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UN Day 3

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UNSC Meeting on Libya

UNSC: United Nations Support Mission in Libya


By Patrick Liu

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) received a briefing on the situation in Libya from Ghassan Salamé, SRSG and head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), and Amb. Olof Skool (Sweden), chair of 1970 Sanctions Committee. The briefing updated the UNSC on the implementation of the UN Action Plan for Libya and the recent activities of the UNSMIL. Additionally, the UNSC discussed the current status of the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA), an agreement designed to establish unified and legitimate institutions with the capacity to deliver basic services.

Concerning the security situation, Libya had recent developments around Derna in Northeast Libya as well as an increased fighting south of Libya. Libya is also currently in preparations for parliamentary and presidential elections despite the terrorist attack by ISIS on the High Commission for National Elections in Tripoli on May 2nd. Amongst the instability, migrants in Libya continue to suffer from human rights violations by state officials, armed groups, traffickers, and criminal gangs. It is evident that there is a negative impact of the prolonged military and political conflict on the economic and humanitarian situation in Libya.


  • Intro


    1. Briefing on Libya from Special Representative of the Secretary-General: Mr. Ghassan Salamé

The Special Representative of the UNSG cited the “pockets of hope and concern” across Libya. For instance, while there have been positive developments with respect to democratization and peaceful elections, these positive developments have been overshadowed by border threats in southern Libya and violent actions in the major cities.  

In order to ameliorate the situation  in Libya, the Special Representative urged the unification of state institutions and the military. The special representative also hoped that the UNSC will focus on ensuring peaceful democratic elections in Libya.

On the humanitarian front, the special representative advocated for a renewed attention to tackling armed groups as well as traffickers of goods.” Lastly, the special representative lauded the dialogue in the UNSC, but hoped that the “aspirations of millions” will not be thwarted by the few. In closing, the special representative underscored that “when the UNSC speaks with a clear and unified voice, the Libyans listen.”

    1. Briefing on Sanctions Committee from Sweden

The Sanctions Committee briefing shared reports citing the possibility of new sanctions against 6 individuals, who have been accused of human trafficking and slavery.


  • Statements from the P-5 members


    1. United States

The US renewed its stance behind peace efforts in Libya, as “lawlessness in Libya concerns us all.” The US also restated its position to support sanctions in Libya against groups that continue to violate international law.

In terms of finding a political solution, the US backed the UN dialogue as the only mediation process capable of supporting Libya. The US also addressed the need for a constitutional basis for both the presidential and parliamentary elections to ensure its validity. The US condemned the cowardly attacks on the elections committee.

    1. United Kingdom

The UK welcomed the elections and congratulated the people on achieving 2.4 million citizens registered to vote. Yet despite this accomplishment, the UK reiterates that the millions must participate in a “credible” electoral process. To this extent, Libya must coordinate the electoral process with the UN in order to ensure that  election results will be fair and accepted.

    1. France

France focused its attentions to the high tensions related to terror threats. In response, France pressed for the unification of the national military, under civilian control, to restore peace in all Libya regions. In terms of Libya’s economy, France cited the need to safeguard” the banking and oil production sectors from those seeking to “pillage” the country.

    1. Russian Federation

Russia acknowledged the complexity of the Libyan situation Russia continued by stating that Libyans should ultimately decide their own future for themselves. With the UN taking a leading role, Russia warned against “neighborly influences” that could impose interventionist influences on Libya.

    1. China

China supported the international community focus to restore effective governance in Libya. Politically, China pressed an inclusive dialogue from national to local. In regards to security, China encouraged Libyan actors to practice trust-building measures to enable conditions for the UN action plan. Lastly, China supported sanctions and called on the Arab Union, African Union, and European Union to lead in assisting Libya through the political process.


  • Statements from the Non P-5 members


    1. European (Netherlands, Sweden, Poland)

The Netherlands discussed efforts to end the political crisis in LIbya through well-prepared elections.

In regards to the migrants issues involving violations and abuses of human rights, the Netherlands pushed the use of sanctions against such traffickers. The Netherlands also focused their efforts on the “economies of predation” present in Libya due to the criminalization of the economy and urged the UNSC to address the situation as well..

Finally, the Netherlands stated that the international community and the UNSC should stand-by, ready to help Libya at any moment.

Other European states, such as Sweden and Poland, echoed similar views. Sweden added that due to the critical security situation, states must refrain from jeopardizing the political process in Libya. Furthermore, Sweden emphasized the bottom-up approach used to encourage the elections and build trust in the political process. Similarly, Poland explained that free and fair elections could mark the end of the volatile transition process for Libya.

    1. Latin America (Bolivia, Peru)

Bolivia highlighted the roles of regional actors, such as the League of Arab States and the African Union in strengthening the Libyan political process. In lieu of increasing tensions and clashes among armed groups, Bolivia also urged states to lay down arms and stop “bellicose rhetoric” that might imperil the success so far. Bolivia also cited international humanitarian law and the ICC investigations to protect migrant persons. Lastly, Bolivia reaffirmed that the political “dialogue” is the only solution to the Libyan situation.

Peru shared many of these positions Moving forward, Peru also urged the EU and AU to fight against the impunity of trafficking groups, and recommended the use of fiscal policies to combat corruption in the Libyan economy.

    1. Central Asia (Kazakhstan)

Kazakhstan called on the stakeholders and the UNSC to create an inclusive dialogue to promote the permanent stability of LIbya. Kazakhstan further insisted that the international community create more “favorable conditions” for political dialogue.

    1. Middle East (Kuwait)

Kuwait addressed the political development of Libya, recommending adequate preparations for the general congress and for mechanisms to form a new executive authority. For the security challenges that Libya faces, Kuwait n recommended for the establishment of the rule of law and the unification of military forces under civilian leadership. Lastly, Kuwait noted the increased optimism of Libyan economy, due to the continued production of oil.

    1. African States (Cote d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia)

Cote d’Ivoire emphasized that a resolution to the crisis in Libya is “important for Africa as a whole.” Cote d’Ivoire remarked about the progress made on local elections and the possibility for the ICC to expand investigations into migrant-related crimes. Ethiopia similarly addressed this issue by stating the need for a unified UNSC to address the “unacceptable” actions in Libya associated with human trafficking. To this end, Equatorial Guinea also focused on the need for the UN to hold Libyans, who have violated IHL, accountable. EG also noted the “spillover effect” that negative political and military actions have negative consequences for economic and social aspects of Libya.


  • Statement from Libya


Libya welcomed the international community to work alongside Libyans to create a modern and democratic state, free from meddling. Libya supported the UN plan of action and discussed the need for a unified approach instead of a fragmented effort. Libya concluded in expressing its hope in becoming a state “that can take on its own security and resolve crises related to weapons proliferation and organized crime.”

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UNSC Meeting on International Law

UNSC: Meeting on International Law


By Patrick Liu and Lizzie Mcgowan

This open debate was on the topic of “Maintenance of international peace and security: Upholding international law within the context of the maintenance of international peace and security”. Hosted by the President of Poland, this conference featured the SG, as well as other member nations invited to speak at the debate. Additional information can be found here.

I. Intro

A. Briefing from Secretary General Chef de Cabinet Ribeiro Viotti

On behalf of the Secretary General, Viotti urged debate to result in a clarity on the role of the SC in “peaceful settlement of disputes”. Viotti cited the UNSC-mandate tribunals that have contributed to the definition and implementation of international law and the positive law-related efforts by the Council in South Sudan and Central African Republic. Viotti concluded that the NSC has a role in reducing suffering and impunity by enforcing accountability mechanisms and investigating international law crimes, referencing ISIL in Iraq.

B. Briefing from Judge Owada

Judge Owada additionally praised the UNSC’s efforts to promote regular discussion and foster collaboration between the SC and the ICJ. Owada emphasizes justice and international law as essential to peace and security. In exercising its “executive functions”, the UNSC is bolstered through the ICJ judicial opinion, as compliance with ICJ rulings is in the best interest of the international community. Therefore the UNSC should be more proactive in recommending that member states take their disputes to the ICJ. Even further he emphasizes that the UNSC should play a stronger role in monitoring the proper implementation of ICJ decisions. Overall, Owada hopes that the UNSC will consult with the ICJ more on issues of international law.

C. Briefing from Judge Theodor Meron

Judge Meron, President of the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals, highlighted the atrocities that are still committed in today's world. Meron mentioned the former Rwanda and Yugoslavia tribunals that had “profound change” on assumptions that those committing atrocities must face justice. However Meron also noted the “worrying concerns of contraction” as trust levels in the international community seem to be waning. Even more so he noted that national jurisdictions must take up “the lion’s share” of prosecutions to ensure peace and security internationally.

With regards to the UNSC, Meron urges more robust leadership in holding criminals accountable and in creating “more objective criteria” of implementation. Additionally, instead of the UNSC’s role as a political body, Meron suggested it should become a “representative political body” acting on behalf of the international community. Lastly, Meron presses the SC to abandon its “gate-keeping” proclivity; and instead, it should use other legal mechanisms to ensure accountability.

II. Statements from Permanent Members (and President of Poland)

A. Poland

The President of Poland addressed “certain rights of nations”, and notes that where “force is stronger than friendship,” states and peoples tend to be preoccupied only with their own interests. He continues and reminds the SC that “there is no peace without law”. He invited all to consider how international law can address “contemporary challenges to peace.” In order to resolve conflict, Poland mentioned the need to define the perpetrators of terrorism and violence preventing international peace.

Poland addressed active sanctions against state and non-state actors who ignore their international legal obligations that can be used in the “dark hour” for international humanitarian law. It exemplifies the “illegal occupation of Crimea” and laments other “frozen” regional conflicts. President Duma also supported an accountability mechanism with emphasis on chemical weapons crimes. Poland’s security policy also stresses the importance of weapons non-proliferation.

The President concluded that the “good faith” principle is indispensable to the fullness of international law. In closing, the law should never be at odds with justice, and Poland affirms the need to restore trust in international law.

B. U.S.

The US highlighted the UN Charter’s connection to the US constitution in the words “We the Peoples.” The Charter additionally mandated the respect of human rights, and the obligation of member states to abide by international humanitarian law. These steps hold an undeniable connection to maintaining international peace.

The US pointed out, however, the challenges faced in the “follow-through” of upholding these fundamental values. The US further claimed that the UN should intervene on behalf of international law, defending its right to do so against others claims of “sovereignty”. “The paralysis in the face of so much suffering is unacceptable” concluded the US.

C. U.K.

The United Kingdom maintained that international law is the foundation of peace and security under the UN. The UK further cited Crimea’s annexation as a major violation of international law that continues to claim lives. “There must be no impunity when international law is violated” emphasized the UK Minister of State.

The UK again mentioned the obligations of the international community to help states reach their responsibilities to maintain peace and security. The UK also offered its support to the Human Rights Council and the International Criminal Court – stating that these deterrents will only work with the full cooperation of states.

D. France

France declared that the primacy of law is at the heart of the UN, and is the cornerstone of multilateral order. In maintaining international law and peace, the Security Council can and should act as the “strong arm” to insist on state compliance.

On the comment of “annexation”, France stressed that states are obligated not to recognize such gains through the use of force. In order to combat impunity, France also urged the UNSC to fulfill its mission to encourage states to cooperate with the ICC to bring to just and hold those accountable. Lastly, France advised for the unilateral suspension of the veto power for the members with such power, noting that such members have obligations to uphold the Charter values that it insists for other states.

E. China

China reflected on the rising number of regional conflicts and security threats. With these challenges to the UN, international law is constantly being contested. China recommends that states strictly adhere to international law, and that they should consider integrating international law into their state systems as their duty to uphold “legal and just” acts. Additionally, in these modern times, China urged the rejections of “zero-sum” and “cold war” thinking. Reminding the Council that “the life of the law is in its implementation”, China further explained that sanctions levied outside of the UNSC framework will impede the search for a just peace. Lastly, China asserted the right of people to choose their own methods of governance, but demanded that this choice cannot interfere or undermine global governance cooperation.

F. Russia

Russia noted the main principles of international relations built into the UN Charter. It specifically distinguished the ban of use of force without Security Council authority or in “self-defense.” Given this fundamental value, Russia expressed concerns of larger, more powerful states taking advantage of smaller states. Russia directed its comments at the US in Syria, while they “weren’t invited”, clearly violating international law. The US, as well as UK and France, as three permanent members of the UNSC, also violated international law when they carried out a bombing on April 14.

Lastly, Russia accused the US as the UN host country of abusing its powers and threatening Russian real estate holdings. It concluded by urging countries to continue “good faith”, non-abusive relationships and conflict resolution mechanisms.

III. Statements from non-permanent members

A. Europe

The European Union explained that respecting international and refugee law, \is important to stymying terror threats. In this vein, there should also be swift and severe punishment for violators of the ICC. The law of the sea or the “constitution of the oceans,” has major implications on conflicts and international cooperation. External action should be applied to the implementation of international law and the peaceful settlements of disputes. Moreover, there should be a collaborative effort within the international community to respond to crises, in addition to the SC having a systematic review of threats.

Several other European countries expressed similar views. Sweden emphasized that international institutions should “harness” war and that international law is a modern part of international relations. Selectively following rules and impunity from certain powerful countries should not be tolerated. The Netherlands affirmed UNSC’s role to take collective action to protect vulnerable people when their native country cannot. Ireland said that legal norms without enforcement are insufficient. Ireland and Spain view the court as an excellent tool to bring about peace and enforce international law. Spain said that they attach great importance to international law and the ICC as well.

B. Latin America ( Peru, Bolivia, Mexico, and Brazil)

Bolivia cited the evolving commitments to multilateralism and its legal framework, but also the increase in state actors violating these frameworks or fulfilling them only selectively, especially with regard to the “use of force”. These violations are a danger to maintaining justice and should be addressed. Accordingly, the UN Charter should have wider applications to resolve disputes. “International law mandates a positive duty to promote justice” emphasizes Bolivia. Bolivia also highlighted the “double standards” used regarding applications of international law, and stressed its rejection in resolving violations of such laws.

Many other Latin America states shared similar views as Bolivia. Peru additionally emphasized the role of the Council as the source of law itself. Brazil separately addressed the use of force, even when justified, creates great damage and has implications under international law.

C. Central Asia - Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan lauded the UNSC for the opportunity to reflect on international justice responsibilities as “the sign of a healthy institution.” Kazakhstan also points out the major threat to international law posed by nuclear weapons possession. However, Kazakhstan urge dthe UNSC to utilize its Article 33 tools referring to conflict dispute mechanisms such as referring conflicts to the ICJ. Moving forward, Kazakhstan advised that member-states should engage in an “ongoing dialogue” with “open minds” to find the best tools to promote justice and maintain peace.

D. East Asia (Japan, Pakistan)

Japan noted that the primary UNSC limitation is related to implementation of international law. Consequently, Japan contended that the UNSC cannot do everything itself, so it must make use of other bodies.

Pakistan reminded the UNSC that international law “ rejects the right” to do as a country pleases.  More importantly, the UNSC must be the “embodiment of collective aspirations.” However, they have failed to do so because of ignoring international law. To do this, the UNSC must end selectivity in its resolutions and what it deems as important. Solutions to peace and security cannot be a top-down approach.

E. Middle East and Arab States

Iran argued that unilateralism and disrespect for the international system constitutes major threats to international law. On the issue of use of force, the UN has achieved many milestones but there are some countries that continue to issue threats. They explicated that unilateral efforts on behalf of the U.S. to stymie their “right to development” undermines international law. Noting this, Iran segwayed into the United States’ “addiction to sanctions” and material breach of the JCPOA as additional violations of international law.

Kuwait mentioned that the rule of law and development are interconnected and are essential for economic growth. Implementing laws and following them are key to maintaining peace and ending impunity. Therefore, the UNSC must hold Israel accountable for its violations. In that vein, the relocating of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem was a clear indication that the U.S. has a strong alliance with Israel and condones their violations of international law. Abuse of veto power by UNSC members is a roadblock to progress, accountability, and conducting investigations. Lastly, the UNSC and international community should remember that arbitration and negotiation are useful tools at their disposal to ensure that peace, justice, and stability are maintained.

Israel chose to focus its discussion on international law to recent escalations between Hamas and Israel. Israel alleged that Hamas’ acts were not “ not acts of peaceful protest;” rather, they were acts of aggression and violence. It further stated that “enemies without redlines” based “cynical calculations” are violations to international law. Therefore, Hamas is attempting to continue their agenda of violence and infiltration of Israel.

“Egypt said that more attention should be paid to the human rights violations and violence against the Palestinian people. He condemned states that place their national interests above the UN and its charter obligations. In this vein, there should be a quicker response to countries that face the threat of collapse. Finally, he warned that trust in international institutions and law will begin to wane if its guardians do not hold themselves accountable to violations and acts of aggression.

F. African States

The Ivory Coast said that they wanted more crisis prevent from the UNSC. They charged the UNSC with doing more to protect people who prone to experience violence and live in volatile  regions. In this vein, there seemed to be challenges to upholding “existing texts” within the council, which has resulted in inactivity. To ensure justice around the world, the there should should be an international push for all countries to join the ICC. A major shift in joining the ICC jurisdiction would affirm values of “collective security” and uphold charter values and protections.

Ethiopia said that the UNSc has failed miserably in upholding international law and responding to acts of violence and human rights violations. Since events that affect one part of the world consequently affect another, the UNSC must play an active role in ensuring that peace is maintained. Moreover, member states clearly lack the commitment to carry out the agenda of the council.

Equatorial Guinea said that the African continent is the main victim of violence and crime. With all of the atrocities that have affected Africa, there can be no peace without justice. To ensure that peace is sustainable, the victims must feel that justice was served. He later went on to address the bias of the UNSC in targeting countries and that one state should not dominate the council. More importantly, he chastised the UNSC and international media for engaging in a smear campaign against this state.

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PEAC Institute at the UN Security Council: Emergency Meeting on the Middle East Linked to Opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem

UNSC: Middle East Emergency: Israel and Palestine 


By Patrick Liu and Lizzie Mcgowan

On May 14, the United States opened its embassy in Jerusalem and recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Its actions violated international law, and has been cited as a cause for the ensuing escalated violence in Gaza.

Soon after the embassy opening, Palestinian demonstrators faced Israel’s lethal violence - over 60 Palestinians were killed in this skirmish. Subsequently, Kuwait, the only Arab state on the UN Security Council (UNSC), requested the UNSC to issue a press release;however, the United States blocked the UNSC from issuing it.

Due to the U.S’s ill-advised decision to move its embassy to Israel that precipitated the violent clashes between Palestinians and Israeli forces Kuwait requested an emergency meet to discuss the security situation.

I. Intro

A. Briefing on Gaza Violence from Nickolay Mladenov, UN special coordinator



Mladenov briefed the UNSC on the Gaza “tragedy”, adding that “there is no justification for the killing.” Although Mladenov acknowledged that Israel can protect its borders, he asserted that they must respond proportionally to any demonstrations. He called on the UNSC to listen to the plight of those in Gaza. These Palestinians have endured so much. For example, they have been plagued by both intrastate turmoil amongst Palestinian leaders, as well as interstate conflicts between Palestine and Israel.  He further criticized arguments by various Israeli officials, who have suggested that the recent Palestinian protests were designed to instigate Israeli forces and spark a violent reaction.

II. Statement from Kuwait, the only Arab State on the UNSC

A. Statement from Kuwait



Kuwait began the statement session by stating Kuwait’s mission to find and hold those accountable to the recent escalation of events in the Middle East. Kuwait asserted its strong support to the plight of the  Palestinian people. Specifically, Kuwait expressed support for all legal Palestinian attempts to enhance sovereignty, by demanding Israel’s withdrawal from all Palestinian territory. Kuwait appealed to the UNSC on behalf of Palestinian goals of international security and peace.

III. Statements from the P-5

A. Statement from the United States



The United States, focused its comments’ on Iran’s “aggressive” actions against Israel and the double standard used in the Middle Eastern regional violence. Haley pointed out that Iran, as the primary instigator, has also launched missiles into Israel and Saudi Arabia. According to the US, Iran has been funding Hamas, its terrorist proxy agent and providing it with arms in order to destabilize Lebanon. The U.S. further alleged that Iran has been supporting proxy agents in Syria in order to destabilize the state.  Finally, the U.S. concluded that Iran’s hostile acts are the primary reason for instability in the region.

With regards to Israel’s use of force against the Palestinians, the U.S. emphasized  that Israel’s actions were justified because it was defending itself from terrorists. In essence, she explained that Israel used force in order to maintain order along its borders.

The U.S. additionally made distinctions between the recent actions of the US Embassy opening in Jerusalem, and the violence in the Gaza region. specified that violence in the area is not from the controversial opening of the US Embassy, but from Israel’s and Palestine’s long-standing history. She also reiterated the US’s sovereign right to choose the location of its embassy.

B. Statement from the United Kingdom

The United Kingdom called for “calm and restraint” in order to avoid the destruction of peace efforts in the region. Moreover, in order to quell the conflict and maintain regional security, the UK stressed the need for the UN to conduct an independent investigation to examine the recent violations of international law.

The UK also advised the Two-state system as a possible solution to ending conflicts and tensions of the region. Overall, the UK advocated for the international community to step up its efforts toward maintaining peace, and regional and international security.

C. Statement from France

France analyzed the reality of Gaza violence as a byproduct of decades of Israel’s blockade. In the absence of political prospects for progress, this situation escalated into violence. “This ongoing violence has neared the breach of no return”, according to the French Ambassador. Because of the violence, France has called for a detailed investigation into the recent violence. Furthermore, France advocated for peace on both sides - the exclusion of lethal light weapons, as well as the restraint of violence from protestors.

France urged the UNSC to take a stance and stop the violent escalation. “The silence of the council is incomprehensible” continued the French ambassador. In order to reach a solution, France suggested that the two parties considered the 2-state solution with a shared Jerusalem.

D. Statements from Russia and China

The Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China held similar viewpoints with regards to the Middle East crisis and the Israeli Palestinian conflict. Both states strongly advocated for a “direct dialogue” between Palestine and Israel. The 2-state formula, creating two independent, separate, and sovereign states was also repeatedly offered as a solution for the escalation.

Despite this, the two states did have different perspectives on the issue. China focused more on maintaining peace in the area through increased international assistance and peaceful negotiations. Russia however, used the case of Palestine violence to make a statement of the misguided direction of the world. Despite some players “and their grandiose projects”, Russia asserted that the world is not becoming a safer and more secure place.

IV. Statements from Non-Permanent members

A. Sweden



Sweden emphasized that “every loss of life is a tragedy”. Yet given Israel’s right to protect itself, Sweden urged that Israel, as the occupying power, also has a “special responsibility” to protect the Palestinian civilians. Lethal force should only be used a last resort, with restraints of force on unarmed civilians and children. An investigation should be conducted to determine the roles of each party involved in the conflict.

Sweden also lamented the failure of the UNSC (and the US) to adopt the public statement from Kuwait regarding the violence. As a solution, Sweden insisted for a shared Jerusalem amongst the two states, regretting the decision by the US to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital (fix sentence structure). Despite these failures, Sweden hopes to re-launch the peace process.

B. (Latin America (Bolivia, Peru)

Bolivia strongly aligned with Palestine, by repeatedly asking for forgiveness for the UNSC’s failure to protect the Palestinian people. Bolivia called out Israel’s illegal occupation of territory, and their lethal use of force. This illegal occupation by Israel is the “real problem”. Bolivia stresses that resolving this issue must take precedence to other. Separately, Bolivia alluded to the US, which supports Israel, as part of the problem.

Peru made similar appeals for an investigation to assess Israel’s use of lethal force. Peru cites “minimum standards of coexistence” that are being regularly violated in and around Gaza. Peru also reminded the UNSC that the final status of Jerusalem must be negotiated with Israel and Palestine.

C. African States (Ethiopia, Cote d'Ivoire, Guinea)

Ethiopia stated the African Union’s position that they “believe it is a final status issue that must be resolved between the two parties”. Ethiopia urged that they must find a solution through the two-state formula to stop the escalation before the primary players reaches the point of no return.

Guinea and Cote d'Ivoire echoed similar views.

D. Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan supported the Palestinian peaceful demonstrations yet calls on both sides to exercise restraint on violent actions. Appealing to international law, Kazakhstan indicated that Israel violated international law through their “unilateral action in changing Jerusalem”.

E. Netherlands

The Netherlands stated that there is a need for an immediate structural solution in Gaza as violence escalates. Restraint on both sides, as well as an investigation into the violence are necessary.. Lastly, the Netherlands cited “incompatible actions and rhetoric” by both sides that must be rejected if de-escalation is to occur. As part of the peace process, the Netherlands believes that diffusing tensions, and a 2-state solution will lead to peace in the region. Poland further called on the UNSC and members of the quartet to take action to fix the problem.

F. Poland (president)

Poland shared the calls for an investigation into the Gaza violence states that it is “imperative to protect civilians and respect international humanitarian law”. To ensure security, Poland recommended a 2-state system.

V. Statements from Israel and Palestine

A. Palestine



Palestine provided scathing remarks about the hypocrisy and false narratives of the United States and Israeli government. He asserted Israel’s use of force was excessive and unwarranted given that Palestinian protesters were not armed or dangerous. He then called on the assistance of the security council to provide protection to the Palestinian people to stop Israeli aggression. Additionally, he called for an investigation into the deaths of the 60 Palestinians, acknowledging that Palestine would accept the results of the investigation.

Following this, he chastised the UNSC for not taking the necessary precautions to protect the Palestinian people, despite his past warnings. Palestine further questioned the council about their paralysis in the face of clear violations of international law. By allowing one nation to block the Council’s investigation, Palestine asserted that they are “looking away” as the Israelis continue their illegal occupation.

Palestine emphatically accused the occupying power, Israel, for ignoring its obligation to protect the Palestinian people under international law. In addition to the deaths of the innocent Palestinians in the recent conflict, Israel has also cut off access to basic necessities such as food, medicine, and water to those wounded in the protests. Consequently, Palestine urged  the international community to take action against Israel’s blatant violations of international law.

To counter the U.S position that moving the embassy was not the source of violence, Palestine recognized that the United States has been ignoring what has been happening on the ground in Gaza. It is clear that the Palestinian people have always been diametrically opposed to the Israelis establishing Jerusalem as their capital and the relocation of the U.S.embassy. Furthermore, Palestine noted  that the U.S> decision is at variance with the international community.

Palestine concluded by imploring the UNSC to take action and respect Palestine’s requests and rights. In order to ensure accountability and justice, Palestine immediate steps must be taken (what are the immediate steps: spell them out). Palestine Left the UNSC Council as soon as Israel took the floor.


Israel defended its position to use force against the Palestinians by claiming that Hamas was the aggressor in the protests. Israel also underscored that the international community should trust Hamas because it is an internationally recognized terrorist organization,are committed to the infiltrating Israel, and implementing acts of violence against Israel.

Israel went on a diatribe about the manipulation techniques that the Palestinians used in the media, to depict the Israelis as guilty. Israel warned that the UNSC should not to be fooled by the images shown in the media during the violent skirmishes in the protests. Furthermore, Israel accused the Palestinians of lying and being a liason to the Hamas agenda of manipulating the world to sympathize with terrorists.

Israel also defended the Jewish people’s historical claim to Jerusalem. Therefore, it is their religious right to claim it as their capital. From Israel’s perspective, Hamas will never want peace as it will always be the aggressor against the peaceful Israeli’s. Lastly, the Israeli representative accused Palestine  of continuously choosing violence when given an option for peace. He recounted Israel’s 2005 withdrawal from Gaza and the ensuing violence incited by the Palestinians. Israel urged the UNSC to neither give in to the fallacy of the Palestinian’s story nor contribute to the cycle of death.

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NPT PrepCom: Final Reflections from Week 2

Week 2 of the NPT PrepCom

Throughout the NPT PrepCom, states voiced their growing concerns about the lack of implementation by the NWS on the commitments to Article VI of the NPT, the centerpiece of the grand bargain between both the non-nuclear weapon states (NNWS) and the nuclear weapon states (BWS). These tensions reached their zenith when states reviewed the Chair’s deeply flawed “factual summary.”

Upon examination of the Chair’s summary, it is evident that the Chair did not fairly reflect the current dire situation with respect to the NWS’ nuclear disarmament commitments.


Paragraph 12

As specified in paragraph 12, the Chair indicated:


States parties reaffirmed their commitment to the full and effective implementation of article VI, and that such implementation was essential to the Treaty. They recalled the unequivocal undertaking made by the nuclear-weapon States to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals, taking into account the special responsibility of States possessing the largest nuclear arsenals. They reaffirmed the responsibility of all States parties to fully implement their obligations under Article VI and to ensure tangible progress in nuclear disarmament.

Unfortunately, as raised by the New Agenda Coalition and several other states, paragraph 12 does not fully reflect the unequivocal undertaking by the nuclear-weapon States to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals leading to nuclear disarmament Instead, the reference about the NWS’ obligations has been reframed to take into account the special responsibility of States possessing the largest nuclear arsenals.” Subsequently, the NAC noted that the Chair should have mentioned the “unequivocal undertaking, given at 2000 NPT Review Conference, and reaffirmed at the 2010 NPT Review Conference.

Paragraph 19


Additionally, as outlined in paragraph 19, the Chair noted that “only some of the NWS’ nuclear weapons modernization programs are not consistent with commitments made under the NPT.”


The NAC contended that his aforementioned reference implied “that there are some nuclear weapon modernization programs that are consistent with NPT undertakings and the object and purpose of the Treaty. Any such view is contested by many States Parties here.”

Paragraph 40 and Paragraph 41: The Two Paragraphs on the TPNW

The most egregious issue was how the Chair reflected the discussions on the Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons (TPNW.   In regards to paragraph 40, the Chair stated:


The conclusion of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons on 7 July 2017 was noted. A number of States parties informed about the ratification process and status of this treaty. It was asserted that the TPNW represented an effective measure under Article VI of the NPT by creating a legally-binding prohibition on nuclear weapons. It was stressed that the TPNW complemented the NPT and was designed to strengthen existing disarmament and nuclear nonproliferation regimes.


If one did not attend the NPT PrepCom and merely read the summary, they would assume that the vast majority of states merely noted the TPNW. As explained by the NAC, Austria, Brazil, South Africa, Costa Rica, Ireland, and other states, paragraph 40 does not welcome the TPNW. The chair further failed to mention that the number of States Parties provide information about their ratification process and status.


In contrast to paragraph 40, the Chair stipulated:


Other States parties expressed their opposition to the TPNW, emphasizing the crucial link between progress on disarmament and the international security environment. It was asserted that the TPNW would not contribute to the reduction or limitation of nuclear weapons. These states noted that the TPNW does not reflect customary international law and thus could bind only its signatories. Concerns were expressed that the TPNW could create an alternative and contrary standard to the NPT.


This aforementioned paragraph provides a detailed account about the positon amongst a group of states against the TPNW. However, the Chair does not reflect that only a few states parties expressed their opposition to the treaty. Therefore, if one did not attend the NPT PrepCom, one would assume that a substantive number of states opposed the treaty.


The NAC, Austria, Brazil, South Africa, Costa Rica, and Ireland criticized the lack of balance in the language referencing to the TPNW. Additionally, Brazil expressed its concerns on how the Chair reflected the discussions between the TPNW and the Group of Eminent Persons for Substantive Advancement of Nuclear Disarmament.


In comparison to the reference about the TPNW, the Chair noted that the states parties welcomed the Group of Eminent Persons’ Report. However, the Group of Eminent Persons’ report is a flawed report because it acknowledges that “in an extreme situation in which the survival of the state is at a risk, a state “may either threaten another with nuclear weapons or use nuclear weapons against state.” This is a dangerous conclusion and should not be welcomed in the Chair’s factual summary. It is also unfortunate that the Chair contended that the vast majority of the states parties welcomed the aforementioned report, instead of the TPNW.


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Key Reports about the NPT PrepCom by Reaching Critical Will (RCW)

We wish to highlight the great work by Reaching Critical Will. RCW provided substantive reports about key discussions at the NPT PrepCom.


Check out RCW's reports:

NPT News in Review 2018

Some amazing newsletters:

NPT News in Review, Vol. 15, No. 1

NPT News in Review, Vol. 15, No. 2

NPT New in Review, Vol. 15, No. 3

NPT New in Review, Vol. 15, No. 4

NPT New in Review, Vol. 15, No. 5

NPT News in Review, Vol. 15, No. 6


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Youth Speak Out!

Exciting times at the Prepcom. Young people issued a progressive Youth Appeal to delegates at the NPT PrepCom and shared their views at our  side event, Panel Discussion on the nexus between the Ban Treaty and Article VI of the NPT.

Youth Appeal

On Wednesday morning, Ms. Myrna Nakhla  of PEAC and Ms. Fieke van der Bas of PAX delivered the youth appeal.

Representatives from Abolition 2000 Youth Network, Amplify, INESAP, International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) Nagasaki Youth Delegation, PAX, and PEAC Institute co-drafted and endorsed the statement. The youth appeal called for states to acknowledge:

Once and for all, that nuclear weapons are a risk to humanity itself. How many more near misses, accidents, political miscalculations and technical missteps can we afford? In a time in which hate speech and fake news increasingly influence and distort our perceptions, we cannot rely on the judgement of a small number of countries to  decide the future--or the end--of our planet. It is thus imperative that leaders come together to create solid regulatory mechanisms, which effectively commit states to “the elimination of all nuclear materials and technology.” This is exactly what the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons can achieve; and this is why it is of the utmost importance for states to promptly sign and ratify the Treaty.

They concluded the youth appeal with a powerful message to states:

We do not want to sit in your seat ten years from now, realising that nothing has changed.  We need you, distinguished diplomats, to not only talk about visions of a world without nuclear weapons, but to actually achieve it. We are looking forward to being your partners in our shared mission of immediately achieving a world free of nuclear weapons.

It is high time for states to act and sign and ratify the Ban Treaty. We must all work together to get eliminate nuclear weapons NOW; and not sometime in the future.

Youth MESSAGE:  Disarm now, we look forward to working with you.

PEAC/PAX/Amplify/NAPF Side event: Panel Discussion on the nexus between the Ban Treaty and Article VI


At our packed side event, the speakers covered an array of subjects, including the normative framework of Article VI, how the Ban Treaty fulfills Article VI, an assessment of the Ban Treaty, and the roles of young people in both promoting nuclear disarmament and the ban treaty.  Significantly, Selma van Oostward of PAX/Amplify explained "the youth should challenge the current way of thinking about nuclear weapons.”

Click here for a report about our side event!

This event was very timely as there has been an ongoing discussions amongst states on the relationship between the Ban Treaty and Article VI.  Progressive states recognize that  the Ban Treaty unequivocally provides a means for states to prohibit, stigmatize, and eliminate nuclear weapons. 






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UN Day 1

The first day at the United Nations in Geneva was an unbelievable experience. I never imagined being in this space, amongst diplomats, intellectuals, and politicians. This was a great start to the week and I cannot wait to see what else will occur during the remainder of our time here.

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Day 1 of the 2018 NPT PrepCom

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Watch the video to find out what we did on the 1st day of the 2018 NPT PrepCom!

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Opening Day NPT PrepCom

The start of NPT PrepCom conference today in Geneva ensued with a sense of urgency as many NPT members vocalized the need to promote coherent and collaborative initiatives that will lead to disarmament. Furthermore, a common sentiment seemed apparent with regards to today's growing uncertain and complicated security climate and a general consensus that the actions of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) are unacceptable as the international community feels a strong need to maintain high pressure on the DPRK since its actions have been deemed to be completely incompatible with the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

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Take the Pledge!