The Situation in North Korea, With Specific Reference to Food Aid
Following the drought in 2015, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has been suffering from a long lasting food shortage. Recognizing the hardships faced by people in North Korea, many states have stepped up to ensure food security and the World Food Program as well as the Food and Agriculture Organization started actively engaging in the provision of humanitarian aid. In fact, in the last ten years alone, North Korea has received over 2 billion dollars’ worth of assistance and hence emerging as one of the largest recipients of aid from the international community. However, due to limited amount of funds and the increasing number of nuclear test conducted by North Korea, many nations and organizations have cut down their support. Despite these reductions in assistance, situation in North Korea still remains as a matter of urgency as only 20% of land in DPRK is arable, agriculture production has decreased by more than 15%, and one in three children under the age of five are showing symptoms of undernourishment. As a member of the UN Security Council, Italy is fully aware of the importance of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and is therefore willing to help resolve goal 2 by providing further aid to North Korea.
As an individual nation, Italy has previously made several attempts to resolve this issue by establishing a diplomatic relationship with DPRK since 1999, investing 5.5 billion US dollars into North Korean agriculture in 2000, and setting up an Italian developing aid office in Pyeongyang in 2001. Regardless of the difference in political stance held by Italy and DPRK, Italy firmly stands on the viewpoint that the issue of food security in DPRK should not be politicized.
On a more international level, Italy has been fully supporting the decisions made by the UN and FAO as well as sending food donations to DPRK through the World Food Program. Moreover, as a member of the UNSC, Italy has been involved in resolutions regarding DPRK such as resolution 1718, 1874, 2087, 2094, and 2270 passed during the years 2006~2016. Whilst all these resolutions are centred around measures to prevent the continuing threat of nuclear proliferation through imposing weapon embargos and economic sanctions, none of these resolutions include terms that would directly affect the amount of humanitarian aid if DPRK fails to meet the international demands.
The Italian government believes that in order effectively reduce food insecurity in North Korea, identifying the root causes of food shortage is necessary; it is important to recognize that famine in DPRK is caused by both natural and human factors. Natural factors such as the lack of arable land can be easily combatted by investing in North Korean agriculture, introducing new technology, constructing more reservoirs, and sending in personnel to educate North Koreans about agricultural practices. However, as human factors such as increased military aggression, unfair food distribution, and corruption within the elite class are difficult to resolve, it requires more of the international community’s attention. By setting up monitoring offices within DPRK run by UNO or relevant NGOS, transparency and the correct use of aid can be ensured. Moreover, if nations were to assist FAO, technical cooperation in five priority areas in DRPK can be achieved faster and holding peaceful negotiations could minimize the military threats posed by North Korea. However, under no circumstances, humanitarian aid should be used as a political bargain to achieve nations’ security.
Delegate name(s): Saliha Rehanaz and Sunny Hwang School name(s): International School Pattaya, The British School of Beijing Country: Italy Committee: Security Council Topic: The Situation in Syria, With Specific Reference to the Well-Being of Residents of Aleppo
Syria has given rise to the world’s largest humanitarian crisis since World War II and has left an estimated number of 13.5 million people in need of humanitarian assistance inside Syria. This crisis has also left 4.9 million people in besieged areas and internally displaced an estimated number of 6.3 million people. The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) responds to crises around the world and determines when and where a UN Peacekeeping operation should be deployed, hence it is important that the UNSC addresses the crisis in Syria. Italy is a non-permanent member of the UNSC, serving from 1 January 2017 to 31 December 2017, therefore Italy must play a role in addressing this crisis. The European Union (EU), which Italy is a part of, and its Member States has mobilized 9.4 billion euro on humanitarian, stabilization and resilience assistance and pledged a further 3.7 billion euro at the Brussels conference in April 2017.
The Syrian crisis has a major presence in Italy and the government and residents continue to provide humanitarian aid to people living in Syria and refugees migrating to Italy. On February 16, 2017, the Syrian community in Italy delivered new humanitarian and medical aid at the Latakia Port. The supplies included thirty-six medical beds for the injured personnel of the Syrian Arab Army, two hundred seventy-nine medical mattresses, five wheelchairs, a number of crutches, a neonatal incubator, a multifunctional medical testing device, a blood bank refrigerator and various other aids such as five hundred twenty packages containing canned food and children’s toys. Italian churches are also committing to provide housing, cultural orientation and language lessons for the Syrian refugees during their first months in Italy.
The Federation of Protestant Churches in Italy (FCEI), the Sant’Egidio religious community and the Italian government have organized a project called “Humanitarian Corridors” through which the first thousand Syrian refugees arrived in Italy from camps in Lebanon, Morocco, and Ethiopia in February 2016. The Sant’Egidio religious community and FCEI pressured the Italian government to change policies and implement the issuance of more humanitarian visa after an estimated three thousand people died trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea. Italy had also allocated three million euros for humanitarian aid in Syria in February 2016, after the agreement on the humanitarian truce in Munich on 11 February 2016. ''These are emergency actions to alleviate the suffering of the tens of thousands of civilians, mostly women and children, fleeing the bomb attacks and the ongoing violence in the north of the country, near Aleppo," said Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Paolo Gentiloni.
The Italian nationals and government encourage the international community to implement projects such as “Humanitarian Corridor” as this would lead to an increase in humanitarian channels for the estimated 13.5 million Syrians in need of humanitarian aid. Italy also recommends members of the UNSC committee to change policies and implement the issuance of more humanitarian visas to Syrian migrants. Italy also urges members to remain committed to the 400 million USD three-year action plan made at the Syria Donors Conference in London on February 4, 2016.