Un aggiornamento dans le respect des droits de l’Homme, est il nécessaire pour la coalition « Contrôlez les armes » ?

5 10 2015

© Benoît Muracciole

© Benoît Muracciole

« Notre administration se doit d’être aussi claire que du cristal, chaque zone d’ombre favorisant l’arbitraire ainsi que la méfiance du Peuple »

(Pascal Paoli père de la nation Corse)

Lorsque nous avions créé la coalition internationale « Contrôlez les armes » avec comme co-pilote : Amnesty International, le RAIAL (Réseau d’Action International sur les Armes Légères) et Oxfam, nous savions que nous étions dans un petit choc des cultures des ONG[1]. Entre le fonctionnement hiérarchique pyramidal et une politique qui semblait proche du gouvernement britannique d’Oxfam, un réseau d’ONG très indépendant mais peu démocratique à l’époque, du RAIAL et une encore joyeuse et productive cogestion d’Amnesty International, la secousse a été parfois rude.

C’est dans cette heureuse différence que nous avions défini l’objectif de notre mobilisation :

Obtenir que les États « prennent en compte » les droits de l’Homme dans les transferts d’armes, nous l’avions alors inscrit dans le Déclaration des Principes du Steering Committee[2] qui était coordonné dans son fonctionnement par la Fondation Arias. La Déclaration universelle des droits de l’homme, les principes directeurs de la Charte des Nations Unies et du droit international humanitaire étaient également dans l’ADN de ce formidable mouvement éclectique qui allait obtenir près de 10 années plus tard aux Nations Unies, le traité sur le commerce des armes.

Les années de campagne, de recherches et de plaidoyer nous ont enthousiasmés, parfois aussi entrainés dans des conflits difficiles que les individus que nous sommes, n’ont pas toujours su surmonter avec sérénité mais pendant les premières années nous avons avancé collectivement. Pour protéger cette dynamique commune de travail que nous savions indispensable, nous avions mis sur pied un fonctionnement du Steering Committee (SC) qui prenait les décisions sur la base du consensus[3]. L’AG des Nations Unis de 2009 et l’ouverture des négociations ont incité certains membres du SC à en changer les principes de fonctionnement. C’est la création du Steering Body (SB) qui entérine l’abandon de la prise de décisions par consensus et entérine l’instauration d’un bureau réunissant 4 de ses membres pour les affaires courantes[4].

Mais que ce soit pour le Steering Committee ou le Steering Body, la volonté de la coalition « Contrôlez les armes » était de dégager des financements pour soutenir les mobilisations dans les régions[5] et de défendre le caractère consultatif, transparent et responsable du fonctionnement de « Contrôlez les armes »[6]. De montrer au fond que ce que nous demandions aux Etats en matière de transferts d’armes n’était pas étranger à la pratique d’une coalition d’ONG, même si celle-ci restait encore inopportunément dominée par les ONG des pays du Nord.

Or c’est précisément ces principes qui nous semblent avoir été quelque peu mis sur la touche ces dernières années, et cela s’est malheureusement accentué depuis le départ d’Amnesty International du Steering Body[7].

I) Au moins trois points et quelques questions se posent pour la Coalition « Contrôlez les armes »(CA) :I) Les documents du secrétariat de (CA) ne font plus ou presque référence à cet objectif central que sont les droits de l’Homme, dont les droits économiques sociaux et culturels, et qui font pourtant référence à plus de 100 traités et Conventions internationales[8].

  • Qu’en est-il de la décision d’abandonner l’axe du plaidoyer de « Contrôlez les armes » que sont les droits de l’Homme ?
  • Comment expliquer l’absence d’un débat consultatif, inclusif et transparent au sein de la coalition « Contrôlez les armes » pour en décider ?

II) Ce mois d’août à Cancun, lors de la première conférence des États du TCA, les salariés présents semblaient appartenir majoritairement aux ONG du Nord, les bénévoles aux ONG du Sud. Nous savons pourtant que la mise en œuvre du TCA ne se fera qu’en développant la capacité des ONG dans les capitales du Sud pour assurer un plaidoyer efficace dans leurs régions, et ce besoin est vital dans les pays du Sud.

  • Où en est le secrétariat de la coalition des financements des ONG du Sud, quels sont les fonds obtenus pour salarier les militants en Afrique ? En Amérique latine ? En Asie ? Dans les Caraïbes ? Au Moyen Orient ?
  • Sur quelles bases sont passés les accords, avec les pays donateurs ou les fondations, pour les renforcer financièrement les ONG du Sud ?
  • Quelles sont les ONG qui ont reçu des financements de CA ?
  • Quel a été le coût du secrétariat de la coalition CA situé à New York et des salaires qu’il induit ?

III) La venue des ONG dans les conférences internationales est pour certaines d’entre elles un véritable exercice financier périlleux[9]. Il semble que le PNUD ait permis, après avis du secrétariat de CA, d’en financer certaines.

  • Sur quelles bases et avec quels arguments le secrétariat a-t-il défendu certaines candidatures et d’autres non ?
  • S’il existe des coordinateurs régionaux qui ont participé à ces décisions sur quelles bases ces derniers ont-ils été élus ?

Les 10 dernières années ont vu, au sein des Nations Unies un rééquilibrage des pouvoirs entre les États membres dans le cadre des discussions, puis des négociations du TCA alors que la praxis de la coalition de « Contrôlez les armes » semblait accentuer celle du contrôle des « bonnes » ou « mauvaises » ONG. Dans un XXI° siècle qui transforme enfin les rapports Nord/Sud, il nous apparaît essentiel de redonner ses lettres de noblesse au terme grec parrêsia que le philosophe Michel Foucault associait au courage de la vérité et au « gouvernement de soi et des autres »[10].

Aujourd’hui, il nous semble urgent de reposer, avec toutes les ONG membres de la coalition, les fondamentaux d’un véritable fonctionnement pour tendre vers « une éthique de vérité ».

Benoît Muracciole Président ASER

English version

Do we need an aggiornamento, in the respect of human rights, for the Control Arms coalition ?

« Our administration must be as clear as crystal, each shadow area favoring the arbitrary and distrust of the People » ( Pascal Paoli father of the Corsica nation)

When we created the international coalition Control Arms with the three co-pilot : Amnesty International, IANSA ( International Action Network on Small Arms ) and Oxfam, we knew we were in a small clash of cultures NGOs1. Between the pyramidal hierarchical operation and a policy that appeared near the British government of Oxfam, an NGO network very independent but undemocratic at the time, IANSA and yet joyful, productive and co-management in Amnesty International, the shoks sometimes have been tough.

It is in this happy difference that we had set the goal of our engagement:

Get that States to « take into account » the human rights in arms transfers, we had then entered in the Declaration of Principles of the Steering Committee2 which was coordinated, in its operation, by the Arias Foundation. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the guiding principles of the UN Charter and international humanitarian law were also in the DNA of this wonderful eclectic movement that would obtain nearly 10 years later, the Arms Trade Treaty in the United Nations.

The years of campaign, research and advocacy have excited us, sometimes trained in difficult conflicts that individuals that we are, have not always been able to overcome with serenity but during the first years we have advanced together. To protect this common work dynamic that we knew needed, we had established a Steering Committee (SC) operation who made decisions on the basis of consensus3. The United Nations General Assembly of 2009 and the opening of the ATT negotiations prompted some members of the SC to change its operating principles. It is the creation of the Steering Body (SB), which confirms the abandonment of decision making by consensus and endorsed the establishment of an office involving four of its members for current affairs4.

But whether for the Steering Committee and the Steering Body, the will of the Control Arms coalition was to generate funds to support the mobilizations within the regions5 and defend consultative , transparent and accountable operation of Control Arms6. To show the background that we asked to the States concerning arms transfers was no stranger to the practice of the NGO’s coalition, even if it was still inappropriately dominated by NGOs from the North .

It is precisely these principles that seem to have been somewhat sidelined in recent years, and this has unfortunately increased since the start of Amnesty International from the Steering Body7.

At least three points and some questions arise for the Control Arms (CA) Coalition :

  1. I) The documents of the secretariat (CA) no longer refers to, or near, to the human rights central goal, including social and cultural economic rights, which refer to over 100 treaties and international conventions8.
  • What about the decision to abandon the Control Arms axis advocacy which are human rights ?
  • How to explain the absence of an advisory discussion, inclusive and transparent within the Control Arms coalition, to decide to keep or drop them ?
  1. II) This August in Cancun, at the first ATT conference of States, employees present seemed mostly belong to Northern NGOs, volunteers to Southern NGOs. We know that the implementation of the ATT will be done in developing the capacity of NGOs in the Southern capitals for effective advocacy in their regions, and this need is vital in the South.
  • Where are the CA coalition secretariat funding of Southern NGOs, what are the funds obtained for salaries activists in Africa? In Latin America? In Asia ? In the Caribbean ? In the Middle East?
  • On what basis did the agreements with donors, countries and foundations, to financially strengthen southern NGOs ?
  • Whichare NGOs received funding from the CA secretariat ?
  • What was the cost of CA coalition secretariat in New York and it induces wage ?

III) The venue of NGOs in international conferences is, for some of them, a true perilous finance exercise9. It appears that UNDP has allowed, after consulting the CA secretariat, to finance certain of them.

  • On what basis and with what arguments the CA secretariat has defended certain applications and not others?
  • If there are regional coordinators who participated in these decisions, on what basis were they elected ?

The last 10 years have seen within the United Nations a rebalancing of powers between the Member States in the framework of discussions and negotiations of the ATT while the praxis of the Control Arms coalition seemed to accentuate the control on « good » or « bad » NGOs. In XXI century which finally transforms the North / South relations, it is essential to restore its credentials to the Greek parrhesia term as the philosopher Michel Foucault associated to the courage of the truth and  » the government of self and others . » Today , it seems urgent to rest with all the NGO coalition members, the fundamentals of a true functioning to move towards  » an ethic of truth”10.

Benoît Muracciole Chair of ASER

[1] J’étais alors administrateur du RAIAL, au nom du collectif français, et membre de la commission armes d’Amnesty International France responsable de cette campagne.

[2] Declaration of principles of the Arms Trade Treaty Steering Committee:

American Friends Service Committee

Amnesty International

Arias Foundation for Peace and Human Progress

Federation of American Scientists

Friends Committee on National Legislation

Oxfam International

Project Ploughshares

and Saferworld

In consideration of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the guiding principles of the United Nations Charter, and international humanitarian law, the members of the Arms Trade Treaty Steering Committee hereby declare:

That the idea for an instrument to regulate irresponsible arms transfers came from discussions between Amnesty International, Saferworld and BASIC in 1993 which evolved into the 1998 European Union (EU) Code of Conduct, requiring EU governments to “take into account” the human rights implications of arms transfers.

That the Arias Foundation for Peace and Human Progress was also working toward an international code of conduct, and in 1995 drafted an instrument based on the EU Code of Conduct, which resulted in the Framework Convention on International Arms Transfers.

That in May of 1997, Dr. Oscar Arias called upon a group of fellow Nobel Peace Laureates in New York City to promote the declaratory Framework Convention, which would require states to adopt national mechanisms for the explicit authorization of all international arms transfers.

That in 1998, the EU adopted a Code of Conduct on Arms Exports, a politically-binding document which requires that members states pledge not to allow arms transfers when they “provoke or prolong armed conflict,” or when there is a “clear risk” that the weapons could be used for internal repression or for aggressive acts against another state. This Code also calls on states to take into account other factors when deciding whether to authorize a transfer, including the state’s past respect for humanitarian law.

That international organizations, with the shared vision that all international arms transfers should be responsible with the underlying need to prevent human rights violations, genocide, or crimes against humanity, have collaborated in the promotion of this initiative at the national, regional, and global levels, thereby forming the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) Steering Committee, comprised of arms control, demilitarization, development, and Peace Laureate NGOs with years of experience in the field. The Steering Committee (SC) has coordinated the strategic direction of the growing initiative.

That the Lauterpacht Research Centre for International Law at Cambridge University, in coordination with the SC, has drafted the Arms Trade Treaty based on the Framework Convention, the EU Code of Conduct, and the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (PoA), which was adopted at the UN Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects on July 9-20th, 2001.

That due to the growth of international momentum, governments, expert groups, and civil society are working towards an international instrument with universal principles to regulate irresponsible transfers of weapons based on international law.

That in moving forward with the initiative and its momentum, the ATT SC based upon agreements at its annual discussion and planning meeting in San José, Costa Rica, on February 4-6th, 2004 agrees to the following:

[3] Paragraphe 1 chapitre IX ; Constitution of Arms Trade Treaty Steering Committee

[4] Membership Code of Conduct – Control Arms Coalition :

Consistency with agreed policy and factual accuracy for joint external documents/statements

  • A Steering Board decision will be required for changes in Control Arms core policy e.g. the “Global Principles” agreed by all NGO members.
  • The SB or a balanced cross-section therein will check the consistency of interpretations of core policy e.g. in “derivative” joint policy statements included in campaigning, media and other external statements.
  • All proposed joint external Control Arms text will be reviewed for factual accuracy by a small group of experts on that particular subject in an open and transparent manner before any collective decision to publish that external text.
  • Control Arms members must sign off in writing on a planned output before their NGOs name is used on that output.

 

Timeliness in approving joint collective materials

  • All proposed joint outputs (strategy documents, plans, publications, events) first require an agreed Terms of Reference with an agreed timeline so there is maximum cooperation and efficiency when the approval work starts.

Diversity of participation and representation in joint activities

  • On public platforms or in publications, Control Arms will strive to represent a diversity of regions, languages, and expertise, and will use rotation for responsible positions, including officers and public speakers, whenever possible.

Protecting our independence and impartiality

  • Control Arms members may work with governments to achieve the aims of agreed joint core policy but no NGO member or representative should have a duty to a government such that they would be unable to be objective and impartial in how they represent the organization’s aims and objectives – moreover, Control Arms members and representatives will take active steps to avoid a conflict of interest arising from an obligation to a government

Fairness in the allocation of resources raised in the name of Control Arms

  • Control Arms members will be as transparent and consultative as possible in their individual fundraising proposals regarding the ATT.
  • Funds can only be raised on behalf of the Control Arms coalition with approval from the Steering Board.
  • The Secretariat will manage and allocate Control Arms coalition funds in an open, fair and transparent manner.

Ensuring professional standards in joint NGO contracts

  • Each Control Arms member will take steps to ensure the competent and diligent exercise of its duties of care for the human rights, health, safety, security and well being of any staff, volunteers and all those acting on behalf of the NGO alliance, as well as comply with the legal framework and public regulations governing its operations, and human resources policies and practices that are based on merit, equality and non-discrimination.

Membership and Staff: Core Organizational Values for Effectiveness

  • Our credibility and effectiveness depend on the competency, credibility, independence, impartiality and effectiveness of members and staff, and on public perceptions of them as they promote the agreed aims and objectives of the Control Arms coalition. This should be reflected in the above organisational principles, and based on shared core values including:

Focus our shared energy for greater impact

Stand up with integrity and legitimacy of purpose

Respect the individual when acting collectively

Be relevant today and ready for tomorrow

Be consultative, accountable and transparent

  • We will be:

Courageous and persistent in our fight for an effective ATT

Independent of any government, political ideology, economic interest or religion

Accountable to all our stakeholders, members, supporters and donors

Inclusive, diverse and respectful of democratic practice

Committed to innovation, learning and to finding solutions

  • Personal conduct for personnel of Control Arms Secretariat and Steering Board members will include:

Being honest and mutually respectful

Taking account of the concerns of other members

Listening and allowing other members time to speak

Respecting and considering divergent points of view

Assuming mistake rather than malice when conflict arises

Criticising by coming up with a constructive alternative

Avoiding making allegations without first checking all relevant facts – and not engaging in personal attacks

Being on time for agreed meetings or providing a reasonable excuse

Being mindful in meetings that English is not the native language of most

Allowing the chairperson time to run the process

Ensuring the timely circulation of action points

Delivering what you have agreed to do

Appreciating and valuing the work of others

[5] Declaration of principles of the Arms Trade Treaty Steering Committee et le Membership Code of Conduct – Control Arms Coalition

[6] Membership Code of Conduct – Control Arms Coalition; Fairness in the allocation of resources raised in the name of Control Arms; Membership and Staff: Core Organizational Values for Effectiveness

[7] Et ce n’est pas le sondage auprès des membres fait par le secrétariat, avec des questions fermées, qui change la donne.

[8] Voir https://armerdesarmer.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/normes-dh-amnesty-international-2008.pdf

[9] Dont ASER qui ne comprend aucun salarié

[10] Le courage de la vérité, le gouvernement de soi et des autres, cours du collège de France 1984 ; Ed Hautes études Gallimard Seuil.

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