KCLMUN - "Millenium Development Goals in countries emerging from conflict" (25/10/2011)


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KCLMUN - "Millenium Development Goals in countries emerging from conflict" (25/10/2011)

  1. 1. KCL Model United Nations Society 2011/2012UN Economics and Social Council: "  Millennium Development Goals in countries emerging from conflict"
  2. 2. KCL Model United Nations Society 2011/2012 "The Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza” 1Table of ContentsAn introduction to the Committee ............................................................................ 2Introduction to the topic......................................................................................... 4Summary and areas a Resolution must address ........................................................... 10
  3. 3. KCL Model United Nations Society 2011/2012 "The Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza” 2An introduction to the CommitteeECOSOC was established under the United Nations Charter as the principalorgan to coordinate economic, social, and related work of the 14 UNspecialized agencies, functional commissions and five regionalcommissions. The Council also receives reports from 11 UN funds andprogrammes. The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) serves as thecentral forum for discussing international economic and social issues, andfor formulating policy recommendations addressed to Member States andthe United Nations system. It is responsible for: promoting higherstandards of living, full employment, and economic and social progress;identifying solutions to international economic, social and healthproblems; facilitating international cultural and educational cooperation;and encouraging universal respect for human rights and fundamentalfreedoms.It has the power to make or initiatestudies and reports on these issues. Italso has the power to assist thepreparations and organization of majorinternational conferences in theeconomic and social and related fieldsand to facilitate a coordinated follow-upto these conferences. With its broadmandate the Councils purview extends toover 70 per cent of the human andfinancial resources of the entire UNsystem.The five policy areas in which ECOSOC has taken a lead role in the lastfive years: first, during the 2010 High-level Segment, the Councilorganized its second Development Cooperation Forum and focused itsfourth Annual Ministerial review (AMR) on the theme of Gender Equalityand Women’s Empowerment. The adoption of the Ministerial Declarationcoincided with the establishment of the new entity, United NationsWomen. ECOSOC President Hamidon Ali described the 2010 SubstantiveSession as a "groundbreaking session". A key message emanating from theHigh-level Segment is that gender equality and the empowerment ofwomen sit squarely at the heart of development and peace worldwide,and that the international community must remain fully committed tothese efforts. Second, at the 2009 High-level Segment, the Counciladopted its Ministerial Declaration on the theme of the third AnnualMinisterial Review (AMR), "Implementing the internationally agreed goalsand commitments in regard to global public health". ECOSOC PresidentSylvie Lucas said that the Ministerial Declaration contains concretemeasures to advance the realization of the global public health goals.Third, during the 2008 High-level Segment, the Council organized its firstbiennial Development Cooperation Forum (DCF) and second Annual
  4. 4. KCL Model United Nations Society 2011/2012 "The Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza” 3Ministerial Review (AMR). The AMR focused on the theme, “Implementingthe internationally agreed goals and commitments in regard tosustainable development”, which resulted in the adoption of a MinisterialDeclaration. The President of ECOSOC, Mr. Léo Mérorès, described the2008 Substantive Session as "historic" as it implemented the new functionsof the Council in their entirety. Fourth, the 2007 High-level Segmentmarked the first Annual Ministerial Review (AMR) and the launch of theDevelopment Cooperation Forum (DCF). During the Annual MinisterialReview, the Council reviewed progress towards the implementation ofMDG1, including through the national voluntary presentations by sixdeveloping countries, namely, Bangladesh, Barbados, Cambodia, CapeVerde, Ethiopia and Ghana. With the adoption of the ECOSOC MinisterialDeclaration, the international community reaffirmed its commitment tostrive for the eradication of poverty and hunger by the agreed target dateof 2015. Fifth, the 2006 High-level Segment focused on the issues of fulland productive employment and decent work, and its impact on thesustainable development. The ECOSOC Ministerial Declaration of 2006identified a number of concrete steps for further implementation of the2005 World Summit to make full and productive employment and decentwork a central objective of national and international policies.
  5. 5. KCL Model United Nations Society 2011/2012 "The Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza” 4Introduction to the topicCountries that have experienced a violent conflict in the recent past areamong the most vulnerable countries and face bigger challenges inmeeting the targets than other developing countries. Of the 34 poorcountries farthest from reaching the Goals, 22 are in or emerging from aconflict. Depending on the scale - from isolated violence to full-scale civilwar - the nature and root causes as well as the duration of the conflicts,the concrete circumstances in the affected countries vary. For many countries emerging from conflict,The Millennium DevelopmentGoals (MDGs) are often seen as a powerful tool for finding long-term andsustainable way for promoting stability. They are the most obvious focalpoint between economic and social affairs and peace-building, since theadvancement of economic growth and development and the promotion ofthe MDGs — especially ensuring that the poorest segments of thepopulation share in the benefits of development, which is essential forthe sustainability of peace.The Economic and Social Council has been addressing the impact ofconflict on development since the late 1990s. Its ad hoc advisory groupshave attempted to bring the special needs of specific countries emergingfrom conflict to the attention of the international community. Two of thecountries previously on its agenda are now being considered by thePeacebuilding Commission (PBC). Continuing with the efforts of 2009 to
  6. 6. KCL Model United Nations Society 2011/2012 "The Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza” 5strengthen the informal interaction between the two intergovernmentalbodies, the President of ECOSOC and the Chair of the PBC have decidedto jointly chair a meeting of the two bodies on the MDGs in countriesemerging from conflict. On 19th of July 2010 a second joint meetingbetween the ECOSOC and PBC took please, at that meeting were outlinedthe main challenges that stand before the countries emerging fromConflict, posing some of the biggest threats to attaining the MDGs, suchas: the critical level of justice, security, and respect for the rule of law;degraded health and education systems and poor access to clean water;forced migration; lack of job opportunities for young people and theadequate response to internal and external risk factor. At that jointmeeting were also outlined the opportunities to strengthen the countriesemerging from conflict, for example investments aimed at strengtheningthe conditions for peace and security; strengthening capacities toprevent, monitor and mitigate conflict; promoting participatory decision-making structures; investing in rebuilding administrative capacity ofGovernment institutions and so on. The outlined challenges andopportunities raise three specific issues: first, how exactly to measure theprogress, what kind of benchmark should be set up; second, how to usethe MDG’s as a tool for creating trust towards local and nationalgovernments and reinforce their commitment to peace process and third,how they can serve as a platform for fostering national unity.
  7. 7. KCL Model United Nations Society 2011/2012 "The Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza” 6Relevance of the problem and the discussion so farThe discussions on the correlation between the MDGs and peace-buildingbegan officially at the World Summit that took place on 14th to 16th ofSeptember 2005, in the same year was published a document thatidentifies strategies for countries affected by conflict called “Investing inDevelopment” . After that the issue was discussed at two joint meetingsbetween ECOSOC and PBC in 2009 and 2010. The same topic found itsplace in the Secretary-General’s 2010 report “Keeping the promise” andfor the last time it was discussed on the High Level Plenary Meeting onthe MDGs that took place in September 2010.World Summit 2005The main purpose for the 2005 World Summit was to review progress sincethe Millennium Declaration, adopted by all Member States in 2000. TheSummit adopted an Outcome Document on 15th of September which thegeneral opinion identifies several positive aspects as well as some weekpoints.Some of the positive aspects of the outcome include: On the humanrights front, there was agreement to create a Peace Building Commission,and a Human Rights Council; Stopping genocide. Wording on this wasmore concrete that other issue: nations agreed on a collectiveresponsibility to protect civilians facing genocide and similar atrocities.Governments can no longer use sovereignty and non-intervention norms asexcuses to avoid having to act to protect civilians from mass killings.Countries reiterated the need to achieve MDG, even though US initiallywanted to strike all mention of it. Education: supporting elimination of
  8. 8. KCL Model United Nations Society 2011/2012 "The Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza” 7user fees for primary education Debt relief: acknowledges the G8commitments (which were imperfect, though a starting point), andacknowledges that others such as middle-income countries may also needsome sort of debt relief. HIV/AIDS: endorsed the G8 commitment touniversal access to HIV treatment by 2010. Tax evasion: more mention ofthis problem Reiterated the need for member states to provide the UNwith adequate resources as needed (because the UN has a financial crisisof its own whereby some states, the US in particular, has long withheld itsdues — and then blamed the UN for being ineffective!).The problems or weaknesses include: generally the final document isconsidered quite vague in many areas, and often simply reaffirming pastcommitments, without adding anything new or substantial. The urgencyof reaching the Millennium Development Goals was lacking, it was felt bymany. That most of the world is behind on this right now was not reallystressed. Trade: risks remaining unequal. There was not much text andwhat there were weak and favored rich countries, mostly. There wasmention of endorsing trade liberalization but nothing about eliminatingthe harmful and hypocritical rich country subsidies, or giving more powerto smaller/poor countries to have more say in their destiny. Poorcountries are still subject to neoliberal economic policies prescribed andpressured onto poorer countries by the richer countries and institutionssuch as the IMF and World Bank. Nuclear non-proliferation and Nucleardisarmament was not mentioned. “This is a real disgrace,” Kofi Annansaid (recently the US has indicated the desire to use nuclear weaponsmore offensively than previously indicated, which is a reverse of thedirection the UN wants to go). Terrorism: did not get a definition ofterrorism, so while condemnation of it was strong by all, more specificissues were not discussed. The International Criminal Court was notmentioned either. Aid: not only was there little commitment to foreignaid, but it was again tied to conditions often deemed as unfair.The Outcome Document specifically highlights the need for continued,coordinated and effective international support for achieving thedevelopment goals in countries emerging from conflict, in order toachieve sustainable peace.ECOSOC-PBC joint meetings (2009-2010)The joint meeting in 2010 was a continuation on the efforts made in 2009to better coordinate the work of the two councils in order to attain theMDGs in post-conflict countries.The most important of this meeting was the recognition of the fact thatmost of the countries that are lagging behind on reaching the MDGs arethe ones that are either submerged in conflict or are in post-conflictsituation. The three other important things that came out of this meetingwere: first, the understanding of the need for adequate way formeasuring the progress towards the MDGs. This need comes from the factthat there are striking horizontal inequalities among regions that aremasked when the data is aggregated at the country level. Such
  9. 9. KCL Model United Nations Society 2011/2012 "The Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza” 8inequalities risk sparking conflict when certain groups feel marginalizedor excluded. If the MDGs are monitored at the sub-national level,however, governments would be able to target their limited resourcesmore effectively, directing them to the areas where they are mostneeded. This type of sub-national monitoring is especially valuable incountries emerging from conflict because it helps prioritize the use ofresources in an environment where everything appears important.Moreover, in these contexts severe horizontal inequalities are not simplya reflection of uneven progress towards the MDGs; they can triggerrenewed violence and even a relapse into conflict. Second, the understanding that the MDGs can be used as a tool for building trust in local and national government. This is because the governments in post-conflict societies are often weak and distrusted by the population – particularly in the early days after conflict, before new elections are held, when the legitimacy of transitional governments may be questioned, butthrough efforts to reach the MDGs for example, by providing or throughthe delivery of education or health services governments can provide apeace dividend that increases people’s confidence in, and commitmentto, the peace process. Third, the understanding that the MDGs can serveas a framework for fostering national unity. This is because in fracturedand factionalized societies, a sense of common purpose is vital. Activitiesdesigned to achieve widely shared progress towards the MDGs canpromote social cohesion. Involving communities in the design,implementation, monitoring and evaluation of such activities can buildbridges between them.High Level Plenary Meeting on the MDGs (2010)On 20th to 22nd of September 2010 was held a High Level Plenary Meetingon the MDGs as a follow-up to the ECOSOC-PBC joint meeting earlier thesame year. Its primary objective was to accelerate progress towards allthe Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015, taking into accountthe progress made towards the internationally agreed development goals(A/RES/64/184). The summit is expected to undertake a comprehensive
  10. 10. KCL Model United Nations Society 2011/2012 "The Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza” 9review of successes, best practices and lessons learned obstacles andgaps, challenges and opportunities, “leading to concrete strategies foraction”.1 The discussions, never the less, did not yield a comprehensivestrategy on how to aim and use the MDGs as a policy tool for buildingtrust in local and national government and a framework for fosteringnational unity. The two things that came out of the Meeting were thereview of all that has been done until then on reaching the MDGs and therecognition on the part of the Secretary-General that “countries in, oremerging from, conflict are more likely to be poor and face greaterconstraints, because basic infrastructure, institutions and adequatehuman resources are often absent and lack of security hampers economicdevelopment”1 http://onevoicesouthasia.wordpress.com/2010/05/18/united-nations-high-level-plenary-meeting-on-the-millennium-development-goals-mdg-summit-20-22-september-2010-new-york
  11. 11. KCL Model United Nations Society 2011/2012 "The Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza” 10Summary and areas a Resolution must address In the years that followed the adoption of the Millennium Development Goals one correlation became more and more apparent namely that economic and social development is a preset condition for sustainable peace. The understanding that derived from that correlation was that the MDGs can be used as a proactive policy set for achieving that sustainable peace. This on its own raised three issues that remain unaddressed until today: first, the need for a more adequate system for measuring the progress towards the MDGs; second, how to use the MDG’s as a tool for creating trust towards local and national governments and reinforce their commitment to peace process and third, how they can serve as a platform for fostering national unity.Areas a resolution must address • How exactly to measure the progress, what kind of benchmarks should be set up? • How to use the MDG’s as a tool for creating trust towards local and national governments and reinforce their commitment to peace process? • How can the MDGs serve as a platform for fostering national unity?