John Hopkins University Model United Nations Conference (JHUMUNC)
Internet Freedoms in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
The Democratic Republic of the Congo would define freedom on the Internet as strictly allowing the Internet to be used as an important tool for factual information in cities and other hubs of our highly forested country. We do not have service in many of our rural or forested regions of our country, so only about 4.2% of our country has Internet access today. We believe that Internet, however, should be a luxury, a privilege, and above all else, a responsibility. You should have to pay to have such an important tool, so the price will increase for Internet. In addition, we encourage our Internet users to share thoughtful opinions, for we find freedom of expression very important, especially since it is part of Article 23 in our Constitution. Nonetheless, sensitive and inflammatory social media posts, websites, and news outlets that offend our government leaders is inexcusable and unfair. Criticism of government leaders through the media will not be tolerated, and the consequence of jail time and a large fee should be effective in protecting the people of our country from counterproductive and destructive publications designed only to insight unrest. Our country is governed by the People’s Party for Reconstruction and Democracy, who stands united with the people to enhance the economic and political power of our country. However, when people use these democratic values to incite a rebellion or cause violent protests, the correct response is to censor their hateful speech. The Internet is a privilege and should be given to those who enjoy their freedom in our country. During larger events, however, including elections and mass protests, the government will shut down the Internet temporarily in order to reduce and control mayhem.
Telecommunication installation is prohibited when it revolves around issues regarding national security. This includes, but is not limited to, natural disaster recovery, homeland security, terrorism, communication of vital intelligence, and other unclear reasons. We will continue to inform our people in times of national security in other, more professional matters. Refusal to respect this law results in the offender to be presumed guilty, for when the security of our country is threatened, we cannot contain the public in an orderly and calm manner if they are surrounding themselves with uncertainty and potential danger to their lives. The government must take authority when national security is involved, and anyone that invades the privacy of a telecommunications user during this time shall be fined and jailed. Citizens have the freedom to private, uninterrupted telecommunication use in nonviolent moderation, but this freedom is excused during a national crisis or issue with security.
Hackers have yet to become a problem in our country, for we monitor what is posted and who is on our Internet. We simply do not allow our Internet to be strong enough or expanded enough for someone to be able to hack it. If things start to get out of hand, we simply shut down the Internet temporarily. We advise that the governments of other countries with minimal dependence on the Internet to follow our Internet shutdown procedures if hacking occurs, and to be able to monitor such illegal activity. These criminals should be tried in a surrounding country so that they cannot fully access the Internet while there, yet they should be tried by the country they committed the offense in. We would try these criminals in bordering Uganda, Burundi, or Tanzania.
The International community, including the United Nations, should allow the country to decide how much of the Internet their citizens are allowed to access. However, there should be enough access for people to use the Internet as a reliable source of factual information. It is still a tool, and in such a progressive generation, it is nearly essential in a majority of the countries. Aside from all of this, the international community should allow the government to control what is removed from the Internet, for not all countries are as stable as each other. Riots, violent protests, and the overthrowing of government can all start due to an interest group on social media. Freedom of Speech and Press is important, but should be limited and variant amongst countries.
Large Internet based corporations, including Facebook, Twitter, and Whatsapp, are very important to the 4-5% of the 79+ million citizens of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. When dangerous activists are labeled terrorists, hashtags on Facebook and Twitter target such offenders and spreads awareness of the horrible things they tried to do. #FreeFred and #FreeYves were two hashtags that started when these two activists attempted to overthrow the government and were fortunately caught. Whatsapp is used by the government to hold strategic discussions for the country that should be kept private to the citizens for their own good. Elections and counter strategy action is planned and discussed in these chats, and more serious information is only dealt with offline communication to avoid information leakage to the public. Thus, large corporations deal a lot with the social media activity in the country. However, these large corporations are required to remove posts from this country that incite rebellion, violence, or offensive interest groups.
Protection of Cultural Rights and Cultural Diversity in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
The Democratic Republic of the Congo has differing approaches to acceptability than most of the Western World in many situations, and we even believe in taking charge when certain customs are broken. Cultural relativity is a broad term, but we believe cultures should be isolated per country rather than universalized. For example, many westerners are ashamed or afraid of nudity, while Congolese people see a natural beauty in the ability to be naked in our country. We preserve the nature of our environment, so why should we not do the same with our people? Another more fragile example, however, is with Jesus. In the Roman Catholic dominant Congo, Jesus is often referred to as “dearly beloved”. In our Congolese language, “bangala” translates to ‘Jesus Christ’, but it also translates to ‘poisonwood tree’. This is a controversial topic in our country because although we believe that Christianity is an important aspect of life, it is also dangerous. The teachings of Jesus Christ leads to moral decline and the need for free speech and press, which is not taken well in the Congo. But to an American, these freedoms to religion and speech are a given and not questioned unless it leads to violence. We do not see how freedom of speech or religion can avoid violence, so our government removes them to protect others in our country. Infestation is also very common in our country, where it may be more of a rare and unnerving issue in the Western World. For instance, if a colony of ants come and destruct a home, we look at it as a fresh beginning after they leave. Just like people, the ants are simply hungry and looking for food. Westerners may not see this the same way and turn to the decision of destruction upon the innocent insects. But because this issue is more common here, it makes more sense that this culture is different than a culture in a different part of the world. Therefore, culture is in fact different from region to region, meaning rights are also different from region to region. In America, there is freedom of speech and press, so the President lies to his citizens and hides behind “alternative facts”. Why should we adjust to this and grant our country these freedoms if it leads to more chaos? No, cultural difference should not be an excuse for violation of human rights. But common sense and reflection on current events should be a valid excuse.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo has seen large migrations leaving the country, particularly to Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Republic of the Congo. In 2015, more than 1.4 million Congolese people migrated out of the country. Many also have populated European and North American countries, including France, the United States, and Canada. This can be detrimental to our country, for it deprives us of invaluable qualified citizens, particularly in our needy medical field. They are almost always leaving our country illegally, and this needs to be addressed professionally, for it hurts the economy of both countries in the situation. At the same time, taking in more immigrants from other countries is not a spectacular option either, for now more people are poorly contributing to the economy. We cannot account for the sheer numbers we have in our country, so we certainly can’t allow more in. Nonetheless, the ones we have can be key to our role. We believe that other countries should control more of who leaves and enters which countries so that the balance of things isn’t messed around with.
We think that nationalism was a good way to break off from the unfair hands of colonization like the Belgians did to the Congo, but once the country is growing and free, nationalist groups are irrelevant. They already won, and trying to break away again will lead to Civil War, just like it did with Sudan and South Sudan. Neither country is doing well in the aftermath, for the country needs everything the land has to offer to thrive as a country. The Democratic Republic of the Congo would be nothing if it lost the Congo river and rich soil of Kinshasa. Populism also is an unfair concept to those that worked their way into their elite life, so those that can’t do the same to reach that level shouldn’t be able to complain about their lack of elitism. The UN should teach these radicals that contrast and caste is how things ought to work for a capitalist and orderly way.
Citizens often do not know what they want, for they are not in the seat of the government that sees how things have to be. Groups that want to break off because of differences in beliefs or ideologies will not be happier if they break off. Kosovo broke off from Serbia, and now they are a suffering warzone. If Catalonia broke off from Spain, or Somaliland from Somalia, they would be an enemy of their neighboring countries and live in economic negligence and impoverished conditions. Extreme nationalist views like these should be dealt with by the leaders of the country, and until they can show complete cooperation with the country it is leaving, the UN should not approve nor recognize its independence.
Religion bans are important in countries idealized around a certain religious because religion is a huge part of cultural views, so if other religions try to test their beliefs, they will cause disruption to the ways of the country. History also can shape the country’s feelings around religion. Israel and the United States are both very anti-Muslim, for Muslim terrorists attacked the US, and every Muslim Middle Eastern country has been attacking and oppressing the Jewish state of Israel for millenia. In order to keep peaceful ties within the country, religious based immigration bans should be allowed. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, those that are not Roman Catholic, or are too Roman Catholic, tend to become an issue because they disagree with our leadership morally, despite it being culturally acceptable over here.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is a large country filled with hundreds of tribes disrupted by the Europeans and thrown together in the borders that is now our country. We, thus, are very compensating for you to practice your own cultures independently on your own without intervention or judgment. However, if one culture tries to test another culture and fight for dominance, then there should be a ban on it. In Papua New Guinea, there are over 7000 living cultures, and some do not get along and are typically hostile to each other to the point of sacrifice and cannibalism. However, they have these peaceful Sing Sings, which are festivals that celebrate each other’s cultures and they dance and sing and feast together as they put aside their tensions temporarily. We think that culture is a great thing that should never have been disrupted, and should be further embraced and preserved.
We do not think that killing without reason is ever acceptable, especially by any government. But if a country’s military must manage a protest or radical practice with tear gas or other forms of weaponry, it is then necessary to maintain the safety of the rest of the country.
John Hopkins University Model United Nations Conference (JHUMUNC)
Climate Change and Displacement In Nauru
Mainly due to the effects of humans and the emissions of Greenhouse Gasses (GHGs), climate change has become the most pressing issue for Small Island Developing States (SIDS), among the rest of the world. Climate change has raised the ocean levels an average of 3 mm annually, or a whopping 12 mm in the Western South Pacific, where Nauru is located. In addition to the sinking of SIDS and rising sea levels, climate change also causes desertification in North Africa, West Africa and Mongolia, increasing frequency of natural disasters such as cyclones in the Indian Ocean and hurricanes in the Caribbean, droughts in places such as California and Nauru, and decreasing percentage of arable land. The most victimized countries to rising sea levels include Tuvalu, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, the Maldives, Micronesia, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Nauru. Many islands and atolls in Micronesia and the Solomon Islands have already been submerged by the sea or had to be entirely evacuated due to inhabitability. These frightening conditions have led to the creation of environmental migrants, otherwise known as climate refugees, causing many proud citizens of SIDS to have to flee their home countries and reluctantly become internationally displaced. New Zealand was the first country to design humanitarian visas for those seeking new lives abroad. A few countries like the United States, Australia and New Zealand have offered to take in the citizens of countries such as Tuvalu and Kiribati when their homes go underwater.
Nauru used to be the wealthiest nation in 1980 due to its prosperous phosphate. However, the government excessively mined all the phosphate out of the interior of the 8 square mile island until the source was depleted, leaving 75% of the island uninhabitable. The country poorly invested its wealth and did not distribute it equally among the citizens, plummeting the nation’s economy greatly. This forced the population of 10,000 people to migrate to the coast, causing them to be severely accessible to storm surges and diminishing shorelines. The Nauruan government has been taking in refugees heading towards Australia, who has been providing Nauru with financial aid for healthcare services. Although this aid has been very helpful, Nauru struggles to maintain its entire population. Their two main economic sectors, mining and fishing, have decreased drastically, leaving nearly no jobs for the population of around 10,000 people. The Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) has been present in Nauru for two years now and have determined that Nauruans are willing to migrate to Australia, Fiji, or New Zealand for a more prosperous future since about 90% of their country is unemployed. They expect climate change to worsen their economy and employment even further, thus creating a large source of potential climate refugees.
Nauru plans on sending many of their people abroad to gain education and find work so that they can either bring back these new skills to Nauru or work abroad and send some money back to the country. However, they are very open to sending their citizens to nations open to accepting climate refugees such as Fiji, Australia, and New Zealand.
Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture in Nauru
Due to climate change, many SIDS’ arable land set aside for agriculture has become ineffective. Storm surges in islands like Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, and Tuvalu, which are mainly atolls or thin islands, send saltwater and polluted ocean water into their farmland and contaminates their crops. Vegetation washes away or becomes too dangerous to eat, completely halting their domestic food production. Some countries such as the Maldives allocate less than 1% of its federal budget towards agriculture since their islands are so low-lying and tiny, causing it to be in need of imported foods from economically and geographically far away countries. Countries such as Cape Verde are also becoming more arid and desertified, pushing out their remaining fertile land. Nauru, along with other Pacific SIDS, import 80% of their food, most of it being processed and malnutritious. These methods of agriculture and food supply are unsustainable and need to be addressed, as well as in the Caribbean post-2017 storm season.
Nauru’s mining has depleted the interior of the country entirely, leaving 75-80% of the 8 square mile country uninhabitable. This only leaves 20% of the land available for agriculture, and that space is mainly allocated to infrastructure and residence. With minimal opportunity for agriculture and mining, Nauru’s economy is declining more and more. They also have little boundary for fishing due to its small coastline, ridding of another major source of their income. Since the end of WWII, most of their food is imported processed food with little to no nutritional value from Japan, causing them to become 94.5% obese and the most obese sovereign nation in the world. They get healthcare aid from Australia to combat their diabetes epidemic, which will only be helpful for so long. It is vital that they find new ways to bring in nutritious alternatives for food, similar to what Singapore did when they imported 90% of their food from several sources.
One long term goal of Nauru to combat their lack of food sustainability is rehabilitation of land from old phosphate mines. This land will be refurbished for agriculture development, conservation, water catchment, residential development, and commerce and industry development. They also plan to enhance aquaculture farming and establish agricultural production. They can use the coral reefs around their island for marine resources.