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support from those same states is reduced or withdrawn....
Thousands of international troops remain in Afghanistan, but some members of this coalition are more willing than others. FP looks at whose militaries are pulling their weight—and who could do far more.
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.
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....
March 17, 2009 Chr. Michelsen Institute // Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation
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....
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....
President Sarkozy has recently said that France may re-integrate into NATO's military command. This abrupt change in French policy opens doors to a much-needed improvement in EU-NATO relations. The two institutions have been barely co-operating on important missions like Kosovo, which leaves Europe ill-prepared for security challenges on its borders. But for the EU and NATO to really turn a corner, the UK must first agree with France how independent from the US, Europe's defences should become. The US will need to give France command posts in NATO, and Turkey will have to drop its opposition to Cyprus' co-operation with the alliance....
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....
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....