A Resolution Toward Peace in Afghanistan

 

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On Thursday, November 17th, the General Assembly convened to address the resolution regarding the current situation in Afghanistan. Delegates expressed concern over issues within the war-torn nation and pledged to provide assistance to help rebuild the country. Delegates addressed the need to support the country in its efforts to strengthen the government. This must be done by fighting corruption and providing military and financial assistance. Delegations of Pakistan and the United States promoted negotiation settlements between the Afghani government and the Taliban to help achieve peace. However, the delegation of Afghanistan disagreed stating the government refuses to cooperate with the Taliban and any other organizations that continue to oppress the Afghani people.

Terrorist organizations prominent within Afghanistan have made it increasingly difficult for citizens to live safely. The deaths of millions of innocent people and the illicit drug trade as a source of income continues to threaten security. Last year alone, as highlighted by Lithuania, there were 11,000 civilian casualties, with 25% of those being children. By uniting international communities and working together, the fight can be won against violence and terrorist organizations. Additionally, gender inequality has been an issue within Afghanistan that delegations aim to address with the resolution. It was continuously stressed throughout the meeting that all forms of violence against women must be combatted. Women have become increasingly involved in political and social progress and creating spaces to empower women in this way can build peace. With political, social, and economic instability, Afghanistan has struggled to provide for the Afghani people. The resolution, on which no delegation has disagreed, will help promote the redevelopment of the troubled nation.

Meeting: General Assembly, 47th Plenary Meeting on the Situation in Afghanistan

Date/Time/Location: 17 November 2016, 10:00 to 13:00; United Nations Headquarters, General Assembly Hall

Speakers: Mr. Heiko Thoms, Deputy Permanent Representatie of Germany; Mr. Mahmoud Saikal, Permanent Representative of Afghanistan; Mr. Mahmadamin Mahmadaminov, Permanent Representative of Tajikitan, Mr. João Pedro Vale de Almeida, Head of the Delegation of the European Union; Ms. Michele Sison, Deputy Permanent Representative of the United States; Mr. Liu Jieyi, Permanent Representative of China; Mr. David Yardley, Counsellor of Australia; Mr. Vladimir K. Safronkov, Deputy Permanent Representative of Russia; Ms. Farzana Zahir, Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Maldives; Mr. Güven Begeç, Deputy Permanent Representative of Turkey; Koro Bessho, Permanent Representative of Japan; Mr. Michael Bonser, Minister Counsellor for Political Affairs of Canada; Mr. František Ružička, Permanent Representative of Slovakia; Mr. Syed Akbaruddin, Permanent Representative of India; Ms. Maleeha Lodhi, Permanent Representative of Pakistan; Mr. Román Oyarzan Marchesi, Permanent Representative of Spain; Mr. Marc Pecsteen de Buytswerve, Permanent Representative of Belgium, Ms. Raimonda Murmokaifé, Permanent Representative of Lithuania; Ms. Inga Kanchaveli, Counsellor of Georgia; Mr. Inigo Lambertini, Deputy Permanent Representative of Italy; Mr. Ihab Moustafa Awad Moustafa, Minister Plenipotentairy of Egypt; Mr. Masud Bin Momen, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh; Mr. Gholamhossein Dehghani, Deputy Permanent Representative of Iran; Mr. Barlybay Sodykov, Deputy Permanent Representative of Kazakhstan; Mr. Tofig Musayev, Counsellor of Azerbaijan; Mr. Georgi Panayotov; Permanent Representative of Bulgaria

 Written By: Leticia Murillo, WIT Representative

 

Creating Spaces for Peace

 

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The Permanent Mission of Brazil and the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) Section, the Office of Rule of Law and Security Institutions (OROLSI), and the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) co-organized the discussion of the tenth anniversary of the Community Violence Reduction (CVR) programs in United Nations Peacekeeping Missions. Initially, member states expressed little interest in funding the programs. However, Norway tremendously bolstered the program and gave 200,000 dollars, which may set an important precedent for other worldwide donors. Hervé Ladsous stated that CVR programs protect citizens in several African countries north of Mali, as governmental presence is limited in many local communities.

Mr. Atul Khare expressed that the CVR is a positive precedent to similar programs that promote peacekeeping. Mr. Dmitry Titov added that CVR programs contributed to peaceful elections in central Africa and brought balance into the political process. Ms. Bintou Keita launched educational programs in North Darfur, which give students tools for peaceful interaction to counter violence in their surroundings. Mr. Rubem Cesar Fernandes stated that in areas with CVR programming, there were 16 deaths per every 100,000 people in the region. He expressed that this is an important decrease in unnecessary death and a progressive step towards peace. Ambassador H.E. Sergio de Queiroz Duarte closed the meeting and stated that CVR works to foster commuity stability. CVR is extremely helpful in peacekeeping operations running smoothly and fulfilling mandates successfully. H.E. Mr. Duarte expressed that it is time to build upon existing work for global peace.

Meeting: “Creating Space for Peace: Tenth anniversary of Community Violence Reduction (CVR) Programs in United Nations Peacekeeping Missions”

Date/ Location: Wednesday, 16 November 2016; 10:00 to 13:00; Conference Room 4

Speakers: Mr. Edmond Mulet, Chef De Cabinet, Executive Office of the Secretary, General (EOSG); Mr. Hervé Ladsous, Department of Peacekeeping Operations (USG DPKO); Mr. Atul Khare, Department of Field Support (USG DFS); Mr. Dmitry Titov, Office of Rule of Law and Security Institutions Inside of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO OROLSI); Ms. Bintou Keita, Deputy Joint Special Representative United Nations Mission in Darfur (DJSR UNAMID); Mr. Rubem Cesar Fernandes, Viva Rio; H.E. Sergio de Queiroz Duarte, DPR Brazil

Written By: Sophia Kotik, WIT Representative

International Criminal Tribunals and Justice after Civil War

 

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In this session, the General Assembly discussed the many challenges facing the international tribunals formed in response to the civil wars in Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. Mr. Agius stated that the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) wishes to resolve all remaining cases regarding inhumane crimes by 2017. The ICTY has already finished proceedings against 154 individuals charged for serious violations of international humanitarian law. Mr. Meron stated that since the tribunals have been established, there has been a “new age of accountability,” within the community. The social movement aids the tribunal in appropriately and accurately convicting responsible individuals.

The Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT) executed the other functions of the ICTY since the conclusion of the Rwanda Tribunal in 2015. Mr. Meron stressed the importance of cooperation and support by Member States for the success of the MICT and ICTY in regards to the remaining cases. Most of the convicted individuals in Rwanda have been acquitted or released in the United Republic of Tanzania. Serbia was claimed to also surrendered many indicted individuals. A debate arose, and the Representative of Croatia argued otherwise. He emphasized that all arrest warrants are currently pending, thus expressing concerns of “failures” within the tribunals. The Representative of the United States expressed that the support of judges and staff can be helpful in the tribunals following through on indictments.

Meeting: General Assembly Plenary, Seventy-First Session, 44th Meeting, “Report of the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.”

Date/Location: Wednesday, 9 November 2016; 10:00 to 13:00; United Nations Headquarters, General Assembly Hall

Speakers: Mr. Theodor Meron, President of the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals; Carmel Agius, President of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY)

Written By: Ashley Lee, WIT Representative

Human Rights Protection in Closed Society: Myanmar and North Korea

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Aspects of the current humanitarian crises in Myanmar and the People’s Republic of Korea were discussed in this session. In Myanmar, Islamic members of the Rohingya community in Rakhine State are subject to extreme prejudice. Meanwhile, the citizens of the People’s Republic of Korea are attempting to recover, with insufficient aid, from damage caused by major flooding.

Yanghee Lee, the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Myanmar, called for action against the systematic discrimination prevalent against vulnerable Islamic minorities in the Rakhine State. There is a shortage of medical care in the region. Ms. Lee discussed how this issue could be combatted through the ratification of core human rights treaties.

Despite six decades of armed conflict, Myanmar has recently been experiencing change at a rapid pace. A democratic governmental system has been put in place to promote the shift from a closed society to an open society. However, radical religious leaders trained by the Taliban still play a role in the nation’s politics.

The representative of the United States emphasized the value of global humanitarian aid and called for it in Myanmar. She strongly supported Ms. Lee’s proposed citizenship program for inhabitants of Myanmar. The US representative expressed concerned about the unwarranted arrest of journalists and political figures, but was pleased to hear of their releases.

The representative of the European Union questioned the role of women in the process of peace negotiations. Furthermore, the representative of Australia addressed the rights of the LGBTQIA community as some are targeted and imprisoned in Myanmar.

Additionally, Tomás Ojea Quintana, the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, stated that despite the massive flooding in North Korea, the nation’s fifth nuclear test launch occurred. Only 10% of the required necessities have been attained for aid and with winter approaching, this was concluded to be an issue for North Korea and the international community.

Meeting: Third Committee, 32nd Meeting on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights

Date/Time/Location: Thursday, 27 October, 2016; 10:00 to 13:00; Conference Room 1

Speakers: Yanghee Lee, Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Myanmar; Representative of Myanmar; Representative of Norway; Representative of United States of America; Representative of China; Representative of Japan; Representative of Eritrea; Representative of Thailand; Representative of European Union; Representative of Australia; Representative of Switzerland; Representative of Egypt; Representative of Russian Federation; Representative of Lao People’s Democratic Republic; Representative of Cuba; Representative of Czech Republic; Representative of Jordan; Representative of Singapore; Representative of United Kingdom; Representative of Philippines; Representative of Vietnam; Representative of Saudi Arabia; Representative of Iran; Representative of Organization of Islamic Cooperation; Tomás Ojea Quintana, Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea; Representative of South Korea; Representative of Venezuela speaking on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement; Representative of Syrian Arab Republic; Representative of Liechtenstein; Representative of Netherlands; Representative of United Kingdom; Representative of Belarus; Representative of Germany; Representative of Jordan; Representative of Maldives; Representative of Ireland; Representative of Argentina

Written By: Donna Sunny, WIT Representative

‘2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Sustaining Peace’

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Sustainable peace and development positively reinforce each other. The joint meeting provided an opportunity to explore links between the 2030 Agenda and sustaining peace, particularly with regard to global targets of creating peaceful and inclusive societies, providing just and accountable institutions, as well as the drivers of conflict.

Progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is predicted to be most difficult in conflict-affected countries where the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were lagging further behind. Extreme poverty is increasingly concentrated in conflict-affected areas and leaving no one behind will require concerted efforts across the United Nations to deliver as one.

African countries richest in natural resources tend to be characterized by great inequality, which drives conflicts that consequently inhibit social development. Uneducated and unemployed youth is a common characteristic across countries experiencing conflict. Resolving conflicts through peacebuilding as well as reconciling social contracts between governments and civil society can lead to resilient and secure states in which development occurs.

Meeting: Economic and Social Council and Peacebuilding Commission Meeting on the ‘2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Sustaining Peace’

Date/Time/Location: June 24, 2016; 10:00 – 13:00; Economic and Social Council Chamber

Speakers: H.E. Mr. Oh Joon, President of the Economic and Social Council; H.E. Mr. Mancharia Kamau, Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission; H.E. Mr. Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations; Dr. Carlos Lopes, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa; H.E. Mr. David Donoghue, Permanent Representative of Ireland to the United Nations; H.E. Ms. Annika Söder, State Secretary to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sweden; H.E. Mr. Juan Sandoval Mendiolea, Deputy Permanent Representative of Mexico to the United Nations; H.E. Ms. Gillian Bird, Permanent Representative of Australia to the United Nations

Written By: Lena Courcol

International Leaders Discuss Bringing Agenda 2030 to Fruition

This meeting was held to discuss the creation of partnerships between various stakeholders and how they would benefit the 2030 Agenda.

Mr. Lykketoft called for work between the public and private sectors, academia, and foundations in action for the Agenda 2030

Next, Ms. Kingo transitioned by encouraging companies and UN bodies alike to share available resources and collaboration to find new opportunities.

A statement from Ban-Ki Moon was read and it noted the need to move from commitment to action. Wide expertise was called for, as were the inter-linkages supported by the Agenda goals.

Mr. Mitchell spoke on how although there is a conception that business love risk, they ultimately crave stability with the hope of maintaining stakeholder relationships. He noted that it is extremely crucial for governments to establish infrastructure, maintain un-corrupt economics, and protect intellectual property. He also stated that it is crucial to foster economic development in other countries.

Ms. Marini spoke on how the first change that needs to be implemented for partnership development is transparency on the motives of all involved in the partnership. She also noted the need to shift towards putting the food of people first, effectively a shift towards human-centered design. She also touted that it is important to stop “think globally and act locally” to transition to “think locally and act locally”.

Meeting: “From commitments to results: Leveraging partnerships for the 2030 Agenda”

Date/Location: Thursday, March 31, 2016; 10:00-13:00 ECOSOC Chamber

Speakers: H.E. Mr. Oh Joon, President of the Economic and Social Council; H.E. Mr. Mogens Lykketoft, President of the UN General Assembly; Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations; Her Royal Highness Haya Al Hussein, UN Messenger of Peace and Chairperson, International Humanitarian City; Mr. Richard Lui, Moderator, News Anchor, MSNBC; Ms. Alice Albright, CEO, Global Partnership for Education; Ms. Peggy Dulany, Chair, Synergos; Mr. Michael Landau, Chairman, CTI Global; Ms. Mary Chege, Director, Development Finance International; Ms. Lise Kingo, Moderator, Executive Director, UN Global Compact; Mr. Scott Mitchell, President and CEO, Sumitomo Chemical America; Ms. Joy Marini, Executive Director, Johnson and Johnso;  Mr. Igor Runov, Under Secretary-General, International Road Transport Union (IRU);

Written By: WIT Representative Olivia Gong

Edited By: Alex Margolick

The Female Antidote to Violent Extremism

The high-level event, co-hosted by the European Union and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), in partnership with the United Nations, the United States, and Norway, sought to discuss women’s role in countering violent extremism (CVE). The event began with opening remarks, which lasted the greater portion of the event, chaired by Mr. Alistair Millar.

First, Ms. Mara Marinaki commended progress that has since been made surrounding the context and understanding in which women and violent extremism interact. Similarly, Dr. Sarah Sewall emphasized the need for advocacy and women’s empowerment. “Strong women are able to combat these neolithic visions,” Dr. Sewall explained. She also stressed the need to view women’s right, not as a tool or security policy, but as a goal in itself. Both Dr. Sewall and Ms. Tone Skogen, called for women’s involvement and voice in political processes. Mr. Weixiong Chen concluded the opening remarks with a well received statement reminding attendees that violent extremist groups do seek women, and to consider the motives that drive women to violent extremist groups.

A panel discussion followed which discussed strengthening women’s roles in countering violent extremism, protecting right from violent extremism, and a more cross cutting approach to reaching boys and men. Mr. Yannick Glemarec shared the Security Council’s Resolution 2242, which seeks to improve the implementation of its Women, Peace, and Security Agenda. Ms. Sanam Naraghi Anderlini stressed the need to frame CVE more positively. “All of our language is against something; what are we for? Extremists groups offer positive benefits and try to refraining social justice for their agenda, what is our side positive story?” she questioned. At the conclusion of the event, the Global Center and Hedayah announced a preview of their joint publication entitled, A Man’s World? Exploring the Role of Women in Countering Violent Extremism.

Peace And Women Are Building Blocks

Today’s event offered a forum in which panelists shared their views on how to best incorporate women’s leadership in contexts of fragility and conflict and ensure that they are not left behind.

Unlike the MDGs, which included no separate provision for peace and security, the 2030 Agenda (with the introduction of the SDGs) has dedicated an entire goal for peace and security (SDG 16). As Ms. Cabrera-Balleza remarked, “Goal 16 is very important and has been long fought for. How can we talk about sustainable development in a country that is at war?”  She highlighted the importance of including women and civil society in the implementation of the new agenda. We must take the SDGs out of New York and the UN and bring them to the countries affected and in need of sustainable development. We must ensure that they are also owned by local people and communities. To do this, we must translate the SDGs from UN language to one that is broken down and fathomed at local levels. Partnering with local community media is crucial to dissipating the information. We should also give space to women so that they can take the lead in decisions. The “Add Woman or Stir Approach” can no longer be viable.

Ms. Gbowee noted that the 2030 Agenda is one that incorporates almost every thematic area that affects our world. The SDGs are all interconnected and must be achieved together. Further, we must not let the SDGs become trending issues that will later lose relevance. It is time to push and speak the hard truth. She pointed out that women-centered movements have lost their strength and become overly diplomatic. As she stated, “You can never leave footprints that last if you are always walking on tiptoe.”

Meeting: “Women’s Leadership in SDG Implementation in Situations of Conflict and Fragility: Lessons from Somalia and Liberia.”

Date/Location: Wednesday, March 16, 2016; 3:00-4:15 p.m.; Conference Room A

Speakers: Ms. Rosemary Kalapurakal, Moderator; Ms. Sarah Poole, Deputy Director, BPPS, UNDP; Hon. Sahra Mohamaed Ali Samatar, Minister of Women and Human Rights Development; Ms. Leymah Gbowee, Liberian Women’s Rights and Peace Activist, 2011 Nobel  Peace Prize Winner; Ms. Zahra Said Nur, Women’s Rights Activist, Founder of Talowadaag-Somali Women’s Movement; Ms. Mavic Cabrera-Balleza, International Coordinator, Global Network of Women Peacebuilders

Written By: WIT Representative Emilie Broek

Edited By: WIT Representative Alex Margolick

Calling All Women to Reinforce Peace

Today’s meeting focused on updating the audience on the various initiatives undertaken since the first Outreach Roundtable on March 31, 2015. The speakers mentioned that there has been success in recruiting talent, specifically women, into UN peacekeeping and political missions. The current civilian staff is made up of 167 nationalities with the average age of 46 years and the average time in service at 4.6 years. 70% of the staff is men and 90% of the staff is located in non-family duty stations. The speakers stressed that there is still a need to recruit more senior women into “non-traditional” field careers such as aviation, logistics, and engineering.

One of the initiatives launched has been the Careers E-library, which is a part of the broader communication campaign “What Are You Doing For Peace?” The E-library contains a series of leaflets designed to showcase the wide range of career options within the UN. The UN also has created a talent pipeline of women for senior positions in peacekeeping and special political missions. Women who have at least 15 years of relevant professional experience, a Master’s degree or higher, fluency in English and/or French as well as Arabic and expertise in conflict management, mediation, political analysis, public/strategic communication, and rule of law and security institutions are encouraged to apply.

The targeted and regionalized outreach material was developed to attract the right candidates and was well received. In order to move towards a more collaborative hiring process, the speakers encouraged the attendees to reach out to senior women who may be right for the positions available.

Meeting: Round table on “Dialogue between the Field Personnel Division (FPD) and Member States regarding opportunities for civilians in peace operations, with particular emphasis on suitably qualified and experienced female candidates” (organized by the Field Personnel Division (FPD), Department of Field Support (DFS))

Speakers: Dr. Chhaya Kapilashrami, Director, Field Personnel Division, Department of Field Support; Ms. Margarete Sobrai, Chief Outreach and Workforce Planning Section, Field Personnel Division, Department of Field Support; Ms. Cristina Carrion, Minister and Deputy Representative, Permanent Mission of Uruguay to the United Nations; Mr. Rafael Barbieri, Training Officer, Integrated Training Services Division of Policy, Evaluation and Training, Department of Peacekeeping Operations and Department of Field Support; Ms. Andreina Botto, Chief Outreach Unit, Field Personnel Division, Department of Field Support

Written By: WIT Representative Tania Makker

Edited By: WIT Representative Alex Margolick

Photo Credit: NATO

Sustainable Air Capabilities in the United Nations Field Operations: The National Response

++ MedevacMr. Nebrat opened the meeting with a video demonstrating the effectiveness and durability in challenging environments of the Sky Transformer, an advanced Ukrainian rescue helicopter. One Sky Transformer can substitute for up to four regular helicopters, making it an environmentally conscious form of air support. Due to the long-range surveillance capabilities of the helicopter, reaction can be more immediate, and threats can be identified and assessed more quickly. Night vision capabilities allow search and rescue teams to continue missions that squads aboard other helicopters without this technology would have to suspend. More lives that are presumably lost due to such suspension could be saved once this critical time window is opened. Also, on-board operators on the Sky Transformer are be responsible for analyzing data, allowing for more precise action. While explaining the technological advancements the helicopter showcases, Mr. Nebrat stressed capability-building and versatility as the most key operational tenets in providing sustainable air support to field operations.

Following this, Mr. Vasiliyev highlighted the main strengths of satellite communications. Satellite communications deliver real-time video more accurately and effectively with a Beyond Line of Sight (BLOS) component, which adds images to the transmitted audio and data. This also allows medical teleconferences, which permit direct, real-time contact between on-board medics and specialists at headquarters. Lastly, Ms. Popovska explained the medical perspective of these missions. One of the ultimate tasks of peacekeeping missions is saving lives, so immediate medical action is necessary to avoid casualties. Transportation issues can be solved by including a fully equipped medical complex within the helicopters. The configurations of the proposed medical complex allow for 24/7 intensive care, emergency medical evacuation, and diagnosis and treatment of the injured.

Meeting: Sustainable Air Capabilities in the United Nations Field Operations: The National Response
Date & Location: 16 April 2015, Trusteeship Council Chamber, UN Headquarters, New York
Speakers: Mr. Andriy Nebrat, Commerical Director, Ukrainian Helicopters; Mr. Yuriy Vasiliyev. Deputy Head, Satellite Communications; Ms.Kateryna Popovska, Business Development Manager, Ukrainian Helicopters
Written By WIT Representative: Elise Freeman
Edited By WIT Representative: Philip Bracey