General assembly plenary

Position Paper for the General Assembly Plenary

The issues before the United Nations General Assembly Plenary are: 10-Year Review of the Implementation of the Millennium Development Goals, Elimination of International Terrorism, Climate Change/ Environmental Degradation as a Source of Conflict. As a region which suffered serious violence and war in the past the young state Montenegro is deeply concerned with the issues of development and security and is looking forward to constructive discussions and conclusions.

I. 10-Year Review of the Implementation of the Millennium Development Goals

Montenegro is highly interested in a constant engagement, which shall lead to the fulfillment of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Montenegro endured a long time of crisis, armed ethnic conflicts and aggression within its political and regional environment, naming the breakdown of Yugoslavia and the Balkan-wars. Especially the MDG 1, concerning the eradication of poverty, affects Montenegro in greater terms, due to the ongoing progress of developing a functioning economic system. Thus unemployment rates up to 18% in the last years and 7% of the population living under the poverty line. But poverty differs regionally and within the society, incriminating in particular minorities and refugees. Still the Balkan-area gives home to various forms of organized crime, including corruption, human-trafficking and forced prostitution. The letter contributes also to MDG 3 (gender equality) and MDG 6 (combat HIV/ AIDS).Talking about the MDGs A/RES/55/2 provides the definitions and targets for each MDG and was signed by all of the 192 members of the UN. In 2005 Montenegro published its first MDG Report identifying the problems already introduced above. In order to fulfill its self-set benchmarks, such as democratization and sustainable democratic structures, Montenegro already took a few steps and continues its efforts directed at European integration, which will hopefully bring the targeted innovations in democratic structures, economic and social reforms as well as the fight against organized crime and corruption and further on. The initiatives undertaken by Montenegro are recorded in the Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (DPRS - PRSP), Strategy on Child and Social Protection Development, National Strategy on Roma Inclusion and the Programme to Fight Corruption and Organized Crime.

Already in 2003, when Montenegro was still part of Serbia, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) supported NGOs to detect and give solution strategies to the existing MDG concerned problems. These problems were already engaged by the initiatives listed above. The success of these problems affects the chances of becoming a member of the European Union (EU), which Montenegro aspires. Montenegro's main problem of corruption must be confronted in the near future, as well as the advancement of social integration and implementation of public administration capacities. Regarding organized crime as an international phenomenon, Montenegro will be engaged in bi-, multi- and international programs with its regional neighbors and, due to the intertwined structure of organized crime, with the wealthy European states.

II. Elimination of International Terrorism

International terrorism affects every human being on earth and is one of the biggest topics on the UN's agenda. Last year, several attacks were planned and carried out by multiple terrorist groups all over the planet. Although, some of them were thwarted, a lot where successful. This reminds us, that the fight against international terrorism is far away from being won by the international community. With the implementation of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy (A/RES/60/288) in 2006 a big step has been done. Apart from this, Montenegro has signed and ratified several bilateral and multilateral agreements and memoranda on police cooperation in counterterrorism at the Balkan region. Only by working together with countries in the same region, it is possible to fight international terrorist groups, which are not held by defined frontiers. All UN member states have to cooperate on this term. We need an easy and fast way to exchange intelligence and reconnaissance data to prevent attacks and to blight efforts of building new terrorist cells. In order to make sure, that human rights are protected while combating terrorism, we need a better way to monitor intelligence activities of the UN member states. Torture and some other questioning techniques are not acceptable. Considering all this, Montenegro recognizes the need for a service inside the UN, which monitors, collects and amalgamates all data of intelligence services provided by every member state. Then it could provide a better overview of the situation for everyone and counteractions could be arranged easier. In order to achieve this, some countries have to stop holding back their intelligence results and start sharing. By this, big mistakes as happened before September 11th, could be avoided. History has proved, that big issues can only be solved together. The Counter-Terrorism Committee, established by Security Council resolution 1373 (2001), could be the right place for such a service. The Committee provides a overview of the counter-terrorism situation in every country based on information from the country itself, international organizations and other public sources and hands this out only to the country itself. Based on the information gathered for each country, the Committee prepared in 2008 the first global survey of counter-terrorist measures in different regions and sub regions around the world. Now we have to use this data and create a much more detailed situation overview. This overview needs to be not only static, but also dynamic and has to be updated regularly. The aim is to receive a real time system, which provides detailed information on terrorist activities all over the world. The only way to defeat international terrorism is to be better informed and coordinated.

III. Climate Change/Environmental Degradation as a Source of Conflict

According to the definition of the IPCC, climate change is "any change in climate over time, whether due to natural variability or as a result of human activity." During the last 50 years these changes where bigger than ever before in the last 500 years. This climate change will lead to a shortage of drinking water, a declining food production and an increasing probability of storms and flood disasters. Resulting from these problems are potential violent conflicts and migration problems. Most of these issues will emerge in developing countries. The fight over resources like water are an additionally threat in already unstable regions like the Middle East. Of course, Africa is one of the regions, which will be hit the most by a global climate change. Many economies in Africa are based on agriculture, fishing and forestry, so these economies will suffer especially from these changes. Since it is not possible to reverse the climate change, but to slow it down, we have to develop strategies to handle this issue. Our strategy must consist of two parts: adaption and mitigation. The Copenhagen Climate Change Conference 2009 was a first step towards a reduction of CO2 emissions, but we have to go further. We need a legally binding document with binding commitments for reducing the emissions. The whole topic it very urgent and there is no time for a long delay. All member states of the United Nations must cooperate to achieve this goal. In addition, there is a need for a clear strategy, how to manage small water supplies and how to prevent natural disasters. New studies how to reduce the water consumption in every area of daily life, have to be created. Every member state needs to compile statistics about their use of water, so we can figure out, where the biggest problems are located. Furthermore, Montenegro sees a major need to share water-saving technologies within the UN and especially with developing countries. But there is another issue, which arises out of climate change, namely the refugee problem. Climate change is forcing growing numbers of people in the developing world to flee their homes and seek refuge abroad. There are examples for potential conflict in the whole world. Sudan has become one of the world's refugee hotspots, with over half a million having fled the country in search of a better life elsewhere, according to UN figures. As rainfall patterns change and evaporation increases because of rising temperatures, some places on the continent of Africa will face a striking decline in available water. Along with a growing population and the therefore increasing demand, a conflict is very likely. By 2025, South Africa is expected to run out of available water reserves and according to some climate modeling scenarios, the Nile River will lose approximately 20 percent of water in the next decade. A decrease in agricultural harvest by half till 2020 is anticipated in some other climate models. This leads to rising malnutrition. Altogether more than 50 countries on five continents might soon be caught up in water disputes unless we move quickly to establish agreements on how to share reservoirs, rivers, and underground water aquifers.

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