This report from UK development charity Oxfam says that UK foreign policy is at a crossroads, as one prime minister hands over the reins to another. It cautions that as foreign-policy discussions remain dominated by the debacle in Iraq, the danger is that UK foreign policy could lurch to a much more cautious approach, turning away from trying to solve the world’s worst crises, with potentially catastrophic consequences for people in them.
This paper from Oxfam reviews the performance of the United Nation’s Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) in its first year. The Fund is designed provide a rapid response to sudden-onset disasters, and to bridge the funding gaps in under-funded emergencies.
The context in which humanitarians are operating has seen many changes in recent decades, especially with the challenges of complex emergencies, man-made humanitarian disasters and new security threats. One of the more notable—but least understood—developments has been the emergence of hired military services, better known as the 'privatised military industry'.
Authors: David S. Bassiouni, Halvor Fossum Lauritzsen, and Howard Roy Williams
An independent report commissioned by the United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator & Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
In recent years, humanitarian organizations have become increasingly effective in saving lives, alleviating human suffering, and advocating for the rights of people in need. Nonetheless, there still are considerable gaps in the ability of the humanitarian system to respond adequately to all humanitarian crises. Hence, we must, and we can, do better to be more predictable in our response to vulnerable populations around the globe.
The new secretary-general of the United Nations should make genocide prevention a centerpiece of his reform agenda, concludes a new Council Special Report. "Ban Ki-moon should take the General Assembly's endorsement of the responsibility to protect as a mandate and mission statement for the UN and build a reform program that is designed to implement it."
Jonathan Tepperman says a decision by the United States to intervene militarily in Syria must be made with hard facts and an honest decision about what standing up for U.S. interests and values will entail.
Michael Gerson argues that in light of the humanitarian crisis in Darfur's refugee camps, the international community faces a difficult choice: accept President Omar Hassan al-Bashir's decision to expel relief groups, or increase pressure on Sudan's regime at the risk of more short-term suffering and death.
The Council on Foreign Relations' David Rockefeller Studies Program—CFR's "think tank"—is home to more than seventy full-time, adjunct, and visiting scholars and practitioners (called "fellows"). Their expertise covers the world's major regions as well as the critical issues shaping today's global agenda. Download the printable CFR Experts Guide.