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UNESCONHSMUNNational High School Model United NationsNew York City | March 04-07, 2015IMUNAInternational Model United Nations Association


NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL MODEL UNITED NATIONSThe 41st Annual Conference • March 4 – March 7, 2015Shirley WuSecretary-GeneralPrinceton UniversityLily O’ConnellDirector-GeneralUniversity of PennsylvaniaBrody DuncanConference DirectorMcGill UniversityAlec GuertinDirector of SecurityUniversity of California,BerkeleyJason ToneyChief of External RelationsBard CollegeLaura Beltran-RubioChief of StaffParsons The New School forDesignJinny JungUnder-Secretary General ofAdministrative AffairsUniversity of MichiganHelen RobertsonUnder-Secretary GeneralUniversity of VirginiaJoe SherlockUnder-Secretary GeneralBowdoin CollegeErin CorcoranUnder-Secretary GeneralHarvard UniversityCostanza CiceroUnder-Secretary GeneralUniversity of BolognaAlyssa GreenhouseUnder-Secretary GeneralDuke UniversityPaula KatesUnder-Secretary GeneralTufts UniversityDear Delegates,November 2014Hello and welcome to NHSMUN 2015! My name is Costanza Cicero, and it is my utmostpleasure to serve as your Under-Secretary General for the Economic and Social Council ofSpecialized Committees (ECOSOC for short). My job involves a variety of tasks to ultimatelyinsure that your committee runs smoothly and you have a fantastic experience at theconference. At NHSMUN I’ll always be checking on the progress of your sessions andkeeping track of resolutions, so you’ll probably often see me walking in and out of yourcommittee room.I have worked closely with your Director and Assistant Director on the Background Guideand other projects leading up to the conference. I’m extremely proud of all the effort they putinto their work and I could not be more excited to see how it all finally comes together inMarch. ECOSOC covers a wide array of topics – from Poverty reduction in Sub-SaharanAfrica to Preventing the Spread Ebola. They are all exceptionally diverse and current, so Iadvise you to research thoroughly and prepare accordingly for the debate. Your committeeTwitter page is a great resource for current events on your committee and topic. I alsoencourage you to reach out to your Directors and ask as many questions as possible, whilstinvestigating the topics.About me, I’m an Italian senior student majoring in International Development andCooperation at the Alma Mater Studiorum of Bologna. I was born in the Eternal City (Rome),but my family is originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina. This will be my fourth timeattending NHSMUN; I was in the World Trade Organization as a delegate, and as a memberof staff I was the Assistant Director of the World Intellectual Property Organization and theDirector of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization. I have also devoted mytime to other Model UN conferences, particularly to the Italian Model United Nations that isheld at the FAO Headquarters in Rome. I was its Secretary General last year and I nowoperate as Liaison for the conference on the Board of Directors. Work and school aside, mypassions lie in the world of ballet, indie music, art, and Youtube.Please feel free to reach out to me before and during the conference with any doubts orconcerns. I’m more than happy to help and provide any sort of support for your futureNHSMUN experience. Until then, happy researching!Sincerely,Costanza CiceroUnder-Secretary General, Economic and Social Council of Specialized Committeesecosoc.nhsmun@imuna.orgNHSMUN is a project of the International ModelUnited Nations Association, Incorporated(IMUNA). IMUNA, a not-for-profit, allvolunteer organization, is dedicated to furtheringglobal issues education at the secondary school level.


NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL MODEL UNITED NATIONSThe 41st Annual Conference • March 4 – March 7, 2015Shirley WuSecretary-GeneralPrinceton UniversityLily O’ConnellDirector-GeneralUniversity of PennsylvaniaBrody DuncanConference DirectorMcGill UniversityAlec GuertinDirector of SecurityUniversity of California,BerkeleyJason ToneyChief of External RelationsBard CollegeLaura Beltran-RubioChief of StaffParsons The New School forDesignJinny JungUnder-Secretary General ofAdministrative AffairsUniversity of MichiganHelen RobertsonUnder-Secretary GeneralUniversity of VirginiaJoe SherlockUnder-Secretary GeneralBowdoin CollegeErin CorcoranUnder-Secretary GeneralHarvard UniversityCostanza CiceroUnder-Secretary GeneralUniversity of BolognaAlyssa GreenhouseUnder-Secretary GeneralDuke UniversityPaula KatesUnder-Secretary GeneralTufts UniversityNHSMUN is a project of the International ModelUnited Nations Association, Incorporated(IMUNA). IMUNA, a not-for-profit, allvolunteer organization, is dedicated to furtheringglobal issues education at the secondary school level.Dear Delegates,November 2014Welcome to NHSMUN 2015! I am delighted to introduce myself as your Director this year forUNESCO. My name is Nicole Baltzer and I cannot wait to get to know each and every one ofyou. I’m extremely excited to see what kinds of engaging debate and comprehensiveresolutions we can work together to create this March! Hailing from Long Island, New York, Ihave found myself the past two years a couple of hundred miles away studying PoliticalScience at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Model UN has been a huge part ofmy life since high school. Funnily enough, I began my NHSMUN career as a delegate forUNESCO. Last year, I was an Assistant Director for the same committee and this year the fullcircle has been completed, as I am now the Director. On the rare occasions when I’m notworking on papers for school, studying for midterms, and Model UN papers are all written ofcourse, I find myself doing completely normal things like watching C-SPAN, downloading oldReal Housewives seasons, and planning trips to The Colbert Report. In the end, though, I canonly hope that my excessive House of Cards watching has prepared me for a future in U.Spolitics—that, or I end up marrying Kevin Spacey.Now that you know a bit about me, on a much more serious note, it is of the utmostimportance that we all understand the relevance of the topics we will be researching, analyzing,and discussing over the next few months. The two topics presented to you have becomeincreasingly relevant in the eyes of UNESCO. Protecting journalists, although not a traditionalUNESCO topic, is extremely important in regard to free speech and freedom of press. Witheach journalist kidnapped, assaulted, or killed inevitably comes the further hindrance of ourmost basic human rights. Even though UNESCO’s mandate does not include the reformingof governments or criminal codes that does not mean UNESCO is powerless in this topic—itjust means resolutions will need to take a more social and humanitarian approach. That’s right,it’s time to get creative, delegates! Preserving Cultural Heritage in Syria, even though it’sregion-specific, is also extremely relevant to UNESCO, as Syria is the holder of six WorldHeritage List sites. It is in the interest of UNESCO to protect all sites on the lists, and allcultures across the globe.The Background Guide presented serves as a compilation of research on both topics,however, it is vital that you spend a substantial amount of time doing even further research tohelp you better understand how your countries view the issues at hand. Our committeeTwitter page, @NHSMUN_UNESCO, will also be a great resource for updates on thecommittee and topics throughout the year. I know you all will do very well with preparing forboth of these topics and I trust that everyone will use their findings to contribute to anamazing few committee sessions this March. If you have any questions whatsoever regardingposition papers, research, debate, or just NHSMUN in general, please do not hesitate to emailme. I wish you the best of luck and cannot wait to meet you. Happy researching!Best,Nicole BaltzerDirector, United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization@NHSMUN_UNESCOunesco.nhsmun@imuna.org


National High School Model United Nations 2015UNESCOTABLE OF CONTENTSA Note on the NHSMUN Difference .................................................................................................... 1!A Note on Research and Preparation ..................................................................................................... 3!Committee History ................................................................................................................................. 4!Simulation ............................................................................................................................................... 6!Topic A: Protecting Journalists .............................................................................................................. 8!Introduction .................................................................................................................................................................... 8!History and Description of the Issue .......................................................................................................................... 9!Journalists in Non-conflict Situations .................................................................................................................... 9!Threats to Journalists in Conflict Situations ........................................................................................................ 11!Vulnerable Groups .................................................................................................................................................. 12!Impunity .................................................................................................................................................................... 14!Past Solutions and Recent Developments ........................................................................................................... 15!Current Status ............................................................................................................................................................... 17!Global Awareness: World Press Freedom Day .................................................................................................. 17!UN Efforts to Address Journalist Security .......................................................................................................... 17!Recent Attacks on Journalists ................................................................................................................................ 18!Bloc Analysis ................................................................................................................................................................. 19!The Middle East ....................................................................................................................................................... 19!Latin America ........................................................................................................................................................... 21!North America and Western Europe ................................................................................................................... 21!Asia ............................................................................................................................................................................. 22!Committee Mission ...................................................................................................................................................... 22!Topic B: Preserving Syrian Culture ...................................................................................................... 24!Introduction .................................................................................................................................................................. 24!History and Description of the Issue ........................................................................................................................ 25!World Heritage Sites in Syria ................................................................................................................................. 25!Crisis in Syria ............................................................................................................................................................ 27!Intangible Syrian Cultural Heritage ....................................................................................................................... 28!Illicit Trafficking of Cultural Property .................................................................................................................. 29!Current Status ............................................................................................................................................................... 30!


National High School Model United Nations 2015UNESCOA NOTE ON THE NHSMUN DIFFERENCEEsteemed Faculty and Delegates,Hello and welcome to NHSMUN 2015! My name is Lily O’Connell, and I am this year’s Director-General. I hope you are as excited as I am to experience the conference. Our staff has been workingall year to ensure that you have an engaging, educational, and rewarding experience in committee.NHSMUN strives to assure that the quality of our debate and in-committee interaction isunmatched. NHSMUN focuses on the educational value of Model UN. We believe that theexperiences in our committee rooms extend skills originally developed in the classroom, and preparestudents to become future leaders. NHSMUN thrives on well-researched, realistic, and diplomaticdebate. We are thrilled with the substantive program for NHSMUN 2015 and look forward tovibrant discussion and cooperation.NHSMUN PracticesIn order to fulfill our mission, our conference has adopted practices that are key to the continuedtradition of excellence in our committees and the NHSMUN difference.NHSMUN prohibits the usage of personal electronics during committee in order to ensure thatdelegates do not gain an unfair advantage in debate. We feel strongly that the interpersonalconnections made during debate are enhanced by face-to-face communication. Enforcing a strict nolaptops policy also helps us to ensure that all our delegates have an equal opportunity to succeed incommittee.The Dais is permitted a laptop for the purposes of communicating with respective Under-Secretary-Generals and other Senior Staff Members as well as attending to administrative needs. The Dais willonly be limited to using their laptops for NHSMUN purposes, and the majority of their focus will beon the needs of the committee. In addition, we staff a dedicated team in our office to assist in typingand formatting draft resolutions and working papers so that committee time can be focused ondiscussion and compromise.An additional difference that delegates may notice about NHSMUN is the committee pacing. Whileeach BG contains two topic selections, NHSMUN committees will strive to have a fruitfuldiscussion on and produce resolutions on a single topic; prioritizing the quality of discussion overquantity of topics addressed. In order to respect the gravity of the issues being discussed at ourconference as well as the intellect of our delegates, NHSMUN committees will focus on addressingone topic in-depth. BGs contain two topics in order to allow delegates to decide what problemought to be prioritized, a valuable discussion in and of itself, and to safeguard against the possibilitythat an issue will be independently resolved before conference.NHSMUN uses a set of the Rules of Procedure that is standardized across all IMUNA-brandconferences. These rules provide a standardized system of operation that is easily translated acrosscommittee or conference lines. While the general structure and flow of committee will be familiar toany delegate who has previously participated in Model UN, there may be slight proceduraldifferences from other conferences. All delegates are encouraged to review the Rules of Procedure- 1 -


National High School Model United Nations 2015UNESCObefore attending the conference in the Delegate Preparation Guide and are welcome to directquestions to any member of NHSMUN Staff.While NHSMUN does distribute awards, we feel that it is crucial to de-emphasize their importancein comparison to the educational value of Model UN as an activity. NHSMUN seeks to rewarddelegations that excel in the arts of compromise and diplomacy. We always prioritize a dedication toteamwork over solitary achievement. Directors will judge delegates on their ability and willingness tocooperate with their peers while always maintaining an accurate representation of country policy.At the core of the NHSMUN philosophy is an emphasis on education and compromise. As such,we do not distribute awards to individual delegates, with the exception of committees wherestudents represent their own separate delegation (ICJ and UNSC, for example). Instead, awards willbe distributed to delegations that exhibit excellence across all committees. The awards system isstandardized so as to give equal weight to delegations of all sizes. Awards will also be offered forschools that demonstrate excellence in research and preparation based on the position paperssubmitted by their delegates. Detailed information on the determination of awards at NHSMUN willbe available in the Faculty Preparation Guide and online in November.As always, I welcome any questions or concerns about the substantive program at NHSMUN 2015and would be happy to discuss NHSMUN pedagogy with faculty or delegates. It is my sinceresthope that your experience at NHSMUN 2015 will be challenging and thought provoking.Best,Lily O’ConnellDirector-General, NHSMUN 2015dg.nhsmun@imuna.org- 2 -


National High School Model United Nations 2015UNESCOA NOTE ON RESEARCH AND PREPARATIONDelegate preparation is paramount to a successful and exciting National High School Model UnitedNations 2015 Conference. We have provided this Background Guide to introduce the topics thatwill be discussed in your committee. These papers are designed to give you a description of thetopics and the committee. This Guide is not intended to represent exhaustive research on everyfacet of the topics. We encourage and expect each delegate to fully explore the topics and be able toidentify and analyze the intricacies of the issues. Delegates must be prepared to intelligently utilizetheir knowledge and apply it to their own country’s policy. You will find that your state has a uniqueposition on the topics that cannot be substituted by the opinions of another state.The task of preparing and researching for the conference is challenging, but it can be interesting andrewarding. We have provided each school with a copy of the Delegation Preparation Guide. TheGuide contains detailed instructions on how to write a position paper and how to effectivelyparticipate in committee sessions. The Guide also gives a synopsis of the types of research materialsand resources available to you and where they can be found.An essential part of representing a state in an international body is the ability to articulate that state’sviews in writing. Accordingly, it is the policy of NHSMUN to require each delegate (or doubledelegationteam) to write position papers. The position papers should clearly outline the country’spolicies on the topic areas to be discussed and what factors contribute to these policies. In addition,each paper must address the Research and Preparation questions at the end of the committeeBackground Guide. Most importantly, the paper must be written from the point of view of thecountry you are representing at NHSMUN 2015 and should articulate the policies you willespouse at the conference. All papers should be typed and double-spaced. The papers will be read bythe director of each committee and returned at the start of the conference with brief comments andconstructive advice.Each delegation is responsible for sending a copy of their papers to the Director-General via emailon or before January 22, 2015. Please email the entire delegation’s papers at one time topapers.nhsmun@imuna.org. Complete instructions for online submissions may be found in theDelegate Preparation Guide and the Faculty Preparation Guide. If delegations are unable to submitan online version of their position papers, they should contact the Director-General(dg.nhsmun@imuna.org) as soon as possible to find an alternative form of submission.Delegations that do not submit position papers to directors or summary statements to theDirector-General will be ineligible for awards.!- 3 -


National High School Model United Nations 2015UNESCOCOMMITTEE HISTORYIn 1920, the League of Nations held its first session, where it became clear that there was a need foran intellectual cooperation given the current political position of the League’s member states. At thesession, the body approved a request for the establishment of an educational and intellectualorganization. In 1922, the League approved the International Committee on IntellectualCooperations (ICIC), which focused on the damages caused by World War I. In 1931, a reportclarifying the purpose of the ICIC was released stating that it was[An] international collaboration to ensure the advancement of civilization in general and ofhuman knowledge, particularly the development of dissemination of the sciences, letters, andthe arts…creating a state of mind conducive to the peaceful settlement of internationalproblems within the framework of the League of Nations. 1The ICIC and its executing agency, the International Institute of Intellectual Co-operation, wereearly predecessors of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization(UNESCO). UNESCO was officially founded in 1945 with the support of 37 countries. 2 Like theICIC, UNESCO’s development was initiated by the damages of war, specifically World War II.During World War II, the United Kingdom hosted the Conference of Allied Ministers of Education(CAME), which many European countries attended. As CAME expanded its activities, internationalinterest in its undertakings began to spread, and the original CAME participant countries chose toincrease membership to include observer countries. Delegates from these countries focused onreconstructing education post World War II. CAME produced a draft of the primary functions ofUNESCO, emphasizing the importance of member countries acting as leaders in tackling theeducational and cultural aspects of reconstruction issues. 3 UNESCO’s mandate reflects thecommittee’s background in exploring a variety of political and social issues through a cultural andeducational aspect. As such, the primary function of UNESCO is to foster communicationworldwide, among all cultures and peoples. Through this basic communication, UNESCO supportsthe goals of eliminating poverty, achieving a positive and universal international vision regardinghuman rights, and promoting mutual respect among nations.Although UNESCO works for the benefit of the entire international community, the committee'scurrent priorities are their various projects in Africa, and working towards increased gender equality.Other objectives identified by the committee include:1. "Attaining quality education for all and lifelong learning,2. Mobilizing scientific knowledge and policy for sustainable development,3. Addressing emerging social and ethical challenges,4. Fostering cultural diversity, intercultural dialogue, and a culture of peace, and5. Building inclusive knowledge societies through information and communication." 4!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 Fernando Valderrama, A History of UNESCO (Paris: UNESCO, 2011).2 "UNESCO: The Organization's History," United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization,accessed 15 May 2011, http://www.unesco.org/new/en/unesco/about-us/who-we-are/history/.3 Valderrama, A History of UNESCO.4 "Introducing UNESCO: What We Are," United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization,- 4 -


National High School Model United Nations 2015UNESCOSince its establishment, UNESCO has been involved in a diverse slate of activities, promoting socialand cultural awareness. For example, the World Heritage List is one of UNESCO’s unique and longrunningprojects. The World Heritage Committee works to identify and preserve natural heritagesites around the world, supporting states as they manage and protect culturally significant places andstructures. 5 On an entirely different front, UNESCO’s work to promote racial equality has producedvital documents such as the Declaration on Race and Racial Prejudice, which was adopted by thecommittee in 1978. This Declaration addresses issues related to race and racial prejudice, servingUNESCO’s mandate through the incorporation of social and scientific research. 6 Though its meansvary, the end goal of UNESCO’s work remains constant: to contribute to the good work of theinternational community as it pursues universal equality and wellness.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!accessed 15 May 2011, http://www.unesco.org/new/en/unesco/about-us/who-we-are/introducing-unesco/.5 "World Heritage," UNESCO World Heritage Centre, accessed 15 May 2011, http://whc.unesco.org/en/about/.6 "Declaration on Race and Racial Prejudice, 1978," United Nations Educational, Scientific, and CulturalOrganization, accessed 16 May 2011, http://www.unesco.org/webworld/peace_library/UNESCO/HRIGHTS107-116.HTM.- 5 -


National High School Model United Nations 2015UNESCOSIMULATIONActive participation in Model United Nations demands that delegates step outside of their comfortzones and draw upon both research and their own unique backgrounds to develop global solutions.Through the discussions of this committee, delegates will have the opportunity to engage withprevalent and persistent real-world issues. While conversing about the topics, it will also beimportant to remain aware of the scope and limitations of the UNESCO mandate. Keep in mindthat while UNESCO may suggest programs to consider, only the United Nations Security Council isentitled to enforce sanctions.The debate that will occur over the course of the conference will at all times abide by the rules ofparliamentary procedure described in the Delegate Preparation Guide. To ensure the efficiency andrealism of the simulation, it is vital that the committee reviews and adheres to the proceduralstructure that follows that of the actual United Nations. Each delegate should come well preparedwith sufficient knowledge of their country’s position and policy. For a delegate to fully grasp theircountry’s perspective on these topics, it would be wise to research former resolutions, taking note ofwhere their state stands on a variety of similar issues.Debate will be facilitated by the dais, which will consist of the Director and Assistant Director.Together the dais team will serve both substantive and procedural roles, providing the delegates withresearch materials and acting as subject matter experts on the topics. Throughout the conference,the dais will be responsible for overseeing the committee and ensuring that decorum is maintainedduring the sessions. Two types of debate will be conducted during the sessions: formal and informaldebates. While formal debate refers to use of the Speakers' List, informal debate comprises bothmoderated and unmoderated caucuses. Delegates are advised to place themselves on the Speakers'List at the beginning of the session to ensure that fellow delegates hear the opinion of their country.The structured format of moderated caucuses will allow for intense discussion on specific aspects ofthe topic for a set period of time. During moderated caucuses, the Speakers' List will not be ineffect; delegates will be recognized by the dais to speak on an individual basis, usually for a shorterperiod of time than typical speeches on the Speakers' List. Unmoderated caucuses allow for a morecasual style of discussion where delegates are urged to form groups to collaborate on ideas forpossible working papers. Delegates should use their time wisely during unmoderated caucuses andstrive to collaborate actively with each other. The dais will expect the committee to maintaindecorum while others are speaking and respect the fact that other committees will be convening innearby rooms.While preparing working papers and draft resolutions, it will be of utmost importance for eachdelegate to apply the knowledge they have of their country’s position to the topics and collaboratewith countries who have similar views. It is important to follow your country’s stance on the issue;delegates should be open to some level of compromise, however, as it is very unlikely that multiplecountries have the same view on all aspects of the topic. If multiple working papers are created, thedais will expect the basis of each paper not to overlap with another; if working papers are more alikethan different, delegates should work to consolidate their papers before they seek approval by thedais. Please note that prewritten resolutions are not allowed at NHSMUN and will not be accepted.- 6 -


National High School Model United Nations 2015UNESCOThe ultimate goal of the committee is to facilitate debate on global issues and to create possiblesolutions to alleviate current tensions. Delegates should interact with each other respectfully,regardless of opposing viewpoints.- 7 -


National High School Model United Nations 2015UNESCOTOPIC A: PROTECTING JOURNALISTSINTRODUCTIONFreedom of Expression and Freedom of Press are fundamental human rights as guaranteed byArticle 19 of the Declaration of Human Rights, ratified in 1948. This core UN document proclaims that,“everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to holdopinions without interference and to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas through anymedia and regardless of frontiers.” 7 However, in recent years, both the scale and number of attacksagainst the physical safety of journalists and media workers have been rising at an alarming rate. Thisincreasing danger includes homophobia, sexism, and violent acts including homicide and sexualassault, unlawful imprisonment, and torture, among many others. To make matters worse, the failurein many instances to investigate and prosecute crimes against journalists allows these crimes to occurunabated. 8In 2012, for example, United States journalist James Foley was captured. 9 While held captive by theIslamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), he was tortured through various means includingwaterboarding, a torture tactic used to simulate drowning by covering a victim’s mouth and nosewith a cloth and then pouring massive amounts of water onto them. Later, in 2014, the groupexecuted Foley, claiming that his death was retaliation for US airstrikes in Iraq. 10 His death wasrecorded by the group, and soon after became available to the public on the Internet. 11There are a number of situations where journalists and media personnel are particularly vulnerable,including: “international armed conflicts; national armed conflicts, where one of the participants mayor may not be the internationally recognized sovereign power; and peacetime, where there is nointernal conflict, but where there is persistent criminal or political violence.” 12 This violence againstjournalists not only destroys the lives of those directly affected, but also is often meant to create fearand damage journalism as a field. As a result, UNESCO gives the protection of journalists a greatdeal of attention, and this topic will therefore serve as refreshing, yet necessary, break from thecommittee’s traditional work with cultural heritage and education.Many of the problems journalists face stem from the fact that crimes committed against them arerarely prosecuted or in any way addressed by local legal systems. However, urging countries to!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!7 "The Universal Declaration of Human Rights," United Nations, accessed 30 August 2014,http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/index.shtml#a19.8 CI-12/CONF.202/6, “UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity,” 12 April 2012.9 Adam Goldman and Julia Tate, " Captives held by Islamic State were waterboarded," Washington Post, 28 August 2014,accessed 30 August 2014, http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/captives-held-by-islamic-statewere-waterboarded/2014/08/28/2b4e1962-2ec9-11e4-9b98-848790384093_story.html.10 Ibid.11 Ibid.12 “Killing the Messenger,” International News Safety Institute, March 2007, accessed 5 September 2014,http://www.newssafety.org/uploads/killingtheMessenger2007.pdf.- 8 -


National High School Model United Nations 2015UNESCOreform their legal codes is not within UNESCO’s mandate. 13 For this reason, it is imperative thatUNESCO focuses on the social aspects of this issue, including gender differences and securingprotection for freedom of speech and press. Some potential solutions include the promotion ofjournalism as a credible and important field within countries where it is not viewed that way, ordeveloping methods for journalists to use to protect themselves from danger. UNESCO itself haschosen to emphasize the importance of free speech and freedom of the press worldwide. 14 It is withthese types of methods that UNESCO has the jurisdiction to try and combat the issues present inthis topic.Journalism has always been viewed with suspicion due to the dissension it can create between agovernment and its people, or other opposing groups. However, this topic has become increasinglyrelevant in the world today, as more and more individuals involved with the media have beenoppressed in areas of crises—Ukraine and Egypt being two examples. 15 Journalists have foundthemselves putting their lives and freedom at risk while attempting to practice their trade. 16 In 2013alone, of 128 reported cases of murdered journalists and media workers 99 were solved, and 29 caseswent unsolved; countless more went unreported, including physical attacks, kidnappings, and sexualassaults. 17 From these numbers, it is clear that the problems journalists face stem not just from thecriminals that commit the crimes, but also from the lack of support and attention from the globalcommunity. Journalists face threats in a variety of settings, from non-conflict zones, to gender-basedviolence, to the risks of embedded journalism, to the prevalence of impunity for crimes that targetmedia workers; while UNESCO and other bodies of the UN have taken steps to address thesedangers, the risk to journalists in all areas of their work still remains far too high.HISTORY AND DESCRIPTION OF THE ISSUEJournalists in Non-conflict SituationsIt is important to not only understand the situation of reporters in war zones, but also those that aretargeted during peacetime, often within their own country. The International Programme for theDevelopment of Communication (IPDC) plays an important role in monitoring the safety ofjournalists and in preserving the legal conduits that allow action to be taken against those whoperpetrate crimes against them. 18 A recent report presented to the IPDC Council at its 27th sessionin March 2010 looked at the 2008-2009 biennium. The report showed that in these two yearsUNESCO condemned the murder of 123 journalists; however, during this time the percentage ofkillings not linked to conflict situations dramatically increased, and at least 80% of these deaths were!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!13 "UNESCO's Mandate," UNESCO, accessed 23 August 2014, http://www.unesco.org/new/en/communication-andinformation/media-development/public-service-broadcasting/unescos-mandate/.14 “About World Freedom Press Day,” UNESCO, accessed 23 June 2014,http://www.unesco.org/new/en/unesco/events/prizes-and-celebrations/celebrations/international-days/world-pressfreedom-day/about-world-press-freedom-day/.15 "Journalists Killed in 2013," CPJ, accessed 1 July 2014, cpj.org/killed/2013.16 Ibid.17 Ibid.18 “International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC),” UNESCO, 2014, accessed 30 August2014, http://www.unesco.org/new/en/communication-and-information/intergovernmental-programmes/ipdc/specialinitiatives/safety-of-journalists/.- 9 -


National High School Model United Nations 2015UNESCOdue to an attack that specifically targeted the victim. 19 A startling conclusion was reached that “Thegreat majority of casualties in 2008-2009 were not international war correspondents but localjournalists working in their own countries, mostly in peacetime, covering local stories.” 20 Theserecent developments necessitate a shift in the thought process and approach of this committee. Notonly must we consider the safety of those threatened by conventional war, but also those targeted byterrorism, gang violence, government corruption and other internal crimes that characterize modernday violence.The International News Safety Institute (INSI) is a non-profit organization that offers training andimportant information related to journalist safety in dangerous situations. In March 2007, it releaseda well researched and in depth report titled Killing the Messenger, which provides an overview of thesituation for journalists abroad and makes a number of insightful recommendations for how tobetter their situation. 21 In the report, INSI’s statistics suggest that Russia, the Philippines, andMexico are three countries where violence against reporters is prevalent; these cases are not directlyassociated with an ongoing conflict between sovereign parties, or with an intra-state conflict. Forinstance, journalists killed in these countries have typically been working on stories aboutcorruption, drug trafficking and other criminal affairs. 22 In a different situation, Colombia andAlgeria face the problem of journalist killings that result from conflict among one or more internalarmed resistant groups. 23In these countries where there is not an ongoing war, it is important to pinpoint exactly what type ofviolence and discrimination journalists’ face, in order to develop the most applicable framework foraddressing these problems. In Mexico, drug cartels and corrupt police constitute the greatest threatsto media; an unfriendly legal environment only compounds these issues. 24 A local journalistdiscussing the daily struggle that media personnel faced in the country stated, “Journalists in regionswith high criminality face daily censorship, which can sometimes cross over into violence,particularly for journalists covering drugs trafficking.” 25 Recently, Mexico has made great strides inattempting to reform its legal system and facilitate investigations into any crimes that are committed.There are other some countries where the government has not shown the same willingness to fixexisting problems, and in fact acts in direct defiance of the rights of journalists and other mediapersonnel. Russia is a particularly strong example. Freedom House, an NGO dedicated tosupporting the growth of freedom in the world, stated that in Russia in 2005, “although theconstitution provides for freedom of speech and of the press, the Kremlin, having secured thecountry’s main national television networks-Channel One, RTR, and NTV-and most radio stations,limits these rights in practice. Authorities abuse a weak judicial system and use it for arbitrary arrestsand lawsuits.” 26 In this legal environment, journalists also face considerable danger from contractstylekillings. The question remains as to what can outsiders do in these situations: when a country’slegal framework is faulty, or when the government does not adhere to its own laws. Delegates must!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!19 Ibid.20 Ibid.21 “Killing the Messenger.”22 Ibid.23 Ibid.24 Ibid.25 Ibid.26 Ibid.- 10 -


National High School Model United Nations 2015UNESCOunderstand the limitations upon the international community in dealing with these cases, and theimportance of preserving the integrity of national sovereignty in any resolutions passed. However,the importance of international public pressure should not be underestimated and has provensuccessful in the past when pushing for greater protection for media workers.Threats to Journalists in Conflict SituationsJournalists in conflict situations and warzones take on inherent risks that journalists outside of wardo not experience. Increased violence, militant forces, increased media censorship, and desperateinsurgents are all threats that “war correspondents” must work against in order to report on issues inareas of violent conflict. Freelance journalists are often encouraged to cover stories on thefrontlines, reporting right next to the gunshots, mortar rounds, car bombs, and other violent attacks.They can be paid as low as USD 70 per piece. 27 With the advent of the internet and social media, aswell as lowered travel costs, freelance journalism is much more common now, allowing media firmsto pay journalists less; if one journalist does not accept the assignment, there is likely another thatwill.Without the protection of a military force, journalists are often defenseless in violent conflictregions. Chris Hedges, a veteran journalist of politics and war coverage, describes his experiences ofjournalism in violent conflict:“I have been in ambushes on desolate stretches of Central American roads, shot at in themarshes of southern Iraq, imprisoned in the Sudan, beaten by Saudi military police, deportedfrom Libya and Iran, captured and held for a week by Iraqi Republican Guard during theShiite rebellion following the Gulf War, strafed by Russian Mig-21s in Bosnia, fired upon bySerb snipers, and shelled for days in Sarajevo with deafening rounds of heavy artillery thatthrew out thousands of deadly bits of iron fragments.” 28The violence within warzones, and the desire of governments to give war coverage a positive spin,has led to the rise of embedded journalism. Embedded journalists are journalists who “are attachedto military units engaged in armed conflict.” 29 Embedded journalists often eat with soldiers, dresslike soldiers, and live with soldiers. News organizations are eager to adopt this new technique, sinceit grants them round-the-clock access to military personnel at a time when mainstream newsreporting had become a round-the-clock business. Aside from concerns regarding objectivity due toreporters’ access only to military-approved sites, as well as the notion that reporters may begin tosympathize with the forces that are protecting them, whether or not these journalists are in fact saferdue to this military protection remains an open question. Even though only 7 out of 123 journaliststhat were killed in the U.S.-Iraq war were embedded, “more journalists were killed in a 14-monthperiod in Iraq than in the entire Vietnam War.” 30 A survey conducted by the Project for Excellencein Journalism found that “out of 111 journalists working in Iraq in 2007, a full 57 percent reported!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!27 Francesca Borri, “Woman’s work: The twisted reality of an Italian freelancer in Syria,” Colombia Journalism Review, 1 July2013, accessed 3 October 2014, http://www.cjr.org/feature/womans_work.php?page=all.28 Chris Hedges, War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning (New York: Public Affairs, 2002), 2-3.29 Mary S. Mander, Pen and Sword (Urbana, Chicago, and Springfield: University of Illinois Press, 2010), 1.30 Ibid; Peter Philips, Censored 2006 (New York: Seven Stories Press, 2005), 322.- 11 -


National High School Model United Nations 2015UNESCOhaving had local staff kidnapped or murdered in the last year.” 31 While embedded journalists aresupposed to be protected by the military forces they are living with, journalists who are notembedded have sustained much higher risks for the hope of reporting stories that embeddedjournalists tend to avoid or are unable to capture due to safety protocol.Vulnerable GroupsSexual Assault Against JournalistsOne particular aspect of this topic that has grabbed the attention of UNESCO is the differentthreats that female and male journalists encounter in their line of work. In 2013, the InternationalWomen’s Media Foundation (IWMF) found that about 64% of women journalists have feltthreatened or intimidated, or were sexually abused while at work. 32 Even more, about 76% of thesewomen confessed to not reporting any physical attacks. 33 The fact that over half of femalejournalists worldwide have experienced sexual assault is incredibly alarming and shows thatimmediate action must be taken to address this issue. It is also important to keep in mind that thesereports are not isolated incidents; these are the experiences of women in the field on a day-to-daywork basis. The fact that these assaults are commonplace is troubling enough, but even worse is thatthese events often go unreported by women as a result of cultural norms and stigmas. Because socialstigmas against sexually assaulted women are so prevalent in communities worldwide, thesejournalists feel the need to hide what happened. Furthermore, even when female journalists doreport an assault, there is no guarantee that a country’s court will address the case because of genderdiscrimination and general impunity for the perpetrators of these crimes. Only in rare occurrencesdo sexual assault crimes receive punishment. Two days after the IWMF’s survey was launched, a 22-year-old female journalism intern in Mumbai was gang raped. 34 The incident received so muchattention from the media that the assaulters were tried and sentenced to death in the Indian courts.Unfortunately, this conviction is the exception. Nevertheless, this incident does show that increasedglobal attention can impact the processing of such crimes. Delegates of this committee shouldconsider the multiple ways in which UNESCO and other organizations can serve as whistleblowersto increase awareness about sexual assault and obtain justice for these journalists.The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), an independent and non-profit organization, has been astrong advocator for the protection of female journalists through the organizations research intosexual assault cases against female journalists. The CPJ classifies sexual assault crimes as one of threecategories: specific women that are targeted in response to their work, mob-related acts of sexualviolence that are committed against women covering public events, or female journalists that aresexually abused while in detention or captivity. 35 Journalists interviewed by the CPJ, much like thosesurveyed by the IWMF, have admitted to keeping these attacks to themselves for fear of broad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!31 Macus Wilford, “The Big Story: Our Embattled Media” World Affairs, (2009), accessed 10 December 2012,http://www.worldaffairsjournal.org/article/big-story-our-embattled-media.32 Amanda Hess, "Most Female Journalists Have Been Threatened, Assaulted, or Harassed at Work. Here's Why WeDon't Talk About It," Slate, 3 December 2013, accessed 23 June 2014, http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2013/12/03/sexual_harassment_in_journalism_a_new_study_shows_that_the_majority_of_female.html.33 Ibid.34 Reshmi Kaur Oberoi, "UNESCO Taking Measures to Protect Female Journalists From Violence," Huffington Post,accessed 30 May 2014, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/25/unesco-female-journalists_n_3991537.html.35 "The silencing crime: Sexual violence and journalists," CPJ, 7 June 2011, accessed 1 July 2014,http://cpj.org/reports/2011/06/silencing-crime-sexual-violence-journalists.php.- 12 -


National High School Model United Nations 2015UNESCOcultural stigmas and their lack of faith in the authorities to act upon their complaints. 36 Indeed, theseCPJ accounts attest to a “silencing” effect that occurs in this situation.Ending gender inequality is an enormous task for this committee, but it should be a priority forUNESCO to reduce these sexual assaults against female professionals. In doing so, UNESCOshould consider long-term solutions for cultural education and awareness. If communities aroundthe world are more cognizant of gender equality norms, then women will at least feel moreempowered to speak out against assault crimes.Homophobic Attacks on the MediaJournalists and media producers who are members of the LGBTQ community often findthemselves at risk of discrimination and crimes because of their gender preferences and sexualorientation. In fact governments of many countries have even admitted that their criminalauthorities keep a “pink list,” created to keep track of all known homosexuals, specifically those whoare journalists or other professions whose work is public in nature. 37 These lists are then used tounfairly target and prosecute journalists for crimes that they have most likely not committed. 38 Theselists alone are a massive violation of human rights.In certain countries being a part of the LGBTQ community is actually a crime in itself, whichpresents a particularly dangerous situations for homosexual journalists assigned to that region. InJamaica and other Latin American countries, one man having sex with another male is defined intheir statute as an “abominable crime.” 39 To combat homophobic policies like the pink lists and theunfair deportation of LGBTQ members, the United Kingdom launched its own Pink List tocommemorate influential gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people who are believed to makeBritain a more safe and open minded places. 40 Members of the annual list have consisted ofOlympians, activists, actors, and magazine editors, among many others. The list is believed to be astep forward in the right direction, as it forces an open dialogue about the presence of homophobiawithin the United Kingdom. 41 Policies and awareness campaigns similar to these could be usefulwhen trying to promote journalism as a field, especially for members of marginalized groups like theLGBTQ community and women. These policies promote people that are trying to be punished forbeing themselves or working in their chosen profession.In 1990, a group of journalists in the LGBTQ community formed the National Lesbian and GayJournalists Association (NLGJA), a nonprofit organization whose purpose is to foster and promoteefficient ways of covering LGBTQ-related events and issues. 42 Through their endeavors, they hopeto prevent bias against the community and unfair representations of journalists within it as well. 43!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!36 Ibid.37 Masha Gessen, “Homophobic Attacks on the Press,” CPJ, accessed 22 June 2014, https://cpj.org/attacks95/SpecialReports/homophobic.html.38 Ibid.39 Emily Dugan, "More than 70 countries make being gay a crime," Independent, 1 August 2010, accessed 26 July 2014,http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/more-than-70-countries-make-being-gay-a-crime-2040850.html.40 Ibid.41 Ibid.42 “About NLGJA," National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association, accessed 1 July 2014, http://www.nlgja.org/about.43Ibid.- 13 -


National High School Model United Nations 2015UNESCOAnother organization, the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC),has made it a platform issue of theirs to promote the right to freedom of speech for those in theLGBTQ community and to protect them from forced censorship by homophobic or trans phobicgovernments. 44ImpunityAll journalists are entitled to the same basic human rights and protections as outlined by theDeclaration for Human Rights. However, these rights are harder to monitor in non-conflict areas,where the Geneva Conventions are not applicable and the only means of protection for mediaworkers is the criminal justice system present in the country. It is when governments are eitherunable to, or deny their responsibility to investigate criminal matters and to protect the rights ofjournalists to report freely, that issues of impunity come into play. Impunity is a term that refers tocrimes and individuals that go unpunished, and is an enormous block to the appropriate protectionof journalists. Not only does impunity disregard national law, it seriously implicates the lives of theseprofessionals and the legitimacy of journalism. There have been times when journalists have foundthemselves at the center of contentious situations; however, that is no excuse for all the cases ofmistreatment that have occurred against them. In the last decade alone, there were over 600 cases ofimpunity in cases involving crimes against journalists—meaning that over 600 crimes committedagainst members of the media were uninvestigated and left unsolved. 45 As mentioned above this canbe due to a lack of infrastructure and a legal framework in a country. However, even where there isno de jure impediment to free and impartial reporting, problems can still arise in the de factoimplementation of the law, particularly when the state in question unwilling to prosecute theperpetrators of crimes against journalism, and also unwilling to provide members of the media withadequate protection. 46The following case is a prime example of the current issues that still exist with proper prosecution ofthese crimes: on 5 April 2012, Mahad Salad Adan, the editor for the Voice of Hiran, was killed bythree unidentified assaliants while leaving his house in Beledweyne, Somalia. 47 Adan was the onlyreporter who voiced controversial stories about the clashes between the militant Islamist group al-Shabaab and the pro-government Sufi militia. 48 According to UNESCO officials, “after the murder,the Somali government issued a statement in which al-Shabaab was blamed for killing Adan,although the insurgents have not taken public responsibility for the crime.” 49 To this day, the deathof this journalist has been left unpunished. This account of Adan’s grave murder exemplifies manysimilar cases of impunity.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!44 "Freedom of Speech, Assembly and Association," International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, accessed 1 July2014, https://iglhrc.org/theme/freedom-speech-assembly-and-association.45 "Crime and Unpunishment: Why journalists fear for their safety," UNESCO, accessed 1 July 2014.46 “Killing the Messenger.”47 “A Radio Voice Silenced,” UNESCO: Communication and Information, last modified 15 April 2013,http://www.unesco.org/new/en/communication-and-information/freedom-of-expression/safety-ofjournalists/beyond-the-statistics/mahad-salad-adan/.48 Ibid.49 Ibid.- 14 -


National High School Model United Nations 2015UNESCOOn average, UNESCO has found that only one in every ten cases involving crimes againstjournalists, social media workers, and media producers has ended in a conviction. 50 This 10%conviction rate is shocking, especially considering that the number of crimes against journalists hasincreased quickly over the past five years. In 2012, UNESCO condemned the murders of 121journalists, which is double the number of killings in both 2010 and 2011. 51 As of May 2014, 43journalists killed have been killed, which means that approximately 8 journalists are killed permonth. 52 Philippe Kridelka, Director of UNESCO in New York City, has stated, “This cannot stand.Violence and impunity undermine basic rights and freedoms, they erode public faith in the rule oflaw, they encourage self censorship and they poison governance.” 53 It has become evident that if astate government is not held responsible for a crime committed within its jurisdiction, than the actruns the risk of going unpunished. To decrease impunity in these crimes, UNESCO should considerwhat methods this committee can use to increase awareness of unreported crimes and provide asafer, accountable journalistic environment. 54While assassinations represent the most atrocious crimes against journalists, governments can alsotarget these individuals in other ways as well. For example, in Egypt, it is common for journalists tobe accused of being unlicensed and for the government to strip them of their merit for, what thegovernment calls, “stirring up trouble.” 55 In Ukraine, in addition to physical attacks, journalists havehad their equipment confiscated and have faced obstruction of transmissions to television channels,preventing them from publishing and airing their work. 56 This is a huge hindrance to journalists, astheir being silenced can lead to the destruction of their careers and their well-being. 57Past Solutions and Recent DevelopmentsAs early as 2006, committees within the UN began developing strategic methods to combat themistreatment of journalists across the world. In December of 2006, the Security Council passed aresolution whose goals and objectives consisted of reducing these crimes by condemning attacks onjournalists and the impunity that often accompanies them. 58 Specifically, the Security Councilemphasized the responsibility of national governments to protect journalists and upholdinternational law. 59 It is clear, however, that national laws and policies are not sufficient. The factthat the number of journalist killings and attacks grows every year shows that this system should bereconsidered. Furthermore, the report that nine out of ten journalist court cases go unpunisheddirectly correlates to a country's laws and responsibilities, or lack thereof.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!50 “Crime and Unpunishment.”51 Ibid.52 "Assassinated Journalists in 2014," UNESCO, accessed 1 July 2014, http://www.unesco.org/new/en/communication-and-information/freedom-of-expression/press-freedom/unesco-condemns-killing-of-journalists/listsby-year/2014/.53 Bobb Donn, “UN Observes World Press Freedom Day on 3 May,” United Nations Radio: News and Media, last modified3 May 2013, http://www.unmultimedia.org/radio/english/2013/05/un-observes-world-press-freedom-day- on-3-may/.54 Ibid.55 "Covering conflict and corruption, journalists face increasing danger," PBS, 5 March 2014, accessed 23 June 2014,http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/covering-conflict-corruption-journalists-face-rising-threat/.56 Ibid.57 "Crime and Unpunishment.”58 "Bringing Predators of Freedom of Information to Justice," Reporters Without Borders, accessed 28 August 2014,http://en.rsf.org/IMG/pdf/bringing_predators_of_freedom_of_information_to_justice.pdf.59 Ibid.- 15 -


National High School Model United Nations 2015UNESCOIn terms of social and cultural issues surrounding journalist rights, the UN has also largely addressedthese protections, at least in a formal setting. In particular, UNESCO has published severalresolutions and models that promote press safety as well as delineate methods for creating a friendlypress environment. With all of the sexism, homophobia, and violation of fundamental human rightsinvolved in this issue, UNESCO has devoted even more attention to the problem. In October of2012, UNESCO Director for Freedom of Expression and Media Development, Guy Berger, spokein London on behalf of the committee and acknowledged that the mistreatment of journalists is aninternational issue, recognizing it as a violation of human rights and free speech. 60 Berger describesthe media as one of the most important forms of expression present in today’s society and as oftenbeing mistaken for gossip or propaganda by extremist groups or conservative governments. 61 Since1997, UNESCO officials have condemned the killing of every journalist to make a clear statementthat this committee criticizes human rights’ violations and journalistic attacks that go unaccounted.As of 2012, this condemnation of journalists has officially become an issue the UN is addressing,according to Berger. 62UNESCO has acknowledged the importance of establishing follow up programs, to ensure thatjournalists are not more targeted as a result of programs intended to protect them. In accordancewith non-UN organizations, such as the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights(OHCHR), UNESCO has planned routine meetings and constant funding to serve as follow upmechanisms. 63 Furthermore, the CPJ is a non-governmental organization that also promotesjournalists’ rights; this organization is most recognized for promoting transparency of grossviolations against journalists. 64 The Committee maintains regional centers across the globe, andconsistently collects and publishes data related to journalist safety. 65 The ability of CPJ workers toreport previously unpunished crimes and violations against journalists is certainly the greatestsuccess of this organization. In 2012, the CPJ aided more than 195 journalists by showing theinternational community how their journalistic rights were taken from them. 66 Despite UNESCO’spublications and these other organizations, it is quite evident that journalists are consistently deniedintrinsic human rights. To preserve both journalists’ individual rights and the intangible rights oftheir audience, this Committee should seek out new standards for journalist safety.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!60 Guy Berger, “UN Plan of Action: Journalist Safety and Combating Impunity,” Speech, UNESCO, London, 18October 2012, accessed 16 August 2014, http://www.unesco.org/new/fileadmin/MULTIMEDIA/HQ/CI/CI/images/Themes/Freedom_of_expression/GB_Speech_BBC181012.pdf.61 Ibid.62 Ibid.63 CI-12/CONF.202/6, “UNESCO plan of action on the safety of journalists and the issue of impunity”.64 “Our Missions: About CPJ,” CPJ: Committee to Protect Journalists, last modified 2013,http://www.cpj.org/about/video.php.65 Ibid.66 Ibid.- 16 -


National High School Model United Nations 2015UNESCOCURRENT STATUSGlobal Awareness: World Press Freedom DayThus far, the greatest form of aid that the international community provides journalists is globalrecognition and support for their profession and their rights. In regards to this issue, one ofUNESCO’s biggest accomplishments is its annual World Press Freedom Day. This global awarenessday is hosted by the committee and unites the international community in promoting the freedom ofexpression and freedom of the press. 67 Beginning in 1993, and celebrated on the third of May everyyear, World Press Freedom Day informs global citizens on the ways in which the right to freespeech can be violated. 68 Each year it is held in a different country, and the Day works to promoteworkshops, dialogues, and focused events on different press rights. It also draws attentions to thehundreds of journalists, publishers, and producers who are attacked each year. 69This year, World Press Freedom Day was held in the Paris UNESCO headquarters. The 2014 themewas “Media Freedom for a Better Future: Shaping the post-2015 Development Agenda.” 70 Theevent focused on three inter-related factors of press freedom: the media’s role in development, theprotection of journalists and the rule of law, and the integrity of journalism. 71 Most relevant to ourtopic is the rule of law, which the UN considers “a principle of governance in which all persons,institutions and entities, public and private, including the State itself, are accountable to laws that arepublicly promulgated, equally enforced and independently adjudicated, and which are consistent withinternational human rights norms and standards.” 72 Rule of law relates to many aspects of journalistprotection: laws exist that guarantee freedom of expression, freedom of speech, access to justice,and non-discriminatory practices. When these laws are not enforced, governments and judicialsystems are acting in disregard for the safety of journalists and their fundamental rights. Byincreasing awareness of rule of law through public awareness campaigns such as World PressFreedom Day, UNESCO sought to further discuss impunity and create a link between rule of lawand development.UN Efforts to Address Journalist SecurityAs the UN has given increased attention to this issue and pushed for more debate on it, the morethe international community has begun to take the issue seriously. UNESCO has worked incoordination with the Security Council, the Committee to Protect Journalists, and then InternationalWomen’s Media Foundation to collect enough data in order to determine which direction UNESCOshould consider when trying to combat the issue. 73 Less than a year later, in June of 2013, UNESCO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!67 “About World Freedom Press Day,” UNESCO, accessed 23 June 2014, http://www.unesco.org/new/en/unesco/events/prizes-and-celebrations/celebrations/international-days/world-press-freedom-day/about-world-press-freedomday/.68 Ibid.69 Ibid.70 “2014 Theme, World Press Freedom Day,” United Nations, accessed 14 Sep 2014,http://www.un.org/en/events/pressfreedomday/.71 Ibid.72 Ibid.73 “About World Press Freedom Day.”- 17 -


National High School Model United Nations 2015UNESCOcompleted and passed the UN Plan of Action for the Safety of Journalists and Issue of Impunity. 74This plan of action is a strategy to increase journalist protections and the accountability of crimes. Inthe UN Plan, UNESCO intended to foster a gender-sensitive approach to dealing with genderaimedassaults, crimes against female journalists, and promotion of journalism as a field with meritby working with governments. 75 One way governments have contributed to this UN Plan is bybuilding monuments and statues in memorial of fallen journalists. The UN Plan followed the 2011draft, whose purpose was to create a network among cooperating Member States in order to designeffective legislation that would promote and guarantee free expression and speech within thecountries. 76Recent Attacks on JournalistsWhile these measures, both by the UN and by the international community, to bring awareness toand legislation on protecting Journalists represent a positive step in the right direction, there is still asignificant amount of work still to be done. In June 2014, the arrest and detainment of Al Jazeerajournalists in Egypt without a trial has called attention to the mistreatment of journalists. 77 Al Jazeerahas coined the term “journalism under fire,” in an attempt to pressure Egypt and other countriesthat mandate or allow attacks on journalists. 78 They have published on their website a list of detainedjournalists, also stating for how long these individuals have been help captive.With the crisis in Ukraine, many journalists have been kidnapped, assaulted, or killed in theconflict. 79 In 2014, more Ukrainian journalists have been killed than any other year since 1992. 80 In acontroversial turn of events, a Russian cameraman was shot and killed at the end of June this year,while en route to cover a story in Ukraine. 81 Instances like these have put an even bigger strain onRussia-Ukraine relations, increasing the danger in that area for media workers. 82In the last few weeks of June alone, ISIS has executed two American journalists. As previouslymentioned James Foley, an American photojournalist, was beheaded by the group. Just two weekslater, Steven Sotloff was murdered after being held captive for a year while reporting in Syria. 83 InSomalia, armed secret service members arrested the journalist Hassan Gessey alongside his staff!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!74 CI/FEM/FOE/2013/299, “UNESCO work plan for the safety of journalists and the issue of impunity,” 3 June2013.75 Ibid.76CI/FEM/FOE/2013/299.77 "Journalism Under Fire," Al Jazeera English, 2014, accessed 1 July 2014, http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/spotlight/freeajstaff/.78 Ibid.79 "8 Journalists Killed in Ukraine since 1992/Motive Confirmed," CPJ, accessed 1 July 2014, http://cpj.org/killed/europe/ukraine/.80 Ibid.81 "Russian cameraman killed in eastern Ukraine," CPJ, 30 June 2014, accessed 1 July 2014,http://cpj.org/2014/06/russian-cameraman-killed-in-eastern-ukraine.php.82 Ibid.83 "Steven Sotloff Beheaded by ISIS, Becoming 70th Journalist Killed Covering Syria Conflict," Democracy Now, accessed2 September 2014, http://www.democracynow.org/2014/9/3/steven_sotloff_beheaded_by_isis_becoming.- 18 -


National High School Model United Nations 2015UNESCOmanager, Abubakar Moyhedin, just after they had spoken out against censorship. 84 CPJ East Africaeditor Tom Rhodes argues that, by arresting Gessey and Moyhedin, the Somali government has“committed a double press freedom violation: first they tried to censor the media by asking themnot to report on certain military operations, and then they arrested a journalist who dared to criticizethe censorship.” 85 Rhodes then called on the authorities to release the two men. 86 Some more recentattacks on journalists around the world consist of a CongoNews editor held without charge afterpublicly criticizing the archbishop, a journalist severely beaten in Azerbaijan, where the field isheavily restricted, and a religious program TV presenter in Bangladesh being murdered. 87 It istherefore up to this committee to build upon current efforts and address the shortcomings that stillexist in order to come up with well-rounded and comprehensive resolutions to this topic.BLOC ANALYSISThe following blocs are largely divided by geographical regions: the Middle East, Latin America,North America and Western Europe, and Asia. While the protection of journalists is not guaranteedby territorial differences, countries with stronger social and political institutions, alongside a vigilantcivil society, tend to have more accountable safeguards for journalists. Furthermore, in moredeveloped countries journalism, as a profession, is more entrenched into society and thus moresecure. Many developing countries support state censorship and consequentially curb the ideals offree speech and expression. As a result, these states provide fewer freedoms for journalists,especially those in minorities. By no means are these patterns universally true, but it is important thatdelegates understand the general characteristics of these blocs for their research and solutions.The Middle EastMany states in the Middle East have controversial laws regarding free speech and a free press,according to UN standards. This is largely because many Middle Eastern governments areauthoritarian and prioritize state control of the media over freedom of information. Freedom of thepress and speech has had a history of being under recognized in the Middle East, making many thesegovernments less interested in taking extreme measures and using resources to acknowledgejournalism as an important and merited profession. 88 Modes of media censorship are mostcommonly implemented through legislative measures; traditional media continues to be the mostsuppressed form, but regimes are beginning to use forms of censorship and surveillance against newmedia outlets. 89This year of 2014 marks the five-year anniversary of the Iranian government crack down on thepress, which put a huge strain on free speech and garnered significant amounts of global criticism. 90!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!84 "Somali journalist arrested after speaking out against censorship," CPJ, 3 September 2014, accessed 3 September 2014,https://cpj.org/2014/09/somali-journalist-arrested-after-speaking-out-agai.php.85 Ibid.86 Ibid.87 "Alerts," CPJ, 3 September 2014, accessed 3 September 2014, https://cpj.org/news/.88 Ibid.89 Karin Karlekar and Jennifer Dunham, “Freedom of the Press 2013: Middle East Volatility amid GlobalDecline,” Freedom House, last modified 2013, http://www.freedomhouse.org/sites/default/files/Booklet%20Essay.pdf90 “Iran,” CPJ, accessed 1 July 2014, http://cpj.org/mideast/iran/.- 19 -


National High School Model United Nations 2015UNESCOAfter the 2009 Iranian national election, journalists and Iranian citizens protested the allegedlycorrupt election results; in response, Iranian authorities arrested several journalists and stronglycensored all state media outlets. 91 Even before this date, Iranian journalists have experienced ahistory of detainment and torture for reporting stories that speak out against the regime in power.Today, Iran continues to be one of the worst perpetrators of media censorship and journalistmistreatment. 92 During 2013 elections, the CPJ reported “imprisonment, the closing of news outlets,the intimidation of reporters and sources, and suffocating Internet surveillance” as significant stateactions that hindered journalist safety and a free media environment. 93In winter 2014, the Egyptian government declared certain forms of investigative journalism ascrimes; the government is responsible for jailing several journalists for up to ten-year sentences. 94The National Union of Journalists (NUJ), created to present and defend workers from a wide rangeof media related fields, urged the British government to do whatever they could to have the sentenceoverturned. 95 The Index on Censorship (IoC) joined the NUJ in publicly denouncing the verdict.According to the IoC, there are at least fourteen journalists are currently detained in Egypt andaround 200 are in jail across the globe. 96 Furthermore, in Iraq, journalists and media workers havefound themselves as major targets amid violence within the country, as Iraqi authorities struggle tobreak gridlock in order to form a new government. 97 In the past ten months in Iraq alone, more thana dozen journalists have been killed due to the government’s intolerance for media coverage ofsocial unrest in Iraqi Kurdistan. 98 Furthermore, in June of 2014, authorities in the country of Jordanraided a TV station and shut it down. Employees and media workers for the Iraqi based Al-AbasiyaTV station in Amman were arrested on terrorism charges simply for criticizing the current state ofthe government. 99According to Freedom House, an independent watchdog organization that monitors freedom of thepress, countries in the Middle East have the world’s lowest ranking freedom of speech status.Freedom House analyzes the media environment across all countries, and the organization haslabeled them as “Not Free.” 100 No countries were ranked as “Free”, and over 74% of the regionreceived a “Not Free” rating. The rest received a rating of “Partly Free.” 101 The Arab Peninsulaespecially hosts countries with low rankings, as governments have continually been responsible forsuppressing the media and the rights of freedom of speech and press. 102 Regimes like Kuwait and the!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!91 D. Parvaz, “In Iran, Specter of One Election Looms Over Next,” CPJ: Committee to Protect Journalists, last modified2013, http://www.cpj.org/2013/02/attacks-on-the-press-press-braces-as-iran-vote-looms.php.92 Ibid.93 Ibid.94 Harriet Sherwood, "Egypt 'declaring journalism a crime' by jailing al-Jazeera correspondents," The Guardian, 23 June2014, accessed 2 September 2014, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/23/egypt-declaring-journalism-crimejailing-al-jazeera-correspondents.95 Ibid.96 Ibid.97 "Journalists injured, arrested amid Iraq violence," CPJ, 16 July 2014, accessed 2 September 2014,http://cpj.org/2014/07/journalists-injured-arrested-amid-iraq-violence.php.98 Ibid.99 "Jordanian authorities raid station, arrest staff," CPJ, 13 June 2014, accessed 2 September 2014,https://cpj.org/2014/06/jordanian-authorities-raid-station-arrest-staff.php.100Karlekar and Dunham, “Freedom of the Press 2013.”101 Ibid.102 Ibid.- 20 -


National High School Model United Nations 2015UNESCOUnited Arab Emirates, according to Freedom House, shut down online media resources such aswebsites, networks, and blogs in 2012, stating that this was done in the sake of national security. 103Latin AmericaIn the past year, free speech has been at risk in Latin America as journalists have been murdered andkidnapped at alarming rates. The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) has specifically urged thegovernments of Mexico, Colombia, and Peru to act on these crimes, as the governments have letthem go untreated and unsolved. 104 According to Freedom House, only 15% of Spanish orPortuguese speaking Latin American countries are actually considered to have free mediaenvironments that promote information freely and fairly. 105 Speaking directly to this topic, manygovernments within Latin America are not held accountable for their mistreatment of journalistseither. Ecuador, for example, has had extremely low levels of investigative reporting during electionsever since 2011, where it passed legislative regulations hindering the rights of journalists. 106In Paraguay, in an attempt to avoid having to deal with the media, the government took completecontrol of all media following a political coup in 2012. 107 The government removed 27 journalistsfrom a government-run TV station and turned it into a highly criticized state-sponsored and ownedchannel. 108 Unfortunately, Paraguay’s political climate is similar to many others in the Americas.Government ownership or harsh control of the media is very much present in other Latin Americancountries like Venezuela and Cuba. 109 In 2013, Freedom House recognized Cuba as one of theworld’s eight worst rated countries for press freedom. 110 The Cuban press is an instrument of thegoverning regime, and dissent is regulated through censorship or imprisonment. 111North America and Western EuropeThe United States has had a history of aligning with Europe on issues and conflicts, and the twotend to have similar perspectives on basic human rights. Freedom of speech is a guaranteed right toAmericans and most Europeans, and freedom of expression and the press falls under this first USamendment right as well. 112 However, surveillance in North America, which is often supported byEurope, contradicts such freedoms. Journalists in the United States are not outwardly protested andshamed, but classified commentary or leaking of government wrongdoings has led to the detainmentof journalists and their sources. 113 Just as the United States appears to support journalists in thesurface, the United Kingdom has followed the same precedent. The European Union issued a!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!103 Ibid.104 Roy Greenslade, "Freedom of Expression At Risk in Latin America," The Guardian, 5 April 2011, accessed 1 July2014, http://www.theguardian.com/media /greenslade/2011/apr/15/freedom-of-speech-latinamerica.105 Karlekar and Dunham, “Freedom of the Press 2013.”106 Ibid.107 Ibid.108 Ibid.109 Ibid.110 Ibid.111 Ibid.112 “Americas,” CPJ, June 2014, accessed 23 June 2014. Cpj.org/Americas.113 Ibid.- 21 -


National High School Model United Nations 2015UNESCOstatement condemning the mistreatment of journalists and violence against those in the field,arguing the importance of freedom of expression. 114With these countries being developed and relatively free, it is important that delegates representingNorth American and Western European countries consider the historical ways they have achievedsuch high Freedom House rankings to better approach this topic.AsiaEven though India has a reputation of being democratic, their flourishing ideas of free speechunfortunately do not include an uncensored press. Many journalists in India and countries like Japan,Mongolia, Taiwan, and South Korea have been detained for publishing their work. 115 Censorship inIndia is especially on the rise now in the midst of elections. It is clear that even though the regionmaintains the idea of promoting free speech, free speech really belongs to whoever is in power. 116However, Freedom House ratings in East Asia are the most problematic of the region. Between theauthoritarian regimes of North Korea and China, much of East Asia has been faced withgovernment censorship, government seizure of the media, and an the persecution of journalists. 117Although crimes against journalists have dropped since 2011, countries like China, North Korea,and Thailand have experienced a decrease in freedom of the press. Thailand specifically dropped inFreedom House rank, as they went from being Partly Free to Not Free, being the only regionalcountry to change status. 118The Pacific region of this bloc, including various islands and Australia, has been well received bymembers of the international community in support of free speech and free press. Having the abilityto maintain a government not threatened by journalists and media workers, it is important thatdelegates from Free-ranked countries use their own systems and histories to contribute to debate ina way that will help provide assistance to countries that are not of a high ranking.COMMITTEE MISSIONUNESCO’s mandate has expanded beyond preserving cultural heritage worldwide—and promotingthe importance of science—to include issues such as discrimination and gender inequality, both ofwhich are present in this topic. It is extremely important that members of UNESCO remember thecommittee’s mandate. UNESCO’s focus on protecting journalists should involve tacklinghomophobia, sexism, and promoting free speech. In turn, this committee should avoid any legal orpolitical solutions, instead focusing on social implications and other cultural efforts.UNESCO has always been a public advocate for free speech and the importance of journalism andthe media. This topic speaks directly to that, as the fields would not exist without journalists to!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!114 “United Kingdom,” CPJ, June 2014, accessed 1 July 2014, http://cpj.org/europe/uk/.115 Karlekar and Dunham, “Freedom of the Press 2013.”116 Sumit Galhotra, "Censorship in India on the rise amid elections," CPJ, 26 April 2014, accessed 30 June 2014,http://cpj.org/blog/2014/04/censorship-in-india-on-the-rise-amid-elections.php.117 Ibid.118 Ibid.- 22 -


National High School Model United Nations 2015UNESCOresearch, write, and convey information to the general public. Using the guidelines that UNESCOestablished in the 2013 UN Plan for the Safety of Journalists and Issue of Impunity, committeemembers must try to develop innovative and reasonable programs and safety measures to promotejournalism as a profession without making journalists a further target in the eyes of the governmentsand extremists groups that disagree with their stories and rhetoric. Overall, this committee isresponsible for promoting gender equality, free speech, and reducing homophobia andtransphobia—with this knowledge, it is vital that members keep these priorities in mind Taking asocial approach, it is important that this committee promotes journalism as a field and upholds thevalues of freedom of press and speech.- 23 -


National High School Model United Nations 2015UNESCOTOPIC B: PRESERVING SYRIAN CULTUREINTRODUCTIONIn 1972, the UNESCO Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and NaturalHeritage established the World Heritage List, marking the beginning of UNESCO’s advocacy forthe preservation of all global cultures. 119 Since then, the World Heritage List has expanded to includehundreds of sites around the world that are deemed to be a significant part of the respective region’sculture that UNESCO has vowed to protect. 120 In the midst of conflict and civil war, Syria, thehome of six World Heritage sites, is in need of direct assistance from UNESCO in protecting itsculture. 121Syria’s six World Heritage sites are not the only aspects of Syrian culture that have been put at risksince the start of the civil war. An often unnoticed part of a society’s culture is made up of intangibleheritage, such as oral traditions, stories, and rituals that are practiced and passed down fromgeneration to generation. 122 Examples of intangible cultural heritage recognized by UNESCO consistof The Carnival of Binche in Belgium, The Woodcrafting Knowledge of the Zafimaniry ofMadagascar, and the Palestinian Hikaye. 123In March of 2011, one of the largest humanitarian crises in recent years broke out in Syria, as a civilwar led to the displacement of over a million refugees to neighboring countries. 124 Since thebeginning of the crisis three years ago, over nine million Syrians have found themselves living inextreme poverty, without food or water, and in need of extraordinary assistance. 125 With Syria insuch disarray, and with controversy stirring in the international community over how to respond,this conflict puts the country’s culture at risk. Specifically, this cultural risk has existed since thebeginning of the armed conflict in 2011, when cultural heritage sites and objects were firstvandalized, destroyed, and stolen. 126 In the midst of this civil war, some of the world’s most powerfuland financially privileged countries have found themselves taking the side of either the Assadgovernment or the Syrians rebels. 127 This disagreement within the international community hashelped fuel the continuation of the present conflict. The United States, for example, has been!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!119 "Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Culture and Natural Heritage," UNESCO, accessed 16 July2014, http://whc.unesco.org/?cid=175.120 Ibid.121 "Syrian Arab Republic,” World Heritage Convention, accessed 16 July 2014,http://whc.unesco.org/en/statesparties/SY/.122 "Intangible Heritage," UNESCO, accessed May 30, 2014, http://www.unesco.org/new/en/amman/culture/intangible-heritage/.123 “Intangible Cultural Heritage Domains,” UNESCO, accessed 30 August 2014.http://www.unesco.org/culture/ich/doc/src/01857-EN.pdf.124 “Syria Crisis Response," UNESCO, accessed 16 July 2014, http://www.unesco.org/new/en/syria-crisis-response/.125 Ibid.126 "Syrian heritage: strategy to fight the illicit trafficking of cultural property," UNESCO, accessed 30 May 2014,http://www.unesco.org/new/en/culture/themes/illicit-traffic-of-cultural-property/capacity-building/arabstates/syrian-heritage-strategy-to-fight-the-illicit-trafficking-of-cultural-property/.127 “Syrian Crisis: Where key countries stand,” BBC News: Middle East, 18 Feb 2014, accessed 30 Aug 2014,http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-23849587.- 24 -


National High School Model United Nations 2015UNESCOcontemplating intervening militarily, as it considers some of the acts committed by the Assad regimeevidence of human rights violations. 128 On the other hand Russia and China, major financial backersof the Assad government, have blocked any UN Security Council attempts to get involved. 129Recently, UNESCO has begun working with other international organizations and partners toestablish workshops with the goal of raising awareness of the destruction of cultural heritage sites.There has been an increased military presence at Syria’s six World Heritage sites which UNESCOhas raised concerns over, fearing that this will lead to future damage to the sites. 130 Keeping all ofthis in mind, it has become abundantly clear that this crisis in Syria, combined with the tension it hassparked among members of the international community, has rendered Syria’s culture vulnerable todegradation, disintegration, and neglect. This is why it is the responsibility and duty of UNESCO tocontinue giving the protection of Syria’s culture the attention it warrants, and to work towards a planto remedy this problem.HISTORY AND DESCRIPTION OF THE ISSUEWorld Heritage Sites in SyriaThe Ancient City of Damascus in Syria is known as one of the oldest cities in the Middle East,containing valuable ruins of the ancient Syrian city. In 1979, UNESCO officially declared it Syria’sfirst recognized World Heritage site. 131 Founded in the third millennium B.C., Damascus was thestage for much of the region’s history, as it was the home of the Assyrians, Persians, Greeks,Nabataeans, Romans, the Umayyad caliphate, Seljuk Turks, Mongols, Ottomans, French and manyother groups that have at one point or another inhabited the area. 132 The Arab conquest ofDamascus around the eighth century led to the building of mosques, and a shrine to John theBaptist within the mosque walls. 133 Because of Damascus’ long and vibrant history as a culturalcenter, it houses priceless cultural material, both tangible and intangible, of many cultural groups.In the 1980s, the Site of Palmyra, the Ancient City of Bosra, and the Ancient City of Aleppo joinedDamascus on the list of World Heritage sites. 134 The Site of Palmyra, known as the “Bride of theDesert,” was a vital addition to the World Heritage List since it contains the monumental ruins ofone of the world’s great cities. 135 From the first to the second centuries, Palmyra served as thegathering place of several civilizations, allowing Greco-Roman styles to converge with localtraditions and Persian influences. 136 Containing remnants of Roman theaters and other architecture,!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!128 Ibid.129 Ibid.130 "UNESCO Director-General condemns military presence and destruction at World Heritage Site in Syria," WorldHeritage Convention, 20 February 2014, accessed 16 July 2014, http://whc.unesco.org/en/news/1108/.131 "Syrian Arab Republic,” World Heritage Convention, accessed 16 July 2014,http://whc.unesco.org/en/statesparties/SY/.132 “Ancient City of Damascus,” National Geographic, accessed 30 August 2014,http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/world-heritage/ancient-city-damascus/.133 Ibid.134 "Syrian Arab Republic,” World Heritage Convention, accessed 16 July 2014,http://whc.unesco.org/en/statesparties/SY/.135 “Site of Palmyrya,” UNESCO, accessed 30 August 2014, http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/23.136 Ibid.- 25 -


National High School Model United Nations 2015UNESCOas well as Christian ruins in the Arab world, the Ancient City of Bosra was a “metropolis” underRoman rule, transforming into a Christian territory in the fourth century. 137 This settlementremained until it fell to Muslims and became a stop-off point for Muslims who were makingpilgrimages to Mecca. 138 Crusaders took Bosra in the twelfth century, but due to political instabilityand environmental disasters, they were unable to maintain control of it. 139The third site in Syria is Aleppo. Much of the Ancient City of Aleppo’s appeal for the WorldHeritage List comes from its representation of rich and diverse twelfth century cultures. 140 Its diversemixture of buildings including the Great Mosque founded under the Umayyads, the twelfth centuryMadrasa Halawiye, incorporating remains of the Aleppo Cathedral, and a series of mosques,madrasas, suqs, and khans that reflect the social, economic, and cultural aspects of the city in itsprime. 141 In 2006, Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din, a set of castles containing featuresfrom the Byzantine Empire mixed with Frankish design and fortifications from the AyyubidDynasty, were added to the World Heritage list, as the two castles represent a mix of Middle Easterncultures transformed over time. 142 Finally in 2011, UNESCO recognized Syria’s sixth and finalWorld Heritage site, the Ancient Villages of Northern Syria, as representing the transformation fromRoman Catholicism to Byzantine Christianity in the region. 143Recently, however, these sites have been put at risk, as military presence at three of the six sites hasresulted in damage and threatens cultural preservation efforts. In response, UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, spoke out this year condemning the military presence arguing that it“constitutes an infringement of the rights of the Syrian people. Damage to cultural heritage is a blowagainst the identity and history of the Syrian people [and that] it is a blow against the universalheritage of humanity.” 144Michel al-Maqdissi, head of archaeological excavations in Syria, has publicly said that he believes oneof the most at risk areas in Syria is the northern region, where the Ancient Villages, Syria’s sixthWorld Heritage site, is located. 145 Even though this is not one of the three sites where military troopsmaintain a near-constant presence, al-Maqdissi argues that the region is exposed and “directlyoutside the reach of the antiquities department.” 146 There have been pictures and videos posted onthe Internet of individuals vandalizing the sites and recording damage, bullet holes, and ashesthroughout the marred areas. 147!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!137 “Bosra, Syria,” Sacred Destinations, accessed 30 August 2014, http://www.sacred-destinations.com/syria/bosra.138 Ibid.139 Ibid.140 “Ancient City of Aleppo,” UNESCO, accessed 30 August 2014, http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/21.141 Ibid.142 "Crac des Chevaliers and Qal'at Salah El-Din," UNESCO, accessed 16 July 2014, http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1229.143 "Ancient Villages of Northern Syria," UNESCO, accessed 16 July 2014, http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1348.144 "UNESCO Director-General condemns military presence and destruction at World Heritage Site in Syria," WorldHeritage Convention, 20 February 2014, accessed 16 July 2014, http://whc.unesco.org/en/news/1108/.145 Emma Cunliffe, "Damage to the Soul: Syria's Cultural Heritage Conflict," Global Heritage Fund, 16 May 2012, accessed16 July 2014, http://ghn.globalheritagefund.com/uploads/documents/document_2107.pdf.146 Ibid.147 Ibid.- 26 -


National High School Model United Nations 2015UNESCOThe Western region of Syria near Damascus, where fighting and destruction of cities is quiteprevalent, is certainly under threat as well in terms of preserving cultural heritage sites. On 6 January2012, a suicide bomber was responsible for the death of 26 people in Damascus and for irreversibledamage caused to the city by the explosion. 148 Attacks similar to this continued through April andMay of the same year, and in less than six months around 60 Syrians were killed and over 400 wereinjured due to these explosions. Along with this tragedy comes permanent destruction to the city;since Damascus and Aleppo are two of the largest cities, and dually claim the title of “oldest,” theyare constant targets because of their prominence and importance to the region. 149Unfortunately, all six of Syria’s sites on the World Heritage List are facing the same problems as theAncient Villages, Damascus, and Aleppo. As the conflict increases and tensions rise within Syria,there is widespread disregard for the cultural significance and value of these cities.Crisis in SyriaWhile the scope of this topic is focused on preserving Syrian culture, it is crucial that this committeeunderstands the background of Syria’s civil war and how its culture is under attack. The conflict hascreated a divide in the international community among those that want to get involved and thosethat do not. In early 2011, the Arab Spring brought a heightened level of political instability to theMiddle East with a wave of citizen uprisings and revolutionary sentiment. 150 Egypt and Tunisia werethe first countries to experience full revolutions, and the existing regimes were replaced with newpolitical leaders and military figures. 151 These two revolutions sent a “shock wave” throughout theregion, as uprisings in many other countries began soon after. By spring of 2011, at least eightcountries had experienced a significant increase in the level of citizen protest and unrest. 152Inspired by these revolutions, protests began in Southern Syria. Initially, the protests were largelypeaceful and merely remonstrated the authoritarian nature of the Assad regime. When thegovernment responded with violent crackdowns and then denied these allegations, however,protests surged and violence broke out. 153 By March 2011, a small-scale civil war within Syriaofficially started, and President Bashar al-Assad’s regime was challenged by a pro-democracy protestthat called for the immediate end of 40 years of authoritarian rule. 154 In response, the governmentcontinued to employ military and police force, which only led to more resentment. After months ofrallies and protests violently ended by government forces, opposition militias began forming.Subsequently, in 2012 the conflict escalated into a full-fledged war. In order to raise funds to fightPresident Assad, Syrian rebels stole valuable Syrian artifacts and sold them. 155 Artifacts reported asstolen include ancient mosaics of Homer’s Odyssey and a eighth century bronze-plated golden statue!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!148 Ibid.149 Ibid.150 "Syrian Civil War (Syrian History)", Britannica, accessed 16 July 2014, http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/1781371/Syrian-Civil-War.151 Ibid.152 Ibid.153 Ibid.154 Ibid.155 Taylor Luck, "Syrian rebels loot artifacts to raise money for fight against Assad," Washington Post, 12 Feb 2013,accessed 16 July 2014, http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/syrian-rebels-loot-artifacts-to-raise-moneyfor-fight-against-assad/2013/02/12/ae0cf01e-6ede-11e2-8b8d-e0b59a1b8e2a_story.html.- 27 -


National High School Model United Nations 2015UNESCOstolen from a museum in Hama, which were put on INTERPOL’s Most Wanted Works of Artposter in 2012. 156 Newspaper and online reports have printed pictures depicting museums that areabsolutely destroyed, with artifacts vandalized and broken across the floor. 157The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) has workedwith UNESCO to provide relief and education to Syrian refugee children, and is also responsible formobilizing and coordinating humanitarian assistance in assisting Syrian refugees since the beginningof the war in 2009. 158 The committee has discovered that over four million Syrians are living inpoverty and are in need of food to survive and have even found that refugees from Palestine havetaken the place of Syrians who fled the country because of the war. 159Over one hundred thousand people were killed between March of 2011 and September of 2013. 160Of the two and a half million Syrians that have fled the country as a result of the war, UNESCO hasfound that a third of these Syrians are school-aged youth and children and that these children –along with those who have stayed – are in dire need of education and family care. 161 UNESCO hasresponded to the crisis by assisting refugees in Middle Eastern countries like Iraq and Lebanon. 162Intangible Syrian Cultural HeritageIntangible cultural heritage, as defined by UNESCO, includes the practices, rituals, expressions, andrepresentations of a society that is recognized as part of its culture – even though it is not a tangibleobject or site. 163 A popular example of intangible culture is traditions or stories that are passed downfrom ancestors to younger generations. 164 In 2003, UNESCO adopted the Convention for theSafeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage. 165 The purpose of this Convention is to raise awarenessof the importance of intangible culture and recognize it as a part of UNESCO’s mandate. 166 In doingso, the Convention created the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of IntangibleCultural Heritage; the committee is comprised of 18 different UN member states that are electedevery four years. Collectively, member states of the Committee are responsible for: adhering to theConvention’s measures to protect intangible culture; reviewing member states’ reports on the statusof their intangible cultural heritage; and providing guidance and best practices to these states; andgranting international assistance within accordance of the Convention. 167!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!156 “Historic Syrian antiques plundered amid civil war,” RT, 18 Feb 2013, accessed 30 Aug 2014,http://rt.com/news/syria-ancient-artifacts-plunder-482/.157 Ibid.158 "Syria Crisis Overview," UNOCHA, accessed 16 July 2014, http://syria.unocha.org.159 Ibid.160 Ibid.161 “Syria Crisis Response,” UNESCO, accessed 16 July 2014, http://www.unesco.org/new/en/syria-crisis-response/.162 Ibid.163 "Intangible Heritage," UNESCO, accessed 30 July 2014, http://www.unesco.org/new/en/amman/culture/intangible-heritage.164 Ibid.165 “Text of the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage,” UNESCO, accessed 30 Aug 2014,http://www.unesco.org/culture/ich/en/convention.166 Ibid.167 Ibid.- 28 -


National High School Model United Nations 2015UNESCOOne of the most important aspects of Syria’s culture is its oral history and storytelling tradition. 168These stories have served as a common denominator for solidarity across ethnic, geographic, andreligious boundaries within Syria. Considering Syria’s incredibly mosaic cultural and religiousdiversity, it is imperative that this intangible cultural heritage is maintained. When looking at thecountry’s demographic makeup, Syria is ethnically composed of an Alawite minority (that currentlycontrols the government), Sunnis and Shi’ite Muslims, and sects of Christian, Druze, Kurdish andother tribal minorities. 169 These sects were generally divided among regions, but they were not insectarian opposition to one another before the 2011 conflict. 170 Yet with increased violence andseparation from this civil war, the different sides are increasingly voicing sectarian demands andpromoting ethnically hateful actions. 171 However, Syria’s traditional stories and intangible culturalhistory – that all sects share – serve as a bond that continues to unite the Syrian people and is notsomething the country can afford to carelessly discard. 172In 2009, UNESCO implemented the framework of the Convention for the Safeguarding ofIntangible Cultural Heritage in Syria, along with other countries in the region such as Jordan, Egypt,and Lebanon. 173 The Convention’s measures were applied through the Mediterranean LivingHeritage Project (often referred to as the MedLiHer Project). 174 The MedLiHer Project, co-fundedby the European Union (EU) was developed primarily to try and work with state governments andparties to safeguard intangible culture. 175 The project also sought to improve regional cooperationand promote the exchange of skills and experiences through networks, in the hopes that it wouldhelp foster the adoption of practices that protect endangered heritage. 176 The MedLiHer Project hasthree phases: assessing partner countries, networking and preparing project proposals, and thenimplementing said projects. 177 All three phases involve the cooperation of local and nationalorganizations that created a multilingual network that is managed by UNESCO. By the end of thethird phase, special attention would be given to safeguarding projects in particular. 178Illicit Trafficking of Cultural PropertyA major concern of UNESCO regarding cultural property in Syria is the fear of illicit trafficking.Illicit trafficking, denounced at UNESCO’s 1970 convention, is the illegal movement of culturalheritage sites and treasures for the purpose of making profit. 179 Since the beginning of the armed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!168 “Syria: Preservation of Intangible Cultural Heritage,” Cultural Heritage Without Borders, 11 July 2014, accessed 30 Aug2014, http://chwb.org/others/activities/syria-preservation-intangible-cultural-heritage.169 Lin Nouehid and Alex Warren, The Battle for the Arab Spring: Revolution, Counter-revolution,and the Making of a New Era, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2013), 215-242.170 Ibid.171 Ibid.172 “Syria: Preservation of Intangible Cultural Heritage.”173 "UNESCO Cultural Sector-- Intangible Heritage, 2003 Convention," UNESCO, accessed 16 July 2014,http://www.unesco.org/culture/ich/index.php?lg=en&pg=00226.174 Ibid.175 Ibid.176 Ibid.177 "Overview of the MedLiHer Project," UNESCO, accessed 17 July 2014,http://www.unesco.org/culture/ich/index.php?lg=en&pg=00233.178 Ibid.179 "1970 Convention," UNESCO, accessed 30 July 2014, http://www.unesco.org/new/en/culture/themes/illicittraffic-of-cultural-property/1970-convention/.- 29 -


National High School Model United Nations 2015UNESCOconflict in 2011, movable cultural heritage sites and objects in Syria have been at risk of beingdestroyed or stolen. 180 Recently, UNESCO has begun working with other international organizationsand partners to establish workshops with the purpose of raising awareness of this issue. Expertsfrom Syria and neighboring countries are also working to develop an emergency strategy thataddresses this problem. 181 For example, UNESCO reported in February of 2013 at a conference inJordan that it was teaming up with the Swiss Federal Office of Culture to organize regional trainingworkshops meant to raise awareness of the necessary procedures to protect movable culturalheritage objects and artifacts in Syria. 182To further respond to this crisis, UNESCO launched a three-year “Emergency Safeguarding of theSyrian Heritage project” which aims to limit the destruction of Syrian culture. 183 It focuses on therecovery phase of the crisis. 184 This includes seeking international assistance, tracking down missingitems, and increasing capacity building for recovery. 185 This project also sponsors a meeting referredto as “Rallying the International Community to Safeguard Syria’s Cultural Heritage,” which aims tohelp gain global support for protecting Syria’s culture by asserting its importance to the internationalcommunity. 186Also, in May of 2013, UNESCO hosted a workshop called ‘National Workshop on the FightAgainst Illicit Trafficking of Cultural Property’ at the National Museum in Damascus, to highlightthe problem of stolen or damaged artifacts and promote discussion of the role of the state inprotecting these reflections of Syrian culture. 187CURRENT STATUSUNESCO on Cultural HeritageIn 2013, members of UNESCO met in Amman, Jordan to address the issue of the illicit traffickingof movable cultural heritage, specifically focusing on the crisis in Syria. The committee published areport of its recommendations and findings (“Regional training on Syrian cultural heritage:addressing the issue of illicit trafficking”) and addressed past policies and programs established inother countries to protect artifacts and cultural heritage objects and discussed how these could be!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!180 "Syrian heritage: strategy to fight the illicit trafficking of cultural property," UNESCO, accessed 30 July 2014,http://www.unesco.org/new/en/culture/themes/illicit-traffic-of-cultural-property/capacity-building/arabstates/syrian-heritage-strategy-to-fight-the-illicit-trafficking-of-cultural-property.181 Ibid.182 Ibid.183 Silvia Perini, “Towards a protection of the Syrian cultural heritage: A summary of the international responses,”Heritage for Peace (2014), accessed 30 Aug 2014, http://www.heritageforpeace.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Towards-a-protection-of-the-Syrian-cultural-heritage.pdf.184 Ibid.185 Ibid.186 Ibid.187 “Workshop against Illicit Trafficking of Syrian Cultural Property,” UNESCO, accessed 1 Sep 2014,http://www.unesco.org/new/en/culture/themes/illicit-traffic-of-cultural-property/capacity-building/arab-states/syriaworkshop-on-the-fight-against-illicit-trafficking-of-cultural-property/.- 30 -


National High School Model United Nations 2015UNESCOadapted for use in Syria. 188 Out of this conference came UNESCO’s current strategy of handling thiscrisis. Programs and organizations such as the International Council of Museums (ICOM), theWorld Customs Organization (WCO), and Blue Shield, which have protected and monitored objectsin other crisis or emergency situations, were all used as inspiration for UNESCO’s six step plan todeal with the current situation. 189Advocacy is the first step of this plan, as UNESCO is prepared to take actions meant to increaseawareness about the issue and advocate for the protection of Syrian cultural heritage at both theinternational and national level. 190 Next, UNESCO plans to establish a series of measures that aremeant to prevent the risk of illicit trafficking and ensure the safeguarding of Syrian culture. Oncethese actions are put into place, UNESCO will then raise awareness on the importance of Syriancultural heritage and the risks affecting its preservation. 191 Fourthly, UNESCO will take stepstowards capacity building, meaning that the Committee will establish programs and campaignswhose purpose is to develop knowledge, resources, and money to further ensure the safeguarding ofculture among both the Syrian authorities and neighboring countries. Then, it will establishpreventive actions and develop a tool kit for further dissemination and use. 192 All of these stepsrequire the cooperation of UNESCO, Syrian communities, and other international or specializedorganizations, making it a cohesive and joint effort. 193Presence at World Heritage SitesIn response to unwanted military presence and rising conflict in Syria, specifically in regions whereSyria’s six World Heritage sites are located, UNESCO has made it a top priority to first condemnthis presence and find a solution to monitor the sites’ safety. 194 From 26 May 2014 to 28 May 2014,UNESCO hosted ‘Rallying the International Community to Safeguard Syria’s Cultural Heritage’ fora group of around 120 international experts to determine how to mitigate the effects of the militarypresence without straying from UNESCO’s mandate. 195 By the end of the sessions, it was decidedthat UNESCO would build and run an observatory in Beirut, Lebanon, on the border of Syria, tocombat the illicit trafficking, vandalism and damage to movable cultural heritage in Syria and theWorld Heritage sites until violence and fighting is officially over. 196 This development is extremelyimportant, as it means that UNESCO will now have a physical haven for these cultural sites andobjects once they are recovered.Also at the conference, Francesco Bandarin, Assistant UNESCO Director-General for Culture,made a statement arguing that it is of the utmost importance that the media give this issue attention!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!188 “Regional training on Syrian cultural heritage: addressing the issue of illicit trafficking, Amman,” United NationsEducational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, 2013.189 Ibid.190 Ibid.191 Ibid.192 Ibid.193 Ibid.194 "UNESCO Director-General condemns military presence and destruction at World Heritage Site in Syria," WorldHeritage Convention, 20 February 2014, accessed 16 July 2014, http://whc.unesco.org/en/news/1108/.195"UNESCO to create an Observatory for the Safeguarding of Syria’s Cultural Heritage," UNESCO, 28 May 2014,accessed 17 July 2014, http://whc.unesco.org/en/news/1135/.196 Ibid.- 31 -


National High School Model United Nations 2015UNESCOas well, as one of the best ways to handle these types of problems is by raising awareness throughmedia outlets. 197 Specifically, this committee should explore how to best utilize national andinternational media – as well as local grassroots campaigns – to raise awareness among the populous.Movable objects valuable to Syrian culture and at risk have also been protected by UNESCO andthe Directorate General of Antiquities and Museums, as a museum in Damascus now containsartifacts representing the transformation of Middle Eastern culture from the ancient world to thepresent day. 198NGO AssistanceUNESCO is not the only international organization that has realized the importance of this issue.Within recent years especially, many non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have collaboratedwith UNESCO to try and salvage as much of Syria’s heritage as possible. 199 With the assistance ofNGOs, UNESCO can make headway on this difficult problem.Aleppo Archaeology was actually established for the sole purpose of dealing with this issue.Founded in 2012, the foundation set up a Facebook page to keep those interested constantlyupdated on the status of the City of Aleppo and its artifacts. 200 Similarly, Archaeology in Syria wasfounded the same year to connect those interested in protecting Syria’s culture. This allowed peopleto exchange knowledge on the topic and also created a universal status on the endangered culture. 201Heritage for Peace, established in Spain in 2013, has worked to create and run crisis teams inDamascus and has worked with organizations like the Directorate-General of Antiquities andMuseums to raise awareness to the issue and create an electronic platform for heritage workers aswell. 202BLOC ANALYSISIt is important to acknowledge that the controversy of the civil war will impact countries’ positionswhen considering this issue. These bloc positions are divided into the following groups: countriessupporting Assad, countries opposed to Assad, and publicly neutral countries.Countries supporting Assad, Opposing RebelsRussia and China have publicly backed President Assad and the Syrian government several timessince the outbreak of the war in 2011. 203 This is most likely due to the fact that Russia has a verystrong self-interest in protecting Assad’s regime. Russia has financially backed Assad and the Syriangovernment since its instatement.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!197 Ibid.198 "National Museum of Damascus," UNESCO, accessed 17 July 2014, http://www.unesco.org/culture/museum-fordialogue/museums/en/1/national-museum-of-damascus-syria.199 Perini, “Towards a protection of the Syrian cultural heritage.”200 Ibid.201 Ibid.202 Ibid.203 Ibid.- 32 -


National High School Model United Nations 2015UNESCODuring the onset of the Syrian Civil War, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov took a strongstance against the Syrian opposition and discouraged NATO states from giving military aid to therebels. 204 The Russian Delegation to the United Nations Security Council has publically stated that itdoes not support intervention in Syria, arguing that it does not present a threat to internationalsecurity and that allowing foreign military intervention would only escalate armed conflict and breakthe crisis into neighboring states. 205China, much like Russia, has posed an argument that militarily intervening in Syria would be againstinternational law. 206 Russia and China have even gone so far as to threaten countries contemplatingtaking a one sided stance on the side of the Syrian people in rebellion and has denied Syria anyattention or work towards resolutions within the UN Security Council, leaving most countries, alongwith the UN, unable to get involved in any way. 207 Russian President Vladimir Putin personallyauthored an Op-Ed in the New York Times in spring of 2013, arguing for caution and restraint fromintervening in Syrian conflict, arguing that much of the west had reverted to “the language of force”and has strayed from “the path of civilized and diplomatic settlement” through it’s support ofmilitary intervention. 208Iran has seemed to publicly support Assad since day one of the civil war. 209 Similar to Russia, thestate of Iran has aided the Syrian military and financially supported Assad’s regime. Iran’srelationship with Syria dates back to the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran, where they became strategicallies. 210 Syria and Iran have largely aligned on terms of foreign of policy; both states are staunchlyopposed to Israel and both are proponents of state-sponsored terrorism to pursue their foreignpolicy agenda. 211Countries Opposed to Assad and Support the RebelsThe United States, along with Britain, France, and other European countries, are very harsh criticsof Assad’s methods and his authoritarian regime. France in particular has radically denounced Assad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!204 Henry Meyer, “Russia Warns U.S., NATO Against Military Aid to Syria Protests After Libya,” Bloomberg, 2 June 2011,accessed 3 October 2014, http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-06-01/russia-warns-u-s-nato-against-military-aid-tosyria-protests-after-libya.html.205 Perini, “Towards a protection of the Syrian cultural heritage.”206 Ibid.207 Hala Droubi and Rick Gladstone, “Assad Sends Letter to Emerging Powers Seeking Help to End Syrian War,” TheNew York Times, 27 March 2013, accessed 1 Sep 2014, http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/28/world/middleeast/syriasdevelopments.html?_r=1&.208 Vladimir Putin, “A Plea for Caution From Russia: What Putin Has to Say to Americans About Syria,” New YorkTimes, 11 September 2013, accessed 3 October 2014, http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/12/opinion/putin-plea-forcaution-from-russia-on-syria.html?_r=0.209Krishnadev Calamur, “Who Are Syria’s Friends and Why Are They Supporting Assad?” NPR, 28 Aug 2013, accessed1 Sep 2014, http://www.npr.org/blogs/parallels/2013/08/28/216385513/who-are-syrias-friends-and-why-are-theysupporting-assad.210 “Iran’s new president Hassan Rouhani vows to support Syrian regime as president Assad vows to crush rebels with‘iron fist’,” The Independent, 5 Aug 2013, accessed 1 Sep 2014, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/irans-new-president-hassan-rouhani-vows-to-support-syrian-regime-as-president-assad-vowsto-crush-rebels-with-iron-fist-8745857.html.211 David H. Gray and Marina V. Ospino, “Syria, Iran, and Hizballah: A Strategic Alliance,” Global Security Studies 5, No. 1(2014).- 33 -


National High School Model United Nations 2015UNESCOand stopped acknowledging the Syrian government as a member of the international community. 212Much like in the United States, many French citizens and governmental officials wanted to take themilitary route of intervention, but French president, Francois Hollande announced that, eventhough it was against his wishes, France would not be intervening without the backing of the UnitedStates. 213The United States has actively sought to develop the capacity of the Syrian Opposition Coalition(SOC) and local supporters in order to continue momentum against he Asaad regime. 214Additionally, the U.S. has worked to provide both arms and alternative support to the SupremeMilitary Command Council (SMC), an armed rebel group. U.S. diplomats have encouraged the SOCto continue talks in Geneva in order to advance their agenda and gain legitimacy as important actorsin the Syrian conflict.In response to this inability to send in troops, France and Britain teamed up to lobby the EU to liftthe embargo on Syria. With the arms embargo lifted, European countries could then offer aid toSyrian rebels and help try to defeat Assad in the most seemingly practical way possible. 215Simultaneously, most western states have levied economic sanctions on oil exports and bankingtransactions that stand to benefit the Assad regime. 216 Israel has been quietly supportive of theWest’s actions against the Assad regime. 217 Israel has supported numerous attacks in Syria butspecifically against Hezbollah in order to prevent the organization from obtaining chemicalweapons, long range missiles, and other strong artillery. 218Countries that provide aid to Syrian refugees and support the revolution call for a political, notmilitary, solution to the crisis and are still willing to acknowledge Syria as a country deserving ofinternational aid. Countries like Lebanon have publicly said they believe those in rebellion deserve achance to negotiate with their government. 219 Countries like Turkey, for example, have gone so far intheir pursuit to assist Syrian rebels that they have threatened to intervene without the approval ofthe UN. These same Middle Eastern countries have taken in hundreds of thousands of refugees aswell over the past three years of the crisis and are very much directly tied and involved with theissue. 220!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!212 “Syria Crisis: Where key countries stand,” BBC News, February 18, 2014, accessed 17 July 2014,http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-23849587.213 Ibid.214 Christopher M. Blanchard et al, “Armed Conflict in Syria: Overview and U.S. Response,” Congressional Research Service,14 January 2014, accessed 3 October 2014, http://oai.dtic.mil/oai/oai?verb=getRecord&metadataPrefix=html&identifier=ADA592733.215 Ibid.216 Gray and Ospino, “Syria, Iran, and Hizballah: A Strategic Alliance.”217 Ibid.218 Ibid.219 “Syria Crisis: Where key countries stand,” BBC News, February 18, 2014, accessed 17 July 2014,http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-23849587.220 Ibid.- 34 -


National High School Model United Nations 2015UNESCOPublicly Neutral CountriesSeveral countries in the international community have not publicly declared an allegiance to eitherAssad or the rebels. On one hand, this helps to minimize the tensions between members, but it canalso be detrimental if they do not want to get involved either. Israel, for example, has always referredto Assad as an enemy but has refrained from publicly attacking the regime for fear of alienating theArab world. 221Assad reached out to Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, referred to as BRICS—a groupof developing states that work together economically, for assistance in 2013. Unlike China andRussia, India, along with Brazil and South Africa joined Israel in remaining neutral on the topic. 222However, countries within this bloc, albeit publically neutral, should research into the past actions oftheir government in order to gain a more accurate understanding of their country’s policy. While acountry may be publically neutral, their actions may not necessary align and they could be providingless overt means of support.COMMITTEE MISSIONUNESCO is primarily known for its work protecting cultural heritage and its ever-expanding WorldHeritage List. No culture is too “small” or insignificant in the eyes of UNESCO, and every culturedeserves to be not only preserved, but also able to be shared and celebrated. With six sites officiallyacknowledged as World Heritage sites, Syria’s culture has been in danger and UNESCO has alreadytaken steps to try and protect it.While this topic may only focus on one geographic region, the conflict within Syria has polarized theinternational community, drawing many countries into the conflict. However, with growingcontroversy and increased military presence in Syria, it is important to acknowledge that there ismuch more to this issue than simply a culture being threatened. There are also millions of Syriansliving in refugee shelters, children not receiving proper education, and many people living withoutproper food, water, and shelter. It is in the interest of the international community to keep Syrianculture alive and flourishing. Because of the political conflict in which this cultural issue is set, theUN has had a difficult time finding an appropriate way to become actively involved. However,UNESCO recognizes that the theft, vandalizing, and disrespecting of Syria’s cultural objects andsites directly give UNESCO jurisdiction over the issue.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!221 “Syria Crisis: Where key countries stand,” BBC News, February 18, 2014, accessed 17 July 2014,http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-23849587.222Hala Droubi and Rick Gladstone, “Assad Sends Letter to Emerging Powers Seeking Help to End Syrian War,” TheNew York Times, 27 March 2013, accessed 1 Sep 2014, http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/28/world/middleeast/syriasdevelopments.html?_r=1&.- 35 -


National High School Model United Nations 2015UNESCORESEARCH AND PREPARATION QUESTIONSAs mentioned in the Note on Research and Preparation, delegates must answer each of these questions in their position papers.TOPIC ATOPIC B1. How important is Freedom of Speech in your country? Is the media publicly or privatelyowned?2. How has the status of your country’s political environment affected the state of themedia?3. What kind of organizations can UNESCO plan to work with to ensure that journalistsare given shelter or safety in times of danger?4. What type of programs or campaigns can UNESCO design to promote journalism as aviable and important field?5. Has your country taken any steps to reduce the gender gap? In what ways can yourcountry contribute to combating sexism in this issue?6. In what ways can UNESCO develop a resolution that will not cause direct conflict withgovernments that legalize governmental censorship?7. Are there any ways in which social media can be used to effectively tackle this issue?1. What are some ways in which UNESCO can establish and use programs and networksto effectively raise awareness on the current status of culture in Syria?2. What stake does your country hold in the preservation of Syrian culture heritage?3. In what ways can UNESCO use programs to learn, translate, and teach the oraltraditions and means of intangible heritage in Syria?4. Can or how can deeply rooted positions on the civil war be resolved for the sake ofSyrian culture?5. In what ways can UNESCO combat increasing military presence at World Heritagesites?6. What role can other international organizations and alliances play to assist thepreservation and safety of artifacts and cultural sites?7. What does your country’s means of culture safety and protection look like?8. What role should technology play in protecting Syria’s cultural heritage?- 36 -


National High School Model United Nations 2015UNESCOTOPIC AIMPORTANT DOCUMENTSBerger, Guy. “UN Plan of Action: Journalist Safety and Combating Impunity.” Speech, UNESCO.London. 18 October 2012. Accessed 23 August 2014.http://www.unesco.org/new/fileadmin/MULTIMEDIA/HQ/CI/CI/images/Themes/Freedom_of_expression/GB_Speech_BBC181012.pdf.This source is a transcript of the Director for Freedom of Expression’s speech recognizing this topic as an internationalissue and calling for UNESCO and the UN to plan a way to combat the dangers journalists face.CI-12/CONF.202/6. “UNESCO plan of action on the safety of journalists and the issue ofimpunity”.This source is published directly from UNESCO and identifies what specifically UNESCO plans to focus on whentrying to solve this issue. This will help delegates choose a direction in which to research further.Karlekar, Karin and Jennifer Dunham. “Freedom of the Press 2013: Middle East Volatility amidGlobal Decline.” Freedom House. Last Modified 2013.http://www.freedomhouse.org/sites/.This report, produced by Freedom House, is extremely helpful in defining what it means for a country to have pressfreedom and ranks countries to better help delegates see where their country or countries they may want to focus onstand in regard to freedom of speech.“Killing the Messenger.” International News Safety Institute. March 2007. Accessed 5 September 2014.http://www.newssafety.org/uploads/killingtheMessenger2007.pdfThis in depth report provides an overview of the current dangers faced by journalists in danger situations as well as providingrecommendations that could be implemented on both national and international level.TOPIC B“Intangible Cultural Heritage Domains.” UNESCO. Accessed 30 Aug 2014.http://www.unesco.org/culture/ich/doc/src/01857-EN.pdf.This source provides delegates with an in depth explanation of intangible cultural heritage in regard to UNESCOand gives many examples to better exemplify the issue.“Text of the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage,” UNESCO, Accessed30 Aug 2014. http://www.unesco.org/culture/ich/en/convention.This source provides the actual text from the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage whichcan be extremely helpful to delegates for better understanding this subtopic."1970 Convention." UNESCO. Accessed 1 Sep 2014.http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0013/001333/133378mo.pdf.- 37 -


National High School Model United Nations 2015UNESCOThis source provides the actual text from UNESCO’s 1970 convention which set the standard for approaching theillicit trafficking of cultural heritage- 38 -


National High School Model United Nations 2015UNESCOBIBLIOGRAPHYCOMMITTEE HISTORY AND SIMULATION"Declaration on Race and Racial Prejudice, 1978." United Nations Educational, Scientific, and CulturalOrganization. Accessed 16 May 2011.http://www.unesco.org/webworld/peace_library/UNESCO/HRIGHTS/107-116.HTM.Preamble and Articles of the Declaration and UNESCO’s involvements from within."Introducing UNESCO: What We Are." United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.Accessed 15 May 2011. http://www.unesco.org/new/en/unesco/about-us/who-weare/introducing-unesco/.Lists out the basic functions of UNESCO and its’ primary focuses."UNESCO: The Organization's History." United Nations Educational, Scientific, and CulturalOrganization. Accessed 15 May 2011. http://www.unesco.org/new/en/unesco/aboutus/who-we-are/history/.Describes in detail how UNESCO was started.Valderrama, Fernando. "A History of UNESCO." Paris: UNESCO, 2011.Outlines the League of Nations role in creating UNESCO.TOPIC AUN Sources“About World Freedom Press Day.” UNESCO.http://www.unesco.org/new/en/unesco/events/prizes-andcelebrations/celebrations/international-days/world-press-freedom-day/about-world-pressfreedom-day/.(Accessed 23 June 2014).This source describes one of UNESCO’s biggest attempts to team up with the international community and supportand raise awareness to the importance of free speech and freedom of the press."Assassinated Journalists in 2014." UNESCO, 2014. Accessed 1 July2014. http://www.unesco.org/new/en/communication-and-information/freedom-ofexpression/press-freedom/unesco-condemns-killing-of-journalists/lists-by-year/2014/.This source provides a list of journalists and media workers assassinated within the year, along with their specific areaof research and where they were from.Berger, Guy. “UN Plan of Action: Journalist Safety and Combating Impunity.” Speech, UNESCO,London, 18 Oct 2012. Accessed 23 Aug 2014.http://www.unesco.org/new/fileadmin/MULTIMEDIA/HQ/CI/CI/images/Themes/Freedom_of_expression/GB_Speech_BBC181012.pdf.This source is a transcript of the Director for Freedom of Expression’s speech recognizing this topic as an internationalissue and calling for UNESCO and the UN to plan a way to combat the dangers journalists face.- 39 -


National High School Model United Nations 2015UNESCOCI-12/CONF.202/6. “UNESCO plan of action on the safety of journalists and the issue ofimpunity”.This is another source published directly from UNESCO that identifies what specifically UNESCO plans to focuson when trying to solve this issue.CI/FM/FOE/2013/299. “UNESCO work plan for the safety of journalists and the issue ofimpunity.” June 3, 2013.This source provides UNESCO’s beginning attempts to keep journalist around the world safe. Although this issue isnowhere near solved, this source provides a good start."Crime and Unpunishment: Why journalists fear for their safety." UNESCO. Accessed 1 July 2014.http://visual.ly/crime-unpunishment-why-journalists-fear-their-safety.This source, a visual campaign by UNESCO, provides statistics and background information on the attacks andmurders of journalists.“International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC),” UNESCO, 2014,accessed 30 August 2014, http://www.unesco.org/new/en/communication-andinformation/intergovernmental-programmes/ipdc/special-initiatives/safety-of-journalists/.Indepth UNESCO report regarding journalists in warzones."UNESCO's Mandate." UNESCO. Accessed 23 Aug 2014.http://www.unesco.org/new/en/communication-and-information/mediadevelopment/public-service-broadcasting/unescos-mandate/.This source provides the exact copy of UNESCO's mandate."The Universal Declaration of Human Rights." United Nations. Accessed 30 Aug2014.http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/index.shtml#a19.This provides the exact text to the Declaration of Human Rights.“UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity.” UNESCO, 2011.Accessed 1 Sep 2014.http://www.unesco.org/new/fileadmin/MULTIMEDIA/HQ/CI/CI/pdf/official_documents/UN_plan_on_Safety_Journalists _EN.pdf.This source outlines what UNESCO has identified as the key issues with crimes against journalists.Other SourcesAbout NLGJA." National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association. Accessed 20 Aug 2014. http://wwwnlgja.org/about.This source provides background info on the NLGJA."Alerts." CPJ, 3 Sep 2014. Accessed 2 Sep 2014. https://cpj.org/news/.This source serves as a constantly updating field on news involving the status and treatment of journalists across theglobe.- 40 -


National High School Model United Nations 2015UNESCO“Americas.” CPJ, June 2014. Accessed 29 July 2014. Cpj.org/Americas.This source serves as a compilation of articles and analyses on free speech in the United StatesBorri, Francesca. “Woman’s work: The twisted reality of an Italian freelancer in Syria.” ColombiaJournalism Review, 1 July 2013. Accessed 3 October 2014.http://www.cjr.org/feature/womans_work.php?page=all.This web article provides one journalist’s account for wartime coverage in the present-day Syria and the neighboringregion."Bringing Predators of Freedom of Information to Justice." Reporters Without Borders. Accessed 28Aug 2014. http://en.rsf.org/IMG/pdf/bringing_predators_of_freedom_of_information_to_justice.pdf.This source provides statistics and background information on the dangers journalists face, along with impunity."Covering conflict and corruption, journalists face increasing danger." PBS, 5 March 2014. Accessed23 June 2014. http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/covering-conflict-corruption-journalistsface-rising-threat/.This sources outlines specific conflicts and dangers faced by journalists with the point of view of someone directly affectedby the issue."Freedom of Speech, Assembly and Association." International Gay and Lesbian Human RightsCommission. Accessed 23 June 2014. https://iglhrc.org/theme/freedom-speech-assemblyand-association.Provides the platform and innovations of free speech of the IGLHRCGalhotra, Sumit. "Censorship in India on the rise amid elections." CPJ, 26 April 2014. Accessed 30June 2014.http://cpj.org/blog/2014/04/censorship-in-india-on-the-rise-amid-elections.php.This source explains censorship and the realities of freedom of speech in India.Gessen, Masha. “Homophobic Attacks on the Press, Committee to Protect Journalists.” CPJ.Accessed 22 June 2014. https://cpj.org/attacks95/SpecialReports/homophobic.html.This source demonstrates how the members LGBTQ community who work in the media and other fields related tojournalism are harshly discriminated against and harassed.Goldman, Adam and Julia Tate. "Captives held by Islamic State were waterboarded." Washington Post,28 Aug 2014, accessed 30 Aug 2014. http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/captives-held-by-islamic-state-were-waterboarded/2014/08/28/2b4e1962-2ec9-11e4-9b98-848790384093_story.html.This source provides information on the waterboarding and execution of James Foley.Greenslade, Roy. "Freedom of Expression At Risk in Latin America." The Guardian, 5 April 2011.Accessed 3 July 2014. http://www.theguardian.com/media/greenslade/2011/apr/15/freedom-of-speech-latinamerica.This source explains the problems with free speech in Latin America today, specifically Mexico, Colombia, and Peru.- 41 -


National High School Model United Nations 2015UNESCOHess, Amanda. "Most Female Journalists Have Been Threatened, Assaulted, or Harassed at Work.Here's Why We Don't Talk About It." Slate, 3 December 2013. Accessed 23 June 2014.http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2013/12/03/sexual_harassment_in_journalism_a_new_study_shows_that_the_majority_of_female.html.This source gives the point of view of female journalists who experience harassment within the day-to-day workplace.“Iran.” CPJ. Accessed 23 June 2014. http://cpj.org/mideast/iran/.This source explains instances in which Iran and other Middle Eastern countries has acted against free speech"Jordanian authorities raid station, arrest staff." CPJ, 13 June 2014. Accessed 2 Sep 2014.https://cpj.org/2014/06/jordanian-authorities-raid-station-arrest-staff.php.This source provides information on the raiding and arresting of Jordanian journalists."Journalists injured, arrested amid Iraq violence." CPJ, 16 July 2014. Accessed 2 Sep 2014.http://cpj.org/2014/07/journalists-injured-arrested-amid-iraq-violence.php.This source provides information on the current treatment of journalists and media workers in Iraq."Journalism Under Fire." Al Jazeera English, 2014. Accessed 1 July 2014.http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/spotlight/freeajstaff/.This source provides information on the situation in Egypt and the names of the Al Jazeera journalists illegallydetained."Journalists Killed in 2013." Committee to Protect Journalists, 2014. Accessed 1 July 2014.cpj.org/killed/2013.This source provides information on who and how many journalists were killed in the line of duty in 2013.Karlekar, Karin and Jennifer Dunham. “Freedom of the Press 2013: Middle East Volatility amidGlobal Decline.” Freedom House. Last Modified 2013.http://www.freedomhouse.org/sites/.This report, produced by Freedom House, is extremely helpful in defining what it means for a country to have pressfreedom and ranks countries to better help delegates see where their country or countries they may want to focus onstand in regard to freedom of speech.“Killing the Messenger.” International News Safety Institute. March 2007. Accessed 5 September 2014.http://www.newssafety.org/uploads/killingtheMessenger2007.pdf.This in depth report provides an overview of the current dangers faced by journalists in danger situations as well asproviding recommendations that could be implemented on both national and international level.Mander, Mary S. Pen and Sword. (Urbana, Chicago, and Springfield: University of Illinois Press, 2010.This book provides an excellent history and analysis of the interaction between media and government forces duringwar times."Persecution of Homosexuals." United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Accessed 1 July 2014.http://www.ushmm.org/learn/students/learning-materials-and resources/homosexualsvictims-of-the-nazi-era/persecution-of-homosexuals.This paper contains background information on the origins of the “pink lists.”- 42 -


National High School Model United Nations 2015UNESCOPhilips, Peter. Censored 2006. New York: Seven Stories Press, 2005.This book by Peter Philips is the latest in his Censored series. This book covers recent efforts by governments to censormedia and the media’s relation to controversial stories and wartime reporting."Russian cameraman killed in eastern Ukraine." CPJ, 30 June 2014. Accessed 1 July 2014.http://cpj.org/2014/06/russian-cameraman-killed-in-eastern-ukraine.php.This paper describes the shooting of a Russian journalist in Ukraine."The silencing crime: Sexual violence and journalists." CPJ, 7 June 2011. Accessed 1 July 2014.http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Fcpj.org%2Freports%2F2011%2F06%2Fsilencing-crime-sexual-violence-journalists.php&sa=D&sntz=1&usg=AFQjCNHkqgaUeOKCMQDar-BZJBe-2GnYfgThis source explains the sexual assault of female journalists and discrimination they feel for their gender.Sherwood, Harriet. "Egypt 'declaring journalism a crime' by jailing al-Jazeera correspondents." TheGuardian, 23 June 2014. Accessed 2 Sep 2014.http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/23/egypt-declaring-journalism-crime-jailingal-jazeera-correspondents.This source provides information on the status of journalism and the media in Egypt and the current imprisonment ofjournalists by the Egyptian government."Somali journalist arrested after speaking out against censorship." CPJ, 3 Sept. 2014. Accessed 4Sept. 2014. https://cpj.org/2014/09/somali-journalist-arrested-after-speaking-out-agai.php.This source provides information on a Somali journalist arrested after speaking out against government censorship."Steven Sotloff Beheaded by ISIS, Becoming 70th Journalist Killed Covering Syria Conflict."Democracy Now. Accessed 2 Sep 2014.http://www.democracynow.org/2014/9/3/steven_sotloff_beheaded_by_isis_becoming.This source provides information on the execution of Steven Sotloff by ISIS.“United Kingdom.” CPJ, June 2014. Accessed 1 July 2014. http://cpj.org/europe/uk/.This source is a compilation of articles explaining UK’s opinions on journalism and free speech.Wilford, Marcus. “The Big Story: Our Embattled Media” World Affairs, 2009. Accessed 10December 2012. http://www.worldaffairsjournal.org/article/big-story-our-embattled-media.This web article discusses the dangers and complexities of wartime media coverage and embedded journalism."8 Journalists Killed in Ukraine since 1992/Motive Confirmed." CPJ. Accessed 1 July 2014.http://cpj.org/killed/europe/ukraine/.This source reveals how many journalists have been killed in Ukraine in the midst of the crisis and why.- 43 -


National High School Model United Nations 2015UNESCOTOPIC BUN Sources“Ancient City of Aleppo.” UNESCO. Accessed 30 Aug 2014. http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/21.This source proves information directly from UNESCO on the Ancient City of Aleppo and why it qualifies to beconsidered one of UNESCO’s World Heritage sites."Ancient City of Damascus." UNESCO. Accessed 16 July 2014. http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/20.This source provides information on Syria’s first World Heritage site, the Ancient City of Damascus."Ancient Villages of Northern Syria." UNESCO. Accessed 16 July 2014.http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1348.This source provides information on Syria’s World Heritage site, the Ancient Villages of Northern Syria.Blanchard, Christopher M., Humud, Carla E., Nikitin, Mary Beth D.“Armed Conflict in Syria:Overview and U.S. Response.” Congressional Research Service. 14 January 2014. Accessed 3October 2014.http://oai.dtic.mil/oai/oai?verb=getRecord&metadataPrefix=html&identifier=ADA592733This report from the Congressional Research Service provides an in-depth look at the Syrian Civil War, largely romthe viewpoint of U.S. foreign policy and its options at the time of publication."Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Culture and Natural Heritage." UNESCO.Accessed 16 July 2014. http://whc.unesco.org/?cipd=175.This source provides background information on the creation of the World Heritage List by UNESCO in the 1970s."Crac des Chevaliers and Qal'at Salah El-Din." UNESCO. Accessed 16 July 2014.http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1229.This source provides UNESCO’s information on one of Syria’s World Heritage sites, Crac des Chevaliers andQal’at Salah El-Din, a set of castles."Intangible Heritage." UNESCO. Accessed 16 July 2014.http://www.unesco.org/new/en/amman/culture/intangible-heritage/.This source provides background information and an official UNESCO definition of intangible heritage.“Intangible Cultural Heritage Domains.” UNESCO. Accessed 30 Aug 2014.http://www.unesco.org/culture/ich/doc/src/01857-EN.pdf.This source provides delegates with an in depth explanation of intangible cultural heritage in regard to UNESCOand gives many examples to better exemplify the issue.Meyer, Henry. “Russia Warns U.S., NATO Against Military Aid to Syria Protests After Libya.”Bloomberg, 2 June 2011. Accessed 3 October 2014. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-06-01/russia-warns-u-s-nato-against-military-aid-to-syria-protests-after-libya.html.This news article provides a brief but thorough look at Russia’s stance regarding the Syrian Civil War toward thebeginning of the violent conflict.- 44 -


National High School Model United Nations 2015UNESCO"National Museum of Damascus.” UNESCO. Accessed 17 July 2014.http://www.unesco.org/culture/museum-for-dialogue/museums/en/1/national-museumof-damascus-syria.This source gives background information on the National Museum of Damascus."Overview of the MedLiHer Project." UNESCO. Accessed 17 July 2014.http://www.unesco.org/culture/ich/index.php?lg=en&pg=00233.This source provides background information on and the outcomes of the Mediterranean Living Heritage Project.Putin, Vladimir V. “A Plea for Caution From Russia: What Putin Has to Say to Americans AboutSyria.” New York Times, 11 September 2013. Accessed 3 October 2014.http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/12/opinion/putin-plea-for-caution-from- russiaon-syria.html?_r=0.This op-ed provides an excellent first-hand look at Russian president Vladimir Putin’s stance on the Syrian CivilWar (at the time of publication) and his views on how the West should proceed in terms of force and rhetoric regardingthe armed conflict.“Regional training on Syrian cultural heritage: addressing the issue of illicit trafficking.” Amman:United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, 2013.This source provides the most current way UNESCO has met and agreed to try and handle this topic in regard toSyria specifically.Syrian Arab Republic.” World Heritage Convention. Accessed 16 July 2014.http://whc.unesco.org/en/statesparties/SY/.This source from UNESCO provides all the information on the six sites Syria has on the World Heritage List andalso gives other background info about the country itself."Syria Crisis Overview." UNOCHA. Accessed 16 Jul 2014. http://syria.unocha.org.This source provides information on the number and status of Syrian refugees.“Syria Crisis Response." UNESCO. Accessed 16 July 2014. http://www.unesco.org/new/en/syriacrisis-response/.This source explains how UNESCO has begun responding to the Syrian Civil War and the consequences it has hadon education, gender, and children."Syrian heritage: strategy to fight the illicit trafficking of cultural property," UNESCO. Accessed 16July 2014. http://www.unesco.org/new/en/culture/themes/illicit-traffic-of-culturalproperty/capacity-building/arab-states/syrian-heritage-strategy-to-fight-the-illicit-traffickingof-cultural-property/.This source provides information on the illicit trafficking of movable cultural heritage and some of the waysUNESCO has begun combating the issue.“Text of the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage,” UNESCO. Accessed30 Aug 2014. http://www.unesco.org/culture/ich/en/convention.This source provides the actual text from the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage whichcan be extremely helpful to delegates for better understanding this subtopic.- 45 -


National High School Model United Nations 2015UNESCO"UNESCO Cultural Sector- Intangible Heritage- 2003 Convention." UNESCO. Accessed 17 July2014. http://www.unesco.org/culture/ich/?pg=00232.This source provides the conversation and outcomes of the 2003 UNESCO convention on intangible heritage."UNESCO Director-General condemns military presence and destruction at World Heritage Site inSyria." World Heritage Convention, 20 Feb 2014. Accessed 16 July 2014.http://whc.unesco.org/en/news/1108/.This source is a copy of Director-General Bokova’s statement condemning military presence at World Heritage sites inSyria."UNESCO to create an Observatory for the Safeguarding of Syria’s Cultural Heritage." UNESCO,28 May 2014. Accessed 17 July 2014. http://whc.unesco.org/en/news/1135/.This source explains how UNESCO plans to protect cultural heritage in Syria by building an observatory inLebanon.“Workshop against Illicit Trafficking of Syrian Cultural Property.” UNESCO. Accessed 1 Sep. 2014.http://www.unesco.org/new/en/culture/themes/illicit-traffic-of-culturalproperty/capacity-building/arab-states/syria-workshop-on-the-fight-against-illicittrafficking-of-cultural-property/.This source provides information on some of UNESCO’s latest attempts to prevent illicit trafficking of Syriancultural property from its two day workshop."1970 Convention." UNESCO. Accessed 17 July 2014.http://www.unesco.org/new/en/culture/themes/illicit-traffic-of-cultural-property/1970-convention/.This source provides how UNESCO initially planned to approach the illicit trafficking of cultural property asestablished at the 1970 convention.Other Sources“Ancient City of Damascus.” National Geographic. Accessed 30 Aug 2014.http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/world-heritage/ancient-city-damascus/.This source will provide delegates with a massive amount of background info on one of Syria’s most well-known WorldHeritage sites, the Ancient City of Damascus.“Bosra, Syria.” Sacred Destinations. Accessed 30 Aug 2014.http://www.sacreddestinations.com/syria/bosra.This source provides delegates with background information of Bosra, one of Syria’s six UNESCO-recognized WorldHeritage sitesCalamur, Krishnadev. “Who Are Syria’s Friends and Why Are They Supporting Assad?” NPR, 28Aug 2013. Accessed 1 Sep 2014.http://www.npr.org/blogs/parallels/2013/08/28/216385513/who-are-syrias-friends-andwhy-are-they-supporting-assad.This source provides information on the relationships between Syria, Russia, China, and Iran.- 46 -


National High School Model United Nations 2015UNESCOCunliffe, Emma. "Damage to the Soul: Syria's Cultural Heritage Conflict." Global Heritage Fund, 16May 2012. Accessed 16 July 2014.http://ghn.globalheritagefund.com/uploads/documents/document_2107.pdf.This source provides a third party opinion on the status of cultural heritage in Syria with background information onthe six World Heritage sites and the Syrian Civil War’s effect on them.Droubi, Hala and Rick Gladstone. “Assad Sends Letter to Emerging Powers Seeking Help to EndSyrian War.” The New York Times, 27 March 2013. Accessed 1 Sep 2014.http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/28/world/middleeast/syriasdevelopments.html?_r=1&.This article provides information on President Assad and his request for help from the international community.“Historic Syrian antiques plundered amid civil war.” RT, 18 February 2013. Acccessed 30 Aug. 2014.http://rt.com/news/syria-ancient-artifacts-plunder-482/.This source provides an account of Syrian artifacts being stolen and museums being vandalized.“Iran’s new president Hassan Rouhani vows to support Syrian regime as president Assad vows tocrush rebels with ‘iron fist’.” The Independent, 05 Aug 2013. Accessed 1 Sep 2014.http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/irans-new-president-hassanrouhani-vows-to-support-syrian-regime-as-president-assad-vows-to-crush-rebels-with-ironfist-8745857.html.This article provides information on the alliance between President Assad and Iran.Nouehid, Lin and Alex Warren. The Battle for the Arab Spring: Revolution, Counter-revolution, and theMaking of a New Era. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2013.This book provides a detailed overview on the political climate in the Middle East leading up to the Arab Spring andthe influence of social media in starting the uprisings. Furthermore, the book provides an individual review of eachcountry’s events and their projected political climate for the future.“Syria: Preservation of Intangible Cultural Heritage.” Cultural Heritage Without Borders, 11 July 2014.Accessed 30 Aug 2014. http://chwb.org/others/activities/syria-preservation-intangiblecultural-heritage/.The source provides information on programs ran by Cultural Heritage Without Borders to try and preserve Syrianoral culture and other intangible heritage.- 47 -

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