Humanitarian Crises in Colombia and Myanmar

Rakhine camp._(8288488088)Today in the Trusteeship Council a meeting was convened on the humanitarian crises in Colombia and Myanmar. Beginning the meeting, the Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Ms. Kang, gave a briefing on the situation in Colombia, which continues to be grave as the country faces various humanitarian challenges including natural disasters like earthquakes and floods, as well as widespread violence from armed conflict. Currently, there are over 5.5 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Colombia, with the biggest threats to human security coming from violence against women, the recruitment of child soldiers, and the use of land mines. She pointed out the importance of humanitarian relief funding from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), but urged donors to do more in supporting Colombia’s humanitarian needs.

Next, Mr. Hochschild, the Humanitarian Coordinator for Colombia, gave a statement about how decreases in poverty in Colombia have not been matched by decreases in inequality. He pointed out the three main dimensions of inequality that persist in Colombia, which are gender inequality, ethnic inequality, and geographic inequality. This inequality combined with ongoing conflict is only making the humanitarian situation in Colombia worse. Following, the Permanent Representative of Colombia spoke about how Colombia must overcome conflict in a sustainable way, so victims and survivors are at the center of the post conflict resolution process. She called for the support of the UN, and pointed out how war is a significant driver of poverty, and every opportunity needs to be taken to promote peace.

Next, Ms. Kang then gave a briefing on the humanitarian situation in Myanmar, where thousands of people in Rakhine and Kachin states continue to rely on humanitarian aid, and are so far unable to rebuild their lives due to conflict. The IDP camps are in terrible condition, severely restrict freedom of movement, and seriously lack access to adequate health care, water, and jobs. Myanmar also suffers from regular earthquakes, floods, and cyclones, which contribute to the deteriorating humanitarian situation. Concluding the meeting, the Permanent Representative of Myanmar spoke about the trust deficit that exists between the government and the donor community. He called for a human rights based approach to humanitarian aid, and an improvement of relations between Myanmar’s government and UN organizations/NGOs.

 

Meeting Title: “The Humanitarian Situation in Colombia and Myanmar” (Organized by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA))
Speakers: Ms. Kyung-wha Kang, Assistant Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator; Mr. Fabrizio Hochschild, UN Resident and Coordinator for Colombia; H.E. Ms. Maria Emma Mejia Velez, Permanent Representative of Colombia to the UN; Mr. Kyaw, Permanent Representative of Myanmar to the UN
Date: 18 June 2014
Location: Trusteeship Council, United Nations HQ, New York
Written by WIT Representative: Marli Kasdan

States Take Initiative to Prevent, Combat, and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons

Today marked the beginning of a five day event organized to generate conversation about a potential programme of action aimed at controlling and ultimately preventing the illicit trade of small arms and light weapons. H.E. Mr. Tanin, chair of this meeting, opened the dialogue by discussing our need for more innovative methods in improving our collective control over the proliferation of these weapons. He then outlined the three topics that need to be tackled over the upcoming days, including discussions on stock pile management, international cooperation and assistance, and an agreed upon outcome document. H.E. Mr. Tanin truly highlighted the importance of this event by claiming that the success of the post-2015 sustainable development agenda is contingent on the prevention and reduction of armed violence. Only effective action against illicit trade of weapons at national, regional, and global levels can provide an environment conducive to success for the sustainable development goals.Image

Mr. Prins continued the opening remarks with an overview of the 2014 national reports, with a focus on those countries that requested international assistance. Following these remarks, the debate on stock pile management ensued. The Permanent Representative of the EU sparked the dialogue by stating the need to devote attention to countries where ill managed stock piles could potentially have devastating effects, particularly those emerging from recent conflict.

Furthermore, Representatives from both Jamaica and Japan brought attention to the role women need to play in this fight. Through educating children and working to prevent the recruitment of child soldiers, women can play a vital role in containing this crisis. Finally, while the Representative from the Arab Group stressed their complete commitment to combat the illicit trade of weapons, they also stated their belief that the final document should not propose a cumbersome task for developing countries, and instead should be in accordance with the abilities and capacities of all countries.

 

Meeting Title: Fifth Biennial Meeting of States to Consider the Implementation of the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects
Speakers: H.E. Mr. Zahir Tanin, Ambassador of Afghanistan to the UN; Mr. Daniel Prins, Conventional Arms Branch Chief of the UNODA; Permanent Representative of the European Union; Permanent Representative of Jamaica on behalf of CARICOM; Permanent Representative of Japan; Permanent Representative of the Arab Group; Permanent Representative of Pakistan; Permanent Representative of China; Permanent Representative of Iraq
Location: Conference Room 3, United Nations HQ, New York
Date: 16 June 2014
Written By WIT Representative: Zachary Halliday
Edited by WIT Representative: Marli Kasdan