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World News & Report

Friday, February 17, 2012


Delegates propose arming Free Syrian Army

ST. LOUISIn the wake of Syrian President Bashar al-Assads assassination, at least two Security Council South delegates proposed arming Syrian rebels a move unlikely to pass in vote. During an early morning emergency session, the delegate from Saudi Arabia urged the council to allow members of the Arab League to arm the Free Syrian Army rebel forces, in order to take action against government persecution. How can we stand by and do nothing as innocent citizens are being tortured and killed, the delegate asked. Syria has been rocked with growing protests and a violent government crackdown, resulting in thousands of civilian deaths. Arab League observers

We urge the international community to back actions of the League of Arab States, said Colombia


said Assads forces were killing peaceful civilian protesters on a massive scale. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon rebuked the Assad government at a press conference for expanding its shelling and shootings.

Everyday those numbers rise, Ban said. Weve seen neighborhoods shelled indiscriminately. Hospitals used as torture centers. Children as young as 10 years old jailed and abused. We see almost certain crimes

against humanity. The lack of agreement in the Security Council does not give the government license to continue this assault on its own people. The longer we debate, the more people will die.
SYRIA, Page 2

Secretary General approves Palestine application

ST. LOUIS An application for Palestine to become a member state of United Nations was approved by the MMUN Secretary General this afternoon. Secretary General BranMMUN News & Report

don Bezners decision meant that the Security Council could take up the issue, which it did, unanimously approving the membership. Im excited to see what the Midwest Model U.N. delegates do in regards to

the U.N. membership of Palestine, Bezner said. The General Assembly can now decide whether the Middle Eastern territoy can become a full member of the U.N. with voting rights. Palestine submitted a

formal request for membership during a meeting of the General Assembly in September. Palestine ought to have the right to determine their status in the international community as a state in the
Volume 6, Issue 4

CSD works on sewage control

ST. LOUIS Waste cant always go down the drain so the Commission on Sustainable Development is working on a resolution that would provide loans to encourage states to pursue green and safe waste solutions. Right now, we are working on the management of sewage control, and what were working on right now is a resolution that would encourage countries to develop

sustainable waste solutions, France said. The program being discussed would use trade incentives, which include the lessening of trade restrictions and the encouraging of private companies to invest in a particular country, as a source of funding for the sustainable solutions. The CSD is developing a plan to minimize waste as a part of overall national development plans. However, when waste is minimized, to a transitional governing council and face prosecution for crimes committed while in office. Arming the rebel forces would be ill-advised at this time, the delegate from South Africa said. South Africa believes that reconciliation courts between the Alawite people and the Free Syrian Army should be created to better establish a lasting peace. South Africa will actually lend Nelson Mandela and his expertise for the establishment of these courts. Syria has attempted to make the point that this is a domestic issue and does not require military intervention of the UN or any other outside forces. Adding force to force will only create more instability, the delegate from Portugal said. NATO is not supporting military force at this time. If the U.N. gets involved it needs to be for humanitarian reasons, to help the citizens. If we use force, it will only create a mass

some waste will still remain, for example, discharge of sludge at sea. Waste isnt just an ecological issue. Unsanitary conditions, including the pollution of drinking water by waste, kills millions of people each year. Less than 10 percent of urban wastes receive some form of treatment and only a small portion of treatment complies with quality disposal of fecal matter. Funding shouldnt be a genocide. The United Kingdom also pushed for humanitarian action. The United Kingdom cannot stand for this, its delegate said. It will just cause more murder and more bloodshed. We need to offer our assistance to any refugees and help with any moves toward a democratic

problem, the delegates from Norway and France said, pointing to possible sources at the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the Economic and Social Committee. Consensus, consensus, consensus, the delegate from Canada said. Were pretty sure that our resolution will go through based on consensus. It involves everyone. It should be fine. transition. Other delegates, including Brazil, made it clear that they do not support regime change or military intervention in Syria. Consensus was slow, as the divisive issue of UN boots-on-the-ground action prevented the development of a comprehensive resolution.


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At least 5,400 people have been killed in the past year, according to U.N. numbers. We urge the international community to back the actions of the League of Arab States, the delegate from Columbia said. The Syrian government has not only turned its weapons on rebel forces but the civilian population at large. The government needs to be held accountable for its actions. Immediately following the assassination, through a combination of targeted assassinations and car and suicide bombings, the Free Syrian Army executed a series of well-coordinated attacks against the Alawites who hold high positions in government and business. So far, an estimated 150 to 175 people have been killed. The Free Syrian Army is promising that the streets of Syria will run red with Alawite blood if the current regime does not transfer power

See Midwest Model U.N. 53

from the other side of the dais

Applications are available in conference services

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Volume 6, Issue 4, Page 2

Biotechnology potential to open doors

ST. LOUIS Garbage doesnt just have to sit there. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that if energy was captured from half of the waste currently being landfilled, it could provide over 270 billion cubic feet of methane per year. That sounds like a lot, but its equivalent to one percent of U.S. electrical needs. Biotechnology has the potential for opening new doors to a new and better frontier, the delegate from Malta said. He encouraged delegates to pass amendments that allow all countries to have access to biotechnology. Because of the financial crisis and a tightening of credit, the private sector may not be delving into this area as much as it would during a more prosperous time. Governments already spend a lot of money subsidizing certain industries. For example, they

The delegate from France works on amendments during ECOSOC plenary Friday at the Midwest Model United Nations Conference.


spend more than $400 billion each year subsidizing fossil fuels, the United Nations estimated in 2006. Under a proposal in the Economic and Social Committee, the U.N. would assist governments in biotechnology investment, for example building bioreactors. A bioreactor accelerates the decomposition other groups attain the status of being a state. Palestinian statehood has been an issue within the United Nations for the past 64 years, since the creation of the state of Israel. For far too long has the U.N. skirted this issue and allowed Israel to violate the rights of Palestines

of organic waste, leading to smaller, less hazardous landfills. The estimated cost to run a bioreactors can range anywhere $21 to $167 per thousand gallons. We believe that (the potential cost of waste solution programs) would be an unfair burden on developing countries, Malta said. sovereign borders, the delegate from South Africa said. Therefore, this (body) will recognize Palestines rights as a sovereign nation and grant them all of the protections and benefits within the U.N. henceforth. The only opposition came from the delegate from the United States.

Delegates proposed a tiered system to figure out how much funding assistance nations qualified for. Where they fell on that system would depend how much of an effort they make to improve their waste management systems. Russia was concerned about how much authority the U.N. would have over the systems. Its very strong(ly worded), the delegate from Russia said. Western countries (will) basically provide all of the funding. Russia doesnt want the U.N. to tell us how to run our waste management systems. The proposals also dont include checks on the progress of the programs. To ensure the funds are spent properly, Pakistan defended the U.N.s right to investigate a beneficiary states spending. The funds that are provided need to be used for the solutions at hand and nothing more, he said. Although the U.S. supports a two-state solution, the delegate does not believe that this is the correct forum. (If) the question of Palestinian statehood is brought to vote, I am undecided on whether I will veto or walkout, the delegate from the U.S. said, who ended up not voting.


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same way that nearly every other state has done, the delegate from India said. This is both a fundamental right of any group of people wanting to attain recognition but also of current members of the United Nations who wish to see

MMUN News & Report

Volume 6, Issue 4, Page 3

Resolutions dont fit needs of all

ST. LOUIS When the 63 delegations of the General Assembly gathered Friday morning, they discussed capital investment in agriculture growth through the use of biotechnology. A few of the countries felt that the resolutions passed by Third Committee did not fit the needs of all of the member states, especially the least developed countries. The problem with capital investment in agriculture is that it is usually not sustainable for LDCs (least developed countries), the delegate from Spain said. They then become reliant upon the people who provided it originally.

You can call it agricultural imperialism if you want. They are talking about all of these best practices involving chemicals. However, the best practices are thousands of years old. Spains stance was met with agreement by the delegate from China, whose country has a long history resulting in the traditional methods it still uses. Those practices should be taught to countries with a larger need, instead of relying on genetically modified seeds, China said. What we want to be emphasizing here is sustainable agriculture, China said. This (resolution) really takes a strong assumption that biofuel is renewable en-

ergy, and that is highly debatable. China, for instance, is one of those countries that have been using the sustainable local farming techniques for thousands of years. Other delegates disagreed, saying these resolutions fit the needs of all member states. The nice thing about the U.N. is that a lot of the programs and a lot of the issues introduced are optional so it is almost looked at as a tool box, the delegate from Qatar said. You can choose to use them or not use them. Based on that point, we dont ask any country to have to use that program we just ask member states to have the ability to use them

as an option. While biotechnology offers a lot of revenue to the countries that can support it, uncertainty lies with the conditions that often come with biotechnology, especially for those countries with limited resources. What happens is they put thousands of dollars developing these (biotechnology solutions) and then charge those (least developed countries) and they wont even let them keep the seeds after they are harvested, Spain said. The countries then have to buy new ones. Its not sustainable because they have to buy new seeds every year in order to grow more food.

Security Council calls for ceasefire

ST. LOUIS The Security Council is calling for a ceasefire following the assassination of Syrian President Bashar alAssad and the subsequent outburst of violence in the capital and surrounding areas. The resolution, which passed by a vote of 9-1 with five abstentions Friday afternoon, also established a peace summit to handle the next steps as Syrias vice president takes over the interim presidency. Elections must be held within 90 days under Syrias constitution, so delAL-JAZEERA

egates wanted the summit to take place before then, within 30 to 45 days, in a neutral location like Geneva. For some delegates, the resolution was an improvement over a previous draft. It intensified the language, using words like strongly encourages instead of implores, but it wasnt enough for some of the delegations that chose to abstain. We thought the resolution that was passed was too weak, the delegate from Germany said. He also noted the committee needed to be

tougher on the political reform in Syria and the implementation of more sanctions or at least to have noted the previous sanctions on Syria. Beyond the peace summit, the resolution calls on Syria to let in international observers and accept aide. Syria has already let in observers from the Arab League. That was important to the delegate from the U.S., who said he was adamant on making sure an observer mission was able to make it into Syria to watch over human rights. There was one area in which some delegations

wanted to tone down the resolution. We are thrilled that the body has decided to word its resolutions in terms of requests instead of demanding peacekeepers be on the ground, the delegate from China said. It wasnt as cut and dry for France, who emphasized sovereignty but worried about possible human rights violations. We need to ensure that sovereignty is respected, (while ensuring) that civilians are protected and human rights are honored, France said. There is a fine line that we walk in that.

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Volume 6, Issue 4, Page 4