Showing posts with label United Nations. Show all posts
Showing posts with label United Nations. Show all posts

July 14, 2015

Iran P5+1 nuclear deal: Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action -- JCPOA (full text) -- page 5

    Tuesday, July 14, 2015   No comments

Annex I – Nuclear-related measures


1.     The sequence of implementation of the commitments detailed in this Annex is specified in Annex V to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Unless otherwise specified, the durations of the commitments in this Annex are from Implementation Day.

September 8, 2013

Deficiencies in the arguments for a U.S. war on Syria and the perils of military intervention in Syria without UNSC authorization

    Sunday, September 08, 2013   No comments

by Ahmed E. Souaiaia*
Answering a reporter’s question if bombing Syria is needed in order to preserve his credibility since he was the one who set a red line, President Obama replied: “First of all, I didn't set a red line. The world set a red line. The world set a red line when governments representing 98 percent of the world's population said the use of chemical weapons are abhorrent and passed a treaty forbidding their use even when countries are engaged in war. Congress set a red line when it ratified that treaty..."

It is true that international law and treaties have prohibited the use of certain weapons nearly a century ago. But UN Charter, the backbone of international law, also had established the proper response to any breach of these treaties. Outside the doctrine of self-defense from an imminent threat, no nation should attack another UN member state without authorization of the UN Security Council (UNSC). If nations were to act unilaterally, would U.S. leaders ratify a treaty that would allow, say the Soviet Union or China, to bomb the U.S. for actually using illegal weapons in Vietnam and other places?

July 6, 2013

Managing Syrian Conflict through Diplomacy

    Saturday, July 06, 2013   No comments
by Henelito A. Sevilla, Jr. 

The complexity of issues surrounding the Syrian civil war requires not only diplomatic negotiations at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) but also through multilevel consultations of many important actors that have significantly contributed to either finding the solution or to worsening of the problem. What we have seen in Syrian civil war is not only opposing forces within the country but also outside forces which add to the intricacy of the problem. After months of conflict we found out that arms do not provide security nor it provide venue for more negotiation rather more bloodshed and killing of innocent civilians. This assumption has been reinforced by what happened in Libya. The proliferation of small arms into the hands of Libyan civilians does not only guarantee pity crimes after the overthrown of Khadafy but also the possibility of an increasing rate of organized crimes once small arms are channeled to politically motivated sub-groups such as the Jihadists.  In the case of Syria, small and high powered arms are already in the hands of the opposition forces and some of them are already handled by minors and some undisciplined Syrian who are vulnerable to killings, whereas, the United States, Russia and Iran are supplying arms and helicopters to either opposition or regimes forces.  Arguably this regrettable situation has contributed significantly to the killings of hundreds of civilians including the Syrian refugees fleeing to the borders of Turkey and Lebanon.  Arming the opposition to protect themselves from Bashar’s forces and providing attack helicopters and arms to the regime against the oppositions’ maybe the best option but it does not provide rationality to what really is the idea and intention on why Syrian went to streets to demonstrate. The fact that Bashar’s regime is unacceptable both from American and pro- American Arab regimes point of view, then the beginning of the civil protest was the perfect timing to start the gradual elimination of the US headaches in the Gulf. Syria ‘civil war’ is not just a civil war in its absolute terms. It is also an international geographically confined war with varied competing actors and interests not necessarily Syrians. It is a war about changing the political landscape of the region and finally it is a proxy war between the US, the Arabs and perhaps Turkey in one hand and Russia and Iran and perhaps China on the other hands.

February 1, 2013

Revolutions and rebellions and Syria's paths to war and peace

    Friday, February 01, 2013   No comments
by Ahmed E. Souaiaia*

Another massacre in Syria: click  on image to view video

In less than a month, peaceful Tunisian and Egyptian protesters ousted two of the most authoritarian rulers of the Arab world. The human and economic costs: a total of about 1100 people dead (300 in Tunisia and 800 in Egypt) and some decline in economic growth. These were the dignity revolutions. In contrast, the Syrian peaceful uprising quickly turning into armed rebellion is now 22 months old with over 60,000 people (civilians, rebels, security and military officers, women and children) dead, more than 4,000,000 persons displaced from their homes, and destruction estimated at $70 billion. This is now, without doubt, an ideological/sectarian civil war. Short of a genocidal outcome, the only path to peace is that which relies on reconciliation and dialogue. There can be no preconditions because all sides have blood on their hands at this point. This reality, and the staggering numbers cataloging death and destruction might, forces all sides to reassess their previously held positions. Ideologues who wanted to bend the path of a legitimate peaceful revolution to meet their narrow political and sectarian ends can no longer ignore this reality and the state of the country. The fast emerging developments support these hypotheses.

Earlier this week, the president of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces (the National Coalition), Mouaz al-Khatib, announced that he is ready to talk directly with representatives of the Syrian regime. He insisted however, that the regime releases 160,000 detainees and renew or extend expired passports for Syrians living outside the country. Meeting on Wednesday in Cairo, some members of the National Coalition slammed al-Khatib, accusing him of straying from the Doha agreement, a document on the basis of which the National Coalition was formed.

In the light of the disagreements, one must ask: why did al-Khatib offer to hold direct talks with representatives of the regime? For answers, we must look at the recent events related to the Syrian crisis. I will highlight some of these events that could reconstitute the National Coalition or force the resignation of its current president.

December 27, 2012

Top News Story of 2012

    Thursday, December 27, 2012   No comments

The year 2012, like 2011, was dominated by news from the Arab world. With the profound changes that were produced by the Arab Awakening, the entire world continued to watch political and military developments emerging from that region. Without doubt, for the Arab world, the Syrian crisis, the Second Gaza War, and the vote on the Palestinian observer status were the most critical events of the year. But the UNGA vote, that came days after the Second Gaza War and the continued militarization of the Syrian crisis, is the most telling event. It exposed the interplay between politics, economic interests, and international justice. Most importantly, it exposed the lack of principle in the US foreign policy and weakened it in its claim as a promoter of just causes and human rights. The event also signaled a shift in international politics and international relations.

For these reasons, ISR’s News Story of the Year selection goes to the UNGA vote on the Observer Status for Palestine which went down as follows:

Countries that voted for the resolution:

Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Comoros, Costa Rica, Cuba, Cyprus, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, East Timor, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Honduras, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kirghistan, Kiribati, Kuwait, Laos, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, North Korea, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, Russia, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Spain, Sri Lanka, St. Kitts and Nevis St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, UAE, Uganda, Ukraine, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Countries that abstained:

Albania, Andorra, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Bosnia/Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Colombia, Croatia, Dem. Rep. of Congo, Estonia, Fiji, Germany, Guatemala, Haiti, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malawi, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Poland, Korea, Moldova, Romania, Rwanda, Samoa, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Macedonia, Togo, Tonga, United Kingdom, and Vanuatu.

Countries that voted against the resolution:

Canada, Czech Republic, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Panama, and the United States. 


October 4, 2012

Islamic world digest

    Thursday, October 04, 2012   No comments

For six days, representatives of member states of the United Nations talked about their most pressing issues. One after one, they addressed mostly an empty hall updating the General Assembly about their achievements and reminding the world about the problems that must be solved. Leaders of the Islamic world were present, although not all key players attended the yearly event.
The kings of Saudi Arabia and Morocco for instance did not attend. Turkey, too, elected to send the foreign minister instead of the prime minister or the president. Syria’s embattled president, too, was understandably unable to attend. But leaders who made it, expressed a wide range of concerns, and most importantly, the new realities emerging as a result of the Arab Spring. However, representatives of two Islamic countries received more attention than the rest: Iran’s president and Egypt’s.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who is serving his last year in office, brought with him a huge entourage. He delivered the usual speech he has been delivering for the past seven years and offered numerous interviews where he faced the same questions about the nuclear program and real and imagined human rights abuses. He offered his radical insight about solving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and sidestepped questions about the two-state solution.
Mohammed Morsi, Egypt’s new president, delivered a speech highlighting the role his country could play in stabilizing the region. He, too, emphasized the need to solve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict but was short on specifics. He brought to the attention of the General Assembly his attempt to end the Syrian crisis based on his vision that requires Assad to step down without foreign intervention.
What was notable about these leaders (as is the case with most Arab leaders), is that fact that it was impossible to distinguish personal opinions from state policies. In the case of the Iranian president, given that he was serving his last term in office, it would have been helpful if the interviewers asked him to distinguish between his personal opinion from the formal policy as established by the various institutions especially that of the supreme leadership.
In the case of Morsi, given that there are currently no other legitimate governing institutions, he is acting and speaking as if he has the final say on all matters. In the absence of an elected parliament and a ratified constitution, he is likely to continue the one-man rule and that must remind the Egyptian people of an era they want to forget.
The other dramatic but not surprising event at the General Assembly debate was Israel’s prime minister’s cartoonish cartoon explaining the threat of a nuclear armed Iran. His emphasis on outside threats and his lack of interest in solving the conflict with the Palestinians destroyed his credibility. After all, even the Iranian president conceded that if the Palestinians were to reach a just settlement with the Israelis, then he will have to respect their decision, which would render the Iranian threat a moot point.
In the end, the numerous speeches and long list of demands only highlighted the impotence of the General Assembly. The UNSC remains the organ of this organization most equipped to deal critical issues. But it, too, suffers from structural deficiencies. 


August 27, 2003

The destabilizing effects of the Iraq war

    Wednesday, August 27, 2003   No comments

By Ahmed E Souaiaia
August 27, 2003
In one of his most recent remarks, President Bush acknowledged that "terrorists are gathering in Iraq ” and he argued that “the more progress we make in Iraq , the more desperate the terrorists will become."  At first glance, there may appear to be some intelligent logic in that assessment of the situation in that part of the world.  However, when taken into the context of how we arrived where we are now, that statement can only be construed as an alarming admittance of failure and short-sightedness. 
A year ago, around this time, Iraq was bowing to the threat of military action if they did not disarm. Access to suspected banned weapons was granted, Samud missiles were being destroyed, so-called mobile labs were tested, and information gathered by spy satellites and other intelligence means were analyzed. Had the West kept the pressure on the regime under the UN umbrella, the world community could have extracted Saddam’s consent to protect and honor his international commitments to human rights or risk war that will remove him from power.
Four months after the unilateral action undertaken by President Bush and Prime Minister Blair, the weapons of mass destruction are nowhere to be found. And the scary part of this is: if this administration was correct in its initial assessment of the existence of such weapons, by now, these weapons may have already fallen in the wrong hands. Alternatively, if these weapons did not exist in the first place, then the premise of sending troops to the killing fields becomes non-existent as well.  Every day a life is lost in that war zone, the administration must face the reality of stopping the loss of the next by doing the right thing, not by spinning it.
This war was premised on disarming Iraq and putting an end to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. While WMD’s are yet to be found in Iraq , the danger of proliferation became more and more real as states who wanted to possess them accelerated their quest. After all, it is only rational that regimes would learn from past experience: compliance with disbarment demands did not guarantee Saddam’s political survival but having a nuclear weapon could as the crisis with North Korea shows. Because of this slow-acting administration, we will see a new race for “weaponizing” and that would include the acquisition of dangerous weapons.
Four months after the launch of this costly war, Saddam had the Qaeda-type militants cornered and limited to the Northern small area controlled in most part by the Kurds. Today, and according to the administration officials and military leaders, al-Qaeda itself, or its representatives, are roaming the streets of Baghdad and killing at will.
Four months ago, the war on terror was taken to the opponents’ backyard with the support and blessings of the world community. This administration inherited an overwhelming post-911 legacy of sympathy that could have propelled the US to an unprecedented moral leadership. Since the launch of the war, it would appear that Bin Laden has recruited more members and affiliates than this administration’s allies. Additionally, the real-estate that was shrinking under the feet of the opponents in Somalia and Afghanistan , miraculously expended to include Iraq and soon, very likely, neighboring states like Saudi Arabia and Jordan . The international outrage over the killing of innocents in New York turned into an outrage against the arrogance and unilateralism of this administration even from historical allies like France as a result of hasty decision to go to war. Never in my imagination, could a state transform itself from the victim that earned the sympathy and support of the entire world into a demonized bully in this short time. This administration blindsided the grieving American public to carry out a counter-productive mission.
Four months ago, the reach of the brutal spy and security personnel trained by Saddam to kill his enemies was shrinking due to the watchful eye of world and the presence of numerous international organizations. This week, the Interim US Administration in Iraq decided to enlist the services of these same elements to fight the resistance; it must be a painful memory-jolt for Iraqis who are asked to believe that old ways are gone with Saddam.
What is most alarming is that this war is indirectly expending the definition of terrorism to levels that would render terrorism legitimate in the eyes of many. It seems that this administration is labeling anyone attacking the US troops in Iraq as a “terrorist”. In doing so, the US runs the risk of blurring the boundaries between terrorism and legitimate resistance.  Just as there is a legal context for the US occupation as defined in international law, resistance movements, misguided as they may, have the legal protection as well. If the administration insists on not making the distinction even in a sensitive situation like this, then it will run the risk of legitimizing terrorism per se.

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