Blogposts by Nataša Nedeski


Nataša Nedeski

Nataša Nedeski is a PhD candidate in the SHARES Project. She conducts research on the concept of ‘shared obligation’ in international law. Her research aims to uncover how we can understand the relationship between the sharing of an international obligation by … Read more

13 May 2014

A shared obligation to negotiate (and achieve?) nuclear disarmament

Every year since the International Court of Justice’s 1996 Advisory Opinion on the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons, the UN General Assembly has adopted by a large majority a follow-up resolution. Each resolution reiterates that ‘the continuing existence of nuclear weapons poses a threat to humanity and all life on Earth’, and underlines ‘the unanimous conclusion of the International Court of Justice that there exists an obligation to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control’. The ICJ derived this obligation from Article VI of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), which provides that

[e]ach of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.

On 24 April 2014 the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) instituted legal proceedings before the ICJ against nine nuclear weapons possessing states: France, India, Pakistan, the United Kingdom, the United States, Israel, China, Russia and North Korea. (more…)

3 April 2014

Facilitating drone strikes: sharing responsibility for sharing intelligence

The exchange of information between Dutch intelligence services and the United States National Security Agency (NSA) is no longer taking place entirely outside the public eye. After a graph published in German news magazine Der Spiegel in August 2013 initially seemed to suggest that the NSA had intercepted 1.8 million records of metadata from Dutch phone calls in the period of December 2012 to January 2013, it became clear this February that Dutch intelligence services had gathered these records themselves, and had subsequently shared them with the NSA. This information consisted of metadata records gathered in the context of anti-terrorism and military operations abroad.

A substantial share of Dutch intelligence efforts is directed towards Somalia, and millions of Somali phone calls have been intercepted from both the Dutch town of Burum and Dutch navy ship HMS Rotterdam. The Netherlands has been collecting this information in order to support the Dutch contribution to the navy missions combating piracy in the Gulf of Aden. The (meta)data is shared with the NSA (who do not have access to Somali telephone traffic) and in return the US has provided the Netherlands with technical support needed to intercept local telephone traffic from the HMS Rotterdam.[1] (more…)

17 October 2013

Clarifying the content of climate change mitigation obligations

Broken and drifting sea ice melting in the heat of the Arctic summer, Greenland. © Greenpeace

On 27 September 2013, Dutch NGO Urgenda announced it will institute legal proceedings against the Dutch state in order to address its allegedly failing climate change policy. This announcement was made on the same day that Working Group I of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published its fifth report on climate change, concluding amongst others that scientists are 95 per cent certain that humans are the ‘dominant cause’ of global warming since the 1950s. Urgenda has published the draft court summons on its website (Dutch only), which may still be subject to revision. The final court summons will be presented to the Dutch state on 23 October 2013. Claimants will ask the Court: (more…)

21 March 2013

Addressing shared responsibility through the regulation of arms trade

Gun statue at the United Nations in New York © Amnesty International

On Monday 18 March, over 150 states reconvened in New York for the United Nations Final Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), which will last until 28 March. The ATT aims to regulate the international trade of conventional weapons, and would require states to establish and maintain a national control system to regulate the export of conventional weapons. A final ATT will not obstruct the legitimate trade in conventional weapons, but would address illicit and irresponsible international arms trade. The draft ATT that forms the basis for current negotiations was not accepted during the previous UN Conference in July 2012, when negotiating states failed to reach agreement on the treaty text.

In a statement released before the Final Conference, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon declared that ‘It is our collective responsibility to put an end to the inadequate regulation of the global trade in conventional weapons’. (more…)

25 September 2012

Providing weapons to Syria: a situation of shared responsibility?

The continuing conflict in Syria has raised many questions of shared responsibility (see, for example, here and here). This blog post will discuss the issue of the provision of weapons and other military equipment to Syria.

In June this year, Human Rights Watch urged governments and companies around the world to stop signing new contracts (and evaluate existing contracts) with arms suppliers that are providing weapons to the Syrian government, such as the Russian firm Rosoboronexport, and suggested that those providing weapons to the Syrian regime could be regarded as being complicit in the crimes committed by the Syrian army. (more…)