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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: With the current attention given to climate change and global warming, the issue of “environmental
security” is back high on the agenda of the international community. Indeed, environmental
degradation is usually considered, in the climate change scenarios, as a potential cause for the
(re-)emergence of violent conflicts due to shrinking natural resources such as drinkable water and
land. As a recent report of the German Advisory Council on Global Change recently put it, “climate
change will overstretch many societies’ adaptive capacities within the coming decades”, and this
“could result in destabilization and violence, jeopardizing national and international security to a
If it has gained renewed salience, the issue is not new. It is towards the end of the Cold War that the
environment started to be considered as a potential threat to international security in the wake of
ecological disasters such as the Tchernobyl 1986 nuclear accident, drought and desertification in the
Sahel belt or debates in Western Europe about the possible death of forests. Reflection and research
on how to ensure the security of states moved from an exclusive concern with protection against
nuclear weapons to the protection of the environment itself.
Chapter 1: "Peacebuilding and Environmental Security in the Anthropocene" - by Simon Dalby;
Chapter 2: "Fighting in the Desert? Conflict and Resource Management in East African Drylands" - by Tobias Hagmann;
Chapter 3: "It's About More Water, National Resource Conflicts in Central Asia" - by Christine Bichsel;
Chapter 4: "Risks and Conflict Management Options of Water
Property Rights Reforms: Empirical Evidences from
Shared Systems for Irrigation Water in Ethiopia" - by Moges Shiferaw;
Chapter 5: "Preventing and Managing Natural Resource Conflicts in the Sahel: Experiences from Helvetas Mali" - by Aly Dama;
Chapter 6: "Switzerland, the UN and Environmental Peacebuilding" - by Peter Maurer
Abstract: On April 22, the Foreign Ministries of Turkey, Armenia and Switzerland issued a joint announcement saying that Ankara and Yerevan had agreed to work toward improving their relations within the framework of a roadmap under Swiss auspices. United States' diplomats were also closely involved in the talks which preceded the deal. Although the decision appears as a breakthrough in resolving this long-term dispute, significant obstacles remain before the completion of the rapprochement.
The joint statement read as follows:
"The two parties have achieved tangible progress and mutual understanding in this process and they have agreed on a comprehensive framework for the normalization of their bilateral relations in a mutually satisfactory manner. In this context, a road-map has been identified" (www.mfa.gov.tr, April 22).
Subsequent statements from diplomatic sources clarified that no agreement has been signed and that the parties agreed to continue working toward fully normalizing their bilateral relations. Although the content of the ongoing talks were not disclosed officially, the deal is likely to include establishing diplomatic representations in their respective capitals, gradual re-opening of the border, Armenia's recognition of Turkey's international borders, and forming a joint committee of historians to examine the disputed events of 1915 (Sabah, April 24).
Many observers believe that if the process can be concluded successfully, it will not only end the long-standing enmity within the South Caucasus, but it also will redefine the geopolitical map of the region -helping to connect Armenia with Western interests in the region. Therefore, the decision was welcomed by the international community as a constructive step toward reconciliation. A statement from the U.S. State Department commended these efforts and called on the parties to proceed with the talks without any preconditions and within a reasonable time frame.
Abstract: This paper was written for the High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Accra, Ghana and critically assesses Switzerland’s long-term experiences in South Asia particularly in Nepal, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Pakistan. The authors evaluate the work conducted in these countries, and distil lessons for engagement in fragile, conflict countries. The focus is placed on SDC’s Conflict-Sensitive Programme Management, viewed through the lens of the principles for good international engagement in fragile states and situations.
The document highlights how Switzerland’s decade-long work in South Asia confirms the importance of the ten Development Assistance Committee (DAC) Principles, whilst also highlighting where certain key aspects may be further refined and elaborated. In particular, an analysis of SDC’s practices emphasised the need for continuous monitoring and assessment of the fragile context in question. The authors assert that it is not enough for projects and programmes to react to changing circumstances - possible future scenarios need to be developed, conceptualised, and possible means of proceeding incorporated into the management cycle.
The following conclusions are provided:
* conflict-sensitivity is, first and foremost, a management task. Monitoring changes in fragile, conflict contexts is all very well, but the utility of such efforts only lies in the mechanisms that are put in place to allow programming to consequently adapt
* development interventions in fragile contexts require engagement at the political level, and not only at the operational level
* conflict-sensitivity needs to be concrete, operational, and with a particular focus on local ownership
* diversified collaboration with various types of civil society organisations (far beyond NGOs) is an essential part of a broad-based and pluralistic legitimation of development activities
* a key element of a conflict-sensitive programme management is a flexible recruitment and staff policy.
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: De 1915 à 1918, plus dun million d'Arménien(ne)s furent les victimes de massacres et de déportations systématiques. La Suisse n'a pas à ce jour reconnu cet événement historique comme un génocide. De nombreuses interventions parlementaires ont déjà demandé la reconnaissance suisse du génocide. Le dernier en date a été le postulat Zisyadis que le Conseil national a rejeté de justesse en mars 2001. Les développements politiques et juridiques actuels sur la scène nationale et internationale ont mis à nouveau la question du génocide des Arméniens à lordre du jour de l'agenda politique. Lors de la session de printemps 2002, Jean-Claude Vaudroz, Conseiller national, a déposé un postulat visant la reconnaissance du génocide arménien par la Suisse. Le postulat exige que le Conseil national reconnaisse le génocide des Arméniens et qu'il demande au Conseil fédéral d'en prendre acte et de la transmettre par voie diplomatique habituelle. Avec la présente documentation, le génocide arménien est présenté et donne lieu à une discussion politique et juridique dans le contexte national et international.
Abstract: Le 4 novembre 2005, le Conseil de sécurité des Nations unies a adopté des sanctions (gel des avoirs, interdiction de voyager) envers ceux qui violent l’embargo sur les armes en République démocratique du Congo (RDC). Une économie de contrebande, notamment d’or, s’est installée dans l’est de l’ex-ZaÃ¯re. Les séquelles du conflit régional, qui a fait 3 millions de morts de 1998 Ã 2003, pèsent sur la RDC, oÃ¹ les élections générales, prévues en 2005, ont été repoussées Ã juin 2006.
Abstract: The Chechen conflict has slowly disappeared from the international media and thus from public
awareness. The conflict itself, however, continues despite a recent ease in tensions. Together with
the fact that the reconstruction of the heavily destroyed republic poses an immense challenge, the
presence of international actors remains essential. In spite of serious obstacles, numerous
international actors - among them several Swiss representatives - have been and are continuing to
work for a better future. What is the main emphasis of their work? What can they contribute to a
peaceful future? What are the main challenges? And what is the locals' perception of Swiss
initiatives? At swisspeace's 2005 annual conference a group of international experts offered their
thoughts on these questions. This Conference Paper features their revised and updated
Abstract: In this, my tenth and last annual report, I have sought to provide an overview
of the Organization's main achievements and challenges during the past 12 months
in the light of the critical developments in the decade since I took office at the
beginning of 1997. I have also subsumed in a single report both the work of the
Organization as such and the progress made in implementing the Millennium
Declaration, which in previous years has been the subject of a separate report.
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 provisions of the Geneva Conventions
of 12 August 1949 and their
Additional Protocols require Switzerland
to propagate these international
agreements as widely as possible.
Familiarity with the Conventions is
particularly important in the context
of military training programmes.
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.
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: Switzerland has some of the strictest immigration and citizenship laws in all of Europe. As a result Switzerland has a very large population of foreign workers who have been recruited to fill the country's need for unskilled and semi-skilled labor. Foreign workers face almost insurmountable barriers to citizenship and their employment opportunities and movement are closely regulated. The issue of Switzerland's restrictive laws on foreign workers is one of the key disagreements that has prevented Switzerland from becoming a member of the European Union.
The foreign workers in Switzerland are a mixture of Spanish, Portuguese, Turkish, and Italian, as well as refugees from the Balkans and elsewhere, virtually all of whom have arrived in the last half century. As a result the group as a whole is linguistically, culturally and religiously distinct from the native Swiss population. They are dispersed throughout the country and, as expected from a group comprised of many other groups, socially fragmented. There is no basis for thinking that foreign workers in Switzerland will begin to employ militant strategies in their attempts to gain more rights. As "guests" of the state, they simple would be deported. The workers must always walk a fine line between attempting to secure a better situation for themselves and avoding giving offense to the Swiss people, who have shown in the past their willingness to restrict immigration and limit the rights of foreigners already in the country.
The workers have shown in the past that they use political action in efforts to improve their situation, and they do have some of the general risk factors for protest: they are politically restricted and have the support of outsiders such as the International Labour Organisation and the European Union. So long as the group is economically disadvantaged, denied political rights, and restricted in their movements within Switzerland, the potential for future political action is substantial.
Abstract: This report examines the uncontrolled arms exports that have fuelled massive human rights abuses in Sudan, including the killing, rape, torture and displacement of more than a million civilians since the Darfur conflict began in February 2003.
The report shows how Sudanese government forces and their militia allies have used such arms for grave human rights violations, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Abstract: Switzerland is a country of destination for trafficked women. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights includes Switzerland in a list of key European countries where trafficking victims are found. The wealth of Switzerland as a country attracts migrants from abroad, some of whom are women forced into prostitution. In a 1999 case, Swiss authorities detained three Thai nationals for running a prostitution ring that had trafficked at least 50 Thai women into Switzerland and Germany for prostitution. One of the suspects killed himself while in police custody, and the other two faced trial.
Abstract: The IDE has an international vocation. Its objectives are: to diffuse pertinent information on the rights of the child in general and on the different aspect of these rights; to offer training to those charged with applying these rights and to those working with children in interested countries; to found a culture or a spirit of "child rights".
Abstract: Swisspeace is an action-oriented peace-research institute in the area of conflict analysis and peacebuilding. It researches the causes of wars and violent conflicts, develops tools for early recognition of tensions, and formulates conflict mitigation and peacebuilding strategies. Swisspeace contributes to information exchange and networking on current issues of peace and security policy through its analyses and reports as well as meetings and conferences.
Abstract: At around 5.30am on 3 July 2003 a police special unit, apparently searching for criminal suspects and evidence of criminal activity, carried out simultaneous raids on Rain transit centre for asylum-seekers and unauthorized immigrants in the town of Ennenda and two apartment houses for asylum-seekers in the towns of Linthal and Rxc3xbcti, Canton of Glarus. Amnesty International is calling on the authorities in the Canton of Glarus to ensure that a thorough and impartial investigation is opened immediately into the alleged cruel, inhuman and de#grading treatment of foreigners during the police raids and that the findings are made public at the earliest opportunity. Any officer found responsible for human rights violations should be brought to justice and the victims of any such violations should receive full and adequate reparation.
Abstract: The Human Security Network (HSN) is a group of like-minded countries from all regions of the world that, at the level of Foreign Ministers, maintains dialogue on questions pertaining to human security. The Network includes Austria, Canada, Chile, Greece, Ireland, Jordan, Mali, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, Slovenia, Thailand and South Africa as an observer. The Network has a unique inter-regional and multiple agenda perspective with strong links to civil society and academia. The Network emerged from the landmines campaign and was formally launched at a Ministerial meeting in Norway in 1999.