Test Box

Test Box for Styles, Fonts & Headings

 

Dr. Walter Dorn
Royal Military College of Canada
& Canadian Forces College
215 Yonge Blvd.
Toronto, ON  Canada  M5M 3H9
E-mail: dorn@cfc.dnd.ca

Research Interests

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Video

Videos

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Walter Dorn interviewed on CBC News Network, February 21, 2015.
(HTML5 video: display may be subject to interruption on slower connections/machines).

 

Externally hosted video

 Dorn TEDx TFS WithTitleSlide 2018

21:55
“The Evolution of Global Governance,” TEDx talk at Toronto French School (TFS), 2018. YouTube link: https://youtu.be/VnQsEfJ3Kl4

 

Various YouTube videos:

lenth: 24:00  

“Technologies for UN Peacekeeping,” part of the online seminar, “PeaceTech: Harnessing Technology to Advance Peacebuilding,”
Centre for Security Governance, Feb 2017, https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=4158&v=5lDqlLqNSsI (min 20:40-44:27)

 

 

TC109 Guest Speaker: Walter Dorn

video by Tech Change (Sept 2014)

What kinds of Technology are now available to UN Peacekeeping Operations? Listen to Dr. Walter Dorn discuss the technological …

 

 

Dr. Walter Dorn, Canadian peacekeeping

video by StraightGoodsNews (2010)

 
Will Canada be a UN Peacekeeper again?” Canadian Forces College Professor Walter Dorn, in conversation with the Globe and …

 

The Cuban Missile Crisis – UN mediated conflict resolution

video by Science4Peace (2014)

Walter Dorn is Professor of Defence Studies at the Royal Military College of Canada (RMCC) and the Canadian Forces College … (HD)

 

 

 

Walter Dorn – Introduction of Luis Moreno Ocampo (2012)

video by Science4Peace

 
 
The Eric Fawcett Fall Forum 2012 was co-sponsored by Canadian Pugwash Group and Science for Peace. For the address by …

 

 

Convention on Cluster Munitions: Testimony on Canadian legisltation

Convention on Cluster Munitions: Testimony on Proposed Canadian legisltation

 

Walter Dorn’s testimony before the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Ottawa, 18 October 2012. Government website: En, Fr.

 

Senator A. Raynell Andreychuk (Chair) in the chair.

[English]

The Chair: Honourable senators, the Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade is continuing its examination of Bill S-10, An Act to implement the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

….

Walter Dorn, Chair, Department of Security and International Affairs, Canadian Forces College, as an individual: Thank you so much, honourable senators, for this opportunity to meet with you.

[English]

The Convention on Cluster Munitions is a major achievement, coming after what I call a decade of darkness, the period after the signing of the 1997 Ottawa convention until this one, the 2008 Oslo convention.

This convention’s comprehensive ban deserves to be implemented with the strongest measures of support. Arms- control treaties like this one enhance both national and international security, and I am glad that Canada is finally ratifying the 2008 convention. However, similar to other testimony you have heard this morning, I have three grave concerns about clause 11 in Bill S-10.

On legality, clause 11 deals with Canadian military operations in conjunction with nations not party to the treaty. Unfortunately, this section opens a gaping loophole, one big enough to send planeloads of cluster bombs through. In effect, it allows Canadian soldiers in such combined operations to “assist,” “direct,” “aid and abet” and “conspire” with others to use cluster munitions. These are all words from the clause or section itself.

This section is clearly in contravention of the treaty, even under the widest possible interpretation of the treaty in Article 21. That article allows parties to engage in combined operations with non-parties — perfectly natural — but it does not allow a state party to assist or cooperate in using cluster munitions. Canadians in a U.S. chain of command, or fighting alongside, cannot legally, under this treaty, use cluster munitions or assist other nations to do so.

Clause 11 of the bill constitutes, in effect, a reservation to the treaty which is not permitted under article 19 of the treaty itself. Furthermore, the section is in contravention of the object and purpose of the convention, so it is prohibited by the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties.

My second point is about morality. As someone who works daily with those who have deployed in combined operations and who might do so myself as a civilian under the Code of Service Discipline, I have to say that the current draft legislation could put us in a compromising position.

Those deployed on behalf of Canada do not want to be forced to violate the treaty or be associated with violations. The terms of the bill would oblige Canadians to accept orders which they might consider illegal. It would then put them in a legal limbo between national and international law. Soldiers are trained to obey “lawful orders.” This would create confusion because the laws are contradictory. A complete prohibition, as obliged by the convention, would be much clearer.

Other troublesome moral questions arise. Would we want Canada to be considered an accomplice in the use of cluster munitions? Do we want Canada to apply double standards: one for solo missions and another for combined operations? Would we have accepted any kind of exemption like this when we ratified the torture convention or the Geneva Conventions?

My third area is about the norms we are establishing. When state parties apply reservations and narrow national interpretations to a treaty, the entire treaty regime is weakened. The convention needs to be reinforced, not weakened.

For norm creation, we can apply a Kantian test: Would Canada want other nations to apply these clause 11 reservations? In combined operations with other groups in which one country is not a signatory, would we want this to give licence to all state parties, friend or foe, in the group to participate in the use of cluster munitions? Aggressive states could apply this type of provision in an attempt to justify violations of the treaty during their own combined operations.

Beyond that, would we want other parties to include their own exemptions and loopholes that go beyond the outer bounds of the treaty? Once having given a self-serving interpretation, will Canada be in a position to criticize other nations who have their own self-serving interpretations of other provisions in this treaty?

In conclusion, clause 11 of the current draft legislation seems to be in legal contravention of the treaty. It gives rise to serious moral dilemmas and weakens the norm against the use of these terrible weapons. It should be removed or amended.

To end on a positive note, this Senate committee has an opportunity to build on this new and strong international norm. Your bill provides a special opportunity for the Senate to demonstrate sober, first thought, as it shows leadership in advance of the house. Hopefully, by putting the bill through the Senate first, the government is showing a willingness to consider senatorial input and improvements. The development of a strong, fully implemented treaty is now in your hands.

The Chair: Thank you, Dr. Dorn.

 

Questions and Answers:

….

Senator Fortin-Duplessis: … what measures has the government not yet taken regarding this plan you talked about?

Mr. Dorn: The Government of Canada could provide leadership in international fora on this issue, just as we did with the land mines convention. It could help establish an effective verification system, which is one of the weaknesses of this treaty. It could support NGOs in doing investigations. It could help with victims’ assistance and setting up international programs for that. Most pertinent to this committee, it could provide model legislation that we want other nations to emulate.

….

Senator Wallin: My point is — and I really need to focus on this — other countries will do what they will. In almost all situations I can think of, we will be working under the auspices of NATO or the UN or a coalition of the willing or two countries that are interested. Are you actually saying that we should not do that; we should not work with others who use cluster munitions in any way, shape or form, even if our own domestic interests are at stake?

….

Mr. Dorn: No. We can still go into a combined operation with the United States, which has not signed the cluster munitions convention. Article 21 actually allows for us to join in combined operations. What it does not allow is for us to actually use munitions within that operation. In military terms, we might have a caveat in the operational plan saying that when it comes to making decisions about dropping cluster munitions, Canadians will not be involved. The problem is that the provisions of clause 11 suggest that Canadians can do that, and that is what we feel is in contravention of the treaty.

….

The Chair: There are apparently two supplementary questions, one from me and one from Senator Smith. We will try to make our questions quick and if we can get your answers quickly, probably to Dr. Dorn and Mr. Collins.

Article 21 is the article that you feel gives an out and does not make the absolute prohibition of cluster munitions. It allows for use. That was the negotiation. That is the point of the convention — people had to either sign or not sign. Then we go to clause 11.

Australia has taken an approach that is different from New Zealand. New Zealand acknowledges Article 21 but leaves it to future interpretation what a soldier or what the military can do. In clause 11 — and I am not as conversant with the Australian one — they are enumerating when it can be acceptable so that a military person will not be charged.

Those are the acceptable uses contemplated up front, trying to limit, saying we understand there is Article 21, so clause 11 says this is how we will interpret it and those will be the exceptions. Some will argue that is narrowing Article 21 and the New Zealand approach saying that soldiers will not be charged is a broader exemption, and time will tell whose approach will be most conducive to furthering the full abolition of cluster munitions.

That is sort of a follow-up position of the militaries that have obviously fed into the process of developing the ratification processes in each country.

Do you want to put your supplementary, Senator Smith, and they can answer both?

Senator D. Smith: It is very simple, and I thought maybe you could just confirm. My interpretation of what Mr. Allmand said is that Canada should do the same thing you did in the land mines treaty: just do not have a clause 11. It works for the land mines and it should work for this. That is pretty simple. Is that what you are saying?

….

Mr. Dorn: Article 21 of the Convention on Cluster Munitions is not an out. It does not allow for the use of cluster munitions. What it simply says is that if you are in a combined operation with non-state parties, you can continue to participate in that combined operation. It does not say that you can use cluster munitions within that operation. It just allows countries to feel more easy about working with countries that are not parties to the treaty —

The Chair: It allows interoperability. That is what I was trying to say.

Mr. Dorn: It is a form of interoperability.

 

 

Testimony Before Parliamentary Bodies

Testimony and Presentations Before Parliamentary Bodies

Canada

“Canada’s Involvement in NATO and the UN: A Comparison,” House of Commons Standing Committee on National Defence, 1 November 2017. Oral testimony: En, Fr. Pdf: En, Fr. Written brief: En (pdf), Fr (pdf)

Improving the Cluster Munitions Convention Legislation, House of Commons Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development, Ottawa, 21 November 2013. (En) (Fr) (Sound recording, minutes 10-17)

Improving the Cluster Munitions Convention Legislation, Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Ottawa, 18 October 2012. (En) (Fr)

Science for Peace or Science for War?, House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology, Ottawa, 5 June 2008. (En) (Fr)

Canada in Afghanistan: the Lost Peacekeeping Principles, Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development, Ottawa, 22 March 2007. (En) (Fr)

Ratifying and Implementing the Chemical Weapons Convention, Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs And International Trade, (Chairman: Bill Graham) Ottawa, 6 June 1995. (En) (Fr)

United Nations Fact-Finding, Written testimony for the Canadian Standing Committee on External Affairs and International Trade, 5 November 1992.

 

Abroad

Mexican Participation in Peacekeeping Operations, parliamentary seminar, Mexican Congress, Mexico City, 12 July 2005. (televised)

The Chemical Weapons Convention: National and International Implementation, presentation to the Arms Control and Disarmament Committee of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), Deutscher Bundestag, Bonn, 2 February 1993.

Ratifying and Implementing the Chemical Weapons Convention, (introducing a Parliamentary Declaration drafted by W. Dorn and subsequently signed by over 1,000 parliamentarians), Symposium of Parliamentarians for Global Action, French Parliament (L’Assemblée Nationale), Paris, 13 January 1993.

Arms Control After the End of the Cold War, talks with the Australian National Group of Parliamentarians for Global Action (upon invitation from Senator Margaret Reynolds), Australian Parliament, Canberra, 10 September 1992.

 

 


 

Sample Extract:

Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade (October 18, 2012)

Walter Dorn, Chair, Department of Security and International Affairs, Canadian Forces College, as an individual: Thank you so much, honourable senators, for this opportunity to meet with you.

[English]

The Convention on Cluster Munitions is a major achievement, coming after what I call a decade of darkness, the period after the signing of the 1997 Ottawa convention until this one, the 2008 Oslo convention.

This convention’s comprehensive ban deserves to be implemented with the strongest measures of support. Arms- control treaties like this one enhance both national and international security, and I am glad that Canada is finally ratifying the 2008 convention. However, similar to other testimony you have heard this morning, I have three grave concerns about clause 11 in Bill S-10.

On legality, clause 11 deals with Canadian military operations in conjunction with nations not party to the treaty. Unfortunately, this section opens a gaping loophole, one big enough to send planeloads of cluster bombs through. In effect, it allows Canadian soldiers in such combined operations to “assist,” “direct,” “aid and abet” and “conspire” with others to use cluster munitions. These are all words from the clause or section itself.

This section is clearly in contravention of the treaty, even under the widest possible interpretation of the treaty in Article 21. That article allows parties to engage in combined operations with non-parties — perfectly natural — but it does not allow a state party to assist or cooperate in using cluster munitions. Canadians in a U.S. chain of command, or fighting alongside, cannot legally, under this treaty, use cluster munitions or assist other nations to do so.

Clause 11 of the bill constitutes, in effect, a reservation to the treaty which is not permitted under article 19 of the treaty itself. Furthermore, the section is in contravention of the object and purpose of the convention, so it is prohibited by the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties.

My second point is about morality. As someone who works daily with those who have deployed in combined operations and who might do so myself as a civilian under the Code of Service Discipline, I have to say that the current draft legislation could put us in a compromising position.

Those deployed on behalf of Canada do not want to be forced to violate the treaty or be associated with violations. The terms of the bill would oblige Canadians to accept orders which they might consider illegal. It would then put them in a legal limbo between national and international law. Soldiers are trained to obey “lawful orders.” This would create confusion because the laws are contradictory. A complete prohibition, as obliged by the convention, would be much clearer.

Other troublesome moral questions arise. Would we want Canada to be considered an accomplice in the use of cluster munitions? Do we want Canada to apply double standards: one for solo missions and another for combined operations? Would we have accepted any kind of exemption like this when we ratified the torture convention or the Geneva Conventions?

My third area is about the norms we are establishing. When state parties apply reservations and narrow national interpretations to a treaty, the entire treaty regime is weakened. The convention needs to be reinforced, not weakened.

For norm creation, we can apply a Kantian test: Would Canada want other nations to apply these clause 11 reservations? In combined operations with other groups in which one country is not a signatory, would we want this to give licence to all state parties, friend or foe, in the group to participate in the use of cluster munitions? Aggressive states could apply this type of provision in an attempt to justify violations of the treaty during their own combined operations.

Beyond that, would we want other parties to include their own exemptions and loopholes that go beyond the outer bounds of the treaty? Once having given a self-serving interpretation, will Canada be in a position to criticize other nations who have their own self-serving interpretations of other provisions in this treaty?

In conclusion, clause 11 of the current draft legislation seems to be in legal contravention of the treaty. It gives rise to serious moral dilemmas and weakens the norm against the use of these terrible weapons. It should be removed or amended.

To end on a positive note, this Senate committee has an opportunity to build on this new and strong international norm. Your bill provides a special opportunity for the Senate to demonstrate sober, first thought, as it shows leadership in advance of the house. Hopefully, by putting the bill through the Senate first, the government is showing a willingness to consider senatorial input and improvements. The development of a strong, fully implemented treaty is now in your hands.

Presentations Posters

Posters from Past Presentations

“THE LIBYA QUESTION”

A conversation with: Walter Dorn, Peggy Mason, and Daryl Copeland. Thursday, 22 September 2011,
Colonel By Room, Ottawa City Hall. Sponsored by the Rideau Institute.

LibyaQuestion_OttawaOutfront_22Sept2011

        
“KEEPING WATCH:
           Monitoring, Technology and Innovation in UN Peace Operations”

*** Canadian Book Launch *** 

Poster_OttawaBookLaunch_24Sept2011_400x600

 

WillCanadaBePkrAgain_OttawaOutfront_DornLecture_11Feb2010

 

CdnPkg-Absent_UWO_Dorn-LecturePoster_2009_446x578

EyesInTheSky-UN-Peacekeeping_Dorn_CCRS_Poster_27Jan2010_372x481

 

Presentations Upcoming and Recent

Upcoming and Recent Presentations

 

 

 

____________________________________________

RECENT PRESENTATIONS
_________
___________________________________

 

 

“Attack Helicopters and other Crucial Technology for Peace Enforcement”

in conference “Using Force in UN Peace Operations” 

Oslo, August 30 (scheduled)

 

“Emerging technologies and UN peace operations: 
developments and progress since the report of the Expert Panel”

in Stockholm Security Conference, titled “Emerging technologies: Unseen connections, missing players, absent solutions” 

Stockholm, September 19–21 (scheduled)

 

World Federalism and a More Technologically-enabled United Nations”

Canadian Peace Research Association (CPRA) 2017 Conference

1 June 2017

Ryerson University, Toronto

“Peacekeeping Tech”

PeaceTech Scalerator Programme

12 May 2017

United States Institute for Peace, Washington, DC

“Technology for Peacekeeping in the Middle East”

 Force Commanders conference for UN mission in Lebanon, Palestine, and Syria (Golan Heights)

3 May 2017

Naquora, Lebanon

 Part Way There: Technology for UN Peace Operations

Partnership for Technology in Peacekeeping, Seoul, South Korea, 7-9 November 2016

 Technology for UN Peace Operations: A Demonstration

National Defence University, Washington, DC, 21 September 2016

 Testimony to the Senate Committee on National Security and Defence

Parliament Hill, Ottawa, 19 September 2016,

 Testimony quoted in Committee’s report
“UN Deployment: Prioritizing commitments at home and abroad” (
pdf

 

 Canada and the Future of UN Peace Operations

National Defence Headquarters, Ottawa, 31 May 2016

 

“Unprepared for Peace?
The Decline of Canadian Peacekeeping Training (and What to Do About It)”

 Parliament Hill, Ottawa, 2 February 2016

 

“UN Peacekeeping: The Rise of Tech-Contributing Countries”

Canadian Pugwash Research Roundtable, Ottawa City Hall, November 29, 2015

 

“Securing a Nuclear Weapons-Free World:  Creating and retaining the replacement regime
(Support for the United Nations)”

Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, Ottawa City Hall, November 30 (1 pm)

 

The Decline of Canadian Peacekeeping Training”

Location to be determined, Rideau Institute, Ottawa, December 17.

 

“Canada as a Voice for Peace and Development?  A Post-Election Conversation”

Introduction of Hon. Lloyd Axworthy, former Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs

University of Toronto, 9 November 2015

Video: youtu.be/baT6vFX7hwE

*****

Drones and Peacekeeping: The DR Congo and Beyond

New America Foundation

23 July 2015, Washington, DC

Video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zGb81saBUE&list=PLNoVefpaPtVNgX2elWDk3eUsJVI5smLOM

*****

Canada, the Responsibility to Protect and New Technology

McMaster University, Hamilton, 12 June 2015
Keynote address delivered with the Hon. Lloyd Axworthy

 *****

UN Peacekeeping and Technology”

US/UN PKO Technology Table Top Discussion

10-12 February 2015

National Defense University, Washington DC

*****

 Peacekeeping Technologies: A Demonstration with Toys

University of Ottawa, June 16

*****

 

Dorn WoodrowWilsonHouse DornSpeech Podium AutoCorr-Compressed 336x402 24Oct2014

“From the League to the UN Today: Hats Off to You, Mr. Wilson!”
President Woodrow Wilson House, Washington, DC, October 24.

“Evolution in Technology and in Peacekeeping: A Demonstration”
Luncheon speech and demonstration, 8th Annual TIDES Technology Demonstration,
National Defence University, Ft. McNair, Washington, DC, October 8.

“Lessons from World War I and the Paris Peace Conference”
in a panel on “World War 1 and Contemporary Policy on War and Peace,”
Canadian War Museum, September 27, 3 pm.

“Peace Talks and a Peacekeeping Force for Afghanistan?”
in panel  “Pursuing an Afghan Peace: Women, Civil Society and Blue Helmets,”
Ottawa Public Library, Main Branch, September 29, 12 noon. 

Book Launch
Air Power in UN Operations: Wings for Peace

Hart House, University of Toronto, September 16 (featuring Lieutenant-General (ret’d) Roméo Dallaire)
(video)

Practical Technologies to Save Lives: A demonstration for humanitarian and peacekeeping missions”
University College, University of Toronto, September 17. (video)

 

Introduction of Gwynne Dyer, 15 November 2013
University of Toronto

 

“UN Technology on the Frontlines:
Addressing the Crises in Syria and the D.R. Congo”

sponsored by the House Central African Caucus,
Rayburn Building, Capitol Hill, Washington, DC,
September 16.

CapitolHill Dorn 122959 2013-09-16

 

*******************

“Peacekeeping Technology for the Protection of Civilians
Keynote, Forum for the International Day of UN Peacekeepers,
National Defense University (NDU), Washington, D.C.
May 29. (poster, pdf)

*******************

Protecting People with Technology:
Modernizing U.N. Peacekeeping

Stimson Centre, Washington, DC

(invitation, pdf)

29 May 2013
(International Day of UN Peacekeepers)

*******************

Peacekeeping Technology

US Institute for Peace, Washington DC

30 May 2013

USIP Drone-Demonstration 30May2013 640x480

(photo of photodrone demonstration)

*******************

“Canada: the Once and Future Peacekeeper?”
Laurier’s Military History Colloquium, Waterloo, May 4.

*******************

“Historical Progress in Ending Violence Against Women”
in panel on “Women, Peace and Security:
Strategies to End Violence Against Women in Armed Conflict Areas and Leading Humanitarian Disarmament Efforts,”
Baha’i UN Office, New York, March 12.

*******************
 
Enhancing Effective Peace Operations:
How Do We Make Better Use of Modern Technology?

Challenges Forum (sponsored by Argentina, Sweden & Switzerland),
Draft Programme, New York, NY, 15 February 2013

*******************
 
Intelligence in Peace Operations:
Technology vs. Human Intelligence?
Center for International Peace Operations, Announcement,
Berlin, 27 February 2013

*******************

FACULTÉ DE PHILOSOPHIE / FACULTY OF PHILOSOPHY
Domincan University College / Collège Universitaire Dominincain

Walter Dorn

Religions on War: How Similar are They?
13 December 2012, 19h30 / 7:30 p.m.
Albert the Great Hall / Salle Albert le Grand


A study of the main scriptures of seven world religions shows many points in common and many differences. These scriptures have been placed on a spectrum from pacifist to militant, leading to much discussion.

Dr. Walter Dorn is a professor of defence studies at the Royal Military College of Canada (RMCC) and Chair of the Department of Security and International Affairs at the Canadian Forces College (CFC). He seeks a fair and open-minded approach to comparative world religions on the issues of war and the use of armed force.

*******************

 

KonstanzUniv_dorn_nov2012_350x500

*******************

The Cuban Missile Crisis:
How a UN Secretary-General Averted Doomsday

Fifty years after the world came to the brink of nuclear war, there is still an important story to tell about the resolution of the crisis. UN Secretary-General U Thant served as a mediator between the superpowers and deserves credit in the history books for his bold initiatives that literally helped save the world. There are many lessons for today’s crises.

Laurier Lecture, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, October 29 (Paul MartinCentre)
(Cosponsored by the Academic Council on the UN System)
*******************
 
September 13th, 2012 at University College, University of Toronto,
15 King’s College Circle, Room 052 (east end of the building)

*******************

Technology and Peace Operations:

Finding Effective Enablers
 
Canadian Permanent Mission to the United Nations &
the Centre on International Cooperation
Delegates’ Dining Room, United Nations Headquarters, New York
13 June 2012

*******************

Expert Evaluations of America’s and Canada’a Wars:
Just, Unjust, and Everything In Between

Canadian Peace Research Association (CPREA) annual conference,
University of Waterloo/ Wilfrid Laurier University,
Waterloo, ON, May 31

*******************

Dropping Bombs and Firing Rockets:
Robust UN Peacekeeping in the Congo, 1960s and Today

Canadian Forces College
Saturday, April 14, 2012, 1 pm
(pdf of Poster; summary (pdf) of presentation)
*******************

An End to War: Is World Order Evolving?

Dr. Walter Dorn, PhD, University of Toronto

Whiff of Grape

January 31, 2012

Toronto

*******************

Unmanned Vehicle Systems in UN Peace Operations

Canadian Unmanned Vehicle System Summit

Ottawa Convention Centre, 10:30 am, 14 December 2011

organized by the Institute for Defense and Government Advancement

*******************

Keeping Watch :
Monitoring, Technology and Innovation in UN Peace Operations

Walter Dorn (Canada)
Conférencier :
Walter Dorn, professeur au Collège des Forces canadiennes et au Collège militaire royal du Canada
Quand ?
le mardi 6 décembre 2011
de 11h30 à 13h00
Où ?
Pavillon 3200 Jean-Brillant (Université de Montréal)
Salle B-3270
Université de Montréal

http://www.cerium.ca/Keeping-Watch-Monitoring

*******************

Carleton_speaker-series-banner-11
 

KEEPING WATCH:

Monitoring, Technology and Innovation in

UN Peace Operations

Walter Dorn

Royal Military College of Canada

 

Knowledge is power. In the hands of the UN peacekeepers, it can be a power for peace. Lacking knowledge, peacekeepers often find themselves powerless in the field, unable to protect themselves and others. The United Nations owes it to its peacekeepers and the “peacekept” to utilize modern tools to make its monitoring and surveillance effective. In this presentation on his book, Keeping Watch, Professor Dorn explains how technology can increase the range, effectiveness and accuracy of UN observation. The unaided UN military observer with the “mark one eyeball” can observe little. Satellites, aircraft and ground sensors cover wider areas over longer periods of time, while decreasing intrusiveness. Yet, in addition to the numerous benefits of technology for UN Peace Operations, Dorn also outlines the potential problems and pitfalls with modern technologies and the challenges of incorporating them into the UN system

Walter Dorn teaches military officers and civilians at the Canadian Forces College (CFC) and at the Royal Military College of Canada (RMC). He is a professor of defence studies and Chair of the Department of Security and International Affairs at CFC. He has both studied and served on UN peace operations, and worked as a consultant to the UN’s Department of Peacekeeping Operations.

 

 

Monday, 5 December 2011

12:30 – 2:00 pm

Alumni Boardroom

Carleton University

Light sandwich lunch will be provided.

*******************

ProjectPloughsharesPoster_700x900_2Dec2011

 

*******************

*******************

 

SCIENCE IN THE SERVICE OF PEACE:
Monitoring Technologies for UN Peacekeeping”

Describing
KEEPING WATCH: Monitoring, Technology and
Innovation in UN Peace Operations

University College (Rm 179), University of Toronto, 17 November 2011

 

*******************

CANADA’S CONTRIBUTIONS IN WAR AND PEACE

Rotary Club of Toronto (pdf)

Remembrance Day,11 November 2011 (12 noon)

*******************

KEEPING WATCH:
Monitoring, Technology and Innovation in UN Peace Operations
Ottawa Public Library Auditorium, September 24

Canadian Book Launch

 

 

 

 

Online Presentations

PRESENTATIONS (PPT)

Lectures in Courses
     
  

Arms Control: Treaties and Practice (pdf, 2.3 MB)
                   Presented to: Joint Command and Staff Programme (JCSP) 35, CFC, Toronto, 31 October 2008
                   version française: Contrôle des armements : Traités et pratique (pdf, 2.3 MB)

Canadian Internationalism: Contributions to International Peace and Human Security (pdf, 1.4 MB)
                    Department of Politics courses at RMC, 2002

Constraints on Military Force (pdf, 2.0 MB)
                    National Security Studies Courses, 2003-2006

Human Security: Four Debates (pdf, 2.7 MB) (ppt, 2.2 MB)
                   Pearson Peacekeeping Centre, Nova Scotia, 12 September 2001 
                   and later Queens University,14 September 2003

International Organizations: Evolving Over Time (pdf, 4.3 MB) (pptx, 9.8 MB)
                   JCSP 38, CFC, Toronto, 2 November 2011
                   version française: Les Organisations Internationales : Évolution Avec Le Temps (pdf, 4 MB) (pptx, 9.8 MB)

Just War Tradition (pdf, 1.1 MB)
                   JCSP 39, CFC, Toronto, 4 Sept 2012
                   version française: La tradition de la guerre juste (pdf, 1.9 MB)

Peace and Stability Operations: An Evolution (Overview) (pdf, 5.0 MB) (ppt, 8.4 MB)
                   Elective on Peace and Stability Operations, JCSP (various), Toronto, Updated October 2013

Rwanda: Predictable? Preventable? (pdf, 1.2MB) (ppt)
                   Elective on Peace and Stability Operations, JCSP 37, CFC, Toronto, 7 April 2008

Social Fabric of Canada (pdf, 2.9 MB)
                   JCSP 39, CFC, Toronto, 20 September 2011
                   version française: Le tissu social du Canada (pdf, 2.9 MB)

Three-Block War: A Critical Appraisal (pdf, 2.2 MB)
                   JCSP 34, CFC, Toronto, 3 December 2007
                   version française: La Guerre à Trois Volets : Une analyse critique (pdf, 1.4 MB)

Tumultuous 1990s (pdf, 9.3 MB)
                   JCSP 40, CFC, Toronto, 26 May 2014

United Nations: An Evolution over Time (pdf, 2.8 MB)
                   JCSP 37, CFC, Toronto, 3 November 2010
                   version française: Les Nations Unies: Évolution Avec Le Temps (pdf, 2.8 MB)

UN Electoral Operations: Case Study East Timor 1999 (pdf, 1.6 MB)
                   First presented at the Pearson Peacekeeping Centre, 13 November 1999,
                   after returning from the UN Mission in East Timor (UNAMET) and
                   subsequently presented in courses at Queen’s University, RMC and CFC.
                   See also Militias in East Timor: Personal Encounters (html)

UN Peacekeeping: Early Observer Missions (pdf, 1.2 MB)  (ppt)
                   Elective on Peace and Stability Operations, JCSP 37, CFC, Toronto, April 2011

UN Peacekeeping: The First Force, UNEF 1956 (pdf, 1.4 MB)  (ppt)
                   Elective on Peace and Stability Operations, JCSP 37, CFC, Toronto, May 2011 

UN Security Council (English: pdf 9 MB, ppt 7.8 MB) (French: pdf 10 MB; ppt 8 MB)
                   National Security Programme, NSP11, CFC, Toronto, January 2019

 
 
 

Lectures in Other Fora

Air Power in Robust Peacekeeping: the UN Operation in the Congo 1961-63 (pdf, 2.4 MB) (pptx, 11 MB)

Workshop “On the Wings of Peace: Air Power in UN Operations” (Trenton, 15 June 2011) and subsequently

Attack Helicopters in the Heart of Africa: MONUC, 2004 onwards  (pdf, 2.1 MB)

Workshop “On the Wings of Peace: Air Power in UN Operations” (Trenton, 16 June 2011)

Aviation in UN Peace Operations: Some Basics (pdf, 2.7 MB)

Handout for the workshop “On the Wings of Peace: Air Power in UN Operations” (Trenton, 16 June 2011), PPT co-authored with Ryan Cross and Maj. Filip Van der Linden

Canada & Japan in UN Peacekeeping: Technology Enablers? (pdf, 1.9 MB)

Canada-Japan Symposium on Peace Cooperation, Tokyo, 19 April 2012

Canada in UN Peace Operations: Options and Challenges (pdf, 2.5 MB)

Defence Engagement Programme, Ottawa, 31 May 2016

Canada: Will it be a Peacekeeper Again? (pdf, 1.1 MB) (ppt, 2.7 MB)

Ottawa Out Front luncheon speaker series, meeting hosted by Gloria Galloway of the Globe and Mail, Sheraton Hotel, Ottawa, 11 February 2010. Filmed by the Canadian Public Affairs Channel (CPAC), available online; commentary on speech in Embassy newsweekly (online) (pdf)

Canadian Peacekeeping: Soldiers for Peace (pdf, 3.1 MB)

St. Mark’s Anglican Church, Niagara-on-the-Lake, 1 December 2018. 

Cuban Missile Crisis: U Thant, the Mediator  (pdf, 13 MB) (PPT, 34 MB)

University of Toronto, 24 January 2013. Available YouTube video of lecture (58:08 minutes)

Eyes in the Sky: Aerospace Reconnaissance in UN Peace Operations (pdf, 3.9 MB) (PPTx, 25 MB)

Unmanned Systems Summit, Ottawa, 15 December 2011
Earlier version: Canadian Remote Sensing Society (Ottawa Branch), Canada Centre for Remote Sensing, Ottawa, 27 January 2010 (pdf)

Future of Warfare: Small Arms are the Big Problem (html)

Opening address at “The Future of International Humanitarian Law and the New Millennium”, conference sponsored by Canadian Red Cross and the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law, Ottawa, 10 February 2000

Intelligence-led Peacekeeping: UN Mission in Haiti 2006-07 (pdf, 3.2 MB)

Military and Police Advisers Community (MPAC), Russian Mission to the United Nations, New York, 24 May 2011

Just War Index: Wars Waged by the USA and by Canada were Just, Unjust and Everything In Between (pdf, 900 KB) (ppt, 1.8 MB)

Vital Discussions of Human Security, Science for Peace, University of Toronto, 13 September 2012. Full video of lecture on YouTube.

Plausible Deniability or How Leaders May Try to Conceal Their Roles in Crimes (pdf, 300 KB) (ppt, 900 KB)

International Criminal Court (ICC) in the ICC/OTP Guest Lecture, at the invitation of Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) and Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo, The Hague, 18 May 2010

Technology to Enhance Peace Operations (pdf, 3.1 MB) (ppt, 4.4 MB)

Challenges Forum, New York, 15 February 2013

Modernizing Peace Operations through Technology and Training (pdf, 3 MB)

US Department of State, Washington, DC, 16 February 2016

Tools of the Trade? Monitoring Technologies in UN Peace Operations (pdf, 830 KB)  (ppt, 3.3 MB)

UN Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations (C34), Trusteeship Council Chamber, UN Headquarters, New York, 5 March 2007

 

 

 

Other Lectures to be Added:
Woodrow Wilson: Pioneer of World Order, Founder of International Organization for Peace

Presentations by others:
Air Power in UN Operations (Workshop PPT)

 

Human Security and Science & Technology

HUMAN SECURITY AND SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Presentation at the seminar on
“Human Security and Science & Technology”
sponsored by the Human Security Network
Vienna, 10 October 2001

Dr. Walter Dorn

Royal Military College of Canada
Human Security Fellow, DFAIT Canada 2001/02

1. Introduction

I would like to thank our moderator, Ambassador Gonzales, most sincerely and most gratefully for the opportunity to speak this morning. I acknowledge his personal creativity and initiative for proposing and designing a seminar, the first ever to my knowledge, on the theme of Human Security and Science & Technology. We can also be thankful for the hard work of the Chilean Mission and the generosity of the Austrian and UN sponsors, as well to IIASA as host. The eagerness of the Canadian Foreign Ministry to send me to Vienna for this seminar is, I think, an indication of the Canadian government’s support for this effort.

For me personally (and my remarks this morning are made in a personal capacity), it is an important event because it brings together two parts of my life, past and present. I was trained as a physical scientist but I now work as a political scientist. My doctoral work was in physical chemistry but now I am research issues of peace and security, most recently as a Human Security Fellow of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. Indeed, this seminar is helping me to bring the two halves of my life together. And I think this applies to the world: how to find the happy medium between the technical and human aspects of life.

2. Definition and Scope of Human Security

Since this is a session on the concept of human security, I will gladly offer some remarks on that theme. In the path-breaking 1994 Human Development Report that brought the concept of human security to the world’s attention, human security was described as people’s “safety from chronic threats and protection from sudden hurtful disruptions in the patterns of daily life.” Seven types of security were listed as components of human security: economic, food, health, environmental, personal (physical), community and political security. [Ambassador Walther Lichem has listed two more recent additions.] The Canadian government, which has made human security one of the hallmarks of its foreign policy has adopted a similar definition: “Human security means freedom from pervasive threats to people’s rights, safety and lives.”

Depending on how one defines “people’s rights”, the Canadian definition of human security can be viewed as either narrow or broad. If rights include all those covered by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (including the right to work, education, food, to an adequate standard of living, etc.), it would be a broad definition of human security. If the more common concept of human rights, as used in most UN discussions to cover “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment”, is used then the human security concept would be correspondingly narrower and more focused. In practice, the Canadian government focuses on the latter, ie. physical security.

Early criticisms and tensions arose between some who took the broad and narrow approaches to human security but these views are being largely replaced by a more flexible and holistic approach, in which it is recognized that “the threats to human security experienced in different regions of the world differ, as do the resources available to address those threats.” Thus the broad and narrow approaches are not competitive but complementary, and completely in harmony with each other.

In practice, the Canadian government chose to focus its Human Security Agenda on the personal (physical) security dimension, in part to make it distinct from the concept of human development and to permit a sharper concentration on issues that seemed to cry out for international attention.

In the post-Cold War world, a series of horrendous internal conflicts have claimed the lives of millions of people in regions like Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe. The spectre of genocide, ethnic cleansing, failed and lawless states, massive refugee flows and now catastrophic terrorism begs a coordinated international response. In an age of global communications around a shrinking global village, governments could no longer turn a blind eye to human atrocities in hotspots elsewhere in the world. The world’s troubles are our troubles. Ignoring problems far away invariably come back to haunt all of us who inhabit this small planet. The international media, aided by technological advances of real time broadcasting from conflict zones, contributed to an emerging global conscience through the transmission of live images of brutal conflict and concomitant human suffering. The resulting “humanitarian imperative” (sometimes called the CNN effect when it is based on media reports) pressured nations as well as individuals to develop new initiatives and policy responses to save lives and alleviate human suffering. In the human security domain, where the sanctity of human life is paramount, the most pressing desire is to find effective means and mechanisms to protect human beings, especially the innocent victims of armed attacks. This means engaging actively in early warning, conflict prevention, peacekeeping and peacebuilding-the entire spectrum of activities on the conflict timeline.

3. Science and Technology

The opening quote of my doctoral thesis was from the great scientist-sage Albert Einstein. While speaking to students at Princeton University in the 1930s, he said:

“Concern for man [humanity] and his [its] fate must form the chief interest of all technical endeavours. Never forget this amongst your diagrams and equations.”

While I must admit that I have forgotten many of my diagram and equations, I have always tried to keep Einstein’s wise words in my mind and heart.

Einstein was a visionary for his time and for all time. He knew that science had in its power the ability to transform human life. But this could be a power for good and for evil. The potential existed, and exists today, to cause the end of civilization or its upliftment to freedom from the bondage of poverty and deprivation.

Einstein did provide the world with keys to unlock the nuclear secrets. And this weighed heavy on him.Once the nuclear genie was released from its bottle, Einstein said that “everything has changed”, that “we shall require a substantially new way of thinking if mankind is to survive” and in the Einstein-Russell manifesto he asked: “shall we put an end to the human race or shall mankind renounce war?” Other scientists came to the same conclusion but later in life and after contributing much to the arms race. One such man was Andrei Sakarov, the father of the Soviet thermonuclear bomb.

Forty years ago this month, in October 1961, the Soviet Union tested a nuclear bomb in the arctic that had a yield of 50 Megatons. The total explosive yield of all bombs dropped in World War II was 5 megatones. This one bomb had the explosive power ten times larger! Once during a discussion with Sakaraov, a pointed question was heard: “Why do we need to make a ‘cannabilistic’ weapon like this.” The young Sakarov smiled and said” “Nikita Khruschev said: ‘Let this device had over the heads of the capitalists, like a sword of Damocles’.

Later in life, Sakarov realized that this sword was hanging over all of humanity on a slender thread. Human security was threatened with doomsday by his creations. He devoted himself to nuclear disarmament, democracy and the progress in the rule of law among nations.

4. Inspiration and Applications from Science

For me, science contributes much to the vision of a common humanity. Science creates a sense of awe in me regarding the order of nature and the vastness of the universe. Science tells us that we are an integral part of the web of life. It tells us that we and all that is around us are made of star dust, that the elements beyond hydrogen in the periodic table that make our world, indeed our very bodies, were produced in the furnaces of stars and spread galactically through immense (almost inconceivable) events in space. On our traveling planet, Spaceship Earth, hurdles through space at 28 kilometres a second. On this green and blue planet, looking so whole and healthy form space, we share the natural wonders, as well as the common air that we breath, and the environment that we cherish. Science tells us that the genetic code (with its four building blocks, the base pairs) and our gene pool are so similar not only to each other but to all forms of life. When I look at the order of the physical universe revealed by science, I feel impelled to seek a commensurate higher order in our human affairs.

In addition, there are many practical dimensions of science applied to human security. I would like to highlight one here: technology for peace monitoring. These technological tools can be used for early warning, preventive action, peacekeeping, peacebuilding and peace enforcement. The technologies include night vision equipment, radar (both ground and airspace surveillance), chemical and biological sensors. Since it is at night when most criminal activities take place in violation of international law or agreements, the capacity to observe at night is essential. Similarly, the need for aerial and satellite observation is a key to effective international monitoring. Many UN missions have been less effective because of the lack of these capacities. The UN has found itself “deaf and blind” because of the inability to gather information about conditions in the field. As Ambassador Gonzalez, who chaired the UN committee that developed the fifteen principles of remote sensing, will tell you: observation from outer space is a freedom which holds great benefits for strengthening peace.

But the UN is an organization that is under-equipped, under-resourced and under-funded. For too long the most sophisticated piece of observation hardware in the field was the human eyeball, sometimes aided with binoculars. Modern science and technology holds out the possibility for vast improvements in the effectiveness of modern peacekeepers. Only a “technophobia” arising from a lack of awareness and familiarity holds the peacekeeping managers back from investing in a better capability. In many cases, technologies are cost-effective as well as mission-effective.

I would like to see revived the proposal made by President Eisenhower in 1961 for an Open Skies regime under the United Nations. He proposed that UN planes be available to carry out inspections in areas where there are concerns. This proposal was made subsequent to his more generally known proposal in 1955 for a bilateral open skies regime. Furthermore, I would like to see a treaty regime developed to allow the UN to send fact-finding teams to a country of concern at short notice without right of refusal. This would bring the progressive developments in thought and practice of arms control to the broader subject of human security. The UN can start by purchasing commercially available satellite imagery for photo-reconnaissance in areas of its peacekeeping operations and for early warning.

I would also like to see UN technologies used in peace enforcement. This would be to catch sanctions busters, including terrorists, and to allow sanctions to be more specifically targeted against certain places and individuals. Furthermore, the UN should also monitor the actions taken by nations who act under UN mandate for peace enforcement. If “all necessary means” are used then those means need to observed by the UN to make sure they really are necessary.

5. Conclusion

This high tech vision of peace is tempered by the belief that technological progress must be accompanied by progress in the moral and spiritual evolution of human beings. By bringing us together here, by discussing S&T and human security, by promoting a dialogue that transcends regions and even nationality, the organizers of this seminar have made a step in that direction. That direction was clearly enunciated by Albert Einstein in 1945 when he said:

Not until the creation and maintenance of decent conditions of life for all people are recognized and accepted as a common obligation of all people and all countries—not until then shall we, with a certain degree of justification, be able to speak of humankind as civilized.

Early Warning of Armed Conflict: An Introduction

EARLY WARNING OF ARMED CONFLICT:
An Introduction

A. Walter Dorn

This paper was developed for use in courses at the Pearson Peacekeeping Centre.

“Caesar: I hear a tongue, shriller than all the music, cry ‘Caesar!’ Speak! Caesar is turn’d to hear.

Soothsayer: Beware the ides of March.”

– William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, Act I, Scene 2

Introduction

Throughout history human beings have sought to warn and be warned of future calamities. From shrill-voiced soothsayers to Cold War military strategists, the objective has been to accurately predict impending dangers, usually in order to avoid them or, at least, to be better prepared for them. In modern peacekeeping and conflict management, early warning is also a vital though underutilized function. Indeed, it is a prerequisite for preventive action, which is considered the ideal type of action because war and death can thus be avoided. Even when prevention fails, early warning serves a later purpose. By being aware of the nature and antecedents of an escalation of violence, peacekeepers can consciously plan, if not to stop it, then to mitigate its effects and to shorten its duration.

Early warning can best be illustrated in relation to a generalized conflict, with its brewing, escalating, and de-escalating phases as shown in Figure 1. Usually, the international community intervenes in a conflict only after it has escalated, and a large number of lives have been lost. In current thinking (if not current efforts) more emphasis is, fortunately, being placed on preventive action and the saving of lives. Early warning takes on greater importance. Early warning is an activity, done formally or informally, that occurs before the conflict has a chance to sharply escalate and before preventive action is taken.

Figure 1: Conflict-response timeline

Figure 1: The early warning function in the conflict-response timeline.


Historical Cases

The record of early warning success in matters of peace is poor. UN history is filled with examples of failures at early warning, even in places where the United Nations was deployed. In 1950, even UN peacekeepers on the border between North and South Korea, whose job it was to do early warning, did not foresee the invasion of South Korea. Similarly, the Chinese entry into the Korean War, later in 1950, came as a surprise at UN headquarters, even after US/UN forces had captured the first Chinese troops. In the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat expressed surprise and delight that Arab preparations for attack during the Jewish holiday were not taken seriously by US, Israeli or UN officials. In 1982, the Argentine invasion of the Falkland Islands took UN Secretary-General Pérez de Cuéllar completely by surprise, though he came from Latin America and was familiar with the long-standing dispute. In 1989, guerrillas from SWAPO crossed into Namibia on the first day of the UN-sponsored independence plan, again surprising the Secretary-General, who could only stand by as hundreds were killed by South African forces. The United Nations was caught unaware of the impending Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990 even though UN observers in Iraq could observe the substantial preparations for the attack. More recently, the militia rampage in East Timor (September 1999) was not predicted despite the presence of UN military and police elements in the territory for the whole summer. After each of these catastrophes, politicians, journalists and academics have looked back to try to understand the reasons for failure. They usually find many, which will be reviewed later.

 

Definition and Approaches to Early Warning

Researchers often dispute if there were early warnings or not in specific cases. This debate occurs because different people demand different standards for early warning. Some accept a vague sense of future conflict while others demand a precise prediction that includes the scale, nature, timing and location of the violence. Some feel that the indicators of violence themselves constituted early warning, while others seek explicit statements about the cumulative effect of all the factors contributing to the violence. Obviously, there is a range of early warning types and each situation requires a different approach. Still, it is possible to develop definitions of early warning that are both practical and rigorous. One such definition is:

“Early warning is the act of alerting a competent authority about the threat of new (or renewed) conflict sufficiently in advance for preventive action to be attempted.”

What constitutes “early”? The practical answer follows from the definition: in time for an effort at conflict prevention. If there is not sufficient time to take potentially successful preventive action, then the term “late warning” is appropriate. If the conflict is already rapidly escalating, the term “warning” may not even be applicable at all. For conflict prevention and preparedness, early warning should be done as far in advance as possible. However, it is harder to make accurate predictions over the long range and, unless the threat is both imminent and evident, states are unlikely to respond to a very early warning. The character of an early warning can be measured on the scales of time (how early the warning) and intensity (how strong the warning). A balance point has to be reached in practice between these two, which will depend largely on the nature of the threat. A desirable early warning period for most conflicts would be one to six months.

In spite of the logical link between early warning and preventive action, it is not necessary that a conflict be successfully prevented for early warning to have been achieved. Early warning can take place even if preventive action was not taken or was unsuccessful. To be “early”, it is only important that the warning be made early enough that prevention can be attempted. Still, a measure of a good early warning is how effective a response it receives.

A “competent authority” could be any body with a mandate to help keep the peace. For more serious threats, more important bodies should be informed. In the field, peacekeeping missions usually have such a mandate. Overall, the body with primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security is the UN Security Council. The UN Charter (Article 35) gives nations the right to bring disputes to the attention of the Security Council. Similarly, Article 99 gives the Secretary-General the power of warning: “The Secretary-General may bring to the attention of the Security Council any matter which in his opinion may threaten international peace and security.”

The Secretaries-General have seldom invoked this authority explicitly–only three times, in fact.1 While they regularly inform the Council of developments in peacekeeping operations, especially of problems in the field, it is rare that they bring a new matter (agenda item) to the Council by invoking a formal, public meeting of the Council. Early warning to the Council, when it is done, is done as a form of quiet, cautious diplomacy. The reasons for this reflect the obstacles to early warning in general.

 

The Difficulties of Early Warning

There are a host of challenges for those involved in early warning. First, no one can be certain of the future. Fate often makes unexpected turns, for better or worse, and what might appear to be an imminent threat might be fortuitously avoided. Even the plotters of violence are not certain if and when they will implement their plans. A random factor always plays a role in human events.

Uncertainty about the future leads early warners to fear being wrong in their predictions. If the warning of a threat is not borne out, then the warner can be accused of “crying wolf”. Alternatively, there is also a fear of being right! Most people and organizations, the UN included, like to focus on success and positive outcomes, and pessimism is discouraged, even counterproductive. By sounding the alarm in advance, a warner risks being labeled an “alarmist.” Furthermore, making an early warning suggests that the authorities are not in control and they may take offence. Thus, various Secretaries-General have sought to make their warnings discreet and private, out of the public eye. Otherwise, they fear that bringing a threat to public attention would amount to pointing a finger at one or more disputants, raising the pride and the backs of the protagonists, making mediation and conflict avoidance more difficult. Thus, early warning, if done in an improper manner, can actually be an impediment to quiet diplomacy and discreet preventive action. Also the planners of violence will certainly do their best to discredit the early warning, the warner, and any talk of preventive action.

Other prohibiting factors also relate to response measures. A person or organization sounding the alarm has an added responsibility to come forward with preventive measures, usually involving unwelcome intervention. The earlier the warning, the less apparent will be the desire or justification for intervention. Often those capable of intervention or preventive action (like countries on the Security Council) do not like to be pressed to utilize their capabilities and will resent the early warner for directly or indirectly exerting such pressure. Even after applying such pressure, if no action is taken and the conflict escalates, then the early warner will appear to be ineffective since he or she could not convince the competent body to take appropriate action. Or if preventive action is taken and proves successful, then the dilemma of conflict prevention works against the early warner: successful prevention erase proof of its success. Critics will simply state that there was no real danger in the first place!

These challenges in early warning make it a difficult but not impossible task. There are, however, important cases of successful UN early warning, which shows that courage can be summoned in the face of daunting challenges. Two early warnings are worth noting: in the Congo in 1960 and in Rwanda in 1994.

 

Positive Cases of Early Warning

In early 1960 the proactive Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld made a tour of newly emerging African states. After noticing that the Congo was ill-prepared for self-government, he demonstrating his ability to “meet trouble half way,” by sending his capable Under-Secretary-General Ralph Bunche to the Congo. Bunche cabled back his first-hand observations, including his comment: “power keg here but full explosion may be avoided.” Immediately after receiving an request from Congolese authorities for intervention, Hammarskjöld invoked Article 99 to call an urgent meeting of the Security Council for July 13, 1960. He noted that the danger had broad, global implications since the superpowers supported opposing factions in the Congo and the country could easily have become a flash point for a larger conflict. He also proposed a solution, saying: “I believe the UN may be able to save this situation, chaotic as it is rapidly becoming.”2 At Hammarskjöld’s recommendation, the Security Council created a peacekeeping force, called ONUC (Force de l’Organization des Nations Unies au Congo) which played a difficult but stabilizing role over the next four years, though the Secretary-General lost his life in the effort.

Approximately three decades later, to help implement the 1993 Arusha peace accords for Rwanda, the Security Council established the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR). There were many indicators of an oncoming genocide available to the peacekeeping operations in 1993/94. The most stark information was provided by an informant who was responsible for training the militia in Kigali. Three months before the genocide began on April 6, 1994, he told Force Commander Roméo Dallaire that the militia were being trained to kill 1,000 people in 20 minutes and that he had been asked to compile a list of Tutsis in Kigali that he thought was “for their extermination.” He showed a UNAMIR officer some weapons caches that were being kept ready for the massacres. He also said that Belgian troops in the mission would be targeted deliberately to “guarantee Belgian withdrawal.” Dallaire passed this information on to UN headquarters in his fax of January 11, 1994 (see Annex). He also requested permission to raid the arms caches and to find asylum for the informant. But his request was turned down. Furthermore, UN headquarters did not share this fax with members of the Security Council. Thus, the field commander had issued an important early warning but UN headquarters failed to make its own appeal for assistance. Dallaire’s ominous warning was borne out with uncanny accuracy in the genocide of April-July 1994, where some 800,000 Rwandese were killed. At the start, a group of Belgian peacekeepers were murdered and the Belgian government withdrew its peacekeepers, just as the genocidists had sought.

There were other significant early warning signs in Rwanda. The radio station Radio Mille Collines, owned and operated by persons high in the government, was spouting hate propaganda to demonize the Tutsi minority. Government ministers advanced a campaign of propaganda and urged mass killings. Weapons were imported, including automatic rifles and vast quantities of machetes that could not be justified for farming purposes. There was a long and bloody history of massacres and other serious human rights violations. Furthermore, a year earlier UN human rights investigators reported rumours of a network of senior officials devoted to killing Tutsis. The combination and collaboration of such information could have provided UN headquarters with the most tell-tale signs of impending doom [see Rwanda paper]. As we shall see, early warners need to proactively seek information on a variety of indicators and perform analyses to try and foresee future threats.

 

The Fire Analogy

To develop an effective analytical system for early warning, as the UN is now trying to do, it is useful to construct a conceptual model for conflict and its early warning indicators. The “fire of conflict” model is an excellent because it has a range of valuable applications. In it conflict is seen as analogous to a fire. The goal is to identify the potential for the fire before it ignites and rages out of control. What then are the signs of the latent fires?

First, we identify the logs or heavy wood. These are the long-standing grievances that could sustain a fire. For conflicts within nations, these are often appalling socio-economic conditions and the large disparities among different groups, especially those based on ethnic or religious ties, which have replaced ideology are the mainstay of armed conflict. For conflicts between nations, the “logs” may be the unresolved disputes over territory, resources, economic affairs, military rivalries, the treatment of minorities, etc. The logs are sometimes called the “background conditions” or “structural or root causes” of conflict.

The “kindling” is the lighter wood that helps start the logs burning. The kindling is analogous to the “accelerating factors” or “proximate causes” of conflict. These are recent activities that create heightened animosity among the conflicting parties. In internal conflicts, they may be repressive measures taken by governments against target groups like a clamp down on the opposition, increased human rights abuses, intimidation and forced segregation of minorities, etc. They may also be social trends like sharp economic decline, increased unemployment, poverty and crime. In international conflict, the kindling could be in the form of military build-ups, sabre-rattling, cross-border shootings and incursions, as well as verbal attacks and hostile economic measures.

Finally, the match that lights the fire is the incident that motivates one or more parties to resort to armed force. The matches are sometimes called “triggering events” or initiators. For internal conflicts, they would include assassination of leaders or their removal from office, election-rigging, the imposition of new and unjust laws, military or paramilitary attacks on civilians, or even minor disruptions of the delicate status quo, etc. Even symbolic acts can be ignite conflict. In the recent Palestinian-Israeli conflict (Fall 2000), the visit of a former Israeli Defence Minister Ariel Sharon to the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount complex in Jerusalem was considered, by the Palestinians at least, as a triggering event in the escalation of violence. In international conflict, the match is often provided by military maneouver or attack. Nations might, for instance, fear a surprise attack and mistake military activities as such.

Often in early warning, the logs (ominous socio-economic conditions) will be apparent but is not accompanied with kindling. This gives the international community time to deal with the fundamental problems. On the other hand, the rapid escalation of conflict is usually determined by the match, which can be lit in unpredictable fashion. This highlights the central challenge for early warning: determining the time of initiation. As with volcanoes, people often have lived so long time with the threat of an eruption that they no longer expect it or prepare for it. Often the warners can see the logs and kindling (or the volcano cone) but have no idea when fire will begin. Hence, they tend to be extremely cautious in make any warnings. Furthermore, in human affairs, those who wish to ignite a conflict usually keep their chosen time secret. For this reason, the identification of the triggering events often requires secret intelligence, the use of secret means to gather secret information. Again, this is an area where the UN rightly has trouble operating.

Another case is when there is plenty of kindling and matches but no logs, so the conflict burns itself out quickly. This may occur if the number and strength of the actors are small. But it is of less concern to the international community since the damage is smaller and is self-contained.

The fire analogy allows us to go further. When the fire has just started to burn, the warner, late though he may be, will seek to sound the alarm and alert the fire department. The dilemma faced by an early warner of an outbreak of violence is much like that faced by a person wondering whether to pull a fire alarm. As the indications of fire appear, a number of people are usually in a position to pull the alarm. Member states as well as the various international and non-governmental agencies all have the right and duty to bring threats to the peace to the attention of the UN. To sound the alarm, the warner must either have new and unique information on the danger or, once several actors see the danger, he must be bold enough to choose to be the one to pull the fire alarm. The two main reasons for the dearth of warnings from the UN Secretary-General to the Security Council are pinpointed in this analogy. He rarely has more information than the most powerful members of the UN (or states closest to the conflict) and, when a conflict becomes obvious, he often prefers that Council members take the initiative in sounding the alarm because they will then be more motivated to mount a response. This does not mean that his early warning role is unimportant, but rather it shows that it can be difficult to implement.

 

Early Warning Process

The early warning process follows the same pattern as the intelligence process: information must be gathered and analysed before a warning is made, which is then hopefully used to undertake preventive action. These steps are illustrated in Figure 2.

 

Early Warning Process

There is constant feedback in the cycle: during analysis new information requirements are discovered and new information changes the nature of the analysis. The United Nations already has established an excellent internet site (ReliefWeb) for the sharing of information that is useful for early warning in complex emergencies (see www.reliefweb.int).

The analysis part of early warning involves the synthesis of background and current event information, the careful selection of indicator information, the examination of motivations and behaviours (to predict future directions), the assessment of capabilities (to carry out violence), the development of scenarios (to explore the possibilities for conflict escalation) and the determination of the most probable outcomes. One could turn to the “fires of conflict” analogy to help identify structural, proximate and triggering factors.

Both the analysis and the warning should, ideally, also include suggestions for preventive action. One approach to devising preventive actions is to start by summarizing the accelerators (kindling wood) and triggers (matches). The removal of such factors would be one means of preventive action. In addition the international community could carry out other peace promotion (fire retardant) activities. The study of preventive actions is carried out later in the course.

 

Conclusion

There is growing interest in the development of international early warning systems. The recent report of the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations (Brahimi report) has recently recommended that

“a new information-gathering and analysis entity be created to support the informational and analytical needs of the Secretary-General and the members of the Executive Committee on Peace and Security (ECPS). Without such capacity, the Secretariat will remain a reactive institution, unable to get ahead of daily events …. The proposed ECPS Information and Strategic Analysis Secretariat would … bring budding crises to the attention of the ECPS leadership.”3

Though the study and conscious practice of UN early warning is in its infancy, with only a few success stories to build on and many failures to learn from, it an area that holds much promise. The United Nations must begin to anticipate crises instead of simply reacting to them, taking preventive action where possible. UN Secretary-General Kofi Anan has asserted that “the UN of the twenty-first century must increasingly become a centre for preventive action.” The need for prevention has become all too apparent after the great calamities of the 1990s. To make prevention possible, effective early warning systems are not only necessary but also an idea whose time has come.

 

ANNEX: The Rwanda “Genocide Fax”

TO: BARIL/DPKO/UNATIONS
FROM: DALLAIRE/UNAMIR/KIGALI
NEW YORK
FAX NO: MOST
IMMEDIATE-CODE
CABLE-212-xxx-xxxx FAX NO: O11-xxx-xxxxx

SUBJECT: REQUEST FOR PROTECTION OF INFORMANT

ATTN: MGEN BARIL ROOM NO: 2052

TOTAL NUMBER OF TRANSMITTED PAGES INCLUDING THIS ONE: 2

  1. Force commander put in contact with informant by very very important government politician. Informant is a top level trainer in the cadre of interhamwe-armed militia of MRND.
  2. He informed us he was in charge of last Saturdays demonstrations which aims were to target deputies of opposition parties coming to ceremonies and Belgian soldiers. They hoped to provoke the RPF to engage (being fired upon) the demonstrators and provoke a civil war. Deputies were to be assassinated upon entry or exit from Parliament. Belgian troops were to be provoked and if Belgians soldiers restored to force a number of them were to be killed and thus guarantee Belgian withdrawal from Rwanda.
  3. Informant confirmed 48 RGF PARA CDO and a few members of the gendarmerie participated in demonstrations in plain clothes. Also at least one Minister of the MRND and the sous-prefect of Kigali were in the demonstration. RGF and Interahamwe provided radio communications.
  4. Informant is a former security member of the president. He also stated he is paid RF 150,000 per month by the MRND party to train Interahamwe. Direct link is to chief of staff RGF and president of the MRND for financial and material support.
  5. Interahamwe has trained 1700 men in RGF camps outside the capital. The 1700 are scattered in groups of 40 throughout Kigali. Since UNAMIR deployed he has trained 300 personnel in three week training sessions at RGF camps. Training focus was discipline, weapons, explosives, close combat and tactics.
  6. Principal aim of Interahamwe in the past was to protect Kigali from RPF. Since UNAMIR mandate he has been ordered to register all Tutsi in Kigali. He suspects it is for their extermination. Example he gave was that in 20 minutes his personnel could kill up to 1000 Tutsis.
  7. Informant states he disagrees with anti-Tutsi extermination. He supports opposition to RPF but cannot support killing of innocent persons. He also stated that he believes the president does not have full control over all elements of his old party/faction.
  8. Informant is prepared to provide location of major weapons cache with at least 135 weapons. He already has distributed 110 weapons including 35 with ammunition and can give us details of their location. Type of weapons are G3 and AK47 provided by RGF. He was ready to go to the arms cache tonight-if we gave him the following guarantee. He requests that he and his family (his wife and four children) be placed under our protection.
  9. It is our intention to take action within the next 36 hours with a possible H HR of Wednesday at dawn (local). Informant states that hostilities may commence again if political deadlock ends. Violence could take place day of the ceremonies or the day after. Therefore Wednesday will give greatest chance of success and also be most timely to provide significant input to on-going political negotiations.
  10. It is recommended that informant be granted protection and evacuated out of Rwanda. This HQ does not have previous UN experience in such matters and urgently requests guidance. No contact has as yet been made to any embassy in order to inquire if they are prepared to protect him for a period of time by granting diplomatic immunity in their embassy in Kigali before moving him and his family out of the country.
  11. Force commander will be meeting with the very very important political person tomorrow morning in order to ensure that this individual is conscious of all parameters of his involvement. Force commander does have certain reservations on the suddenness of the change of heart of the informant to come clean with this information. Recce of armed cache and detailed planning of raid to go on late tomorrow. Possibility of a trap not fully excluded, as this may be a set-up against this very very important political person. Force commander to inform SRSG first thing in morning to ensure his support.
  12. Peux ce que veux. Allons-y.


SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

Davies, John L. and Ted Robert Gurr (eds.), “Preventive Measures: Building Risk Assessment and Crisis Early Warning Systems”, Rowan & Littlefield, Lanham, 1998.

Dorn, A. Walter and J. Matloff, “Preventing the Bloodbath: Could the UN have Predicted and Prevented Genocide in Rwanda?”, Journal of Conflict Studies, Vol. XX, No. 1 (Spring 2000), p.9.

Doom, Ruddy, “Early warning and conflict prevention: Minerva’s Wisdom”, Journal of Humanitarian Assistance, http://www.jha.ac//articles/a022.htm, posted 3 June 2000.

Miskel, James F. and Richard J. Norton, “The Paradox of Early Warning”, Journal of Humanitarian Assistance, http://www.jha.ac/articles/a017.htm, posted 3 June 2000 (first posted 4 July1997). [Presents an alternative view on early warning, which is pessimistic about the need and the possibility of effective early warning.]

Rupesinghe, Kumar and Michiko Kuroda, “Early Warning and Conflict Resolution”, MacMillan Press, London, England, 1992.

Schmeidl, Susanne and Howard Adelman (eds). 1999. Synergy in Early Warning: Conference Proceedings. Columbia International Affairs Online. http://www.ciaonet.org/

Singer, J. David, “Correlates of War Project: Data Files”, University of Michigan, 1994.

 

SELECTED WEBSITES

Amnesty International

www.amnesty.org

Carnegie Commission on Preventing Deadly Conflict

www.ccpdc.org

Carter Center (Emory Univ.)

www.cartercenter.org

Forum on Early Warning and Research (FEWER)

www.fewer.org

Human Rights Watch

www.hrw.org

International Alert

www.international-alert.org

Minorities at Risk Project (Gurr)

www.bsos.umd.edu/cidc

PIOOM (Interdisciplinary Research Program on Root Causes of Human Rights Violations), Univ. of Leiden, incl. conflict/human rights map

www.fsw.leidenuniv.nl/www /w3_liswo/pioom.htm

International Crisis Group

www.intl-crisis-group.org
or www.crisisweb.org

ReliefWeb (UN site for info. on complex emergencies)

www.reliefweb.int

UN Department for Political Affairs (DPA)

www.un.org/Depts/dpa

UN Staff College (courses on EW)

www.itcilo.it/unscp/
ourservices/earlywarning

 

ENDNOTES

1. The three explicit invocations of Article 99 in the Security Council were for the Congolese crisis (1960), the Iranian hostage crisis (1979) and the escalation of conflict in Lebanon (1989). There are over a dozen implied invocations before the Council, but most of these were late warnings or statements of support for warnings already provided by a member state. Furthermore, Article 99 is used to justify a host of informational activities by the UN Secretary-General.

2. The Hammarskjöld quote is cited in Urquhart, Brian, Ralph Bunche: An American Life, New York: W.W. Norton, pp.311. On July 9, Bunche had cabled the warning: “Powder keg here. But full explosion may be avoided”, pp. 308–9.

3. “Report of the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations” (chaired by Mr. Lakhdhar Brahimi), UN Doc. A/55/305–S/2000/809 of 21 August 2000, p. x–xi.

 

Human Security: An Overview

HUMAN SECURITY: AN OVERVIEW

By Walter Dorn

 

Paper prepared for the Pearson Peacekeeping Centre for use in courses. The PPT used at the PPC and elsewhere is “Human Security: Four Debates” (pdf, 2.7 MB) (ppt, 2.2 MB)

 


“The world can never be at peace unless people have security in their daily lives.”

With this statement, the authors of the 1994 Human Development Report began an exploration of the “new concept of human security.” This people-centred concept, which quickly gained adherents, was based on the same premise as the related concepts of human rights and human development, namely, that the individual human being is the principal object of concern, regardless of race, religion, creed, colour, ideology or nationality. Like its sister concepts, human security has the characteristic of universality: it is applicable to individuals everywhere.

The 1994 Human Development Report defined human security as people’s “safety from chronic threats and protection from sudden hurtful disruptions in the patterns of daily life.” Seven types of security were listed as components of human security: economic security; food security; health security; environmental security; personal (physical) security; community security; and political security. The Canadian government, which has become one of the champions of the human security concept, adopted a similar definition: “Human security means freedom from pervasive threats to people’s rights, safety and lives.” Depending on what one considers as constituting “people’s rights and safety” the scope of this definition is either narrow or broad2. In practice, the Canadian government chose to focus its Human Security Agenda on the personal (physical) security dimension, in part to make it more distinct from the concept of human development and to permit a sharper concentration on issues that seemed to cry out for international attention.3

In the post-Cold War world, a series of horrendous internal conflicts had claimed the lives of millions of people in regions like Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe. The spectre of genocide, ethnic cleansing, failed and lawless states, and massive refugee flows begged a coordinated international response. In an age of global communications around a shrinking global village, governments could no longer turn a blind eye to human atrocities in hotspots in the world. The international media contributed to an emerging global conscience through the transmission of live images of brutal conflict and the concomitant human suffering. The resulting “humanitarian imperative” (sometimes dubbed the CNN effect when caused by media reports) pressured nations as well as individuals to develop new initiatives and policy responses to save lives and alleviate human suffering. In the human security domain, where the sanctity of human life is paramount, the pressing need was to find effective means and mechanisms to protect human beings, especially the many innocent victims of armed attacks. This humanitarian action was to be complemented by an active effort at both conflict prevention and post-war recovery, that is, through the entire timeline of conflict. Canadian Foreign Minister Lloyd Axworthy made human security his hallmark and brought Canada to a leadership position on the issue. In 1999, he summarized Canada’s human security policy thus:

“It is, in essence, an effort to construct a global Society where the safety of the individual is at the centre of international priorities and a motivating force for international action; where international human standards and the rule of law are advanced and woven into a coherent web protecting the individual; where those who violate these standards are held fully accountable; and where our global, regional and bilateral institutions – present and future – are built and equipped to enhance and enforce these standards.”

The Canadian foreign ministry developed a “Human Security Agenda” with the following five themes: protection of civilians; peace support operations; governance and accountability; public safety; and conflict prevention. The implementation of the Agenda has taken various forms, from the negotiation of arms control agreements (especially for weapons causing widespread human suffering, like landmines and small arms) to targeting aid for post-conflict peacebuilding (e.g., in the former Yugoslavia), from improved UN early warning and prevention capabilities to new establishing legal bodies like the International Criminal Court. Within each theme, Canada chose sub-issues or groups of persons for special attention, such as war-affected children (under protection of civilians), rapid deployment of peacekeepers (under peace support operations), security sector reform and individual criminal accountability (under governance and accountability), trans-national organized crime (under public safety) and early warning (under conflict prevention). To help implement the Human Security Agenda, a Peacebuilding and Human Security Division was created in the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (http://www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/foreignp/humansecurity). It has developed new initiatives and produced interesting and useful documents on human security, including the brochure “Freedom from Fear: Canada’s Foreign Policy for Human Security”, which is available at http://www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/foreignp/humansecurity/HumanSecurityBooklet-e.asp.

Canada, along with Norway, also sought to foster wider interest and commitment to human security by creating the Human Security Network (http://www.humansecuritynetwork.org/), which currently has thirteen countries as members4 and uses a variety of informal mechanisms, including annual ministerial meetings, to discuss and advance the human security cause.

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan also found a place of choice for human security in his speeches: “Ensuring human security is, in the broadest sense, the United Nations’ cardinal mission. Genuine and lasting prevention is the means to achieve that mission.”1 Thus, the concept of human security has gained a significant position in international parlance.

 

CRITICISMS OF THE CONCEPT

Still, there were a number of countries, groups and academics who question not only the definition and scope of the human security concept, but its very utility. Some academics and practitioners have wondered if human security was the “radical departure” in foreign policy, as sometimes claimed. Concerns about human safety have been with the international community at least from the time of the establishment of the International Committee of the Red Cross in the 1860s. Some questioned if the concept was really needed since all the initiatives in the human security agenda were already advancing before the advent of the concept5. Proponents of human security responded that the concept was a convenient and useful way to group together and collectively push the wide array of people-centred initiatives.

Other criticisms of human security, using a different line of reasoning, were more harsh. From an extreme conservative hard line point of view, human security was seen as ‘pulpit diplomacy’, ‘foreign policy for wimps’, and contrary to the national interest. Some claimed the human security concept to be counterproductive.

This well-intentioned if still somewhat vague initiative, however, denies long-established principles of state sovereignty, and may well encourage unwarranted interference in the internal affairs of other states, issuing “a blank cheque for virtually limitless UN interventionism.” In fact, the potential for greater human insecurity may be fostered, “.as governments fortify against a possible intervention by repressing their populations into servility.”6

Some developing countries expressed similar reservations about the adoption of human security fearing that, having universal application, human security could be used to justify major power or UN intervention in matters which they considered domestic. Some great powers held similar reservations because they did not want to be forced to intervene when such action was not deemed to be in their national interests. This is one reason why the term human security has not yet been used in Security Council resolutions, though it has been used in statements of the Council President and reports of the Secretary-General.

 

Human Security and Related Concepts

The power and novelty of the concept of human security is perhaps best shown when it is compared and contrasted with related concepts which are widely accepted. For instance, human security and human development are often described as twin concepts, being simply “freedom from fear” and “freedom from want,” respectively. To elaborate, human security is the ability to enjoy the fruits of human development in a safe environment. Human development is one important means to create human security. The two initiatives are complementary and mutually reinforcing. Without one, the other becomes difficult, if not impossible.

Similarly, human security and human rights are intertwined. Firstly, human security (at least in its narrow definition) is a human right. Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirms that that “everyone has the right to life, liberty and the security of person” (emphasis added). Many national constitutions including those of the US and Canada, reaffirm the same right.7 Conversely, it is recognized that when human rights are respected, then human security is well advanced.

The power of the human security concept is most clearly evident when it is contrasted with the traditional concept of national security. In the human security approach, the welfare of human beings around the world is the object of concern rather than military and strategic interests of a particular state. The defence of human life is more important than the defence of land, and personal integrity is as important as territorial integrity. Interstate wars in the world remain an important concern but they are not necessarily more important than internal wars, which are known to cause even more human suffering. The use of threats and force are not excluded as tools of international diplomacy under human security but they are minimized because of the potential damage to human lives in their application. The deployment of armed forces for defence, collective security and humanitarian intervention is permitted, if not encouraged, but only so long as the application of force is justified, proportional, and legitimate under international law, while minimizing if not eliminating deaths of innocent people. Human security puts a premium on human life. Thus, peacekeeping is preferred to war-fighting, which is only seen as viable as a last resort. Proper procedure, due process and fostering cooperation are preferred to surprise attack, armed deterrence and robust defence as modus operandi. Transparency and factual reporting in military operations replace secrecy and one-sided propaganda as the characteristic of information dissemination. Emphasis is placed on conflict prevention in place of armed reaction because prevention can save lives as well as maintain human progress, and can be less costly in many ways. In the human security sphere, weapons are not the major tool; they are largely replaced with a host of cooperative endeavours to broaden dialogue and understanding.

Human security and national security are complementary concepts and need not necessarily contradict each other. Both seek protection against harm. To organize and ensure human security, armed forces are necessary. To provide for national security, the removal of threats, at home and abroad, is needed. Defence of the “enlightened self-interest” leads one to affirm the central tenets of human security and the organization of human security on the international level leads to a respect for national security.

The human security paradigm itself leads to a special but natural set of tensions. The concept of human security is a people-centred approach that embraces both the dichotomies of individuality and universality, of indivisibility and personal freedom, of individual rights and collective rights. Obviously, a balance point has to be reached, one which must take into account both the authority of the state and the freedom of the individual.

In the human security approach, a much wider range of actors contribute to security. Expanding from the notion of military and police forces as the security providers, the human security providers include the development community and civil society (meaning the engaged elements of society, especially non-governmental organizations providing humanitarian aid). These organizations help furnish the basis not only for development but also for disarmament. Civil society often assists in the movement towards better gun controls and can actually led in the implementation of disarmament measures (as has been seen in “goods for guns” programs in Central America, Eastern Europe and Africa sponsored by local groups). Civil society can also play a vital role in promoting adherence to national legislation (for example, through support of community policing) and in the verification of international treaties (as in the case of the civil society evaluation and promotion of state compliance with the anti-personnel mines convention).

The rise of the human security concept can help explain the rapprochement of the security and development communities. As the issues of security and development tend to converge, so have many projects in these two fields, especially in war-affected regions. The development community has found itself playing an important role in fostering disarmament and the security community is now thinking of development as a way to secure the peace.

 

Conclusion

Human security is a people-centered approach which has gained considerable attention in recent years. Because it is founded on the fundamental principle of the centrality of the individual, it is a concept that is likely to stay permanently in the international dialogue. How it is defined and applied is still a matter of discussion and growing experience. But the struggle to find the proper means and ends is a natural process which will see many successes and failures. As is often the case, international situations and practice will help define both the debate and the rules which arise from it, especially treaty and customary international law.

As the world becomes more conscious of its interconnectedness and as human beings recognize their responsibilities to each other in the “global village”, the concept of human security is bound to find increasing application and wider adherence.

“Not until the creation and maintenance of decent conditions of life for all people are recognized and accepted as a common obligation of all people and all countries — not until then shall we, with a certain degree of justification, be able to speak of humankind as civilized.”
             — Albert Einstein, 1945

 

Acknowledgement

The developer of this module, Dr. Walter Dorn, would like to thank the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade for the provision of a Human Security Fellowship for 2001/02.

 

Endnotes

1. UN Chronicle Online, Volume XXXV, Number 1, 1998, Department of Public Information, United Nations, found at http://www.un.org/Pubs/chronicle/1998/issue1/0198p3.html (accessed 19 November 2001).

2. Depending on how one defines “people’s rights”, the Canadian definition of human security can be viewed as either narrow or broad. If rights include all those covered by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (including the right to work, food, education, etc.), it would be a broad definition of human security. If the more common concept of human rights, as used in the United Nations to cover “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment”, is used then the human security concept would be correspondingly narrow.

3. Some of the early Canadian literature on human security was critical of the broad definition used in the 1994 Human Development Report. For instance, an early DFAIT concept paper that was widely distributed said the

“definition advanced in the report was extremely ambitious. … The very breadth of the UNDP approach, however, made it unwieldy as a policy instrument. Equally important, in emphasizing the threats associated with underdevelopment, the Report largely ignored the continuing human insecurity resulting from violent conflict. … The UNDP definition of human security was proposed as a key concept during the preparatory stages of the 1995 Copenhagen Summit on Social Development. But it was rejected during the Summit and has not been widely used thereafter.” [“Human Security: Safety for People in a Changing World,” Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, Ottawa, April 1999, p. 3].

This kind of comparative and competitive approach has been largely replaced by a more flexible and holistic approach, in which it is recognized that “the threats to human security experienced in different regions of the world differ, as do the resources available to address those threats” [Human Security Network, “Approaches to Human Security”, previously available at http://www.humansecuritynetwork.org/approaches-e.asp, accessed 31 August 2001].

4. The thirteen members of the Human Security Network, as of October 2002, are: Austria, Canada, Chile, Greece, Ireland, Jordan, Mali, The Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, South Africa, Switzerland and Thailand.

5. The editors of the volume “Human Security and the New Diplomacy: Protecting People, Promoting Peace” (see Bibliography) write in their preface that the human security concept is the core of a “radically new foreign policy agenda” (p. xxi).

6. Bashow, David L., “Reconciling the Irreconcilable: Canada’s Foreign and Defence Policy Linkage”, Canadian Defence Journal, Vol. 1, No. 1, Spring 2000. The quotes in the article are from a column entitled “Human Security” in The National Post, 27 October 1999.

7. For example, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms states that “everyone has the right to life, liberty and the security of person” (Article 7).

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

 

Axworthy, Lloyd, “Introduction” in Rob McRae and Don Hubert (ed.), Human Security and the New Diplomacy: Protecting People, Promoting Peace, McGill-Queen’s University Press, Montreal, 2001, pp. 3-13.

Bain, William, “Against Crusading: The Ethic of Human Security and Canadian Foreign Policy”, Canadian Foreign Policy, Vol. 6, No. 3 (Spring 1999), pp. 85-98.

Bashow, David L., “Reconciling the Irreconcilable: Canada’s Foreign and Defence Policy Linkage”, Canadian Defence Journal, Vol. 1, No. 1, Spring 2000. [Provides a critical view of human security.] http://www.journal.dnd.ca/vol1/no1_e/policy_e/pol2_e.html

Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) Canada, “Freedom from Fear: Canada’s Foreign Policy for Human Security,” Ottawa, 2000. Available at http://www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/foreignp/humansecurity/HumanSecurityBooklet-e.asp (accessed July 2001). [Provided here as Reading A.]

Dorn, A. Walter, “Small Arms, Human Security and Development”, Development Express, No. 5, 1999-2000, Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Ottawa, November 2000. Available online, accessed 1 August 2001.

Heinbecker, Paul, “Human Security: The Hard Edge”, Canadian Military Journal, Vol. 1, No.1 (Spring 2000), Available at http://www.journal.dnd.ca/vol1/no1_e/policy_e/pol1_e.html, accessed 20 August 2001.

McRae, Rob and Don Hubert (eds.), Human Security and the New Diplomacy: Protecting People, Promoting Peace (Introduction by Lloyd Axworthy, foreword by Kofi Annan), McGill-Queen’s University Press, Montreal, 2001.

Naidu, M.V. (ed.), Perspectives on Human Security: National Sovereignty and Humanitarian Intervention, CPREA, Brandon University, 2001.

Reghr, Ernie, “Defence and Human Security” in M.V. Naidu, Perspectives on Human Security: National Sovereignty and Humanitarian Intervention, CPREA, Brandon University, 2001.

Sokolsky, Joel and Joseph Jockel, “Lloyd Axworthy’s Legacy: Human Security and the Rescue of Canadian Defence Policy”, International Journal, Winter 2000-2001, p.1.

Tow, William T., Ramesh Thakur and In-Taek Hyun, eds. “Asia’s Emerging Regional Order: Reconciling traditional and human security,” Tokyo, Japan: United Nations University Press; 2000; pp. 13-32.

United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Human Development Report 1994, Oxford University Press, New York, 1994.