Sanctioning North Korea’s Nuclear Ballistic Programs

The Security Council Chamber had its 7638th meeting on the adoption of the agenda regarding non-proliferation and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. The resolution would tighten regimes of international sanctions with the DPRK to shut down financing of the nuclear ballistic programs. The council voted on the draft of the resolution, and it received 15 votes in favor. Thus, the draft has been adopted unanimously.

The floor was then given to Ms. Samantha Power, and she explained that when looking at North Korea, it could seem like looking at two different realities. The first is a country pursuing advanced technologies to build missiles capable of a nuclear strike a continent away. The second is a country where 25 percent of children under the age of 5 suffer from stunted growth due to malnutrition. She said that while they may seem mutually exclusive, they have everything to do with one another. Therefore, the chronic suffering of the citizens of the DPRK is a direct result of the choice made by the North Korean government, prioritizing the nuclear weapons program over its people. In addition, Ms. Power said that the nuclear weapons program is also a growing threat for the world. North Korea is the only country in the world to conduct nuclear tests in the 21st century, and it has actually conducted 4 since 2000.

The resolution that the council has just adopted is much tougher than any other resolution before. The resolution altogether bans North Korea’s exports of specific natural resources like coal, making it tougher for North Korea to receive the funding they need. In addition, the resolution bans all imports of aviation and rocket fuel. After representatives of Japan, China, Russia, and Spain also made comments about the resolution, the President adjourned the meeting.

Meeting: Security Council: 7638th meeting

Date/Location: Wednesday March 2, 2016, 10:00 –11:30; Security Council Chamber

Speakers: H.E. Ms. Samantha Power, United States Ambassador to the United Nations

Written By: WIT Representative Kangho (Paul) Jung

Edited By: WIT Representative Alex Margolick

International Law and Crisis in Ukraine: A Roundtable Discussion

Recent events in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine have raised an array of challenging issues related to self-determination, secession, international intervention, and annexation. The panel aims to explore the legal and policy implications of these issues.

Note: It was recorded that no representative were present from the Russian Federation or from the 11 nation states that were against UN General Assembly Resolution 68/262 that was adopted on 27 March 2014, entitled “Territorial integrity of Ukraine”

In the pursuit of conducting a balanced debate on the issue of Crimea, participants were shown a video of the Republic of Nicaragua delegation providing the UN General Assembly their reasoning for voting against resolution 68/262. The main point highlighted related to the issue of self-determination. This Managua believed validated both – the referendum itself hosted in Crimea on March 16, 2014 and its outcome to join the Russian Federation.

H.E. Yuriy Sergeyev strongly posited that the referendum was illegitimate as it was inspired by Russia and the plebiscite took place while Russian soldiers occupied the peninsula. A similar view is shared by the 100 nations states that were in favour of resolution 68/262 on respecting the territorial integrity of Ukraine.

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Christopher Borgen, acting as a legal advisor on the panel, stated that Moscow’s rationale of categorizing the events, as humanitarian intervention too did not have any legal biases, as matters of intervention do not fall within the jurisdiction of the Crimean Constitution [Article 1] as granted by the parent state; Ukraine. Furthermore, he argued that even if the idea of self-determination is condoned in this scenario, it by no means gives any right to entirely dismember the state.

H.E. Ambassador Yuriy further denounced Moscow for violating the 1994 Budapest Agreement and for acting in a manner inconsistent with international law and thus “creating an imbalance in the international security environment”. As part of the agreement of ‘94, Ukraine had given up its nuclear weapons “on the basis of an explicit Russian guarantee of its territorial integrity”. However by breaching this guarantee, President Putin has undermined the foundational framework of the international order by disrespecting historical obligations that take expression in the form of treaties, pacts and agreements.

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Meeting Title:  International Law and Crisis in Ukraine: A Roundtable Discussion
Speakers: Bettina B. Plevan Proskauer Rose LLP, Chair, Council on International Affairs; Ambassador Yuriy Sergeyev, Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the United Nations; Christopher J. Borgen, Associate Dean for International Studies and Professor of Law, St. John’s University School of Law; Mark A. Meyer, Honorary Consul of the Republic of Moldova in New York, Herzfeld & Rubin, P.C.
Location: The Council on International Affairs of the New York City Bar Association
Date: 4 June 2014
Summary by WIT representative: Apurv Gupta
Edited by WIT representative: Sophia Griffiths-Mark