Responsibility to Protect: A 5 point test

An interesting 5 point test on whether to invoke the Responsibility to Protect, presented by Gareth Evans, Australia’s foreign minister for eight years in his Project Syndicate article.

  1. “The first criterion is the potential harm to civilians: is the threat of a type and scale that prima facie justifies the use of force?”
  2. “Whether the primary purpose of any proposed military action is to halt or avert the threat to civilians”
  3. “The issue of last resort: has every non-military option been explored and found unlikely to succeed?”
  4. “Proportional means: are the scale, duration, and intensity of the proposed military action the minimum necessary to meet the threat in question?”
  5. “The final, and ultimately the most crucial, criterion for intervention is the balance of consequences: will military intervention do more harm than good?”

Tackling Famine – Moving beyond food aid

If you give a man a fish, he eats for a day.
If you teach a man to fish, he can always eat.

The general response to instances of famine is just to hand out food so people don’t die. That was largely my perception and I wasn’t aware of that fact until I read Sam Dryden’s opinion piece at Project Syndicate.

In it, he makes the case that our response to famine shouldn’t just be handing out more food aid. That is certainly important, but a long term response is also needed to bolster the food security of farmers who rely on sustenance agriculture so that when similarly problematic conditions occur in the future, food security is improved and famine is less likely to occur.

I think Sam makes a valid point and certainly one that never occurred to me.

Full article below:

Brookings Institute Recommendations for Rio+20 and Beyond

9 recommendations of actions by the Brookings Institute that will advance environmental quality that is “equitable and sustainable, pursued in conjunction with economic and social objectives, and undertaken with priority for poverty alleviation”.

A useful and interesting read for those in the enviornmental movement. Sadly, governments are likely just to ignore them.

From http://www.brookings.edu/opinions/2011/0808_global_environmental_quality_brown.aspx

Climate Change: Global Drowning in Brokenhagen

The world had high expectations. But once again, the world was disappointed by bickering and selfishness amongst national leaders. Copenhagen was intended to hammer out an intentional consensus to solving Climate Change. Even before it began, the conspiracy effort to lower expectations and allow nations to skive off requirements began.

First was the questionable time of events of ClimateGate. Admittedly, the emails raised considerable questions. The fact that such phrases were ever used calls for the scientists to review their actions. But a few dubious emails don’t sustain a denial. The few emails that were stolen don’t suddenly overturn the thousands of pages of evidence that shows Climate Change is real and present. In the wider picture, it is still painfully clear that Climate Change is real and that we need to do something about it.Even the political arm of the White House tried to shy away from the issue by scheduling Obama’s appearance at an unimportant time before the realities of the world forced him to make a prime-time visit that created both failure and success.