Today’s session was initiated with an already finished resolution concerning human trafficking and proposed measures USA, Russia and India posed as signers and Yemen, France, Japan, China, Syria, Qatar as sponsors.
The resolution itself was composed of 12 articles which directly addressed the prevention of human trafficking, its suppression and punishment of the perpetrators; assistance provided to the victims with respect to their rights, encouragement of the prosecution of those benefiting from human trafficking, maintenance of a certain series of standards for maximum efficiency, promoting cooperation; replacement of “trafficking in persons” to “human trafficking” as a term and include sex tourism; promotion of equal educational system, provide the population with tools to recognise cases of human trafficking, using the Internet as a targeting tool; different measures for the protection of victims of human trafficking; sharing of resources, information, feedback and expertise between states, the promotion of triangular cooperation to help the purposes of the resolution, ensuring the implementation and effectiveness of said measures; annual reports of achievements, an impartial Body of Experts to assess the data, analyse it and recommend programs that would lead to a solution; establishing of a common UN Frontier Police Investigation Body, creating a common database concerning known criminals, the signing countries would have to introduce the crime of human trafficking as a criminal offence in their criminal laws as well as to consider it as an extraditable offence, reduction of the length of legal procedures, ensure compliance with the standards of fraud and corruption; the creation of an international fund proportional to the countries’ GDPs and the creation of a representative and egalitarian assembly where all states parties would represented – they would vote on aspects proposed by the Body of Experts.
And as expected, a few issues, questions and doubts were raised. Some were clarified, found and reread in the resolution and other important issues were added to the final draft such as organ trafficking, distribution of financial efforts depending on the size of donations, the size of donations or the inability to donate to the fund affecting the equality of voting, assuring the unchangeable nature of the voting equality, the inclusion of a hotline as a tool to report cases of human trafficking, the High Commission would have the ability to declare individual responsibilities to states which promote the prosperity of human trafficking and finally, a 13th article was created underlining the need for an independent court of judges.
The final draft of the resolution was scrutinised once more and has been approved by the vast majority of the committee.
The Co-chair reminded the least satisfied that without idealism, there’s no point in trying. Things would never get done as fast as you want or the way you want them to but you have to start somewhere and even the little steps forward make a drastic change for some.
The next topic swooped in like pendulum around the room – the heavy issue of Violence against Peacekeepers had the delegates swinging back and forth with theories, accusations and despair. But we can’t blame them – creating a resolution that could save thousands of lives is not an easy process.
First of all, it had to be pointed out that peacekeepers are neutral and impartial; their sole mission is to help the citizens of the countries in crisis. However, as we all know, that is not the case in reality. Many peacekeepers take advantage of people’s suffering, committing violations against women, children and simply the people they were supposed to protect. It is not just a topic of external violence against them, it is also very important to address the myriad of issues created within the peacekeepers organisation.
And indeed, peacekeepers are usually not seen as impartial or neutral by either party: the citizens and the rebels/terrorist groups.
Many, many countries raised the matter of education but is it enough to simply educate them? Saudi Arabia pointed out that the peacekeepers are seen as enforcers of power. Nigeria, followed by many others, suggested that the nature of peacekeepers has to be explained to the citizens in order to avoid them from being attacked at least from one side and Norway completed the statement by explaining the importance of promoting peace and how the organisation might need a solid improvement of command and control.
Congo hit the delegations with another idea: why not reduce the number of peacekeepers so they seem less imposing? A troop of 20 000 (the biggest peacekeeping mission) is a little bit too excessive. It’s a number that poses a threat. Senegal wisely pointed out the stricter control of access for peacekeepers as they operate in very dangerous environments as a single violation could turn whole countries against them.
Two caucuses to clarify the difference between peacekeeping and peace enforcing and peacekeeping training highlighted the aforementioned opinions: further education and training for the peacekeepers is needed. They should familiarize themselves with the language and culture of the country they’ll be based in in order to lessen the intensity of cultural barriers. Russia suggested the addition of interpreters to the troops, so they could serve as a connection.
The next caucus – Immunity of peacekeepers as a cause of violence against them – produced a lot of noise and arguments. Should the peacekeepers be denied immunity? Many representatives agreed with that point of view – peacekeepers commit crimes and they should be punished. Some would prefer to punish their own citizens according to their national laws and others preferred that another series of laws be created in the UN to be punished by everybody.
Peacekeepers who have committed crimes would never be able to be peacekeepers again, was another point of balance and agreement. Some even voted for the creation of a whole different jury to judge the violators of the peacekeeping code such as Japan, but India found it to be a bit too excessive.
Some demanded the creation of military laws within the countries of crisis where the peacekeepers operate, but how could those laws be even taken into consideration if the peacekeepers pose a threat to the people?
Accusations started flying too, even if indirect ones: it is widely known that some countries finance terrorist groups, so how could they properly address the violence against their own peacekeepers? Interesting, indeed.