UNITED NATION SECURITY COUNCIL
Summary of the 4th of May – United Nations Security Council – Al Jazeera
A fruitful day in the SC, but differences did not disappear
In the morning, the working paper was submitted to the chairs, with the main goal of establishing stability in Yemen, and sending more humanitarian aid. Congratulatory speeches were given, quotes were made from the Bible and Mao, and the delegates felt cheerful. Only France was losing its patience, wishing to vote as quickly as possible and calling Russia a drama queen after a passionate speech. The resolution was passed! The cheerfulness from the 6thsession however soon disappeared during the 7thsession, when the second topic was being discussed. The differences in interests re-appeared. Despite its own hypocrisy of yesterday, today Russia was calling out the Western world for their hypocrisy about encroaching on other countries’ sovereignty. During the 8thsession, the US has threatened to cut its contribution to UNSC peacekeeping forces, because it has to become efficient. Russia grabbed its chance to fill the power vacuum that the US had created, and wanted to take over the American role if the US would cuts its budget. This vacuum was literally discussed during the 9thsession, as other countries were starting to comprehend the implications of the US cutting its budget. Belgium was the first to express this concern. To stay realistic though, Russia has only been contributing 4 percent of the entire budget in peacekeeping missions, and the US 28 percent so far. How likely is it then that Russia will actually be able to afford such a big increase in its budget, and would Kremlin approve?
United Nations Security Council – Al Jazeera – Session 8 and 9 –4th of May 2019
Russia wants to take over the American role
The United States (US) promoted more efficiency regarding the peacekeeping forces and wants to lower the contribution of the US to the UNSC peacekeeping missions. The US wants peacekeeping to become a shared responsibility and that everyone has a role to play, also in the contribution. Cote d’Ivoire therefore wants to find other countries that can pay more, since the US wants to pay less. Therefore, Russia filled the power vacuum that the US created and wants to step in if the US cuts its budget to the UNSC peacekeeping forces. It seems like the Cold War dynamics have re-appeared… During the 9thsessions, it became very clear that the US does probably want to decrease its funding, and welcomes others to increase their funding. Then, Russia proposed to take over the American position by increasing its budget. This is exactly what Belgium was afraid of, because it wants to make decisions together. The discussions about the funding of the UNSC became more heated as time went on. Nevertheless, it remains unlikely that Russia is able to contribute the 25 percent that the US has been contributing so far, as Russia has been contributing only 4 percent.
United Nations Security Council – Al Jazeera – Session 6 and 7 –4th of May 2019
A working paper is finished in the Security Council: it congratulates itself with speeches
In the first session of the day, the delegates were working hard on their working paper. They proposed the establishment of Peace Enforcement Forces, and the establishment of Mediation Alliance Committee to invite all involved parties on the negotiation table in Geneva, and an extension of a special UN envoy. Moreover, the US has to retreat 50 percent of their military from Yemen, and should have withdrawn their entire military out of Yemen by 2024. The US emphasised the sacrifices they had to make. Russia emphasised that “time is luxury we do not have”. The debate about the details was heated, but in the end, countries congratulated each other by cheerful speeches. France was being to lose its patience: “let’s get this over with and vote!” Poland began quoting the Koran, and China wanted to quote from the great chairman Mao. Especially Russia had fierce speech, and was very content with having no more boots on the grounds. France coughed and said: “drama queen”. During the 7thsession of the EuroMUN, the votes were casted and every delegate was in favour of the draft resolution! Afterwards, it was time for punishment. The delegates had to dance to a song of the Minions, and China was very enthusiastic and danced with fellow delegates. However, the second topic was introduced and immediately it became clear how different the interests of the delegates were about the role of peacekeeping forces in conflicts. The US and UK were in favour and the former wished for more investments. Despite its own hypocrisy of yesterday, today Russia was calling out the Western world for their hypocrisy about encroaching on other countries’ sovereignty. Russia has done investments in the past in peacekeeping forces, but is still criticised by the West. Other countries like France and Belgium called for form of the troops.
United Nations Security Council – Al Jazeera – Session 4 and 5 –3th of May 2019
Ambassadors change the tables in the Security Council
From the previous negotiations this morning, South Africa concluded that is was surprised about the amount of progress and the number of common goals that was possible. There was some disagreement about the success of previous peacekeeping mission, as the possibility of sending blue helmets to Yemen is being discussed. France has a very strong stance that we have not seen before, and siding with Russia, that there is an unreasonable amount of risk if a country would sends it troops to Yemen. Then, the ambassador of Yemen walks in, and the situation will never be the same since his presence. The ambassador wants stability before humanitarian help can be send to Yemen. When the United Kingdom asked whether peacekeeping forces are helpful, the ambassador is veryclear in saying that the UNSC should not listen to Russia nor Iran. He wanted massive bombings on Houthi rebels. While everyone else was laughing about the absurdity of his statements, the ambassador’s face was very serious. The United States had the burning question of whether they could condemn Iranian support for rebels. The ambassador again wanted to destroythe Houthi rebels and Hezbollah too. Later in the fifth committee session, the ambassador of Saudi Arabi visited us. The main goal of this country is to “restore peace and stability”. The country was very firm in stating that it does not want to negotiate with Houthi rebels, despite many proposals from various delegations. Only if all other allies of Saudi Arabia, for instance China and the United States, then Saudi Arabia might change its mind. Poor America felt lonely, and wash happy when its ally Saudi Arabia entered the room. Unfortunately for United States, Saudi Arabia had to leave again…
United Nations Security Council – Al Jazeera – Session 2 and 3 –3th of May 2019
Russia has become hypocritical in the Security Council
In the negotiation of today, South Africa wanted to address the topic of efficient aid provision. China wanted to ensure that first the harbors were open to deliver the aid. Russia takes a different stand and wants a no-fly zone, which could obstruct the delivery of aid. Rather than more military means, Russia proposes diplomacy. Western countries, however, like Germany and the United Kingdom, propose a radically different approach. They follow a hands-off approach, but only wanting to increase the amount of aid and money to Yemen, but nothing more. As a permanent member, the United Kingdom is not using its position. Russia is taking a provocative stance, similar to yesterday. It says it has the power to mediate, but other countries want to have an unbiased position, and they think that Russia is not unbiased. Instead, China is proposing to become a mediator, as it has successful mediator session in the past. During an unmoderated caucus, countries gather themselves around Russia. Germany proposes an unbiased committee, but then the question arises of which country is unbiased. Everybody but Russia itself agrees upon the fact that Russia is not suitable as a mediator, because of the fact that it has key interests in Yemen. A cold war environment is arising, as Belgium thinks that the Yemen war is a proxy war. Russia does not want “boots on the ground”, and wants the United States to retreat its troops. The US has not learned from its past in Iraq yet, and does not want to retreat yet. At the third session, it became very clear that the goals of Russia were shifting. Yesterday, the country mentioned that it wants a step by step approach. Today, when the United States said that it wants a step by step approach, Russia disagreed and wished to see American action immediately. The United States became rather nervous and quiet, and the United Kingdom took over the American role. Moreover, Russia proposed a coalition of the five permanent members to send their forces to Yemen, while it did not want “boots on the ground” yesterday…
THURSDAY, 02.05. 2019
By Annemiek Dols
Russia is trying to set the agenda in the first meeting of the Security Council
In the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), the topic of the humanitarian crisis of Yemen was discussed.
The civil war is raging between the internationally-recognized Yemeni government and the Houthi armed movement. Belgium is rightful in addressing the fact that war is changing: from a proxy war to a hybrid war. The country also mentioned how the regional powers are rising and that the UNSC has a responsibility to act as one.
There is a fundamental war between regional powers and superpowers according to the small country of Belgium. Considering the voices of bigger powers, China cannot recognise the government that is in power in Yemen at the moment and was speaking about a lack of trust about countries in the UNSC that had ties with the fighting parties. The United Kingdom called the Yemen humanitarian crisis “a man-made catastrophe”. The US wanted to sanction those who obstructed that flow of aid and called for a special envoy, but for the rest of the discussion, they were notably absent, for a change.
A rather striking attitude came from Russia. The country first assured that it could speak last in a round of opinions. Then, Russia wished to shorten the time that every speaker can talk. When Russia spoke, the country made it utterly clear that it disapproves of sanctions: “sanctions only made the problem worse.” Furthermore, as time went by, the country became rather furious: “Moscowwill mediate this affair, Moscow will end this crisis!” Finally, Russia wished to suspend the discussion before it was time to do so. Perhaps they had more important issues to take care of at home… It seems that this Security Council Session will be riven by the rivalries of its permanent members – as per usual.
Annemiek Dols, from Al-Jazeera