17 February 2014
SHARES News Items Overview: 16 January 2014-15 February 2014
This is our News Items Overview of 16 January 2014-15 February 2014, a summary of recent news relating to shared responsibility.
- A leaked draft report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change considers that the reluctance of states to take measures to battle climate change has made that the situation has grown critical.
- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for a stronger response to prevent further human suffering in the Central African Republic (CAR), describing it as ‘a crisis of epic proportions’.
- Ban Ki-moon opened on 22 January a concerted new effort to end the civil war in Syria, urging the government, the opposition, and representatives of about 40 other states and regional organisations to seize the opportunity to end the bloodshed. He stressed that although the Syrians themselves have the primary responsibility to end the conflict, the duty of all members of the international community, whether present at the conference or not, is to do everything within their power to help them achieve this goal.
- The Council of the EU ‘reached political agreement on a future CSDP military operation’ in the CAR. The operation will provide support to the African Union-led International Support Mission to the CAR.
- Noting that ‘terrorists and other armed groups’ appear to have gained the ability to operate in northern Mali, the UN Security Council called on all member states to support the complete operational deployment of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali to stabilise key population centres and protect civilians.
- The Washington Post has provided a detailed account of the use of a secret prison near Warsaw that was used by the US in 2003 to interrogate September 11 conspirators. The report describes how the interrogation initially took place in Thailand, and that the Polish location was chosen when a better facility was needed.
- China’s export industry is responsible for dirty emissions that blow across the Pacific Ocean and contribute to smog in the US, according to a new scientific study.
- The English edition of The Armenian Genocide: Evidence from the German Foreign Office Archives, 1915-1916, by Wolfgang Gust, has been released by Berghahn Books. The book analyses official German diplomatic documents relating to the Armenian genocide, illustrating ‘the shared responsibility of the Kaiserreich, the most important ally of the Ottoman Empire’ during World War I.
- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and General Assembly President John Ashe encouraged developing countries to work together to reach the Millennium Development Goals.
- The new president of Honduras, Juan Hernandez, called the US drug policy a ‘double standard’ and urged President Barack Obama to recognise the joint effort required to end the region’s drug scourge.
- Security Council Resolution 2134 extended the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office (BINUCA) mandate in the CAR through 31 January 2015. Additionally, the Security Council e.g. authorised EU troops to use force.
- A three month US-backed campaign to discreetly destroy Libya’s lethal arsenal and chemical weapons successfully ended end January. Money came from the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction fund, and the Pentagon assigned Parsons Corporation to work with Libya to rebuild and safeguard the disposal site. Canada donated 6 million US dollar to the site to e.g. restore electricity, and Germany will send international inspectors to the site.
- A hacker organisation in Germany accused Chancellor Angela Merkel and her government of helping US and British intelligence agencies to spy on German citizens. The organisation filed a criminal complaint against Merkel.
- Based on the reports of six independent experts appointed by the Human Rights Council, the UNOHCHR issued a statement entailing that acts committed by government forces, pro-government forces and armed opposition groups amount to crimes against humanity, war crimes and serious violations of customary international humanitarian law, binding upon all parties.
- A second round of Syria peace talks started on 10 February. For the first time, representatives of the armed opposition groups were also present.
- Apple published its 8th supplier responsibility report, an audit of the contract workers who produce and assemble its products in factories outside the US. The report e.g. states that third parties verified its suppliers did not use any minerals that came from areas engaged in warfare.
- Over the next two and a half years, the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization will provide technical assistance to Belarus in managing its stocks of obsolete pesticides. The effort is part of a joint plan with the EU, launched throughout the former Soviet Union, to build capacity to minimise the threats from hazardous waste to human health and the environment.