Beijing: China opposed yesterday a court's ruling saying the South African government acted "unlawfully" in failing to give the Dalai Lama an entry visa last year, saying that Beijing is against the provision of platforms by any country or any person to his separatist activities in any form. "The Dalai Lama is not a religious person, but only a political exile who has long engaged in anti-China separatist activities under the cloak of religion and has never stopped such activities," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a regular news conference.
When Deputy Justice Minister Andries Nel spoke in The Hague earlier this month, some people might have wondered why he bothered. Addressing a high-level meeting at the seat of the International Criminal Court (ICC), he assured the rest of the world that South Africa fully supported the ICC and the laws that set it up. You might wonder why South Africa should worry about the ICC. After all, that court deals with crimes against humanity and genocide; the people who commit such terrible deeds do so in other countries – so what does it have to do with us?
Pretoria: Our media briefing this week will focus on among others: the call by COSATU and Passop to regularize some farmworkers in the De Doorns area in the Western Cape; temporary residence permits; SA-Zimbabwe Joint Permanent Commission on Security and Defence; progress report on plans and priorities of Home Affairs and the Minister’s directive to senior Home Affairs managers
Johannesburg: Migration specialist Roni Amit calls South Africa's policy towards migrants in recent year "the securitization of immigration." Amit, who is a senior researcher at the Center for African Migration and Society at Johannesburg’s Wits University, says "there’s just this increased sense that we need to protect our borders and stop people from coming in. There’s this perception that there’s a flood of African migrants coming into the country and that we need to restrict that and keep them out and that they are a drain on the economy.” The U.N. Refugee Agency [UNHCR] says South Africa receives more applications for asylum than any other country in the world.
London: Pushing too hard on human rights in the next set of development goals could jeopardise agreement on the post-2015 agenda, the UK international development secretary, Justine Greening, has told MPs. Britain's prime minister, David Cameron, one of the co-chairs on the UN high-level panel that will make recommendations in May on what should come after the millennium development goals (MDGs), has stressed the importance of good and honest government, the rule of law, transparency and accountability, and free markets as cornerstones for prosperity – what he calls the "golden thread of development".
The tragedies in Rwanda in 1994 and Srebrenica in 1995, and the ineffective international responses to halting them, resulted in two major new international initiatives aimed at improving the protection of civilian populations. On the one hand, the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) dealt squarely with the political controversies surrounding intervention and sovereignty.
United Nations: Rebel groups in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) arbitrarily executed at least 264 civilians, including 83 children, over a five-month period this year, according to a report by United Nations human rights investigators, released earlier this week. Many victims were hacked to death with machetes while others were burnt alive in their homes during more than 75 rebel attacks on villages in southern Masisi Territory, located in north-eastern DRC’s North Kivu province, the report notes, according to a joint news release from the UN Joint Human Rights Office (UNJHRO).
The Hague: I wish to thank Parliamentarians for Global Action for organising this event on a very important topic, the relationship between the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the Security Council. Let me also say that South Africa is pleased to be a co-sponsor of this event. The importance of this topic is illustrated by the number of meetings held on the subject in recent times. In March, Parliamentarians for Global Action together with Chatham House, hosted a meeting in London to consider this issue. Just last month the Security Council held an open debate on the relationship between the ICC and the Security Council.
New York: Somewhat surprisingly, the United States won re-election Monday to the U.N. Human Rights Council in the only competitive race for the 47-seat body it has been striving to reform. Four other regional slates of candidates included the same number of candidate nations as the region was allowed to elect, a fact lamented by the U.N. Watch rights advocacy group as a "scandalous" failure to offer a range of ideas and platforms.
Geneva: United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on Friday urged Chinese authorities to promptly address the longstanding grievances that have led to an alarming escalation in desperate forms of protest, including self-immolations, in Tibetan areas. The United Nations human rights chief said she was disturbed by "continuing allegations of violence against Tibetans seeking to exercise their fundamental human rights of freedom of expression, association and religion," and pointed to "reports of detentions and disappearances, of excessive use of force against peaceful demonstrators, and curbs on the cultural rights of Tibetans."