March 2016

UN: cooperation among judges vital to counter-terrorism efforts, human rights protection

10 March 2016 – Formal cooperation among judges is essential in bringing individuals charged with terrorism-related crimes to justice and ensuring that the rule of law is upheld throughout the process, according to officials at a United Nations event that for the first time brought together Supreme Court justices to discuss how terrorism cases are handled in their respective countries.

Kazakhstan’s First UN Representative Reflects on almost a Quarter Century of Membership

By Zhaina Yerbolat

Kazakhstan was admitted to membership in the United Nations (UN) on March 2, 1992. On the eve of the 24th anniversary of such an important event in the country’s international recognition, The Astana Times asked Professor Akmaral Arystanbekova to share her thoughts on the significance of the date. Arystanbekova, Ambassador-at-Large of the Kazakh Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was the nation’s first permanent representative to the UN from 1992-1999. She also served as the Kazakh Minister of Foreign Affairs (1989-1991), Ambassador to France (1999-2003) and permanent representative to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (1999-2001).

Russia and France: a Dialogue on Strategic Perspective

By Ivan Timofeev

In late 2015, a team of French senators issued an extensive report titled "Relations with Russia: Searching for a Way out of the Political Deadlock" (Les relations avec la Russie : comment sortir de l'impasse?) based on the outcomes of discussions with participation from French and Russian diplomats, politicians, experts and civil society leaders. The paper not only outlines the key shifts in Russia-France relations in the wake of the Ukraine crisis but undeniably goes beyond the boundaries of the current situation. On the one hand, the authors uncover the deep-rooted causes of the drastic deterioration in the dialogue between Russia and the West, while on the other they suggest solutions for handling the most complicated issues and defining the basic principles to be employed by the West for interacting with Moscow.

Poland‘s policy twists and Lithuania

By Viktor Denisenko

Lithuanian - Polish relationship has recently become quite ambivalent. On the one hand, both countries are members of the European Union and NATO responding negatively to Russia‘s aggression against Ukraine and treating Russia as a danger to the stability of the entire region. On the other hand, bilateral relations are aggravated by Poland‘s reprimands concerning the situation of local Polish community in Lithuania: spelling of Polish names in Lithuanian identity documents etc.

NATO Deputy Secretary General discusses reform progress and strengthening of cooperation with Georgian Foreign Minister

NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow and Georgian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mikheil Janelidze met on Wednesday (2 March 2016) ahead of a meeting of the NATO-Georgia Commission. Ambassador Vershbow reiterated NATO’s support for Georgia’s ambitious reform agenda and welcomed Georgia’s commitment to the implementation of NATO’s Substantial Package of support to Georgia.