Wednesday, September 28, 2011

UN Security Council Refers Palestinian Membership Application UN Membership Committee

The President of the Security Council today referred Palestine’s application to become a United Nations Member State to the committee that deals with the admission of new members.

The Council’s decision to refer the application comes almost a week after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas submitted the application to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who then forwarded it to the 15-member body.

The Council’s Committee on the Admission of New Members is slated to consider the application on Friday.

Any application for UN membership is considered by the Council, which decides whether or not to recommend admission to the 193-member General Assembly, which then has to adopt a resolution for the admission of a Member State.

Palestine, which currently has observer status at the UN, submitted the application for full membership “based on the Palestinian people’s natural, legal and historic rights” and based on resolution 181 adopted by the General Assembly in November 1947, Mr. Abbas wrote in his submission to the Secretary-General.

In resolution 181, the Assembly decided on the partition of Palestine into Jewish and Arab States.

Mr. Abbas added that the submission comes “after decades of displacement, dispossession and the foreign military occupation of my people” and with the successful culmination of the Palestinian State-building programme.

(UN Press Release)

September 28, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

West African Countries Want a Permanent Seat on the Security Council

UN Headquarters West African countries today called for enlarging the 15-member Security Council to give their continent its due representation on the United Nations body whose decisions are legally binding, as opposed to the recommendations issued by the 193-member General Assembly.  They also voiced full support for mediation as a means of pre-empting crises, the theme of this year’s Assembly annual general debate.

“Negotiations for Security Council reform must be intensified with the adoption of a precise timetable for their conclusion,” Foreign Minister Nassirou Bako-Arifari of Benin told the Assembly, proposing 2015 as the target date for giving Africa permanent representation on an enlarged body.  “It is time to put an end to this intolerable injustice which excludes a whole continent Africa, the only one, from the supreme decision-making body on international security.”

He also called for reinforcing the operational capacities of the UN and regional organizations to face the world’s multiple crises. “At the global level we believe in the virtues of multilateralism; that’s why we have even more need for a UN which must be entrusted with a more decisive role in world governance, a UN which will be the spearhead for actions that will promote, within a framework of inclusion, lasting global solutions to all types of crises,” he said.  Mr. Bako-Arifari also appealed for international help to fight piracy that has recently intensified off Benin’s coast in the Gulf of Guinea.    

Foreign Minister Djibrill Yipènè Bassolé of Burkina Faso said his country had been engaged for more than a decade in efforts to reform the UN “to allow it to conform with the exigencies of a world that is in full transformation.  “For Burkina Faso, reform must take into account the interests of all Member States and increase the effectiveness of our Organization in handling peace and security, stability and development in all parts of the world,” he said.  With regard to mediation he cited the role of Burkina Faso’s President Blaise Compaoré in helping to resolve crises in Guinea, Côte d'Ivoire and Togo.

Mauritania’s Foreign Minister Hamady Ould Hamady called for Security Council reform that would include permanent representation for Africa and the Arab Group. “The Security Council must fairly reflect the will of the entire international community,” he said.  He also noted that organized crime, such as kidnapping, terrorism, and drug, weapon and human trafficking, had been expanding for many years in the Sahara region, posing a threat to peace and stability. In cooperation with neighbouring countries, Mauritania had put a stop to the activities of those terrorist groups and made it impossible for them to move freely, he added.

(UN Press Release)

September 27, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Myanmar Says it is Making Progress

Myanmar told the United Nations today that it has launched a series of political, economic and social reforms aimed at improving the welfare of its people, but voiced regret that the Government’s efforts are being hampered by international economic sanctions.  Wunna Maung Lwin, the country’s Foreign Minister, told the General Assembly’s annual general debate that States that imposed unilateral sanctions against Myanmar should lift them now that it has “emerged as a new democratic nation in accordance with the constitution approved by the overwhelming majority of the people.”

He stated that Myanmar attached great importance to the promotion and protection of human rights, and that fundamental rights are guaranteed by the “relevant provisions of the constitution.”  As a gesture of “national reconsolidation,” the Government had last month offered an olive branch to all “national race armed groups”  Mr. Lwin said, adding that some of the groups had accepted the reconciliation offer.

He also highlighted what he said was the granting of an amnesty to 20,000 prisoners by President Thein Sein in May and that all of them had been released by the end of July.  “The President in exercising the mandate vested upon him by the constitution will further grant an amnesty at an appropriate time in the near future.”

The Government is also reaching out to the international community, Mr. Lwin said, pointing out that Myanmar had received visits by heads of State and high-level delegations from regional and international organisations over the past five months. The President also made official visits to Indonesia and China.

Meanwhile, later today Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will participate in a high-level meeting of the Group of Friends on Myanmar, at UN Headquarters in New York.

(UN Press Release)

September 27, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Global Business Entrepreneur Network

Monday, September 26, 2011

Ireland Says UN Has Been a "Constant Anchor" in a World of Change

Only the United Nations is capable of responding to the world’s major challenges and countries should work together through the Organization to seek effective solutions to crises and problems, Ireland’s Foreign Minister said today. 

Eamon Gilmore told the General Assembly’s annual general debate that the UN has been a “constant anchor” as the world deals with challenges ranging from violent conflict and human rights abuses and extreme poverty and environmental degradation.  “No other organization is as well equipped to develop common answers to the big questions of our time,” he said. “No other organization has the same global impact and legitimacy.

“With an increasing need for global solutions, the United Nations, which represents almost all the countries on Earth, has the political, moral and legal authority to act. While there may be no easy answers to the questions being posed, our best chance of finding effective responses lies in the collective deliberation and action provided for by this Organization.”  Mr. Gilmore added that the UN is also the embodiment of freedom and equality, values outlined in the UN Charter and “a bulwark… in a changing and uncertain world.”  He stressed that freedom and equality must underpin the global response to many challenges, such as resolving conflicts, ending human rights abuses and eradicating hunger.

(UN Press Release)

September 26, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Career Advice for International Law Students

Over the years I've written a number of articles on career advice for law students who are interested in having a career in international law.  Here are links to some of those articles.  To download the articles you have to register your email address with SSRN, but that only takes a minute.  Here's the list of articles:


September 26, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Saudi women to have right to vote

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia announced in a recent speech before the Shura council that Saudi women will be permitted to vote and run for office for the first time in the next nationwide local elections in 2015.


September 25, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

A Useful Tool for Scheduling International Meetings

Do you have to schedule phone conferences with participants around the world?  One useful tool that may help you is  It allows you to check time zones around the world and even includes a useful meeting planner.


September 25, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)