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Human Security For All

A Tribute to Sergio Vieira de Mello

Kevin Cahill

Publication Year: 2004

The tragic death in Baghdad in 2003 of Sergio Vieira de Mello, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, brought into bitter relief the challenges faced by peacekeepers and humanitarian aid workers. The contributors to this book, all leading scholars and practitioners, offer invaluable perspectives on many of the most important political, legal, social, and military challenges confronting humanitarian aid in a world of terror and conflict. These original essays explore such topics as human rights and the rights of the displaced, working with local communities to rebuild viable governance, justice, and the rule of law, and maintaining safe spaces for humanitarian relief programs in zones of conflict.The contributors are: Kevin M. Cahill, Joseph McShane, S.J., Sadako Ogata, Irene Khan, Francis Deng, Mark Malloch Brown, Ghassan Salame, Roland Eng, Jan Egeland, Peter Hansen, David Rieff, Jacques Forster, Dennis McNamara, David Owen, Richard Goldstone, Sasha Tharoor, and Jan Eliasson.

Published by: Fordham University Press

Human Security for All

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pp. vii-ix

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pp. xi

This book is a token of love and respect for a fallen colleague. All the contributors had worked with Sergio Vieira de Mello at one time or another during his long and illustrious career as an international humanitarian. Despite their own busy schedules, they accepted the challenge of writing a chapter distilling their own experiences because they shared ...


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pp. xiii-xiv

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The Conferral of the Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters on Sergio Vieira de Mello

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pp. xv-xvi

On 11 November 2002, two months after being named United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Sergio Vieira de Mello described the task of an international community committed to the promotion of human dignity: ...

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A Message From the United Nations Secretary-General, H. E. Kofi Annan

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pp. xvii-xviii

I am delighted to join all the friends and colleagues of Sergio Vieira de Mello and pay tribute to him by considering a topic that was dear to his heart and central to his professional life—human security for all. Sergio would have been glad that this book addresses this simple but powerful theme: the notion that every man, woman, and child must ...

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pp. xix-xxi

Human security is increasingly recognized as a basic right for all people. It is an essential for the development of a healthy society as well as for the protection of the individual from the arbitrary power of the state or the threat of harm from criminals and terrorists. Human security transcends national borders and restrictive laws, viewing every person as ...

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Human Rights and the Rights of the Displaced

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pp. 1

There has been a striking evolution—maybe revolution—in the last two decades in international humanitarian law. The absolute sovereignty of states has been gradually eroded in favor of recognition of certain inalienable rights of individuals. This new appreciation has led to the legal justification for humanitarian ...

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Human Security as Framework for Post-Conflict Nation-Building: Lessons from Iraq and Afghanistan

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pp. 3-14

Until only about a decade ago, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and humanitarian aid workers faced challenges mainly in protecting refugees who fled across the borders for safety from individual persecution or war between nations. But since the dissolution of the cold-war structures at the turn of the twentieth century, ...

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A Human Rights Agenda for Global Security

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pp. 15-27

On 19 August 2003 the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Sergio Vieira de Mello, was killed in a bomb attack on the United Nations (UN) building in Baghdad. As the world’s most prominent defender of human rights lay dead in the rubble, the world had good cause to ponder how the legitimacy and credibility of the UN could have ...

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Trapped Within Hostile Borders:The Plight of Internally Displaced Persons

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pp. 28-51

Since the conference from which this volume emanated was a tribute to Sergio Vieira de Mello, I would like to begin with the effect of the news from Baghdad on 19 August 2003. Once the tragedy was announced, and, especially when Sergio’s name was mentioned by CNN, I remained glued to the television, following the developments ...

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Humanitarian Action in a New Barbarian Age

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pp. 52-59

If the hope for human progress and for a better world can be said to rest on anything, it rests on the great documents of international law that have been promulgated since the end of the Second World War. These include, first and foremost, the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But while these two documents offer a ...

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Post-Conflict Transitions and Working with Local Communities to Create Leadership and Governance

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pp. 61-62

In this section five remarkably experienced humanitarians share the lessons they have learned working to rebuild communities in post conflict situations. Mark Malloch Brown emphasizes the absolute necessity of proceeding only with local support: “Reconstruction and the choices that are ...

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Post-Conflict Transitions: The Challenge of Securing Political,Social, and Economic Stability

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pp. 63-70

When I think of all that Sergio’s life encompassed—his life-long work to assist the world’s most vulnerable people in times of crisis—I know that he would have been pleased that the arrangements to remember him are not solely focused on his achievements, extraordinary though they were, but on taking forward the debates about humanitarian activities ...

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Humanitarian Action and the International Response to Crises:The Challenges of Integration

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pp. 71-80

In a statement at United Nations (UN) Headquarters in New York, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell described Sergio de Mello as “a soldier in the cause of peace.” He was indeed, in all of his awesome humanitarian duties. He was also one of humanity’s great captains—and he joins that short list of eminent crisis managers and civil administrators. ...

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Humanitarianism’s Age of Reason

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pp. 81-98

In post-conflict situations, the first challenge is to identify the sequence of events preceding conflict resolution, and how you classify what has apparently ended is of utmost importance. Was it really a conflict? Then, what kind of conflict was it? An international police operation, a foreign aggression, a regional war, a civil war, a state collapse, all ...

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The Role of the Media in Promoting and Combating Conflict

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pp. 99-105

Few United Nations officials were more aware than Sergio Vieira de Mello of the extraordinary power of the international media to do both harm and good in the conflict situations into which the UN is thrust. This compilation would not be complete, therefore, without a brief appreciation of the role of the media in both promoting and combating conflict. ...

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Creating Local-Level Stability and Empowerment in Cambodia

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pp. 106-125

It was in a tiny jungle hut in Oddor Meanchey Province, along the Thai- Cambodian border, that I first welcomed Sergio Vieira de Mello with a glass of coconut milk. In 1992, the two of us were working there to help repatriate over 300,000 refugees who had been living along the border for over 10 years. Our work was part of one of the largest United Nations ...

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Maintaining Humanitarian Space in Conflict Zones

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pp. 127

In his long and distinguished career at the United Nations, Sergio Vieira de Mello held many titles; one that was very dear to his heart was Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs. In this section are chapters by three other international statesmen who have also held that critical post; they offer reflections from

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The Challenges of Humanitarian Diplomacy

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pp. 129-141

When my predecessor as Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Sergio Vieira de Mello, was tragically and senselessly killed on 19 August 2003 in Baghdad, humanitarianism lost one of its finest advocates and practitioners. In a way that few have matched, Sergio combined in one person a deep and noble ...

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Passion and Compassion

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pp. 142-146

I would like to pay tribute to Sergio Vieira de Mello by first offering a brief historical note to the rules of law that should have protected him on his final mission. Then I shall pose a number of challenges that continue to face humanitarians in conflict zones. During the summer and fall of 1991, the international debate on humanitarian action ...

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Preserving Humanitarian Space in Long-Term Conflict

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pp. 147-164

With very few exceptions, it has been considered self-evident among those in the humanitarian community that to achieve a reasonable measure of success humanitarian action in conflict zones should be predicated upon notions of neutrality and impartiality. In recent years, particularly following the outbreak of numerous local and regional armed conflicts ...

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Challenges to Independent Humanitarian Action in Contemporary Conflicts

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pp. 165-182

The ability of an independent humanitarian organization such as the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to protect and assist people affected by armed conflict or internal violence depends first and foremost on the acceptation of the organization and of its activities by all parties concerned. Failing that, humanitarian action is either impossible ...

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Justice and the Rule of Law

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pp. 183

There can be no peace without justice. But after the terrible wrongs that are committed during wars and conflicts, the pure pursuit of justice may itself become an obstacle to a longed for and lasting peace. There is an evolving acceptance of the importance of truth and ...

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A Sense of Justice

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pp. 185-189

To attempt to assess the contribution of Sergio Vieira de Mello to the complex and difficult areas of justice and the rule of law is a daunting task. It is a challenge made even greater, as one of his close friends put it, by Sergio’s basic duality: his instinctive charm and trust, looking for the best in people while pushing often pragmatic diplomacy to its limits ...

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Justice and Reconciliation:The Contribution of War Crimes Tribunals and Truth and Reconciliation Commissions

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pp. 190-214

Justice is the outcome of individual decisions. It does not exist in the abstract; it stems from the interpretation of laws. Justice is also one of the four cardinal virtues, along with prudence, temperance, and fortitude. Virtues that cover a person’s worth or merit cannot be absolute. They are of necessity qualified. Yet the quest for absolute or pure justice persists. ...

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Healing with a Single History

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pp. 215-228

There is no democracy in which justice and the rule of law are not axiomatically assumed to be foundational principles. In 1895, Professor A. V. Dicey, the great English legal philosopher, defined the principles of the Rule of Law. One of them, he declared, was that “no man is punishable or can be made to suffer in body or goods except for a distinct ...


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pp. 229-241


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pp. 243-244


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pp. 245

Preamble to the Charter of the United Nations

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pp. 247

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: A Magna Carta for All Humanity

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pp. 249-255

Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel

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pp. 257-269

List of Persons Who Died as a Result of the Bombing of the UN Meadquarters in Baghdad, Iraq on 19 August 2003

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pp. 271

Annex to Jaques Forster's "Challenges to Independent Humanitarian Action in Contemporary Conflicts"

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pp. 273-275

About The Center for International Health and Cooperation and The Institute for International Humanitarian Affairs

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pp. 277-278


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pp. 279-296

E-ISBN-13: 9780823247950
Print-ISBN-13: 9780823223985
Print-ISBN-10: 0823223981

Page Count: 256
Publication Year: 2004