Wednesday, October 29, 2008

UN Audiovisual Library of International Law

The United Nations Office of Legal Affairs launched the Audiovisual Library of International Law. The Audiovisual Library aims to provide free, scholarly resources to students and practictioners around the world, particularly in regions where there are few resources for the study of international law. The website has three main parts:
  • The Historic Archives present documents, photos, and digital film footage relating to the UN role in the development of international law. This section includes the texts of treaties, some General Assembly declarations, and certain Security Council resolutions. Each legal instrument also has a procedural history and/or related documents (travaux preparatoires).
  • The Lecture Series contains lectures by leading scholars on topics in international law, and includes a bibliography of related materials. The 100 lectures posted so far are each about an hour long and discuss various aspects of international law. Most are in English, but other official languages of the UN are also represented. Certain scholars contribute introductory texts for the Historic Archives as well as lectures.
  • The Research Library provides links to other web-based research resources in international law, including other UN sources, national treaty series, and selected scholarly articles provided by HeinOnline (still in pilot/beta).

The Audiovisual Library is available to all individuals and institutions around the world for free via the Internet.
It will be an excellent tool for any researcher in the field of international law.

Friday, October 24, 2008

United Nations Day, 24 October 2008

On 24 October 2008, the anniversary of the entry into force of the United Nations Charter was celebrated. Since 1948 this event has been known as United Nations Day. It has traditionally been marked throughout the world by meetings, discussions and exhibits on the achievements and goals of the Organization. At the UN Headquarters an international concert was held in the General Assembly Hall.
For more information on United Nations Day, see the special website in english, french, spanish

Peace Palace Library keywords : United Nations, UN Charter

Friday, October 3, 2008

New Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) to be signed on December 3, 2008

Cluster Bomb Tour Bus takes on Eastern Europe

On Wednesday, 1st October an eight-week campaign trail through Europe was launched to convince all governments to sign a groundbreaking treaty banning cluster bombs, in Oslo on December 3, 2008. Beginning in Belgrade, Serbia and ending at the signing ceremony in Norway, the Ban Bus will rally public support for the treaty and turn the eyes of the world on governments who are resisting putting pen to paper and curbing ending the suffering of millions.

A new Convention

The global ban on cluster munitions is the latest development in the field of international humanitarian law. The Convention bans the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of cluster munitions and puts obligations on countries to clear affected areas, assist victims and destroy stockpiles. It is the most significant treaty of its kind since the ban on anti-personnel landmines in 1997. Like the Mine Ban Treaty (or Ottawa Treaty), this new treaty is likely to have a powerful effect in stigmatising cluster bombs, so that even those countries that do not sign the treaty will not be able to use them without being subject to international condemnation.
Text of the Convention in English, French, Spanish

The Oslo Process

The Cluster Munitions Process, also known as the Oslo Process, began in February 2007 in Oslo, Norway, with the issue of the "Oslo Declaration". In this Declaration, 46 nations committed themselves to conclude a legally binding international instrument on cluster munitions. The Oslo Process previously held meetings in Lima, Peru in May 2007 and Vienna, Austria in December 2007. The "Wellington Declaration" of 22 February 2008, resulting from a final preliminary meeting in Wellington, New Zealand, briefly set forth the principles to be included in the draft treaty. At the Dublin Diplomatic Conference on Cluster Munitions from 19 – 30 May 2008, 107 countries agreed to adopt the Convention. It will be open for signature in Oslo on December 3, 2008.

See also:
International Committee of the Red Cross
Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC)
Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) (website)