Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for January 20, 2023

Newsline: Gabon’s top diplomat dies of heart attack

Gabon’s Foreign Minister Michael Moussa Adamo died on Friday of a heart attack, President Ali Bongo said in a statement. “He was a very great diplomat, a true statesman. For me, he was first of all a friend, loyal and faithful, whom I could always count on,” said Bongo on Twitter. (https://news.yahoo.com/gabons-foreign-minister-dies-heart-143908780.html) Three government sources said that he was in a council of ministers meeting when he suffered the cardiac attack. He was rushed to the hospital and died shortly after midday despite specialist treatment, said a government statement.

Newsline: Top Diplomats Seek to Improve Peacemaking

A group of diplomats, former statesmen and U.N. officials began seeking political backing this week for a peacemaking framework to shape new standards for resolving conflicts that they say can avoid past mistakes such as in Mali and Afghanistan. But the framework’s proponents, who have just completed a two-year consultation period in dozens of countries, say today’s peace brokers are applying the wrong strategy. “You could say ‘Why the hell are people talking about peace when the whole thing falls apart?’ But there’s not a more important moment to talk about peace,” Bert Koenders, former U.N. envoy for Mali who is the Principles for Peace co-chair, said on the sidelines of a meeting with countries in Geneva. (https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2023-01-20/top-diplomats-un-officials-seek-to-fix-wild-west-of-peacemaking) There are more than 50 active conflicts in the world, from Democratic Republic of Congo to Ukraine, affecting some 2 billion people – a record for the post-World War Two period.

Newsline: Chinese embassy in Lisbon removes CCTV camera

Surveillance cameras installed at the Chinese Embassy in Portugal’s capital Lisbon were removed or repositioned on Thursday after concerns of a “blatant violation of privacy” were raised by residents. Three large 360-degrees surveillance cameras were installed around the consular section two months ago, a resident who wished to remain anonymous told Reuters in December, saying they were concerned they might be able to film apartments buildings and public roads. Five other residents Reuters spoke to this month also said they were concerned the cameras might be able to film apartment buildings. Portugal’s foreign ministry said on Wednesday it had asked relevant authorities to evaluate whether the surveillance cameras complied with the rules. Portuguese law states surveillance cameras cannot point at properties or public roads and must “only capture what is strictly necessary to cover accesses to the property”. (https://neuters.de/world/chinese-embassy-lisbon-faces-scrutiny-over-surveillance-cameras-2023-01-19/) Portugal’s National Data Protection Commission (CNPD) said on Dec. 27 it would reach out to the embassy to clarify the situation. On Thursday, shortly after Reuters reported the complaints, one camera was removed and the other two were no longer facing outside of the embassy. It was not immediately clear whether the move was linked to the complaints or any intervention by Portuguese authorities. The embassy did not reply to requests for comment. The Chinese Foreign Ministry did not immediately reply to a request for comment.