The Sentinel

Human Rights Action :: Humanitarian Response :: Health :: Education :: Heritage Stewardship ::
Sustainable Development
Week ending 27 April 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 27 Apr 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 Adopts Resolution Calling upon Belligerents Worldwide to Adopt Concrete Commitments on Ending Sexual Violence in Conflict

Sexual Violence in Conflict

Security Council Adopts Resolution Calling upon Belligerents Worldwide to Adopt Concrete Commitments on Ending Sexual Violence in Conflict
Security Council 8514th Meeting (AM)
Members Pass Resolution 2467 (2019) by 13 Votes in Favour, None against, as China, Russian Federation Abstain
The Security Council called today upon warring parties around the globe to implement concrete commitments to fight what many speakers described as the heinous, barbaric and all-too-often silent phenomenon of sexual violence during conflict.

Adopting resolution 2467 (2019) by a vote of 13 in favour to none against, with 2 abstentions (China, Russian Federation), during a wide-ranging debate on the prevention and implications of sexual violence, the Council reiterated its demand for the complete cessation of all acts of sexual violence by all parties to armed conflict.

Calling upon the latter to implement specific, time-bound commitments to combat the crime, the Council welcomed efforts by the Secretary-General, his Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict and other relevant officials in seeking such commitments and implementation plans, aimed at preventing and addressing all acts and forms of sexual violence in conflict and post-conflict situations.
The Council reiterated its deep concern that — despite its repeated condemnation of violence against women and children in situations of armed conflict, including sexual violence — the phenomenon continues to occur, often with impunity, and in some situations has become systematic and widespread, or reached appalling levels of brutality.

Encouraging Member States to adopt a survivor-cantered approach to ensure that survivors receive the care required by their specific needs without discrimination, the Council also called upon parties to conflict to include stipulations prohibiting such crimes in all ceasefire and peace agreements. It further urged States to recognize the equal rights of all affected individuals — including women, girls and children born of sexual violence — in national legislation and recognized the need to integrate prevention, response and elimination of the crime into all relevant Council resolutions, including authorizations and renewals of the mandates of peace missions.

Further by the terms of the resolution, the Council urged existing sanctions committees — where within the scope of the relevant designation criteria and consistent with the present and other relevant resolutions — to apply targeted sanctions against those who perpetrate and direct sexual violence during conflict. It reiterated its intention to consider including designation criteria pertaining to acts of rape and other forms of sexual violence when adopting or renewing targeted sanctions in situations of armed conflict…

Report: Two decades of Human Development already lost says UNDP-commissioned study on impact of war in Yemen


Press Release
Two decades of Human Development already lost says UNDP-commissioned study on impact of war in Yemen
Amman, 23 April 2019 – Ongoing conflict in Yemen has already reversed human development by 21 years, according to a UNDP-commissioned study released today. The study warns of exponentially growing impacts of conflict on human development. It projects that if the war ends in 2022, development gains will have been set back by 26 years — almost a generation. If it continues through 2030, that setback will increase to four decades.

Commissioned by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Yemen and conducted by researchers from the Frederick S. Pardee Centre for International Futures, Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver, the study entitled Assessing the Impact of War on Development in Yemen considers the impact of conflict on the priorities articulated in the globally agreed Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals.
The study compares three potential quantitative modelling scenarios for the conflict ending in 2019, 2022 and 2030 against a hypothetical scenario where the conflict did not escalate after 2014. Based on the scenarios, the study attempts to quantify the impact of conflict on multiple dimensions of development, including demographic outlook, economic conditions, infrastructures, health and education.

“Human development has not just been interrupted. It has been reversed,” asserted UNDP Yemen Resident Representative, Auke Lootsma. “Even if there were to be peace tomorrow, it could take decades for Yemen to return to pre-conflict levels of development. This is a big loss for the people of Yemen.”…

…“The long-term impacts of conflict are vast and place it among the most destructive conflicts since the end of the Cold War,” states the report; and further deterioration of the situation “will add significantly to prolonged human suffering, retard human development in Yemen, and could further deteriorate regional stability.”


Assessing the Impact of War on Development in Yemen
UNDP 2019 :: 68 pages
Jonathan D. Moyer | David Bohl | Taylor Hanna | Brendan R. Mapes | Mickey Rafa

Prior to the escalation of conflict in 2015, development in Yemen was strained. A country of 30 million people, Yemen ranked: (a) 153rd on the Human Development Index (HDI); (b) 138th in extreme poverty; (c) 147th in life expectancy; (d) 172nd in educational attainment; and, (e) was in the World Bank low-middle income category. Projections suggest that Yemen would not have achieved any of
the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 even in the absence of conflict.

This study on the “Impact of War on Development in Yemen”, was commissioned end of 2018 in collaboration with Frederick S. Pardee Center for International Futures, Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver. The researchers undertook the analytical work with a desire to understand the impact of war in Yemen across human, social and economic dimensions of development. The analysis was undertaken by calibrating a quantitative modeling system called International Futures (IFs) to fit the available information on the impact of war in Yemen to date, and then create four hypothetical analytical scenarios to be explored. One where the conflict ends in 2019, 2022 and finally one where conflict extents all the way to 2030. To assess the impacts from the conflict across the three conflict scenarios the fourth scenario represents a counter-factual world in which conflict did not escalate beyond 2014. The result is an impact study that quantifies the damages of the war in Yemen across multiple dimension of development such as loss of lives, health, demographics, education, infrastructure and the economy, etc.

The study is intended to advocate to the parties to the conflict on the consequences of the conflict on medium- and long-term development, as recovery to the pre-conflict levels would require two to three generations. At the same time the study intends to inform the general public, including the international community, about the level of devastation caused by the conflict in Yemen, and ask those who have influence over either party to the conflict to urgently push towards a sustainable peace deal and a stop to further escalation. The situation is already extremely severe. If it deteriorates further it will add significantly to prolonged human suffering, retard human development in Yemen, and could further deteriorate regional stability.

Through effective multilateralism, States can create norms that uphold our humanity

Governance – Multilateralism

Through effective multilateralism, States can create norms that uphold our humanity
ICRC Statement to UN General Assembly High Level Event to Commemorate and Promote the International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace
25-04-2019 | Statement
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is pleased to join in today’s commemoration of the first official International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace.

As the guardian of international humanitarian law (IHL), a neutral, impartial and independent humanitarian actor, and a multiple recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize honoured for our humanitarian activities during war, the ICRC deems it important to provide our perspective on this critical topic. In particular we wish to highlight the interrelated nature of humanity and multilateralism.

In the aftermath of the Second World War, States recognized that if wars cannot be prevented they must be waged within certain limits. Humanity brought States together to draft, negotiate and adopt the four Geneva Conventions of 1949, which today are core to IHL and represent a shared commitment to humanity. Universally ratified, these rules of war are the quintessential product of multilateral consensus. They demonstrate what is possible through effective multilateralism: together States can create norms, uphold them and take action.

These Geneva Conventions were designed to protect the safety, dignity and well-being of people affected by conflict. The original drafters knew that when we invest in our shared humanity, we see positive results. Torture and ill treatment or rape and other forms of sexual violence are prevented. Hospitals can function and medical personnel are able to help the wounded and the sick. People who are detained are treated humanely. We are able to view our enemies as humans. When upheld and respected the collective result of international humanitarian law is less human suffering.

Humanity and multilateralism are at the heart of the United Nations and bring us today together. In this multilateral fora we create the norms that uphold our humanity. This year we mark the 70th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions. Let us remember the spirit of these Conventions and uphold human dignity even in the midst of war. It is our collective responsibility to ensure these laws are respected. Through multilateralism we can achieve this.

UNICEF expands network of drone testing corridors

Health, Development, Drones

UNICEF expands network of drone testing corridors
Press release
New York, 25 APRIL 2019 – Sierra Leone will serve as a new drone-testing site for humanitarian and development initiatives to improve the lives of children in hard to reach areas. The country will be the fourth in a network of drone testing corridors launched by UNICEF and the governments of Malawi, Vanuatu and Kazakhstan. Plans are also underway to launch a similar drone testing corridor in Namibia.

UNICEF and the Government of Sierra Leone (led by the Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation and Ministry of Transport and Aviation) will establish a drone corridor for the development and testing of drones for aerial imagery and transportation. Aerial imaging projects will include mapping infrastructure, agriculture and transportation to focus on the delivery of life-saving medical supplies and perishable goods. The initiative will support education programs to build the skills needed to operate and maintain drones locally.

“From the world’s first drone-delivered vaccines in Vanuatu, to the tallest drone airspace for search and rescue in Kazakhstan, to stopping the spread of malaria in Malawi, we’re constantly expanding the ways in which we can use drones for social good,” said Christopher Fabian Principal Adviser of UNICEF Office of Innovation, ”But today’s expansion of a drone corridor in Sierra Leone is proof we won’t stop there. UNICEF is exploring ways of delivering similar solutions in a variety of environments – globally and at scale.”

In the Zambezi region of Namibia which has a high prevalence of HIV, UNICEF Namibia plans to use a drone delivery network to eventually transport blood samples from rural areas to central laboratories. During the rainy seasons, rural communities in the region are often cut off by floods for up to six months. Drones could render these unreachable communities within reach, making a significant contribution to efforts to tackle HIV and AIDS.

To further extend its drones programme, UNICEF will work with Irelandia Aviation to research, prototype and test innovative solutions for drone operations. The collaboration will strengthen efforts for large-scale mapping, machine learning, data analytics and the emergency response capability of the countries where UNICEF has drone programmes.

London Metals Exchange to shake up rules on responsibly sourced metals [cobalt+]

Responsible Commodities Sourcing – Cobalt, Non-Ferrous Metals

LME to shake up rules on responsibly sourced metals
Concerns over cobalt that may have been mined by children has prompted change
Neil Hume, Natural Resources Editor
Financial Times, April 22, 2019
The London Metal Exchange will only allow responsibly sourced metals to be traded from 2022, as rising demand from consumers and investors for sustainable products prompts one of the biggest shake-ups in the organisation’s history.

Under the new rules, producers operating in high-risk areas or conflict zones will need to meet international guidelines on responsible sourcing or face being delisted from the 142-year-old exchange.
The plans,…mark a significant departure from the exchange’s history in which metallurgical standards have determined the brands of metals eligible to trade on the LME, the world’s biggest marketplace for the likes of copper, zinc and aluminium.

However, responsible sourcing has come into focus after it emerged in 2017 that some of the cobalt — a key material in the batteries of smartphones and electric vehicles — traded on the LME could have been mined by children in the Democratic Republic of Congo…


London Metals Exchange Press Release
LME launches consultation on the introduction of responsible sourcing standards across all listed brands
23 April 2019
:: Builds on broad market engagement to LME’s 2018 responsible sourcing position paper
:: LME consultation details proposed responsible sourcing requirements for all listed brands
:: Requirements are consistent with, or build on, the core OECD Guidance, and utilise responsible sourcing work already undertaken by the industry
:: Phased approach to transparency to encourage all producers to embrace a fully open approach, including in respect of financial crime and corruption risks

The London Metal Exchange (“LME”) today launched a formal market-wide consultation on proposed rules for the application of responsible sourcing principles to all LME-listed brands. These rules build on the strong engagement with market stakeholders to the LME’s October 2018 position paper, and reflect the broad range of feedback which the LME has received.

Matthew Chamberlain, LME CEO, commented, “Our comprehensive market engagement exercise has revealed strong support for the LME taking action on this important topic. The LME’s role is now to appropriately balance the differing views of market stakeholders when implementing our requirements – and we are pleased to have been able to do so in today’s proposals. For example, based on the constructive feedback of civil society organisations, we have enhanced our transparency requirements, and at the same time, we have respected the views of producers who have called for more achievable timelines and a clearly-defined reporting process.”

The LME’s proposed rules will require all of its listed brands to undertake a Red Flag Assessment, based on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (“OECD”) Guidance, by the end of 2020. If this assessment demonstrates potential responsible sourcing red flags, then that brand will be classified as a Higher-Focus Brand and will also need to be audited as compliant with an OECD-aligned standard by the end of 2022.

The LME’s phased transparency approach will ensure that all LME-listed brands publish fully attributed Red Flag Assessments to the market by the end of 2024, while respecting requirements of commercial confidentiality. In this way, the LME will deploy the twin tools of transparency (allowing interested stakeholders to engage with a brand on its responsible sourcing strategy) and standards (providing certainty to buyers of metal on the LME, and hence global consumers, that all brands meet a minimum level of responsible sourcing compliance). The LME is committed to a consensual approach, but if proved to be ineffective, the LME’s core power is to suspend or delist brands which do not engage on either transparency or standards alignment.

The LME’s requirements are consistent with the OECD Guidance, and have been designed specifically to respect and build on work already undertaken by industry bodies and companies in designing Red Flag Assessment templates and standards. However, based on stakeholder feedback, the LME’s proposals adopt a broad interpretation of the core OECD requirements in certain key respects. In addition to transparency standards, these requirements include a more comprehensive set of potential risks which may trigger red flags, as well as requiring ISO, OHSAS or equivalent standards for environmental management and occupational health and safety.

The LME has also taken on board market feedback around the balance between large-scale mining (“LSM”) and artisanal and small-scale mining (“ASM”) – and believes that, with the right governance, it can provide meaningful protection against the risks involved in both. The LME is therefore committed to adopting a fair and non-discriminatory approach to ASM and LSM in its responsible sourcing initiatives and implementing an appropriate risk assessment tailored to both models. In particular, the Red Flag Assessment will require producers to confirm whether they facilitate the disclosure of potential financial crime and corruption risks under the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (“EITI”), thus addressing one of the key concerns in respect of LSM.

Finally, the LME recognises that the metals trading community wishes to make a tangible contribution to progress and improvement in the physical market which it serves. Accordingly, the LME has allocated an initial contribution of US$2 million, from the proceeds of fines levied on the LME market, to charitable initiatives in the responsible sourcing sector.

Global consumers rightly demand action on responsible sourcing – and our industry must listen. The LME is taking action because it is the right thing to do, but also because the value of our market is based on providing metal which is acceptable to those consumers, and because the metals sector looks to us to provide leadership on these important topics. Our role will necessarily be to forge a consensus between the potentially divergent views of various stakeholders – and this role is never popular. Nevertheless, we are committed to playing our part in this movement,” Chamberlain added

Tyler Gillard, Head of OECD’s Responsible Business Conduct Unit said “The OECD is delighted to have worked with the LME over recent months in order to drive its responsible sourcing proposals forward. It is always a challenge to balance the broad range of market views while aligning with global standards. We are happy to see that the LME’s approach, which builds on existing frameworks, strikes the right balance and provides a strong basis for the responsible sourcing of metals in line with the OECD Guidance.”

Sun Lihui, Director of the Development Department of the China Chamber of Commerce of Metals Minerals & Chemicals Importers & Exporters (“CCCMC”) said “In recent years, the global focus on responsible sourcing of raw materials has expanded from traditional physical requirements to include environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) concerns. As the world’s most influential non-ferrous metal trading exchange, the LME is the first to formulate and publish a responsible sourcing policy on copper, aluminium, lead, zinc, nickel, tin, and cobalt. It plays a positive role in transforming and leading the global non-ferrous metals industry procurement and trade policy, and will promote companies to improve their supply chain management capacity continuously. It is not easy to establish an inclusive, balanced, effective and practical responsible sourcing policy because of the complexity, persistent and variation of supply chain risks of different metals. The LME is committed to addressing this challenge in a multi-stakeholder approach. I am pleased to have participated in and witnessed the drafting and revision of this policy, and I am willing to work closely with the LME to make a positive contribution on building a responsible, green, inclusive and sustainable supply chain of raw materials.”


LME proposes requirements for the responsible sourcing of metal in listed brands
5 October 2018
The London Metal Exchange (LME) today published a position paper detailing new proposed requirements for listed brands regarding the responsible sourcing of metals, which align with the principles set out by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) “Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas” (Guidance)…

…The LME will work together with producers to assist them in assessing and identifying the “red flags” (as prescribed in the OECD Guidance) associated with the production of individual brands, which will then be classified as either “higher-focus” or “lower-focus”. Higher-focus brands – which will automatically include all cobalt and tin brands due to their higher risk of being affected by responsible sourcing concerns – will be required to adopt a standard that is aligned with the OECD Guidance and must demonstrate via an external “alignment assessment” and audit process the respective compliance of the standard to the guidance and of the brand to the standard.

For the other eight physically settled base metals listed on the LME (aluminium, both aluminium alloys, copper, lead, molybdenum, nickel and zinc), brands will be classified subject to the results of the red flag self-assessment….

Cobalt provisions
The LME notes specifically the market concerns in respect of cobalt, and is proposing a transitional provision which would come into effect by the third quarter of 2019, whereby cobalt brands which are exerting a demonstrable negative impact on LME pricing (which may be due to market concerns as to the responsible sourcing credentials of that brand) may be subject to action at an earlier date.

The true meaning of leaving no one behind

Featured Journal Content

Lancet Global Health
Apr 2019 Volume 7Number 4e385-e532
The true meaning of leaving no one behind
The Lancet Global Health
Sometimes it is important to go back to basics. For human interaction, one of the basics is language, the system of communication that, when applied at its best, allows us to understand each other, share, cooperate, and pull each other towards a better place. When on a collective journey towards a common objective such as the Sustainable Development Goals, with a rallying cry of “leaving no one behind” and a central aim of “reaching the furthest behind first”, this system of communication is fundamental to move beyond just the rhetorical: to be truly reached, the furthest one behind will need to understand what she is being told, and most likely, that exchange will have to be done in her own language. That principle should apply to all aspects of development, including global health.

With roughly 7000 living languages in the world, miscommunication is inevitable, but there are times and places when particular care should be taken to ensure that the message is clear and fully understood. Take the highly volatile situation of Ebola in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) for instance. Since the outbreak was declared in August 2018, there have been over 1000 confirmed and probable cases in North Kivu and Ituri provinces. Because the trauma of conflict has compounded the impact of the outbreak on the population, community engagement and ownership of the response are particularly important in the DRC. Last month, Translators without Borders released the results of a rapid study evaluating the effectiveness of risk communication materials on Ebola used in North Kivu. The results are striking: they show that materials used for the response—posters, brochures, and consent forms for the Ebola vaccine, some in French, some in standard or local Congolese Swahili—are not fully understood. Basic vocabulary in French related to Ebola was not recognised in focus groups and half of the participants misinterpreted a poster inviting the sick to present to the nearest health centre as the complete opposite, that they would not be welcome there. Consent forms used for the Ebola vaccine were also generally misunderstood, as they contained words in standard Swahili, French, and English that were not known to the participants, raising further ethical issues. This study presents the epitome of where and when the basics of language should be better applied to reach “the furthest behind” in global health.

Global health research in general should concern itself with language. As in most scientific fields, English is established as the dominant tongue. Some will rightfully argue that researchers need a lingua franca, a common language in which to communicate, but English is not strictly that: for some (indeed, a minority) it is their mother tongue, but for the rest it is a second language, one that can be mastered at varying levels of fluency, or not mastered at all. That clearly implies that when it comes to the handiwork of research—the searching for funds, the publishing, the reading, the presenting—not everyone is on the same plane, and some are left behind. A Comment published this week presents the reflections and ideas of a group of francophone researchers during a workshop at the Africa Health Agenda International Conference (AHAIC) in Kigali, Rwanda, last month on this very issue. Our readers will appreciate that we could not in good conscience publish this Comment in any language other than French, and will, we hope, take the extra step of accessing the English translation in the supplementary material if needed. The main message is that linguistic isolation and the barriers it creates are real and deeply ingrained, but also that there is a way forward. The solutions will require more consideration of the needs of different linguistic groups, the creation of support networks, and more linguistic collaboration in general. One initiative that fits neatly within these criteria is the Science and Language Mobility Scheme Africa, led by the African Academy of Sciences in partnership with the Wellcome Trust and Institut Pasteur. This brand-new programme funds research done by anglophone, francophone, and maybe soon lusophone researchers in language regions other than their own, in order to strengthen scientific collaboration while building language skills and improving cultural understanding between researchers from different linguistic backgrounds.

Such efforts are to be applauded. Leaving no one behind will require more than glancing back from a position of linguistic power and hoping everyone follows. It will require everyone, journals included, to reach out to the other and find concrete solutions to this most basic dilemma.