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Year 2001 No. 112 , June 29, 2001 ARCHIVE HOME SEARCH SUBSCRIBE

Milosevic Extradition: No Legitimacy in US-Style International Rule of Law

Workers' Daily Internet Edition : Article Index :

Milosevic Extradition: No Legitimacy in US-Style International Rule of Law

There Must Be No Return to Rule of North of Ireland from Westminster

Promised Jobs to Steel Workers Fail to Materialise

The UNISON National Conference 2001

Interview with a Member of Delegation at UNISON National Conference

Korea International War Crimes Tribunal:
US Guilty of Crimes against the Korean People

Final Judgment of the Tribunal

DPRK Delegation to War Crimes Tribunal Denounces US Refusal of Entry

The World in Brief

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Milosevic Extradition: No Legitimacy in US-Style International Rule of Law

The extradition of Yugoslav ex-president Slobodan Milosevic to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague cannot be said to have legitimacy in terms of international law, nor was it sanctioned by the Yugoslav Constitutional Court.

The extradition has come about because of blackmail and pressure by US imperialism against Yugoslavia, with the backing of the US’s allies, including Britain. US imperialism and its allies have orchestrated the whole scenario of trying Milosevic for "war crimes" as part of their justifications for bringing Yugoslavia within the orbit of NATO, the European Union and the OSCE. Despite this, the extradition has been carried out against the will of the present Yugoslav president who replaced Milosevic – Vojislav Kostunica – who has condemned the move as illegal.

The big powers have been instrumental in first of all dismembering the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in the context of their contention for the control of Yugoslavia and the Balkans, as part of their contention for the control of a united Europe under the sway of the monopolies. Having intrigued, interfered and intervened in the region, including waging the criminal bombing campaign against Yugoslavia, the big powers, led by the US imperialism and backed to the hilt by the British government, are continuing to use "humanitarian" pretexts to pursue their geo-political aims.

Following the bombing of Yugoslavia by the US and Britain, carried out by utilising the pretext of the Serb atrocities against the Albanian population of Kosova, these same powers engineered the fall of Slobodan Milosevic. As far back as November last year, the US made it clear that in order to receive US "assistance" and consolidate "democracy", Yugoslavia would have to comply with conditions which included co-operating with the ICTY, supporting the Dayton accords in Bosnia and implementing policies which established the "rule of law". In other words, the Yugoslav government was given the options, comply with the US dictate or suffer the consequences. Even now, the extradition of Milosevic has taken place over the heads of the Yugoslav government and judiciary.

Immediately, "donors" have pledged their "aid" to Yugoslavia. At a conference due to be chaired by the European Commission and the World Bank on Friday, June 29, the EC, the executive of the European Union, has set aside 220 million euros in its 2001 budget for Yugoslavia. Germany has said it will provide 153 million marks. Other EU states, as well as the European Investment Bank, are to provide contributions which together could reach three-quarters of a billion dollars. The World Bank will provide nearly $600 million over a three-year period. And the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is expected to provide about $200 million and the United States about $110 million. The consequent "stability" coupled with this lucrative "aid" and "market reforms" will give every reason for finance capital to lick its lips and plunge its claws into Yugoslavia.

This is what Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, has called Yugoslavia joining the "democratic European mainstream". While the British government is gloating that one "dictator" is to account for his crimes, it is also sending a warning to "all dictators that they will not escape justice". In other words, this is gangsterism under the signboard of the international rule of law, that if these countries and their leaders whom the US and the big powers have demonised do not comply with their dictate, then they will continue to suffer at the hands of the might of the big powers. Comply, and they will be showered with their enslaving aid.

Not only is the internal democracy of the Anglo-American and EU countries suffering a legitimacy crisis, but this latest move is bound to deepen the crisis of the so-called international rule of law, and underline the urgent need for the democratisation of international relations.

The democratic forces must not be taken in by the "humanitarian" pretexts given by the US and by Britain, but must vigorously condemn the extradition of Slobodan Milosevic and all such intervention in countries’ internal affairs which flouts the established norms of international democracy.

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There Must Be No Return to Rule of North of Ireland from Westminster

Tony Blair and Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern travelled to the north of Ireland on June 28 to jointly chair meetings with the political forces of the Northern Ireland Assembly. Apart from round-table discussions, they will also hold meetings with party delegations.

These meetings are taking place four days before the threatened resignation of the First Minister, David Trimble, which is due to take effect on Sunday. The resignation is supposed to happen if there is no start to IRA arms decommissioning, but everyone knows this is not an option.

Under the legislation setting up the Northern Ireland Assembly, if either the First Minister or Deputy First Minister steps down, elections for the joint positions must be held within six weeks. However, Britain is still reserving the option of suspending the assembly and re-instituting rule of the north of Ireland from Westminster.

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams has accused the British government of destroying the deal reached last May with the IRA to put its weapons beyond use. He has also warned the British and Irish governments that the suspension of the political institutions in response to David Trimble’s resignation would be "an absolute folly". Sinn Fein has called the Ulster Unionist leader’s resignation as First Minister an act of bad faith.

The IRA has twice allowed international inspection of its sealed arms dumps to prove that the weapons have not been used. However, the British government has not moved on its part to de-militarise the north of Ireland. It has retained its security watchtowers, is dragging its feet on creating a "neutral" police force and is actually sending in more British troops.

It would be a backward move for the British government to institute "direct rule" of the north of Ireland from Westminster, running counter to the process whereby the political forces of the six counties are taking control of their own affairs and strengthening the all-Irish dimension.

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Promised Jobs to Steel Workers Fail to Materialise

Steel production at Corus’s Llanwern steelworks is finally due to end this weekend.

The final blast furnace has been shut down at the plant, at which there are 1,300 workers. The Anglo-Dutch steel monopoly had announced 6,000 redundancies across Wales and the north of England on February 1.

However, it had been claimed that up to 4,000 new workers were needed in the telecoms industry for the third-generation mobile phone networks. The news had been heralded as a "massive boost", and the AEEU union, the DTI and EXi Telecom teamed up to launched the project.

Four months later, there are no 4,000 new jobs. The scheme has been denounced as a "PR stunt", and it is hard to escape the conclusion that the announcement had had the aim of defusing the opposition to the closure of the steelworks. It has been pointed out that the downturn in the "3G" telecoms project was already evident when the job promises were made. And although companies such as Hutcison and Orange have announced network building agreements, the ex-steel workers have not found themselves recruited.

The AEEU has said that the project could still go ahead at some point in the future. However, there is no timeframe set for the future training of steel workers in the telecoms industry.

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The UNISON National Conference 2001

According to the UNISON website on PFI, the public sector union is set to step up its fight against PFI and will not stop short of strike action, if that is what it takes. This was the conclusion after delegates at the National Conference committed UNISON to a national day of action and a demonstration – plus wide campaigning and lobbying.

UNISON says that it believes the experience of the Dudley Group of Hospitals shows that workers will fight against PFI and that they will get the support of other workers and the public.

Shan Williams of the West Midlands UNISON paid tribute at conference to the Dudley strikers and the work done in the branch to support them. "We are all the stronger for their fight," she said. But she condemned Chancellor Gordon Brown for saying in defence of PFI, "Show us the evidence and we’ll think again." Shan Williams said that it was the duty of the government not the public to collect and examine the facts. She went on to say, "As trade unionists, the public and voters, we don’t believe anyone should make profit out of our public services."

The UNISON conference acknowledged the depth and breadth of the union’s existing work fighting PFI, says the website, but felt that UNISON now had a unique opportunity to develop a broad-based opposition to the privatisation agenda.

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Interview with a Member of Delegation at UNISON National Conference

The UNISON National Delegate Conference took place from June 17 to June 22. WDIE interviewed an Auxiliary Nurse who was a member of a branch delegation from a hospital in the North East to Conference and who took part as an observer.

WDIE: This is the first major union conference after the general election. When Stephen Byers spoke there representing he government did the delegates get the impression that the government was going to press ahead with their "Third Way" programme to involve the private sector further in the NHS?

Observer: Yes, they are going to charge ahead with it. He said in his own words that in order to deliver the services that the country needed they would have to use private funding.

WDIE: How did the delegates respond to that?

Observer: As soon as he said it he was met by jeers right across the hall and from the front to the back. At the same time, a group of delegates stood up and shouted to him that the government did not have a mandate to privatise and they kept this up for about five minutes and people held up posters opposing privatisation. Delegates were hearing what they knew they were going to hear but they did not want to hear it. This is why they took a stand again him speaking.

WDIE: What did conference call on the union to do?

Observer: It called on all the branches to get together and oppose the PFI and for a lobby of the Labour government against the PFI. Dave Prentis, General Secretary of the union, said that Conference had made it loud and clear that UNISON should step up its opposition to the PFI and the privatisation agenda and that everybody there should do something about it now. In his closing speech the President of the Conference emphasised this point as well.

WDIE: Do you have any views on how we should build this opposition to this privatisation agenda?

Observer: It makes you very angry. You want to get the whole country out and march through the streets and show our protests. In an ideal world we should give people power.

WDIE: How do you think we should build such a movement?

Observer: We need to tell everybody what is happening and that it is not just happening in other parts of the country but that it could happen on their own doorstep. For example, what has brought it home to me is that a neighbour’s mother is in Dryden Hospital in Durham, which is a PFI hospital. This is a privately owned hospital run by a building company and already people have to pay £1 for 2 hours to watch television - if they are over 50 then they get 4 hours! In their rooms they have got direct telephone lines but if a relative rings a patient it costs 50p a minute. What are they going to charge for next – for baths and for food?

WDIE: You were saying earlier that what came across strongly at conference was that people’s anger with this whole privatisation agenda of New Labour was being limited to a question of putting pressure on the Labour government to alter its policy. Do you think that the health workers’ movement needs to go further than that?

Observer: Yes, I think it definitely needs to go further. This is not enough. That is what is so annoying about the union leaders having this meeting with Tony Blair. There is no news about it. Nothing is even cascaded down to the members. Discussion needs to be carried out in the open so people become aware and involved.

WDIE: What do you think about the issues that Workers' Weekly / WDIE is raising that, rather than the movement being diverted to something that is just critical of the Labour government, we need to build the opposition and alternative where the centre of that alternative is the workers themselves.

Observer: Yes, I think people need to understand what is going on and what they can do about it. If we advise people rather than tell them what they could be doing I think more people will get involved because at the moment people are hearing all this but they don't know what to do. They don't want to be led like sheep. They want to be made aware and involved. Yes, you need people to get people to start thinking, what they can do and how they can do it.

WDIE: Thanks Very much.

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Korea International War Crimes Tribunal:

US Guilty of Crimes against the Korean People

"The Members of the International War Crimes Tribunal find the accused guilty on the basis of the evidence against them," the Korea International War Crimes Tribunal in New York City declared on June 23.

The accused included all US government and military leaders who have served since 1945 up to the present. The charges brought against them concerned all the crimes committed by the US during the Korean War including massacres of civilians of north and south Korea. They were categorised into 19 separate counts of War Crimes, Crimes against Peace, and Crimes against Humanity.

Under the banner "Korea is One", over 600 people from all over the world participated in the War Crimes Tribunal on US Troop Massacres during the Korean War. The Tribunal was organised by the Korea Truth Commission, the International Action Centre and Veterans for Peace. It marked a culmination of 14 months of work by the KTC, which points out that it is part of a greater historical process by the Korean people struggling to reunify their nation and exercise their long-denied right to self-determination.

The indictment against the US government and its leaders was brought by six prosecutors from the US and Korea led by Ramsey Clark, a former US Attorney General, and Byun Jung Soo, a former Korea Supreme Court Justice. Sitting in judgment was a panel of jurists from 19 countries, including those whose governments participated with the US in its aggressive war against Korea in 1950. Large delegations from Japan, Europe, the US and Canada participated.

The proceedings were marked by the spirit of struggle of the Korean people who have continued their fight with fierce determination in the face of the most brutal and genocidal actions of the US government. Despite the interference of the US state which blocked the entire delegation of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and many from the south of Korea from entering the US, moving testimony was given in person and by video. In particular, the testimony of survivors of US atrocities crystallised for participants both the fighting spirit of the Korean people and the significance of the work of the KTC to reveal the truth of the last 55 years.

On June 24, participants in the Tribunal presented the Final Judgment to the United Nations in a militant rally of several hundred people. The Final Judgment with its recommendations is reproduced below.

A caravan then left for Baltimore for an evening rally, before making its way to Washington DC to arrive on June 25, on the occasion of the 51st anniversary of the start of the US aggression in Korea in 1950. About 150 people assembled in a park next to the Capitol building to announce the Tribunal's guilty verdict. The police forced the rally away from the government building, which only heightened the determination of participants to denounce the US government for its crimes against the Korean people and humanity. From the Capitol, the demonstrators marched through the streets of Washington shouting, "Korea is One" and "US Troops Out of Korea". The march concluded in front of the White House where speakers from Korea and other countries demanded that the US government live up to its responsibility to pay for the crimes of which it had been found guilty.

Article Index



Final Judgment of the Tribunal

New York City – June 23, 2001

The Members of the Korea International War Crimes Tribunal, meeting in New York, having considered the Indictment for Offences Committed by the Government of the United States of America Against the People of Korea, 1945-2001, which charges all US Presidents, all Secretaries of State, all Secretaries of Defence, all Secretaries of the armed services, all Chiefs of Staff, all heads of the Central Intelligence Agency and other US foreign intelligence agencies, all Directors of the National Security Agency, all National Security Advisors, all US military commanders in Korea and commanders of units which participated in war crimes, over the period from 1945 to the present, with nineteen separate War Crimes, Crimes Against Peace and Crimes Against Humanity in violation of the Charter of the United Nations, the Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal, the Hague Regulations of 1907, the Geneva Protocol of 1925, the 1929 and 1949 Geneva Conventions, the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of 1948, other international agreements and customary international law, the laws of the United States, the laws of Korea and the laws of other nations that have been forced to provide bases, support and military personnel for United States actions against Korea;

- having the right and obligation as citizens of the world to sit in judgment regarding violations of international humanitarian law;

- having heard the testimony from various hearings of the Korea Truth Commission held over the past year and having received evidence from various other Commission hearings which recite the evidence there gathered;

- having been provided with documentary evidence, eyewitness testimonies, photos, videotapes, special reports, expert analyses and summaries of evidence available to the Korea Truth Commission;

- having access to all evidence, knowledge and expert opinion in the Commission files or available to the Commission staff;

- having considered the Report from the Korean Truth Commission (South) on US War Crimes During the Korean War, providing eyewitness accounts by survivors of massacres of civilians in farming villages in southern Korea by US military forces during the 1950-53 war;

- having considered the Report from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on US War Crimes During the Korean War, prepared by the Investigation Committee of the National Front for Democratic Reunification, providing details on war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the north by the US from June to December 1950;

- having been provided by the Commission, or otherwise obtained, various books, articles and other written materials on various aspects of events and conditions in Korea, and in the military and arms establishments;

- having heard the presentations of the Korea Truth Commission in public hearing on June 23, 2001, and the testimony, evidence and summaries there presented;

- having considered the testimonies of those Koreans denied visas to personally attend the hearings by the governments of the US and the Republic of Korea (ROK), but presented in the form of videotaped interviews and documents;

- having been informed that the Korea Truth Commission gave ample opportunity to US government defendants to attend and present evidence in their defence, which up to the moment of this verdict they have been unable or unwilling to do;

- and having met, considered and deliberated with each other and with Commission staff and having considered all the evidence that is relevant to the nineteen charges of criminal conduct alleged in the Initial Complaint, make the following findings:

Findings:

The Members of the International War Crimes Tribunal find the accused Guilty on the basis of the evidence against them: each of the nineteen separate crimes alleged in the Initial Complaint has been established to have been committed beyond a reasonable doubt. The Members find these crimes to have occurred during three main periods in the US intervention in and occupation of Korea.

1. The best-known period is from June 25, 1950, until July 27, 1953, the "Korean War," when over 4.6 million Koreans perished, according to conservative Western estimates, including 3 million civilians in the north and 500,000 civilians in the south. The evidence of US war crimes presented to this Tribunal included eyewitness testimony and documentary accounts of massacres of thousands of civilians in southern Korea by US military forces during the war. Abundant evidence was also presented concerning criminal and even genocidal US conduct in northern Korea, including the systematic levelling of most buildings and dwellings by US artillery and aerial bombardment; widespread atrocities committed by US and ROK forces against civilians and prisoners of war; the deliberate destruction of facilities essential to civilian life and economic production; and the use of illegal weapons and biological and chemical warfare by the US against the people and the environment of northern Korea. Documentary and eyewitness evidence was also presented showing gross and systematic violence committed against women in northern and southern Korea, characterised by mass rapes, sexual assaults and murders.

2. Less known but of crucial importance in understanding the war period is the preceding five years, from the landing of US troops in Korea on September 8, 1945, to the outbreak of the war. The Members of the Tribunal examined extensive evidence of US crimes against peace and crimes against humanity in this period. The Members conclude that the US government acted to divide Korea against the will of the vast majority of the people, limit its sovereignty, create a police state in southern Korea using many former collaborators with Japanese rule, and provoke tension and threats between southern and northern Korea, opposing and disrupting any plans for peaceful reunification. In this period the US trained, directed and supported the ROK in systematic murder, imprisonment, torture, surveillance, harassment and violations of human rights of hundreds of thousands of people, especially of those individuals or groups considered nationalists, leftists, peasants seeking land reform, union organisers and/or those sympathetic to the north.

3. The Members find that in the period from July 1953 to the present, the US has continued to maintain a powerful military force in southern Korea, backed by nuclear weapons, in violation of international law and intended to obstruct the will of the Korean people for reunification. Military occupation has been accompanied by the organised sexual exploitation of Korean women, frequently leading to violence and even murder of women by US soldiers who have felt above the law. US-imposed economic sanctions have impoverished and debilitated the people of northern Korea, leading to a reduction of life expectancy, widespread malnutrition and even starvation in a country that once exported food. The refusal of the US government to grant visas to a delegation from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea who planned to attend this Tribunal only confirms the criminal intent of the defendants to isolate those whom they have abused to prevent them from telling their story to the world.

In all these 55 years, the US government has systematically manipulated, controlled, directed, misinformed and restricted press and media coverage to obtain consistent support for its military intervention, occupation and crimes against the people of Korea. It has also inculcated racist attitudes within the US troops and general population that prepared them to commit and/or accept atrocities and genocidal policies against the Korean people.

It has violated the Constitution of the United States, the delegation of powers over war and the military, the Bill of Rights, the UN Charter, international law and the laws of the ROK, DPRK, People's Republic of China, Japan and many others, in its lawless determination to exercise its will over the Korean peninsula.

The Members of the Korea International War Crimes Tribunal hold the United States government and its leaders accountable for these criminal acts and condemn those found guilty in the strongest possible terms.

Recommendations:

The Members call for the immediate end of US occupation of all Korean territory, the removal of all US bases, forces and materiel, including land mines, from the region, the rectification of environmental damage, and the cessation of overt and covert operations against northern Korea.

The Members urge the immediate revocation of all embargoes, sanctions and penalties against northern Korea because they constitute a continuing crime against humanity.

The Members call for emergency funds to be provided to the people of northern Korea through the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to feed the hungry and care for the sick, whose suffering is a direct result of US policies.

The Members call for reparations to be paid by the US government to all of Korea to compensate for the damage inflicted by 55 years of violence and economic warfare.

The Members further call for an immediate end to all interference by the US aimed at preventing the people of Korea from reunifying as they choose.

The Members call for the US government to make full disclosure of all information about US crimes and wrongful acts committed in Korea since September 7, 1945.

The Members urge the Commission to provide for the permanent preservation of the reports, evidence and materials gathered to make them available to others, and to seek ways to provide the widest possible distribution of the truth about US crimes in Korea.

We urge all people of the world to act on recommendations developed by the Commission to hold power accountable and to secure social justice on which lasting peace must be based.

Done in New York this 23rd day of June, 2001

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DPRK Delegation to War Crimes Tribunal Denounces US Refusal of Entry

On June 23, the delegation of the Korean Democratic Lawyers Association, refused entry to the US to participate in the Korea International War Crimes Tribunal in New York, called a press conference in Pyongyang, Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), to strongly denounce the US government's actions.

Kim Song, a member of the association, called the US action unwarranted, pointing out it was in violation of accepted practice and the basic principles governing international relations. "The US government is only obliged to unconditionally allow the entry of foreign delegates to the Tribunal into the country and ensure their safety and the opening of the Tribunal according to international practice. From this point of view, we cannot understand the decision of the US government not to allow our delegation's entry into the United States, the so-called 'showcase of freedom'," Kim Song said.

At the press conference, members of the delegation stressed they will step up their struggle until the US makes an official apology and compensates Koreans for its war crimes, and withdraws its aggressor troops from the Korean peninsula.

A statement released at the press conference by the Korean Democratic Lawyers Association, stated: "The KDLA bitterly condemns the US government for this action, branding it as an extremely impertinent and unreasonable step that wantonly violated the publicly recognised international practice and norm and the basic principles governing international relations.

"The harder the US government works to hamstring the DPRK’s efforts to probe the truth behind the GIs’ mass killings of civilians, the stronger solidarity and joint actions the KDLA will undertake with the world’s progressive lawyers so that the war criminals may be indicted and condemned world-wide."

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The World in Brief

30 June UKRAINE: Last days of Cossack Express-2001 British-Ukrainian exercise at Yavoriv training ground in Lviv Region, involving 400 troops from the 43rd Infantry Brigade and 5th Division of the British armed forces.

30 June - 4 July JAPAN/USA/BRITAIN/FRANCE: Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and US President George Bush hold first summit at Camp David (30 June) to discuss a new framework of economic relations, Japanese economic restructuring, global trade issues, Bush’s recent trip to Europe, Kyoto Protocol, as well as the Japan-US security alliance and US missile defence plan. In preparation for the G8 summit in Genoa, Japanese Prime Minister then travels to Europe for talks in Britain with Tony Blair (July 2), and visits France for talks with Prime Minister Lionel Jospin (July 3) and President Jacques Chirac (July 4) on bilateral relations, economic recovery and G8 summit in Genoa.

31 June RUSSIA: Over 1,000 CIS servicemen taking part in training exercises codenamed Combat Commonwealth-2001 in Astrakhan Region, supervised by Anatoliy Kornukov, Russian air force commander and chairman of CIS air defence co-ordination committee.

1-3 July AUSTRIA: World Economic Forum holds two-day European Economic Summit in Salzburg. Heads of government and business leaders from across Europe to attend. EU enlargement and EU relations with non-accession countries to be discussed. Opposition planned from opponents of globalisation.

1-3 July RUSSIA: French President Jacques Chirac visits Russia for talks with President Vladimir Putin (in St Petersburg on July 1-2) on strategic stability, regional conflicts, the Russian-US summit in Ljubljana and the coming G8 summit in Genoa. Three co-operation agreements to be signed.

1-7 July BRITAIN/FRANCE/SWITZERLAND: South Korean Foreign Minister Han Seung Soo visits for talks with British and French counterparts Jack Straw and Hubert Vedrine on Korean peace process and bilateral ties. Will hold talks in Geneva with UN officials in anticipation of becoming president of the 56th UN General Assembly in September.

3 July IRAN: Anniversary of the shooting down of Iranair Airbus by the USS Vincennes in 1988.

3-6 July BAHAMAS: Caribbean Community and Common Market (Caricom) heads of government meet in Nassau for 22nd summit meeting; regional security, crime, political unity, HIV/AIDS and coming international trade and economic negotiations are some of major agenda issues.

4-6 July UKRAINE: NATO Secretary-General George Robertson visits Kiev to attend an international symposium under the Partnership for Peace programme. Representatives from 19 NATO member states and 26 states involved in the Partnership for Peace programme expected to attend. George Robertson expected to make a speech on July 5.

5 July SOUTH KOREA: Korean Confederation of Trade Unions plans general strike to protest against government’s crackdown on trade unionists during action beginning June 12. Large-scale car unions, such as Hyundai, Kia and Ssangyong, as well as teachers and workers from heavy industries, to take part.

7 July ITALY: G8 finance ministers meet in Rome to prepare the agenda for the G8 summit in Genoa on July 20-22.

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