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Sunday Smack

Happy last weekend of July, people!

Can you believe it is almost August already? I sure can’t.

It is still these two sad stories that set the agenda of world news. There were quite a few great blog posts about them this week.

Hamas and Israel: why a paradigm shift is needed

It indeed seems like the same script is being played out again and again. Something really does need to change if we want a different ending for once.

This is Not the First Time an UNWRA School Has Been Attacked

UNWRA is the number one NGO on the field there to provide humanitarian aid and assistance, now says it communicated the coordinates of the school to Israel, so this sort of thing would not happen.

NGO urges UN to condemn ‘global epidemic’ of anti-Semitic incidents

How sad that people who has nothing to do with the whole thing and just want to live in peace as any one of us are blamed and attacked for this war.

Dutch Push for International Protection Force to Secure Flight  MH17 Crash Scene

The investigation probably has already been tampered with, and there is nothing to do about it. Those responsible for the abusing of human remains and their belongings should be held accountable.

The Downing of MH17 and the Potential Involvement of International Courts

Indeed it is very likely that the case will end up in one of the international courts. The question is which one.

huffpostworld:

The Dutch pay their respects to the victims of MH17.
Sunday Smack

Happy Sunday, everybody!

Many unfortunate, even sad events are going on in the world these days. Check out what my favorite bloggers had to say about them.

Security Council Meets on MH13 Disaster. What’s Next?

What’s next, indeed? Russia tries to blame it on Ukraine, while all the other members blame it on Russia. And we know there is no real decision making in the SC without consensus.

This Iran Nuke Deal Might. Just. Work.

This post is from the first half of the week, we now know that the talks are extended by four months. The post sums up the standing of parties in a great way, I am just not sure I can share the optimism.

Key UN Statements on Current Gaza-Israel Conflict

The title says it all…

Palestinians Turn to the UN Security Council for Help

And this is just going to be another hard decision for the SC to make.

Hungary: Court rejects old soldiers’ pension protests

Another ECHR decision on Hungary. I have to say I fully agree with the reasoning of the Court this time.

Look who’s got a new URL!

Hey everybody!

Just a quick note here for you all - if you are not following me through Tumblr, then please update your bookmarks, because I just got a new URL!

From now on you can find me at www.blabbingworldaffairs.com.

It sounds professional, doesn’t it? :)

I’ve been planning this for quite a long time now, and just found the time and energy to act on it.

I am also planning a few changes and upgrades on the site - so it can live up to it’s new URL. :) Well, but seriously. I know I have said this a few times already, I have always had a bunch of ideas, but then it was never the right time. When I felt creative and full of ideas, I never had the time and vice versa. 

But now I am really planning to take this thing to the next level in so many ways. As for the time part - I hope I can work it out.

Thank you all for reading so far and I do hope you guys will stick around to see what I have in store for all of us.

Have a great weekend!

halftheskymovement:

Today we honor a man who paved a path to equality and changed the destiny of the millions living under apartheid. His courage and integrity changed the world. And what better way to honor him than to continue his fight for equality. Take some time today to make a difference, no matter how small.Thank you, Nelson Mandela!

halftheskymovement:

Today we honor a man who paved a path to equality and changed the destiny of the millions living under apartheid. His courage and integrity changed the world. 

And what better way to honor him than to continue his fight for equality. Take some time today to make a difference, no matter how small.

Thank you, Nelson Mandela!

WWI 1914-1918

United Nations along with European Film Gateway published this great three minute video with scenes from World War I. 

The fact itself that we are watching 100-year-old footage makes it special, while the tragedy and sadness of the first global war vividly comes through.

Today and every day - I support the values she stands for.
Happy Birthday Malala!

Today and every day - I support the values she stands for.
Happy Birthday Malala!

Sunday Smack

Happy Sunday and happy World Cup Final everybody!

Hope you all had a great weekend. My past week was exhausting once again, and the weekend was no exception. All I really need now is a proper amount of sleep.

Fortunately I have a whole week to recharge with five days off of work, so hopefully by this time next week my old self will be back.

This one must be the most rough-and-ready Sunday Smack ever, seriously, I am writing this half asleep. I really hope you’ll enjoy, though.

A UN View of the Gaza Conflict

The UN Secretary General spoke out against escalation of the conflict in Gaza. 

The growing refugee crisis in Ukraine

There is a lot (but never enough) talked about the Middle Eastern refugee crisis, now here’s another serious one. 

Does a ban on wearing the full veil promote women’s equality? An Analysis of the European Court of Human Rights Decision

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I have already covered SAS v. France last week, but there were many great posts about it this week. Like this one. And yes, I just had to include the illustration.

Italian-Swedish diplomat Staffan de Mistura was named UN mediator for Syria on Thursday, taking on the Herculean task of finding a political solution to the dragging civil war. He replaces the hugely respected Lakhdar Brahimi, who resigned in May after two rounds of peace talks collapsed and as the conflict escalated into a fourth year, killing more than 162,000 people. UN chief Ban Ki-moon confirmed the appointment of the special representative and his Egyptian deputy, urging the much-divided Security Council and Syrian parties to work closely with him. Ban has frequently criticized animosity on the Council between Western powers and Russia, a close ally of Damascus, which has all but paralyzed an international response to the crisis.

Italian-Swedish diplomat Staffan de Mistura was named UN mediator for Syria on Thursday, taking on the Herculean task of finding a political solution to the dragging civil war. He replaces the hugely respected Lakhdar Brahimi, who resigned in May after two rounds of peace talks collapsed and as the conflict escalated into a fourth year, killing more than 162,000 people. UN chief Ban Ki-moon confirmed the appointment of the special representative and his Egyptian deputy, urging the much-divided Security Council and Syrian parties to work closely with him. Ban has frequently criticized animosity on the Council between Western powers and Russia, a close ally of Damascus, which has all but paralyzed an international response to the crisis.

Sunday Smack

How is it going for everybody?

Crazy working hours continued this week for me, even had to bring stuff home for the weekend, and I am in such a need of a holiday right now, I can’t even tell. I’m dreaming of doing absolutely nothing for a day. Or even half a day would be fine. Just one more week of work until then.

Hope you’ll like what I found especially interesting this week.

Forced Migration as a Weapon of War in Iraq and Beyond

The numbers are disturbing as to how many people are forced to leave their homes due to internal conflicts in their countries these days.

SAS v. France: Does Anything Remain of the Right to Manifest Religion?

Another long awaited ECHR decision that kind of shook up international lawyers from their summer rests this week. I am among those who don’t necessarily agree with this decision. As a lawyer of course I can understand how the Court could not find legal ground to decide otherwise, although I was still hoping they would find a way to do so. Even knowing that France has a long history of denying minority rights, it is just hard for me to accept how the French couldn’t be “living together” with people who lead a different life than most of them. I believe French chlildren - as all children around the world - should be taught how very different we all are and how diversity is something to cherish and preserve instead of abolish.

Whither impunity?

African Union leaders granted themselves immunity from prosecution for the most serious war crimes. That is, before the newly established African Court of Justice and Human Rights. Well, they don’t usually recognize the jurisdiction of the ICC anyway, it was high time they created a new court that would leave them alone.

Exclusive: Russia Vetoes House of Cards

I love House of Cards and it could have been the next in the line of big TV shows that were allowed to shoot inside the walls of the UN. Only the Russians said no.

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Check out this great interview with Secretary General Ban Ki-moon via LinkedIn:

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Leadership, Climate Change, and Having the World’s Toughest Job from LinkedIn
The new European Parliament

Size of Political Groups in the new EP

I love infographics, don’t you? This one’s from epthinktank.eu, showing  the political groups in the new EP.

Sunday Smack

Happy weekend everybody!

There could not possibly be anyone who needed this weekend more than me. I have worked 10-12 hours/day all week, substituting for two of my colleagues away on vacation. It left me really worn out and anxiously looking forward to my own vacation two weeks from now.

Catching up on world news was kind of a relaxation after all that.

How about you all? How is your summer going so far?

A Call for Article 51 Letters

There are rules in the UN Charter for the instances of using force. And then there is reality. Perhaps this might be a good time to start thinking about new rules that would not be so hard to abide by.

Syria’s Declared Nerve Agent Is Gone. So Why Is Nobody Celebrating?

Yes, this news went almost unnoticed by world media this week. Certainly, it does not solve the humanitarian crisis in Syria and as Western diplomats warn, it’s not even sure it’s true.

To Juncker or Not to Juncker - Is That the Question? 

To Juncker indeed, that is for sure now. But the train of thought in this post remains interesting.

How Do Witnesses Feel Testifying Against Accused War Criminals?

The results of a sociological study trying to answer this question are very instructive.

tinytimetravel:

"Serb Student Assassinates Archduke and his Duchess", from the Washington [DC] “Times”, 6/28/1914 [p.1]. And so World War One began 100 years ago today with an assassination in Sarajevo. This account, from an evening edition, is noticeably short on details and incorrect on one important point: the bomb was not thrown by the “Servian student”, but by another would-be assassin earlier in the day. Gavrilo Princip, the young man who actually shot the couple, was the second assassin after the bomb-thrower, and if, later in the day, the Archduke hadn’t decided to visit victims of the bombing, Princip wouldn’t have had the opportunity to shoot him. Furthermore, nor would Princip have been in a position to shoot him if the Archduke’s chauffeur hadn’t followed the original route from earlier in the day. Like so many assassinations that have changed history, a couple different choices, so evident in hindsight, would have averted tragedy.

World War I began on June 28, 1914.

Europeans: I drove forty minutes to the Netherlands for some groceries and then I popped into Germany to see some of my relatives before driving back home.
Americans: I was in Florida, I drove for nine hours, now I'm still in Florida.
#australians: i drove for nine hours #now i'm nine hours away from home #no one is here #the streets are empty #how did this happen #where has civilisation gone #i am alone in the universe #oh wait no there's an echidna it's okay
Canadians: We left Toronto 2 days ago, We are still in Ontario, food is scarce. We are lost, soon we will have to eat each other to survive, oh wait there's a tims we're good.
Russians: I was in Yakutia, I drove for twenty eight hours, now I'm still in Yakutia, I travelled by train for 6 days, I'm still in Russia. Don't even try to leave Russia. Don't forget: you're here forever. Accept it and suffer.
The British: I drove for six hours, now I'm in the sea.