The League thinks globally, about human rights and women, about the environment and sustainability, about health care for all and leaving no one behind.
The League acts locally to empower the unregistered, underprivileged and underserved, to educate the populace on important democratic public policy issues and to support partnership efforts with diverse groups to improve the well-being of all.
You are invited to join a new team that brings global news on these issues and more, to you through monthly postings on the national league’s Google group for UN Observers. I am a member of this team that has already posted reviews of court cases brought before the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The case reviews present the opinions and judgments from the United Nation’s only judicial body and then relate that global viewpoint to the position statements set forth in the LWVUS Impact on Issues 2016-2018.
Scroll to the bottom of this article to find out how you can continue to read the team’s case reviews and participate in the team’s agenda to bring you more news on international democracy initiatives and the rule of law.
Here are summaries of the first three case reviews posted to the LWVUS-UN Observers Google group:
First Case– Think Globally-Qatar vs United Arab Emirates
The team’s first reviewed case, Qatar vs United Arab Emirates (UAE), reported on the allegedly racially discriminatory actions of the United Arab Emirates following its unceremonious expulsion of all Qataris from its country with only 15 days’ notice. The Qataris living in the UAE were told they could not return to the UAE for any reason, not to continue working, not to complete their education and not to reunite with their families. The International Court of Justice reminded the UAE of its obligations under the international Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and ordered the UAE to allow the expelled Qataris to reunify with their families, access their educational records and seek access to the courts for compensation of their losses and establishment of their human rights.
First Case: Act Locally-Qatar vs United Arab Emirates
The LWVUS position statement, found in Impact on Issues 2016-2018, synchronizes with the international Convention on the Elimination on All Forms of Racial Discrimination in its position that all levels of government within the USA have the “responsibility to provide equality of opportunity for education, employment and housing for all persons in the United States regardless of their race, color, gender, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation or disability.”
Second Case: Think Globally-Islamic Republic of Iran vs. United States of America
The Islamic Republic of Iran asked the International Court of Justice to rule on the legality of the USA trade sanctions imposed on it in May 2018. The USA argued that the trade sanctions were necessitated by national security interests. The Islamic Republic of Iran argued that the trade sanctions were harmful and violated the 1955 Treaty of Amity, Economic Relations and Consular Rights. The International Court of Justice found the USA sanctions to be overreaching and asserted that Iran’s importation and purchase of goods for humanitarian purposes must be honored. The relevant goods included medicines and medical devices, foodstuffs and agricultural commodities and spare parts to maintain the safety of civil aviation.
Second Case: Act Locally-Islamic Republic of Iran vs United States of America
The LWVUS position statement, found in Impact on Issues 2016-2018, gives support to the decisions of the International Court of Justice and states the League belief that the ICJ “judicial decisions should be honored.”
Third Case: Think Globally-Ecuador vs Colombia
After nearly a decade of aerial toxic fumigations by Colombia along its border, Ecuador filed suit in the International Court of Justice and argued that the fumigations drifted across the border and caused unmitigated harm to the indigenous people living near the border and harmed the crops, wildlife, water source and air. The ICJ ordered the parties to submit detailed pleadings and supportive documents. In the meantime, the two countries agreed to settle their dispute and agreed to establish an exclusion zone between their countries where Colombia could not conduct any fumigation and thus eliminate any drift of herbicides into Ecuador. The International Court of Justice did not have an opportunity to conduct a hearing on the merits of the case but that hearing would have likely entertained questions and answers about the applicability of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People.
Third Case: Act Locally- Ecuador vs. Colombia
The LWVUS position statement, found in Impact on Issues 2016-2018, addresses the memberships’ position that we support public policies that “protect the integrity of the world environment” as well as “promote an environment beneficial to life through the protection and wise management of natural resources in the public interest.”
YOU CAN READ FUTURE CASE REVIEWS BY JOINING THE LWVUS-UN OBSERVERS GOOGLE GROUP
Please send an email to LWVUS-UN Observer Jill Follows at email@example.com for further information. We welcome new team members to assist with the selection and review of future cases.