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Surrounded By Alpha Animals – Is the Best Yet to Come?

By Cheng YE

BONN – Yesterday, the United Nation Security Council’s (UNSC) first committee session on the Western Sahara conflict officially began with very promising opening speeches – primarily dominated by opposing parties: the Moroccan Kingdom and the Sahrawi Republic. Alongside controversial and highly tense debates, several topics of crucial importance were put on the agenda despite their high level of complexity. The majority of UNSC members did not shy away from clearly positioning themselves in this particular case in a manner that has not changed for almost a decade; you could even say they were maintaining the status quo.

However, among the total of 19 UNSC members, only 12 delegations attended to discuss the issues of Western Sahara, resulting in an attendance rate of 63 per cent, despite mandatory participation. Fortunately enough, at least one delegate joined the afternoon session afterwards though this did not bring any refreshing elements to the overall debate. Throughout the jungle of topics that were raised, such as MINURSO, human rights violation, ICJ advisory, resource allocation, Geneva Roundtable, the role of Algeria – who are accused of supporting the Polisario front – none of them seemingly led to a common understanding within the conflicting factions. Given the highly vivid debate culture, it is certain that the best is yet to come; not least because of the possible joint document that was announced by the main conflicting parties. Is it possible that we will see a resolution to solve a nearly five decade-long misunderstanding?

Western Sahara Mission About to Renegotiated

By Cheng YE 

BONN — The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has extended the observer mission to Western Sahara for six months prior to planned peace talks. With twelve votes in favor and three abstentions, the UNSC  underlined the importance of a „realistic, workable and lasting political solution“ in the Western Sahara issue, the UN stated. The Western Sahara mission has been underway since 1991, but peace efforts have stalled for a long time. Moroccan UN Ambassador Omar Hilale called the invitation of Morocco, Mauritania and Algeria „historic“ for talks in Geneva at the beginning of December this year. Six years ago, there were informal talks between the conflicting parties, which ended without result.

Morocco has controlled large parts of the sparsely populated area since the 1970s, but this has not been recognized on international scope. The liberation movement Polisario, which is supported by Algeria, wants independence for Western Sahara whereas Morocco is willing to grant the region autonomy only. However, it has not yet come to a planned referendum so far, leaving the conflict unsolved.

US Announces Massive Sanctions Against Iran

By Cheng YE

BONN — The United States of America (U.S)  has relaunched new massive sanctions on Iran this week. They are primarily directed against the oil and banking industry. Also, third party companies from other countries that do business with Iran are affected. In particular, the punitive measures are intended to hit the oil, banking and financial sectors as well as the transport sector with its important ports. The U.S attempt to force Iran to renegotiate the nuclear agreement of 2015 for them to agree on stricter conditions. In addition, the leadership in Tehran should make concessions in foreign policy. Iran accuses the US government to initiate a regime change.

President Rohani spoke up immediately after the recent sanctions were announced. “This is an economic war against Iran,“ the Iranian state-chef said at a meeting with business experts broadcasted by state television. His country would be prepared to resist any pressure from external sources. On Sunday there had been large protests underway in the country against the U.S due to their plan of actions.

A Constitution for Europe?

By Eva LAUWENS

BONN 2003-2004 —  A constitution for Europe? This was the question at hand some 15 years ago. The European Union (EU) was facing quite some challenges back in the early 2000’s, a new enlargement wave was coming up and the need to serious reforms was felt. This led to the suggestion of a constitution for the EU, but we all know what happened in the end. Nowadays the Treaty on European Union, the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and the Charter of Fundamental rights are the EU’s key working instruments.

In times of heavy Brexit negotiations we may find ourselves wondering what the EU could have been by now. That’s why we are going back in time. The Council of the European Union gets the chance to discuss again the necessity of a constitution for the European Union, as the Convention on the future of Europe did in 2003. They get the chance to discuss what this constitution would look like and they especially get the chance to change the evolution of the EU.

The council is going back to 2003 to debate one the necessity to have a common constitution for the European Union in the first place and in that case to decide upon to content of the draft constitution. How will they decide upon EU institutions, voting procedures, subsidiarity, economic governance and other pressing issues at the time?

The Midterm-Elections of the USA: A New Hope for Free Trade?

By Lucas WAGENER

BONN — Following almost two years of Donald Trump’s presidency, on November 6th, the United States of America (U.S) held their Midterm Elections, one of the biggest events in American politics. 35 of the 100 seats in the United States Senate and all 435 seats in the House of Representatives were newly elected. Although, the Senate remained under Republican control the Democrats took over the House of Representatives. Since traditionally this election is seen as an indicator for the popularity of the President and his administration, the question remains, whether the election results indicate a change especially concerning the stands of the U.S on free trade.

Looking at the election campaigns of both parties, free trade has not been a main issue. On the Republican side many of the successful candidates are very open supporters of President Trumps policies regarding trade and foreign affairs. The Democratic party on the other hand sees many representatives of the left wing to be newly elected, for instance Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of the 14th district of New York, who describes herself as a democratic socialist. Both parties tried to reach for those voters who are typically not in favour of liberated international markets, with both arguing that free trade would be a risk for the American Worker. Though the Republicans lost control of both Houses and the Democratic Party being again in a powerful position to oppose Donald Trump’s Administration, a big change in favour of free trade is not to be expected.

The Crisis in Ukraine: Occupation of Crimea

By Eva LAUWENS

BONN 2015 — It’s January 1st of 2015. The Ukrainian crisis, the ‘Euromaidan’, started with the ousting of President Yanukovich in 2013 and lead to the annexation of Crimea in 2014. Yanukovich had to flee the country after suspending the talks with the EU about an Association Agreement. By then pro-Russian protests started in Crimea.

This led eventually to a referendum and Crimea declaring independence with the wish to join Russia. However, violent acts kept taking place in Ukraine. Despite the following negotiations, mediated by the EU, the war still kept going on.

Up until now the EU has mainly used sanctions to combat the Russian aggression in Ukraine but these have proven to be only partly effective. Besides there had been attempts to create a negotiation process, this was successful in 2014 with the signing of the Minsk Protocol; but by January 2015 the ceasefire had collapsed.

The situation calls for a solution as casualties are being reported every single day and two major cities in Eastern Ukraine – Donetsk and Lugansk — are occupied by the insurgents. The Council of the EU has the important task to come to a resolution and answer the following questions: to decide what can be done for the citizens, how Ukraine can become more stable in the future, how it can improve its relations with the EU and so on. This will be a difficult task not only because of the sensitivity of the issue but also unanimity will be sought after as this concerns a foreign issue. Some Member States have, however, interests in a stable relationship with Russia because of trade relations for example.

The Protectionism of the European Union

By Lucas WAGENER

BONN — Two weeks ago, the European Court of Auditors strongly criticized the Ideas presented in June of 2018 by the EU-Commission regarding reformation of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Mostly criticized for not doing enough against climate change and for the idea of a ´greener‘ Europe, the CAP also does not seem to change the general subsidizing of the European Agriculture according to the European Court of Auditors.

These subsidies combined with the protectionist nature of the EU concerning foreign agricultural products are often considered part of the problematic economic situation of many developing countries, most of them in Africa. According to the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) 70% of the world’s poorest people depend on the income of agriculture. The past measures taken by the European Union in general lowered the world price of agricultural products, therefore, lowering the possible income of developing countries. The subsidies of agricultural products in the EU created a surplus of products in Europe that led to a rise of supply of European goods on the world market; mostly cheaper than the products produced in developing countries.

In a time where millions of refugees from the African continent are trying to reach the borders of the European Union, the question remains whether the EU should overthink its stand on the agricultural protectionism. Perhaps the stabilization of developing countries through economic partnership would offer an important step to fighting poverty.

 

Welcome to the BIMUN-Tribune

Dear Delegates,

this is the webpage of the BIMUN-Tribune. In the next few days all articles produced by the BIMUN-Tribune will be published here, so stay tuned further updates follow soon.

BIMUN/SINUB e.V. beim Bonner Europa-Tag

Der Europa-Tag, organisiert von der Stadt Bonn, bot auch in diesem Jahr eine gute Gelegenheit, nicht nur den Bonner Studierenden, sondern auch der breiten Öffentlichkeit Model United Nations in Bonn näher zu bringen.

So war der BIMUN/SINUB e.V. hier mit einem Stand vertreten, um MUNing vorzustellen.
Im und ums alte Rathaus fanden sich viele neugierige Bonnerinnen und Bonner ein, von Kleinkinder über Studierende bis hin zu Senioren, um mehr über die Arbeit der EU und weiterer internationaler Organisationen in Bonn zu erfahren. Eine bunte Mischung an Ausstellern wie der Europäischen Kommission, über den DAAD bis hin zu den regionalen Vertretern verschiedener Partnerländer informierte über die Vielfalt und das Kulturerbe Europas – auf herausfordernde Weise mit einem witzigen EU-Quiz oder untermalt mit kulinarischen Leckerbissen.

Zahrobsky / BIMUN/SINUB e.V.

Eine kleine Gruppe von BIMUN/SINUB-VertreterInnen erklärte den Interessierten, wie Model United Nations funktioniert und berichtete über die verschiedenen Vereinsaktivitäten in Bonn, wie beispielsweise die große MUN-Konferenz im November.

Official partnership with CologneMUN

COLOGNEMUN IS NOW OUR OFFICIAL PARTNER! 

We are happy to have a regional partner at our side and look very much forward to our partnership. A BIMUN/SINUB-delegation is also going to take part in the first MUN-conference in Cologne in June. 🙂

“CologneMUN 2018 will be the first ever Model UN conference conducted in Cologne, Germany. 150 young people from around the world will debate current issues of international dimension within five committees, including the UN Security Council and a crisis committee. The overarching topic “Debating Democracy. Rights and Responsibilities of a Free Press” arises from the existing assaults on the freedom of the press and the resulting dangers for democratic processes. In Cologne, participants will be given the platform for constructive and multilateral discussions and to create everlasting MUN experiences.”

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