Tag Archives: United Kingdom

UK and France to Seek UN Security Council Authorisation for Military Action Against Smuggler Boats

From Malta Today: “The United Kingdom and France, members of the United Nations Security Council, will kick off discussions in an attempt to obtain a UN resolution mandating the destruction of boats used by smugglers.”

From AFP: “Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi added that leaders from France and Britain, both permanent members of the UN Security Council, had ‘committed to get a resolution from the United Nations for an intervention in Libya.’”

Earlier today the Security Council released a short Presidential Statement regarding the “The Impact of the Humanitarian Crisis in Syria on the Neighbouring Countries.” Here are some excerpts from the PRST with bearing on the migrant and refugee flows in the region:

“[***] The Security Council expresses grave alarm at the significant and rapid deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Syria, including at the fact that over 220,000 people have been killed, including well over 10,000 children since the beginning of the conflict ; around half of the population has been forced to flee their homes, including over 3.9 million who have sought refuge in neighbouring countries, among which are nearly 2.1 million children ; and that more than 12.2 million people in Syria require urgent humanitarian assistance including 440,000 civilians in besieged areas.[***]

The Security Council is alarmed that the Syrian crisis has become the largest humanitarian emergency crisis in the world today, threatening peace and security in the region with diverse implications on the neighbouring countries and the displacement of millions of Syrians into those countries, and calls to address further spill-over of the conflict in Syria into the neighbouring countries. [***]

The Security Council underlines the risk of further regional destabilization if the conflict, refugee crisis and the needs of the host countries are not adequately addressed. The Security Council stresses the importance of funding the humanitarian and development responses to the refugee crisis, providing support for national response plans, addressing the humanitarian needs of refugees, in particular women and children, both in camps and urban areas and through capacity building and technical support, strengthening the resilience of host countries and communities as components of stabilizing the region, preventing radicalization and countering the threat of terrorism and foreign terrorist fighters.

The Security Council notes with concern that the international response to the Syrian and regional crisis continues to fall short of meeting the needs as assessed by host governments and the United Nations, and urges all Member States, based on burden-sharing principles, to support the United Nations and the countries of the region, including by adopting medium and long-term responses to alleviate the impact on communities, providing increased, flexible and multi-year predictable funding as well as increasing resettlement efforts, and taking note in this regard of the Berlin Communiqué of 28 October 2014. [***]”

See also “Security Council Press Statement on Recent Maritime Tragedy in Mediterranean Sea” of 21 April 2015 – Full Text:

“The members of the Security Council deplored the recent maritime tragedy in the Mediterranean Sea that resulted in hundreds of casualties, and extended their deepest condolences to all those affected and to their families.

The members of the Security Council expressed their grave concern at the recent proliferation of, and endangerment of lives by, the smuggling of migrants in the Mediterranean Sea, off the coast of Libya.

The members of the Security Council expressed their concern at the implications for regional stability posed by transnational organized crime and illicit activities such as the smuggling of migrants, condemned and deplored the said acts and underlined the need to bring the perpetrators of these acts to justice.

The members of the Security Council called for the full implementation by State Parties of the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.

The members of the Security Council expressed their strong support to countries in the region affected by the smuggling of migrants and emphasized the need to step up coordination of international efforts in order to strengthen a global response to this common challenge, and in order to protect these vulnerable migrants from being victimized by human traffickers.

The members of the Security Council urged all Member States, including countries of origin and transit, to cooperate with each other and with relevant international and regional organizations, including the IOM [International Organization for Migration], in addressing illicit migration flows, and dismantling smuggling networks in the region.

In that regard, the members of the Security Council urged all States to comply with their applicable obligations under international law, including international human rights law, international humanitarian law, and refugee law.”

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Filed under European Union, Libya, Mediterranean, Migrants

Statewatch Analysis: The Arab Spring and the death toll in the Mediterranean: the true face of Fortress Europe

Statewatch released an Analysis by Marie Martin entitled “The Arab Spring and the death toll in the Mediterranean: the true face of Fortress Europe.”

Excerpt: “Throughout the uprisings in North Africa, the EU has maintained a discourse of double standards: supporting calls for freedom and democracy but greeting resulting population displacement with hostility. This has contributed to a record number of people dying at Europe’s borders during the first seven months of 2011. It is all about numbers when it comes to migration; about how large a flow came in, how many people asked for protection and how many applicants were “failed” or “rejected.” Numbers quantify the “threat” (e.g. the “invasion” of irregular migrants) and serve as a bargaining tool with third countries (allowing the acceptance of the externalisation of border controls in exchange for facilitating the mobility of a specific number of nationals). Numbers demonstrate whether the target of “x” thousands of annual deportations of irregular migrants is met. Numbers released by public authorities are meant to justify the need for migration policies and to show how efficiently they are implemented. Yet hidden numbers question the legitimacy of these policies – the death toll of people dying at Europe’s borders is such an example. For several years, Gabriele del Grande has monitored the situation at the EU’s external borders and kept a record of the number of deaths occurring in the context of irregular bordercrossings [2] on the Fortress Europe website. According to the website’s latest update, the EU’s borders have never been so “murderous” [3]: there were 1,931 deaths during the first seven months of 2011. [4] In 2008, a petition was brought before the European Parliament by the ProAsyl organisation, denouncing the  deathtrap at the EU’s borders” [5]: it was a particularly “murderous” year, with 1,500 deaths. It is terrifying to realise that this toll was exceeded in the first seven months of 2011. …”

Click here for Analysis.

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Filed under Algeria, Analysis, Egypt, European Union, France, Frontex, Italy, Libya, Malta, Mediterranean, Morocco, Spain, Tunisia, UK

Royal Navy Destroys Mine Outside Misrata Harbour

A Royal Navy mine counter-measures vessel, the HMS Brocklesby, last week located and destroyed a mine containing 100 kg of high explosives outside of the Misrata harbour.

Click here for Royal Navy press statement.

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Filed under Libya, Mediterranean, News, UK

DIIS Seminar on Political Asylum in the 21st Century (19 October, Copenhagen)

DIIS (Danish Institute for International Studies) is holding a seminar on 19 October: Political Asylum in the 21st Century.

The seminar will be conducted by Carol Bohmer, Visiting Associate Professor at the Department of Government at Dartmouth, and Thomas Gammeltoft-Hansen, DIIS Project Researcher, external lecturer in international refugee law at the University of Copenhagen, and author of the forthcoming book entitled “Access to Asylum: International Refugee Law and the Globalisation of Migration Control” (April 2011).

Description: Few issues have remained as politicized as asylum in the past few decades. Most nations recognize the moral and legal obligation to accept people fleeing from persecution, but political asylum applicants in the twenty-first century face restrictive policies and cumbersome procedures. Competing discourses of protection and control are predominant in present day asylum rhetoric. Governments need to address the conflicting needs of the state to protect their citizens from terrorists and the influx of hordes of unwelcome economic migrants, while at the same time adhering to their legal, moral and treaty obligations to provide safe haven for those fleeing persecution. Satisfying these conflicting goals at the same time may ultimately prove impossible, yet states continue to struggle to find ways to appear to meet both. How do they do it?  This seminar will attempt to answer that question and illustrate the sometimes absurd effects of this process. The seminar will further compare different policy approaches, notably the cases of the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union and Denmark.

Participation is free of charge, but registration is required. Register online no later than Monday, 18 October 2010 at 12.00 noon.

Click here for more information.

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Filed under Colloques / Conferences, Denmark, European Union, UK, United States

Daily Mail: from Kabul to the UK by way of Samos

The Daily Mail has a special report detailing the experiences and routes of irregular Afghan migrants traveling from Afghanistan to the UK by way of Turkey and Greece.

Click here for the full article.

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Filed under Aegean Sea, Greece, News, UK

Thatcher Wanted to Buy Island for Vietnamese Boat People in 1979

Documents released under the UK’s 30 year rule (requiring many Government documents to be turned over to the National Archives after 30 years) reveal that former PM Margaret Thatcher considered the possibility of buying an Indonesian or Philippine island not only for the staging and screening of Vietnamese boat people, but also as a place of resettlement for the Vietnamese.

Click here, here, and here for articles.

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Filed under News, Pacific Ocean, UK, Vietnam