Iraq by xiuliliaofz


									Committee: Middle East Committee

Topics: The Conflict in Iraq and the Israel/Palestine Conflict

Chairs: Faris Barudi and Allyson Bach

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Topic One: The Conflict in Iraq

I. Introduction

       Hello Delegates, my name is Faris Barudi, and I will be your co-chair in the League of

Arab States/Middle East Committee for the 2010 Edison Fall Model United Nations Conference.

I am a senior here at Edison High School and this is my 4th year in MUN. I am also the

webmaster for our conference. Aside from MUN, last year I co-founded the Mock Trial Club

here at Edison, and I am a member of our varsity soccer team. I thoroughly enjoy our conference

here at Edison, and hope to make it an enjoyable weekend for you as well.

II. Background

       The issue in Iraq began seven years ago, when the United States invaded Iraq, claiming

the Iraqi government had successfully created large amounts of Weapons of Mass Destruction. In

the seven years since then, it has become evident that there are not, nor ever were, any Weapons

of Mass Destruction under the control of the Iraqi government, yet the nation is still deep in

economic, political, and social turmoil. It has been estimated that over 1.2 million people have

been killed in the conflict, including over 150,000 civilian deaths. In addition, the Iraqi

government has reported the presence of over 5 million orphans, which is over half of the

nation’s children population. Furthermore, over 68% of Iraq’s population lacks access to safe
drinking water. The combination of these humanitarian conditions with the ever-present danger

of violence has created a sense of hopelessness for the citizens of Iraq.

       Since the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003, and his execution in 2006, the nation

has not been able to form a solid and controlling central government, still relying on the

American military for support. The main root cause of the continuing violence and lack of unity

in the central government is the presence of several rival religious groups: the Kurds, Sunnis and

Shiites. All three of these religious groups are Muslim, but their slightly different beliefs, and

their unified beliefs in the need for power, has created a power struggle in which none of the

three sides are willing to concede anything, and all of them are continually pushing for more

power. The Kurdish have been pushing to be granted autonomy in the north, while the Shiites

and Sunnis have been in a power struggle for large portions of Southern Iraq, including the

capital city of Baghdad. Matters were only made worse in 2007, when Turkey invaded Northern

Iraq in order to defeat radical Kurdish groups operating in that region. These groups often cannot

agree on a single leader of their party, which creates even worse political issues within each

party. In the nationwide parliamentary elections held on March 7, 2010, the Shiite party, led by

Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, lost the race for majority 91 to 89 to secular leader Ayad

Allawi. This gave Mr. Allawi the first chance at forming a government, but Mr. Maliki promptly

used his influence in the judiciary system to call for a recount. The results of the recount have

still yet to be published, however the nation remains in turmoil, as over 100 election day attacks,

aimed at disrupting the elections, left 38 people dead and many more injured.

       This issue largely affects the nations of the Middle East as Iraq is one of the most

important nations in the region. Its central location makes it a strategic, influential nation in the

Middle East, especially in relations with its neighbor, Iran. Its large oil reserves make it an
important nation on a global scale as well, as oil is one of the most important resources in the

global economy. Many critics of the US occupation of Iraq have cited oil as the reason behind

their extended stay in the nation. Most other coalition nations who were part of the original

invasion of Iraq have withdrawn, most recently the United Kingdom and Australia in 2009.

However, these withdrawn nations still remain active in this issue, given the impact that the

outcome of the Iraqi elections will have on the region, and thus, will have just as much of an

effect on the world.

III. UN Involvement

       The UN has been involved in this issue since its beginning in 2002, when the UN

resumed weapons inspections in Iraq due to suspicion of the proliferation of Weapons of Mass

Destruction. The Security Council has passed several resolutions, demanding that Iraq allow

weapons inspectors into their borders from the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection

Commission (UNMOVIC). They had repeatedly denied this, but after President Bush demanded

they fully comply with the Security Council, agreed to follow Security Council Resolution 1441,

which called for weapons inspections in late 2002. Following these inspections, the UN

inspectors evacuated the nation the day before the US-led coalition invasion in early 2003,

despite not finding sufficient evidence that Weapons of Mass Destruction had been created.

Following the invasion, the Security Council passed Resolution 1483, which set various ground

rules for the coalition occupation of Iraq, including an operative discussing the control of the sale

of petroleum and natural gas based products to best match the need of the global markets. More

recently, the UN has maintained stability in the region, but has yet to stop the recurring violence

that leaves several people wounded each and every day.

IV. Possible Solutions
        Solid solutions to this issue will solve the economic, political, social, and humanitarian

aspects of this issue. The possibility of a unified government is present, but it must satisfy the

Kurdish want for complete control of Northern Iraq, as well as the Sunni and Shiite want for

complete control of the rest of the country. This unified government could have several

Furthermore, if you suggest the possibility of bringing humanitarian groups and aid to those in

need, consider their safety in the extremely violent nation of Iraq. Finally, economic aid

programs with neighboring countries or within Iraq should be considered as well. Short and long

term solutions for all of these issues should be discussed.

V. Questions to Consider

1. How can the desires of the Sunni, Shiite, and Kurdish religious factions all be satisfied


2. How can the UN bring humanitarian need to those in need safely?

3. What is the best way to stimulate the extremely weak Iraqi economy?

4. Is it economically and politically better to grant the Kurds autonomy in the north?

5. Is it a violation of the sovereignty of Iraq to mandate its production and sale of petroleum and

natural gas based products?

6. Is the presence of the United States more helpful or more of a burden in trying to resurrect the

prosperity of the nation of Iraq?

VI. Bibliography
Topic Two: The Israel/Palestine Conflict

I. Personal Note

       Hi everyone! My name is Allyson Bach and I will be your Co-chair for the Middle East

Committee. I am a Senior at Edison High School and I have been involved in MUN since my

freshman year. Besides MUN, I am captain of Edison’s woman’s varsity golf team, president of

KEY club, and ASB senior class representative. I wish you the best of luck with your research

and hope that this topic synopsis will guide you towards a rigorous debate. Please contact me at if you have any questions or concerns.

II. Background of Topic

       The conflict between Israel and Palestine can be traced back over sixty years ago when

the UN passed the partition plan in response to the Arab-Jewish conflict in the region. The plan

essentially gave away Palestinian land to form the first Jewish state. Thus, a conflict grew

between Israel, the newly formed Jewish state, and the Palestinians, represented by the Palestine

Liberation Organization (PLO) and Israel’s Arab neighbors. Arab states, such as Egypt, Jordan,

Syria, and Lebanon, aided Palestine through the creation of the Arab Liberation Army while the

“Great Powers”, including the United States, provided assistance to Israel to defeat the Arab

Liberation Army. This defeat resulted in the beginning of a refugee crisis in Israel-Palestine

because nearly 700,000 Arabs in Israel were now driven out from their homes and soon labeled

as refugees. By 1967, Israel and Palestine engaged in another war known as the Six Day War.

During the war, Israel, once again, overwhelmed the Palestinians and after, gained occupation of

West Bank and Gaza strip. Since then, Palestinians in the West Bank, which includes eastern

Jerusalem, reside under Israeli occupation. However, in 2005, Israel evacuated and withdrew its

forces from the Gaza Strip, ending nearly four decades of military occupation. Unforutnately,
when Hamas, a Palestinian militant Islamist organization, defeated the Fatah Palestinian

Movement for control over the Gaza in 2007, Israel began an economic blockade of the Gaza

strip. The short-term goals of Hamas are to drive Israeli forces from Gaza by launching attacks

on Israeli troops and settlers in Palestinian territories. However, an extreme long-term goal of

Hamas is essentially the destruction of Israel and to establish an Islamic state on the historical

Palestinian territory. On the other hand, Hamas participates in social programs to aid the

Palestinians such as building schools, religious institutions, and hospitals. Yet, these efforts were

not enough to prevent Israel and its Western allies from placing tough economic and diplomatic

sanctions on the Gaza Strip, known as the Gaza Blockade. As for Fatah, their ultimate goal, as

stated in the official Fatah constitution, is the complete liberation of Palestine.

       Since the blockade began in 2007, nearly 1.5 million people have been trying to survive

on less than one fourth of the volume of imported supplies that arrived in December of 2005.

With this blockade, Israel has only allowed basic humanitarian supplies to enter into the Strip.

Though there was a multilateral ceasefire in 2008, provocations, such as Israeli raids and rocket

fire, have continued the violence by each side. Besides the external conflict between the

Palestinians and the Israelis, there is an internal conflict within the Palestinian Authority (PA)

between Hamas, who control Gaza, and the Pro-Fatah PA, who are in charge of the West Bank.

This internal issue has made the aspiration for an independent Palestine seem impossible.

Moreover, Israel has favored negotiations with the Pro-Fatah PA rather than the extreme Hamas

because Fatah has known to be willing to negotiate on a two-state solution. More recently, the

leaders of the PLO said they would agree to peace talks with Israel if Israel completely halted

building settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Thus, in November 2010, Israel

announced its ten-month suspension of new building in the West Bank due to United States
pressure and by May 2010, PA President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah agreed to indirect peace

negotiations with Israel. The agreement itself is a huge accomplishment for the two groups

however there are many issues that must be discussed in these negotiations such as the status of

Jerusalem and the fate of Palestinian refugees and settlements. Also, it is important not to forget

that although negotiations may have started, the violence and the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza

have not halted.

III. UN Involvement

       The first UN action occurred with the UN Partition Plan of 1947, which was clearly

flawed and resulted in the conflict here today. The plan created the Jewish state of Israel from

55% of what were, at that point, Palestinian lands. Today, Israel occupies 78% of pre-1947

Palestine. Nonetheless, the UN is still involved with the conflict today by providing numerous

UN organizations to solve the many different issues in Israel Palestine. One orgnaizaiton is the

UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) which adis

Palestinian refugees in nations throught the Middle East and Europe. Moreover, the UN

Conciliation Commission for Palestine helps to ensure that Palestinians obtain complete

commission for all of the properties they owned before they became refugees. Resolutions for

this conflict include A/RES/60/100 and A/RES/61/112 which were passed by the General

Assembly and deal with providing assistance to Palestinian refugees. Resolutions passed by the

Security Council, like Resolutions S/RES/1860 and S/RES/1850, take gradual steps to solving

the conflict in Israel Palestine but due to veto power by the Big Five, no engaging solutions have

been passed.

IV. Possible Solutions
       Before considering possible solutions, delegates should take note of their country’s bloc

position and policy. Most Middle Eastern, African, Latin American and Asian nations support

Palestine in this conflict, while the United States has been known to support Israel. The first

issue that I would like delegates to consider when developing a solution is the Humanitarian

Crisis, especially in Gaza. A possible solution to this is to put international presure on Israel to

allow more aid into the region and also to include aid provided by NGOS and organizations such

as WHO, WFP, and CARE International. Next, it is necessary to discuss the status of Jerusalem.

Some nations could propose that Jerusalem become an international city. A solution must also be

made that deals with the current 3.9 million Palestine Refugees and how to assist and provide

first temporary relief. In addition, those nations who support Palestine should also consider

proposing a solution that allows the UN to recognize Palestine as an official member state.

Finally, delegates should propose solutions on how to deal with land distribution between Israel

and Palestine. Delegates should consider whether their policy supports the one-state solution,

where palestine and israel would for a unitary state, or the two-state solution where Israel

remains a Jewish state and a new Arab state would be created for the Palestinians. Furthermore,

delegates should recognize the three-state solution which is also known as the Egyptian-

Jordanian solution. This solution returns control of the West Bank to Jordan and control of the

Gaza Strip to Egypt, a situation that would replicate the Israel-Palestine area between 1947-1967.

V. Questions to Consider

1. How can the international community put pressure on Israel to ease the Gaza Blockade?

2. How will these indirect peace talks between the PA and the Israeli government take place?

3. What should each group be willing to compromise on during these peace talks?
4. How can the UN ease tensions between the pro-Fatah PA and the Hamas?

VI. Bibliography

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