The Centre for International Governance Innovation

The Centre for International Governance Innovation

November 21, 2007 11:03 ET

Media Advisory: Leading World Experts Create Declaration to Protect Civilians in Middle East

ISTANBUL, TURKEY--(Marketwire - Nov. 21, 2007) - Thirty distinguished civil society representatives, international officials, former diplomats and generals, academics and journalists from Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt and Algeria, as well as Canada and the U.S. and the UN, met in Istanbul recently to consider how to raise public consciousness and press decision-makers to protect civilians caught in conflict. The Bosphorus Consensus is their answer.

The parties call on all sides to live up to their obligations under International Human Law (IHL). They urge the leaders participating in the Middle East conference at Annapolis, that if they accomplish nothing else to at least endorse these fundamental principles.

As the conveners, Ambassador Paul Heinbecker of CIGI and Wilfrid Laurier University in Canada and Dr. Pauline H. Baker, president of the Fund for Peace in D.C. note:

"Never a day goes by in the Middle East when civilians are not killed, maimed or otherwise victimized unnecessarily. And hardly a day goes by when the day before did not seem a better day to act than the day after...But collateral damage, once shrugged off as regrettable, is counter-productive, because in the cold calculus of warfare it creates enemies faster than they can be destroyed, and alienates populations whose support is essential to ultimate success...More profoundly, countries and armed groups that fail to distinguish between civilians and military targets will find themselves progressively isolated."

For a full list of experts available for interviews and comments and to download a copy of the complete Bosphorus Consensus Declaration, please visit

Bosphorus Consensus Signatories:

Mr. Lakhdar Brahimi Mr. Mokhtar Lamani
Former UN Special Advisor IDRC Senior Visiting Fellow, Centre
Visiting Scholar, Princeton for International Governance
University Innovation (CIGI
Former Arab-League Ambassador and
Special Envoy to Iraq
Ms. Rachel Benziman
Executive Director, Dr. Yehuda Lancry
Association for Civil Rights Former Permanent Representative of
in Israel Israel to the UN

Ms. Yael Dayan Mr. Mark Loucas
Deputy Mayor of Tel Aviv-Yafo Research Associate, Fund for Peace

Mr.Jehad Al-Momani Dr. Bessma Momani
Former Editor, al-Shihan Newspaper Senior Fellow, Centre for
International Governance Innovation
Dr. Michael Bell
Professor of Political Science, Mrs. Smadar Perry
University of Windsor, Canada Middle East Editor, Yediot Aharonot
Former Canadian Foreign Ministry Newspaper

Dr. Janine Clark Mr. Danny Rubinstein
Professor of Political Science, Haaretz Daily Newspaper
University of Guelph, Canada Professor of Middle Eastern History,
Ben Gurion University
Ms. Rosa Da Costa
Geneva Representative, AustCare Mr. Edmond Saab
Editor-in-Chief, An Nahar Newspaper
Dr. Lilian Feidy
Secretary General of the Dr. Mohamed Kadry Said
Palestinian Initiative for the Al- Ahram Center for Political and
Promotion of Global Dialogue Strategic Studies, Egypt
and Democracy
Mr. Joe Stork
Mr. Allam Jarrar Acting Director, Middle East/North
Board of Directors, Union of Africa Division, Human Rights Watch
Palestinian Medical Relief
Committees Ms. Patricia Taft
Senior Associate, Fund for Peace
Dr. Hilal Khashan
Professor of Political Science, Mr. Wasef Tubishat
American University of Beirut Director, Democracy Watch, Jordan

Dr. Kemal Kirisci Ms. Sarah Leah Whitson
Director, European Studies Center, Executive Director, Middle East/North
Bogazici University, Istanbul Africa division, Human Rights Watch

Dr. Pirouz Mojtahed-Zadeh Mr. Hansjoerg Strohmeyer
Professor, Tarbiat Modarres Chief, Policy Development & Studies
University, Tehran, Iran Branch, Office for the Coordination
Chairman of Urosevic Research of Humanitarian Affairs, UN
Foundation, London
Dr. Pauline H. Baker
Mr. Mohammed Zeidan President, Fund for Peace
Director, Arab Association for
Human Rights Mr. Paul Heinbecker
Distinguished Fellow at the Centre
Major General (ret.) Alain Pellegrini for International Governance
Former Commander, United Nations Innovation (CIGI) and Director of
Interim Force in Lebanon the Centre for Global Relations at
(UNIFIL) Wilfrid Laurier University
Former Canadian Permanent
Representative to the UN

The conference was organized by the Fund for Peace based in Washington D.C., with the support of the Ford Foundation and the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) in Canada.

The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) is a think tank that addresses international governance challenges and provides informed advice to decision-makers on multilateral governance issues. CIGI supports research initiatives by recognized experts and promising academics; forms networks that link world-class minds across disciplines; informs and shapes dialogue among scholars, opinion leaders, key policy-makers and the concerned public; and builds capacity by supporting excellence in policy-related scholarship. CIGI's IGLOO® (International Governance Leaders and Organizations Online) is an online network that facilitates knowledge exchange between individuals and organizations studying, working or advising on global issues. Thousands of researchers, practitioners, educators and students use IGLOO to connect, share and exchange knowledge regardless of social, political and geographical boundaries. Visit or

The Fund for Peace is a leading independent research and educational organization based in Washington D.C., and has promoted sustainable security since 1957. Its mission is to work to prevent war and alleviate the conditions that cause war. Projects revolve around five interconnected themes: early warning and conflict assessment, peace and stability operations, promoting development in conflict zones, civil society and human rights and foreign policy.

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