Please find below excerpts of articles on:
Human Security Report:
-Credits UN for decline in armed conflicts.
-NGO groups contribute to atmosphere of alarmism.
R2P in Summit Outcome:
-Former US Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell on why the US should continue to work with the UN reform process
-Secretary-General at Australian Institute
-Secretary-General at Columbia University
-R2P does not guarantee action
-U.N. welcomes ICC Uganda warrants
-Lloyd Axworthy and Erin Baines on use of R2P
-Non-use of R2P for active intervention
-U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations: Senator Barack Obama and Ambassador John Bolton
Human Security Report Articles
ecline of armed conflicts primarily due to U.N. peace efforts, study says
By EDITH M. LEDERER
October 18, 2005
Andrew Mack, a professor at the University of British Columbia who directed the study, said the end of the Cold War eliminated tensions between capitalism and communism, cut off U.S. and Russian funding for proxy wars, and most importantly liberated the United Nations.
"With the Security Council no longer paralyzed by Cold War politics, the U.N. spearheaded a veritable explosion of conflict prevention, peacemaking and post-conflict peace-building activities in the early 1990s," the report said.
A Rand Corp. study earlier this year concluded that the United Nations was successful in 66 percent of its peace efforts, but even the 40 percent success rate some believe is more accurate would be an achievement considering that prior to the 1990s "there was nothing going on at all," Mack said.
"We think the United Nations, despite the many failures, has done in many ways an extraordinary job ... very often with inadequate resources, inappropriate mandates, and with horrible politics in the council," said Mack, who was the director of strategic planning in U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan's office from 1998-2001. "If the politics were less horrible, the resources more adequate ... the U.N. could do a much better job."
According to the report, armed conflicts have not only declined by more than 40 percent since 1992, but the deadliest conflicts with over 1,000 battle deaths have dropped even more dramatically - by 80 percent.
Notwithstanding the genocides in Rwanda in 1994 and in the Bosnian town of Srebrenica in 1995, mass killings because of religion, ethnicity or political beliefs plummeted by 80 percent between the 1988 high point and 2001, the report said. The year 1988 was marked by the end of the bloody Iran-Iraq war and Saddam Hussein's Anfal campaign, in which hundreds of thousands of Kurds were killed or expelled from northern Iraq.
link to full article
Something we didn't expect: good news
Sydney Morning Herald
By Peter Hartcher
Oct 21, 2005
Specifically, the governments and other institutions of the world are reducing the two greatest sources of man-made misery on Earth - war and poverty Most arrestingly, the report finds that the number of armed conflicts around the world has fallen by 40 per cent in the last 15 years, since the end of the Cold War.
Why are these findings such a surprise? Professor Mack, an Australian who served as the director of strategic planning in the office of the UN Secretary-General, posits three explanations. One is the natural tendency of the media to focus on war, not the absence of it.
Another is the effectiveness of the world's non-government organisations, the activists: "The NGOs draw attention to the terrible things that are happening, and they are very good at it. Some of them have told me they don't want everybody to know our findings because they worry that governments will take their money away."
Third is the absence of comprehensive data, until now.
link to full article
R2P in Summit Outcome Articles
Dont Write Off UN Reform Just Yet
By George J. Mitchell
International Herald Tribune
October 11, 2005
Simply put, the agreement was not the sweeping package of reforms outlined in a recent report by Secretary General Kofi Annan, many of which were endorsed by the United States. It also fell short of the recommendations made by a congressionally mandated task force on the United States and the United Nations, which I co-chaired with my friend and colleague, the former House speaker Newt Gingrich.
But it would be wrong to write off the effort to reform the United Nations or to declare the United Nations itself a "failure." That would misjudge the kind of sustained effort that will be required to succeed in overhauling the institution to meet the very different threats and challenges of the new century. It would also, frankly, let the members of the United Nations off the hook, many of whom, especially the non-democracies, actively worked to defeat reform proposals.
In truth, it will take concerted leadership by the United States, working with the world's other democracies, to ensure that last month's missed opportunity does not become a lost opportunity.
Here are four reasons why, despite the halting start in New York, I am hopeful about the prospects for reform.
First, despite its shortcomings, the UN agreement establishes a starting point for reform. The leaders endorsed for the first time every sovereign state's responsibility to protect its citizens from grave harm, and it affirmed the right of other nations to take action to prevent atrocities when states fail to meet their responsibilities to their own citizens.
The leaders also agreed in principle to create a Human Rights Council to replace the discredited Human Rights Commission. There was also agreement to establish a Peacebuilding Commission to apply coherence and consistent financial support for rebuilding societies after conflicts end. The agreement left open critical questions about the composition of both the new Human Rights Council and the Peacebuilding Commission, and there will need to be a major effort to get the answers to these questions right if the reforms are to be more than cosmetic.
Second, the American people support a more capable and effective United Nations. For much of the past decade, the United Nations has been a polarizing issue on the American political landscape. Differences between the parties remain, but a consensus on the elements of reform is developing, and it crosses party lines and encompasses conservative and liberal points of view. The principal finding of the Gingrich-Mitchell task force was "the firm belief that an effective United Nations is in America's interests."
Third, there is support for reform at the United Nations itself. Serious UN personnel problems tend to overshadow the constituency inside the organization of competent officials who want reform. The people I have met with at the United Nations understand the need for change, and strongly support it.
Finally, the world needs a United Nations that works. The United States, by virtue of its principles, power and prosperity, will play a leadership role in addressing world problems. But with massive rebuilding challenges abroad and, now, at home, Americans now more than ever value international partnerships and cooperation, with a more capable United Nations playing a key role.
UN reform is a daunting challenge, and it will take time. But effective and deep reform is possible, if there is a coalition of democracies, the United States centrally among them, that will persevere in the development of an accountable and effective United Nations.
link to full article
World Summit outcome 'real step forward' for UN, Deputy Secretary-General tells Australian Institute for International Affairs
October 14, 2005-UN
Perhaps the biggest reform achieved at the Summit was that, for the first time, the entire UN membership, at the highest level, accepted clearly that it has a collective responsibility to protect populations from the gravest human rights violations of all -- genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity This is a major breakthrough in international norm-setting, which can help us to respond more rapidly, and more effectively, to the Bosnias and Rwandas, and indeed the Darfurs, of the future. Of course, it's a decision in principle. An enormous political effort will still be needed to ensure that we act on this principle in specific situations. But no one can argue any longer that such horrific crimes are internal affairs, which concern only the people and Government of the nation in which they happen. In that respect, at least, we have entered a new and better era.
link to full article
Keynote speech given by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan at a conference on reforming the United Nations, held at Columbia University, New York
October 18, 2005
Sixty years after the liberation of the Nazi death camps, 30 years after the Cambodian killing fields, and 10 years after the horrors of Rwanda and Srebrenica, all Member States of the United Nations have now at last accepted their responsibility to protect their own populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. And they have expressed their readiness to take collective action, in a timely and decisive manner, through the Security Council, when peaceful means are inadequate and national authorities manifestly fail to protect their own populations.
On the conceptual level, this is a historic breakthrough. But it by no means guarantees that the Security Council will act swiftly and decisively - in Darfur, or anywhere else where action is needed. It is not a substitute for the political will and military strength that Governments will always have to muster when push comes to shove.
(link to full article unavailable)
Canada moves to prevent genocide
Catholic New Times
October 9, 2005
In what was billed as the biggest UN meeting in history, leaders agreed on a "watered-down" blueprint for UN priorities, rather than a roadmap for reform. However, Martin praised the adoption of the "Responsibility to Protect" clause, Canada's global initiative to prevent genocide, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.
"If a Rwanda were to occur again, what the 'Responsibility to Protect' says is that the UN will not find itself engaged in either turning its eyes, averting its gaze, nor will it find itself in lengthy discussions about legalisms," Martin told the press.
"The fact is, when human tragedy occurs, the UN will act."
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan pointed out that even in areas of success - the agreement to create a Peacebuilding Commission, for instance - further action is required by member states.
Annan said the agreement to protect civilians against crimes against genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity is historic "on the conceptual level."
"But it by no means guarantees that the Security Council will act swiftly and decisively - in Darfur or anywhere else where action is needed," he said.
"It is not a substitute for the political will and military strength that governments will always have to muster when push comes to shove," he warned.
(link to full text unavailable)
U.N. welcomes ICC Uganda warrants
UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 15
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan welcomes International Criminal Court arrest warrants against five leaders of the Uganda-based Lord's Resistance Army.
Annan called on all countries, "particularly those in the region concerned, to extend their full cooperation to the ICC, including by acting expeditiously to execute the arrest warrants against the suspects, while taking seriously their responsibility to protect civilians, particularly women and children."
link to full article
Bringing home Uganda's child warriors
By Lloyd Axworthy and Erin Baines
The Globe and Mail
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Two years after its inauguration, the International Criminal Court has just issued its first indictments, citing five leaders of the LRA for crimes against humanity. This is the opening gambit by the court to use its power to bring to account violators of the Rome Statute, the international covenant that cites crimes against humanity, including use of rape and exploitation of child soldiers, as indictable offences. If it works, it will install a very potent instrument of justice to help implement the recently passed protocol on "responsibility to protect" at the United Nations.
A country such as Canada could emerge as a champion in melding the approaches and raising the money to offer meaningful assistance for the returning children to be rehabilitated according to the customs and culture of the northern Ugandan tribes and peace committees. This is the promise we made when we took on the advocacy of the "responsibility to protect" principle at the UN leaders summit.
So now is the chance to put our political clout behind our principle. The imperative is to: (1) take on the task of supporting the ICC indictments with resources; (2) work with the ICC to ensure full compatibility and comfort between its judicial approach and the ongoing peace efforts, and (3) mobilize an international effort to ensure full integration of the returning child warriors to a useful life in their communities. In other words, we should not run off and abandon the warrior children as we did in Sierra Leone.
Lloyd Axworthy, a former foreign affairs minister, is president of the University of Winnipeg. Erin Baines is director of the Peace and Conflict Program at the University of British Columbia's Liu Institute for Global Issues.
link to full article
History will indict the West for turning a blind eye to Darfur
October 18, 2005 Tuesday
The Ottawa Citizen
It isn't time yet to consign Darfur to the category of past mistakes. This mistake is still being made. The problem in Darfur is not that the response came too late; it is that the right response did not come at all.
Two years ago, the nations of the world should have responded to this evil with sanctions, sufficient peacekeeping operations and, if necessary, serious threats of force against the government of Sudan. Hundreds of thousands died, through violence, disease or hunger, because of the failure to act. More will die because the Sudanese government knows it has nothing to fear. Even the deaths from disease and hunger will continue, since aid cannot work where aid workers and recipients are under attack.
What of the "responsibility to protect," that idea so close to Prime Minister Paul Martin's heart, which the UN recently endorsed? Sudan's government has not protected the people of Darfur, and neither has Canada.
History will not excuse the West because we deplored and condemned the violence; it, and the people of Darfur, will indict us for failing to stop it.
(link to full text unavailable)
U.S. SENATE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS HOLDS
HEARING ON UNITED NATIONS REFORM
OCTOBER 18, 2005
JOHN BOLTON, PERMANENT U.S. REPRESENTATIVE TO THE UNITED NATIONS
U.S. SENATOR BARACK OBAMA (D-IL)
I am concerned, as you indicated in your testimony just now, that certain reports indicated a deterioration in Darfur. And so I would just like to know from you, before we move on, what the current status of U.S. efforts are to ramp this up in the United Nations. And, specifically, you might also just address with respect to the security situation: What approach do you think we should be looking at in terms of strengthening the A.U. forces in the area? Do they need a greater mandate? Do we need to stand up a U.N. peacekeeping force, some sort of hybrid U.N.-A.U. force? What are the tools in the tool kit right now that would allow us to make real progress here?
BOLTON: I don't think I have anything that I can say that's new today other than what we've said before. But I can say that -- again, to come back to this meeting of the Security Council we discussed earlier -- you know, one of the things that struck me as the discussion was going on was that many of the governments present said there has to be a political solution in Darfur and it has to be through the Abuja process. And it became a kind of a mantra, and everybody said it and nodded, and everybody was seriously in agreement.
And I finally said, but what are we going to do if the Abuja processdoesn't seem to hold out the prospect of a political solution that we all desire?
.And we are looking at a number of possible ways that can -- and we have taken several steps to strengthen the A.U. force. Deployment remains -- has been slow, as you know, and obviously it's not getting the job done.
So the question of how long that strategy can continue I think is something that we're looking very closely at.
One of the things that we did speak about specifically and I think warrants very close consideration is both enforcing the existing sanctions against weapons into the country and possibly extending the sanctions more broadly, because it's obviously not sufficient.
OBAMA: Well, I appreciate that sense of urgency.
OBAMA: Just a statement, I guess: I would urge that the administration and your office in particular maintain that sense of urgency. And I would note that I completely agree with you, you've got to have a backup plan.
BOLTON: If I may, that is entirely consistent with what we've been thinking. I would just point out at this stage, where we've got 17 existing peacekeeping operations with close to 80,000 personnel deployed, including in the Congo, a very difficult, complex operation, this is why U.N. officials have been saying we can't undertake any more peacekeeping operations. We're overburdened.
The Security Council has not done the job that it should be doing in trying to resolve some of these other existing disputes where we've deployed peacekeeping forces so that we're in a better position when something like Darfur transpires, that we can do more than one thing at a time and that we're not faced with what is essentially a bureaucratic excuse: Oh, we're busy elsewhere. It's hard to do all this stuff at once.
That's not something we should accept. But as a practical matter, these are constraints that we have to deal with.
(link to full article unavilable)