AMUNC 2009 IPG The Working Paper Edition 2
Post on 12-Mar-2016
THE PRICE OF PRIVATE
WAR OF THE CORPS:
WHALING WITH UNCERTAINTYIS EXTREMISM THE ANSWER?
HISTORY REVISITED:A LOOK AT THE
AMUNC 2009 - VOL 3
editorsletterTo reminisce is to lose oneself in a suspended moment, before finding yourself again in a memory from a narrow corner of your mind or the deepest hollow of your heart. Romantic though the notion may be, it is one bed in reality, a small state of permanence which we endure as time rushes inescapably by.
And how time has hurtled, the AMUNC Opening Ceremony feels both a month and an hour ago; a flood of emotions crammed into one very short week and already nostalgia is setting in.
This issue of The Working Paper (we hope) will piece together like a montage of moments from AMUNC 2009, published as memories in the pages before you.
Within these covers, The Working Paper bookmarks just one chapter of an enduring AMUNC legacy. We have documented political dialogues and social challenges to contribute in some small way to the discussion instigated by you, as delegates. The affect of climate change on maternal health in Indonesia (p13), to the lasting memory and impacts of the Korean War (p8) and the privatisation of security companies (p16), each page encapsulates not only your committees challenges and the conference itself, but also your identities and discoveries as participants.
One day many years from now you may find the magazine stashed with your keepsakes, blow the dust from the covers, USB or hard drive that its stored on and allow, if only momentarily, the memory to escape from the corner of your mind and percolate.
Enjoy the following pages and remember the issues that inspired them. Despite our efforts they wont be resolved by the Closing Ceremony or potentially for many years to come. These issues demand on-going acknowledgment not merely a fleeting interest so hold steady the flame that ignited your passion in the first instance and those captured in this humble publication.
3 Distrust of ICC Threatens Sudans Peace Process> Protestors accused the ICC of hypocrisy and partiality towards the West.
5 Whaling with Uncertainty: Is Extremism the Answer? > A common justification for killing whales is that they must monitor the oceanic food web...
6 Water Woes > Water, as it has been said, merely flows uphill towards money. And where there is money, there is power.
8 History Revisited: A Look At The Korean War > Over 55 years later no peace treaties have been signed, the animosity has not abated and the Korean Peninsula is still divided, ...
10 Traffic Congestion: Trading In Lives > The Womens Freedom Non-Government Organisation estimates nearly 3500 Iraqi women have gone missing...
11 Economic Reform Blunders As Middle East Economy Slows > Many regions have felt the global financial crisis and the Middle East has not been spared in its ferocity.
13 Maternal Instinct: A Call For Indonesian Health Reform > The Asia Foundation weblog found approximately 15, 000 Indonesian women suffer pregnancy related deaths each year.
15 Trading Nations: The Flags of The Sea Needs Work > Lower tax obligations, relaxed safety standards and, of particular concern to the ILO, non-existent worker protections, all mix to create an attractive commercial cocktail replete with profit maximising advantages.
16 War of the Corps: The Price of Private Security > Currently 100 private security companies are operating in over 100 countries. Annual revenue is estimated at $US100 billion, and predicted to double by 2010.
18 Held Ransom: Is The Public Good in The Eye of The Beholder? > China argues that the environmental regulations, as proposed by the US and others in the developed world, disproportionately hurt developing countries.
Front Cover Image: U.S. Army and Iraqi army soldiers board a Marine Corps CH-53 Super Stallion helicopter during a static loading exercise Photographer > US Army via Flickr.com
Google ICC and you will encounter a curious ensemble of websites, including the International Cricket Council, the Internet Chess Club and the Illinois Commerce Commission. It is not until you scroll down that you find the website of an organisation which is relatively unknown despite its mandate to deal with genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Although ten years passed since the adoption of the Rome Statute to establish an International Criminal Court to try individuals for the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole, doubts remain over the impartiality of the ICC and its
impact on national sovereignty. When the ICC issued an arrest warrant in March this year, accusing the Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir of war crimes and crimes against humanity, thousands of protesters clogged the streets of Sudans capital, Khartoum, protesting against the warrant. Protestors accused the ICC of hypocrisy and partiality towards the West. [Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the Prosecutor of the ICC] is crazy if he thinks he will take our president, one demonstrator said. He is a tool of the West to attack Sudan. Amidst drum rolls and singing, female
DISTRUST OF ICC THREATENS SUDANSPEACE PROCESS
WORDS > MISA HAN FOR TIMES OF INDIA
protestors resisted what they believed to be a Western intervention, shouting Down to America, down to the United Nations! Another demonstrator accused the ICC of political partiality.Why do they do this to Sudan, and never to the leaders of America? He said. President al-Bashir scoffed at the warrant, announcing to the crowd that the true criminals are the leaders of the United States and Europe.The March warrant also resulted in the Sudanese government expelling thirteen Non-Governmental Organisations, after accusing them of collaborating with the ICC. Hassabo Mohamed Abd el-Rahman, head of the governments Humanitarian Aid Commission, said that some groups had passed evidence to the ICC and made false reports of genocide and rape. The seeming lack of public confidence in the ICC could result in chaos in the politically volatile country. If the international community is concerned about the situation in Darfur, they should be even more concerned about the safety and the stability of Sudan as a whole once such a warrant has been issued, wrote a Sudanese on the BBC News website. The safety and stability of the whole country is at stake. At the African Union Summit held earlier this month, 50 African and Arab leaders condemned the arrest warrant for endangering the countrys fragile peace process and pledged not to cooperate with the Hague in the arrest and transfer of the
Sudanese President to the ICC. Prime Minister Bernard Makuza of Rwanda said that the countries pledged not to extradite because they felt that they have been unfairly treated by the ICC and were concerned that the decision would threaten the fragile peace process and produce a power vacuum in the country. Were not promoting impunity, but were saying that Westerners who dont understand anything about Africa should stop trying to import their solutions, said Mr Makuza. A report from the United Nations Development Programme says that local trials offer many benefits including proximity to the evidence and witnesses, and opportunity to restore faith in the local justice system. However, the UNDP report says that it may be necessary for national judges to work side by side with international personnel some cases. When India abstained in the vote adopting the Rome Statute in 1998, it predicted that the ICC would be open to abuse. India observed that the scope of the Statute was so broad that it could be misused for political purposes. A decade later, the prediction holds much truth, with the majority of prosecutions targeted at individuals from developing states. The jurisdiction of the ICC is also limited by the non-acceptance of the ICCs authority by a number of states, most notably India, China and the United States. Recently, the US Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton expressed Americas intention to end its hostility towards the Court and the US Ambassador to the United Nations expressed support for the ICCs investigation in Sudan. Within India, Sudarsana Natchiappan, a member of the Rajya Sabha upper house called for India to join the ICC, saying that India on its own did not have the resources to deal with terrorism and violence against civilians. Celebrating its eleventh birthday on the 17 July this year, the ICC promises to be a body
that works in the interest of the international community. In the meantime the ICC should find a way to assert its jurisdiction without aggravating Sudan or become another example of United Nations failure.
The seeming lack of public confidencein the ICC could result in chaos inthe politically volatile country..
He is adored by millions of people all over the world, has multiple fan websites and is mentioned on the news every time hes sighted. But hes also in danger of being killed every time he makes an appearance, in the name of scientific research. He is Migaloo the white whale. Migaloo was first sighted in June 1991 and is recognised as the only hypo-pigmented humpback whale in the world. While Migaloos celebrity status almost guarantees him protection from scientific whalers. Each year, according to the World Wildlife Fund, over 1200 whales are hunted by scientists from pro-whaling countries like Japan and Iceland, under the guise of scientific research the WWF website states. A common justification for killing whales is that they must monitor the oceanic food web, identify the effects of humans on the ocean ecosystem and determine the population and migration patterns of whales. However, many believe that the governments of Japan and Iceland are using this as an excuse to continue commercial whaling. Australian Environment Minister, Peter Garrett told the International Whaling Commission (IWC) that, in the 21st century there is no need to kill whales for scientific purposes. The programs purportedly conducted... add nothing relevant to our knowledge for the conservation and management of whales that cannot be obtained by non-lethal means or historical records, Minister Garrett said. Anti-whaling activist organisation Sea Shepherd agrees, saying the only reason whales are killed is for money. The slaughter of intelligent creatures is not justifiable on any grounds. Whaling must be permanently outlawed as a matter of international law, the Sea Shepherd website states. The Moratorium on Commercial Whaling was first established by the International Whaling Committee in 1982, with whaling nations Japan,
Iceland and Norway disputing the ban. The moratorium came ten years after the 1972 UN Conference on the Human Environment, which called upon the IWC to ban commercial whaling due to the large depletion of whale stock. But Norway refused to agree and consequently continued commercial whaling in 1993, setting an annual quota each year based on scientific committee findings. The quota for 2009 was set at 885 Minke whales, however whaling was suspended in late June when demand for the whale meat was saturated after less than half of the quota was caught. Head of Sales at the Norwegian Fishermens Sales Organisation, Willy Godtliebsen said, The number of whales killed so far is enough to meet the known demand. Industry officials in the pro-whaling country blame storage capacity issues for the saturation of the whale-meat market; however environmental organisations see this as proof that there is no viable market for commercial whaling. The Norwegian Government defended its position on commercial whaling saying that Norway has a long tradition of eating whale meat, and that many small family businesses rely on whaling during the summer months when it is the low season for fishing. Fellow whaling countries, Japan and Iceland, used the explanation of scientific whaling to continue catching large amounts of whales for consumption. Scientific whaling is a loophole in the moratorium that allows countries to catch whales, as long as it is for scientific research, and ensuring that the whale meat is utilised after studies are complete. Anti-whaling countries Australia and New Zealand have criticised these nations, arguing that scientific whale research can just as effectively be conducted through non-lethal methods such as biopsy and faeces sampling, satellite telemetry and visual and acoustic surveys. Australian Environment Minister Peter Garrett lobbied other representatives of the IWC
earlier this year in an attempt to bring all scientific research conducted by individual nations under the authority of the IWC to ensure that lethal scientific research is necessary. The suggestion was criticised by pro-whaling nations as well as the representative for the United States who said the results would be a polarisation of national positions. Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said Australia may still take legal action against Japan through the International Court of Justice or the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, to prevent the unnecessary culling of whales. But only If we get to the stage where we think our diplomatic efforts are being exhausted,, Minister Smith said. Conservation societies like Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd prefer to take matters into their own hands. Sea Shepherd enforcement includes ramming illegal whaling vessels, confronting and opposing
Japanese whaling vessels, and attempting to intercept harpoons that are aimed at whales. It also created a documentary television show Whale Wars, about Sea Shepherd missions attempting to prevent the culling of whales. Sea Shepherd insists such extreme measures are essential if whales like Migaloo are to continue spreading joy to humanity and maintain the ecosystem of the ocean. It is apparent that activist organisations provide some of the most substantial protective measures to save whales from unnecessary culling, while the IWC struggles to find a common ground between anti-whaling and pro-whaling nations. While the IWC continues to discuss the future of whales, the whale-watchers of the world will have to rely on activist organisations to protect the giant of the sea.
WORDS > KATIE WOODS FOR THE AUSTRALIAN
IS EXTREMISM THE ANSWER ?
WHALING WITH UNCERTAINTY:
...the only reason whales are killed is for money.
Crew of Greenpeace use their bodies to write Help End Whaling! on the ice of AntarcticaPhotographer > mym via flickr.com
The seeming lack of public confidencein the ICC could result in chaos inthe politically volatile country..
NGO Palestinian Hydrology Group doing water research
Photographer > excauboi via flickr.com
Boy getting water from an Oxfam water tumbler in PalestinePhotographer > Grassroots International via flickr.com
Now begins the tug of war. Israel receives four, maybe five inches of rainfall each year. By 2025, former President of the Israeli Water Association, Shimon Tal, predicts that Israel will only have enough water for domestic use and not enough for agriculture. Tal, borrowing from the words of Kofi Annan, believes that water should be an opportunity for cooperation, not for dispute. It is certainly noble to view issues of transboundary water as a point of similarity between three sporadically warring nations. Yet this assumes that the nations leaders can put aside current or historic disputes for the time being and cooperate long enough to actually solve a problem. History suggests that cooperation among the states is unlikely. Last year, Syria and Israel began to talk indirectly about peace. Syria offered peace in exchange for the Golan Heights; land that is not only strategically important, but is the principal source of fresh water for Israel. Such an offer would never gain Israels approval, requiring a full withdrawal from Golan Heights by Israelis through a national referendum. Indeed, it is difficult to believe that the Syrian Parliament expected approval of a measure which deprives a country already suffering extreme water scarcity, and would significantly hamper strategic defence of the borders displacing over 18,000 Israelis who live there. Yet the offer illustrates the unmistakeable and inescapable force of political power. Israel is similarly guilty of using water as a means of political strategy. In 1994, the Israel Water Planning Authority noted that Israel appropriated 94 per cent of Yarqun-Tanninim acquifer, and 85 per cent of the north-eastern acquifer, and utilised 75 per cent more water than was allocated to it according to the 1955 Johnston Plan. In April of this year, the World Bank released figures highlighting Israels continuing status as the largest water user, but also noted its detrimental
It seems that each passing day raises further questions on water supplies. Terms such as water management, desalination and water technologies are everywhere, without much regard given to the underlying social and legal dramas which plague this nations government.
This is because it is not just about the water anymore. In fact, it has never really been about the water. Water, as it has been said, merely flows uphill towards money. And where there is money, there is power. As LaMonica notes, water remains one
of the quieter areas within the booming clean-tech sector. But water is vital for life and as such, it is critical to stave off poverty and disease, while increasing cleanliness, health, better workers and agriculture industry, higher standards of living, a fitter economy and greater political stability. All of this assuming, of course, that there is water fresh, available, clean, and free to use.
WORDS > GOWRI CHANDRASHEKAR FOR THE JERUSALEM POST
The biggest obstacle
in the water
crisis is undoubtedly political,
rather than environmental.
Save the Palestine Water Tower in Brooklyn, NYPhotographer > Dominic Bartolini via flickr.com
Boy getting water from an Oxfam water tumbler in PalestinePhotographer > Grassroots International via flickr.com
effect on Palestine. The report noted that Israel enjoys the high level of imbalance in power, capacity and information between parties resulting in systematic and severe constraints on Palestinian development of water resources, water uses, and wastewater management, calling for a reconsideration of the 1995 Oslo agreement to correctly address Palestinian needs. The World Bank report also noted that since 2000, the Israeli imposed movement and access restrictions consisting of physical impediments, but also of permitting and decision-making practices which have further impaired Palestinian access to water resources, infrastructure development and utility operations. While WHO maintains that the minimum quantity of water needed for short-term survival is 30 litres per capita per day, Palestinians in the West Bank currently survive on only half this amount, meaning that the water crisis has reached a humanitarian scale. The restriction on access to water for Palestinians is certainly not unavoidable, but is rvepresentative of Israels assertion of dominance over Palestine, and in direct conflict with Israels obligations as occupier under international humanitarian law.
Sustainability, creative management of water, and solutions to climate change and salination are not the only issues. Apart from these, the biggest obstacle in the water crisis is undoubtedly political, rather than environmental. The World Bank calls for improvement of a joint governance system asymmetrical in power and capacity, which does not facilitate the rational planning and development of Palestinian water resources and infrastructure and which move[s] uneasily between the political context and the development challenge. A push for sustainable and innovate technology will undoubtedly ease such tension during times of extreme scarcity.
U.S. Marines guarding three captured North Koreans, c. 1950Photographer> Sgt. W. M. Compton via everystockphoto.com
I n 1953 the Korean War ended with North Korea (Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea) and South Korea (Republic of Korea) signing an armistice to end the fighting. Over 55 years later no peace treaties have been signed, the animosity has not abated and the Korean Peninsula is still divided, a permanent reminder that although the end of the Cold War brought some walls down, others remained unmoved. The path to the Korean War was laid in 1945, at the end of World War II, as the Soviet Union and America liberated Korea from the occupying Japanese. As the American troops moved north and the Red Army south, a line was set along the 38th parallel, effectively cleaving the peninsula in two. A Soviet-American treaty was signed in December 1945 to ensure the unification of the country after a single government was formed. Then the Cold War began.
A communist Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK) under Kim Il-sung, and an anti-communist Republic of Korea (ROK) led by Syngman Rhee. In 1948 the new countries adopted their own constitutions, both stating their wish to reunite Korea under a single government. By 1949 both the United States and Soviet Union had left Korea, still supplying their respective sides with weapons and aid. The Soviet Union repeatedly refused to give permission to Kim Il-sung to invade the south as they believed that the South Koreans were too well equipped and that America would come to the ROK defense if a war began. Instead, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin instructed the DPRK that The 38th parallel must be peaceful. It is very important. Kim Il-sung persisted for unification of the whole country. By April 1950, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) had been formed,
weakening relations between the USSR and the West. Finding that America would not defend Korea in war, Stalin offered support of war, telling Kim Il-sung, I am prepared to help you with this matter. Throughout early 1950, guerilla armies, largely from the south, crossed the 38th parallel as they tried to win back the peninsula.. As a result, DPRK troops, including tanks and aircraft, were deployed to areas across the border separating the north and south. Seeing this as an opening for war, Stalin gave his consent saying: If the opposition disarms, well and good. If it refuses to disarm, we shall disarm it ourselves. On the 25th of June, 1950, the DPRK Army crossed the border into South Korea, starting the Korean War. The Republic of Korea Army was completely unprepared for the strength of the attack, with the DPRK Army taking Seoul in only three days and almost 90 per cent of South
A LOOK AT THE KOREAN WAR
WORDS > ALEX EAVES FOR IZVESTIA
Korean territory by mid-August. When word of the invasion reached the United Nations Security Council, an emergency committee meeting was called to discuss the role of the UN in the war. Although the Soviet
Union, a founding member of the UN, had the power to veto any action decided upon by the council, the Soviet representative was absent, a decision which could have changed the whole outcome of the war. Three days after the invasion, United States Senator Tom Connally summarised Congress opinion: [Korea is] the clearest test case that the United Nations has ever faced. If the United Nations cannot bring the crisis in Korea to an
end, then we might as well wash up the United Nations and forget it. Due to the Soviet Unions dispute with the UN over who would occupy the seat of China, the Soviet Union declared that it would boycott
all Security Council meetings. With no veto power, there was no vote to prevent the involvement of the
United Nations in the Korean War. With the assistance of 15 member countries of the United Nations, America landed on South Korean shores on September 15, 1950, and had retaken Seoul by September 28. Taken by surprise, Kim Il Sung called a great strategic retreat, to the northern border of North Korea. The Peoples Republic of China came to the aid of North Korea in late October, 1950. With the help of China, the DPRK Army
recaptured Seoul in January 1851, only to retreat six months later. Although hostilities continued, peace talks began between the two sides in July 1951, until both realised they were at stalemate, and the Soviet Union opted to enter their vote to end the war. On July 27 1953, the armistice agreement was signed, dividing the countries along the frontline. But what if the Soviet Union had not boycotted the meeting in 1950, and had instead used its veto power to dismiss the motion for UN forces to intervene? Would the outcome of the have war changed? Over 55 years after the Korean War, the North and South are still divided and relations between the countries are shaky. Hostilities continue between North Korea and many western nations. The Korean War saw many countries interfere in its outcome, but its objective was never gained and no peace treaty was ever agreed upon.
If the United Nations cannot bring the crisis
in Korea to an end, then we might as well
wash up the United Nations and forget it.
Imagine the scene: A man on the phone speaks with a 15-year-old Iraqi girl. He is calling from Dubai and telling her amazing things about the city. He is also about to purchase her. Fatima, a teenager, is all-too-aware of the imminent transaction. In the weeks after her kidnapping, Fatima heard her captors haggling with the man over her price. It was finally settled at $10,000. Gazing at a floor, the orphan listens as the man described the life awaiting her: a stunning house and luxurious clothing. He even said she would be joining two other very happy teenage Iraqi girls living in his harem. Fatima knows she is running out of time. A fake passport with her photo and assumed name has already been forged. But if she escapes, she has no one to turn to and is likely to end up in prison. The story is not uncommon. Girls like Fatima are part of the growing human trafficking trade from, to, and through Iraq. Data collected by the Womens Freedom Non-Government Organization suggest this modern-day form of slavery and servitude has increased in the country following the 2003 US-led occupation, yet little progress has been made since then to end this horrific crime. While accurate statistics are hard to find, the Womens Freedom Non-Government Organisation estimates nearly 3500 Iraqi women have gone missing since the occupation of Iraq began in 2003 and that many may have been traded for sex work. People are desperate to get money to support their families just to have something to eat. If the government does not act on this issue, more women will be abused outside Iraq, spokeswoman for the NGO, Nuha Salim, said. Womens rights activists say the problem will continue and worsen as long as there is a market for women abroad, and have called for more action against countries that turn a blind
eye to the sex trade. Women are being taken outside of Iraq and are losing what is most precious to them their dignity, Salim said. Dr. Sid L. Mohn from the Heartland Alliance for Human Needs and Human Rights is not surprised that Iraqi women and girls have been trafficked to neighbouring countries at an increased rate since the 2003 occupation. The fact that women and girls are being trafficked in Iraq is a predictable outcome of conflict and instability. A representative of the Baghdad-based Organisation for Womens Freedom in Iraq, Yanar Mohammed, agrees. Sex trafficking was virtually nonexistent under Saddam. Yet it has become a serious issue today. The collapse of law and order and the absence of a stable government have allowed criminal gangs, alongside terrorists, to run amok., Yanar said. The United States State Department Trafficking in Persons Report, released last month, said the extent of the problem in Iraq is difficult to appropriately gauge but cites Iraq as a source and destination for men, women, and children trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation and servitude. The report revealed that Iraqi women and girls as young as 11 years old are trafficked within the country and abroad to Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Iran, and possibly Yemen for forced prostitution and sexual exploitation. The more prevalent means of becoming a victim is through sale or forced marriage and in some cases, women are lured into sexual exploitation through false promises of work, the report states. The report also highlights that family members are said to have trafficked girls and women to escape desperate economic circumstances to pay debts or to resolve disputes between families.
Making the issue more problematic - statistics are sometimes muddied by tribal tradition. The U.S Trafficking Report found that families are so ashamed by the disappearance of a daughter that they do not report kidnappings. The stigma attached to prostitution is such that even if a girl were to resurface, she may not be welcomed by her relatives. Nonetheless, it must be said that although the Government of Iraq does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, it is making efforts to do so. Reverend Dr. Sid L. Mohn said There is little being done in the country to protect those who are currently living under conditions of forced labor or sexual exploitation, or to prevent additional
women and children from becoming victims. Iraqs post-Saddam era is marked with significant challenges across many spectrums. However, Rev. Dr Mohn pointed out that as Iraq progresses on the path to democracy, building its internal security, administration, and infrastructure, the Iraqi Government will also need to develop and integrate mechanisms for combating human trafficking. It is important that law enforcement officials throughout Iraq work hard in order to avoid being listed among the worlds worst nations for human trafficking, such as: Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates whose records for protecting men, women and children from becoming enslaved have been deemed abysmal, Rev. Dr. Mohn said. Without action, the plight of women such as Fatima will go unnoticed, and those who are powerless will continue to be violated and exploited in the worst possible way.
TRADING IN LIVESWORDS > CAITLIN MAJOR FOR AL JAZEERA
Young girls are taken by force from their families Photographer > el_en_houstons via flickr.com
...nearly 3500 Iraqi women have gone missing since the occupation
of Iraq began in 2003...
M any regions have felt the global financial crisis and the Middle East has not been spared in its ferocity. With a 2.6% growth predicted for 2009, slowing sharply from 5.7% in 2008, the economic prospects for Arab states are unstable. A recent International Monetary Fund (IMF) report has also stated that a third-wave of the global economic crisis has begun to hit the worlds poorest and most vulnerable countries, including the Middle East, threatening to undermine recent economic gains and to create a humanitarian crisis. The region has, however, minimised the impact
Developing states have every right
to demand a reform of the
global system, now shown as risk-ridden.
ECONOMIC REFORM BLUNDERS
AS MIDDLE EAST ECONOMY SLOWS
Feeling the credit crunch?Photographer > bitzcelt via sxc.hu
WORDS > SARAH BENNETT FOR AL JAZEERA
of the crisis because of many states vast revenue from oil reserves and by responding with strong economic fundamentals and appropriate policy. The future for the regional and global economy though, now rests upon how the current crisis is managed, the restoration of economic confidence, and ensuring potential causes of future crises are addressed. Developing states have every right to demand a reform of the global system, now undeniably shown as risk-ridden. The United Nations economic arm, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), is the body where reform can take place. Speaking at the International Monetary and Financial Committee meeting last April, H.E. Sultan N. Al-Suwaidi, Governor of the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates, stressed the need for reform to give more attention to the analysis of systemic risks, including, ...thorough focus on asset price booms, leverage, risk concentration in large banks, and hidden or off-balance sheet risks. There has also been much debate about the need for new credit lines, which are basically existing credit lines with eased terms and conditions to provide emerging economies with an emergency source of liquidity. The IMF has adopted the Flexible Credit Line (FCL), which provides large upfront resources to countries with strong policy track records and sound fundamentals. Sultan N. Al-Suwaidi, speaking on behalf of Arab states, said that the FLC is a dedicated financial instrument and was providing a
significant crisis prevention role. The UAE Central Bank Governor also said, the introduction of ex-ante conditionality would go a long way in reducing perceptions of intrusiveness on the part of the Fund [IMF] in the economic decision-making process in member countries. This argument identifies the common awareness by developing states to raise questions about the IMFS transparency associated with progress related conditionality. This is neither feasible nor
desirable, especially in the current volatile economic environment. Reform of the current global economic organisation is not likely to be achieved, at least in the foreseeable future. Reform however can be found in measures that further regulate the global financial architecture. The IMF has so far taken regulatory measures by identifying priorities, including expanding the perimeter of financial sector surveillance, discouraging regulatory arbitrage, addressing existing rules, and filling informational gaps. However, more regulation can still be applied to the system and Sultan N. Al-Suwaidi arguing that further steps by the IMF should include a refining of analytical underpinnings relating to measures such as the restructuring of central bank liquidity, and the costs and related policy risks of
official support to the financial sector, including temporary government ownership. The IMFs First Deputy Managing Director, John Lipsky, who spoke at last months EUOFAD conference in Paris, admitted that the legacy of fast growing government liabilities effectively represents a journey into uncharted territory. Sultan N. Al-Suwaidi has urged the need for strong audits and continued regular updates on fiscal costs, by country and in aggregate. The Fund should continue its assessment of the costs and impact of the large fiscal stimulus
measures undertaken in several countries, and of their longer-term macroeconomic implications, he said. Lipsky, in addressing the issue of state debt argued that, policymakers must navigate between a premature withdrawal
of fiscal stimulus that would undermine the recovery or allowing debt to increase to levels that would cause concerns about fiscal sustainability. Lipskys summary is easily said but striking that balance can only be achieved if crucial policy is reached and adopted. In the past the IMF has been said to lack substantial political will and commitment in reformist measures. The challenge now for the IMF is to commit to move decisively on ratifying agreements for new income models, in turn assuring confidence and providing the balance needed to move towards positive economic recovery. If the collective will of the IMF is not strong enough, murky economic seas will most certainly surge on the horizon for the IMF ship a titanic to its crusading storm.
The legacy of fast growing government
liabilities effectively represents
a journey into uncharted territory
Nomads at their shelter in Iran Photographer > Hamed Saber via flickr.com
I ndonesian public health services are severely understaffed and decentralisation is proving to be an increasingly rocky road to reform. The lead-up to Indonesias recent elections saw presidential candidates focusing on economic and environmental concerns. But considering Indonesias poor maternal mortality rates, the health system reforms were low on the agenda. Government decentralisation put the beginnings of health system reform into motion, but the inherent instability that occurs through this process has led to maternal health suffering nationwide. The Asia Foundation weblog found approximately 15, 000 Indonesian women suffer pregnancy related deaths each year. However, exact figures of maternal mortality rates are difficult to obtain, and vary between sources. This is because reasons for death are often incorrectly attributed and methods for gathering data vary in technique and accuracy. Yet while other health problems have improved over recent years, maternal health remains stagnant. With a large rural population, a significant element of maternal health stems from the availability of trained midwives and access to health professionals. According to the Asia Foundation weblog, Indonesias midwife program was launched a decade ago and aimed to provide one midwife to each of the 70, 000 villages. While this program received international nods of approval, its effectiveness is questionable. Indonesia continues to have one of the highest maternal mortality rates in South East Asia, indicating perhaps that the midwife program has not Indonesian public health services are severely understaffed and decentralisation is proving to be an increasingly rocky road to reform. The lead-up to Indonesias recent elections saw
A CALL FOR INDONESIAN HEALTH REFORM
WORDS > ELENA GOMEZ FOR THE JAKARTA POST
Indonesia continues to have one of the highest maternal mortality
rates in South East Asia,.
presidential candidates focusing on economic and environmental concerns. But considering Indonesias poor maternal mortality rates, the health system reforms were low on the agenda. Government decentralisation put the beginnings of health system reform into motion, but the inherent instability that occurs through this process has led to maternal health suffering nationwide. The Asia Foundation weblog found approximately 15, 000 Indonesian women suffer pregnancy related deaths each year. However, exact figures of maternal mortality rates are difficult to obtain, and vary between sources. This is because reasons for death are often incorrectly attributed and methods for gathering data vary in technique and accuracy. Yet while other health problems have improved over recent years, maternal health remains stagnant. With a large rural population, a significant element of maternal health stems from the availability of trained midwives and access to health professionals. According to the Asia Foundation weblog, Indonesias midwife program was launched a decade ago and aimed to provide one midwife to each of the 70, 000 villages. While this program received international nods of approval, its effectiveness is questionable. Indonesia continues to have one of the highest maternal mortality rates in South East Asia, indicating perhaps that the midwife program has not been entirely effective. The World Banks report Health Financing in Indonesia found that despite major health improvements, Indonesias achievements have been less than some of its neighbours and for certain health outcomes, such as maternal mortality, the country does not perform as well as other comparable income and health spending level countries. The Demographic and Health Survey
severely understaffed, and while the World Bank report greatly dissects the finance structure of the health system, the clear theme is that decentralisation is proving to be a rocky road to reform. Decentralisation of the Indonesian government in 2001 saw a dramatic shift in the roles and responsibilities of the different levels of government. It severely confused the health system, lumping the responsibility of public hospitals on local governments and resulting in a less than smooth transition. Funding for health care quadrupled, but only 13 per cent per capita went towards maternal and child health. The World Bank stated that decentralisation would potentially allow for a more thorough examination of health care, but it will take time for the decentralisation to run smoothly. The Ministry of Healths responsibility for Indonesias national health policy is shared with the health insurance companies, the private sector and local governments. Decentralisation altered the roles and responsibilities of various levels of government. According to the World Bank, local governments own public health facilities and hospitals, but have never been allocated the needed resources to manage them. They therefore rely on central subsidies and user fees to operate. During the 1990s, the private sector was encouraged to deliver more health services to Indonesian citizens, which led to an initial increase in emergency-trained midwives. This unfortunately has not spread evenly between urban and rural populations, despite efforts such
as the midwife program. The World Bank has recommended more assistance to expecting mothers and adolescent girls, as well as increasing the number of trained attendants and education about family planning. Overall, Indonesias health system is poor.
It is highly fragmented and underfunded. Many womens health related NGOs and groups such as the Asia Foundation were hoping to see health, in particular womens health, on the political agenda in the recent presidential elections. While the current global economic climate dominated political discussions, perhaps once the winner of the election has been announced, the government can start focusing more on its health reforms, with special attention to maternal health. With improvements in so many other health areas, it is vital that we see Indonesias maternal mortality rates seriously decline. As studies have shown, the government needs to play its part by enabling the decentralisation to continue with minimal disruption to funding and public health services.
published in 2007 counted 228 deaths per 100, 000 live births, but other reports by the World Bank have counted up to 420 deaths per 100, 000 live births. In the Human Development Index, Indonesia ranks below Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines. Indonesias maternal mortality rate is declining, but at a slow rate which is unlikely to help the United Nations meet the Fifth Millennium Development Goal, to reduce the global maternal mortality rate by three quarters by the year 2015. It is important that Indonesia works on improving its response to maternal health: it has been over 50 years since E. Ross Jennys report Public Health in Indonesia noted maternal mortality as one of Indonesias top five health problems, but it still features in that list today. The World Bank report noted that maternal health is a unique case. While many
improvements in the Indonesian health services have been a result of education and other factors, maternal health is directly linked to health funding. The report found that two per cent of Indonesias GDP goes towards health, creating potentially serious problems. The private health sector provides the most reliable care, but approximately 74 per cent of the population does not have private health cover. World Bank Director for Indonesia Joachim von Amsberg said the country still faces significant challenges in developing and implementing an effective and sustainable health financing reform. Public health services are on the decline in childbirth, with about 30 to 50 per cent of newborns delivered in private clinics. The Indonesian public health services are
...while other health problems have improved over recent years,
maternal health remains stagnant.
Local pregnant woman gets medical attention, Dominican RepublicPhotographer > Miguel A. Negron via defenseimagery.mil
Judges in sessionPhotographer > Scott McKinnon
Obviously there are some legitimate concerns regarding FOCs, but ignoring the underlying benefit to trade and commerce, distorts the real issues an anonymous Norwegian shipping company spokesman said when interviewed by the New York Times in 2007. We are not involved with any of the illegal conduct that many people have suggested, for companies like ours, we choose the commercial structure that best suits our operations and register the ships accordingly. The argument is not without merit, but it is questionable that are the driving motivations when it comes to hoisting a flag of convenience. Even if they were, enforcement concerns such as un-traceability may outweigh the commercial benefits. When the Erika, a Maltese registered oil tanker sank off the coast of France in 1999, the owner was untraceable. The owner, who eventually came forward voluntarily, held the ship through 12 off-shore companies, 8 Liberian and 4 Maltese. The ensuing criminal case found severe negligence on behalf of the ships owners in failing to maintain the safety of the ship. Ultimately, under international law, Malta could not be tried by a French court over its negligent safety standards for registering ships. The Erika exemplifies the IMOs concerns, the unaccountability of shipping owners and unenforceability of safe and proper shipping standards. Obviously, the concerns dont stop there - illegal fishing, exploited ship workers and smuggling. Numerous cases of smuggling of goods into countries with trade sanctions have been reported - a staggering 89% of them with no real link to the countrys flag they were flying according to the IMO. Perhaps most seriously, weapons smuggled into and out of North Korea were routinely being reported by US and South Korean intelligence agencies. Of most concern to the US and indeed to South Korea was the clear evidence that North Korean freighters flying the Cambodian flag or on the Cambodian register were moving ballistic missiles to clients in the Middle East and Africa, noted Michael Richardson, journalist and author of A Time Bomb for Global Trade. The concerns of nations, and international organisations have, at least thus far, gone the way of the so many international concerns before them. Passed off as toothless and inept, organisations such as the IMO, ILO and the UN as a whole, require international co-operation through national means. Commercial and economic arguments cannot be allowed to trump the vital security, safety and labour standards of the world. Ports must start refusing to harbour ships with flags of convenience, or at least charge them much higher fees. Making it uneconomical and not profitable for the legitimate users of flags of convenience will expose the smugglers and illegal fishers at a relatively small price - a price that we can certainly afford.
If asked to list the great seafaring nations of recent times you can be sure that Mongolia, Cambodia, Bolivia and Burma wouldnt be on any list. What about Equatorial Guinea (the 10,000 square meter central African country with a population of 550,000)? Yet it is precisely these countries that are creating concern for the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO). In fact, some 32 countries have had their shipping registers designated as a flag of convenience (FOC). Effectively, this means that a countrys flag is for hire to the highest bidder, often without any connection to the flag they fly. While much of the concern is directed towards the merchant shipping sector, according to Lloyds register, 318 very large-scale fishing vessels have been registered to Cambodia, Georgia, Mongolia, North Korea, Sierra Leone and Togo. Interestingly, none of these countries have vessels authorised to fish on the high seas. Further investigation reveals a practice which is severely hampering the maritime regulation efforts of both individual nations and the international community. Despite this, the attraction of a flag of convenience becomes readily apparent when one considers the commercial benefits. Registering to a country with little or no established maritime infrastructure allows a ship to operate free from many of the onerous regulations attached to the more reputable flags. Lower tax obligations, relaxed safety standards and, of particular concern to the ILO, non-existent worker protections, all mix to create an attractive commercial cocktail replete with profit maximising advantages. In a more modest form, this is precisely the argument offered to deflect criticism surrounding the use of flags of convenience.
WORDS > JOHN FOWLER FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES
THE FLAGS OF THE
We are not involved with
any of the illegal conduct
that many people have
WAR OF THE CORPS: THE PRICE OF
P rivate security companies may become a quick fix for the inefficiencies in peacekeeping operations and the dwindling number of soldiers within them. Questions, however, continue to be raised as to who should be held accountable if an operation was to go awry. The Canadian military employs four private security companies in Afghanistan to guard bases and road construction projects.
Canadian Foreign Affairs has also hired companies to oversee embassies and diplomats in various countries.
Canada uses private security companies to perform duties related to gate and camp security, Parliamentary Secretary to the Canadian Minister of National Defence,
WORDS > KIM SMITH FOR THE GLOBE AND MAIL
Laurie Hawn, said. Alarmingly however, Canada has no overall policy or legislation to govern the use of private security companies in war zones. In the absence of an overarching policy on the use of private military contractors, staff have taken the position that the Canadian Forces should at this stage strive for consistency, a Canadian Defence Department briefing note warned last year. Canadian New Democrat Defense Critic Jack Harris said Canada needs an overall policy to ensure transparency and accountability of its private security forces. If were at the point where the Canadian government doesnt have a policy that says when its OK and not OK to use them, then its time for a legislated framework, Mr Harris said. In response to criticism, Mr Hawn said that the private security companies hired by
[Private security companies] all operate under
the laws of the host nation, in this case Afghanistan,
and are also subject to international law,
Canada are held accountable by law. [Private security companies] all operate under the laws of the host nation, in this case Afghanistan, and are also subject to international law, he said. Canada and the United States are among 30 states who have just signed an international protocol governing the use of private security companies in international missions. The Montreaux Document is a non-binding international agreement that asks nations to take responsibility for the actions of private security companies they hire and to ensure the guards adhere to international human rights law. In a statement, Amnesty International said they welcomed the Montreux Document as private security companies raised specific and challenging accountability issues. Clarity on the obligations of states and the responsibilities of [private security companies] is crucial to ensuring respect for and protection of human rights, the statement argued. Mr Hawn stressed that private security companies will be held accountable. In the future, Canada will continue to engage the use of private security companies in its international missions, Mr Hawn said. In all cases, these contracts and the performance of security duties will be closely monitored and under the command and control of the Canadian Forces, he said. Private Security Escalates The privatisation of security is not a recent phenomenon. Currently 100 private security companies are operating in over 100 countries. Annual revenue is estimated at $US100 billion, and predicted to double by 2010.
As Afghan soldiers earn between US$300 and $600 a month, they are less expensive than deploying Canadian soldiers to do the same job for US$1000 a day. Those who oppose the use of private security companies argue that they are hard to control and are barely accountable once they have entered a conflict area. The recent international debate sparked by the death of 14 Iraqi civilians in 2007 by US company Blackwater has seen increasing attention paid to the morality of privatising security. Following the Blackwater crisis, the US was forced to introduce strict legislation to regulate the use of hired guns. US legislation passed in January 2008 required private guards to report whenever they have fired their weapons in similar accountability measures taken by police forces. Even though tens of thousands of mercenaries have deployed in Iraq, private security forces faced no legal consequences for their deadly actions in the first five years of the Iraq occupations, academic Jeremy Scahill said. As conflict and violence are prerequisites for business, opponents argue that peace is not in the financial interest of private security companies. [Blackwater, for example,] operates in a demand-based industry where corporate profits are intimately linked to an escalation of violence, Mr Scahill said. Private security companies have an impact on local populations and in many cases generate distrust and misgivings. A Swiss study on private security companies and local populations found that in Afghanistan, the local population often
had difficulty differentiating between private security companies and other international armed forces. The lack of visible identification or the use of uniforms similar to those of local security forces contributes to distrust and suspicion since people do not know with whom they are dealing with, the study stated. Private Security in Peacekeeping Operations As the UN is having difficulty recruiting troops from developed countries for its peacekeeping operations, the use of private security companies seems like a valid alternative. The private security company Executive Outcomes, for example, claims that at the time of the genocide in Rwanda, it could have had its troops on the ground in 14 days and created refugee safe havens for US$600,000 per day. The original UN peacekeeping operation deployed troops only after the genocide and cost more than five times the Executive Outcome estimate. By using private security companies in peacekeeping operations, countries can retain their own troops to suit their own strategic interests rather than those of the global community. Supporters argue that private security companies are able to respond more swiftly and more effectively in emergencies than peacekeeping troops.
US Military in secret training campPhotographer > US Army via Flickr.com
WORDS > YEN NEE LEE FOR XINHUA NEWS AGENCY
The relationship between international trade and climate change is one of high stakes and controversy. While environmental devastation looms, there is no time left for buck-passing about our heatedly contested fate. According to WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy, there are currently no rules within the organisation that are specifically related to the environment, energy or climate change. Yet WTO research suggests that climate change discussions pertaining to trade often involve developed countries calling upon developing countries to comply with regulations meant to mitigate environmental concerns. The most prominent example of this is the US past insistence that China curtails the pollution caused by
its manufacturing industries. And although Director-General Lamy does not deny that trade is closely
tied to these concerns, the heart of this issue lies in what economists term the public good problem. China is resisting the proposed restrictions on the basis that they would have drastic consequences on its domestic and the global economy. China argues that the environmental regulations, as proposed by the US and others in the developed world, disproportionately hurt developing countries. With climate change being a global experience that affects all countries, each nation state is obligated to take preventative measures. Unsurprisingly, China is continuing to emerge as a threat to the US economy, and the US remains unwilling to sacrifice its own
trade competitiveness without the assurance that its competitors face similar restrictions in the race for economic superiority. Unlike developed countries where most economic activity is generated by the services industry, manufacturing industries are the backbone of developing countries. The manufacturing sector contributes the greatest amount of pollution, and environmental regulations are bound to impose a larger cost on manufacturers in developing countries. Furthermore, these developing nations face the obstacle of securing sufficient access to the necessary technologies needed to comply with such regulations. As developed nations increasingly strengthen their ever advancing technology, the race to ensure an environmentally sound developing world encourages further competition, an outcome that may result in a first world monopoly over vital advanced technologies. If strict regulations were to be enforced globally, the combination of these two factors may result in developing countries being held ransom by developed countries. Critics claim that the proximity of the issues makes it necessary for organisations to produce a multilateral agreement on standardised rules restricting polluting industries. However, there are practical reasons why such rules should not materialise, including that they assume an overly idealistic view of the role and responsibilities of the WTO. History has proven that countries find it difficult to reach consensus on multilateral agreements. The US overwhelming contribution of more than US$20 billion in 2005 to its farmers through agricultural subsidies, for example, further complicates the matter. For decades, this has been a sticking point in discussions about trade liberalisation as developing countries have insisted that subsidies serve as one of the biggest barriers to development. By providing subsidies to their farmers, the US has artificially increased the competitiveness of its products in the global market compared to farmers in developing countries who lack the technological prowess, hence further hindering the speed of economic growth. The US refusal to remove these subsidies cast doubts on whether they have the best interests of developing countries in mind when it comes to the issue of climate change or if in fact their policies remain self-interested. As the US retains its dominant role on the global stage for now, disagreements with proposed solutions will likely bring talks to a standstill again. Let us hope this time will be different.
IS THE PUBLIC GOOD IN THE EYE OF THE
The US will be unwilling to sacrifice its own
trade competitiveness without the assurance
that its counterparts face similar restrictions
Smoke pours out of a coal refineryPhotographer > ojbyrne via flickr.com
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