Position Paper for Security Council Example from NMUN Xian 2012
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK) has been an active member of the United Nation’s Security Council from the first session held in Westminster, London in 1946 until the present day and has provided unwavering support for its mission of maintaining international peace and security. The UK stresses that the protection of civilians against violence and human rights violations should remain one of the issues of paramount importance in the forefront of all Security Council resolutions and measures, especially in conflict areas. UK Government policy is based on the idea that the protection of civilians in armed conflict is central to improving the effectiveness of the humanitarian system both nationally and internationally and this message is reflected in a series of Public Service Agreements (PSAs) created by the UK government in 2008-11. The UK is a strong supporter of the standards set out in international humanitarian law and international criminal law tribunals, including the International criminal court. The UK plays a strong role in promoting the protection of civilians in armed conflict through acting as a party to International Humanitarian Law (IHL) treaties, monetary support of organizations operating in situations of armed conflict, and as a provider and trainer of peacekeepers. In January 2009, the UK co-created an initiative to improve the way the SC mandates and reviews UN peacekeeping operations. The UK stresses the importance of discourse between member nations of the SC and governments of conflict regions in order to better provide humanitarian aid and protect the rights of citizens. The UK supports the SC authority to authorize short-term preventative actions or impose measures such as sanctions as necessary as well as working towards enhancing preventative measures such as the Mediation Support Unit. The UK recognizes the precarious situation of children in Syria and other conflict nations around the globe and is working to create a safe environment for these children through its active membership role in the Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict. The UK remains committed to the protection of civilians in conflict regions and stresses the need for continued support of the SC’s creation and implementation of solutions involving cooperation and diplomatic discourse before military force.
Topic A: Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict
The United Kingdom is dedicated to the United Nations Charter and Resolutions brought about by the extraordinary efforts of all Member Nations in the effort to preserve and maintain peace. As a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, the United Kingdom recognizes the great responsibility it has in addressing the issues before the Security Council. Developing a solution for the protection of civilians in armed conflict and the situation in the Middle East, including Syria, is a major priority for the United Kingdom. As permanent representative of the United Kingdom, Mr. John Sawers, stated, “We reaffirm our support for the concept of the responsibility to protect, as agreed by Member States at the World Summit in 2005. It is an important commitment, which should result in earlier and more decisive action to prevent genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.”The United Kingdom is dedicated to cooperating with Member Nations in solving these issues. Recently, civilian protection has taken on new significance given the number of reports of human rights abuses in a number of countries. As it states under the United Nations (UN) Charter, it is the responsibility of member nations to maintain peace and security. The U.K. acknowledges this responsibility to encompass the protection of civilians in conflict regions. One area of human rights violation the U.K. is concerned about is rape and sexual violence. We remind member states that this protection was established in the 1999 Security Council (SC) resolution S/RES/1265. This resolution included language directly related to the protection of civilians in armed conflict. To further strengthen the position we hold in our duty to protect these civilians, the U.K. would like to remind member nations that S/RES/1674 provided both a legal basis expressly authorizing the use of force to protect civilians and provided a legal means to try the accused through the International Criminal Court (ICC). The U.K. reiterates that historically the SC has used resolutions such as S/RES/1721 and S/RES/1731 to establish commissions of inquiry into human rights abuses. Under these resolutions it is clear that the parties involved in armed conflict are obligated under law to protect civilians. The following steps can be taken in ensuring the protection of civilians: a standardized approach to ensure that protection issues are properly understood and clear UN guidance about what steps member nations will take to protect civilians in conflict regions. Another component of this action plan the UK fervently supports is the creation of an expert group whose sole purpose is to develop an aid report that will help in determining the best action for the SC to take. This expert group, whose obligation it will be to analyze and determine the best method of approach, will provide an opportunity for creative thinking in dealing with these difficult situations. Also called for is increased training for peace keepers in the field focused on how to analyze and make decisions on a daily basis to preserve human rights and also an expansion of the role they play in protecting humanitarian aid. The UK calls for the authorization of quick and decisive action if prevention fails to include: increased mediation, sanctions, and if necessary, military force. Also needed in order to maintain peace and security is the increase of cooperation between member nations in bringing those charged with crimes against humanity to trial under the jurisdiction of the ICC. The U.K. firmly endorses a multipurpose plan of action and charges it should be adopted by the UN. If the SC provides clear guidance about protection issues, conflicting parties will be more likely to ensure the protection of citizens. The creation of an expert group will result in an unbiased aid report which will assist the SC in determining the best course of action. Training for advisors and peace keepers and will ensure both the protection of the citizens and the aid being delivered while allowing for smart decisions to be made. Under this action plan, if the need is determined by the expert group and advisors on the ground, the SC can authorize increased sanction, diplomatic mediation, or military force as required. Cooperation between member nations in holding those accountable for crimes against humanity will not only ensure justice but also provide transparency so that all nations may be aware of what actions were taken. The UK asserts that the time to act is now. Rising conflict and civilian casualties must be stopped in order for peace to reign throughout the world.
Topic B: The Situation in the Middle East, Including Syria
The United Kingdom asserts its devotion to achieving peace in the Middle East as shown by UN Security Council Resolution S/RES/242. In 1996, the Palestinian Return Centre was founded in the United Kingdom. Once again, drawing attention to the UN Security Council Resolution S/RES/1860, “a lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can only be achieved by peaceful means.” The United Kingdom is fully committed to achieving peace in the region as well as granting the Palestinian people their right to return and “calls upon the Israeli and Palestinian sides to cooperate” as mentioned in United Nations Security Council Resolution S/RES/1860.Human rights concerns in the Middle East, primarily in Syria, are a very serious and important issue. The UK has, and will continue, to play a major role in addressing these concerns. The UK was an avid participant in the UN Human Rights Council’s discussions on the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Syria and fully supports Human Rights Council Resolution on SyriaA/HRC/RES/S-19/1adopted by the Council in March 2012 which condemns these human rights violations.The UK agrees that further steps need to be taken to increase pressure on Assad in order to bring an end to the violence. To this end, the UK will continue to work with other members of the EU in developing further sanctions as well as continuing our diplomatic activity with United Nations Security Council (UNSC) partners. The UK urges both the Syrian government and the opposition to engage in thoughtful discussion in order to form a common approach on the transition to a post-Assad Syria. This transition can be achieved by implementing the six point plan developed by UN-Arab Special Envoy Kofi Annan. The UK fully supports this action plan and urges all groups to employ its tenets: commit to work with the Envoy in an inclusive Syrian-led political process to address the legitimate aspirations and concerns of the Syrian people, and, to this end, commit to appoint an empowered interlocutor when invited to do so by the Envoy. Additional tenets of the plan also include a commitment to stop the fighting and achieve urgently an effective United Nations supervised cessation of armed violence in all its forms by all parties to protect civilians and stabilize the country. To this end, the Syrian government should immediately cease troop movements towards, and end the use of heavy weapons in, population centers. The UK also calls for the Syrian government to and begin pullback of military concentrations in and around population centers. As these actions are being taken on the ground, the Syrian government should work with the Envoy to bring about a sustained cessation of armed violence in all its forms by all parties with an effective United Nations supervision mechanism. Similar commitments would be sought by the Envoy from the opposition and all relevant elements to stop the fighting and work with the Envoy to bring about a sustained cessation of armed violence in all its forms by all parties also with an effective United Nations supervision mechanism. Additional tenets of the supported action plan include: ensuring timely provision of humanitarian assistance to all areas affected by the fighting, and to this end, as immediate steps, to accept and implement a daily two hour humanitarian pause and to coordinate exact time and modalities of the daily pause through an efficient mechanism, including at local level. The fifth point of the Envoy’s plan which the UK endorses is the intensification of the pace and scale of release of arbitrarily detained persons, including especially vulnerable categories of persons, and persons involved in peaceful political activities, provide without delay through appropriate channels a list of all places in which such persons are being detained, immediately begin organizing access to such locations and through appropriate channels respond promptly to all written requests for information, access or release regarding such persons. Freedom of movement should be ensured throughout the country for journalists and a non-discriminatory visa policy created for them as well as the respect of freedom of association and the right to demonstrate peacefully as legally guaranteed. The UK points out the violence and human rights abuses in Syria as matters in need of immediate attention; as evidenced by our leadership in the call of an urgent UNSC meeting which resulted in the condemnation of the use of tanks and artillery. The UK also continues to work with the EU in order to implement further sanctions.In support of justice for the Syrian people, we are working with partners to ensure the transition process results in a unified Syria. In order to make this vision a reality, the UK has made available a total of £1.4 million in non-lethal support to the opposition and civil society groups. The violence perpetrated against the citizens of Syria is an issue that needs attention now as well as continued and expanding transition efforts.
Examples from NMUN
- Security Council Reform
It is abundantly clear from the events of the last decade of the 20th century to the present, that the Security Council would be hearing the call for significant reformation. An increasingly global economy, vast increases in communication technology, the shift from West East to North v. South competition, transformation of peacekeeping processes, surely raises the question of reforming the Security Council. This necessity for change is exacerbated by a new realignment of power in the international forum. The primary function of the Security Council being the maintenance of international peace and security has not changed, but the nature of the maintenance of peace surely has undergone a dramatic transformation. This being the case, the United Kingdom (UK) is ready to commence discussion about evolving the Security Council for the 21st Century. The UK is an active member of the Open Ended Working Group on Security Council Reform. The UK supports the proposals placed before the body by the United for Consensus Group (G-4). Supporting permanent membership for Germany, Japan, India, and Brazil, as well as permanent representation for Africa, is a precondition for the UK to consider further reform. Additionally the UK supports the creation of new non-permanent member seats for regional blocks. The UK further supports “Model A” as set forth by the Secretary General’s High Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Changes because of the consideration of permanent seats for the African block. The UK argues these reformation models to be most effective at reformulating a balance of powers in today’s world. The functional reality that motivates the UK position is the necessity for ongoing participation to grow the influence of regional blocks in mediating crises pertaining to peace and security. Security Council expansion is not the only area of reform needing consideration before this body. The UK insists on measures to expand transparency, consultation, and efficiency in a reformulated Security Council. Concerning transparency, the UK wishes to see more non-permanent members participating in setting the agenda of the Security Council. Member states that are contributing troops for peacekeeping need to be given increased access to influence security decisions while their citizens are in harm’s way. The UK calls for increased consultation, greater dialogue, and communication between regional and sub-regional groups. These open relationships will aid in the creation of peace and conflict prevention. Lastly, the Council must become more efficient, which means decreasing bureaucracy in the Council’s dealings. The Council’s abilities to carry out its primary functions and powers as set forth in Chapters VI, VII, and VIII are bogged down. In the instances of making decisions on peace keeping missions and questions of humanitarian crisis, in which human life and national sovereignty is at stake, the Council has failed to be decisive. While change and reform is always daunting the UK offers the sage advise of Winston Churchill who said, “It is not enough that we do our best, sometimes we have to do what is required.
- International Instruments to Mitigate the Threat of the Use of Nuclear Weapons by Terrorists
The UK is resolute in believing the specter of terrorism, unlike a foe that a nation state may fight alone, requires multilateral action to reduce the impact of these immoral attack upon civilian targets. As a country that understands the barbarism of a recent terrorist attack killing 33 and injuring 350 in 2005, the UK fervently demands that the international community continues pursuing precautionary measures guaranteeing that non-state actors and terrorist organizations do not obtain Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). The UK’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office cites combating terrorism as an essential strategic international policy priority, and continues its absolute resolve towards combating counter-terrorism tactics. The UK continually forges new relationships with foreign intelligence and security services to bolster domestic work against terrorism. In doing so, the UK has united with many Islamic countries in condemning the activities of terrorist organizations such as Al Qaida. This united multilateral, multicultural front demonstrates to the international community that counter-terrorist activities are not reflective of anti-Islamic ideology. The UK’s counter proliferation strategy is far-reaching and multifaceted. Within the framework of the UN, the UK has worked diligently towards the goals of non-proliferation and physical protection. The UK fully supports the International Convention on the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, understanding that it is a new and integral part of the disarmament regime and indispensable counter- terrorism tool. The UK participated in the creation of S/RES/1540 and the 1540 Committee. The success of the 1540 Committee is tantamount to the success of not only the non-proliferation regime but successful in terrorist suppression as well. The UN’s recent work in curbing terrorist activity demonstrates the long-term goal of ending the financing of terrorist organizations and non-state actors. This new development marks a fresh, innovative and important step forward, which is the reason that the UK supports the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism. Additionally the UK lends its support to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and their 40 + 8 recommendations. Seeking to continue our quest for verifiable global nuclear disarmament and creating a world safer from non-state actors, the UK continues to pledge its support to such programs. Domestically and multilaterally the UK has been exemplary in reduction of its nuclear weapons capacity reducing its arsenal to a single system, the Trident system. The UK has also launched the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) that was initially developed with cooperation from ten other countries. This program specifically targets proliferation of WMD by non-state actors. The PSI is commensurate with the goals and aspirations of the 1540 Committee. Additionally, the UK created the Co-operative Threat Reduction Plan (CTR). The pillar of this plan is to reduce the threat of proliferation of WMD from materials and expertise originating from countries of the former Soviet Union (FSU). Since the beginning of the CTR, the UK has assisted in the disposal of 34 tonnes of plutonium, decommissioned Russia’s stockpile of chemical weapons amounting to 40,000 tonnes, assisted in the dismantling of nuclear submarines and reprocessing of their spent fuel. Adding to these auspicious accomplishments, the UK has also helped in placing FSU scientists in sustainable jobs, spending 3,000,000 pounds to ensure they do not become a proliferation threat. In an effort to continue this work the UK gave 750,000,000 to the Global Partnership initiative in support of the CTR. In an effort to combat nuclear terrorist threats the UK has developed the Cooperative Action against Nuclear Weapons Acquisition (CAANWA). The Foreign & Commonwealth Offices has developed CAANWA as a model for culturally sensitive national implementation. CAANWA is comprised of 6 essential recommendations: 1) Ensuring the Conference on Disarmament begin at the earliest date possible negotiations on an international verifiable fissile material cut off treaty (FMCT). 2) Follow the example of placing all fissile material under the international inspection regime of the IAEA. 3) Begin an historic account of fissile material to be published for greater transparency and public scrutiny. 4) Increase support to international verification regimes in order to meet their growing needs, such as the IAEA’s Technical Cooperation Fund. 5) Create or strengthen national legislation in support of the IAEA’s Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and Additional Safeguards Agreements. 6) Working under the umbrella of the IAEA, ensure all countries which pose a proliferation threat be taken seriously. While always supporting Article IV of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, but understanding the right to peaceful uses of nuclear energy is not absolute or unconditional, and these privileges are dependent on the IAEA’s evaluation of successful adherence to Articles I, II, and III of the NPT. The UK asserts the position of our foreign secretary Jack Straw, “These values-– the rule of law, an independent judiciary, strong parliament, freedom of speech, ultilateralism, respect for human rights – are ones of which we are rightly proud. And they stand in stark contrast to the repressive and divisive alternative offered by the terrorist. They need to be – and they are – an integral part of the United Kingdom’s counter-terrorism work.”
III. The Situation in Iran
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland fully understands the delicate nature of the developing situation in Iran. The government of the UK has a profound understanding of the national identity of Iran and a respect for the Iranian people’s very fine history. It is this respect that has driven the UK and our partners in the European Three (EU-3) to honor rather then disrespect the intentions of Iran. The UK and our partners in the EU-3 fully support Article IV of the NPT and respect the right of Iran, and other countries, under Article IV. Suggesting the UK does not support civilian nuclear power for Iran would be a misrepresentation of our policy. Hence the EU-3’s attempt to resolve the problem with the Paris Agreement. But Iran has postured itself in a very suspicious manner over the past months, causing the UK to take action and the Paris Agreement to falter. In such a case the UK seeks to ascertain whether the government of Iran has over stepped the bounds of law. Being a member of the nuclear states is greatly dependent on confidence building tactics that Iran has not taken. The success of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is contingent on the international community’s adherence to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards agreements, and inspections. The current situation instigated by Iran seeks to discredit the IAEA and creates a de-legitimizing effect on the Agency’s pre-eminence. The UK working in conjunction with the EU-3, and with support from the Russian Federation, the United States and China called for an extraordinary meeting of the IAEA board of governors to be held on the 2nd and 3rd of February, 2006. The UK had an explicate objective entering the Board of Governors Meeting, that being referring Iran to the Security Council. Although the UK facilitated the referral of Iran to the Security Council we insist a technological and diplomatic resolution. The UK fully supports the IAEA resolution GOV/2006/14, wherein Iran was prompted to cease all enrichment activities and reconsider the construction of their research reactors. The UK views the IAEA resolution as a mandate from the international community due to its sweeping support in the Board of Governors, enjoying a vote of 27 in favor with 3 against and 5 abstentions. This act sent a clear diplomatic message to the government of Iran, which was the desired affect for the UK. The strong vote in favor signals the international communities desire to continue keeping the Middle East nuclear weapons free. The UK is adamant however that Iran is left with one crucial opportunity, which would be to come into compliance with the IAEA safeguards and the additional protocol before the next meeting of the Board. The UK argues now is a time for great confidence building measures on the part of Iran. The UK argues that at this crucial stage the Security Council and the IAEA must act and demand answers of Iran. The UK is aware the Agency is in possession of a document from 1987 discussing the possible sale of disassembled centrifuge. The Agency is still awaiting adequate explanations from the Atomic Energy Organization (AEOI) of Iran as to the nature and purpose of trips taken by AEOI personnel in the 1990s. The UK is still waiting for information regarding Iran’s acquisition of P-1 centrifuge components The UK also desires full disclosure of Iran’s P-2 centrifuge programme, and if Iran received any components for the P-2 from the intermediary with which they dealt. Iran must also account for a 15-page document detailing the steps necessary for casting enriched depleted uranium into hemispheres, which could be used in a tactical nuclear device. Most important to the UK is the verification of the Green Salt Project, an Iranian study concerning the enrichment of UF4 and missile re-entry vehicles as well as high explosives. In spite of all of this what has Iran done? Iran has notified the Agency that they will resume uranium enrichment, inject uranium into the centrifuge at Natanz, not ratified the Additional Protocol and generally disregarded the IAEA resolution GOV/2006/14. The UK calls upon Iran to exhibit full transparency, and negotiations with all parties involved in order to alleviate this situation. The UK wishes to obtain objective guarantees that their programme will only produce peaceful nuclear energy. Since November few developments have materialized and progress has been minimal. It is time for the Security Council to reinforce the authority and legitimacy of the Agency. The UK is dedicated to finding a technological, and not political, solution to this problem. The UK will, however, if necessary utilize the powers given unto us by Article 41 of the Charter. “Peacekeeping is at the very heart of what the United Nations stands for. If you ask someone on the streets of one of our capitals what the United Nations means to them, they will probably reply with an image of a blue-helmeted soldier watching over an uneasy peace.” John Sawers, permanent representative of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, made this statement on January 23rd, 2009 at a UN Security Council debate on peacekeeping. The United Kingdom recognizes the need for a more comprehensive process from the United Nations as a whole while the Security Council still maintains its leading role. The United Kingdom has the honour of serving as a permanent member on the Security Council since its establishment in 1946. The United Kingdom is dedicated to the Security Council’s mission of achieving international peace and security. The United Kingdom endorses the Security Council’s goals of implementing the responsibility to protect, resolving the issue of children and armed conflict as well as the situation in Israel/Palestine. In reference to achieving peace in the Middle East, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon stated that, “The international community must also do its part. This is now more urgent than ever.”
Implementing the Responsibility to Protect
Thousands of innocent people die each year as a result of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and ethnic cleansing. For this reason, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland asserts that this issue must be made a priority of the United Nations Security Council. As UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated, “Today, the responsibility to protect is a concept, not yet a policy; an aspiration, not yet a reality. Curbing mass atrocities will be neither easy nor quick. There is no certain blueprint for getting the job done. But I do know that the United Nations was built on ideas, ideals and aspirations, not on quick fixes, sure things or cynical calculations.” In April 2001, the Africa Conflict Prevention Pool (ACPP) was established through the joint efforts of the United Kingdom’s Department of International Development (DFID), the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), and the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defense (MOD). Its aim is to improve the United Kingdom government’s contribution to conflict prevention and peace building in Africa by joining United Kingdom expertise across the three departments in development, diplomacy, and defense. The United Kingdom urges all UN Member States to cooperate with the Social Development department of the World Bank in its efforts to make societies more resilient to violence. The United Kingdom has established an international peace-building organization called International Alert, through which the United Kingdom works in over 20 countries and territories around the world, directly with the people affected by violent conflict to help shape policy and practice in building sustainable peace. The United Kingdom is a major supporter of the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ), which assists countries to resolve past mass atrocity or human rights abuse. In October 2007, with the support of the DFID, the ICTJ held a conference in London in which 56 participants — representatives of donor countries, organizations, and civil society — discussed donor aid to transitional justice processes, partnership with national actors, and ways in which to contribute to effective transitional justice initiatives. With the support of the FCO, MOD, and DFID; the International Peace Institute organized the “Wilton Park Conference on Implementing the Responsibility to Protect: The Role of Regional and Sub-Regional Partners” in July, 2008. Drawing attention to Security Council Resolution S/RES/1738, the United Kingdom reiterates “the importance of a comprehensive, coherent and action-oriented approach, including in early planning, of protection of civilians in situations of armed conflict,” and as such stresses the importance “promoting sustainable development, poverty eradication, national reconciliation, good governance, democracy, the rule of law and respect for the protection of human rights.” Recalling Security Council Resolution S/RES/1631, the United Kingdom recognizes “the necessity to support capacity-building and cooperation at regional and sub-regional level in maintaining international peace and security, and noting in particular the importance of strengthening the capacity of African regional and sub-regional organizations.” In order to help the international community better implement the responsibility to protect, the United Kingdom proposes a three-point plan called UEP (Understand, Enhance, and Prevent). The United Nations General Assembly should help UN Member States UNDERSTAND the concept of Responsibility to Protect (R2P) since it is still a fairly new idea. The roles and regulations for all actors (state governments, NGOs, etc.) should be made clear and realistic. The second point, ENHANCE, consists of providing more capacity-building assistance to national and regional NGOs and civil society groups and funneling funding through them so that they can help prevent violence through a more direct relationship with the people, and having the global academic community conduct research into the root causes and triggers of genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity. And the third point, PREVENT, involves UN Member States ratifying all humanitarian conventions dealing with mass atrocities and introducing their rules into domestic law, establishing an independent media, promoting good governance, conducting security sector reform: demobilization, disarmament and rehabilitation, and defense diplomacy, and addressing wars of abundance fuelled by the illegal exploitation of natural resources, for example so-called Conflict Diamonds. As permanent representative of the United Kingdom, Mr. John Sawers, stated, “We reaffirm our support for the concept of the responsibility to protect, as agreed by Member States at the World Summit in 2005. It is an important commitment, which should result in earlier and more decisive action to prevent genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.”
Children and Armed Conflict
According to the 2008 Report of the Security Council on Children and Armed Conflict, “More than two million children have been killed in war zones over the past two decades. Another six million have been maimed or permanently disabled, and more than a quarter of million youths have been exploited as child soldiers in at least 30 countries.” The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland asserts that the issue of children and armed conflict is a peace and security issue for the entire international community and strongly supports the Security Council’s efforts of resolving this issue with urgency. The United Kingdom abolished compulsory recruitment into the British Armed Forces in 1963. It has been an active member of the UN Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict and provides strong support to the work of international criminal tribunals trying the most serious crimes of concern to the international community, including those against children. Recalling Security Council Resolution 1539, the United Kingdom reiterates “the responsibilities of States to end impunity and to prosecute those responsible for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and other egregious crimes perpetrated against children.” The United Kingdom is signatory to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The European Union (EU), of which the United Kingdom is a proud State Member, has embraced this issue as part of its own agenda. In June 1998, the British government co-sponsored the London Symposium on Children and Armed Conflict which focused on the plight of war-affected children and underscored the need to protect children from all forms of abuses. Reaffirming Security Council Resolution 1460, the United Kingdom “supports the Secretary General’s call for ‘an era of application’ of international norms and standards for the protection of children affected by armed conflict.” And recognizing Security Council Resolution 1379, the United Kingdom “supports the ongoing work of the Secretary-General, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, the United Nations Children’s Fund, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, other agencies of the United Nations system and other international organizations dealing with children affected by armed conflict.” In order to resolve the issue of children and armed conflict more effectively, the United Kingdom proposes the three point plan titled EIP (Enhance, Implement, and Publicize). The first point is to ENHANCE the current monitoring and reporting mechanism. This consists of expanding the criteria of the Secretary-General’s report to include sexual violence and so that the issue of child soldiers is not the only trigger for placing groups in the annexes. This point also involves making the situations listed in Annex II automatically subject to the monitoring and reporting mechanism. The second step calls upon all Member States to IMPLEMENT more effective measures, such as a ban on arms exports and targeted financial and travel restrictions in the most egregious cases, more transparency regarding the action taken and the follow-up, and establishing national birth registration systems in States that do not already have them, in order to prevent underage children from being recruited. The third step urges Member States to PUBLICIZE findings from research and observation. This entails involving the local, regional, and international media outlets in reporting the phenomenon both before and during conflicts. This step also involves establishing a clearer requirement for the Secretary-General to include in all reports a standard section on children. The United Kingdom reiterates the statement made by our former ambassador to the UN, Sir Jeremy Greenstock, at a Security Council debate in July 2000, that “the international community [has] a moral responsibility to prevent the suffering of children.”
- The Situation in Israel/Palestine
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland asserts that the situation in Israel and Palestine is an extremely complex and difficult question to address. There is an ongoing humanitarian crisis that exists in the region, specifically in the Gaza Strip, and, as a result, hundreds of innocent civilians are dying. The situation in Israel and Palestine threatens the security and stability of not only Israel and Palestine, but the entire Middle East. Drawing attention to Security Council Resolution S/RES/1860, the United Kingdom reiterates the importance of the well-being and safety of all civilians. Recalling the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 3236, the United Kingdom asserts that Palestinian people have certain inalienable rights including “the right to self-determination without external interference; the right to national independence and sovereignty; [and] the right to return to their homes and property from which they had been displaced and uprooted.” The United Kingdom maintains its involvement in the International Quartet – consisting of the United States, European Union, United Nations and Russia -, with the former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, as special envoy to the Quartet. Even before the creation of the State of Israel, the UK has had a long involvement in the region. The United Kingdom asserts its devotion to achieving peace in the region shown by UN Security Council Resolution S/RES/242. In 1996, the Palestinian Return Centre was founded in the United Kingdom. Once again, drawing attention to the UN Security Council Resolution S/RES/1860, “a lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can only be achieved by peaceful means.” The United Kingdom is fully committed to achieving peace in the region as well as granting the Palestinian people their right to return and “calls upon the Israeli and Palestinian sides to cooperate” as mentioned in United Nations Security Council Resolution S/RES/1860. In order to achieve peace in Palestine and Israel, the United Kingdom introduces a three-point plan called CUT (Change, Unity, and Transparency). The first point, CHANGE, involves promoting education in order to foster mutual respect and understanding between Israelis and Palestinians, therefore affecting true change. Through assimilation and appreciation of the two cultures; respect and tolerance can begin and can be the first step for peace. The second point, UNITY involves promoting coordination among UN Member States in order to allow them to more effectively address the political situation in Israel and Palestine. This point also refers to unity among the Palestinians, who are represented by multiple and conflicting parties. Once the Palestinians are more united, they can truly begin to recognize and respect the needs of their own people. This will then allow the leaders of Palestine to speak for their people as a whole, allowing their needs to be heard. The third point, TRANSPARENCY means eliminating ambiguity among the two parties so that a two-state solution that has already been proposed by numerous Security Council Resolutions can be carried out. Transparency also means UN Member States embracing a method of clarity and simplicity across the board so that peace talks can run more smoothly. As stated by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in an address to mark the International Day of Commemoration on January 24, 2009, “The conflict between Israel and Palestine must stop. War can never be an answer. I left the region more determined than ever to work toward a world where two states, Israel and Palestine, live side by side in peace and security.”the right to self-determination without external interference; the right to national independence and sovereignty; the right of Palestinians to return to their homes and property from which they had been displaced and uprooted — General Assembly resolution 3236 (XXIX)
The issues before the Security Council are: The Crisis in Sudan; Reforming Peace Keeping Operations; and The Potential of Restoring Stability to Haiti. The United Kingdom is truly enthusiastic and completely devoted to work on those interesting and significant matters.
I. The Crisis in Sudan
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland deplores the persistent insecurity in Sudan which, for 20 years, has remained a constant threat to the lives of the Sudanese people, and is fully committed to end the atrocities committed in Darfur. The British government is gravely concerned about the security situation in Darfur and strongly argues that it is the responsibility of the Government of Sudan to protect its own citizens. Consequently, The United Kingdom welcomes with great concern the Comprehensive Peace Agreement for Southern Sudan signed in Nairobi on January 9th 2005, led by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) initiative. Following this historical episode, the United Kingdom reminds the Security Council, in accordance with paragraph 6 of resolution S/RES/1574, of the urgent need to work towards the establishment of a multidimensional United Nations peace support operation, following the recommendations of the Secretary General submitted in his last report S/2005/68. Moreover, the United Kingdom expresses its full commitment to pursue negotiations on this matter with both parties involved in the conflict, as well as on all aspects concerning the implementation of the Agreement, while working closely with the African Union. The United Kingdom argues there is now a real window of opportunity for a complete and lasting peace in Sudan and advocates that its government has a major role to play in ensuring that this occasion is seized. Therefore, the United Kingdom wishes to see the inclusion of tribal leaders in the negotiation process, as well as their effective representation in the government institutions, as suggested in the Chairman’s Conclusion on the Third Round of the Inter-Sudanese Peace talks on Darfur, paragraph 7. The United Kingdom proposes that the African Union’s mediation team initiate the discussion between all ethnic groups and the government, in order to include the basic demands put forward by the parties, along with paragraph 47 of the Report of the Secretary General on Sudan (S/2004/947). The United Kingdom urges the Security Council to take effective and immediate measures in order to obtain, from the Sudanese Government, complete and unhindered access to humanitarian assistance for the million of refugees in the camps of the Darfur region. The United Kingdom argues that cooperation from Member States is essential for the humanitarian helpers to execute their tasks, when the State itself cannot protect its own refugees. Moreover, the United Kingdom recognizes the insecurity of rural regions as being the major cause of refugees’ apprehensions towards their homecoming. In that sense, the British Government emphasizes the need for the Sudanese Government and the rebel groups to respect the cease-fire agreement in order to secure every parts of the country. The United Kingdom, which has been playing a leading role as a mediator in the talks preceding the Comprehensive Peace Agreement for Southern Sudan, reiterates its determination to ensure that all parties in Darfur fulfill their obligations, especially those regarding human rights and security, and further asks the Security Council to use target sanctions and arms embargoes, as expressed in article 41 of the United Nations Charter, if there is a failure to comply to those obligations. The United Kingdom is asking the Security Council Member States to come to a decision concerning those recommendations as soon as possible.
II. Reforming Peacekeeping Operations
The United Kingdom acknowledges that never before have the United Nations Peacekeeping missions been faced with such a broad and challenging agenda. The United Kingdom recognizes that the current Peacekeeping Operations (PKOs) do not respond adequately to today’s challenging characteristics of intrastate conflicts, which are often related to complex issues such as ethnicity, poverty and civil’ rights protection, especially those of women and children. Nevertheless, the United Kingdom sees the Peacekeeping Operations as one of the more useful tools relating to international peace and security and therefore wishes to pursue its reform by including early conflict prevention, cooperation with regional organizations and the promotion of women as part of our priority concerns. As mentioned in paragraph 34 of the Report of the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations, known as the Brahimi Report, the United Kingdom reiterates that it is fully committed to preventing conflicts rather than responding to a situation after the event. In this regard, the United Kingdom advocates that conflict prevention has a significant impact on the success of the Peacekeeping mission and increases the chances of resolving the crisis. Considering that conflict prevention is an instrument that has been too rarely applied, the United Kingdom reminds the Security Council of the Secretary General’s efforts to create a “culture of prevention” within the United Nations Secretariat by enhancing its early warning capacity and its ability to identify early opportunities for preventive action. As mentioned in article 6 of the Security Council resolution 1366 (2001), the United Kingdom emphasizes the need to keep under close review all potential conflicts brought to the Council’s attention by the Secretary General. The British Government already experienced regional cooperation in many of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) missions. Therefore, the United Kingdom argues that the United Nations should develop more partnerships with regional organizations, such as the African Union or the European Union, at various stages over the lifespan of a Peacekeeping mission, in order to exploit their complimentary capacities, as proposed in paragraph 272 of the Report of the High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change (A/59/565). Furthermore, the United Kingdom contributed with the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) in putting together a programme of work on women, peace building and gender justice aimed at strengthening women’s contribution at all levels in peace building. The United Kingdom strongly condemns the overall situation of women in conflicts and in this regard, wishes to suggest two measures that should be taken. On the one hand, the British Government argues that an enhanced protection of civilian women in the conflicts is an important element of the reform and on the other hand, that women’s representation within the Peacekeeping Operations should be increased. Consequently, the United Kingdom continues to push for the full implementation of resolution S/RES/1325, on women, peace and security in all of the Security Council’s work. Finally, as mentioned in article 1 of the Annex A of Security Council resolution 1353 (2001), the British Government reminds this Committee’s Member States that without the complete and constant fulfillment of their monetary, troops and facilities engagements, there is no possible way to achieve the PKOs reform.
III. The Potential of Restoring Stability to Haiti
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland reminds this committee of the need for the United Nations to assist Haiti in the whole process of rebuilding a stable, democratic and economically viable state. The United Kingdom fully recognizes the International Donors Conference held in Washington in July 2004 as being an important step towards the improvement of the living conditions of the Haitian people. The United Kingdom regretfully recalls to the Security Council its past experiences in its attempts to restore democratic institutions in the 1990s in Haiti. Consequently, the United Kingdom fully supports paragraph 60 of the Report of the Secretary General on the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) (S/2004/908) concerning the long term vision that is essential for the strengthening of the rule of law and further recalls to Member States that the United Nations should remain involved in Haiti until the goals of security and democracy are fulfilled. The United Kingdom endorses as a key mission priority, the use of Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration programs (DDR) when assisting the Transitional Government of Haiti in restoring peace and as an efficient measure to prevent terrorist threat in the Caribbean region. As an important player in that region, especially through its involvement in the UK/Caribbean, the United Kingdom would like to bring to the attention of the Security Council the importance of stabilizing Haiti to ensure security in the entire Caribbean area, and especially preventing the potential outflow of people to other states. Keeping that in mind, the United Kingdom emphasizes the importance of cooperation between Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and Regional Organizations in the whole process of securing the country. Moreover, the United Kingdom believes that illegal armed groups are the most important factor undermining national stability. Establishing an effective and respected Haitian National Police force will thus, through a better control of those groups, be an important step towards peace. Hence, The United Kingdom stresses the worthiness of a police training program and requests all Member states to contribute by providing either financial or material support so as to increase the efficiency of that police force. The United Kingdom also urges the Security Council to work in collaboration with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Organization of American States (OAS) in the implementation of a Regional Information and Intelligence Network Sharing aimed at developing domestic and regional connectivity to generate tactical and strategic intelligence. The United Kingdom requests the Security Council to fulfill its responsibilities towards disbanding and disarming all illegal armed groups through MINUSTAH and its constant collaboration with the Transitional Government, and also establishing without delay the National Commission on DDR as mentioned in the Statement made by the President of the Security Council in September 2004 (S/PRST/2004/32). The United Kingdom asks the Security Council’s Member states to soon implement the above mentioned recommendations in a decision.