login bonus m88 help_Welfare offer royal panda sports bonus_login bonus betdaq api call limits https://www.google.com//1b1 World Federalist Movement - Canada Fri, 25 Jan 2019 15:00:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.0.3 /1b1/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/cropped-smaller-header-32x32.jpg Building a world community https://www.google.com//1b1 32 32 Montreal Branch Annual Luncheon https://www.google.com//1b1/2019/01/montreal-branch-annual-luncheon/ /1b1/2019/01/montreal-branch-annual-luncheon/#respond Fri, 25 Jan 2019 15:00:02 +0000 /1b1/?p=2575 The Montreal branch of WFMC will hold their annual luncheon on Sunday, February 10th, 2019 at 1pm at the Museum of Fine Arts (1380 Sherbrooke West, Montreal; 2nd floor, west of the elevator and south of the caf¨¦). The topic for this year is:  What should we think of the United Nations Human Rights Council […]

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The Montreal branch of WFMC will hold their annual luncheon on Sunday, February 10th, 2019 at 1pm at the Museum of Fine Arts (1380 Sherbrooke West, Montreal; 2nd floor, west of the elevator and south of the caf¨¦).

The topic for this year is:  What should we think of the United Nations Human Rights Council in the wake of the US withdrawal and the election of states like Eritrea and the Philippines?  

The speaker will be Ren¨¦ Provost, a professor at McGill University.  Provost was the founding Director of the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism and is currently the principal investigator for the Centaur Jurisprudence Project that explores the ways in which the concept of culture is transformed by its consideration through different legal processes.

Places can be reserved by email (tickets are $40).

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Donald Trump, foreign policy, and UNEPS https://www.google.com//1b1/2019/01/donald-trump-foreign-policy-and-uneps/ /1b1/2019/01/donald-trump-foreign-policy-and-uneps/#respond Fri, 25 Jan 2019 14:59:18 +0000 /1b1/?p=2571 In a recent article, Trump¡¯s trap: leave vs remain (OpenDemocracy, January 17 2019), Paul Rogers, recipient of the 2018 WFMC World Peace Award, discusses US President Donald Trump’s recent abrupt announcements of the intention to withdraw US forces from Syria and reduce those in Afghanistan.In the conclusion of the article, Rogers references the UNEPS proposal (in particular, […]

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In a recent article, Trump¡¯s trap: leave vs remain (OpenDemocracy, January 17 2019), Paul Rogers, recipient of the 2018 WFMC World Peace Award, discusses US President Donald Trump’s recent abrupt announcements of the intention to withdraw US forces from Syria and reduce those in Afghanistan.

In the conclusion of the article, Rogers references the UNEPS proposal (in particular, H Peter Langille¡¯s 2012 article A UN Emergency Peace Service?) in the final paragraph:

¡°Such two-sided consequences reveal a larger problem in the world¡¯s security resources: the lack of truly internationalist capability. This is badly needed, and especially from?within?the United Nations system. A well funded and trained peacekeeping and peacebuilding force, readily available for deployment, would hugely improve?chances for peace. In looking to the next decades, and the world after Trump, that is something we have to work for.¡±

More information on the proposal for United Nations Emergency Peace Service can be found elsewhere on the WFMC website.

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UN2020: Intergovernmental process gets a re-boot https://www.google.com//1b1/2019/01/un2020-intergovernmental-process-gets-a-re-boot/ /1b1/2019/01/un2020-intergovernmental-process-gets-a-re-boot/#respond Fri, 25 Jan 2019 14:58:03 +0000 /1b1/?p=2566 Since January 2017, the UN2020 Initiative has facilitated discussions with many Member States, Secretariat officials and other UN stakeholders on the need for a successful, adequately prepared 75th anniversary commemoration in 2020, one that includes a meaningful process of stocktaking, review and strengthening for the organization. In 2018 deliberations within the General Assembly¡¯s Ad Hoc […]

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Since January 2017, the UN2020 Initiative has facilitated discussions with many Member States, Secretariat officials and other UN stakeholders on the need for a successful, adequately prepared 75th anniversary commemoration in 2020, one that includes a meaningful process of stocktaking, review and strengthening for the organization.

In 2018 deliberations within the General Assembly¡¯s Ad Hoc Working Group on Revitalization failed to generate consensus around language that (per the draft resolution text) ¡°called for timely preparations for the seventy-fifth anniversary of the United Nations.¡± Following that disappointment, civil society organizations supporting UN2020 called for a separate, stand-alone resolution during the current 73rd session of the GA.

President of the General Assembly (PGA), Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garc¨¦s, Ecuador¡¯s foreign minister

At a meeting with NGOs on December 5th , the President of the General Assembly (PGA), Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garc¨¦s, Ecuador¡¯s foreign minister, said that her ¡°first priority¡± is the revitalization of the UN, and that she has begun consultations about the need to begin preparations for the 75th UN anniversary summit. Then, on January 15th in a General Assembly briefing to member states on her priorities for 2019, the PGA, Maria Fernanda Espinosa confirmed that she will soon appoint co-facilitators (i.e. two or more ambassadors) to engage with member states on details related to the theme, date and modalities of the commemoration event.

UN2020 campaigning is increasingly focused on generating support in national capitals and regional contexts around the world. Recent meetings have taken place in Doha, Qatar and at the November Paris Peace Forum. Upcoming events in February are scheduled at the PyeongChang (Korea) Global Peace Forum, the international conference on South-South cooperation in Buenos Aires, and at the annual gathering of the UN¡¯s Commission on Social Development.

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International Criminal Court Update: Decision on Gbagbo case and other news https://www.google.com//1b1/2019/01/international-criminal-court-update-decision-on-gbagbo-case-and-other-news/ /1b1/2019/01/international-criminal-court-update-decision-on-gbagbo-case-and-other-news/#respond Fri, 25 Jan 2019 14:56:06 +0000 /1b1/?p=2563 In mid-January, Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Bl¨¦ Goud¨¦ were acquitted on all charges of crimes against humanity. The crimes were alleged to have been committed in 2010 and 2011 in C?te d’Ivoire. A majority decision by the Trial Chamber concluded that the Prosecutor failed to “demonstrate several core constitutive elements of the crimes as charged, including the […]

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In mid-January, Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Bl¨¦ Goud¨¦ were acquitted on all charges of crimes against humanity. The crimes were alleged to have been committed in 2010 and 2011 in C?te d’Ivoire. A majority decision by the Trial Chamber concluded that the Prosecutor failed to “demonstrate several core constitutive elements of the crimes as charged, including the existence of a “common plan” to keep Mr Gbagbo in power, which included the commission of crimes against civilians “pursuant to or in furtherance of a State or organisational policy”; and the existence of patterns of violence from which it could be inferred that there was a “policy to attack a civilian population”.” As well, the Chamber also concluded that public speeches by the defendants had not been demonstrated to constitute the ordering or inducing of the alleged crimes.

Ggagbo and Bl¨¦ Goud¨¦ remain in ICC custody pending a decision on an appeal filed by the Prosecutor.

Investigations into the situation in C?te d’Ivoire continue.

In a post on his blog Justice in Conflict, Mark Kersten offers his reflections on the decision, as well as a link to an interview he did on Al Jazeera. In summary of why the case collapsed, Kersten says, “a number of theories have been floated: political interference in the trial on behalf of Gbagbo and his supporters, insufficient cooperation from the government of the administration of current President Alassane Ouattara, and poor case construction by the ICC. It¡¯s entirely possible that it is all of the above.”

Other news

Patrice-Edouard Nga?ssona was arrested in France in December 2018 and transferred to the ICC on January 23, 2019. He is scheduled to appear before the Pre-Trial Chamber on Friday, January 25. A warrant for Nga?ssona’s arrest was issued on December 7, 2018 for war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed in the Central African Republic in 2013 and 2014.

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Towards a UN World Citizens’ Initiative https://www.google.com//1b1/2019/01/towards-a-un-world-citizens-initiative/ /1b1/2019/01/towards-a-un-world-citizens-initiative/#respond Mon, 14 Jan 2019 16:54:15 +0000 /1b1/?p=2530 pdf available by Andreas Bummel While the establishment of a citizen-elected United Nations Parliamentary Assembly remains a key federalist goal, it is possible to pursue complementary e?orts towards strengthening global democracy. One such innovation that the Congress of the World Federalist Movement in The Hague supported unanimously this year is a UN World Citizens¡¯ Initiative […]

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by Andreas Bummel

While the establishment of a citizen-elected United Nations Parliamentary Assembly remains a key federalist goal, it is possible to pursue complementary e?orts towards strengthening global democracy. One such innovation that the Congress of the World Federalist Movement in The Hague supported unanimously this year is a UN World Citizens¡¯ Initiative (UNWCI).

While government-initiated popular plebiscites put forward by elected or non-elected rulers can be highly problematic, instruments of direct democracy, if designed in a right way, can mobilize the positive energy of the citizenry. They can help regain citizen trust in democracy and provide a way to strengthen their political voice. Even in the intergovernmental realm, recent initiatives such as the 1 for 7 Billion Campaign on the selection of the UN Secretary-General or the My World 2015 survey on the Sustainable Development Goals have shown that it is possible to engage millions of people in UN-related issues.

An example and inspiration to draw upon when imagining citizen participation at the UN is the European Citizens¡¯ Initiative (ECI), the only existing transnational tool of participatory democracy. The ECI was introduced with the Lisbon Treaty on the European Union (EU) that entered into force in 2009. The instrument allows for citizens to identify a problem, propose a solution and submit their proposal to the European Commission for review if they manage to mobilize the support of at least a million EU citizens. So far, there have been four successful initiatives and six others are still open.

A similar instrument could be established at the UN to allow for citizens¡¯ input. The fundamental idea of a UNWCI is that if a certain threshold of world citizens endorses a citizen-launched initiative, UN bodies such as the UN General Assembly or the Security Council would have to put the item on their agenda and give representatives of the initiative the floor to make their case. Ideally, the UN General Assembly would follow up and adopt recommendations based on the UNWCI in question or launch an intergovernmental process to adopt or modify relevant treaties. We anticipate that an instrument such as a UNWCI will support the emergence of better synergies and collaboration among civil society worldwide and of a citizen-based global political sphere.

Democracy Without Borders has aligned with Cologne-based Democracy International and with the support of other NGOs such as WFM, CIVICUS and Global Justice Now we are building an alliance that will develop the UNWCI proposal and launch a campaign ahead of the upcoming 75th anniversary of the UN in 2020 which we hope will be used as an opportunity for innovation and reform, as the UN2020 civil society initiative suggests.

While the ECI o?ers a strong example to draw upon, conceptualizing a UNWCI will come with its own challenges, as of course the EU and the UN di?er in fundamental ways. 

However, just as the EU realized that an element of participatory democracy is important to strengthen the connection between the EU and its citizens, the same thinking should apply to the UN today. A ¡®magic tool¡¯ that the UN General Assembly may be able to use to establish a UNWCI, once all details have been figured out, is Article 22 of the UN Charter, which allows the Assembly to ¡°establish such subsidiary organs as it deems necessary for the performance of its functions.¡± The creation of a consultative mechanism like a UNWCI could be seen as a win- win scenario and as part of the UN General Assembly¡¯s long-sought revitalization.

Andreas Bummel is Coordinator for the UN Parliamentary Assembly campaign.

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Ventotene International Seminar: 35th edition https://www.google.com//1b1/2019/01/ventotene-international-seminar-35th-edition/ /1b1/2019/01/ventotene-international-seminar-35th-edition/#respond Mon, 14 Jan 2019 16:53:35 +0000 /1b1/?p=2527 pdf available by Yasmina Gourchane In early September, young world federalists assembled on the Italian island of Ventotene for the 35th edition of the Ventotene International Seminar. From Mombasa to Montreal, Islamabad to Buenos Aires, WFM¡¯s delegation of 12 took part in the week-long event, participating in panels as speakers, leading working groups, and networking […]

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by Yasmina Gourchane

In early September, young world federalists assembled on the Italian island of Ventotene for the 35th edition of the Ventotene International Seminar. From Mombasa to Montreal, Islamabad to Buenos Aires, WFM¡¯s delegation of 12 took part in the week-long event, participating in panels as speakers, leading working groups, and networking with other young federalists from Europe and beyond. While the main draw of the Seminar is its packed agenda, with sessions on topics ranging from economy to history to defence policy, it also provides unparalleled opportunities for young activists to engage with one another and grow their networks. The sunny island with a federalist history, as the place where Altiero Spinelli drafted his Federalist Manifesto, serves as an ideal setting for equipping a new generation of young federalist activists with the tools, knowledge and networks they need for an ever-changing world.

WFM participants gathered for a two-day pre-seminar that serves as a crash-course in federalism, giving an overview of WFM¡¯s history, goals and projects, as well as a chance for the participants to get acquainted before convening on the island. Aiming for an interactive format, each participant presented on a topic of their choice ranging from federalist solutions to post-conflict situations, to influential female leaders of Pakistan, all of which sparked strong discussions and a flow of ideas from the diverse group.

The island of Ventotene may be small, but the welcome is big. After an opening session, participants and speakers met in the town square, along with residents of Ventotene for a welcome dinner. Each of the ten restaurants on the island provided a di?erent dish, and everyone dined at large communal tables in the shape of E, for Europe. Bringing together locals, tourists and federalists alike, the dinner broke the ice and lay the groundwork for a productive week of work.

This year, WFM took a particularly active role. Nick Christie, WFM EC member and Chair of the Policy Committee, Lucio Levi, WFM Councillor, and Yasmina Gourchane, WFM Membership and Outreach Associate briefed participants on WFM programs, such as the Campaign for a UN Parliamentary Assembly and the Coalition for the ICC. 

Later in the week, Florencia Gor, WFM Congress Chair, touched on other WFM projects, including the COPLA campaign and the UN2020 initiative. Having active and engaging WFM speakers has always been a key feature of the Ventotene Seminar, bringing a world perspective to complement a focus on the European Union, which many European participants work on regularly. One feature of WFM that attracted the JEF (Young European Federalists) and UEF (Union of European Federalists) participants were the newly launched Transnational Working Groups, established to encourage regular and robust communication between Member Organizations and experts in the field.

Ventotene is truly a melting pot for federalists who come from di?erent countries, generations and disciplines.

Participants kept the spirit of discussion alive even outside of the seminar meeting room by continuing the day¡¯s debates in their free time, whether over dinner overlooking the Mediterranean, grabbing a Spritz in the square, or on a boat tour around the island. Interactions like these solidified collaboration e?orts across JEF chapters, between JEF and WFM, not to mention countless friendships. Nearly four decades on, new generations of federalists continue to return to Ventotene, determined to continue on the legacy of Altiero Spinelli and work towards a more federal world.

Yasmina Gourchane is the Membership and Outreach Associate at the Coalition for the ICC, New York

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European Identity – Fact or Myth? https://www.google.com//1b1/2019/01/european-identity-fact-or-myth/ /1b1/2019/01/european-identity-fact-or-myth/#respond Mon, 14 Jan 2019 16:53:23 +0000 /1b1/?p=2524 pdf available by Keith Best From a speech by Keith Best at the 28th European Economic Forum: 4-6 September 2018 Krynica, Poland, ¡°A Europe of Common Values or A Europe of Common Interests?¡± European values and interests are both evolving all the time, as is the national identities of the states. Through migration, changing norms […]

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by Keith Best

From a speech by Keith Best at the 28th European Economic Forum: 4-6 September 2018 Krynica, Poland, ¡°A Europe of Common Values or A Europe of Common Interests?¡±

European values and interests are both evolving all the time, as is the national identities of the states.

Through migration, changing norms of societal behavior, changes in religious a?liation, increased exposure to other values, cultures and cuisine, the profile of all our states is changing. For some of our citizens, that is uncomfortable as the familiar territory of only a few years ago is now very di?erent. That has manifested itself in concern about the unequal distribution of benefit through globalization, scapegoating migrants and a reaction to the multicultural society in which our citizens find themselves. There is no doubt that the main motivations for those who voted for Britain to leave the EU were not so much about the common rules and regulations, but about a sense of disenfranchisement.

There is always a counter-intuition about this debate as, on one hand, there is the fear of migration changing the established norms, habits and way of life (often stimulated through sometimes unconscious and subliminal but deeply seated racism) and, on the other hand, the recognition that migrant workers are essential in a range of sectors.

Beyond economic considerations, the revolution in the recognition of discrimination against women and ethnic groups, and LGBTI rights may have been brewing for a long time, but these changes have been disconcerting to some. Many societies have been as unprepared for these changes as they have been for the increase in migration and that fault must lie partly at the door of governments. So much more could have been done by forward thinking politicians. Instead, many merely echo concerns over these trends, often for short-term political populist gain.

If we look at common trends now in much of Europe they include a demonstration of these sensitivities ¨C a move to the political right and intolerance of migrants, especially asylum seekers, a growth of nationalism and retreat into introversion and a shift away from a belief in international co- operation, including free trade, as a way of improving the condition of the people. Increasingly, these political views will come into conflict with religious ones ¨C not least as all the major religions embrace a welcome to the stranger and charity to the poor and needy.

There are also the economic consequences of the loss of financial confidence which could carry contagion outside Europe. Thanks to the uncertainty over Brexit, the UK has seen business investment decrease ¡ê22 billion from what it would have been ¨C at a time when investment in infrastructure and training is so necessary for productivity. All this, coupled with arguably an over-valued asset market, is a recipe for forthcoming woe. The world, let alone Europe, cannot a?ord to have Europe implode.

It is the fate and inelegance of most politicians always to be fighting today¡¯s battles and problems with yesterday¡¯s weapons and not able to anticipate what may come — unlike Churchill who, in his own words, tried to “peer through the mists of the future to the end of the war,¡± once victory had been achieved, and think about how to re-build and maintain peace on a shattered continent.

We are asked to examine whether we have a Europe of Common Values or a Europe of Common Interests? This underpins another debate between religious values and political interests, which creates its own tensions. Can they be reconciled? Yet to ask the question misunderstands the debate. Religious values underpin most political philosophies even if their provenance is not acknowledged.

Europe has shown itself adept at formalizing and enshrining those values that were so obvious to civilized living in the wake of the World Wars. A notable contribution was made by Sir David Maxwell Fyfe, a leading British Conservative politician who had been one of the prosecutors at Nuremberg, who was instrumental in drafting a large part of the Council of Europe¡¯s Convention on Human Rights.

The scope of that treaty of course, encompasses 47 countries, a far wider reach than the EU, stretching from Albania and Armenia to Georgia, Turkey, Ukraine and Russia. It enshrines the common values of human rights, democracy and the rule of law.

These core values and their counterparts in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights may have had their roots in Judaeo-Christian philosophy but they were enshrined in secular language and are now accepted as norms that have a global reach. It is true that the East produced a di?erent strand of thought in Confucianism and authoritarianism which is now challenging the utility of democracy in providing wellbeing for the people. It is true, also, that the concentration on individual rights and responsibilities is di?erent from the greater regard given to collective groups but respect for the dignity and safeguarding of the individual is now interwoven with concepts of rights for groups.

It remains alarming that there are still so many people who cannot distinguish the Council from the EU. Arguably, in the UK, one of the greatest arguments for Leavers was the desire to regain sovereignty and much anger has been directed against the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg (the creature of the Council) when the

true bile was meant to be directed against the European Court based in Luxembourg.

I trust that I have given some explanation of European common values, especially in recent times, but what of interests? They, like values, have changed with the times. For most of the last millennium those interests were in deep competition as di?erent countries vied with each other for global empires or were consumed among themselves over territorial and religious conflicts. It would have been di?cult at any stage to discern a common interest. That changed some seventy years ago after those countries, showing that common values were insu?cient to avert conflict, discovered that the only way forward was to share a common interest in peace and trade. We now live in the greatest trading bloc in the world. Of course, that requires some surrender of sovereignty but even the most nationalist of countries understands that pooling sovereignty can lead to a greater, not lesser, influence.

Security is a major common interest in combating terrorism and cyber crime and requires enormous co-operation between security forces, the police, Interpol and sharing information. Moreover, if the USA is serious about withdrawing more from Europe and concentrating on its Pacific hinterland then, increasingly, Europe will need to find its own solutions. These are matters requiring collective action and not state individualism.

We are living in an interconnected world in which communications, transportable skills and, indeed, cyber attacks do not respect national boundaries.

This is not a time for separation but for coming together and exploiting what we have in common rather than what divides us.

There will continue to be many areas in which common interests will not prevail and it is wrong to try to impose unanimity. Sometimes foreign a?airs and certainly much domestic policy will not have a universal common interest. After centuries of internal conflict, however, often drawing in much of the rest of the planet, the creation of a Europe of common interests has been one of the greatest achievements in the world. It is a precious jewel that we must keep and develop at all costs. For the sake of ourselves and our children we must rebuild trust in international co-operation and institutions otherwise both humanity and our environment will pay the price.

Keith Best is a member of the WFM-IGP Executive Committee

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ICC Update (December 2018) https://www.google.com//1b1/2019/01/icc-update-december-2018/ /1b1/2019/01/icc-update-december-2018/#respond Mon, 14 Jan 2019 16:53:08 +0000 /1b1/?p=2518 pdf available By Monique Cuillerier The International Criminal Court is currently engaged in ten preliminary examinations, has eleven situations under investigation, and is pursuing 26 cases that involve 42 defendants. The preliminary examinations are currently being conducted in Afghanistan, Bangladesh/Myanmar, Colombia, Guinea, Iraq/UK, Nigeria, Palestine, the Philippines, Ukraine, and Venezuela. A preliminary examination of acts […]

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By Monique Cuillerier

The International Criminal Court is currently engaged in ten preliminary examinations, has eleven situations under investigation, and is pursuing 26 cases that involve 42 defendants.

The preliminary examinations are currently being conducted in Afghanistan, Bangladesh/Myanmar, Colombia, Guinea, Iraq/UK, Nigeria, Palestine, the Philippines, Ukraine, and Venezuela.

A preliminary examination of acts allegedly committed in Gabon resulted in a decision not to proceed as there was not “a reasonable basis to believe that the acts allegedly committed in Gabon in the context of the 2016 post-election violence, either by members of the opposition or by the Gabonese security forces, constitute crimes against humanity within the meaning of the Rome Statute of the ICC.”

Central African Republic (I)

Referred to the Court by the Government of the Central African Republic in 2004, Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo was found guilty of crimes against humanity and war crimes in March 2016. In early June 2018, the Appeals Chamber decided to acquit him because they found the trial court had erroneously convicted Bemba of specific acts outside the scope of the charges and erred in its assessment of whether he took all necessary and reasonable measures to prevent or punish his subordinates of the other crimes involved.

Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, Aim¨¦ Kilolo Musamba, Jean- Jacques Mangenda Kabongo, Fid¨¨le Babala Wandu and Narcisse Arido were found guilty of o?ences against the administration of justice. Appeals resulted in new sentences for Bemba, Mangenda and Kilolo in September 2018. Bemba was sentenced to one year imprisonment and fined EUR 300 000, Kilolo and Mangenda were each sentenced to eleven months imprisonment. Kilolo was fined EUR 30 000. All were credited with time spent in detention and as a result the imprisonment portion of their sentences are considered served. The fines are to be paid by mid-December 2018, three months after the decision, and transferred to the Trust Fund for Victims.

Central African Republic (II)

In May 2014 the Government of CAR referred this situation, which focuses on alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed since 1 August 2012, in the context of the conflict between Muslim S¨¦l¨¦ka and Christian anti-balaka groups.

An arrest warrant was issued on November 11, 2018 for Alfred Yekatom and he was surrendered to the Court on November 17. An initial appearance before the Court is the next step in the case.

C?te d¡¯Ivoire

The trial of Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Bl¨¦ Goud¨¦ began in January 2016 and continues. Both are accused of four counts of crimes against humanity. The case against Simone Gbagbo remains at the pre-trial stage as she is still not in the custody of the Court.

Darfur, Sudan

There are four current cases concerning the situation in Darfur, Sudan. The suspects in all of the cases — Ahmad Harun, Ali Kushayb, Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir, Abdallah Banda Abakaer Nourain, and Abdel Raheem Muhammad Hussein — remain at large.

Democratic Republic of the Congo

In 2012, Thomas Lubanga Dyilo was convicted and sentenced to 14 years of imprisonment. In December 2017, a decision set the amount of his liability for collective reparations at US$10,000,000. Implementation of the collective reparations decision remains pending.

The trial of Bosco Ntaganda began in September 2015 and closing statements were made in August 2018. Ntaganda is accused of 13 counts of war crimes, and five counts of crimes against humanity. Deliberations continue and the Court’s decision will be made in due course.

Sylvestre Mudacumura, for whom an arrest warrant was issued in 2012, remains at large.

Georgia

An investigation into crimes allegedly committed in and around South Ossetia, Georgia in 2008 was begun in January 2016 and continues.

Libya

The cases of Mahmoud Mustafa Busayf Al-Werfalli, Saif Al- Islam Gaddafi, and Al-Tuhamy Mohamed Khaled remain pending as they all remain at large.

Kenya

Arrest warrants for Walter Osapiri Barasa, Paul Gicheru and Philip Kipkoech Bett for various o?ences against the administration of justice remain outstanding.

Mali

In September 2016, Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi was found guilty of the war crime of intentionally attacking historic monuments and religious buildings and was sentenced to nine years imprisonment. The Reparations Order became final in March 2018. Al Mahdi was found liable for EUR 2.7 million.

Al Hassan Ag Abdoul Aziz Ag Mohamed Ag Mahmoud was surrendered to Court’s custody at the end of March 2018. A confirmation of charges hearing is the next step.

Uganda

The case against Joseph Kony and Vincent Otti remains pending as they are still at large.

The trial of Dominic Ongwen began in December 2016 and the Defence is currently presenting its evidence. Over 4000 victims have been granted the right to participate in the trial.

Other

To date, 123 countries have ratified the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which marks its 20th anniversary in 2018.

Last year’s Assembly of States Parties meeting included the adoption of a consensus resolution on the activation of the jurisdiction of the Court over the crime of aggression, as of 17 July 2018. This year’s ASP took place in early December in The Hague.

Monique Cuillerier is the Membership and Communications Director for the World Federalist Movement – Canada.

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The ICC comes under attack ¨C again https://www.google.com//1b1/2019/01/the-icc-comes-under-attack-again/ /1b1/2019/01/the-icc-comes-under-attack-again/#respond Mon, 14 Jan 2019 16:52:26 +0000 /1b1/?p=2515 pdf available by Yasmina Gourchane On 10 September 2018, US National Security Advisor, John Bolton, speaking at a meeting of the right-wing Federalist Society in Washington DC, publicly denounced the International Criminal Court. He called it a creation of ¡°self-styled global governance advocates,¡± and went on to announce that ¡°the United States will use any […]

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by Yasmina Gourchane

On 10 September 2018, US National Security Advisor, John Bolton, speaking at a meeting of the right-wing Federalist Society in Washington DC, publicly denounced the International Criminal Court. He called it a creation of ¡°self-styled global governance advocates,¡± and went on to announce that ¡°the United States will use any means necessary to protect our citizens and those of our allies from unjust prosecution by this illegitimate court.¡±

Two weeks later, in his address to the UN General Assembly, U.S. President Donald Trump rea?rmed this position, while also taking a harsh stand against multilateralism and global institutions more generally. ¡°We reject the ideology of globalism, and we embrace the doctrine of patriotism,¡± he said.

Twenty years after the signing of the Rome Statute, the guiding document of the ICC, the Court is facing not only criticisms of its performance and jurisprudence during its first decades, but actual threats that could for example impede its o?cers from making routine visits and reports to the United Nations.

The Court is no stranger to criticism. Back in the early 2000s, John Bolton was part of President George W. Bush¡¯s administration, serving in a di?erent capacity, as Ambassador to the United Nations. During his tenure, he negotiated dozens of Bilateral Immunity Agreements with states, both parties and non- parties to the Rome Statute. 

Under these agreements the signing state would be obliged to surrender any US nationals wanted by the ICC back to the US government, not to the Court. Bolton was also part of the administration when it e?ectively ¡®unsigned¡¯ the Rome Statute, thereby underscoring its intent to never become party to the Court. Now back in government as National Security Advisor, Bolton has a stronger position from which he could initiate further action against the ICC and those who cooperate with it.

In November 2017, ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda requested authorization to initiate an investigation into crimes allegedly committed in Afghanistan, as well as crimes allegedly committed related to the Afghan situation on the territory of other states parties to the ICC.

The Prosecutor¡¯s request asserts that there is a reasonable basis to believe war crimes and crimes against humanity were committed by the Taliban, as well as war crimes by members of the Afghan National Security Forces, US armed forces, and the CIA. 

Although the Pre-Trial Chamber has yet to grant a final decision authorizing the investigation, the US has continued to reiterate its unwillingness to cooperate with the ICC, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently referring to the ¡®rogue international court¡¯ as an imminent threat to American sovereignty in a speech to the German Marshall Fund in early December.

These threats against the ICC extend beyond the current US administration. In late 2016, Burundi submitted its intent to withdraw as a state party to the Rome Statute, which took e?ect one year later. Similarly, in response to the opening of a preliminary investigation into crimes allegedly committed in the context of the Government¡¯s ¡®war on drugs¡¯, the Philippines announced its intent to withdraw from the ICC, slated to take e?ect in March 2019. This wave of anti-ICC sentiment is also felt at the United Nations, with states working to remove references to the Court and international justice from resolutions of the Security Council, General Assembly and other committees. For example, in a recent plenary session of the General Assembly on cooperation with regional institutions, Sudan called for a vote to remove references to the ICC and Rome Statute in a resolution on the Council of Europe.

Despite the persistence of these threats, support for the Court is sustained, primarily because the ICC carries out its work as an impartial international judicial body. Notably, ICC Pre-trial Chamber III ruled earlier this year that the Court maintains jurisdiction over crimes allegedly committed during the time when a state was party to the Statute, meaning that the Prosecutor can still pursue an investigation into the situation in Burundi, covering the period when Burundi was a state party. This ruling would also apply in the Philippines. And in the General Assembly, states stepped up to block Sudan¡¯s proposal, and voted to successfully retain mentions to the ICC in the above-mentioned resolution.

Many states and civil society organizations are doing their part to thwart attacks on the ICC. At the General Debate of the 73rd session of the General Assembly, mere days after Bolton¡¯s speech, nearly two dozen states referred explicitly to the Court, underscoring its absolute necessity in the rules-based global order. Weeks later, at a General Assembly session on the ICC, states again stepped up to recall the importance of the Rome Statute system in maintaining international peace and security, as well as its indispensable role in granting justice to victims when domestic systems fail.

2018 also marked the 20th anniversary of the Rome Statute. The ICC Coalition kicked o? the year with a launch event at the seat of the Court in February, and with other civil society organizations, called on States, the Court, regional organizations and other NGOs to do their part in commemorating the achievement that is the ICC. This resulted in numerous conferences, seminars and other media events that were held across the globe all year long.

In many ways these threats to the Rome Statute system serve to remind us that the Court is worth defending. World leaders were once able to act with impunity, with no fear of repercussions when they committed grave international crimes. But the very existence of this institution undermines such impunity.

The Court was conceived in a more idealistic time, and today faces a challenging road ahead. Yet now more than ever the world needs institutions like the ICC to stand up for victims of the most heinous crimes, and ensure a future that includes a robust system of international justice.

Yasmina Gourchane is the Membership and Outreach Associate at the Coalition for the ICC, New York

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COPLA Update: COPLA arrives on the global stage https://www.google.com//1b1/2019/01/copla-update-copla-arrives-on-the-global-stage/ /1b1/2019/01/copla-update-copla-arrives-on-the-global-stage/#respond Mon, 14 Jan 2019 16:52:12 +0000 /1b1/?p=2512 pdf available by Florencia Gor Kick-started five years ago by the small NGO Democracia Global (the WFM Member Organization from Argentina), the campaign to establish a Latin American and Caribbean criminal court against transnational organized crime continues to garner support in the governmental, academic and civil society sectors. COPLA (acronym for Corte Penal Latinoamericana y […]

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pdf available

by Florencia Gor

Kick-started five years ago by the small NGO Democracia Global (the WFM Member Organization from Argentina), the campaign to establish a Latin American and Caribbean criminal court against transnational organized crime continues to garner support in the governmental, academic and civil society sectors.

COPLA (acronym for Corte Penal Latinoamericana y del Caribe contra el Crimen Transnacional Organizado) is presented not only as a proposal for a new judicial organization; it is also considered a key strategy towards a deeper integration in a region that desperately needs more and better cooperation.

As proof of the continued commitment of Argentina¡¯s leaders to spearhead the intergovernmental side of this initiative, the President included it in his address this past September to the opening of the 73rd United Nations General Assembly. This is the second time that COPLA has been mentioned at the UNGA, after Argentine Vice President Michetti did the same in 2017.

Macri stated that, “For decades, we have gathered here to safeguard international peace and security. However, we live in a world that is not exempt from serious threats, such as organized crime, cybercrime and terrorism, which require cooperative responses to confront them. During these years, thanks to political will and improved cooperation with our partners in the region and the world, we have managed to dismantle criminal networks of drug tra?cking, to increase the number of captures of national and international fugitives and to reduce homicides linked to drug tra?cking. We also continue to seek the necessary consensus to create a complementary judicial body at the regional level to fight together against organized crime.”

Further regional backing

Another recent institutional development was the signing of the Declaration of Buenos Aires in support of the creation of COPLA. The document was signed last November 1st by parliamentarians and representatives from Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Paraguay, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela during a side-event at the Parliamentary Speakers¡¯ Forum and Summit in the context of the G20 Leaders¡¯ Summit.

Participants at the side event included parliamentarians from the region, ambassadors and key figures of the Argentine government, including Vice President Gabriela Michetti, Minister of Justice and Human Rights Germ¨¢n Garavano, Minister of Foreign A?airs Jorge Faurie, and Secretary of Public Ethics, Transparency and Fight Against Corruption, Laura Alonso.

During the opening panel, Camila L¨®pez Badra, Executive Director of Democracia Global and COPLA campaign coordinator, highlighted the NGO¡¯s leading role in promoting the project and its commitment to ¡°building a judicial instrument capable of stopping and prosecuting the highest echelons of organized crime.¡± She stated that COPLA would be complementary to national judicial systems, working in collaboration with member states and ¡°an independent Court, not subordinated to any regional organization.¡± For Ms. Badra, the statistics are too clear: ¡°Today¡¯s fight for human rights is the fight against organized crime.¡±

Garavano believes in the value of this initiative, and he proved it by creating a COPLA Unit within the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights: ¡°Latin America is one of the most violent regions of the world, with the highest levels of intentional homicides, many of them related to organized crime.¡± According to Alonso, we are witnessing the ¡°transnationalization of crime¡± and COPLA has the potential to be ¡°an excellent tool¡± to battle corruption at the regional level.

Vice President Gabriela Michetti, a dedicated supporter since the campaign¡¯s inception, closed the event stating that ¡°COPLA could be a very e?ective instrument to make progress in the path of fighting against organized crime.¡±

A draft statute has been drafted by a group of experts in international criminal law and regional integration. Prof. Christian Cao, the group¡¯s coordinator, expressed that ¡°nowadays, organized crime looks for large amounts of money in order to boost and continue to develop and deploy these transnational crimes¡± […], hence ¡°establishing a complementary judicial tribunal that can prosecute the leaders of these groups is a demand of the 21st century.¡±

What next?

The support of the Argentine government since the early stages has been key in the advancement of COPLA. However, Octavio Silliti, Legal Adviser for the Argentine Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, believes that one of the main internal challenges is ¡°to reach the goal of making COPLA and its objectives a state policy beyond the political inclination of subsequent governments.¡± For Argentina the challenge is also ¡°to achieve a fluid communication and coordination among the di?erent Ministries of the Latin American and Caribbean countries¡± and ¡°to create a Commission of Legal Advisers appointed by the governments of the member states.¡±

COPLA campaigners draw parallels with the model that first inspired it, the International Criminal Court. In the case of the ICC, a coalition of NGOs and a group of like-minded governments worked together at every stage to improve the draft statute and to provide a wide understanding of the need for such an institution. There is already an undeniable social consensus on the urgent need for a regional approach to the crisis of violence.

COPLA advocates need to voice this social demand for security so that governments feel compelled by their citizens to take action.

Florencia Gor is the WFM Congress Chair and Past-President of Democracia Global, Argentina

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