Interoperability (International)

“Digital Red Cross” protection proposed

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is proposing “digital” markers in the hope of protecting websites and systems used for medical and humanitarian purposes against cyberattacks. The “markers” could incorporate information that targetted institutions are protected by the Geneva Conventions. [node:read-more:link]

Envoys at odds over NEXUS

Amidst growing U.S. pressure to resolve a legal dispute over the NEXUS trusted traveller arrangement with Canada, the countries ambassadors voiced diametrically opposite opinions. Kristen Hillman, Canada's Ambassador in Washington says the U.S. is holding the program “hostage” by demanding legal immunity for officers working at a Canadian-based office. Her opposite number in Ottawa, David Cohen, says “it’s Canada's problem to solve” as the U.S. maintains its position. [node:read-more:link]

Global Affairs intel said ineffectual

The National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians,chaired by Ottawa Liberal MP David McGuinty, says Global Affairs Canada “is inconsistent, and in some areas completely absent” when it comes to tracking intelligence activities which could create diplomatic problems. In an unprecedented review of the department, the committee says the Foreign Affairs Minister is at risk of being left in the dark about operations but McGuinty said it's also incumbent on the minister to ask questions and demand to be informed. [node:read-more:link]

Canada sanctions Haitian leaders

Canada is coordinating sanctions with the U.S. against two Haitian politicians, accusing of them of using their positions “to protect and enable the illegal activities of armed criminal gangs” which have paralyzed their country. Global Affairs Canada says President Youri Latortue and his predecessor, Joseph Lambert, support the gangs “through money laundering and other acts of corruption.” The U.S. Treasury Department says they have “have materially contributed to, or pose a significant risk of materially contributing to, the international proliferation of illicit drugs.” [node:read-more:link]

No “dirty bomb” evidence in Ukraine

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency reported today that his inspectors had found no evidence so far to support Russia’s claim that Ukraine was collecting radioactive material for a “dirty bomb.” At Ukraine’s invitation, the IAEA team spent several days at three sites named by Russia and eventually left with environmental samples for analysis that they would report on “as soon as possible.” [node:read-more:link]

Canada recommits to cybersecurity initiative

Cybersecurity officials from Canada and three dozen countries agreed November 1 that they would continue to cooperate on responding to ransomware attacks. Their meeting in Washington also set the stage for an Australia-led International Counter Ransomware Task Force to facilitate information sharing. [node:read-more:link]

World “far behind” emissions goals

The UN Environment Program says the world is neither doing enough, nor even promising to do so to addres climate change attributed to greenhouse gas emissions. “Global and national climate commitments are falling pitifully short,” says Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Thursday. “We are headed for a global catastrophe.” [node:read-more:link]

Canada assessing Haiti options

After Canadian and U.S. officials conference called last week to discuss the humanitarian and security crisis in Haiti, the federal govrnmnt immediately sent personnel “to consult with stakeholders on . . . how Canada can contribute to the international response.” [node:read-more:link]

The Nordic case for NATO membership

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said today that he is determined to meet the terms of a deal aimed at overcoming Turkey's objections to his government’s bid to join NATO along with Finland. “We are working very hard to fulfill what Sweden is supposed to do,” he said after a meeting in Helsinki with his Finnish counterpart, Sanna Mirella Marin. Turkey wants both Nordic countries to stop being havens for expatriate critics it sees as terrorists. [node:read-more:link]

ISIS adherents arrested in Canada

One of two Canadian women repatriated from a Syrian detention camp for families of Islamic State was charged with terrorism-related offences shortly after arriving earlier this week in Montreal. RCMP said Oumaima Chouay, 27, had been the focus of an international investigation into terrorist activities. A lawyer representing the second woman, Kimberly Polman, 50, said authorities are seeking a peace bond for her. [node:read-more:link]

Role for Canada in Haiti?

Ahead of today’s visit to Ottawa by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, a senior official in his department voiced optimism about creating an intervention force to help Haiti deal with gang violence which has crippled the country’s already fragile economy for months. President Joe Biden’s administration has said it has no desire to send troops but Brian Nichols, Assistant Secretary of State for the Western Hemisphere, said October 26 that “a number of countries” are capable. [node:read-more:link]

Australia and Japan increase cooperation

Australia and Japan have signed a Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation to share more intelligence and increase military cooperation amidst a growing Chinese presence in the region. Among other things, Prime Ministers Anthony Albanese and Fumio Kishida agreed October 23 to combined military training exercises in northern Australia. [node:read-more:link]

Champagne optimistic about Nexus deadlock

Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne is confident that a dispute with the U.S. over the Nexus trusted-traveller can be resolved within a matter of weeks. In Washington for talks with Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo October 21, he said it’s in both countries’ interests to resolve the issue. U.S. Nexus enrolment centres in the U.S. are open but the 13 in Canada remain closed because the U.S. won’t post agents until they have the same legal protections as Canadian agents at ports of entry and border crossings. [node:read-more:link]

G7 playing long game in Ukraine

As Russia ramped up missile attacks on civilian targets in Ukraine, Canada and its partners in the G7, backed by NATO, promised today to support Ukraine with “financial, humanitarian, military, diplomatic and legal support for . . . as long as it takes.” Russian President Vladimir Putin said the latest attacks were in retaliation for a strike on a key bridge to Crimea, which he annexed in 2014. [node:read-more:link]

Russia predictably vetoes UN resolution

A draft resolution to condemn Russia’s annexation of four regions in eastern Ukraine was predictably vetoed by Russia when put to the UN Security Council. China and India, along with Brazil and India, abstained as the U.S.-Albania resolution was approved by all other council members. [node:read-more:link]


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