Tag: Disaster Relief


Global Food Insecurity and Climate Change: The New Threats to International Stability

Global food insecurity is not a topic which initially comes to mind when thinking of challenges to international stability.  Food insecurity is often regarded by many as a humanitarian issue and is thus dealt with as part of the humanitarian project. This was the case in 2000, when world leaders met and decided to create the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDG), in order to deal with extreme poverty and eradicate world hunger by 2015. Despite this goal not being achieved, the commitment displayed from institutions highlights the humanitarian approach taken when tackling food insecurity.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) states that food insecurity arises as a result of a situation when people are unable to always have physical, social and economic access to sufficient and nutritious food. With the world’s population growing at a high rate, the international community is now having to grapple with global food insecurity on an unprecedented scale.

Climate change is a significant contributor to global food insecurity. Remaining crops are at high risk of succumbing to extreme variation in weather. Communities dependent on staples such as maize and corn are unable to earn an income and meet their nutritional needs. Along with the corporatisation of agriculture and Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate deal, global food insecurity is undoubtedly set to become a more pressing issue, which will eventually be at the forefront of international relations.

Obstructing Humanitarian Assistance in Syria: A Weapon of Warfare

The Syrian conflict continues to shake the world. The massive influx of refugees into neighbouring countries, the untold suffering of the Syrian people, and the razing of whole cities are some of the destructive characteristics of this war. The participation of other countries, such as the U.S., Turkey, Iran and Russia, has triggered a debate around whether this armed conflict is of an international or of an internal character. This controversy has complicated the issue regarding the application of the rules of armed conflict as far as obstructing humanitarian assistance is concerned.

The following analysis will be around two major issues: first, whether these unspeakable conditions constitute a weapon of warfare for the Parties or are they just a consequence of the conflict; secondly, whether the UN has the power to intervene and protect the civilians. This discussion will be based on the legal framework regarding the obstruction of humanitarian assistance during armed conflicts and the UN’s position.