Ukraine Says ‘No’ to NATO

5 04 2010

http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1542/ukrainie-president-blocks-nato-membership-russia-influence
Source: PEW Research Center.

This report notes that Ukraine’s new governing coalition recently announced its intention to pass a law against joining military alliances, which will fulfill Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych’s campaign promise to prevent Ukraine from becoming a member in NATO. Yanukovych’s move to ban Ukraine from joining NATO is not without a base of public support. A September 2009 survey by the Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project found that half of Ukrainians (51%) opposed their country’s admission to NATO, while only 28% favored such a step.
Moreover, given the opposition to membership, it is not surprising that about half of Ukrainians (51%) gave NATO an unfavorable rating.

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The Future of NATO

5 04 2010

http://www.cfr.org/publication/21044/
Source: An International Institutions and Global Governance (IIGG) report.

This report notes that the United States will “lose interest” in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) if the organization “fails to accept a growing global role,” warns James M. Goldgeier. In order to remain relevant, “NATO must expand its traditional understanding of collective defense to confront the twenty-first-century threats of terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to both states and nonstate actors, and cyberwarfare.”





The United Nations Human Rights Council: Issues for Congress

10 03 2010

URL: http://opencrs.com/document/RL33608/d
Source: Congressional Research Service

On March 15, 2006, the U.N. General Assembly passed a resolution replacing the Commission on Human Rights with a new Human Rights Council (the Council). The U.N. Secretariat and some governments, including the United States, view the establishment of the Council as a key component of comprehensive U.N. reform. The Council was designed to be an improvement over the Commission, which was widely criticized for the composition of its membership when perceived human rights abusers were elected as members. The General Assembly resolution creating the Council, among other things, increased the number of meetings per year and introduced a “universal periodic review” process to assess each member state’s fulfillment of its human rights obligations. One hundred seventy countries voted in favor of the resolution to create the Council.





The legal basis for the invasion of Afghanistan

9 03 2010

URL: http://www.parliament.uk/commons/lib/research/briefings/snia-05340.pdf
Source: House of Commons Library

The military campaign in Afghanistan was not specifically mandated by the UN – there was no specific Security Council Resolution authorising the invasion – but was widely (although not universally) perceived to be a legitimate form of self-defence under the UN Charter





European Union Enlargement: A Status Report on Turkey’s Accession Negotiations

9 03 2010

URL: http://opencrs.com/document/RS22517/
Source: Congressional Research Service

This report notes that October 2009 marked the fourth anniversary of the European Union’s decision to proceed with formal negotiations with Turkey toward full membership in the Union and launched the annual period when all three European Union institutions, the Council, Commission, and Parliament, would be required to assess the progress Turkey had made or failed to accomplish in the accession process and to issue recommendations on whether and how the process should continue. Many “Turkey-skeptics” saw the end of 2009 as a deadline for Turkish action that would have marked a critical juncture for the future of Europe’s relationship with Turkey.





World Day of Social Justice – February 20

19 02 2010


Social justice is based on the values of fairness, equality, respect for diversity, access to social protection, and the application of human rights in all spheres of life, including in the workplace. As we face the consequences of the global financial and economic crisis, which has led to significant increases in unemployment and poverty and is straining social integration, these principles are more important than ever.
World Day of Social Justice on Facebook

URL: http://www.un.org/en/events/socialjusticeday/index.shtml





Explaining the Treaty of Lisbon

19 01 2010

URL: http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=MEMO/09/531&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en
Source: Europa

The European Union (EU) of 27 members has been operating with rules designed for an EU of 15 Member States. To realise its full potential, the European Union needs to modernize and reform.