Hi everyone! Here at EagleMUNC, we cannot wait for the conference in two days! We have worked hard on it all year and hope that you all have a great time. In preparation for the upcoming dilemmas posed at the conference, this post will discuss how the country of Afghanistan recently defined its plans to achieve domestic peace.
At the Kabul Process II conference, the Afghan government reiterated its desire to hold "unconditional peace talks" with a main force of domestic violence, the Taliban. UNAMA, or the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, welcomed the move by Afghan leaders to bring peace by instigating dialogue, lifting sanctions, and releasing prisoners.
Last year alone, more than 10,000 civilians were killed or injured in the Afghanistan conflict. Many of these casualties were caused by suicide bombings and explosive devices. Around two-thirds of these casualties were caused by anti-government groups like the Taliban, which was responsible for a whole 42% of the casualties alone. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein says that Afghan civilians are killed while "going about their daily lives," as they travel on a bus or pray in a mosque.
Therefore, considering the amount of civilian casualties attributed to the group, negotiations between the Taliban and the Afghan government, if successful, could have a monumental impact on bringing peace to the divided nation. Hopefully, by choosing to use dialogue instead of violence, the government can avoid causing more casualties and set an example for the rest of the world.
On February 27, Boston College had the privilege of hosting former U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. He was the chief of the U.N. for a decade, and before that he was South Korea’s foreign minister. He spoke on Tuesday about human welfare and global citizenship.
At his talk, Ban discussed climate change and the U.N.’s role in curbing it. He brought up some of his many accomplishments in battling climate change, remarking that “a lot of people in the international community call [him] Mr. Climate.” He also commended individual U.S. cities for agreeing to abide by the Paris Climate Agreement despite President Trump’s refusal to sign it. Overall, Ban emphasized the urgency of protecting the Earth, arguing that it is the only planet humans have.
Ban also spoke on the importance of empowering women to become leaders who will instigate change. Ban discussed his efforts to increase women’s rights at the UN, and was even presented with an award from gender equality advocates for “Delivering for Girls and Women.” He received this award in recognition of his “Every Woman Every Child” movement that works to address the unique health challenges that face women and children worldwide.
Six weeks left until the conference! Here at EagleMUNC, we are excited to see you all at the Westin on March 16th!
Our last blog post discussed Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh and the health crises they face while living in high density camps. Now in 2018, Bangladesh continues to show the world how they choose to manage a crisis. In Cox’s Bazar, more than 475,000 Rohingya children are living in refugee camps. The living conditions in these camps are dire, with high population density leading to poor sanitation and disease outbreaks. Specifically, a diphtheria outbreak with around 4,000 recorded cases since November has caused panic among the refugees and the residents of the surrounding communities.
In response to this epidemic, UNICEF and WHO are working with Bangladesh’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to vaccinate children, who are particularly vulnerable to the disease. Thus far, over 300,000 children aged six weeks to 17 years were given an age appropriate immunization. The Ministry, WHO, and UNICEF will provide two more rounds of vaccination in order to fully protect the children in the camps. Furthermore, 160,000 children in surrounding communities, outside of the refugee camps, are being vaccinated to prevent them from contracting diphtheria.
It is clear that Bangladesh’s government is working tirelessly with global health organizations to protect the children living in the affected area. Furthermore, Bangladesh has been internationally praised for taking in over 600,000 refugees fleeing ethnic cleansing in Myanmar. However, in early December Bangladesh stated its intent to move forward with its controversial relocation plan, outlining a specific plan to move 100,000 Rohingya refugees to flood-prone Thengar Chal by November 2019. The nation plans to develop the remote island to make it more habitable.
The UN Human Rights Council also recently held a meeting to discuss whether or not Myanmar is committing genocide against the Rohingya. If it is labeled as a genocide, then the UN Security Council must intervene according to many legal experts. Regardless of whether or not it is officially named a genocide, Myanmar’s government has committed atrocities against the Rohingya, forcing them to flee into Bangladesh. This crisis not only displays how Bangladesh deals with the refugee crisis but also shows how global organizations deal with horrific actions being taken against marginalized groups.
From the UN News Centre:
From CNN World:
Hi everyone! This week at EagleMUNC, we are excited to announce that over 800 delegates have signed up for our conference in March! We are proud that the conference continues to grow each year. Since we reached capacity, we have opened a waiting list for remaining delegations that would like to join us in March.
As you know, the theme of this year’s conference is how a state opts to overcome adversity. Bangladesh currently faces a refugee crisis, with hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims fleeing ethnic cleansing in Myanmar. The refugees are currently living in horrific conditions in Cox’s Bazar, a city in Bangladesh known for having the world’s longest sea beach.
Back in 2015, Bangladesh’s government proposed a “solution” to overcrowding from the swelling refugee population by relocating the refugees to an remote island in the Bay of Bengal called Thengar Chal. This proposal received backlash from the UN and other humanitarian organizations, who called to attention that the island is underwater for much of the year and that some of the refugees have lived in Cox’s Bazar for over two decades. Critics also contend that the plan mostly stems from Bangladesh’s desire to develop the city’s tourism industry.
Now in 2017, Bangladesh’s government stated that it wants to resume the relocation plan, stop any further “illegal entry of Myanmar nationals,” and prevent the refugees from “mixing in with local populations.” The government also released orders to arrest refugees if they try to leave their designated camps. Another major concern of the government is the risk of a cholera outbreak in Cox’s Bazar due to the unhygienic conditions the refugees live in. Furthermore, the UN World Health Organization discovered that more than 60 per cent of water sources tested in the refugee camps are contaminated with E. Coli. UNICEF is contributing financial and technical support to Bangladesh’s ministry, which is building 10,000 latrines and mobilizing 900,000 doses of oral vaccines to the hundreds of thousands of people threatened by the likely cholera outbreak. The latrines will be regularly disinfected so they do not become contaminated.
Bangladesh is evidently having difficulty managing this crisis and lacks international support for its controversial relocation plan. Fortunately, the state is working with UNICEF to avoid a potentially devastating disease outbreak.
From the New York Times:
From the UN News Centre:
Welcome to EagleMUNC’s blog! We are extremely excited for the upcoming conference in March 2018. In our blog posts, you will find updates on our progress organizing the conference as well as information on global happenings applicable to the dilemma posed for delegates this year. This pertinent problem involves determining how a political entity should adapt in times of adversity.
There are many strategies a state could use to overcome such an obstacle. For instance, Dominica finds itself confronted by adversity after multiple category 5 hurricanes battered the island in September. UN Secretary-General Guterres visited Dominica on Sunday, October 8 to assess the devastating damage of the storms, which left people homeless, without electricity, and without water. Guterres cited research by the UN World Meteorological Organization in asserting that climate change is increasing the intensity of natural disasters and exacerbating the resulting economic damage. With this information, Dominica’s adaptation plan in response to this crisis is to evolve into something new: the world’s first climate-resilient nation.
Dominican Prime Minister Skerrit recognizes the opportunity the nation has to be a global example of climate resilience. In outlining the Climate-Resilience Development Strategy, Skerrit discusses the innovative ways the Dominican government will integrate climate and development planning and policies. The plan focuses on sustainable, low-carbon emissions development and also aims to build a climate-resilient economy that considers the impacts of climate change in its financing.
Furthermore, Dominica calls attention to the fact that Caribbean nations are among the most vulnerable to climate change. Factors increasing the Caribbean’s vulnerability include susceptibility to flooding and coastal erosion as well as reliance on fragile coral reefs for protection. Due to its location in the hurricane belt, Dominica finds itself extremely vulnerable to damage caused by these disastrous storms. Therefore, with the increasing intensity of hurricanes, Dominica plans to adapt by evolving into the world’s first climate-resilient nation.
From the UN News Centre:
From the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change: