Camp Ashraf in Northern Iraq houses members of the People Mujahedin of Iran. These people were regarded as 'protected persons' under the Fourth Geneva Convention when Ashraf was under US control. On 1 January 2009 control of Ashraf passed fom the US to the Iraqi Government, and concerns have been raised about how its inhabitants will be treated.
This short Bill is intended to amend two UK Acts to enable the Government to ratify two international agreements protecting military medical personnel and humanitarian workers. In line with the protocols, the Bill would firstly sanction and protect the ‘red crystal’ as a new symbol to protect humanitarian personnel in armed conflict instead of (or in addition to) the existing red cross or red crescent; and secondly extend the definition of protected UN workers to include those delivering humanitarian, political or development assistance in peacebuilding operations and those delivering emergency humanitarian protection.
The European Union and African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries have been renegotiating their relationship. A series of interim Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) were signed with a number of ACP countries towards the end of 2007, as well as a more comprehensive EPA with the Caribbean ACPs.
This note updates with recent developments, and outlines some of the criticisms there have been of EPAs and the negotiations.
This Note looks at changes to EU scrutiny procedures in 2008 and 2009, as well as other scrutiny issues, such as the Government's use of the scrutiny override and Parliament's role in considering agreement on a "general approach" in the Council of Ministers.
This note provides a political and economic overview of the current situation in Serbia. It looks at the halting progress which Serbia is making toward integration into the EU, held up to a large extent by Serbia's failure to cooperate fully with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, and at the dynamic political landscape of 2008 with both presidential and parliamentary elections. Serbia continues to have difficult relationships with some of its neighbours, particularly Kosovo, and is awaiting the outcome of the International Court of Justice ruling on the legality of Kosovo's February 2007 declaration of independence. The note also looks at the current economic situation in Serbia. While Serbia had seen strong growth since 2000, accompanied by the implementation of reforms, following the conflicts and crises of the 1990s, Serbia has suffered under the global financial crisis, primarily because of its large current account deficit. Serbia also suffers from high levels of unemployment and poverty.
This Note brings together documents relevant to the so-called 'Posted workers Directive', Council Directive 96/71/EC. It is not an attempt to define policy in this area. For information on policy developments contact Jacqueline Parker on extn 4317. See also SN/BT/301 Posted Workers and SN/BT/4501 Government policy on "British jobs for British workers".
This note is intended to be a brief guide to the mandate upon which those forces are deployed; the command and control of forces in the country and the integration of ISAF with the US-led Operation Enduring freedom; current troop contributions and future force rotation plans and commitments.
It does not examine either wider political and economic developments in Afghanistan or the ccounter narcotics strategy.
The European Parliament (EP) elections will be held in the UK on 4 June 2009, alongside local elections. This Note looks at the EC Treaty base for the elections, public views and voter turnout, and European political groups and parties.
This note examines the conflict between Israel and Hamas of December 2008 to January 2009. It analyses the original six month ceasefire between Israel and Hamas and the reasons for its breakdown. It examines the international responses to the conflict and assesses its humanitarian impact.