15 April 2013
SHARES News Items Overview: 1-15 April 2013
The SHARES Project closely follows and collects news items that are linked to the issue of shared responsibility. This is our ‘SHARES News Items Overview: 1-15 April 2013’ consisting of a summary of recent news relating to shared responsibility.
- On 2 April the General Assembly voted in favour of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) with an overwhelming majority of 154 to 3, with 23 abstentions. The ATT addresses international trade in conventional arms, and prohibits states from authorising the export of conventional weapons if there is an overriding risk that the weapons could be used to commit or facilitate serious human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law.
- France proposed to keep a permanent French support force of 1.000 men, which would be based in Mali and equipped to fight terrorism. Foreign Minister Fabius said that France is pushing ahead with plans to reduce its 4.000-member military presence from the end of April, but planned to maintain a permanent combat force in Mali to support a future UN peacekeeping mission.
- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon honoured the memory of the more than 800.000 people who lost their lives during the Rwandan genocide in 1994, and stressed that countries have a ‘shared responsibility’ to prevent mass atrocities from happening again. Mr. Ban said ‘Collectively, we must go beyond words and effectively safeguard people at risk. And individually, we must nurture the courage to care – and the resolve to act.’
- The New York Times reported that the first person killed by a US drone attack was victim of a secret deal, in which the CIA had agreed to kill him at the request of Pakistan. The victim, Mr. Muhammad was not a top operative of Al Qaeda, but a Pakistani ally of the Taliban who led a tribal rebellion and was marked by Pakistan as an enemy of the state. The CIA agreed to kill him in 2004, in exchange for access to airspace, so that the CIA would be able to use drones to hunt down its own enemies.
- At the International Donor Conference for Reconstruction and Development in Darfur, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged the government of Sudan to cooperate in facilitating the work of the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) and other actors throughout Darfur, while respecting human rights. The donor conference hosted by Qatar hoped to raise 7.2 billion US dollars to cover development and reconstruction over a six-year period; 3.7 billion US dollars were pledged.
- Eleven children have been killed in a NATO air strike in the Kunar province in eastern Afghanistan, according to officials and witnesses. The strikes were called in to support a major operation by US and Afghan government forces targeting senior Taliban commanders and a local weapons cache. According to the NATO-led International Security Assistant Force (ISAF), ‘the air support was called in by coalition forces – not Afghans’. A statement issued on behalf of President Karzai strongly condemned the NATO attack.
- A Chinese statement issued during a visit by US Secretary of State John Kerry termed the Korea nuclear issue as ‘the shared responsibility of all parties’. North Korea has recently threatened nuclear attacks, and is feared to be preparing a missile launch. China and the US vowed to work together to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear programme and to settle tensions through dialogue.
- The Journal of International Dispute Settlement has published a collection of papers online on Procedural Aspects of Shared Responsibility in International Adjudication that was written in the context of the SHARES project. The collection of papers is published in: 4(2) Journal of International Dispute Settlement (2013) and contains contributions written by André Nollkaemper; Martins Paparinskis; Lorand Bartels; Freya Baetens; Maarten den Heijer and Ilias Plakokefalos.
- Former Pakistani President Musharraf admitted that his government had agreed to CIA drone strikes in the country. This was the first acknowledgement by a Pakistani official that the Pakistani government has approved such strikes. Musharraf caveated that he signed off on strikes ‘only on a few occasions, when a target was absolutely isolated and no chance of collateral damage.’