In Case You Missed It – UN News for Week of 6 November 2017
The In Case You Missed It Series highlights UN news that is relevant to the topics being simulated at AMUN 2017. This AMUN Accords post covers selected news from the week of 6 November.
The General Assembly Plenary will be discussing the Review of the United Nations peacebuilding architecture. The UNSC is reviewing the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission (MINUSCA) in the Central African Republic, and is expected to act on recommendations from Secretary-General António Guterres to increase troop strength to help protect civilians from the inter-communal fighting.
The General Assembly First Committee will be discussing Women, disarmament, non-proliferation and arms control.
The General Assembly Second Committee will be discussing the International financial system and development. Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky, UN Independent Expert on the effects of foreign debt and human rights, said when discussing the “Paradise Papers” leak, “States must stop harmful tax competition amongst each other and work together to stop unethical tax avoidance schemes for wealthy individuals and international corporations.” Also addressing the issue, Surya Deva, chairperson of the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights reminded law firms that “The UN Guiding Principles apply to law firms too – they should consider human rights implications of their legal advice given to businesses.”
The General Assembly Third Committee will be discussing The human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation. At the UN Climate Conference (COP23) in Bonn, Germany, experts in the sustainable use of water met to discuss how to address the projected global water shortages by 2050. hese talks culminated in what they called a “nature-based solution declaration” that was signed on Friday.
The General Council of the Food and Agriculture Organization will be discussing Antimicrobial resistance. The World Health Organization (WHO) released new guidelines for the use of antibiotics on livestock warning that, “Strong, sustained action across all sectors is vital if we are to turn back the tide of antimicrobial resistance and keep the world safe.” Antibiotic use on livestock can account for almost 80 percent of total antibiotic use in some States.
The World Summit on the Information Society +10 will be discussing Bridging digital divides. The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) released its “World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development” report which found that journalism is under threat worldwide and that disinformation and government abuse of internet regulation pose serious global threats.
The Conference of States Parties of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is discussing Implementation of Article X: Assistance and protection against chemical weapons. This week the UN Security Council received a report from Edmont Mulet, Head of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons-United Nations Joint Investigative Mechanism (OPCW-UN JIM) who summarized the findings of their latest report detailing that both The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh) and the Syrian Government had used chemical weapons.
The Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) will be discussing Enhancing regional economic cooperation and integration in Asia and the Pacific. At a regional conference Asia-Pacific delegations discussed migration safety and rights, a crucial rights and economic topic in a region that hosts 62 million migrants and receives more than 269 billion in remittance from migrant workers.
The Committee of Experts on Public Administration (CEPA) will be discussing Promoting accountable institutions, ethical leadership and integrity to enhance confidence in efforts to deliver sustainable development. Yury Fedotov, the Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), delivered remarks on behalf of the Secretary-General at the Seventh Session of the Conference of the States Parties (CoSP7) to the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), and called on leaders to be positive examples and to fight against corruption that can destroy “people’s faith in good governance.”
The ongoing Situation in the Ukraine is a possible topic for the Contemporary Security Council. Recognizing that piracy is still a threat off of Somalia’s coast, the UNSC passed a resolution calling for a review of anti-piracy measures and laws. Secretary-General Guterres expressed concern for the Lebanese peoples after the sudden resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who resigned during a television broadcast after saying his life was in danger. Jamie McGoldrick, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen, called on all parties in the conflict in Yemen to, “refrain from directing attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure.”
The UNSC strongly condemned Myanmar and called for a stop to the extreme violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine region, which has displaced more than 600,000 Rohingya into neighboring Bangladesh. In a unanimous resolution, the UNSC recognized the value of UN Police in peacekeeping and special political missions, and resolved to continue to use UN Police to help prevent conflict.
Funding is needed to support internally displaced peoples in the Central African Republic where 1 out of 4 is either internally displaced or has fled to other countries as a refugee. Forces led by Saudi Arabia have blockaded supplies to Yemen and could have ruinous effect on the State, which imports 90 percent of its daily needs. Much of the South Sudan’s farmland has been devastated by the ongoing violence in the country, producing crop yields that fall far short of providing food to a desperate population.
Other important UN news from this week:
- The big event of the week was the start of the UN Climate Conference (COP23) in Bonn, Germany where Member States met to discuss implementation of the Paris Agreement.
- Activists from Peru made a strong case for the inclusion of indigenous peoples in finding solutions to combat climate change.
- Noting that 2017 “will be one of the three hottest years on record, with many high-impact events including catastrophic hurricanes and floods, debilitating heatwaves and drought,” climate officials and organizers noted the need for States to be more ambitious with their climate change plans and commitments.
- Between 2008 and 2016, an average of 25.3 million people were displaced by disaster each year; at Bonn officials discussed using regional frameworks to help “climate refugees.”
- The General Assembly and Security Council elected four justices to the International Court of Justice. The judges from France, Somalia, Brazil and Lebanon will each serve 9 year terms.
- At the Third Conference of the World Banana Forum in Geneva, the FAO and the government of Ecuador released a new practical guide on how to manage farming risk and safety recommendations. The guide is intended to be easily adaptable to countries worldwide where more than 400 million depend on the banana for a source of income or direct food.
- UNESCO DG Irina Bokova remarked on the World Science Day for Peace and Development that “We need more integrated science to strengthen water management, to ensure the sustainable use of the ocean, to protect ecosystems and biodiversity, to tackle climate change and disasters, to foster innovation.”
If we missed some UN news of note, let us know on our Facebook page or Twitter feed and share the news with other upcoming attendees to the Conference. This is the final entry of the ICYMI series before the 28th Annual American Model United Nations Conference. We hope to see you at AMUN 2017 in only a few days!
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