15 October 2013
SHARES News Items Overview: 16 September-15 October 2013
This is our News Items Overview of 16 September-15 October 2013, a summary of recent news relating to shared responsibility.
- At the 13th Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit, the Afghan President stated that the war against terrorism is a shared responsibility and cannot be tackled by one country. He urged the other heads of state to begin counterterrorism efforts on their own and not wait for NATO, ISAF or the US to get involved.
- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon noted, after briefing the UN Security Council on the findings of the UN team investigating the use of chemical weapons in Syria, that ‘The international community has a responsibility to hold the perpetrators accountable and to ensure that chemical weapons never re-emerge as an instrument of warfare.’
- A report published by Oxfam disclosed that many donor countries (e.g. France, Qatar and Russia) are failing to provide their fair share of funding urgently needed to tackle the humanitarian crisis in Syria.
- A report published in Climate Change revealed that both developing and developed states ‘may be almost equally responsible for contributing to climate change’ since the question of which states have been contributing the most to climate change depends on the choices that are made in calculating both current and historic emissions.
- The Dutch television news programme Brandpunt Reporter revealed a long-standing disagreement between the Netherlands and the United States about the liability of the US in case of a possible accident involving US nuclear weapons that are present on a military base in Volkel, the Netherlands.
- The French President proposed a ‘code of good conduct for the Council’s permanent members.’ He added that ‘It is the responsibility of the UN to act.’ Also the Chilean President called for abandoning the veto of the permanent members, and instituting a super-majority rule when adopting major decisions.
- The president of Mozambique said that the UN development agenda should be based on principles of inclusion, national ownership, ‘and shared responsibility among the development partners in its implementation.’
- The UN Development Programme and the Roll Back Malaria Partnership launched the ‘Multisectoral Action Framework for Malaria‘, a comprehensive approach to fight malaria, calling for increased coordinated action among different development sectors.
- Chad, Egypt, Libya and Sudan signed a UN backed ‘Strategic Action Programme’, to ensure the equitable use of the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System, a water resource that lies beneath the states involved.
- A man from the island of Kiribati was denied a claim for refugee status based on climate change grounds in New Zealand.
There is a growing number of EU member states that use private security firms to guard migrant detention centres. The outsourcing of such services may raise questions about accountability.
- The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published its fifth report on climate change, concluding that humans are the ‘dominant cause’ of global warming since the 1950s. The panel warned that continued emissions of greenhouse gases will cause further warming and changes in all aspects of the climate system.
- The UN Security Council adopted a resolution on small arms and urged further cooperation and information sharing. The permanent representative of Argentina to the UN stated that it was the international community’s responsibility to put an end to the challenge posed by the illicit trafficking of light weapons and small arms. The essence of multilateralism was working together in shared responsibility.
- The Prime Minister of the Central African Republic addressed the planned AU-led force to restore peace and stability, calling on the UN to play an increased role and accord the mandate, and the international community to provide the necessary financial, material and logistic support, since ‘the international community has the obligation to provide it with financial, material and logistical means to confront the numerous challenges that my country faces.’
- In an op-ed in the Jerusalem Post, Eugene Kontorovich argued that there is a contradiction between the EU position in regard to the occupied Palestinian territories and the Turkish occupied territories in Northern Cyprus. With regard to the latter, the EU funds an occupied EU member state, without mentioning any international legal question about such funding.
- The Dutch foundation Urgenda is reportedly planning to sue the Dutch state for its failing climate change policy. The plaintiffs claim there rests an obligation upon the Netherlands to reduce its CO2-emissions considerably, in order to prevent damage to the global environment and violations of international human rights law.
- The vice-president of Honduras noted that ‘effectively combating transnational crime also requires international and regional efforts’, because they are more comprehensive in enforcing the principle of shared but differentiated responsibility between the states that are consumers, and those that are producers of drugs.
- The Non-Aligned Movement highlighted the importance of cooperation among states in order to strengthen the international rule of law at their Meeting on Cooperation for the Rule of Law at the International Level. At this meeting, UN Secretary General stated that upholding the rule of law at the international level is the collective responsibility of member states.
- An Argentine judge has issued arrest warrants against four officials of the Franco regime. The arrest warrants follow upon a lawsuit filed by a group of Spaniards claiming to have suffered torture by the officials.
- The Faculty of Law of the University of Bergen (Norway) organises a seminar on 17 October 2013 entitled ‘New Directions in International Responsibility: Seminar on the Responsibility of International Organizations’. Christiane Ahlborn, PhD candidate in the SHARES project, will give a presentation on ‘Shared Responsibility’.
- The foreign minister of Belize noted concerning goal 8 of the Millennium Development Goals on global partnership for development that ‘the rich countries have not even been able to bring themselves to honour their commitment to contribute even the 0.7 per cent of their gross domestic product as official domestic assistance to poor countries.’
- The UN High Commissioner for Refugees said regarding Syrian refugees that found refuge in neighbouring states that it is his ‘duty to ask the international community to realize that this burden is far too heavy to be borne by only the neighbouring countries, and to put in place more – and more robust – measures of sharing this burden.’
- The US and Japan have concluded an agreement to broaden their security alliance, providing a basis for positioning surveillance drones, and navy reconnaissance planes, which will be used to patrol waters in the region, also those around disputed islands. The agreement furthermore calls for trilateral cooperation between the US, South Korea and Japan to face common threats.
- Ban Ki-moon called upon UN member states ‘to offer their full support to the work of the Joint Mission’ to carry out last month’s Security Council resolution on the elimination of Syria’s chemical weapons material and equipment. In phase three (from 1 November to 30 June 2014), ‘it is highly probable that assistance by other Member States will be required in the areas of the provision of both technical and operational advice, support and equipment, as well as security and possibly other areas in order to successfully complete the destruction and/or removal activities’.
- The Director-General of the International Labour Organization said at the Global Conference on Child Labour in Brasilia that ‘we will not meet the 2016 target (of eradicating child labour) and that is a collective policy failure.’ He called on the international community to not move its attention away from the struggle to end the scourge, adding ‘the call from Brasilia must be for a renewed, collective effort.’
Lawyers for Haitian victims of a cholera outbreak announced they were filing a lawsuit against the United Nations in a Federal District Court in New York. It is believed that the outbreak began after MINUSTAH peacekeepers from Nepal brought the bacteria, spreading quickly due to negligence in the sanitation of the UN base.
- Zambia’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs spoke about the country’s willingness to encourage other states to ratify and implement the Convention on Cluster Munitions. He said ‘It is our shared responsibility to restore human dignity … Zambia believes that all countries have a shared moral responsibility to ensure that innocent lives are not lost to these deadly weapons and that the world is clear of cluster munitions.’
- After one of deadliest migrant-ship disasters in recent history, whereby a vessel originating from Libya capsized, already resulting in the death of 311 individuals, UN High Commissioner for Refugees spokesperson Adrian Edwards urged wider responsibility-sharing among European Union states to process asylum claims, and to find lasting solutions for people that need international protection.
- The District Court of Amsterdam held on 14 October 2013 that three witnesses detained at the International Criminal Court since May 2011 are not eligible for asylum in the Netherlands. The Court held also that the witnesses could not be returned to the DRC as there is a real risk that they will be detained, subjected to an unfair trial, and possibly given the death penalty.