15 June 2013
SHARES News Items Overview: 16 May-15 June 2013
The SHARES Project closely follows and collects news items that are linked to the topic of shared responsibility. This is our News Items Overview of 16 May -15 June 2013, consisting of a summary of recent news relating to shared responsibility.
- On 16 May 2013, legislation passed the Australian Senate to excise the entire Australian mainland from the migration zone. All asylum seekers who arrive in Australia by boat are now eligible to be sent to Nauru or Papua New Guinea for ‘regional processing’. The Australian Government, faced with an increasing number of boats arrivals, calls the legislation a deterrence measure.
- Eight states (Thailand, China, Kenya, Malaysia, the Philippines, Tanzania, Uganda and Viet Nam) that were identified as primary source, import and transit countries in the illegal trade in ivory, have submitted national action plans to the Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), containing specific activities in the areas of international and national enforcement, legislation and regulations, as requested by the CITES Standing Committee in response to the huge rise in the number of elephants that were poached for their ivory.
- An online symposium entitled Symposium on the Law of the Sea and the Law of Responsibility has been held together with Opinio Juris, exploring the intersection between the law of responsibility and the law of the sea. Several blog posts and commentaries have been cross posted on Opinio Juris and the SHARES website.
- The UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants François Crépeau presented his report on the management of the external borders of the European Union (EU) and the impact on the human rights of migrants to the UN Human Rights Council. He stressed there has been an ‘externalization’ of border control, through which countries of departure or transit bear all the responsibility for preventing irregular migration, and underlined that the EU must share this responsibility among its member states.
- Ethiopian officials said that an independent panel of experts that has considered the effects of the dam Ethiopia has unilaterally constructed on the Nile river concluded that the construction follows international standards and will not significantly affect Egypt and Sudan that have expressed concerns over diminished water shares of the transboundary river and the environmental impact of the dam.
- Mauritanian officials confirmed that Younis al-Mauritani, a prisoner suspected of being a senior Al-Qaeda member, was transferred by the United States (US) from the Bagram military base in Afghanistan to his native Mauritania, an important Western ally against Al-Qaeda in the Sahel region. Al-Mauritani was captured in Pakistan in 2011 in a joint US-Pakistani operation.
- Enemy convergence, the joinder of previously unconnected enemies (e.g. drug cartels and terrorists organisations) for the purpose of joint operations or resource sharing, is one of the principal rising national security concerns of the 21st century, according to James Stavridis, the former NATO supreme commander.
- The UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson, speaking at the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, said disaster risk reduction in a complex world is a shared responsibility between governments, the private sector and local communities with the UN acting as a facilitator.
- The protection of migrants is a shared responsibility between the sending and destination states, stressed the Philippine Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Jesus Yabes in a side meeting held in connection with a meeting of the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD).
- On 6 June 2013, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) found that Austria violated an asylum seeker’s right to an effective remedy (Article 13 of the European Convention on Human Rights) because there was no effective remedy against the decision to be sent back to Hungary under the Dublin regulation.
- Also on 6 June 2013, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled that unaccompanied children who have applied for asylum in more than one EU Member State, and who do not have relatives legally residing in the EU, shall remain in the country where their most recent asylum application was lodged. It was found to be in the best interest of the child that the country where their most recent asylum application was lodged takes responsibility for the examination of their claim.
- Israel has reached an agreement to send thousands of African migrants to an unidentified country. It was disclosed that Israel is also trying to reach similar agreements with two other states. Critics of the agreement said it reflects ‘an abdication of responsibility’.
- Documents leaked to the press on the US-run covert intelligence-gathering operation, entitled PRISM, revealed that the UK security agency GCHQ has gathered secret digital information through the program. According to the US National Security Agency (NSA), the service has also been made available to spy organisations from other countries.
- UK Prime Minister David Cameron has made tax avoidance the central theme of next week’s G8 summit. In May, the G7 industrialised nations agreed on the need for collective action against tax avoidance, and the EU followed suit by promising action against aggressive tax planning used by multinationals to minimise their tax payments.
- The White House announced on 13 June that the US is going to provide direct military aid to the Syrian opposition, after having concluded the Syrian government has used chemical weapons. The details of the aid to be provided were not revealed.