Statement Regarding the High-Level Independent Panel on United Nations Peace Operations
Today, more than 120,000 United Nations peacekeepers are deployed within 16 operations across the globe. They are increasingly sent into the most dangerous and desperate of conflict zones, with mandates that are broader and more challenging than ever before. Sensing that these unprecedented demands had stretched the UN to the breaking point, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon established a high-level independent panel in October 2014 to “make a comprehensive assessment of the state of UN peace operations today, and the emerging needs of the future.” The panel is expected to deliver a draft report to the Secretary General in May 2015, with the final report made public during the UN General Assembly in September 2015.
Interaction FY16 Community Letter to the House and Senate
We, the undersigned members and partners of InterAction, write to urge
you to support funding in FY 2016 for poverty-focused international
development and humanitarian assistance accounts at no less than the
levels outlined in the attached recommendations and our accompanying Choose to Invest FY2016.
Letter to UN Security Council Members on the Situation in Katanga
Severe conflict is underway in Katanga Province. Villages across
northern Katanga have been razed, forcing as many as 540,000 people to
flee. Thousands of human rights violations – including killings,
torture, and sexual violence – have been committed by the Mai Mai Bakata
Katanga rebel group, Bantu and Pygmy self-defense militias, and members
of the Congolese military.
Letter Regarding the Nomination of Bathsheba Crocker to be Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs
Ms. Crocker, whose nomination faces no known opposition in the Senate
and was voted unanimously out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee,
has nevertheless been waiting over 250 days for a confirmation vote.
Letter to the Obama Administration on the Need for Full Peacekeeping Funding
Fulfilling these recommendations would also better position the U.S. to
advance its international leadership in proactive crisis response by
strengthening a range of multilateral policy tools and diplomatic
resources that have been impeded by recent Congressional budgetary
processes and pressures.
One Year after the Violence Began: Civil Society Organizations Deeply Concerned by the Human Rights and Humanitarian Situation of Stateless Rohingya
The Rohingya, a stateless minority of Myanmar, have endured decades
of abuse, persecution and discrimination. One year ago, on 3 June 2012,
the massacre of ten Muslims travelling in Rakhine State, following the
killing and reported rape of a Buddhist woman, marked the beginning of a
series of violent attacks against the Rohingya and other Muslim
communities. The violence of June and October 2012 resulted in countless
deaths, destruction to property, large scale internal displacement and
segregation within Rakhine state of Myanmar. Consequently, thousands of
Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia and beyond.
Letter to the Deputy Special Representative for MONUSCO
Refugees International strongly recommends the activation of a national-level CCCM cluster
to jointly address the needs of displaced persons living in CCCM camps
as well as those living in spontaneous settlements and with host
families. To ensure that spontaneous sites are given equal priority, RI recommends that UNHCR and IOM co-lead the national cluster
and work collaboratively to support displaced persons according to
their needs and irrespective of their location. RI further recommends
the creation of a Strategic Advisory Group to include government
representatives, key UN agencies, and relevant NGO partners.
Letter to the President Obama on the Current Crisis in Eastern Congo
As the situation once again dramatically deteriorates in eastern
Congo, the U.S. response to the crisis has patently failed and is out of
step with other Western nations. The United States must take immediate
steps to address meaningfully one of the greatest ongoing humanitarian
crises of our generation.
Open Letter to All Security Council Members in Advance of Open Debate on Protection of Civilians
Refugees International continues to be encouraged by the Security
Council’s ongoing engagement on the issue of the protection of civilians
in armed conflict. Despite a heightened recognition of the critical
importance of protection of civilians to the work of the Security
Council, as well as numerous tactical innovations at the field level, RI
remains concerned about the inability of individual states, as well as
the broader international community, to meet the widespread challenges
that prevent individuals, particularly those forcibly displaced or at a
heightened risk of statelessness, from living in safety and security
during times of conflict.
Letter to the White House: Statement on the Launch of the National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security
Refugees International congratulates the U.S. Government on this
impressive plan to empower women as partners in peace and security. Just
a few years ago, such a strong, far-reaching plan would have been
unthinkable, and we commend President Obama for his leadership on this
DR Congo: Letter to the Special Envoy for the Africa Great Lakes
As donors, including the U.S. and EU, meet next week to discuss in particular security sector reform in the DRC, we would like to urge you, as the Special Envoy for the Africa Great Lakes region, to take the following recommendations into account.
DR Congo: Letter to UN Special Representative Alan Doss
I would like to thank you for your letter dated September 22. My colleagues and I appreciate the time that you took to respond to our latest DRC field report in detail. I want to stress at the outset that in the case of MONUC Refugees International’s basic approach is critical support --- we may point out problems and deficiencies, but always from a core perspective of appreciating the work that you do and the vital role that MONUC plays in developing a stable Congo where its people can live in safety and dignity.
Letter to the Candidates: End the Militarization of Foreign Aid
Globally, the military is filling a vacuum created by shrinking civilian capacity, and the result will be short-term solutions for the vexing and enduring challenges facing the world’s “bottom billion”. The militarization of aid in pursuit of national security objectives will not enhance US ability to achieve its foreign policy goals – including prevailing in the war against terrorism.
Letter to President Bush: Address Humanitarian Concerns During Visit to Africa
The nations of Africa have a long history of insecurity and instability. Today, the continent holds the highest number of people displaced due to conflict in the world, and their access to basic services such as clean water, food, healthcare and education is largely inadequate.
Letter to UN Secretary-General Urges Focus on Peacekeeping in Congo
MONUC, the UN’s largest peacekeeping mission, has played a crucial role in the DRC’s progress, but now needs to evolve to help consolidate peace while leading efforts to rebuild. While peace has returned to many parts of the east, pockets of insecurity, abuse, displacement, and need persist.