Day 2 : ICJ, UNSC

1. ICJ ( by Ruxandra Dumitrescu )

    The ICJ committee intensely continued yesterday’s trial under the careful supervision of the presidency members and Russia’s Attorney Panțiu’s crocodile stuffed animal (perhaps the most important and active member of the committee). The debate concerning the accusations thrown at Russia for funding terrorism and racial discrimination within Ukraine kicked off with the Federation’s memorials regarding the allegations.

    Though a little “sloppy” (because of the radical difference in organization between ICJ and any other ordinary committee) the process went overall smoothly.

    The defense’s attorneys stated that the accusations are no more than “claims fabricated by Ukraine to take revenge” on Russia for its past actions, adding that the whole occurring trial is just a waste of time and a disgrace to the ICJ committee and the presidency. Ukraine sustained its argument and the fact that unwanted “Russian military activity is present within the countries borders”, intimidating not only activists and protesters, but also average citizens (“Do they believe that all the activists are terrorists?” – Ukraine’s Attorney Ungureanu).

    To enforce their arguments, the accusation of Ukraine proposed the display of a video illustrating Russian propaganda and soldiers roaming around public places in Crimea, even though President Putin denied the existence of any personnel from the military sphere within the region (“The people can’t go in with their lives without being influenced by the soldiers’ presence”- Ukraine’s attorney Panait). The most horrifying part of the video was, undoubtedly, the solid 10 seconds of Russian soldiers picking out ham at a grocery store (“The best evidence they have (…) are some billboards, posters and some people going to a shop to buy some food.” – Russia’s Attorney Rusu [no pun intended]).

    Even though the evidence was deemed by the judges as inconsistent, the accusation’s attorneys stated that “Russian soldiers going to the supermarket in military clothes is not ok”.

    Debates to be continued, as day 3 at ICJ is the witnesses’ one.

Photographer: Diana Ciuperca
Photographer: Diana Ciuperca

2. UNSC ( by Maria Grigorescu & Silviu Craiovan )

    Mediating the governments of the international community, the Security Council is possibly the UN body playing the most decisive role in solving actual imminent issues that threaten the peaceful status quo. By acknowledging them and inviting countries to share their opinions, a common ground is easier to be found, coming up with solutions favorable for every participant nation. Today, the topic was focused on the sanctions imposed on Iran by the USA, trying to eliminate the hostile sentiment held between the two nations. The motion was proposed by the delegate of Iran, which began the Session by mentioning that the restrictions based upon the country are illegitimate, advising every Committee member to ‘negotiate with the US in order to stop these sanctions’. Justifying their means, the American representative noted past violent incidents that Iran has been accused of, such as the Hezbollah expedition in Syria and the support of the Taliban in Afghanistan. Most delegates argued that the sanctions are beneficial and will bring somewhat of a more peaceful environment in the area. Russia and China, being in a joint agreement with Iran, criticized the USA approach for being too selfish, only serving them and their allies, the Russian delegate proposing a deal inclusive to all willing to participate.

    The shift turned towards the Hormuz problem with the second motion. Iran debated that they already have an answer to the issue: the Hormuz Peace Endeavour, stagnant because of Western refusal. A highly controversial point of the deal was the selective permission of transit of vessels through the strait, thus countries unfriendly to Iran would need to depend on their political tendencies. As an alternative, Afghanistan suggested the building of a ‘surveillance base in Oman’ for monitoring any ships coming with malicious intentions through the Hormuz. While striking a deal with Oman, Iran was unfavorable to the idea, citing that ‘the strait is already too tight’. Unable to find anything appropriate for every agenda, the delegate of Israel requested a Q&A session with Iran. The British delegate asked: ‘Would Iran be willing to replace the [hypothetically mentioned] Western troops with peacekeeping troops?’, Iran responding with hesitation to foreign elements in their territory, deeming such measures ‘unnecessary’. 

Photographer : Clara Popescu

    The skepticism which Iran showed to any plans other than theirs was mentioned in the gossips, just like the inability of the delegates to reach an actual solution. After Lunch Break, the delegates tried to get to the root of the conflict. The Iranian explanation included historical reasons, the area being exposed to many sanctions and aggressive movements, the constant state of turmoil was blamed on Western influence. The accused countries were quick to respond: the Israeli delegate stated that ‘Iran’s only desire is power’, while the UK took a more assertive attitude – ‘Stop spreading this weak propaganda!’. The motion was followed by another Q&A, now with Oman, during which the delegate was forced to break the historical neutrality of the country, finally admitting leaning towards the American plan. Following this, another motion was proposed: block positions. France, Germany, and Pakistan decided to pot for a peaceful agreement and remained neutral. As for the rest of the participant countries, only China and Russia sided with Iran. The committee session ended with the Chairs’ friendly suggestion that the delegates should prepare themselves for a rough following day.

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