Tag Archives: Russia
19 February 2014
© Sochi 2014 Olympic Logo
The 2014 Winter Olympics are in full swing. The games, which take place in the Black Sea coastal city of Sochi, should have been a prestige project of huge importance for Russia’s image at home and abroad. Instead, they are turning out to become the most criticized games ever. The controversies surrounding the Sochi games are many: flagrant discrimination against the gay community, forced evictions of homeowners to make way for Olympic venues and infrastructure, environmental destruction of the surrounding land and, of course, the staggering costs of the whole enterprise, totaling an estimated 50 billion dollars. An issue that has received far less media attention is the abuse of migrant workers on whose backs the Olympic sites are built. (more…)
9 January 2014
The removal of the most critical material for destruction began on 7 January 2014, a week after the deadline for its completion set by an agreement brokered by Russia and the United States under which Syria renounced its chemical weapons material and joined the 1992 Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons. ‘This movement is very important because it’s the first important step in an expected process of continued movement for the onward destruction out of country’ Sigrid Kaag, head of the Joint Mission of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the United Nations told reporters after updating the Security Council on the accord, which set 30 June for the elimination of all materials. (more…)
Source: UN News Centre | Security Council expects Syria to meet June deadline for chemical weapons removal, official says
11 November 2013
The Chinese Foreign Ministry urges states to come back to the negotiating table, after the six-party talks between North and South Korea, China, the US, Russia, and Japan stalled in 2009. Since the end of talks, North Korea has conducted to nuclear tests and China has been lobbying to reopen negotiations in order to ensure security of the Korean Peninsula. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Hong Lei, stated ‘there’s a common interest and shared responsibility to find a resolution to the impasse.’
Source: UPI | China presses for talks with North Korea
4 November 2013
Negotiations held in Hobart, Tasmania by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources failed to reach an agreement to protect the ocean ecosystem in the Antarctic. The United States and New Zealand proposed a 500,000 square mile reserve in the Southern Ocean around Antarctica. Australia, France, and the European Union proposed a network of protected areas in the eastern Antarctic region. Both proposals were blocked due to the resistance of Russia, China, and Ukraine. Agreement between twenty-four members of the Commission and the European Union is required for the adoption of a proposal.
The resisting states argue that such reserves would cut off their access to fish stocks and undermine the fishing industries. However, fisheries scientists state that the reserves would help protect and restore the ecosystem from depletion caused by overfishing, pollution, and climate change. Yuri Onodera, climate adviser for Friends of the Earth Japan and attendee at the conference, stated, ‘once again, national interests and politics are a hurdle to the international interest of protecting the environment.’
Source: New York Times | Talks on Antarctic Marine Reserve Fail to Reach Agreement
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23 October 2013
According to the Norwegian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, the United Nations has asked Norway to eliminate Syrian chemical weapons. According to news reports this follows up on an earlier request made by Russia and the United States.
The Jerusalem Post had a story on this 20 days ago, see here.
Source: The Washington Post | Norway mulls taking and destroying the bulk of Syria’s chemical arsenal