Author Archives: erpic-manager
Eastern Mediterranean Gas Fields and a New Energy Corridor to Europe
George Ch. Pelaghias
Cyprus as a Security Producer; Policy Options for the Future
The global geopolitical setting is undergoing profound change. The fact that G20 replaced G8 during the present economic crisis, illustrate this thesis. An aging Europe will have to meet new centers of power in Asia and South America. USA will still be a very important player but its relative power is in decline. The future of Russia is in doubt. The struggle for resources – in particular in Africa – will be increasingly in tense. Simultaneously, it is possible to identify an arc of crisis going from Western Africa through the Mediterranean to Central Asia. Cyprus is strategically located at this arc.
This paper will focus on two issues: Firstly it will give a short analysis on the present geopolitical situation and in particular the state of play in what one can refer to as the “arc of crisis” and, secondly, it will focus on Cyprus and what potential role Cyprus can play within European security and defense policy.
The Wonderful Trinity in a Globalized World
Strategy is, as this quote shows, a serious business. Yet, the word “strategy” is used in so many contexts that it risks losing its meaning. In the Swedish 2004 “white paper” on the future of its defense forces the word is used sixty- one times – but not once either in the meaning of “grand strategy” or of “military strategy”. However, this is exactly the meaning of strategy in this article. There are many definitions on strategy. The original term, in its modern sense, was coined by Paul Gédéon Joly de Maizeroy in 1771:
“Warfare is the science of the general, which the Greeks call strategy, deep science, sublime, which includes many other branches of science, but is based on tactics … In order to create plans, the strategist combines time, means and a number of interests.”
Obviously, great captains formulated and adhered to strategic plans much earlier, but the term as such did not exist. Instead, one generally referred to the “art of war” or, more specifically, to “grand tactics” or “the sublime parts” of tactics. It is interesting to note that the first part of the definition by Joly de Maizeroy highlights strategy as a “science”, while the latter part describes strategy as an art, something that is to be created. This dualism is very important: using strategic theory, the strategist creates a strategy in order to solve a certain strategic problem. Raymond Aron, and later Lucien Poirier, wrote about strategy as a “praxéologie” – a science with a practical purpose.
This article concentrates on strategic theory. It discusses some important notions with particular relevance to small states and to issues regarding symmetry – dissymmetry asymmetry. It also puts special emphasis on uncertainty and surprise – two elements which tend to make strategic action very difficult.
The Legal Principles Governing the Control of National Airspace and Flight Information Regions and Their Applications to the Eastern Mediterranean
The Legal Principles Governing the Control of National Airspace and Flight Information Regions and Their Applications to the Eastern Mediterranean
Dr. Nicholas Grief
Professor of Law, Bournemouth University
Barrister-at-law, Doughty Street Chambers, London
It is a fundamental and universally recognised principle of international law that ‘every State has complete and exclusive sovereignty over the airspace above its territory’. As Shawcross & Beaumont state, ‘the concept of sovereignty is the key stone upon which virtually all air law is built, since any flight in international aviation requires the prior consent of the State overflown, which is generally granted by treaty.’ The territory of a State consists of ‘the land are as and territorial waters adjacent thereto under the sovereignty… of such State’.
The corollary of this principle, the international status of the airspace above the high seas, is equally well established. The airspace of the high seas, like the subjacent waters, is not subject to the territorial sovereignty of any State. The airspace of the high seas is the airspace above ‘all parts of the sea that are not included in the exclusive economic zone, in the territorial sea or in the internal waters of a State’.
Since the high seas are open to all States, the legal regime is characterised by the principle of freedom. One element of the freedom of the high seas is the freedom of overflight. The freedom of overflight is not absolute, however. It must be ‘exercised by all States with due regard for the interests of other States in their exercise of the freedom of the high seas’.
The airspace of the high seas being an international space, aircraft flying there are generally subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of their State of registry. This corresponds to the legal status of ships on the high seas; where the rule of exclusive flag State jurisdiction applies save in exceptional cases expressly provided for in international treaties (e.g. hot pursuit). Like warships on the high seas, military aircraft in the airspace of the high seas have complete immunity from the jurisdiction of any State other than their State of registry.Since the legal status of airspace reflects that of the subjacent land or waters, the issues of delimitation and legal regime are inextricably linked. Territorial disputes between States can endanger civil aviation, as illustrated by the long-standing Aegean Sea airspace dispute. Turkey insists that Greek airspace extends only 10 km (6 miles) offshore, whereas Greece claims that it extends 16 km (10 miles). In May 2006 Greek and Turkish F-16 fighters collided at about 27,000 feet over the southern Aegean Sea, some 21 miles southeast of the island of Karpathos. Greece said that its planes had intercepted Turkish aircraft in Greek airspace, whereas Turkey claimed that the Greek planes had interfered with Turkish manoeuvres in international airspace. A Greek pilot was killed. An Olympic Airways pilot was quoted as saying: ‘We obey the rules of the sky, but the fighter pilots do not.’ And a Greek air investigator observed: ‘There is very limited space over the Aegean Sea and its air corridors are very crowded. It is only a matter of time before a warplane crashes into a commercial plane.’
Current Issues of the Law of the Sea and Their Relevance to Cyprus
Let me start by saying that I am very pleased to be speaking to a knowledgeable and concerned audience on a topic with which I have been dealing, in different capacities, for some four decades and which is currently of considerable significance in it many facets.
Time does not allow to go into the historical development of the rules of the Law of the Sea, going back to Hugo Grotius and his De Mare Liberum (1648), or, earlier still, the Rhodian Code of the 3rd century B.C. Nor is it possible to deal with the earlier attempts at codification by the United Nations, which were superseded by the much more ambitious undertaking of the Third United Nations Conference of the Law of the Sea (1973-1982). The resulting Convention, this veritable Constitution of the Oceans consisting of 320 Articles and nine Annexes, was signed in Montego Bay, Jamaica on 10 December 1982 and regulated a multitude of issues. Having been ratified by some 160 states (including the EU), its provisions are considered to have become part of customary international law.
These included old traditional concepts, such as the territorial sea and freedom of navigation and new concepts, such as the exclusive economic zone (EEZ), the regime of the deep seabed and archipelagic waters. Small delegations (such as ours) while not totally neglecting issues marginal to the country’s interest, such as environmental protection and scientific research (indeed, I had to pay some attention to these as Vice Chairman of the Third Committee and member of the General Committee), archipelagic waters, passage through straits, etc, they of necessity had to concentrate on the issues which were if direct significance to them.
In the case of Cyprus, in addition to strongly supporting the adoption of a 12 mile territorial sea (Art. 3 of the Convention – Cyprus had already in 1964 proclaimed a 12 mile territorial sea zone) and that enclosed and semi enclosed seas, such as the Mediterranean, are regulated by the same basic rules as those applicable to open seas and oceans (e.g. the Pacific or the Atlantic) subject to the acceptable anodyne duty to cooperate with the riparian states (Articles 122 and 123) and for the protection of archaeological objects found in the seabed (Articles 149 and 303), we concentrated on certain key issues of primary importance to Cyprus.
Delimitation Practice in the Eastern Mediterranean
Andreas Jacovides Ambassador (a.h.)
I noticed that, early next week, you will be treated to a more comprehensive presentation of the topic of delimitation generally and so you can consider this a kind of warming up in the context of a specific situation. I believe – and hope you can agree with me – that the three EEZ delimitation agreements of Cyprus with Egypt (2003), with Lebanon (2007) and with Israel (2010) are model agreements and deserve to be emulated based, as they are, on the application of the median line and with a third party dispute settlement, between an island state and three of its continental neighbours.
Questions of delimitation of the maritime zones (territorial sea, contiguous zone, exclusive economic zone and continental shelf) between states the coasts of which are opposite or adjacent to each other have been a major issue of the law of the sea over the years.
There are currently many situations in the world where such questions give rise to disputes which are potentially dangerous for international peace and security since they involve matters of national sovereignty and major economic interests. South China Sea is one prime example. Other such situations are in the Arctic Ocean, the Bay of Bengal, Falklands/Malvinas, but also Greece/ Turkey in the Aegean, Japan/China, Japan/Korea in the Pacific and indeed the Eastern Mediterranean, which is the focus of our attention today.
The massive six-volume work “Maritime Delimitations” provides the evidence of the many such situations in the practice of states. The fact is that in recent years much of the legal work before the International Court of Justice, before international arbitral tribunals and, most recently, before the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea has been primarily concerned with issues of maritime delimitation. Part of the explanation is the economic significance of the resources involved as well as sensitive issues of national sovereignty. The other part of the explanation for this volume of litigation and third party adjudication is the vagueness of the relevant rules in the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention, particularly Articles 74 (EEZ) and 83 (Continental Shelf). On the positive side, the result of virtually all of the recent cases (before the ICJ, arbitral tribunals and ITLOS) has been to clarify, through judicial practice, these articles on the basis of the application of the median/equidistance line as the starting point of the given delimitation situation, subject to variation where special circumstances so warrant so as to achieve an equitable solution.
Regime of Islands
Andreas Jacovides Ambassador (a.h.)
Once again, I am very pleased to have the occasion of addressing you, this time on the Regime of Islands. Even though it occupies only one of the 320 Articles of UNCLOS III, Article 121, the topic of islands is an important issue of the law of the sea, as evidenced by the extensive discussions in the early stages of the UN Conference (1973-82) and in the preparatory stage preceding it (1970-73) in the Seabed Committee, as outlined in the DOALOS publication “Regime of Islands–Legislative History”. It is very much a live issue today, especially in the Pacific Ocean, but also in several other parts of the world.
What I propose to do during the limited time available this morning, is to outline the historical introduction to the regime of islands; trace its evolution during the Conference itself following the earlier discussions in the Subcommittee II of the Seabed Committee; indicate the distinction between islands and rocks; briefly review how Article 121 was applied by international courts and tribunals; touch on, but not go into detail, the current international disputes involving islands and as applied in practice; and provide conclusions as to how such disputes, and those which no doubt will arise in future, should be solved peacefully, as required by the UN Charter on the basis of the applicable rules of the Law of the Sea.
In doing so I shall rely on my experience of the past four decades as the representative of my country, Cyprus, in the Seabed Committee, the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea and as an academic writer in various forums and publications in more recent years (most recently, in a chapter of a volume under preparation in honour of Satya Nandan). I was also honoured to speak on behalf of Cyprus at the UN General Assembly on 10 December last year on the occasion of the Thirtieth Anniversary of UNCLOS III which I had signed in Montego Bay, Jamaica, in 1982.
Groups Rights and Individual Rights – Can They Coexist?
Carla Calvo Mañosa
In the past 50 years globalization has spurred a resurgence of ethnic and national awareness, which also by the nature of the Second World War, came in hand with a posterior development of a legal protection of group rights.
The development of these rights under International Law will chronologically be assessed in this report. Nevertheless, the concept of group rights is very much discussed: from its existence to the scope of it. Moreover, there is also no consensus on the characteristics that a group must have in order to be a right-holder. However, most scholars agree that a certain level of unity and identity must persist in the group: it must be a conglomerate collectivity with a shared understanding and intra-group solidarity capable of taking moral action on its own, different from an aggregate interest of its members.
The relation between group and individual rights is also discussed: do they co-exist? Do they complement each other? Or are they mutually exclusive?
Those who believe they can co-exist argue that individual rights contradict themselves as often as group and individual rights do, so a conflict between the two should not be a motive to dismiss group rights altogether. Moreover, some consider group rights as a necessary tool to act against an excessively powerful state and others argue that only being able to claim rights which are enjoyed individually but not collectively would be an arbitrary decision.
The arguments in favour of a complementary relation between group and individual rights purport that both pursue the same interests in most occasions, and that in fact, in order to enjoy individual rights sometimes it is necessary to enjoy a group right as well, such as cultural or linguistic ones.
Contrariwise, those who defend that group and individual rights are mutually exclusive due to its nature and contradictions, are additionally concerned about the possibility of an individual not being represented by the group he or she belongs to and not being able to defend a right on his or her own because the matter has group standing instead. Under such circumstances, the quality of individual rights as safeguards would be violated.
In practice, the case of Cyprus and the Annan Plan V (2003) show that there is a conflict between the protection of group rights, such as cultural and linguistic rights of the Cypriot communities, against the individual rights of the citizens to not be discriminated on basis of their race, language, etc. as well as their right to property, settlement and movement. The Annan Plan envisaged a strict bizonality of the country which would limit individual freedoms in favour of established quotas of permanent residents in both constituent states. Moreover, the consociational model of government designed by the Plan would perpetrate the division of the country by ethnic lines, in disregard of future domestic demographic dynamics, and would provide with a strict governmental representation based on the origin of the candidate.
Although it is not possible to provide with a clear answer whether group rights and individual rights can co-exist, complement or exclude each other, it seems that group protection can actually contribute to the guard of individual rights, but at the same time there are cases where group rights breach individual liberties. This paper suggests not to deny the existence or the utility of group rights, but to examine on a case-by-case basis when group rights conflict with individual rights. Finally, this report recommends developing guidelines to try to find the balance between the two to ensure the maximum level of protection of both individual and group rights.
The Many-Faced Ideology of Political Islam and Its Challenge to Liberal Democracy
For the first time since the end of the Cold War Western liberal democracy is facing an ideological challenge. It is a challenge posed by a religious absolutist ideology of political Islam, also known as Islamism, a phenomenon more complex, elusive and insidious than the communist threat ever was. It is an ideology which regards Islam not simply as a faith system concerned primarily with man’s spirituality, but an all-encompassing system of a divine law which must be applied to every aspect of human existence, including public and political sphere. Its claim to universal domination is driven by the nostalgia for Islam’s past glory and a deep-rooted contempt for the Western civilization, perceived as spiritually inferior, decadent, degraded, and on its way to either self-destruction, or Islamic conquest. In particular, it viciously attacks the Western-originated nation-state system of international relations, with all its underpinning institutions, norms and values, such as democracy and popular sovereignty, secularism, human rights, gender equality, and liberal freedoms. After its emergence in Egypt in the first half of the 20th century, the contemporary Islamist movement was initially focused on Muslim lands where it launched activities aimed at “de-Westernization”. However, as a by-product of Muslim immigration it has also firmly established itself in the West, and particularly in Europe. Western public and policy makers tend to be preoccupied with Muslim terrorism, but less emphasis is given to the ideology which is a driving force behind it. An attitude towards violence is usually the main, if not the only evaluation criterion of Islamist groups. And although Islamism includes the jihadist component, it is by no means limited to it. What often escapes public attention is that the Islamist ideology is very diverse and contains a wide spectrum of movements, brands, branches and organizations applying different forms of modus operandi. The challenge it poses to liberal democracies is twofold. On one hand, it obstructs Muslim integration, which in the long run may lead to weakened social cohesion and to fragmentation of societies with significant Muslim minorities. On the other, it is a great security threat, as it creates a fertile ground for radicalization, including its most extreme manifestation in the form of terrorism. In the face of these threats, there is an urgent need for a deeper understanding of Islamist ideology and what it strives for. Terrorism-related issues are usually accredited to non-ideological factors, such as Western foreign policy, lack of education, unemployment, or racism. However, there seems to be a general lack of recognition of the ideological confrontation currently taking place between the liberal democratic outlook, and Islamist religious absolutism.
The Eastern Mediterranean and the Projection of Air Power
Air Commodore, Royal Air Force (Retd)
1. Though now much forgotten, the Mediterranean has been a cauldron of Air Power experimentation, notching up a number of “firsts” in air warfare. It was the location for the first Strategic Bombing campaign (Capronis in 1915 v Austria). It provided the site where Air Power’s domination of ground forces was demonstrated for the first time (Wadi el Fara). It was the place where, again for the first time, and under wartime conditions, a battle fleet was destroyed from the air (Taranto). And it was the place where an entire country was saved from almost certain destruction, by the rapid resupply of war materiel by air (Yom Kippur).
2. The good weather in the region has been an important factor in Air Power’s successes, helping Air Power to demonstrate its ability to yield both tactical and strategic results. Not only at Wadi el Fara, but during the North African Campaign in 1942/3, and at the Mitla Pass (1967), Air Power achieved psychological and physical effects that were truly decisive.
3. This paper, considering the history and importance of Air Power in the Eastern Mediterranean, will concentrate largely on Britain and the RAF’s operations in the region. This is not to minimise such events as the ’67 Arab Israeli War where Air Power destroyed the Egyptian Air Force on the first day, the Yom Kippur War mentioned above, or even the effectiveness of Operations PROVIDE COMFORT and NORTHERN WATCH, both mounted from Turkey, but simply to focus attention on Cyprus and its role in the Eastern Mediterranean. Even this gives the author a broad canvas to show how much the RAF has been intimately involved in the region; for example, the author’s own squadron was involved in offensive operations in Southern Italy, at Lecce in 1943, and again, exactly 50 years later when he was the Squadron Commander, based at Gioia del Colle, for operations over Bosnia! And even now Akrotiri provides a base for air combat training and for resupply to the Middle East.