The UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Countering Terrorism, Ben Emmerson, released an interim report on his study of drone strikes and targeted killings on October 17, 2013. The study, which began in January 2013 and will issue a final report in 2014, reports on the use of remotely piloted aircraft in counter-terrorism operations.
"The democratic aspirations of the protesters who filled streets and public squares across Syria in early 2011 were among the conflict's first casualties. If democracy as an outcome of the uprising was always uncertain, democratic prospects have been severely crippled by the devastation of civil war and the deepening fragmentation of Syrian society."
"If patchy implementation of the laws that protect and empower women raises doubts of Kabul's commitment, women are as much, if not more concerned about the efforts, with international backing, to broker peace with the Taliban. They have been sidelined in a process that will determine their future and that of their country."
"One of the misconceptions about the Syrian refugee crisis is that it mainly involves people in large camps, above all in Jordan and Turkey....But according to UN figures, a full three quarters of the Syrian refugee population throughout the region are surviving on their own in towns and rural areas."
"The entire success of an international intervention can be put in jeopardy if corruption is not addressed early on in the process. Corruption in conflict can perpetuate violence and opens the door to organised crime. Yet guidance on preventing corruption is largely absent from almost everything to do with peacekeeping."
Rachel B. Vogelstein, CFR's fellow for women and foreign policy, discusses the link between U.S. foreign policy and the rights of women and girls around the world, as part of CFR's Academic Conference Call series.
The Good Friday Agreement has brought considerable progress and relative calm to Northern Ireland since 1998, but much work remains to dampen sectarian tensions that could lead to renewed violence and threaten progress toward greater cohesion.
"A century after the British adventurer-cum-diplomat Sir Mark Sykes and the French envoy François Georges-Picot carved up the region, nationalism is rooted in varying degrees in countries initially defined by imperial tastes and trade rather than logic. The question now is whether nationalism is stronger than older sources of identity during conflict or tough transitions."
"Public anger at gender inequality in India must be seen as an important—and long-overdue—social development, and it can certainly help in remedying the persistent inequalities from which Indian women suffer."
Jean-Nicolas Bitter and Chris Seiple lead a conversation on the Nyon Process and international efforts to engage Salafis in dialogue, as part of CFR's Religion and Foreign Policy Conference Call series.
The interventions that U.S. policymakers have proposed to address Syria are based on a "deep misunderstandings of how U.S. force was used on behalf of humanitarian missions in the past, and have almost nothing to do with how Syrian non-combatants are actually being killed," Micah Zenko writes in his latest article. Micah discusses the "misleading characterization" that policymakers have repeated throughout the Syrian civil war.
The UN Special Rapporteur Christof Heyns delivered this report to the sixty-eighth general assembly on September 13, 2013. The report is related to the UN's agenda for promotion and protection of human rights, and focuses on the use of lethal force through armed drones.
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.
The authors argue that it is essential to begin working now to expand and establish rules and norms governing armed drones, thereby creating standards of behavior that other countries will be more likely to follow.
The author examines Pakistan's complex role in U.S. foreign policy and advocates for a two-pronged approach that works to quarantine threats while integrating Pakistan into the broader U.S. agenda in Asia.