News archive: August 2012
22 August 2012
Ban Ki-moon, the Secretary-General of United Nations (UN) published his 4th report on the Responsibility to Protect (RtoP), entitled Responsibility to protect: timely and decisive response. The report, published for the upcoming dialogue of the UN General Assembly, discusses measures that are available to States in order to implement the ‘third pillar’ of RtoP, meaning the responsibility of the international community to respond and take collective action, ‘in a timely and decisive manner’, if a State is manifestly failing to protect its population or perpetrates atrocity crimes itself. The report also discusses the necessity to protect and act responsibly during the implementation of RtoP, building on the concept of ‘responsibility while protecting’.
Source: UN | Responsibility to protect: timely and decisive response
22 August 2012
After 18 years of negotiations, the Russian Federation joined the World Trade Organization as its 156th member on 22 August 2012. The country will now lower its import duties, limit its export duties and grant greater market access to other WTO members. Moreover, Russia will be subject to the WTO’s dispute settlement system.
Source: BBC | Russia's entry to World Trade Organization hailed by EU
21 August 2012
In a column published by Reuters, Anatole Kaletsky argues that Italian and French leaders would only find political and fiscal integration acceptable, if collective European control over domestic fiscal policies – which is insisted upon by Germany – would be ‘balanced by collective responsibility for national debt burdens.’
Kaletsky argues that this ‘more complex and balanced approach to fiscal integration’ could make the continued existence of the euro possible, and would save Europe from ‘a decade of depression.’
Source: Reuters | Column: Reject the politics of oversimplification
20 August 2012
According to former and current Iraqi and United States government officials and experts on the Iraqi banking sector, Iraq has been aiding Iran to circumvent international financial sanctions, imposed on Iran because of its nuclear program.
One bank, the Elaf Islamic Bank in Baghdad was barred from any dealings with the banking system of the United States. According to President Obama, this bank has ‘facilitated transactions worth millions of dollars on behalf of Iranian banks that are subject to sanctions for their links to Iran’s illicit proliferation activities’.
Iranian organizations gained, according to said sources, ‘effective control over at least four Iraqi commercial banks through Iraqi intermediaries’, giving Iran access to the international financial system.
Source: New York Times | U.S. Says Iraqis Are Helping Iran to Skirt Sanctions
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17 August 2012
On Thursday, 16 August 2012, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) decided to suspend Syrian membership in the organization. The decision was taken in reaction to President Bashar al-Assad’s continuous suppression of the Syrian revolt. Iran was the only member to oppose the decision, claiming that it was contrary to the OIC Charter.
Source: Reuters | Organization of Islamic Cooperation suspends Syria