China jails Tibetan singer for political tone
China has sentenced a popular Tibetan singer to four years in prison for calling on Tibetans to unify and speak their language, reports said, highlighting tight cultural controls in the region.
UN warns Cambodia against repatriating Montagnards to Vietnam
The United Nations refugee agency on Tuesday warned authorities in Cambodia against forcibly repatriating 13 ethnic minority Montagnards who are hiding in the country after fleeing alleged persecution in neighboring Vietnam, as police combed the jungle for their whereabouts.
Pakistan Taliban : Peshawar school attack leaves 141 dead
Militants from the Pakistani Taliban have attacked an army-run school in Peshawar, killing 141 people, 132 of them children, the military say.
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Mr. Edwards reported that the UNHCR was greatly concerned by the ongoing killings and other human rights violations against civilians in the Beni area of Democratic Republic of the Congo’s North Kivu Province. Multiple attacks over the previous three months had caused widespread fear and displacement so that the UNHCR was appealing for humanitarian access to help people in distress.
Central African Republic: Muslims Trapped in Enclaves
Hundreds of Muslim residents in western parts of the Central African Republic are trapped in enclaves in deplorable conditions, Human Rights Watch said today. They fear attacks if they leave, but interim government authorities and United Nations peacekeepers block them from fleeing abroad or provide no security assistance when they try to leave.
Arms Trade Treaty
Ms. Shamdasani said that the High Commissioner hailed the entry into force of the Global Arms Trade Treaty, which would enter into force the following day. The Treaty provided a human rights framework for States to evaluate transfers of conventional ammunitions, weapons and their parts, and to end the flow of weaponry which could be used to commit atrocities and other serious human rights violations.
United Nation’s expert urges Bahrain to drop charges against female activists for government criticism
A group of United Nations independent human rights experts has urged the Government of Bahrain to drop charges against three women human rights activists exercising their rights to free expression and free association. “Deprivation of liberty on the sole ground of having exercised the right to free expression may be considered arbitrary,” the experts warned.
Drought risks life at Central America dry corridor
A great-magnitude drought is currently threatening the life of around two and a half million people in Central America”s dry corridor, which covers El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.Such situation is so serious that it could unleash a humanitarian and food-security crisis, according to the representative of the Regional Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Gianni Morelli.
UN chief appoints Malian national as deputy envoy for South Sudan
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today announced the appointment of Moustapha Soumaré of Mali as his Deputy Special Representative (Political) for the UN Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS).
Urgent UN agency appeal raises $45 million to meet refugee food needs in Kenya
The United Nations has said today that a strong response by donors to its urgent appeal for funding means that it can resume providing full food rations to refugees in Kenya in January.
Libya: UN mission condemns terrorist bombing against Parliament amid uptick in violence
The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) has strongly deplored a terrorist attack against a hotel in the city of Tobruk where the country’s House of Representatives was in session just days after the Mission had warned that further violence risked plunging the country into “all-out war.”
‘Silent emergency’ in South Sudan as protracted conflict displaces millions of cattle – UN
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned today as it announced a scale-up in its livestock interventions in the embattled nation.
Ukraine: UN kicks-off campaign to reach displaced persons with humanitarian aid
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) today announced it is launching an initiative aimed at ferrying aid to the country’s internally displaced persons (IDPs), as well as other vulnerable citizens trapped by the ongoing hostilities.
Expulsion of UN officials will constitute ‘serious loss’ for Sudan, warns Ban
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has reiterated his strong opposition to Sudan’s decision to expel from the country two senior UN officials, calling on the Government to reconsider the ruling and allow for essential work to be carried out.
Women’s Tribunal in Nepal hears from survivors of sexual violence in armed conflict
A Tribunal hosted by the Nepalese National Human Rights Commission and convened by Nepalese organisations WOREC, National Alliance for Women Human Rights Defenders, Nagarik Awaj, and Advocacy Forum on 8 December heard testimony from ten women who survived acts of sexual violence and intimidation committed during Nepal’s armed conflict. The proceedings of the Women’s Tribunal on Sexual Violence on Women During Conflict coincide with deliberations in Nepal on the establishment of a Truth and Reconciliation process that will shed light on crimes committed during the ten-year conflict.
Private military and security companies: Implementation of Montreux document
The Montreux Document reaffirms the existing obligations of states under international law relating to private military and security companies (PMSCs) operating in armed conflict, and lists good practices designed to help states take national measures to implement these obligations. Six years after its adoption, Montreux Document participants have now established the “Montreux Document Forum” to continue working on the implementation of the Montreux Document and to share good practices and discuss challenges regarding the regulation of PMSCs. The Montreux Document is now supported by 51 states and three international organizations: the EU, the OSCE and NATO.
International Commercial Law (WTO)
Germany pledges EUR 1 million to help developing countries participate in Doha Round
The government of Germany has pledged a donation of EUR 1 million (CHF 1,202,000) to the WTO Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund for 2014. This donation will finance a wide range of trade-related technical assistance activities to help developing and least-developed countries (LDCs) to participate effectively in the Doha Round and better integrate into the world economy.
Turkey launches safeguard investigation on wallpaper and similar wallcoverings
On 12 December 2014, Turkey notified the WTO’s Committee on Safeguards that it initiated on 12 December 2014 a safeguard investigation on wallpaper and similar wallcoverings.
Egypt launches safeguard investigation on automotive batteries
On 17 December 2014, Egypt notified the WTO’s Committee on Safeguards that it initiated on 15 December 2014 a safeguard investigation on automotive batteries.
WTO members discuss how to advance services negotiations for post-Bali work programme
WTO members discussed preliminary ideas on how to define a work programme by July 2015 for the services component of the Doha Round, in an informal meeting of the Council for Trade in Services on 17 December 2014. However, progress in this area will be determined by progress in agriculture and non-agricultural market access negotiations, members stressed.
WTO members ready to discuss how to advance talks in environment negotiations
WTO members expressed their commitment to meet the July 2015 deadline for outlining a work programme on completing the Doha Round, in an informal meeting on trade and environment on 17 December 2014. However, they indicated that progress in this area will depend on the level of progress in some other areas of negotiation.
Programme for helping poorest countries trade is to be extended
A multi-donor programme that helps the poorest countries be more active in global trade — the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) – will have its mandate extended into a new phase, the EIF Steering Committee decided on 18 December 2014. Director-General Roberto Azevêdo, in addressing the Committee, said: “Trade can be an effective tool for economic growth and poverty reduction when the right conditions exist. The EIF was established precisely to help LDCs create those conditions.”
EU files dispute against US over tax incentives for large civil aircraft
The European Union notified the WTO Secretariat on 19 December 2014 of a request for consultations with the United States regarding conditional tax incentives offered by the US State of Washington to commercial airplane manufacturers that are allegedly conditioned on local content requirements prohibited by the WTO Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures.
Korea files dispute against US over anti-dumping measures on certain tubular goods
Korea notified the WTO Secretariat on 22 December 2014 of a request for consultations with the United States regarding certain anti-dumping measures on oil country tubular goods (OCTG) from Korea and the investigation underlying such measures.
International Maritime Law
US dismantles China’s nine-dashed line claim in East Sea
The US Department of State released a report on Friday which concluded that Chinese maritime maps that claim almost all islands and waters to its south don’t comply with the international law of the sea.
China’s rejection of arbitration ‘in line with international law’
In remarks posted on the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s website yesterday, the ministry’s Director-General of the Department of Treaty and Law, Mr Xu Hong, issued a vehement def2ence of its decision not to participate in the case brought by the Philippines at the United Nations tribunal last year, saying it was not a peaceful means of settling disputes.
UN rights chief slams indifference over migrant deaths at sea
More than 3,400 people have died in the Mediterranean this year trying to reach Europe, the UN refugee agency said Wednesday, urging governments to take more action to save lives.
China Rejects US Report on Sea Claims
BEIJING—China rejected a U.S. government report detailing Beijing’s maritime territorial claims in the South China Sea, saying the document violates Washington’s pledge to remain neutral in the dispute.
Vietnam’s sea dispute arbitration case vs China promotes peace – Manila
Dec 14 (Reuters) – Vietnam has helped ensure peace in the South China Sea dispute with Beijing by following the Philippines in seeking UN arbitration, Manila said, despite the fact that Beijing has refused to take part
Denmark lays formal claim to North Pole
Just days before Christmas, Denmark has become the first country to lay formal claim over the North Pole. That puts the small Nordic country of 5.6m people on a diplomatic collision course with Russia and Canada which each claim part of the Arctic above where the countries’ current borders end.
China launches cyber claim to islands in Japan dispute
Beijing on Tuesday launched a website for an uninhabited island chain in the East China Sea, in its latest bid to assert sovereignty over an archipelago controlled by Japan.
International Environmental Law
Namibia First Developing Country to Submit Report on Mitigation Measures and Their Effects
Namibia is the first developing country to submit a ‘biennial update report’ (BUR).This is clear testimony to the fact that developing countries are acting to mitigate climate change and are transparently contributing to fully implementing the climate change convention.
UNEP-Coordinated Coalition Aims to Support Climate Change Fight through Measuring Emission Reductions from Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy Projects
A coalition launched today at the climate talks in Lima aims to boost efforts to save billions of dollars and billions of tonnes of CO2 emissions each year by measuring and reporting reductions of greenhouse gas emissions resulting from projects and programmes that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency in developing countries.
World on Track to New Universal Climate Agreement with Lima Call for Climate Action
Nations concluded by elaborating the elements of the new agreement, scheduled to be agreed in Paris in late 2015, while also agreeing the ground rules on how all countries can submit contributions to the new agreement during the first quarter of next year.
International Intellectual Property Law
A Middle-Path: Advocate-General’s Opinion On Abuse Of Dominance For FRAND-Encumbered SEPs
For the first time, the European Advocate-General has suggested on the grounds of European competition law the context for negotiations of fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms, and has set criteria for the enforcement of injunctions and other remedies in actions involving infringement of standard-essential patents (SEPs). The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) decision is still pending.
NGOs Offer Views For WIPO Members Creating IP Rights Treaty For Broadcasters
World Intellectual Property Organization members have been working in relative secrecy this week to decide how far to apply intellectual property rights protections on broadcasts. To guide them, nongovernmental organisations offered a range of views, from sweeping protections to scaling back the proposed treaty.
French Fashion Industry Eyes Ways To Better Use IP Rights For Protection
PARIS – Fashion industry representatives and others in France are mulling ways to use the intellectual property system more effectively to protect innovations in fashion, with the support of the French government.
Annual Brussels IP Summit: Fresh Ideas In A Classic Context
BRUSSELS – In an age where technology and globalisation play an ever-increasing role, it must be asked whether the policy goals and structures of the intellectual property system remain relevant in Europe and beyond. In this regard, the newly elected “Junker Commission,” in office from 1 November, offers a chance to issue new IP strategies and strengthen the pre-existent IP infrastructures.
In light of such changes, the Pan-European Intellectual Property Summit (IP Summit) with its unique blend of keynote speakers and 25 workshops, running from reforms at the European and national levels to sectorial business practices across the spectrum of IP fields, provided once again a platform for fresh and critical ideas.
EPO Supervisory Body To Face Fears Over Patent Quality, Judicial Independence
As staff strikes continue and the European Patent Office’s Administrative Council prepares for what could be a contentious 11 December meeting, opinions are split over the effect of the turmoil on the office’s role in Europe’s unitary patent.
US, China Put Emphasis On IP Issues
The United States and China yesterday concluded a three-day high-level meeting with numerous outcomes on intellectual property rights, including: local treatment of IP, trade secrets, geographical indications, inventor rights, patent data, sales of IP-intensive goods and services, online infringement, treatment of IP in standard-setting, bad-faith trademark filings, judicial best practices, and licensing of technology, according to the United States.