2P Focal Point and/or joined the Group of Friends of R2P in New York and Geneva.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Human Rights, Sovereignty, Responsibility to Protect (R2P), UN Security Council, Atrocities
  • Political Geography: Vietnam, Estonia, United Nations, Tunisia, Niger, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Author: Vincenza Scherrer, Alba Bescos Pou
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • Abstract: Multilateral organizations are playing an important role in shaping the SSR agenda through the development of policy and guidance and by engaging in the provision of a wide range of SSR support on the ground. However, despite their significant engagement in this area, there is no predictability in terms of the type of support that multilateral organizations will take on. While policy frameworks concur that international support should be well coordinated, the support provided by these organizations tends to be compartmentalized in practice. As a result, considerable time is often lost while each organization separately assesses a conflict, maps what others are doing, and agrees on a division of labour. The report presents the findings of a multi-year research project on the approaches of the United Nations (UN), the African Union (AU), the European Union (EU), and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) to supporting nationally-led SSR processes. The study aims at developing an empirically-based understanding of the roles and potential comparative advantages of these organizations in SSR support, as well as avenues for enhanced cooperation. For this purpose, the study examines the following three categories related to the role of multilateral organizations in SSR support: normative frameworks, institutional capacities, and operational practices. This report was commissioned from DCAF by the Security Sector Reform Unit (SSRU) of the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO).
  • Topic: Security, Human Rights, Peacekeeping, Reform, Multilateralism
  • Political Geography: Geneva, Africa, Europe, United Nations, European Union, African Union
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: Today the UN General Assembly elected Argentina, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Czech Republic, Denmark, Eritrea, Fiji, India, Italy, Philippines, Somalia, Togo and Uruguay to the Human Rights Council (HRC) for the 2019-2021 term. With the elections of Argentina, Bangladesh, Czech Republic, Denmark, Italy and Uruguay, 20 of the 47 Council members during 2019 are also members of the Group of Friends of the Responsibility to Protect in Geneva.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Elections, Responsibility to Protect (R2P), Atrocities, UN Human Rights Council (HRC)
  • Political Geography: United Nations, Global Focus
  • Author: Heba Raoul Ezzat
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: Animosity has been the keyword in the relationship between Islamists and rights advocates for most of the past few years in Egypt. Islamists turned a blind eye to many crimes committed by the regime and its security agencies between 25 January 2011 and mid-2013. On the other hand, some rights advocates took part in mobilizing and supporting the opposition movement that led to the June 2013 demonstrations and the military seizing power. However, the killings, executions, and other egregious rights violations, then the direct confrontation between the regime and rights groups culminating in a more restrictive NGO law, led rights defenders to take a firmer position, by condemning the regime, and monitoring and documenting its violations. More Islamists are expected to see an opportunity in resorting to human rights advocacy. As such, this would mean accepting more cooperation, especially in terms of monitoring and documentation through various initiatives and institutions established after 2013. Led by a new generation of actors, will this cooperation be free from ideological conflicts? The paper seeks to review, in broad brushstrokes, the contours and important turning points of the relationship between the two groups of actors and outline a possible future trajectory.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Cooperation, Islam, NGOs, Repression
  • Political Geography: Africa, United Nations, North Africa, Egypt, Mediterranean
  • Author: Alan Tidwell
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: In mid-October, Australia was elected for the first time to the UN Human Rights Council. Australia, of course, is no stranger to working in the UN, having previously served on the Security Council five times. As a middle power, Australia has long worked to uphold international law and the international rules-based order. Australia’s stated goals for its term on the Council reflect its longstanding policies and values of equity and fairness. According to Freedom House, these policies and values make Australia one of the freest countries in the world. Pragmatically, this reputation also serves to wash away Australia’s dual sins of offshore processing of asylum seekers and continuing rise in aboriginal disadvantage.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Refugee Issues, Elections, International Community, Indigenous, UN Human Rights Council (HRC)
  • Political Geography: United Nations, Australia, Australia/Pacific
  • Author: Aisha Fofana Ibrahim, Alex Sivalie Mbayo, Rosaline Mcarthy
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • Abstract: Gender equality is an international norm that stipulates the equal right of women, men and gender minorities to access opportunities and resources, regardless of the sex with which they were born and the gender with which they identify. In the context of the security sector, this means that women and men should have equal opportunities to participate in the provision, management and oversight of security services, and that the security needs of women, men, boys and girls should be equally considered and effectively responded to. While ECOWAS recommends that the specific security and justice needs of men and women, boys and girls are fully integrated into all reform processes and governance mechanisms applicable to the security sector, the transition from theory to practice often proves challenging. Tool 8 of the Toolkit for Security Sector Reform and Governance in West Africa is designed to provide practitioners with action-oriented guidance for tackling this challenge. It may be most useful to national actors involved in the governance of security institutions and to those who partake in democratic oversight. This Tool aims to facilitate the identification of effective entry points for integrating the aims of gender equality in national legislation, strategies and budgets for security; in the management of security institutions; in the delivery of justice and security services and in national defence; as well as at all stages of internal and external oversight of the security sector.
  • Topic: Security, Gender Issues, Human Rights, Women, Inequality, LGBT+
  • Political Geography: Geneva, Africa, United Nations, Liberia, West Africa, Sierra Leone
  • Author: James W. Nickel
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: Like people born shortly after World War II, the international human rights movement recently had its sixty-fifth birthday. This could mean that retirement is at hand and that death will come in a few decades. After all, the formulations of human rights that activists, lawyers, and politicians use today mostly derive from the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the world in 1948 was very different from our world today: the cold war was about to break out, communism was a strong and optimistic political force in an expansionist phase, and Western Europe was still recovering from the war. The struggle against entrenched racism and sexism had only just begun, decolonization was in its early stages, and Asia was still poor (Japan was under military reconstruction, and Mao's heavy-handed revolution in China was still in the future). Labor unions were strong in the industrialized world, and the movement of women into work outside the home and farm was in its early stages. Farming was less technological and usually on a smaller scale, the environmental movement had not yet flowered, and human-caused climate change was present but unrecognized. Personal computers and social networking were decades away, and Earth's human population was well under three billion.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Human Rights, Human Welfare, International Law, International Political Economy, Sovereignty, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Europe, Asia, United Nations
  • Author: Andrew Gilmour
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: Ever since the Charter of the United Nations was signed in 1945, human rights have constituted one of its three pillars, along with peace and development. As noted in a dictum coined during the World Summit of 2005: "There can be no peace without development, no development without peace, and neither without respect for human rights." But while progress has been made in all three domains, it is with respect to human rights that the organization's performance has experienced some of its greatest shortcomings. Not coincidentally, the human rights pillar receives only a fraction of the resources enjoyed by the other two—a mere 3 percent of the general budget.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Human Rights, Human Welfare, International Law, International Political Economy, Sovereignty, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe, United Nations
  • Author: Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: For decades, child marriage has been viewed as an unfortunate but inevitable social ill. Few policy-makers have considered its eradication feasible given how entrenched the practice is across the globe: one in three girls worldwide marry before the age of eighteen and one in nine girls marry before the age of fifteen. The United Nations (UN) estimates that if current trends continue, in the next decade 142 million girls globally will become brides before they turn eighteen. The implications are dire: research shows that child marriage both reinforces poverty and makes it harder to escape. The practice has curtailed advancement on Millennium Development Goals Four and Five-which call for a two-thirds reduction in the under-five mortality rate and a three-fourths reduction in maternal deaths by 2015, respectively-and has undermined the goal of achieving universal primary education.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Human Welfare, Fragile/Failed State, Governance
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Author: Katja Creutz
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: In 2010, the International Criminal Court (ICC) launched investigations into the 2007-2008 post-election violence in Kenya, in which some 1,200 people were killed and several hundred thousand displaced. The ICC is breaking new ground with the Kenyan cases; for the first time sitting heads of state are facing charges before the Court. Kenya's response to the proceedings has involved a number of political and judicial measures. It has obstructed the work of the Court; it has sought deferral of the cases by the Security Council; and it has threatened the ICC with mass withdrawals. Kenya's objection to the trials has gained regional support and renewed strength for the claim that the Court has an anti-African bias. Its claims that the Court should not prosecute state leaders because of concerns over regional peace and security have been met with understanding. The Security Council has, however, refused to suspend the trials. The political attack against the ICC will have broader implications for the Court. The Court will need to reconsider how it protects witnesses, safeguards evidence, and selects cases for prosecution. It may even have to retreat from the principle of prosecuting sitting heads of state. The expectations placed upon the ICC as an institution of global justice have been unrealistic. The current international political climate will not further this goal. Major powers remain outside the Court and the current Ukrainian crisis will make it hard to agree upon Security Council referrals.
  • Topic: International Relations, Human Rights, International Organization, Law Enforcement
  • Political Geography: Africa, United Nations
  • Author: Lori Plotkin Boghardt
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: A number of U.S. interests could be served by expanding support to strategic Gulf partners in their efforts to curb Iranian aid to local fighters. On March 6, Bahrain's foreign minister told the UN Human Rights Council that the ongoing violence in his country "is directly supported by elements of the Islamic Republic of Iran." The statement does not accurately explain all political violence in Bahrain, but not every claim of Iranian support for violence should be assumed to represent part of a government propaganda campaign. U.S. intelligence assesses that Iran is in fact providing arms and more to Bahraini and other fighters in the Arabian Peninsula, and Washington should increase support to important Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) partners to curb it.
  • Topic: Security, Human Rights, Terrorism, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: Washington, Middle East, United Nations
  • Author: Terry Mitchell, Charis Enns
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The Government of Canada endorsed the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) as a tool for protecting indigenous rights in 2010, but has made very little progress toward its implementation. James Anaya, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNSRRIP), recently declared that Canada faces a crisis when it comes to the human rights situation of indigenous peoples, ranging from adverse living conditions on reserve to unaddressed violence against indigenous women. The Government of Canada should implement targeted measures to address the UNSRRIP's concerns and improve the human rights situation of indigenous peoples in Canada.
  • Topic: Human Rights, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Canada, United Nations, North America
  • Author: Dejan Guzina, Branka Marijan
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The recent protests in Bosnia-Herzegovina (henceforth, Bosnia) have once more shown the extent of the remaining challenges in the country. However, while many commentators have examined the political, economic and social roots of the protests, less attention has been paid to the role of the police in these events. Police confusion, their inability to respond to the street protests in a timely and professional manner, and allegations of the use of excessive force against protestors represent clear evidence that the stalled police reform in the country needs to be re-examined. After almost two decades of international assistance, first by the United Nations (UN) and later the European Union (EU), police reform in Bosnia remains incomplete. Since the 2012 closing of the EU police mission (EUPM) in Bosnia, the issue of police reform has been put on hold. Bosnia's multiple police services remain fragmented and lack transparency. More importantly, the lack of harmonization, coordination and civic oversight leads to political interference in policing.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Human Rights, Law Enforcement, Reform
  • Political Geography: Europe, Bosnia, Herzegovina, United Nations
  • Author: Astrid Forberg Ryan
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: While it is the responsibility of member states to ensure that sanctions adopted by the United Nations Security Council are implemented, the council plays an equally important role in facilitating and promoting effective implementation. This paper discusses the role of the Security Council with a view to providing guidance for those involved in the council's work, making the case for greater transparency. It briefly reviews current council practices and procedures relating to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and Iran sanctions regimes, including the working methods of the 1718 and 1737 Committees, and it identifies possible options for the council aimed at enhancing sanctions implementation through transparency-related measures.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Cooperation, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: Iran, United Nations
  • Author: Paloma Muñoz Quick
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: While numerous United Nations mechanisms have addressed the impact of business activities on Indigenous rights, it was only in 2011—with the UN Human Rights Council's unanimous endorsement of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights—that the role of businesses in respecting, or abusing, these rights was officially acknowledged.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Author: Paloma Muñoz Quick
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: While numerous United Nations mechanisms have addressed the impact of business activities on Indigenous rights, it was only in 2011—with the UN Human Rights Council's unanimous endorsement of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights—that the role of businesses in respecting, or abusing, these rights was officially acknowledged.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Author: Allison M. Garland
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University
  • Abstract: Within the last five years, the global population reached a critical turning point, making the demographic shift from rural to urban; for the first time in history, the majority of the world's people now live in cities. Over the next two decades the number of city dwellers will soar to nearly five billion, 60 percent of the world's population. Virtually all of this urban growth is occurring in cities of the developing world, overwhelming ecosystems and placing tremendous pressure on the capacity of local governments to provide necessary infrastructure and services.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Human Rights, Poverty, Governance, Reform
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Author: Marikki Stocchetti
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The era of the Millennium Development Goals and the Millennium Declaration expires in September 2015. As the largest donor of international development aid and trader with the developing countries, the EU has a key interest in the future outcome. It has also made binding commitments to support developing countries' own efforts to fulfil the present goals, as well as to act as a global partner. In the ongoing consultation process, the UN is pushing ahead with an enabling, universal development paradigm with an enhanced development partnership that goes well beyond traditional development assistance. Whereas the EU and the UN share common ground on human rights, governance and security issues, their preliminary proposals differ significantly on the question of a global partnership. The European Commission has tabled a proposal for the Union that is still based on a very conventional donor-recipient approach, which the UN seeks to reject. The European Commission proposal is problematic because it fails to present a comprehensive analysis of the current Millennium Development Goal on a global partnership, especially regarding trade and debt issues. Instead, it focuses on developing countries' domestic policies. The EU still has time to correct this as the process unfolds. Should it fail to do so, it is highly unlikely that other donors will take up the UN proposal and push it through in the inter-governmental negotiations.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Human Rights, Foreign Aid, Governance
  • Political Geography: Europe, United Nations
  • Author: Carla Ferstman
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Sexual exploitation and abuse continue to pervade peacekeeping missions, and peace - keepers benefit from near-total impunity. Several seminal United Nations (UN) studies and expert reports provide a useful blueprint of where the gaps lie, what must be done to address them, and how to do so. Zero-tolerance UN policies have focused on preventing new abuse and strengthening codes of conduct. These goals are laudable but undermined when not accompanied by consistent discipline and criminal accountability. Despite eight years of annual resolutions that underscore the need to address the problems, there is no evidence of greater accountability. More work is needed to finish the job. States are responsible for disciplining and punishing their troops, but the UN must do more to ensure that this happens. The UN needs to work actively with states to bridge the gaps in domestic legislation by issuing written advice and publishing model legislation. The UN should publicly name and shame those states that fail to investigate and prosecute credible cases. The UN should refrain from accepting troop contingents from countries that repeatedly fail to live up to their written assurances to investigate and prosecute. The memorandum of understanding governing the relationship between the UN and troop-contributing countries should be further revised to introduce greater conditionality into the acceptance and removal of troop contingents.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Crime, Human Rights, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Publication Date: 01-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination, Princeton University
  • Abstract: Handbook is based on a workshop on the ratification and implementation of the Kampala amendments on the Crime of Aggression that took place at New York University on 25 June 2012. The workshop was co-hosted by the Permanent Mission of the Principality of Liechtenstein to the United Nations and the Global Institute for the Prevention of Aggression (recently affiliated with Middlesex University School of Law, London), with the support of the Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination at Princeton University (LISD). The handbook benefited further from the Colloquium «From Rome to Kampala – the first two amendments to the Rome Statute,» organized by the Belgian Interministerial Commission for Humanitarian Law on 5 June 2012 in Brussels. Part II of the handbook was drafted with the kind assistance of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
  • Topic: Crime, Genocide, Human Rights, International Law, Treaties and Agreements, War
  • Political Geography: New York, United Nations, Brussels
  • Author: Szymon Bochenskii
  • Publication Date: 07-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: A review of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) has concluded that chemical weapons disarmament is on track. However, the information about the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria has added a new sense of urgency to chemical weapons disarmament. It has proven that a global ban on this lethal arms category cannot be achieved without making the CWC a truly universal treaty. At the same time, the Review Conference recognised new challenges associated with the rapid growth of the chemical industry worldwide. The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons will have to find a golden mean to ensure implementation of the Convention without hampering the peaceful uses of chemicals.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Human Rights, International Law, Treaties and Agreements, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: Middle East, United Nations
  • Author: George A. Lopez
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: The cases where sanctions have been applied to protect populations experiencing on-going or impending mass atrocities are few and have produced mixed results. The UN Security Council imposed various targeted sanctions in 2005 in the case of Darfur, and in Côte d'Ivoire and Libya in 2011.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Human Rights, Human Welfare, Humanitarian Aid, War, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: Libya, United Nations
  • Author: William Felice, Diana Fuguitt
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Human Rights and Human Welfare - Review Essays
  • Institution: Josef Korbel Graduate School of International Studies, University of Denver
  • Abstract: Under the leadership of former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, and former High Commissioner of Human Rights Mary Robinson, efforts were made to mainstream human rights throughout the entire U.N. system. Annan appealed to all U.N. specialized agencies and affiliated organizations to consider how their work was linked to the corpus of internationally recognized human rights in international law. In one of his last acts as Secretary-General, Annan called for basing new reforms at the U.N. on three notions of freedom: freedom from want, freedom from fear, and freedom to live a life with dignity (Annan 2005).
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Author: Robert Maguire
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: In spite of the Haitian government's stated priority of improving rule of law, a Haitian court's decision not to prosecute former dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier for crimes against humanity has cast doubt on the sincerity of that commitment. The failings of Haiti's judicial system are well-known, but historically reform efforts have been ineffective. Improved provision of justice is critical for the creation of conditions for stability and the eventual withdrawal of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). Modernizing Haiti's antiquated legal and penal codes are an essential component of rule of law reform. Some progress is being made toward this end. A greater emphasis is needed on coordinating efforts among international donors and improving interaction with Haitian counterparts to achieve progress on judicial reform.
  • Topic: Crime, Human Rights, Foreign Aid, Fragile/Failed State, Law
  • Political Geography: United Nations, Caribbean, Haiti
  • Author: Jill Shankleman, Hannah Clayton
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Business activities in fragile and conflict-affected regions could adversely impact the human rights of host populations in diverse ways, and could trigger or sustain violent conflict. The international “Protect, Respect and Remedy Framework on Business and Human Rights” could help businesses avoid infringing on the human rights of others and should address adverse human rights impacts when they occur. This framework would complement (and not replace) exiting initiatives like the U.N. Global Compact, IFC Performance Standards and OECD Guidelines. It provides a human rights lens that does not treat communities as 'vulnerable' or 'needy,' but as viable partners with rights. Implementation of the framework (and other voluntary standards) will always be fraught with difficulty. However, companies could become more amenable if they discover that compli­ance could enhance risk management and improve productivity. Coordination, communication and accountability are vital for credible and effective imple­mentation of the framework. Key steps have been identified to help corporations comply.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Development, Economics, Human Rights, Human Welfare, Markets, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Author: Haileyesus Taye Chekole
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: Ethiopia is an ancient country with a rich diversity of peoples and cultures. Paleontological studies identify Ethiopia as one of the cradles of humankind. ―Dinknesh or ―Lucy, one of the earliest and most complete hominoids discovered through archaeological excavations, dates back to 3.5 million years (Milkias, 2010). Ethiopia‟s geographical and historical factors have had a great influence on the distribution of its peoples and languages. Ethiopia embraces a complex variety of nations, nationalities and peoples, and linguistic groups. Altogether, its peoples speak more than 80 different languages, comprising 12 Semitic, 22 Cushitic, 18 Omotic and 18 Nilo-Saharan languages (Central Statistic Report, 2007). This makes Ethiopia a mosaic of languages and culture. The country has always maintained its independence, even during the colonial era in Africa. Ethiopia‟s membership in multilateral governmental organizations started as a member of the defunct League of Nations. Ethiopia was one of the founding members of the United Nations and has been playing an active role in African affairs. It specifically played a pioneering role in the formation of the Organization of African Unity (OAU). In fact, the capital city, Addis Ababa, has been a seat for the OAU since its establishment and continues serving as the seat for the African Union (AU) today.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Law, Minorities
  • Political Geography: Africa, United Nations, Ethiopia
  • Author: Tove H. Malloy
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: The international approach to unilateral legislation with extraterritorial reach is quite clear. General principles of customary international law entrust the state where national minorities reside with the task of securing the rights of all persons within its jurisdiction. Preferential treatment of national minorities by their kin-state is considered the exception unless it is established through bilateral treaties, or as a minimum agreed among the parties involved. The League of Nations system was the first European multilateral attempt to provide protection for minorities outside the mother state through bilateral treaties. After the collapse of the League of Nations system and the transfer of international protection of minorities to the United Nations system, bilateralism was not specifically promoted but nonetheless carried over as the main approach to kin-minority protection. This approach came under pressure after 1989 and the collapse of Communism when a number of countries adopted unilateral laws on kin-state minorities and compatriots living abroad. The bilateral approach received renewed attention, therefore, as part of the multilateral approach promoted by the international community after 1989.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Law, Governance, Sanctions, Minorities
  • Political Geography: Europe, United Nations
  • Author: Jérémie Labbé, Reno Meyer
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: This issue brief provides an overview of the legal, political, and operational frameworks protecting children from the effects of armed conflict, notably from violations by nonstate armed groups. The UN Secretary-General has repeatedly emphasized the need to “more consistently and effectively engage non-State armed groups in order to improve their compliance with the law,” including international human rights and international humanitarian law. This is of particular importance with regard to child protection as armed conflicts have far-reaching impacts on children, who are among the most vulnerable members of society. The issue brief explores some of the limitations of these frameworks and their mechanisms, and discusses ways to maximize the comparative advantages of different actors when engaging nonstate armed groups to improve the protection of children's rights.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Human Rights, Human Welfare, International Law, Insurgency, Youth Culture
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: On September 19ththe UN Security Council called on member states to bring perpetrators of child rights violations to justice. To do so, Resolution 2068—adopted on the occasion of the annual Open Debate on Children and Armed Conflict—emphasized the importance of national judicial systems and, where applicable, international mechanisms.This call to end impunity was one of the key conclusions of a roundtable discussion held at the International Peace Institute and co-organized with Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflicton September 17th , just two days before the adoption of Resolution 2068.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Arms Control and Proliferation, Human Rights, War
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Human Rights First
  • Abstract: Human rights defenders work peacefully to protect and promote the universal rights of others. Whether they are lawyers, judges, journalists, bloggers, students, religious leaders, trade unionists, or human rights professionals, human rights defenders often are at the forefront of change in their own societies. Because they challenge their governments and other powerful interests to respect universal rights, human rights defenders and their families are often harassed, detained, interrogated, imprisoned, tortured, and even killed for their work. Many governments view such activists as opponents, rather than partners in the formation of a more pluralistic society.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Human Rights, Torture, Reform
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Author: Nicolás Zambrana Tévar
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre on Human Rights in Conflict
  • Abstract: By means of Resolution 17/4 of 16 June 2011, the UN Human Rights Council has created a Working Group with the mission of implementing the UN “Protect, Respect and Remedy” Framework and its Guiding Principles. As part of its activities, the Working Group asked for input from stakeholders and convened a meeting with them, which took place in Geneva on 20 January 2012.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Rights, Human Welfare, International Trade and Finance, Markets
  • Political Geography: Geneva, United Nations
  • Author: Pierre Thielbörger
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Institution: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: This article uses the case of the Libya intervention to address three general claims about international law. Firstly, it examines whether the reliance of the intervention on the mechanisms of collective security under the UN Charter suggests that international law relating to peace and security has finally overcome its post-9/11 crisis. It concludes that the resolution's vague wording – which makes the distinction between what is “legal” under the resolution, and what is not, hard to draw – undermines such an assumption. Secondly, it explores whether the Libya intervention has put new emphasis on what has been termed the “emerging right of democratic governance”. In spite of the underlying democracy-enhancing spirit of the execution of the intervention, Resolution 1973 was exclusively written in the language of human rights. It did little to indicate a changed attitude of States towards a norm of democratic governance. Finally, the article examines whether the case of Libya shows a renewed international attitude towards States which violate the most fundamental human rights of their citizens. The article concludes by suggesting that, in this third respect, a more muscular liberalism is indeed on the rise again in international law, challenging the formerly almighty concept of State sovereignty. In contributing to this subtle transformation, the Libyan case has made a genuine contribution to the development of the international legal order.
  • Topic: Security, Human Rights, International Law
  • Political Geography: America, Libya, United Nations
  • Author: Philip Alston
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Macalester International
  • Institution: Macalester College
  • Abstract: From its relatively modest beginnings in 1945, the universal human rights regime has come a very long way. Few if any of those who drafted the apparently unthreatening, but nonetheless foundational, provisions of the United Nations Charter dealing with human rights would have imagined that less than seventy years later the Security Council would have taken action in relation to serious human rights violations in a significant range of countries, that governments would have established an International Criminal Court, or that there would be a wide range of mechanisms that regularly and routinely hold states to account for their human rights performance across a very wide range of issues. This is not, however, to suggest that many of the most egregious human rights problems have been radically ameliorated. They clearly have not. The subjugation of women is a continuing phenomenon in a great many societies, and gender equality remains an unachieved goal even in the most developed economies. Racial discrimination is a constant and forms of ethnic and religious discrimination continue to be both inventive and invidious. Hunger, the denial of basic health care, and access to decent housing are problems that persist on a vast scale around the world. In addition, torture, disappearances, and unlawful killings continue to take place in the majority of states.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Author: James von Geldern
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Macalester International
  • Institution: Macalester College
  • Abstract: When the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) was drafted in 1998, it represented a signal moment in the history of human rights. Here, finally, was a document that not only enunciated humanitarian protections, it also offered a means to punish individuals guilty of violating them. United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan called the Statute “a gift of hope to future generations, and a giant step forward in the march towards universal human rights and the rule of law.” Drafting Committee Chairman Cherif Bassiouni stressed that the world would never again be the same. This was the last step of a history that had started at the end of the First World War and meant that impunity for the perpetrators of grave crimes of international concern was no longer tolerable. It would not eliminate all conflicts or bring victims back to life, but it would bring justice.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United Nations
43. Response
  • Author: Proma Sen
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Macalester International
  • Institution: Macalester College
  • Abstract: On a preliminary reading of “International Criminal Justice: Growing Pains or Incurable Contradictions,” by Professor James von Geldern, one understands that the debate about enforcement arises from the assumption of a pre-existing set of human rights concerns in the world today. Beyond the continuing debate surrounding the universal applicability versus the cultural relativism of these rights, the very existence of human rights in today's globalizing context leads to the question of how these rights can be protected and who is responsible for their enforcement? To date, the largest internationally accepted organization with the combined political power of multiple nations is the United Nations and its various sub-organizations. The highest global power seemingly permitted to pass cross-national judgments today is the International Criminal Court (ICC), formed by the Rome Statute, which was drafted in 1998. Yet the ICC has not convicted enough aggressors to truly be deemed a successful mechanism for justice.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Author: Ezequiel Jimenez
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Macalester International
  • Institution: Macalester College
  • Abstract: In 1919, the Treaty of Versailles created an international tribunal in order to prosecute Kaiser Wilhelm II for initiating the First World War. However, the Kaiser sought refuge in the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Queen Wilhelmina Helena Pauline Maria refused to cooperate with the new tribunal or surrender her cousin to the Allied Powers. Much has changed in the Netherlands since. As a pioneer country in the advancement of human rights, the Netherlands has participated actively in the development and enforcement of multiple treaties and conferences hosted by the United Nations. Today, the city of The Hague is proud to call itself an “international city of Peace and Justice.” Indeed, The Hague is the host of multiple international courts; evidencing the Netherlands commitment to protect human rights. The International Criminal Court (ICC) is one of the most prominent institutions the Netherlands honorably hosts.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United Nations, Netherlands
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: In 2005 at the United Nations World Summit, states unanimously committed to protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity by adopting the Responsibility to Protect (R2P). R2P affirms an individual state's primary responsibility to protect its population from these four crimes along with the collective international responsibility to take appropriate measures to help protect populations at risk.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, Political Violence, Arms Control and Proliferation, Human Rights, Human Welfare, Humanitarian Aid, War
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Author: Simon Adams
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: For those concerned with the international community's Responsibility to Protect (R2P), the implementation of United Nations (UN) Security Council Resolution 1973, which authorized a military intervention in Libya, has caused much controversy and dissension. From the start of Muammar al-Qaddafi's violent crackdown against protesters in February 2011, R2P informed the Security Council's response. Adopted at the UN World Summit in 2005 and intended as an antidote to the inaction that had plagued the UN during the genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda and Srebrenica, R2P represents a solemn commitment by the international community to never again be passive spectators to genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing or crimes against humanity. While R2P played some role in preventing an escalation of deadly ethnic conflict in Kenya during 2007, it had never been utilized to mobilize the Security Council to take coercive action against a UN member state before.
  • Topic: Civil War, Human Rights, Human Welfare, Regime Change, Insurgency
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Arabia, Cambodia, United Nations, North Africa, Rwanda
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: On June 29th 2012, the United Nations Security Coun¬cil welcomed the Secretary General's 'Regional Strat¬egy to address the threat and impact of the activities of the Lord's Resistance Army' ('UN Regional Strategy' or 'Strategy').1 The Strategy was well received by lo¬cal and international civil society organizations as an ambitious framework with the elements of a compre¬hensive response. Then, as now, the message was clear – if fully implemented, the Strategy could resolve this devastating 26-year conflict and pave the way for the long-term recovery of the affected region and its people.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Human Welfare, Religion, Armed Struggle, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Africa, United Nations
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: The „Regional Policy Forum on the Responsibility to Protect‟ (R2P) was held from 11-12 June 2012 in Abuja, Federal Republic of Nigeria. It was jointly organized by the ECOWAS Commission and the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect (GCR2P). The main objective of the Forum was to raise awareness on the concept of R2P within the region and to critically examine existing ECOWAS policies and institutions for protecting populations against mass atrocities. The Forum also aimed at identifying frameworks, institutions, and practices within ECOWAS for prevention and effective response to mass atrocities. The Regional Forum brought together about 60 international, regional and national participants from the public and private sectors, UN, regional organisations, the diplomatic community as well as international and national civil society organisations.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Political Violence, Genocide, Human Rights, Human Welfare, War
  • Political Geography: Africa, United Nations
  • Author: Oana Florina Pop
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Central European University Political Science Journal
  • Institution: Central European University
  • Abstract: Although humanitarian intervention has been a recurrent issue in moral and political philosophy for some years, much disagreement over its moral justifiability persists among scholars. The common denominator of previous views is their reliance on the assumption that solving the moral problem of humanitarian intervention comes down to making a choice between preserving sovereignty or protecting human rights. The present thesis follows a different strategy: it proceeds from an understanding of the moral puzzle humanitarian intervention presents us with by exploring the philosophical underpinnings of sovereignty and human rights. I argue that humanitarian intervention is morally justified when human rights violations are purposive, systematic, extensive, and preventing or ending them represents an emergency, because it aims to restore a genuine form of sovereignty, consistent with its moral rationale (the sovereignty-centered argument). Additional requirements deriving from this purpose further constrain the justifiability of humanitarian intervention.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Author: Mehdi Zakerian
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research (CSR)
  • Abstract: A review of the events of the past decade and today's demands of the international community demonstrates how the expansion, inclusiveness and universality of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and United Nations Human Rights Covenants serve the common interests of all United Nations member states and nations. Moreover, the consensus of the international community on a series of rules such as the ban on torture and slavery, right to life, freedom of expression and alike - collectively known as fundamental rules of human rights - is inviolable. These two presumptions influence the institutionalization of human rights norms and support for human rights in every corner of the world, including Iran. For this purpose, which strategy can Iran make use of in the process of the universalization of human rights? While many international relations and international law scholars claim that the universality of human rights is a bridge connecting security and progress, putting aside this claim, we propose an answer to the key question of what Iran's optimum strategy towards the universality of human rights should be. This research argues that since every country's culture and native, age-old cultural, religious and national beliefs possess relative grounds of inclusiveness and universality, Iran's optimum strategy should be to seek a cross-cultural character of the fundamental rules of human rights. The author assesses the formation of human rights treaties and Iran's positions, cultural distinctions and types of universalities. Moreover, this study reviews the reservations about, and particular interpretations of human rights as well as theoretical and academic debates concerning the universality of human rights. Lastly, the author discusses cultural relativism and the impact of the cross-cultural character of the fundamental rules of human rights on compromise between relativism and universality of human rights.
  • Topic: International Relations, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Iran, United Nations, Tunisia