Policy Papers - November 16, 2012
Rethinking Humanitarianism: Adapting to 21st Century Challenges
The modern international humanitarian system is being tested like never before. Built on a philosophy that espouses universality and integrity of humanitarian principles, the system now faces crises and conflicts that are changing in nature, an increased humanitarian caseload, and a renewed assertiveness on the part of host states.
Humanitarian actors have proposed an ambitious agenda for adapting to this changing landscape—from anticipating future risks to strengthening local resilience and increasing coherence and coordination. But this conventional narrative of reform and adaptation fails to address significant underlying tensions, in particular the growing disconnect between the system’s expanding ambitions and its foundational principles.
This policy paper examines the boundaries of the humanitarian enterprise, investigates today’s challenges and their implications, and addresses the tensions inherent in the mainstream agenda for adaptation. It then explores key questions for the future of humanitarianism:
- Can the modern humanitarian system become truly universal by adapting to a changing international context and opening up to actors who have different values and practices?
- Could a sparser but more faithful use of humanitarian principles, adapted to the context, support rather than undermine these principles?
- Despite the quest for ever-greater coherence and coordination of the humanitarian system, could the fragmentation of the system be valued as a strength given the comparative advantages of its various components?
To deal with twenty-first century challenges and meet its broader objectives, the humanitarian system may now need to redefine the rules and theoretical foundations on which it was built.
The Global Observatory
Beyond the Violence in the Central African Republic, A Pact for Peace?
A “republican pact” signed by the leaders in CAR in early November could be an additional tool for promoting a nonviolent way forward for the fractured nation.
Key Global Events to Watch in December
A list of key upcoming meetings and events with implications for global affairs.
Top 10 Issues to Watch in 2013: The Multilateral Arena
Ten key issues that are likely to impact global affairs in international peace, security, and development.
The Global Observatory, produced by IPI, provides timely analysis on peace and security issues, interviews with leading policymakers, interactive maps, and more.
December 02, 2013
Latin America Focus of Fourth ''Being a Peacekeeper'' Event
On December 2-3, IPI brought together 24 representatives from eleven Latin American countries with senior officials from the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Department of Field Support to discuss the current state—as well as the future—of Latin American military and police contributions to UN peacekeeping operations.
November 28, 2013
Energy and Security in the Arctic: A New “Frozen” Conflict?
Is the Arctic a “region of cooperation,” or will competition for its potentially rich energy resources lead to conflict in the high north? This was the main question addressed during an expert workshop held in The Hague on November 28th by the International Peace Institute together with the International Gas Union and the Clingendael International Energy Programme.
November 26, 2013
Addressing the Crisis in Central African Republic
How to prevent catastrophe in the Central African Republic (CAR) was the topic of an event at the International Peace Institute on November 26th. Ten months after a military coup brought the current transitional government to power, the Central African Republic is wracked by massive human rights violations, sectarian violence, attacks on civilians, and reprisals by self-defense groups.
December 10, 2013
Video: Human Rights in Peacekeeping
December 09, 2013
Video: Heraldo Muñoz on Benazir Bhutto's Assassination
December 03, 2013
IPI Editor Adam Lupel Quoted on the Politics of Genocide [IRIN News]