Friday, September 28, 2012

UN chief duped by Canada pranksters


“A pair of Canadian radio comedians said it took them less then an hour to get UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the phone during international diplomacy’s busiest week — by pretending to be Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper: Ban was between meetings at the UN General Assembly of world leaders on Wednesday when he took a phone call from Quebec comedy duo The Masked Avengers, famous for tricking celebrities and politicians.

The pair said in a statement that the impersonator of the prime minister, who is known for his helmet-like coiffure, apologized to Ban for not being able to attend the UN General Assembly meeting in New York because he was too busy combing his hair with super glue.”

Thursday, September 27, 2012

UNGA 67th session


Freedom of speech precludes walking out while your "adversary" is talking. Ironically, Obama gave a lengthy lecture yesterday about - inter alia - freedom of speech. Today the US delegation boycotted Ahmadinejad's address before UNGA.
Only by lifting the oppression inflicted on the Palestinian people that World leaders can proudly declare that "Justice has been done". President Mahmoud Abbas must address in his speech before UNGA the refusal by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court of Palestine's acceptance of the Court's jurisdiction. "Without justice, there can be no peace" Martin Luther King, Jr.

Mursi needs to be reminded that the Palestinian question remains the cause of all times !
 Mursi of Egypt didn't dare to explicitly refer to the "Israeli occupation". He merely said "occupation". Mursi affirmed Egypt's commitment to international treaties and above all to the UN Charter. Most probably he meant to say Camp David Accords. Surprisingly, Mursi didn’t mention his clan.

The Security Council is now holding a meeting on the situation in the Middle East. The Moroccan Foreign Minister - at the Security Council - confused the Syrian people with the Palestinian one. No concentration ! The Moroccan Foreign Minister's words on human rights were impressive - except for not mentioning that in his country people must bow down before the King and almost kiss his feet, let alone the toddler Crown Prince !



Wednesday, September 26, 2012

UN General Assembly general debate


UN General Assembly general debate is nothing but a social gathering.

It is ridiculous when a leader wonders at UNGA: "Why wouldn't the UN act?" As though the UN could act without the will of the Member States!

Obama was lecturing World leaders at UNGA, as usual.

Aren't World leaders ashamed of themselves when they sit like pygmies to hear a lecture by Obama?

The UN Headquarters should be moved out of the United States.

Joke of the day: dispatching Arab deterrent forces to Syria. The obnoxious calls for military intervention in Syria can be described as paltry, at best.

The common 6th operative clause of Security Council Resolutions 1593 (2005) and 1970 (2011) is sufficient to oppose military intervention. When the Security Council refers the situation in a certain State to the #ICC, it must do so without covering or exempting any party. 





The Hague, the ICC, and the economic benefits of being a centre for justice


Dutch goverment wants to put the home of the international criminal court on the map as the justice capital of the world

"Send him to The Hague" is the chant adopted by activists the world over when discussing their least favourite war criminal. Yet, although the international criminal court (ICC) has been around for 10 years, it's only in the last few months that building work has started on its permanent location.
The Dutch were remarkably slow in catching on to the potential benefits of such a high profile for their sleepy seaside administrative town, even though they parade the country's historical links to the 17th Century father of international law, Hugo Grotius, with pride. Now they are full of ways to cash in on their identity as justice capital of the world.
In the run up to the negotiations over the ICC in Rome, the Dutch went all out for the right to host the new institution. Their diplomats played a version of "total football" the likes of which have not been seen since Johan Cruyff captained the Dutch soccer squad in the 1970's and as a result The Hague was selected as host city without any competition.”





Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Look how nice Israel is !


Israel will allow Egyptian planes to patrol border: Senior Cairo security official tells news site that Jerusalem has given Egyptian military go ahead to use planes to patrol border...” That’s so nice of Israel ! 

Monday, September 24, 2012

State Security Courts in Egypt


Egypt still prosecutes civilians before "State Security Courts". What a substantial and impressive change, indeed !

The prosecution of civilians before military courts is illegal under international law.


The United States vis-à-vis the ICC


Although the United States is a non-party State to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, it is nevertheless interesting to follow up the gradual shift in its line vis-à-vis the Court.

Palestinian statehood


The issue of 'Palestinian statehood' was resolved with the admission of Palestine to UNESCO as a Member State.

Palestine’s membership at UNESCO qualifies it for ‘all States’ clause in international treaties; it is eligible to become party to treaties.

ICC Assembly of States Parties Urged to Decide on Status of Palestine


“In April of this year, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court indicated, in an official statement, that he was not competent to decide whether Palestine is a State such that it can accept the jurisdiction of the ICC under Article 12(3) of the ICC Statute. As a result, the ICC Prosecutor took the view that he could not take any action as a result of the declaration made by the Palestinian National Authority in January 2009, accepting the jurisdiction of the ICC over crimes committed on the territory of Palestine... A group of eminent international law scholars have now written to the President of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute to urge her to place the question of the Statehood of Palestine, for the purposes of Art. 12(3) of the Rome Statute, on the agenda of the next meeting of the ASP. That meeting will be held in November this year. The letter is as follows…”

Obama skips intelligence briefings: a false claim


“This is a hard-hitting ad by the right-leaning group American Crossroads, suggesting President Obama is shirking his duties by concentrating on campaigning, golf and celebrity appearances. We’re going to concentrate on the first allegation — that Obama has skipped half of his intelligence briefings — since that raises interesting questions about presidential style and management.”

Obama is irritated by Netanyahu's noise


"Obama dismisses Israel's calls for red lines on Iran's nuclear program as 'noise': U.S. President Barack Obama on Sunday pushed back on the notion that he feels pressure from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu regarding the contentious Iranian issue, dismissing as "noise" the Israeli leader's calls for the U.S. to lay out a "red line" that Iran's nuclear program must not cross to avoid American military intervention. "When it comes to our national security decisions, any pressure that I feel is simply to do what's right for the American people,"… "And I am going to block out any noise that's out there."

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Obama is upset with Netanyahu, seriously.


Israeli Ambassador to U.S. arrives in Jerusalem to brief Netanyahu ahead of NY visit: Michael Oren flew in for a whistle-stop visit of only 36 hours to speak with PM amid reports of White House discontent at Netanyahu's attitude towards U.S. on Iran.”

Secret recordings made by President John F. Kennedy


Listen to a selection of excerpts from the secret recordings made by President John F.Kennedy.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

UN: Torture of activists in Morocco 'systematic'


“A UN expert says torture is systematic in Morocco for cases involving anti-government demonstrators and those accused of terrorism.

UN special rapporteur on torture Juan Mendez spoke Saturday at the conclusion of a week-long visit to prisons and police stations throughout the country.” 

US refuses entry to 20 Iran officials ahead of UN meet in New York


“The United States has denied visas to about 20 Iranian government officials hoping to attend next week's UN General Assembly, including two ministers, Iran's Fars news agency reported on Saturday.

Egyptian judiciary: the rule of law


Mursi and his associates must learn: the judgments of the Supreme Constitutional Court must always be respected and can never be challenged.
Time and again, the Egyptian judiciary proved that it is independent. I salute it for its great work. That's how the rule of law is established.



Egypt's Supreme Administrative Court overturns Mursi's decree


The Egyptian Supreme Administrative Court has just overturned a decree by President Mursi to reinstate the dissolved Parliament. This is a good day for the Egyptian judiciary. 

Kofi Annan's new memoir

Kofi Annan's new memoir: “Interventions: A Life in War and Peace”

Human Rights and Justice, Turkish style


Turkey’s courts have been working overtime to throw government opponents of all political stripes behind bars… Turkey holds more journalists in jail than China and Iran combined.” 

Authorization for Use of Military Force


Authorization for Use of Military Force (Enrolled Bill [Final as Passed Both House and Senate]


“Begun and held at the City of Washington on Wednesday,

the third day of January, two thousand and one

Joint Resolution

To authorize the use of United States Armed Forces against those responsible for the recent attacks launched against the United States.

Whereas, on September 11, 2001, acts of treacherous violence were committed against the United States and its citizens; and

Whereas, such acts render it both necessary and appropriate that the United States exercise its rights to self-defense and to protect United States citizens both at home and abroad; and

Whereas, in light of the threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States posed by these grave acts of violence; and

Whereas, such acts continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States; and

Whereas, the President has authority under the Constitution to take action to deter and prevent acts of international terrorism against the United States: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This joint resolution may be cited as the `Authorization for Use of Military Force'.

SEC. 2. AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES.

(a) IN GENERAL- That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.

(b) War Powers Resolution Requirements-

(1) SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORIZATION- Consistent with section 8(a)(1) of the War Powers Resolution, the Congress declares that this section is intended to constitute specific statutory authorization within the meaning of section 5(b) of the War Powers Resolution.

(2) APPLICABILITY OF OTHER REQUIREMENTS- Nothing in this resolution supercedes any requirement of the War Powers Resolution.

Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Vice President of the United States and

President of the Senate.” 






Thursday, September 20, 2012

International politics


Some ambiguous - and sometimes hollow - expressions in international politics: his days are numbered, time for diplomacy is about to run out, we can't keep silent, self-restraint, etc

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Obama’s English


“TWO aspects of President Obama’s acceptance speech to the Democratic National Convention on Thursday night were of linguistic interest. The first was “signifying” — the use of indirect humor as critique, and a much discussed feature of black speech. “My opponent and his running mate are ... new ... to foreign policy,” he said, adding the two pauses for great comedic effect. The second, and more familiar, was the soaring crescendo, beginning with “in the words of Scripture, ours is a future filled with hope,” in which Mr. Obama demonstrated his strongest mode of linguistic performance — the black preacher style — to end his remarks (“knowing that providence is with us and that we are surely blessed”).”

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The United States demonstrates love for Egyptians

American diplomats are closing in on an agreement to dole out $1 billion in debt relief to Egypt, part of a gilded charm offensive that Washington hopes will help shore up the country's economy and prevent its new Islamist leadership from drifting beyond America's foreign-policy orbit.