Following the first Indo-Pakistani war, the contest over Kashmir has become one of the most protracted ongoing conflicts in the world today, one which even threatened nuclear confrontation following the post-acquisition of nuclear weapons by both India and Pakistan in the 1980s.
Kashmir has often been regarded one of the most dangerous places in the world. There is huge deployment of troops on both sides of the ‘’Line of Control’’ (LoC), a line which vaguely divides the Kashmir valley into the Indian-administered Kashmir and Pakistan-administered Kashmir. The significant military presence in the region not only hinders the day-to-to day lives of Kashmiris but also leads to frequent military confrontations between the two states. Border shootings between the armies that guard each side of the LoC have escalated recently, leaving 19 Indian army officers dead in October 2016.
The Indian-controlled region of Kashmir consists of a Muslim majority who express deep resentment towards the administration, harbouring historically entrenched belief that they were wrongfully annexed by India. This has led to the rise of separatist groups who launch frequent attacks to liberate Kashmir from India’s rule. India frequently accuses Pakistan of supporting Kashmiri separatist movements like Hizbul Mujahideen, whose attacks have left more than 90 dead and thousands of civilians injured. Political rhetoric and continued military aggression as such ‘’surgical strikes’’ leave the two states in a limbo of military tension.
With the proliferation of separatist movements, Kashmir today is a breeding ground for radicalism which threatens the lives of both Hindus and moderate Muslims in the Valley. There is an annual mass exodus where thousands of Kashmiris escape to either side of the LoC, living in refugee camps. Social tensions in the region have also peaked, exemplified by the eruption of frequent large scale protests in the Kashmiri valley in 2016.
Delegates will be expected to offer short-term humanitarian solutions for the Kashmiri citizens while arriving at a long-term lasting political solution for the conflict.
Created in 1998, the Rome Statute grants the International Criminal Court (ICC) the ability to persecute individuals for crimes that are usually out of the jurisdiction of domestic courts, including war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Due to its relatively new inception, the ICC is still doubted by various countries for its legality to persecute criminals with the infringement of sovereignty being a main area of concern. It has come also come under fire for its vague definitions within articles alongside allegations of political bias within the ICC, which severely undermine its credibility in the successful prosecution of criminals.
With the UNSC being the only UN organ with resolutions that are legally binding, a review of the Rome Statute will be a statement of intent to legitimize and strengthen the role of the ICC. Through the review, delegates are allowed to amend problematic and contentious articles and clauses. Delegates are also offered a chance to adapt the Statute to suit more recent conflicts around the world, paying special attention to issues regarding religion-induced violence, terrorism and cyber warfare.
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