Country: Eritrea


Event: CACMUN 1999
Student: Saad al Ghawas

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The Eritrean National Anthem



Eritrea

Ethiopia and Eritrea


Country Profile

Political Structure:

The Eritrean government calls itself a Republic although many Ethiopian refugees call the government a dictatorship. The current leader is Meles Zenawi who created the current constitution. The government is stable despite the current war and the powerful international opposition groups. Meles Zenawi came to power through what many call (although he denies) a military coup.

Geography:

Eritrea is mainly a low flat piece of land with good temperatures, which helps agriculture. The soil is rich and very fertile. It has a small piece of land that has access to the sea but no deep-water ports. There are many rivers, which helps to provide an abundant source of fresh water to the whole country since most African countries are too poor to afford desalinization.


Natural Resources:

Eritrea posses many valuable natural resources. It has mining of precious metal in marketable quantities and some oil and natural gas. The land is excellent for agriculture. In a good year, Eritrea can produce a 3 quarters of its agricultural needs. The rest is imported mostly from Ethiopia. Eritrea has access to the ocean although it doesn’t benefit much from the sea.


Cultural Factors::

The population is mainly black. There are many local religions with some Christianity and Islam. The Cultural History is very plain. Eritrea has very traditional and ancient traditions and ways of life. Eritrea has a severe social challenge in creating a capable workforce. The main problem comes from the 80% illiteracy rate and extremely low levels of education. The tribal factions in Eritrea have been united under one cause, which is the border war with Ethiopia concerning the disputed Badme region.


Economy:

Eritrea’s new currency, the Nakfa, has resulted in trading problems with its main trading partner Ethiopia. 67% of Eritrea’s external trade is with Ethiopia. Sound fiscal decisions have resulted in a low current account deficit, a low rate of external borrowing, increasing per capita savings rate, and extremely low corruption. The employment problem in Eritrea is huge, with nearly 80% of the workforce in agriculture, which is good because it provides the population with a source of employment when there wouldn’t be any other jobs in the country. Education also plays a major role in diversifying the jobs in Eritrea.


Defense:

Eritrea spent heavily from 1993 to 1997, about half the current budget in each year. It purchased weapons mainly from Ethiopia and Italy. This boost in defense spending is attributed to the fighting that recently started between Eritrea and its neighbor Ethiopia. It is currently spending on defense to sustain its war against Ethiopia, which has lasted since ’97. Eritrea has a huge dependence on other nations such as Ethiopia, which provides about half of Eritrea’s military hardware.


Views on World Problems:

Eritrea plays a very small role in the world. It doesn’t have any memberships with other countries, and it doesn’t have any important alliances. Eritrea believes that the UN should do everything in its power to help resolve world conflicts and make increase the standard of living in the poorer nations of the world.


History:

Ever since Eritrea gained independence from Ethiopia in 1992, the two countries have got along very well. The larger Ethiopia helping the struggling Eritrea. Ethiopia provided Eritrea with most of its agricultural needs and it was Eritrea’s main trading partner until just recently. Eritrea has been a relatively stable African country before 1993, at which point it spent nearly half the budget on defense spending. In late 1997, Eritrea attacked Ethiopia. Since then the economic situation has been dire and defense spending has remained at nearly half of budget. Currently, the United Nations and the international community is getting involved in solving the Ethiopia-Eritrea dispute. It has yet to be resolved.


Policy Statements


Issue 101: The question of the condition and treatment of refugees.

Eritrea believes that refugees deserve to be given the top priority in any peacekeeping mission and that the refugee problem should be solved as soon as possible. Refugees deserve international attention. No refugee problem should be allowed to escalate into what happened in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia. Eritrea is specifically worried about the status of the Kurdish people in northern Iraq and Turkey. Eritrea treats Ethiopian refugees well and does not discriminate or violate their human rights.


Issue 102: The question of the role of regional organizations in settling international conflict.

Eritrea thinks that if regional organizations can effectively solve international conflicts with the complete consent of both factions, then Eritrea agrees with it. If both sides cannot give their consent for international intervention, then it fails because the regional organizations will become involved in the conflict against one faction and will be aiding the other. In a case like Iraq’s aggression on the state of Kuwait, the international community reacted favorably because the Iraqi side was clearly in the wrong. Eritrea would like to see the international community become more involved in crises in Africa though, such as the current dispute between Ethiopia and Eritrea.


Issue 103: The question of growth and implementation of information technology on global communication.

Eritrea supports the growth and implementation of information technology because it brings the world closer together and it allows countries to communicate with ease. This will allow countries to understand their differences and bridge the gap between them. Eritrea believes that information technology is the one of the most important factors in world progress because it makes the world understand that we must work to together to achieve global peace and the vision of a better future.



Resolution

THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY,
Country: Eritrea
Sutudent: Saad Al-Ghawas

Recognizing the fact that Eritrea has been engaged in a war with Ethiopia since the deaths of two Eritrean soldiers that were involved in negotiations with Ethiopia on May 6, 1998,

Bearing in mind that Eritrea’s economy has been devastated by the Ethiopia-Eritrea conflict,

Identifying Eritrea’s military budget to be half the annual budget from 1993 to 1997,

Convinced that measures can be taken by the international community to help resolve the Ethiopia-Eritrea conflict and any other such conflicts that may arise,

Noting with approval the efforts put forth by the international community in attempting to resolve the Yugoslavia conflict,

Recalling the Rwanda crises that the UN failed to resolve,

Further Recalling the Somalia crises that the UN failed to resolve,

Deeply Disturbed by the fact that the UN is making no attempt to solve the current East Timor crises,

Proposes that the UN attempt to resolve any international conflicts to achieve the UN goal of world peace,

Calls upon the international community to come to a quick resolution of all the current crises previously mentioned,

Encourages the international community to be prepared to quickly resolve any future international crises as soon as possible in order to avoid their escalation into major world problems,

Resolves that the UN will have 2,000 troops from different UN countries ready to be deployed in any crises situation around the world,

Resolves that the UN offer its services to promote peace in a warring region and to:
1. Provide the countries with peace treaties, Create neutral opportunities for the countries to negotiate peace or compromise,
2. Provide the countries with aid workers such as the Red Cross and other humanitarian organizations.



Opening Speech


Ladies and gentlemen, Good day. Eritrea would like to make the most out of a productive general assembly today. Eritrea is a total supporter of peace and unity, and wants to see the world with as few resolvable problems as possible.

As many of you already know, Eritrea is currently engaged in a border dispute with one of its neighbors concerning the Badme region. Eritrea has already signed the OAU peace treaty, which makes both sides, withdraw from the border region and then move on to negotiations about the disputed land. Our neighbor hasn’t signed this treaty because they want more out of it. Eritrea feels that this is unacceptable because peace should be the number one concern for all countries. Eritrea feels that the international community should realize the situation in Eritrea and try to help resolve it peacefully.

Eritrea looks forward to passing some productive resolutions and reaching conclusions to the world’s most demanding problems. Eritrea hopes that it can improve ties with the international community and its immediate neighbors at this General Assembly and work toward world peace.