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.

 

 

 


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.


Will a country with a stellar post-war record of peace, prosperity, and respect for human rights ‘lose out’?

July 2, 2015

gaza-tokyo-candlesa silent protest in Tokyo against the bloodshed in Gaza

Updating our news from Japan in November last year, Robin Harding reports in the FT that Japan’s politicians are “trapped in the capital for a long, hot summer”, as the current session of the Diet has been extended by 95 days until the end of September.

Shinzo Abe is devoting a great deal of political energy in seeking to revise Japan’s pacifist constitution by trying to pass a security reform bill which – says Harding – “threatens to turn the summer into a season of torment for the Japanese prime minister”.

Mr Abe aims to reinterpret the constitution, allowing it to exercise “collective” self-defence – coming to the military aid of an ally, instead of merely defending itself. Harding alleges that Abe has made the taking of this step a personal commitment to the US.

japan demo may peace clause

Early signs suggest it is causing Mr Abe significant political damage. His popularity has slid to a record low of 39%. Only 29% of the public support the security bills; 53% oppose them.

Harding reports the risk that the proposed reinterpretation of the constitution will violate it. Mr Abe’s Liberal Democratic party invited a law professor to testify in parliament, only to have him declare that their bill is unconstitutional.

The Japan Times reports that an ‘anti-amendment rally’ of grass-roots movements opposing revision of the pacifist national charter was held in Yokohama on May 3, the Constitution Day holiday [above]. The participants, estimated at some 30,000, included politicians such as the Democratic Party of Japan Acting President Akira Nagatsuma and the Japanese Communist Party leader Kazuo Shii.

Political opponents are describing this move as opening the door to involvement in American wars and a Japan Times reader said: “It is a shame that the country with the most stellar record of peace, prosperity, and respect for human rights is losing out to a political leadership so nostalgic for the Japan of militarism and imperialism”.


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.


Japanese and German ‘peace articles’ under threat

November 13, 2014

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ARTICLE 9.

(1) Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes.

(2) To accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized.

David Pilling writes in the Financial Times today:

Most voters remain cautious about (Prime Minister Abe’s) ambition to revise the constitution, particularly when it comes to jettisoning the pacifist article nine.

Any such step would need to be ratified by referendum, a hurdle it would almost certainly fail.

However determined Abe 2.0 is, on that front he may have to yield.

In 2010 a C3000 post quoted the Wall Street Journal’s report that opinion polls in Germany reported the opposition of a ‘solid majority’ of Germans to their country’s military role in Afghanistan. Many were aware that this war was contrary to their law as it stands, set out in Article 24 [International organizations] and Article 26 [Ban on preparations for war of aggression].

As Dr Ian Davis wrote in 2010, (though with reference to NATO members) rather than deregulating the rules of  military engagement, similar non-aggression clauses should be included in the national legislation of other states.


Sadly, Japan ‘inches a fraction closer towards becoming a “normal” nation’

July 3, 2014

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Following Japan’s formation of a national security council, enactment of a ‘secrecy bill’ and weakening of limits on arms exports, under a resolution adopted by the cabinet on Tuesday, Japan has “reinterpreted” its pacifist constitution. Article 9 of the constitution, adopted in 1947, states that “the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as a means of settling international disputes”.

defence budgets us and japanThe Japanese are still “very attached to the principle of pacifism in the postwar regime”, says Jiro Yamaguchi, a professor of political science at Hosei University, who is among a group of more than 500 scholars opposed to the move. “It is reckless that [Mr Abe] rushed to decide on this very important issue without thorough discussions,” adds Shigeaki Matsuda, a 66 year-old exhibition curator who joined the protest on Tuesday. “There is no democracy here.”

The most recent version of the draft says that Japan would exercise the right to collective self-defence only when “clear dangers” exist to the lives of people in countries “with close ties” to Japan, according to the most recent publicly available draft. Military intervention should be “limited to the minimum amount necessary”, it added.

It goes on to say that Japan will “ensure that its history as a pacifist state will continue” . . .

Pilling notes that the US has tried to persuade Japan to ‘ditch’ pacifism almost from the moment the constitution was enacted: “After war broke out on the Korean peninsula, the US decided it did not want a toothless ally. . . US defence secretary Chuck Hagel has endorsed Japan’s new stance, welcoming the efforts by the most important US ally in the region to “play a more proactive role” in stability in East Asia.”

Supporters of the current constitution demonstrated outside the Japanese prime minister's official residence in Tokyo on Monday evening. Photograph: Shizuo Kambayashi/AP

Supporters of the current constitution demonstrated outside the Japanese prime minister’s official residence in Tokyo on Monday evening. Photograph: Shizuo Kambayashi/AP

However, since the prime minister started public briefings on the move last month, his cabinet’s approval rating has dropped to 45%, the lowest rating since it was formed in December 2012.

On Tuesday, anti-war demonstrators gathered outside the prime minister’s residence in Tokyo for a second successive evening of protests – and three thousand gathered in a Tokyo park (below).

japan art 9 protest park 2

A poll published by the Nikkei business newspaper on Monday 30th found that 50% of voters were against Abe’s ‘reinterpretation’ of the pacifist constitution, while 34% supported the change. Channel News (Asia) reports that the liberal Asahi Shimbun, on the other hand, held a poll of more than 2,000 adults nationwide showing that 63% oppose the concept of collective defence, up from 56% last year, with 29% supporting the idea.

japan art 9 immolation

The results were released a day after an unidentified man set himself alight in central Tokyo and remains in a serious condition in hospital. After shouting opposition to Abe’s proposals through a megaphone in front of hundreds of people for about an hour, while perched on a girder above a footbridge outside Shinjuku Station, he poured flammable liquid on himself and lit it – videoed by many onlookers and circulated widely in social media.

Pilling comments:

“Mr Abe appears to suggest Japan could help smaller countries, such as the Philippines, to protect their territorial interests against China. That may be comforting to Manila and Hanoi but could be incendiary to Beijing. It is hard to deny Japan’s right to a more normal defence posture. That does not mean we have to celebrate it”.

Makiko Matsuda, a 67-year-old housewife, comments: “Abe keeps saying that he is doing this to protect Japanese people in a critical situation. But soldiers might die, which is contradictory. I don’t see how this can create a more peaceful solution”.


Sources

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/a5d09c1e-00de-11e4-b94d-00144feab7de.html?siteedition=uk#axzz36NJjH4Nh

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/d3aced4c-0127-11e4-b94d-00144feab7de.html#ixzz36NjuEsIn

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/284af0d2-0138-11e4-a938-00144feab7de.html#axzz36NJjH4Nh pilling

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/pacifists-rally-as-poll/1063324.html