Outer Space Security: Statement to the 72nd Session of the UNGA First Committee

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Chair, Today is an auspicious day to address this Committee on the security of outer space. On this very date, October 10th, the Outer Space Treaty—the bedrock of international space law—entered into force exactly 50 years ago. Outer space now provides vast social, scientific and economic benefits to humanity. But the sustainability of this critical domain also faces critical challenges. …

Outer space: The latest security assessment

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For a small but increasing number of states, space services provide the capability to deploy military personnel globally and apply force more efficiently and effectively. Increasingly, these states view space as a sphere to be dominated and defended. Space is not insulated from conflict on Earth, and it can unpredictably escalate crises on the ground or be the spark that …

Autonomous Kalashnikovs?

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The Russian manufacturer is developing weapons that can identify targets using artificial intelligence Russian arms manufacturer Kalashnikov is best known as the producer of the infamous assault rifle, the AK-47. The AK-47, as journalist C.J. Chivers (2010) notes, has “fundamentally rewritten the rules of modern warfare,” mainly due to the “ease of use, cost, reliability, and readily available parts and …

Aid as a weapon? The politics of humanitarianism in Syria

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In 2011, forces loyal to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad occupied the public hospital in the Syrian town of al-Qusayr. When suspected rebels arrived at the hospital in need of medical attention, regime forces detained, interrogated, tortured, and often executed them. In response, private citizens established an underground clinic to provide medical care in secret. Dr. Abd ar-Rhim Amir provided care …

Q&A:The journey of an ‘irregular’ refugee claimant to Canada

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‘Mary” is a mother of three and a refugee claimant currently living in Toronto. Originally from Guinea, she went to the United States with her mother as a teenager, but never gained legal status there. After some years, she paid a smuggler to bring her and her children to Canada, to escape an abusive partner. She is currently awaiting a …

Is the Safe Third Country Agreement putting refugee claimants at risk?

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In December 2016, Razak Iyal (35) and Seidu Mohammed (24) attempted to cross irregularly into Manitoba from North Dakota. Before being rescued by a passing transport truck, they suffered severe frostbite that cost them their fingers. By June of this year, both men, originally from Ghana, had applied for refugee status in Canada. Why did Iyal and Mohammed undertake such …

Sixty years on, the Pugwash work on global security continues

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From August 25-29, international security experts from more than 45 countries convened in Astana, Kazakhstan, for the Pugwash Conference on Science and World Affairs. Under the theme “Confronting New Nuclear Dangers,” the conference reflected on some of the most pressing challenges to global security. The event in Astana marked the 60th anniversary of the first Pugwash Conference, held in the …

Armed Conflicts Report 2017 Summary

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In 2016, 28 armed conflicts were waged in 26 countries. No new conflicts were added to this year’s report, and one conflict was removed. The conflict between the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the Philippines was removed as each of the preceding two years produced fewer than 25 deaths. However, the conflict between Muslim separatist groups in the …

Legal challenge of Safe Third Country Agreement launched

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News Release: The Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR), Amnesty International (AI) and the Canadian Council of Churches announced today that they are launching a legal challenge of the designation of the United States as a safe third country for refugees. “The US was never safe for all refugees, and is now even less safe,” said Loly Rico, President of the …