Palestinians vote for first time at UN Assembly

The Palestinians voted for the first time at the UN General Assembly Monday and claimed the moment as a new step in its quest for full recognition by the global body.
Most of the 193 members of the General Assembly stood in applause when Palestinian Ambassador Riyad Mansour cast a vote for a judge on the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. The Palestinians became observer members of the United Nations on November 29 last year. It cannot vote on UN resolutions, but under UN rules, it and other observers such as the Vatican can vote in elections for judges on international courts.

“This is an important step in our march for freedom and independence and full membership of the United Nations,” Mansour told the assembly. But afterwards, Mansour told reporters: “I think that this is a very, very special moment in the history of the struggle of the Palestinian people at the United Nations.” “It is another step for strengthening the pillars of the state of Palestine in the international arena,” he added.
Mansour acknowledged it was a “symbolic” vote, but said: “It is an important one because it reflects that the international community, particularly the General Assembly, is hungry and waiting for the state of Palestine to become a full member of the United Nations.”

Asked whether the United States or Israel had objected to their vote in the UN assembly, Mansour said: “They can’t. This is a very crystal clear case.”

The Palestinians have sought to become an observer member of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute, which organizes the International Criminal Court. The assembly is to meet in The Hague this week.
The United States blocked the move even though it is not a a formal member of the court, diplomats said.
“The United States said this was not acceptable — they refused,” according to one UN diplomat.
“It would have been a step too far for the Americans. They can cause problems even though they are not members,” added a second diplomat who confirmed the move.

Source: http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/international/19-Nov-2013/palestinians-vote-for-first-time-at-un-assembly?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online%2F24hours-news+(The+Nation+%3A+Latest+News)

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Peace talks hinder prosecution of Israel for its crimes, says Palestinian official

The Deputy Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) has said that the ongoing peace talks hinder the prosecution of Israel for its crimes, especially through the International Criminal Court for the assassination of Yasser Arafat. “The Palestinian Authority is the only official body to demand the formation of an international commission to investigate the circumstances surrounding the assassination of President Arafat and to prosecute those involved,” he pointed out. The PA’s demand was put to US Secretary of State John Kerry during his recent visit to the occupied territories. “However,” added Khreisheh, “the Palestinian leadership is not serious about an international investigation into Arafat’s death because then it would have to stop the negotiations with Israel and go to the International Criminal Court to prosecute Israeli leaders as war criminals.

Reason for sharing is to see how international community works. Even though they claim to know the perpetrator and want him/them to be punished, they are not going straight for it.

Source: http://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/middle-east/8415-peace-talks-hinder-prosecution-of-israel-for-its-crimes-says-palestinian-official

Kerry says Iran rejected nuclear deal

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday that the major powers were unified on an Iran nuclear deal during weekend talks in Geneva but the Iranians were unable to accept it. He also said critics of the diplomatic effort should withhold their comments until a deal is reached.

Earlier reports said that the talks came apart because France refused to accept the deal with Iran.

Netanyahu has repeatedly criticized what he considers readiness by the six powers involved in the talks to be too generous to Iran and has aggressively campaigned against an agreement. But Kerry reasserted the U.S. commitment to Israel, saying the United States would not allow Iran to develop a nuclear bomb. Thus, Kerry tried to reassure Washington’s Arab allies and Israel that his country would not abandon them.

Kerry said there is no “end game” in motion and the Geneva talks were a first step in longer process of possible give and take.

Tehran has been eager to reach an agreement to ease international sanctions that have halted most oil exports and crippled the county’s economy.

But a key stumbling block has been Iran’s insistence that the international community recognize its “right” to enrich uranium as a signer of a U.N. treaty governing the spread of nuclear technology — also frequently pointing out that Israel has not signed the accord. Kerry’s comments challenge the Iranian view, but do not appear to significantly alter the currently Western effort that seeks to curb Iran’s ability to make its highest-enrich uranium but possibly leaving intact the country’s production of lower-level nuclear fuel.

In deal agreed on Monday aimed at improving transparency in Iran’s nuclear program, Tehran will grant U.N. inspectors “managed access” to a uranium mine and a heavy water plant within three months.

Under the technical accord signed by U.N. nuclear agency chief Yukiya Amano in Tehran, Iran will also provide information about planned new research reactors and sites for future nuclear power plants, as well as clarify earlier statements about additional uranium enrichment facilities.

Britain and Iran said they were reviving diplomatic ties two years after a mob of students attacked the British embassy in Tehran. Both sides said they were appointing a new charge d’affaires.

Britain closed the embassy in 2011 after a rally against British sanctions escalated into violence and protesters scaled the walls, ransacked offices and burned buildings.

source: http://news.yahoo.com/kerry-says-iran-rejected-nuclear-deal-121636403–politics.html

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/11/11/us-iran-nuclear-idUSBRE9A804X20131111

Possibility of Agreement

Iran’s plan to cap some of the country’s atomic activities in exchange for selective relief from crippling economic sanctions has been accepted by six world powers, the country’s chief nuclear negotiator said Thursday.

After nearly a decade of deadlock, Iran seems more amenable to making concessions to the six countries. Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, has indicated he could cut back on the nuclear program in exchange for an easing of sanctions.

Despite the seemingly calmer political backdrop, issues remain. Iranian hard-liners, for example, want significant sanctions reductions in exchange for scaling back enrichment, while some U.S. lawmakers want the enrichment to stop altogether in exchange for loosening the sanctions. Officials from two of the delegations said the sanctions relief on offer at this meeting will be limited and is unlikely to affect the core sanctions on Iran’s oil and finance sectors unless Tehran makes sweeping concessions, which is thought to be unlikely.

One negotiating point is expected to center on Iran’s production of uranium enriched to 20 percent – a level that is only a technical step short of weapons grade material. Iranian officials have hinted they are ready to discuss Western demands both for a production stop and of turning stockpiles into a form that is difficult to use for nuclear arms.

Though that would not, in itself, be sufficient to ease oil and finance sanctions, diplomats have previously said initial sanctions rollbacks could free Iranian funds in overseas accounts, and allow trade in gold and petrochemicals.

source: http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/I/IRAN_NUCLEAR_TALKS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2013-11-07-06-17-50

Some Links

So here I am posting some of the link i came across recently, so that i can open them later on. All these relates to aspects of humanitarian intervention in syria and libya and authorization by american congress. i am actually trying to write a project on humanitarian intervention and comparative analysis of two situations i.e. Libya and Syria. If you come across any useful link, do post it.

1. http://www.britannica.com/blogs/2011/05/president-obamas-illegal-war/

2. http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/house/319251-congress-sharpens-legal-argument-that-syria-attack-violates-war-powers-resolution

3. http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2011/05/white-house-on-war-powers-deadline-limited-us-role-in-libya-means-no-need-to-get-congressional-autho/

4. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/jun/3/bipartisan-congress-rebuffs-obama-libya-mission/

5. http://www.lawfareblog.com/2013/08/the-war-powers-resolution-and-using-force-in-syria/

The War Powers Resolution

So here is something new, at least for me.

The War Powers Resolution of 1973 (50 U.S.C. 1541-1548)[1] is a federal law intended to check the president’s power to commit the United States to an armed conflict without the consent of Congress. The resolution was adopted in the form of a United States Congress joint resolution; this provides that the President can send U.S. armed forces into action abroad only by declaration of war by Congress, “statutory authorization,” or in case of “a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.”

The War Powers Resolution requires the President to notify Congress within 48 hours of committing armed forces to military action and forbids armed forces from remaining for more than 60 days, with a further 30 day withdrawal period, without an authorization of the use of military force or a declaration of war. The resolution was passed by two-thirds of Congress, overriding a presidential veto. It has been alleged that the War Powers Resolution has been violated in the past, for example, by President Clinton in 1999, during the bombing campaign in Kosovo. All incidents have had congressional disapproval, but none have had any successful legal actions taken against the president for alleged violations.

May 20, 2011, marked the 60th day of US combat in Libya (as part of the UN resolution) but the deadline arrived without President Obama seeking specific authorization from the US Congress.[9] President Obama, however, notified Congress that no authorization was needed,[10] since the US leadership was transferred to NATO,[11] and since US involvement is somewhat limited. On Friday, June 3, 2011, the US House of Representatives voted to rebuke President Obama for maintaining an American presence in the NATO operations in Libya, which they considered a violation of the War Powers Resolution.[12][13]

hmm… I am not quite sure whether we, in India, have similar legislation which check power of president to declare war in other countries. Have to find it out.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_Powers_Resolution