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Regional Systems

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International Development
INTD 200
Warren Allmand

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2012: Regional Systems  Regional organizations can possibly go in different directions than the United Nations, and the Charter addresses this: o Article 52.1: “Nothing in the present Charter precludes the existence of regional arrangements or agencies for dealing with such matters relating to the maintenance of international peace and security as are appropriate for regional action provided that such arrangements or agencies and their activities are consistent with the Purposes and Principles of the United Nations.” o Article 103: “In the event of a conflict between the obligations of the Members of the United Nations under the present Charter and their obligations under any other international agreement, their obligations under the present Charter shall prevail.”  Europe (2 main ones, many others):  The Council of Europe is the major organization for human rights. This is not to be confused with the European Union. The Council of Europe was established in 1949, because the United Nations hadn’t accomplished much in human rights after the UDHR was adopted due to the conflicting interests of the Cold War. In 1949 (fully formed by 1950), 12 European democracies set up the Council of Europe in response to this, and to this day, it is probably the best human rights organization in the world. They have 47 state parties, which is almost the entire European continent. In 1950 they adopted the “European Convention of Human Rights” (and it came into force in 1953), and this was before the ICCPR and ICCSCR came into force. o Article 25 allows complaints on human rights from individuals and NGOs under the European Convention on Human Rights. o In 1961 the Council of Europe adopted the European Social Charter, which came into force in 1965 and was modified in 1996. They also have a very strong enforcement system because there is a European human rights court system and their judgments are binding. The Council of Europe also has a Parliamentary Assembly (different from the European Parliament. o There have been 5 major protocols (add-ons to conventions) to the European Convention of Human Rights, and protocol 6 is on the abolition of capital punishment.  The European Union was first established in 1951 as an economic body under the Treaty of Paris, but at this time only 6 countries (France, West Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Italy) belonged to it and it was called the European Coal and Steel Community. The purpose was economic and trade. In 1957 they changed the name to the European community under the Treaty of Rome, and 6 more countries joined. The name changed to European Union in 1992 under the Maastricht treaty. As of 2012, there are 27 members of the Union (who are all also members of the Council of Europe). The EU didn’t have much in their original treaty about human rights (except Article 7, which prohibited discrimination) because they thought that the Council of Europe had human rights issues under control. In 1987, the European Parliament was set up, and they set up a subcommittee on human rights and received petitions on any matter from European citizens. In 1989, they decided to adopt a charter of fundamental social rights for workers, which came into force in 2009. Under the Maastricht treaty in 1992, they set up an Ombudsperson to make sure rights weren’t being violated. o Conditions for admission to the EU were set up in 1993:  Your countries must have: stable democratic institutions, respect for minorities, a working market economy, the capacity to cope with competition in the European Union, and the ability to adhere to the economic, political and monetary standards of the European Union, and you must abolish the death penalty.  In practice, you don’t need a full laissez faire economy—it can be a mixed economy. o The EU’s headquarters are in Brussels. The Commission for the European Union is like the executive branch of the EU, and they have 27 commissioners (one from each country) who act in a cabinet system where they each have a jurisdiction. The European Parliament now has approximately 600 members— the smallest group is 6 from Malta and the largest in 96 from Germany. o The European Court of Justice deals with treaties or statutes, and they also have a European Investment Bank and other monetary institutions. o The Eurozone came into effect in 1999 and had 17 members by 2002. o The EU and Development: In 1995 they adopted the Lome Convention (a convention with 69 countries) in which they set up arrangements to provide international development grants, loans an subsidies to countries that has signed on. This was part of a major development programs put on by the EU. ECHO- the European Commission for Humanitarian Aid was established in 1992, and their ODA was $671 million (euros) a year in 2007. Most of their development assistance goes to Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific but they also provide assistance in other areas or when there is a disaster. The fund administered by ECHO is called the European Development Fund.  OSCE: The Organization for Security and Coo-operation in Europe was established in 1995. During the Cold War, there was tension between East and West European countries, and they met in Helsinki and created the Helsinki Act (which now includes 58 states). Canada and the USA also belong to it. It acts as a bridge between Eastern European countries, Western European Countries, and some Asian countries (who were formerly Soviet states).  NATO: North Atlantic Tre
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