When I was 18 and 19, I went to the United Nations in New York City and acted as a delegate for two different countries. The first year was 2002 and I represented Iran and the second in 2003 for Afghanistan. Note the significance of the years, immediately after the September 11th attacks occurred. Here is the paper that I wrote as a Model United Nations delegate from The Islamic State of Afghanistan for the Special Session on Children. I recently found it on an old floppy disk!
With Angela O'
Delegation from Represented by
The Islamic State of Afghanistan Lincoln Land Community College
Position Paper for the Special Session on Children
The Islamic State of Afghanistan recalls Security Council Resolution S/RES/1453 (2002), which reaffirms the United Nations “strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of Afghanistan”. The Islamic State of Afghanistan is committed to upholding and reinforcing the principles established by the United Nations system. The issues before the Special Session on Children are: Children and the Environment, Child Labor: The Plight of Children Living in Poverty, The Effect of Sanctions on the Well-Being of the Children. The international community needs to consider the future of children as one of the most important elements of development for the Islamic State of Afghanistan. The Islamic State of Afghanistan is firmly committed to addressing the topics before the Special Session on Children.
I. Children and the Environment
The Islamic State of Afghanistan recognizes the need for adequate water for the health of the child, the use of proper sanitation, the improvement of agriculture, the removal of hazardous landmines and the production of healthier livestock. The disturbingly severe poverty levels in Afghanistan have hindered such improvements to the environment. Basic needs of the child, such as clean drinking water and sufficient irrigation for agriculture, have been denied due to extreme drought. Approximately five percent of children have access to safe drinking water. Afghanistan is lacking the proper up keep of sanitation systems to maintain fair standards for health. Taking into account that children need proper sanitation to prevent the spread of disease, The Islamic State of Afghanistan calls upon the United Nations and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) to assist in improving sanitation and drinking water. Article 24 of the Convention of the Rights for the Child (CRC) endorses State Parties to improve health care through the use of available technology and adequate food and water, while keeping in mind the hazards of environmental pollution. The Islamic State of Afghanistan has worked with United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to assist children in surviving the drastic winter season, providing shelter and food sources during earthquakes, supplying medications and equipment to hospitals and health centers, distributing hygiene kits, installing water pumps and holding the Back to School campaign. UNICEF’s water and sanitation program has reportedly provided water to 440,000 people. The Islamic State of Afghanistan expresses its appreciation and further welcomes any monetary or supplemental aid that NGO or member states are willing to provide in efforts to make Afghanistan a better place for children.
II. Child Labor: The Plight of Children Living in Poverty
Due to the great amount of poverty in The Islamic State of Afghanistan, children have assumed the challenging position of supporting their families. An overwhelming number of returning refugees have increased Afghanistan’s poverty levels. Hardships have become so severe that people have been forced to beg to survive. The Islamic State of Afghanistan is aware of Article 32 in CRC that calls upon State Parties “to recognize the right of the child to be protected from economic exploitation and from performing any work that is likely to be hazardous or to interfere with the child’s education, or to be harmful to the child’s health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development”. Large numbers of children of the Islamic State of Afghanistan have chosen to help support their families to ensure that they have been provided with food and shelter. Taking into consideration that the Human Rights Watch states that working and earning is a positive experience in growing up, The Islamic State of Afghanistan would like to resolve current questions of child labor with basic education for the child. The Islamic State of Afghanistan expresses its appreciation of the awareness of child danger and exploitation and notes with regret that because of the poverty levels and urgency of basic essentials such as food and shelter harm is slightly increased. The Islamic State of Afghanistan requests adequate support for assistance essential to reducing the devastating poverty levels and to alleviate suffering.
III. The Effect of Sanctions on the Well-Being of the Children
Sanctions are affecting the well-being of the child by causing malnutrition, diseases and the lack of security. The children of The Islamic State of Afghanistan are in their most vulnerable stages. Sanctions have disrupted trade, increased prices and caused suffering for the children of the Islamic State of Afghanistan. Sanctions have halted the access of medicine and equipment that therefore has had a major result on children’s health. Results include the spreading of disease because the children cannot gain access to vaccinations. The Islamic State of Afghanistan is deeply concerned with the shortfall of food production, malnutrition, and safe drinking water. Reported by Vulnerability and Humanitarian Impact of UN Security Council Sanctions in Afghanistan Summary Report “Increased prices of basic staples and medicine or any reduction to income and employment possibilities will have a significant impact on a population that is already operating on the margins of survival.” The Islamic State of Afghanistan notes that the impact of increased food prices and the collapse of the value of the Afghani (the Afghanistan monetary unit) have furthered suffering. The children of the Islamic State of Afghanistan have already endured more than two decades of war and economic devastation. The armed conflict in Afghanistan has resulted in the death of children. Therefore, The Islamic State of Afghanistan reaffirms humanitarian security. Due to the 11 September 2001 attacks on the United States, the international and United Nation assistance teams were evacuated from Afghanistan. The Islamic State of Afghanistan expresses its appreciation of return of assistance for the people. The Islamic State of Afghanistan declares the necessity of aid to nations in sanctions that do not harm the child, to promote health and to reduce child suffering.