Monday, October 5, 2015

Oman Calls for Greater Dialogue to Solve Conflicts

OmanAddressing the United Nations General Assembly on October 3, 2015, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Oman, Yousef Bin Alawi Bin Abdullah, has been looking forward to a peace and justice world with solving all forms of conflict through dialogue.

“We are convinced that dialogue is the natural foundation upon which all forms of conflict can be resolved,” he said, noting that throughout history, mankind has aspired to enhance confidence on the basis of agreed and conciliatory ideas, and that principles of the UN Charter deepen and widen common interests and mutual benefits.

“In this vein, the Foreign Minister welcomed the agreement between international negotiators and Iran on that country’s nuclear programme, and expressed hope that the “historic” deal would reflect positively on regional and international peace and security, and pave the way for a new area of relations, based on cooperation, respect, and mutual trust.

“Strongly concerned about global crisis, he reiterated that his Government’s humanitarian program in Syria would be continued for providing protection to the refugees. He also called on all parties in Yemen to respect the rules of international law and refrain from any act that would violate their international obligations.

“We also call upon the United Nations and the parties sponsoring the peace process in the Middle East, to exert more efforts, so as to reach an agreement for settling this crisis, instead of merely proceeding with managing it,” he added at the Assembly.

“Meanwhile, Oman indicated that the international community should put the economy, commerce, and environment at the forefront of urgent issues that need to be addressed. “My country is looking forwarded to convening the international conference on climate in the [France],” the Minister said, adding that hoped a balanced international programme could be reached.

(Adapted from a UN Press Release)

Photo: Yousef Bin Al-Alawi Bin Abdulla, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of the Sultanate of Oman, addresses the general debate of the General Assembly’s seventieth session. UN Photo/Cia Pak

October 5, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Eritrea Calls on United Nations to Become More Agile, Democratic, and Equitable

EritreaAddressing the United Nations General Assembly on October 3, 2015, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Eritrea, Osman Saleh, focused on bolstering his country’s socioeconomic and also emphasized the need revitalize the United Nations to create a more agile, democratic, and equitable multilateral system.

Mr. Saleh said that, 70 years after the birth of the UN, “it is undeniable that we continue to live in an unfair and unequal world, where conflicts and wars rage, extreme poverty persists in the midst of plenty, children die from easily preventable diseases and justice is routinely trampled.”

“The United Nations Organization itself is a reflection of this unfair, unequal and undemocratic global order,” he continued. “In the UN, the overwhelming majority of member States are marginalized. This assembly of nations, which should be the most powerful organ, is bereft of real power and influence, with decision-making dominated by a few among the few.”

He added that there is a need “to persist in our efforts to rebuild and revitalize the United Nations” and “strive and cooperate at the national, regional and global levels for sustainable and equitable development.”

“Today, Eritrea is making remarkable progress in building a nation based on citizenship and an inclusive state and the respect of human dignity and rights. It is peaceful, stable, secure and harmonious.”

He added that it was also “building a solid basis for sustainable development with social justice,” as well as fighting human trafficking and giving youth and women “adequate opportunities to pursue a high quality of life and build their nation.”

(Adapted from a UN Press Release)

Photo: Foreign Minister of Eritrea, Osman Mohammed Saleh, addresses the general debate of the General Assembly’s seventieth session. UN Photo/Cia Pak

October 5, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Bhutan is Guided by a Development Philosophy of "Gross National Happiness"

BhutanGuided by its development philosophy of “Gross National Happiness,” Bhutan has consistently worked to ensure that the peace, security and well-being of its people always remain at the centre of development, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the South Asian country told the United Nations General Assembly last week.

“Bhutan has achieved most of the MDG [Millennium Development Goal] targets. Poverty has been reduced to 12 per cent. Our primary school enrolment rate is nearly 100 per cent and life expectancy has increased to 68 years,” declared Lyonpo Damcho Dorji, adding that Bhutan remains a “bastion of environmental conservation” with 72 per cent of land under forest cover.

“Our effort to safeguard the environment is reinforced by a constitutional mandate to maintain a minimum of 60 per cent of our land under forest cover for all times,” he continued. “Our achievements would not have been possible without good governance.”

In addition, Minister Dorji recalled that Bhutan spearheaded the adoption of the Assembly resolution entitled, "Happiness: towards a holistic approach to development" in 2011, which led to the annual observance on 20 March of the International Day of Happiness.

“The pursuit of happiness is a fundamental human goal and embodies the spirit of the 2030 Agenda,” he highlighted, referring to the set of 17 Global Goals adopted by the UN Member States last week. “Even though we have contributed least to the causes of climate change, we, like other least developed countries (LDCs) are amongst the most vulnerable to its adverse impacts.”

According to the Minister, expectations are that by 2025, Bhutan – through the sale of its clean hydro-power – would have the capacity to offset approximately 35 million tonnes of carbon per annum in the region, which he said, is “no small feat considering Bhutan's emissions [are] under 7 per cent of that figure.”

“In moving forward, the first litmus test for our commitment to action on the 2030 Agenda will be whether or not we reach an ambitious and legally binding agreement at COP21 [the UN climate change conference in December],” he insisted. “A second test of our commitment to action would be whether we are able to deliver on our promises and pledges on the means of implementation for the 2030 Agenda.”

On the issue of the UN reform, Bhutan’s Foreign Affairs Minister said the Security Council must reflect current geo-political realities.

(Adapted from a UN Press Release)

Photo: Foreign Minister Damcho Dorji of Bhutan addresses the general debate of the General Assembly’s seventieth session. UN Photo/Kim Haughton

October 5, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Boko Haram Violence is an Affront to International Law

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned the bomb attacks of 2 October in the outskirts of Abuja, Nigeria, as well as the multiple suicide bombings of 1 October in the city of Maiduguri, capital of Borno State, all by suspected Boko Haram elements. “The continuing violence by Boko Haram is an affront to international law, to humanity and to religious faith, said Mr. Ban in a statement issued yesterday evening by his spokesperson.

According to the statement, the UN chief extends his heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims and the Government of Nigeria, and wishes a speedy recovery to those injured. He reiterates the United Nations' support to the Nigerian Government in its fight against terrorism. “The Secretary-General also recalls the vital importance and obligation to respect international humanitarian, human rights and refugee law in countering terrorism,” the statement concludes.

(UN Press Release)

October 5, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, October 4, 2015

German Court Rules on War Crimes in Rwanda

The Higher Regional Court of Stuttgart, Germany, has ruled against the President and Vice-President of the Forces démocratiques de libération du Rwanda, also known as FDLR, which has committed war crimes in neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). On 28 September 2015, the court sentenced Ignace Murwanashyka and Straton Musoni to 13 and 8 years of imprisonment, respectively, for holding a leadership role in a foreign terrorist organization and for aiding in the commission of war crimes in DRC.

The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon, commended Germany for conducting this trial and, thereby heeding the Security Council’s repeated call on all States to prosecute FDLR elements in their territories,” said a statement issued by his spokesperson.

“This judgement is the first one of its kind and represents an excellent example of how national criminal courts and the United Nations can work together, in accordance with the principle of complementarity, to fight impunity and ensure that those alleged to have committed serious international crimes are held accountable.”

Mr. Ban reiterated the importance of swiftly neutralizing the FDLR and other armed groups in eastern DRC in order to bring stability to the country and the Great Lakes region.

(Adapted from a UN press release)

October 4, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

United States Now Only Country Not Party to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

It has long been a bit of an irony that the United States, one of the oldest democracies in the world, and Somalia, one of the most politically unstable countries in the world, were the remaining two countries that had not ratified the 1989 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). That changed this past week when the government of Somalia ratified the CRC. The United States now stands alone as the only member of the United Nations that has not joined the Convention.

The CRC promotes respect for the human rights of children by setting forth a set of goals for members states to achieve on behalf of their children, including the right to life, adequate nutrition and  healthcare, and free primary education, as well as a right to a family life, and a right to be free from violence or discrimination.

The Administration of U.S. President Bill Clinton signed  the CRC in 1995 but neither he nor subsequent presidents have submitted it to the U.S. Senate for  its advice and consent to ratification.  Some groups have raised concerns about interference with U.S. sovereignty or interference with the parent-child relationship. Other groups have been quite vocal in support, arguing that the Convention will help the United States protect children at home and abroad. To learn more about the campaign in favor of US ratification of the CRC, click here.


October 4, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saudi Arabia Deplores Lack of UN Action to Save Syrians from the "Killing Machine" that Has Devastated Their Country

Saudi ArabiaAddressing the United Nations General Assembly last week, Abdel Ahmed Al-Jubeir, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia expressed deep concern that the international community has been unable to save innocent Syrians from the “killing machine” that has devastated their country and led to the world’s most tragic humanitarian crisis.

Opening his address, he said the question of Palestine had long been on the agenda of the General Assembly. Noting that Palestinians continued to suffer, he denounced Israel’s flagrant violations of international law. The Palestinian people deserved to live in dignity, he declared, and urged action to that end that is in line with relevant Security Council resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative.

Turning to the Syrian crisis, he said that tragic conflict, which is entering its fifth year, has devolved into the worst humanitarian disaster of the current era. “Yet, the international community continues to be unable to save the Syrian people from the killing machine that is being operated by Bashar al-Assad,” he said, underscoring that the conflict has claimed some 300,000 lives and driven millions of desperate people from their homeland.

Calling for urgent collective action to bring an end to the suffering of the Syrian people, Mr. Al-Jubeir said every effort must be extended to arrive at a political solution as set out in the 2012 Geneva Communique. That framework outlined, among others, the steps to formulate a transitional council to govern the county, but President Assad and “other perpetrators of crimes” should be part of that process. “Those whose hands are stained with the blood of the Syrian people” have no place in a “new Syria.”

As for Yemen, Mr. Al-Jubeir said the use of military force had been “the last option” in addressing the situation, but Saudi Arabia conducted the intervention at the request of the legitimate Yemeni Government, following the seizure of the presidential palace by the Houthis rebel group. The intervention had seen the liberation of the port city of Aden and other areas. A political solution based on the initiative of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, known as GCC, is necessary.

Calling for the destruction of all nuclear weapons in the region, he welcomed the Iran nuclear deal. However, that country should exercise good neighbourliness and stop making negative interventions in the affairs of Arab nations. On development, he stressed the importance of taking into account specific aims and level of development in each country. Finally, he underscored the need for the United Nations to reinvigorate itself to adapt to a rapidly changing world.

(Adapted from a UN press release)

October 4, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

New Zealand Says Security Council Members Have the Responsibility to End the Misery in Syria

  New ZealandThe Prime Minister of New Zealand, John Key, took to the podium of the General Assembly last week to deplore the lack of action by the Security Council, the United Nations body with legally binding powers, over its failure to end the bloodbath in Syria, blaming in particular the paralyzing power of veto held by the body’s five permanent members.

“All Council members carry responsibility for ending the misery in Syria and beyond,” saidMr. Key, whose country is currently a non-permanent member of the 15-member body, calling for the right of veto to be limited in cases of mass atrocities.

“The consequences of inaction are not theoretical. The human toll is real. A three-year-old boy dead, washed up on a Turkish beach; hundreds of thousands killed and millions forced to flee their homes,” he added, citing the Council's failure to act over the past four years.

“It is time for the Council to step up. It's time for it to stop talking about what's right and do what's right. It's time for the Council to do the job for which it was created. It's time for its members to set aside their vested interests and historical alliances in order to stop the violence and end the suffering,” he declared.

“It's time for the Council to do its duty for those who have lost their lives and loved ones, and for the millions who have been displaced. We cannot afford to let the Council go from an institution with failings to a failed institution.”

Mr. Key said the veto power held by the five permanent members – China, France, Russia, United Kingdom and United States – creates an extraordinary imbalance that is exacerbated by their practices of pre-negotiating outcomes before engaging with the 10 elected members, and of taking no action when one of them does not agree.

“The permanent members have become used to exercising power and are protective of their privileged position,” he declared, calling the veto a constraint on the Council’s effectiveness and voicing support for proposals to limit the use of veto in mass atrocity situations.

“The conflicts and human suffering in Syria, Yemen, South Sudan and a long list of other countries, show how far we are from achieving the aspirations of our founders and of today's members.”

(Adapted from a UN press release)




October 4, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Syria Tells UN General Assembly to Do More Against Terrorism

SyriaWith his homeland awash in the blood of its people, who were making a valiant stand against terrorism, Syria’s Foreign Minister criticized world leaders at the United Nations last week for taking only half-hearted steps to end the crisis in his country and for providing haphazard support to Syria’s fight against extremism until the scourge began spreading to Europe.

“You have been witnessing countries spawning extremist ideology until it reached Europe…where it is now as evident as it has been in the Middle East. The sleeper cells are now waking up, as bombings and assassinations have [begun] to appear in the West,” declared Walid Al-Moualem, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates of Syria.

“What is the guilt of the innocent people of your countries who [are starting] to pay the price of terrorism supported by some of your politicians?” he asked at the annual General Debate and emphasized the implications of this, stating that terrorism “recognizes no boundaries.”

Indeed, if the flow of terrorists to Syria and the Member States that support it is not stopped, “the fire that has broken out in Syria, Iraq and Libya will continue to spread.” Syria could not implement any democratic political measures as long as terrorism was striking at home and threatening innocent civilians.

“The terrorism of Da’esh [also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL], Al-Nusrah Front and other Al-Qaida-affiliated terrorist organizations is killing the innocent, capturing women and launching mortar shells on civilians,” said Mr. Al-Moualem.

That terrorism was also cutting off drinking water and destroying history and cultural sites, including those inscribed on the UN World Heritage List, which belong to all humankind.

“The duty of international community is to stop this flow of terrorists coming to Syria from 100 countries, according to United Nations data, in order to create a Caliphate State, which, as you all know, will not be limited in Syria or Iraq,” he declared.

Meanwhile, he applauded Russia’s efforts in collectively combating terrorism and undertaking air strikes at the request of the Syrian Government. Yet, he said that terrorism cannot be fought only from the air, and all of the previous operations to combat it have only served its spread and outbreak.

“Air strikes are useless unless they are conducted in cooperation with the Syrian Army, the only force in Syria that is combating terrorism,” said the Minister.

The Syrian Minister also commented on the UN Security Council’s resolution under Chapter VII and described them as "only ink on paper." He said that certain governments are still funding, sponsoring and supporting terrorism and thereby fuelling extremism in the region.

Syrians nevertheless believed in the “political track,” the preservation of national sovereignty and unity. As the only way to achieve a political solution was through Syrian-led national dialogues and without interference, his country had agreed to participate in relevant conferences as well as in the brainstorming committees of experts proposed by the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy.

“How can we ask the Syrian people to head to the ballot boxes, while they are not safe in the streets and inside their homes, while they are under the missiles and mortar shells launched by terrorist groups supported by well-known countries?” he underscored.

(Adapted from a UN press release)

October 4, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Cambodia Calls for Greater Governance Role for UN General Assembly

CambodiaThe Prime Minister of Cambodia, Namhong Hor highly commended the United Nations on its adoption of Agenda 2030, and stressed that the General Assembly should be more empowered to enhance global governance and manage global issues.

The Prime Minister noted the new framework “is an ambitious vision to build an inclusive society for sustainable development and put the world on a more equitable prosperity for all by 2030.”

On poverty and food insecurity issues, he stressed the need to bolster “good governance, policy reform and more investment.”

“In light of the world’s new reality, Cambodia supports reform aiming to make the UN more democratic and more effective to cope with the crucial challenges the world is facing,” Prime Minister Hor said, emphasizing that the Assembly should be more empowered in the UN system to enhance global governance.

Turning to the threat of climate change, he said the Government officially launched the Cambodia Climate Change Strategic Plan 2014-2023 two years ago as the first-ever comprehensive plan to respond to climate change through adaptation, mitigation and low-carbon development. Cambodia has also launched its National Council of Green Growth aiming at promoting green economy.

On broader issues, Mr. Hor said his Government expressed “deep compassion” over the recent tragedies involving maritime migrants in Europe. In addition, the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States was welcomed by Cambodia, as was the recent agreement between international negotiators and Iran over that country’s nuclear programme.

(UN press release and photo)

October 4, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

North Korea Says United States is Abusing Its Power in the Security Council

North KoreaSpeaking at the United Nations General Assembly, Ri Su Yong, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) denounced the United States for abusing its powers at the UN Security Council and thereby violating the ‘sovereignty, dignity, peace and security of our nation.’

“The same year when the UN was founded, our nation was liberated from the Japanese colonial rule, yet divided into the north and the south by a foreign force. The same foreign force now sits on the Security Council as a permanent member State,” he said.

“In today’s world, there exists international law that defines the use of outer space as a sovereign right of every individual country and there are more than 10 countries that launch satellites. However, the UN Security Council has passed a ‘resolution’ on prohibiting the DPRK only from launching its satellites,” he asserted.

He also stressed that such actions make it difficult to assess “which one takes precedence between the UN Charter and UN Security Council resolution.”

Additionally, he spoke about the DPRK’s referral to the UN Security Council regarding “the aggressive and provocative large-scale joint military exercises’ of the United States and South Korea to be placed on the Council’s agenda.”

“The UN Security Council, however, remained silent on the referral every time. What measures can the UN take when it is the ‘UN Commander’ who commands large-scale war exercises that create a vicious cycle of heightened tensions?” he asked.

“In the long run, it means that the ‘UN Command’ can never be dismantled so long as the United States as a permanent member of the UN Security Council with veto agrees to it,” he stressed.

On other issues, he said that having gone through the “August incident that made northeast Asia and the entire world hold their breadth in anxiety,” it has become a crucial issue today to replace the armistice agreement with a peace treaty immediately.

With regard to safeguarding peace on the Korean peninsula, he said there are issues to be addressed between north and south, as well as other issues to be discussed between his country and the United States.

(Adapted from a UN press release; UN photo)

October 4, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

European Leaders Address UN General Assembly Annual Debate

Several European leaders took to the podium last week at the UN General Assembly’s annual debate, highlighting that the world is again living in restless times, especially in light of the unprecedented scale of humanitarian crises, including the migrant and refugee crisis.

Speaking on behalf of Germany, the Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs said the old balance of power is under pressure. “Powerful new players have emerged on the world stage,” Frank-Walter Steinmeier said, noting that above all, it is non-state actors who are increasingly responsible for war and violence, and for whom “there are no rules.”

The Minister highlighted that the world today is more closely interconnected than ever before with borders becoming indistinct making all countries neighbours. “Act as good neighbours!” he advised.

“Nobody is investing so much hope in this spirit of good neighbourliness today than the millions of women, men and children who have fled their homes,” he declared, adding that his country has assumed responsibility for them over the past months. Since the start of the year, Germany has reportedly taken in 600,000 refugees, with up to 10,000 new refugees currently arriving every day.

Foreign Minister Steinmeier also underlined how he finds it “scandalous” that UN agencies helping people in need are so under-funded that they have to cut food rations and medical aid. “I therefore met with the G7 States and other partners the day before yesterday, and am delighted to report that together we have raised an additional 1.8 billion dollars – of which over 100 million come from Germany.”

Regarding the recent agreement forged between Iran, Germany, and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (United States, France, United Kingdom, China, and Russia), the German minister said after 10 years of negotiations, it’s been ensured that “Iran will never have an atomic bomb.”

He also called on countries to work together to end the “brutality of Assad’s dictatorship” to stop the slaughter in Syria. “At the risk of repeating myself, let me stress that when dealing with a humanitarian catastrophe as horrifying as the one in Syria, we are all neighbours!”

Meanwhile, neighbouring country Austria was represented at the General Assembly today by its Federal Minister for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, who called for a “comprehensive approach” to the migrant and refugee crisis.

Sebastian Kurz said efforts should focus on confronting the root causes, namely terrorism and civil war, in the countries of origin. While the current political leadership of Syria could not be part of a long-term solution, to make peace, “we don’t talk only to friends,” he stated.

At the global level, Mr. Kurz insisted that more unity is required and that the international community can make a difference only if the United States and the Russian Federation “pull in one direction.”

He also underlined that the Russian-Ukrainian conflict remains a challenge to the peace of Europe, and said his country supports a “peaceful settlement based on dialogue”, which would allow Ukraine to be free and stable, enjoying strong ties with Europe and Russia.

In addition, he voiced his support for restraint on the use of the Security Council veto in cases of mass atrocities.

Moving North, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade of Ireland, Charles Flanagan, said his country will always speak out to defend the vulnerable, and that Ireland feels “ a strong sense of responsibility to protect the reputation” of UN peacekeepers. The country currently has 370 troops serving in seven UN peacekeeping missions.

(Adapted from a UN press release)

October 4, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Positions Available at the Center of Excellence For International Courts (University of Copenhagen, Denmark)

Here's a reminder that iCourts (Center of Excellence for International Courts), The Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen, Denmark is seeking applications for two or three positions as postdoc within the research area of one of the Faculty’s research centres - iCourts (the Center of Excellence for International Courts). The positions are available from 1st February 2016, and for duration of two (2) years. Start date is negotiable under special circumstances. Click here for more information.

Hat tip to Phillip Martens, University of Copenhagen


October 3, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, October 1, 2015

More Than 300,000 Migrants Travelled Through Greece Since the Beginning of 2015

GreeceAddressing the United Nations General Assembly, Alexis Tsipras, the Prime Minister of Greece, said his country is striving to bolster regional security and supporting all efforts promoting peace and stability, even as it copes with three complex challenges – an economic crisis, unprecedented migration flows, and huge numbers of refugees from outside the region.

He first described the consequences Greece has faced since the 2008 economic downturn. Due to structural weaknesses of its economy and its high debt and budgetary deficits, Greece was hit hard. The country lost 25 per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP), the debt to GDP ratio grew to 180 per cent while unemployment reached 27 percent and the migration of graduates to European countries accelerated.

“What we faced was a firm commitment of some to the idea that Greece must exit the Eurozone, or that the institutional and structural reforms that we need, have to be combined with austerity measures and welfare and wage cuts,” the Prime Minister told the annual General Debate. Greece eventually agreed to a new stabilization programme that included reforms in public administration, pension and tax system, which stabilized its economy by settling the foundation for a re-profiling of its debt. These measures hampered its society and the economy further.

“We have to realize that we need a global financial and economic system oriented to fostering national growth strategies and our post 2015 development agenda. We have to discuss the issue of debt restructuring in all competent forums – including this one – in connection to developing growth and not austerity – strategies,” he stressed.

The second challenge, said the Prime Minister, is the rising number of refugees and migrants on the move in Europe – and entering Greece in large numbers.

“Since the beginning of the year, over 300,000 people – mostly from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan – have entered the country with the aim of transiting to Western European countries. Greece –like all other European countries – was taken aback by this development. Nevertheless, the people of Greece showed their solidarity by providing food and shelter to the refugees,” he explained.

He added that in cooperation with the European Union (EU) and other international organizations, Greece is trying to manage these flows in an effective and humane way. The country has been improving reception facilities and identification procedures as well as setting up hot spots to facilitate relocation.

“Nevertheless, for some the only way to deal with this challenge is to build walls higher, to repel migrants by force or to ensure that they remain someone else's responsibility – as far away as possible. We do not believe that the future of Europe, or our world, can be built on ever-higher walls, or children dying at our doorstep. Neither can we forget that many of our ancestors were refugees and migrants. We cannot allow racism and xenophobia to destroy our common principles,” he asserted.

He also suggested building necessary resettlement mechanism from countries neighbouring Syria, while also supporting them directly in hosting refugees and dismantling trafficking networks. Such a resettlement mechanism, together with the existing relocation mechanism in Europe, will give hope to these people, discouraging them from trusting traffickers.

Further, more assistance must be provided to the European countries facing the refugee crisis ‘in their effort to manage these flows.’

The Prime Minister further said that Greece is also at the centre of a third security crisis that causes this refugee crisis. Greece lies at the heart of a triangle of destabilization, with Ukraine to the North and the conflicts in Libya and in the Middle East, to the Southwest and Southeast.

“We do not have the luxury to make foreign policy choices without examining in advance, what their consequences will be,” he said. “Nevertheless, again, we hear some, insisting that we should embark on unilateral initiatives without considering their prospects and consequences. Or leave the conflicts to be settled by themselves without contributing to stabilization or reconstruction. Yet, these are exactly the mistakes that brought us here in the first place,” he stressed.

He added that the Middle East Peace process is of key importance for the region. He declared that a new momentum for a solution must be promoted, with a view to the creation of a state of Palestine on the basis of the pre-1967 borders (with East Jerusalem as its capital) that coexists peacefully with Israel.

The Prime Minister also extended Greece’s full support to intercommunal talks to resolve the Cyprus issue, reflecting a similar suggestion made by President Nicos Anastasiades of Cyprus at the UN General Assembly earlier in the week.

Prime Minister Tsipras also reported that Greece has been making steady efforts to improve cooperation with Turkey through a wide range of initiatives, including the promotion of the dialogue on confidence-building measures.

(UN Press Release)

October 1, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)