European Union and the United Nations

The European Union (EU) has had permanent observer status at the United Nations (UN) since 1974, and has had enhanced participation rights since 2011. The EU itself does not have voting rights but it is represented alongside its 28 members, two of which (France and the United Kingdom) are permanent members of the Security Council.

European Union
Flag of the United Nations
Flag of Europe
United Nations membership
MembershipObserver (enhanced)
Since1974 (enhanced: 2011)
Former name(s)European Communities
UNSC seatIneligible
AmbassadorJoão Vale de Almeida


The EU holds an enhanced observer status at the UN. While normal observers such as the Arab League and the Red Cross are not allowed to speak before Member States at the UN General Assembly, the EU was granted the right to speak among representatives of major groups on 3 May 2011. These include: the right to speak in debates among representatives of major groups, before individual states, to submit proposals and amendments, the right of reply, to raise points of order and to circulate documents. However, the EU does not have voting rights nor the right to sit on the Security Council.[1][2]

The EU is represented by the President of the European Council, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the European Commission and the EU delegations.[3] European Council President Herman Van Rompuy made the EU's inaugural speech to the general assembly on the 22 September 2011.[4][5][6] Prior to the granting of its speaking rights, the EU was represented by the state holding the rotating Council presidency.[7]

The EU is party to some 50 international UN agreements as the only non-state participant. It is a full participant on the Commission on Sustainable Development, the Forum on Forests and the Food and Agriculture Organization. It has also been a full participant at certain UN summits, such as the Rio and Kyoto summits on climate change, including hosting a summit. Furthermore, the EU delegation maintains close relations with the UN's aid bodies.[8]

The EU holds its observer membership alongside the full memberships of all its 28 member states, two of whom (France and the United Kingdom) are permanent veto-holding members of the UN Security Council (UNSC).[7] Furthermore, where the EU has a defined position on a UNSC agenda item, those states shall request the High Representative to be invited to present the EU's position. This however does not impact on the right of those states to form their foreign policy (stated in Declaration 14).[9]

Head of delegation

Delegation head Nationality Term
João Vale de Almeida Portuguese October 2015 to present
Thomas Mayr-Harting[10] Austrian October 2011 to October 2015
Pedro Serrano (acting)[11] Spanish January 2010 to October 2011
Fernando Valenzuela[12] Spanish 2004 to 2009
John Richardson[13] British May 2001 to 2004


The EU coordinates its voting within the General Assembly's six main committees and other bodies and agencies such as the Economic and Social Council, UN agencies (such as the World Health Organization and the International Atomic Energy Agency). To this end, more than 1000 internal EU coordination meetings are held at the UN to develop a common EU stance. Article 19 of the EU treaty also stipulates that EU members on the Security Council must act in concert and foster the interests of the EU.[7] The EU has also spoken with one voice at all major UN conferences held since the 1990s.[14]

Since the beginning of the EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy, coordinating of EU voting has risen from 86% in 1991–92 to 97% in 1998–99. As of 2007, it has remained around this level, with the 2004 acceding countries already voting in line with the EU before they joined.[7] Of the 15–25% of resolutions actually voted on in the General Assembly, the EU votes unanimously on average four fifths of the time, including on controversial topics such as the Middle East (achieving unanimity on nearly every occasion since the 1990s).[14]

EU cohesion in UN General Assembly votes[14]
Year 91-92 92-93 93-94 94-95 95-96 96-97 97-98 98-99 99-00 00-01 01-02 02-03
EU cohesion 86% 91% 91% 92% 93% 96% 96% 97% 95% 96% 96% 97%
Overall UN cohesion 70% 69% 76% 74% 72% 70% 73% 75% 76% 76% 76% 78%

However, in October 2011, a row between the United Kingdom and its fellow EU members reached a head as the UK had blocked more than 70 EU statements to UN committees. The row was over the wording used; the statements read they were on behalf of the EU, rather than "EU and its member states" as the UK insisted. The UK's actions were intended to stop the perceived drift towards a common EU foreign policy and were insisted upon by British Prime Minister David Cameron and Foreign Secretary William Hague. While purely symbolic, the issue has become a big deal for both sides, although the UK government has been criticised for using valuable political capital and good will on something that will yield, even if successful, no real gain.[15]


Individual member states, and not the EU as a whole, pay dues. The sum of the contributions of EU member states provided 30.4% of the regular UN budget in 2016[16] (this is compared with the US at 22% and Japan at 9.7%)[17]. EU member states also collectively provide 33.2%[16] of the funding for UN peacekeeping missions and around half of the budgets for UN funds and programmes. Almost a third of the European Commission's aid budget goes to the UN.[7] EU member states collectively provided 13.5% of peacekeeping personnel (11,140 men and women) in 2006.

The EU also operates its own missions to support the UN, such as the EU mission in the Congo to support the UN peacekeepers there. The EU also established and funds the African Peace Facility.[7]

The EU supports the UN's values of freedom, democracy and human rights. The preamble to the EU's treaty cites the UN Charter's human rights articles and is very active on the UN Human Rights Council. The EU was also instrumental in setting up the system of UN Special Rapporteurs on human rights issues.[7]


Western European nations were long reluctant to cooperate within the UN[18]. On 11 October 1974, the UN General Assembly granted observer status to the European Economic Community (EEC) represented by the European Commission representation in New York City. It was the first non-state entity to be granted observer status and gave it participation rights, particularly in the Economic and Social Council: the EEC operated a common commercial policy from very early on and in such matters the European Commission represented the EU, in others the Council presidency did.[8]

Despite being an observer, the EU joined several treaties and gained full participation in a number of UN bodies (see representation above) and in 1991, it was the first non-state body to be a full voting member in a UN agency: the Food and Agriculture Organization. In 2001, it was the first non-state entity to host a summit, the UN Conference of the Least Developed Countries in Brussels, Belgium.[8]

When the EU was created, the EEC was renamed the European Community and made one of the EU's three pillars. The Community, not the EU as a whole, inherited the EEC's international role and thus between 1993 and 2009 the EU was represented as the European Community at the UN. Since December 2009, with the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, the European Union as a whole has taken on the role and obligations the European Community previously exercised.[19] The European Commission and Council delegations to the UN in New York City have also been merged.[20][21]

Following the enactment of the Lisbon Treaty, the EU proposed to the General Assembly that it receive the same representation rights (but not voting rights) as full members. However, the General Assembly voted down its initial proposal in 2010 due to a bloc led by Australia (who abstained in protest at the speed of the proposal and the assumption it would pass) and another led by the Caribbean Community (demanding the same rights for other regional blocs). After a year of consultations, the EU's resolution was passed with an amendment allowing other regional blocs the same rights:

Following the request on behalf of a regional organisation which has observer status in the general assembly and whose member states have agreed arrangements that allow that organisation's representatives to speak on behalf of the organisation and its member states, then the general assembly may adopt modalities for the participation of that regional organisation's representatives.[1][2]


The EU holds an observer seat on the executive board for funds and programmes, where the European Commission is a big donor and Mark Malloch Brown, former UN deputy secretary general, believes the EU will gradually be represented more and more, starting with the aid departments, eventually leading to the EU taking up a seat on the Security Council.[22]

However the extension of the EU's role at the UN is politically sensitive among EU members such as the United Kingdom, who do not want to risk reaching a point where they have to give up their permanent seat on the Security Council.[1] This is alongside fellow EU member Germany requesting its own Security Council seat,[23] and is vocally backed therein by the UK and France.

See also


  1. ^ a b c "EU reaches out for new powers at United Nations". Retrieved 2016-09-01.
  2. ^ a b "EU wins new powers at UN, transforming global body". Retrieved 2016-09-01.
  3. ^ "United Nations Official Document". Retrieved 2016-09-01.
  4. ^ "This WEEK in the European Union". Retrieved 2016-09-01.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 25 September 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-27.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ "Van Rompuy addresses UN General Assembly". YouTube. Retrieved 2016-09-01.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g "How the European Union and the United Nations cooperate" (PDF). United Nations Regional Information Centre for Western Europe (UNRIC). Retrieved 2016-09-01.
  8. ^ a b c "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 30 May 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-15.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ "Research Briefings - The European Union at the United Nations". 2011-05-20. Retrieved 2016-09-01.
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 23 March 2012. Retrieved 2011-09-19.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 27 March 2012. Retrieved 2011-09-21.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 27 March 2012. Retrieved 2011-09-21.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  14. ^ a b c "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 May 2012. Retrieved 2011-09-01.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^ Julian Borger, Diplomatic editor (2011-10-20). "EU anger over British stance on UN statements". The Guardian. Retrieved 2016-09-01.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  16. ^ a b "The European Union at the United Nations". EEAS. 2016-09-16. Retrieved 2017-09-12.
  17. ^ Rakesh Dubbudu (2016-09-13). "How much do various countries contribute to the UN Budget?". Retrieved 2017-09-12.
  18. ^ Norbert Götz. “Western Europeans and Others: The Making of Europe at the United Nations.” Alternatives 33 (2008) 3: 359–381.
  19. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 2010-07-15.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  20. ^ "EU commission 'embassies' granted new powers". Retrieved 2016-09-01.
  21. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 November 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-15.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  22. ^ "EU heading for single UN seat, UN official says". Retrieved 2016-09-01.
  23. ^ "German Hopes for Security Council Seat Get Boost | Germany | DW.COM | 15.03.2008". Retrieved 2016-09-01.

External links

Official websites
Reports on cooperation
Other documents
2014 Bangladeshi general election

General elections were held in Bangladesh on 5 January 2014, in accordance with the constitutional requirement that the election must take place within the 90-day period before the expiration of the term of the Jatiya Sangshad on 24 January 2014. The elections were controversial, with almost all major opposition parties boycotting and 153 of the total 300 seats being uncontested. Around 21 people were killed on election day.The elections were preceded by government crackdown on the opposition and BNP and Opposition leader Khaleda Zia was put under house arrest. There were also widespread arrests of opposition members, violence and strikes by the opposition, attacks on religious minorities, and extrajudicial killings by the government.The elections were criticized by the United States, United Kingdom, European Union and the United Nations.

2018 in Zimbabwe

The following lists events from the year 2018 in Zimbabwe.

Aaron Rhodes

Aaron Anthony Rhodes (born 1949) is an international American human rights activist, university lecturer and essayist based in Hamburg, Germany. He is a co-founder of the Freedom Rights Project, a human rights research initiative and think-tank, which documents and analyzes trends including the inflation, dilution and politicization of human rights in international law. He is also President of the Forum for Religious Freedom-Europe, an independent nongovernmental organization.

Rhodes served as Executive Director of the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights (IHF) between 1993 and 2007, during which period the IHF was engaged inter alia in human rights challenges in the Balkans, in Chechnya, and in Central Asia, and the organization expanded significantly. He was active in civil society campaigns vis a vis the Human Dimension of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Council of Europe, the European Union and the United Nations.

He has also been involved with human rights issues in a number of Middle Eastern countries. In 2008, after the closure of IHF due to an economic crime, he helped found and became Policy Adviser to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, a project of the Netherlands-based NGO Bridging the Gulf-Foundation for Human Security in the Middle East. He has also undertaken human rights investigations in Cuba, Japan, Korea, Pakistan and elsewhere.

Rhodes was educated at Reed College and in the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago, where he was awarded a PhD. After serving in political and governmental positions in Chicago and Illinois, he became Assistant to the President of Boston University John Silber. He moved to Vienna in 1991 to work on projects for educational reform in Eastern Europe initiated by the Institute for Human Sciences (Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen).

Rhodes was born in rural Upstate New York, the son of Lillyan and Daniel Rhodes. He has two sons, Daniel and Nathan, by his first wife Sara Silverman Rhodes, who died in 2001. He and his second wife Anna Sunder-Plassmann have two daughters, Leah and Rivkah.

In 2008, Rhodes was made an honorary citizen of Austria for his “contributions to the Republic.” He was awarded a Public Service Citation by the University of Chicago in 2009.

In 2018, Rhodes authored a book, "The Debasement of Human Rights: How Politics Sabotage the Ideal of Freedom" (Encounter Books, New York).

Assessment and Evaluation Commission

The Assessment and Evaluation Commission (AEC) is a commission in the Republic of the Sudan that monitors and supports the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). The AEC was charged to conduct a mid-term evaluation of the unity arrangements established.The members of the AEC are representatives from the Government of National Unity (three from the National Congress Party and three from the Sudan People's Liberation Movement); representatives from the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) (Kenya and Ethiopia); and representatives from Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States, that witnessed the peace negotiations leading to the creation of the CPA. The African Union, the Arab League, the European Union and the United Nations have observer status.

Sir Derek Plumbly has served as the AEC's chairman since February 11, 2008.

In order to help the AEC perform its task, the CPA obligates the parties to the CPA (the NCP and the SPLM) to work with the AEC with a view to improving the institutions and arrangements created under the CPA and making the unity of Sudan attractive to the people of South Sudan. Also, the AEC can present reports to the Presidency of the Republic of Sudan (and publish them with the consent of the Presidency), advise the Presidency on the arrangements and institutions created under the CPA, form verification teams on any questions connected with the CPA, and evaluate the fulfillment of international commitments and support for CPA implementation, under the AEC Rules of Procedure.The AEC holds monthly plenary sessions that are attended by representatives of the Parties, members of the working groups, and the Executive Secretariat. The AEC Chairperson submits his assessments and findings to the Office of the Presidency.

The AEC has been using its mandate by presenting a Mid Term Evaluation Report to the Presidency on July 8, 2008. Also, the active involvement of the AEC in the Abyei crisis, traveling to Abyei and providing an environment where the parties concerned could negotiate the Abyei Roadmap, proved to be an effective factor in support of the implementation of the CPA.

The AEC has offices in Khartoum and Juba.

Coordinated Annual Review on Defence

The Coordinated Annual Review on Defence (CARD) is a process of monitoring the defence plans of European Union (EU) member states to help coordinate spending and identify possible collaborative projects. It has operated on a test basis since 2017 under the European Defence Agency (EDA), in cooperation with the European External Action Service (EEAS). The first full implementation of CARD will be in the autumn of 2019.Together with Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) and the European Defence Fund (EDF), it forms a new comprehensive defence package for the EU.

Cord (charity)

Cord is a peacebuilding charity working with people and communities affected by violent conflict in Africa and Asia. Established in 1967 and located in Leamington Spa, UK, Cord works by "carrying out practical work relieving poverty and promoting social cohesion to build peace, working with people and communities of all faiths or none".Peacebuilding projects include water and sanitation, education, women's empowerment and capacity building.

The organisation currently works in Burundi, Cambodia, Chad, Laos and Myanmar combining its efforts with the support of individuals, schools, churches, trusts, companies, the British Government, the European Union and the United Nations.

Cord took an active part in gathering support for the victims of the Darfur conflict and are still working with over 250,000 Sudanese who are living in the refugee camps of Eastern Chad.

Cord's Ambassador is BBC Midlands Today presenter, Sarah Falkland. The charity's patrons include Chris White (MP for Warwick and Leamington 2010–2017) and author Gillian Cross.

Cord’s Chief Executive is Mark Simmons. Cord is a member of People In Aid, a global network of development and humanitarian assistance agencies which promote, support and recognise good practice in the management of aid personnel.

European Defence Fund

The European Defence Fund is a fund managed by the European Union (EU) for coordinating and increasing national investment in defence research and improve interoperability between national forces. It was proposed in 2016 by President Jean-Claude Juncker and established in 2017. The fund has two stands; research (€90 million until the end of 2019 and €500 million per year after 2020) and development & acquisition (€500 million in total for 2019-20 then €1 billion per year after 2020). In July 2018, The European Commission announces that the budget for 2021-2027 will be €13 billion.Together with the Coordinated Annual Review on Defence and Permanent Structured Cooperation it forms a new comprehensive defence package for the EU.

European Investment Fund

The European Investment Fund (EIF), established in 1994, is a European Union agency for the provision of finance to SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises), headquartered in Luxembourg.

It does not lend money to SMEs directly; rather it provides finance through private banks and funds. Its main operations are in the areas of venture capital and guaranteeing loans. Its shareholders are: the European Investment Bank (62%); the European Union, represented by the European Commission (29%); and 30 privately owned EU financial institutions (9%).

European Ombudsman

The European Ombudsman (or sometimes Euro-Ombudsman) is an ombudsman for the European Union, based in the Salvador de Madariaga Building in Strasbourg.

France and the United Nations

The French Republic is a charter member of the United Nations and one of five permanent members of the UN Security Council. The nation originally joined the UN as the Provisional Government of the French Republic (PGFR) before being succeeded by the French Fourth Republic in 1946, however, after a series of crises, the French Fourth Republic collapsed. A constitutional referendum was held on 28 September 1958; 82.6% voted for constitution for the French Fifth Republic, which succeeded the seat of the former Fourth Republic, including its permanent membership on the United Nations Security Council.

Friends of Democratic Pakistan

Friends of Democratic Pakistan (FoDP) is a group aimed to extend support the Democratic Government of Pakistan in its efforts to consolidate democracy in Pakistan and support social and economic development in the country. The group was launched in New York on 26 September 2008 on the side lines of the United Nations General Assembly session. The initial meeting was Co-chaired by United States, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates and Pakistan. It is modelled on the Friends of Israel Initiative.

The founding members states of the Friends of Democratic Pakistan included Britain, France, Germany, the United States, China, the United Arab Emirates, Canada, Turkey, Australia and Italy plus the United Nations and the European Union. Other countries also joined and at the meeting held in Abu Dhabi in April 2009 a total of 24 member states and international organizations attended.

The first meeting of Friends of Pakistan was headed by the former President of the Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari, and attended by the Foreign Ministers of Australia, Canada, France, Germany,Italy, Japan, and Turkey, and representatives of China, the European Union and the United Nations and the Foreign Ministers of United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The next meeting of Friends of Pakistan Conference was held in Abu Dhabi in which Pakistan was represented by Javed Malik, Pakistan's Ambassador at Large and Aizaz Chaudhary, a decorated Additional Foreign Secretary from


Hydrail is the generic (not capitalized) adjective term describing all forms of rail vehicles, large or small, which use on-board hydrogen as a source of energy to power the traction motors, or the auxiliaries, or both. Hydrail vehicles convert the chemical energy of hydrogen to mechanical energy, either by burning hydrogen in a hydrogen internal combustion engine vehicle, or by reacting hydrogen with oxygen in a fuel cell to run electric motors. Widespread use of hydrogen for fueling rail transportation is a basic element of the proposed hydrogen economy. The term is used extensively by research scholars and technicians around the world.Hydrail vehicles are usually hybrid vehicles with renewable energy storage, such as batteries or super capacitors, for regenerative braking, improving efficiency and lowering the amount of hydrogen storage required. Potential hydrail applications include all types of rail transport: commuter rail; passenger rail; freight rail; light rail; rail rapid transit; mine railways; industrial railway systems; trams; and special rail rides at parks and museums.

The term hydrail was first mentioned on August 22, 2003, in an invited presentation at the US Department of Transportation's Volpe Transportations Systems Center in Cambridge, MA. There, Stan Thompson, a former futurist and strategic planner at US telecoms company AT&T gave a presentation entitled the Mooresville Hydrail Initiative. However, according to authors Stan Thompson and Jim Bowman, the term first appeared in print on 17 February 2004 in the International Journal of Hydrogen Energy as a search engine target word to enable scholars and technicians around the world working in the hydrogen rail area to more easily publish and locate all work produced within the discipline.Since 2005, annual International Hydrail Conferences have been held. Organised by Appalachian State University and the Mooresville South Iredell Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with universities and other entities, the Conferences have the aim of bringing together scientists, engineers, business leaders, industrial experts, and operators working or using the technology around the world in order to expedite deployment of the technology for environmental, climate, energy security and economic development reasons. Presenters at these conferences have included national and state/provincial agencies from the US, Austria, Canada, China, Denmark, the EU, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, Korea, Russia, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the European Union and the United Nations (UNIDO-ICHET). In its early years, these conferences were largely dominated by academic fields; however, by 2013, an increasing number of businesses and industrial figures have reportedly been in attendance.During the 2010s, both fuel cells and hydrogen generation equipment have been taken up by several transport operators across various countries, such as China, Germany, Japan, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Many of the same technologies that can be applied to hydrail vehicles can be applied to other forms of transport as well, such as road vehicles.

National Environmental Research Institute of Denmark

NERI, the National Environmental Research Institute of Denmark (Danish: Danmarks Miljøundersøgelser or simply DMU) was an independent research institute under the Aarhus University. NERI undertook scientific consultancy work and monitoring of nature and the environment as well as applied and strategic research. NERI’s primary task was to establish a scientific foundation for environmental policy decisions.

NERI participated in a large number of national and international research programmes, and also in scientific working groups, commissions, and organizations under such bodies as the European Union and the United Nations.

NERI closed in 2011. On 1 July 2011, the consultancy side was reorganised into The DCE - Danish Centre for Environment and Energy, while the research departments of the old NERI are now divided between the Department of Bioscience and the Department of Environmental Science. All three areas are part of Aarhus University.

National Unity Process

The National Unity Process (Bengali: জাতীয় ঐক্য প্রক্রিয়া) is a political initiative in Bangladesh launched by Dr. Kamal Hossain, a long-standing proponent of a period of national unity government for political reform in the country. The initiative has received support from major opposition parties. The aim of the initiative has been to pressure the Awami League government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to hold a free and fair election in December 2018 with the participation of all major political parties. The previous general election in Bangladesh, held in 2014, was boycotted by major opposition parties and was not deemed credible by the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union and the United Nations.

Portuguese-speaking African countries

The Portuguese-speaking African countries (also referred to as Lusophone Africa) consist of six African countries in which the Portuguese language is an official language: Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, São Tomé and Príncipe and, since 2011, Equatorial Guinea. The six countries are former colonies of the Portuguese Empire. From 1778 until independence, Equatorial Guinea was also a colony of the Spanish Empire. In 1992, the five Lusophone African countries formed an interstate organisation called PALOP, a colloquial acronym that translates to African Countries of Portuguese Official Language (Portuguese: Países Africanos de Língua Oficial Portuguesa). The PALOP countries have signed official agreements with Portugal, the European Union and the United Nations, and they work together to promote the development of culture and education and the preservation of the Portuguese language. Together with Portugal and Brazil in 1996, the Portuguese-speaking African countries established the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (Portuguese: Comunidade dos Países de Língua Portuguesa, abbreviated to CPLP), which East Timor later joined in 2002 and Equatorial Guinea in 2014.

Quaestor (European Parliament)

Five Quaestors in the European Parliament look after the financial and administrative interests of Members of the European Parliament.

United Nations Security Council election, 2005

The 2005 United Nations Security Council election was held on 10 October 2005 during the 60th session of the United Nations General Assembly, held at United Nations Headquarters in New York City. The elections were for five non-permanent seats on the UN Security Council for two-year mandates commencing on 1 January 2006. The countries elected were the Republic of the Congo, Ghana, Peru, Qatar, and Slovakia.

Vienna peace talks for Syria

The Vienna peace talks for Syria, as of 14 November 2015 known as the talks of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG), are negotiations of foreign powers that began in Vienna, Austria in October 2015 at the level of foreign ministers, to resolve the conflict in Syria, after unsuccessful previous Syrian peace initiatives.

The participants (ISSG) were 20 powers and international organisations: China, Egypt, France, Germany, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States, the Arab League, the European Union, and the United Nations. The Co-Chairs of the ISSG are Russia and the U.S.

World Day Against the Death Penalty

World Day Against the Death Penalty (10 October) is a day to advocate for the abolition of the death penalty and to raise awareness of the conditions and the circumstances which affect prisonners with death sentences. The day was first organised by the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty in 2003. It has since taken place annually on 10 October.

The day is supported by numerous NGOs and world governments, including Amnesty International, the European Union and the United Nations. On 26 September 2007, the Council of Europe also declared 10 October to be the European Day Against the Death Penalty.Each World Day Against the Death Penalty focuses on a particular theme, to highlight certain issues surrounding capital punishment. In 2018, the theme was the living conditions on death row. Previous themes include poverty, terrorism, drug crimes and mental health.

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