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24 september 2020

— Representatives of Brazil, Germany, India, and Japan on Wednesday “expressed their concern over lack of any ‘meaningful’ forward movement on long-pending reform of the UN Security Council (UNSC) and demanded ‘urgency’ on the issue,” according to Press Trust of India. In a joint statement, Brazilian Foreign Minister Ernesto Araújo, Minister of State at Germany’s Federal Foreign Office Niels Annen, Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, and Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs Motegi Toshimitsu said, “G4 Ministers expressed their concern at the lack of any meaningful movement forward in the Intergovernmental Negotiations (IGN) on Security Council reform and expressed their concern that — after two sessions in February and March — the IGN was adjourned due to Covid-19 and no further meetings were held thereafter.”

— In a joint report, “a group of seven European think tanks led by the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS) and the Italian Istituto Affari Internazionali recommends that the United Nations (UN) should be made ‘more legitimate and representative by improving democratic participation,'” Democracy Without Borders said. According to DWB, “the study advocates in the short term the creation of a ‘inter-parliamentary network composed of representatives of national parliaments, and parliamentary assemblies of regional organisations.'”

— The Union of European Federalists calls on the EU for a coordinated response to tensions in the eastern Mediterranean, writing that Turkey’s “provocations” toward Cyprus and Greece “have been rightly condemned across the EU but few substantive actions have been taken at an EU level. Furthermore, despite the efforts of Member States such as France or Germany, Turkey has not given up its aggressive stance in the Mediterranean.”

— Amnesty International EU Advocacy Director Eve Geddie criticized the EU’s newly released migration pact, saying, “Pitched as a fresh start, this pact is, in reality, designed to heighten walls and strengthen fences. Rather than offering any new approach to facilitate bringing people to safety, this appears to be an attempt to rebrand a system which has been failing for years, with dire consequences. … While the commitment to monitor abuses at the borders is welcome, this does not make up for the fact that the pact makes detention the norm and relies on deterrence, containment in camps and cooperation with abusive governments.”

— Parliamentarians for Global Action is calling on Iran “to immediately release the 2012 recipient of the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought and prominent human rights lawyer Ms. Nasrin Sotoudeh who was arrested and imprisoned based on politically motivated charges.” In March, Sotoudeh was sentenced to 38 years in prison and 148 lashes. She has been on a hunger strike since August 11. PGA President Margareta Cederfelt said, “The case of Ms. Nasrin Sotoudeh is illustrative of the fate of so many political prisoners around the world and in authoritarian regimes such as Iran, where human rights and democratic principles are not worth anything. The state apparatus is instrumentalized to persecute and torture human rights defenders considered as dissidents, including women who are fighting for equality before the law.”

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