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March 2021 Media Roundup

Security in Context Media Roundup

This is a roundup of news articles, reports, and other materials focusing on (in)security issues and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of Security in Context . The goal is to shed light on knowledge production on security related issues that are of public interest from different perspectives. Entries may include academic journal articles, think tank reports, non-governmental organizations releases, official documents or government commissioned research, and regular news items. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each roundup to admin@securityincontext.com

March 2021

Climate Change and Security

Destruction of world's forests increased sharply in 2020

(31 March, 2021)

The rate at which the world’s forests are being destroyed increased sharply last year, with at least 42,000 sq km of tree cover lost in key tropical regions.


Water challenges

(March 28, 2021)

Water security has emerged as a sub-set of human security, raising serious concerns about peace, stability and moral and legal responsibility for coping with non-traditional security challenges that pose a threat to all humanity. 


UK seeks to drill more oil and gas from North Sea

(March 24, 2021)

More oil and gas wells are to be drilled in the North Sea, the UK government has announced.


The Vaccination Gap Is Jeopardizing Climate Action

(March 24, 2021)

Failure to heal divisions over vaccine availability for developing countries could poison the well of global cooperation and imperil the COP26 climate negotiations. Advanced economies should therefore offer the Global South a “solidarity package” encompassing vaccine distribution, debt relief, and climate goals.


Crisis in the Himalayas: climate change and unsustainable development

(March 21, 2021)

The disaster last month in India demonstrated the risks from rising temperatures to the eight countries in the region


Plummeting sperm counts, shrinking penises: toxic chemicals threaten humanity

(March 18, 2021)

The chemicals to blame for our reproductive crisis are found everywhere and in everything.


Climate Change Forced 10 Million People From Their Homes in the Last 6 Months: Report

(March 18, 2021)

An estimated 12.6 million people have been internally displaced over the past six months, the majority due to climate-related disasters, according to a new report by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). 


Water Warning: The Looming Threat of the World’s Aging Dams

Tens of thousands of large dams across the globe are reaching the end of their expected lifespans, leading to a dramatic rise in failures and collapses, a new UN study finds. These deteriorating structures pose a serious threat to hundreds of millions of people living downstream.

Security and International Relations

Big ships were created to avoid relying on the Suez Canal. Ironically, a big ship is now blocking it.

(March 26, 2021)

Professor Laleh Khalili provides a brief political and economic history of the Suez Canal, contextualising the canal’s blockage by the Ever Given Freight ship.


Saudi Aramco to prioritise China for next 50 years

(March 22, 2021)

China's energy security will remain the highest priority for state-controlled Saudi Aramco for the next half century at least, the company's chief executive Amin Nasser said.


Repeal the President’s Iraq War Powers

(March 19, 2021)

Although the war formally ended almost a decade ago, the congressional act that sanctioned it—the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF)—remains on the books and is subject to continued misuse. Today, on the 18th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, we call for the 2002 AUMF to be repealed.


A new dawn: Quad leaders vow to define the Indo-Pacific century

(March 13, 2021)

The leaders of the U.S., Japan, India and Australia met virtually Friday in the first-ever summit for the Indo-Pacific security grouping known as the Quad.


Iran Looks to Russia, China As Allies Amid Joe Biden's Nuclear Deal Push

(March 12, 2021)

Iran is looking to Russia and China for diplomatic support amid President Joe Biden's push to revive the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, plus Washington, D.C.'s refusal to lift sanctions imposed by former President Donald Trump that have choked the Iranian economy.


Europe Struggles to Defend Itself Against a Weaponized Dollar

(March 12, 2021)

Despite warm words from Biden, U.S. secondary sanctions against Iran, Russia and others punish European companies and prompt new calls for strategic autonomy.


UK government accused of ‘grotesque betrayal’ as full foreign aid cuts revealed

(March 5, 2021)

The British government has plans to slash hundreds of millions of pounds in foreign aid to countries in conflict zones around the world.

Migration and Displacement

Violence triggers massive displacement in Cameroon

(March 23, 2021)

Violence has triggered massive and under-reported displacement in Cameroon, according to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC). 


Worsening violence in western Ethiopia forcing civilians to flee

(March 20, 2021)

Members of local communities say they plan to relocate after spate of attacks by armed militia targeting civilians of ethnic Amhara origin.


War-weary Syrian children foresee prolonged displacement: Study

(March 12, 2021)

Many Syrian children who were forcibly displaced and seeked refuge outside the country report that they do not want to return to Syria after ten years of violent conflict.


Over 131,000 displaced in northern Ethiopia crisis: IOM

(March 10, 2021)

More than 131,000 people are displaced in 39 accessible locations of Ethiopia’s Tigray region and neighboring Afar and Amhara, according to a survey. 


Syria: Another decade of crisis on the horizon expected to displace millions more

(March 8, 2021)

The Syria crisis could see at least 6 million more displacements over yet another decade if the conflict, insecurity and economic deterioration continue unabated, a new report by the Norwegian Refugee Council warns.

Covid-19, Capitalism & Economy

The Positive Outcomes of South-South Cooperation in 2020

(March 26, 2020)

Developing countries, in collaboration with one another, are leading the world in creating innovative strategies for recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. South-South cooperation is a concept that encourages developing nations in the Global South to draw wisdom from each other in order to make advancements in growth and development.


How COVID-19 Is Shifting the North-South Philanthropic Power Dynamic

(March 24, 2021)

Amid a global pandemic, philanthropic organizations in emerging markets are finding their voice and challenging historical constructs.


The COVID-19 gender gap: What happens if women don't return to work?

(March 15, 2021)

Here are some implications of the pandemic-driven work imbalance and what long-term consequences could look like, according to experts and historians.


‘Quad’ leaders pledge new cooperation on China, COVID-19, climate

(March 12, 2021)

Leaders of the United States, India, Japan and Australia, convened by US President Joe Biden in a first virtual summit of the ‘Quad’ group of countries, pledged to work together to counter China’s rising influence in the Indo-Pacific and cooperate on COVID-19 and climate.


Government ‘making a grave mistake’ not appreciating scale of financial impact Covid-19 has on women

(March 12, 2021)

A new report has highlighted women are losing out in the furlough scheme and are more likely than men to be concerned for their financial security.


School closures may have wiped out a year of academic progress for pupils in Global South

(March 9, 2021)

As much as a year's worth of past academic progress made by disadvantaged children in the Global South may have been wiped out by school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers have calculated.

Technologies of surveillance/Data Analytics/AI

Artificial Intelligence - based capabilities for European Border and Coast Guard

(March 26, 2021)

Frontex announces that the EU’s border and coast guard agency has commissioned a study on the use of Artificial Intelligence for automated border control, geospatial data and others.


Adding AI to Autonomous Weapons Increases Risks to Civilians in Armed Conflict

(March 26, 2021)

The unconstrained development and use of autonomous weapons pulls in the wrong direction for legal compliance and civilian protection.


It is time to negotiate global treaties on artificial intelligence

(March 24, 2021)

The stakes regarding the future of AI are ever increasing. It is essential for national leaders to build on international efforts and make sure key principles are incorporated into contemporary agreements. 


Dozens of Advocacy Groups Launch Coalition to Ban Surveillance Advertising

(March 22, 2021)

More than three dozen national and international non-profit organizations—whose advocacy spans from antitrust, corporate accountability, and consumer protection to privacy, civil rights, and counter-disinformation—launched a coalition to ban surveillance advertising.


UK military planners deploy AI to gain edge over adversaries

(March 12, 2021)

The UK armed forces will use artificial intelligence to predict adversaries’ behaviour, perform reconnaissance and relay real-time intelligence from the battlefield, according to technology companies that work for the government.


Building AI for the Global South

(March 7, 2021)

Harm wrought by AI tends to fall most heavily on marginalized communities. Algorithmic frameworks developed in the West may not transfer directly to people in other countries in the Global South, where algorithmic fairness requires understanding of local social structures and power dynamics and a legacy of colonialism.


Fear itself is the real threat to democracy, not tall tales of Chinese AI

(March 6, 2021)

Stoking panic about China’s dominance is just another way for western technology giants to avoid scrutiny and gain power.


Biden urged to back AI weapons to counter China and Russia threats

(March 2, 2021)

An official report commissioned for the American President and Congress argues that the US and its allies should reject calls for a global ban on AI-powered autonomous weapons systems. However, critics are concerned that this will lead to a new arms race and the spread of weapons in which AI, not humans, decide who to kill. 


A dystopian robo-dog now patrols New York City. That's the last thing we need

(March 2, 2021)

Drone warfare abroad is bad enough. Let’s not apply the same kinds of technologies to domestic policing.

Gender, Race, Ethnicity and Sexuality

European far-Right populism and ISIS: Two sides of the same coin?

(March 26, 2021)

From the populist rhetoric of Germany's far-Right AfD to ISIS’s extremist religious ideology, polarizing discourse has universal features


Was Einstein an Anti-Semite?

(March 26, 2021)

According to an increasingly dominant definition, the answer is yes, Neve Gordon and Mark LeVine argue.


A racist, belligerent press doesn’t just hurt its targets, it’s bad for all of us

(March 21, 2021)

Whether it’s EU migrants or Black Lives Matter campaigners, enemies are singled out to keep Britain’s hierarchies intact.


Georgia attack reflects misogyny, racism embedded in mainstream society

(March 19, 2021)

While the Georgia attacks were likely motivated by a racist, anti-Asian rationale, it was also closely intertwined with male rage and violence against women.


Five Ways to Address Male Supremacist Violence

(March 18, 2021)

How should we be responding to the threat posed by misogynist ideology and violence?


Asian Americans, Allies Rally Against Racist Violence and White Supremacy After Atlanta Murders

(March 18, 2021)

Human rights defenders demand an end to violence and hatred against Asian Americans in the wake of Tuesday's mass shooting in Georgia and other attacks against people who often feel ignored and excluded from wider conversations about racism in the United States.


‘Racist agenda’: Fear, worries over Sri Lanka’s burqa ban

(March 14, 2021)

Proposal to ban the burqa in Sri Lanka viewed by many as attempt to appease Sri Lanka’s Buddhist majority and cause divisions.


China's Uighurs: The case for genocide has been made. Will the world act?

(March 9, 2021)

A new report from more than 50 independent experts has conclusively cast China's policies in Xinjiang are a breach of the UN Genocide Convention, but questions remain as to what actions the world will be taken over this conclusion.


What if liberal anti-racists aren’t advancing the cause of equality?

(March 6, 2021)

Much of today’s advocacy around racial justice places the onus on individual actors and the private sector. We need collective action instead.


Death threats, distrust and racism: how anti-Chinese sentiment in Australia 'seeped into the mainstream'

(March 4, 2021)

Threatening letters sent to Asian councillors and a surge in race hate attacks during the pandemic has renewed calls for a centralised hate tracker.


Lack of diversity in science

(March 2, 2021)

The study examined the gender and affiliations of 1051 top-authors, those scientists with the most publications in 13 leading ecology and conservation journals. The results show that women and the Global South are barely represented on this list.

Arms, Weapons, and Military Industrial Complex

UK to increase nuclear stockpile limit

(March 16, 2020)

The United Kingdom announced that it would increase its limit on its nuclear arsenal for the first time in decades. Instead of decreasing its nuclear stockpile to 180 warheads in the mid 2020s, the United Kingdom will increase its stockpile cap to 260 warheads - a 40% increase.


Up in arms: Western military exports surge as Chinese and Russian sales subside

(March 15, 2021)

Exports of weapons of war by Western and European democracies - who pride themselves on their adherence to international norms and commitments to peace - surged over the last five years even as sales by the authoritarian nations they frequently decry plunged, according to a report issued on Monday tracking global arms transfers.


China’s next aircraft carrier likely nuclear powered, says report

(March 13, 2021)

China is building its fourth aircraft carrier as it seeks to boost its naval power in the Asia-Pacific region, and the vessel is “likely to be nuclear powered”, a new report revealed on Saturday, citing sources close to the country’s military.


Military might, market ideology and moral posturing: A toxic combination that has poisoned America

(March 13, 2021)

The domestic war on "entitlements" and our endless wars overseas are connected — and they're destroying America.


Biden’s Restrictions on Drone Strikes Are About Much More Than Drones

(March 11, 2021)

An interview with Charli Carpenter, professor at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, who specializes in the laws of war says that Biden’s restrictions on drone strikes are a long overdue opportunity to pull back on the practice of targeted extrajudicial killings. 


Biden Secretly Limits Counterterrorism Drone Strikes Away From War Zones

(March 3, 2021)

The Biden administration has quietly imposed temporary limits on counterterrorism drone strikes and commando raids outside conventional battlefield zones like Afghanistan and Syria, and it has begun a broad review of whether to tighten Trump-era rules for such operations, according to officials.

Human Security

A Tribunal for ISIS Fighters – A National Security and Human Rights Emergency

(March 30, 2021)

One of the most vexing challenges faced in northeast Syria is what to do with some 10,000 ISIS fighters as well as 60,000 women and children left behind after the territorial defeat of ISIS.


Peace Is More Than an Absence of Conflict

(March 29, 2021)

An interview with Professor Jody Williams on what real peace means and her International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL).



Private Companies Manoeuvring to Cash in on Biden's Child Migrant Detention

(March 14, 2021)

Two of the firms poised to vie for new lucrative child-detention contracts have checkered pasts in migrant detention.


African heads of state to address the impact of the climate crisis on peace and security

(March 7, 2021)

The African Union Peace and Security Council met in March to discuss how the climate crisis is affecting peace and security and what to do about it.




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