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Abstract: The political transitions in Egypt and Tunisia have rekindled
the interest in how states and societies have moved from authoritarian
regimes to democracy after overthrowing old regimes.
This report responds to that interest by providing a factual
overview of transitions to democracy of nine European states
between 1974 and 1991.
The states covered fall into two geographical regions:
Southern Europe, and Central and Eastern Europe. The context
of transition in each of these regions was different. The transitions
in Southern Europe took place as mainly discrete events
with little influence of one country over another. In contrast,
there was a strong regional dynamic in Central and Eastern
Europe, where all transitions were influenced by Gorbachev’s
policies of perestroika and glasnost and the loosening of the
Soviet Union’s grip on its satellite states.
Abstract: • The protection of asylum-seekers in Europe is dealt with under three principal bodies of law: the UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees of 1951, the law of the European Union and the soft law developed by the Council of Europe.
• Member states of the Council of Europe are also bound by the judgments of the European Convention on Human Rights; although the convention makes no reference to refugee protection, its provisions and the judgments of its court in Strasbourg impose important obligations on states in respect of asylum.
• The entry into force of the Amsterdam Treaty in 1999 initiated the first phase of the creation of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS), which aimed to harmonize refugee protection among member states while enabling them to meet their international obligations in that respect.
• The harmonizing measures adopted by the EU have been subject to severe criticism and the practices of member states reveal a systemic failure to comply with international refugee protection obligations.
• While there have been improvements in European refugee policy, significant challenges must be addressed before Europe can regain its reputation as a champion of the rights of the refugee. This is given particular urgency by recent events in North Africa, which may lead to large numbers of persons fleeing violence and disorder.
Abstract: This report compiles the latest evidence of European countries' complicity in the CIA's programmes in the context of the fight against terrorism in the aftermath of the 11 September 2001 attacks in the USA.
"The EU has utterly failed to hold member states accountable for the abuses they've committed," said Nicolas Beger, Director of Amnesty International's European Institutions Office.
"These abuses occurred on European soil. We simply can't allow Europe to join the US in becoming an 'accountability-free' zone. The tide is slowly turning with some countries starting investigations but much more needs to be done." Intergovernmental organizations such as the Council of Europe, the European Union and the UN have been at the forefront of investigating human rights violations associated with the CIA rendition and secret detention programmes.
Following disclosures in their reports, inquiries into state complicity or legal processes aimed at individual responsibility took place or are currently in progress in countries such as Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
Abstract: Afghan civilians deserve amends from warring parties for deaths, injuries, and property
losses—that is, some form of recognition and monetary compensation. Under international
law and agreements signed with the Afghan government, the troop contributing nations
(TCNs) of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) are not liable for damage to
civilian property or civilian injury or death as a result of lawful operations. However, most
ISAF members now offer payments when such losses occur. This is a marked improvement
from the early days of the conflict when the US and its NATO allies declined to address civilian
harm. CIVIC’s research into the experiences of ISAF troops and Afghan civilians demonstrates that
when international military forces provide payment (henceforth called “compensation” to
indicate both monetary and in-kind help), especially combined with an apology for harm,
civilian hostility toward international forces decreases. However, the effectiveness of these
payments has been limited by the lack of uniform policies across ISAF nations, limited information
gathering about civilian harm generally and, in many cases, insensitive requirements
that civilians suffering losses take the initiative to file claims.
This report describes the policies and practices of major ISAF TCNs. It finds that soldiers as
well as civilians view amends for harm favorably. The process of investigation, negotiation
of payment, and offers of formal compensation are opportunities to strengthen relationships
with local leaders and communities, to explain what happened, and acknowledge loss.
Abstract: This Synthesis Report extracts the main findings from seven EU Member State case studies surveyed under
the Capacity-Building and Training Cluster of the Initiative for Peacebuilding (IfP). Case studies were conducted
in Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Greece, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain in order to assess these countries’
capacities to meet EU spending targets for official development assistance (ODA) and to analyse the position of
peacebuilding within national ODA policies. Each case study analysed country-specific ODA policies by focusing
on institutional mechanisms and key actors in managing and implementing ODA; the role and capacity of civil
society organisations in influencing planning, implementation, and evaluation of ODA; and public awareness of
and support for ODA.
This report finds that international development cooperation has received growing attention during the last
decade in all surveyed case-study countries. New EU Member States in particular are striving to adhere to
their international commitments by further refining their ODA policies; enhancing the institutional structures
for managing and implementing ODA; and increasing cooperation with and consultation of civil society
Abstract: Contrairement à une idée reçue, la France et le Royaume-Uni ne sont pas les seules puissances nucléaires en Europe. En effet, depuis 1954, dans le cadre de l’OTAN, les États-Unis stationnent des forces nucléaires dans plusieurs pays du continent. Reliques de la Guerre froide, ces forces devaient originellement faire face à la supériorité des troupes conventionnelles du pacte de Varsovie. De plus de 7 000 armes nucléaires tactiques, réparties dans une dizaine d’États européens au milieu des années 1970, l’arsenal n’a cessé de diminuer, à la suite de l’éclatement de l’URSS, pour parvenir au chiffre de 350 armes en 2007. Depuis le début de la décennie, la question de l’utilité de ces armements, et donc indirectement d’un possible retrait, est de plus en plus souvent évoquée.
En toute discrétion entre 2005 et 2008, les États-Unis ont dénucléarisé deux de leurs plus grandes bases européennes, Ramstein (Allemagne) et Lakenheath (Royaume-Uni). Elles abritaient au total 180 bombes nucléaires. Indéniablement, ce désarmement apporte un nouvel éclairage sur cette posture nucléaire de l’OTAN. À ce titre, les 240 bombes restantes ont sans doute définitivement perdu leur rôle militaire au profit d’un rôle politique. Les raisons de ce retrait ne se limitent pas seulement à des problèmes de sécurité dans ces bases. Non, d’autres problématiques comme l’évolution de l’Alliance atlantique, la politique de chacun des pays hôtes, le renouvellement des flottes à capacité duale, l’utilité stratégique, sans compter la pression de l’opinion publique soutenue par des organisations pacifistes, contribuent et vont contribuer à limiter ce stationnement d’armes. Désormais seuls l’Allemagne, la Belgique, les Pays-Bas, l’Italie et la Turquie ont sur leur territoire des armes nucléaires américaines, mais pour combien de temps encore ? Demain, l’Europe va-t-elle être une zone libre d’armes nucléaires américaines ?
Abstract: A Survey and Analysis of Border Management and Border Apprehension Data from 20 States.
With a Special Survey on the Use of Counterfeit Documents.
Based on the contributions of the border services of 20 Central and Eastern European states, the 2006 Yearbook again provides its valuable overview and analysis of irregular migration trends in the region. Over the past ten years the annual Yearbook on Illegal Migration, Human Smuggling and Trafficking in Central and Eastern Europe has come to be regarded as an authoritative source of information on recent border trends and in particular on the phenomena of illegal migration, human smuggling and trafficking. The annual Yearbook covers the most recent trends in illegal migration and human smuggling in the region, including long-term trends in border apprehensions, shifts in source, transit and destination countries, demographic characteristics of irregular migrants, the relationship between legal and illegal border crossings, new developments in the methods of border crossings and document abuse and on removals of irregular migrants. In addition, this year’s edition for the first time features a Special Survey on the use of counterfeit documents for illegal migration purposes. This Survey is based on the contributions received from document specialists or Special Units dealing with document security in the countries under review and provides the first comprehensive overview and analysis of patterns and trends in the use of counterfeit documents for illegal migration purposes in Central and Eastern Europe.
Abstract: This bulletin contains information about Amnesty International’s main concerns in Europe and
Central Asia between July and December 2007. Not every country in the region is reported on; only
those where there were significant developments in the period covered by the bulletin, or where
Amnesty International (AI) took specific action.
A number of individual country reports have been issued on the concerns featured in this bulletin.
References to these are made under the relevant country entry. In addition, more detailed
information about particular incidents or concerns may be found in Urgent Actions and News
Service Items issued by AI.
This bulletin is published by AI every six months.
Abstract: U.S. policymakers have made securing and maintaining foreign contributions
to the stabilization and reconstruction of Iraq a major priority since the preparation
period for the launch of Operation Iraqi Freedom in March 2003. This report
highlights and discusses important changes in financial and personnel contributions
from foreign governments to Iraq since 2003.
To date, foreign donors have pledged an estimated $16.4 billion in grants and
loans for Iraq reconstruction, with most major pledges originating at a major donors'
conference in Madrid, Spain, in October 2003. However, only a small part of the
pledges have been committed or disbursed to the World Bank and United Nations
Development Group Trust Funds for Iraq. The largest non-U.S. pledges of grants
have come from Japan, the European Commission, the United Kingdom, Canada,
South Korea, and the United Arab Emirates. The World Bank, the International
Monetary Fund, Japan, and Saudi Arabia have pledged the most loans and export
Currently, 33 countries including the United States have some level of troops
on the ground in Iraq or supporting Iraq operations from nearby locations. Those
forces are working under the rubric of one of several organizations — the
Multi-National Force-Iraq (MNF-I), the NATO Training Mission-Iraq (NTM-I); or
the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI). Currently, the largest
troop contributors, in addition to the United States, are the United Kingdom, Georgia,
Australia, South Korea, and Poland. Some of these key contributors have announced
their intention to reduce or withdraw their forces from Iraq during 2008. The total
number of non-U.S. coalition troop contributions has declined since the early
stabilization efforts, as other countries have withdrawn their contingents or
substantially reduced their size.
Abstract: The Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), established in accordance with Human Rights Council resolution 5/1 of 18 June 2007, held its first session from 7 to 18 April 2008. The review of Poland was held at the 12th meeting on 14 April 2008. The delegation of Poland was headed by H.E. Mr. Witold Waszczykowski, Under-Secretary of State at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland. For the composition of the delegation, composed of 27 members, see annex to the present report. At its 16th meeting held on 16 April 2008, the Working Group adopted the present report on Poland.
Abstract: La présente évaluation de la politique des vingt-sept pays membres de l’Union
européenne en faveur des droits de l’Homme répond au développement récent des
« investissements éthiques », constitués pour une grand part d’actions d’entreprises privées, mais également d’obligations d’Etat. C’est cette partie « obligataire » dont il s’agit ici d’éclairer les fondements dans une perspective « éthique », dans l’optique de favoriser les investissements dans les Etats menant une politique plus active de promotion des droits de l’homme. Cette étude s’inscrit dans la continuité des études élaborées en 2001, 2003 et 2005.
Abstract: After the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States, the American intelligence agency began using an airfield outside Szymany [Poland] for transiting terrorist suspects to secret CIA prisons and to countries known to employ torture, according to investigations by an assortment of European governmental commissions and journalists .
Investigators also suspect that Poland, part of what former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld termed "New Europe," supportive of the Iraq war and U.S. counterterrorism efforts, has allowed the CIA to use Stare Kiejkuty, a Polish intelligence center that's a 15-minute drive from the Szymany airport, as a detention center for terrorist suspects.
If the allegations are true xe2x80x95 Polish officials deny them; American officials won't comment xe2x80x95 Szymany and Stare Kiejkuty represent just two of the ways Poland and the United States have worked together in the post-9/11 world.
Abstract: On May 23 Polish Defense Minister Aleksander Szczyglo visited Kandahar to meet with the 1,300 highly-trained Polish troops that are set to join NATO forces in Afghanistan. The troops are completing drills to reach peak combat readiness and will formally begin their patrol mission in the southern and eastern regions of the country in early June. Polish General Mieczyslaw Bieniek, an adviser to the Afghan defense ministry in Kabul, expressed his absolute confidence in the soldiers.
On May 24, Poland annou#nced that it will provide helicopters and heavy and light arms to enhance the capability of the Afghan armed forces after an agreement was signed by Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak and Defense Minister Szczyglo.Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Zahir Azimi explained that the arms and helicopters would be given to Afghanistan as a grant and Afghanistan, but did not confirm the number and type of helicopters and equipment.
Abstract: In March 2003, a U.S.-led multinational force began operations in Iraq. At that time, 48 nations, identified as a "coalition of the willing," offered political, military, and financial support for U.S. efforts in Iraq, with 38 nations other than the United States providing troops. In addition, international donors met in Madrid in October 2003 to pledge funding for the reconstru#ction of Iraq's infrastructure, which had deteriorated after multiple wars and decades of neglect under the previous regime.
This testimony discusses (1) the troop commitments other countries have made to operations in Iraq, (2) the funding the United States has provided to support other countries' participation in the multinational force, and (3) the financial support international donors have provided to Iraq reconstruction efforts.
Abstract: The size and scope of the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq has dwindled since the height of the invasion in 2003. Britain, the largest member of the coalition after the United States, recently announced plans to withdraw 1,600 troops from Iraq in the months ahead and to shift their combat role to support and training. U.S. and British officials say this partial withdrawal is a positive sign because security is improving in parts of the south, where coalition forces are primarily stationed, and where Iraqi forces are increasingly "stepping up." The shrinking of the coalition coincides with a surge of U.S. forces deployed to Anbar and Baghdad provinces but may complicate efforts to eventually redeploy from Iraq.
Abstract: This issue of the Russian Analytical Digest discusses Russia's foreign relations with Belarus and Poland. The authors examine the political crisis between Moscow and Minsk and further look at Russian-Polish relations in the context of revised EU policies for Eastern Europe. The issue specifically also examines the case of Kaliningrad in shaping relations between Russia and the EU.
Abstract: The mission of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Afghanistan
is seen as a test of the alliance's political will and military capabilities. The allies are
seeking to create a "new" NATO, able to go beyond the European theater and combat
new threats such as terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
Afghanistan is NATO's first "out-of-area" mission beyond Europe. The purpose of
the mission is the stabilization and reconstruction of Afghanistan. The mission is a
difficult one because it must take place while combat operations against Taliban
U.N. Security Council resolutions govern NATO's responsibilities. The NATOled
International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) faces formidable obstacles:
shoring up a weak government in Kabul; using military capabilities in a distant
country with rugged terrain; and rebuilding a country devastated by war and troubled
by a resilient narcotics trade. NATO's mission statement lays out the essential
elements of the task of stabilizing and rebuilding the country: train the Afghan army,
police, and judiciary; support the government in counter-narcotics efforts; develop
a market infrastructure; and suppress the Taliban.
Abstract: The human rights situation deteriorated in numerous former Soviet republics. Independent
human rights monitoring groups, including several affiliates of the IHF, came under
attack. The Russian Federation, Belarus, and the Central Asian regimes promulgated
new legislation or changed their practices to allow these states arbitrarily to restrict the activities
of nongovernmental organizations. The leaders of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee
faced fabricated criminal charges, and in January 2006, state-controlled Russian media
falsely implicated the Moscow Helsinki Group in espionage.
Abstract: The United States has progressively woven a clandestine "spider's web" of disappearances, secret detentions and unlawful inter-state transfers - spun with the collaboration or tolerance of Council of Europe member states, the Legal Affairs Committee of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) said today. In a draft resolution adopted at a meeting in Paris, based on a report by Dick Marty (Switzerland, ALDE), the committee said hundreds of persons had become entrapped in this web - in some cases when they were merely suspected of sympathising with a presumed terrorist organisation. The parliamentarians said this knowing collusion of member states took several different forms, including secretly detaining a person on European territory, capturing a person and handing them over to the US or permitting unlawful "renditions" through their airspace or across their territory. "It# has now been demonstrated incontestably, by numerous well-documented and convergent facts, that secret detentions and unlawful inter-state transfers involving European countries have taken place, such as to require in-depth inquiries and urgent responses by the executive and legislative branches of all the countries concerned," the committee said. The committee called on Council of Europe member states to review bilateral agreements signed with the United States, particularly those on the status of US forces stationed in Europe, to ensure they conformed fully to international human rights norms. The report is due for debate by the plenary Assembly - which brings together 630 parliamentarians from the 46 Council of Europe member states - in Strasbourg on 27 June 2006.
Abstract: The United States of America finds that neither the classic instruments of criminal law and procedure, nor the framework of the laws of war (including respect for the Geneva Conventions) has been apt to address the terrorist threat. As a result it has introduced new legal concepts, such as "enemy combatant" and "rendition", which were previously unheard of in international law and stand contrary to the basic legal principles that prevail on our continent. Thus, across the world, the United States has progressively woven a clandestine "spider's web" of disappearances, secret detentions and unlawful inter-state transfers, often encompassing countries notorious for their use of torture. Hundreds of persons have become entrapped in this web, in some cases merely suspected of sympathising with a presumed terrorist organisation.
Abstract: Ten years ago, the idea of writing a substantial paper about NATO's role in the Greater Middle Eastxe2x88x97 would have been implausible. Indeed, at that time NATO was only tentatively involved in southeast Europe - let alone southwest Asia - and the organization's own future remained highly uncertain. In August 1995, after four years of hesitation and debate over the issue of extending the zone of operation of what had once been a strictly defensive alliance, NATO intervened militarily for the first time in Bosnia. However, this only occurred after organizations like the United Nations (UN) and the Western European Union (WEU) were seen to have failed, and the mission was not regarded as a precedent for Alliance action in the Middle East or Asia. At the time, few could have envisaged that a decade later NATO would be deploying over 10,000 troops to Afghanistan, training Iraqi military forces in Baghdad and increasing its political and military cooperation with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). That, however, is precisely the situation today.
Abstract: The Roma comprise Europe's largest ethnic minority and endure widespread discrimination that sullies the democratic credentials of the European Union, some of its member states, and a number of countries aspiring to become member states. Eliminating the deep and varied forms of discrimination that the Roma face will require long-term commitments across Europe, from the EU's administrative bodies in Brussels to national governments to local councils and school boards to NGOs and their offices in the field. The Open Society Institute has worked for 12 years to help Romani communities in Europe build a better future for themselves. This report summarizes the experience OSI and its partners have garnered in working with the Roma, describes a number of lessons learned, and makes recommendations to help improve the effectiveness of efforts to promote the inclusion of Roma in society.
Abstract: Gypsies, who call themselves Roma  have historically been Europe's most disadvantaged and discriminated against ethnic group. With an estimated five million people in southeastern and Eastern Europe and another two million in the West, Gypsies are Europe's largest minority (Bourne, 1993) and an obvious target of persecution. In several Eastern European countries, Roma, with their distinctive appearance, way of life, and sometimes also religion, provide a convenient scapegoat and focus for old prejudices and new frustrations. In the past couple of years, a continent-wide ascension of racism swept the newly democratized East. In Western Europe the targets are Jews, Muslims, and immigrants generally. In Eastern Europe, the racist attacks are directed primarily at the Roma.
Abstract: In March 2005, members of the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) Working Group on Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) issued a questionnaire to states parties regarding ERW and International Humanitarian Law (IHL). This memorandum contains an analysis by Human Rights Watch of the responses provided by states parties to the questionnaire. Human Rights Watch believes that the responses to date lead to the conclusion that national implementation measures, especially with regard to cluster munitions and the submunitions they dispense, are not adequate, and that additional measures are required to ensure adequate protections for civilian populations.