Wednesday, February 9, 2011
North and South Sudan have made “significant” progress on a wide range of follow-up arrangements between the two States following the southern region’s vote for independence, the top United Nations envoy in the country said today. “Much of the ground work has already been completed. Both parties are engaging seriously and making progress,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Representative Haile Menkerios told the Security Council, citing agreement in principle on open borders, good neighbourly relations, non-interference in each other’s affairs, a framework for non-aggression and military cooperation, citizenship, residency and property ownership. The two sides are also working towards mutually beneficial arrangements on oil revenue sharing and other economic matters, he said.
Mr. Menkerios was briefing the Council following the 7 February announcement of the official results of the South’s referendum showing that an overwhelming majority opted for secession from what until now has been Africa’s largest country. The vote was the culminating point of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) ending two decades of civil war between the North and the South that killed some 2 million people and drove an estimated 4.5 million others from their homes, and Mr. Menkerios noted that “against the odds” the Sudanese Government not only contributed to holding the referendum but accepted its outcome. “Indeed, 7 February will have to be remembered and celebrated in Sudan’s and Africa’s history as a day when the longest running civil war in the continent’s recent history came to a definitive end, when the spirit of peace and cooperation prevailed over the spirit of war,” he said, voicing the hope that “the goodwill generated by the referendum will translate into increased momentum and finalization soon” of all post-referendum arrangements. He noted that both sides have committed to resolve by the end of March the status of Abyei, an area straddling northern and southern Sudan, that was due to have voted in a separate but simultaneous referendum on which side it would join. But a referendum commission has yet to be established there, and there is still no agreement on who would be eligible to vote.
Throughout the referendum period, the nearly 10,500-strong UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) intensified its peacekeeping patrols in Abyei after reports of clashes between Arab Misseriya nomadic cattle-herders linked to the North and the Dinka ethnic group linked to the South.
Mr. Menkerios noted that Abyei police have committed to withdraw its units from the field into the town, allowing the seasonal Misseriya migration to start, while the Misseriya have agreed to remove roadblocks currently preventing traffic from entering Abyei from the north. “Serious challenges remain, however,” he warned. “Despite tireless efforts by UNMIS to support improved inter-tribal relations, tensions in the area continue. Given the delicacy of the current environment, I urge all parties to redouble their efforts to keep the peace on the ground, while taking advantage of the political momentum they have built in other areas to conclusively address the deeper issues driving the conflict in Abyei.”
As for the future of UNMIS, Mr. Menkerios said the South has indicated it would welcome UN engagement to consolidate peace and capacity building of the new State’s institutions, while discussions are continuing with the North on areas where they may seek future cooperation with the UN.
In a presidential statement, the Council called on the international community to lend its full support to help all Sudanese people build a peaceful and prosperous future, saying it looked forward to welcoming an independent South Sudan as the UN’s 193rd member after its expected formal declaration of independence on 9 July.
(Adapted from a UN Press Release)
Teaching International Law Beyond the Classroom: Engaging Students in Experiential Learning, in Web 2.0, and in Historical and Empirical Research
The Teaching International Law Interest Group (TILIG) of the American Society of International Law (ASIL) will host a conference on "Teaching International Law Beyond the Classroom: Engaging Students in Experiential Learning, in Web 2.0, and in Historical and Empirical Research" on Friday, May 6, 2011. The one-day conference will be held at Pace University School of Law in New York.
The purpose of the conference is to raise awareness regarding different modalities of teaching and researching in the area of international law--to expand beyond the traditional classroom and the standard law review article. Law schools around the country have initiated international law and human rights clinics, international law faculty have increasingly used blogs (such as this one!) and the Internet to carry out their scholarly work, and the legal academy has begun to recognize the contribution that historical and empirical research can make. The workshop explores each of these modalities and attempts to help the participants expand their teaching and research accordingly. It also focuses on how we can use students to assist in this work for the benefit of both teachers and students.
The conference is being co-sponsored by the American Branch of the International Law Association.
To view the full agenda and to register, click here.
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
On February 25-26, 2011, the International Humanitarian Law Clinic at Emory University Law School and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) will convene the semi-annual Teaching International Humanitarian Law (IHL) Workshop in Atlanta. The Workshop is targeted at law professors in the United States and Canada interested in teaching an IHL course for the first time (otherwise known as the Law of Armed Conflict), integrating IHL modules into their current courses and/or rethinking their current teaching of this important subject. Topics covered will include: Defining the scope and content of an IHL class; Exploring the intersection between international human rights law, international humanitarian law, and international criminal law; Incorporating IHL modules into the teaching of classes such as public international law, national security law, immigration law, constitutional law, administrative law and more; Identifying strategies for developing curricula, responding to current events, and gaining support from school administrations for the teaching of IHL. The Workshop provides an opportunity for law faculty to think creatively about their teaching of IHL and network with others to support and expand their teaching of the topics. The cost of the two-day seminar is $250 per person and includes breakfast and lunch for both days, dinner Friday night, as well as all materials.
For more information or to register, click here.
The New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty between the U.S. and Russia entered into force on February 5, 2011 with the exchange of instruments of ratification by the parties. The treaty creates the following limits on weapons:
Deployed Strategic Nuclear Warheads: 1,550
Deployed and Non-Deployed Strategic Launchers and Heavy Bombers: 800
Deployed Strategic Launchers and Heavy Bombers: 700
According to the U.S. State Department, an exchange of treaty-required notifications now begins. Within 45 days, the Parties must exchange databases including information on numbers, locations, and technical characteristics of weapons systems and facilities that are subject to the Treaty. The Parties have the right to conduct on-site inspections beginning 60 days after the Treaty’s entry into force.
One of the "must-attend" events for international lawyers is the Spring Meeting of the American Bar Association Section of International Law. The Spring Meeting is being held in Washington, D.C. this year from April 5-9, 2011.