- Security Council (SC)
Identifying a sustainable solution for the Yemeni civil war
Although a wave of anti-government social protests broke out in Yemen on 3 February 2011 and United Nations Security Council consequently paid its first visit with all 15 members to Yemen in 2013, warring parties have intensified their attacks since 2015. In this conflict, Houthi forces are fighting against the Yemeni Government of President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi. Called a “deplorable, avoidable and completely man-made catastrophe” by the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mr. Stephen O’Brien, this war is seriously endangering the civilian population through widespread famine, a large cholera outbreak and daily deprivation. The UN estimates that 10,000 people have died in the fighting, 460,000 children are severely malnourished, 10,000 children have died from preventable diseases, 2,000,000 people remain displaced, 17,000,000 people are food insecure, and 7,000,000 people face the threat of famine.
Since the uprisings in early 2011, the United Nations has actively engaged in helping Yemenis to find a peaceful political solution. The United Nations provided support for the negotiations between the Government and the opposition, which resulted in the signing of the Initiative of the Gulf Cooperation Council and its Implementation Mechanism, in Riyadh on 23 November 2011. With the support and facilitation provided by the Office of the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Yemen, Yemenis concluded a National Dialogue Conference in January 2014. Months later, a Peace and National Partnership Agreement was signed on 21 September 2014, welcomed by the Security Council as “the best means to stabilize the situation and prevent further violence.” The United Nations facilitated numerous rounds of negotiations in an attempt to resolve the political impasse, notably direct talks in Switzerland in June and December 2015 and peace talks hosted by Kuwait which commenced on 21 April 2016.
Nevertheless, 8 Security Council resolutions, 7 Presidential Statements, and over 40 Press Statements so far seem to be ineffective to halt the escalation of military confrontations. Truce have come and gone whereas hopes for peace talks falter. Therefore, a concerted push by Member States is urgently needed for an enduring political settlement which stamps out the root-causes of the conflict and guarantees relevant parties’ obligations under international humanitarian law and international human rights law.
Human Rights Council
1.Supporting the Rights and Opportunities of National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities
2018 marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. “Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.” — so goes the beginning of Article 2.Virtually every country in the world is home to several national or ethnic, linguistic and religious minorities. Although diversity and its priceless value are safeguarded by the principles contained in the Charter and in numerous other International Conventions, discrimination continues to pose a serious threat to it.
Human rights violations have been and still are perpetrated towards minorities, harming entire communities and undermining the political and social stability to which they contribute. Both the protection and the promotion of the rights of minorities have been at heart of the United Nations since 1948, culminating in 1992 with the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities. The preservation of minorities has recently gained major attention following the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar’s Rakhine State.
2. Protecting Human Rights in the Context of Terrorism and Counterterrorism
Terrorism, with all the violence and destruction it portrays, has left a distinct effect and a horrendous hallmark in virtually every corner of the world. It has a real and direct impact on human rights, affecting rights to life, liberties, freedoms and physical integrity of victims.
Security and safety is a basic human right and every government is under the fundamental obligation to protect its citizens from the threat of terrorism, including undertaking all necessary measures to bring the perpetrators to justice.
Protecting citizens, however does not discharge nor does it eliminate a nation’s other human rights commitments including adequate treatment of detainees, rule of law, due process etc. Nor does countering terrorism entail an abuse of powers and crackdown on freedoms as highlighted in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other International Conventions including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Convention Against Torture, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance. In recent years, however, the measures adopted by States to counter terrorism have themselves often posed serious challenges to human rights and the rule of law. Countering Terrorism, including Preventing Violent Extremism (P-VE) must at its core respect all fundamental human rights.
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World Health Organisation
1.Improving Maternal Health on the African Continent
One woman dies per minute in childbirth around the globe. Almost half of these deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa. In sub-Saharan Africa, approximately 550 women die every day from preventable causes related to pregnancy complications and childbirth — accounting for 66% of pregnancy and childbirth related deaths worldwide. Despite the progress made in many countries in increasing the availability of maternal health care, the majority of women across Africa remain without full access to this care. The number of maternal deaths is highest in countries where women are least likely to have a skilled professional, such as a trained midwife, doctor or other trained health professional, at delivery. African governments continue to explore and implement different cost-effective strategies to finance maternal health in their countries.
The maternal health is one of World health organization key priorities. WHO works to contribute to the reduction of maternal mortality by increasing research evidence, providing evidence-based clinical and programmatic guidance, setting global standards, and providing technical support to Member States.
In addition, WHO advocates for more affordable and effective treatments, designs training materials and guidelines for health workers, and supports countries to implement policies and programs and monitor progress.
2. Preventing the Spread of Antibiotic Resistance by Strengthening the Role of Health Care Providers
The term of antibiotic resistance refers to the event that occurred when an antibiotic has lost its ability to effectively control or kill bacterial growth. This is a natural phenomenon where bacteria are being very resistant and continue to multiply in presence of therapeutic levels of an antibiotic. According to Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics, the bacteria become resistant due to two specifics manners, by a genetic mutation or by acquiring resistance from another bacterium. This phenomenon is a serious public health problem, since the bacteria are able to cause serious massive disease. Antibiotic resistance is easy to spread from person to person, direct contact within animals to humans and vice versa, food, water, and in health care facilities, e.g. hospitals. In 2011, a strain of Klebsiella pneumoniae resistant to multiple antibiotics was identified in the intensive care unit of a US hospital.
In regard to these crucial issues, all related stakeholders should coordinate in order to prevent and control the spread of antibiotic resistance. The key players are health care providers who are able to create a new investment in research and development of new antibiotics, vaccines, and diagnostics. In addition, practical behaviours from health professionals such as prescribing and dispensing antibiotics according to guidelines and ensuring appropriate and clear information to patients about antibiotics can help solve this problem.
The biggest challenge faced by the World Health Organization is optimizing its ability to provide technical assistance to help countries develop national action plans by finding the best way to strengthen the capability of health care providers in preventing the spread of antibiotic resistance.
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1.Developing guidelines for preventing the financing of terrorism
The conflicts afflicting the world are diverse and interminable; slowly but steadily poisoning humanity. While the populations of the Middle East suffer from the consequences of war and at the very same time remain victims of entrenched, wide spread terrorism, it is here that the member nations of the Arab League come into the picture. They are entrusted with the duty to protect not only their interests but the interests of the Middle East collectively by cutting the financial resources of terrorist groups. There are many cases of funding terrorism and many allegations have been placed. In many cases, funds devoted to humanitarian purposes are misused. Therefore, it is the prerogative of the Arab League member nations to clearly outline guidelines to avoid the diverse forms of financing of terrorism.
2. Reinforcing regional cooperation to attain economic diversification
The Middle East is becoming less cohesive as a region and is now looked at upon as different nations and not one whole region. The policies of ‘economic knifing’ and ‘cutting each other economically’ has become a trend in the oil dominating powers of the Middle East. The policies of economics are affected majorly by cultural differences and conflicts and that act as deterrents to economic growth.
Economic diversification into different sectors remains largely absent since most states stay focused on their petroleum industry. This can lead to serious structural problems in the future as energy sources will become more diversified. The Arab League members are major stakeholders in this and therefore at this discussion it is quintessential for them to reinforce regional cooperation that subsequently leads to economic diversification of their economic structures. Sectors such as telecommunications, agriculture, tourism are slowly growing and provide huge potential for diversification, which can be reinforced by cooperation regionally.
- Promoting the education of girls to empower women in politics and society
Gender inequality starts when female are young girls having less or no access to basic and primary education. UNESCO’s statistics show that of the 57 million out-of-school primary children around the world, 31 million are girls. This inequality, among many others, continues throughout their lives as girls grow up to become women and mothers, by being more exposed to sexual violence, suffering from discrimination in the workplace, if even accessing the workplace.
Supporting girls today for the collective well-being of tomorrow can be achieved if measures and policies tackle a wide variety of issues at the root of gender inequality. Such policies should address poverty and its particularly devastating effects on girls’ education, bullying, which is still mostly experienced by girls, regardless of the country’s development.
For the 2018 GIMUN Annual Conference, UN Women will address the issue of girls education and implications directly linked to women empowerment, through cooperation with national governments, regional agencies, and within the framework of the United Nations 2030 Agenda, with a particular emphasis on three of the seventeen sustainable development goals.
“The empowerment and autonomy of women and the improvement of their political, social, economic and health status is a highly important end in itself.’’ (UNFPA, 1994).
2. Ending all forms of violence against women in armed conflict
It is estimated by the United Nations that “close to ninety per cent of current war casualties are civilians, the majority of whom are women and children, compared to a century ago when ninety per cent of those who lost their lives were military personnel”. Violence against women can include many forms, in the situation of armed conflict, this threat could potentially come from the enemy or even “friendly” forces. Violence against women may happen at any time, but during armed conflicts, the general collapse of law and order leads to an increase in all forms of violence.
Resolution 1325, adopted by the United Nations Security Council in 2000, recognised that armed conflicts had a different impact according to the gender. Thus, addressing this issue is of extreme importance as it is now of utmost relevance as the level of armed conflicts in the world is one of the highest since World War II. This has been leading to high concentrations of women in these areas being extremely vulnerable to violence that may be inflicted upon them. The UN Women Committee shall discuss this issue to improve measures already in place to alleviate the issue and come up with innovative solutions to further provide safety and security to women in vulnerable areas, especially in areas of armed conflict.
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Economic and Social Council
1.Strengthening the role of youth in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals
“The challenges we face may seem overwhelming and out of reach for us to solve.
But that is not true. Each and every one of us can be an agent of change, no matter
our age or means.”
H.E. Mr. Oh Joon,
President of the United Nations Economic and Social Council
A lot many young people might not know all the 169 targets of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals — but then do a lot of adults know them?
Youth and youth-led organizations necessitate having the space and recognition to participate in transformation of the 2030 agenda into local, national and regional policies, in implementation, in monitoring and review, and in holding governments accountable. Young people need structured mechanisms for participation through decision-making, ideally in co-decision manner, and especially in areas that have a clear impact on young people like education, youth employment and entrepreneurship, climate change, poverty, inequalities and youth empowerment in urban areas, health, promotion of peaceful and inclusive societies, gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, to mention a few.
The successful accomplishment of the Sustainable Development Goals will largely depend on the degree to which youth are made a driving force in the implementation of the 2030 agenda, and how that should be done, is what we will be discussing under this topic.
2. Establishing a comprehensive international response system to natural disasters
As stated by the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, “A disaster is a sudden, calamitous event that causes serious disruption of the functioning of a community or a society causing widespread human, material, economic and/or environmental losses which exceed the ability of the affected community or society to cope using its own level of resources.” Complementary to the aforementioned we can conclude to the general definition of natural disaster is the following: “any event or force of nature that has catastrophic consequences, such as avalanche, earthquake, flood, forest fire, hurricane, tornado, tsunami, and volcanic eruption”.
Unexpected extreme weather phenomena can lead to a sudden shift in global socio-economic status quo by causing enormous losses and destroying economic and social infrastructure as well as reshaping the local environment. While no state is completely safe from the elements of nature, some developing countries lack the capacity to mitigate the impact of natural hazards on their economy and society. The ECOSOC of GIMUN 2018 will grapple the task of establishing a comprehensive international response system to natural disasters, highlighting the guidelines by which foreign governments, agencies, and organisations are expected to assist a society whose government and civil institutions cannot adequately address the humanitarian needs of its disaster-affected populations. Assistance includes immediate and longer-term efforts designed to save lives, alleviate suffering, maintain human dignity, and help people prevent, mitigate, prepare for, and respond to future crises.
Given that the majority of the developing world’s residents lack the physical, economic, and social protections from disaster that wealthier countries enjoy, it is clear why disaster response is one important component of international humanitarian aid. As developed nations generally have the resources needed to conduct their own relief and recovery activities, requests for external assistance come largely from developing countries. Ability to survive and recover from disaster depends not only on the disaster’s physical magnitude, but also on the socioeconomic, political, and environmental conditions in which people live.
Collaboration and coordination among international actors are vital, enabling them to combine their specific knowledge, skills, technologies, experiences, and capacities, use resources optimally, and facilitate replication of efficient and prompt response in the unfortunate occurrence of natural disaster.
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