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United Nations reform

13-02-2019

At the 72nd United Nations (UN) General Assembly on 18 September 2017, 120 countries expressed their commitment to the reforms proposed by UN Secretary-General António Guterres. Since 1946, the UN has undergone a number of reforms either in whole or in part. The term 'reform' has proved troublesome for UN member states on account of its lack of clarity and the lack of consensus as to execution. This is particularly apparent in the scepticism expressed by the United States (US) in 2018 regarding the ...

At the 72nd United Nations (UN) General Assembly on 18 September 2017, 120 countries expressed their commitment to the reforms proposed by UN Secretary-General António Guterres. Since 1946, the UN has undergone a number of reforms either in whole or in part. The term 'reform' has proved troublesome for UN member states on account of its lack of clarity and the lack of consensus as to execution. This is particularly apparent in the scepticism expressed by the United States (US) in 2018 regarding the need for global governance, the importance of UN Security Council decisions such as the Iran nuclear deal, and the efficiency of the United Nations. This briefing explains how the current reform differs from previous ones, in as much as it focuses on management and addresses the criticisms of a lack of accountability and transparency, ineffectiveness, and the deficit in trust between the organisation and its member states in the current system. The United Nations reform agenda centres on three key areas: development, management, and peace and security. First, development reform will bring a bold change to the UN development system in order to achieve the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This will be centred on the creation of a new generation of country teams led by an independent team of UN country experts ('resident coordinators'). Second, the simplification of processes, increased transparency and improved delivery of mandates will form the basis of a new management paradigm for the secretariat. Third, peace and security reform will be underpinned by placing priority on conflict prevention and peacekeeping, increasing the effectiveness and coherence of peacekeeping operations and political missions. Two years after its launch, the reform process is starting to bear fruit, with implementation set to begin in 2019 and a focus on streamlining, accountability, transparency and efficiency. However, the reform process does not make explicit mention of bolstering human rights. This briefing also explores the possibility of capitalising on the current reforms so as to boost the indivisibility of human rights, while taking stock of stakeholders' reactions to the UN reforms under way.

The concept of 'climate refugee': Towards a possible definition

29-01-2019

According to statistics published by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, every year since 2008, an average of 26.4 million persons around the world have been forcibly displaced by floods, windstorms, earthquakes or droughts. This is equivalent to one person being displaced every second. Depending on the frequency and scale of the major natural disasters occurring, there are significant fluctuations in the total number of displaced people from one year to the next, yet the trend over recent ...

According to statistics published by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, every year since 2008, an average of 26.4 million persons around the world have been forcibly displaced by floods, windstorms, earthquakes or droughts. This is equivalent to one person being displaced every second. Depending on the frequency and scale of the major natural disasters occurring, there are significant fluctuations in the total number of displaced people from one year to the next, yet the trend over recent decades has been on the rise. Many find refuge within their own country, but some are forced to go abroad. With climate change, the number of 'climate refugees' will rise in the future. So far, the national and international response to this challenge has been limited, and protection for the people affected remains inadequate. What adds further to the gap in the protection of such people – who are often described as 'climate refugees' – is that there is neither a clear definition for this category of people, nor are they covered by the 1951 Refugee Convention. The latter extends only to people who have a well-founded fear of being persecuted because of their race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, and are unable or unwilling to seek protection from their home countries. While the EU has so far not recognised climate refugees formally, it has expressed growing concern and has taken action to support and develop resilience in the countries potentially affected by climate-related stress. This briefing is an update of an earlier one of May 2018.

Indivisibility of human rights: Unifying the two Human Rights Covenants?

05-11-2018

This year we celebrate 70 years since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Declaration, adopted on 10 December 1948 in Paris by the United Nations General Assembly, expressed an idea that was revolutionary at the time: human rights are universal, indivisible and inter-dependant, and the international community has an obligation to ensure protection of those rights. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic ...

This year we celebrate 70 years since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Declaration, adopted on 10 December 1948 in Paris by the United Nations General Assembly, expressed an idea that was revolutionary at the time: human rights are universal, indivisible and inter-dependant, and the international community has an obligation to ensure protection of those rights. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) were intended to provide a legally binding codification of the rights listed in the Declaration. Initially drafted in 1954 as a single document, they were opened for signature and ratification separately, in 1966, and came into force in 1976, during the Cold War. In the light of the United Nations General Assembly’s 31 May 2018 mandate for reforms – aimed at simplifying, addressing fragmentation, and improving transparency and accountability – more and more stakeholders ask whether it is time to end the Cold War-era ideological division between civil and political rights, on the one hand, and economic, social and cultural rights, on the other. Apart from all United Nations' member states ratifying and implementing both covenants, a further step could be to codify the two Covenants in a single document, thereby emphasising their indivisibility and overcoming fragmentation.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the UN High Level Political Forum (HLPF), New York, 16 - 18 July 2018

28-06-2018

The SDGs framework has the potential to provide a useful overarching framework to further the debate on Europe's political priorities, with a view to pursuing social, economic and environmental sustainability both within the Union and globally. However, this requires increasing the political buy-in across sectors. There is a need to translate the SDGs into concrete sectoral political priorities, targets and actions for the EU, and to agree on a legitimate framework for delivering these priorities ...

The SDGs framework has the potential to provide a useful overarching framework to further the debate on Europe's political priorities, with a view to pursuing social, economic and environmental sustainability both within the Union and globally. However, this requires increasing the political buy-in across sectors. There is a need to translate the SDGs into concrete sectoral political priorities, targets and actions for the EU, and to agree on a legitimate framework for delivering these priorities across Member States. The July 2018 HLPF meeting constitutes a window of opportunity to assert influence on the implementation of SDGs in the EU, providing an opportunity to use a range of key current EU initiatives (e.g. the EU circular economy package, post-2020 biodiversity objectives and 2021 – 2027 EU budget) to advance the SDGs debate. In the global context, it will be important to promote linkages between the outcomes of the 2018 HLPF, the forthcoming Global Sustainable Development Report, and other global process of relevance to the environment, including the UNFCCC, the CBD, UNEA, as well as the newly launched negotiations for a global Pact for the Environment. There is a need to set the stage for environment to become more at the heart for the following HLPF, especially in terms of the 4-year stocktake in 2019.

Ulkopuolinen laatija

Kettunen M, Charveriat C, Farmer A, Gionfra S, Schweitzer JP & Stainforth T, Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP)

Counter Terrorism and External Border Management in Italy

15-05-2018

This in-depth analysis was produced by the Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the Special Committee on Terrorism (TERR) for the purpose of a TERR mission to Rome and Catania from 6 to 8 June 2018. The paper examines Italy’s external border management, through the lens of counter terrorism. Hotspots and Standard Operating Procedures are given specific attention, alongside the Italian and European legislative framework. By exploring the role and interaction ...

This in-depth analysis was produced by the Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the Special Committee on Terrorism (TERR) for the purpose of a TERR mission to Rome and Catania from 6 to 8 June 2018. The paper examines Italy’s external border management, through the lens of counter terrorism. Hotspots and Standard Operating Procedures are given specific attention, alongside the Italian and European legislative framework. By exploring the role and interaction of different organisations with national authorities, this paper provides a comprehensive overview of their different mandates and contribution to Italy’s external border management.

Renewed chemical attack in Syria

12-04-2018

As the conflict in Syria enters its eighth year, Parliament is due to debate the situation, following a recent escalation. The Assad regime is suspected of having carried out a toxic gas attack on the besieged town of Douma near Damascus on 7 April 2018, killing around 80 people and injuring hundreds. The United Nations Security Council debated the attack during an emergency meeting on 9 April 2018, during which Russia denied Syrian regime responsibility for the attack. The EU has strongly condemned ...

As the conflict in Syria enters its eighth year, Parliament is due to debate the situation, following a recent escalation. The Assad regime is suspected of having carried out a toxic gas attack on the besieged town of Douma near Damascus on 7 April 2018, killing around 80 people and injuring hundreds. The United Nations Security Council debated the attack during an emergency meeting on 9 April 2018, during which Russia denied Syrian regime responsibility for the attack. The EU has strongly condemned the latest use of chemical weapons in the Syrian conflict, and the United States, France and the United Kingdom have signalled their willingness to respond with air-strikes in order to uphold the global ban on the use of chemical weapons.

A UN peacekeeping mission in eastern Ukraine?

08-03-2018

As the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine enters its fifth year, the debate on the possibility of a United Nations (UN) peacekeeping mission has resurfaced, with a new report and a combination of developments on the international stage creating new momentum. Some see such a mission as a potential opportunity to contribute to unfreezing the Minsk II peace deal, paving the way for local elections. Meanwhile, the humanitarian situation in the conflict zone is deteriorating.

As the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine enters its fifth year, the debate on the possibility of a United Nations (UN) peacekeeping mission has resurfaced, with a new report and a combination of developments on the international stage creating new momentum. Some see such a mission as a potential opportunity to contribute to unfreezing the Minsk II peace deal, paving the way for local elections. Meanwhile, the humanitarian situation in the conflict zone is deteriorating.

Post-2020 reform of the EU Emissions Trading System

28-11-2017

In July 2015, the European Commission proposed a reform of the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) for the period 2021-2030, following the guidance set by the October 2014 European Council. The proposed directive introduces a new limit on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the ETS sector to achieve the EU climate targets for 2030, new rules for addressing carbon leakage, and provisions for funding innovation and modernisation in the energy sector. It encourages Member States to compensate for indirect ...

In July 2015, the European Commission proposed a reform of the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) for the period 2021-2030, following the guidance set by the October 2014 European Council. The proposed directive introduces a new limit on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the ETS sector to achieve the EU climate targets for 2030, new rules for addressing carbon leakage, and provisions for funding innovation and modernisation in the energy sector. It encourages Member States to compensate for indirect carbon costs. In combination with the Market Stability Reserve agreed in May 2015, the proposed reform sets out the EU ETS rules for the period up to 2030, giving greater certainty to industry and to investors. In the European Parliament, the ENVI Committee took the lead on the proposal, while it shared competence with the ITRE Committee on some aspects. After the European Parliament and the Council adopted their respective positions in February 2017, interinstitutional trilogue negotiations were concluded in November 2017. This briefing updates an earlier edition, of April 2017: PE 599.398.

Actions of the African Union against coups d'état

16-11-2017

Created with the objective of promoting democracy and good governance, the African Union has succeeded in creating a robust normative framework for dealing with coups d’état, which have affected many African countries since their independence. However, there is a need to further improve the efficacy and consistency of the AU’s decisions and hone its normative tools.

Created with the objective of promoting democracy and good governance, the African Union has succeeded in creating a robust normative framework for dealing with coups d’état, which have affected many African countries since their independence. However, there is a need to further improve the efficacy and consistency of the AU’s decisions and hone its normative tools.

Understanding Sustainable Development Goals

14-11-2017

Two years ago, the international community embarked on an unprecedented common path mapped out in the comprehensive set of Sustainable Developments Goals (SDGs), to which it had committed. Taking into account the high level of ambition of this new agenda, it was crucial to implement it as quickly and coherently as possible on all levels.

Two years ago, the international community embarked on an unprecedented common path mapped out in the comprehensive set of Sustainable Developments Goals (SDGs), to which it had committed. Taking into account the high level of ambition of this new agenda, it was crucial to implement it as quickly and coherently as possible on all levels.

Tulevat tapahtumat

03-03-2020
Demographic Outlook for the EU in 2020: Understanding population trends in the EU
Muu tapahtuma -
EPRS
05-03-2020
Has the EU become a regulatory superpower? How it's rules are shaping global markets
Muu tapahtuma -
EPRS

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