mercredi 21 mai 2008

Wednesday 21 May 2008

Geneva Center for security policy
“Afghanistan: Mission Impossible?”:

A resurgent Taliban and Al-Qaeda, which now launch brazen attacks in Kabul, coupled with a reticent NATO, which is either unable or unwilling to raise the forces necessary to carry out their mission, and a new government in Pakistan, which is entering into dangerous deals with militants operating in and out of the North West Frontier Province, pose yet another existential crisis for Afghanistan. Has Afghanistan become an impossible mission for the international community? What are the prospects for the survival of a viable and democratic Afghanistan? Three distinguished experts, representing the key actors engaged in Afghanistan, will focus on these challenges and the prospects for the country’s future.

Chair: Dr. W. Pal Singh SIDHU
Course Director, New Issues in Security Course, GCSP

Introduction of each speaker.

Brig. Gen. Richard NUGEE
Chief Joint Fires and Influence, Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (United Kingdom)

· The first challenge is time. The force was invited by the government. NATO representes the majority of the force even if different countries including the US forces which are not welcomed (unpopular) in most of the country because they are seen as an occuping forrce, as an ennemy.
We must show progress but it is very difficult.
We are winning battle against Taliban but at the country level we are losing the war, because in this war politic is more important than military aspects.
This imperative of time is linked to the perception of security. Insecurity is to tackle.
Troups are less important than in Iraq, police is corrupted, and the creation of an army is difficult.

· The second challenge is information operations. The essential problem is uncoordination.
- Domestic agenda trumps coalition/NATO agenda.
- Informations are given out of the military chaine of command.
- Politically-driven need for immediacy.
- TCNS often under resource the NATO element of a national contribution.
- Promoting of “good news” when the reality is some of the situation is bad.

2 focus: people (perception and action)
forces as NATO (input and result)

Dr. Barnett R. RUBIN
Director of Studies and Senior Fellow at the Center on International Cooperation of New York University

Talibans want to know where do the money, forces... come.
US fight against terrorism, but concerning the objective of negociation, there is a strategic ambiguïty.
The political mission is unclear, even if NATO has military objectives. It would be important to have a stable governement and democratisation. We have to remember that Afghanistan is 1 of the 5 poorest country of the world and that the terrorist threat is real. They is pauverty, weak infrastructures and institutions. Afghanistan is vulnerable, and some people use the situation.
Occident has a responsability in the present situation regarding their behaviour when sovietic union broke.
Iran has interest in instability (not US).
Russia has no interest in NATO presence.
India has interest in an access to the country.
The need of infrastructure, energy, transport, use of water... is clear.
Diplomaticaly speaking, the creation of stability conditions (political and economical) is the solution to prevent threats.
Democratisation of Pakistan can contribute to the stabilisation of Afghanistan developing cooperation in the region.

Amb. Masood KHAN
Permanent Representative of the Mission of Pakistan to the United Nations, Geneva

Afghanistan: Mission Impossible? No, we can find a solution. If the answer was yes, there would have a military disengagement of the US forces. The aim is to bring peace, stability, rule of law, reconstruction and national reconciliation in the region.
Communication between Afghanistan and Pakistan is essential and existes (see the number of visites of the heads of States).
There are also 2.5 millions refugees. HCR is working on their rapatriation.
Pakistan is fighting against the terrorists present on his territory, and against poverty (hospitals, schools).
Troups are inadequate (insuffisant) in Afghanistan. To succed we need more troups.
Importance of regional cooperation, communication, as the other speakers said before are essential.

Suzanne Roset.

dimanche 13 avril 2008

"The Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development": What it is, What it seeks to do.

9 April 2008
With the presence of:
Ambassador Thomas GREMINGER (Head of Political Division IV, Human Security)
Pr. Keith KRAUSE (Small Arms Survey)
Dr. Amin WENNMANN (Small Arms Survey)

Chaired by:
Dr. Patricia LEWIS

(Introduced by Amb. Thomas GREMINGER)
Armed violence undermines Aid and Development aids/programs. It therefore affected the Millenium Development Goals (MDG) too.

The Geneva Declaration is an iniative that has been adopted in June 2006. 42 States and 17 international organizations (in 2008, 71 States have adopted the Geneva Declaration) gathered in Geneva for a Ministerial Summit on Armed Violence and Development. It was hosted by Switzerland and UNDP.

The objectives now are:
1- Raise global awareness of the international community to this issue
2-Support of peacebuilding and post conflict reconstruction
3-Strenghten efforts to achieve a measurable reduction in the burden of armed violence and tangible improvement in human security by 2015.

There is a Core Group of States (Brazil, Finland, Guatemala, Indonesia, Kenya, Morocco, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Switzerland = Chair of this group, Thailand and the United Kingdom). It has to promote the implementation of the Geneva Declaration through concrete and practical measures. The framework for the Implementation is based on 3 pillars:

A) Advocacy
Now, 71 States have adopted the Geneva Declaration. To better promote the principles of the Geneva Declaration and its Framework for Implemenation in the different regions of the globe, a series of regional meetings are being organized.

-April 2007 in Guatemala for the Latin America and Caribbean region. Concrete measures have been taken: Regional Declaration of Guatemala on Armed Violence and Development.

-October 2007 in Nairobi for the African continent. The 29 States adopted the African Declaration on Armed Violence and Development.

- A regional meeting for Asia will be held in Bangkok on 8 and 9 May 2008
Another meeting is planned for the Middle East.

A Ministerial Review Summit on Armed Violence and Development will take place on 12 September 2008, in Geneva.

B) Measurability and Research

(Presented both by Pr. Keith KRAUSE and Dr. Amin WENNMANN)

Difficulty to measure Armed Violence because:
Change in the nature of armed violence. In fact, nowadays, armed violences refer to warlords conflicts, transnational criminal, violence in non conflict situations... Focus has shifted from Conflict to Armed violence.

No international definition of Armed Violence, however Pr. Krause focus on:
-physical violence
-use of arms (major vector for violence but not only)
-illegitimate force

The purpose of Measurability and Research:
to identify who are the most vulnerable, who's most at risk, who are the perpatrators, what are the other factors that lead to armed violence (existence of gangs...)...
There are so many questions but little answers.

The aim: to provide tools for the international and national community to measure armed violence, then develop evidence based policy. Those tools would also enhance aid effectiveness

C) Programming
(Presented by Mr. Paul EAVIS)

The Geneva Declaration is implemented on the ground in chosen focus countries : Burundi, Guatemala and Jamaica.

What do these programs look like? It depends on the country but there are key elements.
1-Need to have guidelines. Evidence based programs. Surveys.

2-Strengthen national capacities. Program must be rooted on national realities.

3-Develop policies related to armed violence prevention.
Need of clear policy framework for the Governments.

4-Develop the capacity of national institutions to prevent violence
Need of technical and human ressource assistance.
Importance of local level. Civil society= crucial partner, dialogue with the government.

5-Develop targeted initiatives.

Range of intervations : large

-need to be Comprehensive in scope and evidence based

  • work at national and community level
  • an effective coordination within Governments, between government and civil society, and between donors
  • developing national capacities and ownership

For further informations, go to:


mercredi 30 janvier 2008

Friends of Climate Change and its implications for the full enjoyment of human rights

30th January 2008
Friends of Climate Change and its implications for the full enjoyment of human rights
(Meeting convened by the Permanent Missions of Maldives, Bangladesh, Costa Rica, Germany, Ghana, Iceland, Serbia, United Kingdom and Uruguay)

The intention of the meeting is to approach the subject-matter of human dimension of climate change. It has clear security, humanitarian, health and human rights implications. With an exception of scientific aspects, so far there has been no consideration of human rights implications of climate change, deemed by many as an important gap in the HRC’s agenda.

Climate change is far from being just an ecological issue; it is also an issue of equity. In particular, climate change was identified as an issue of intergenerational equity. It became ominously clear to observers that global warming, since it modifies important parameters of the ecology of the planet, such as sea levels or weather patterns, will affect the relations between present and future generations.

In March a resolution of OHCHR Commissioner will be adopted and then HRC will be called for.

Ms. Cecilia Ugaz, UNDP
Last year report of UNDP was devoted to climate change with a specific emphasis on numerous scientific features instead of human ones. In her presentation Mrs. Ugaz focused particularly on the latter.
The starting point is that climate change amounts to erosion of basic human liberties, products and potentials. The world has less than a decade to solve the situation. In scientific terms, the objective is to limit the 21st century warming to 2 degrees C.

Furthermore, Mrs. Ugaz pointed out to 3 distinctive features of the 21st century challenge regarding climate change which:
is cumulative
produces irreversible effects
is responsible for large time lags, i.e. what happens today is a problem tomorrow
is global

Mrs. Ugaz emphasized the intergenerational problem, claiming that those especially affected by the climate change will be future generations and the most vulnerable people, particularly from the developing countries. However, it does not mean that the response to such a complex problem can be achieved by certain number of States, it is a purely global challenge and it effects to a different extent either developing or developed countries.

Additionally, Mrs. Ugaz provided information on the trends of CO2 emissions, pointing out to their increase in the atmosphere, water and temperature in general. All these trends are mainly due to men activities.

One of the proposals is to strive for global carbon accounting which goes through:
- keeping within 2 C the warming trend
- assuring carbon budget
- fostering sustainable emission’s pathway

There is a huge inequality in distribution of pollution, i.e. on the one hand those who pollute most of all are essentially developed States and they incur in responsibility for broader effects of climate change, and on the other developing States are the most vulnerable ones.

Taking the view of the world as a whole, the solution would be to cut 50% of CO2 emission by 2050: In this assumption developed States should cut 80% whereas developing countries should cut 20%.

5 human development tipping points:
- reduced agricultural productivity
- collapse of ecosystems
- Heightened water insecurity – glacial melting
- Increased health risks
- Increased exposure to extreme weather events – tropical storms, coastal flooding, sea level rise

Risk differential of being affected in developing and developed countries is 79%.

More than 2 billion people living below 2 $ per day.

Awareness needed of inequalities in the sense that income differentials are widening and becoming a barrier for early recovery after shocks.

The human effects have been unrepresented on the international agenda.

Mrs. Ugaz stressed the current problems of adaptation and encouraged representatives of States to take active measures in that regard.

Mr. Rai, World Bank
Mr. Rai mentioned that World Bank lending mechanisms are fully concerned with an issue of climate change, pointing out to several examples such as investment facility, self-standing project to address issues of climate change, particularly hydro power. Another example of World Bank endeavour in fighting climate change is launch of carbon partner facility and introduction of social dimension into the whole scope of lending procedures.

Mrs. Ize-Charin
OHCHR is fully aware of the topic, having included it in its current agenda after a successful framework achieved at the Conference in Bali. Mrs. Ize-Charin acknowledged impact of climate change on rights to life, housing, education and food and mentioned factors reinforcing such a trend: poverty, unequal power relationship. The consequences are already visible in some parts of the world. An important issue is also to assess the impact of climate change on governments’ capacity to meet their HR obligations. Some of the solutions may be found inter alia in development of bio-fuels and adaptation policies. Mrs. Ize-Sharin referred to Special rapporteur on the right to food, stating the apparent necessity to extend a refugee status to those who flee because of the violations of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Other mechanisms can be found on a regional basis such as Inter-American Commission.


Greek delegate emphasized impact of climate change on human security and informed about the19th February colloquium with International Organization of Migration.

The US expressed its satisfaction with Bali Action Plan, but is concerned with the appropriateness of submitting an issue of climate change impact on human rights to the HRC.

The UK submitted the proposal of joint cooperation between UNDP and World Bank.

Germany stressed a broader cooperation with other organizations and acknowledged need of expertise. It pointed out to a particular housing issue, linked directly to climate change.

Sudan stated that a direct cause of a conflict in Western Darfur is linked to climate change, particularly problems of desertification and water scarcity.

France supported the general concern, and has further pointed out to security and sanitary issues, as well as access to resources linked with health and climate change. As an example for the latter, the delegate reminded of a resolution adopted last week by the Executive Council of WHO.


mercredi 12 décembre 2007

Humanitarian Dialogue Event: Armed Violence Reduction Initiatives in Mindanao, Philippines

30 November 2007

Humanitarian Dialogue is involved in mediation processes in Timor-Leste since 2007 relating to Major Reinado’s and the petitioners’ case.

Ms Mireille Widmer presented the results of her visit to the island of Sulu, where she analysed the instability related to armed violence.

The point Ms Widmer made is that in Sulu, the problem to be tackled is not an armed conflict between different parties but armed violence as a social phenomenon.

Looking at the actors is key: there are more than a dozen armed groups as diverse as the armed forces, the police, known groups such as the Abu Sayyaf Group or Jemaah Islamyia, civilian militias and “vigilantes” that were originally self-defence groups, private armed groups used by clans and important political families, paramilitary and armed individuals (weapons are said to be very easily available).

Where to start in order to reduce violence in such a context? In order to identify the greatest human security threats, Ms Widmer looks at the number of weapons and men-strength as well as a the command structure and control of the different groups.

She finds that the groups most contributing to the instability are the so-called civilian voluntary organizations (CVOs) – that are moreover dressed and equipped like the armed forces - and armed individuals.

In this context, the governor’s initiative of a province-wide gun-ban is a positive step. However, it is difficult to conceive disarmament in a context where the perception of insecurity is deep-rooted and where the police force is not ready to take over the task of ensuring security.

Proliferation must hence be addressed with a supply and demand framework as well as with the analysis of the factors contributing to the perception of insecurity, such as the weak justice enforcement (only one judge comes to the island twice a month) , the cultural status symbol of owning a gun, governance issues (the private security of the influential clans), etc.

Based on these insights, Ms Widmer proposed a policy framework including:

  1. Enforcement aspect (strengthen the gun-ban, find a security guarantor)
  2. prosecution to be strengthened, witness protection to be established
  3. weapons regulations (curbing trafficking, secure stockpiles, create gun-free zones)
  4. incentives to comply with this initiative by proposing livelihood guarantees or reintegration programmes
  5. increase public awareness
  6. monitor and evaluate the process in order to ensure transparency and to provide the proof of progress to civil society, even if figures are difficult to evaluate and the policies are difficult to refine

As next steps, Ms Widmer identified the need to reduce the incidence of clan conflicts (option of a council of elders was mentioned). Thought needs to be given to the issues of weapon control and amnesty options. She added that baseline data would be most helpful in the mediation endeavours.

Regarding lessons learnt, we retain the bold initiative of a gun-ban by the province’s governor. As the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programmes will have to target civilian militias and individuals, lessons could be learnt for the application in other regions.

Noelia Díaz

lundi 17 septembre 2007

Internet Governance Conference


As the Rio Internet Governance Forum (IGF) draws near, four themes have been discussed during the conference: Critical Internet resources, Dynamic Coalition, Logistical arrangements and Advisory Grant. The participants wanted to clear up certain aspect of the first forum that occurred in Greece in 2006 so that it won’t happen again.

Critical Internet resources:

This part is a general critic of Greece meeting. Most of the participants agreed on several aspects of internet resources as the use and misuse of the Internet.

What should be emphasised is:
- what are the internet resources,
- provide information about the range of issue involved DNS and regional resources,
- provide skills development and resources that are necessary to get on line.
a) focus on the greater understanding,
b) do not promote particular view point,
c) landscape of critical resources.

Peter Hellmonds think that governments should insure better access to have a comprehensive discussion and emphasize the legal policy. This discussion must be a concrete example of local build out which will lead to the access of education, information and knowledge. Governments should stimulate local content of online services: providing seed funding and exchange of the best network. They should put the issue in a balanced way, emphasize the role of Internet and ITC, inform about strategy to maximise access content, and give perspectives.

Japan’s speaker added that one should put more attention to people who didn’t so far demonstrated any interest in IGF (Greese2006) and believe that such efforts are crucial. Then the government should give more importance to: competing, traffic, infrastructure progress, infrastructure that hosts the local content and challenges of mitigating the cost of access. Furthermore, the Japanese government is offering 10 millions Yens for the facilitation of preparing process of ICF.

As for China, the discussion should focus on four aspects
- the capacity in building demonstration that deals with the problems of measures for the enhancement of net security and stability.
- enhance the participation of governments for the benefits of all countries. The responsibility should be regarded from day to day technical and operational management.
- allocation of IP addresses during the transit of IPv4 to IPv6. A point that Mr. Echeberria will find accurate.
- the 5th item of CIR’s should lead to global application. The administrations should also work together to explore the different possibilities.

Russian speaker agrees with China about including a discussion of the administration of the domain main system IP and added that it’s important to focus on the IT workshop. This idea is also share by Mrs. Cade (from ICC). She proposes to establish a deadline for the finalisation of a structure as “there is to many unfilled and uncompleted gaps”.

Several participants such as Senegal propose to produce a kind of formal report of the IGF in order to present it to the country delegation. The Senegalese speaker wonders whether it was possible to have a “communiqué like a memo which would give the major focuses”. It would be a manner to have a base of following up the evaluation. The different stakeholders should participate on all the debates so that the benefits would be worldwide. Mr. Pisanty Alejandro proposes that each state and person presents a summary of their notes so that they can be compared.

Mr. Bill Drake stresses out 3 points:
- concentrate on broad issues rather than on specific issues. It would be more productive to discuss on national policies, European policies… than concrete policies,
- the treatment of development is a cross-cutting theme. One should strongly encourage the moderators to treat the development aspect,
- moderators that are truly experts should be neutral in the treatment of alternative solution to particular problems that are being promoted by different stakeholders.

Another issue that had been pointed out is the one of security on the internet. It’s an aspect that should be taken seriously. It is thus very useful to discuss on cyber-criminality especially child pornography.

Dynamic Coalition:

The Dynamic Coalition is the second theme that had been brought out. According to Secretary Kummer, there is a need for a geographical diversity: all the stakeholders should be represented at the meeting. As for Mr. Singh he deplores the fact that the political views are not very broad.

France believes one should make a difference between advocacy group and facilitation group and that it’s necessary to determine on witch category the dynamic coalition belongs. The criteria to participle must be pointed out clearly. “The main criterion is to have clear criteria on who participates”. This idea of having a criterion is shared by Mr. Hellmonds who proposes to have a short deadline as Dynamic Coalitions are still in the process of making themselves. And Mrs. Cade added that the role of Dynamic Coalition is about a platform of criteria: some regions or some groups but not a single region or a single sector.

But China argued that even thought the idea of having criteria is great, they won’t put it in a rigid way such as France.

To conclude this theme, Co Chairman Desai pointed out the role of the Dynamic Coalition which is according to him, to go beyond dialogue and suggested that a sort of guideline should be spelled out. The governments must help the progressive structuring on one hand, and on the other they must keep flexibility.

The logistical arrangements
This part, which was not for discussion but for information, was mainly led by the Brazilian’s representatives who will host the Rio forum. They presented a 20 mn film about Brazil and the different hotel that will host the guests. Brazil have invested more than a million dollar for the event: new places, new hotels, transportation: shuttle from the hotels to the place of the meeting, safety, Wi-Fi for 2000 people …

Advisory Grant

Due to the time, the co-chairman asked the participants to be brief on their interventions. The main point that came out is the one of transparency of the advisory group and the multi stakeholder idea.

The delegate of APC (Association for Progressive Communication) is against having a delay in the renewal of the members. He also proposes that members make a staff assessment and that the host country should co-chair the role of the nomination process. Therefore the government must not have any influence over the participants. The process of the advisory group should be more transparent with an every year cycle so that the advisory group can check is own rules and way of functioning. That point was share by the ICC representative and also by Mr. Kleinwachter.

Mr. Adiel Akplogan who was speaking for the NRO executive council added that the principle of transparency should be the baseline for the success of multi-stakeholders. India asked for clear nominations and rotation of the members, and spelled out the idea of having a day to day report.

Mr. Muguet wondered whether the Chairmen would allow the silent stakeholders to assist the next session. He asked for the separation of powers between the bureau and the program committee: “the rule of the law and the good law is to protect the weak”. But European Telecommunication Network Operators (ETNO) representative believes that a bureau is not necessary, all stakeholders must be represented and membership must be replaced every year for transparency.

China and Russia hopes that the future advisory group would be more balanced for transparency and reflect the diversity. The stakeholders that are not members should all the same assist stakeholders.

France points out an aspect that was contested by co-chairman Delai। France said that the chairman should be a representative of the country and not the government itself, but it’s the latter who nominates the representative.

Faye Ismaila Pedro