As outlined in the course lesson, the United Nations (UN) has played an active role in protecting and serving the global community in a variety of areas that include maintaining international peace and security, protecting human rights, delivering humanitarian aid, promoting sustainable development, and upholding international laws. In this discussion, you will consider the role of humanitarian aid.
The UN is well-known for providing humanitarian aid such as food, water, medical supplies, personnel, resources, and necessities after disasters, such as terrorist attacks, that occur in war-torn areas of the globe. Do you believe that the humanitarian aid provided by the UN is enough? Do you believe that other NATO nations should be required to provide humanitarian aid after a terrorist attack? Why, or why not?
ANSWER THE ABOVE QUESTION AND THEN REPLY TO MY CLASSMATE’S RESPONSE TO THE ABOVE QUESTION AND EXPLAIN WHY YOU AGREE? (A MINIMUM OF 150 WORDS EACH)
This is an interesting question. The United Nations is, indeed, well-known for their humanitarian efforts around the globe. According to the United Nations website (n.d.), “The Organization is now relied upon by the international community to coordinate humanitarian relief of emergencies due to natural and man-made disasters in areas beyond the relief capacity of national authorities alone.” However, what one has to consider is what is enough?
The mission of the United Nations is, indeed, a good one. It brings together nations from across the globe to help each other in the areas descried in the Professor’s post. In assessing is it enough, one has to think about the obstacles that occur in the provision of humanitarian aid. In third-world countries, the aid doesn’t always reach the intended target. In war-torn countries, there are often attacks on those trying to simply deliver humanitarian aid to those in need. “Tragically…the growing threat of violence against aid workers is putting humanitarian efforts at risk” (Warren, 2020). One would think that someone trying to aid other men, women, and children would not be at risk but, unfortunately, that is simply not true. Patricia McIlreavy, Vice President of Humanitarian Policy and Practice at InterAction, as cited in Warren (2020) states: “Aid workers are under attack. We are bleeding from a thousand small cuts. We are being robbed, raped, and murdered in Afghanistan, South Sudan, Yemen, Syria, and countless other places.” Therefore, the question lingers of how to effectively deliver humanitarian aid to all countries in need when it is so very difficult in some places. Van Brabant, as cited in Childs (2013), states “Acceptance, in the sense of a risk management strategy, is the reduction of the likelihood of targeted attacks by reducing or removing the motivation to attack.” In response to this quote, Childs (2013) states “Aid agencies have depended upon an appreciation for their work – the delivery of assistance within the framework of international humanitarian law – to gain that acceptance.” There’s really no way to measure whether humanitarian aid from the United Nations or any other global organization is enough without discussing the obstacles in delivery of that aid.
Should NATO nations be required to deliver humanitarian aid after a terrorist attack? This is a complex question. I don’t believe that any nation should be required to do anything. “Organizations come into coordination structures voluntarily. They have difference, occasionally contradictory, mandates. Variations in approach, perspective, and priorities are inevitable and reflect the diversity of the humanitarian community” (de Mul, 2002). I believe it may be the moral thing to do but whether that morality reaches the level of requirement, I do not believe it does. One point to make is that a terrorist attack is different than other humanitarian crises such as hunger, medical issues, and such. We have to remember, in a way, that terrorist attacks are violent responses by organizations that are deemed enemies. Imposing a requirement that NATO nations respond to all terrorist attacks also places that particular nation at risk as well. If a nation can help another nation, that speaks volumes to the humanitarian nature of that nation but a requirement to help is out of the question.
Childs, A. K. (2013). Cultural Theory and Acceptance-Based Security Strategies for Humanitarian Aid Workers. Journal of Strategic Security, 6(1), 64–72. https://doi-org.libraryresources.columbiasouthern.edu/10.5038/1944-04220.127.116.11
de Mul, E. (2002). Coordination of humanitarian aid–a UN perspective. (Health and human rights). The Lancet, 360(9329).
Nations, U. (n.d.). Deliver Humanitarian Aid. United Nations. https://www.un.org/en/our-work/deliver-humanitarian-aid
Warren, J. (2020). Aid workers under attack. RoSPA Occupational Safety & Health Journal, 50(1), 17–20.