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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 handbook is intended to serve as a document that provides relevant information on issues that external actors who interact with diasporas in development and peacebuilding will encounter. It does not present simple replicable techniques, tools or instruments; rather, the authors aim to explain the underlying philosophy and aspects of process involved in facilitating participation of diasporas in development and peacebuilding (Pretty et al., 1995: ii). How to best apply these principles will vary from context to context. The document is based on experiences with various diaspora communities in the five European countries (Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Norway), though many of the examples cited focus on the Somali diaspora and, more generally, on diasporas originating from Africa. A number of those experiences are described in detail in separate text boxes.
Abstract: The summer of 2009 has been without a doubt a bad one for ISAF, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. The increase in fighting this summer has led to debates in most of the troop contributing nations as to how they perceive Afghanistan’s future and their role in it. A complex insurgency has spread across the country as different groups have come together under the banner of the Taliban fighting both the international troops and the Afghan government. In the south and the east of Afghanistan, where guerilla warfare has been ongoing for at least three years, the fighting has intensified and an increase in the technical abilities and tactical skill of the Taliban insurgents has taken a heavy toll on coalition soldiers. In the north and west of Afghanistan—previously considered safer areas—the security situation has worsened considerably and troops who had been able to focus predominantly on reconstruction work are increasingly finding themselves soldiering in far more traditional ways. The Afghanistan general elections of 20 August can be considered a very limited success at best, not only because of the extensive and seemingly well based accusations of vote rigging, but also because in many parts of the country although the ISAF forces could secure the voting sites themselves, they could not provide sufficient security to stop Taliban intimidation from dissuading many Afghans from going to the polls in the first place. As the fighting has increased across the country, it is the Afghan civilians who are paying highest price.
Abstract: In the shadow of a Europe-wide debate over military involvement in Afghanistan, Finland is in the process of drafting a comprehensive national crisis management strategy (CNCM). The timeliness of this exercise was thrown into dramatic relief in January, when Israeli missiles struck and destroyed Finn Church Aid’s Al Shujaia clinic in Gaza. The clinic bombing was one of several related incidences of violence against humanitarian facilities. On a policy level, both the debate over Afghanistan and the events in Gaza call attention to a post September 11 environment in which humanitarian facilities and personnel are increasingly targets of terror and military violence. Finnish policymakers should take into consideration the changing security environment and the mosaic of actors involved in crisis management.
This briefing paper looks at the shrinking of humanitarian space and the increase in violence towards aid workers in the context of military-
humanitarian integration. It is argued that increased integration has complicated aid agencies’ attempts to maintain neutrality in the field.
The role of Finland in these issues is consequential. First, for Finland and aid agencies alike, joint operations raise the question as to whether impartiality requires neutrality. This relates to domestic debates over NATO involvement in Afghanistan and EU operations elsewhere. Though Finland has largely discontinued use of the term “neutral,” it continues to pursue the goal of impartiality in its humanitarian operations. Second, Finland has, through two successive EU presidencies, positioned itself as a leader in crisis management and as a proponent of expanded European civil-
military coordination. In the words of Erkki Tuomioja, former Minister for Foreign Affairs, Finland “view[s] comprehensive crisis management operations, combining both the military and civilian instruments, as our challenge for the future.”
Abstract: Terrorism is not a new phenomenon, nor is it likely to disappear anytime soon. It is not the exclusive domain of any single religion or ideology, nor do all terrorists come from the same socioeconomic class or share the same mental pathologies.1 In part, the diversity within contemporary terrorism is what makes it so great a challenge. This report describes, in great detail, the state of terrorism in Western countries over the course of 2008.
Before turning to terrorism events in the West during 2008 and key developments within Western countries’ legal systems, we are going to pinpoint a few broad trends—a few currents that run through the various incidents and cases that follow. As this report will show, concerns about the contemporary connection between criminal activities and terrorism are clear in Bulgaria, a country rife with organized crime. An April 2008 parliamentary report charged that profits from the country’s drug trade were channeled to Middle Eastern terrorist groups.
Abstract: The meeting of the Nordic Foreign Ministers in Stockholm on 18 April 2008 adopted a Plan
of Action for Nordic Cooperation in Afghanistan to enable them to be a more concerned
partner for the Government of Afghanistan (GoA) and the international community. The
countries indicated that a joint study should be undertaken to identify differences and
similarities in development strategies for Afghanistan, and the possibilities to strengthen this
cooperation over time.
The overall aim of an increased cooperation in the development field is to achieve a stronger
impact in sectors of particular importance to the Nordic countries. A more efficient
organisation of development work should ease the workload for each country. Furthermore, a
strengthened Nordic cooperation would enhance cooperation among donors in general, and
strengthen the role of the Afghan government in taking overall responsibility for the
development of Afghanistan.
The Nordic countries identified the following sectors as possible fields of increased
cooperation: good governance; administrative reform; capacity building; education; respect for human rights, with a particular focus on women; justice sector; fight against drugs.
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: Ce recueil contient les exemples soumis par les membres de dépenses dans le domaine des conflits de la paix et
de la sécurité. Pour chaque exemple, le Secrétariat fournit des commentaires sur l’éligibilité au titre de l’APD et
sur la façon de notifier.
Les extraits pertinents des directives de notification statistique, y compris les codes-objet (secteurs) et les
montants notifiés par les membres pour ces codes, sont aussi inclus.
La présente version revisée incorpore les clarifications apportées par plusieurs membres jusqu’au 16 août 2007.
Abstract: Afghanistan became an important beneficiary of international assistance in 2002 when the international community embarked on efforts to stabilize and reconstruct the country and to support its democratic development after years of conflict. Afghanistan is still one of the world’s poorest countries and a challenging operating environment for aid work. The threat to security is acute. Finland’s annual aid to Afghanistan is around 11.8-12.5 million euros. The purpose of this evaluation was to critically review the relevance and results of Finnish development aid in Afghanistan.
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: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization has changed dramatically since the end of the Cold War. Today NATO plays a significant role as a global security provider, is a concrete embodiment of the transatlantic relationship, and is still the most important defence related organization in Europe. It has remained relevant and useful to its diverse membership because it has been able to change and adjust to the post-Cold War world. These changes and their implications have not been well understood outside of the small group of individuals that work in or with NATO.
This report endeavours to illuminate the most significant changes and their implications, and as such does not take a position on Finnish membership in NATO. The report is divided into three sections. The first chapter explains the rationale behind choosing to focus on four major themes when trying to understand
NATO and the way it may evolve in the future. It then briefly describes Finland’s relationship with NATO. Chapters 2 through 5 address the four major themes, while the final chapter analyses the implications for Finland.
Abstract: NORDCAPS is the military cooperation between the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden) and was established in 1997 by Nordic Ministers of Defence. The aim was to strengthen already existing cooperation in the Nordic Cooperation Group for Military UN matters (NORDSAMFN) with regard to military peace support operations (PSO) and expand it to cover operations mandated or lead by others than the UN. NORDCAPS is an optional tool for enhanced coordination when there is a common political will between the Nordic nations to participate together in specific Peace Support Operations.
Abstract: The Ministry of Defence's working group consisting of representatives from Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Defence Staff has for this interim report studied Finland's possibilities of giving up anti-personnel landmines and acceding to the Ottawa Convention without compromising a credible defence capability. The Government launched the first study into the subject in 1997. The working group has c#ontinued the work in accordance with the report given in 2001 on Finland's security and defence policy by defining possibilities to replace anti-personnel landmines and maintain a similar capability. The Ministry of Defence's working group consisting of representatives from Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Defence Staff has for this interim report studied Finland's possibilities of giving up anti-personnel landmines and acceding to the Ottawa Convention without compromising a credible defence capability. The Government launched the first study into the subject in 1997. The working group has continued the work in accordance with the report given in 2001 on Finland's security and defence policy by defining possibilities to replace anti-personnel landmines and maintain a similar capability.
Abstract: Ministry of Defence strategy 2025 "Securely into the Future" was published on 6 July 2006. It makes a concise assessment of the long-term development in our security environment. On the basis of the assessment , the Strategy describes the future challenges facing Finnish defence policy and military defence. It also explores the means by which these challenges can be met.
Abstract: Once upon a time, peacekeeping operations tended to be calm
and consensual. There was a peace to be kept, and the peacekeepers
were invited to do so by the parties to an already resolved
conflict. Today's peacekeeping may take an entirely different form.
There is less clarity about peace, the conflict might even be
ongoing, with no clear views on who the parties to it actually are.
Safeguarding civilians and the peacekeepers themselves may
necessitate more use of force than before. Not taking sides may
be difficult. The "international community" is called upon to help
in diverse situations of tragedy and emergency. The international
community, too, seems splintered into a multiplicity of different
players, each of whom represents - well, just who exactly? In
essence, instead of keeping the peace, the international
community is invited to participate in the building of peace. But
how can this be achieved?
Is peacekeeping being transformed into peacebuilding? What
other forms will peacekeeping take in the future? Who is doing
what, who should be doing what? How should one best prepare
for tomorrow's peacekeeping operations? These were among the
questions posed in the conference "Peacekeeping - Peacebuilding:
Preparing for the Future", held in Helsinki on 29 May 2006. The
conference was organised by the Finnish Institute of International
Affairs in cooperation with the Finnish Ministry for Foreign
Affairs, and it was part of the celebrations of the 50th anniversary
of Finnish peacekeeping.
This report, based on the presentations held at the conference,
invites contemplation of these difficult questions. The aim of the
conference was to look at the future, at what would seem to be
the main trends and tendencies, starting from an address on
where we find ourselves right now. At the same time, the
organisers sought to anchor the analysis in the Finnish - and
also more broadly Nordic - perspective. Thus, both the North and the South are represented: the report looks at peacekeeping
from an African point of view as well as from the far North.
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: The report reveals that Chechens seeking refuge abroad are facing many obstacles. For example, their very basic right to seek asylum is not always respected: In Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Belarus, Chechens are denied access to the national asylum procedure. Many stay there without any legal rights and almost no humanitarian assistance; Chechens are sometimes denied access to the territory of other states. This happens routinely at the border with Ukraine; EU member states have a widely differing approach to Chechen asylum seekers. Refugee recognition rates vary dramatically within the EU, and the outcome of "the asylum lottery" depends on the country in which the claim has been processed. During the first six months of 2004, the Slovak Republic did not grant asylum to a single person from Russia, while Austria's refugee recognition rate for this group was 96 %. The report raises concern that the system of asylum and integration in new EU states receiving many Chechen asylum seekers, are not up to European standards. It appeals# to "old" EU states to support "new" EU states in providing protection to Chechen asylum seekers. In a recommendation to European states, the Norwegian Refugee Council states that "old" EU states should use the powers they have under the Dublin regulation to examine claims from Chechen asylum seekers lodged on their territory, even if they believe a new member state to be responsible under the Regulations's criteria.
Abstract: A report issued on 13 April 2005 by the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC) concludes that the lack of adequate data on the level of racist attacks in 15 member states is masking the scale of the problem.
The EU body looked at the data collection systems in the 15 states and found that only six had comprehensive systems, while in most states, racist violence was not specifically recorded as such. This lack of information makes it impossible to determine the scale of violence, or to take effective measures to combat it, concludes the report.
The evidence that is available from UK and France suggests that there has been a marked increase in attacks against refugees, immigrants, Jews and, particularly, Muslims since the September 11 disaster.
A recent French report showed that violence against Jews and Muslims in particular had doubled in the last year.
Abstract: The work of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
(UNHCR) can be seen as intrinsically linked with human rights as those it helps are,
by definition, victims of serious human rights violations. However it was only in the
early 1990s that UNHCR began to actively cooperate with the UN human rights
mechanisms through sharing information, lobbying experts and promoting
complementary legal standards. UNHCR's current involvement with UN-based
human rights bodies nevertheless continues to be cautiously limited. This may be due
to the fact, to cite one reason amongst many, that UNHCR has been accused of having
become xe2x80x98highly politicised and . . . limited by states' concerns regarding sovereignty'.
To put it bluntly, xe2x80x98if UNHCR vociferously criticises states, UNHCR risks being
thrown out of the country and losing its access to refugees'. A less dramatic
occurrence is that UNHCR's advice to states, particularly when it is critical of asylum
laws and practices linked to violations of refugee protection and human rights
principles, can simply be ignored. Yet another consideration is that if UNHCR
expresses concern about the asylum policies and practices of key supporting states it
may find itself saddled with additional political and financial difficulties when
support from those same states is reduced or withdrawn.
Abstract: The attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001 by al-Qaeda terrorists demonstrated to the entire world how devastating modern terrorism has become - most clearly the large number of lives lost, but also in terms of economic disruption and in the damage to our sense of security and hopes for the future. As a result xe2x80x98Terrorism' has become a term heard daily around the world, but it remains a vague and little understood concept. This FIIA report, commissioned by# the Finnish Ministry of Defence, seeks to understand terrorism and looks at the implications of the phenomenon for Finland.
The report investigates what "International Terrorism" means in a globalised world. It argues that although the ideologies that inspire those who are willing to use violence for their cause may be international, the manifestation of that violence is often local. The report is centrally concerned with what is commonly, if badly, described as "Islamic terrorism" and addresses issues such as: the difficulty in finding suitable terminology for this phenomenon; the origins of this extremist ideology; how this ideology is affecting Europe; and what are the implications for Finland?
There has been a general presumption that Finland is not at risk from terrorism, but very little evidence to back this presumption up. This FIIA report seeks to remedy that situation. The news is predominantly good: Finland does not face a high risk of terrorist attacks. But certain ideas - such as that Finnish non-alignment and support for the UN system offer protection from al-Qaeda-type terrorism - are shown to be just myths. Integration, with Europe in particular, and the globalising world in general, brings these issues closer to Finland than they ever have been before.
Abstract: After four centuries of rule by Genoa, fourteen years of self-rule, and eventual annexation by France in 1769, Corsican nationalism is well rooted in the Mediterranean island's native inhabitants. They are unique from mainland France in their culture and language, Corsican, a mixture of French and Italian. However, the Corsican proportion of the island's population has dwindled over the last half-century due to the immigration of mainland French, Italians, and North African Muslims, and emigration of young native Corsicans seeking greater economic opportunities. They remain a highly cohesive group however. They are represented by numerous conventional and militant organizations, the largest being the Front de la Liberation Nationale de la Corse (FLNC). The majority of Corsicans maintain that they wish to remain with France, but most support the achievement of greater autonomy through democratic methods. The militant organizations that call for full independence are numerous, unorganized, and contain non-political criminal elements; random bombings and sporadic acts of terrorism are their modus operandi.
The Corsicans' behavior diverges from many other minority groups in that their persistent rebellion is not mirrored by many factors known to cause such rebellion, such as: 1) high levels of group organization and cohesion, 2) regime instability, 3) and government repression. In contrast, factors that are thought to inhibit rebellion have not worked in Corsica, such as: 1) residing in a democratic regime, 2) efforts at negotiation and reform, 3) lack of serious regional armed conflicts.