Along with oil and regionalization, reaching an agreement over water will be yet one more bitter challenge to the Iraqi government, a government that must navigate such dilemmas to establish its credentials. Falling water levels are currently impacting hydropower generation, health, and incomes. This short piece explores factors contributing to the water problem and emphasizes the importance of giving attention to this issue.
This paper critically examines attempts to conceptualise the use of military intervention on humanitarian grounds, with a focus on the ‘responsibility to protect’ framework, and offers discussion of the way forward in light of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars and the US-led ‘war on terror’. It traces the history of the concept from its post-Cold War origins through to the UN World Summit of September 2005. The paper concludes with a brief review of the challenges that face the international community in moving forward, and the specific contributions that might be made by the UK government.
Relationships between the humanitarian and military communities have tended to be difficult. Nevertheless, during the 1990s a fragile and rather patchy consensus emerged on the norms, expectations and institutional arrangements underpinning that relationship. This article examines the model that emerged through the 1990s and considers the impact of the Global War on Terror (GWOT) in general and the invasion of Iraq in particular.
Nearly one year ago a small coalition of States led by the United States of America and the United Kingdom invaded Iraq and overthrown the regime of Saddam Hussein. Since the coalition force gained effective control over the territory of Iraq, accompanied by the official end of hostilities, Iraq must be regarded as occupied territory. This means a specific set of rules comes into force under which all forms of belligerent occupation shall be executed. This paper tries to introduce the legal framework under which an occupying power must execute its occupation concerning the specific question of use of property under occupation with special emphasis on hydrocarbon resources. The major focus lies on the legal provisions and their development over time rather then on an in dept examination of the current situation in Iraq. Nevertheless a final conclusion will try to reconcile the legal arguments with some of the problems arising from the effect of belligerent occupation in Iraq at this time.
This paper examines how the relationship between the military and humanitarians has been affected by renewed activism; most notably in Afghanistan and Iraq. The first part of this paper presents background of the recent military and humanitarian operations in these countries. Given the efforts made to improve civil-military relations during the past decade, the contention is made that this relationship has take “two steps back” because of growing discord between the military and humanitarians, continuing lack of security, and frustration over the lack of progress in what are thought to be “lessons learned.” Second, five lessons learned in the relationship between the military and humanitarians is presented with a discussion of how each has been were ignored or relearned. Third, at least two emergent issues or “lessons” are discussed. The conclusion suggests further steps in improving the way the military and humanitarians interact and presents several questions worth further inquiry.
A Case by Case Analysis of Recent Crises Assessing 20 Years of Humanitarian Action: Iraq, Somalia, the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Burundi, the former Zaire, Chechnya, and Kosovo
The magnitude of many recent complex emergencies has compelled UNHCR to consider the issue of conflict prevention. Such emergencies pose important questions about how to protect human life and human rights in crisis situations. Human rights abuses and violent conflict are the main reasons why people flee. Grappling with these problems can draw outsiders into areas traditionally seen as internal affairs. Countries in crisis want to preserve their sovereignty. Yet sovereignty should not be a shield, hiding abuses that might lead to major movements of people. Increasingly, international organizations, national governments, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and local leaders are working together creatively to address the abuses that can lead to refugee outflows and internal displacements.
Complex emergencies require the international community to respond quickly and efficiently with a variety of services. Experience has demonstrated that effective emergency response depends on coordination between nongovernmental organizations, governments, and international organizations. The increasing burden in recent years has prompted international organizations and states to reconsider how best to use the considerable capacity of the NGO community.
NGOs play an increasingly important role in humanitarian assistance and protection activities. In complex emergencies, national governments find it more and more difficult to provide, by themselves, the range of relief needed. Many situations present not only logistical difficulties, but political barriers to action. Nongovernmental organizations can, and do, help to fill the gap, playing a wide range of roles from early warning of human rights abuses to education and training for long-term self-sufficiency.
Norway provides an instructive example of one way to manage highly effective cooperation between government and the national NGO community. When I assumed my functions as High Commissioner, I identified emergency preparedness and response as one of the principal pillars of my office. Within this context, UNHCR and Norway entered into a new and closer relationship, through an emergency staff standby arrangement managed by the Norwegian Refugee Council. Through this arrangement, my office has been able to witness very directly the important and cooperative relationship between governments, international organizations, and NGOs.
Such creative arrangements are one of the tools that UNHCR can use to accomplish its key task of protecting people in peril. This report highlights the challenges posed by complex emergencies and suggests some ways in which the rights and well-being of vulnerable populations can be better safeguarded.
This note argues that the threat of the use of force issued by the United States and the United Kingdom against Iraq in January/February 1998 was not legally justified. There exists no general right for those two governments forcibly to implement the ‘will of the international community’ or of the Security Council. Neither does a material breach of cease-fire resolution 687 (1991) justify the application or threat of force against Iraq. Furthermore, there exists no legal right to launch an armed attack against Iraq in response to the abstract threat posed by her possibly remaining weapons potential. Instead, the United States and United Kingdom policy represents a dangerous arrogation of powers which is bound to undermine the prohibition of the use of force in international law.
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