Statement | One Year Since Russia’s 2022 Invasion of Ukraine

Exactly 12 months ago, on 24 February 2022 Russia launched a full scale invasion in its ongoing war against Ukraine. After one year, this war has cost the lives of tens of thousands of Ukrainian civilians, including almost five-hundred children, and brought unspeakable suffering upon the Ukrainian people. It has caused the biggest refugee crisis in European history since the end of World War II, displacing more than 8 million people from their homes. This is worsened by the continuous missile attacks and air attacks against civilian targets across Ukrainian cities. This is a war of choice. Russia decided to [...]

UN Climate Change Conference 2021 #COP26

This November the UN came together for the latest ‘Conference of the Parties’ (COPs), which have been happening for nearly three decades. COP26 aimed to unite world leaders from all parties to secure global net zero by mid-century and keep 1.5 degrees within reach, adapt to protect communities and natural habitats and mobilise finance, all these by working together. The actions needed to make these goals happen have not been established. The statements our world leaders end up being left as empty promises that keep occurring year after year. In addition to this, COP26 has shown serious issues of transparency [...]

World Refugee Day 2021

The 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees defines refugees as people who are unable or unwilling to return to their country of origin owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion (1). It was signed into law by 146 countries including all European countries (except San Marino and Andorra) and protects the legal status of refugees and commits signatories to ensuring their safety and basic rights such as the right to family unification and the right to non-refoulement (protection [...]

Statement on International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia 2021

Today, we celebrate the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOBIT). IDAHOBIT was established in order to raise awareness about the discrimination, violence and other forms of oppression LGBTQI+ people face on a daily basis around the world and to motivate people to take action against such kinds of behavior. On the 17th of May 1990, the World Health Organization (WHO) decided to remove homosexuality from the International Classification of Diseases and thus taking an imporant step towards addressing the stigma and inequalities LGBTQI+ people have been historically facing. The increasingly worrying trend against LGBTQI+ that individual European member [...]

Statement on the Joint Declaration of Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE)

In the end of 2019, the first official proposal of the Conference on the Future of Europe was put forward by the European Commission and the European parliament, following the initial idea mentioned by the French President, Emmanuel Macron. Originally meant to be launched on the 9th of May, 2020, last week, the institutions have given it a green light. Even with a year of delay, we are happy to see progress to be made and the Conference being ready to set off on the upcoming Europe Day. The conference promised a democratic and citizen-focused approach in the efforts of [...]

Statement on International Women’s Day 2021

110 years ago, the very first International Women’s Day (IWD) was marked and since then it has been recognised by the United Nations, even established in several countries as an official holiday. It is an occasion to commemorate women’s rights and achievements, to raise awareness against gender-based discrimination, violence and different forms of oppression and also take action for more inclusive and just societies. IWD is an opportunity for all of us to not only commemorate and raise awareness on women’s rights and equality, but also to consider how we are generally contributing individually and collectively to a more equal [...]

Statement on Protests and Arrests in Russia

Russia has been engulfed by massive protests for the last few weeks. The demonstrators protest the widespread corruption in the country and demand the release of Aleksei Navalny. Navalny is a political opposition leader and an anti-corruption activist who was arrested immediately after arriving in Russia on 17 January from Germany where he underwent rehabilitation following his nearly fatal poisoning. Navalny has a long history of voicing against the current Russian administration for their alleged corruption. On the 19th of January, a video was published on Navalny’s YouTube channel, detailing a huge palace which was built using government funds and [...]

Statement on the Council of the European Union Draft Resolution on Encryption

On the 14th of December 2020 the Council of the European Union has adopted the Resolution on Encryption – Security through encryption and security despite encryption (1). The resolution requires that “Competent authorities must be able to access relevant data in a lawful and target manner, in full respect of fundamental rights and the relevant data protection laws, while upholding cybersecurity […]”. The text calls for adequate access to encrypted content, while at the same time claiming that no backdoors nor weakened encryption shall be implemented. However, this approach is technically impossible according to more than 450 encryption experts (2)(3), [...]

Statement on 75th Anniversary of the United Nations

Creation of the United Nations The world had gone through two devastating and all-consuming wars in less than 30 years of span in the first half of the 20th century. By 1945, it was clear for the war-torn and desolate nations that their joint and firm commitment was necessary to put an end to the war. For this purpose, from 25 April 1945 to 26 June 1945, more than 50 nations gathered in San Francisco, California, to lead the United Nations Conference on International Organization (UNCIO), giving a start to the world’s largest international organization. 24 October 2020 commemorates the [...]

Statement on the Military Escalation In Nagorno-Karabakh

One week ago, a long-standing conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan flared up again resulting in military escalation. The Nagorno-Karabakh region constitutes the center of the conflict. The disputed territory is internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan and has an Armenian ethnic majority which in February 1988 declared their de facto independence, which has not been recognized up to date. The region has been subject to devastating war from 1988 to 1994, which led to the intermediate ceasefire agreement of May 1994 and an ongoing frozen conflict over the past decades. There has been only episodic diplomatic successes within the frameworks [...]