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Japan; North Korea: Defectors Return to Japan

(Dec. 2, 2007) After Japan's defeat in the Second World War, Koreans who had entered Japan during the war, in many cases against their will, returned to the Korean peninsula. Those that remained in Japan immediately after 1945 could not return to South or North Korea during the Korean War (1950-53). From 1959 to 1984, […]

Cameroon; Nigeria: Bakkassi Peninsula

(Dec. 2, 2007) The fate of the Bakkassi, a peninsula said to hold ten percent of the world's oil and gas reserves, is once again up in the air after the Nigerian Senate approved a motion on November 22, 2007, making its handover of the region to Cameroon illegal. The handover was part of the […]

United Nations: Advancing Rule of Law Deemed Vital

(Dec. 2, 2007) On November 20, 2007, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated that upholding the rule of law is "crucial to the cause of peace." He was speaking to parliamentarians from many nations at the Annual Parliamentary Hearing, sponsored by the United Nations in cooperation with the Inter-Parliamentary Union. The speech stressed the importance of […]

Palestine: Future Borders

(Nov. 2, 2007) In an interview on Palestinian television, Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority, announced that he wants to establish an independent Palestinian state on 6,205 square kilometers (about 2,400 square miles), corresponding to about 98 % of the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel in 1976. As to the remaining 2%, he indicated […]

European Union; Macedonia: Membership Talks

(Nov. 2, 2007) On November 7, 2007, the European Commission published the Enlargement Package. It includes the Commission's annual strategy document on future enlargement and a summary of the progress made by each candidate. Current candidates include Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), and Turkey. The Package will also include the 2007 progress […]

European Union; Montenegro: Aim of 2008 Membership Application

(Nov. 2, 2007) Montenegro, in its quest to join the European Union and following the examples of other western Balkan countries, took the initial step towards becoming a full Member by signing a stabilization and association agreement with the EU on October 15, 2007. After the signing of the Agreement, the Prime Minister of Montenegro […]

Cuba; Honduras: Cooperation Agreement

(Nov. 2, 2007) The Cuban Minister of Foreign Investment and Economic Cooperation, Martha Lomas, and the Honduran Minister for Technical Matters and International Cooperation, Karen Zelaya, recently signed an agreement of cooperation that includes joint programs for scholarships, educational training, internships, and technical visits. The agreement also covers expert technical assistance in areas of special […]

United Nations; Vietnam: Non-Permanent Security Council Member Status

(Nov. 2, 2007) On October 16, 2007, the United Nations General Assembly voted almost unanimously (183 out of 190 votes) in favor of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam becoming a non-permanent member of the U.N. Security Council for the 2008-2009 term. Libya, Burkina Faso, Costa Rica, and Croatia were also elected to serve a two-year […]