Weekly News Wrap: Monday, February 17, 2014
Your weekly selection of international law and international relations headlines from around the world:
- At least 90 people have been killed in Nigeria’s northeastern Borno state by suspected members of Boko Haram.
- The EU and West Africa have reached a compromise on an Economic Partnership Agreement, following over a decade of negotiations.
- North and South Korea have agreed in a rare high-level meeting to stop insulting each other and to go ahead with planned reunions of Korean War-divided families.
- A UN Commission of Inquiry has found that crimes against humanity have been committed in North Korea and will call for an investigation by the International Criminal Court.
- Policy coordination in response to the recent turmoil in some emerging markets will likely be among the main topics for discussion at this week’s meetings of G20 policymakers.
- China said it was keen on a meeting between President Xi Jinping and Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou, but signaled it was in no rush to set a venue or timeframe for what would be a historic get-together.
- US Secretary of State John Kerry has stressed the importance of tackling climate change in a speech in Indonesia, saying that it may be the world’s “most fearsome” weapon of mass destruction.
- John Kerry also said that the future stability of the Asia-Pacific region depends on the success of negotiating an ASEAN code of conduct on maritime claims.
- US officials unveiled the “Global Health Security Agenda,” described as a 30-nation effort to strengthen disease response capabilities around the world.
- Leaders from the Pacific Alliance announced a major regional trade pact, agreeing to slash tariffs on 92 percent of products, with the remaining eight percent – including sensitive products such as bananas and coffee – to be phased out over a longer period.
- International mediator Lakhdar Brahimi apologized to the Syrian people for the lack of progress at peace talks in Geneva after their second round ended with little more than an agreement to meet again.
- Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah called for Arab political forces to “stop the war on Syria,” promising that if they left the country alone, his Lebanese Shi’ite group would also withdraw.
- Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev announced a decree banning gay couples or single people from countries that legally allow same-sex marriage from adopting Russian children.
- The European Union said it has postponed negotiations with Switzerland on its participation in multibillion-dollar research and educational schemes in the latest fallout from a shock Swiss vote in favor of immigration curbs.
- German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said she will talk to French President Francois Hollande about creating a European communication network to avoid emails and other data passing through the US.
- European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said states breaking away from existing EU countries would struggle to gain EU membership, further complicating Scottish nationalists’ already uncertain plans for independence.