International Selections | Notable Government Documents 2019

This year's selections of notable international government documents, from the Address by His Majesty the Emperor Akhito to smallpox eradication, the 75th Anniversary of D-Day to planning for a no-deal Brexit.

This year's selections of notable international government documents, from the Address by His Majesty the Emperor Akhito to smallpox eradication, the 75th Anniversary of D-Day to planning for a no-deal Brexit

Address by His Majesty the Emperor. Akihito. 2019. Imperial Household Agency. 2019. website. kunaicho.go.jp/page/okotoba/detailEn/46

This brief statement finalizes the abdication of Akihito, who served as Japan’s Emperor for 30 years. Akihito expresses his gratitude to the Japanese people and the hope for a stable and fruitful future in the reign of his son and successor Naruhito.

Smallpox eradication: destruction of variola virus stocks. World Health Organization. 2019. 5p. Symbol: A72/28 .pdf. apps.who.int/gb/ebwha/pdf_files/WHA72/A72_28-en.pdf

Some 42 years after the last naturally occurring case of smallpox was diagnosed in 1977, the World Health organization evaluates the possibility of destroying the remaining stocks of smallpox or variola virus. Although small pox remains valuable in research into related diseases like monkey pox, the advisory council determined that, with several hundred million smallpox vaccines extant, there is no further need for small pox vaccine research. However they conclude that live variola stocks are needed for antiviral agents for those who may be infected.

Letter dated 6 September 2018 from the representatives of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General. U.N. Security Council. 2018. 4p. Symbol: A/72/109S/2018/820. pdf. digitallibrary.un.org/record/1640603?ln=en

This document contains the “Panmunjom Declaration on Peace, Prosperity and Reunification of the Korean Peninsula” signed by the heads of state of North and South Korea, which marks a significant advance in ending the Korean War and developing a peaceful and mutual beneficial relationship between the two Koreas. The document outlines plans for reuniting families and promoting inter-Korean relations, diffusing military tensions on the peninsula, and building a stable and permanent peace.

U.N. Human Rights Report coverUnited Nations Human Rights Report. Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. 2018 illus. maps. pdf ohchr.org/Documents/Publications/OHCHRreport2018.pdf

The year 2018 marked the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. This report highlights the current status of human rights by region and country and with special attention to current issues like the Syrian conflict. It includes funding priorities and details of legislative initiatives by member states and programs of the Human Rights Commission.

75th Anniversary of D-Day. Ministry of Defense (UK), 2019. 27p. Illus. maps. assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/805986/D-Day75_Brochure_FINAL_Lowres.pdf

75th Anniversary of D-Day doc with soldiersOpening with a message from the Queen, this document describes the personnel, ships, aircraft, and more that participated in the invasion. Throughout the document there are contemporary images, eyewitness accounts, and contributions from military officials, and other dignitaries that honor the combined efforts and sacrifice of the United Kingdom and its allies in invasion.

Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland. European Union Commission. 2018. 8p. pdf. ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/MEMO_18_6423

The United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland share an open border, which is one of the principal challenges in finalizing the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union. This document proposes a “back-stop” solution that would allow free trade and travel between the EU and the UK, with special regard to Northern Ireland in accordance with the Good Friday Agreement.

Human rights in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. 2019. 16p. Symbol: A/HRC/41/18. Text Document ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/RegularSessions/Session41/Documents/A_HRC_41_18.docx

Venezuela’s deteriorating political and economic situation has generated human rights concerns. Special attention is given to economic and social rights, which are endangered by inflation, the right to food which is infringed by shortages resulting in undernourishment, and the right to health which is under threat from re-emerging diseases like measles and diphtheria. The situation is exacerbated by coercive and censorious practices by the government.

The 2030 Agenda: The roadmap to GlobALLizaton. Filipa Correia, Philipp Erfurth and Julie Bryhn. U.N. Department of Economic & Social Affairs. 2018. 45p. pdf. un.org/esa/desa/papers/2018/wp156_2018.pdf

This document outlines some strategies for overcoming obstacles toward globalization. Globalization has already impacted, and will continue to impact, aspects of daily life such as employment, poverty, international corporations, and trade. The report concludes that, while more integrated society and economy have improved the quality of life for many, there are still challenges to more effective globalization, especially public perceptions of sovereignty and citizenship.

The impact of the UK’s withdrawal on the institutional set-up and political dynamics within the EU. EU Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs. 2019. 67p. illus. OCLC# 1102394975 ISBN 9789284647910. pdf. bit.ly/3bCJJuc

This document explains the far-ranging consequences of the UK leaving the European Union. Three components of the analysis include voting arrangements in the council; the composition of the European Parliament; and the participation of non-member-states in EU policies. The effect of Brexit on the EU parliament includes the apportionment of representatives and the balance of voting influence among smaller and larger states, and the possibility of the UK as a non-member participant in future EU initiatives.

Planning for a no-deal Brexit. Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons Library. 2019. 48p. pdf. commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/cbp-8733/#fullreport

Under ideal circumstances, the United Kingdom’s withdraw from the European Union would be guided by an agreement that streamlines economic and political relations and resolves some outstanding issues like the border between Northern and the Republic of Ireland, and travel between the UK and other EU members. A no-deal withdrawal, however, remains the default option, and is anticipated to create trade and travel bottlenecks, and require numerous trade and other diplomatic agreements between the UK and EU member states.

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