Since 1948, the United Nations has undertaken various peacekeeping operations worldwide to mitigate conflict and facilitate peace. UN peacekeeping operations have since expanded considerably in scale and complexity to fulfill broader roles in conflict management and post-conflict recovery. However, the effectiveness of current peacekeeping measures has come under scrutiny as some deployments have lasted for decades without achieving their specific goals. In addition, the changing nature of armed conflict continues to present new challenges to the coordination of peacekeeping operations, highlighting the need to review current practices in peacekeeping.
Enhancing the success of peacekeeping operations requires a focus on achieving lasting political change and long-term stability. Beyond the issues of military capabilities and funding from member states, there has been a lack of consensus on matters pertaining to the specific mandate and deployment of peacekeeping forces, the prevention of peacekeeper abuse and the coordination of such efforts between regional and international bodies.
Delegates are expected to discuss possible reforms to current peacekeeping procedures to suit the needs of the world today, taking into consideration the nuances of armed conflict in different regions and the underlying political, social and economic concerns of member states, be it in their contributions to global peacekeeping efforts or involvement in the conflicts at hand.
Legacies left behind by wars fought in the past, unexploded ordnances (UXO) still linger under the ground and in the waters of various countries. These include a wide range of explosive weapons such as bombs, bullets, grenades, mines, shells, amongst others, and each weapon has to be handled differently in order to ensure detonation and safe disposal. Once these weapons are unearthed, or discovered in the sea, many civilian, and professional lives are under threat while operations are carried out. Nearby infrastructure can also be damaged should the UXO explode while it is being handled.
This issue is especially pertinent in developing countries, where detection and identification technology is outdated, explosive ordnance disposal teams are not well equipped and risk awareness and education is grossly inadequate. UXO contamination affects not only their physical safety, but also their livelihoods and food security as civilians are unable to eke out a living through agriculture.
Delegates will be expected to discuss technology transfer between countries, as it is of paramount interest to ensure that all civilians, whether they reside in developing or developed countries, are not harmed by UXOs, and possible ways in which this can be achieved. Delegates will also have to discuss how citizens can be better informed about UXOs, so that they are able to respond appropriately, and other general measures that can be taken to solve this issue.
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