2016 top post: neutral or non-aggressive countries and states; most readers: American

December 16, 2016

c3-2-top-tenSource:  Neutrality [international relations] 

Austria (now a member of EU, see below): neutral country since 1955, maintain external independence and inviolability of borders (expressly modelled on the Swiss neutrality).

Costa Rica: neutral country since 1949, after abolishing its military.

Finland (now EU): military doctrine of competent, “credible” independent defence, not depending on any outside support, and the desire to remain outside international conflicts. In 2006, Finland’s neutrality was brought into question by Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen during the inauguration of the Finnish EU presidency.

Ireland (now EU): a traditional policy of military neutrality defined as non-membership of mutual defence alliances.

Japanconstitutionally forbidden from participating in wars, but maintains heavily-armed self-defence forces and a military alliance. Constitution recently modified in the face of vigorous public opposition, to permit Japan to come to the aid of its ally or allies.

Liechtenstein: since its army was dissolved in 1868.

Malta (now EU): policy of neutrality since 1980, guaranteed in a treaty with Italy concluded in 1983

Panama: neutral country since 1989

Sweden (now EU): has not fought a war since ending its involvement in the Napoleonic Wars in 1814 with a short war with Norway, making it the oldest neutral country in the world.

Switzerland: self-imposed, permanent, and armed, designed to ensure external security. Switzerland is the second oldest neutral country in the world; it has not fought a foreign war since its neutrality was established by the Congress of Vienna in 1815.

Turkmenistan: declared its permanent neutrality and had it formally recognised by the U.N. in 1995.

Ukraine: Declared policy of state non-alignment in 2010. We are now informed – see comment – that Ukraine has voted to drop non-aligned status and work towards NATO membership.

Vatican City: the Lateran Treaty signed in 1929 with Italy imposed that “The Pope was pledged to perpetual neutrality in international relations and to abstention from mediation in a controversy unless specifically requested by all parties” thus making Vatican City neutral since then.

 

 

 

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Neutral or non-aggressive countries and states

December 11, 2015

 

This is the title of the most widely read page on this site, published four years ago and reproduced below. Readers from the United States had 10,540 ‘views’ and below is a snapshot of the first twelve countries out of 177 listed.

 

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Today, after a reader pointed out that Japan was not widely recognised as neutral, the title has been altered from Countries or states recognised as neutral, to ‘Neutral or non-aggressive countries and states’ – the link remains unaltered – and we reproduce it on the site this week.

Does the preference of so many readers not on our mailing list indicate a greater desire for stability and peace than for contemporary news?

And what is the significance of the larger numbers from USA – who also read our drone warfare and pharmaceutical sites in large numbers?

One reader said this was just due to its size – but US readers show little interest in our political, environmental or food-related sites – so?

The hope is that one day peace loving American people will reassert themselves, rid themselves of the ‘gun culture’ and select leaders who will prioritise the well-being of their own people and offer that fine example to the rest of the world.

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Neutral or non-aggressive countries and states

Source:  Neutrality [international relations]

Austria (now a member of EU, see below): neutral country since 1955, maintain external independence and inviolability of borders (expressly modelled on the Swiss neutrality).

Costa Rica: neutral country since 1949, after abolishing its military.

Finland (now EU): military doctrine of competent, “credible” independent defence, not depending on any outside support, and the desire to remain outside international conflicts. In 2006, Finland’s neutrality was brought into question by Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen during the inauguration of the Finnish EU presidency.

Ireland (now EU): a traditional policy of military neutrality defined as non-membership of mutual defence alliances.

Japanconstitutionally forbidden from participating in wars, but maintains heavily-armed self-defence forces and a military alliance.

Liechtenstein: since its army was dissolved in 1868.

Malta (now EU): policy of neutrality since 1980, guaranteed in a treaty with Italy concluded in 1983

Panama: neutral country since 1989

Sweden (now EU): has not fought a war since ending its involvement in the Napoleonic Wars in 1814 with a short war with Norway, making it the oldest neutral country in the world.

Switzerland: self-imposed, permanent, and armed, designed to ensure external security. Switzerland is the second oldest neutral country in the world; it has not fought a foreign war since its neutrality was established by the Congress of Vienna in 1815.

Turkmenistan: declared its permanent neutrality and had it formally recognised by the U.N. in 1995.

Ukraine: Declared policy of state non-alignment in 2010.

Vatican City: the Lateran Treaty signed in 1929 with Italy imposed that “The Pope was pledged to perpetual neutrality in international relations and to abstention from mediation in a controversy unless specifically requested by all parties” thus making Vatican City neutral since then.

Link: https://civilisation3000.wordpress.com/about-countries/countries-or-states-recognised-as-neutral/

 

 

 

 


We welcome American visitors to the site and to that of Drone Warfare

August 26, 2015

1 c3Four times as many Americans visited last week compared with random visitors from other regions – see top five of the twenty-three countries shown on site statistics. A sceptical friend attributes this to the relative size of its population, but this does not hold true as we only had two visitors from India.

Top post by far, as usual, is  Countries without armed forces or no standing army.


British consul general to Jerusalem (2010-2014) calls for recognition of the state of Palestine in order to safeguard the two-state solution

March 20, 2015

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Over 4000 visitors to this site have searched for and found the post about countries or states recognised as neutral, including news of Ireland (one of 5 EU neutrals of varying degrees of ‘fidelity’) which has “a traditional policy of military neutrality defined as non-membership of mutual defence alliances”.

As news is coming in of shifting stances with regard to Israel and of Ireland’s concern, we find a noteworthy article in the Irish Times by Lancashire-born Sir Vincent Fean, British consul general to Jerusalem from 2010 until his retirement from the diplomatic service last year. This follows his contribution in the Telegraph last September.

sir vincent mobbedUnaware of his advocacy, and seeing him only as a representative of the British government, students protested during his 2013 visit to Ramallah

A summary of points made there (brackets contain relevant links added by editor)

Binyamin Netanyahu has driven a coach and horses through the considered policy of the international community. Peace will come in the Holy Land only when those two states live side by side in peace and security. What should we do?

Recognise the state of Palestine to safeguard the two-state solution to the long-term benefit of Israelis and Palestinians

Recognise the state of Palestine now, as the Irish Senate and Dáil have recommended (last October the Seanad passed a motion calling on the Irish Government to formally recognise the State of Palestine. Sweden, also on C3’s list of neutrals though disputed because of its arms dealing and membership of NATO, recognised Palestine last October).

The Arab citizens of Israel, 20% of the population, voted in unprecedented numbers “in droves”, said Netanyahu, and won 14 seats in the parliament of 120. They too will oppose Netanyahu’s stated policies, which risk perpetuating the unacceptable status quo or even creating a “Greater Israel” in which Palestinians inevitably will be victims of an apartheid system.

“Was [Netanyahu] just pulling our leg?”

At least things are now clear. Netanyahu will again form a coalition with the pro-settler party of Naftali Bennett and advocate Israeli illegal annexation of the Palestinian countryside, including the Jordan Valley, in the same way that Israel annexed East Jerusalem illegally after the 1967 war.

Recently Martin Indyk, secretary of state John Kerry’s chief negotiator in the valiant but flawed US peace effort of 2013-14, asked about Netanyahu “Was he just pulling our leg?” throughout that nine-month period of intensive Kerry shuttle diplomacy. Now we know. So what do we do?

We need to reject a few myths:

  • One is “We can’t want a solution more than the parties to this conflict”. Yes we can. We can and do want the just and equitable solution – two states living side by side in mutual security, with parity of esteem and mutual respect.
  • Another myth is “Leave it to the two parties to sort it out”. That was never a runner, given the vast disparity in power between them. Israel controls the land, sea and air of Palestine.
  • A third myth is that the United Nations has no role in resolving this conflict. What we need is what Kerry did not do (because Netanyahu was averse) – to agree unanimously a UN Security Council resolution establishing the framework and timeline for the two-state outcome we seek.

Certainly, we need the United States– essential, but not sufficient alone to deliver an agreed peace. We need the collective will of the UN, bringing together the US, the European Union and the Arab states, particularly Israel’s peace treaty neighbours Egypt and Jordan. Ireland, as a determined, highly credible advocate of the UN and major contributor to UN peacekeeping efforts, has a key part to play here.

Recognition of Palestine on 1967 lines is the logical step now for all states committed to an equitable two-state solution. It would:

  • Give hope to the beleaguered would-be peacemakers in Ramallah, whose readiness to negotiate is so heavily criticised by Hamas and by mistaken advocates of futile violence.
  • Signal to Israelis that there will indeed be a sovereign Palestinian state, so Israel’s leaders need to shape an agreement, not rule one out, and show to the world and to ourselves that right matters more than might.
  • Ireland, working with Sweden, France and other partners could bring the EU into play by forming a “group of the willing” – Europeans deciding to recognise Palestine now, on the basis of long-established EU policy for that equitable two-state solution.

Sir Vincent expects no more than sincere expressions of concern from London before the May 7th general election: “What the UK does then depends on how we vote – Labour, the Lib Dems, the Scottish National Party and the Greens see recognition as a Palestinian right, not a privilege. As do I”.


Irish peacekeeping commitment and neutrality maintained: no membership of NATO

January 20, 2015
irish uk mou signedMichael Fallon, UK defence secretary (left) and Simon Coveney, the Irish defence minister

On Monday, Ireland and the UK signed a memorandum of understanding at historic Dublin Castle – a medieval tower (below). The MOU will allow soldiers from both countries to co-operate on peacekeeping in conflict zones.

The press release states that the agreement “provides opportunities for more joint and collaborative work in support of international peace and security.

The Irish Army will train their British counterparts in peacekeeping operations.

dublin castle

Irish and British soldiers recently served together in an operation in Mali and the Irish defence force has extensive peacekeeping experience in Lebanon.

Relations between Dublin and London have improved following the signing of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement which ended three decades of violence in Northern Ireland.

Simon Coveney, the Irish defence minister, said the agreement was “voluntary and non-binding” and did not have any impact on Ireland’s official stance of military neutrality.

For many years Ireland’s peacekeepers have a maintained fine reputation for peacebuilding, due to their courteous and insightful engagement with local people wherever they serve. Many who, like most Indian peacekeepers, come from farming families, are able to connect with those in rural areas on other continents on matters of agriculture and animal husbandry.

The Irish government is drafting a white paper that will set objectives for the succeeding two years. This may include military forces training, exercises and education, joint procurement and general sharing on reform in defence services.

 

The white paper will not propose Irish membership of NATO.


Top post of 2014

January 3, 2015

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Top post – by far – this year: Countries or states recognised as neutral

A recent caveat was entered by ‘BPeters’ to one entry:

Japanconstitutionally forbidden from participating in wars, but maintains heavily-armed self-defence forces and a military alliance

BPeters wrote:

Japan has never ever formally declared its neutrality, and it is hard to argue that it is neutral given US bases in Japan and Japan’s material support for the US war against Iraq (2003). Although the Constitution of Japan implies neutrality, it does not formally declare neutrality.

Read the list here: https://civilisation3000.wordpress.com/about-countries/countries-or-states-recognised-as-neutral/

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“Diplomacy can only operate if there is peace”

May 8, 2013

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Recently, a former UN Regional Administrator in Kosovo and Bangladesh Ambassador to Japan, Rashed Ahmed – President of the Japan-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry – sent news of his article published in the Daily Star, ‘Bangladesh foreign policy: breaking new grounds’.

It is long and wide-ranging, covering many subjects, including the value of the proportional representation voting system, the contribution of Professor Yunus and microcredit to Bangladesh and the wider world and the relationship of Bangladesh to India, USA and Japan. The whole article can be read by following the link given above.

Israel

“The unresolved Arab Israeli conflict is giving fodder to extremism, militancy and terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. President Obama, in his second term, is expected to take a stronger stand and initiative to convince both the Palestinians and the Israelis to achieve a negotiated settlement based on the two state solution. President Obama’s move to appoint Chuck Hagel, known for his firmness with Israel when it comes to US national interest, as the defence advisor is a welcome development.

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“Bangladesh can help the process with active diplomacy at the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (now renamed Organisation of Islamic Cooperation – an international organisation with a permanent delegation to the United Nations) for opening dialogue with Israel. This will strengthen President Obama’s hand to find a peaceful and durable diplomatic solution to the Arab Israeli conflict . . .

“For Bangladesh’s foreign policy and diplomacy to be successful in Breaking new grounds; it is of critical importance for Bangladesh to scrupulously avoid getting embroiled in disputes between and amongst countries or play one against the other; we need to understand that there is both cooperation and competition between and amongst the super, big and emerging powers including USA, EC, China, India, Russia and Japan.

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“We should play a constructive role bilaterally and multilaterally to try to defuse tensions, resolve conflicts and work collectively for peace. Diplomacy can only operate if there is peace; war or conflict is, therefore, said to be the vanishing point of diplomacy”

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