Most of the decrease comes from a marked reduction in Iraq funding. The current situations in Syria, Egypt, Bahrain, and elsewhere in the region remind us that transitions to democracy take time and often face serious setbacks along the way. Now more than ever it is imperative that the United States make democracy and human rights a focus of policy in the region. Additional funding is sorely needed to support reform in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Morocco, Bahrain, Kuwait, and elsewhere, and vigorous U.
Programs promoting democracy and human rights on the ground are bolstered when members of the U. At the time of publication, Egypt remains mired in a political crisis that has turned increasingly violent. It is clear is that the United States did not use the full force of its influence to encourage Mohammed Morsi to take steps that would lead to an inclusive, democratic government. The conviction of staff and closure of four American civil society organizations by the Morsi government was not met with any effective pushback from the United States, only expressions of concern.
Now is the time for the administration to end its policy of hesitation and make unmistakably clear that the United States is serious about Egyptian democracy. If the administration concludes there was a coup in Egypt, it is legally prohibited from providing the Egyptian government with any aid. With the military back in power, albeit fronted by a civilian government, all aid to Egypt, including foreign military financing, must be reevaluated. Libya: The U. In particular, more should be done to support Libyan civil society as it seeks to build a just and democratic government.
The fund is designed to provide flexible support that can be programmed as needed and could include additional future GJD funds if appropriated. Congress should ensure that the administration has the money and tools it needs to respond to quickly changing situations on the ground in the Middle East. Middle East Partnership Initiative: MEPI has been a significant source of democracy and human rights assistance since its inception in Funds provided through MEPI are especially vital now, as they have the flexibility required to respond to the constantly changing environment in the region.
Near East Regional Democracy NERD : The Near East Regional Democracy fund supports greater adherence to democratic principles through civic participation, a free internet, and human rights training for lawyers, trade associations, and civil society. At a time of great transition in the region, and with the ascension of new leaders in certain countries, now is the time to capitalize on these potential openings. Significant obstacles remain, including ethnic tension that has bubbled over into violence against minority groups, the continued heavy hand of the military in the economy and government, and ongoing repression of civil society and free expression.
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Freedom House is pleased to see that the majority of the increase falls under the civil society heading, which will empower groups on the ground to advocate for democratic reforms and protections for human rights. China: The recent change in political leadership has not led to any improvement in the human rights situation, which remains dire. Unfortunately, the Obama administration has not elevated the importance of human rights in the U. The majority of this decrease comes from Mexico, where Merida Initiative money is winding down as planned.
Although most countries in the region are rated Free or Partly Free by Freedom House, the Western Hemisphere has experienced democratic declines in recent years. Popularly elected leaders in countries such as Venezuela, Ecuador, and Nicaragua have concentrated power in the executive, repressed opposition parties, censored media, and limited space for civil society.
Cuba: Though travel for Cuban citizens was made easier this year following the relaxation of exit visa requirements, there was no corresponding improvement in political or civil liberties. Rather, there have been increases in incarceration, harassment, and beatings of dissidents.
USAID support for free expression, information sharing, community involvement, and civil society will assist in developing the next generation of leaders who support human rights.
Bolivia: After years of back and forth between the U. The requested decrease would come out of money dedicated to civil society activities in Ecuador, whose president Rafael Correa has a history of using censorship, criminal charges, and legal maneuvering to limit media and civil society activity.
Congress should fund civil society programs for Ecuador at the FY 12 level. Mexico: Mexico continues to contend with violence, weak judicial institutions, lawlessness, and organized crime, all of which threaten good governance and human rights. Funds appropriated for Mexico GJD should focus on strengthening the rule of law, empowering civil society, and protecting free speech and the media. Download Appendix PDF. All numbers in this report are enduring requests, and do not include overseas contingency operations. The requests can be found at www. Skip to main content. Investing in Freedom: Democracy Support in the U.
July 22, Increased funding for priority regions, including Asia and Africa. Large decreases in democracy funding for Iraq and Pakistan. In addition to comments and action by domestic governments and regional bodies, municipal courts may provide judicial review of the implementation of UNSC resolutions. First, domestic courts can point out when the Council has taken extra-legal action either in relation to the resolution itself or via its effect upon implementation Second, domestic courts can engage in a thorough analysis of a resolution — its legality and its impact on individuals — to ground a rejection or to ratify it by other parts of the polity.
This is because the review phase of the model is not primarily concerned with the legality of the action. Indeed, a lack of legality is a given. The power of municipal courts is thus found in their ability to publicize the relevant UNSC action, identify community values that may have been violated and issue authoritative views on the violations. These types of statements, in combination with the legal opinions of courts, can thus play a role in ratifying or rejecting extra-legal Council action. Individuals and civil society organizations can also play a role in the review of extra-legal action by the UNSC.
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While certainly not a commonplace occurrence, where an entire civil society expresses a view that extra-legal action by the Council is immoral or contrary to their core values, this could be a form of rejecting extra-legal action. While admittedly at this time the role is a negligible one, if the Council were to severely overstep its authority and engage in extra-legal action that was beyond the limits of acceptability, such action does point the way to an additional form of public oversight.
Mere individual non-compliance with UNSC regimes is just illegality and would not be sufficient to perform the oversight function envisioned by the extra-legal measures model. Finally, when evaluating whether an extra-legal act of the UNSC has been ratified or rejected, it cannot be presumed that acts are ratified until rejected. While the presumption of legality clearly applies to Council action, mere acquiescence does not necessarily need to be taken as ratification if there are indications of rejection within the polity.
Having identified the ways in which extra-legal action by the Council may be ratified or rejected, the question then becomes what is the effect? Under the extra-legal measures model, the potential for non-ratification of extra-legal action is a key restraint against abuse of power.
As noted earlier, for the Council, there is no legal oversight system able to impose binding consequences for breaches of the law. As foreshadowed earlier, this is one of the most serious issues facing any attempt to see the extra-legal measures model as restraining Council action. Where states decide to reject the legitimacy of extra-legal Council action, they may also not implement the decision domestically.
If it results in substantive changes at the Council, it may suggest that non-compliance is a more powerful restraint on the potential use of extra-legal action. This attempt to mollify EU concerns indicates that non-compliance by states with UNSC decisions — in particular, large or powerful groups of states — can influence Council decision making. As the Council increasingly deals more with threats that require internationally concerted action to address, the importance of seamless global compliance with its resolutions is only likely to rise.
The experience with terrorism is demonstrative of this tendency. If holes exist whereby listed individuals are able to access funds or employment via certain jurisdictions, then the effectiveness of the entire global regime is threatened. It is also possible that individuals could make meaningful the non-ratification of UNSC action, for example, by:. While both of these proposals appear to necessitate some change in the relationship between the UNSC, states and individuals, the potential does currently exist within the present system to allow for the development of these types of oversight mech anisms.
For example, as knowledge and media coverage of the extent of the Council counter-terrorism sanctions lists grows, civil society and the media have increasingly begun to report on, and become aware of, the potential legal and moral issues created by these regimes. Finally, non-ratification of extra-legal action also opens up the possibility of utilizing the ICJ to judicially review the act. Not only does seeking such review act as a form of non-ratification, but it also can result in the negative assessment of Council action and, thus, be a way of increasing the costs of extra-legal action.
Given the above, there are at least some risks faced by the UNSC when engaging in extra-legal action.
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The earlier analysis has begun the process of rethinking the governance of the UNSC in terms beyond just legal analysis. It also shows that the application of the extra-legal measures model is incomplete and that there is thus the dangerous potential of the Council transforming into a Schmittian executive, operating in the exception. First, there is a need to increase domestic knowledge and oversight of UNSC action.
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Accountability of the Council can only occur with a properly informed polity, thus the existence of non-government and media groups focused on promoting access to, and knowledge of, Council action could be crucial to realizing the potential of the extra-legal measures model. Second, domestic political and lobbying efforts in relation to Council action should be encouraged. Thus, civil society groups and non-governmental or ganizations advocating for or against certain action, particularly in Council member states, should also be encouraged and supported.
Both of these suggestions are also likely to be a natural result of the Council becoming more invasive in the domestic sphere generally.
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As individuals see their lives being directly affected by Council action, it is likely that they will become more concerned with the Council as an institution. Importantly, supporting and strengthening these restraint mechanisms does not require legal action or reform on the behalf of states but, rather, political and social action on behalf of individuals, civil society and media organizations.
This emphasizes the political nature of the problem of an unrestrained international executive and the need to look beyond the positive law to remedy its flaws. The extra-legal measures model highlights potential avenues for restraint that may be missed in traditional legal analysis. Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford.
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