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Asia Society: Trump, Kim, and North Korea: Deal or No Deal

6/13

Asia Society

Trump, Kim, and North Korea: Deal or No Deal?

By

Lizzie Mcgowan

 

Ambassador Wendy Sherman, Senior Counselor at Albright Stonebridge Group,  Senior Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and former Deputy Secretary of State, shared her candid opinion on the 2018 North Korea–United States Summit. She shared the stage with her fellow panelist Daniel Russell, Vice President of Internationals Security and Diplomacy at the Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI). Their candid thoughts on Trump’s meeting with Kim revealed the summit’s uncertainty for denuclearization and a viable peace process. Additionally, they asserted that the summit’s outcome raised  questions on who was the real “winner” in achieving their goals in advancing their countries interests.

 

Perspectives about the Kim-Trump Summit

 

Ambassador Sherman explained that Trump should be weary of Kim’s intentions. Nevertheless, she contended that it made sense this meeting happened, due to Kim understanding that his time in power could be limited if he did not work to unthaw relations with the U.S. and outside world. We have yet to see where this new relationship will go due to the mercurial personalities of the two leaders. The limited information provided to the public was ambiguous and left many questions unanswered.   

 

Unfortunately, the outcome declaration was thin and shared similarities to past declarations. For North Korea, this was a win because throughout coordinating the summit, they were unyielding in compromising details. The North Koreans heavily focused on the “optics of the conference” to ensure that Kim was treated like a peer to the leader of the free world.

 

Moreover, Sherman explained that the joint statement did not include any sort of verification mechanism or timetable as to when or if denuclearization on the peninsula would happen.

 

Similar to Ambassador Sherman, Daniel Russel lamented that Kim got everything he wanted out the meeting with Trump. Simply put, the U.S. had no leverage in meeting and Kim appeared to be a master negotiator among the North Korean people. He further contended the outcome of the summit came out in North Korea’s favor, as Kim Jong-Un is able to go home “with his ability to threaten the U.S. intact”. Furthermore, the only thing the US gained from the meeting were the optics of the two leaders meeting and a questionably promise of progress to be made in the future with their new relationship.


Role of South Korea (ROK)

Ambassador Sherman explained that Moon Jae-in the, president of South Korea, whose father is from North Korea, pushed for the meeting as he is focused on mending relations with North Korea.  He campaigned on this concept and illustrated his commitment to it as he orchestrated the lighting of the torch ceremony and inclusion of North Korean athletes during the Olympics. China also played a significant role as well due to their guidance in urging North Korea to come to the negotiating table through flexing their economic muscles. They implemented economic sanctions by cutting off petroleum exports, which put maximum pressure on their economy.

 

Kim’s intentions

Russell proclaimed that Kim has set up separate negations between South Korea, Japan, and China. This threatens our relationships with these countries because it inherently excludes the United States from the negotiating table. Further, it allows Kim to have a better chance of having his demands met with each country. Essentially, Kim has put himself in a good position and possibly laid the groundwork for retaining his nuclear program and being the dominant power in Northeast Asia. Also, it brings him closer to getting sanctions lifted and  improving his countries economy.

 

Sanctions

Russell mentioned that sanctions do not deter states and individuals from engaging in bad behavior, rather they are designed to bring people to the negotiating table. The ultimate factor in bringing Kim to the table was reaching full nuclear capability and having an ICBM to reach the United States. Since he reached his goal, he is in a position to gamble and negotiate retaining his program and build bilateral relationships with the rest of the world. From this perspective, Kim seems to be victorious in pushing his national interests. Further, it is not clear where the U.S. gained any leverage in the negotiations.

 

How to build relations with Kim

 

Daniel Russell mentioned that Kim’s goal was to boost the economy and from the optics of the negotiations, he is on track to do so. This gives Kim the international visibility he wants, and the U.S. should be careful in validating the demands of brutal dictator. Since he is young, this move solidifies his position as a permanent leader. He has proven to the citizens of North Korea that he can push his countries agenda and successfully negotiate with the US.

 

Since the joint outcome document did not provide a clear path to denuclearization, Russell and Ambassador Sherman offered a blueprint to build a positive relationship and guide to denuclearization. Firstly, the US should begin by inspecting North Korea nuclear facilities and bring in the IAEA. This would be a good faith measure to ensure that they are keeping to their promise. Another problem the U.S. must face is North Korea’s perception of denuclearization.

 

Ambassador Sherman notes that the US sees it as the denuclearization of North Korea while North Korea sees it as denuclearization of the peninsula. Moreover, this means that they expect the US to abandon its nuclear guarantee for South Korea. In the event that the US accepts North Korea as a nuclear power and removes South Korea from its nuclear umbrella, North Korea will be the dominant power on the peninsula.






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UN Security Council Meeting on the Sudan

UNSC 6/20

The Situation in Sudan and South Sudan

By: Patrick Liu

 

 

  • Opening Statements

 

    1. ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda

Ms. Fatou Bensouda, the International Criminal Court’s Chief Prosecutor, briefed the UNSC on her semi-annual report on the work of the court in Darfur. Bensouda began her report by asking the members of the UNSC “how much longer will those in Darfur suffer in silence?”. The prosecutor urged the effective implementation of the original UNSC resolution when Darfur was referred to the ICC. Bensouda cited Sudan’s refusal to cooperate with the ICC. Specifically, she contended that the Sudan has been distracting the ICC from ensuring accountability for serious crimes against humanity in Darfur.

Despite these struggles, the ICC reaffirmed its commitment to the victims in Darfur to apprehend and arrest the 5 standing ICC suspects. In closing, Prosecutor Bensouda urged the UNSC to promote justice and the government of Sudan to engage and cooperate with the ICC.

 

  • Statements from Permanent UNSC Members

 

    1. United States

The United States supported the need for justice and accountability of the perpetrators of the war crimes in Darfur, which resulted in 2 million IDPs that face daily life-threatening risks and challenges.

Even though the situation has improved, the US cited the possibility of an upcoming harvest failure. The harvest failure will result in an economic crisis as a possible trigger to the return to conflict and violence. To this point, the US urged Sudan to allow UNAMID and humanitarian organizations to provide aid to civilians in affected regions.

Furthermore the failure to address Al-Bashir undermines international justice and insults victims in Darfur. Consequently, the US urged the UNSC and the international community to continue to put pressure on Sudan address international justice and improve its peace and security situation.

           2.United Kingdom

The United Kingdom encouraged the ICC to continue its investigative work in Darfur and bringing justice to the violations to human rights law and crimes against humanity. Furthermore, the UK expressed its concerns about the ongoing violence and conflict in the Sudan. Additionally, the UK urged the Sudan to cooperate with UNAMID.

          3. France

France reiterated its ongoing position in combating the perpetrators, who caused and continue to exacerbate the conflict in Darfur as well as President Al-Bashir of Sudan. The instability that has ensued in Sudan has resulted in some 2 million IDPs. France urged the need to focus on these humanitarian issues and end violence against civilians by addressing the root causes of the conflict. In this aspect, political dialogue is the only solution and UNAMID is essential to ensuring this process. Lastly, France iterated the importance of international cooperation with the ICC.

       4. Russian Federation

The Russian Federation noted that the recent report by the Prosecutor of the ICC did not update  the UNSC on any changes, as it only addressed the situation with President Al-Bashir. The Russian Federation lambasted the ICC appeal for member-states to arrest the sitting President of Sudan. Russia iterated the immunity enjoyed by high officials without exceptions and rejected ICC beliefs and accusations against President Al-Bashir. Russia furthermore cited the decreasing levels of trust and credibility of the ICC due to their recent controversial decisions.

       5. China

China acknowledged the progress that the government of Sudan has made on peace and security in Darfur. Because the progress proves Sudan’s capability to control its state, China urged the international community, including the UNSC and the ICC, to respect the sovereignty of the Sudanese government. China commended the original referral of the situation to the ICC, but refuted the ICC’s charge to the Sudanese President because of “special immunity” for heads of states.

 

  • Statements from Other UNSC Members

 

    1. Western European and Other Groups

The Netherlands underscored its full support for the ICC in its efforts to address rule of law and improve the peace and security situation in Darfur. In regards to the outstanding arrest warrants issued by the ICC, the Netherlands expressed its disappointment that states have not cooperated in arresting suspects, including the President of Sudan. Because of the lack of collaboration, so far, there has been no accountability for the conflict in Sudan.  Therefore, The UNSC has a responsibility to work with the government of Sudan to ensure accountability.

Sweden addressed the situation from a humanitarian lens, emphasizing the continued need to address Darfur victims’ concerns. As violence and IDPs decrease, Sweden remained concerned about attacks on civilians and the lack of rule of law institutions in Sudan.

           2. Eastern European Group

Poland noted the need for increased efforts in Sudan in the face of decreasing UNAMID presence. In addition, Poland supported the ICC efforts to achieve justice for the victims and carry out its mandate in Darfur.

          3. Latin American and Caribbean Group

Bolivia lamented the fact that the ICC has been investigating the situation in Darfur for more than 1 decade.  Bolivia also stressed that those responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity must answer to the ICC.

Bolivia urged the UNSC to focus on the protection of human rights and on the fight against impunity. In order to implement this goal, the UNSC must urge cooperation with all states under the universal jurisdiction of the ICC.

Peru similarly supported the Prosecutor and the ICC in their efforts in Sudan. However, the failure to arrest the standing suspects as recognized by the ICC reflects poorly on the UNSC.

         4. Central Asian Group

Kazakhstan further urged the ICC to help raise the capacity of Sudanese judicial mechanisms to promote and protect rights.

        5. Middle East

Kuwait further urged the international community to recognize the sovereignty of Sudan against the ICC decision to charge President Al-Bashir. Kuwait noted that the ICC does not have jurisdiction for sitting high officials, and stressed that the UNSC must respect international law and the UN charter in respecting Sudanese sovereignty.

       6. African Group

Equatorial Guinea hailed the efforts of the UNSC to prevent impunity and promote justice, responsibility, and accountability. However, Equatorial Guinea underscored that the ICC has a  lack of jurisdiction in accusing a sitting president of a state. The continued battle over this Presidential arrest has given the ICC a lack of credibility. Equatorial Guinea, mirroring the African Union, urged the ICC to suspend actions targeting President Al-Bashir and asked the UNSC to withdraw the case from the ICC.

Ethiopia attacked the ICC Prosecutor’s double standard used against the President of Sudan, an important African leader. Ethiopia called for the suspension of proceedings against Al-Bashir and a withdrawal of the referral case in Sudan as it will bring positive developments for peace and security. Ethiopia urged the UNSC to reconsider the situation in Sudan as Sudan has played a major role in fighting terrorism, combating human trafficking, and dealing with regional security issues. The additional progress in Darfur and the improvement of humanitarian access justify the withdrawal of the ICC referral case. Moving forward, the international and regional community and the Sudanese government should continue to improve peace and security.

Cote d'Ivoire noted the relative peace and security in Darfur, and acknowledged the important work of the ICC to ensuring accountability for human rights crimes. Cote d’Ivoire encouraged the ICC to continue to fight impunity, uphold rule of law, and bring about national reconciliation.

 

  • Statements from Additional Parties

 

    1. Sudan

Sudan began its statement by completely rejecting the work of the ICC and denying any obligation of Sudan to the ICC. Sudan defended its reputation as an active member of the international community and African Union in upholding international law and fighting impunity.

Sudan continued to criticize the ICC for distortions, corruptions, and biasness. Sudan noted the wikileaks and blackmail incident within the ICC and questioned the credibility of the organization. Sudan additionally accused the ICC of politicizing the incident by targeting a head of state of an African state. Sudan seeked an official statement from the International Court of Justice on the issue of “immunity”.

Sudan denounced the “meddling of the ICC” that imperils peace and security in Sudan.  It claimed that “not only has the ICC gone beyond its jurisdiction, but it has incited rebel movements and fresh violence in Sudan.”

         2. Ethiopia

Ethiopia asked to speak again to address and explained its call for withdrawal of the original referral to the ICC. Ethiopia reassured the UNSC of their focus to fight impunity, however noted that the African Union, not the ICC, is the only organization that allows organizations to interfere internationally for war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity. Ethiopia maintained that the UNSC has no case in Darfur, and that the referral must be withdrawn.

      3. Prosecutor of the ICC

The Prosecutor of the ICC requested to respond to the “hostile and disrespectful language aimed at the ICC and at her personally”. The Prosecutor noted that the tense UNSC meeting was the closest dialogue that the ICC has reached with Sudan. The Prosecutor reminded all parties that the ICC is an independent entity, and is only interested in pursuing accountability in a fair impartial manner.

The Prosecutor directly addressed Sudan and asserted that “the government of Sudan cannot wish away atrocities.” The ICC urged the arrest of outstanding suspects of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

 

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Financing the Sustainable Development Goals

6/11 Report

Financing for SDGS

By: Patrick Liu

 

 

  • Intro

 

    1. Financing for SDGs - Breaking the Bottlenecks of Investment from Policy to Impact

The President of the General Assembly, Mr. Miroslav Lajčák, hosted the event. The PGA identified sustainable development as a priority for his tenure on the GA. The PGA brought representatives from the World Bank, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), regional development banks, and businesses. The event also provided a platform for stronger public-private partnerships. Additionally, it aimed to explore what the United Nations can do to better to align itself with the rapidly-changing world of international finance, and to support the 2030 Agenda and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda.

    1. Programme:

https://www.un.org/pga/72/event-latest/financing-the-sustainable-development-goals/

 

  • Statements Overviews

 

There were many introductory speeches that emphasized the importance of financing in maintaining the platform of the sustainable development goals. Bill Gates, on behalf of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, spoke to the dual objective of “saving lives and providing opportunity”. As a major proponent for SDG fulfillment, Gates emphasized the capabilities of the “efficient and innovative” private sector.

Other presenters, such as , such as the, Ms. Namita Vikas, the Executive of YES Bank, touched upon the current work being done towards financing renewable energy investments.

She stated: “What is possible is not going to be enough. We need to reach for the impossible, and technology allows us the possibility of solving what was previously unsolvable.”

This quote resonated with me because it made me think about all that technology has done so far. It has changed our world, and it will clearly continue to change our world. There are almost no limits as to what we can do with technology, and many like Steve Waygood from Aviva Investors have “more hope than ever that we will achieve sustainable development”. Although this positive outlook is comforting, financing these technologies and innovations is an imperative.

In the first panel on “Building Fertile Soil for Business: Providing Concerted Leadership,” Dr. Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, truly emphasized this financial issue. Sachs argued that millionaires and billionaires have responsibilities to provide funding towards implementing the SDGs. He further asserted that  “although the world is richer than it ever is, we cannot forget how poor some areas are.”

 

  • Personal Statement

 

Although Sachs properly addressed this financial issue to SDGs, I personally do not believe that it is the fundamental issue. I believe that even if we had billions of dollars for SDGs, sustainable development would continue to be an issue. The issue is not fundamentally money. The issue is public exposure and education. Instead of focusing these conversations on the private sector, we need to find ways to encourage the people to become active advocates for sustainable development. We need to motivate the public to demand for SDG-aware businesses. We need to refocus our efforts on the 99% of the world population that are not billionaires or trillionaires, and educate these peoples on living sustainably. Only then will this movement have the traction and the attention of the world to truly fight for sustainable development goals.

 

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World Oceans Day 2018 Clean Our Ocean -Innovation and Youth

6/9

World Oceans Day 2018

Clean Our Ocean -Innovation and Youth

By

Lizzie McGowan



The rapidly declining health of our oceans should be of serious concern to the global community. If we do not take immediate action on this matter, there will be grave irreversible consequences. Overfishing, plastic, and chemical pollution are the primary sources of ocean contamination. As the problem progresses, the only solution is youth engagement. Tapping into this undervalued source of creativity is our only hope in changing the course of this phenomenon. Through youth engagement initiatives, young adults are laying the groundwork to prepare the youth to tackle this problem.

 

As billions of people depend on the ocean as their primary food source, it would be disastrous if fish populations were depleted. The only way to combat overfishing is through sustainable fishing. If done properly, it will prevent severe food shortages and save economies that depend on fishing and the ocean based activities. Unfortunately, by 2050, it is estimated that there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.

 

Because healthy oceans help reduce poverty and hunger, as global citizens it is in our best interest to preserve this precious resource. Since oceans are severely over fished and millions of pounds of bycatch is thrown away, it will not be possible to sustain human life. As Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake, United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, proclaimed, meaningful youth inclusion is crucial to solving this problem. Additionally, sustainable development goal (SDG 14), which addresses conserving and sustaining the ocean, will not be possible without the assistance of young people.

 

Ms Angelique Pouponneau, Co-founder of SIDS Youth AIMS Hub, elaborated on her ocean conservation initiatives in the Seychelles.  She explained that many of the young people on the Island want to have an active role in keeping the Ocean healthy. Since they are surrounded by water, the people of the island have a deep connection to the ocean. However, she faced a major problem in recruiting young people- many of them did not know how to swim.

 

To increase youth engagement, her organization taught young people how to swim. Having this skill set enabled them to engage in ocean clean ups and not be afraid of the water. Significantly, the swimming lessons united the youth in the community to actively engage in keeping their ocean healthy.

 

Ms Juliette Babb Riley cited that Barbados stands to be severely impacted by the unsustainable use of the ocean. The Bajan government recognizes this hazard and is actively formulating policy to support ocean sustainability. Since their economy largely depends on activities that involve the ocean, it is in the interests of their economic future to save it.

 

Mr Sam Teicher,  Founder and Chief Reef Officer of  Coral Vita, noted  that half the world's reefs have died since the 1970's. As a coral farmer, he works on coral restoration projects. This includes: restoring native fish populations that live in coral and rehabilitating it. Because coral plays a large role in the coastal economy, efforts to restore it are vital to economic stability and growth.

 

Mr Peter Malinowski, Executive Director of the Billion Oyster Project described his work with youth on oyster conservation. His organization works to restore the oyster population in the New York harbor to its former glory of 220,000 acres of oyster reefs. Conservation efforts are done be working with local students to engage in the process of oyster conservation. For example, while giving his presentation, he invited one of his students to explain their conservation work. She illustrated how he works with her class to grow oysters with a cage like structure and biodegradable materials.

 

Ms Lea d'Auriol,  the founder of Oceanic Globacities contended, that broadening the conversation about ocean conservation would incorporate different perspectives on how to maintain healthy oceans.

 

To brainstorm ideas on sustainability projects, she collaborated with musicians, artists, educators, and NGOs. Focusing on the what can be done on an individual level enables each person involved to make an impact. Collectively, this strategy works to change the culture of conservation, make it part of everyday life, and proliferate sustainability concepts.

 

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The Third Revolution: Xi Jinping and the New Chinese State

6/5

The Third Revolution: Xi Jinping and the New Chinese State

By

Lizzie McGowan

Dr. Elizabeth Economy, C. V. Starr senior fellow and director for Asia studies at the Council on Foreign Relations provided valuable insight on China’s long term goals and current social and political climate. Its rapid growth and expansive influence in Asia has led it to be one of the richest and most powerful countries in the world. Moreover, it has the largest standing in army and second largest economy in the world. Its rise to power is an indication they are largely meeting their economic and political goals. Further, it is a sign that its leadership has remained committed to ensuring that China maintains its global position in international affairs.  

 

China’s rise to power has been bolstered by President Xi Jinping’s quest for absolute rule and rooting out corruption. He has consolidated power and launched the largest anti-corruption campaign in over 40 years. As a result, multiple arrests have been made within his political party. However, some say he has done this to oust his rivals, and with their conviction rate being at 99%, it is safe to say that he has eliminated any competition. In fact, he has assumed control over all government commissions to micromanage them, squash any potential adversaries within his party, and ensure that his vision for China is executed. Further, he broke tradition and failed to signal who his successor. Consequently, he got rid of term limits and can remain in power indefinitely.

 

As part of President Xi’s s latest venture to monitor the Chinese people, he has created a new surveillance and social credit system. They are currently building infrastructure to have 650 million cameras to monitor and rate citizens on their behavior.  Thus, if the police caught someone either Jaywalking or riding a train without the correct ticket, they would face fines and “lower social scores.” It can also determine where a person lives, what schools their children go to, and adversely affect job prospects) )This new system of scrutiny rashon social mobility and squash potential uprisings) Maybe elaborate briefly as a new paragraph and clarify it in the paragraph

 

Dr. Economy elaborated on the new pressures placed on domestic and foreign businesses to be  with the Chinese . China’s goal is to control where investors put their money and to ensure that Chinese geopolitical interests are being met. There are also efforts to censor books from foreign writers used in colleges to prevent "influence from outside forces." They fear exposure to western thought can incite protests and social and political disruption. Not only is the Chinese government censoring literature in educational institutions, but they are also attempting to control information on the internet. They are increasingly becoming more restrictive working to strengthen their firewalls so that its citizens can stop circumventing it to access outside information.

 

China's aggressive behavior in the South China Sea is also cause for concern. Currently, China is  racing to build man-made islands with military bases and laying claim to contested territories with  that their Southeast Asian neighbors. China’s actions have resulted in a maritime dispute that consistently favors China due to their Naval superiority.

 

China is also launching an aggressive feat with the Belt One Road that will connect Asian countries to China in order to efficiently trade its goods. Essentially, it is the new silk road. As China builds more infrastructure in more countries, they expand their global presence. However, they charge exorbitant fees that the host country will never be able to pay back. These deals are attractive because they of China’s “no strings attached” policy.

 

Due to its expansionist activists, there has been resentment that China is expanding its sphere of influence in order to establish a new Empire.  “Additionally, China has only been hiring Chinese workers, and not local residents, to build this new silk road.Consequently, its actions have sparkes the rise of Chinophobia and made other states and their citizens to question whether they will have “mutually beneficial” relationships with China.






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Adoption of UNSC Resolution on Youth, Peace, and Security

UNSC 6/6

Maintenance of International Peace and Security

UNSC Vote on 2419/2018 Youth Peace and Security Resolution

By: Patrick Liu and Lizzie McGowan

 

 

  • Intro

 

    1. Sweden

Sweden introduced the Youth Peace and Security Resolution, and cited the importance of youth’s voices especially to critique the global status quo. In the context of the UN, this mission is imperative in helping youth activists learn skills that are necessary in becoming the next generation of peacebuilders and leaders. Sweden further advocated for the importance of listening to youth as the world order will very much be in their hands as they “assume their trajectory to take over leadership of the institutions they once scrutinized”

 

  • Vote

 

  1. Unanimous support of  Resolution 2419/2018 - Youth Peace and Security

The Resolution is adopted by the UNSC.

 

  • Statements after the Adoption of the Resolution

 

    1. Peru

Peru, as a co-sponsor of the UNSC resolution, congratulated and thanked the UNSC for their unanimous support of the resolution. Peru emphasized that the youth must fully participate in creating a “shared vision” for the future. Furthermore, Peru noted the importance of countering the stereotypes that youth too often encounter. Peru thanked Jordan for initially introducing the youth resolution

            2. United States

The US lauded the unanimous vote of the UNSC to support the resolution and work towards helping the “next generation of peacemakers”. However, the US lamented the lack of language on preventing violent extremism that targets youth recruitment. This was a major point of contention that the US had with the youth resolution;  nevertheless, the US supported the resolution.

 

  • Personal Viewpoints

 

    1. Patrick Liu

I believe that the UNSC made great strides in adopting this resolution regarding Youth Peace and Security. The voice of youth members is not only beneficial to worldwide discussions, but it is necessary to promote peace. Youth voices matter! When they are ignored, conflicts can be escalated, which will lead to greater unrest and dissatisfaction. I believe that by incorporating this often forgotten group, the UN can begin to understand and listen to youth perspective that can help discussions on peace and security issues.

However, this UN resolution is not the final solution. Although it shows tremendous progress, the UN can and should do more to involve youth members in important discussions on global and regional issues. Afterall, as Sweden stated, this world filled with its issues will soon become the youth’s world and the youth’s problems. We need to be proactive and set the future leaders up for success by getting them involved in critical discussions now. Sweden and Peru, and even Jordan, had a fantastic initiative, but the UN needs to continue to prove that it is dedicated to listening to all voices of concern, including youth voices.

    1. Lizzie Mcgowan

The youth peace and security measure passed is a step in the right direction to give young people a platform to have a voice in international affairs. Perspectives provided by young people can bring nuanced an creative insight to solve problems related to extremism and development. Since the youth are the future leaders, obtaining experience cultivating policy will prepare them for roles in international relations. Further, it will allow them to work closely with the UN officials who have the resources to help formulate and execute solutions to problems concerning sustainability and peace building.

Another progressive feature of this resolution is its mechanism that supports the rights of women to challenge to the status quo. Sweden proclaimed its clauses advocating for the inclusion of women in the political process, employment opportunities, and educational access are some of the many features that make it a forward- looking legislation. It also aims to challenge conventional notions on the capabilities of youth and women’s leadership potential. Significantly, the resolution works to add value to the opinions of female activists and provide them an outlet to be involved in implementing peace sustaining initiatives..

The efforts to sustain peace and create mechanisms that encourage youth participation are admirable, but there is work to be done. As the U.S. pointed out, there needs to be more done in the realm of prevention of violent extremism (PVE) on the internet. Because radicalization is one of the primary sources of instability, the resolution should clearly outline this as a priority. However, the measure is a start and has the potential to evolve and encompass PVE mechanisms.





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UNSC Meeting on Somalia

UNSC 6/7

Situation in Somalia

By: Patrick Liu and Lizzie McGowan

 

 

  • Presidential Statement - Russian Federation

 

    1. PRST/2018/13

The Russian Federation, as President of the UNSC for the month of June, read the Presidential Statement on Somalia on behalf of the UNSC.

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The UNSC welcomes the progress made by the Federal government of Somalia on security, economic, and political reforms. The UNSC further lauds the recent elections, and hopes for a resumption of Somalia's federal governmental parliament.

Addressing the concern about fighting in the northern region of Somalia, the UNSC urged the parties involved to an immediate cessation of hostilities and demanded a “pull back” of forces. The UNSC reiterated that political dialogue is the only solution, and encouraged Somalia to engage in a dialogue to resolve the issue. In the face of rising conflict, the UNSC continued to advocate for full, safe, and unhindered humanitarian access.

The UNSC expressed concerns about the external pressures on Somalia’s borders that could risk undermining Somali unity. The UNSC noted the importance of ensuring that these regional conflicts do not impact Somalia, and advocated that the Somali federal government take steps to work against the “destabilizing effects that may spill-over”

Turning to Somalia’s “transition plan”, the UNSC indicated its supported to AMISOM and urged that such important organizations are fully funded throughout the transition. The UNSC mentioned “economic federalism” and the development of a “proper monetary track record” in order to help attract new, external funding for these efforts.

Finally, the UNSC expressed concerns about reports of human rights abuses in Somalia, specifically those related to recruitment of child soldiers and gender/sexual-based violence. The UNSC advocated for the continuation of international support in order to uphold international humanitarian law, and human rights law.

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Lizzie McGowan: Op Ed

The progress in Somalia represents the significant efforts of the international community to bring peace and stability. Conducting successful elections is a sign that serious efforts are being put forth to govern ungoverned territories and change the status of their failed state. If these improvements continue, they will be able to consistently have elections on time with a peaceful transition of power. Hopefully, the successful elections will be lead to government sustainability that will in turn allow them to better collaborate with the international community to solve security and financial problems. Significantly, the Somali government has embraced a region based transition plan. This will allow them to specifically target the varying needs of each region and devise plans to develop infrastructure and enhance security.

It should also be noted that there has been a push to increase women’s participation in the political process. This milestone illustrates that regardless of religious and cultural barriers, it is possible to take progressive steps as it pertains to gender equality. Involving women in the decision making process offers a balanced approach to policy making. As Somalia develops new and more effective governing systems, the inclusion of women’s perspective will be key to having a more egalitarian and democratic society.

While they have made these improvements in holding elections, the threat of Al-Shabab in the northern region is cause for concern, not to the reliance on remittances in their fledgling financial system. If Al-Shabab is not contained, all of the progress made in holding elections and quelling violence will be lost. Since their goal is to take over the country, it more important than ever to support regional security forces to defeat them. Normalizing the financial system is crucial due to 40% of the population relying on remittances from abroad. Without a strong financial system, they will continue to have a weak economy and high unemployment. The aforementioned factors lead to more instability and provide a safe haven for terrorist to raise funds and have a stakeholder economically.

 

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UN Event: Youth Dialogue

UN Youth Dialogue

Hosted by UN President of the GA: Mr. Miroslav Lajčák

5/30

By Patrick Liu and Lizzie Mcgowan

 

 

This one-day event sought to listen to the ideas, needs and concerns of young people on bridging education and skills training with employment in the 21st century, as well as on the prevention of radicalization. The event further aims to galvanize the efforts of many global alliances and initiatives that are empowering young people.

Intro

1. Opening Speech from Mr. Miroslave Lajčák - President of the General Assembly

Mr.  Lajčák expressed his excitement to listen to the ideas of young people, follow their lead, and take their advice on the world’s most pressing problems. Since young people are the future, it is imperative their ideas and solutions be heard. He stated, “The UN is an organization for the people and the UN is an organization about the people.” Therefore, it must foster dialogue and bring people together. If there is a solution towards improving access to education, jobs, and reducing the risk of extremism and radicalization,then  youth engagement is the answer.

2. Speech from Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al-Thani - CEO of Qatar Foundation for Education

Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al-Thani lamented that 263 million children are not in school around the world. Sadly, a vast majority of this number live in areas affected by natural disasters and war. They often have to make difficult decisions choosing between life, death, or education. Not having a stable path to learning can become cyclical and represses children in being agents of change.

 

Education has the capacity to lift children out of poverty and improve the global economy. The UN ascribes high value to education and ensuring young people have access to it via the Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4). If we cannot educate our youth, there will be a void in minds capable of solving the world's problems. Unfortunately with the 263 million children not in school, the SDG 4 is falling short. That means that a significant number of children are not being equipped with the tools needs to develop their potential and be gainfully employed. Education enables children to be active global citizens and feel entitled to participate in civic engagements.

3. Speech from Mr Pita Taufatofua - Tongan Olympian

Pita Taufatofua offered empowering words to be successful and reach your dreams. He cited that to become a superhero you have to experience failure, dream big, and not to be afraid to struggle. Often times when Olympic athletes win medals and defy the odds they are considered an “overnight success.” The “overnight success” idea is flawed because it diminishes the years of hard work and dedication put in to accomplish your goals. Years of failure, injuries, and at times wanting to quit, is not an overnight process and takes perseverance to get through.  In order to succeed in life, you have to accept failure, grow from it and not minimize yourself when you fall short.

 

4. Speech from Ms. Mari Malek - Model, DJ  

Ms. Mari Malek, a renowned South Sudanese model and DJ, and creator of Stand for Education, sought to inspire the audience with her journey of being a refugee and immigrant to the U.S. After fleeing the war and living in an Egyption refugee camp for four year, her family was granted asylum in the U.S. As a child, her mother taught her to never forget where she came from, the importance of education, and to give back to her community. As an activist, she noted the illiteracy rate in South Sudan was 80% and the daunting obstacles children faced in receiving an education. Education can lead to improved quality of life and bring economic opportunities to lift people out of poverty. Through her nonprofit, she seeks to empower underprivileged children and women through education and peacebuilding.

5. Speech from Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake - Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth

Jayathma Wickramanayake cited that education is the key to prevention and can transform communities. The power of the youth is often underestimated when it comes to finding solutions to problems such as access to education, unemployment and prevention of radicalization. It is often thought that young people should be on the receiving end of policies designed to help them instead of including them in the policy development process. Unfortunately, the power of the youth to change the status quo is often overlooked. Through innovative ways the youth have the power to effect change through creativity and commitment.

6.Performance by Mr. Emmanuel Kelly - Singer and Songwriter

Artists Emmanuel Kelly entertained the audience with his cover of Titanium by David Guetta and Sia and his original song entitled “I will never be alone.” His energetic and inspiring song conveyed his message of hope determination and will power. Originally from Iraq, as a baby he was found in a box and taken to an orphanage. After witnessing the atrocities of war and being shot, he often questioned his purpose in life but always maintained his will to survive and love. Emmanuel. While at the orphanage, he met his guardian Moyra Kelly who took him in and raised him as her own. Love and determination are key to keeping hope alive and not giving up on your dreams. Without these attributes, he would have made it thus far in the entertainment industry, and learned to love himself despite his circumstances in life.

 

Chat #1 - The future of work: Bridging the gap between education and employment

1.Moderator: Ms. Jamira Burley - Head of Youth Engagement and Skills at Global Business Coalition for Education

Jamira Burley provided insightful words about the youth taking control of their own destiny being the change they want to see in their communities. With gun violence and poor educational infrastructure it is now more critical to address this issue and provide youth with sustainable skills and quality education. She cited Emmanuel Kelly’s cover of “Titanium” as an example of how young people are resilient in difficult situations and find innovative ways to survive man made trauma. Through her advocacy work, she mentors young people on how not to let their circumstances define them and they can, “ be the author of their own stories.” Further, she wants to continue to engage in dialog with today’s young leaders to brainstorm ways for children to not only have access to education, but to have adequate literacy skills to critically think and comprehend.

2. Ms. Shamoy Hajare - Founder of “Jamaica School for Social Entrepreneurship”

Shamoy Hajare addressed the detrimental impact of school not have educating students on the environment and sustainability. Growing up in rural jamaica on a farm, she explained that she always had a connection with nature. However, after finishing college, she was disheartened by  difficulties in getting a job; and subsequently, she was unemployed for three years.

Even after receiving good grades and successfully completing school, finding a job was still an arduous task. The tools she learned there were relevant in that her learning was refined, but it did not secure employment, or effectively educate her about how to adequately use the resources on our planet.

Shamoy elaborated that what is not taught in schools is that we, “live in an ecosystem and this ecosystem means that were living on a planet called earth.” Unfortunately, economics dictate resource allocation and almost every aspect of our lives, on the other hand, nature is teaching us that there are limits to how much we can grow and take from the earth. Therefore, it is important to invest in projects that promote sustainability and push for environmental education in schools.

3. Ms. Safaath Ahmen Zahir - Founder of “Women and Democracy”

Safaath Ahmen Zahir stressed the importance of women in leadership and how it is not only a problem in the Maldives and the developing world, but a problem internationally. Since there is a void in women’s leadership, we must think of constructive ways to address this problem. The time is now to find practical solutions and approaches to this issue. In reality the, the core problem is not just one specific factor, rather it is multifocal and complex involving cultural, religious, and gender norms. To find a solution, there must be a collaborative effort to change social norms and formulate policies that are designed to include women in the decision making process.

4. Mr. Mohamed Sidibay - Peace activist, Global Partnership for Education

Mohamed Sidibay, a former child soldier of Sierra Leone told his story of trauma to triumph as he relentlessly pursued his education and defied the odds. After losing his entire family during the civil war, at the age of five years old, he was forced to be a child soldier. However, at age nine with the help of Unicef, he was able to go to school. Though we have hopes and goals like the various SDG initiatives, we still need to do more to help the 263 million children who do not have access to education. Hope is an “essential part of the human race” but it not is reliable phenomena to ensure the barriers to education and inequality are lifted. Every human being has the right to a quality and inclusive education. Further, hope without meaningful and effective action will not bring an end to economic disadvantages and difficulties in obtaining an education.

Chat #2 - Prevention of Radicalization and violent extremism: What are the push and pull factors?

1. Moderator: Mr. Achim Steiner - Administrator of UN Development Programme

Achim Steiner expressed his concerned for marginalized youth, who are prone to be victimized by extremists. These impressionable young minds are easily influenced by jihadists and are perfect targets to be recruited due to their youth. Nonetheless, the international community must come together to get to the root of the problem and find out what causes this kind of marginalization and what makes these groups attractive to join. The problematic narrative that the youth are the problem disregards the notion that policy makers have not adequately addressed their needs. For these reasons, more has to be done to ensure that our youth do not fall prey to manipulative strategies of extremists.

2. Panelist: Ms. Joy Bishara - Student at Southeastern University

Joy Bishara, a survivor of the Chibok schoolgirl kidnapping crisis, cited that respect, love, and care are necessary to make people feel included. Abiding by these principles is necessary to prevent marginalization and extremism because they encourage respect for diverse ethnicities and backgrounds. Having the heart to love one another is a key element of sustaining peace and accepting people who are different. Also being willing to open up to new traditions and not othering people with different skin tones and religions can prevent marginalization and make people feel included.

3. Panelist: Dr. Siniša Vuković - Assistant Professor for Conflict Management Program and Global Policy Program at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced Studies

Dr. Siniša Vuković proclaimed that we are all social beings and that it is normal for people to want to identify with a group. Saliency of identity is one of the main factors in mobilizing the formation of groups. According to Dr. Vuković this means, “that the more you believe, the more you are being told, the more you are being raised into believing, that you are treated.” This causes people to fear, dislike, and be suspicious of the “other.” As a consequence, we have the in group/ out group factor that gets exploited by extremists and terrorists. The group, which lures you in, acts as a substitute for your family when social structures fail. Therefore, it is imperative that young people question the conditions they were raised in, not fight the battles of their ancestors, and chart their own path to venture outside of their cultural and ethnic norms.

4. Panelist: Mr. Farea Al-Muslimi - Co-Founder of “Sanaa Center for Strategic Studies”

Farea Al- Muslimi, like his fellow panelists, contended that to ensure inclusion, we must respect each other’s cultural and racial differences. People often view cultural diversity as a problem rather than looking to tolerance and acceptance as a means to be more inclusive. In terms of terrorism, the focus is on fighting terrorists instead of addressing the root cause of extremism.

In many countries around the world,  young people live in societies where there are imbalanced restrictions and freedoms. For example, in Lebanon, at the age of 18, you can drink, smoke, and drive a car, but you cannot vote. These rules indicate that young people do not have control of their own destiny and are not trusted in the political process. However, when joining an extremists organization, you are trusted with an AK 47 and given a sense of free will. Given these points, including young people in the political process and finding ways to be more socially inclusive can result in less marginalization.

Open Mic Session

Willie Conrad Asseko of Gabon proclaimed that it's important to promote entrepreneurship among youth. Youth participation in Sports can promote management and logistical skills. The skills learned in sports are transferable and provide youth tools for employment to have their eventually have their own businesses and perform well in the classroom.  

Tommaso Murè of Italy explained how non-formal education is crucial in preventing extremism. This kind of education focuses more of social and moral education. The aforementioned attributes cause students to have better problem solving and conflict resolution skills.

Farah Ghodsinia of The Philippines displayed a poster made from young people in Mindanao on how they view peace. The poster featured various pictures that reflected surviving violence and extremism. HeThey cited walking home without being shot and not living in fear as true peace and living happily at home with their families..

 

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CNS Event: Six-Day War, Israeli Nuclear Capabilities

5/31

The Six-Day War (1967) Revisited: The Nuclear Dimension

By

Lizzie McGowan

Presenter

 

Dr. Avner Cohen, Professor, Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, and author of numerous publications related to Israel’s nuclear opacity policy, including “The state of knowledge: What we know, what we think we know, and what we don’t know about the nuclear dimension of the 1967 War,” posits that an important and understated element of the 1967 Six-Day War was Israel’s suspected nuclear status at Dimona. Significantly, the War changed the course of history, the political landscape of the Middle East, and sent a signal about Israel’s capabilities.  

From the Israeli perspective, the Dimona nuclear site was the primary reason for the crisis. Cohen describes this as the “nuclear dimension” because Israel knew that the existence of Dimona, the site of its “secret” nuclear weapons facility, would prompt Egypt to declare war. To that end, Dimona secured Israel’s existence in the region and its nuclear facility had to be be protected at all costs. As a result, Israel was prepared for a preemptive strike.

Shrouded in secrecy, the nuclear proliferation at Dimona thrived. In effect, the covert nature of the program made Egyptian President Abdel Nasser concerned about Israel’s potential dominance in the region. Israel had the foresight to know that keeping an element of secrecy surrounding the nuclear program would be essential to its success. If Israel were to declare its nuclear weapons, then the international community would have tried to impede the progress of its program and subject it to IAEA safeguards. It also would have also emboldened Nasser to be to launch a preemptive strike and vindicated his suspicions. Consequently, the suspicions about Dimona prompted Nasser to threaten war and position the Egyption military to strike.

Nasser was interested in gaining prestige in the region and becoming the dominant power in the Middle East. Dr. Cohen argued that by using deterrence mechanisms such as flying over Dimona with military aircraft and giving speeches that made war seem imminent, he was able to boost his popularity in the Arab world. Since Israel was not accepted in the region, Nasser’s “strong leader persana” provided hope that he could liberate the Palestinian people.  However, his double-talk on whether war was in Egypt’s future, in addition to administrative dissention, resulted in poor planning and unpreparedness in the event of conflict.

Presenter II

Dr. Hassan Elbahtimy, Teaching Fellow, King’s College London, presented his lecture entitled,  “Egypt, Dimona and the origins of the 1967 Arab-Israeli War.” He contended the effects of the Arab Israeli war are still felt today in that Israel gained dominance in the region and successfully developed nuclear weapons. Nonetheless, there are also two different narratives in studying this war: the Israeli narrative and the Egyptian narrative. Contrary to Dr. Cohen’s assertion that Dimona was the root of the crisis, Dr. Elbahtimy explained that there were other factors involved that pressed Egypt to consider war.

On the Egyption side, there was strong interest in Israel’s intentions and progress in developing nuclear weapons. Nasser employed the use of his country's best intelligence agencies to investigate Israel’s elusive nuclear program. It was difficult to determine the nature of the program due to Israel remaining “tight lipped” about the activities and efficiently concealing key physical indicators that would associate Dimona with a nuclear facility. Under those circumstances, Egypt was skeptical that Israel could cross the nuclear threshold. However, Dr. Elbahtimy elaborated that as a result of Israel’s suspected nuclear activity, Nasser developed a rudimentary Egyptian nuclear research program sponsored by the Soviets.

To counter Dr. Cohen’s claim, Dr. Elbahtimy asserted that Nasser was primarily concerned about the threat of a preemptive strike, the existence of nuclear weapons in the Middle East, and the Palestinian question. Nasser did not want nuclear weapons in the Arab world. There was also major concern over Israel shooting Syria’s fighter jets and other acts of aggression.  Coupled with the possibility of a non-Arab country having a nuclear deterrent, it was in Egypt’s best interest to consider a preemptive strike. Unfortunately, they were disorganized in their preparation, which resulted in an embarrassing catastrophe that negatively impacted Nasser’s legacy.

Egyptian officials cited no interest in attacking Israel over the existence of Dimona. Though they were concerned about it, but it was not a decisive factor in the crisis. Nasser was primarily worried about not provoking Israel. When he discovered that they were conducting flight operations over Dimona, he immediately stopped it. Further, dissension and personality conflicts were a major issue in Egypt’s preparation for potential conflict. Between sending mixed messages internally if war was going happen, and Nasser being unsure about Israel’s military capabilities, they were doomed for failure.

Presenter III

Dr. William Burr, Senior Analyst, at the National Security Archive, presented a lecture titled, “What Washington did and did not know about Israeli nuclear capabilities at the time of the Six-Day War.”  He described how the U.S. was concerned about Israel developing nuclear weapons, while at the same time passively allowed them to proliferate. There was speculation that Israel was stockpiling untested weapons, but the U.S. was unsure how far Israel was from crossing the nuclear threshold. It appeared the U.S. wanted to keep the Middle East nuclear weapon free, but when suspicions about Israel arose, we did not use all mechanisms to restrain them.  Nevertheless, Dr. Burr proclaimed the U.S. took minimal measures to investigate Israeli proliferation activity, due to them sharing limited and false information about it. Despite reports of Israel’s purchase of “yellow cake” from Argentina, Israel insisted that their program was for peaceful use.

In an effort to confirm the Israelis were telling the truth, the U.S. periodically sent inspectors to Dimona. After each inspection, they determined the program met the qualifications for peaceful use, even though Israel only permitted them to inspect certain parts of the facility.  What they did not know was that they reconfigured the facility to conceal its true intentions. In hindsight, the scientists were gullible in their inspections. Because if they had been thorough and pressed Israel, they would have insisted on inspecting the entire facility and used the necessary tools that would have detected SNM (Special Nuclear Materials). Dr. Burr alludes to it being assumed the U.S. turned a blind eye to the activity at Dimona. The U.S. learned the Dimona facility had been expanded, shortly before  the War. Consequently, after Israel won, the U.S. unofficially recognized them as a nuclear power in the region and Israel adopted a policy of opacity towards its nuclear weapons program.

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UNSC: Debate on the Middle East: Kuwait and US Resolutions on the Palestinian Crisis, Tensions in the Council

UNSC 6/1

The Kuwait and US Resolutions

Middle East Question: Israel and Palestine

By: Patrick Liu

Background Information

More Information

 

  • Statements Before the Vote on Kuwait’s Resolution (S/2018/516)

1. Kuwait

Kuwait summarized the steps that led to the final form of the resolution, including two productive negotiation rounds in which Kuwait had “listened to all amendments to take into account all issues”. Kuwait emphasized that the process was transparent, comprehensive and conclusive.

Ahead of the vote, Kuwait called on members to vote for the resolution to defend international humanitarian law, human rights law, and the protection of civilians. Kuwait stressed the need to hold all violators of international law accountable and cited the international protection mechanism in the resolution as a potential solution.

2.United States

The US argued that Kuwait’s resolution did not take into account everyone’s edits, specifying the absence of “Hamas” in the resolution. The US contended that the resolution was grossly one-sided, and that “everyone who cares about the peace-process should vote against it”.

The US then described the instability that Hamas has created in the Gaza region by diverting humanitarian assistance and openly firing rockets into Israel. The US asserted that Hamas is the underlying cause of conflict, yet “Kuwait does not mention Hamas” and instead places all blame on Israel. This perpetuates biased towards Israel and undermines the UN’s credibility in dealing with the Israel/Palestine conflict.

The US introduced its alternative resolution for those members that recognize Hamas’ terror. This resolution condemned Hamas and contained principles that the Kuwait resolution lacks. The US stressed that if UNSC members voted for Kuwait’s resolution, “you vote that all responsibility is on Israel and none on the Hamas terrorist group.” The US reiterated its position against the resolution and its willingness to use veto power if necessary.

The US concluded by emphasizing that a “necessary precondition of peace is recognition of reality”. The US stressed Hamas’s role in causing terror in Israel and hoped that the UN would not side with terrorists over Israel.

Vote Results for Kuwait Resolution:

10 votes in favor

4 votes abstain (UK, Poland, Netherlands, Ethiopia)

1 vote against (US)

The resolution was vetoed by the United States and was NOT adopted.

Statements After Vote on Kuwait’s Resolution

1.Kuwait

Kuwait expressed its disappointment that the resolution was vetoed by the US. It stressed the failure of the UN to take into consideration international humanitarian law and human rights law. Kuwait thanked each member, who voted in favor of the resolution, but highlighted the continued deficiency of the UNSC. Kuwait further questioned the UNSC on “why Palestinians must continue to suffer… why the international community is failing to act...why Israel enjoys impunity… and why all these lives are lost while the world is silent.”

2. United Kingdom

The United Kingdom stated its concern for the situation in Gaza, but underscored that it was “regrettable that today’s resolutions are imbalanced or two vague”. The UK stressed that Kuwait’s resolution failed to name the terrorist actors and condemn Hamas. Additionally, the UK found the international protection mechanisms specified by Kuwait to be beyond expectation of the real world. However, the UK lamented that the US resolution was too vague and did not properly address Israel’s responsibilities in the conflict.

The UK would abstain from both votes.

3. France

France urged the UNSC members to set aside differences, and to send a strong message in response to the situation in Gaza. France emphasized that the UNSC cannot remain silent as it is “disastrous for multilateralism and the credibility of the UNSC”. In response to the Kuwait Resolution, France urged the UNSC to overcome the difficulties in the text. Although it is not perfect as it does not neither mention Hamas nor condemn rocket launches into Israel, the resolution was a huge step toward addressing the conflict in Gaza.

4. Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan voted in favor of the Kuwait resolution and called for the protection of civilians. In order to de-escalate the situation, Kuwait recommended a peace dialogue and urged all players to provide confidence building measures.

5. China

China mentioned that two-state solution would bring peace to the region. China voted in favor of the Kuwait resolution, as a measure to protect Palestinian civilians from harm and de-escalate the situation.

6. Poland

Poland asserted that it was not in a position to support the Kuwait text and abstained from the vote. Poland hoped for a text that would have been more balanced than it was in addressing responsibilities for the conflict.

7. Bolivia

In solidarity with Kuwait, Bolivia expressed its disappointment about the US’ decision to veto the resolution. Bolivia argued that the “unbalanced nature of the text” was insufficient for a veto, given the looming issues of protection of civilians and escalation of conflict.

Bolivia described the main threat to the civilians as “Israel’s occupation of Gaza”, and continued to list Israel’s violations against international law.

8. Russian Federation

The Russian Federation voted in favor of Kuwait’s resolution. Russia urged the international community to deal with the humanitarian crisis and the underlying political question in the Israel and Palestine conflict. Russia advocated against the use of force, pushed for the adoption of the two-state solution.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Vote Results for United States’ Resolution:

1 votes in favor (US)

11 votes abstain

3 vote against (Bolivia, Kuwait, Russia)

The resolution did not receive the required votes and was therefore NOT adopted.

 

  • Statements After the Vote on United State’s Resolution (S/2018/520)

1. France

France stressed that the US Resolution was put forward to a vote without any previous consultations. Therefore, France was unready to support the resolution as a  whole, which prompted it to issue an abstention.

Nevertheless, France expressed its support of certain paragraphs of the resolution regarding its condemnations of Hamas and rocket attacks.

2. Peru

Peru deplored the fact that a compromise could not be achieved between the parties to quell  the Israel and Palestine conflict. Peru abstained from the US vote as they did not have an opportunity to discuss the US proposal.

Although they agreed to some provisions regarding condemning terrorist acts and rocket attacks, Peru ultimately abstained. In contrast, the Kuwait resolution fulfilled many of Peru’s concerns and views.

3. Sweden

Sweden voted in favor of the resolution proposed by Kuwait. Sweden defended the resolution as it addressed international humanitarian law and the protection of civilians, condemned all acts of violence, and called for immediate steps to de-escalate and end the conflict in Gaza.

Sweden believed that the language in the US resolution did not properly or fully address the situation in Gaza. Sweden lamented that the proposal did not include language about international humanitarian law or humanitarian access.

4. Netherlands

The Netherlands abstained from both resolutions. The Netherlands regretted that the UNSC was not able to formulate one cohesive response to the recent events in Gaza. Additionally, the Netherlands hoped for greater urgency in protecting civilians on both the Palestinian and the Israel sides. The Kuwait resolution lacked the language to address the needs of all civilians; however, the US resolution did not fully depict the conflict or Israel’s responsibilities’ in the conflict.

5. Ethiopia

Ethiopia accentuated its friendly relationships to both the Israelis and the Palestinians. Ethiopia expressed deepest sorrow over the recent developments and lost of lives in Gaza. Ethiopia acknowledged Israel’s right to self-defence, but urged Israel to refrain from violence, and condemned the recent rocket launches from Palestine.

Ethiopia thanked Kuwait for the resolution, but wished it had also explicitly condemned violence by Hamas. Ethiopia felt that this statement was necessary to balance the draft.

6. Kuwait

Kuwait asserted its position against the US Resolution. Responding to the US, Kuwait defended its stance in protecting all civilians “anywhere and at anytime at all”. The US resolution on the other hand is simply for “Israeli authority” as it justifies Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory. Kuwait lamented that the resolution does not reference protection of Palestinian civilians or the ending of occupation by Israel.

7. Russian Federation

Russia voted against the US Resolution, but it agreed to some provisions in the draft resolution,  recognizing Israel’s right to security. However, the US Resolution was not balanced in addressing the crisis situation in the Middle East.

8. Palestine

Palestine thanked Kuwait and each member who voted in favor of the resolution. Palestine regretted the US’ decision to veto the resolution.  

Palestine cited the severe protection crisis in the occupied Palestinian territory and Israeli violence against Palestinian civilians. In accordance with international humanitarian rights law, Palestine stressed the need to hold Israel accountable. Palestine emphasized the need for maximum restraint as well as the establishment of an international protection mechanism. In response to the negative vote, Palestine further highlighed that the UNSC has “rejected the might over right strategy”. Furthermore, Palestine urged states to reject the classification of the crisis as one of terrorism, stating instead that it is an issue of the “denial of people's rights”.

9. Israel

Israel lambasted Hamas for causing the majority of the deaths in the recent conflicts in the Gaza region. Of the names of the dead that the Bolivian representative listed, Israel contended that “the vast majority...over 90%...were Hamas terrorists”. Israel lamented that the Kuwait resolution did not mention Hamas, and expressed its disappoints that the international community chose to turn a blind eye on this reality. Furthermore, Israel accused such supporters of the Kuwait resolution of neglected this terrorist organization that has caused destruction, violence, and instability.

Israel thanked the US for its resolution that addressed this fundamental issue. In juxtaposition, It harshly criticized a Kuwait’s resolution and cited that the resolution only further empowers Hamas.

10. Bolivia

In response to Israel’s statement regarding the supports of Kuwait’s resolution, Bolivia denied Israel’s questioning of Bolivia’s commitment to fighting terrorism. Bolivia asserted that it did not fail to condemn any act of terrorism as per its dutyship to the UNSC.

Bolivia inquired why Israel did not recognize the right of return of the Palestinian people despite international law. Additionally, Bolivia called into question Israel’s statement of Hamas terrorists infiltrating Palestine with respect to the recent death of a Palestinian paramedic.

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