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Advancing Security & Availing Assistance to Internally Displaced Persons
Transcript of Advancing Security & Availing Assistance to Internally Displaced Persons
are new entrants to the litany of human displacement & despair in Africa, so much, so the repeat of the Rwandan Genocide would be too ghastly to contemplate. This is happening despite the fact that protection & assistance to the IDPs is central to the African Union Kampala Convention.
African states have legally committed
themselves to promote & strengthen regional &
national measures to
prevent or mitigate, prohibit & eliminate root causes of internal displacement & provide durable solutions.
Furthermore, they have agreed to establish legal framework for preventing internal displacement, protecting & assisting IDPs, to establish legal framework for solidarity, cooperation, promotion of durable solutions & mutual support among States ...
They have pledged to provide for the obligations & responsibilities of States & provide for the respective obligations and responsibilities of stakeholders on prevention, protection of, & assistance to, IDPs.
Nonetheless, the AU Conventions
have a history of implementation deficit.
They seem within reach, only to elude; they look readily tractable, only to resist realization.
As we look intently into an emptiness of gruesome genocide in SS & CAR, the UNSC must focus on the most vital action of addressing the root causes of displacement, restoring security & elevating participatory humanitarian action. It must augur its decisions on soft power of conflict management approaches, alliance of ethnics and religions, peace, reconciliation, shared values, vision and resources of civil society, and Public Private Partnerships and implementation of ‘right to protect’ resolutions.
CAR and SS are new entrants to the
litany of human displacement and despair in Africa. The repeat of the Rwandan Genocide is all too ghastly to contemplate . This is happening despite the fact that protection and assistance to IDPs is central to the Kampala Convention. Let me begin by commending the Union for its engagement of Crisis Affected States & Societies (CAS) in the Kampala Convention. In focusing on the context & broader environment of conflicts in Africa, questions emerge
Engaging African Polities in Advancing Self-esteem of & Protection & Assistance to IDP “The Kampala Convention”
Costantinos BT Costantinos, PhD
Professor of Comparative Public Policy, AAU Graduate School, Trustee, Africa Humanitarian Action,
Cases of Central African Republic &
How do states go into a crisis: there are rapid onset, slow onset, natural or human made crises and what are the circumstances under which a breaking up state affects CAS?
In seeking the implementation of the Convention, what mechanisms and mediums are used to express Crises-Affected Societies (CAS) injury, resolve and expectation?
How are their indigenous coping mechanisms and adaptive strategies that constitute their resistance and resilience articulated to preserve their self-esteem, integrity and innovativeness;
How do humanitarian pundits articulate mediums for engaging the Kampala Convention?
As a way of contributing to the overcoming or lessening of these difficulties, humanitarians may theorise engagement of the Convention as the dynamic interaction of policy, strategy, organization and process. It is possible to see such engagement as the playing out of objective and critical standards, rules and concepts of economic, social and political conduct in the goals and activities of all participants, those of officials and/or combatants who make and administer the rules as well as those of ordinary citizens.
How does one view the
Kampala Convention’s process openness
Here, conceptual possibilities may be left unrealized, or sub-optimally realized, insofar as the elite are preoccupied with filling out those spaces of uncertainty in humanitarian thought, discourse and action that alternative ideas would occupy in the course of their own engagement. It has to do with creating conditions for the existence of the broadest possible range of opinions and sentiments. In this regard, we can ask,
The concern here is not so much the number and diversity of ideas, values and opinions allowed to gain currency in the
as modes of their competitive and co-operative articulation.
Indeed current analyses of engagement of crisis-affected societies in the Convention are gener-ally marked by the tendency to narrow such an engagement to terms of immediate, not very well considered, action, naïve realism, as it were. Problems of grounding the Convention realistically rather than simply as abstract promise obtain little attention –
promising too much could be as
deadly as doing nothing.
It is easy to flow with the current trend and
advocate engagement of the Kampala Convention as a desirable paradigm. Nor is it difficult to make normative judgments about how agencies should behave if engagement of the Kampala Convention is to grow into a positive agent of change. Nevertheless, it is not so easy to conceptualize the Convention as a working process, which balanced against strategy, determines what
makes for real, as opposed to vacuously
The context for dialogue, partnership and interface
Far more critical in determining both the level and quality of dialogue and strategic partnership within the Kampala Convention is the political and economic context in which fragile states find themselves. The context for dialogue, partnership and interface has largely been determined by agencies rather than the authors of signatories of the Kampala Convention.
New ‘rules’ of engagement must be based on the fundamental perception, that people and their participation can be the handmaiden of the Kampala Convention.
• The Security Council members must be aware of the various kinds of organisations that play a leading role during different phases of crisis and take a snapshot of the organisational landscape, compiling a record of basic data on all local organisations
The issue here is not simply one of application of the Kampala Convention to particular activities. Nor is it one of dissolving agent-catered strategies into objective principles and norms. It is rather the production or articulation of process elements and forms within and through the strategic (and non-strategic) activities of participants.
Engagement of African states in the Kampala Convention will commonly be characterised by a number of distinctive and shared additional elements, including national and cultural values, traditions of political discourse and arguments and modes of representation of specific interests and needs. These elements, or complexes of elements, will tend to assume varying forms and enter into shifting relations of cooperation, competition & supremacy. Engagement of states in the Convention tend to be unsettled and, at times, unsettling. Particularly at the initiation of rapid-onset crisis, they are more likely to be uncertain rather than stable structures, ideas and values. A determinate order of institutions, powers and interests operate through complexes of engagement ideas and values, filling out, specifying, anchoring and often short-cutting their formal content.
Findings from the process-oriented survey point to the fact that
soliciting their voices is one dimension but listening to what those voices say, is a much deeper expression of their perceptual encounter in its purely subjective bearing.
Participatory monitoring of both the PSTM & ACM shows that psychosocial healing was immensely successful where refugees/IDPs themselves directly took charge of situation analysis and synthesis of resolution.
Training of both AHA staff and refuges/IDP community leaders in participatory tools has been the cornerstone for setting the process in motion.
Appeal to the
The UNSC must act and now!
1. Implementation of the Kampala
Convention can be explained with reference to two institutional factors: political organizations and political rules.
Conflict management approaches
derive from several basic premises about the nature of conflict, change and power. While attitudes about conflict can differ radically from one cultural context to another, it is assumed here that conflict is a given process in society. The problem lies rather in how conflict is managed. Such an approach to conflict recognizes that the parties in a dispute have different & frequently opposing views about the proper solution to a problem, but acknowledge that each group's views from its perspective may be both
rational & legitimate.
3. Alliance of ethnics and religions that require the UNSC’s attention
Citizenship is the cornerstone of peace in the 21st Century
Strengthening a rights culture and democratic institutions
Independent human quality think tanks are indispensable here
Peace & reconciliation
Shared values, vision and resources of civil society
The role of Public Private Partnerships (PPP)
The relevance of Kampala
Convention can be explained with
reference to two institutional factors:
compassionate institutions and rules
. The central hypothesis is that
the relative strength of local institutions determines the rules of the game in humanitarian engagement and human security
. The institutional characteristics that apply to CAR & SS are organizational autonomy, capacity, complexity & cohesion
In its most general form, humanitarianism is an ethic of kindness, benevolence, and sympathy extended universally and impartially to all human beings, an evolving concept with a common element of
. No distinction is to be made in the face of suffering or abuse on grounds of gender, sexual orientation, race, caste, age, religion... It can also be described as the acceptance of every human being for just plainly being another human, ignoring and abolishing biased social views, prejudice... in the process, if utilized individually as a practiced viewpoint, or mindset. The enlightenment idea of reform combined with the ethic of active compassion inspired the social action of the movement (Wikipedia, 2013:3).
2. Conflict management approaches that need the Security Council’s attention
There must be consensus on the rules of the game, whether these rules are embodied in legal texts, or in less formal but no less real customs of politics, that may institutionalize uncertainty. It can succeed if and when all the political actors accept this uncertainty as preferable to the horror of conflicts. Nonetheless, AU Conventions have a history of implementation deficit. They seem within reach, only to elude; they look readily tractable, only to resist realization. As these nations look intently into a void of horrifying genocide, the UNSC must focus on the most vital action of restoring security and humanitarian action.
The discourse seeks to understand the configuration of social forces in the context of the always-impending social transformation of society based on the balance of such forces. The political interaction perspective on the other hand presumes that societal relationship as central to understanding the political dynamic in civic harmony. The neo-liberal orthodoxy’s offshoots of this tradition have tended to treat civil society as if it were a replacement of class analysis.
Engagement of crisis-affected societies tend to be unsettled and, at times, unsettling. Particularly at these initial stages, they are more likely to be uncertain rather than stable structures, ideas and values. While, this has the effect of opening up the engagement process, of freeing the process from simple domination by any one organized actor or coalition of actors, yet, global ideological elements and relations take shape and come into play within a hierarchy of global and local agencies and groups.
A determinate order of institutions, powers, interests and activates operates through complexes of humanitarian program ideas and values, filling out, specifying, anchoring and, often short-cutting their formal content or meaning.
The supply of ideas of engagement of crisis-affected societies may be artificially deflated by particular strategies and mechanisms used by the elite to manage entire participatory processes. Conceptual possibilities may be left unrealized, or sub-optimally realized, insofar as the elite are preoccupied with filling out those spaces of uncertainty in humanitarian thought, discourse and action that alternative or opposition parties would occupy in the course of their own engagement, which raises the questions
Are all ideas and values of engagement of crisis-affected societies allowed to contend or are there unwritten codes, which prevent or hinder such action?
Do the views and perspectives of crisis-affected societies have a significant and legitimate place in humanitarian action? Is good faith criticism of a particular humanitarian strategy of a particular agency construed as negation of engagement of crisis-affected societies as such?
New ‘rules’ of engagement of
CAS principles must be based on the fundamental perception, that people and their participation must be the handmaiden of human development and human security vision, underpinning a paradigm shift of a negotiating trend towards a total reorientation of both donors and recipients.
Donors must recognize this constitutive tenet that PEACE springs from the collective imagination, experiences and decision of people; once more testifying to how critical, it is for development to proceed from the cultural make-up, skills, needs and aspirations of communities.
Re-branding ‘crisis societies’ in their historical context will certainly serve as a basis for collective learning to found the base for endogenously derived models of humanitarian action.
Institutions and rules
Humanitarian effectiveness can be explained with reference to two institutional factors: institutions and rules. The central hypothesis is that
the relative strength of local institutions determines the rules of the game in humanitarian effectiveness and human security.
These breed generic characteristics that apply to organisational
autonomy, capacity, complexity and cohesion.
In combination, these determine the relative strength of organisations. Hence, effectiveness in humanitarian work can be attained only if full
accountability, transparency and predictability
are assured. This is a process of institutional learning, in which partner organisations develop a new and stable set of mechanisms.
Humanitarian actors must be aware different kinds of organisations play a leading role during different phases of crisis engagement. It is necessary to take a snapshot of the organizational landscape, compiling a record of basic background data on all local organizations. Such an inventory must necessarily include information on the position taken by protagonist on political contestation and participation and identifying and underscoring the importance of organizations leading humanitarian action. In order to set the context, donors must study the crisis state’s distinctive institutional history, focusing on the balance of power between the interactions of civic, state and international organizations.
Social sustainability of IDP protection & assisitance
must be a problematic not merely because of characteristics and activities specific to the agencies providing leadership, but because of the challenges of balancing the desire for engagement with the reality of a limited ‘democratic’ experience and high levels of illiteracy.
The strategy and process proceed through two basic steps.
The first step consists of a description of the central component of an innovative engagement strategy in objective terms. This involves noting problems of change identified and solutions offered, i.e., the articulation of crisis-affected societies’ issues, goals, task, mechanisms and activities.
The second step is analysis of the strategy - examination of its sources, elements, features and limitations and its implications for humanitarian crisis. Hence, several pillars emerge on strengthening crisis-affected societies (Costantinos, 2011).
4. CAS Engagement: what is different?
Far more critical in determining both the level and quality of dialogue and strategic humanitarian partnership is the political and economic context in which crises societies find themselves. The context for dialogue, cooperation and interface has so far been determined largely by the rules and wishes of donors as locals enjoy limited sovereignty.
More than in the past, aid has become a vital and distasteful reality, greasing social forces it finds attuned and disenfranchising those that are not.
UN Security Council
Testimony on the Plight of Internally Displaced Peoples (IDPs) in Africa and the imperative to Engage African States according to the Kampala
Convention on the Protection and Assistance to IDPs
United Nations, New York, May 30, 2014.
Are all ideas and values of the Convention allowed to contend or are there unwritten codes of African states, which prevent or hinder such actions?
Do the views and perspectives of crises societies have a significant and legitimate place in the Convention? Is good faith criticism of the engagement strategy construed as hostile to it?
Does the Convention enter local processes as an external ideology, constructing and deploying its concepts in sterile abstraction from local state priorities?
Does it come into play in opposition or in cooperation to political values & cultures?
Does this signify change in terms of the transformation of the Convention into an activity mediated and guided by objective standards, rules and principles?
In the establishment of rules of engagement of the Convention, do African states equate their articulation with the broad-based concepts, norms and goals of ‘humanitarianism’, which should govern their actions?
The need for collective learning about responses and the responsibility to those whose suffering provided the basis for that learning will never be more urgent than now. Unfortunately, such lessons, which may be learned through the shocks administered by an uncompromising reality, are rarely translated quickly into personal or organizational memories and the inherent will to change. The reasons for this are sometimes rooted in human inertia, weakness, and self-interest. They are equally often the products of a genuine confusion about how to act most effectively in an environment that seems to be growing more complex.
Implementation of the Kampala Convention requires a plural set of political moves, which promote and protect rules of peaceful political participation and competition. Hence, implementation of the Convention can be attained only if legal texts are applied to ensure full accountability, transparency and predictability. Implementation of the Convention is a process of institutional learning, in which state and societal organisations develop a new and stable set of mechanisms to manage conflict peacefully
If found necessary, the final step is to engage countires in the region to stablize SS & CAR