By Amel Amin Elfadil
The President of ECOSOC, Shaima Abdalla, gave us a brief on her expectations for this conference’s debate sessions. She is anticipating a heated debate between USA and Russia regarding topic A: Measures to sustain the economy in countries accepting large numbers of refuge, with Richard Snowden having sought asylum from Russia and his affiliation with the NSA leaks. This seems to be the topic that USA and Russia are bickering on and as of last night; the council witnessed a heated discussion on that topic with Russia addressing Snowden seeking that asylum.
Turkey on the other hand is at the heart of this issue and stirring most of the controversy. The Turkish government has clearly overestimated its capacities to withhold the numbers that it had initially planned to withhold and is under economic and societal burdens which has resulted in many anti-refugee sentiments, specifically with the political tensions that the country is experiencing right now. Turkey is henceforth seeking the support of MEDs, its European partners in sharing this burden. Among the European bodies, the UK for instance, made it clear, through the most recent exist of Britain from the European Union that it is prioritizing the rehabilitation of its economy, whilst recognizing the positive contribution that immigrants once had on the economy.
Syria, an observer in this council, recognize the refuge of its civilians to distant European countries but has also stated that the Syrians fleeing their homeland should do so only to neighboring countries. Another country that has continued to host a large number of refugees is Mauritania. In this conference, the delegation recognizes the UN’s efforts through the UNHCR in helping establishing the refugee camps for the most recent Malian refugees.
With topic B, “Eliminating the radicalization of youth through societal measures”, most of the countries have put forth the resolution of monitoring social media networks through surveillance practices. The UK for example, having experienced many incidences where its citizens have intently acted upon their radicalized beliefs, seeks to control network access (specifically social media). Afghanistan, on the other hand, having witnessed catastrophic results of radicalization through the emergence of violent groups such as Taliban, is also struggling with the establishment of the Vilyan-e Khorasan front of Deash in Afghanistan. However, instead of viewing it a domestic issue, Afghanistan is viewing it an international issue and is prepared to tackle this issue on the international stage.
As of the morning of the 1st, and the first day of council, the delegation of Russia, in alliance with the delegate of Serbia, China and the Democratic Republic of Congo are in the course of finalizing their working papers on topic A. On the other political end, USA, Algeria and the UK have been working on the first topic as well.
China, Afghanistan and the democratic republic of Congo are in the course of submitting a working paper on the second topic regarding the elimination of the radicalization of youth through societal measures.
All member of the council are proceeding with lobbying and merging in the active groups that they had created. Many are either on the verge of submitting their final resolutions and others are seeking signatories and sponsors. Heated yet diplomatic debates shall be anticipated on the course of the following few days in the Economic and Social Council.