ICC and African Union

So i came across an article. I specially liked the ‘The case of UNSC deferral’ portion which actually makes it clear that diplomacy and play of politics has some, if not more, limitations in light of international law laid down. though, since states are sovereign, this limitation might not produce any desirable interest. And secondly, the principle of individual responsibility in international law is posing new problems as we are witnessing in kenya. where accused persons are at helm of state affairs and were democratically elected and trying to prosecute them at this time doesn’t seem feasible. but we can’t let them go free as they had committed crimes. Thirdly, there is another problem of selective justice i.e. by and large product of notion of sovereignty and economics mixed with politics. we have not came across any head of state from any of the western countries who has been proceeded against except the Nuremberg trials which is a separate category altogether.

Anyways, enjoy reading the article

http://www.ejiltalk.org/the-aus-extraordinary-summit-decisions-on-africa-icc-relationship/

 

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Restlessness

i am here to mourn again. i am feeling restless. very weak. alone and embarrassed. can you hear me, stranger. yet again, destiny played its part very nicely and i am at the losing side. i am again the person who is questioning the system, it ways, accusing it of arbitrariness and claiming her dues. i scored higher marks than the cut off but interestingly my name is not in the list of those selected candidates. one wonders in such situations. should i laugh or cry. i did both. i thought, i’ll get fellowship since my score is higher than the cut off, now i’ll concentrate on other favorite subject i.e. international law. in fact, today only, i got one book issued from library thinking that will finish it within 2 or 3 days. unknown to me, some else, sitting in delhi, making stupid typographical errors decided that i can’t read it for the time being. strange! isn’t it?

Interview with First Director of OPCW

José Maurício Bustani could have prevented the 2003 invasion of Iraq. But the first director general of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) was shown the door at a special session of the then 145-nation watchdog in 2002. It’s an open secret that the Brazilian diplomat was fired by the OPCW under pressure from the U.S. administration of George W. Bush, which saw Bustani as a major obstacle in its plans to attack Iraq. After leaving the global organisation, Bustani quietly returned to Brazilian diplomatic service. In an exclusive interview with The Hindu’s Shobhan Saxena in Sao Paulo, Bustani, who is now Brazil’s ambassador to France, told his side of the story: the real reasons behind his removal from the OPCW, how he could have stopped the Iraq war and how shocked he was by India’s vote against him.

But right now inspectors from the organisation are cataloguing the Syrian government’s stockpiles of chemical weapons as a step forward in Syria’s civil war. So, the OPCW is a part of the peace plan this time. In 2002, it was seen as an obstacle to U.S. plans to invade Iraq.

I got re-elected for a second term in 2001 and later that year, things begin to turn bad after Iraq and Libya expressed their desire to join the Chemical Weapons Convention, the international treaty. As to become a member a country has to provide a list of stockpiles and agree to the inspection and destruction of weapons, our inspectors were planning to visit Iraq in January 2002. That caused a major uproar in Washington and I began to get warnings from American and other diplomats. The Bush administration feared that chemical weapons inspections in Iraq would neutralise their plans for invading it as there were no chemicals weapons. By December 2001, I knew that the Americans were serious about getting rid of me.

If our plan about chemical weapons inspection in Iraq had been accepted, there would be no war. In those months, Washington was claiming that Saddam Hussein had chemical weapons, but our experts believed that those weapons were destroyed in the 1990s after the war with Iran.

Initially, the Americans failed to get a no-confidence motion against me from the OPCW’s executive council. But then they threatened to cut off its financing. They were supported by Japan and then the U.K.

Source: http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/interview/indias-vote-against-me-came-as-a-big-shock/article5237928.ece

‘Indo-Pak tensions may escalate after the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan’

The logic of Pakistan’s involvement in Afghanistan has always been linked to the fear of encirclement by India. Even if India has no military or security presence in Afghanistan, Pakistan’s establishment will see it as a threat. It is unrealistic to expect India to not trade with Afghanistan or for Afghans to not accept Indian assistance. But given the mindset of our strategic planners, I fear an escalation in India-Pakistan tensions after the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. Unfortunately, our state institutions do not seem to agree that the best way for Pakistan to have a friendly government in Afghanistan is by befriending the government in Afghanistan instead of trying to impose one.

My argument is that Pakistan misunderstood its significance for the U.S. by assuming that America will embrace its concerns about India and help build it up as a regional power against India. Great powers cannot be built solely by other nations’ aid or arms and in any case the U.S. never accepted Pakistan’s view of India. The American misunderstanding was that if only it provided aid to Pakistan it would be able to get Pakistan to align its world view with the U.S. over time. Pakistan and the U. S. never really accepted that their interests and priorities did not converge, which explains the cycles of engagement and estrangement. On the one hand, Pakistanis have grown to be dependent on the U.S. and on the other they are bitter about that dependence because it does not allow them to fully exercise what the Pakistani establishment considers to be its national interests. In some ways, the U.S.-Pakistan alliance offers a lesson on how not to conduct international relations based on unreal or falsified expectations.

this is one part of the interview conducted by The Hindu with Pakistan’s former Ambassador to the U.S., Husain Haqqani.

Source: http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/interview/indopak-tensions-may-escalate-after-the-us-withdrawal-from-afghanistan/article5248696.ece

Court nixes push for ‘Israeli nationality’

A court decision this month that rejected Israelis’ right to a shared nationality. Since Israel’s founding in 1948, authorities have refused to recognise such a nationality, instead classifying Israelis according to the ethnic group to which each belongs. The overwhelming majority are registered as either “Jewish” or “Arab” nationals, though there are more than 130 such categories in total. The “I am an Israeli” movement objects to Israel’s system of laws that separate citizenship from nationality. While Israelis enjoy a common citizenship, they have separate nationalities based on their ethnic identity. Only the Jewish majority has been awarded national rights, meaning that Palestinian citizens face institutionalised discrimination, said Uzi Ornan, a retired linguist from northern Israel. Others view the ruling more positively. Anita Shapira, a professor emeritus of Jewish history at Tel Aviv University, said creating a new category of “Israeli national” would undermine the Jewish essence of the state and alienate Jews from other countries who felt a connection to Israel through a shared religion.

Discrimination:

Hassan Jabareen, the director of Adalah – a legal rights group for the Arab minority in Israel – said the state’s refusal to recognise a shared nationality stripped Palestinians inside Israel of equality in most areas of their lives, including access to land, housing, education and employment. “It is also disturbing that Israeli law treats Israel as the Jewish homeland for Jews everywhere, even those who are not citizens of Israel,” he said.

Jabareen said this was achieved through the 1950 Law of Return, which allows Jews anywhere in the world to come to Israel and gain automatic citizenship. Israel used another law – the Citizenship Law of 1952 – to belatedly confer citizenship on the Palestinians who remained on their land following the 1948 war that established Israel. Under the terms of the Citizenship Law, only a few dozen non-Jews – those who marry an Israeli citizen – qualify for naturalisation every year. Israel passed another law in 2003 that bars most Palestinians from the occupied territories and Arabs from neighbouring states from being eligible to naturalise, even if they marry an Israeli.

Adalah has established an online database showing that Israel has more than 55 laws that explicitly discriminate between Jewish and Palestinian citizens. This number has grown rapidly in recent years, said Jabareen, as the Israeli right-wing has been forced to legislate many established but uncodified discriminatory practices that were under threat of being ruled unconstitutional by the courts.

In recent years, the Israeli right-wing has grown increasingly concerned about challenges to the state’s Jewishness. The Yisrael Beiteinu party – led by Avigdor Lieberman, a former foreign affairs minister and a political ally of Netanyahu – has lobbied for loyalty laws to restrict the Palestinian minority’s political activities. In the past two general elections, Lieberman has campaigned under the slogan, “No citizenship without loyalty”.

Over the summer it was announced that members of Netanyahu’s coalition government were drafting a basic law that would formally define Israel as the “nation-state of the Jewish people”. According to reports in the Israeli media, the bill would allow only Jews the right to national self-determination, Hebrew would be the only recognised language, and Jewish religious law would be used as guidance in Israeli courts. Haaretz has argued that the bill would institute “apartheid” in Israel and turn the state into what it called a “Jewish and racist state”.

Source: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2013/10/court-nixes-push-israeli-nationality-20131017115755321289.html

http://adalah.org/eng/Israeli-Discriminatory-Law-Database

http://972mag.com/religion-and-politics-in-israel-the-mythology-of-jewish-nationalism/77831/

Lebanon seeks help to cope with Syrian influx

Here is a small country, as you can see, marked red in world map. Lebanon! it has taken in by far the largest number of Syrian refugees: Nearly 800,000 are officially registered with the United Nations, and many more remain uncounted. They make up nearly 25 percent of the population.

On Friday, the UN’s refugee agency rightly appealed to European and other states to grant asylum to more Syrians, hundreds of whom have died trying to cross the Mediterranean to reach Europe.

And in comments made by some readers, one particularly strike ‘Ask Saudi, Qata(r) and Turkey for funds’

Source; http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2013/10/refugee-influx-strains-lebanon-resources-20131018121452780803.html

Observations: the European countries should actually feel ashamed as they are first to preach morality and last to apply it. Shouldn’t there be a system in place to ensure that all resourceful countries comply with the obligations of Refugee Convention in strict sense of term rather than leaving the matter to be decided as per their whims and fancies. The misery of displacement is more severe, long lasting and demand more timely and effective response.

The Shrinking

But, with all that said, the Middle East is not nearly as important as it used to be. The traditional reasons for U.S. involvement are changing. Once upon a time, it was all about containing the Russians, our dangerous dependence on Arab oil, and a very vulnerable Israel. Then it was all about the threat of Islamic extremism and terrorism, and the desire to nation-build in Afghanistan and Iraq. Much of that is now gone. Some of what remains has gotten more complex and limited the role the United States can and should play in the Middle East.

The Russians and the Americans are hardly allies in the Middle East — but they’re not quite enemies either. So, if the Russians aren’t the principal threat to draw the United States into the region anymore, who or what is? answer is terrorism. But, another decade later, the signs of retrenchment and withdrawal from the hot wars that replaced the cold one are pretty clear. We’re out of Iraq, and, by 2014, we’ll be heading for the exits in Afghanistan, too. Energy independence isn’t around the corner. But there’s a revolution brewing in North America that will over time reduce U.S. dependence on Arab oil. U.S. oil production is increasing sharply for the first time in almost a quarter century. Combine that with the rise in national oil production and greater focus on fuel efficiency and conservation, and the trend lines are at least running in the right direction.

The old authoritarians with whom we fought (Saddam, Qaddafi, Assad the elder) and those on whom we relied (Yasser Arafat, Hosni Mubarak, Ben Ali, Abdullah Saleh) are all gone. It’s true the kings remain. But the most important ones — the Saudis — have serious problems with our policies. They can’t abide the fact that, as a result of our doing, a Shiite prime minister rules in Baghdad; they loathe our policy on acquiescing to Mubarak’s ouster; they resent our interest in reform in Bahrain; and they can’t stand our refusal to get tough with Israel on the Palestinians.

We’ve just suspended a chunk of military aid to Egypt, another of our other Arab friends, and managed to alienate just about every part of the Egyptian political spectrum, from the military to the Islamists to the liberals to the business community.

The speech Obama gave at the UNGA last month doesn’t sound like a guy who’s getting ready to disengage from the Middle East. After all, he committed to making resolutions of both the Iranian nuclear issue and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict the key foreign policy priorities of his second term. Given his risk-aversion, America’s diminished credibility, and the sheer difficulty of the substance, it’s by no means clear that the administration has the resolve and skill to succeed. Still, should Obama overcome these hurdles and deliver on these two issues — and when I say deliver, I mean limited agreements, not conflict-ending ones — not only will he have earned his Nobel peace prize, he will have freed the United States from two awful burdens, made the Middle East a much friendlier and more secure place.

Source: http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2013/10/17/the_shrinking_does_the_middle_east_matter?page=0,2