The theory of Good Governance (GG) relies on the belief an effective government builds upon the criteria of transparency and accountability. Moreover, government brings together the formal institutions of the state and their monopoly of legitimate coercive power (Stoker, 1998). The post-colonialism era left many states in a situation of civil war, bankruptcy and corruption, where an alliance of elites controlled the country’s main resources and wealth, which led to persistent inequalities and divisions within a country (Henderson, Stalker, 2000).
Thus, the fragmented state’s incapability to provide security, justice and basic needs, legitimized, in the citizen view, the use of force as not recognizing government’s authority. The on-going tensions in the Middle-East illustrates how the longer a civil war lasts the more likely an escalation of violence will occur and lead to a spillover effect from a state to region. This in turn might have a significant impact on international peace. Following, post-war recovery donors believed the maintenance of political stability and peace-building process required assistance of the international system in order to limit the threat of a return to violence. This last point is essential, as it highlights the subjective use of foreign aid and need for mutual responsibility of the donor and recipient to apply the basic principles of humanitarian aid: humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence.
This essay will argue contemporary humanitarian aid effectiveness is undermined by the politicization of the process, which is the pursuit of political objectives by humanitarian instruments. As a consequence, this results in the donor’s national interests and security being privileged over recipient’s need. Aid policy would then be determined by selectivity of which state receives aid and on the contrary, the circumvention of some governments. This concept does not only impacts humanitarian principles, challenges the ethics of donor countries but also has long-term devastating consequences on development strategies. Boone (1996) argues, that instead of supporting development aid can provoke and enhance poverty as directly given to governments ‘that consume aid inflows instead of investing in their country’ (pp-289). In order to analyze the impact politicized foreign aid had on developing countries Afghanistan and Somalia will be used as case studies. As, they both suffered from complex political fragmentation following a fall of a regime and required impartial assistance. This essay argues, efficient aid should be implemented by a return to classic humanitarianism through the establishment of democracy and good governance and so the likelihood of sustainable peace.
Outline and Literature
Afghanistan and Somalia has been chosen as case studies as they highlight the argument no matter the amount of humanitarian aid the recipient receives, if the institutions are weak and the aid subjective then it will not be incorporated homogeneously to the society.
To begin, intervention is not new and relies on peaceful stability. In order to understand the influence and consequences of politicization on foreign aid during post-war recovery three major concepts of humanitarian aid will be defined: ‘humanitarianism imperative’, impartiality as a component of legitimacy, and the use of conditionality as reward of Good Governance. First of all, Joanna Macrae, described humanitarianism as ‘designed to mitigate the impact of war’, mainly led by the West (Macrae, pg 7).
Nonetheless, The Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross introduced the concept of ‘humanitarian imperative’, which defines the principle of humanity as the right to receive and to give humanitarian assistance (Schweizer, 2004). This point highlights, even though humanitarian aid is imperfect, it is a right and duty to bring assistance to people in need. Furthermore, in order to restore legitimacy of the state it is essential to establish or reform the national government, which often requires impartial cooperation on the ground with local actors. A solution for cooperation and legitimacy has been addressed through the application of conditionality which Nelson and Eglinton (1992) defined as a set of strategies that the donors apply in order to bring in political and economic reforms in the recipient country. It has further been used as a reward for Good Governance and a pressure mechanism for compliance to peace-process. For instance, bilateral donors and UN agencies applied them in post-war recovery of Somalia and Afghanistan.
However, it will be argued first of all, it is not the most appropriate approach to strengthen good governance. Secondly, it often excludes groups from the reconstruction process, which leads to social exclusion and has a negative impact on sustainable peace (Manning, 2010). While in both countries the humanitarian field staff has been criticized for both economic and political reasons. This paper will focus only on the political aspect of international aid as opposed to economical factors because the implementation of growth-promoting activities requires strong political infrastructure.
Additionally, It is worth highlighting, politicized humanitarianism theorists argued classic humanitarianism is faulty as ‘neutrality is only a myth’. Furthermore, O’Brien (2004) and Anderson (1999) point out, neutrality is impossible to obtain as when aid decides to intervene in a conflict it has a political view ’international assistance (…) becomes a part of that context and thus also of the conflict’’ (pp-1). She gave an example of the Sri Lankan government, which considered Tamil-speaking refugees are similar to the Tamil Tigers; in this situation then providing humanitarian aid would also be helping a rebel group. Nonetheless, it has been stated politicization is a violation of the Geneva Conventions on the Laws and Customs of War, and so should respect the principles of impartiality and transparency.
For the reasons discussed above, this paper will support the argument politicization hinders the success of foreign aid following post-war recovery by examining how the use of conditionality in Afghanistan and Somalia was ineffective in influencing the government and was applied even though harmful to the population. Secondly, following this analysis it will be discussed if the political aspect of foreign aid can be neglected by focusing on a bottom-up mobilization through NGO’s. However, this solution will be argued not efficient as to obtain sustainable peace and development the state’s political structure will need to be constructed around the concept of ‘impartiality’, ‘country ownership’ and ‘good governance’.
Links and Case Studies
Since the cold war Afghanistan has been an aid-dependent country as in order to fight the Red Army, and so the communist invasion, the United States had given over $600 million per annum to the country (Giradet, 1998, pg. 118). Moreover, while the communist part of the country equally needed assistance, the US-led aid only focused on one side, the Afghan mujahideen, by supporting them both financially and technically. Following this period of aid flow, another one happened during the civil war in Afghanistan, from 1992 through the end of the Taliban regime in 2001. It will further be argued; the emphasis of foreign aid was not on meeting the basic needs of Afghanistan’s population but on encouraging trade (Fayez, 2013). Similarly, to Afghanistan, Somalia post-cold war suffered from war and famine and the situation did not improve with foreign aid assistance. In fact, it is still considered as the most modern state collapse in the world. Moreover, the famine drew attention of the United Nations on to the Somali civil war in 1992, through the United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM) however they withdrew in 1994 due to conflict between Somalia and American forces.
Unfortunately, the lack of neutrality and impartiality in foreign assistance to Somalia was most markedly felt following 9/11 and so the beginning of the ‘war on terror’ led by the United States. In fact, the concerns focused on keeping international peace and securitization rather than humanitarian protection of Somali population. As Bradbury stated (2010) ‘the emphasis on reviving a central government has simply served to perpetuate a violent conflict over control of the state.’ (pp-2)
The situation in Afghanistan and Somalia are similar and support Easterly (2002) statement of foreign aid, which argues ‘the tragedy of aid’, is mainly due to a lack of accountability and management. Furthermore, due to the difficulty to collaborate with weak state framework and infrastructures often lead NGOs to endorse the role of providing security from a bottom-up mobilization rather than acting through a government in order reaching the population directly (DeMars, 1996: 81). Nonetheless, they can undermine the state’s responsibility to deal with the crisis as well as aggravate the issue by not providing equal assistance to different groups.
Arguments and counterarguments
When analyzing the effectiveness of international aid, one has to consider specific tools of the process such as conditionality. As stated above, conditionality is the use of ‘bargaining aid’ in orders to reform the recipient’s country policy, and is argued to be a major support for increased living standards and development (Montinola, 2007).
However, the situation in Afghanistan challenges this perspective as conditionality has been used mainly for short-term recovery for security interests instead of sustainable peace. Furthermore, The Bonn Agreement, was a series of agreement attempting to re-establish the State of Afghanistan following the US invasion and has been argued to favor only one side of the conflict, which was the ally of US during ‘war on terror’ (Goodhand, 2009). For instance, the agreement established the foundation for future Afghan governance in order to help the U.S. eradicate al Qaeda and,’ in the long term, would be stable enough to deny terrorists a haven’ (Fields, 2011). The fact emergency security was the main interest of donors brought them to keep elites at their posts in exchange of promise of stability, which consequently excluded a minority. The fragmentation of Afghan politics and institutions, limited the application of conditions.
Thus, the Bonn Agreement while attempting to reform the state, in the US interests, did not create de facto sovereignty and domestic legitimacy; which are essential to sustainable peace.
In comparison, Somalia post-war recovery attracted many interests especially in terms of trade and geopolitical location. For instance, the fact the main donors were the US and USSR reflected the on-going cold war rivalry and the desire for both countries to access the red sea. (Mehmet, 1971) However, the large amounts of aid flow did not accelerate growth and development, as there was no existence of efficient administration. In contrary, when the trade interests are situated in another state the humanitarian aid will follow the trend. Moreover, Britain cut off aid to Somalia, which they argued was based on Human Rights violations. But, Britain selectivity towards aid was actually caused by difficulty to administrate aid and mainly political factors. Therefore, much of the attention at the time was on Nigeria, due to Britain strong trade interests with the country. As, the world economy today depends significantly on oil and Britain is no exception. Actually, the Nigerian oil production and the British foreign assistance to Nigeria begin since the colonial history, which explains their interest to keep the territory stabilized as weak Nigerian oil out-put could have negative impact on the donor as well as the recipient of aid (Vazul, 2010).
National interests from donors thus undermined promoting good governance and strong political infrastructures in post-recovery of developing countries such as Somalia and Afghanistan (Sorensen, 2013). To sum up, conditional aid seems incompatible with the self-interested nature of bilateral donors. As concerning the role of international organizations it also seems like the main interest of IMF, which is to promote global growth and economic stability and so is not in compliance with the actual needs of citizens in recipient country. This last point raises the question, if conditionality has been ineffective due to fostering violence, marginalizing a part of the population and delegitimizing the state then would the use of unconditional aid be more benefiting? Furthermore, we will see the use of unconditional aid through NGO’s can also be problematic and has its flaws with the example of cash-based transfers since 2000 in Somalia which illustrated the difficulty to monitor the process as most payments were involved in fraud and diversion problems. (Hedlund, 2012) Nonetheless, even though the complex discussion around the question of which policy is more suitable between ‘conditional’ or ‘unconditional’ aid is still ongoing, studies have shown the latter has more chances to progress towards the establishment of democracy and ‘country-ownership’ than states that received conditional aid (Kersting, 2014).
It has been argued one way of dealing with the dilemma of sending substantial aid flows to weak institutions is to by-pass the state-centric phenomena of humanitarianism. And so, to deliver aid through Non-government Actors as Acht (2015) would advocate. Their main point is that government-government assistance is more likely to be inefficient as the recipient state suffers from “bad” governance, which they define as ‘‘human rights violations, lacking representativeness of the government and high levels of military expenditures’’(Acht, 2015, pp-2). Thus, this would lead donors to find another way to deliver aid, by targeting directly the population. Furthermore, their empirical analysis is build on the theory bilateral channel are most of the times chosen by donors which goals are non-developmental and interested in securitization through stability process or build upon post-colonialism relationships, as mentioned above. Instead then using NGOs would be more useful to depoliticize aid, especially when emergency on the ground is required. They believe, local ownership of reforms to promote good governance has been lacking satisfactory evidence and so bypassing bilateral channels seems to provide a ‘rational’ choice to the issue (Acht, 2015).
In line with this thought, Djarklov (2012) holds that foreign aid could lead politicians and so elites of developing countries to ‘engage in rent-seeking activities in order to appropriate these resources and try to exclude other groups from the political process’ (pp-169). And so, bilateral foreign aid by creating dependency could undermine democracy. Nonetheless, the solution to solely use NGOs to bypass governments and to underestimate the efficiency of aid when used impartially could lead to undergoing human catastrophes with no long-term solutions. Furthermore, the role of NGO’s in Somalia and Afghanistan illustrates how the roots of the causation of inefficient foreign aid is not the bilateral channel but the non-development goals and the lack of interest from donors in establishing an accountable democracy.
First of all, NGO’s can be considered as enemies and so targeted by local actors due to delegitimization of aid from their perspective as they consider Western aid as political entities (Irby, 2012). Secondly, donors can see NGO’s as an extension of their military interests (Abiew, 2012). Finally, NGO’s do not provide long-term post-war recovery, as the question on the duration of this alternative is questionable.
Spang (2016) questions the view NGO’s provide a clear alternative to bilateral channel by argumenting ‘politicization of aid may cause (…) non-governmental organizations (NGOs) on the ground to become strategic targets in the conflict’ (pp-1). As foreigners and so NGO representatives could be seen as targets, intervening in an area where a specific entity has authority on the conflict zone. For instance, in Somalia Al-Shabaab attacked NGO internal personnel in order to manipulate and control the organizations as they considered them as ‘spies or agents of foreign intervention’ (Irby, 2012, pp-6) but was also manipulated for material gain. Especially Médecin Sans Frontières (MSF), when trying to negotiate access to territory has experienced this challenging obstacle to the process of providing assistance.
In comparison, NGO’s has been used as an extension of the donors military particularly in Afghanistan where humanitarian agencies had to work with states agencies, which undermined their neutrality. The US Secretary of State, Colin Powell stated in a speech the close relationship the US has with NGO’s during the Enduring Freedom operation in Afghanistan (Abiew, 2012). This situation was later confirmed when the organizations applied the government program. The fact, western government lack of neutrality in bilateral foreign aid also undermines NGO’s at the same time, as local actors perceive them as an extension of modern imperialism.
To sum up, this essay does not argue NGO’s are not a useful tool to provide assistance during post-war recovery but that these alternatives are only short-term solutions, as they do not have the resources or the capacities to bring sustainable peace when corrupted and weak political infrastructures are still governing.
While there has been a consensus among academics that good governance is essential in order to promote development, it is a subjective theory and so means different things depending on individuals. In this paper, good governance will be referred as the qualities of a state to govern around the principles of democracy, accountability, transparency and legitimacy. Moreover, The 1997 UNDP Report Governance for Sustainable Development sums up effectively the objectives a strong political infrastructure should have in order to be considered as legitimate: ‘it is, among other things, participatory, transparent and accountable, effective and equitable, and it promotes the rule of law.’ Moreover, by providing assistance without considering if the government prior intervention was well governed would improve the view of local actors on foreign aid and so would bring more likely collaboration. Additionally, along this line aid is mainly undermined because donors do not take into account that even with substantial amount of aid if elites are still exercising power with no development goals then peace will not be sustainable.
Thus, the aid policy should be applied and delivered with consideration of the reality of what is happening in the country and so the state’s policy. This last point raises the question, what kind of government should be established in order to develop a country post-war?
While some academics argues democracy is not they key to development, as the recipient country needs to find their own solutions. However, democracy has actually been the most satisfactory solution in order to give the opportunity for equal participation to the political environment. We can consider, development and sustainable peace as the outcome while democracy and good governance are the process to obtain a convincing solution to post-war recovery.
It is essential to highlight the limits of good governance theory, as it is a difficult task to establish a causal relationship between the latter and development. For instance, while it is true democracy does not always lead to sustainable peace and development, the fact it incorporates human rights, transparency and accountability makes it an effective government where there is higher chances that aid will be distributed homogenously to the population (Opara, 2007).
As strong political infrastructures are needed in order to manage grievances and be able to handle conflicts before they will turn violent. For instance, analysis of the situation in Haiti have concluded the only alternative for post-war recovery is to bring the necessary assistance to establish a cohesion between the state and citizens and to work effectively towards a ‘participatory consensus’ (Kumar, 1998).
Considering the above, it can be concluded that in order to establish a long-term post-war recovery the process has to be political, in the sense of establishing good governance.
We have analyzed, foreign aid is mainly undermined by its politicization, due to the donor’s instrumentalization of aid for national and security interests. It is more likely, bilateral channels would be more effective if they provided assistance impartially based on humanitarian need rather than conditionality and so reward of good governance. The current foreign aid assistance in Somalia and Afghanistan civil wars requires the participation of NGO’s and unconditional aid but the roots of the conflict has to address before, as the prerequisite of sustainable peace is good governance and legitimacy of the state.
For further research, the causal relationship between democracy and development should be further analyzed with its applicability to different post-war situations. Furthermore, it would be interesting to consider the variability of democracies in order to establish not a one size-fit all model, but one which could correspond to the state’s cultural and traditional background. While, the Westernized perspective of political infrastructures cannot be applied to every post-war recoveries, engaging in a reform of the current government to promote transparency, accountability and participation could stabilize the conflicts.
Debunking the Sovereignty: From Foucault to Agamben
“Citing the end of Volume I of The History of Sexuality, Agamben notes that for Foucault, the “threshold of modernity” is reached when politics becomes bio-politics—when power exercises control not simply over the bodies of living beings, but, in fact, regulates, monitors, and manufactures the life and life processes of those living beings.” For Agamben, the term politics in the western context is effectively a politics of Sovereignty and consequently, for Agamben, Sovereignty itself is inherently bio-political.
In the latter context, the term bio-politics is not modern rather it is ancient. Here, Agamben comes in disagreement with Hannah Arendt and Michel Foucault. Perhaps, this is why, Agamben dedicated his widely cited work “Homo Sacer” to reconcile the bio-political theory of Hannah Arendt and Michel Foucault to grasp the decisive moment of the Modernity. In order to reconcile the bio-political theory of Hannah Arendt and Michel Foucault, Agamben uses the concept of “Bare Life” or “Sacred Life“.
According to Agamben, Michel Foucault has overlooked the writings of Hannah Arendt, and hence, the gap should be filled. To illustrates his understanding of the modern bio-politics, Agamben imagines the “the concentration camp and the structure of the great totalitarian state of the twentieth century. For Agamben, in the modern times every political space has become a camp that is why he has used the term concentration camp instead of the city state.
Hence, for Agamben, the camp is a place where law is nothing and the existence of beings is reduced to a bare life. Moreover, a camp is place where the sovereign decision acts without any consequence and thus the existence of every man is reduced to a bare life. Thus in his famous work, Agamben aspires the return of the sovereign by rejecting the Foucaultian Methodology. Although both Foucault and Agamben are against the concept of totalitarianism but the only divergence exists in their methodology. But according to several scholars, on one side Agamben is against the concept of totalitarianism but on the other hand he attempts to resurrect it by nullifying his initial argument.
In the latter context, there is a huge difference between Agamben and Foucault when it comes to the question of bio-politics, law, sovereignty, life and law. Hence, the divergence can be understood from the context of ontology, epistemology, metaphysics, politics, methodology and normativity. For instance, unlike Foucault, in his famous work “Homo Sacer” Agamben defines the concept of sovereignty from the Schmittian Standpoint, that is a sovereign means;” he who decides on the exception”. This is why, various experts deemed Agamben as the radical, who is trying to resurrect politics as opposed to Sovereignty.
On the contrary, just like Foucault, Agamben consider the concept of the bare life as the nucleus of the sovereign power. However, on the other hand, Agamben embraces the argument of Carl Schmitt that the concept of “Exception” lies at the heart of the Sovereign Power or Sovereignty.
Hence, when it comes to the Sovereignty and Bare life, it is the inclusion of zoe within the bios only by the means of Zoe’s exclusion. Here Zoe means (Bare Life) while Bios means (Political Life). Moreover, in Agamben’s definition of ‘Sovereignty’ does surrounds institutions rather it defines the abstract and exceptional relationship between the Zoe and Bios. Hence, basically, it is through this particular exceptional and abstract relationship, Agamben attempts to define the context and prevailing dynamics of the Western Politics. In contrast, Agamben defines the context of Sovereignty within the standpoint of the exception, perhaps, here the “exception” resembles the return of “The Sacred” in the Roman law. No doubt, it is a clear fact that “the sacred” in the Roman law serves as a kind of bridge between Aristotle and Modernity.
In the latter Context, it can be said that for Agameben the term sovereignty is not just a social or political phenomenon rather a trans-historical Phenomenon. On the contrary, for Michel Foucault, the term sovereignty is a recent phenomenon, whose origin can be traced to the power of the feudal monarchy during the middle Ages. Nonetheless, the fact should be kept in mind that whether it was in the ancient times or modern day, Sovereignty has played a key role in underlying the Social Contract.
According to the Foucaultian definition, the theory of Sovereignty relies on the subject, whose sole power is to establish the unity of power. More precisely, in the Foucaultian context, the theory of the Sovereignty assumes three ancient elements: First, a subject who must be subjectified, the unity of power must be established, and the legitimacy, that must be respected by all (Subject, unitary power, and the law).
Basically, the latter three elements clearly explains the dynamics of the feudal power during the Middle Ages. Moreover, from the Foucaultian standpoint the concept of discipline and bio-power are essential concepts surrounding term “Sovereignty”.
Another difference between Foucault and Agamben was that Agamben equates the concept of Sovereignty with the state, whereas, Agamben laments the erosion of the modern day State-Sovereignty equivalence. Nonetheless, the fact cannot be denied that Foucault failed to use the historical Schema in order to understand the meaning of sovereignty first from the standpoint of discipline up to the level of the security and the bio-power. For Foucault, discipline within the context of sovereignty only exists in the ancient world, however, in the modern times, it has been replaced by the concept of bio-power and the security. Hence, for Foucault, in the ancient times, the Penopticon can be seen as a great dream of the Sovereignty.
On the other hand, the fact cannot be denied that in the modern times, the concept of sovereignty has entered into the innate symbiosis with various professions ranges from jurists, doctors, scientists, scholars and even priests. It was the famous German Jurist Carl Schmitt, who first grasped the definition of sovereign exception, which is nothing less than the limit concept of the doctrine of the state and the law. Hence, the fact cannot be denied that here the concept of state and sovereignty resembles each other.
Hence, if we put the Agamben’s and Foucaultian definition of sovereignty into context then it becomes clear that the concept of sovereignty in Agamben’s perspective is not united rather it is more historical and continuous. More precisely, in Agamben’s perspective the concept of sovereignty is historical, which can be stretched from the time of Aristotle to the Modern day.
Similarly, for Agamben, the subject of the sovereign power, which is the result of the division of Zoe/bios, have been polluted or corrupted over the course of the centuries. Moreover, during this particular course, the domain of the Zoe was extended to a significant level, whereas, the domain of the bios was diminished by unfolding its actual perspective. As a matter of fact, throughout his writings, Agamben subscribes to the juridico-discursive concept of power, which for Foucault was insufficient for understanding the very concept of the modern bio-politics. In contrast to the above, the fact cannot be denied that through his major contributions, Michel Foucault attempted to project the “entire western reflection on Power“.
The End of the West in Self-annihilation (Intentionality, Directionality and Outcome)
A state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.-Definition of Health, Preamble of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Constitution, 1948
For months, many argue that our Covid (C-19) response is a planetary fiasco, whose size is yet to surface with its mounting disproportionate and enduring secondary effects, causing tremendous socio-economic, demographic and cross-generational, political and psychosomatic contractions and convulsions. However, worse than our response is our silence about it.
It is an established fact that the quintessence of Nazism was not Hitler and the circle of darkness around him. It was rather a commonly shared ‘banality of crime’ atmosphere: Benevolent acceptance of ordinary village people living next to Auschwitz, Mauthausen, Dachau that the nation must be ‘purified’ …
The day when questioning stops and silent acceptance (especially among the well informed, well mobilised and educated ones) becomes a ‘new normal’ is a day when fascism walks in a big time. Of course, today we have a diagnosis for it: manufacturing consent through choice architecture. It is done via fear-imprisoned and media infantilised (returned to the pre-Oedipal phase) psychology of the de-socialised and alienated, an atomised one.
There is no political or economic crisis. There is neither energy crisis, nor health, nor environmental crisis. Every crisis is just a deficit of cognitive mind that comes to the same; a moral crisis.
Ecological Globalistan, Political Terroristan, the author
Did we really forget basic teaching of our history: Every time when the power was unchecked, it degenerated into the obscure brutality; ritualising its force with a stamp on or under our skin to visualise and immortalise the twilight of reason?
So, our C-19 response and its widespread synchronicity (of measures and its timing) illustrates – the argument goes – nothing else but a social pathology of hostage crisis: the non-transparent concentration of power, and our overall democracy recession – further bolstering the management of apathy via surveillance and social control systems. All that as lasting consequences of cutbacks, environmental holocaust, deintellectualisation, liberticide, privatisation (or PPP-ization) of key intergovernmental and vital national institutions, ill-aimed globalisation as well as of the fixation on overly allopathic, mandated (not a repurposed, but usually novel expensive and inadequately tested) drugs-centred healthcare, and lack of public data commons. Public health or private wealth? Pandemic or plundermic …
Urban communities of developed countries are especially hit hard. Within these groups, the vulnerable categories like pre- and early- school children, and elderly suffer the most. People there wonder if they are (aggressively) coerced to participate in something they fear from the beginning is a lie. No wonder that the trust in and support to governmental and intergovernmental institutions is rapidly deteriorating.
Ever larger number of citizens do not see the mainstream media (or pop culture celebrities) at service for the population, but as a cartel that follows a special interest. Dialogue and opinion is discouraged and silenced, if not, even sanctioned. Our western, ‘modern’ medicine still falls short of consensus on a fundamental question: Is illness contracted (from outside) or created (conditions within our body). Hence, the faith in western medicine is in a free fall. Compromised generational contract and thinning social consensus are challenging our fabrics like never before in recorded history.
The first real stress-test since the end of the WWII, the United Nations (UN) clearly did not pass. Many feel deeply disappointed with and disfranchised by the universal organisation and its global Agencies for their steady self-marginalisation (and reduction onto self-seeking entities). Is our cohesion irreversibly destroyed?
Early lockdowns, mid-March 2020, were justified by a need to flatten the curve of the ‘sudden’ virus (harmfulness, mortality and transmissibility) impact, since there were not enough hospital beds. In the meantime, the lockdowns were extended and widened, curves not arguably altered. Still, for the past 12 months, there is hardly any new hospital built in the EU although the non-essential medical services, at most cases, were suspended. Neither there was nor is any massive investment into general health prevention. The only visible infrastructure growth is in 5/6G network expansion.
Following a simple ratio that the one’s state of health is genetic expression of life-style choices made, it is no surprise that there are also growing speculations if the lockdown – as the most notorious expression of monofocal perspective and rejection to any scientifically contested, debate-based integrated judgment – is invasion or protection:
- And, if is there any back-to-normal exit from the crisis, or this disaster ‘turned into planetary terror, through global coup d’état’ will be exploited to further something already pre-designed (with a fear, not as a side-effect, but rather as a tool manufactured to gain control). Simply, is all that more related to the biotronics and demographics (IoT and Internet of Bodies) – ‘epsteinisation en masse’, than to health and economics or any common social purpose?
Undeniably, nature of politics also changed: Political parties – main agents of political life of any society – have amorphized from giant membership organisation to fundraising machines. Thus, Le Monde Diplomatique – while examining the possible merger between tech/pharma oligopoly and political monopoly – claimed from a very beginning of this crisis that: “Political decisions have been central in shaping this tragedy — from the destruction of animal habitats, to the asymmetric funding of medical research, to the management of the crisis itself. They will also determine the world into which we emerge into after the worst is over.”
Over the past 30 years, every critical juncture had a similar epilogue: pardon and enhancement for the capital, a burden and suppression for the labour. The C-19 is no exception to it: Ever since early lockdowns of March 2020, the capital flows unhindered while the labour, ideas and humans are under the house arrest. The XXI century frontline is the right to health (incl. body integrity and informed consent) and labour, privacy and other fundamental human rights and liberties. (LMD, IV20)
Is the political, economic or moral triumph of the West still possible past this crisis?
Every crisis since Westphalia until the so-called financial crisis of 2008-09, political West exited in (what was seen as) moral triumph. What is in front of us? If the world is flat, will it become one big pharma Banana Republic – as many fear?
Earth provides enough to satisfy everyone’s needs, but not for a single man’s greed
The rate of profit does not, like rent and wages, rise with the prosperity, and fall with the declension, of the society. On the contrary, it is naturally low in rich, and high in poor countries, and it is always highest in the countries which are going fastest to ruin.
The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith
Still to be precise, the WHO- decreed virus pandemic brought nothing truly new to the already overheated conduct of, and increasingly binarized, world affairs. It only amplified and accelerated what was present for quite some time – a rift between alienated power centres, each on its side of Pacific, and the rest. No wonder that the work on and dispatch of the C-19 -related injection (vaccine) is more an arms race than it is a collaborative humanity plan. Look at its geography and conditionalities.
Would all this be – in its epilogue – about the expansion of (the 4th industrial revolution caused) techno-totalitarian model of government as an alternative to liberal democracy (from one-party democracy to one-party autocracy)? Devolutionary singularisation into techno-feudalism as the highest stage of capitalism? Is now a time to return to the nation-state, a great moment for all dictators-in-waiting to finally build a cult of personality? Hence, will our democracy be electro-magnetised and vaccinated for a greater good (or greedier ‘god’)? Is the decolonisation (and deprivatisation) of global health a failed attempt? Will we (ever) be allowed to exit the year of 2020?
Turning human body into an (purposely unoptimized) operative system that needs constant updates and antivirus programs is a dangerous thought. The entire scientific community considers the attempt to mandate the experimental biological agent of unchecked reproductive toxicity and other side effects (while calling it the C-19 vaccine) as very troubling. Having these calls chiefly advocated and aggressively promoted by the handful of self-interest driven private companies – all accompanied with a contradictory and confusing governmental stance which is siding up with the industry it was supposed to regulate – is highly disturbing. No surprise that ever-larger societal segments perceive it as liberticidal warfare, not an enhancing welfare. The world that for over a century portrayed itself as Kantian is rapidly turning into a dark Hobbesian (immuno-apartheid) place. Is now anarchy just one step away?
One is certain, confronting the long-term interests of stakeholders with the short-term interests of shareholders, the private sector from both sides of Atlantic exercises disproportionate power in the technological share (infrastructure and data). It also largely benefits from the massive public research funds – especially in the fields such as bioinformatics, AI, nanorobotics, or geophysics engineering – while in return paying dismal, negotiable tax if any at all.
Far too often it comes with the nondisclosure agreements, liability outsourcing/ protections and other unilaterally beneficial legal instruments as well as with the close ties between the private sector, intelligence agencies and media.
The same applies to a big Pharma which – through pornography of (decontextualized) numbers over the widening fields of misery – increasingly dictates a non-preventive, monofocal approach to medicine and research, and controls reporting about it – not always in the name of our public health.
Therefore, the above represents the largest underreported (or ignored) threat to our democracy and future societal conduct.
Conclusively, bioinformatics (including the synthetic biology and data-to-genes sequestration for data storage or data mining purpose) – as much as the geoengineering itself – is a dual-use technology. Past its formative age (with a digital infrastructure near completion), it has today a huge weaponization potential for at home and abroad, be it for state or non-state actors.
Consequently and urgently, this necessitates a comprehensive legislation which builds up on the Universal Charter of Human Rights and Nuremberg Code, and rests on its effective enforcement (with the monitoring of compliance mechanisms as set for the IAEA, OPCW, RC-BTWC and the Nagoya protocol), nationally and internationality, and for all actors.
All state authority is derived from the people (XX 2) … All Germans shall have the right to resist any person seeking to abolish this constitutional order, if no other remedy is available. (XX 4)
Civil disobedience as the Constitutional Right
By many accounts, 2020-21 – time of astonishing synchronicity, when distancing became social – will be remembered as the worst period in living memory (since 1939). Some would say; C-19 stopped history, as it locked down our dialogues and atrophied political instincts of masses. All this with too many cases of arbitrary censorship streaming almost in a form of neuro-linguistic programming from the privately owned social platforms. Still, 2020-21 only quarantined and halted us, while in fact it accelerated history. This especially refers to the ‘Old Continent’.
People have the right to know what those in power are doing, especially in times of crisis. Therefore, Europe’s eldest and the most comprehensive multilateral mechanism – Council of Europe, promulgated Convention on Access to Official Documents more than ten years ago in Tromsø, Norway (entering in force on 01 December 2020). This Charter is the first binding international legal instrument to recognise a general right of access to official documents held by public authorities.
As this author noted back in spring 2020: “It is amply clear from the C-19 event that the right to health is an issue for all. The search for a reliable cure for pandemics control is not a matter of private business, but of fundamental individual rights situated on higher levels of sociableness, as embedded in the UN and EU Charters, and being obligatory for each of the UN Specialized Agencies or EU bodies to comply with. (Not a fear-based manufactured giving-in, but the right for informed consent as an inseparable segment of the constitutionally endorsed right to health.)
Even if the vaccine becomes the agreed or preferred option, it must be made available patent-free for all, and locally manufactured. However, binarization of debate onto a pro-and-con vaccine represents a dangerous reductionism and waste of planetary energy critically needed for a holistic and novel approach. There is no silver bullet for the European or world problems. Consequently, there is no solution in one-directional medical research in response to any pandemic, and in a single-blended (or centrally manufactured, hastily introduced) and mandated experimental medication for all. This especially refers to the genoccine. (Dogma is based on a blind belief; science necessitates constant multidimensional exploration. Science, especially a medical one, holds no single or absolute truth: The closest it can get is to the least wrong answer – which must be contested constantly, literally every single day.)
Proportionality of our (current and future) responses in Europe is another key issue. Hence, what presents itself as an imperative is the universal participation through intergovernmental mechanisms and popular control to it. That rule applies for at home and for abroad, as the Union has to comply with (and set example to) it urgently.
Growing particularisms in Brussels quarters, where (on taxpayers’ money and public trust), it is more and more the particular – be it individual, regional, national, lobby-groups driven – interest that prevails over the solid all-European project of our common presence purpose and future. Europe or EU Rope?
Past the Brexit, the Union has to be extra cautious about its chronic democracy-deficit, apparatchik alienation of Brussels, as well as the brewing concerns that the EU without UK becomes yet another greater Germany.
Of Paper Tiger and its Talking Heads
The one-year score (March 2020 – March 2021) of the Union is highly disturbing:
After all, the truth is plain to see; countries with the highly (deregulated and) privatised health sector are the C-19 worst offs (eg. USA) – as measured by the fatalities, overall socio-economic cost (incl. the long-term health prospects, or redistribution and inequalities), damage to the social consensus (safety and security), and the speed of recovery. Countries of the centralised health sector which resides strictly in public hands and is under popular control did and are still making it far better. Those among them that keep high respect for individual rights, liberties and freedoms (eg. Sweden) are by far the best achievers.
How the issues of health will be balanced with the human rights – as these two are not excluding but are complementing each other – is the fundamental issue for the future.
Additionally, how (geno and pheno) data are generated, stored and governed, and ultimately used will be the second defining issue of global public health (and planetary support to or conflict over it) in the coming decades. That very much includes a dubious imposition of exclusionary digital bio surveillance grid that some circles advocate as a presumptive recommendation to restore ‘normalcy’.
All in all, the one-year score (March 2020 – October 2021) is highly disturbing;
Not only the socio-economic one, but every aspects of Western vitality is also vanishing rapidly, making the prospect of triumph of its model (or its demographic relevance) less likely with every passing day. Hight time to accuse the silence?
Beyond the disputes about possible initial intentionality (allegedly inspired by the sectarian, class, demographic, environmental or any other drive), let us close this text by displaying the probable epilogue: An ever-larger number of military strategists see (unfolding of) the C-19 event as a (techno-)biological warfare.
Here comes the powerful reminder that history gives us: decisions to go to war were never based on facts but on perceptions. Therefore, make no mistake; the end game to any further continuation or escalation (of attempt to singularise the biological, chemo-electric and digital, and to centrally control it) is the nuclear holocaust which none of us will escape.
Reducing the human integrity on a bodily space (and freely harvestable biodata) to which (an early capitalism territorial raw grab) business model should apply – is truly diabolic idea. Moreover, it is a suicidal idea – a last outcry before the ultimate self-destruction. (Imperialism, as the highest stage of capitalism, manifests through the Nazification of question of space. As always, an expansion over the limits of physics and society leads to a fast contraction and ultimate death).
Thus, invading human body on the same principle as the colonization of the west followed the age of so-called Grand Discoveries. (Interestingly, then in XV century – almost as now in XXI – Chinese were the first to explore and circumvent, while the western peripheries of than global civilization only brutally followed and accelerated.)
Finally, monetizing this newly acquired space in the absence of expanding anywhere else: Treating human health like a business model and invading unconsented humans through the hijacked medicine. (Actually, what we consider as ‘medicine’ is also a political construct. There is a western medicine – which we falsely label as ‘medicine’. But, over half of this planet follows the Vedic, Chinese, Shaman, and several other traditional medicines in their approach towards life health and nature.)
But to extend the context:
History of (what we, humans, describe as) technology is a story about primordial (survival-driven) fear far too often turned into a long line of violence towards all organic and inorganic systems on our planet. Too many times our technological breakthroughs were linked to destruction (with violence against nature and societies as means to introduce it), instead of being coupled with or supportive to creation. Otherwise, our millenniums-long technological march would have brought us to the Gates of Triumph in self-realisation of human race.
If historically our technological advancements (by its motive and method of introduction) only managed to accelerate frequency and severity of (disharmony and) alienating aggression on this planet, while repeatedly falling short to bring about everlasting self-realization of humans – than this anthropotechnic is based on confrontation (coercive introduction) and not on cooperation (support and inclusion). Then both, its intensity and direction – corrosive, polarizing, disruptive and reductionistic; must be thoroughly re-examined.
No wonder that our technology (or to say: ‘’technology’) is seen by many as the developmental dead end. Cosmos means balance/perfect order, chaos is absence of it.
 The UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres is well aware of it: Addressing the Organisation’s General Assembly at the 75th anniversary (September 2020) he admitted: “… people continue to lose trust in political establishments. … widespread protests against inequality, discrimination, corruption and lack of opportunities all over the world – grievances that still need to be addressed, including with a renewed social contract.”
 In fact, in Germany and several other EU member states the number of hospital beds in the intensive care units is even reduced for up to 20% compared to its pre-C-19 capacities. Additional (politically polarising) controversy are millions of euros spent on diagnoses tests which are scientifically contested.
 In the formally neutral and peace-loving Austria – following the provisions of a strict autumn 2020 – spring 2021 lockdown – only the basic supplies shops were opened. However, besides the grocery stores, mobile phone shops and pharmacies, it also included the guns shops, while the schools, theatres, libraries and museums remained closed.
 There is an observable trend that – for the past few decades – our public health has been at first globalized, than centralized, with the ongoing privatization and its monopolization as the final phase.
 The year of 2020 recorded unprecedented planetary contractions and nearly a free-fall recession. Of course, it is misleadingly ascribed to the pandemic instead of being attributed to the C-19-related measures. Among the countries of the G-7 + G-20 group only China had scored growth. Cross-sectoral picture is the same – deep recession. Only the big tech and big pharma scored surpluses in 2020. (World Bank Report 2020)
 The extraordinary measures introduced in spring 2020 were and still are more administrative/political than they are scientific based. That starts with the very definition of pandemic (infection percentage threshold); goes on with the diagnostics tools and protocols as well as the way to proclaim someone infected or ill (PRC tests and number of cycles applied, or medical doctor thorough examination), and finally it culminates with a diagnosis of death (mandatory autopsy or not). Therefore, it is safe to say that the C-19 has – in its manifestation – far more political than the health elements.
 Talks about ‘vax-passports’ falls under the same category. Not only that it is contrary to the ruling of the Council of Europe – conditioning freedom of movement with an exposure of personal medical record is contradicting any notion of Human Rights and every of its Charters. Liberties and freedoms are fundamental inalienable rights, not privileges (to be administratively or arbitrarily taken, given, conditioned or dosed).
 “The pandemic has also reviled how imbalanced the relationship between the public and the private sector has become. In the US, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) invests some$40 billion a year on medical research and has been a key funder of the R&D of C-19 treatments and vaccines. But pharmaceutical companies are under no obligation to make the final product affordable to Americans, whose tax money is subsidising them in the first place. … It was a typical move for Big Pharma. … Even so, US drug prices are the highest in the world. Pharmaceutical companies also act against the public interest by abusing the patient process. … Equally bad deals have been made with Big Tech. In many ways, Silicon Valley is a product of the US government’s investments in the development of high-risk technologies. The National Science Foundation funded the research behind the search algorithm that made Google famous. The US Navy did the same for the GPS technology that Uber depends on. And the Defence Advanced Research Project Agency, part of the Pentagon, backed the development of the Internet, touchscreen technology, Siri, and every other key component in the iPhone. Taxpayers took risks when they invested in these technologies, yet most of the technology companies that have benefited failed to pay their fair share of taxes. Then they have the audacity to fight against regulations that would protect the privacy rights of the public. … the power of AI and other technologies being developed in Silicon Valley, a closer look shows that in these cases, too, it was high-risk public investment that laid the foundations” – states prof. Mazzucato (FAM 99/6/20)
 See, eg. the EU Pandemic Accelerator Act (April 2020) or the July 15th 2020 Suspension of the EU GMO-related legislation (the so-called EU Council adoption of the Commission’s proposal to accelerate clinical trials and the supply of medical product containing the GMOs) – all promulgated speed-track without a prior investigative scientific reports, hearings or debate (as if it is a Capitulation Agreement). These are now submitted to the European Court of Justice for a legality and impartiality judgment. In the same fashion the recently adopted European Democracy Action Plan (EDAP) leaves many ambiguities, while also massively contradicting the European Convention on Human Rights.
 All four belonging to the United Nations system: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Review Conference to the Biological Weapons Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction (RC-BTWC), the Nagoya Protocol to the Biological Diversity Convention on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilisation (NP).
 The US Foreign Corrupt Practice Act of 1977 could be used as a model for the universally binding instrument to internationally prosecute and punish any corporation that pay bribes to foreign officials.
 German Constitution (Art. 20). Similar provisions are encapsulated in most of the national constitutions in Europe and beyond. It rests on a notion that the state and people are bound by the social contract within any given society, and that in case of a breach of confidence, citizenry has an inalienable natural right to disobedience.
 The face covering coupled with distancing hinders our most basic functions of all – since humans are genuinely social animals. Social interaction for us is both a frame and content, an evolutionary constant. Physical distancing which is named a social, cloth ribbon which is named a mask and rnk-messenger appliance which is named a vaccine – all three error in objecto trigger confusions, and spark increasing mistrust and growing disobedience. Eg. it is crucial to differentiate the physical from a social distancing. Physical one is a preventive (punitive or medical) measure while the so-called social distancing is a century-old concept of (empathy charge and) social engineering. To this end, see works of the US sociologists Park, Hall and Bogardus (scale of social distancing), and Simmel’s ‘theory of the stranger’ – Simmelian social geometry (Germany 1908).
 During times of crisis national security arguments are often evoked to deny information to be requested and accessed. However, it is exactly at such times that a timely and trustworthy information from official sources is most needed. Informational transparency in accordance with the principles set out in the Tromsø Convention prior to the C-19 pandemic could have helped to avoid the ‘infodemic’ and a subsequent massive public distrust.
 Analysing the specifications indicated by the manufacturers themselves, the genoccine seems more accurate name for the experimental (thoroughly untested), new, RNK/DNK modified, nanotechnology-based tri-injecting solution that is currently advocated for the C-19. Some critics even reject to call it vaccine, arguing that it is in fact a GMO implant/hacking device or geno-therapy (which needs to be administered periodically, while vaccine is a onetime shot). Such claims are ignored, but not refuted yet.
 See: “World on Autopilot: The UNSC should urgently address C-19”, New Europe Brussels (Bajrektarevic-Agam, 10 APR 20); “Contributing to a Safer, Healthier and Prosperous World”, Diplomat Magazine Hague (Bajrektarevic-Goutali, 12 MAY 20); ”Return of Global Stewardship: the UNSC should urgently address C-19 – addendum” (Bajrektarevic-Agam, 25 May 20), ModernDiplomacy Athens/ Brussels; “Democracy Vaccinated, – The post-Corona epilogue of Sino-American relations”, (Bajrektarevic), L’Europe Unie Intl. Journal, Revue d’études européenne, Paris, France 2020 (15) 2.
 Interestingly one of the very first works on the so-called New Age Normal (and European integration) originates from an unexpected place and unexpected times: A war time Nazi Minister for Economic Affairs and Head of the Reichsbank, Walther Funk, in his 1943 The Economic Face of the New Europe propagated ideas on the creation of a European economic area controlled by the New Germany.
 On December 18th 2020, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) adopted Resolution against glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that encourage modern forms of racism and xenophobia. 60 UN members co-sponsored resolution, while only 2 states casted negative vote. Rather strikingly and disturbingly, Germany refrained from voting in favour (abstained). The UN GA recommends states “to take appropriate concrete measures, including legislative and educational ones, in accordance with international human rights obligations, in order to prevent revisionism in respect of the Second World War and the denial of the crimes against humanity and war crimes committed during the WWII.”
 Soon we are going to retrospect on all what is happening today. What will we conclude? Dr. Robert Malone, inventor of the mRNA vaccine technology, claims the following: “… There’ve been times when as a culture facing major crisis – war, famine, and the like – decisions have been made to cross ethical lines. (Sadly enough, Europeans are rich of such history, rem. aut.) It is convenient in fogs of war to rush on judgement calls where we say that the benefits merit compromising some of our core ethical principles. Invariably, in retrospect we always end up saying that was a grave mistake.”
 Detailed account about the Conflict of interests affecting judges of the European Court of Justice (ECHR) has been produced by the European Center for Law and Justice (May 30th 2021)– claiming that at least 20% of all judges might have had a troubling and long-lasting links with the non-European non-state sector. /see: One year after the report on NGOs and Judges of the ECHR: Overview (eclj.org) /
 While the EU officially insists on anti-Chinese narrative, deeds are telling contrary: Practically all prescribed face masks within the Union are manufactured in and shipped from China. Diagnostic kits for C-19 testing are also largely from China (in many Member states there are – contrary to the clear health regulations – available in pharmacies but without any inscription written in the language of that EU country). This sends disturbing image about inconstancy and inauthenticity of the EU rhetoric, as well as about the inability and incompetence of the Union to re-start production even of the low-tech items such as cloth masks. Finally, the largest and ‘most successful block in history of mankind’ was unable to insist on the existing cheap, safe and effective drugs, or to produce its own medicine related to the C-19. Only one of the (emergency use) approved vaccines in the EU is partially made in the EU (Sweden), but even that one fundamentally borrowed from the external research (Russian virology solutions).
 The European Union summit on Urgent response in May 2020 (May 07th) was hastily allocating billions of tax-payers’ money on the irrationally lionized, single-mandated, yet unseen, future medication – all that in a rather opaque and nontransparent way. However, what finally triggered enormous public outcry and further disfranchising was an euphoric closure of that summit by the Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (unelected Brussels’ top official). By many accounts, her final words told with a delight “Thank you Bill for your leadership” acknowledging and praising a lead role of the non-state actor who is not even European (and who was – not giving but – receiving lavish funds) was an all-time low of the European house and its representatives – ever since the Commission and other institutions of the Union exist.
 Although initially representing the asymmetric workings of the non-state actor, the so-called Sarajevo assassination of 1914 triggered the WWI – a gigantic trans-continental conflict between all major powers of that time (and a rapid demise of many of them, in just few years’ time). This self-destruction lasted for 4 years with all unconventional (biological and chemical) means than at disposal used. What has happened? The non-state actor from Bosnia assaulted the Head of State in-making of the major power (Heir to the Habsbourg Empire). Now comes the most disturbing part: Asymmetric confrontation between the state and non-state actor in one corner of Europe (southeast) triggered a direct armed conflict and the immense bloodshed – but only months later and via spill over from the other corner of Europe. Militarily, the German attack on the Belgian Ardennes (northwest of Europe) marked the beginning of the total destruction – WWI. In summer 1945, Soviets were rushing through Korean peninsula to get a stake in forthcoming occupation of Japan. As a consequence, Americans repeatedly nuked that country’s inland. That much about controllability of (non-)intentionality and about mastering the outcome. Overconfidence (that easily turns into arrogance and ignorance and yet into miscalculation), is another (mass) killer. Just to recall but few history chapters by naming their chief protagonists: Darius III, Hannibal, Napoleon, Hitler, or places such as Điện Biên Phủ.
 For more on the topic see: Fukuyama’s defensive modernization, or author’s definition of anthropotechnique in his ‘Geopolitics of Quantum Buddhism’.
Legal Implications of Sea Level Rise for Small Island States
A new World Bank study examining the potential legal implications of sea-level rise on the maritime and legal rights of Pacific Island nations provides a pathbreaking review of the key legal questions and highlights that some international legal conventions may need to be reconsidered.
The new study, Legal Dimensions of Sea Level Rise: Pacific Perspectives, sets out the latest developments in international law to support policy considerations now underway in the Pacific and around the world. The report assesses how states would defend their existing territories and marine resources in accordance with international law when dealing with rising seas and land loss.
Furthermore, the report considers more existential questions for these countries such as whether statehood could continue if a nation were to become uninhabitable and legal rights and implications for citizen mobility if people are to be relocated.
Global mean sea-level will continue to rise throughout the 21st century due to the effects of climate change. In many areas, this will result in increased coastal flooding, storm surges, cyclones and even land loss. In small Pacific atoll nations, these impacts are expected to be more severe, with entire islands at risk of becoming uninhabitable. Along with the loss of homes and resources, the loss of land to rising seas would also have profound impacts on countries’ legal and maritime rights.
“The impacts of climate change are a global concern, however the loss of territory is a real and clear threat to the very existence of Pacific states, and particularly atoll nations,” said Benoit Bosquet, World Bank Regional Director for Sustainable Development in East Asia and the Pacific. “Such impacts would be unprecedented and create similarly unprecedented legal questions. We hope this work will provide useful analysis for Pacific nations and small island states facing these unique and challenging questions.”
The Pacific region has been a leader in considering policy and legal options in the face of sea-level rise, most recently with the Members of the Pacific Island Forum endorsing the Declaration on Preserving Maritime Zones in the Face of Climate Change Related Sea Level Rise in August 2021.
While the report highlights a range of legal and policy tools available to island states, a re-examination of the current paradigms of international law are also suggested. One example is clarifying how territorial and maritime entitlements – including to resources – can be preserved in the face of rising sea levels. Something the Pacific Islands Forum’s recent Declaration on Preserving Maritime Zones has just set out to do.
“As the impacts of climate change are being felt, it is clear that adaptation alone will not be sufficient for small island states such as the Marshall Islands,” said Acting RMI Chief Secretary, Catalino Kijiner. “This work will be helpful in informing government decision-making in the context of rising sea levels, and will help direct how the international community can best provide island and atoll nations with the support we need to address these unprecedented challenges.”
The study, authored by David Freestone and Duygu Cicek, has been developed as part of the World Bank’s work on Building Resilience in Pacific Atoll Island Countries with financing from the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR).
The World Bank works in partnership with 12 countries across the Pacific supporting 87 projects totaling US$2.09 billion in commitments in sectors like agriculture, health, education and employment, climate resilience and adaptation, energy, fisheries, rural development, economic policy, macroeconomic management, aviation and transport, telecommunications, and tourism.
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