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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

Sightseeing Tips from Locals

BONN-We at the Daily Tribune went around and asked local delegates to reveal their secret or not-so-secret sightseeing tips for Bonn. We are aware, that many delegates will not have so much time to spare, so we will only focus on the most important sights and places. The first „must-see“ is of course our lovely Christmas Market in the historical center of Bonn. The atomsphere is just unique and you will be able to get all the christmas gifts from just one place. Moreover you can be a part of a long-standing tradition and ist unique drinks and foods.

The second one is our georgous Univsersity and its many old buildings. The halls and the fassades will guide you back into the time of old Europe. If you have the time, we especially recommend one of the many guided tours of people dressed in historical clothing. The third possibilty is to take a quick glance at the birth place of the famous composer Ludwig van Beethoven. This building is also a small museum and memorial at the same time.

If you like taking long walks, then number four would be four you: If you start at the „Alter Zoll“ near the main building of the university, head upstream along the bank of the river Rhine. On this beautiful route, you will be able to see monasteries, the old residence of the West-German president, many goverment buildings like ministeries or you can just simply enjoy the colours of a late-autumn Bonn. And if you like really long walks, you will get to the Rheinaue, a large park in the southern city.

But when the cold weather lets you down again, we still have some cultural highlights and a large variety of museums. If you are interested in natural history, check out the Muesum König. If you prefer art, try the Bundeskunsthalle. If by any chance you spent your whole money on Glühwein (which has happend to some delegates), you can visit the Haus der Geschichte; a free museum with the aim to educate everyone about German history after the second world war. One of the most famous german improvisational theatres can also be found just ariund the corner: The Springmaus.

Last but not least, we can recommend UN Campus to everyone who has missed the pre-programme. There you can find a large amount of climate-relates UN bodies as well as many different NGOs. Even the old German plenary hall of the „Bundestag“ can be found there. We hope that we were able to encourage some of you to explore and enjoy your beautiful host city of Bonn even more! –Niklas Kemmerzell

Nigeria Papers LEAKED, MASSIVE DIAMOND SCANDAL!!!

BONN- Yesterday, one of our BRAVE investigative journalists managed to UNCOVER a massive scandal involving Nigerian Diamonds. The coked-up delegate of Nigeria in the Crooked UNEP managed to WOO his collegues into buying his BLOOD DIAMONDS. Call your LOCAL CONGRESSMAN/WOMAN to get them to stop giving our TAXPAYER’S MONEY to this LOONEY „““DIPLOMAT“““

Alexey Johnson

 

G20 – Paris Climate Agreement

BONN- A back-and-forth discussion revolving around the United States of America (USA) and it’s clear emphasis that they, “will not sign the Paris Climate Agreement” and pushing for more of another form of agreement that does not constitute with the name “Paris” and removing the carbon caps as this, as claimed by the USA delegate, “will put a severe stress on the United States economic growth.” Republic of South Africa and The Kingdom of Belgium offered up a renegotiation on the basis of the needs of the USA in order to rejoin and sign the Paris Climate Agreement. This was met with more of an upset from fellow delegates leading to France making a statement of severe opposition with the offered renegotiation with the USA and that the stance the country holds needs to be reevaluated less from the international side but rather from the domestic side of the country alone. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) demanded that the USA shall not be given the privileged ability to pick and choose what it wants. This dialogue then stemmed into carbon coals and their emissions and claims from the USA that their coal is “clean coal” with a strong refutation from France stating, “’clean coal’ is no such thing just as there is no ‘clean cigarettes’: both aren’t healthy” and the IMF supported that with research of one-third of green-house gases come from carbon emissions and two-thirds of this are a result of coal production. –Alan Carter

Conference kick-off

BONN-The youth are on a roll this year with all their preparations for the BIMUN/SINUB 2019! With a grand felicitating opening ceremony, the BIMUN kick started the conference on 22nd November which is scheduled from 22nd-26 th of November. The delegates are prepared with full enthusiasm and gushed to
put forward their views of opinions. There seems to be a bunch of new comers in the MUN which shows a keen interest among the youth these days to step up and put forward their views. A lot of university students from Germany, Spain, Italy, Switzerland and a few all the way from the U.S have participated as
delegates in the MUN. Not only are the students from the co-related study in accordance to this conference but also some of them are from different streams of their study like engineering, biology, etc. This shows that not only is MUN useful for the curriculum basis but also for the youth to boost up their confidence and improvise the skills of public speaking. Conferences are held on the mornings
during these days and the evenings are for the youth to have fun and get to know each other. 22nd November evening, the young delegates had their fun time at the Christmas market of Bonn with the special drink of glühwein. Much more interesting stuff is awaited on these days. The MUN is over to the
delegates now.

-Ruturaj Chavan

What makes a „Green Conference“?

BONN-As many of you have already heard, the BIMUN/ SINUB Conferences are the first „green“ MUN conferences in Germany. But what exactly does that mean? The Tribune media team talked to Tania Morales, BIMUN ExCom member and in charge of the „Green Conference“-concept. According to her, all it takes are little steps into the right direction. This is the basic idea behind this endeavour.

Starting with the means of transport, the delegates are encouraged to arrive by train and bus to keep the CO2 emissions as low as possible. With BIMUN largely being visited by european delegates, this is not much of a problem. Of course not everybody is able to make use of public transport. The Delegation from the United States for example had to use the plane and thus increased the Carbon Dioxide footprint of this conference by a large amount. This being the opposite of „green“, BIMUN established a cooperation with CO2OL which in turn will compensate any CO2 emissions by reforestation and forestprotection. Additionally, BIMUN 2019 will be the first conference that will only offer vegetarian meals, which is not only „green“ but also generally healthier. Moreover, during the many coffee breaks, only Fair Trade coffee and chocolate will be distributed. To enjoy the coffee without any climate-related worries, reuseable cups were made avialable for every delegate.
To reduce the production of senseless waste, BIMUN 2019 refused to use much paper. An App will cover everything that delegates need to be informed about. From study guides to schedules, everything is made avialable electronically to waste less paper. The topic of BIMUN 2019 „Global Challenges in the Age of Climate Change“ and the resulting climate-related topics of each committee accentuates the need for change and the efforts of our organisation.
Outside of the yearly conference, BIMUN as an organisation set itself as a goal to inform people about climate-related issues and to give them an opportunity to ask urgent question during the so-called „Lecture Series“. In cooperation with the UNCCD (United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification), one of many partners, we offer information booklets and Tours of the UN Campus in Bonn. On top of that, BIMUN played its part during the „UN World Environment Day“ last June 5th. BIMUN Members went to the Hofgarten in Bonn and picked up all kinds of trash and disposed them accordingly.
All this helps to make to world a little greener and our future a little brighter.

-Niklas Kemmerzell

Be international. Be a model. Be united. BIMUN.