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Event
Young people from Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia gather for first South Caucasus Youth Peace Summer School

Young people from Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia gather for first South Caucasus Youth Peace Summer School

The first South Caucasus Youth Peace Summer School (SCYPSS) was officially opened on Monday, 21 August in Kachreti in Georgia. Thirty participants aged between 20 and 29, ten each from Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, are attending the event which will last ten days. At the opening session on Monday (21 August), Dr Dennis Sammut, Director of LINKS Europe, Ms Rebecca Lie, Charge d’affaires at the Embassy of Norway in Tbilisi and Gottfried Hanne, Head of the Regional Office of the EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus made short remarks during which they highlighted the significance of the school, and the importance of timing during which it is being held. During the opening session participants and guests marked a minute of silence to remember the many young people who died in conflicts in the South Caucasus in the last three and half decades: “We owe it to them to work for peace in the region so that future generations will not have to make the same sacrifice”, Dr Sammut said in his opening remarks. He said that the School was an opportunity for young people from the three countries to reflect on their future, and find ways of building that future together. He said the School was an exercise in sharing ideas and learning from each other’s experiences. Earlier, the School’s Dean of Studies, Dr Maja Vodopovic from Leiden University outlined the topics that will be covered during the ten days of School activity. Guest speakers will also visit the School over this period to deliver lectures and workshops. On 29-30 August, the thirty school participants will join established experts and practitioners from the region and beyond for the first South Caucasus Regional Dialogue Forum.
Editor's choice
Event
The first South Caucasus Youth Peace Summer School will open in Kachreti, Georgia later today

The first South Caucasus Youth Peace Summer School will open in Kachreti, Georgia later today

Thirty young leaders, activists and opinion shapers from Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia will participate in the first South Caucasus Youth Peace Summer School (SCYPSS), which will be held in Kachreti Georgia from 21-31 August 2023. SCYPSS is an initiative of LINKS Europe and is organised with the support of the European Union and the Government of Norway. The idea of a South Caucasus Youth Peace Summer School was included in the report "The South Caucasus from war to peace: thirty measures between now and 2030", prepared by the Joint Liaison Group of Armenian and Azerbaijani experts on confidence-building measures in support of lasting peace in the South Caucasus, published in April 2022. A spokesperson for LINKS Europe told commonspace.eu: "The participation of young people from the three countries at this event indicates that there is readiness, despite differences, to meet, share opinions and slowly build trust between different nationalities in the region. SCYPSS is a confidence-building measure at a time when such measures are much needed. LINKS Europe will work with our able international faculty and the participants from Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia for the success of the event".
Netherlands and Denmark to give Ukraine advanced F16 aircraft
The Netherlands and Denmark announced Sunday they will give F-16 warplanes to Ukraine, a long-awaited announcement that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called an important motivation for his country’s forces, as they continue to repell Russian aggression. After months of entreaties from Zelensky for F-16s to bolster the Ukrainian air force, the US recently gave approval for the Netherlands and Denmark to provide Ukraine the American-made jets. Zelensky traveled to both countries Sunday to finalize the delivery deals.’’F-16s will certainly give new energy, confidence, and motivation to fighters and civilians. I’m sure it will deliver new results for Ukraine and the entire Europe,″ the Ukrainian leader said. Ukraine hopes the jets will give it a combat edge, after launching a counteroffensive against the Kremlin’s forces without air cover from Western aircraft, placing its troops at the mercy of Russian aviation and artillery. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte welcomed Zelensky to the Netherlands on Sunday. The two leaders inspected two gray F-16s parked in a hangar at a Dutch base in the southern city of Eindhoven. A few hours later, Zelensky and his wife were received by Danish prime minister Frederiksen, other Danish Cabinet ministers and Crown Princess Mary at the Skrydstrup air base in southern Denmark where Ukrainian pilots will receive F-16 training in coming months. The two leaders climbed into a Danish F-16 and tried out the seats.
dennis2020 Mon, 08/21/2023 - 05:50
Editor's choice
News
UN Security Council discussed Lachin but stopped short of taking any decision

UN Security Council discussed Lachin but stopped short of taking any decision

The United Nations Security Council on Wednesday (16 August) met in open-session to discuss the situation around the Lachin Corridor. Azerbaijan has established check points on the corridor and has restricted movement, whilst offering alternative routes to Karabakh going through Azerbaijani territory. Armenia says this is causing a humanitarian crisis. All fifteen members of the Security Council spoke, with many highlighting the need for humanitarian aid to flow unimpeded to Nagorno-Karabakh; most emphasising the importance of territorial integrity, and all calling for progress in the peace negotiations for the region to move on from the current impasse. The meeting ended without the Council taking any decision. commonspace.eu political editor said in a comment that there are two important take-aways from Wednesday's meeting: The first, for Azerbaijan, is that, regardless of the fact that Nagorno-Karabakh is recognised as part of Azerbaijan the mood in the international community is one of concern at how Azerbaijan is treating the Armenian community, and will treat it in the future. The handling of the Lachin corridor is by many seen as a test of things to come. Azerbaijan needs a much more nuanced and sophisticated approach on this issue if it is avoid a head on collision with the international community sooner rather than later; The second take-away, for Armenia, is that the international community is currently neither willing, nor probably even able, to put the kind of pressure on Azerbaijan that Armenia expects, and that the solution is progress in the Armenia-Azerbaijan negotiations. For the Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh the message from many members of the Security Council was clear: talk to Baku. There is a bigger role for the UN Security Council in the future. Any future Armenia-Azerbaijan peace agreement should be underpinned by a UN Security Council resolution. But we are not there yet.
Gordon Brown calls on the International Criminal Court to prosecute Taliban leaders for a crime against humanity for denying education and employment to Afghan girls and women
Former British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, who is the UN Special Envoy for Global Education, has called on the International Criminal Court to prosecute Taliban leaders for a crime against humanity for denying education and employment to Afghan girls and women.  Brown told a virtual UN press conference on the second anniversary of the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan on Tuesday that its rulers are responsible for “the most egregious, vicious and indefensible violation of women’s rights and girls’ rights in the world today".
dennis2020 Wed, 08/16/2023 - 09:42
Editor's choice
Opinion
Opinion: The difficult world of building confidence between Armenians and Azerbaijanis

Opinion: The difficult world of building confidence between Armenians and Azerbaijanis

"Confidence-building measures are a necessary element in any strategy to end conflicts", writes Benyamin Poghosyan in this op-ed for commonspace.eu. Whilst there have been instances of confidence-building measures in the context of the Karabakh conflict for decades, the post-2020 confidence-building measures differ from the pre-war process. "The participants are more realistic in their expectations and assessments of the situation, understanding that no miracles are possible and that any solution requires painful decisions, especially from the Armenian side. A country cannot lose the war and hope for a solution to satisfy all its expectations and desires. However, this understanding also does not mean that in the post-2020 war period, those Armenians involved in confidence-building measures were ready to accept any solution to the conflict. They seek a difficult balance between being realistic and avoiding putting themselves into “echo-chamber”, situations while not rejecting their core beliefs on the acceptable ways of conflict settlement."
Editor's choice
News
UN Security Council will discuss situation around Lachin on Wednesday

UN Security Council will discuss situation around Lachin on Wednesday

The United Nations Security Council will discuss the situation around Lachin at a meeting in new York on Wednesday, 16 August. The meeting will be open. Under the rules of the United Nations, the Chairmanship of the Security Council moves monthly by rotation in alphabetical order, and this month the Chair is the United States. US diplomacy, with the personal participation of US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, has over the last year been trying to assist Armenia and Azerbaijan to develop a peace treaty between them. Although some progress has been made, there remain several stumbling issues on which both sides are showing intransigence. There is speculation that the United States may use tomorrow's meeting to push for a a quicker pace in the ongoing Armenia-Azerbaijan peace negotiations, and possibly a bigger role for the UN in the issue of the future of the Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh. This will be fiercely resist by Azerbaijan which is hoping that it friends amongst non-aligned countries will help tone down any criticism of its actions.
Analysis: an overview of the war economy in Yemen
For many Yemenis, the continuous years of war have created a country without any clear destination. The country is grappling with overall economic collapse and millions are in need of emergency aid. In a country where major decisions are taken by external rather than local actors, weakness in the economy provided a ripe opportunity for actors to gain leverage and benefit from creating a war economy.
patrickn97 Tue, 08/15/2023 - 08:33
At least 27 killed in petrol station explosion in Dagestan, Russia
At least 27 people are confirmed to have been killed in a huge explosion and fire at a petrol station in the Republic of Dagestan in southern Russia on Monday (14 August). The explosion happened in the regional capital Makhachkala at 21.40 local time. Over 100 people are understood to have been injured in the incident, which is believed to have occured after a fire started in a nearby car repair workshop and spread to the petrol station, causing the explosion. Three of those killed were children, Dagestan’s governor Sergei Melikov said.
patrickn97 Tue, 08/15/2023 - 08:11
Niger junta to "prosecute" ousted president for "high treason", criticises sanctions

The leaders of a coup that took place in Niger on 26 July have announced late on Sunday (13 August) that they will "prosecute" the ousted president Mohamed Bazoum for "high treason" and "undermining the security" of the country.

patrickn97 Mon, 08/14/2023 - 07:38