Graduated from the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris, Fabrice Weissman joined MSF in 1995. He spent several years as logistician and head of mission in Sub-Saharian Africa (Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, etc.), Kosovo, Sri Lanka and more recently Syria. He has published several articles and books on humanitarian action, including "In the Shadow of Just Wars. Violence, Politics and Humanitarian Action" (ed., London, Hurst & Co., 2004), "Humanitarian Negotiations Revealed. The MSF Experience" (ed., Oxford University Press, 2011) and "Saving Lives and Staying Alive. Humanitarian Security in the Age of Risk Management" (ed., London, Hurst & Co, 2016).
While European Union members are debating the lifting of arms embargo on Syria, populations living in opposition held territories continue to be severed from desperately needed humanitarian aid. Yet, there is a controversy among aid agencies on the best ways to scale up relief activities in Syria.
In June, MSF opened a hospital in the Idlib region in northern Syria, an area under rebel control. Located behind the front lines, the hospital has 15 beds and a staff of approximately 50, including 10 international MSF workers.
From international NGOs to UN agencies, from donors to observers of humanitarianism, opinion is unanimous: in a context of the alleged ‘clash of civilisations’, our ‘humanitarian space’ is shrinking.
From international NGOs to UN agencies, from donors to observers of humanitarianism, opinion is unanimous: in a context of the alleged ‘clash of civilisations', our ‘humanitarian space' is shrinking.
One year after the earthquake in Port-au-Prince, a number of observers and actors are questioning the international aid : reconstruction is at a standstill, homeless people are still facing the same situation and the deadly cholera epidemic reminds us that international aid has not helped to improve the very poor sanitation system.
Could a doctor working for a humanitarian organisation be sentenced to life imprisonment in the United States for having offered his “expert advice” to people linked to a “terrorist organisation”? That is what is feared by a number of civil rights’ organisations in the US since the Supreme Court declared on 21 June that the legislation known as the Material Support Statute was constitutional.
Argued in the 1990s in the name of the "right or duty to intervene", the application of military might to rescue populations in danger is now debated with reference to the "Responsibility to Protect" paradigm (or "R2P" for those in the know). In this article Fabrice Weissman explains why MSF refuses to adhere to this doctrine of ‘just war', whose legalisation would effectively be legalising a new form of imperialism.
Should military forces be dispatched to a foreign country to save its population from massacre, famine, epidemics, or oppression? Debated in the 1990s as the "right or duty to intervene", the application of military might to rescue populations in danger is today debated as the "responsibility to protect".
On March 3, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen sent a direct appeal to the humanitarian community. Acknowledging the limits of military force in the stabilization and reconstruction effort in Afghanistan, he wants to create a closer partnership with the NGOs.