Mar 012010

Journal of International Peace Operations
Volume 5, Number 5- March/April 2010

A bleak and desperate task.

A bleak and desperate task.

TWO months have passed since a devastating earthquake destroyed Haiti’s capital city of Port-au-Prince and several nearby communities. With over 200,000 dead, an equal number injured and more than 300,000 without homes, we are only now becoming aware of the scale of destruction that Haiti sustained in the mere 30 second duration of the earthquake. It is the largest recorded disaster in the Western Hemisphere.

Devastation of this kind would stop even the most developed of nations. A quick glance at the impact of Hurricane Katrina on the city of New Orleans exemplifies the way in which natural disasters create chaos. Even with federal organizations such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) the logistical challenges of evacuating people, setting up emergency shelters and providing food and water were difficult to execute. In Haiti, a country that is at best fragile and at worst teetering on the edge of state failure, the situation is exacerbated. This earthquake tests a nation whose government buildings are no longer standing, whose public records are lost and whose president holds his cabinet meetings at a table set up under the shade of a mango tree. Only a year and a half ago, Haiti was hit with three consecutive hurricanes that buried the port city of Gonaive under tons of mud, killed several thousand citizens and flooded many parts of Port-au-Prince. When the earthquake struck on January 12, Haiti was just beginning to emerge from the disaster these hurricanes had wrought.

Mar 012010

Journal of International Peace Operations
Volume 5, Number 5- March/April 2010

Setting Standards

Setting Standards

LAUNCHED in 2000, the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (Voluntary Principles) are an international, multi-stakeholder initiative designed to assist energy and mining companies in maintaining the security of their operations globally while ensuring respect for human rights.

In early 2000, the U.S. and U.K. governments, in collaboration with a selection of  mining and energy companies, as well as international human rights NGOs, initiated a year-long, multi-stakeholder process to address concerns associated with security and human rights. The participants sought to draft a set of human rights guidelines customized for the mining and energy sectors that specifically addressed security issues and provided practical guidance on implementation. The Voluntary Principles, which were officially announced in December 2000, consist of three components that provide guidelines for:

1. conducting a comprehensive risk assessment with regard to security and human rights issues, the criteria of which are designed to build accountability;

2. engaging with public security forces, both military and police; and

3. engaging with private security forces.

Mar 012010

Journal of International Peace Operations
Volume 5, Number 5- March/April 2010

Keeping things on the right track

Keeping things on the right track

EXTRACTIVE companies have come under increasing scrutiny due to their operations in areas with weak or oppressive governments, impoverished communities and overall potential for conflict. Often blamed for creating or exacerbating conditions that could cause violence to erupt or human rights abuses to occur, extractive companies have become more aware of their potential impact on and within communities. To protect their employees, physical assets, ability to operate and international reputations, extractive companies assess not only their own security, but also that of neighboring communities and often the country as a whole.

The extractive industry, however, is increasingly assessing risks beyond those included in traditional security assessments, taking a more holistic view of threats and opportunities. They consider not only how to block access to vulnerabilities, but also how the threat can be diminished in a positive way. For example, a company can address the risk of theft with heightened security in the form of fences, lights and guards. However, it can also combat the same risk by decreasing the number of unemployed male youth in the community through its and its suppliers’ local hiring practices.

Mar 012010

Journal of International Peace Operations
Journal 5, Volume 5- March/April 2010

NATURAL resources are often found in emerging economies beset by challenges such as conflict, weak governance and inadequate infrastructure. Many extractive companies operate in these contexts; therefore, ensuring the safety and security of operations and personnel is paramount. Indeed, national governments regularly view oil, gas and mining operations as a national interest that requires protection. However, the past decade has seen high profile court proceedings against companies, including accusations of company complicity in abuse perpetrated by public and private security forces associated with the operations.

Given these risks to operations and company reputation, international oil, gas and mining companies recognized the need to embed corporate social responsibility frameworks and processes into their security arrangements. They proactively sought to engage with stakeholders, invest in community development projects and endeavor to respect human rights.

A significant tripartite dialogue on this issue is the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (Voluntary Principles). The governments of the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Norway, in collaboration with extractive industry companies and NGOs with an interest in human rights and corporate social responsibility, developed the Voluntary Principles. The principles guide companies in maintaining safety and security of operations, while ensuring respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Mar 012010

Journal of International Peace Operations
Foreign Language Content – Attached to Volume 5, Number 5, March-April 2010

An insecure place, but all sorts of security to choose from.

An insecure place, but all sorts of security to choose from.

Muchas empresas globales extractivas han estado extrayendo la riqueza mineral en la República Democrática del Congo (RDC). Sin embargo una de las primeras preguntas que ellas deberían hacerse antes de invertir es, “¿Podemos operar allí?”. De hecho hay una serie de desafíos al operar en la RDC; y tal vez ningún desafío es mayor que el de la seguridad.

La Amenaza

Después de años de guerra civil los grupos armados se han extendido en la República Democrática del Congo. En el éste hay más de siete – (7)- diferentes grupos de milicianos que operan con impunidad, ya sea dentro de las fronteras de la RDC o en refugios seguros de países vecinos. Gran parte de su financiación proviene del acceso ilegal y venta de minerales. Están bien armados y como han demostrado en gran parte de 2008 y 2009, tienen la capacidad de montar operaciones ofensivas y defensivas, y en ocasiones vencen al Ejército de la RDC. A pesar de los acuerdos de paz y el diálogo, estos grupos presentan una variedad de riesgos de seguridad en el sector entre los cuales se encuentran el asesinato, el robo, la extorsión y el desplazamiento generalizado de comunidades locales.

Mar 012010

Journal of International Peace Operations
Volume 5, Number 5- March/April 2010

An insecure place, but all sorts of security to choose from.

An insecure place, but all sorts of security to choose from.

MANY global extractive companies have been drawn to the mineral wealth in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). However, one of the first questions they must ask before investing is, “Can we operate there?” Indeed, there are a number of challenges to operating in the DRC; and perhaps no challenge is greater than that of security.

After years of civil war, armed groups run rampant in the DRC. In the east, there are more than seven different militia groups operating with impunity, either within the country’s borders or from safe havens in neighboring countries. Much of their financing comes from the illegal access to and sale of minerals. They are well armed, and as they have shown in much of 2008 and 2009, they have the ability to mount defensive and offensive military operations, and at times, route the DRC army. Despite peace deals and dialogues, these groups present a variety of security risks in the sector through murder, robbery, extortion and the widespread displacement of local communities.

Mar 012010

Journal of International Peace Operations
Volume 5, Number 5- March/April 2010

General Anthony Zinni

General Anthony Zinni

General Anthony C. Zinni (USMC-Ret.) currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of BAE Systems, Inc. He previously served as Executive Vice President of DynCorp International and is a former U.S. Peace Envoy in the Middle East and former Commander-in-Chief United States Central Command (CENTCOM). General Zinni retired as a four-star general from the United States Marine Corps in 2000.

JIPO: The military takes on so many tasks these days, from warfighting and counterinsurgency in Afghanistan to peacekeeping in the Balkans, from anti-piracy off the coast of Somalia to disaster relief in Haiti. Can the military continue to commit to all these overseas contingency operations; and how must it evolve for the future?

General Zinni: It is going to be difficult, especially given the Afghanistan and Iraq commitments, but it is an issue of scope, not of type of operation. When the scope is too large, it affects the ability of units to train, the quality of life of soldiers, wear and tear on equipment – and funding is also affected because operational costs come out of supplementals; they are not part of the budget. At this rate, it will be difficult to sustain for very much longer.

Mar 012010

Journal of International Peace Operations
Volume 5, Number 5- March/April 2010

The thin blue line

The thin blue line

ACCORDING to data from the United Nation’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, on average some 40 women are raped every day in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. In the first quarter of this year approximately 463 women were victimized, more than half of the total number of violations registered for the whole of last year. Another recent study by Physicians for Human Rights found that militias in Sudan’s western region of Darfur had raped an extensive number of women.

These horrifying statistics only worsen as conflicts on the African continent spread and civilians become prime targets.

Given the collapse of the criminal justice system during the recent times of conflict, some experts believe that local police, if properly trained, could be a key factor in reestablishing law and order. Indeed, increasingly, local police are even engaging in direct combat when the lives of civilians are concerned.

Mar 012010

Journal of International Peace Operations
Volume 5, Number 5- March/April 2010

Data collected can be a real headache, too.

Data collected can be a real headache, too.

JOURNALISTS who risk their lives repeatedly for a story or photograph fulfill an essential function. They keep us, the general public, safely ensconced in a comfortable chair far away from the turmoil in distant lands, informed of events that are increasingly relevant to our own societies. For the past decade, the psychological health of these individuals who have been dispatched to work in zones of conflict has been the focus of my research.

The content of this article owes much to data collected from war journalists, those members of the press, be they stills photographers, cameramen and women, print reporters and editors, whose careers are devoted to and defined by their work in the midst of warfare. The topic is not just of academic interest. The research methods tried, tested and refined in journalists over time can be used as a template to explore how other groups, such as contractors, are faring psychologically in far away, hostile environs.

Mar 012010

Journal of International Peace Operations
Volume 5, Number 5- March/April 2010

A long way from Kabul.

A long way from Kabul.

BRAZIL may be geographically distant from Afghanistan, but there is an enormous potential for fruitful cooperation between us. Brazil has impressed the international community with explosive development, especially in agriculture, and its ascent to global leadership. Afghanistan is a traditionally agricultural country and therefore reconstruction of Afghanistan’s once-vibrant farms is critical to its rebirth. But despite the fact that 80 percent of Afghanistan’s population resides in regions dominated by agriculture, the sector has been severely underinvested by the international community.

Real progress in agriculture is critical to the attainment of Afghanistan’s goals. If we cannot assure Afghanistan’s rural population access to a legitimate livelihood, they will grow increasingly disillusioned, lose trust in the government and, for lack of other options, support the Taliban. Through a thriving agricultural sector, we can win the information war against al-Qaeda and the Taliban, reduce poverty and rebuild and develop Afghanistan’s economy.

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