Placing the Displaced: Accomodating the Refugee Crisis

 

   The Third Committee hosted a meeting to address the report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. The report focused on the refugee crisis in Europe and the Middle East, where hundreds of thousands of refugees have fled to seek safety over the last few months. 60 million people worldwide are forcibly displaced as a result of war and persecution. In the past five years alone, the number of people forced from their homes every single day has quadrupled from under 11,000 in 2010 to 42,500.

   The meeting began with remarks from delegates. The first delegate was the representative of Kuwait, and he paid tribute to the High Commissioner for extending humanitarian efforts to the refugees even under every difficult conditions. He stated that Kuwait emphasizes continuation and support to the high commission, and that the country has participated voluntarily to 1 million dollars in aid. The representative also explained that he was very concerned by the suffering of refugees and displaced people in Iraq, which resulted from activity carried out by the Islamic State extremist militant group.

   Another notable speaker was the representative of Pakistan, who stated that the process of helping the refugees has been much too slow and inadequate, and that the international community has ignored this for far too long. The delegate explained that only 127,000 people were able to return home this year, which is the lowest number since 1983. One of the biggest issues is the lack of nutrition and education among children, which could lead to the risk of losing an entire generation.

   A representative who offered a different perspective was the delegate from Kenya, who explained that the burden of hosting refugees is enormous, especially financially. However, Kenya continues to welcome refugees in accordance to tradition.

Meeting: Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, questions relating to refugees, returnees and displaced persons and humanitarian questions

Date/Location: Wednesday November 4, 2015, 10:00 – 13:00; Conference Room 1

Speakers: Representative of Kuwait; Representative of Nigeria; Representative of Pakistan; Representative of Japan; Representative of Kenya; Representative of India

Written By: WIT Representative Kangho (Paul) Jung

Edited By: WIT Representative Alex Margolick

Photo Credit: Frank Augstein/AP

MDG Progress Review – Qatar, UK, and Kuwait

Millennium-Development-Goals-for-2015Today, as part of the Annual Ministerial Review on development, Qatar, the UK, and Kuwait gave their respective countries’ development reports, and had these reports reviewed by their peers as part of the monitoring and evaluation process of the millennium development goals (MDGs). Beginning the meeting, the representative from Qatar presented Qatar’s National Development Strategy (NDS), which covers the period from 2011-2016. So far it’s found that Qatar has done exceedingly well in GNI per capita (ranking 1st globally), and in having high levels of citizen satisfaction with life. However, the NDS report pointed out population growth as a major challenge to development in Qatar. Qatar’s population has grown from 1.4 million in 2008 to 2.1 million in 2013, with almost a quarter of a million more people expected by 2014. Population growth places a burden on schools, hospitals, housing, and other aspects of social infrastructure. Traffic congestion and accidents were also highlighted as main challenges for Qatar. Concluding the presentation, proposed future actions for development include creating a high-level sustainable development committee, ensuring the integration of environmental and social concerns, and improving quantitative and qualitative measures of well-being.

Next, the UK’s development report was presented. The UK is the only G8 country to reach the UN set target of allocating .7% of its GNI for official development assistance (ODA). Furthermore, the UK identified its key priorities for development as gender equality, education and health, humanitarian work, multilateral aid effectiveness, reducing barriers to economic growth, supporting capital market development in Sub Saharan Africa, and international efforts to combat tax evasion and corruption. To promote development, the UK has given 40% of its bilateral aid to Sub Saharan Africa. Furthermore, in 2013, the UK gave 4.4 billion pounds to 40 different multilateral aid agencies. The presentation concluded with a quote from the UK’s International Development Secretary, Justine Greening, “Development is in all of our interests. Helping other countries to grow and develop means a better, more prosperous future for Britain too.”

Lastly, Kuwait gave its presentation on its development progress. So far, Kuwait has done relatively well in meeting the MDGs. By 2011, only .33% of its population lived on less than $1.25 per day, by 2012 97% of children were enrolled in primary schools, and Kuwait has seen a significant improvement in maternal health – 1.7 deaths for every 100,000 births as of 2012. However, increasing CO2 levels in Kuwait remain a challenge, and water desalination and power stations are main sources of pollution. Thus far, Kuwait has been successful in building a global partnership for development – allocating 1.23% of its GNI for ODA, hosting the first Arab summit on economic and social development, and creating the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development. The meeting concluded with reviews by peer countries of the development reports.

 

Meeting Title: Annual Ministerial Review National Voluntary Presentations: Qatar, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and Kuwait
Speakers: H.E. Mr. Saleh bin Mohammad Al Nabit, Minister of Development Planning and Statistics, Qatar; Mr. Anthony Smith, Head, International Relations, Department for International Development, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; H.E. Mr. Mansour Ayyad SH A Alotaibi, Permanent Representative of Kuwait
Date: 9 July 2014
Location: Conference Room 2, United Nations HQ, New York
Written By WIT Representative: Marli Kasdan