THURSDAY 14th MARCH, 6PM, PARKINSON B.08
This week's debate will be around new nation membership! Following this, we'll be going to watch Hotel Rwanda, an award winning film on the effects of the U.N.'s withdrawal of Rwanda.
Additionally, we're incredibly proud to announce that on the 28th of March we'll be hosting our Elections for main committee. Roles available for election will be: President, Vice-President, Treasurer & Secretary. If you're interested, make sure to follow the page as we'll be getting information about it in the next few days!
The United Nations is home to over 190 member states and 3 observer states: the Vatican, Palestine and the European Union. Traditionally, member states are the only ones allowed to propose legislation and participate in voting procedures. However, after the approval of a 2011 resolution, the EU was granted the right to orally present amendments and represent its interests on the global stage. The European Union has participated in the workings of the United Nations since 1974, and has full voting rights in 3 UN Bodies. Along with its own member states, the EU represents almost 1/8th of the United Nations General Assembly, and is the largest financial contributor to the UN.
The addition of new members to the UN has been a relatively consistent one throughout history, with South Sudan being the most recently added in 2011, following its formal secession from Sudan as a result of an internationally monitored referendum held earlier that year.
The recognition of a new State or Government is an act that only other States and Governments may grant or withhold. It generally implies readiness to assume diplomatic relations. The United Nations is neither a State nor a Government, and therefore does not possess any authority to recognise either a State or a Government. As an organisation of independent States, it may admit a new State to its membership or accept the credentials of the representatives of a new Government.
Given these requirements, it is no surprise that there have been numerous challenges facing nation states attempting to enter the UN. Take Kosovo, who since its independence in 2008 has been attempting to join the UN. While the United Kingdom, the United States and France have elected not to veto this, both Russia and China have argued that Kosovo is simply a rebellious region of Serbia, hence vetoing Kosovo’s membership. They are not alone in this daunting challenge, Transnistria, the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, Abkhazia and South Ossetia may or may not be part of Moldova, Azerbaijan or Georgia, depending on who is asking.
While the membership of the aforementioned areas has been extremely contested, the recognition of nation states is crucial, where even inaction on the part of nations is a symbolic act, as nations have to choose to send an ambassador or not. A notably awkward case being Taiwan (Chinese Taipei). While Taiwan has for all intents and purposes been independent country and has been for years, China insists that all other nations refer to the island as Taiwan. Given China’s influence, though almost all nations publicly refer to the island as per China’s wishes, there has been unofficial acknowledgement of Taiwan’s Independence, such as the US’ sending of aircraft carriers to protect one part of China from another part of China.
The question of this debate is this: should places like the EU or other sovereign areas be given a place as official members of the United Nations? Additionally, for the former, as the conglomerate of nations is already united, should they remain segregated? What rights should the European Union be given on this world stage?
HOTEL RWANDA reveals the story of Paul Rusesabagina (Don Cheadle), manager at a luxury hotel and the man who always knows what it took to get things done and survive in an explosive political situation. Two ethnic groups, the nomadic Tutsis (also known as Watutsis) and the agricultural Hutus had been pitted against each other by the white Belgian settlers, who literally measured skin tone and nose width to elevate the Tutsis to preferred positions. When the conflict exploded into violence in 1994, the Hutus began a full-scale slaughter of over 800,000 Tutsis and any Hutus who supported them. Amidst this madness, Rusesabagina hid more than 1000 Tutsis in his hotel. Using the same skills that made him successful as a hotel manager, he cajoles, barters, and bluffs his way into keeping them safe, and keeps hoping for help from the UN or the US.
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