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Human Rights Should Be at the Top of NATO’s Summit Agenda in Warsaw

Posted in: Human Rights
    Friday, July 8, 2016 - 17:05
    Photo Credit: 
    Flickr_Latvijas armija

    By Anna Neistat, Senior Director for Research at Amnesty's International Secretariat

    NATO leaders meet for their summit in Warsaw Friday buffeted by crises and conflicts on all sides. Many of them could have been averted. Much of today’s global instability stems from the failure to adequately respond to human rights violations, especially if other political or economic interests are at stake.

    From the global refugee crisis to conflicts across the world, much of today’s global instability stems from world leaders’ failure to adequately respond to human rights violations, especially if other political or economic interests are at stake. Instead, when a crisis breaks out, the bodies start piling up, and refugees flee in thousands, leaders say they didn’t know and start yet another discussion about the necessity of new, more advanced early warning systems.

    Having covered most of the major crises during the last 15 years, I am convinced that the challenge to preventing conflict is not in our ability to detect and analyze the signs, but in the unwillingness of the key international players to even accept the possibility or reality of looming disasters, let alone act to stop them. It is not the lack of knowledge or tools; it is the shameful and shortsighted eagerness to look the other way when human rights abuses occur.

    As Russian poet Alexander Pushkin put it, “It is so easy to deceive me for I am glad to be deceived.” The most sophisticated early warning systems in the world will not stop conflicts as long as leaders are glad to be deceived.

    Read the full article on World Politics Review.

    Anna Neistat,is the Senior Director for Research at Amnesty International. Follow her on Twitter @annaneistat.

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