Tag Archives: TheGuardian

UNICEF Response to the Syrian Child Refugee Crisis

By Jay Ng, for The Guardian

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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.

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RUSSIA PROPOSED SHOCKING ‘STOP THE GAYS’ AMENDMENT AT UNICEF

By Jay Ng, for The Guardian

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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.

UNICEF PASSES DRAFT RESOLUTION FOR SHORT TERM CRISIS RELIEF EFFORTS

By Jay Ng, for The Guardian

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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.

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:

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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.

UNICEF Meeting This Week on the Future of Syrian Children

By Jay Ng for The Guardian

UNICEF delegates will meet up between 29th November and 1st
December 2013 to discuss the pressing issues facing Syrian children
and child refugees. With the conflict going on in its third year, the
entire Syrian children generation is at stake with issues such as food,
water, shelter, medicine, and education.

These conditions have caused over 2 million children being homeless
within Syria, as well as a large number of them fled their homeland
to other countries such as Turkey, Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon and Iraq.
There, child refugees face other threats of child labor, early marriage,
domestic violence, sexual exploitation, and trafficking. Tensions also
arise between the refugee and local population, as they compete
against each other for mid- to low wages jobs. UNICEF has been
carrying out actions to avoid Syria’s children from becoming a lost
generation.

UNICEF has partnered with UNHCR to launch the largest
humanitarian operation in history, spending over US$5 billion on
education, healthcare and other services for affected families and
children in host communities. The meetings will be focusing on the
possibilities to expand UNICEF’s actions in the aforementioned
aspects.

Delegates will likely to be facing tensions in discussions, as Syria’s
immediate neighbors are under the influx of refugees in comparison
to other nations. Recently, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees,
António Guterres has identified Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq as
being ‘stretched to their limits’ by the burden from the increasing
number of Syrian refugees, and thereby calling on the rest of the
international community to share the burden.

Notably, conflicts will also arise to states such as Iraq and Egypt, as
they are in an intersection with their domestic problems, refugee
capacities as well as foreign policy disputes with critical countries like
the United States and UK. Delegates have to cooperate and decide on
further actions to ease the burden on these states.