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Crimea: A War Fought With International Law

Published: April 10, 2014 (Issue # 1805)



  • The head of Crimeas unrecognized Russian-backed government Sergei Aksyonov in Simferopol, Crimea on Mar. 29.
    Photo: Max Vetrov / AP

International law is theweapon ofchoice inthe Crimea conflict, with adversaries using sections ofthe United Nations Charter like artillery tobolster their own defenses andtarget their opponents weaknesses.

But who will end up onthe right side ofhistory?

Thefact that theinternational community has found itself gripped ina battle forlegal supremacy might suggest that UN Charter drafters left theworld with high hopes forenduring peace but without themeans toachieve it.

But, atthe same time, legal controversies, as vicious as they may be, can inspire sorely needed progress andmodernization within thesphere ofinternational law.

The different sides tothe [Crimea] dispute have armed themselves with legal justifications asign that thelaw is taken seriously andcannot be ignored, said Joseph Davids, alawyer with Studio Legale Ghia inItaly andconsultant forthe UN Food andAgriculture Organization.

Thelegacy left bythe Crimea crisis could prove either beneficial or detrimental. History is rich with examples ofthe good that can come fromdiplomatic discord. Atthe same time, some analysts warn that theactions ofpowerful countries incases such as this one can prove catastrophic. Good or bad, theconflict will have acrucial impact onthe development ofinternational law.

The Beginning

Amid theongoing devastation ofWorld War II, theleaders ofthe Allied forces compromised ona solution that they dreamed would spare future generations thecatastrophic losses they were enduring.

Stalin, Churchill, andRoosevelt met inTehran inlate 1943 with theprimary purpose offorging wartime agreements that would enhance their fight against theAxis powers.

Atthe culmination ofthe four-day conference, thethree leaders signed adeclaration vowing onbehalf ofthemselves andall theUnited Nations tobuild apeace that would banish thescourge andterror ofwar formany generations.

Two years later, as theworld came toterms with its losses, thedelegates of50 nations convened inSan Francisco toformally breathe life intothe UN.

Addressing thefinal session ofthe San Francisco Conference, U.S. President Harry Truman lauded theinitiative as a solid structure upon which we can build abetter world.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Wednesday, Aug. 20


AmCham gets back to business after a summer hiatus with todays EHS Committee Working Group Meeting. Check their website for more details.



Thursday, Aug. 21


Time is running out to see the fantastic creations on display at the 2014 Sand Castle Festival on the beach at the Peter and Paul Fortress. Adhering to the theme of Treasure Island, visitors can wander amongst larger-than-life interpretations of pirate life or attend one of the workshops held to educate a future generation of sand artists. The castles will remain on the beach until Aug. 31.



Friday, Aug. 22


Get ready to pledge allegiance to the flag during National Flag Day, paying tribute to when, 23 years ago today, the iconic hammer-and-sickle was replaced with the tricolor that now flutters in the wind. Petersburgers will be treated to a free concert on Palace Square, a military parade and a culminating air show featuring Russias Russian Knights stunt pilots.



Saturday, Aug. 23


Uppsala Park plays host to Fairy Noon today, a performance of five separate fairy tales ranging from folk classics to more haunting selections. There will be three different renditions of the tales throughout the day and tickets start at 500 rubles ($13.80) for adults and 300 rubles ($8.30) for children.


Classic Finnish cartoon characters the Moomins expect to receive a warm welcome from Russian fans during todays Moomin Festival at the Pearl Plaza Shopping Center at 51 Petergofskoye Shosse. Become a kid again or introduce a new generation to the beloved creation of Finnish writer Tove Jansson.



Sunday, Aug. 24


The tortured genius of Dutch master Vincent van Gogh gets his day in the centers Konnushnaya Ploschad during Make Art Like Van Gogh, a daylong celebration of the artist that will allow amateur artists to try and replicate the work that made the famed painter world-renowned.


Experience a variety of dances highlighting the diversity of the world around as at the final day of the Ethno-Dance International Dance Festival that has been at the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions this past week. Tonights performance will feature Egyptian dancers accompanied by local orchestras.



Monday, Aug. 25


Today kicks off the Elena Obraztsovoy International Competition for Young Vocalists in the large hall of the Shostakovich Philharmonic. Talented youngsters will showcase their range over the next six days before a winner is chosen on Aug. 30.



Tuesday, Aug. 26


Love movies but hate all those words? Then check out Rodina Cinema Centers Factor of Consensus film forum this evening. Silent movie classics from the beginning of the 20th century will be screened and accompanied by a pianist, who will provide the soundtrack for the ongoing action. The screenings begin at 7 p.m. Check Rodinas website for more details.



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