This study explores the normative dimension of the evolving role of the United Nations in peace and security and, ultimately, in governance. What is dealt with here is both the UN's changing raison d'être and the wider normative context within which the organisation is located. The study looks at the UN through the window of one of its most contentious, yet least understood, practices: active involvement in intra-state conflicts as epitomised by UN peacekeeping. Drawing on the conceptual tools provided by the ‘historical structural’ approach, it seeks to understand how and why the international community continuously reinterprets or redefines the UN's role with regard to such conflicts. The study concentrates on intra-state ‘peacekeeping environments’, and examines what changes, if any, have occurred to the normative basis of UN peacekeeping in intra-state conflicts from the early 1960s to the early 1990s. One of the original aspects of the study is its analytical framework, where the conceptualisation of ‘normative basis’ revolves around objectives, functions and authority, and is closely connected with the institutionalised values in the UN Charter such as state sovereignty, human rights and socio-economic development.
humanitarian interventions. The
topic was thrust upon me by events in Rwanda in 1994. As a teenage, second-generation Rwandan
immigrant in Belgium, I was more personally affected than fellow classmates by the hypocrisy of
the internationalcommunity: the preaching of respect for human rights, followed by their
omission during one hundred days of mass murder before the eyes of the world. It felt like there
was more to the story than ‘good intentions versus regrettable outcomes’.
Ever since, I have worried about the content and purpose of (Western
have killed. To get people to participate took regular and repeated intervention from individuals with authority. These elites used ideological justifications, incentives and threats to inspire participation. In many cases, local leaders themselves resisted instigating the violence, requiring national organisers of the genocide to pressure leaders with incentives and threats and ultimately to remove those who posed an impediment to the violence.
Another central point in Leave None to Tell is that the internationalcommunity made a deliberate decision to allow the
through a combination of political choices and repressive control, the DPRK has engineered a largely man-made (though also environmentally impacted) situation of humanitarian need. However, this does not absolve the organised internationalcommunity from the humanitarian imperative to respond to suffering wherever it is found, or from ensuring the sanctions regime does not negatively impact aid. As the first point of the Red Cross and NGO Code of Conduct affirms: ‘The humanitarian imperative comes first …. As members of the internationalcommunity, we recognise our
Marie-Luce Desgrandchamps, Lasse Heerten, Arua Oko Omaka, Kevin O'Sullivan, and Bertrand Taithe
think about how this happened, I wonder, Arua, if you could tell us how this
communication of the Biafran conflict arose from a Nigerian perspective, please?
Arua: Yes, I think I should actually start by saying that Biafrans had a
good understanding about marketing of the war and connecting with the internationalcommunity. Initially, they were managing it locally, but at some point they
discovered that it was very necessary to reach out to the internationalcommunity.
agencies, INGOs and intergovernmental organisations. For a famine to be declared, a
region needs to surpass three thresholds: 2 deaths per 10,000 people per day (crude
death rate), 30 per cent of children are acutely malnourished and 20 per cent of
households with extreme food gaps ( IPC Global
Partners, 2019 : 9). If the region falls into the category of
‘famine’, the IPC system stresses the need for ‘immediate
action’ from the internationalcommunity ( IPC Global
December 1949, as
one of two UN agencies (the other being the United Nations Conciliation Commission on Palestine
– UNCPP) mandated to fulfill the internationalcommunity’s obligations towards
Palestinian refugees displaced and dispossessed by the partition of Palestine in 1948. The
exclusion of Palestinian refugees from the ‘universal’ refugee regime – the
1950 Statute of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the 1951 Refugee
Convention – and the internationalcommunity’s failure to secure a political
Abducted in Chechnya in January 2001 by a group of Islamist fighters, the
Dutch section head of mission was released after 26 hours, and a letter of
apology was published by his captors on the website kavkaz.org. Seeking
support from the internationalcommunity, the armed opposition took
advantage of his release to announce its decision to ‘ban all
kidnappings of aid workers’. In Colombia, an MSF volunteer held for
Staff Security and Civilian Protection in the Humanitarian
suspension of programming, it is seen as
sending a message about the severity of the situation to the authorities and the
internationalcommunity ( Humanitarian
Practice Network, 2010 : 86). Relocating large numbers of civilians
could also send a message about the severity of the situation, but when it comes
to checklists of costs and benefits to be analysed as part of the
decision-making process before evacuating the local civilian population, this
A Framework for Measuring Effectiveness in Humanitarian Response
Vincenzo Bollettino and Birthe Anders
Large-scale humanitarian emergencies are increasingly stretching the internationalcommunity’s ability to meet critical humanitarian needs. This includes contexts such as Yemen, Syria, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Iraq, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Nigeria and Somalia, as well as many others.
In many of these complex emergencies, humanitarian aid workers, medical workers and healthcare facilities are themselves targets of attack, which not only puts aid workers at risk, but can threaten the provision of humanitarian assistance when resources are either