Issue No. 9   -  02 February 2010



A. Evans, B. Jones, D. Steven - Confronting the Long Crisis of Globalization

Washington DC - 3/5 February

Brussels - 18 February 

'Climate Change and the Military' back on IES agenda

 On 17 February 2010 the Institute for Environmental Security, in association with the EastWest Institute, is organising the workshop 'Climate Change & Security After Copenhagen', within the framework of the Seventh Annual Worldwide Security Confererence.

The purpose of the workshop is to re-state the importance of Climate Change & Security as an issue; to separate it from the discussion about the Copenhagen Accord; to identify an institutional home for the debate;  to outline necessary research and teaching on the issue and to plan co-ordinated action in 2010.

The international Community is making efforts to contribute to Haiti's relief process after the devastating earthquake. But who is in charge of what? And what could be the contribution of the military?

The powerful earthquake that affected Haiti on 12 January has been defined as a 'historic' disaster. With more than 170.000 deaths, 1,5 million homeless and tens of thousands without access to food, water or medical supplies, the Haitian government is facing one of the toughest challenges in Haiti’s history. Aid agencies confirm that it is among the worst scenarios they have ever had to deal with. Troops, doctors and aid workers are flowing into the island from all over the world and millions of dollars have been promised but aid distribution has remained sporadic and, two weeks after the catastrophe, many victims have remained unassisted. Therefore the question is raised: How can a crisis of this scale be handled and by whom?

A fundamental principle of disaster management and international assistance is that the stricken country has to take the lead in inviting and co-ordinating international assistance. Unfortunately the disaster has destroyed governmental structures and infrastructure such as they were and has severely undermined the capacities to organise assistance to the Haitian people. As a result, US troops have had to rehabilitate the capital’s destroyed airport to allow international aid to flow into Port-au-Prince. Similarly, several thousand US troops have been mobilised to help improve security conditions and facilitate the distribution of aid. However, these powerful US-led measures have not gone un-criticised, notably on the choices made when aircrafts full of medical supplies are ordered to land in Punta Cana or other 'nearby' airports by US officers, causing serious delays in the distribution of precious aid.
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