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Top Lashkar-e-Taiba operative Sajid Mir was sentenced by an anti-terrorism court in Lahore in the first week of June to 15-and-a-half years in jail after being convicted in a terror financing case.

Further details have emerged of the arrest and conviction of top Lashkar-e-Taiba operative Sajid Mir, who was allegedly involved in directing the 2008 Mumbai attacks, with Pakistani media reporting that he was given a prison term by a Lahore court a week before a crucial Financial Action Task Force FATF meeting in June.

Hindustan Times on Friday reported that Pakistani authorities had informed Western interlocutors about the detention and sentencing of Mir sometime before the plenary meeting of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in Berlin during June 14-17. The move followed pressure from several Western countries for proof of Islamabad’s earlier claim that Mir had died some time ago.

Mir, 44, was sentenced by an anti-terrorism court in Lahore in the first week of June to 15-and-a-half years in jail after being convicted in a terror financing case, the Dawn newspaper reported on Saturday. Mir was also fined Pakistani ₹420,000, and is serving his sentence at Kot Lakhpat jail in Lahore, the daily cited a source as saying.

“It all happened so quietly that no one came to know about such an important court verdict in such a high-profile case, except for a very brief report in one of the newspapers, which too could not attract attention. His detention, which apparently took place in later part of April, was also kept away from media’s prying eyes,” the Dawn reported.

People familiar with the matter, however, said on Friday that the Indian side had learnt from multilateral channels that Mir was arrested in April and subsequently given an eight-year prison term after a low-key trial. Pakistan has so far not informed India about Mir’s case through bilateral channels.

The Lahore-based The Nation daily first reported about Mir’s conviction on June 7. In a brief report with a Lahore dateline, the daily had said an “Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) has convicted Sajid Majeed Chaudhary, also known as Sajid Mir, in a terror financing case for 15.5 years”.

The report added, “The court has also awarded him with a fine of ₹4,20,000. He was affiliated with a proscribed organization.”

The Nation’s report on Mir’s conviction came exactly a week before FATF’s plenary meeting began in Berlin. In the past too, Pakistani authorities have announced the arrest or conviction of top terrorist leaders in the weeks immediately prior to such meetings of FATF, which had considered Pakistan’s inclusion in the multilateral watchdog’s “grey list” for not doing enough against terror financing and money laundering.

FATF didn’t immediately remove Pakistan from its “grey list” at its last plenary meeting in Berlin, but said it will conduct an onsite visit to ascertain if steps taken by Islamabad to curb terror financing are “sustainable and irreversible”. The watchdog also said Pakistan had “largely addressed” all 34 action items from two action plans given to the country since 2018 to curb financing of terror groups and money laundering.

The action against Mir comes after years of dillydallying by Pakistan, which feigned complete ignorance of his existence despite a French court convicting him in absentia in 2007 for his role in plotting terror attacks in Australia.

The report in the Dawn noted that “weak prosecution and poor conviction rate of terrorists were major shortcomings that had all along hampered Pakistan’s exit from” FATF’s grey list.

The report added that Mir had in 2005 secretly toured India, where he went as a cricket fan to watch a cricket match between the teams of the two countries. Mir remained in India for about 15 days on that occasion, the report said.

Mir’s name began featuring on the global terrorism landscape as early as 2002, when he attempted to purchase military equipment from the US with the help of Virginia-based accomplices. That project came to an end when the FBI arrested 11 people in what became known as the “Virginia Paintball Jihadi” case.

A bounty of $5 million has been offered under the Rewards for Justice Program of the US state department for information on Mir, who allegedly served as the chief planner of the Mumbai attacks, directed preparations and reconnaissance, and was one of the Pakistan-based controllers during the assault on India’s financial hub that killed 166 people. Source : ht

 

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The Office of Communications (Ofcom) announced on Tuesday that having received Ofcom’s draft revocation notice on May 26.

Khalsa Television Limited has surrendered its licence to broadcast in the UK after an investigation by the country’s media watchdog found its KTV channel breached broadcasting rules with Khalistani propaganda and issued a draft notice to revoke last month.

The Office of Communications (Ofcom) announced on Tuesday that having received Ofcom’s draft revocation notice on May 26, Khalsa Television Limited has now surrendered its licence.

The revocation notice followed a suspension notice to the company over a ‘Prime Time’ programme, broadcast on KTV on December 30 last year, for a breach of the Broadcasting Code with content likely to “encourage or incite the commission of a crime or lead to disorder”. The communications regulator said the 95-minute live discussion programme included material likely to “incite violence”.

“On 13 May 2022, Ofcom issued a draft notice to revoke the broadcasting licence of Khalsa Television Limited, which Ofcom had suspended after its channel KTV broadcast material that was likely to incite violence,” Ofcom said in a statement.

“This was the third time within four years that this licensee had been found in breach of our rules on incitement to crime due to programmes inciting violence. The KTV television channel served the Sikh community in the United Kingdom,” the statement said.

KTV had been off air since March 31, when Ofcom suspended Khalsa Television Limited’s licence following a serious breach of its broadcasting rules. The investigation found that the presenter of the 'Prime Time' show, made several statements which, taken together, "promoted violence, including murder, as an acceptable and necessary form of action to further the Khalistani cause".

If this broadcaster, or those controlling it, were to apply for a broadcast licence in the future, Ofcom’s commencement of this revocation process, our decision today and the full compliance history of the former licensee would be major factors, the media watchdog noted in its update this week.

KTV operated under a licence held by Khalsa Television Limited. In February, the channel received Ofcom's "Preliminary View" notice and in representations objected to its translation and analysis of the programme. Ofcom said this failed to provide “any substantive details of the objection” and offered it another chance to respond last month.

In its representations, KTV reiterated that the programme in question did not contain an incitement or call to violent action in breach of Rule 3.1 and provided an example of what it said was Ofcom’s “misunderstanding” of the words used by the presenter.

Ofcom previously also took action against the channel, including in February last year when it imposed a total fine of GBP 50,000 on the channel for broadcasting a music video and a discussion programme that was deemed an indirect call for British Sikhs to commit violence and also contained a terror reference.

On its website, KTV describes itself as an exciting channel, airing a range of cultural, educational and entertaining programmes for audiences of all ages. It says it prides itself in being “completely independent, impartial and honest”. Source : ht

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Every seafarer’s journey is different

Written by Friday, 19 January 2018 12:26

The Day of the Seafarer (25 June) focuses on the contributions made by seafarers to the entire global community. Every day, hundreds of thousands of seafarers are underway on ships, while others get ready for their next voyage. Without seafarers, there would be no shipping. Under this year’s theme “Your voyage - then and now, share your journey”, IMO calls on seafarers to share what resonates with them most, include photos of their first and most recent voyages, and tell us what has changed. Search #SeafarerJourney in social media, to take a look at seafarer voyages.

From Supernumerary to Engine Cadet, Jishnu Saji is now an Engineer Officer, who started sailing at 1.5 years old with his dad. “Safety is the prime concern that improved in shipping in the last 25 years.”  Source : un.org

 

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24 June 2022 Women

Friday’s decision by the US Supreme Court which overturns the 50-year-old Roe v Wade judgement guaranteeing access to abortion across the United States, was described by the UN human rights chief as “a huge blow to women’s human rights and gender equality.”

The widely anticipated Supreme Court decision, by six votes to three, was made in the specific case of Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health, and Michelle Bachelet said in a statement that it represents a “major setback” for sexual and reproductive health across the US.

The historic decision returns all questions of legality and access to abortion, to the individual states.

Reacting earlier to the US ruling, without making specific reference to it, the UN sexual and reproductive health agency (UNFPA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) noted that a staggering 45 per cent of all abortions around the world, are unsafe, making the procedure a leading cause of maternal death.

The agencies said it was inevitable that more women will die, as restrictions by national or regional governments increase.

Restrictions, ineffective

“Whether abortion is legal or not, it happens all too often. Data show that restricting access to abortion does not prevent people from seeking abortion, it simply makes it more deadly”, UNFPA highlighted.

According to the agencies’ 2022 State of World Population report, nearly half of all pregnancies worldwide are unintended, and over 60 per cent of these may end in abortion.

UNFPA said that it feared that more unsafe abortions will occur around the world if access becomes more restricted.

“Decisions reversing progress gained have a wider impact on the rights and choices of women and adolescents everywhere”, the agency emphasized.

WHO echoed the message on their official Twitter account, reminding that removing barriers to abortion “protects women’s lives, health and human rights”.

An attack on women’s autonomy

Ms. Bachelet further reminded that access to safe, legal and effective abortion is firmly rooted in international human right law and is at the core of women and girls’ autonomy, and ability to make their own choices about their bodies and lives, free of discrimination, violence and coercion.

“This decision strips such autonomy from millions of women in the US, in particular those with low incomes and those belonging to racial and ethnic minorities, to the detriment of their fundamental rights”, she warned.

The rights chief highlighted that the decision came after more than 50 countries with previously restrictive laws have liberalized their abortion legislation over the past 25 years.

“With today’s ruling, the US is regrettably moving away from this progressive trend”, she said.

Meanwhile, the UN agency, UN Women, cautioned in another statement that the ability of women to control what happens to their own bodies, is also associated with the roles women are able to play in society, whether as a member of the family, the workforce, or government.

Countries’ responsibilities

The 1994 Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), signed by 179 countries including the United States, recognized how deadly unsafe abortions are, and urged all countries to provide post-abortion care to save lives, irrespective of the legal status of abortion.

The document – resulting from a high-level meeting in Cairo, Egypt—also highlighted that all people should be able to access quality information about their reproductive health and contraceptives.

UNFPA, as the custodian of the Programme of Action, advocates for the right of all couples and individuals to decide freely and responsibly the number, spacing and timing of their children and to have the information and means to do so.

The agency also warned that if unsafe abortions continue, Sustainable Development Goal 3, related to maternal health, to which all UN Member States have committed, will be at risk of not being met. Source : un.org

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NATO chief speaks with Erdogan about Finland, Sweden joining

Written by Saturday, 23 September 2017 11:56

Russia’s war in Ukraine pushed the Nordic countries to apply to join NATO, but Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accuses Sweden and Finland of supporting Kurdish militants deemed by Turkey to be terrorists.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has met with Finland’s prime minister and spoken to Turkey’s president as he seeks to overcome Turkish resistance to Finland and Sweden joining the alliance.

Stoltenberg, who visited Washington this week, tweeted late Friday that he met with Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin while there and discussed “the need to address Turkey’s concerns and move forward” with the Finnish and Swedish membership applications.

Russia’s war in Ukraine pushed the Nordic countries to apply to join NATO, but Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accuses Sweden and Finland of supporting Kurdish militants deemed by Turkey to be terrorists.

Stoltenberg said he had a “constructive phone call” with Erdogan, calling Turkey a “valued ally” and praising Turkish efforts to broker a deal to ensure the safe transportation of grain supplies from Ukraine amid global food shortages caused by Russia’s invasion. Stoltenberg tweeted that he and Erdogan would continue their dialogue, without elaborating.

Erdogan's office released a statement in which it said the president had emphasized that Sweden and Finland should “make it clear that they have stopped supporting terrorism,” have lifted defense export restrictions on Turkey and are “ready to show alliance solidarity.”

The Nordic states, among other countries, imposed limitations on arms sales in the wake of Turkey's 2019 military incursion into northern Syria.

The NATO chief’s diplomatic efforts came before a gathering of senior officials from Sweden, Finland and Turkey next week in Brussels, where NATO is based, to discuss Turkey’s opposition to the applications. Source : ht

 

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Some of the bodies of the passengers are beyond recognition. Police gathering the remains” the official were quoted as saying.

No survivors have been found at the crash site in Nepal, a day after a private plane - with 22 on board, including four Indians - met with an accident in a mountainous region of the country amid bad weather. The search and rescue efforts had resumed on Monday morning, hours after a halt due to challenges faced by the teams. A team of 15 Nepali Army soldiers has been dropped near the crash site to retrieve the bodies on Monday. The crash site lies at an elevation of about 14,500 feet while the team has been dropped at 11,000 meters height, the army spokesperson said.

Earlier the country's home ministry had said that the government feared all passengers have died. "We suspect all the passengers on board the aircraft have lost their lives. Our preliminary assessment shows that no one could have survived the plane crash, but official statement is due," Phadindra Mani Pokhrel, spokesperson, told news agency ANI. The crash site was identified as Sanosware, Thasang-2, Mustang

Fourteen bodies were recovered initially from the wreckage of the Tara Air plane that crashed into a mountainside after the search and rescue efforts resumed on Monday morning. "Fourteen bodies have been recovered so far, search continues for the remaining. The weather is very bad but we were able to take a team to the crash site. No other flight has been possible," civil aviation authority spokesman Deo Chandra Lal Karn told news agency AFP.

“Some of the bodies of the passengers are beyond recognition. Police gathering the remains," Tek Raj Sitaula, a spokesman for the Tribhuvan International Airport in Nepal's capital Kathmandu, told reporters.

Pieces of the wreckage of the passenger plane that crashed on Sunday morning were found at 14,500ft in Sano Sware Bhir of Thasang in Mustang district in northwestern Nepal, after nearly 20 hours since the plane went missing, the Nepal Army said.

Sudarshan Bartaula, a spokesperson of Tara Air, said: “As the bodies have been scattered over a 100-metre radius from the main impact point, the search and rescue team is collecting them." The airline issued the list of passengers which identified four Indians as Ashok Kumar Tripathy, his ex wife Vaibhavi Bandekar (Tripathy) and their children Dhanush and Ritika.

(With inputs from ANI, AFP, PTI) Source : ht

 

 

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COVID-19: Don’t underestimate Omicron, WHO chief warns

Written by Saturday, 16 September 2017 12:31

14 December 2021 Health

The Omicron variant is “probably” now present in most of the world’s countries and it would be a mistake to dismiss the COVID-19 strain as “mild”, said the head of the UN health agency (WHO) on Tuesday.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, told reporters from WHO headquarters in Geneva that the variant was now present in 77 countries.

"Omicron is spreading at a rate we have not seen with any previous variant. We’re concerned that people are dismissing Omicron as mild”, he said. “Surely, we have learned by now that we underestimate this virus at our peril.”

“Even if Omicron does cause less severe disease, the sheer number of cases could once again overwhelm unprepared health systems. I need to be very clear: vaccines alone will not get any country out of this crisis. Countries can – and must – prevent the spread of Omicron with measures that work today.”

‘Do it all’

The United Kingdom’s top health adviser warned on Tuesday that Omicron infections could reach one million per day there, by the end of this month, adding that the National Health Service would face significant pressure if only a fraction of those newly infected need to be hospitalized – a troubling scenario in a country where some 70 per cent of the population are fully vaccinated.

Tedros warned that making choices about strategies to halt the pandemic, was the wrong approach: “It’s not vaccines instead of distancing. It’s not vaccines instead of ventilation or hand hygiene. Do it all. Do it consistently. Do it well.”

He said in the past 10 weeks, the international vaccine rollout initiative, COVAX, has shipped more vaccines than in the first 9 months of the year combined, with most countries using vaccines as fast as they get them.

“A small group of countries are facing challenges rolling out vaccines and scaling up rapidly, and WHO and our partners are working closely with those countries to overcome bottlenecks”, he added.

“Although we expect further improvements in supply, there are no guarantees, and the hard-won gains we have made are fragile.”

Boosters, for some

Tedros said “evolving evidence suggests a small decline in the effectiveness of vaccines against severe disease and death”, noting that booster rollouts for all over-18s to fight Omicron in some countries, had begun despite a lack of evidence that they will be effective.

“WHO is concerned that such programmes will repeat the vaccine hoarding we saw this year, and exacerbate inequity…Let me be very clear: WHO is not against boosters. We’re against inequity. Our main concern is to save lives, everywhere.”

The WHO chief said that giving boosters to groups at low risk, simply endangers the lives of those facing higher risk, who have not yet got their primary doses, due to supply constraints.

On the other hand, giving additional doses to people at high risk can save more lives than giving primary doses to those at low risk, he reasoned.

Prioritize the most vulnerable

“Together, we will save the most lives by making sure health workers, older people and other at-risk groups receive their primary doses of vaccines.

“In most countries, those being hospitalized and dying are those who have not been vaccinated. So, the priority must be to vaccinate the unvaccinated, even in countries with most access to vaccines.”

He said the priority in every country, for the sake of the global effort to halt the pandemic, “must be to protect the least protected, not the most protected.”

Some 41 countries have still not been able to vaccinate even 10% of their populations, and 98 countries have not yet reached 40%.

“If we end inequity, we end the pandemic”, he emphasised. “If we allow inequity to continue, we allow the pandemic to continue.” Source : ht

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An estimated 500,000 to 750,000 Indian H-1B visa holders could be deported if the administration goes ahead with the proposal which is aligned with President Donald Trump’s “Buy American, Hire American” vision.

The Trump administration is considering a proposal that could potentially lead to large-scale deportation of foreigners on H-1B visas for high-speciality workers waiting for their Green Card — mostly Indians — and drastically alter the way high-tech companies operate in the United States.

The proposal circulated in the form of an internal memo in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which oversees citizenship and immigration, intends to end the provision of granting extensions to H-1B visa holders whose applications for permanent residency (Green Card) had been accepted.

An estimated 500,000 to 750,000 Indian H-1B visa holders could be sent home if the administration decides to go ahead with the proposal which is aligned with President Donald Trump’s “Buy American, Hire American” vision to boost manufacturing and protect local jobs for Americans.

“If implemented this could lead to large-scale deportations, mostly of Indians, throwing hundreds and thousands of families into crisis,” said an official of Immigration Voice, an advocacy body in San Jose. Immigration Voice is planning to mount a challenge through outreach and sue when a decision is announced, he added.

“The idea is to create a sort of ‘self-deportation’ of hundreds of thousands of Indian tech workers in the United States to open up those jobs for Americans,” a US source briefed by homeland security officials told McClatchy DC Bureau, which first reported the proposal.

A response to Hindustan Times requests to both DHS and the US citizenship and immigration services (USCIS) was awaited, but the existence of the memo was confirmed by sources in the US and Indian governments, industry and those that are likely to face action under the new rules.

An H-1B visa is granted for three years, with the provision of three more with one extension after which visa holders return to their countries. If approved for Green Card, they wait in the US using extensions.

For Indians, that wait could stretch for years given the massive backlog caused by the system of per-country annual cap on the number of permanent residencies.

The proposal is based on the power of discretion given to USCIS officials to decide on extensions to be given to H-1B holders waiting for Green Card. They could choose to extend from one to three years, and often chose the maximum of three, and granted some visa holders as many extensions as needed.

“If it has been left to their discretion,” said a lobbyist. “They can theoretically decide not to grant any extension at all.”

The Indian government is watching the development with mounting alarm as it had the administration’s previously announced plans and decisions to tighten H-1B rules and regulations with the objective of preventing its abuse to replace American workers with lower-paid foreigners.

One of the plans in February 2017 was to roll back H-4 EAD — a regulation introduced by President Barack Obama to attract and retain highly skilled foreign workers by granting work authorization to spouses of H-1B visa holders awaiting Green cards. That will impact mostly Indians again.

The administration also plans to redefine high-speciality professionals for the purpose of H-1B visas. And there is a general review of the programme ordered by the President.

The United States grants 85,000 non-immigrant H-1B visa every year — 65,000 to foreigners hired abroad and 20,000 to foreigners enrolled in advanced degree courses in US schools and colleges. An estimated 70% of these visas go to Indians — hired mostly by American companies such as Facebook, Microsoft and Google and some by American arms of Indian tech giants Infosys, Wipro and TCS.

The US companies, which are large employers of foreign workers but escape the scrutiny facing Indian firms, will be hit the hardest as they are more likely to apply for Green Cards for their H-1B workers than their Indian counterparts, who tend to rotate their workers home at the end of the stipulated period.

These big companies can be expected to push back as well, as could the chamber of commerce. A response was awaited to a request for comments from Compete America, a trade body representing Silicon Valley high-tech firms in Washington DC. Source : ht

 

 

 

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GENEVA (AFP) - The UN human rights chief voiced alarm on Monday (Sept 11) at widespread rights abuses in Venezuela, warning of possible "crimes against humanity" in the crisis-wracked country.

"My investigation suggests the possibility that crimes against humanity may have been committed," Mr Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said at the opening of the 36th session of the Human Rights Council, calling for an international probe.

Venezuela's crisis has caused food and medicine shortages, deadly unrest and calls for President Nicolas Maduro to quit.

Clashes with security forces at anti-government protests left 125 people dead from April to July.

"There is a very real danger that tensions will further escalate, with the government crushing democratic institutions and critical voices," Mr Zeid warned.

He said an investigation by his office had noted the widespread use of "criminal proceedings against opposition leaders, recourse to arbitrary detentions, excessive use of force and ill-treatment of detainees, which in some cases amounts to torture".

Late last month, Mr Zeid echoed international concerns that Venezuela was slipping into dictatorship, cautioning that democracy in the country was "barely alive, if still alive".

His office has previously criticised Venezuela's all-powerful constituent assembly and its "truth commission", which has been tasked with investigating several opposition leaders for treason.

On Monday, Mr Zeid said he supported the concept of a truth commission, but stressed that "the current mechanism is inadequate".

"I therefore urge that it be reconfigured with the support and involvement of the international community," he said.

He urged the UN rights council "to establish an international investigation into the human rights violations in Venezuela".

Mr Zeid also pointed out that Venezuela currently holds one of the 47 rotating seats on the Human Rights Council, and thus has a particular duty to "uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights".

Without naming Venezuela specifically, he also called on the council to consider "the need to exclude from this body states involved in the most egregious violations of human rights."

 

 

 

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The U.N. Security Council is set to vote on Monday afternoon on a watered-down U.S.-drafted resolution to impose new sanctions on North Korea over its latest nuclear test, diplomats said, but it was unclear whether China and Russia would support it. The draft resolution appears to have been weakened in a bid to appease North Korea’s ally China and Russia following negotiations during the past few days. In order to pass, a resolution needs nine of the 15 Security Council members to vote in favor and no vetoes by any of the five permanent members – the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China.

The draft, seen by Reuters on Sunday, no longer proposes blacklisting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The initial draft proposed he be subjected to a travel ban and asset freeze along with four other North Korea officials. The final text only lists one of those officials. The draft text still proposes a ban on textile exports, which were North Korea’s second-biggest export after coal and other minerals in 2016, totalling $752 million, according to data from the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency. Nearly 80 percent of the textile exports went to China.

The draft drops a proposed oil embargo and instead intends to impose a ban on condensates and natural gas liquids, a cap of two million barrels a year on refined petroleum products, and a cap crude oil exports to North Korea at current levels. China supplies most of North Korea’s crude. According to South Korean data, Beijing supplies roughly 500,000 tonnes of crude oil annually. It also exports 200,000 tonnes of oil products, according to U.N. data. Russia’s exports of crude oil to North Korea are about 40,000 tonnes a year.

The draft resolution also no longer proposes an asset freeze on the military-controlled national airline Air Koryo. Since 2006, the Security Council has unanimously adopted eight resolutions ratcheting up sanctions on North Korea over its ballistic missile and nuclear programs. The Security Council last month imposed new sanctions over North Korea’s two long-range missile launches in July. The Aug. 5 resolution aimed to slash by a third Pyongyang’s $3 billion annual export revenue by banning coal, iron, lead and seafood.

FOREIGN WORKERS

The new draft resolution drops a bid to remove an exception for transshipments of Russian coal via the North Korean port of Rajin. In 2013 Russia reopened a railway link with North Korea, from the Russian eastern border town of Khasan to Rajin, to export coal and import goods from South Korea and elsewhere. The original draft resolution would have authorized states to use all necessary measures to intercept and inspect on the high seas vessels that have been blacklisted by the council.

However, the final draft text calls upon states to inspect vessels on the high seas with the consent of the flag state, if there’s information that provides reasonable grounds to believe the ship is carrying prohibited cargo. The Aug. 5 resolution adopted by the council capped the number of North Koreans working abroad at the current level. The new draft resolution initially imposed a complete ban on the hiring and payment of North Korean laborers abroad.

The final draft text to be voted on Monday by the council would require the employment of North Korean workers abroad to be authorized by a Security Council committee. However, this rule would not apply to “written contracts finalized prior to the adoption of this resolution” provided that states notify the committee by Dec. 15 of the number of North Koreans subject to these contracts and the anticipated date of termination of these contracts.

Some diplomats estimate that between 60,000 and 100,000 North Koreans work abroad. A U.N. human rights investigator said in 2015 that North Korea was forcing more than 50,000 people to work abroad, mainly in Russia and China, earning between $1.2 billion and $2.3 billion a year. The wages of workers sent abroad provide foreign currency for the Pyongyang government. There is new political language in the final draft urging “further work to reduce tensions so as to advance the prospects for a comprehensive settlement” and underscoring “the imperative of achieving the goal of complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner.”

 

 

 

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