Underpinning everything has to be the acceptance that the medical needs of people – no matter who they are, where they are from or what side they support or fight for – must take precedence. Medical staff are present in areas of conflict in order to care for the sick and wounded, on the basis of need. And only need. This is the fundamental principle of impartiality and is the basis of medical ethics. It is the very fact that doctors treat on the basis of need – and are not involved in hostilities – that they can claim protection under international humanitarian law.
(By Joanne Lui and Peter Maurer; more at The Guardian, 29 April 2016).
… Unmiss is accused of failing to react to what is described as systematic targeting of civilians. In a letter to the Guardian rebutting the MSF allegations, the UN special representative and head of Unmiss, Ellen Margrethe Løj, explained the trying circumstances and undoubted challenges that the UN – and all humanitarian operators – face in South Sudan.
However, that is the job and that is the purpose of peacekeeping operations, so at what point is a mission aimed at protecting civilians classified as a failure?
The key missing element here is the lack of a culture of accountability. The UN is grappling with its internal mechanisms for holding peacekeepers accused of sexual abuse to account. Last week, a UN security council resolution committed its members to do just that.
More from Hannah Bryce at The Guardian
It was Dag Hammarskjöld, the tragic second UN secretary general, who had it best. The United Nations, he said, “was created not to lead mankind to heaven but to save humanity from hell”.
More from Chris McGreal at The Guardian
On May 22, 2015, the United Nations Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ) gathered in Vienna and adopted the Mandela Rules, which are revisions to the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (SMR), the leading international principles on the treatment of prisoners, which had not been updated since they were drafted in 1955. The Mandela Rules honor the late South African President Nelson Mandela, who was imprisoned for 27 years by the country’s apartheid regime.
More from the International Justice Resource Center
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is set to receive foreign ministers from Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) member nations at the State Palace on Wednesday, in a move seen by many as part of the government’s attempt to woo the group, which has often voiced concerns over alleged human rights abuses in Papua.
By Bagus BT Saragih and Margareth S. Aritonang; more at The Jakarta Post