By Larry Minear, Hazel Smith
Humanitarian pros are at the entrance strains of cutting-edge inner armed conflicts, negotiating entry via actual and diplomatic roadblocks to arrive imperiled civilians. They common the corridors of strength, interceding with politicians and diplomats in nations wracked by means of violence, in capitals of donor governments that underwrite humanitarian paintings, and on the United international locations protection Council. they supply the media with authoritative and catalytic information regarding events of humanitarian extremity. Humanitarian international relations bargains a compendium of humanitarian operations in settings as different because the Balkans, Nepal, Somalia, and East Timor, from the Nineteen Seventies in Cambodia and Nineteen Eighties in Lebanon to newer engagements in Colombia and Iraq. those distinct stories and insights from the sphere are framed by means of context-setting essays at the thought and perform of humanitarian international relations. This quantity offers a special source for practitioners, coverage groups, and scholars of humanitarian motion, in addition to for the involved public.
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Additional resources for Humanitarian Diplomacy: Practitioners And Their Craft
Invocation of hard-and-fast principles can be the enemy of action. Instead of debating principles with the Taliban and embarrassing them for not caring about ‘‘our’’ principles, Chapter 7 on Afghanistan recalls, some agencies sought practical ways to get girls into schools. Instead of insisting that the authorities free all child soldiers, Chapter 13 on Sierra Leone notes, UNICEF concentrated on the younger ones, including their need for rehabilitation. This sort of ‘‘humanitarian pragmatism’’ can be based on principle without being immobilized by it.
UNICEF, thanks to considerable resources generated by its national citizens’ committees, has revenue sources that represent something of a counterweight to the funding it receives from governments. The ICRC’s mandate and juridical status thrust it into situations of internal armed conﬂict, a role exercised over the years with impressive consistency and success. It is demonstrably better suited to function in such settings – the East Timor chapter suggests as much – than are the humanitarian organizations of the UN system.
The record does not bear out their contention. Many professional diplomats are unfamiliar with humanitarian principles, organizations and culture. This is true of some who function as Special Representatives of the UN Secretary-General in speciﬁc conﬂicts or post-conﬂict arenas. It is also true of some who serve as UN Resident Coordinators charged with ensuring the coordination of all UN economic and humanitarian programmes within a given country. Many such persons exhibit a tendency to instrumentalize assistance and protection activities, treating them as arrows in a larger quiver that also includes economic sanctions and military force.