Security Council: Crisis Averted

The industrious delegates of the Security Council were roused from their sleep after a long Sunday committee session filled with contentious debate, informed that a crisis had arisen in Ethiopia. While the delegates were undoubtedly fighting nerves and sleep deprivation, their composed demeanors exhibited otherwise as they marched boldly into the Security Council chambers.

Security Council President Rose Dallimore opened the crisis meeting by debriefing delegates about a secessionist movement by the Soomaali Galbeed region of Ethiopia. A referendum was held and the region voted to succeed from Ethiopia. The delegate of Ethiopia quickly emphasized that any claims of mistreatment toward the Somali people were baseless and that national sovereignty must be maintained in order to peacefully reintegrate the Soomaali Galbeed region. The delegate of Egypt countered Ethiopia’s argument by citing the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in support of the Somali claim to autonomy.

This conflict was further demonstrated through the polarized testimonies of Gari Isaya, an Ethiopian government representative, and Amani Saleh, a Somali doctor and refugee. Isaya opened his testimony by saying, “Ethiopia is and always will be a unified country...We found independence, we established a national identity, and we are proud of it.” He asserted that the delegates should reach a resolution which would unite, rather than splinter, his beloved country. Saleh shared his emotional, firsthand experience with violence, “at the hands of the Ethiopian government,” warning delegates that, “every moment we wait is a moment where a man, woman, or child may perish.” He urged delegates to provide any sort of aid to support the increasing number of Somali refugees.

At approximately 4:10 A.M., over three hours after the crisis meeting began, the Security Council entered voting procedure. Of the five resolutions presented, three failed by veto, on account of infringement upon national sovereignty, as well as ineffective implementation of humanitarian and military aid. The resolution presented by the United Kingdom, Bolivia, and France, which plans to utilize the Eastern African Standby Force to stabilize the Soomaali Galbeed region, was passed in tandem with Sweden’s resolution, which plans to distribute nonpartisan humanitarian aid. Crisis averted.

General Committee Day 2

The General Committee was swamped with an onslaught of resolutions from all the other committees. Having limited time, the delegates had to rifle through all of them with only one question in mind: is this resolution going to be debatable in the General Assembly? The delegates had a minimum of 19 resolutions that they had to pass, which they were only able to do by suspending not only the speaker's list but also most of the voting procedure to a vote by acclamation. The delegates, working tirelessly, were able to exceed the amount and finished off the committee by choosing priority of the GA docket for the last GA session of SHSMUN 2017.

UNEP Day 2

The United Nations Environment Programme debated on the topic of bioaccumulation. Bioaccumulation is the buildup of chemicals and toxic waste in crops. The United Kingdom delegate noted that the certain pesticides that lead to bioaccumulation should be banned. She also stated that human life comes before the economic gains of producing a surplus of crops. The delegates from the United Kingdom, Bolivia, and the Republic of Korea authored a super-resolution. If passed, the resolution will regulate toxins used for farming, educate the public on healthy farming, and inform the public on the effects the chemicals can have on children’s immune systems. Italy discussed the use of certain plants to purify the soil from the use of harmful chemicals. The delegates from Oman, Iraq, and Botswana authored a super-resolution that would improve the draining of waste, enforce a safe disposal of toxic waste, and educate the public on the proper disposal of chemicals.

WHO Day 2

The delegates of the World Health Organization began debate on their final topic this morning, the international regulation of stem cell trade. This topic has gained significant gravity in recent years, with the dramatic increase of illegal use of stem cells and “stem cell tourism.” Delegates discussed the many ways in which unregulated stem cell trade in economically and politically vulnerable nations has led to innocent lives being placed in harm’s way. Several delegates advocated for the creation of subcommittees to better define the legality of stem cell use (with regards to cloning, in vitro fertilization, etc.) and prevent exploitation of vulnerable peoples through corruption and illicit stem cell use. Moving forward, delegates must reach a compromise that protects innocent lives from exploitation while also preserving the legitimate stem cell research which has proven so beneficial to modern medicine. 

ECOFIN Day 2

The delegates of the Economic and Financial Committee convened this morning to discuss the economic complexities and challenges of disaster relief. Areas of concern were preventative measures and preparation for disaster, as well as effective methods for raising funds in the wake of a disaster. Several delegates were collaborating in an unmoderated caucus on a superresolution mainly sponsored by the United States, Egypt, and Austria, which aimed to strengthen infrastructure and build considerable preventative measures for disaster control. A key component of the superresolution was the creation of the Committee for the Economic Efficiency of Disaster Response and Risk Reduction, initially proposed by Austria to ensure a comprehensive response to and preparation for disaster. Needless to say, the ECOFIN delegates are well on their way to creating positive change toward more effective and economically efficient disaster relief. 

Security Council Day 2

This morning’s session of Security Council was opened with testimony from a delegate of Myanmar (who bears a striking resemblance to our honorable Secretary-General), discussing his country’s role in the current ethnic crisis in Myanmar. He opened his statement by saying, “We do not hate the Rohingya people...We are who we are, they are who they are, and they are not a part of our national identity.” He denied any accusations of Myanmar’s involvement in ethnic cleansing and noted the negative impact of western media in the growth and stabilization of Myanmar’s democracy. Later, testimony was given by a Rohingya refugee who fled her home after her family was brutally murdered before her eyes. She bravely and emotionally asserted to the SecCo delegates that the Myanmar government is “clouding” the mistreatment of the Rohingya and that in order for their suffering to end, the President of Myanmar must be removed from office. These riveting testimonies sparked intense debate over the compromise between national sovereignty and the insurance of human rights to the Rohingya people.

UNESCO Day 2

The delegates of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Committee continued to debate this morning on the topic of confronting the disparity of female representation in STEM fields. The underlying challenges the delegates had to address were undereducation, cultural and family responsibilities of women, and of course, gender bias. The delegate of Kazakhstan appeared very confident in an interview that her resolution, also sponsored by France, Russia, and others, would effectively address these issues to achieve increased female representation in the STEM field, as well as in the general workforce and positions of political leadership. It is incredibly encouraging to see the UNESCO delegates working with such passion and diligent care toward bridging the gender gap in the STEM field and in a broader social context. 

UNODC Day 2

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Committee debated on the role of gender in the criminal justice system. The United States of America delegate opened up his speech with a quote by Melania Trump— “Whenever women are diminished, the entire world is diminished with them.” The delegate stated that men and women prisons should be equal. Normally, men’s prisons are better funded and overall more functional than women’s prisons. The delegate from the United States suggested reimplementing funds to equalize the quality of prisons. Portugal grants women full rights and is trying to solve the problems of inequality in their prisons. Honduras has vast issues with sexual assault cases and is still searching for a solution to decrease this issue. Afghanistan is against the violence of women and is seeking advice in plans to fix it. Kazakhstan and China are trying to better prisons for women by improving conditions and instituting regular doctor check-ups. 

SPECPOL Day 2

How would it feel if the government had complete control over what you were able to view or listen to on the internet? How would you feel if your favorite website was locked down? The Special Political and Decolonization Committee debated on the topic of protecting internet freedom. France and Indonesia stated that national security is favored over internet safety. They also endorsed that internet freedom is extremely important and that terrorists should not be tolerated. Brazil promoted surveillance of the internet but not the censorship of it. Somalia, Bolivia, and Australia stated that internet rights were human rights. These three delegates proposed a super-resolution on monitoring terrorist activities to protect human rights.

DISEC Day 2

The Disarmament and International Security Committee debated the topic on evaluating the use of foreign military bases. Most of the countries agreed on the fact that national sovereignty and existing regulations should be respected. The delegates of Oman, the United States, and Iraq believe that military bases would improve foreign relations and lead to more treaties between the two countries involved. Italy believes that a reduction in military bases would reduce criminal actions since military bases are a symbol of war and conflict. The delegates from Russia and China both stressed that they do not own any nonconsensual bases. Both countries deplored the use of nonconsensual bases.