The discussion on the agenda item 'Question of the Death Penalty', is primarily aimed at discussing whether or not the broad policy of the state to use death as a punishment for crime is acceptable in this day and age. While most states have decided to do away with the death penalty or have decided to limit to very specific and serious crimes, the continued existence of the death penalty shows that there are compelling reasons for states to continue with the death penalty. The agenda constitutes several ethical dilemmas that come with the use of the death penalty, such as, is it ethical for the state to deprive a person of their life to punish a person? What kind of crimes should or should not be subject to the death penalty, and to what extent? Does the death penalty live up to the intuitive logic that it does deter crime? Is there an alternative to the death penalty which is just as punitive but does not deprive one of life?
The discussion on this agenda will capture these dilemmas which drive state policy and at the end of the day, decide the way criminal justice is delivered to the people. This question will also juxtapose these debates with new norms and trends in human rights and other standards that the international community has set for human life.
"Men and women are two wings of a nation, if one wing isn’t working the nation can’t fly."
The united Nations Sustainable Development Goal 5 talks about achieving gender equality and empowering women and girls, it addresses the key problems of poverty, inequality and violence against women and children. Over the years we have talked about sustainable development in terms of economic development without depletion of natural gases, but we are still far away from understanding how women empowerment could facilitate sustainable development and what will be the impacts of it. Understanding only 47 per cent of world business leaders say they are in favour of gender quotas on corporate boards, women remain underrepresented in leadership and management level positions in the public and private sectors. Less than one-third of senior- and middle-management positions are held by women. While 39 per cent of countries worldwide have used some form of quota system to increase women’s representation in politics, parity is far from reality—as of 2017, only 23.4% of all national parliamentarians are women.
Women and girls comprise the majority of people living in poverty, and experience multidimensional inequalities. Previously, efforts were only made to include women and girls in ‘women’s issues’ in development which failed to recognised the multidimensional nature of gender in development. Additionally, persistent and chronic underinvestment in gender equality and women’s empowerment has exacerbated development limitations. These mistakes must not be repeated. Therefore, sustainable development initiatives must reinforce the consideration that women and girls are at a higher risk of being left behind. The voices and perspectives of women and girls must be included in policy development, implementation and monitoring on all issues and not only Goal 5. This would promote the inclusion of women and girls as leaders and decision makers, as well as relevant stakeholders and partners in sustainable development.
In recent years, terrorist groups such as Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Al-Qaida and Boko Haram have shaped our image of violent extremism and the debate on how to address this threat. These groups’ message of intolerance — religious, cultural, social — has had drastic consequences for many regions of the world. Holding territory and using social media for the global and real-time communication of their ideas and exploits, they seek to challenge our shared values of peace, justice and human dignity. The spread of violent extremism has further aggravated an already unprecedented humanitarian crisis which surpasses the boundaries of any one region. Millions of people have fled the territory controlled by terrorist and violent extremist groups. Migratory flows have increased both away from and towards the conflict zones, involving those seeking safety and those lured into the conflict as foreign terrorist fighters, further destabilizing the regions concerned. Nothing can justify violent extremism but we must also acknowledge that it does not arise in a vacuum. Narratives of grievance, actual or perceived injustice, promised empowerment and sweeping change become attractive where human rights are being violated, good governance is being ignored and aspirations are being crushed. Violent extremists have been able to recruit over 30,000 foreign terrorist fighters from over 100 Member States to travel to the Syrian Arab Republic and Iraq, as well as to Afghanistan, Libya and Yemen. Some of them will no doubt be horrified by what they see and anxious to put the experience behind them, but others have already returned to their home countries — and more will undoubtedly follow — to spread hatred, intolerance and violence in their own communities.
The United Nations Security Council will be discussing "maintenance of International Peace and Security in the Middle East and North Africa". Middle East and North Africa contains several politically unstable countries such as Libya, Yemen and Iraq which increases the propensity of non-state actors to try and seize political power in the region. Apart from that, there are several latent issues such as the Israeli-Palestine conflict which constantly threaten international peace and security. It is, therefore, one of the most vulnerable regions in the world. The UN Security Council will discuss the numerous problems being faced by member nations in the Middle East and North Africa and try to seek the optimum solution agreeable to all parties involved.
Safeguards are activities by which the IAEA can verify that a State is living up to its international commitments not to use nuclear programmes for nuclear-weapons purposes. The global Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and other treaties against the spread of nuclear weapons entrust the IAEA as the nuclear inspectorate. Today, the IAEA safeguards nuclear material and activities under agreements with more than 140 States.
Within the world’s nuclear non-proliferation regime, the IAEA’s safeguards system functions as a confidence-building measure, an early warning mechanism, and the trigger that sets in motion other responses by the international community if and when the need arises. Over the past decade, IAEA safeguards have been strengthened in key areas. Measures aim to increase the likelihood of detecting a clandestine nuclear weapons programme and to build confidence that States are abiding by their international commitments. IAEA carries out measures in the form of Inspections which ensure the legal obligation of States to deter nuclear weapon-grade material to minimum and for peaceful purpose only. Through these inspections and other instruments at the disposal of IAEA, through cooperation among Inter-UN agencies, IAEA has already taken steps to achieve 17 SDGs.