Kategorie: The Daily Tribune (Seite 1 von 4)

25/11-Bonn- While debating today on the “Institutional and Infrastructural Rebuilding of post-conflict Yemen”, all delegations of the Security Council encountered the following problem: can we talk about rebuilding a post-conflict country if the country is still torn apart by the war? So far, no sustainable peace has been made in Yemen and trying to consider this fact appeared as a priority for many delegates. This enterprise is however extremely difficult since several dimensions interwind in the Yemen crisis: religious, regional, international, political. Proposals and negotiations took place in 2012 after the Arab’s Spring and the reconciliation efforts resulted with presidential elections, held in Yemen on February. This peace process who arranged a power transfer within the country was unsuccessful and violence continues to consume the country.
Thus, the topic of humanitarian aids was in the core of discussions since it contributes to the peace by giving hope and saving lives and at the same time pave the way for the rebuilding. United Kingdom mentioned the need to ensure food security, as well as water and sanitation
as key focus.

-Marie Lavernhe

The Yemen Crisis

25/11-BONN-In order to help them to tackle the following topic: “Institutional and Infrastructural. Rebuilding of post-conflict Yemen”, the delegations of the Security Council received Christiane Heidbrink, a research assistant at the Center for Global Studies (CGS) of the University of Bonn, who gave a presentation about the current conflict in Yemen. 

Before delving into the details, here is an overview of the situation. Yemen is located at the Southern end of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. In 2011, during the Arab Spring, pro-democracy protesters took to the streets in order to speak out against poverty, unemployment, corruption and to force President Ali Abed Allah Saleh to end his 33-year rule who finally hand over power to his deputy Andrabbuh Mansour Hadi. Since, the country has been in a state of political crisis, going throw constant fighting between pro-government forces led by President Hadi (backed by the international coalition, namely France, the United States, and the United Kingdom), anti-government forces led by the Houthis (supported by Iran and the former President Saleh) and jihadists.

Before the conflict, Yemen was already the poorest country in the Middle East and North Africa region according to the Human Development Index who measures life expectancy, education, and standard of living. Now that the fighting has had devastating humanitarian consequences, the United Nations has pointed out a humanitarian emergency and designated it as “severe” and “complex”. In 2019, they estimated that:

– 24,1 million people (80% of the population) were “at-risk” of hunger and disease.

– 17,8 million people were without safe water and sanitation

– 19,7 million without adequate healthcare (leading to mass outbreaks of preventable diseases like cholera, diphtheria, measles and Dengue Fever).

If poverty already affected almost half the population before the crisis, it touches now 71 to 78% of Yemeni’s households and women are more severely affected than men.

State Authority, State Capacity, State Legitimacy are key features of State building for a country and that the prime question is, as Christiane Heidbrink stated: “How to build a government that is capable to run itself?” The approach of S.C.A.L.E breaks down into five components: S.M.A.R.T Goals, Coherence, Assist, Listen, and Evaluate. This 5 sectors are the building blocks to an efficient and self-standing state body. The concept of S.M.A.R.T Goals originated by Former Director George Doran1 and later was developed into various versions of itself. There are five parts to the concept: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. 

  • Specific demands that a goal for a standing body to set their goals in a manner that is detailed yet to the point as the aspirations required to be met. 
  • Measurable means there needs to be a method of noting the change, be it positive or negative, and the motion of the progress.
  • Attainable refers to the ability to achieve the goal at hand, does it carry too much imagination or can one actually reasonably reach it?
  • Relevant required that the goal be defined and whether or not the goal, as a whole, is gauging towards a progressive solution rather than sugar coating the task at hand.
  • Timely must dictate the timeline needed or the appropriate time-span available to achieve the goal set.

In continuation, Coherence is an idea compiling both cooperation and coordination to enable transparency and equal participation of all partaking in the goal. With assist, as Christiane Heidbrink had noted that if you build a road for a country and the people do not know how to maintain and fix the road, then that road did not help in the long-term. Providing is one thing, but the understanding of the thing is another and this shall come from within the country alone and not international taught. Listen indicated that one must listen to the countries needs and the people as it is them who are the voice and they are the ones that are affected by large. Lastly, one must utilize Evaluate to ensure efficiency and cost were accounted for and are used as a reflective tool. The S.C.A.L.E model is what is used to obtain the government that can in the end run itself. 

That being said, we would like to conclude this article by underlining the major needs of the Yemeni population since Christiane Heidbrink pointed out in her speech that one of the main keys in the willingness of solving Yemen’s crisis resides in listening to them and therefore to their needs. It begins with focusing on the agriculture issue since thirty of Yemen’s 333 districts are now food insecure and nearly a quarter of the entire population, are malnourished. To tackle this urgent issue, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) proposes, for example, to increase food and livestock production as well as rehabilitate agriculture infrastructure and irrigation systems.

Come with the food issue, sanitarian and water issues, altogether closely tied. Experts are worried that Yemen would be the “first country to run out of water”. “Only one-third of Yemen’s population is connected to a piped water network” according to the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF). It is important to point out that the need for water impact political stability, considering that 70% to 80% of conflicts in the country rural regions are water-related. The disruption of public services in this domain allows the spread of deadly diseases, such as cholera and it has made the population considerably vulnerable. Currently, 203 of the 333 Yemen’s districts are hit by acute diseases and infections.

 

Doran, G. T. (1981). „There’s a S.M.A.R.T. Way to Write Management’s Goals and Objectives“, Management Review, Vol. 70, Issue 11, pp. 35-36.

 

-Marie Lavernhe and Alan Carter 

 

 

EXCRUCIATING NEWS TO THE GERMAN AID-WORKERS

N’Djamena-Two german aid workers,  two sisters aged 21 and 23 respectively got kidnapped in N’Djamena, the capital of Chad. The ladies were NGO members working under “Action against hunger” since March 2019. The horrifying news has led to a shock not only to the German government but also to the rest of the world sending NGO aid workers. Several countries have already decided to withdraw their NGOs to maintain peace and security of their countrymen. This vulnerable incident has led the countries to think of sending NGOs in such dangerous areas. Considering the prevailing insurgency of the Boko Haram close to the Nigerian border, the ministry of most of the countries are a bit reluctant in sending troops to Chad.

Since the german foreign ministry has expressed a desire to withdraw all their aid workers and volunteers from the region, China sends condolences to the people suffered and has asked Germany to take some immediate actions. Reacting to the devastating incident, Belgium firstly sends condolences and withdraws all the aid workers for the security of the their beloved ones but assures that they can send back the aid workers after security measures are taken into mind by the UN. Contrary to that, the USA says that withdrawing the workers will create deep problems with the economy of the country. South Africa, looking at the ongoing events, wishes to think for a while about sending their troops in order to maintain peace and harmony.

Ruturaj Chavan

What does it take to organize a MUN-Conference?

The most important ingredient in creating a successful and fun Model United Nation Conference is time. This process may not seem time-consuming but the preparation of this conference started back in January; eleven months before BIMUN/ SINUB 2019. The ExCom (Executive Committee) had to meet on a weekly basis and often even more frequently. During these meetings everything from fundraising to decoration has to be planned. Even seemingly minor and inconspicuous details like lanyard colours or coffee cup designs need to be addressed. This requires a lot of time and discipline. But a MUN is expensive: they have to finance the food, interpreters, venues, socials and even everyday-needs for the organisation. This is made possible by the ExCom mostly by finding sponsors. Not only finding them but to even persuade and to look after the sponsors is not an easy task at all. Moreover you have to inform sponsors and potential delegates of the concept and social-political value of MUNing. The next task is to find suitable venues for socials and the conference itself. Even though the range of possible locations in Bonn is large, only a few suit BIMUNs requirements and price margin. Financing is even more complicated given the strict rules of the German state concerning money being spent by organisations.

To fill these venues with people, BIMUN has to produce ads, keep a good and steady social media presence, hold Lectures and BIMUN representatives have to be present at many international events in Bonn and the whole region.

Additionally BIMUN needs to keep up the work besides the conference.

There is always the pressure in not only trying to please everyone, but even to have as many applicants as possible. For the Conference itself a topic has to be found on which all different committees should orient themselves. The committees also need chairs which have to be interviewed and specially selected. Moreover speakers and patrons have to be found, which are a key component of MUNs.

These challenges are made even harder, given the fact that all ExCom members are organizing a MUN for the first time. They just joined the organisation and have no prior experience; they have only their own effort and the occasional help of the former ExCom members. This is why we own the ExCom and its former members much gratitude for withstanding this burden but also this joyful opportunity planning and executing something so big and amazing. The conference is not the end of the ExComs responsibility, it is more a small pause between organizing even more events, to which all of you are invited to participate.

-Niklas Kemmerzell

[UNWomen]Press statement on the International Day of the Elimination of Violence against Women. (Full text)

NO WITH RIGHTS: UN Women statement on the International Day of the Elimination of Violence against Women

In the occasion of the International day against women’s violence the UN Women committee wants to stress the importance of the fight against this phenomenon and rape in particular, which is the main focus of this day.

To this day in the majority of countries providing data on rape reports statistics show that less than 40% of women who experience sexual violence seek help.

Furthermore, the US Bureau of Justice Statistics suggest only 35% of all sexual assaults are even reported to the police. What is more, rape most often does not get the proper sentencecing if being sentenced at all. Only about 0.7 percent of rapes and attempted rapes end with a felony conviction for the perpetrator. For instance :In the UK around 3.3% of all reported rapes end in a conviction. Sexual harassment in the work place against women is a persistant issue even in highly developed countries and measures need to be taken on a national as well as an international level. Even though there has been progress with campaigns such as the #metoo movement, sexual violence is still rampant throughout the world.

We call for better education on healthier gender roles and the importance of consent and responsibility. We stress the importance of the adoption at a national level of stricter legislation to regulate this issue and empower women to not only fight back but also speak up on this issue. Prevention is key, but we also recall the relevance of a safety net for victims of rape and sexual harrasment, who oftentimes are left alone facing the atrocities they have been victims of. Only when women will feel safe enough to raise their voice this issue will be eradicated once and for all. The acts taken against women include sexual harrasment, rape, child marriage, intimate partner violence, and human trafficking. Such violence targets women on an exceedingly high scale. In war zones, where people are most vulnerable, sexual violence and intimidation is more prevalent than ever. It is important to have legislation in place that condemns and sanctions unwanted sexual acts, and that legislation that is in place is actually enforced.

With 2019 being the year of the woman, and as we move forward into 2020, let us all continue to uphold and expand upon the values and lessons learnt of the myriad voices of the #metoo movement. And up until the day where violence against women is actually abolished, we will continue to fight for the safety of women all over the world.

Who Owns the Oceans?

The UNEP committee runs into an issue on sovereignty and responsibility

While discussing fishing practices and the problem of plastic contamination in the world’s oceans, a question was posed. Who owns the oceans? After the delegation of France claimed that nobody owns the oceans, a remark made by a member of the committee, “what about the Indian Ocean”, confusion seemed to take a lead in the conversation.

The Chinese delegation reassured that they had authority over their ocean so what is the truth?

The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) enacted in 1994, established that countries have exclusive exploitation rights up to 200 nautical miles (370 kilometers) from their baseline. This means that countries may pursue economic activity in these areas, known as Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ), such as fishing and drilling. 

Beyond that, the rest of the oceans fall under the ownership of the entire world as a whole. Oceans provide the Earth with many services such as heat regulation and are a major driver of the climate and weather. From hurricanes to ocean currents, the oceans are to be protected by every country regardless of the measure of their sovereignty. – Alonso Munoz

The International Evening

The second social of this years‘ BIMUN/ SINUB Conference was the „International Evening“. Every delegate was invited to bring and cook or bake something from their homecountry or even from their specific region. This was a great way to bring a large amount of diversity to the table. The food ranged from tasty Mac’n Cheese to proved classics like bruschetta and salads of all types. Culinary Highlights were the South American Arepas and the Schinkengipfeli. As one can imagine, all the cooking and baking with dozens of people in on small kitchen created a chaos unlike anything seen before. But fortunately there are no reports of any major injuries.

But a MUN social is more than just food (many will deny this though). There was of course also a lot of good music and even more dancing. While the delegates danced like crazy, new bilateral relationships were established. The KULMUN delegation proved once again, that they know how to create a great atmosphere with their performance. To please everyone the DJ accepted song requests, which in turn made the delegates happier and louder. So loud in fact that the police had to intervene and warn us about the famous German Nachtruhestörung the sound-Emmisson-protection-regulations. After that the ExCom openend the stage with a Karakoke performance of „Don’t Stop Believing“ (which was of course quieter) many delegates or even committees joinedto sing their favorite songs. We heard everything from the 90 to the present chart hits.

But sadly all good things must come to an end and so did the international evening. Thats the time when the cleaning began and lasted seemingly half of the night. Finally we would like to thank everyone involved in making this evening so unique, especially BIMUNs president Katja Schneiders. –Niklas Kemmerzell

Dr. Insa Thiele-Eich

This morning 23rd Nov, Dr. Insa Thiele-Eich added a charm to the MUN. Dr Insa is a meteorologist and an astronaut. She was one the first female astronaut candidates of Germany along with Nicola Baumann. Together with Bundeswehr pilot Nicola Baumann , Thiele-Eich was chosen from among more than 400 applicants as one of two finalists in the privately financed initiative The Astronaut , which aims to make Germany send a female astronaut for the first time. She has pursued a PhD in climate change on Bangladesh and studied meteorology in University of Bonn. She grew up in the U.S. Her father is the German ESA astronaut Gerhard Thiele. She is married and has three children. As a kid, she always dreamed to be an astronaut. 

Dr.Insa Thiele-Eich

Photo by: Ruturaj Chavan

During the conference at the MUN, she emphasized precisely on the way of her journey to being an astronaut. It seemed she had a rough way through getting this success. But as they say, ”You need to lose something in order to gain success” which pretty much fits here. She also put a strong emphasis on the gender discrimination faced by her during her University days since very few women those days decided to opt for being an astronaut. She also told that she had had a lot of male colleagues who tried to provoke her. But Dr. Thiele-Eich being a courageous woman never stepped back. Back during her university days, she was pregnant and on top of that with people  criticizing her with exclamations like “what kind of a weird mother you are.” Nevertheless this shows how tremendously rough she had it through her career. 

One of the delegates named Florence Scherer had raised an interesting question asking about any dependencies she might have had. With being married and having kids, how did she handle the balance between the family and the profession? 

Florence Scherer Photo by: Ruturaj Chavan

 

 

Answering to the delegate, she told, at times it could get tough and she felt it’s actually more than a single person can do. She also showed some of her photos of underwater model simulation with the safety suit. The suit being much bigger than her height, she suffered with a knee injury and at times felt powerless. The delegate was also overwhelmed with her reply and deeply saddened with the struggle she had been through.

Dr. Insa also strongly believes that there came a time in her career when she got the courage to answer the questions to the people criticizing her when she felt so uncomfortable about it. Dr. Insa was close to her father, moreover her father Gerhard Thiele being an astronaut too discussed a lot of space related topics with the daughter. The general questions people used to ask her father were related to science and she got to have questions related to kids, where she felt a clear observable gender discrimination. 

A question regarding the urgency of the climate change was also raised by the delegate Pavly Nashed of the UNEP, asking how serious the urgency is. Answering to that, Dr. Thiele-Eich elucidated about the climatic catastrophe to the conference and that the facts that are already there put up by the scientists. There have been petitions signed by the scientists claiming urgency of the climate change.

“What kind of backlash did you face during your life?” A question raised by a delegate. “I faced most of the backlash from men. She shared one of her incidents with a male colleague during a conference where he asked her if she could grab a dinner with him, but after a while, an improper behavior was observed by her from his side. She also mentioned that male colleagues always found a way to get closer to her which made her feel uncomfortable and apart from that offered her unwanted help. She also exclaimed that she received most of the backlash from the women too, questioning about kids and stuffs. There was a comparison made by Dr. Insa between the U.S and Germany of how things were with being a woman astronaut and having kids. She found people being open in the U.S with accepting this profession, whereas on the other hand things were pretty much shocking in Germany. 

In general, it was a great interactive session between the delegates and Dr. Insa Thiele-Eich.   

-Ruturaj Chavan

Developed and developing countries, middle voices and alliances

Tackling microplastic pollution divides the world


23/11 BONN-UNEP-Today, everyone agreed on one point: microplastic pollution endangers underwater life and researches revealed that it is now an issue that could have terrible effects on humans’ health, potentially leading to the destruction of marine life and a sanitarian catastrophe. However, depending on their resources and urgencies regarding their level of development, countries struggled to find compromises and agreements to tackle the issue. One obvious gap between developed and developing countries divided the assembly, both sides trying to obtain things from each other rather than working together to come up with collaborative projects. I will first present the main ideas of developed countries that emerged before focusing on developing countries’ main statements. Finally, I will talk about how some delegates were despite trying to find a middle path to orient the debate toward an international cooperation. It created an overall animated discussion. 

 

While trying to find concrete solutions, developed countries were able to relate to fellow delegates propositions. United Kingdom, Sweden, Iceland, for example, supported the ideas of putting more money in the recycling system as well as in scientific researches. The delegation of the United Kingdom emphasized their efforts to reduce their production of plastic waste and emphasized how ready they were to invest more money in the recycling system. Developed countries also pointed out how important it is to protect marine life and expand durable fisheries. Fishery appeared as a key solution to preserve the life below the water while allowing humans to profit from the ocean’s resources. Because Sweden’s economy is largely based on it, protecting marine habitats is one of the main government’s goals.   

More radically, the United Nations Forum on Forests (UN Forests) claimed that one need to “save the nature for the nature”, meaning that countries responsibility to protect the environment from microplastic pollution shouldn’t necessarily be motivated by primary humans needs but by the willingness to preserve mother nature’s gifts. 

 

Those preoccupations seemed secondary to developing countries’ delegations who were mostly carrying about the well-being of their population who are in cruel need of better sanitarians conditions and are suffering from hunger. Philippines, Indonesia and India were especially supporting each other. Furthermore, they were constantly blaming developed countries for all the environmental damages they caused in the past. They feel, in a way, less responsible and want them to act in terms of compensations. Philippines, with the support of Indonesia and India, brought to light how unfair the situation is to be the dustbin of the industrialized world and China urged developed countries to deal with their recycling issue. They highlighted how developing countries are less capable of action than richer countries and called for well-balanced solutions. For them, it is a matter of international regulation, Indonesia asked for “more JUSTICE”. 

While trying to think about international actions they could undergo, India requested the possibility for local fishers to fish in international waters and Indonesia attested that the government would support any enterprises against illegal fishing.  

 

Finally, it is important to show that in spite of these divergences, some countries remained to others the need to create an international guideline in order to reinforce the community mapping. Bolivia, Canada, South Korea’s keyword was “cooperation” at an international scale and China called for an understanding attitude from all delegations regarding the discrepancy of countries resources. Canadian delegation notices that “It is difficult to see the issue as a whole.”. 

In a way, each country is responsible, so each country needs to take part in the fight with their own assets. The goal is to generate a system in which everyone can profit from the overall progress and global reforms. Canada reminded that they could not go anywhere without working together. The situation is condemned if they are all using different materials, regulation… International regulation is therefore the key to tackle microplastic pollution and one need a strong collaboration between developed and developing countries. 

Tackle microplastic pollution at national and international scales

23/11 BONN-Regarding all the measures for tackling microplastic pollution of marine biospheres, delegates of UN Environment Programme brought to light today some major points that I would like to summarize here. There are two ways one can consider approaching the issue, at a smaller scale – national, local level – and at a regional or international scale. 

Firstly, acting on a smaller scale allow countries to focus on prevention, regulation and proper actions adapted to their particular needs and amount of waste. Because each country possesses different urgencies and budgets, tackling microplastic pollution first begins with national legislation. 

According to the global south, each government should have a leading role in reducing waste and creating policies to recycle. In this respect, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) required, for example, the creation of taxes on plastic bags in each country. It is a small process that could nevertheless lead forward to a real diminution of plastic waste. Idea shared by the United Kingdom who is, among other things, trying to install stations in supermarkets to refill reusable water bottles. 

At a local scale, centralizing projects is a way to empower initiatives. Thus, the delegation of Nigeria highly encouraged national scientific cooperation to focus on the disastrous consequences that microplastic pollution might have on his population. Health problem appears as one of his main concern regarding this topic. To educate, train experts, as well as finance local economies to expand their industries and development programs, are solutions that fit the country’s needs. 

The UK and Iceland delegations also underlined the necessity of preventing citizens, especially the younger generations, of the alarming consequences of microplastic pollution, currently spreading in all seas and oceans.

On the other hand, acting at a regional and international level allow countries to make partnerships and have more money to elaborate on bigger projects. Since microplastic pollution is a global issue, every government has a role to play on the world stage. The budget is at the core of discussions, as well as the need to share scientific advances in order to find efficient solutions. 

Regulation has to be made on an international level and it is an urgency. Furthermore, international cooperation appears absolutely essential for some countries who don’t have enough space, infrastructures and resources to act properly. This is the case of Iceland who asked for help to tackle microplastic pollution.   

Considering the situation in his country, the delegation of Indonesia pointed out the urgent need to increase regional legislation between Asian countries in order to reduce the alarming amount of plastic waste in the packaging sector. In 2050, one might count them in billions of tones. South Korea also underscores how useful a collaboration between Asian countries could be. 

To undergo huge enterprises, global founding occurred to be essential. Iceland suggested to collaborate with worldwide organizations as the World Bank to engage long-term actions and find durable solutions. The UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) highly invited countries to financially collaborate and turn themselves toward global founding. 

The last main point of the day was the necessity of promoting researches. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) emphasized the importance of scientific information to tackle the issue of microplastic pollution. One need to know the consequences for human, animal health and biodiversity at the same time as launch experimentations to provide proper ways out. The delegation of the United Kingdom urged other countries to cooperate to drive science forward. 

To conclude, global awareness is a huge key in the topic of microplastic pollution, as important as national priorities

Marie Lavernhe

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