Security Council Meeting on the Situation in Mali

20190628 Security Council


The last Security Council meeting in June convened today to discuss the exacerbated situation in Mali and rally support from the member states on the renewal of the mandate of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), set to expire on June 30th, for another 12 months. The chair began with the Secretary-General’s report on the status of Mali and the implementation of the Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation in the concerned region, which identified unresolved dangers to peace and proved the cruciality of MINUSMA’s work. By passing resolution 2480 without any objections, the mission was given a modified framework with clearer benchmarks on the definition of success and more specific and centralized work in the most dangerous area of Mali.

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The Security Council on the Situation in Mali

Meeting 8547 was convened by the United Nations Security Council in order to discuss the current situation in Mali. In particular, the council considered the political crisis facing the African nation, and discussed the June 9th massacre that took place in the central-Mali village of Sobanou-Kou, resulting in the deaths of at least 95 individuals.

Statements were made by the representatives of the member states of the council, all of which began with condolences to the government and people of Mali for the recent atrocities in their country. Member nations unanimously agreed that the perpetrators of the horrific acts needed to be brought to justice.

Representatives also discussed the status of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), and heard comments from Annadif Khatir Mahamat Saleh, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Mali and Head of MINUSMA. The importance of the continued efforts of MINUSMA in stabilizing the situation in Mali was emphasized by all member states, all of which agreed that it would be best to extend the mandate of the mission. Nonetheless, it was underscored that the mission could not serve as a permanent solution to the crisis, and many representatives outlined steps that needed to be taken in order to move towards an enduring peace.

Meeting: Meeting 8547

Date/Location: June 12, 2019; 15:00-18:00; Security Council Chamber, United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY


  • President of the United Nations Security Council, Representative of Kuwait to the UNSC;
  • Annadif Khatir Mahamat Saleh, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Mali and Head of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali;
  • H.E. Tiebile Drame, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Mali;
  • Representative of France to the United Nations Security Council;
  • Representative of the United States to the United Nations Security Council;
  • Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations Security Council;
  • Representative of Poland to the United Nations Security Council;
  • Representative of South Africa to the United Nations Security Council;
  • Representative of the United Kingdom to the United Nations Security Council;
  • Representative of Côte d’Ivoire to the United Nations Security Council;
  • Representative of China to the United Nations Security Council;
  • Representative of Germany to the United Nations Security Council;
  • Representative of Indonesia to the United Nations Security Council;
  • Representative of Equatorial Guinea to the United Nations Security Council;
  • Representative of the Dominican Republic to the United Nations Security Council;
  • Representative of Belgium to the United Nations Security Council;
  • Representative of Peru to the United Nations Security Council;

Written by: WIT Representative Jenifer Miller

Security Council Meeting 8493: Syria and the Situation in the Middle East

Resolution 2254, unanimously adopted on 18 December 2015, called for ceasefire and political settlement within Syria. This meeting discussed international progress since the adoption of resolution 2254 with briefings from Ms. DiCarlo as well as Mr. Rajasingham. Discussion of issues within Rukban including low levels of food and medicine as well as the importance of continuous improvements on the scale of humanitarian access were brought up. Lives and dignity must be restored.

Delegates reminded the council that the Assad regime and allies must de-escalate military efforts and release civilians while providing humanitarian access for those wishing to provide aid. While the resolution to this conflict is far from over, we must begin with full implementation of resolution 2254. IDPs should have accurate information on all aspects of what they are required to know and Syrian civilians should be protected from arbitrary detention. There has been a recent increase in violence of civilians and infrastructure from air strikes, and the council was reminded of the root purpose of what the security council was established for. Family unity must be ensured. While finding long term solutions for this crisis is favorable, it must not distract the council from solving urgent and immediate issues that may arise.

In terms of the economy, the Syrian economy has diminished by 60% since the start of the crisis. Many citizens are now living in extreme poverty, and humanitarian needs of both refugees and civilians must be addressed. Without the creation of a safe living environment, there will be no stability. Additionally, many delegates emphasized that military actions are not favorable to political discussion within countries as a step forward to resolving the Syrian crisis.

Meeting: Security Council Meeting 8493: Syria and the Situation in the Middle East

Date/Location: 27 March 2019, Security Council Chamber

Speakers: Ms. Rosa DiCarlo (Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs), Mr. Ramesh Rajasingham (Deputy Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syria Crisis), USA, Germany (also on behalf of Kuwait and Belgium), United Kingdom, Kuwait, South Africa, Poland, Dominican Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Russian Federation, Peru, Indonesia, Equatorial Guinea, Belgium, China, France, Syrian Arab Republic

Written By: WIT Representative Jessica Shi

Women, peace, and security


Women with the Afghan National Army Air Force & International Force during an International Women’s Day celebration in Kabul. Photo: Sgt. Dustin Payne.

The meeting began with acknowledging the fact the first woman president had won the election in Ethiopia. This gave way into the discussion of the political and economic empowerment of women. Women need to be apart of peace and security agendas. Many already are, but they need to be further supported in reducing any challenges. There has been progression, especially within women’s groups who focus on this large issue. Although there has been progress, there is still a long way to go.

Women peace workers help. Women can be quickly drawn into the conflict and be severely affected by it, so more women need to be able to speak on their behalf. Women are better aware of their community needs. Gender equality programming is needed to address the devastating effects by building sustainable peace. There has been a systematic failure to bring women in peacekeeping. Women are constantly excluded. It was brought up that there is a significant gap with what it is said in UN chamber and what is actually going on in the world. Superficial efforts need to come to an end and they need to become concrete.

Women are active and resilient. They have negotiated ceasefires, safe zones, drawn up protection plans. This includes women from various countries like Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen, among others. They need to be enabled to do even more. One main way to give women this chance is education. During the conflict, girls are more likely to be out of primary schools. Child marriage is high in these conflict areas. Not only is a girl likely to not be attending school, but she is likely to get pregnant. Maternal mortality is almost twice the global ratio in conflict and post-conflict areas. Education is a catalyst for equal participation.

The way the world views the role of women needs to be changed. Women are perceived to not have the skills or knowledge to handle these important roles. Greater participation of women in political life causes a stronger path for peace. Global peace and security are enhanced when helping women. It was said that no woman needs to be given a voice, there just needs to be more listening.

Meeting:  Women and peace and security

Location/time/date: Security Council Chamber, UN HQ-NYC; 10:00 PM – 12:45 PM, October 25, 2018


  • Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women)
  • Ms. Randa Siniora Atallah, General Director of the Women’s Center for Legal Aid and Counselling
  • Her Excellency Mara Marinaki, Principal Adviser for Gender and the Implementation of UNSCR 1325 on Women
  • Ms. Narjess Saidane, Permanent Observer of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie
  • Ms. Amarsanaa Darisuren, Senior Advisor on Gender Issues of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)
  • Ms. Clare Hutchinson, Special Representative of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Secretary-General for Women, Peace and Security
  • Secretary-General, His Excellency António Guterres
  • Margot Wallström, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden
  • Yoka Brandt, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands
  • Michelle Müntefering, Minister of State in the Federal Foreign Office of Germany
  • Simona Leskovar, State Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovenia
  • Iryna Herashchenko, First Deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine

Written by: WIT Representative Yasmeen Razack

SDG Two: “Zero Hunger” is Currently Unattainable by 2030

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Goal Two of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals is to achieve “Zero Hunger,” or further explained as  “End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.” According to the World Food Programme, 821 million people (1 in 9 persons) go to sleep without food each night. An even greater statistic is that 1 in 3 people suffer from some form of malnutrition. In a global perspective, these issues are not necessarily from a shortage of food, but rather, a lack of access to it. Some may not be able to afford it, while others may be in areas with a supply that doesn’t support their whole population. There are even “hunger seasons” which occur in agricultural areas and communities in some countries. This is when food runs out between planting and harvesting. This is especially detrimental to people living in rural areas and farmers, who only rely on what is grown.

Most speakers were on the same page when speaking on this issue, in which, the world is not on track to achieve Goal 2 by 2030 unless changes and improvements begin now. The main topics and issues that were continuously brought up were agriculture, poverty, and climate change.  

Agriculture was brought up by most speakers who mentioned how it plays a crucial role, and therefore, must be prioritized and expanded. The representative of Mali talked about how the agriculture sector is the backbone of their country but is facing challenges like ensuring food to their growing population, especially in the context of climate change. Climate change is a huge issue which affects many other matters aside from food insecurity. Climate change deals with natural disasters, droughts, and floods which affect food production and distribution. Many also brought up the link between poverty and hunger/malnutrition. Poverty and hunger are in a cyclical pattern. Poverty is a driver of hunger, especially how most impoverished people in the world live in rural areas and therefore rely on agriculture to support them.

Meeting: Committee on Agriculture development, food security and nutrition; 73rd Session
Location/time/date: Conference Room 2, UN HQ-NYC; 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM,
October 12, 2018
● The Chair (Guatemala) Representatives of Egypt (on behalf of the Group of 77 and
China), Myanmar (on behalf of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations), Malawi (on
behalf of the Least Developed Countries), Guyana (on behalf of the Caribbean
Community), Maldives (on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States), Morocco (on
behalf of the African States), El Salvador (on behalf of the Community of Latin
American and Caribbean States), India, the Russian Federation, Costa Rica, the Sudan,
Algeria, Afghanistan, Nicaragua Jamaica, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Ukraine, Cambodia,
China, the United Arab Emirates, Tonga, Mozambique, Morocco, Brazil, Ethiopia,
Zambia, the Philippines, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Mali,
Finland, Indonesia, Nepal, Burkina Faso, and Saudi Arabia, as well as by the observer for
the Holy See.
● The representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Written by: WIT Representative Yasmeen Razack




The right to say no: 72nd session Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women

1506685855_eeb204dc36061d725f5db3e393c34229-1.jpgBad mothers. Loose Morals. Lack of femininity. That is how world leaders such as Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte and President Donald Trump refer to women’s rights activists. Both men have continuously made women the butt of the joke of their presidencies with Donald Trump’s famous “Grab her by the pussy” and President Duterte’s continuous rape jokes and command to shoot women rebels in the genitals. According to the Andrew Gilmour, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, this is the continued norm of how the world treats women.

The conference held on July 26th, 2018 shed light on the deeply rooted patriarchy engrained into our international system that has resulted in the championing of white males in human rights movements and the vilification of the women actually affected.

Lolita Chavez has been the target of 5 assassination attempts, two massive hate attacks, lynching attempts, accused of illegal entry, and has had more than 25 petitions filed against her in court resulting in a forced exile from Guatemala. What could cause this type of horrific backlash on a 5-foot-tall mother of 2? Her advocacy for indigenous people and the environment. In Uganda, Brenda Kuganza has been punched in the gut by a policeman, slaughtered on social media for defending victims of sexual violence and has had to witness her friends be brutally attacked, arrested, and/or killed for wanting the right to say no.

People trying to defend their territories and rights are sidelined – jailed, tortured, raped. Now more than ever, there is a need for concrete action from the international community but also a needed refrain by states in legislation and policy of repression action against human rights defenders. The governments in places such as Guatemala, Uganda, Nicaragua need to make the role of human rights defenders facilitative not restrictive.

There needs to be an understanding that human rights defenders are not performing a job. There is a deep commitment to protecting life, livelihood, and the dignity of communities. That is what empowers these women to endure layers of oppression and brutality.

Meeting: Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women; 72nd Session

Location/time/date: Conference Room 2, UNHQ-NYC; July 26th, 2018

Speakers: Michéle Forest, Special Rapporteur; Andrew Gilmour, Assistant Secretary General for Human Rights; Marusia Lopez Cruz, Senior Associate, Power & Protection of Women’s Activist; Lolita Chavez; Brenda Kuganza; Asha Kowtal; Miriam Miranda

Written by: WIT Representative Ariel Granat



Panel on International Cooperation to Combat the Use of Internet for Terrorist Purposes: Opportunities and Challenges


The Arab Union recently held a side event regarding the international cooperation to combat the use of internet for terrorist purposes such as misusing the internet for planning attacks, recruiting young people, broadcasting beheadings and using the dark web to acquire weapons – to name a few.

According to the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism (OCT), the UN has created targeted training that covers the use of digital forensic equipment, online prosecution and the cyber currency situation.

States have taken alternative counter-attempts. In Singapore, for example, the most successful counter-terrorist organization is called Religious Rehabilitation Group (RRG). The RRG focuses on providing clarification on what radical ideology and violent extremism are along with counseling services.

Organizations such as Hedayah, Etidal and the Counter Extremism Project are working with states and the UN to find the root causes and connections between the internet and terrorist propaganda.

The Hedayah Organization uses a psychological lens to analyze the process of radicalization. The Counter Extremist Project studies the reactions of internet platforms to extremist content, while Etidal focuses on the narrative of extremist ideology – specifically the roots/readings.

The most success in counter-terrorism has been found with private sectors. Facebook and Twitter have platforms that engage civil society by allowing them to participate in a way no other social platform has. It was reported that 1.2 million terrorist accounts were removed on Twitter between 2015-2017, however, only .2% were identified by governments while the rest was Twitter itself and users who report content directly. Yet, according to Tech against Terrorism, it is mall companies that constitute the majority of cases due to limited resources – nevertheless there is a platform in place, Tech Against Terrorism, to increase knowledge sharing with small companies as well as expanding efforts to governments as well.

Meeting: International Cooperation to Combat the Use of Internet for Terrorist Purposes: Opportunities and Challenges

Speakers: H.E. Salem AlZaabi, Director of International Security Cooperation Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, United Arab Emirates; Mr. Vladimir Voronkov, Under Secretary-General, UN Office of Counter-Terrorism (OCT); Mr. Yuri Fedotov, Under Secretary General and Executive Director of United Nations Office on Drug and Crimes (UNODC); Ms. Michele Coninsx, Assistant Secretary General and Executive Director of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED); Mr. T. Raja Kumar, Deputy Secretary (International) Ministry of Home Affairs and Chief Executive, Home Team Academy, Singapore; Ms. Anneli Vares, Counter Terrorism Coordinator, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Estonia; H.E. Mr. Lazarus O Amayo, Ambassador/Permanent Representative, Kenya; Moderator: Mr. Ivo Veenkampf, Deputy Executive Director of Hedayah; His Excellency Maqsoud Kruse, Executive Director, the International Center of Excellence for Countering Violent Extremism Hedayah; Ms. Frances F. Townsend EVP, Worldwide Government, Legal and Business Affairs, MacAndrews & Forbes, Inc., President Counter Extremism Project; Mr. Sultan S. Alkhuzam, Director of Global Collaboration at Etidal; Moderator: Ms. Alison August Treppel, Executive Secretary, Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE), Organization of American States; Mr. Brian Fishman, Head of Counterterrorism Policy, Facebook; Mr. Adam Hadley, Director, Tech Against Terrorism; Mr. Colin Crowell, Head of Global Policy, Twitter

Location/time/date: Conference Room 3, UNHQ-NYC; 15:00-18:00

Written by: World Information Transfer Representative; Ariel Granat

Countering the FTF Phenomenon: Combined Efforts of Police and Justice

Terrorism poses a threat to peace and security. Iraq has successfully defended itself from the threat of its global spread. They are committed to respecting and upholding the council’s resolution. In this meeting, they affirmed their commitment to countering terrorism and continue to seek international support for their efforts.

Ambassador Sanchez had a few reflections in his speech to the council. First, that terrorism is a global threat and that no state is immune to it or should have to fight it alone. To combat this global threat, we must avail ourselves of sufficient tools and work together. Second, if we all implement our current obligations, the results would no doubt be superior. He stated that we are not doing bad (in regards the global fight against terrorism) but we could be doing a lot better. We need to keep in mind that holding those accountable for war crimes and prosecuting the offenders is crucial in this process.

Neutrality is a key principle in pursuing threats and joint efforts must meet joint operational solutions.

Another issue is information not being shared enough regarding threats. The Representative of INTERPOL encourages the continued sharing of terroristic information through the I24-7 system. Information conveyed through the INTERPOL channels only matters if it reaches the right hands.

By expanding international cooperation particularly between agencies and institutions, we can achieve better results in the fight against global terrorism.

Meeting: Countering the FTF Phenomenon: Combined Efforts of Police and Justice

Date/Location: Thursday 28th June 2018; 13:15 to 14:30; Trusteeship Council Chamber; UN Headquarters, New York, NY.


H.E. D. Jorge Moragas Sanchez, Permanent Representative of Spain to the UN

H.E. Mohammed Hussein Bahr al-Uloom, Permanent Represent of Iraq to the UN

Mr. Yury Fedotov, Executive-Director UNODC

Mr. Jürgen Stock, Secretary-General of INTERPOL

Mr. Julian King, Commissioner (Security Union), European Union

Major General Maher Najem Abdulhussein, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Iraq for Intelligence and Criminal Investigations

Ms. Michèle Coninsx, Executive Director of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate

Colonel Manuel Navarrete Paniagua, Head of the European Counter-Terrorism Centre (ECTC)- EUROPOL

Written By: WIT Representative Esmeralda Abdourazak

The Sustained Eradication of Child Labour

Child Labour

This meeting was a Briefing on the IV Global Conference on the Sustained Eradication of Child Labour. It was co-organized by the Permanent Missions of Argentina and Belgium, and the International Labour Organization.

Mr. Ted Chaiban, UNICEF Director of Programmes, spoke about approaches to ending child immigration detention. Specifically, he discussed: worldwide dialogues; agreeing and focusing on solutions and practices; a global compact on migration under the supervision of co-facilitators; and, encouraging member states and their partners to build road maps for taking systematic steps.

Mr. Donald M. Kerwin, Jr., Executive Director Center for Migration Studies, noted that most migration situations can be met by alternatives.  Detention should be a last resort only after all other solutions are fully exhausted. Moreover, states have a legal obligation to carefully examine the use of detention if other options are not sufficient. Also, the number of detentions and for-profit prisons should be reduced, and detentions should be used for non-criminals for the shortest period possible.

Ms. Ashley Feasley, Director of Policy for United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Msgr. Bob Vitillo, Secretary General of the International Catholic Migration Commission, discussed their organization’s support for: family reunification; refugee housing; fighting human trafficking; and, maintaining the family unit. They both stressed more protection for children’s rights as well.

Overall, it was felt that it is cruel and degrading to deprive children of their liberty of because of their parents’ immigration status. Children should not suffer due to circumstances out of their control. Many delegates agreed with this stance, and are working on the further development of effective alternative solutions to the detention of children.

Meeting: Briefing on the IV Global Conference on the Sustained Eradication of Child Labour (co-organized by the Permanent Missions of Argentina and Belgium, and the International Labour Organization)
Date/Location: Wednesday, February 21st, 2018; 13:15-14:30; Conference Room 12, United Nations
Headquarters, New York, NY
Speakers: Ted Chaiban, Director of Programmes for UNICEF; Mr. Donald M. Kerwin Jr., Executive Director Center for Migration Studies; Ashley Feasley, Director of Policy for United States Conference of Catholic Bishops; Msgr. Bob Vitillo, Secretary General of the International Catholic Migration
Written By: WIT Representatives David Jansen, June Hong, and Calvin Ferrara

Strengthening the Role of the UN Charter

UN Charter

This was a meeting of the Special Committee on the Charter of the United Nations and on the Strengthening of the Role of the Organization.  Rapporteur Mr. Luke Tang, The Permanent Mission of Singapore to the United Nations, outlined a draft report which concentrated on the role of the United Nations in world affairs.  The report highlighted several functions of the U.N. including the maintenance of international peace and security, the peaceful settlement of disputes, and the effectiveness of the U.N. Organs and the Security Council.

Various countries recommended revisions to the outline.  Specifically, Libya proposed that the document have an increased focus on the maintenance of peace.  Moreover, Ghana suggested a stronger relationship between the U.N. and regional agencies regarding the peaceful settlement of disputes.  Also, Cuba believed it was crucial for the U.N. to be more democratic and representative. In addition, Belarus and the Russian Federation commented on their right to self defense and security.

The Ukraine wanted “The settlement of Ukraine and the Russian Federation” in the document as well.  Russia believed that the comments of the Ukraine were not pertinent since the Ukraine did not participate in thematic discussions after the general debate.  Also, Ukraine mentioned “disputes;” however, this word has legal significance and the international court has not yet ruled whether there is a dispute between the two states.

Finally, various gaps and shortcomings in the U.N. organization were noted.  This included a lack of the following: a framework for a collaborative process, monitoring mechanisms in the U.N., and specific partnership agreements between the United Nations and all regional organizations.

Mostly all of the above recommended provisions were adopted.  Overall, the outline was commended by the Chair as eloquent, substantive, and effective.

Date/Location: Wednesday, February 28th, 2018; 10:00-13:00; Conference Room 3, United
Nations Headquarters, New York, NY
Speakers: Mr. Luke Tang, The Permanent Mission of Singapore to the United Nations,
Rapporteur, Omar Hilale, The Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Morocco to the United Nations, Chair, İpek Zeytinoğlu Özkan, Permanent Mission of Turkey to the United Nations, Vice Chair, Héctor Enrique Celarie Landaverde, Permanent Mission of the Republic of El Salvador to the United Nations, Vice Chair, Igor Bondiuk, Permanent Mission of Ukraine to the United Nations, Vice Chair
Written By: WIT Representative David Jansen