Center for International Stabilization & Recovery

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Posts tagged "peacekeeping"

As an initiative to resolve the serious consequences and threats of unexploded bombs, mines and explosives leftover from wars, Vietnam has proposed that ASEAN set up a group of experts in charge of the field.

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Unexploded bombs found in Khe Sanh Town in Quang Tri Province in northern Vietnam on March 22, 2013


The initiative was proposed by Deputy Defence Minister, Senior Lieut. Gen Nguyen Chi Vinh at the ASEAN Defense Senior Officials’ Meeting (ADSOM) in Brunei on Tuesday, April 2.

Speaking at the event, Vinh said such an initiative will be helpful not only for Vietnam but also for other countries which are facing heavy consequences and threats from bombs, mines and explosives left unresolved from wars in the past.

The initiative, which Vinh said would help maintain peace, stability and development in the region, won support from delegates at the meeting.

Read more …


Yesterday, Democracy Now! had a great interview with the Legacies of War “Voices from Laos” speakers! On April 25, CISR will sponsor this speaker’s tour. Join us to hear it from 7-8:30 p.m. at JMU’s HHS 1302. It’s free and open to the public. 

FYI, since 1993 the U.S. has invested $62,061,333 in conventional weapons destruction (CWD) programs in Laos for clearance and safe disposal of mines and UXO munitions, as well as survivor assistance and risk education. Last year when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Laos, she pledged to do more, and more money was allotted to this effort. 

Forty years ago, on March 29, 1973, the “secret” U.S. bombing that devastated Laos came to an end. By that point, the United States had dropped at least two million tons of bombs on Laos. That is the equivalent of one planeload every eight minutes, 24 hours a day, for nine years — more than on Germany and Japan during World War II. The deadly legacy of the Vietnam War lives on today in the form of unexploded cluster bombs. Experts estimate Laos is littered with as many as 80 million “bombies” — or baseball-size bombs found inside cluster bombs. Since the bombing stopped four decades ago, as many as 20,000 people have been injured or killed as a result. To mark International Day of Mine Awareness, we speak to a Laotian bomb survivor and a leader of an all-women bomb clearance team in Laos. Thoummy Silamphan and Manixia Thor are speaking at the United Nations today and are currently in the United States on a tour organized by Legacies of War.

Read more …

Jeanne Finestone: American UN Peacekeeper

As UN Peacekeeping forces have expanded around the world, so has the involvement of women peacekeepers. Women suit up and are deployed in all areas - police, military and civilian - and their impact has been noticiable. Women play a large role in building peace and protecting women’s rights. During the month of March as we celebrate International Women’s Day (#IWD2013) the Better World Campaign is putting the focus on the women who put their lives at risk for the greater good and safety of others. 

Colum Lynch
Washington Post
Jan 9, 2013

UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations, looking to modernize its peacekeeping operations, is planning for the first time to deploy a fleet of its own surveillance drones in missions in Central and West Africa.

The U.N. Department of Peacekeeping has notified Congo, Rwanda and Uganda that it intends to deploy a unit of at least three unarmed surveillance drones in the eastern region of Congo.

The action is the first step in a broader bid to integrate unmanned aerial surveillance systems, which have become a standard feature of Western military operations, into the United Nations’ far-flung peacekeeping empire.

But the effort is encountering resistance from governments, particularly those from the developing world, that fear the drones will open up a new intelligence-gathering front dominated by Western powers and potentially supplant the legions of African and Asian peacekeepers who now act as the United Nations’ eyes and ears on the ground.

“Africa must not become a laboratory for intelligence devices from overseas,” said Olivier Nduhungirehe, a Rwandan diplomat at the United Nations. “We don’t know whether these drones are going to be used to gather intelligence from Kigali, Kampala, Bujumbura or the entire region.”

Full article here

(via thekiellopathra)

People use St. Andrews’ Refugee Services to find help for life in Cairo and hope for the future

Sandra Tombe with Peter Robbins, former Lacrosse coach at Dunn School



St. Andrew’s Refugee Services (StARS) is housed in an unassuming stone church in the Ramses area of Cairo. The area it encompasses is small, walled, and gated, yet within the compound, a myriad of services are offered. From education, to legal, to psychosocial services, StARS helps many of Cairo’s estimated 44,899 displaced people, according to the United Nations Higher Commissioner for Refugees, cope with the alienation and stress of displacement.

StARS is a faith-based organisation, run out of the interdenominational church. It does not discriminate on grounds of nationality, gender or religion. Of the estimated 3000 refugees who are served annually, around fifty per cent are Muslim. The StARS mission is to serve the refugee communities of Cairo, and so the organisation does not participate in Egyptian domestic policy or affairs.

Read more…

CISR editorial assistant wins $28,000 Rotary scholarship to study in South Africa



Katie Sensabaugh, a 2012 justice studies and political science graduate of JMU and an editorial assistant at the Center for International Stabilization and Recovery at JMU, was awarded a $28,000 Rotary Ambassadorial scholarship. The award will allow the Shenandoah Valley resident to study community development and conflict resolution in South Africa beginning January 2014. Sensabaugh, 21, has traveled abroad multiple times, including a visit to South Africa in 2010, where her passion for conflict resolution and community development truly started.

CISR editorial assistant wins $28,000 Rotary scholarship to study in South Africa

Katie Sensabaugh, a 2012 justice studies and political science graduate of JMU and an editorial assistant at the Center for International Stabilization and Recovery at JMU, was awarded a $28,000 Rotary Ambassadorial scholarship. The award will allow the Shenandoah Valley resident to study community development and conflict resolution in South Africa beginning January 2014. Sensabaugh, 21, has traveled abroad multiple times, including a visit to South Africa in 2010, where her passion for conflict resolution and community development truly started.

Issue 16.2 of The Journal of ERW of Mine Action is released in both print and online versions!

FOCUS: How Small Arms and Light Weapons Affect Security
SPECIAL REPORT: Urban Land Release in Libya
          and
ORGANIZATION PROFILES
NOTES FROM THE FIELD 
RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT

Issue 16.2 of The Journal of ERW of Mine Action is released in both print and online versions!


  • FOCUS: How Small Arms and Light Weapons Affect Security
  • SPECIAL REPORT: Urban Land Release in Libya

          and

  • ORGANIZATION PROFILES
  • NOTES FROM THE FIELD 
  • RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT

Lloyds and Aviva among the major firms invoking ‘stop lists’ to purge cluster munitions companies from their share portfolios

A young victim of an apparent cluster bomb attack in Misrata, Libya in April last year. Photograph: Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty Images


Four of Britain’s biggest banks and insurance companies have blacklisted a dozen companies that manufacture cluster bombs and landmines, including two of the world’s largest defence firms.

The Guardian has learned that major firms such as Lloyds Banking Group (through its investment arm Scottish Widows), Aviva, the UK’s largest insurer, and the Co-op have imposed a blanket ban on holdingshares in companies that make or supply cluster munitions, purging them from nearly all their share portfolios.

Royal Bank of Scotland has banned all new lending to the same companies, and is now reviewing its defence industry shareholdings. Similar action is being taken by all the firms to clear out shares in anti-personnel landmine manufacturers, following intense pressure from human rights campaigners.

Read more…

CISR staff attends Unified Peace and Stability Operations Training and Education and the Integration and Exercise WorkshopOn February 7, 2012, CISR Director Ken Rutherford and staff member Ed Lajoie attended the opening day of the Unified Peace and Stability Operations Training and Education and the Integration and Exercise Workshop hosted by the Joint Staff J-7, the US Army’s Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute, and George Mason University. The conference focused on the concept of “jointness” among all actors involved in peace, stability and reconstruction operations. Besides CISR, workshop participants included all branches of the US military, Syracuse, George Mason, and Indiana Universities, the State Department, USAID, and many other divisions of government as well as NGOs. In addition to the opportunity to meet and network with potential partners, the conference also allowed participants a chance to give a presentation on their organization. JMU’s certificate in NGO management and the Center for International Stabilization and Recovery were represented in a presentation by Dr. Chris Blake, chair of JMU’s department of Political Science.

CISR staff attends Unified Peace and Stability Operations Training and Education and the Integration and Exercise Workshop

On February 7, 2012, CISR Director Ken Rutherford and staff member Ed Lajoie attended the opening day of the Unified Peace and Stability Operations Training and Education and the Integration and Exercise Workshop hosted by the Joint Staff J-7, the US Army’s Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute, and George Mason University. The conference focused on the concept of “jointness” among all actors involved in peace, stability and reconstruction operations. Besides CISR, workshop participants included all branches of the US military, Syracuse, George Mason, and Indiana Universities, the State Department, USAID, and many other divisions of government as well as NGOs. In addition to the opportunity to meet and network with potential partners, the conference also allowed participants a chance to give a presentation on their organization. JMU’s certificate in NGO management and the Center for International Stabilization and Recovery were represented in a presentation by Dr. Chris Blake, chair of JMU’s department of Political Science.

Past Finnish governments argued that mines were the only way to safeguard the country’s long borders.

The Finnish Parliament has finally ratified a ban against landmines. MPs voted on Friday afternoon to phase out mines by the year 2016.

The vote was 110 to 47. Most MPs from the Finns Party voted against it, as did some Centre representatives. Forty-two MPs were absent, a higher figure than usual.

Since the Ottawa Convention was launched in Canada in 1997, nearly 160 countries have ratified it, with 36 refusing to do so. Non-signatories include Russia, China, Israel, Iran and the US.

Finland is the only EU country not to sign the pact. It has long insisted it needs landmines to protect its 1300-kilometre border with Russia. However now it developing more high-tech methods to safeguard its borders.

The government plans to sign the treaty next year.

Finland still has more than a million land mines in stock, and a budget of 200 million euros earmarked to replace them until 2016.