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Understanding definitions of terrorism

06-11-2015

The international community remains divided over a universally acceptable definition of terrorism. Despite broad consensus that the threat of terrorism needs to be addressed urgently, the positions adopted by individual countries, regional and international organisations have resulted in a patchwork of approaches. This is primarily due to diverging views on what constitutes terrorism, as opposed to exercising peoples' right to self-determination, as enshrined in the UN Charter.

The international community remains divided over a universally acceptable definition of terrorism. Despite broad consensus that the threat of terrorism needs to be addressed urgently, the positions adopted by individual countries, regional and international organisations have resulted in a patchwork of approaches. This is primarily due to diverging views on what constitutes terrorism, as opposed to exercising peoples' right to self-determination, as enshrined in the UN Charter.

Occupation/Annexation of a Territory: Respect for International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights and Consistent EU Policy

25-06-2015

Situations of occupation are often among the most difficult conflicts to resolve, in particular if the occupied territory is also illegally annexed. Legally speaking, an illegally annexed territory is occupied. Third parties (like the EU) have an obligation to not recognise an illegal annexation and to not assist in the continued occupation and annexation. An occupying power has limited authority over the occupied territory under international humanitarian law (IHL), but has nevertheless an obligation ...

Situations of occupation are often among the most difficult conflicts to resolve, in particular if the occupied territory is also illegally annexed. Legally speaking, an illegally annexed territory is occupied. Third parties (like the EU) have an obligation to not recognise an illegal annexation and to not assist in the continued occupation and annexation. An occupying power has limited authority over the occupied territory under international humanitarian law (IHL), but has nevertheless an obligation to respect not only IHL but also international human rights law. The EU has so far not adopted a consistent policy in these cases, but there are elements of good practice that can be used. A future EU policy should be based on non-recognition – as has been the case with regard to Crimea. The EU and its member states should refuse to recognise legislative and other changes in the occupied territory, they should refrain from engaging in economic and other activities that sustain the occupation and they should seriously consider sanctions against the responsible government.

Moldova's political parties: caught between the EU and Russia

16-03-2015

Moldova's political landscape reflects the country's deep split between EU and Russia. The main outcome of the parliamentary elections in November 2014 was a narrow victory for the pro-EU parties. The new minority government, appointed on 18 February, will continue Chisinau's European course, but remains fragile in light of persistent internal problems, the strengthened pro-Russian opposition as well as increasing economic, political and military pressure from Moscow.

Moldova's political landscape reflects the country's deep split between EU and Russia. The main outcome of the parliamentary elections in November 2014 was a narrow victory for the pro-EU parties. The new minority government, appointed on 18 February, will continue Chisinau's European course, but remains fragile in light of persistent internal problems, the strengthened pro-Russian opposition as well as increasing economic, political and military pressure from Moscow.

Indigenous Peoples, Extractive Industries and Human Rights

18-09-2014

The present study examines the human rights impacts of the extractive industries on indigenous peoples worldwide. It finds that there continue to be significant human rights risks associated with mining, oil and gas extraction falling disproportionately on indigenous peoples. It argues that the growing demand for non-renewable resources and the need to explore and exploit resources in ever more invasive ways suggest that such activities are likely to impinge even more on the lands of indigenous communities ...

The present study examines the human rights impacts of the extractive industries on indigenous peoples worldwide. It finds that there continue to be significant human rights risks associated with mining, oil and gas extraction falling disproportionately on indigenous peoples. It argues that the growing demand for non-renewable resources and the need to explore and exploit resources in ever more invasive ways suggest that such activities are likely to impinge even more on the lands of indigenous communities living in countries with important resource reserves. The paper acknowledges the major efforts being made by industry associations to address these issues through voluntary guidelines but finds that, notwithstanding, conflicts and violence persist and that further measures are required to protect the rights and interests of indigenous peoples. The universal acceptance of the 2007 Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples provides impetus to renewed efforts to ensure implementation of the provisions in practice. The paper concludes by recommending, among other things, that the European Union as one of the regions championing the Declaration at the United Nations take the initiative to develop a region-wide framework for extractive industries that sanction companies and provide legal redress in cases where the human rights of indigenous peoples are violated.

Autor extern

Julian BURGER (University of Essex, United Kingdom)

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