Hello, hope all is well with you!
I’ve finally returned to writing the This Week in Conflict report again after a nearly three month hiatus. In that absence, it seems that conflict has really begun erupting in many places across the globe. As such, it is incredibly difficult for me to remain abreast of all the details and nuances of each conflict, so I ask readers to please submit to me any reports or personal observations from conflict zones they find each week that they feel I have missed or overlooked or misunderstood. These reports are all made on a voluntary basis, using publicly available news reports and as such are subject to error or media bias. I would also appreciate any suggestions on how to make this weekly report better. You can add these to the commentary below, or send them via email.
Since there are soo many conflicts brewing, and this weekly report has gotten so long; the conflicts are separated into regions with each region and country highlighted with bold lettering to make it easier for you to skim to find details about the specific conflict or region you are looking for.
- Some discussion being floated regarding the IMF Strauss-Khan rape case caught my interest, particularly these two, which suggest that the IMF itself needs to be investigated and tried for crimes. Strauss-Kahn plead "not guilty" to the charges in a courtroom on Monday and will return to court on July 18th. Several civil society organizations, including ActionAid, Eurodad and Oxfam are demanding that the candidates looking to be the next leader of the IMF debate each other publicly instead of using backroom deals to secure the position.
- Ban Ki-moon is seeking a second five-year term at his post of UN Secretary-General and has formally asked members of the UN to support his candidacy. Ban’s term ends on December 31st and he is so far running unopposed. Some see Ban as more than deserving of the position based on his work during his five year term, while others, myself included, are far more critical of his time as SG.
- The UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression presented his report concluding that Internet access is a basic human right. The Rapporteur declared that disconnecting individuals from the Internet goes against international law.
- Member States of the UN will sign a declaration on Friday calling for “universal access” to treatment for HIV-AIDS by 2015 at a special summit on the disease. Great in theory, but difficult in practice, especially considering the vague language on financial commitments for funding of such a project.
- A new report explored for the first time the key character traits, skills and contexts needed for effective leadership in a humanitarian crisis. The report found that the qualities and experience of the individual are far more important in determining who emerges as an effective leader, than their job titles or formal status.
- Robert Gates, the US Defence Secretary blasted European allies of NATO this week for risking “collective military irrelevance” unless NATO members bear more of the burden and boost military spending in operations such as Libya and Afghanistan. Gates warned of a “real possibility for a dim, if not dismal future for the transatlantic alliance”.
[continued at http://www.apeaceofconflict.com]