In the Supreme Court’s majority opinion in Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project, Chief Justice John Roberts argued that terrorist groups could “use humanitarian and international law…as part of a broader strategy to promote terrorism,” by pursuing “peaceful negotiation as a means of buying time to recover from short-term setbacks, lulling opponents into complacency, and ultimately preparing for renewed attacks.”
The frequency of aid workers around the world being killed, kidnapped or attacked has risen sharply over the last decade. The surge in attacks has led to an increase in tracking security incident-related statistics. Written by the European Interagency Security Forum, Incident Statistics in Aid Worker Safety and Security Management provides guidance to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other groups on how to understand, use and create this information.
On April 1, 2012, the Department of Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced the winners of its inaugural Money Laundering for Good award, praising a “core group of supporters of the terrorist group MEK” for diverting large sums of money away from terrorist activities by charging hefty fees for making speeches supporting the MEK's efforts to get off the terrorist list. The “core group,” consists of former high-ranking public officials such as former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani, former Bush homeland security advisor Frances Townsend, former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, and former FBI Director Louis Freeh.
On Feb. 15, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) approved revised recommendations that largely duplicate the problematic Special Recommendation VIII for the nonprofit sector, focusing more on weapons of mass destruction, corruption and tax crimes. Published the same month, a report from the Transnational Institute and Statewatch, notes that the regulatory measures FATF recommends for nonprofits can and are being used by repressive governments to suppress nonprofits. The FATF is an international consortium of 36 countries that sets anti-terrorist financing and anti-money laundering standards used by 180 countries.
Plenary sessions and workshops at the InterAction conference (April 30-May 2) will feature Donald Steinberg, Deputy Administrator of USAID, Lakshmi Puri, Assistant Secretary-General of the UN, and Bob Zoellick, President of the World Bank. This forum will bring together professionals from more than 350 organizations from the international nonprofit community, government, corporate and philanthropic sectors to learn about the latest developments that affect the NGO sector and get trained in best practices and skills.
The purpose of the Alliance for Peacebuilding conference (May 10-12) will be to set an agenda for making systemic peacebuilding a reality on the ground. Conflict cannot be separated from issues such as development, governance, and climate change, and there is a strong consensus that the interconnected and complex nature of the problems of violence and under-development in chaotic or fragile environments require models for peacebuilding that work across disciplines.
On Feb. 21, a coalition of nearly 200 aid organizations sent a letter to the head of the CIA protesting its use of a vaccination campaign last year as cover for collecting intelligence information in Pakistan.
The Department of Treasury has made broad statements charging the U.S. charitable sector with being a significant source of terrorist financing and support. But evidence to support these claims has not been forthcoming. As a result, there has been significant disagreement between Treasury and the nonprofit sector on the extent and nature of the relationship between charities and terrorists. The issue is highlighted by the fact that Treasury's Annex to the Guidelines only cites examples of alleged crimnal activity by foreign charities.
Earlier this month the UN announced that the famine in Somalia had ended, but danger for over four million Somalis remains. On Feb. 22, CSN hosted a telebriefing about the ongoing efforts of aid groups in the region featuring Allan Jury, Director of the U.S. Relations Office for the World Food Programme, and Vincent Cochetel, Regional Representative for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. An audio file and transcript are available.
On Oct. 5, 2009, a suicide bomber struck the headquarters of the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) in Islamabad, Pakistan, killing five people and injuring five others. One of the survivors, Adam Motiwala, an American aid worker helping coordinate humanitarian aid to millions of displaced Pakistanis in the northwest part of the country, suffered injuries to his head, leg and stomach.
Sample Comments to the Office of Management and Budget on the Risk Management Analysis/Partner Vetting System Information Collection Requirements for Grant Applicants