The xe2x80x98transformation' of military forces into modern and effective tools for providing security in a changing world is a key concern for states and international organizations. Some xe2x80x98middle powers', with limited resources but willing to play a role in contributing to security, are adapting their forces to face new and challenging threats and the demands of closer cooperation within alliances and coalitions. This paper provides an overview of the policies designed and implemented by three mid-sized countries as relevant examples of the ongoing global debate about adjusting national armed forces' strategies and capabilities to the current international security environment. These case studies are interesting examples of how national political will and decision making remain the key driving forces behind any such mod#ernisation process....
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support from those same states is reduced or withdrawn....
September 7, 2010 Combating Terrorism Center // West Point
This issue includes the following articles: Evaluating the Al-Qa`ida Threat to the U.S. Homeland by Philip Mudd; The Growing Danger from Radical Islamist Groups in the United States, by Paul Cruickshank; Manchester, New York and Oslo: Three Centrally Directed Al-Qa`ida Plots, by Raffaello Pantucci; Lessons Learned from the July 2010 Norwegian Terrorist Plot, by Petter Nesser and Brynjar Lia; American Journeys to Jihad: U.S. Extremists and Foreign Conflicts During the 1980s and 1990s, by William Rosenau and Sara Daly; American Journeys to Jihad: U.S. Extremists and Foreign Conflicts During the 1980s and 1990s, by William Rosenau and Sara Daly....
1. "US-Russian Bering Sea Marine Border Dispute: Conflict over Strategic Assets, Fisheries and Energy Resources"
Despite the universal implementation of the Law of the Sea principles in defi ning national sovereignty over
coastal waters and the end of the Cold War, Russia continues to press marine border disputes with several
neighboring countries. Th e most important confl icts are with the United States, Norway, and Japan. Fortunately,
these are not military confrontations, but political disputes over the economically and strategically
important marine regions claimed by all four countries. At stake are strategic considerations, abundant fi sh
resources and large oil and gas deposits at the bottom of the sea. Th is article discusses the history of the
US-Russian conflict, the viewpoints of both sides, and the impact of this dispute on access to marine living
resources of the area.
Author: Kaczynski, Vlad M.
2. "The Kuril Islands Dispute Between Russia and Japan: Perspectives of Three Ocean Powers"
Japan and Russia have never come to an agreement over the ownership of the four southern Kuril Islands and
therefore have never signed a peace treaty at the end of World War II. Russia currently occupies the islands, but
Japan claims them as Japanese territory. Th e Soviet Union exerted fi rm control over the islands. Under Yeltsin,
Russia's position seemed to weaken, but no progress was achieved in signing a peace treaty. Since Putin's rise
to power, neither side has been willing to make concessions and the situation remains stalemated.
Author: Kaczynski, Vlad M.
3. "Norway and Russia in the Barents Sea - Cooperation and Conflict in Fisheries Management"
Th e Barents Sea fi sheries are managed bilaterally by Norway and Russia. Th e Joint Norwegian-Russian
Fisheries Commission sets quotas for the most important fi sh stocks in the area which are allocated according
to a standard formula. Th e collaboration between the two countries generally functions well, but has
since the late 1990s been plagued by disparity between scientifi c recommendations and established quotas,
and Norwegian claims of Russian overfishing.
Author: Hxc3xb8nneland, Geir...
December 6, 2006 Permanent Delegation of Norway to NATO
The Government of Norway has proposed a defence budget for 2007 amounting to NOK 31 billion. This represents a continued high budget level for the defence sector. Priority is given to the High North and international operations.
The Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) was established by the Norwegian Parliament in 1959 in order to promote a better understanding of international issues in Norway. NUPI has sought to achieve this by undertaking a wide range of research activities and by disseminating information on international issues. The Institute has an independent position in studying matters of relevance to Norwegian foreign policy and economic relations. As a small nation, Norway depends strongly on stable and open ties to the rest of the world. Consequently, the understanding of international relations and the constantly evolving international economy is a vital prerequisite when the foreign, as well as domestic policy of Norway is to be shaped. With more than 40 years of experience, NUPI is one of Norway's leading independent centres for research and information on political and economic issues....
The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) has made an agreement with the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to administer a new standby force for peace mediation. Norway will finance a standby force comprised of a group of peace mediation experts. The standby force will be administered by NRC and stand at the disposal of the UN. The group is now being recruited. he standby force will be comprised of one manager and five international experts on peace mediation. The group will cover various subject areas including security issues, transitional justice (approaches used by states to address past human rights wrongs) and human rights, via constitutions and formulating peace agreements, to the distribution of wealth and sharing of power. Together this group will support the UN’s peace mediation activities and represents a substantial strengthening of the UN’s conflict resolution abilities....
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....
December 6, 2006 Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation
The Oil for Development initiative aims at assisting developing
countries with petroleum resources (or potential) in their efforts to manage these resources in a way that generates economic growth and promotes the welfare of the population in general, and in a way that is environmentally sustainable.
• 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....
February 24, 2011 International Peace Research Institute, Oslo
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....
November 1, 2010 Norwegian Peacebuilding Centre // Noref
This report addresses the challenges and opportunities facing
Norway in relation to the combat against sexualised and
gender-based violence (SGBV) in war and conflict situations.
In presenting a map of Norwegian actors and agencies in the
field, it constitutes a critical resource that both emphasises
Norway’s potential to contribute and recommends proposals
The context of the report is international commitments to
address, prevent and limit sexualised violence (SV) in conflict,
as embodied in UN Security Council Resolutions 1325 (2000)
and 1820 (2008); the efforts of relevant actors in Norway
to work towards fulfilment of these goals; and the current
limitations in the way of these actors achieving best practice.
The content of the report is based on a qualitative mapping
study conducted in Norway during spring 2010. This collates
some of the work and research being done in Norway
across the spectrum of issues that SGBV raises. The people
interviewed represent ministries and other government
institutions, the academic sector and/or civil society in various
parts of Norway. The main findings are threefold. First, research on the subject
is in several important respects incomplete and unsystematic.
The gaps relate to the number and type of cases analysed,
and the scholarly discipline that is brought to bear in this
analysis. Second, although Norway’s condition is one of peace,
equality and relative prosperity, including a well-functioning
police and justice apparatus, it still faces a major challenge in
combat various forms of sexualised violence. Third, the lack of attention towards men in all areas (research, treatment, policy, empowerment
projects) is alarming. In a conflict or post-conflict setting, men
and boys’ disempowerment and alienation from society should
be of high importance at the international agenda to combat
The Mediation Practice Series (MPS) was initiated in 2008 as
part of the HD Centre’s efforts to support the broader mediation
community. Based on the shared view that mediators often confront similar
dilemmas although mediation differs widely across peace
processes, the HD Centre has decided to produce a series of
decision-making tools that draw upon the comparative experience
of track one mediation processes. As mediators consider engagement with armed groups they
face a variety of challenges and options – including whether it is
wise to engage at all. This contribution to the Mediation Practice
Series addresses engagement by those working toward peace
processes which involve formal interaction between leaders.
The focus is on the dilemmas, challenges and risks involved in a
mediator’s early contacts with an armed group and subsequent
engagement as interlocutor, message-carrier, adviser and/or
facilitator – all roles that may precede and accompany formal
negotiation between parties to a conflict.
The armed groups considered are those whose rebellion or
resistance explicitly challenges the authority of the state, rather
than the full spectrum of non-state armed groups (which would
include criminal organisations and gangs, as well as paramilitary
actors accountable to the state). The former claim their violence
is rooted in legitimate self-defence against the infringement of
their rights. Political in its origin – if at times criminal in its conduct
– armed action is pursued as a means to a political end. While
military pressure, or other actions by security forces, may be necessary to counter it, in almost all cases a lasting resolution to
the conflict will depend on some form of political accommodation
or agreement. Case studies include: The FMLN and the UN in El Salvador (p. 8-13), Dilemmas of talking to the Taliban (p. 13-14), Private mediators and the GAM
in Aceh (p. 15-18), Coping with pre-conditions
on Hamas (p. 20-23), The ICC and the LRA in conflict
at the peace table (p. 23-28), Case study : Norway and the LTTE (p. 28-29), Case study : Engaging the Maoists in Nepal (p. 31-35)....
The Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) has been engaged in capacity
building and provision of technical support to the Afghan Ministry of Mines since 2007. A part of
this engagement relates to the development of the Afghan Hydrocarbons Law, and
commercialization of gas and oil reserves of the northern Jowzjan province through an international
The Terms of Reference request a conflict study in relation to oil and gas exploration in northern
Afghanistan, including an assessment of the relations between the northern areas and the central
administration, internal relations between northern based ethnic and military organisations and the
role of regional actors. Income division between central and province authorities is to be examined,
as is the view of local authorities on oil and gas extraction and ways to attract local interest; ways to
secure greater focus on the gender dimension; the security situation and potential consequences for
This report is based on three primary sources of information. One is a literature review on issues
relating to governance and income division of natural resources and potential for corruption in such
management. The second is information on the security situation in Afghanistan in general and
north Afghanistan in particular, and the process that is underway for exploring and utilizing Afghan
and regional oil and gas resources. The third source is a series of semi structured interviews with a
wide range of informant conducted in Kabul, Maymane, Saripul and Mazar-e Sharif....