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That risks sparking conflict in places that the Russian and Chinese governments consider crucial to their security but the American people do not consider crucial to theirs. Which means yet more promises the American government cannot keep.

Consider American policy toward Russia. During the Cold War, no American president considered Eastern Europe important enough to American security to risk war over. But in the s, with Russia enfeebled, many policy makers assumed that risk had disappeared. Is that commitment solvent? NATO has helped undergird an unprecedented era of European freedom, prosperity, and peace.

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But since it is a risk, the post—Cold War pattern of expanding NATO with little public discussion—since , the subject has rarely come up in presidential debates —should end. Consider what has happened in Georgia and Ukraine. In , the Bush administration convinced its European allies to pledge that both countries would eventually enter NATO. Moscow made the same point, even more harshly, a half-decade later in Ukraine, when protesters helped replace a pro-Russian government with a pro-Western one. The United States celebrated the shift of power. Sovereign states have the right to make their own decisions and choose their own alliances.

The United States does not oppose spheres of influence. It has had its own in the Western Hemisphere since Although geopolitically aggressive, Russia is economically and demographically a declining power. It lost a large sphere of influence, and America is now seeking to deny it a smaller one. China is a rising power. It is trying to establish a sphere of influence, which America opposes. This economic shift is producing a military shift.

Washington still spends far more than Beijing on defense, but over the past two decades the Chinese military has dramatically improved. And while the American military is spread across the world, China focuses on its own neighborhood. As a result, the balance of power between the United States and China may be approaching a series of tipping points. Taiwan is the most dangerous example of American foreign-policy insolvency in the world.

This quasi-obligation is insolvent for two reasons. First, the people of mainland China care far more about Taiwan than Americans do. It considers it part of China, and has since the 17th century. In the centuries that followed, the Western powers and Japan repeatedly invaded and divided China, and many Chinese see the reunification of Taiwan as crucial to overcoming that humiliating history. This creates a vast asymmetry of public will. In fact, when asked whether the United States should defend Taiwan if it declares independence, Americans consistently, by substantial margins , say no.

Alongside this asymmetry of public will is a growing asymmetry of military power. The United States is, too. S o what might a Democratic alternative to both Trump and his hawkish critics—an alternative built upon the sacrifices Americans are actually willing to make rather than the obligations that unipolarity requires—look like? The Atlantic and Pacific were formidable moats. But since World War II, two technologies have made it easier for adversaries to bypass step one and threaten the United States without first dominating other continents.

The first is nuclear weapons. Luckily, since the midth century, America has pursued a strategy that has protected it against nuclear strikes by even its most fearsome foes. That strategy is nuclear deterrence, and it merely requires the United States to possess enough nuclear weapons, and sufficient means to deliver them, to credibly declare that America will destroy any regime that uses nuclear weapons against the United States. Which helps explain why it worked against Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong.

Nuclear deterrence is less effective against a terrorist group with no regime or territory to protect, led by people who welcome death. But almost 17 years after September 11, the United States and its allies have proved capable of keeping nuclear weapons out of the hands of terrorists.

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Unfortunately, the United States is less shielded from a second, more recent technology that enables direct attack: cyberwarfare. Roosevelt and Kennan worried that if a hostile power dominated Europe or Asia, it could dominate the great oceans, thus leaving America so insecure that its democracy crumbled or so isolated that its economy did. Few other threats put the republic itself at such risk. So Democrats are right to blast Trump for not making cyberdefense a priority.

But in their desire to be tough on Putin, congressional Democrats are conditioning sanctions relief not only on Russia stopping its interference in American elections, but on Russia stopping its interference in Ukraine and even Syria. Instead, the United States and its allies should pursue a status for Ukraine and Georgia similar to the status that Austria and Finland enjoyed during the Cold War.

So each country struck a deal that granted it control over its domestic affairs both became democracies in return for not pursuing an anti-Soviet foreign policy. Recognizing that U. This would not be another Warsaw Pact. If the Dominican Republic nationalizes its banks, the U. But America will not permit the Dominican Republic to join a military alliance with Moscow or Beijing. The U. But it must also prevent China from threatening the homeland through an economic relationship that benefits American elites while weakening the American middle class.

And preventing it should thus be central not only to American domestic policy, but to American foreign policy as well. And he was partially right. One way to do that would be to adopt a suggestion made by the Harvard economist Dani Rodrik. Any tariffs would have to be wielded carefully—not in the rash, jumbled way Trump has deployed them. But, as with Russia, jettisoning the assumption that America must deny China a sphere of influence might help policy makers husband American leverage for the things that matter most.

A State Department planning paper declared that the U. And that insolvency will grow worse if the United States, in its zeal to deny China a sphere of influence, takes on a new obligation—the East Asian equivalent of Ukraine and Georgia—by agreeing to defend Vietnam. Vietnam has a roughly mile-long land border with China, a bevy of maritime disputes with Beijing, and a tradition of fierce anti-Chinese nationalism.

The most wrenching element of this strategy involves Taiwan. The island is an extraordinary success story, a powerful testament to the compatibility of democracy and Chinese culture. But the United States probably cannot defend Taiwan today. If America does not face the insolvency of its current commitment to Taiwan now, it may eventually be made to face it, perhaps through war.

The UK continued to play a leading role in the Freedom Online Coalition FOC , a group of like-minded countries committed to promoting internet freedom. We engaged with other governments, civil society, industry and international organisations. This included commitments by governments to conduct their activities with respect to human rights obligations and to the principles of rule of law, legitimate purpose, non-arbitrariness, effective oversight and transparency, with a call on others to do likewise. The membership of the FOC grew in , with Japan and Lithuania joining, bringing to 24 the total number of countries in the coalition.

A number of other countries have expressed an interest in joining, or participated at the ministerial conference as observers. Apart from the annual conference, the FOC was active throughout the year in lobbying against restrictive legislation or actions that limit freedom of expression online. The coalition issued a number of statements throughout , including on the blocking and restrictions of access to social media, and on the use and export of surveillance technology.

Case Study: Elections in Tunisia. As well as working through multilateral institutions, the UK raised its concerns around freedom of expression bilaterally throughout This is added to several existing laws on defamation in the Criminal Code. In Kazakhstan and Tajikistan, as elsewhere in the region, media outlets can be, and sometimes are, shut down for administrative violations. In Tajikistan one weekly publication, Khafta, had its registration revoked for publication of material not in line with the published statutes; it had only published one issue, which contained an interview criticising the authorities.

In addition to restrictions on print media, there has also been the periodic and arbitrary blocking of hundreds of websites in Tajikistan, with no transparent or public process detailing the reasons. Targeted sites include those of political opposition groups, human rights organisations, and social media tools. Country Case Study: Egypt. Freedom of expression continues to be a key priority of the HRDP in These include projects in: Azerbaijan, aimed at increasing the capacity of the legal profession to litigate freedom of expression cases and encourage adherence to domestic and international obligations; Bangladesh, aimed at increasing understanding and commitment of key governmental actors and law-makers to an initial legal reform process, and informing bloggers and online activists about their rights; and Russia, aimed at improving the digital, physical, legal safety and protection of Russian journalists and bloggers.

The group brings together representatives from academia, civil society and industry. Case Study: Political Participation in Swaziland. Case Study: Freedom of Expression in China. In order to protect their societies from crime, states sometimes need to use force, and to remove the liberty of convicted criminals. How states impose such sanctions is a core component of human rights — recognised in the UK as long ago as Magna Carta, which stated in that:.

No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any other way, nor will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so, except by the lawful judgement of his equals or by the law of the land. States which do not respect the rights of their citizens to just process are often the most dangerous and lawless places to live. Conversely, countries with the highest respect for human rights tend to be safer, less criminal, and more orderly.

In other words, governmental respect for human rights and public respect for the law can, and should, go hand-in-hand. But the UK recognises that this balance is hard to achieve, and that many of our international partners are seeking to do so in difficult circumstances.

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Our approach is always to provide practical assistance where we can. Rule of law and access to justice programmes by the Department for International Development have enabled 85 million people in the poorest countries to hold their authorities to account, and millions of women to access security and justice. For other situations, where progress requires us to work closely with local authorities, including in countries of human rights concern, we have developed the Overseas Security and Justice Assistance OSJA framework.

The guidance ensures that officials do their utmost to identify risks of UK actions causing unintended human rights consequences. Where such risks are apparent, officials must do their best to mitigate them and ensure that ministers are appropriately consulted. Our expertise is highly valued across the world and improves the standards and capabilities of law enforcement and security agencies operating in the most challenging environments. Through this work, we aim to improve security and increase respect for the rule of law. However, it is important that we ensure that the skills and expertise we impart are not used to cause harm.

Global abolition of the death penalty remains a priority for the UK government 50 years after the last execution took place in the UK. We oppose the death penalty in all circumstances as a matter of principle. We contend that its use undermines human dignity, that it has no value as a deterrent, and that any miscarriage of justice in capital cases is irreversible and irreparable. To states which retain and implement the death penalty, we offer practical and more effective alternatives.

The international trend towards abolition of the death penalty received strong support in December by means of the largest-ever UN General Assembly UNGA vote in favour of establishing a worldwide moratorium. While not binding, the growing support for this resolution shows that world opinion is hardening against the use of the death penalty. There were some reversals in Jordan resumed executions after an eight-year period during which none had been carried out; and Pakistan carried out executions, having observed a de facto moratorium since Jordan cited public concerns over crime, while Pakistan was influenced by an appalling terrorist attack on a school in which children died.

To both governments we expressed understanding of their responsibility to protect the public from crime and terrorism, but argued that the death penalty is not an effective way to do so. First, we aim to increase the number of abolitionist countries, or countries with a moratorium on the use of the death penalty. Secondly, in countries that still apply the death penalty, we want to secure further restrictions on its use and reductions in the numbers of executions.

And, thirdly, when the death penalty is applied, we aim to ensure that universal minimum standards on its use are met. These include fair trial rights and the non-execution of juveniles. In we continued to place a particular focus on two geographic regions: Asia and the Commonwealth Caribbean. The picture in Asia has been mixed. In a number of states and territories in the region, steps are being considered to reduce the number of offences for which the death penalty may be applied — often a significant step on the path to abolition.

Our Posts are actively following these developments and offering expert UK assistance where possible. However, executions did take place — two in Singapore the first since , and five in Taiwan, as well as unconfirmed reports of executions in Malaysia. It is believed that China continues to implement the highest number of executions in the world. While official figures are a state secret, estimates are in the [low] thousands. Project work funded by the FCO, together with other governments, will help to clarify the question of public opinion on the death penalty in Japan, which executed three prisoners in However, research we have funded in other countries suggests that this figure tends to drop once the public is better informed about the circumstances leading to capital convictions, and the possibility of errors in justice systems.

In the Commonwealth Caribbean, FCO-funded project work in recent years has helped to establish legal safeguards, which have effectively restricted the use of the death penalty see Chapter III for further details. One outcome of this work has been readiness by Suriname to take formal steps towards abolishing the death penalty. Following the APPG visit, our Embassy has been involved in setting up expert-level consultations, which will hopefully lead to legislation being tabled during Suriname has not carried out any executions for many years.

Each country which formally abolishes the death penalty strengthens the abolitionist trend in world opinion. World Death Penalty Day on 10 October provides an important annual focus for worldwide efforts to promote abolition. To mark the occasion, we held a joint event with the APPG in London, attended by representatives of around 70 diplomatic missions.

We were able to discuss views with a number of representatives of retentionist countries on retiring the death penalty, and we look forward to continuing this exchange. Our keynote speakers noted that it was 50 years since the last execution took place in the UK, and reaffirmed their belief that the death penalty has no place in the 21st century. They also welcomed the fact that more than members of the UN had already renounced capital punishment, in law or practice, and hoped that all other states would soon follow.

Throughout , we raised the death penalty regularly with individual states in the United States, including specific cases, both bilaterally and with EU partners. The use of the death penalty in the United States is declining. In there were 35 executions in just six states — only the third time in 20 years there have been fewer than 40 executions. In April, during an execution in Oklahoma, poor administration of lethal drugs led to the condemned man suffering for 43 minutes before death.

This spurred President Obama to announce a federal review of the problems surrounding the application of the death penalty. So far, 18 out of 50 American states have abolished the death penalty completely. In , we will continue to implement our strategy. We will fund further project work in a number of countries. We will also seek to consolidate the gains made at the UNGA vote on a worldwide moratorium.

Global torture prevention remains a priority for the UK government. Torture or other ill treatment is abhorrent and prohibited under international law. The impact on victims, their families and their communities is devastating. It can never be justified in any circumstance. The UK is clear that it does not participate in, solicit, encourage, or condone the use of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment for any purpose. To date, countries are States Parties to the convention.

Despite these commitments, torture is still widely practised. All too often the perpetrators go unpunished and steps are not taken to prevent the crime being repeated. In , we continued to pursue the three goals of the FCO Strategy for the Prevention of Torture to ensure that legal frameworks are in place and enforced; to develop political will and capacity to prevent and prohibit torture; and to fund projects to ensure organisations on the ground have the necessary expertise and training to prevent torture. Preventing torture and tackling impunity for those who commit torture are not only the right things to do, but are integral to fair legal systems and the rule of law.

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All this work should be mutually reinforcing, and we have made clear our determination to address allegations of UK complicity in any wrong when it is alleged that mistakes have been made. Torture prevention work also supports consular work by helping to reduce the risk of mistreatment of British nationals imprisoned abroad.

Case Study: Mexico and Impunity. Throughout the year, we used our influence and diplomatic network to raise individual cases and concerns, both publicly and in private. We harnessed social media to raise awareness of the global problem of torture. Working closely with the Association for the Prevention of Torture APT and the co-founder of Survivors Speak Out a network of torture survivors , we used the day to ensure that our policy is not only informed by the experience of the survivors of torture, but that we also give them a voice.

We have continued to pursue the prevention of torture through multilateral organisations. The CTI has set itself the goal of universal ratification of the CAT by , and a reduction in the risk of torture through sharing good practice and technical assistance. The committee is comprised of an independent expert from each of the member states, including the UK, and makes cyclical visits to monitor places of detention. Its work is closely considered by the CoE Committee of Ministers when monitoring situations of concern in countries, most recently in Ukraine and Russia.

In November, the committee paid its first visit to Gibraltar to assess the conditions of detention, and the safeguards in place for persons deprived of their liberty. The committee also visited the UK to examine the treatment and conditions of detention of one person convicted by the Special Court for Sierra Leone. This global strategy may be the first of its kind. As the strategy makes plain, torture prevention is a human rights priority for the UK and an issue which we care deeply about.

Throughout , we continued to work with local and international NGOs, prosecutors, prison services and other partners. Activities included:. These include a second year of a multi-country project carried out by the APT, which aims to promote an open and informed process of ratification and implementation, ensuring effective National Preventative Mechanisms NPMs mandated by the OPCAT are put in place.

International justice can make a contribution to the promotion of long-term security by addressing the underlying causes of conflict, helping victims of atrocities and their communities obtain justice and come to terms with the past, and deterring those who might otherwise commit such violations in the future. The UK has continued to provide political support and practical assistance and cooperation to the International Criminal Court ICC , the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda currently transitioning to a new mechanism for international criminal tribunals , and the voluntarily-funded tribunals for Sierra Leone, Cambodia and Lebanon.

UK support to the ICC is underpinned by the UK ICC Strategy, launched in , which seeks to ensure that the ICC retains its independence, delivers justice, increases its membership, builds more support for its decisions from states and from the UN Security Council, gains wider regional support, and completes its work more efficiently. The UK government rejects the allegation that there was systematic abuse carried out by British forces in Iraq, but we also recognise that the Prosecutor must follow the proper procedures when serious complaints are made.

We will continue to cooperate with her office. The UK also worked with other States Parties to agree a budget for and elect six new judges to take up post in The Trust Fund for Victims was established by the Rome Statute with a dual mandate of implementing court-ordered reparations and providing physical, psychological and material support to victims and their families. We will continue to support the ICC in its efforts to place victims at the centre of the response to international crimes.

His trial is expected to resume in The most senior surviving members of the Khmer Rouge regime, Kheiu Samphan and Nuon Chea, were sentenced to life imprisonment in the first phase of Case in August. This phase focused on alleged crimes committed during the forced movement of people from cities in The ECCC is now hearing the appeal while continuing with the trial in the second phase of Case , which deals with such crimes as the genocide of the Cambodian Muslim population, forced marriage, and rape.

This provided the court with the financial stability and certainty it urgently needed. We will continue efforts to place the court on a secure financial footing in It is responsible for supervising sentences, witness protection, and managing the SCSL archives. It is the first residual court mechanism of its kind formally to take over from its predecessor and, as such, is important for the long-term sustainability of international justice.

Charles Taylor, the first former head of state since the Nuremberg trials to be convicted for war crimes, is currently in a UK prison serving the remainder of his year sentence for aiding and abetting war crimes during the Sierra Leone civil war. The UK contributed L, to the court in The trial was adjourned in February to allow defence counsel for the fifth defendant to prepare, and resumed in June.

All five individuals remain at large, but the STL continues to operate under the Lebanese criminal code, and is the first tribunal of its kind to allow trials in absentia. As an independent tribunal, the STL has an important role to play in promoting stability and respect for the rule of law in Lebanon. IHL is a distinct body of law from international human rights law. IHL, as codified in particular in the Geneva Conventions of and their Additional Protocols, and as established in customary international law, regulates the conduct of armed conflicts.

The conference will also be an opportunity to further UK IHL and humanitarian policy objectives, and we will make a number of pledges on actions that we intend to take in coming years. Freedom of religion or belief, based on the full definition set out in Article 18 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, has continued to be a human rights priority for the UK government throughout the course of It is one of the most difficult areas in which to make visible progress, but it is a fundamental human right, and one that impacts on many other rights.

A particular focus of government activity has been combating extremism, and preventing it from taking root. Our policies and initiatives in this area have focused on a wide range of countries where we judge that the UK is best placed to make an impact and have been aimed at promoting societies where everyone may freely practise his or her religion, change religion, or exclude religion from their own world view; and where everyone is encouraged to accept that others are entitled to live out their own belief, without persecution.

Muslims, Christians, Yezidis and others have all been affected. In Iraq, as in other parts of the Middle East and North Africa, the space for Christians has continued to close, with the Christian population in Iraq reportedly shrinking from 1. In Syria, the continued brutality of the Syrian regime has radicalised many and stoked sectarian tensions, while extremist groups such as ISIL have obstructed the exercise of religious freedom, dramatically increased attacks on religious communities and buildings, and continued to target civilians on the basis of religion or belief.

And across the Middle East and many parts of Africa, the extremist religious ideology espoused by groups such as the Taliban, Boko Haram and El Shabaab has spawned widespread human rights abuses directed at all whose beliefs are different from their own. As in previous years, there have been many heart-rending individual cases, in many different countries, where individuals have been persecuted, imprisoned and discriminated against because of their faith or belief. Most of these cases do not attract wide public attention. However, during , one story in particular prompted campaigning around the world — the case of Meriam Ibrahim, charged with apostasy and adultery and imprisoned in Sudan with her young son while heavily pregnant.

Meriam, who was tried for choosing to follow and marry into the Christian faith while her father was a Muslim, was obliged to give birth to her daughter in chains. Following wide media coverage and concerted pressure from the international community, plus support from her legal team one of whom was trained in the UK who worked tirelessly on the case, Meriam was eventually released.

However, she was forced to flee the country and is now in the United States. This was not an isolated case. We continue to press the government of Sudan to undertake a comprehensive review of the relevant legal issues to ensure its laws reflect both its own constitution and international human rights standards.

In Pakistan, the arbitrary application and misuse of blasphemy laws, and the lack of accountability for those who discriminate against or attack those from religious minorities, has led to many abuses of the right to freedom of religion or belief. We were also shocked by the violent murder of a couple accused of blasphemy in November.

FCO Minister for Human Rights, Baroness Anelay, issued a statement in response, urging the authorities to investigate and to bring to justice those responsible. In addition, during the year there were increasing concerns about the high level of discrimination against the Ahmadiyya in Pakistan. In July, the then FCO Minister for Human Rights, Baroness Warsi, expressed her concern about the killing of an Ahmadiyya woman and two children in Gujranwala when a mob set fire to houses, following accusations of Ahmadiyyas posting blasphemous content on social media sites.

There has been no real improvement in the treatment of minority religious groups in Iran in Christians, and especially Christian converts, continued to face widespread persecution in Many Christians were arrested in the course of the year, the majority for their involvement in the house church movement. Sunni Muslims and Dervishes also suffered discrimination and human rights abuses. We continue to raise these issues at the UN and other international fora. In addition to the ongoing desperate situation of the Rohingya Muslim community in Rakhine State, violence against Muslim minority communities flared up in locations across the country.

This has corresponded with an alarming increase in hate speech and the rise of vocal minority Buddhist nationalist movements within Burma. Deeply troubling new laws have also been proposed on interfaith marriage and religious conversion. There have been reports of harassment, intimidation and threats against civil society activists who have voiced criticism of these laws. We have expressed strong concerns over religious intolerance and the proposed faith-based legislation to the Burmese government and parliamentarians. We are also pressing the Burmese authorities to take steps toward a long-term solution in Rakhine that brings peace and reconciliation, and protects the human rights of all communities.

FCO Minister for Asia, Hugo Swire, spoke out publicly to this end on his visit to Burma in January , and met representatives of the Rohingya community to hear their concerns first-hand. Case Study: Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East. Worldwide, we have continued to promote the right to freedom of religion or belief in four ways.

We have: acted through multilateral organisations and with a wide range of international partners; raised issues bilaterally; funded targeted project work; and continued to improve the religious literacy of our own staff, to equip them better to engage with faith groups and to appreciate the many ways in which the right to freedom of religion or belief may be violated. However, we continue to believe that preserving the UN consensus gives us a valuable point of departure for discussions on this issue with countries whose perspective differs radically from our own.

Experience shows that language that gains currency in UN resolutions does slowly trickle down into domestic legislation. Again this year, we were able to strengthen the EU resolution on freedom of religion or belief slightly, including with a reference to the protection of religious minorities. We also worked to ensure that country-specific resolutions, such as that adopted by the Iraq Special Session of the HRC in September, contained language on the right of people from all religions or beliefs to contribute equally to society.

Over the course of the year, every FCO minister has raised individual cases and discriminatory legislation and practices in the countries for which they are responsible. He called on the international community to support the government of Iraq in its fight against ISIL.

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She gave a speech at the Grand Mosque in Muscat which commended Oman for pursuing mutual respect and understanding between religious groups. In April she visited Malaysia, to deliver a speech on freedom of religion or belief to an audience convened by the Global Movement of Moderates; and she attended a Christian church on Easter Day in Brunei. We were also encouraged by the efforts of parliamentarians from across the globe to work more closely to raise the profile of freedom of religion or belief through the creation of an international parliamentary network.

Despite the intrinsic difficulty of designing effective projects on this topic, we increased the number of good quality bids to our Human Rights and Democracy Programme Fund. Amongst other projects, we funded a series of workshops to promote responsible media reporting on sensitive issues around religion and conflict in Burma, and worked to enhance the role of the judiciary through policy reform and training in Indonesia.

This is a new global fund, drawing on resources from both public and private sectors, dedicated to building resilience against violent extremist agendas through local community based projects. We continued to run our programme of religious literacy training for our staff, holding our one-day training course three times in the year and continuing our regular series of lunchtime seminars. We have continued to welcome colleagues from different UK government agencies to take part in our courses.

Its members are acknowledged experts in the field, drawn from a wide range of different backgrounds and perspectives. Like the other advisory groups, it met twice during the year, and we have consulted its members on an ad hoc basis between meetings. Their expert advice and challenge has strengthened policy formation in this area. Looking ahead to , we will aim, in particular, to encourage closer cooperation between EU member states on this issue, including through the convening of an international workshop in February, and to play an active part in the new Canadian contact group.

We will be vigilant in ensuring that individual cases of persecution are raised promptly and at the highest level. We will do all that we can to stem the tide of persecution of individuals on the basis of their religion or belief. Throughout , the government continued to develop and implement strategies to address rising antisemitism both in the UK and internationally. We engage closely with civil society groups and law enforcement agencies to build greater victim confidence in coming forward to report incidents, as well as tackling hate crime itself.

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We encourage our Embassies and High Commissions across the world to remain vigilant to resurgent antisemitism and report to London on developing issues of concern. We work actively through multilateral organisations and bilaterally to tackle antisemitism wherever it is found. The UK is highly regarded within the international community for its efforts in this field, and is often invited to share best practice in international fora.

Over the course of , the group has continued to provide an invaluable opportunity to review long-term efforts between government and the Jewish community to discuss and tackle antisemitism. In this way, the government is kept fully informed of trends in antisemitism and threats to the Jewish community. The group also provides a forum for Jewish community leaders to hear directly from the government about steps being taken to address antisemitism.

The government is fully committed to ensuring that the group continues in its current form. This has been welcomed by the Jewish community, which has expressed public and private support for its continuation. In , the group stepped up its efforts to tackle internet hate crime, engaging with major international social media sites to ensure perpetrators of such crimes cannot remain anonymous.

The declaration expressed concern at the number of antisemitic incidents taking place in the OSCE area, condemned manifestations of antisemitism, intolerance and discrimination against Jews, and called on political leaders and public figures to speak out against antisemitic incidents whenever they occur. We attach importance to the work of the ODIHR in supporting the efforts of OSCE participating states to counter antisemitism, including through the facilitation of cooperation on issues such as hate crime and Holocaust remembrance.

IHRA see below continued to play an active role in monitoring and challenging antisemitism through its Committee on Antisemitism and Holocaust Denial. The committee considered reports on a number of countries during its meetings in London and Manchester as part of the UK Chairmanship programme, and made recommendations to the Plenary on how to fight antisemitism in all its forms. The UK plays a leading role in international collaboration to ensure that the lessons from the Holocaust remain forever seared in our collective memory, focusing particularly on future generations.

Our international efforts are spearheaded by Sir Andrew Burns, the UK Envoy on Post-Holocaust Issues, who aims to draw together the excellent work being done by UK non-governmental organisations NGOs in Holocaust education, remembrance and research, and to facilitate the international sharing of best practice. We hold the chairmanship until March We used our chairmanship to facilitate discussions in the Plenary meetings on issues of real substance, continuing the shift away from a focus on procedural issues. Expert working groups analysed the impact of Holocaust education and sharing best practice.

They conducted research into the killing sites, where enormous numbers of Holocaust victims met their death in quarries, woods and ditches at the edge of towns and villages across Eastern Europe. They also identified the scope and need for further liberalisation of access to Holocaust archives.

In addition, they helped with the development of Holocaust remembrance in countries coming relatively new to the subject. The May meeting approved a new grant strategy and the December session adopted new guidelines on the use of social media in Holocaust education. Sir Andrew also contributed to ensuring that IHRA plays a more active role in discussions about how lessons learned from the Holocaust can help in future genocide prevention.

The UK will be succeeded as chair by Hungary and then Romania. Sir Andrew represents the UK on the International Commission of the International Tracing Service ITS , which oversees the management of archives from the concentration, slave labour and displaced persons camps. Under the professional supervision of its Director, Dr Rebecca Boehling, the ITS continues its transition towards a modern, outward-facing research resource. While continuing to prioritise research assistance for victims of the Holocaust and their families, the ITS is opening up its archives to public access.

There were requests for access in , up slightly on the figure. The remainder of the requests were from Holocaust survivors and their families. There was excellent cooperation throughout the year between the Wiener Library and other institutions holding copies of the ITS archive, with the aim of ensuring that the results of research are made available to all institutions, and that expertise in navigating this difficult resource is pooled. Sir Andrew continued to try to make progress on the tricky area of restitution of property seized by the Nazis and their allies during and in the run-up to the Second World War.

In , he raised specific cases with the governments of Germany and Poland and joined with other member states of the European Shoah Legacy Institute in Prague in developing common strategies towards restitution of fixed property, restitution of cultural property, and improved social welfare for Holocaust survivors in countries where they lack adequate care.

Efforts to build up or modernize offensive potentials, to create and deploy new types of weapons erode the global security architecture based on international treaties and agreements in the area of arms control. Today, traditional military and political alliances cannot protect against all the existing transborder challenges and threats. The bloc-based approach to addressing international issues is being gradually replaced by network diplomacy based on flexible participation in multilateral mechanisms aimed at finding effective solutions to common challenges.

Economic, legal, scientific, environmental, demographic and IT factors become as important for states in influencing the world politics as the military power. Of increased relevance are issues related to sustainable development, spiritual and intellectual education of population, improving its well-being and promoting investment in human capital. A key factor of international stability is economic interdependence of states. Financial and economic challenges become increasingly evident as negative trends build up in the world economy. Unsolved structural problems and lingering economic depression in the leading countries of the West affect global development in a negative way.

Incomplete recovery amidst the European debt crisis and ongoing recession trends in the euro area pose serious risks for the future. International efforts to create a new, more balanced world trade and monetary system meeting the needs of the globalized world gain special significance. Increased competition for strategic resources causes extreme volatility at the commodity markets. Fundamental changes are taking place in the energy sector, which is related, inter alia, to the use of innovative technologies to develop hard-to-recover hydrocarbon reserves.

At a time when it becomes increasingly important for the states to diversify their presence in the world markets in order to guarantee their economic security, we are witnessing imposition of various unjustified restrictions and other discriminatory measures.

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For the first time in modern history, global competition takes place on a civilizational level, whereby various values and models of development based on the universal principles of democracy and market economy start to clash and compete against each other. Cultural and civilizational diversity of the world becomes more and more manifest. The reverse side of the globalization processes is the increased emphasis on civilizational identity.

Similar processes can be observed in other regions as well, which makes it a priority for world politics to prevent civilizational fault line clashes and to intensify efforts to forge partnership of cultures, religions and civilizations in order to ensure a harmonious development of mankind. Another factor which negatively affects global stability is the emerging trend towards international relations dominated, as in the past, by ideological factors. Another risk to world peace and stability is presented by attempts to manage crises through unilateral sanctions and other coercive measures, including armed aggression, outside the framework of the UN Security Council.

There are instances of blatant neglect of fundamental principles of international law, such as the non-use of force, and of the prerogatives of the UN Security Council when arbitrary interpretation of its resolutions is allowed. Some concepts that are being implemented are aimed at overthrowing legitimate authorities in sovereign states under the pretext of protecting civilian population.

The use of coercive measures and military force bypassing the UN Charter and the UN Security Council is unable to eliminate profound socioeconomic, ethnic and other antagonisms that cause conflicts. Such measures only lead to the expansion of the conflict area, provoke tensions and arms race, aggravates interstate controversies and incite ethnic and religious strife.

New transborder threats and challenges increasingly dominate the international agenda rising in proportions and becoming more diversified in form and geography. They include, in the first place, the risk of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, international terrorism, uncontrolled traffic in arms and combatants, radicalization of public sentiment giving rise to religious extremism and ethnic and interconfessional tensions, illegal migration, maritime piracy, drug trafficking, corruption, regional and internal conflicts, scarcity of essential resources, demographic problems, global poverty, environmental, sanitary and epidemiological challenges, climate change and threats to information and food security.

Global challenges and threats require an adequate response and joint efforts of the international community based on the central coordinating role of the UN and given the clear correlation of the issues of security, sustainable development and human rights. New centers of economic growth and political power increasingly take responsibility for their respective regions. Regional integration becomes an effective means to increase competitiveness of the participating states.

Networks and associations, trade pacts and other economic agreements, as well as regional reserve currencies serve as instruments to enhance security and financial and economic stability. A true consolidation of efforts of the international community requires a set of common values as a foundation for joint action, a common moral denominator, which major world religions have always shared, including such principles and concepts as pursuit of peace and justice, dignity, freedom and responsibility, honesty, compassion, and work ethic.

Foreign policy is one of the most important tools to ensure the steady development of a country and guarantee its competitiveness in the globalizing world. Being a permanent member of the UN Security Council and a participant in a whole range of influential international organizations, regional structures, and mechanisms for inter-state dialogue and cooperation, having considerable resources in every area, actively developing relations with leading states and alliances throughout the world in line with its multi-vector policy, and consistently integrating into the global economic and political system as a responsible and constructive member of the international community, the Russian Federation contributes to the development of a positive, well-balanced and unifying international agenda and to the settlement of global and regional problems.

Fundamental and rapid changes not only create serious risks but also provide the Russian Federation with new opportunities. Russia pursues an independent foreign policy guided by its national interests and based on unconditional respect for international law. It is consistent and continuous and reflects the unique role our country has been playing over centuries as a counterbalance in international affairs and the development of global civilization.

Russia is fully aware of its special responsibility for maintaining security in the world both on the global and regional levels and is determined to act jointly with all the interested states to address common challenges. Russia will work to anticipate and forestall events and remain prepared for any scenario in global affairs. Russia follows a policy aimed at creating a stable and sustainable system of international relations based on international law and principles of equality, mutual respect and non-interference in internal affairs of states.

The system aims to provide reliable and equal security for each member of the international community in the political, military, economic, informational, humanitarian and other areas. The United Nations should remain the center for regulation of international relations and coordination in world politics in the 21st century, as it has proven to have no alternative and also possesses unique legitimacy. This implies:.

Any decisions on the expansion of the Security Council should be based on a general consensus of the UN Member States. The status of the five permanent members of the Security Council should be preserved. Russia attaches great importance to ensuring sustainable manageability of global development, which requires collective leadership by the major states of the world, which, in turn, should be representative in geographical and civilizational terms and fully respect the central and coordinating role of the UN.

Russia consistently advocates the strengthening of the legal basis of international relations and complies with its international legal obligations in good faith. The maintenance and strengthening of the international rule of law is among its priorities in the international arena. The rule of law is intended to ensure peaceful and fruitful cooperation among states while preserving the balance of their often conflicting interests as well as safeguarding the stability of the global community in general.

Russia intends to:. Arbitrary and politically motivated interpretation of fundamental international legal norms and principles such as non-use of force or threat of force, peaceful settlement of international disputes, respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of states, right of peoples to self-determination, in favor of certain countries pose particular danger to international peace, law and order.

Russia consistently advocates reducing the role of the use of force in international relations while enhancing strategic and regional stability. To these ends, the Russian Federation:. Due to high rates of its economic growth based on steady external and growing internal demand, unique natural and accumulated financial resources, and responsible social and economic policy, Russia makes a considerable contribution to ensuring stability of the global economy and finances and participates in international efforts to prevent and address crisis developments.

Russia intends to actively facilitate the creation of an equitable and democratic global trade, economic, monetary and financial architecture, definition of international development targets assuming that common modernization challenges provide new opportunities for strengthening international economic cooperation.

To achieve these objectives, the Russian Federation:. The Russian Federation is in favor of widening international cooperation with a view to ensuring environmental security and addressing climate change on the planet, including through the use of advanced energy- and resource-saving technologies in the interests of the entire global community. Russia views sustainable social and economic development of all countries as an indispensable element of the modern system of collective security, and believes that measures to facilitate international development should be aimed at finding effective ways to support efforts to eliminate imbalances in the development of various regions.