Establishing Safe Zones

BY RAHUL REGULA, Daily Sabah

In the second session of the United Nations Security Council meetings on the Kurdish state, delegations are split upon the hearing of the recently passed resolution coming out of the DISEC committee. Some delegates see this resolution as a good starting point for establishing a future Kurdish state. Others see this as overstepping, believing this is something that should not be decided by a group of a few nations that cannot fully understand this complex issue.

The resolution calls for the establishment of safe zones in Turkey and Syria managed by a peacekeeping unit known as the United Nations Mission in Syria and Turkey (UNAMST). This unit will be managed by the department of peacekeeping operations and the secretariat of the UN. The security council will conduct the operation for six months and will remain in the specified safe zones until the conflict is deemed as resolved by the council.

Two directives were introduced each with their own take on how they want to tackle this new update. The Russian delegation worked one of the directives and they see this as an opening to help the Kurdish people establish a sovereign state. In their directive, they are focusing on anti-colonialist principles and believe in investing in Kurdish infrastructure (they were not specific as what this entails). As they are allies with Turkey, who has a bloody history with the Kurds, the Russian delegates would love to see Turkey join the fray and cooperate in helping to get this problem fixed. The Russian delegation also sees this as an opportunity for the leader of Turkey, President Erdogan, to legitimize his power and country in the international community.  

Delegates in the UNSC debating about the recently passed resolution from DISEC

The other directive, which the United Kingdom delegation (UK) helped to write, opposes the previous directive and instead calls for the delegitimization of the Turkish government and to cease arms sales to the Turkish military. The UK feels that western nations should not intervene in this matter; instead, the UK delegation said that “we believe as a western nation we have the obligation to empower these people to fight for their fates, not us deciding the solution for them.” Countries who were previously imperial powers should not give their solution to the matter since it is not their business to get involved in these groups’ problems. What they could do instead is support and empower the Kurds to choose their destiny and what they really want in terms of sovereignty and recognition.

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