Top Picks: 17-21 August, 2015

Our photo of the week was taken from a WEF article featuring "three ways we should rethink humanitarian aid." Check it out here: https://goo.gl/u9nQ3k  

Our photo of the week was taken from a WEF article featuring "three ways we should rethink humanitarian aid." Check it out here: https://goo.gl/u9nQ3k  

This week, we're resuming our “Top Picks” series, which offers a taste of what we're tracking here at the ICRC in Washington DC. This week's selection is brought to you by Trevor Keck, our Deputy Head of Public and Congressional Affairs.

First, IRIN News had an interesting article on “Bright ideas for better aid” that briefly surveyed some ideas for reforming the international humanitarian system in advance of the World Humanitarian Summit. My favorite idea was the proposal for a humanitarian World Bank that could provide more stable financing for crises.

Over at Just Security, Natalie Weizman – a researcher at Columbia Law School and former ICRC staffer – examines the legal framework governing US security cooperation with the Free Syrian Army's Division 30. According to Weizman, publicly available facts indicate that Division 30's actions can`t necessarily be attributed to the US, but the US nonetheless has a legal obligation “to use its influence wisely and cautiously, and to ensure that the fighters comply with international humanitarian law.” Weizman references a new ICRC publication on Common Article 1.

As violence escalated this week in Syria, Al Monitor looks at Oman's quiet diplomacy in the Middle East to resolve the Syrian crisis, and how Muscat is positioning itself more broadly in the region.

On Yemen, the ICRC's President Maurer told the Associated Press that “Yemen after 5 months looks like Syria after 5 years.” Staggering.

Meanwhile, Radio Tamazuj, a regional news outlet offers a guide to what happened this week at an IGAD summit in Addis Ababa.

Finally, in case you missed it, the New York Times covered our IHL workshops with Hamas; some of the reactions from Hamas fighters that attended provide a glimpse of the challenging conversations we have on the law of armed conflict with those fighting wars around the world.

Editor's note: A small but important caveat: just because something is featured here doesn't mean we endorse or agree with it. The views expressed in the links we're highlighting don't necessarily reflect the ICRC's views.