Agenda 1: Situation in Cyprus: The situation in Cyprus is an age old dispute that began in 1974 when Turkish forces occupied the northern third of the island, a situation which has been condemned in different ways in different UN resolutions. This is compounded because the north is de facto under the administration of the self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus which is guarded by Turkish Armed Forces, though the Republic of Cyprus is a state under international law. However, there seems to be some silver lining as in 2014 the two parties agreed that the prolonged dispute is harmful to everyone’s interests and decided to resolve the same.
Agenda 2: Situation in Burundi: The crisis in Burundi owes its inception to the ruling political party, the National Council for the Defense of Democracy – Forces for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD-FDD) announcing that the incumbent President Pierre Nkurunziza would run for a third term. This announcement led to public backlash and widespread protests. Subsequently, a coup was announced but it failed. During this time, internet was shut, telephone was cut and the highest court approved the incumbent president’s right to run for a third time. To make matters worse, government officials publicly referred to the protesters as “terrorists”. This crisis has led to an impasse in the streets of Burundi which poses a serious threat to the well-being of its citizens.
Agenda 3: Situation in Sudan and South Sudan: The nations of Sudan and South Sudan have been grappling with the problem of violence. In late 2015 and early 2016, violence surged in Darfur, displacing tens of thousands of civilians. In December 2013, political infighting in South Sudan arose after the President accused the Vice President of an attempted coup. This led to factions fighting amongst each other. Though various peace agreements have been signed by both the parties in Sudan and in South Sudan, the crisis does not seem to have been allayed easily. Since the conflict began, almost 1 in 3 people in South Sudan have been displaced. In Sudan, delivery of humanitarian assistance to affected areas has been repeatedly blocked. Such inaction has to immediately be addressed to prevent further deterioration.
The Rohingya refugee crisis is a problem that centers around the Rohingya people, who are Muslim by religion. They are situated in Myanmar and in Bangladesh but the govt. of Myanmar does not recognize them as an ethnic group. They are thus considered “stateless entities”. Quite ominously, there are reports which suggest that the government of Myanmar is planning a genocide of the Rohingyas. In light of such persecution, they seek refuge in Southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand whose governments have different policies with respect to acceptance of refugees. The fact that police discovered close to 130 graves suggesting live burial makes this problem even more pertinent.
Agenda 1:Reforming the scope and mandate of Peacekeeping Missions: Ever since the end of the Cold War, the Security Council has been far more active in establishing peacekeeping operations. In principle, it is indeed comforting to note that the international community possesses the ability to mandate the mobilization of peacekeeping forces. However, the missteps of the peacekeeping forces in nations such as Somalia and Rwanda have led to member nations balking at the prospect of mobilizing peacekeeping forces to combat perilous situations. The U.N peacekeeping is now being conducted with unprecedented pace and scope but serious flaws such as mismanagement; fraud and corruption have been unearthed. Member states have failed to try their troops for alleged misconduct too. It behooves the international community to look into the effectiveness of the peacekeeping forces and suggest reforms in the scope and mandate of the UNPKF to cater to its growing demand.
Agenda 2:Discussing measures to curb international terrorism: It is widely accepted that terrorism is a serious ill of great seriousness. There are plenty of anti-terrorism laws in most jurisdictions and it is also a war crime under the laws of war when indiscriminate violence is used to target non-combatants such as civilians. It is staggering to look at the number of terrorist attacks in 2015 and in 2016 with 2015 seeing at least 2,500 terrorist attacks in 2015. The rise of terrorist organizations such as the ISIS has led to calls for more stringent measures to curb terrorism.
Agenda 1: Exploring the viability and methods of establishing a 21st century South Asian Single Market: As of 2017, the South Asian region consists of almost 25% of the world’s total population and just last year, the region was deemed the fastest growing region in the world by the World Bank. With the aim of harnessing the vast potential of this region the South Asian Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) was ratified in March 2006 with the objective of liberalizing trade and investment. Keeping in mind the objectives set in motion by the agreement the SAARC member states now explore the possibility of establishing a 21st Century South Asian single market in order to further promote a free and liberal market with lesser tariffs and restrictions. Member states at the summit must deliberate upon whether such a market is required and if so how can it be made a reality.
Role of women and youth in peace building in post conflict societies: In today’s world it is estimated that around 90% of casualties in conflict areas are civilians, a majority of whom are the youth and women. Furthermore in time where crimes against women are already undesirably high, the presence of armed conflict tends to result in an almost exponential rise in such crimes. When it comes conflict stricken areas the youth are also an extremely marginalised group, in fact at times disenfranchised male youth are seen in an overly negative light and are seen as potentially dangerous combatants as opposed to a group at risk. The international community must recognise that given that these two groups are so greatly affected in conflict societies, they must be included in the peace building processes and steps have to be taken to ensure their involvement in negotiations, policy making and rehabilitation efforts.
Agenda 1:Assessing the impact that religious leaders have on radicalization and employing the religious community to counteract recruitment by and popularity of extremist groups: Radicalisation is often defined as the phenomenon of people embracing opinions, views and ideas which could lead to terrorism. It is a misconception that religious leaders only contribute to such radicalisations and recruitment by extremist groups, as many such leaders have come together in efforts such as the Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers to counter the growing popularity of extremist outfits. Religious actors are important in countering violent extremism because of their unique positions of authority, credibility, institutional resources and ties with communities. Not all violent extremism is encased in religious terms, and not all extremism is violent. But the rhetoric and media discussion of violent extremism often masks the positive role that religious actors can and do play.
Agenda 2: Examining methods by which counter-insurgency (COIN) strategies and tactics can be employed to combat the influence of insurgent groups like Da’esh and Al Qaeda: The concept of insurgency, while lacking a substantial definition, is considered to be a conflict between a belligerent group against a government, usually having clashing social ideologies, with ultimate aim of acquiring political power from the government. Counter Insurgency Strategies which aim to curb such attempts include tactics such as, action against the insurgent leadership, actions against the conditions that provoked the insurgency, reinforcing the state political structure etc. The member states of the League must examine and consolidate strategies and tactics with the aim of combating insurgent groups such as Da’esh and Al Qaeda.