15 July 2013
SHARES News Items Overview: 16 June-15 July 2013
The SHARES Project closely follows and collects news items that are linked to the topic of shared responsibility. This is our News Items Overview of 16 June -15 July 2013, consisting of a summary of recent news relating to shared responsibility.
- John Glaser argued in his opinion post on Al Jazeera that the US arming of the Syrian opposition risks entangling the US in a brutal and complex civil war. Providing small arms to the opposition would not tip the scale in favour of the opposition and more intrusive intervention could even turn into a broader clash with Iran and Hezbollah, with potentially dangerous implications for the entire Gulf region.
- President Obama announced in his foreign policy speech held on 19 June 2013 that he would seek negotiations with Russia with a view to reduce US strategic nuclear weapons up to one-third, in addition to the cuts already required by the New START treaty. Obama also vowed to push the Senate to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty that was rejected in 1999.
- The New York Times reported on an extensive unregistered multinational arms transport network, fueled my multiple actors including Qatar and Turkey, that supplies the Syrian opposition with weapons from Libyan stockpiles. The spread of uncontrolled weapons has been a significant problem facing Libya since the fall of the Gaddafi regime in 2011.
- UNAIDS announced the historic decisions of Senegal and the Republic of the Congo as the first African states to contribute financially to the global AIDS response. The decisions follow the 2012 African Union Roadmap on Shared Responsibility and Global Solidarity that calls on African states and international partners to jointly finance the funding gap and includes the designation of responsibilities of the various stakeholders.
- On 11 June 2013, the European Court of Human Rights decided unanimously declared inadmissible ratione personae the application in the case of Stichting Mothers of Srebrenica and Others v. the Netherlands. The case concerned alleged violations of Articles 6 and 13 of the ECHR by the Netherlands arising from the grant of immunity from national jurisdiction by Dutch courts to the United Nations in relation to a civil complaint lodged against the UN concerning the Srebrenica massacre. A parallel case against the state of the Netherlands is currently pending before the Hague District Court.
- The Mexican government welcomed the recent passing of the immigration reform bill in the US Senate as a breakthrough and reiterated its call for the continued need of a ‘shared vision’ on the topic. In the past, Mexico expressed concerns over US measures that move away from the principles of shared responsibility and good neighbourly relations. The bill opens the door for the legalisation and eventual granting of citizenship to undocumented immigrants in the US, while also significantly strengthening border security.
- The New York Times reported on the outsize role taken by Qatar in using a shadowy arms network, involving transit through Turkey, Libyan stockpiles, and Chinese-made shoulder-fired missiles that could be used to shoot down civilian aircraft if found in the hands of terrorist organisations, according to warnings by US officials. Qatari shipments have enabled Islamists in the north to become the most capable part of the opposition.
- The US and its western allies share a long history of quietly exchanging intelligence on their citizens, the New York Times reported. Notwithstanding the vocal criticism of European leaders on the Prism programme, France, Germany and the UK may have benefited from US intelligence operations and have maintained wide-ranging surveillance operations on their own.
- Five Latin American states (Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Venezuela) expressed their concerns to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon over the refusal of several European states to allow Bolivian President Evo Morales’ plane to enter their airspace due to suspicions that Edward Snowden was on board.
- The Russian Ambassador to the United Nations appealed to the UN Security Council Sanctions Committee to look into possible weapons deliveries from Libya to the Syrian opposition forces, the Voice of Russia reported.
- The Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) adopted a resolution condemning the actions of EU states involving the rerouting of Bolivian President Evo Morales’ plane due to refusals by France, Portugal, Italy and Spain to allow the plane into their airspace.
- Reuters reported that according to Syrian opposition sources, Israel is responsible for the destruction of Russian anti-ship missiles in Latakia, Syria. Regional intelligence sources said Israel has previously hit Syrian targets in order to prevent the transfer of advanced weaponry from the Assad regime to Hezbollah in Lebanon. Israel has neither confirmed nor denied the allegations.
- In a press statement, the UN Security Council strongly condemned the terrorist attack in Beirut and appealed to all Lebanese parties to refrain from any involvement in the Syrian crisis. Council members expressed concern at the increase in cross-border hostilities along the Lebanon-Syria border and called for international support for the Lebanese government in dealing with the crisis. The calls come amid increasing reports on the spread of the Syrian conflict into the wider region.
- The New York Times reported on US drone operations in Niger that reflect the emergence of a new counter-terrorism model that moves away from a global war on terror towards more targeted operations, designed to help local forces and US allies to fight militants instead of engaging American troops directly. This new approach faces challenges in Africa. The primary purpose of the US drone base established in Niger has been to support the French in Mali, and French, American and Nigerien officials all have a say in its operations.
- According to UNHCR, Australia’s off-shore asylum processing centre on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea does not meet international standards. Harsh living conditions, a restricted legal regime, slow processing and restrictions on the freedom of movement amounting to open-ended and arbitrary detention were cited by the UN refugee agency as continued and worrying shortcomings.