15th – 30th July 2017 – New Snippets

UNHCR helps displaced Iraqis acquire vital documentation

The UNHCR helped a young Iraqi couple get their marriage certificate as well as birth certificates for their 2 children. They haven’t gotten these important certificates for 3 years as they live under the rule of extremists in a town near Mosul. Due to the lack of these certificates they were not able to access social services or travel and their children were under the risk of becoming stateless. UNHCR has definitely changed their lives for the better with their efforts.

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Certain Activities carried out by Nicaragua in the Border Area (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua)

By an Order dated 18 July 2017, the President of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has authorized the submission of a Reply by Costa Rica and a Rejoinder by Nicaragua on the sole question of the methodology adopted in the expert reports presented by the Parties in the Memorial and Counter-Memorial on the question of compensation due to Costa Rica in the case concerning Certain Activities carried out by Nicaragua in the Border Area (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua). The President fixed 8 and 29 August 2017 as the respective time-limits for the filing of these written pleadings.

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Discontinuance by Slovakia of the procedure in ICJ

Slovak Republic had begun a procedure by means of its request for an additional judgment filed on 3rd September 1998 in the case concerning Gabcikovo – Nagymaros Project. On 21st July 2017 the ICJ has officially placed on record that the Slovak Republic has discontinued the procedure on the above mentioned.

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Women Empowerment top priority for UN in India

The UN’s development chief in the country said that in order to meet the challenges of the Sustainable Development Goals India should prioritize women empowerment and education. He said that India’s progress is essential for the global effort to meet the Goals, which include ending poverty and hunger. The reason for India’s importance is shown by a startling statistic – the country is responsible for around 50% of the total global development needed to meet the SDG’s.

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Legal Consequences of the separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius

On 14th July, 2017 the ICJ responded to the United Nations and its Member States that they were likely to be able to furnish information on the question submitted to the Court for an advisory opinion. On 24th July the ICJ released an order regarding the same making it official. It has fixed 20th January 2018 as the time limit within which statements on the question may be presented to the Court and 16th April 2018 as the time limit within which States and organisations having presented written statements may submit written comments on the other statements.

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UNHCR lauds Pakistan’s programme to register undocumented Afghans

Pakistan’s Comprehensive Policy on the Repatriation and Management of Afghans has been lauded by the UNHCR for registering undocumented Afghans living in the country, currently estimated between 600,000 to one million. Afghans registered under this new scheme will receive Afghan Citizen (AC) cards, providing them legal protection from arbitrary arrests, detention or deportation under Pakistan’s Foreigner’s Act. Pakistan has also committed to bring a national refugee law in the country.

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European Court of Justice allows deportation of refugee to Croatia by Austria and Slovenia

The ECJ has allowed EU countries to deport asylum seekers to return to the first EU nation in which they arrived. In upholding the Dublin Regulations, the court permitted nations to deport refugees who entered through an EU border state. The court also noted that under the Schengen Borders Code, states may also permit non-EU refugees that fail to meet state travel laws regulations, to enter the nation.

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Doklam standoff still on despite Doval meet with Xi Jinping

There has been no significant breakthrough in the meeting held between Doval and Xi Jinping about the Doklam standoff which broke out in June earlier, regarding a border dispute with Bhutan. Analysts however, say that the fact China is willing to talk to India about it means that it has softened its stance. However, a few days before Doval’s meeting at the BRICS Summit, the PLA transgressed into Indian Territory in Uttarakhand’s Barahoti.

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US Senate imposes sanctions on Iran, Russia and North Korea

In a 98-2 vote the US Senate passed a bill that imposes new sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea. The sanctions against Iran are for the country’s ballistic missile program, terrorism related activities and human rights violations. The sanctions against Russia are for human rights abuses, undermining cyber-security, and providing weapons to Syria. The bill also includes a provision that would require President Donald Trump to obtain the approval of Congress before he would be able to ease sanctions against Russia.

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US responds to North Korea missile test by flying bombers

The US flew two supersonic B-1B bombers over the Korean peninsula in a show of force on Sunday as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations said China, Japan and South Korea needed to do more after Pyongyang’s latest missile tests. President Trump tweeted saying that he was “very disappointed in China” and that “they do nothing for us with North Korea, just talk. We will no longer allow this to continue. China could easily solve this problem!”

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Arab Nations open dialogue for list of demands against Qatar

Foreign ministers from Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates stated that the four nations are open to dialogue with conditions with Qatar regarding the 13 demands imposed against the Gulf state early last month. The demands against Qatar were prompted by allegations that Qatar condones and funds terrorist activity.

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Iran and Iraq enter into agreement for military cooperation.

In order to combat terrorism and extremism, promote border security, educational, logistical, technical and military support the two countries entered into a Memorandum of Understanding for military cooperation. After US forces withdrew from Iraq, it has depended heavily on Iran for support and stability. Iran reiterated its commitment to continue this support to establish sustainable security and stability.

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China and Sri Lanka sign the Hambantota port deal worth $1.1 billion.

The Hambantota port is expected to play a crucial role in upcoming China’s Belt and Road initiative (BRI). Sri Lanka sold seventy percent of its stake in the port to china for $1.1 billion. The deep-water port is on the southern tip of Sri Lanka. China will handle the commercial activities while Sri Lanka will be responsible for securities and services.

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India-US Forum Inaugurated.

The Minister of External Affairs addressed the inauguration ceremony of India-US Forum 2017. The Forum is a platform for discussing the cooperation between the two nations in the fields of science, technology, innovation, defence, renewable energy and combating terrorism. The Forum gains even greater significance in light of the next Global Entrepreneurship Summit in India this year which India and US will co-host.

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Brazil Signs and Ratifies the 2007 Hague Child Support Convention and 2007 Hague Maintenance Protocol

Brazil signed and deposited the instruments of ratification of the Hague Convention of 23 November 2007 on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance (2007 Child Support Convention) and the Hague Protocol of 23 November 2007 on the Law Applicable to Maintenance Obligations(2007 Maintenance Protocol). The Convention and the Protocol will enter into force for Brazil on 1 November 2017. Brazil becomes the 36th State to have ratified or acceded to the 2007 Child Support Convention.

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External Affairs Minister gives statement in Parliament on the issue of missing Indians in Iraq

The Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj on the 27th of July gave her statement in the Lok Sabha on the issue of 39 Indians missing in Iraq. She clarified the government’s stance on the subject and also stated that she would not commit the sin of declaring these people dead and would do her best efforts to find them.

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India Bhutan Trade Agreement comes into force

India and Bhutan mutually decided to bring into force the ‘new’ bilateral Agreement on Trade, Commerce and Transit with effect from July 29. The agreement provides for a free trade regime between the territories of India and Bhutan. The agreement also provides for duty-free transit of Bhutanese merchandise for trade with third countries. The new agreement was signed on November 12, 2016, and as per its provisions, the pact was to come into force on a mutually decided date.

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Air India Captain alleges human rights violations in Saudi Arabia and writes letter to the MEA

The crew members of Air India were detained in Jeddah for more than 3 hours on not being able to present the originals of their passports as they only had photocopies. They presented their Air India IDs and a copy of immigration to the police despite which they were taken to the police custody. Later, their phones were confiscated and the crew members were locked inside a room. The Captain has now written a letter regarding the same to the MEA urging them to take action.

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MH17 Downing Suspects to be Prosecuted Before Dutch Domestic Courts

After nearly three years since the downing of the Malaysia Airlines MH17 flight, the countries comprising the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) – namely Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine – announced on 5 July their decision to initiate domestic investigations and prosecutions in the Netherlands in relation to the incident. To facilitate these procedures, a bilateral treaty on international legal cooperation between Ukraine and the Netherlands was signed on July 7. The treaty provides that those suspected of downing flight MH17 can be prosecuted in the Netherlands in respect of all 298 victims, which originate from 17 different countries. This means that all next of kin will have the same rights in the Dutch criminal proceedings regardless of their nationality.

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Non-State Actors and Non-Refoulement: The Supreme Court’s Decision in Zain Taj Dean

Lord Advocate v. Zain Taj Dean [2017] UKSC 44 concerned an extradition request, made by the Republic of China in Taiwan (‘ROC’). Dean, a British national, had lived in Taiwan for many years. In 2011, he was convicted for manslaughter, drunk-driving and leaving the scene of an accident by an ROC court. While on bail, pending an appeal, he fled to Scotland. His convictions and four-year sentence were upheld, in absentia, in 2012. The request was made pursuant to an ad hoc ROC/UK MOU, and in accordance with section 194 of the Extradition Act 2003. The Edinburgh District Court ruled that Dean could be extradited but the Scottish Appeal Court disagreed.

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Saudi Arabia to execute 14 men on protest-related charges after ‘grossly unfair’ mass trial

The Supreme Court of Saudi Arabia has upheld the death sentences of 14 men who were found guilty of various charges in proceedings which “brazenly flouted international fair trial standards,” Amnesty International has said. The 14 individuals were convicted of a range of offences, including “armed rebellion against the ruler” by “participating in shooting at security personnel, security vehicles”, “preparing and using Molotov Cocktail bombs”, “theft and armed robbery” and “inciting chaos, organising and participating in riots”, court documents showed.

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Venezuela: The Constituent Assembly Sham, Maduro Moves to Consolidate Authoritarian Rule

Late on July 30, the president of Venezuela’s Electoral Council announced that more than 8 million people – or 41 percent of the electorate – had participated in the election of Constituent Assembly members convoked by the administration of President Nicolás Maduro. The official results have been widely derided as implausible. The opposition estimates that just 12 percent of the electorate participated in yesterday’s vote, including many whose ballot was spoiled. The truth may be impossible to ascertain; there were no independent observers of the vote. The media was generally not allowed to get close to voting centers.

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Brazil: New Amnesty campaign will fight back as Congress considers legal changes that flagrantly attack human rights

Amnesty International today launches a new campaign to fight back against a raft of changes currently being discussed by Congress which could reduce legal protections for marginalized groups, impose a total ban on abortion, put an end to sex education, and ease gun licensing laws. “Human rights are under critical attack in Brazil and in response Amnesty International is stepping up to the front line,” said Jurema Werneck, Amnesty International Brazil’s Executive Director.

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DRC’s Kasai region one of world’s ‘largest displacement crises’ for children – UNICEF

Waves of violent conflict in the Greater Kasai region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have forced more than one million people, including hundreds of thousands of children from their homes, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has reported. This is an untenable problem with no solution in sight.

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Compiled by Ayushi Singh, Ankit Handa, Shambhavi Kala, Nitya Jain (IIIrd Year), Pooja Ravikrishnan and Divyakshi Jain (IInd Year)

 

 

 

 

 

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