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Archive for February 12, 2023

Newsline: UN diplomats expect row with Russia on Syria aid

The United Nations Security Council will next week discuss if it will allow the UN to deliver aid to rebel-held northwest Syria through more than one Turkish border crossing following Monday’s devastating earthquake – a move Russia does not think is needed. With the death toll in Turkey and Syria passing 23,000, some diplomats expressed frustration on Friday that the 15-member council has been slow to act after Secretary-General Antonio Guterres pressed for more access to northwest Syria via Turkey. “There is frustration with foot-dragging on this. The Secretary-General said we need more crossings. The UN Security Council needs to step up and get it done,” said a UN diplomat familiar with discussions, speaking on condition of anonymity. Since 2014 the United Nations has been able to deliver aid to millions of people in need in the northwest of war-torn Syria through Turkey under a Security Council mandate. But it is currently restricted to using just one border crossing. Brazil’s UN Ambassador Ronaldo Costa Filho said UN aid chief Martin Griffiths – who is in Turkey and will also visit Syria – will brief the council next week and that any action by the body will “depend on an evaluation of the concrete situation on the ground, it cannot be a gut reaction to what is in the press.” (https://neuters.de/world/middle-east/frustration-un-ahead-likely-row-with-russia-syria-aid-2023-02-10/) Following Guterres’ remarks on Thursday and calls by aid groups, the United States is pushing for the Security Council to adopt another resolution “that would allow for additional border crossings so that the UN can access areas in need,” said a U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Newsline: Former Cyprus top diplomat wins presidential election

Nikos Christodoulides won the Cyprus presidential election on Sunday after a second and final round of voting, promising a unity government tasked with breaking a deadlock in peace talks with estranged Turkish Cypriots. (https://neuters.de/world/middle-east/cypriot-diplomats-face-off-cliffhanger-presidential-vote-2023-02-12/) Official results showed Christodoulides, 49, taking 51.9% of the vote, compared with runoff rival Andreas Mavroyiannis, 66, taking 48.1%. The winner is formally proclaimed at 1800 GMT. Sunday’s vote pitted Christodoulides, a former foreign minister, against career diplomat Mavroyiannis, a former chief negotiator in the peace talks with Turkish Cypriots and a former permanent representative of Cyprus to the United Nations. Christodoulides ran as an independent with the backing of centrist and right-of-centre parties.

Newsline: Traditional diplomacy shifts to digital diplomacy

Diplomacy is shifting from tedious traditional diplomacy to proactive and online digital diplomacy. Digital technologies are changing the diplomacy of the world and one of the major parameters for the geo-political balance of power. Digitization is the non-state actor which could easily influence the behaviour or change the belief of the friend or enemy state without using the army. It is necessary for the state to learn- how to behave in digital platforms so that they could be stable and secure for the citizens. The expansion of digital platforms is increasing the probability of cyber threats and cyber-attacks in society. The resultant effect of those attacks could be higher due to the rapid growth of digital societies and the digital economy. (https://www.financialexpress.com/defence/digital-geopolitics-amp-digital-diplomacy-another-craft-of-diplomacy/2970990/) The digitization of geopolitics is another domain of conflict between the global powers. Modern-era diplomats are attracted towards cyberspace due to its wide reachability and less destructive nature and cyber intruders are mostly invisible.