Interoperability (International)

Russian war crimes targetted

Countries building cases against senior Russian leaders for the crime of aggression resulting from their invasion of Ukraine, are to be supported by a new international centre in The Hague. While it will not issue indictments or arrest warrants, it is described by Ukrainian Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin as “a clear signal that the world is united and unwavering on the path to holding the Russian regime accountable.” The EU agreed July 3 to provide €8.3 million in start-up support. [node:read-more:link]

Stoltenberg sticking around?

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, whose role has already been extended twice, evidently will be asked to remain head of the alliance for another year. A U.S. official disclosed June 29 that members have tentatively agreed to the idea as the former Norwegian Prime Minister prepares for a July 11-12 summit in Lithuania. [node:read-more:link]

EU increases support for Ukraine

European Union states agreed today to increase a fund used to finance military aid for Ukraine by some 41% to €12 billion. Individual contributions reflect national economies and so far the fund has allocated some €4.6 billion. “It makes the EU and its partners stronger,” said Spanish diplomat Josep Borrell, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs & Security Policy. [node:read-more:link]

Mixed U.S. view of Ukrainian support

Results of a recently-completed U.S. poll on national security issues show that while 76% of the respondents feel that a Ukrainian victory over its Russian invaders is important to U.S. interests, they were divided on support. Some 59% supported sending military aid but 30% were opposed. [node:read-more:link]

Enhanced wildfire agreement with U.S.

Canada and the U.S. hope to enhance cooperation against wildfires through an arrangement announced June 23 by Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson. “Today's arrangement […] will ensure effective cooperation through knowledge - and resource-sharing, advancing our joint efforts to protect livelihoods and communities.” U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said that “as climate change continues to threaten communities, infrastructure, forests and rangelands, finding new ways to work together is essential.” [node:read-more:link]

Israeli occupation condemned by Guterres

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres wanyts Israel to “cease all settlement activities” in occupied Palestinian territory because ongoing construction of settlements remains a major obstacle to peace. He was reacting to an Israeli raid on the Jenin refugee June 19. [node:read-more:link]

Assad regime taken to ICJ

Canada and the Netherlands are taking Syria to the International Court of Justice on grounds that Syria “has committed countless violations of international law. “Since 2011, Syrians have been tortured, murdered, sexually assaulted, forcibly disappeared and subjected to chemical weapon attacks on a mass scale,” Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly and her Dutch counterpart said in a joint statement today. “Twelve years on, human rights violations at the hands of the Syrian regime persist.” [node:read-more:link]

Europe’s “milestone” border pact

Despite opposition from Hungary and Poland as well as misgivings among other members, the European Commission has endorsed a common policy on handling immigrants and asylum seekers as well as creating a common approach to border controls European Council President Ursula von der Leyen, who, upon becoming president of the European Commission, called it a “huge milestone.” [node:read-more:link]

Erdogan back in power

Incumbent Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was returned to power for five years May 28 in a runoff election which gave him just over 52% of the votes. His chief opponent, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, called it “the most unfair election in recent years”, saying that Erdogan’s party had mobilized state resources against him. [node:read-more:link]

Montreal cold case solved

New DNA testing has confirmed the identify of a U.S. citizen who murdered a Montreal teenager in 1975. Franklin Romine had been a suspect in Sharron Prior’s killing but evidence at the scene was not enough for testing or use in court. Romine died in 1982 but DNA from his exhumed body recently was found to match that on a shirt used to restrain Prior. [node:read-more:link]

More sanctions against Russia

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the other G7 leaders kicked off their summit in Japan today by announcing new sanctions against 17 Russian individuals and 18 “entities” due to human rights abuses in Ukraine. They also announced new funding they said will help to guard against nuclear weapon proliferation. [node:read-more:link]

PM in Hiroshima for G7

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrived in Japan today for the opening of a G7 summit in Hiroshima. Japanese PM Fumio Kishida chose his hometown for the meeting to highlight the risk of a nuclear confrontation as Russia ramps up its rhetoric about Ukraine and its allies. [node:read-more:link]

Canada a “boy scout” in China

Stewart Beck, a former Canadian diplomat whose postings included China and Taiwan and who later presided over the Asia-Pacific Foundation of Canada, says Canada was “boy scoutish from the outset” of relations with China by “not defining what we wanted.” Calling China’s hostage diplomacy and aggression a “wake-up call” for Canada,he urges closer alignment with U.S. foreign policy “when it is in our interest.” [node:read-more:link]

Canada seeking AUKUS role

It’s reported that Canada wants to join the non-nuclear component of the AUKUS security pact between Australia, Britain and the U.S. in a bid to counter China’s growing Indo-Pacific presence. Among other things, it would enhance information-sharing and cooperation on undersea defence. [node:read-more:link]

Foreign agent registry discussed

The U.S. used a recent visit to Ottawa by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to discuss the prospect of a Canadian registry of foreign agents. “We shared some of the practices and laws that we have in place to see if they would be of utility to our partners in Canada,” Mayorkas said during an April 30 broadcast interview. [node:read-more:link]


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