We need change that builds, rather than destroys. That means controlling arms supplies as the Arms Trade Treaty already requires governments to do. It means offering a refuge to those fleeing violence and persecution, as the Refugee Convention has for decades prescribed. We must also develop a Global Compact on Migration, to protect migrants, so often as vulnerable as refugees, and to manage migration for the benefit of all. If the terrible events of 2016 are not to be repeated, the calls for change to make the world more secure and inclusive must be heard and acted on. Nadi's experience may seem a million miles away from ours but we share the same thread of laws and norms that are supposed to keep us safe. Ultimately we are all in this together.
The UNGASS was a disappointment to both progressives and hardliners alike. Whilst we may decry the small progress in the outcome document, we can find solace in the fact that an increasing number of countries seem intent on acting unilaterally outside the UN Drug Conventions. Principled non-compliance may start to become the norm.
Sexual violence is a specifically reprehensible form of violence, and includes rape and any other attack of a sexual nature perpetuated against both males and females. Its repercussions can be iniquitous, and may include acute and physical repercussions for survivors and witnesses. Human trafficking can also lead to sexual violence, and I will be discussing the issue of 'modern slavery' in this article. I will also highlight the brutal effects of sexual violence in conflict.
Encouraging the Palestinians to accede to the ICC, which they have been eligible to do since attaining Observer State status at the UN in 2012, would introduce an accountability mechanism that would deter future violence. It would also provide an incentive for each side to stay at the negotiating table.
Last weekend, a former UK Prime Minister was ambushed and verbally berated by a brazen bar worker (Mr. Garcia). Whilst serving the former PM as he dined in an east London restaurant, Mr. Garcia believed it appropriate to perform "a citizen's arrest for a crime against peace...". A few days after this extraordinary episode took place, the UK national newspapers gave front page honour to the incident.
I work for Médecins sans Frontières (aka Doctors Without Borders). Professional humanitarians are many things; rarely superstitious. And yet 2013 has proven a year to leave behind, and I find myself harbouring nothing morbid, yet nonetheless fairly shaken by the 13th year of the new millennium... As a director in MSF, the spectre of Somalia 2013 leaves me feeling apprehensive about Syria, CAR or Sudan in 2014. Or Myanmar and DRC. Or many others.
Human rights have become toxic in Britain. There is no genuine public debate over the issue - debates are supposed to be two sided, and progressive forces have not yet found a successful response to calls to scrap the Human Rights Act and withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights... However, research on public attitudes suggests that this is a debate that pro-human rights forces could win.
The EU needs to be an ethical, moral, and legal counterbalance to the United States regarding the use of armed drones, and to play a leading role in developing the international standards which are emerging to govern their use. When the International Committee of the Red Cross has finally gone on record to state that certain aspects of the drone wars are "problematic," it is obvious that the time is ripe for action.
We are extremely concerned about the legal basis, as well as the moral, ethical and human rights implications of the United States' targeted killing programme, which does not respect due process or the rule of law and instead addresses terrorism as an act of war rather than a crime allowing the US to engage in wartime conduct and forego the legal system and transparent justice.