The Sentinel

Human Rights Action :: Humanitarian Response :: Health :: Education :: Heritage Stewardship ::
Sustainable Development
Week ending 30 March 2019

This weekly digest is intended to aggregate and distill key content from a broad spectrum of practice domains and organization types including key agencies/IGOs, NGOs, governments, academic and research institutions, consortia and collaborations, foundations, and commercial organizations. We also monitor a spectrum of peer-reviewed journals and general media channels. The Sentinel’s geographic scope is global/regional but selected country-level content is included. We recognize that this spectrum/scope yields an indicative and not an exhaustive product. Comments and suggestions should be directed to:

David R. Curry
GE2P2 Global Foundation – Governance, Evidence, Ethics, Policy, Practice

PDF: The Sentinel_ period ending 30 Mar 2019

:: Week in Review  [See selected posts just below]
:: Key Agency/IGO/Governments Watch – Selected Updates from 30+ entities   [see PDF]
:: INGO/Consortia/Joint Initiatives Watch – Media Releases, Major Initiatives, Research:: Foundation/Major Donor Watch -Selected Updates
:: Journal Watch – Key articles and abstracts from 100+ peer-reviewed journals  [see PDF]

Security Council Unanimously Adopts Resolution Calling upon Member States to Combat, Criminalize Financing of Terrorists, Their Activities

Terrorism – Financing

Security Council Unanimously Adopts Resolution Calling upon Member States to Combat, Criminalize Financing of Terrorists, Their Activities
New Technologies Must Not Stifle Financial Inclusion, Cautions Expert, Citing $1.7 Billion ‘Unbanked’ People in Terrorism-Prone Regions
28 March 2019 SC/13754
The Security Council called upon Member States today to step up efforts to combat and criminalize the financing of terrorists and their activities, adopting a resolution on the issue before holding a day-long open debate that placed the spotlight on international cooperation, capacity-building and respect for international law.

Unanimously adopting resolution 2462 (2019) under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, the Council reaffirmed its resolution 1373 (2001) — adopted in the wake of the 11 September 2001 attacks in the United States — which requires all States to prevent and suppress the financing of terrorist acts and to refrain from providing support to those involved in them.

By other terms of the resolution, all States shall — in a manner consistent with their obligations under international law — ensure that their laws and regulations make it possible to prosecute and penalize, as serious criminal offences, the provision or collection of funds, resources and services intended to be used for the benefit of terrorist organizations or individual terrorists.

It demands that Member States ensure that their counter-terrorism measures are in compliance with their obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law, international human rights law and international refugee law. The resolution also calls upon Member States to conduct financial investigations into terrorism-related cases and to more effectively investigate and prosecute cases of terrorist financing, applying criminal sanctions as appropriate.

Briefing the Council, Marshall Billingslea, President of the Financial Action Task Force — an inter-governmental body that sets standards for combating money laundering and terrorist financing, said all States must understand the ways in which they may be vulnerable to terrorist financing. With risks extending beyond the banking and financial sectors, States must identify all potentially vulnerable sectors, he added. More broadly, Mr. Billingslea, who is also Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing in the United States Department of the Treasury, said Member States must also address fundamental issues that create environments conducive to terrorism and terrorist financing, such as corruption, weak governance and lack of respect for the rule of law…

OAS Permanent Council Adopts Resolution on Humanitarian Assistance in Venezuela; Challenges Russia Military Incursion


OAS Permanent Council Adopts Resolution on Humanitarian Assistance in Venezuela
March 27, 2019
The Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) today approved the resolution “Humanitarian Assistance in Venezuela” in which it encourages member states, permanent observers, and the competent international organizations “to continue providing support and implementing measures to address the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela.” The document also urges Venezuelan public institutions especially the military and police establishments, “to refrain from blocking the entry of humanitarian aid into Venezuela, duly respecting the humanitarian principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality, and operational independence of humanitarian assistance, as well as respect for human rights.”


Statement from the OAS General Secretariat
March 25, 2019
The General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (OAS) rejects the recent Russian military incursion into Venezuelan territory, which was not authorized by the National Assembly, as required by the Venezuelan Constitution, and which was done in support of a government that has been declared illegitimate.
The presence of military personnel and military transport constitutes a harmful act to Venezuelan sovereignty. The foreign military personnel are an instrument of repressive intimidation in the context of a democratic transition led by the interim President Juan Guaidó.
As previously stated in a declaration (E-080/18) and verbal note (OSG-555/18) of the General Secretariat, this military mission violates the Venezuelan Constitution by not having been authorized by the National Assembly, as required by Article 187 paragraph 11.
It is unacceptable that a foreign government engages in military cooperation programs with a usurping regime that has been declared illegitimate by resolutions and Inter-American law, which also threatens hemispheric peace and security.

“Stand For Her Land” campaign – Women in Half the World Still Denied Land, Property Rights Despite Laws

Property Rights

Women in Half the World Still Denied Land, Property Rights Despite Laws
Global campaign “Stand For Her Land” aims to bridge gap between law and practice so that women can realize their equal rights to land

WASHINGTON, March 25, 2019 – Women in half of the countries in the world are unable to assert equal land and property rights despite legal protections, warned members of a new global campaign that formally launches today. The campaign, Stand For Her Land, aims to close this persistent gap between law and practice worldwide so that millions of women can realize these rights in their daily lives.

“For men and women alike, land is the foundation for security, shelter, and livelihood, supports women’s dignity and creates pathways to empowerment and economic opportunity,” said Karol Boudreaux, Chief Program Officer with the land rights group, Landesa, a founding partner of the Stand For Her Land campaign. “For women, land truly is a gateway right – without it, efforts to improve the basic rights and well-being of all women will continue to be hampered.”

Stand For Her Land founding partners include: Habitat for Humanity, Huairou Commission, Landesa, Global Land Tool Network (GLTN) Partners, and the World Bank.

“Secure land rights are essential for women’s economic empowerment and creating incentives for investment, providing an asset that can be leveraged for agriculture or business development, and offering a solid foundation for financial stability,” said Anna Wellenstein, Director, Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience Global Practice, World Bank. “Improving women’s access to – and control over – economic resources also has a positive effect on a range of development goals, including poverty reduction and economic growth. We are committed to working with partners to close the gap and make land rights for women a reality globally.”

Persistent discriminatory social norms and practices are among the strongest barriers standing between women and their land and property rights. Weak implementation of policies, insufficient capacity to enforce laws, and a lack of political will further compound the problem. And poor access to legal services and a lack of understanding of laws within communities and households – and by women themselves – build an invisible but near impenetrable wall to women realizing land and property rights in rural and urban areas alike.

“Insecure land rights create obstacles for women engaging in farming and other agricultural activities, in starting and running a home-based enterprise, and, as we’ve observed, in accessing safe and decent housing,” said Jane Katz, Director of International Affairs and Programs, of Habitat for Humanity International. “As urbanization continues to increase, land rights are an issue for all those living in cities as well as in rural areas.”…

The main objective of the campaign is to drive real change on the ground – consolidating local and national efforts by civil society groups, grassroots organizations, advocates and allies across sectors…

Accelerating Progress: An Empowered, Inclusive, and Equal Asia and the Pacific


Accelerating Progress: An Empowered, Inclusive, and Equal Asia and the Pacific
United Nations, Asian Development Bank, United Nations Development Programme
2019 :: 72 pages
Empowerment of vulnerable groups and their greater inclusion in social, economic and political realms can accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, but requires a comprehensive policy agenda that cuts across sectors, development actors and thematic areas. Creating an equal society in all its different dimensions requires whole-of-society and whole-of government approaches anchored in coordinated action.

There are three cross-cutting enablers to be tapped in moving forward.
:: First, partnering for innovative contextual research, social dialogues and disaggregated data is essential to expand understanding of vulnerabilities and vulnerable groups, and to explain ‘outliers’ in existing datasets.
:: Second, tapping into next-generation development solutions, especially involving technology and innovation, can significantly expand the options Governments have at their disposal for empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality.
:: Finally, there is a need to inject new vigour in civic-engagement efforts, by institutionalizing engagement mechanisms and building capacity of civil society organizations and increasing access to high-quality civic education.

Greater regional collaboration to promote mutual learning, exchange best-practices and establish regional initiatives on empowerment and inclusion, such as institutionalized efforts to engage with civil society at the regional level, can also play a critical role in supporting progress…

Press Release
Empowering People and Promoting Inclusion and Equality for All Leads to Greater Sustainable Development
BANGKOK, THAILAND (27 March 2019) — Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality is critical to realizing sustainable development, said a joint report released today by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The report, Accelerating Progress: An Empowered, Inclusive, and Equal Asia and the Pacific, explores how empowering people and ensuring their inclusion in social, economic, and political activities can accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“This report provides practical advice to translate concepts into action in important areas such as climate change, resource mobilization, and civic engagement,” said United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of ESCAP Ms. Armida Alisjahbana. “I hope that the report, including its policy recommendations, are useful to stakeholders in the region to demystify the concepts of empowerment and inclusion.”

The report proposes a framework of four mutually reinforcing elements that can promote greater empowerment and inclusion, namely: rights and justice, norms and institutions, participation and voice, and resources and capabilities…

Toward understanding the impact of artificial intelligence on labor

Featured Journal Content

PNAS – Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
[Accessed 30 Mar 2019]

Toward understanding the impact of artificial intelligence on labor
Morgan R. Frank, David Autor, James E. Bessen, Erik Brynjolfsson, Manuel Cebrian, David J. Deming, Maryann Feldman, Matthew Groh, José Lobo, Esteban Moro, Dashun Wang, Hyejin Youn, and Iyad Rahwan
PNAS published ahead of print March 25, 2019.
Rapid advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and automation technologies have the potential to significantly disrupt labor markets. While AI and automation can augment the productivity of some workers, they can replace the work done by others and will likely transform almost all occupations at least to some degree. Rising automation is happening in a period of growing economic inequality, raising fears of mass technological unemployment and a renewed call for policy efforts to address the consequences of technological change. In this paper we discuss the barriers that inhibit scientists from measuring the effects of AI and automation on the future of work. These barriers include the lack of high-quality data about the nature of work (e.g., the dynamic requirements of occupations), lack of empirically informed models of key microlevel processes (e.g., skill substitution and human–machine complementarity), and insufficient understanding of how cognitive technologies interact with broader economic dynamics and institutional mechanisms (e.g., urban migration and international trade policy). Overcoming these barriers requires improvements in the longitudinal and spatial resolution of data, as well as refinements to data on workplace skills. These improvements will enable multidisciplinary research to quantitatively monitor and predict the complex evolution of work in tandem with technological progress. Finally, given the fundamental uncertainty in predicting technological change, we recommend developing a decision framework that focuses on resilience to unexpected scenarios in addition to general equilibrium behavior.

Ancient trash mounds unravel urban collapse a century before the end of Byzantine hegemony in the southern Levant

Featured Journal Content

PNAS – Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
[Accessed 30 Mar 2019]

Ancient trash mounds unravel urban collapse a century before the end of Byzantine hegemony in the southern Levant
Guy Bar-Oz, Lior Weissbrod, Tali Erickson-Gini, Yotam Tepper, Dan Malkinson, Mordechay Benzaquen, Dafna Langgut, Zachary C. Dunseth, Don H. Butler, Ruth Shahack-Gross, Joel Roskin, Daniel Fuks, Ehud Weiss, Nimrod Marom, Inbar Ktalav, Rachel Blevis, Irit Zohar, Yoav Farhi, Anya Filatova, Yael Gorin-Rosen, Xin Yan, and Elisabetta Boaretto
PNAS published ahead of print March 25, 2019.
Historians have long debated the role of climate in the rise and fall of empires of the 1st millennium CE. Drastic territorial contraction of the Byzantine Empire, societal decline, and beginning of the European Middle Ages have generally been linked to the Islamic conquests of the seventh century. This multidisciplinary archaeological investigation of trash mounds in the Negev Desert establishes the end date of organized trash management in the Byzantine-period city of Elusa and demonstrates urban collapse a century before the Islamic transition. Our findings, taken together with other evidence for Byzantine urban dysfunction, the Justinianic Plague, and recent research on the Late Antique Little Ice Age, flesh out the impact of the sixth century on broad historical trajectories.