Temporary Occupied Territories of Ukraine: General Assembly Session 73 Plenary 67

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The committee began with the re-statement of article 19 stating that a member’s voting rights may be suspended temporarily in the GA if the member state has not yet paid their arrears. As of today, there are 8 member states that did not meet article 19. If the failure to pay is due to conditions beyond the control of the member, situations may be reconsidered. The GA moved forward with article 67 briefing on the situation in Ukraine, from Petro Poroshenko.

Poroshenko begins with a discussion of the situation in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine. Russian aggression is a violation on the principals of the UN Charter with infiltration, militarized areas, and civilian imprisonment and torture within Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula. Emphasis was placed on the March 2014 referendum being corrupted, with the Russian government refusing to make statements on the referendum. Poroshenko speaks that there is no crisis in Ukraine, but ongoing military occupation and armed aggression by Russia against Ukraine. Delegates echoed that Russia should release all detained sailors in Russia from the issue regarding the Ukrainian vessels in the Kerch Strait and condemns the actions of Russia.

The Russian Federation began their speech highlighting the name of this committee topic as misleading. Crimea is Russia. The Russian Federation states that “wherever President Poroshenko goes, there is gunfire,” and continues to emphasize that much of what previous delegates have accused against Russia were based on false accusations.

Meeting: General Assembly Session 73 Plenary 67 on Ukraine Territories and Member Appointments

Date/Location: 20 February 2019, General Assembly Hall

Speakers: Petro Poroshenko, Norway (on behalf of Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Sweden), European Union (on behalf of its Member States and Albania, Georgia, Montenegro, North Macedonia and the Republic of Moldova), Poland, Estonia, Peru, Lithuania, Slovakia, Italy, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Moldova, Latvia, Canada, the United States, Liechtenstein, the Czech Republic, Georgia and Bulgaria.

Written By: WIT Representative Jessica Shi

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United Nations Security Council (UNSC): The Situation Concerning Iraq

Date/Location​: Wednesday February 13, 2012; 10:00 to 11:00; Security Council Chamber, United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY

Speakers​: Special Representative of the Secretary General to the mission in Iraq, Delegates from Equatorial Guinea, Kuwait, Indonesia, China, South Africa, Cote D’ivoire, Iraq

Written by: WIT Representative Bertina Kudrin

The UNSC met to discuss the situation in Iraq. The meeting began with a briefing by the Special Representative of the Secretary General to the mission in Iraq.  She mentioned that among Iraq’s accomplishments Iraq, a new prime minister was nominated, the 2019 budget law was approved, allowing for funding for necessities like electricity, an implementation plan was adopted to allow for the inspection of progress, and 3 meetings between the supreme council and the president took place regarding fighting corruption. However, obstacles still persist. For one, the government is still incomplete. Four ministerial positions are still open, with fierce political disagreements surrounding these. Political parties have boycotted or otherwise interrupted political processes, with the Iraqi parliament on recess. Additionally, while the budget was passed, money is still needed for reconstruction. Too much of the budget is based on oil. Finally, security and terrorist groups still remain a concern.

803335.ai Delegates then proceeded to expand on the representative’s points. Kuwait welcomed the national dialogue taking place in Iraq. It also noted the importance of a completed government to combat extremism and provide for rule of law. The concerns over terrorism were echoed by Indonesia, who suggested the strengthening of relationships with international and regional partners to address the concern. China’s suggestion was to strengthen counter-terrorism organizations and crack down on terrorist organizations listed by UNSC.

On the issue of the history of Kuwait and Iraq, Kuwait reminded delegates that the meeting marked the 28th anniversary of the liberation of the state of Kuwait from Iraqi aggression. Kuwait commended the serious desire of Iraq to meet its remaining obligations towards Kuwait, including help identifying remains and the search for Kuwaiti property. It spoke the sentiment shared by many: the Iraq of today has nothing to do with the Iraq of the past.

The Situation Concerning Iraq: Security Council Meeting 8462

Ms. Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq, began the meeting with a briefing on the current situation. In Iraq, the government is incomplete and in a one month recess as a result of multiple boycotts or protests against the prime minister, Adil Abdul-Mahdi. Hennis-Plasschaert reminds all delegates that political cooperation is the only solution for this issue, and emphasizes that there are many women that are qualified to take roles to complete the government. The importance of oil and governmental funding in the Kurdistan Region for resources as well as regional and international developments were touched upon. This lead back to the emphasis of political cooperation as the most feasible solution.

The delegate from Kuwait highlights the 23rd anniversary of Kuwait separating itself from the Iraqi aggression and focuses on humanitarian issues behind the people of Kuwait. Efforts and implementations of plans and programs must be supported to uncover the missing Kuwaiti persons as well as the release of the detained. The following delegates all echoed the importance of UNAMI aid in various sectors giving support to the Iraqi government to solve new challenges in order to develop as a country. Terrorists should be brought to justice in accordance to international and national laws within Iraq. The meeting closed with the delegate of Iraq stating that the government is looking to increase female representation within the government and to protect women from gender-based harassment. The delegate also stated that the country wishes contain the threat of weapons of mass destruction as well as strengthen the educational and emotional health system.

Meeting: Meeting 8462 The Situation Concerning Iraq

Date/Location: 13 February 2019, Security Council Chamber

Speakers: Ms. Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert (head of UNAMI), Kuwait, Indonesia, China, South Africa, Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Iraq

Written By: WIT Representative Jessica Shi

Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations: New Applications for Consultative Status

Date/Location​: Wednesday January 30, 2012; 10:00 to 13:00; Conference Room 1, United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY

Speakers​: China, India, Turkey, Russia, USA, Malaysia, Brazil, Mexico, Nigeria

Written by: WIT Representative Bertina Kudrin

 

The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations met again to review applications from NGOs. Among those considered was Helpage India, an NGO dedicated to helping elders live a more dignified life. The NGO faced questions about its finances from China, who noted that the NGO seems to have a large budget. The delegate questioned how the NGO manages to raise so much money and asked for a layout of its spending costs. The Human is Right NGO, which works to bring a deeper conscience to human rights in the Buea region received questions from Turkey, specifically focusing on its women empowerment projects, and those projects’ funding, number of beneficiaries, and achieved results. Notable was that both Pakistani NGOs, Kaaravan Crafts Foundation, which works with women in rural Pakistan, and the Rupani Foundation, working with poverty-stricken communities in Pakistan, received questions from India. In the former case, India asked about the sources of its private sector funding, as well as the breakdown of activities undertaken with this funding. In the latter case, India asked about the budget for an initiative which involved introducing more technology in villages. Also notable was that China’s NGO, the Silk Road Chamber of International Commerce, part of the Belt and Road initiative, faced questioning from the US, asking about the specifics and additional details of the organization’s finances.

 

A bright light came with the presentation of the International Society for Peace and Safety which promotes human rights in Nigeria. This was the first organization of the day to be accepted without questions from delegates. Other confirmed organizations included the League of Women Voters of Nigeria and and a foundation for orphans, disabled and abandoned Persons in Nigeria. Even as other organizations struggle with confirmation, it seems that Nigeria is receiving hope from the work of its NGOs.

Multi-stakeholder Dialogue and Capacity-building Partnership Event

This meeting introduced various international platforms such as Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission(IOC), and Brazilian Oceanographers Association with a focus on monitoring and sustaining oceans as well as agriculture. These speakers stressed the need for further research and accessibility of data to allow states to better protect oceans. They also called for marine information to be taught to children at a young age to further ocean literacy For example, “Ocean Teacher” is an online website with free courses on methods of fishing and other marine activities to sustain oceans. The Brazilian Oceanographers Association uses research ships to better understand the problems that plague oceans. This dialogue came to an end highlighting that science and research needs to be communicated well and translated to policy to preserves our valuable oceans.

 Date/Location​: Friday January 25th 2019; 15:00 to 18:00; Conference Room 3, United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY

 Speakers​:

Mr. Andrew Hudson, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP): “GEF IW: LEARN and LME: LEARN

Ms. Vera Agostini, Deputy Director, Fisheries and Aquaculture Department, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Mr. Ariel Troisi, Argentina, Chair of the Group of Experts on Capacity Development, Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission

Mr. Luciano Hermanns, AOCEANO (Brazilian Oceanographers Association)

Written by: WIT Representative Mariam Elsaker

 

UN Institute for Disarmament Research: Space Security Workshop

This meeting was brought about to discuss the current updates on the future of space, with a specific focus on the safety, security, and commercial actors in space. The speakers shared their insight on the socio-economic impact of space on the future, with the discussion eventually shifting towards the importance of international policy regarding space.

It was emphasized that international rules require a consensus among space-faring nations, that are both applicable to public and private entities, specifically mindful of new start-ups. Preventing weaponization and the arms race, and mitigating risks from other human activities is deemed as essential in any international discussion.

Moreover, regarding any current and future actions in space, everyone should be considered a stakeholder. Both Low Earth and Geosynchronous (370 km and 36,000 km above the earth, respectively) orbiting satellites play a vital role in our world. They are responsible for communications, data collection, as well as weather, climate, and environmental sensors. Today, nearly 40% of the SDG targets (65 out of 169) are directly supported by space activity. 

Moving forward, space-actors must also consider the mass accumulation of space debris.

While it requires more energy and money to bring down a satellite, the space environment is already at that critical point where the Low Earth Orbit will be inaccessible to satellites in its orbit within the next 100 years. Ultimately, there needs to be an increase in international dialogue among government and private bodies in order to ensure the security and safety of space, with a focus on demilitarization and non-polluting activity.

 

Meeting​: UNIDIR Space Security Workshop: A Primer for Delegations

Date/Location​: Wednesday, January 30th, 2019; 10:00 to 12:00; Conference Room 11, United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY

Speakers​:

  • Mr. Kazuto Suzuki, Professor of Public Policy at Hokkaido University
  • Ms. Laura Grego, Senior Scientist for the Global Security Program

Written By: WIT Representative Michael Murphy

Security Council Meeting 8454: Briefing on the Situation in the Middle East

 

 

This meeting began with a briefing on the situation in the Middle East by Mr. Mark Lowcock, the UN-USG for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief. Speaking on the issue of the increasing number of explosive hazards throughout Syria, 25 Syrian citizens are currently being trained on explosive handlement and disarmament. Especially in areas of northwest and northeast Syria, member state support and constant assessment to monitor aid must be reinforced.

The delegate from Kuwait set the example for following speeches that echoed the condemnation of the torture, mistreatment, and usage of detention facilities for the Syrian people. Clearly defined conditions on the topic of Syrian refugees returning home must be strengthened. A Turkish-Russian ceasefire was requested as any military escalation would be catastrophic for millions of Syrians as well as Syria’s neighboring countries. There must be a guarantee of humanitarian access while respecting Syrian sovereignty and autonomy. Especially in the case of Rukban, supply deliveries are delayed by months from the Syrian regime placing obstacles for the delivery of aid and criminalizing humanitarian organizations. The delegate from Indonesia called upon the harsh winters as well as the decrease in successful humanitarian aid interventions from the weather while the delegate from France emphasized the differences between aid and reconstruction. Humanitarian aid is immediate need that is subject to principles of strict neutrality, while reconstruction is only envisioned once an irreversible credible and inclusive transition is underway.

Many delegates echoed that support for refugees and host countries must be scaled upwards and calls upon stronger international political negotiations which were to be discussed in the following closed committee informal session. The committee ended with the Syrian Arab Republic clarifying stories such as Hassan Diab in Douma as well as the Rukban camp, stating that many of these stories were fabricated to undermine Syrian power. The delegate from Syria requested countries to respect Syria’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and unity while reaching a political solution to the Syrian crisis.

Meeting: Security Council Meeting 8454

Date/Location​: 30 January 2019, Security Council Chamber

Speakers​: Mr. Mark Lowcock, Kuwait (on behalf of Belgium and Germany as well), United States, Indonesia, Russian Federation, France, Peru, China, Côte d’Ivoire, South Africa, Poland, United Kingdom, Equatorial Guinea, Syrian Arab Republic

Written by: WIT Representative Jessica Shi

Adoption of the agenda Identical letters dated 19 January 2016 from the Permanent Representative of Colombia to the United Nations

Date/Location​: Wednesday January 23, 2012; 10:00 to 12:00; Security Council Chamber, United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY

Speakers​: Special Representative of Secretary General and UN verification mission in Colombia, President of the UNSC, UK, US, Peru, France, Russia, Kuwait, Germany, China, Belgium

Written by: WIT Representative Bertina Kudrin

The meeting began with a briefing by the Special Representative of the Secretary General and UN Verification Mission in Colombia. After signing a historic peace treaty last year, Colombia has made unprecedented progress in its move away from civil war, towards peace. It serves as an inspiration for many other troubled nations in the region. Progress includes political reintegration. On October 22, the FARC Party, the main rebel group during the civil war, will again participate in elections. The technical committee on elections has already started on a safety plan and Colombia’s 2018 elections were the safest in decades. Colombia is also working towards reintegration of former fighters, and a crop rotation program. This all comes under the umbrella of Colombia’s Peace with Legality Plan, the latest peace agreement, which on top of these measures also implements measures for justice during the transitional period.

Despite the good news, some challenges persist. Many killings of journalists, social leaders, and political leaders have recently taken place. Colombia’s president responded by convening the National Commission on Security Guarantees. Several delegates, including the UK, France, and Russia, mentioned that Colombia’s ability to manage this violence will show the authority of the new Colombian government. Peru suggested an early warning alert system that would highlight the dangers of criminal groups seeking to take over the former conflict areas.

France noted the importance of economic reintegration of former combatants. The delegate claimed that the former combatants must have real prospects for a return into Colombian society as this is linked closely to sustainable development.

On a more uplifting note, several nations, including Kuwait, Russia, the UK, and Belgium focused on the diplomatic triumph this peace process meant for the UN. Colombia made an active effort towards international cooperation. Its incredible progress is reflective of that effort.

“Getting to Know the Economic and Social Council System in the Sustainable Development Goals Era”

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The meeting convened by the President of ECOSOC H.E. Ms. Inga Rhondo King as part of the Orientation Course on the Economic and Social Council for members of the Council. The session was the first part of a series of discussions with members of the council on ‘Getting to Know ECOSOC in the SDG Era’. In her remarks, H.E. Ms. Inga said that the MDGs Era was a period of experimentation where we faced global challenges. She added that to strengthen the work of ECOSOC, three events will be held this year: The Annual youth forum, the High-Level Political Forum (HLFP) on Sustainable Development and the SDGs Fair.

Delegates from different member states in attendance discussed and asked questions on how to strengthen the ECOSOC system and its governance. The secretary of ECOSOC, Ms. Emer Herity highlighted the role of ECOSOC, and explained the structures and related platforms, its mandates and outcomes, and the working methods and procedures of ECOSOC system in the context of work program and agenda for the 2019 ECOSOC cycle. In another statement, Ms. Emer added that the council offers an inclusive space to exchange experiences, knowledge and ideas for a better result on how ECOSOC contributes in advancing the integrated implementation of the 2030 Agenda and related agendas. She ended her remarks by stating that the specific global functions of ECOSOC will bring value to, and effectively support, national level implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

In another remark, Ms. Leslie Wade Chief of International Indigenous Speaker Bureau/ Office of Intergovernmental support (IISB/OISC) discussed the implementation of the work of ECOSOC’s segments and Forums such as Financing for Development Forum (FFDF), Youth forum, Partnership forum, Development Cooperation Forum (DCF) and the Multi-stakeholder Forum on science, Technology and Innovation (STI forum)

Meeting: Informal meeting on “Getting to Know the Economic and Social Council System in the Sustainable Development Goals Era”

Date/Location: Wednesday 23th January 2019; Trusteeship Council Chamber, United Nations Headquarters, New York, New York

Speakers:

-The president of ECOSOC H.E. Ms. Inga Rhonda King

-Ms. Marion Barthelemy, Director, Office of intergovernmental support and Coordination for Sustainable Development, Department of Economic and Social Affairs (OISC/DESA)

-H.E. Marco A. Suazo, Head-of-office, UNITAR New York

-Ms, Emer Herity, Secretary of ECOSOC and the Second Committee

-Ms, Leslie Wade, Chief, IISB/OISC

-Mr. Huanyu Liu Policy Integration Unit, Financing for Sustainable Development Office (FSDO)

-Representative from the Division for the Sustainable Development Goals (DSDG)(TBC)

Written By: WIT Representative Kim Juyeon

Tonga Fellowship on the Environment and Ocean 2018 Presentation on Marine Spatial Planning in Tonga

Date/Location​: Wednesday December 19th, 2018; 13:00 to 15:00; Conference Room 6, United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY

Speakers​: Tonga Fellowship fellows ‘Amelia Fa’otusia, Adi Talanavini Mafi, and ‘Elisapeti Veikoso

 

Written by: WIT Representative Bertina Kudrin

This presentation by the Tonga Fellowship on the Environment and Ocean featured 3 fellows presenting their work. The annual fellowship allows young civil servants with technical experience to work in New York for a year studying oceans and the environment. This year’s three fellows, ‘Amelia Fa’otusia, Adi Talanavini Mafi, and ‘Elisapeti Veikoso, discussed their work during this committee session regarding proposed reforms to Marine Spatial Planning in Tonga. Marine Spatial Planning is the process of analyzing and allocating parts of the three-dimensional marine spaces to specific uses, to achieve ecological, economic and social objectives that are usually specified through the political process. The fellows looked to previous work on this topic to choose their subject, including UN reviews and the MACBIO project, Marine and Coastal Biodiversity Management in Pacific Island Countries. They then conducted a literature review, identified and analyzed case studies, distinguished enabling factors, and applied their work to Tonga. Identified enabling factors include effective planning, institutional arrangements and governance, stakeholder engagement, behavioral change. Mafi explained that these factors work as a combined package. If applied together, they can greatly improve Tonga’s marine spatial planning efforts.

Veikoso noted Tonga’s current progress and standing in regards to these enabling factors. To successfully implement the factors there are several steps:

  1. Identifying need and establishing authority
  2. Obtaining financial support
  3. Organizing the MSP Process
  4. Organizing the MSP Process through pre-planning and stakeholder participation
  5. Defining and analyzing existing conditions
  6. Defining and analyzing of future conditions
  7. Preparing and approving the planning process

As Fa’otusia noted, due to Tonga’s geographical distribution into small, separate islands, it’s biggest challenge is stakeholder engagement across the islands. This is one obstacle alongside others Tonga will have to overcome in its work for successful marine spatial planning.