Interoperability (International)

ICJ to tackle climate policy

The UN General Assembly has passed a resolution asking the International Court to come up with a legal definition of countries’ obligations to tackle climate change. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said March 29 that ICJ opinions “have tremendous importance and can have a long-standing impact on the international legal order.” However, whether individual states will cooperate remains to be seen; the U.S., which has a fractious relationship with the ICJ, did not support a UN resolution on the issue. [node:read-more:link]

Hungary Endorses Finland for NATO

The Hungarian parliament today voted 182-6 to approve Finland’s bid to join NATO. However, Sweden’s bid remains up in the air as Hungary awaits clarification on lingering disagreements before another vote. Turkey also objects to Sweden’s bid, saying it is too soft on expatriates it deems to be terrorists. [node:read-more:link]

Canadian leaks no issue for allies?

A U.S. Administration official said today that leaks about alleged Chinese meddling in Canadian electoral processes have not affected Five Eyes intelligence sharing. “There's no breach of trust […] whatsoever,” said John Kirby, strategic communications coordinator at the National Security Council, adding that the U.S. supports Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s approach to the issue. [node:read-more:link]

Hungary fed up with critics

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto says “inacceptable” criticism of his country’s democratic and cultural issues is undermining cooperation within NATO and the EU. Members of the European Parliament say Hungary is “a hybrid regime of electoral autocracy” under President Victor Orban, who has not criticized Russia for invading Ukraine and continues to block Swedish and Finnish membership for Sweden and Finland. [node:read-more:link]

Canada-U.S. interests “interwoven”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Joe Biden used a day of talks in Ottawa March 24 to tackle a range of shared issues, including defence and security, third-country refugees, Haiti, clean energy and trade in what Trudeau said was a demonstration of how their countries’ interests are “interwoven.” Biden, on his first visit to Canada as President, agreed, saying, “I can't think of a challenge we haven’t met together.” [node:read-more:link]

Refugee deal with U.S.

Almost simultaneously with the arrival in Ottawa of President Joe Biden today, it’s reported that Canada and the U.S. have an agreement permitting them to turn away asylum seekers at their borders. Disclosed by an official in Washington, the agreement evidently is scheduled to be signed before Biden heads home March 24. [node:read-more:link]

Montrealer faces terrorist allegations

Mohamed Amine Assal, 18, of Montreal has been arrested by the RCMP acting on information from the FBI and was expected to have a video court appearance today. No charges have been laid and the RCMP say the operation was designed to have Assal sign a peace bond because there were “reasonable grounds to fear that Mr. Assal may commit a terrorism offence.” [node:read-more:link]

NATO still chasing spending goal

Defence spending across NATO rose 2.2 per cent in 2022, topping an estimated US$ $1 trillion but only seven members met the alliance’s target of two per cent of their national gross domestic product. A report today shows that Britain, Estonia, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and the U.S. met the target with Croatia and France falling just short. Others were further behind. [node:read-more:link]

Nexus ramping back up

The federal government said March 20 that it expects that the Nexus trusted-traveller program with the U.S. to be back in full operation in about a month. Registration for the program has been on hold for nearly a year, partly because of bureaucratic and legal issues, resulting in backlogged applications. Enrolment centres will reopen at the Halifax and Winnipeg airports on March 27, followed by Vancouver April 3, Calgary and Edmonton April 12, Montreal April 17 and Toronto and Ottawa April 24. [node:read-more:link]

Turkey okay with Finland in NATO

Finland moved a step closer to NATO membership today Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said his parliament would ratify the application. Finland and Sweden applied 10 months ago but Turkey balked, accusing both of being too soft on political opponents it considered terrorist organizations and it still has reservations about Sweden. [node:read-more:link]

Turkish election May 14

It was confirmed today that Turkish voters will go to the polls for parliamentary and presidential elections May 14. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who has led the NATO country for 20 years, initially as prime minister, is expected to face serious challenges from two main opposition parties. [node:read-more:link]

Biden set to visit Ottawa

NORAD, Russia, bilateral trade, industrial supply chains, climate change, clean energy and cross-border travel concerns are expected to feature prominently in U.S. President Joe Biden’s March 23-24 visit to Ottawa. Confirmed today, it will be Biden’s first visit as president since he assumed office in January 2021. [node:read-more:link]

Hungary backs Sweden for NATO

Sweden’s NATO membership bid has received support from a visiting Hungarian delegation despite some political resistance in Budapest. “We support Sweden’s NATO membership,” Deputy Parliamentary Speaker Csaba Hende said March 7. “We made it clear that the Hungarian government, the Hungarian president, the prime minister and most of the Hungarian parliamentarians clearly support Swedish NATO membership.” [node:read-more:link]

EU monitoring staff trips

As the European Parliament continues to deal with the fallout from a corruption scandal, the European Commission is being asked to provide details on business trips by senior staff partly paid for by third parties. In a letter to EC President Ursula von der Leyen, the office of Ombud Emilly O’Reilly, an Irish national, says it wants clearer conflict-of-interest rules. [node:read-more:link]

Murderer seeks Kiwi refugee status

Vancouver MP Jenny Kwan says a man convicted of murder in B.C. 20 years ago is falsifying information in his claim for refugee status in New Zealand after arriving from China. Kwan has asked federal cabinet ministers to ensure that New Zealand authorities receive “pertinent factual information pertaining to issues of criminality” in the case. [node:read-more:link]


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