Press Conference, Historical General Assembly 1991: A Reality Check

ELLA BROWNLIE, AL QUDS AL ARABI (Opinion)

This afternoon a press conference was held in the Historical General Assembly 1991. At this event, the delegates were individually grilled on the content of their working papers; proposals for decolonization in the Western Sahara. Yet the discussion revealed that the committee has some work to do.

Many of the delegates appear to have submitted working papers, based on idealistic plans with serious practical, financial and logical flaws.

Superficial solutions and blatant contradictions are apparent in several of the delegates’ proposals. Italy remains adamant that Moroccan settlers should be given citizenship in the new regime, yet refuses to allow them to vote in the election of a country they would inhabit.

Saudi Arabia, in turn, is attempting to build a “mixed mission” legal system, based on cooperation between Saharawi tribes and the Moroccan rule of law. Yet when questioned, the delegate admitted that a central authority would be needed to govern the region overall, and appeared to assume that the losing party would be happy to cooperate under such an arrangement.

Then there was the outright hypocrisy. Nigeria has been quick to decry the human rights violations committed by POLISARIO forces, but when questioned about their recognition of SADR as a sovereign government, they failed to explain why their government is supporting a regime that also abuses human rights.

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In addition, several delegates appeared very vague on where the funding for their projects was coming from. Both the United States and Libya mentioned the World Bank and the United Nations Development Program as a potential source of funding for their social projects in the Western Sahara. Both assumed that this would be an infinite financial resource.

Likewise, Singapore and her allies are proposing a temporary ban on foreign exports out of Western Sahara, in the hope of preventing the exploitation of these resources by Morocco. When questioned about how this ban would affect local Saharawi, whose livelihoods are dependent on such exports – the delegate from Singapore admitted that these exporters would need to be compensated by the World Bank.

Greater creativity by the delegates will be required going forward. Throwing money from the World Bank at a problem, will not necessarily fix it.

It would be beneficial if Libya could provide slightly more innovative ideas regarding the type of ‘social programs’ they see being initiated. Their coalition is proposing the DDR agreement; a straight swap. Militia and armed forces trade in their guns and other weapons for “social programs” funded by, you guessed it —the World Bank. 

This flawed assumption that Moroccan or Saharawi parties will give up a struggle of territory and communal identity for “social programs” doled out like sweets by paternalistic beneficiaries, demonstrates a lack of imagination on the behalf of the committee.

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This committee is fighting to reverse the brutal legacy of colonialism, yet propositions like these seek only to perpetuate the theme of imperialism and to reduce the autonomy of African nations. Identity issues in the Western Sahara, and indeed the entire Middle East, require far more attention than the sticking plaster solutions proposed so far..

Going forward, there are three key areas that all states need to address in detail. A decision must be made on which parties will vote in the referendum, backed by strong reasoning. States also need to demonstrate a procedure to deal with the aftermath of the election result, based on an informed social assessment of the perspective of both parties. Ultimately, comprehensive and financially viable plans are ncessary for reconstruction in the Western Sahara; based not on paternalistic philosophy, but a genuine commitment to the economic and social empowerment of this African state.

Following this recent press conference, we hope to see delegates prepared to fill some substantial gaps in their working papers, or to make some very good friends at the World Bank.

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Peaceful Uses of Outer Space: Nuclear Weapons?

By KATIE JONES, THE STRAITS TIMES (Opinion)

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Delegates look over the working papers in the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space committee.

The Peaceful Uses of Outer Space committee is introducing working papers. The solutions presented have raised questions as to if this committee is really focused on developing cooperation and coordination in the final frontier.

China wants to expand an arsenal of nuclear weapons. It’s simple to determine that most Asian nations, Singapore included, will not be happy if this is allowed. It gets crazier though—Indonesia has offered its full support to China’s resolution. The diplomatic relations between the two regions were suspended in 1967. Indonesia must have had a serious change of heart to allow China to perform a power play on an international level.

With China being a global power, this has a massive effect on the security of Singapore. Saying that the expansion of nuclear weapons is for everyone’s own protection is absolutely ridiculous, and it will create a lot of enemies in the Asian region of the world. The government of Singapore strongly condemns the actions of China, and looks forward to cooperation with allies such as Malaysia, Brunei, and Myanmar. As for Indonesia, they too deserve to be cut out of any Asia-Pacific negotiations because they will be labeled as traitors.

There’s even more information that is extremely concerning on a global scale. Russia and the United States are coordinating on the same working paper, both involving increasing nuclear arsenals for the “safety and security of the world”. Iran and Spain are also on this working on this paper, which is rather odd because the president of the United States tried to ban the people of Iran from entering the nation. What is actually going on?

Nuclear weapons need to be forgotten about. While they may be practical for defending the planet against asteroids (According to NASA, the chances of an asteroid hitting Earth is one in 63,000), nations simply cannot be trusted in expanding their arsenals. Small nations are left floundering, and are forced to seek refuge under any of the permanent members of the United Nations.

Even more radical ideas were offered in the committee. Crowdfunding $50,000 dollar missiles, building missile silos on the moon (which would be a massive violation of international law), and even ideas that literally straight out of Star Wars.

As this committee begins to vote on solutions, all we can do is hope that small nations similar to ours will band together to stop the hegemonic nations from power grabbing. As far as The Straits Times can tell, this committee is not peaceful.

Spain Interviews about the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space Committee

By KATIE JONES, THE STRAITS TIMES (Interview Transcript)

Q: What is your main stance on the topic?

A: The delegation of Spain is mainly focusing on protection through observation but also weaponry. We want to have extremely advanced detection software, but also we hope to somehow form a way in which nations can hold nuclear weapons only for peaceful uses. It sounds strange, nuclear weapons, but it may just work with the right steps.

 

Q: Isn’t there any other means of destroying asteroids besides nuclear weapons?

A: Unfortunately not really. People often view asteroids as these medium sized rocks just drifting around space. It’s not true. Asteroids fly thousands of miles per hour, and they can be the giant, like the size of Texas. The only technology we have right now that could solve the problem is nuclear weapons. Honestly, it is so rare that an asteroid would hit Earth, that this is all hypothetical. It probably won’t happen.

 

Q: How do you feel about Russia and the United States working on the same paper?

A: So we are actually on that paper with them. It’s strange that they are willing to work together in this instance and it could be mildly concerning. Yet, we are here for our interests only. I don’t really care what Russia or the US do, as we have decent relations with both nations. My main concern is the safety of the citizens of Spain.

 

Q: Have you heard of any ideas that you do not agree with?

A: Yes, tons actually. Someone was hoping to get missiles for the UN, which would mean an international body would have access to weapons. I really don’t even know how someone could come to that conclusion. There was also one idea discussing building missile containers on the moon. While it sounds like a good idea, you have to understand that the moon doesn’t belong to anyone, so this would violate some form of international law.

 

Q: China has offered to expand their weaponry solely for the use of defending space. What do you think about this?

A: I’m not sure. It seems a little sketchy as China is a global competitor to lead the world. It’s something that should definitely be looked into, and no irrational decisions can be made yet. In short, I am not sure what my opinion would actually be, but I suppose I would lean more towards disagreeing with China’s intentions.

 

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Delegation of Spain discusses nuclear weapons and space with The Straits Times.

Captains of American Industry Struggle to Agree

By YENA SEO, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL (Expository)

The Captains of American Industry have been busy addressing various economic issues and crises that have left the American public disengaged and many industries failing to meet productivity goals. Despite the committee’s active work to keep their economic powerhouses afloat and to expand the technological revolution, it has run into various obstacles and offered no clear solution.

Unfortunately for the Captains of American Industry, the United States Congress passed the Interstate Commerce Act of 1887, making industries subject to regulation. Previously, Representative Joseph Gurney Cannon (R-IL) had addressed the industry titans, noting that the bill was in response to public demand that railroad operations be regulated. The Act, which had enthusiastic bipartisan support, also established the Interstate Commerce Commission. The ICC has been tasked with investigating and regulating industries and corporations in order to ensure free trade and the elimination of monopolies.

While the Interstate Commerce Act was passed by Congress to address the railroad industry, a crisis update noted that in the last few months, Congress had edited the bill to strengthen its language. Although most analysts are unsure on the specific causes of the change to the bill’s language, data and public opinion surveys shows that the American general public displayed pro-regulation sentiments and enthusiastic support for a strong bill.

The American public has also shown more approval for federal regulation and a lack of interest in the industries led and maintained by the members of the Captains of American Industry. This lack of investment has resulted in the economic downturn of several industries, which has depressed stocks and alarmed many industry titans.

Thomas Edison noted that one of the reasons for the American public’s lack of interest and investment in these industries is because of a disconnect between the rural towns of America and the flourishing cities on the coasts. Edison expressed interest in connecting the East and West coasts via railroad networks in his “Old New Deal” directive.

“Bridging the divide will allow the American public to have confidence in its industries once again,” Edison said. “I’d like to press forward to invest in railroad networks, power grids and oil fields.”

Other industry leaders advocated for greater education of the American public, noting that one of the reasons for a lack of investment into industry and technology was an educational gap. One directive, “Make America Great Via Education,” emphasized a need for a network of vocational and trade schools across the U.S. that would encourage teaching in engineering, science, chemistry and electricity.

However, none of the directives could gain solid support, and the Captains of American Industry were unable to draft directives that would garner American support and address growing concerns.

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Andrew Carnegie waits to speak on educational improvement in the Captains of American Industry.

Africa Plus Block Denies Pro-Sovereignty Working Paper

By Daniel Juliao, El Mundo

The Special Summit on Terrorism is slowly edging closer to voting on working papers. By this point in committee, the blocs that will dictate later committee dynamics have begun to form. The Pro-Sovereignty Agreement advocates for the independence of nations. The working paper consists of signatories from all parts of the worlds including China, Cuba, Czech Republic. Egypt, Iran, Russian Federation, and Syria. El Mundo agrees and disagrees with distinct portions of this working paper.

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The Sovereignty section of this working paper.

The area of strongest disagreement is the sovereignty component. It states that terrorism is an act done with the intention of creating a new nation state and asks the UN to assist only when recognized governments ask for assistance. Moreover, it specifies that countries requesting assistance must have veto power over actions done by the international body within their country. El Mundo disagrees with this extreme notion of sovereignty. Most of the signatories for this working paper have distinct histories of human rights violations against their own citizens. Terrorism in this situation may not be destructive, but rather a form of revolution against an oppressive and tyrannical government. If these nations were to receive veto power, then peacekeepers and outside support for a devastated minority may cease to exist.

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The Delegate of Cote d’Ivore was eager to participate in the interview. 

However, El Mundo does not disagree with the concept of sovereignty and actually agrees with the idea of countries maintaining sovereignty. The African Plus Bloc presents a valid working paper on how to properly deal with terrorism while supporting sovereignty to a reasonable extent. The African Plus Block consists of African countries including Cote d’Ivore and Nigeria. The African Plus Block wrote a working paper called the C.O.AL Essence. To gather a better understanding of the working paper I interviewed the delegate from Cote d’Ivore. The delegate from Cote d’Ivore advocated for maintaining sovereignty to each respective country while compromising to an extent the Pro-Sovereignty Agreement does not. The C.O.A.L advocates delegating power to regional bodies because they are able to handle crises while maintaining sovereignty.

 

Press Release 2: Iran (SAVE Plan)

Historic General Assembly, 1991

Via: ELLA BROWNLIE, AL QUDS AL ARABI

The situation in Western Sahara is critical and can only be resolved through negotiation, compromise and transparency.

The General Assembly stands for all of these values and principles and we would like to let the world know that countries like Iran, USSR, Syria, Venezuela and others are working to make sure that the post-referendum situation is safe for everyone.

No matter the outcome of the referendum, either independence or integration, know that those affected after the vote will be made guarantees and promises to keep them safe.

Signatories to the SAVE Plan: Sri Lanka, Egypt, Czechoslovakia, Senegal, Mexico, Morocco, Cote D’Ivoire, Syria, USSR, Venezuela, Iran.

Press Release 1: Venezuela; Historic General Assembly 1991

Via ELLA BROWNLIE, AL QUDS AL ARABI

The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela as one of the few nations who recognizes the governments of the Sawarhi people takes issue with any action that results in the administering of election processes by conflicted parties. such as the Moroccan army, as was suggested in a working paper that the United States was a signatory too.

We believe in independent and third party oversight leading to free, safe and fair elections.