Tagged: General Assembly

Salsa Dancing During WHO Superlatives and Auction

By KIRTHANA SASITHARAN, HURRIYET DAILY NEWS

Upon walking by the World Health Organization committee room, an exciting and feisty vibe erupted from the room. Upon further inspection, it was seen that two delegates, one from Chile and one from Pakistan, were salsa dancing before the Dias! See the video for more!

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State Building: Not An Easy Task

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By KRISTIAM HERRERA-CARRASCO, THE NEW YORK TIMES

Issues of building state capacity for regions that have realized independence are numerous.  These areas are beginning to be built all across the globe as well, the result being the necessity of United Nations to assess how they can aid not only in construction of the capitalist states but also in forming compatible relations with other independent states.  In order for these states to function peacefully, according to the UN’s Special Political and Decolonization Committee (SPECPOL), they must organize their own armed forces (national and local) – private armies would only lead to further conflicts.  Protection of their civilians from threats inside and out is one of the most significant operations.  Another is taxation.  This “necessary evil” of a society must be implemented in order to maintain these armed forces, as well as other required elements.

The formation of a working government might be an example of a very necessary but very challenging aspect of state building.  Obviously, those in power must not exert too much control.  Yet the effort to construct a bureaucracy can be mired in the likes of religious or spiritual beliefs, in which case, there would be a risk that the state could revert back to the old ways of a premodern tribal society.  This is not to say tribal societies could not function, but as a state seeking to be involved in international relations, this would probably cause a myriad of complicated issues of conflicting beliefs.  In addition, building a new government for the now-independent state is not meant to undermine the society’s origins – its customs, morals, or culture overall.  The concern here is creating an effective bureaucracy so that the society’s international relations can operate smoothly.

Thus, a democratic state could work in the favor of allowing the traditions of a society to remain without affecting the legal framework.  Moreover, the state should develop a system of checks and balances.  A government that permits the people to voice their concerns can foster a sense of belonging to a progressive, operational state.  Relations on an international level can also be a matter that involves the citizens so that they feel that they now have a place in the world.

Citizens of these independent states are likely to seek the same types of advantages and assistances as others.  Educational services should be established, and, as it has become state-aided in a wide variety of areas, a healthcare system should be provided.  There is still no conventional standard for what a state can provide within these two common establishments, however.

All of these functions are the norm in the comprised parts of a state.  Each state can still retain its own identity by choosing to implement its own conditions for the individual functions as well.  The development of these independent should lead to a cohesive system that reaches all over the globe, from the least populated to the most densely populated.  Ideally, a world consisting of effectively built nation-states can help to preserve peace.

Netherlands calls out Mexico’s Perception of Women; Draft Resolutions have their last shot at Justification

By KIRTHANA SASITHARAN, HURRIYET DAILY NEWS

Yesterday, in the World Conference on Women, it was reported from delegates in committee session that the delegate from Mexico had been repeatedly referring to women as flowers and suggesting the fragile nature of women was an important trait for the committee to consider. Many delegates felt uncomfortable with these comparisons and even upset about what had been said. Other delegates in the World Conference on Women also stated that the delegate from Mexico had a tendency to make “poems” out of the speeches they presented.

It was the delegate from Netherlands that felt that this habit needed to be called out and addressed in front of the committee. The delegate from Netherlands sent the following message to be read in front of the dias:

“Netherlands am presenting this one flower as a statement to the Conference of Women that are gathered in this room today. Mexico has been comparing women to flowers throughout her speeches. Women are not flowers. They are the earth, the soil that provides nutrients to the flowers. Flowers represent beauty, delicateness, frailty and have a temporary lifespan. Flowers are enjoyed for the moment, whereas earth and the soil represent strength, endurance, nurturing and growth. And these are the traits that Netherlands aligns women with.”

The delegate from Netherlands felt it was important to compare women to another natural element beyond flowers. The delegates comparison to earth/soil was validated by the attributes that pertain to the earth/soil and how they align more so with the role of women in society. The delegate continued on to say:

“The earth/soil is one of the core elements, alongside with fire, water and air. Earth/soil encourages growth and evolvement of life through reproduction of the species. Like the earth/soil, women represent strength and endurance and the ability to provide life to flowers.”

The delegate from Netherlands highlighted many of the negative notions that come with comparing women to flowers. The delegate mentioned that by referring to women as flowers, we are taking a step back in the progress we as a society are trying to make to help advance women. 

“Flowers do not have the stability or endurance to promote life and growth. Once a flower is cut, it is considered dead. A flower’s temporary existence does not leave a permanent mark or impression that other people remember or notice…Mexico is comparing women to flowers and in doing so, places great emphasis on the element of beauty or how women are seen as beautiful. However, a woman undergoes change and transformation exactly like the 4 seasons. We change a lot physically, but the essence of women always remains beautiful in its inner core. “

To conclude, the delegate from Netherlands wrote to the dias that women’s comparison should reflect the permanent status of women and the inner qualities that make them stand out.

 “Flowers would not exist without the soil that supports them, just as women provide inner support. Soil is a natural substance, made in the earth. Hence it is a main element of life. The earth’s soil is permanent just like a woman’s greatness is permanent!”

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The delegates in the World Conference on Women look upon the speakers as they defend the various Draft Resolutions on the table.

In today’s committee session, the delegate from Mexico had the chance to speak and in doing so, chose not to compare women to flowers. Instead the delegate chose to compare draft resolutions of butterflies. The delegate’s aim was to get the committee to come together and agree on resolutions and the committee hopes to soon be going into voting procedure.

The delegate from Seychelles encouraged delegates to come up with amendments that reflected the ideas of all the delegates, since there were a few draft resolutions on the table. By making amendments, the hope was that the committee would come up with one strong draft resolution. The delegate from China then spoke to highlight the distinct features that could be found in Draft Resolution 1.1. The main points being that Draft Resolution 1.1:

  1. Encouraged partnerships with private sectors, as that would help them get the messages that the committee is trying to put out, faster
  2. Is the only Draft Resolution with a male education program
  3. Highlights sexual assault treatment in the aftermath being a substantial initiative to follow through with

Despite the delegate from China pointing out the strong suits of Draft Resolution 1.1, the delegate from Pakistan pointed out that the biggest problem with the approaches taken thus far was the lack on implementation. The delegate addressed that Draft Resolution 1.3 was a resolution that discussed semantics, saying that this draft resolutions discusses ideas about how conservative countries, like Pakistan, can come on board and accept the progress the committee is trying to make. The delegate from Pakistan also said that Draft Resolution 1.3 was a resolution that addressed minorities, which includes, but is not limited to women in prisons and migrants. This would allow more women to have a larger spectrum of rights and attention.

The speakers’ list soon ended with the Moderator going over the resolutions currently on the table. The committee will soon be voting on an appropriate resolution.

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The delegate from Mexico looks attentively at the Draft Resolutions presented on the projector.

GLOCAL? Water You Talking About?

By ANDREA MANGET, THE GLOBE AND MAIL

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Sebastian Carreno, Pakistan, urges importance of GLOCAL.

The name of Pakistan’s game is GLOCAL and today their delegation team made serious waves in SPECPOL.  

One of SPECPOL’s biggest topics of discussion this weekend has been water scarcity and the conflicts that surround it. The Globe and Mail took a minute to sit down with Sebastian Carreno, delegate of Pakistan, to discuss the logistics of his team’s proposed resolution. 

GLOCAL’s main objective is to foster a global approach on water affairs and advocate for local solutions, implementation and action. The initiative’s core framework utilizes a legal toolbox that would essentially be tailored to each country, taking in their own circumstances and considerations. Pakistan says that next steps include working directly with the United Nations Security Council, providing them with the adequate suggestions and tools of GLOCAL and finally, enforcing newer and stronger regulations surrounding both water scarcity and ownership. 

Pakistan thinks GLOCAL must be put into effect immediately. With over 280 individual cases and conflicts concerning water regulation worldwide, there are only 18 lateral and bi-lateral agreements in place that enforce any kind of control.

Pakistan’s proposition is similar to other agreements that have worked well for countries thus far. For example, the existing treaty between Pakistan and India has proven to be a great success. The agreement involves Pakistan holding control over three rivers in the East and India, maintaining three in the West. Since the introduction of the treaty in 1960, Pakistan and India have had no conflict over issues regarding water.

While Carreno sees the tool being exceptionally beneficial to many nations, it would not be advantageous to all. “A country could lose a lot of hegemony,” Carreno said, “and they would rather maintain that hegemony than lose it to water.” The factor of a country’s sovereignty is significant, proving that GLOCAL may not be of interest to everyone. Yet, it would still have a positive impact on developing countries or nations in current debate such as Israel and Palestine with their conflict over the Gaza Strip.

W.O.M.E.N’s role in the World Conference on Women

By OLIKA DANIEL GODSON, DIE WELT

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David Rodriguez, United Republic of Tanzania’s delegate to the World Conference on Women.

United Republic of Tanzania’s David Rodriguez sat with our representative this afternoon to discuss the progress of the debate in the World Conference on Women and the important recommendations of the Bloc; W.O.M.E.N. in the ongoing debates in the World Conference on Women. The bloc has some member states like; Qatar, US, Switzerland, Tanzania and Iceland. The bloc, amongst a plethora of other objectives it seeks to achieve, recognizes the role of African Women in world economy and proposes that they be included in the economic activities of their countries.

The bloc realizes that due to the dire economic situation of the black continent, it always bears the brunt of whatever negative economic situation occurs in the world, as evidenced in the case of the 2009 economic crisis. It  therefore proposes that there be an intensive program to ensure equal participation of the women in Africa in its economic activities in order to create women entrepreneurs and economic leaders. It recognizes that due to the high population of women in the continent, such a program would have great economic benefits for the continent and the world at large.

To achieve this objective it has a three-part plan which includes;

  • Reduce maternal deaths in Africa by two-thirds meaning a drop from 290,000 to 96,000.
  • Reduce newborn death by more than three-fourths. Meaning a drop from 2.9 million to 700,000 annually.
  • Reducing the cases of perinatal transmission of HIV by an estimate of 121,000 cases annually, representing $7,240 in savings per infection averted.

He states that the financial estimate for achieving these plans is $32 billion. When asked about how the bloc proposes that such financial commitments that come with undertaking the plan be met, Rodriguez stated that the Bloc proposes active participation of international actors and the collective effort of state parties. It also proposes that women be allowed to work and be part of the economic production. This plan, he states, is also highly sustainable as the ripple effects of the economic benefits would lead to massive investments, increased labor force and a good succession plan would ensure that this plan goes on in perpetuity. This thus translates to increased economic benefits for decades to come!

Zika Virus Leads Legal Revolution in South America

BY OLIKA DANIEL GODSON, DIE WELT

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The World Conference on Women during the Press Conference

The WHO has described and categorized the Zika virus as an epidemic in Latin America which has caused severe birth defects. Furthermore, this virus can be sexually transmitted. The Zika virus has far-reaching effects, and these are not limited to medical effects. The virus appears to also affect cultural, religious, and legal norms especially in South America. Religion plays a great part in South American countries, and the presence of this virus questions what the cultural and legal responses will be on the issue of abortion, which is illegal in most of these countries. Abortion in South America, however, may sometimes be allowed if the fetus threatens the life of the mother. In a Press Conference with the World Conference on Women this afternoon, South American states debated over what the legal and cultural responses should be.

The delegate from Nicaragua stated that abortion, according to the values of the country, is criminalized. However, its legislature might consider making it legal as the virus possesses great danger in this region. This apparently shows a perfect example of a situation where the Zika virus starts a legal revolution that could eventually lead to the revolution of abortion laws. Much will not be changing in Chile, however, as it already legalizes abortion in cases where the life of the mother is at stake. Mexico pointed out that abortion is already legal in the country.

The situation in Argentina is similar to that of Chile as it also already recognizes and allows abortion when the mother’s life is at stake. The delegate endorsed her support of vaccination. The doctors would, however, would have to look more into the issue when a threat exists and only allow abortion in a deadly case.

The responses by other South American countries with strict anti-abortion laws remain to be heard as the topic affects core moral and religious values of the region.

Interview: Mexico in SPECPOL proposes a tripartite formula for preventing Water Wars.

By OLIKA DANIEL GODSON, DIE WELT

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Louis Gagny: Delegate from Mexico in SPECPOL

In an interview with Mexico’s representative to the Special Political and Decolonization Committee, Louis Gagny, he revealed that the country is working actively on ending water wars and preventing cases of water scarcity in the world. He said that active steps are underway to create a framework and a system to effectively manage this crisis.

He stated that his country is currently a member of a bloc which has countries like Mexico, USA and the UAE. He says the recommendation of his bloc as well as his Country specifically is a three-fold formula to end water scarcity.

He said the first way of attacking the problem is to approach the causes of trans-boundary conflict on water and recognize it as a world problem in order to effectively combat it with the vigor and attention it deserves.

He said the second was they propose to combat the problem is to renew the pattern and framework of the 1977 Convention as well as create guidelines for State Parties to follow in the management of water resources.

The third and final approach they propose is to create a Special Rapporteur for a Water Resources Committee whose major function would be to report periodically to the Committee on the state of water management by various member states as well as make recommendations on a country to country basis.

The recommendations proposed by Mexico appear to be practical and effective strategies for combating the problem of dwindling water resources. Die Welt hopes that these recommendations see the light of day.