LEBMUN '19 Forums

GENERAL ASSEMBLY (GA)

The Topic of Gender Inequality in Developing Nations

Even as nations continue to develop and industrialize, many states remain stagnated when it comes to the topic of equality between all humans within their population. Whether it is due to outdated cultural norms or religious interpretations, various nations treat population groups very differently, with one common divide being between men and women. In many states, women are expected to conform to outdated gender roles, often being regulated to household jobs such as cooking or cleaning or even being seen as mere objects. In most of these countries, women find it harder or even impossible to go to school, find a job, or be independent in any form, making them reliant to men, and thus forced to marry. This is in clear violation of human rights, and as such, the General Assembly will attempt to find a resolution that can preserve nations' religious freedom and cultural identity, while also creating a solution for rampant gender inequality so as to create societies in which all human are given the rights of liberty and the pursuit of happiness that they deserve.

Measures to Ensure the Compliance of the Treaty on the Non Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Under the First General Assembly Committee

The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, commonly referred to as the NPT is a treaty striving to “prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament.” It has been signed by 191 states. Currently, there are roughly 15,000 nuclear warheads in the world, which are split among several countries with Russia and the United States of America combined accounting for around 90% of the nuclear warheads. The clauses of the NTP aim to restrict this number from further growing, but have proven inefficient in the midst of North Korea’s increasing nuclear power and the greater threat they are beginning to pose. There have been multiple other attempts to further the objective of the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons with multiple summits being organized over the past several years. However, as tensions continue to rise there has been an increasing fear over the potential use of nuclear power, whether it be from the US, North Korea, Russia, or Iran, if the tension reaches a climax.

For this reason, the assembly is calling for new measures to finally be taken in order to increase efforts towards the objective of Nuclear Non-Proliferation. Hopefully, we can come to a resolution that not only prevents the further proliferation of nuclear weaponry but suggests possible ways to negotiate access to nuclear energy as a power source to benefit the world as a whole and not only the select countries with access to nuclear power, as this would, aside from the obvious direct benefits to the world, would also help further the goal of nuclear non-proliferation.

MIDDLE EAST COMMISSION (MEC)

The Yemeni Civil Situation

The Yemeni Civil conflict is an ongoing armed conflict that began in 2015. The conflict is taking place between two major factions: The Hadi-led government and the Houthis. Each faction claims to be entitled to the full control of the Yemeni government.

The Houthis, officially called Ansar Allah, are a Shia-led religious-political-armed movement. The Houthis have charged former Yemeni President, Ali Abdullah Saleh, with mass corruption at the expense of the Yemeni people. After President Saleh handed over power to his deputy, President Hadi, President Hadi struggled to deal with a variety of problems that Yemen was faced with. Thus, the Houthis took this weak transition as a chance to shift the political power in Yemen, and took over the capital in early 2015.

The Yemeni Civil situation, however, is truly a proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia. The Houthis are an Iranian backed organization. Saudi Arabia and its allies perceive the rise of the Houthis as an attempt by Iran to expand its influence in the region. Therefore, Saudi Arabia and its allies have backed the Hadi-led government in the war by providing weapons, troops, and air support.

The conflict has only increased tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran, which is problematic for the Middle East. The Yemeni Civil situation has resulted in approximately 10,000 casualties, 5,200 of which are civilian casualties, as well as more than 50,000 deaths as a result of the famine due to the conflict. It is up to the delegates of the council to find a solution in order to put a stop to the increasing death toll, and the increasing tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Reinstating Sanctions on Iran

As of 1979 after the Islamic Revolution in Iran, the US sanctioned and froze all assets in the Islamic Republic of Iran as a rebuttal to the hostage crisis of the US Embassy of Iran. This would give way to the absolute crippling of Iran’s economy and trade with the outside world.

However, a transition from the Islamic Republic’s to develop nuclear uranium with peaceful intention would gain global recognition from the p5+1 countries whom did not believe these intentions were peaceful of any sort but rather an aggressive approach to Iran’s situation. As an outcome to Iran’s rapidly growing nuclear industry in 2014-15, Iran highly suggested to the p5+1 countries and the United Nations Security Council that it would consent to a Nuclear Agreement in return lifting the economic sanctions that have left Iran in such misery. Thus the birth of the Iran Nuclear Agreement of 2015. This agreement consisted of multiple requirements for the Rouhani-lead state, the most significant being Iran’s compliance to the permission of states to consistently check Iran nuclear withdrawal and shortage of nuclear uranium, a reduction of 98% of their available nuclear uranium. The adherence of Iran to this agreement would allow Iran to flourish economically, with its capability to trade with anyone and sell oil to companies of any nationality without concern.

Yet with a new president in the White House, President Trump, as of May of 2018, has retracted from the Iran nuclear deal leading to widespread controversy.

Not only to controversy but to inflation, lack of medication for the masses, and Iran’s missile test of December 1st, 2018 leading the state of Iran in a horrendous position as a power in the middle east.

Delegates, the fate of Iran and security of the Middle East lies in your hands and whether or not the region may prosper through such harsh obstacles and situations.

HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL (HRC)

Solving the issue regarding the sexual violence and harassment against women

Article three of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states, “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person”. The main cause of the violation of women’s rights is gender inequality within the society and the different structures of power relating to gender relations. Some of its roots include cultural patterns, harmful influences of a specific practice, education systems, religious ideologies and the impact media has. This obstacle is also another reason to why women and their children resort to leaving their homes, with hope in finding a secure environment.

Despite the many efforts made by the international women’s rights movements over the course of many years, women’s rights are still violated to this very day. Around the world, women are still denied the access to proper education and political participation. According to women involved in the UN, “Approximately 15 million adolescent girls (aged 15 to 19) worldwide have experienced forced sex (forced sexual intercourse or other sexual acts) at some point in their life.” This fact is a clear representation of the harassment and sexual violence women go through every day.

There are many different forms of abuse that these women go through and some include: marital rape or rape in a relationship, sexual abuse, sexual harassment at work, trafficking women and girls, abortion of baby girls, practices that may be harmful to women, early or forced marriage and many more. Many women are oppressed because of the different types of abuse they go through. They cannot find a voice to help them through the situation they are trying to get out of.

Many countries decided to make an initiative to help solve this problem by creating new laws. However, these laws are not necessarily cooperative with international standards or are implemented. The delegates of the Human Rights Council need to find a long term solution regarding the safety of the women worldwide and need to make sure that their human rights will not be violated, as well the measures that will be taken against the violation of these rights.

Modern day technology and the rights to privacy

Today we are living an era where at least a third of our world’s population is aware and is using modern technology. We have witnessed that technology has been taking an important role in most facets of people’s international and national lives. Thus, we must be aware of and should anticipate the problems that technological advancements will pose for disciplines of law and human rights, specifically the right to privacy.

With that comes the increase in the ability for governments and corporations to access private information easily. The right to privacy is a fundamental human right, and is recognized by the UN and many other international and regional treaties as a first generation human right. Thus, according to the Global Internet Liberty Campaign, privacy underpins human dignity and other key values such as freedom of association and freedom of speech. So the development of technology has changed our world’s understanding of privacy and has shifted the boundary between public and private, resulting in confusion of the meaning of privacy making us question to what extent we should protect it.

Surveillance can be very critical to ensuring safety of civilians by helping prevent crime and terrorism, but it can also harm and infringe upon people by ending political dissent and privacy. At the root of these issues is technology and computer software that is not owned by any one country or corporation, which makes it hard for countries and corporations to decide who gets access to what private information and protecting their users.

Thus, the delegates of the Human Rights Council will have to examine which rights, if any, technology users should receive worldwide and how they will be maintained, as well as the methods and approaches that they will take towards ensuring that these rights are available and given to all citizens. In addition, the measures that will be taken against any countries violating the principles.

ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL (ECOSOC)

Fostering economic resilience in landlocked and less-developed countries to increase their international competitiveness and living conditions

Nowadays, ECOSOC is needed more than ever before. Over 1.2 billion people suffer from poverty, of which countries’ poor economic status is a leading cause. African states such as Ethiopia can be looked at as examples of this arising problem, where the country’s poor economic state results in a shortage of sanitary facilities, a substantial rise in poverty, and extremely poor living conditions.  

Certain countries may be identified as a Least Developed Country (LDC), a classification which was established by the UN in the early 1970s. This classification aims to identify the least developed among the nations of the world in order to use its resources to work in their favor. Forty-eight states are classified as LDCs, with most of them being in Africa. As of today, only 4 states have managed to graduate from the LDC classification, a rather disheartening statistic. 16 of the LDCs are Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs), meaning they are enclosed by land, lacking access to a coast. Therefore, LLDCs are often left isolated from international markets, which is what labels them as the poorest of the developing countries. LLDCs rely on specific markets, and in turn, are more vulnerable to economic disaster.

When exploring the LDCs and LLDCs, a common trend can be found; citizens tend to suffer from high poverty rates and extremely low living conditions. The circumstances these countries find themselves in are a consequence of their unusual nature, which we must not let dictate their economic state. Hence, there is an urgent need for a coherent plan of action to be set in place, which will develop economic resilience and growth.

The former depends on the nation’s capacity to cope with economic shock and disaster, including its ability to minimize and overcome aggregate damages. In order to eliminate the extreme living conditions in LDCs and LLDCs, measures must be taken to reduce their vulnerability to economic disaster and strengthen their resilience to them.

Delegates will have to analyze the specific states of different LDCs and LLDCs and plan accordingly in order to fuel their economic resilience, both increasing their competitiveness in international markets and enhancing the living conditions within them.

Setting a framework for promoting social and economic inclusion of refugees

Roughly 1 in 100 people worldwide have been displaced from their homes due to war or political conflict, and this number is only increasing with time. Unfortunately, with this increase, the world has struggled to provide proper inclusivity to these refugees. The ECOSOC holds the responsibility of working on the pillars of sustainable development (See UN Sustainable Development Goals), and with social and economic matters being two of them, overcoming the lack of inclusion provided to refugees must be a priority.

3.5 million out of 6.4 million refugees of a school-age were enrolled in an education center in 2016, meaning refugee children are five times more likely to not attend school than their non-refugee peers. This alarming statistic is a clear reflection of the lack of economic and social inclusion which refugees suffer from around the world. The persecution, conflict, and violence which forces refugees out of their countries must not be a deciding factor in their ability to have access to basic social and economic needs. 9 out of 10 refugees seek asylum in neighboring countries, and 86% of them are hosted in developing countries. With this, MENA by itself hosts over 39% of them, meaning that countries such as Lebanon, Ethiopia, and Pakistan are hosting a large amount of them. The stated countries lack the economic capability to provide for these refugees, a factor that may be considered to play a major role in the ongoing problem.

Throughout the past 5 years, we have seen the greatest influx in refugees in history. The lack of inclusivity provided to these refugees has proven to be an alerting humanitarian, social, and economic issue. Delegates must act promptly as a committee to find solutions to ensure they are granted proper inclusion in their countries of asylums.

INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT (ICC)

The Trial of Robert Gabriel Mugabe for the Gukurahundi Genocide

The most common atrocities classified as a “genocide” are the Holocaust, and the ethnic cleansing of nearly three million Armenians by the Ottomans. Although this was a terrible tragedy, a less-discussed atrocity that occurred on a smaller scale is the “Gukurahundi” genocide, possibly because it occurred during the Rhodesian Bush War period. Being a horrible example of a Guerilla war, the Bush War could have caused this genocide to be overlooked by many who did not experience it. Starting on the 3rd of January, 1983 and running its course up till the 22nd of December, 1987, the “Gukurahundi” genocide was responsible for the deaths of nearly 30,000 Ndebele people in Matabeleland in Western Zimbabwe. This occurred only three years after the gruesome civil war that Rhodesia, (now modern day Zimbabwe), experienced from July 1964 to December 1979. It was during this period that four forces in the country conflicted, leading to a long-lasting war. One of these parties was led by Robert Mugabe, which prevailed and paved the way for his position as Prime Minister of Zimbabwe in 1980, following the war, and his presidency from 1987 to 2017, following the genocide. To this day, it is often disputed who is to blame for the genocide. However, multiple international bodies and diplomats have thrown the blame from Mugabe, to the commanders and generals of the army, to the party itself.

This year, the International Criminal Court will be trying former Prime Minister and President of Zimbabwe, Robert Gabriel Mugabe, for crimes of aggression, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and crimes of genocide. Moreover, the court will be focusing on validating that the “Gukurahundi” atrocity was in fact a genocide, and if Mugabe, Prime Minister at the time, was the craftsman of the genocide. The advocates and jury have a plethora of resources at their disposal, including the ICC Rome Statute, international law, official government and legal documents, and the agreed-upon definition of genocide. Lastly, the court will come to a conclusion based on the presented facts by the advocates regarding whether it was Mugabe is responsible for the genocide, or whether the blame is to be found elsewhere.

Robert Mugabe was Zimbabwe's first prime minister after its forming. Prior to 1979, the country was called Rhodesia, a temporary unrecognized state during the war period, when the nation was split into different parties with different followers. During the Rhodesian Bush War (1964 - 1979), the main conflicting parties tearing the country apart were: The Rhodesian government, the Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army, the military wing of Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe African National Union, and the Zimbabwe People's Revolutionary Army of Joshua Nkomo's Zimbabwe African People's Union. Robert Mugabe prevailed and later went on to become the Prime minister of Zimbabwe, a recognized state.

Hence, it can be said that he, as prime minister, was responsible for foreseeing the events that occurred in the country, one of those being the military. However, it can also be said that commanders and generals may have had more power over the military, and could have acted independently (an example of such is seen with the military coup in Turkey in 2016).

These are simply a few examples of the multitude of arguments that either side can make to prove their case. Will justice be brought to Mugabe or will he be found innocent? This is what the court will seek to learn at LEBMUN’19.

SECURITY COUNCIL (SC)

Finding a sustainable and efficient solution to the South Sudanese Civil War

The Republic of South Sudan declared its independence from the Republic of Sudan on the 9th of July 2011, following a referendum with 98.83% in favor of separating with the Republic of Sudan. It was admitted into the United Nations 5 days later on the 14th of July 2011, and joined the African Union on the 27th of July 2011, making it the most recent addition to both the United Nations and the African Union. However, as the world would find out, South Sudan’s independence seemed to be the only thing the nation could unanimously agree upon.

On the 15th of December 2013, the president of The Republic of South Sudan, President Salva Kiir accused his former deputy Riek Machar and ten others of attempting a coup d'état. Machar denied trying to start a coup and fled to lead the SPLM - In Opposition (SPLM-IO). Fighting soon broke out between the South People’s Liberation Movement – In Opposition, otherwise referred to as the AGF (Anti Government Forces), and the South People’s Liberation Movement, also known as the SPLM.

In January 2014 the first of many ceasefire agreements was reached. Yet, the civil war proved to be a much more difficult task to solve, due to the persistent fighting throughout the country. A peace agreement known as the “Compromise Peace Agreement” was signed in August 2015, followed by Vice President Riek Machar returning to the capital of South Sudan, Juba, early in 2016. Soon after, President Kiir replaced Vice President Machar with a new Vice President, Taban Deng Gai, which resulted in the splitting of the opposition. This has caused rebel in fighting. In August 2018, yet another power sharing agreement came into effect, creating a ceasefire.

Up to 300,000 people are estimated to have been killed in the South Sudanese Civil War, including notable atrocities like the 2014 Bentiu massacre. Although both men have supporters from across South Sudan's ethnic divides, subsequent fighting has had ethnic undertones. Kiir's Dinka ethnic group has been accused of attacking other ethnic groups and Machar's Nuer ethnic group has been accused of attacking the Dinka.

We as the Security Council must take measures towards solving the South Sudanese Civil War, delegates must work together to find the most efficient and appeasing solution to this conflict that has plagued this nation for the majority of its existence.

Cyber Warfare and Terrorism with a Focus on Russia and the United States of America

Cyber terrorism is defined by U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation as a premeditated attack against a computer system, computer data, programs and other information with the sole aim of violence against clandestine agents and subnational groups. The main aim behind cyber terrorism is to cause harm and destruction.

There are three known types of cyber terrorism:

* Simple: This consists of basic attacks including the hacking of an individual system.

* Advanced: These are more sophisticated attacks and can involve hacking multiple systems and/or networks.

* Complex: These are coordinated attacks that can have a large-scale impact and make use of sophisticated tools.

If cyber terrorism is treated similarly to traditional terrorism, then it only includes attacks that threaten property or lives, and can be defined as the leveraging of a target's computers and information, particularly via the Internet, to cause physical, real-world harm or severe disruption of infrastructure.

Many academics and researchers who specialize in terrorism studies suggest that cyber terrorism does not exist and, is only really a matter of hacking or information warfare.

They disagree with labeling it as terrorism because of the unlikelihood of the creation of fear, significant physical harm, or death in a population using electronic means, considering current attack and protective technologies.

President Donald Trump has reportedly removed restraints on how and when the US can launch cyber-attacks on its adversaries - and it could make attacks on other countries more likely. Trump signed an order Wednesday reversing a series of Obama-era rules, which outlined a process of interagency approval before the US could launch cyber offensives, people familiar with the matter. The Obama-era rules, known as Presidential Policy Directive 20, meant agencies that wanted to launch a cyber-attack had to gain approval from groups across the federal government. This was to ensure that existing defense operations were not harmed by the launch of a new attack.

Michael Daniel, who served as the White House's cyber security coordinator under President Barack Obama, said the change could do more harm than good. "You could end up having an operation wreck a carefully crafted multiyear espionage operation to gain access to a foreign computer system,"

Russian hackers are targeting millions of devices around the world to spy, steal information and build networks for potentially devastating future cyber-attacks, the US and UK have revealed.

The first ever joint “technical alert” from the two countries urged members of the public and businesses to help combat vulnerabilities with basic security precautions. Enemy states using hybrid “weapons” ranging from assassinations and cyber-attacks to the use of fake news and corruption now pose a greater threat to the UK and the West than terrorism, the head of the British Army has warned.

Vladimir Putin’s Russia is the “arch exponent” of this form of clandestine combat and “represents the most complex and capable state-based threat to our country since the end of the Cold War”, said General Sir Nick Carter, adding that this was also the view of fellow commanders in the US, France and Germany. The strategies used by the Kremlin have dramatically progressed since the days of the Cold War, with interference in Western elections, the Brexit referendum and the destabilization of the West’s allies.

“Since 2016 we have seen a marked shift to cyber, subversion and coercion, as well as sophisticated use of smear campaigns and fake news – for example, interference in the US democratic process and the attempted coup in Montenegro”, said Gen Carter.

Security services admitted they do not know the full scale of attacks by state-sponsored Russian hackers, who are using routers connecting people’s homes and offices to the internet to spy on the information going through them, harvesting passwords, data and other information that would later be used in an attack.

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