15 March 2014
SHARES News Items Overview: 16 February 2014-15 March 2014
This is our News Items Overview of 16 February 2014-15 March 2014, a summary of recent news relating to shared responsibility.
- At the London Conference on the Illegal Wildlife Trade on 13 February, forty-six countries agreed to a declaration to fight the illegal wildlife trade, which results in the deaths of thousands of elephants, rhinos and other species each year.
- The Security Council followed Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s recommendation and extended the UN peacebuilding mission in Burundi until 31 December 2014, despite the government’s request to replace it by a regular UN country team.
- Australia’s intelligence agency informed the NSA that it was conducting surveillance of an American law firm, which was retained by the Indonesian government for help in trade talks, and offered to share the information. Documents show the cooperation between the US and Australia, including the sharing of facilities and highly sensitive intelligence.
- Twenty-seven states, the World Health Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization, and the World Organization for Animal Health, have launched an effort to improve the ability to prevent, detect, respond to and contain outbreaks of dangerous infectious diseases.
- Ban Ki-moon called for solidarity and concerted action by the UN and regional organisations to help the people of the Central African Republic because ‘[t]his will be a crucial opportunity to fortify our collective efforts – a chance to show that cooperation between the UN, AU, EU and others can help the people of the CAR.’
- During a riot in a detention camp in Papua New Guinea, one asylum seeker was killed and at least 77 were injured. Continuing unrest at the facility, which is part of Australia’s Pacific Solution, increases calls to shut the facility.
- According to Reuters, Russia and NATO are drawing up plans for an exceptional joint naval operation in the Mediterranean to protect the US cargo vessel that will destroy Syria’s deadliest chemical weapons at sea.
- The Guardian reported that Ecuador pursued a secret USD 1 billion deal with two state-run Chinese firms to extract oil from under the Yasuni national park in the Amazon, while at the same time committing to a high-profile project to keep the oil in the ground in exchange for international donations.
- The head of the UN peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo said: ‘I wish to remind the shared responsibility of political actors as well as administrative and security officials (…) Preserving peace and security for all as well as respect for human rights is everyone’s responsibility.’
- On 24 February the members of the Caribbean’s political and economic body Caricom met in order to discuss their campaign for reparation by former slave-owning nations in Europe.
- The Chairperson-in-Office of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) urged that security in Europe cannot be taken for granted, in light of the escalation of violence in Ukraine. He outlined areas for increased cooperation between the OSCE and the UN.
- The Joint Mission of the OPCW and the UN confirmed on 26 February that a shipment of Syria’s reserve of mustard gas has left the country, an ‘important step’ in the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal.
- Reportedly the US government does not want to put a lot of soldiers and money into the African region. The Obama administration instead focuses on training and advising African troops, and providing assistance to European allies that have forces in the region.
- All sides in the Syrian civil war are committing war crimes and the world powers bear responsibility for allowing these crimes to endure, according to UN human rights investigators.
- On 10 March, the heads of state of Caribbean nations unanimously adopted a 10-point plan requesting reparations from European states for the continuing suffering caused by the Atlantic slave trade. The chair said the main objective of the plan was not money, but to enter into a dialogue with former slave-trading nations including the UK, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, France, Spain and Portugal.
- International assistance is essential to helping Libya through its democratic transition, according to the head of the UN Support Mission in Libya. Also, Libya has become a key source for illicit weapons.
- Reuters reported that although Malaysia is conducting an investigation into the missing Flight MH370, with the assistance of foreign governments and agencies, they do not have the legal powers needed for a formal international probe under UN rules. If Malaysia were to unilaterally open such an investigation, this may lead to sovereignty issues if the crash site turns out to be in another state.
- According to the UN Special Rapporteur on torture, any use of torture-tainted information, even if the torture has been committed by agents of another state, is an act of acquiescence in torture that compromises the user-state’s responsibility and leads to individual and state complicity in acts of torture.
- At the 57th Session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson said that the fight against the global drug trade is the responsibility of all people, ‘[w]e all share the responsibility to forge effective solutions.’