What is state failure? See my conceptualisation of state failure on the right flank below.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Neutral aid

I checked out the EU's official briefer about what the Commission is involved in, in Pakistan, in the wake of the military operations in Malakand. This is what I found.
I will pick on one sentence in there.
"The Commission’s support is provided strictly in accordance with the principles of neutrality and impartiality"
Impartiality, that's fine. We don't want to give aid only, say, to Sikh residents of the Swat valley. That is practical.
But could somebody explain to me what "strict neutrality" means in this context?
Could somebody explain what the European Commission is trying hard-hard to communicate there?

2 comments:

Paul C said...

This is boilerplate humanitarian-speak. Neutrality is a basic humanitarian principle to which everybody pays lip service, although we can debate whether they observe it in practice. Neutrality means not taking sides in the fight, and in the case of aid doing one's best http://www.ifrc.org/what/values/principles/neutrality.asp for more detail.

Péter MARTON said...

Debating is just what I'm doing, though it is "refuting" rather than debating, in fact. I was just putting this into a question to express it with irony.

I know what neutrality means and I don't know what "parties" the EC wants to have the "confidence" of? The Taliban's?

I seem to remember that at the Tokyo donor conference in April Pakistan had secured over 5 billion dollars, including over 600 million from the EU, and then had its go at the Taliban in the Swat valley...