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

The Right of the Child – The UN takes a stand

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This meeting focused on framing points of views of the right of children and adolescents. UN Representative Sajdik spoke about the atrocities being committed against children especially young girls in Nepal. In Nepal girls can be married as early as 72 months old to 12 years old. Such young marriage violates a young girl’s innocence and early pregnancy results in extreme physical pain, as their bodies have not had time to mature to a safe child bearing state.

The organization SOS Children’s Villages works with children who are orphaned, abandoned or neglected. They give these children the opportunity to build lasting relationships within a family. Their family approach is based on four principles: Each child needs a mother, and grows up most naturally with brothers and sisters, in his or her own house, within a supportive village environment.

Nadine Kalpar, the Youth delegate to Austria, spoke of her personal experiences and the abuse that she witnessed other Austrian children go through. According to the information and statistics she gave, all violence against children, including parents, is prohibited. However 30% of parents in Austria aren’t aware or are not threatened by this law, therefore the violence continues. Ms. Kalpar also discussed ageism in the job market. Adolescents and teenagers are viewed as “lazy” and “unreliable” when it comes time to land a job. This is an attitude that needs to be reversed for young people to receive their right to safe, secure work.

Ravi Bajrak, the Youth Delegate to Nepal, insisted that we cannot change the future if we don’t respond to the current violence and injustices against the youth population. Judith Diers, closing the meeting, stated that we can achieve anything with hard work, dedication, and most of all, trust within humanity to do the right

ImageMeeting Title: The Gov. of Austria, The Gov. of Nepal and the SOS Children’s Villages
Speakers: Judith Diers, UNICEF Representative; Mr. Sajdik, Representative of Nepal; Nadine Kalpar, Youth Delegate to Austria; Ravi Bajrak, Youth Delegate to Nepal
Location: United Nations HQ, Conference Room 7, North Lawn Building
Date: 3 June 2014
Written by WIT representative: Leslie Anokye
Edited by WIT representative: Sophia Griffiths-Mark