Posts Tagged ‘humanitarian standards’

Angelina Jolie addressed UN forcefully on crucial role of women

May 4, 2019

Angelina Jolie Addresses Women's Rights at the UN

UNTV via AP Video

And just in case you missed it, on Friday 29 March 2019, Angelina Jolie warned at the UN that the world “will remain stuck in a cycle of violence and conflicts” as long as nations continue to put almost every other issue ahead of women’s equality, rights and participation. In her speech to the annual meeting of foreign and defense ministers, the Oscar-winning actress focused primarily on women, but she also talked about the importance of multilateralism and the growing refugee crisis. She showed again that she is an excellent speaker [see e.g. https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2017/02/27/angelina-jolie-gives-2017-sergio-vieira-de-mello-lecture-on-15-march-2017/].

Jolie, who is a special envoy for the UNHCR, added in a keynote address to a ministerial meeting on U.N. peacekeeping that “denying half a population representation in peace negotiations or in government is not the route to long-term stability.” There are many examples around the world of successful and inspiring women, she said, “but women and girls are still the majority of the victims of war,” over half the world’s refugees, and “the vast majority” of victims of rape and sexual violence. If the world accepted the principle that those affected by a problem should be charged with determining a solution, Jolie said, “then the majority of the world’s peace negotiators, foreign ministers and diplomats would be women.” But she quickly said: “We all know the reality.” The reality, Jolie added, is that unequal power relations, “abuse of power, gender bias, violence and lack of justice” have kept many women in a subordinate and vulnerable position internationally.

She pointed to missile strikes on schools and hospitals, families bombed in their homes, chemical weapons dropped on neighborhoods, besieged areas unable to get aid, and mass rapes.

We seem incapable of upholding minimum standards of humanity in many parts of the world,” Jolie said. “That this comes at a time when humankind is richer and more technologically advanced than ever before is all the more painful.”

She recalled that there were fewer than 20 million displaced people when she started working with the UNHCR. “Today there are over 65 million people displaced, and the numbers are rising,” Jolie said. ” Peacekeepers who commit violations must be investigated and prosecuted, she said, and there must be no impunity for crimes committed against women and girls during conflict. Above all, Jolie said, the world needs to understand “that women are themselves protectors: As mothers. As peacekeepers. As human rights defenders.” “As long as we continue to put almost every other issue ahead of women’s rights and participation we will remain stuck in a cycle of violence and conflict. We will have learned nothing. And our institutions will count for less than they should,” Jolie said.

Geneva Call: even armed groups can adhere to humanitarian standards

September 17, 2015

In this short video produced by True Heroes Films (THF) spokespeople for armed non-state actors explain why they feel they have to adhere to humanitarian standards. The definition of human rights defenders excludes those who advocate or use violence but the importance of them respecting basic standards is a crucial, long-term issue.

This Geneva Call short video features 13 high-level representatives of armed non-State actors (ANSAs) from 10 countries, including Syria, Burma/Myanmar and Sudan. In it, they explain why they think it is so important to enter into a dialogue with Geneva Call on humanitarian norms and the protection of civilian populations.  Although ANSAs are responsible for violations of humanitarian norms in many conflicts, it is possible to engage them in a dialogue about respecting those norms.

It is in ANSAs’ interests to respect humanitarian norms, not only to gain support from populations in the areas they control but also to maintain a good reputation. Complying with humanitarian norms often sits well with the political or religious values that are at the root of their struggle, and compliance can make them more credible interlocutors when peace negotiations take place.

These statements were filmed at Geneva Call’s Third Meeting of Signatories in November 2014. This meeting in Geneva brought together 70 high-level representatives of 36 ANSAs from 14 different countries.

see also: https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2015/05/21/fighter-not-killer-application-now-available-from-geneva-call/