Security Council

In opposition to the Historical Security Council, the Security Council deals with problems of actuality. As in the title, it deals with security issues on different scales. Throughout ILYMUN, the Security Council tackled organised crime at sea, and discussed conflicts due to water scarcity as well as disputes concerning the South China Sea.

Friday was a very productive day for the Security Council, who discussed conflict issues due to water scarcities. The debate started off with a resolution submitted by Kuwait, composed of eleven different clauses focusing on the ways for the United Nations to help countries in need:

  1. Further requests that all the water that will be used from now on in order to produce goods or to build edifices is to be non-drinkable water, since it is not a basic need. Kuwait:
  2. Encourages the UN to provide funds to the companies and to the states in need in order to help them launch the transition to the use of non-drinkable water for the above-mentioned-purposes.
  3. States that these funds would be allowed to countries whose GDP is below 150 billion dollars.
  4. Further requests that agriculture is to use exclusively sustainable solutions that reduce by 90% all the losses which currently represent 60% of the water used for agriculture, which represents in itself 70% of the world’s freshwater.
  5. States that funds to help the transition would be allowed to countries whose GDP is below 150 billion dollars.
  6. Further invites the UN to state on a transition time of 3 years, given to all the farmers find entirely sustainable solutions.
  7. Affirms that it is easier to give funds to already existing companies in the domain of sustainable agriculture rather than create a UN department for this.
  8. States that funds will be provided to companies working in the domain of sustainable agriculture through international calls for proposals.
  9. Solemnly affirms that countries should be dedicating between 3% and 5% (depending on their GDP) of their total budget to the preservation of water,including funds for research in the domain of the use of clean water.
  10. Create public notice both in developed and developing countries, about water cries to maintain the population aware of this issue.
  11. Put in place lessons about water in school for student’s education in order to: a) prevent young people about the risk of water crisis; b) better manage the water resource in general but also at house and avoid overconsumption of water in the future

The delegates of China continuously submitted amendments, not losing hope when their propositions weren’t retained, and quickly coming up with their next idea. Indeed, when their suggestion of going vegan wasn’t adopted they decided that due to the high pollution caused by bovine agriculture and consumption, all countries should find alternative meats that pollute less, idea that caused much revolting amongst their fellow delegates, who argued the impacts such a decision would have on cultures and economies could be catastrophic. Once again their amendment was refused, unlike the one proposed by Indonesia that added a twelfth clause calling “to gather anonymous and regional data from countries suffering from water shortages and tensions to better predict water related conflicts and therefore improving the accessibility of water around the world”, that passed with only one vote against. The last amendment was a thirteenth clause added by the Russian Federation “encouraging the UN to provide funds to put in place round water tanks in countries facing problems with the freezing of their clean water resources” and passed without difficulties. Nearing the end of the debate and the voting, the P5 announced their decision to veto the motion, declaring they believed it would be too detrimental for their economies.

Later in the day, the People’s Republic of China submitted a motion concerning the ‘nine-dash line’, in which this line should be internationally recognised as a Chinese border meaning that the concerned part would officially become Chinese territory, also meaning the retreat of the American navy from the South China Sea. The delegation of Kuwait suggested an amendment, adding a third clause to the resolution: ‘3. Requests the reinforcement and funding of the tribunal to accelerate the stabilisation of the area’. This resolution was passed. While the delegation of the Ivory Coast supported the resolution and the delegation of Poland questioned it, the delegation of Kuwait opposed it, believing that China was trying to gain power through legal procedures, and that this resolution would create international conflict, agreed and supported by the UN. The delegates for the People’s Republic of China opposed this statement, as did the Ivory Coast in another Point of Information. The house then moved onto voting procedures: the resolution didn’t pass, with a majority, including Kuwait, against it. The delegation of China finally took the floor one last time in a Point of Information to question why the delegation of Kuwait voted against this resolution when its amendment was passed.

The delegation of Kuwait then suggested a resolution which would allow the suppression of the ‘nine-dash line’ in the South China Sea. The Russian Federation put forwards a motion deleting clauses 1.c and 3. to avoid the suppression of the nine-dash line, to which Kuwait suggested a secondary motion, “the nine dash line would go from China’s property to the UN’s one in a six year delay. This transition would concern the resources also; 1st year: 80% to China, 20% UN; 2nd- 3rd year: 50% to China, 50% UN. Once the waters are UN waters, the resources should be divided according to the population to ASEAN countries and China.’ Both this secondary motion and the motion passed. The delegates therefore agreed to keep the nine-dash line in place, but to establish a transition in its control; over a six year period, this region of the South China Sea is to be slowly passed over to the UN. Once the territory has been claimed by the UN, the resources are to be distributed among ASEAN countries and China. The delegation for the Russian Federation pointed out that this agreement would be beneficial and corresponds to the Security Council’s aim, as this resolution finds a solution to the conflict over the islands and archipelagos present in the South China Sea and promotes peace. The delegation for Peru then suggested an amendment affecting the third clause, however this amendment wasn’t approved by the Security Council. The delegation of Belgium then suggested an amendment affecting clause 3, which was passed. This amendment passed, with no votes against it. The house then decided to vote on the resolution as a whole: the resolution was passed, despite signs that China was considering vetoing the resolution.

In the afternoon, Equatorial Guinea suggested that more developed HICs should contribute to paying for LICs with at-risk water levels. In response, the Delegation of China proposed an amendment to not recognize water access as a human right. However, they were called out on this as it was recognized as a human right by the UN in 2012. In the end, the motion voted upon read :

The next resolution was submitted by Koweit and encouraged all high-technology companies installed in every country to control that country’s water supply (as they had the geographic and financial means to). However, the Delegation of China made a point of information : the resolution would give these monopolies too much power as they would control entire populations’ health, and by polluting or restricting this water’s access, even be murderous.

On Saturday, the Security Council entertained Guest Speaker M. Benedikt Kraus. He is the Head of Infrastructure, Safety, Environment and Engineering at Boehringer Ingelheim, a German company that focuses on pharmaceutical products and animal health. His areas of expertise are managing the facilities and security, and protecting the company’s employees and the environment.

Having worked there for 10 years, he had great insight for the “Security” aspect of the Security Council. He began by speaking about Organized crime at sea and how it affects Boehringer Ingelheim (BI). Firstly, he addressed the committee by asking them what they believed organized crime at sea is. Their answers incorporated human/migrant trafficking, slavery, narcotics smuggling, and piracy. M. Kraus agreed with all their points, it was a very interactive discussion.

He then shared eye-opening facts :

  • Organized crime at sea is an estimated 1 trillion USD per year industry
  • Over 2.4 M people affected by human trafficking
  • 1/10 medical drugs sold in LICs are counterfeits : can be defective, or be harmful as they are sometimes made of medical waste and random materials to produce fake tablets. Their ingredients can be dangerous, like metal for example.

Tragically, he informed the committee that migrant smuggling is highly lucrative, as well as other issues like iIlegal and undeclared fishing, or piracy. M. Kraus explained the geographical repartition of these issues (piracy in African canals, drug smuggling in South America).

“Before, people did piracy just to make profit. Now crime is becoming more ORGANISED as cartels and states can control the seas to finance civil or territorial wars, with consequences like displacements of populations”

According to him, the main challenges of Organized Crime at Sea are :

  • Funding “criminal activities often finance terrorist or war-like conflicts, they can be sources of income for whole villages/rural areas” criminal acts can support entire populations’ well-being.
  • Multi-nationality : “it involves vessels, cargo, crews and money flows from multiple nations. There are a variety of legislative spaces including open water, making jurisdiction and sovereignty difficult”.
  • Combating : “Lack of funds and corruption of local law enforcement and officials. Number of vessels and size of sea. Variety of crimes.” In Nigeria, pirates bribe the police : corruption is indeed an obstacle.

The Guest Speaker also raised the issue of governance : “which country is responsible for what? If they stop a freiter to control it and find 300 illegal migrants, what do they do? Nowadays, with the refugee crisis, maritime crime requires new solutions.”

The Security Council deals with Crisis Scenarios : M. Kraus proposed Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.

He inroduced the topic : “Piracy has changed : In the past pirates attacked the ships and took the cargo. Now, small boats can’t go after freiters. They are no longer after the cargo as it is difficult to steal, now they put the crew and cargo under ransom. They call the company/state who owns the boat and ask for a price under a threat.”

The main types of cargos tackled involve products like diamonds, new technologies, or pharmaceutical products (small, valuable, resable).

Pharmaceutical products are very targeted because they are lightweight, easily individually sold, and easy to counterfeit with the real packaging and a false product. This creates a “double profit” as they sell the real medication at a low price point in Africa (against HIV for example), and then the fake one in Europe.

For example, the Humira eye syringe piracy generates 13M dollars a year. The real syringe costs 2000 USD, making it a target. However, it is extremely dangerous for the patient as it bypasses the immune system which can neutralize the poison (if its a pill for example), and immediately into the bloodstream.

Companies like BI face this challenge of fighting falsification. Around the world, approximately 50% of components per drug are falsified.

Piracy is so widespread as it is highly lucrative : if someone’s job is failing, they think they can try one hijacking and then be set for life with the ransom. Often, these illegal activities are supported by weapons, themselves trafficked. Usually, hijackings are non-violent because the crew of the cargo ship is often unarmed and cannot fight face armed pirates.

It is difficult to legislate as when a pirate is found in Nigeria for example, as villages often hide them from the authorities/pharmaceurical companies. Also, in their own regions, when piracy exists why go to school? Piracy significantly reduces Sustainable Development. Furthermore, it can result in a reduction of developmental aid being sent to the Gulf of Guinea’s neighboring countries as they are prone to trafficking (HIV medication) and theft so pharmaceutical companies stop sending their products in aid.

“All these activities cause billions of dollars lost each year, and take a toll on our global economy. Piracy also fuels bigger threats such as terrorist groups.”

M. Kraus then entertained the delegates’ questions :

  • Do countries negotiate with pirates? Officially no, unoffically yes. Ransoms are often approximately 1% of the cargo’s total value, including the ship. Everyday that cargo is not being delivered, states and companies lose money; if products are not stored properly they can get damaged : this means ransoms are often quickly settled.
  • How are the transactions made? That’s a very good question, I’ve never done one myself (laughter). But it’s usually cash, it can’t be an official transaction.
  • How can piracy and falsification be stopped? It is difficult for companies to stop piracy as only one cargo is affected at a time. To fight falsification (the only thing they can really try to prevent), they used different colored pills for Europe and Africa (blue and pink for example). There is always the difficulty of shooting, it has to be avoided. Also, it’s more up to states to fight piracy than companies (stricter regulations, less corruption etc.). Furthermore, pirates can threaten to dump cargo. These vessels are often not the most environmentally friendly, ocean dumping is hence a threat too.
  • How do falsified products make their way to European or American markets? The US has the biggest pharmaceutical market in the world, with a falsificated medication ratio of 1/10; it is difficult to control because of the heterogenity of prices. Pharmceutical chains are very complicated, even in Europe. Medication can be produced in Germany and then sold to France and because these products are sold cheaper in France, German pharmacies can buy them back from France (as Germany sells pharmaceuticals at a higher price point). Another issue is that pharmacies can make profits from selling falsified products, it is difficult to trace products back to them.

He ended his speech by asserting that illegal fishing and overfishing hurt are also issues in the Gulf of Guinea, as pirates usually know where water sovereignty boundaries are and exploit these. He also mentioned the Security threat posed to the environment.

As M. Kraus left for his interview, the delegates then lobbied for 45 min and proposed resolutions concerning the Crisis Situation of Piracy in Equatorial Guinea.

There was no veto right exercable for the Crisis Situation, as opposed to ‘regular’ debating.

The following resolution was debated :

There were arguments between Ivory Coast’s trust in police forces vs. the Russian Federation’s trust in the military of the countries in the region to promote safety. An amendment was proposed by the delegation of China to take out the financial implications of the resolution as the debate conditions called for illimited funding. China also amended the part where the UN would have to supervise all law enforcement crews in the area. Ivory Coast insisted that the collaboration of countries encouraged in the motion was necessary as some countries do not have the means to face this grand-scale issue on their own. The delegate of Kuweit insisted on the importance of all countries working together.

A motion to move into voting procedures on the Amendment was proposed: Only the PRC and the Russian Federationvoted in favor. All others (including Ivory Coast) were against.

The Delegation of Equatorial Guinea suggested they kill the pirates threatening crews and cargos, therefore death penalty was also discussed.

The Resolution as a whole, passed.

The guest speaker came back to see what they had come up with and appreciated the delegates’ creativity however he reminded the house that coordination of police and/or military forces is very complicated, and that using violence against pirates is not simple or legal if the crime has not taken place yet. He disagreed with Peru, who was against cooperation, as he believes international cooperation is the most effective way of combating piracy and he used the example of post-WWI collaboration. He much appreciated the idea of a surveillance network : depending on the effeciency of alarms, it could make finding the vessel in question easy. His favorite point was n.7, he really wanted to congratulate the delegates to tackle the problem at the root.

He also liked China’s points on reducing illegal fishing by reimplementing more traditional fishing methods : feed the population, localize the economy. However, the problem of economic sustainability of living off fishing arose.

M. Kraus ended by congratulating all the delegates on their liveliness and implication.

“Cooperation, between Nigeria and Benin for example, could work in other regions, but maybe not on a more international scale? There would be the issue of countries taking leadership initiative in Africa for example and it could mean Russia, China, or the USA would have to take this initiative which could heaten the geopolitical scene. Ideally, it would be the UN but they don’t really have a military”

The delegates appreciated his intervention so much that they asked for his contact information to prolong the discussion and ask more questions.

  • What was the ideal solution in your opinion to the problem? Similar to yours, I would start with military forces but significantly invest in those countries to stabilize their socio-econo-political climates. Escalation has to be prevented as piracy could turn into an arms race. There is also the difficulty of help vs. neocolonialism, as countries like China could have different motives. We have the means to stop it but we lack the funds because developmental aid is not countries’ top priority. We especially shouldn’t approach the problem with arrogance.

M. Kraus seemed to enjoy answering questions so much that he stayed a longer than planned.

“What you have to learn in school is to think for yourself. Pirates benefit from uneducated and exploitable people”.

Claire Dominici, Clara Larsen, Anna Felappi, Isabel Beurois

Committee reports, articles, and more!

ILYMUN- International Lyon Model United Nations

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ILYMUN- inside the conference

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