Humanitarianism Sacrificed: Integration's False Promise [Full Text]
Ethics & International Affairs, Volume 18.2 (Fall 2004)
September 24, 2004
In recent years, there have been concerted efforts to ensure that the different components of the international response to crisis-affected countries, whether conducted under the banner of the United Nations or not, are integrated in pursuit of a stated goal of comprehensive, durable, and just resolution of conflict. This includes a drive to purposefully make humanitarian assistance to victims, one of the principal forms of outside involvement in crisis situations, supportive of the "international community's" political ambition. The implication of the coherence agenda is that meeting lifesaving needs is too limited in scope, and that the principles of impartiality, neutrality, and independence that have typically characterized humanitarian action should be set aside in order to harness aid to the “higher” goals of peace, security, and development.