Tag Archives: Syria

UNICEF Response to the Syrian Child Refugee Crisis

By Jay Ng, for The Guardian


Delegates at UNICEF have reached consensus and passed a resolution in regards to the Syrian child refugee crisis. The committee acknowledged the urgency of this issue and has proposed practical measures.

This resolution mainly focuses on delivering support in key aspects of children’s lives such as health, education and psychosocial assistance.

Syria and its immediate countries will be divided into Zone 1 (Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Lebanese Republic, Arab Republic of Egypt, the Republic of Iraq, the Republic of Turkey) and Zone 2 (Syria) for the efficient targeting of aid. Given Syria’s strong stance on sovereignty, the resolution aims to prioritize child health and welfare within Zone 1.

Vaccines, medical professionals, clean water and food will be the main resources delivered to children. UNICEF delegates also believe in Syrian children’s rights to continue their education despite the ongoing political instability. UNICEF will consult educators from Syria and surrounding regions to create the best possible school curriculum in order to accommodate for all cultural differences.

Delegates from India and Israel proposed an anti-violence against women campaign within the framework of the resolution. Men will be provided with education that discourages the use of violence in the private and public sphere in order to avoid future sexual assaults imposed on women and children.

The resolution also calls for Member States to increase funding support to achieve efficiency and accelerate the development of goals.Delegates would also like to address the need for clarification over the legal status of refugees born in Zone 1 refugee camps. It calls on Member States to reaffirm the maternal origin of citizenship rights of children and their right of return.



By Jay Ng, for The Guardian


The Guardian received a leaked report earlier today, revealing Russia’s homophobic amendment. This leak was later confirmed when Russia submitted the amendment during the UNICEF meeting.

The amendment, supported by Syria, suggests ‘expulsion of all prominent, raging and flaming homosexual refugees from refugee camps in Zone 1 and the setting up of sexual orientation re-education camps for those suspected of being homosexual, the refugees are not permitted to return to Zone 2’.

The Guardian press questioned Russia’s earlier claim of ‘a strong believer in human rights’ and how it relates to such homophobic amendment at UNICEF. Russian delegate refuses to ‘explain its stance to anyone, let alone The Guardian’, along with a death stare.

USA addressed its concern with such a problematic amendment and wanted to ‘distance itself from the UK’ for its secretive assistance to Russia. Germany condemned Russia, saying they failed to explain their stance to the committee.

The Jordanian delegate said if passed, this amendment would cause further homophobic and even inter-gay violence in the region. It failed to pass, unsurprisingly. Russia screamed ‘love you brother’ to Syria for its support after voting.


By Jay Ng, for The Guardian


The Guardian delivered the shocking proof of what has long been suspected about the efficiency of Syrian crisis relief efforts, which led to an emergency crisis in the afternoon. The Jordanian government has been knowingly assisting Syrian rebel factions in recruiting Syrian child refugees to fight against the Syrian government.

This has been triggered by Jordan’s dissatisfaction towards the ongoing refugee burden. An anonymous source said even 8 years olds are taken away in the middle of the night for Syrian rebel recruitment. There are also similar reports originating from Egypt.

Child rebel soldiers are committing violent acts towards the Syrian government. They are provided with weapons training, demoralisation, and often punishment and torture. Jordanian government has responded saying these allegations are ridiculous.

The Tunisian government sent representatives to UNICEF to confirm that Egypt and Jordan have been engaged in supporting rebels and the recruitment of child soldiers.

UNICEF delegates condemned Egypt and Jordan, and attempted to suspend their voting rights. The motion, which Argentina forcefully supported with other delegates, failed twice in voting. Sweden told The Guardian that this is a motion that violates democracy.

The US proposed and passed a successful draft resolution that aims to focus on short-term actions such as calling for UN investigation and recommends the UNSC employ peacekeepers in refugee camps.

Syria held doubt about the effectiveness of the goals proposed by US and reaffirmed that they are likely to take unilateral action in case of failure. Israel has also raised concerns in regards to the generalization of peacekeeping strategies in the draft resolution.The US is hoping to implement long term goals in the next meeting in regards to education for refugee children. This will avoid similar situations in the future, as it empowers children’s future.

ILC Tardiness Delays Debate Significantly, Public Confidence in UN at Risk

By Alex Wilde, for The Washington Post

The delegates of the ILC may be among the most intelligent legal minds in the world, as was made evident by their superb reasoning during yesterday’s session. Their flouting of basic ethical standards in failing to turn up to committee however falls far short of what is universally demanded of seasoned legal representatives.


Only three delegates turned up to committee at the starting time of 9am. By 10:30am, two more delegates arrived to bring attendance to five, still short of the seven needed to resume debate. At publication, the two extra delegates have yet to turn up, meaning debate has yet to resume.

This behaviour is appalling, plain and simple. This session of the ILC is one of the most important in recent memory. The international community needs clear guidelines on how to conduct humanitarian intervention. The prolonged Syrian crisis is clear evidence of this. For ILC delegates to trivialise the lives of millions of citizens at the expense of their own leisure can only be described as scandalous.

There is no doubt that public confidence in the United Nations and related institutions has been severely damaged by this atrocious display. People all over the world have grown weary of the inability of the UN to adequately address conflict, and there was much hope that the outcomes of this session would rectify this lack of confidence. Unfortunately, the day for such change will have to wait another day, even if it would take the deaths of another thousand Syrian citizens to get there.Diplomatic standards could not possibly steep to lower depths than this.

USA & Syria: Friend or Foe?

By Jay Ng, for The Guardian

The first draft resolution in UNICEF has been put forward by the USA, released during the morning session of the meeting. It focuses on creating two zones: Zone 1 including Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq and Turkey, with Zone 2 containing just Syria.

There would be prioritisation of healthcare and welfare for children in Zone 1. UNICEF would work closely with WHO to provide vaccinations, medical professionals and medicine. The draft resolution further proposes a secondary implementation on education for refugee children in Zone 1, which emphasizes the importance of children’s learning opportunities and encourages displaced educators to teach again.

USA and Syria have been cooperative and positive with respect to each other during the morning session, as The Guardian covered earlier today on Twitter:


However, Syria’s delegate revealed to The Guardian there was still mistrust and instability in the relationship they have with America, adding that Syria is “only supporting the US’ draft resolution because it focuses on issues external to Syria itself”. They will ‘abandon any support for action by USA or UK’ if their sovereignty is being taken away by other actors.

The USA’s delegate responded that there is a “fine line between protecting Syrian children and women and sovereignty”. The USA will determine their own actions when Syrian civilians are at stake. Well, classic America.

imageobamalookingfunnyThe secret of US-Syria relationship will be revealed later today as amendments are proposed.

No Surprises at UNICEF discussion on the Future of Syrian Children

By Jay Ng, for The Guardian

Committee delegates commenced their 3-day conference today to discuss pressing issues that Syrian children face domestically and their situation as refugee children in intermediate countries. Delegates have pointed out that in order to reach feasible outcomes, specific topics regarding refugee wellbeing should be identified and discussed one at a time to avoid confusions and disorganized debates. Education, healthcare and sanitation received overwhelming focus amongst the majority of delegates during the discussion.

Delegates such as Germany, France and UK are evidently, and unsurprisingly, standing strong as allies with the United States.

The highlight of the meeting is the strong stance held by the Russia Federation. While all groups have all agreed that there is an urgent need to expand actions targeting Syrian children so as to avoid a ‘lost generation.’ The Russian delegate demands a change on how the committee approaches foreign aid delivery. They believe UNICEF is not sufficient enough to deliver funding.

Russia proposed to stop foreign aid distributions to Syria as it has not been working as effectively as the committee projected. Funds are not reaching into the hands of the most vulnerable groups. The committee, therefore, should source individual aid for countries surrounding Syria due to the fact that they are stretching their limits to accommodate the influx of refugees. This suggestion is favored by Jordan, which reminded members at the meeting that other countries should share the responsibility to take care of women and child refugees. Russian delegate also reaffirmed their support to the Assad government.

Syrian delegate positively described the day’s discussion, as he was ‘happy with how states are approaching’, namely the United States was ‘on side on some issues with us’.Discussion will continue today and tomorrow, with live Twitter coverage available via @TheGuardian2013.