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The Endless War Against Human Rights in Afghanistan: Human Rights Defenders’ Joint Statement of Solidarity with the People of Afghanistan

Today, the 31st of August 2021, marks the official deadline for withdrawal of United States troops from Afghanistan after twenty years of military presence initially motivated by the 9/11 attacks of Al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden.  Many have written (including Henry Kissinger) about the failures of American foreign policy and its efforts at nation-building in two decades. Many more have written about the "grand strategy of resolute restraint" and the geopolitical 'great game' implications of the United States withdrawal, and as we write, even more are engrossed with the ongoing cycle of unilateral and now retaliatory and seemingly preemptive uses of force by the United States under the Biden Administration (and whether this falls under the original 2001 Congressional Authorization for Use of Military Force) against the recent ISIS-K bombing at Kabul airport and ongoing drone attacks alleged "credible threats".  The United Nations Security Council has called for ISIS-K bombers and those responsible to be brought to justice, but it is silent on the…

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A Tale of Three Cities and International Law

Last July, an international organization meeting in an Asian city took historic decisions that will influence the fate of three European cities for years to come. At its 44th session, held in Fuzhou and online, the World Heritage Committee (WHC) stripped Liverpool of its World Heritage List (WHL) title. The same day, Vienna was removed from the…

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US Mistreatment towards Iran’s Representatives to the UN: Is Iran Initiating the Third Case against the US at the ICJ?

In recent years, some visa applications for Iran's representatives to the UN have been rejected by the US. Also, Iran's representatives to the UN may only travel between the Iranian U.N. mission, the Iranian U.N. ambassador’s residence, John F. Kennedy airport, and the UN, and they would need authorization to go beyond a 25-mile (40-kilometer) radius (see…

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The General Assembly should provide guidance to the UN system on the question of who gets to represent Myanmar

The lack of a coordinated, principled response to the issue of who gets to represent Myanmar at regional and international forums is becoming an indictment of the UN system.  As previously discussed in this forum (here and here), the issue of Myanmar’s representation first came to a head shortly after Myanmar’s military…

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What’s wrong with this picture? The UN Human Rights Council hears the military Junta as the legitimate government of Myanmar

Introduction to the representation issue A few weeks ago, on 26 February 2021, Rebecca Barber wrote a piece in EJIL:Talk! asking whether the UN General Assembly could exclude Myanmar by refusing “to recognise the credentials of its ruling military Junta?” Quite correctly she answered with a resounding “YES”. This piece will continue the focus on…

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