The UK government is gravely concerned about the situation in Crimea and in the east of Ukraine, where armed groups seized government buildings in Donetsk, Kharkiv and Lugansk. There can be no justification for this action, which bears all the hallmarks of a Russian strategy to destabilise Ukraine. Russia should be clear that a deliberate and further escalation of the crisis will bring serious political and economic consequences. I commend the Ukrainian Government for their clear and determined response so far.
The European Council has asked the Commission to draw up far reaching sanctions in the event of further escalation by Russia. It is alarming that President Putin has already sought authority to send armed forces into any part of Ukraine. Russia should be clear that the UK will consider any armed Russian presence in eastern Ukraine as a further and deliberate escalation.
We will be assessing events in eastern Ukraine carefully over the coming days. The strength and unity of the EU is vital for upholding a rules-based international system, and the Prime Minister and I have stressed to European partners the need to accelerate measures that will reduce European dependence on Russian gas. We are also convening an urgent meeting of G7 energy Ministers to discuss energy security ahead of the G7 Summit in June.
Foreign Secretary William Hague speaking after answering questions on Ukraine in the House of Commons.
Sally Mouakkad, Science and Innovation Officer at the British Consulate General in Los Angeles chats with Dame Wendy Hall.
Dame Wendy helped pioneer research in multimedia and hypermedia. Her team at the University of Southampton in the UK invented the Microcosm hypermedia system, which predates the World Wide Web. Dame Wendy’s research has supported the development of the Semantic Web, and led to the study of Web Science. In 2006, she became a founding co-Director of the Web Science Research Initiative (WSRI) along with Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web and co-winner of the 2013 Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering.
After more than 10 years of campaigning and more than 7 years of negotiations, the UK ratifies the Arms Trade Treaty.
Foreign Secretary William Hague said:
I am delighted to have overseen the successful conclusion of negotiations and last week to have signed the agreement on behalf of the UK.
The Arms Trade Treaty is the result of outstanding collaboration between the government, civil society and industry all working together for a Treaty that will save lives, and I am proud of the part the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has played.
This Treaty will help make the world safer, by placing human rights and international humanitarian law at the heart of decisions about the arms trade. For the first time, countries have agreed international rules governing everything from small arms to warships. If these rules are implemented globally and effectively, they have the power to stop the arms from reaching terrorists and criminals, and fuelling conflict and instability around the world.
Our work does not stop here. We urge other countries - particularly the largest arms exporters - to ratify the Treaty and ensure it enters into force as quickly as possible. We will continue to support other nations in their plans to implement the Treaty, and Mexico’s efforts to plan the first Conference of States Parties.
Equal Marriage Comes to Britain!
Britain has had civil partnerships since 2005, but a clear majority felt that we needed full marriage equality. As of last Saturday, that’s what we have. Our view is clear: Marriage is one of our society’s most important institutions. By opening it to all, we strengthen that institution. We also strengthen society more generally, because, as James Madison once wrote, “Equal laws protecting equal rights” are “the best guarantee of loyalty and love of country.”
(Photo:The rainbow flag flew over the Cabinet Office in London this past weekend)
Source: The Huffington Post
A Turkish Scholar’s Journey Exploring Non-Proliferation in the Middle East
By Nilsu Goren, PhD candidate at the University of Maryland, School of Public Policy, and a graduate fellow at the Center for International Security Studies at Maryland.
My journey in the arms control and nonproliferation world started with my attempts to demystify the hype about weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and whether Saddam Hussein had them. Trying to learn about the technical and political dimensions of these weapons, I got entangled in the implications of arms control and verification in the Middle East. I sought guidance in James Martin Center for Non-Proliferation Studies (CNS) publications in my studies. My interest in the subject brought me to Washington DC, where I had the chance to work at the CNS office as a visiting scholar on several projects, focusing on WMD illicit trafficking networks.
In November 2011, I was selected by Dr Chen Kane to become a member the Middle East Next Generation of Arms Control Specialists Network, established by CNS. Since then, I have also participated in several meetings of the University of California, Los Angeles Regional Security and Technology Working Group as well the “Task Force on the Technical Dimensions of WMD-Free Zone in the Middle East,” (Task Force) Track II groups consisting of representatives from across the region, bringing together policy and science and technology expertise.
These meetings have provided me with the opportunity to expand my professional network, identify experts in the region and establish a long-term dialogue, develop project ideas, publish articles, present findings and receive feedback on my research. I have also benefited from the Next Generation Workshops, where we have met with our peers to work on simulations and verification exercises, inspiring us to develop further academic research as well as practical projects to promote nonproliferation in the region.
Carving what is known as a ‘maritime doughnut’, HMS Dauntless demonstrates her impressive manoeuvrability as she prepares to join the war games being held in north-west Europe. The Type 45 destroyer joins nearly 3 dozen warships, 2 dozen different types of aircraft, and upwards of 13,000 military personnel converging on Scotland’s east and west coasts for Exercise Joint Warrior.
The exercise, which began on 25 March, engages more than 35 warships, 25 different types of aircraft, and personnel from the various participating nations, which include the UK, USA, Turkey, Germany, Belgium, France, Holland and Denmark.