March 31, 2005 United Nations // United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
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support from those same states is reduced or withdrawn....
August 8, 2003 Center for Defense Information // America's Defense Monitor
From the defoliation of the forests in Vietnam, to the oil fires of Kuwait, all major wars of the 20th century, and current conflicts like Kosovo, have had a hidden casualty: the environment. Unexploded weapons, polluted rivers, contaminated soil, and damaged landscapes have all harmed human health, local economies, and ecosystems. The long-term effects of such environmental damage have not yet been fully determined.
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....
December 7, 2004 Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization was formed shortly after the end of the Second World War to counter the threat of Soviet invasion of Western Europe. The treaty setting up the alliance was signed in 1949 by 10 Western European nations as well as Canada and the United States. NATO's mandate is to provide a common defence for the European and Atlantic areas, and to address common issues faced by the member countries.
Greenland is the world's largest island. Formerly a province of Denmark, it gained the status of an autonomous Danish dependent territory with limited self-government as well as its own parliament in 1979.
July 16, 2009 The Danish Institute for International Studies
The Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS) is an independent research institution engaged in research in international affairs.
The institute draws up reports and analyses and follows developments in international affairs continuously in order to assess the security and foreign policy situation of Denmark, e.g. aspects of relevance with regard to development policy.
DIIS also communicates research findings, analyses and knowledge and performs functions concerning documentation, information and library services.
Furthermore, DIIS contributes to the education of researchers, supports the development of research capacity in developing countries and establishes contacts between Danish and international research environments.
DIIS's research and activities are organized in several research units and a few major commissioned works....
The Ministry of Defence is the secretariat of the Minister of Defence. Its functions comprise overall planning, development, and strategic guidance of the entire area of responsibility of the minister, including the armed forces and the emergency management sector.
December 6, 2006 Government of Sweden // Government of Norway // Government of Finland // Government of Iceland // Government of Denmark // Nordic Cooperation Group for Military UN Matters
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....
• 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....
Deradicalizing Islamist extremists may be even more important than getting them to simply disengage from terrorist activities, according to a new RAND Corporation study that examines counter-radicalization programs in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Europe.
Although there has been much research about the radicalization and recruitment of Islamist extremists, there has been little study until recently about how one deradicalizes those who have been recruited into the Islamist extremist movement.
A key question is whether the objective of counter-radicalization programs should be disengagement (a change in behavior) or deradicalization (a change in beliefs) of militants. A unique challenge posed by militant Islamist groups is that their ideology is rooted in a major world religion, Islam.
The RAND study indentifies and analyzes the processes through which militants leave Islamist extreme groups, assesses the effectiveness of deradicalization programs and summarizes the policies that could help to promote and accelerate the processes of deradicalization....
June 15, 2010 Dansk Institut for Militaere Studier // Danish Institute for Military Studies
If measures against pirates are to be effective, they must be carried out on land. Pirates are criminals who can best be thwarted by eliminating their bases and networks. At sea, it is only possible to treat the symptoms of piracy and catch the small fish. This report focuses on the pirates off the coast of Somalia as this is where the problem has spread dramatically, and as Denmark has been extensively involved in combating piracy in the area around the Horn of Africa.
Strategies with three time horizons can be developed for combating pirates: short-term, medium-term, long-term. To date, a large number of states has become involved in combating piracy at a rapid pace, and the steps they have taken have therefore been characterised by a short-term time horizon. The aim of this report is to present recommendations that can function in the medium term. This means that temporary measures such as convoying or stationing soldiers on board merchant ships have not been taken into consideration. It is not realistic to maintain such operations for a longer period of time. Nor is there any attempt in the report to find a solution to the civil war in Somalia – something that would otherwise help to solve the problem of piracy in the long term....
The Netherlands Ministry of Defence (NL MOD) commissioned RAND Europe to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the Netherlands armed forces, asking RAND to focus on recent deployments of the Netherlands armed forces relative to the deployments of other countries' armed forces. This study is therefore not a root and branch consideration of the Netherlands armed forces, but a comparative study of several different armed forces to illustrate contrasts and similarities with those of the Netherlands. This study was conducted within the context of the NL MOD's Future Policy Survey, which is a review of the Netherlands' future defence ambition, required capabilities and associated levels of defence expenditure. The Future Policy Survey was delivered to the Netherlands Parliament in April 2010. The overarching aim of the Dutch Future Policy Survey is to provide greater insight into how to exploit and enhance the potential contribution of the Netherlands armed forces....
The path into terrorism in the name of Islam is often described as a process of radicalisation. But to be radical is not necessarily to be violent. Violent radicals are clearly enemies of liberal democracies, but non-violent radicals might sometimes be powerful allies.
This report is a summary of two years of research examining the difference between violent and non-violent radicals in Europe and Canada. The report covers five countries: the UK, Canada, Denmark,
France and the Netherlands, focusing on the phenomenon
of ‘home-grown’ al-Qaeda inspired terrorism in these
countries. It represents a step towards a more nuanced understanding of behaviour across radicalised individuals, the appeal of the al-Qaeda narrative, and the role of governments and communities in responding....