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The U.S. announced Friday that it has concluded the Environmental Cooperation Agreement supplementing the environmental provisions of the Dominican Republic-Central American Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA). Unlike other environmental side agreements, this agreement establishes a permanent Environmental Cooperation Commission composed of permanent representatives from the environmental agencies of each country. Moreover, in a nod toward criticisms of lack of transparency, the...

UN High Commissioner for Refugees Ruud Lubbers resigned his post over the weekend, after the London Independent (sub. req'd) last week released details of an internal UN investigation into allegations made by a senior female UN official that Lubbers had sexually harassed her. Lubbers continues to deny the allegations, but Kofi Annan appears to have accepted Lubbers' resignation after conferring...

77% of Spanish voters approved the EU Constitution in a referendum yesterday, in the first of at several national referenda to be held across the continent to approve the new charter. The Constitution must be ratified by all 25 EU member states by November 2006 in order to go into effect. TransAtlantic Assembly has this post linking to domestic debates...

Am I the only person startled by Iraq's apparent decision to adhere to the International Criminal Court? Apparently, I am because none of the U.S. papers or even the BBC are reporting this story. The only reports I have been able to find confirming this announcement by the outgoing provisional government in Iraq have been in French newspapers. My French...

As I explained here, Dean Anne Marie Slaughter of Princeton is widely known for her study of transnational networks of governmental agencies and institutions that complement and may even substitute for traditional, formal forms of international cooperation in the form of treaties and international organizations. Whether they know it or not, the Bush Administration often follows this approach in a...

According to reports, Japan has agreed to modify its U.S. security alliance to include Taiwan as a "common strategic objective." This may sound innocuous enough, but it means that for the first time, Japan will publicly commit itself to support the U.S. in the event of a Chinese military invasion of Taiwan. What kind of support it will provide is...

A new poll shows that the number of Americans who view the U.N. favorably has fallen from 44% to 37% since November, suggesting that the UN Oil-for-Food Scandal is having a negative effect (via Instapundit). Of course, only 54% of those polled were actually following the story but of those, 62% believe Kofi Annan should resign. These poll results are...

Not surprisingly, some environmentalists are unhappy with Gregg Easterbrook's op-ed piece in yesterday's NY Times about the Bush administration's so-called "Clear Skies" initiative. (Julian posted earlier on Easterbrook's discussion of Methane-to-Markets in the TNR here, which Easterbrook views as complementary to Kyoto in terms of reducing greenhouse gases.) While we try to remain focused on international law here at Opinio...

I saw Hotel Rwanda the other day with students from my Human Rights class. (Yes, it finally has been released in the Midwest.) If you haven't yet seen it, go. And take your students. Talk about it in class. It is rare when a Hollywood film addresses issues central to international law and human rights; rarer still when it goes...

According to this report from Agence France Press, Iraq's interim government has accepted the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. There is no confirmation of this news from the ICC itself. This could be big news because depending on the nature of Iraq's acceptance, U.S. soldiers operating in Iraq could become subject to the ICC's jurisdiction (assuming that Iraq and...

A group of Rwandans has filed a suit in France accusing French soldiers of complicity with the 1994 genocide of Tutsis. The French government probably bears the greatest responsibility (other than the Hutus themselves, obviously) for what happened in Rwanda given France's longtime support for the Hutu government there and its relatively large military presence in the region. ...

The EU's foreign policy chief Javier Solana may be conceding defeat on Europe's effort to win a Security Council referral for Darfur. Apparently, winning U.S. support for a referral is a lost cause, although there is still some hope that the U.S. will abstain from vetoing the referral. Still, the UK government has suggested its position on an ICC referral...