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A. Political Structure:
Russia is a federal republic that is made up of 89 subdivisions, which have their own legislative bodies, which report to the government if necessary. They consist of 49 regions, 21 republics, 10 autonomous areas, 6 territories, 2 federal cities, (Moscow and St. Petersburg), and 1 autonomous region. Under the constitution of 1993, Russia has an elected president with a parliamentary form of government. The State Duma and the Federation Council make up the Federal Assembly (parliament). Currently, the State Duma has 450 seats, half elected by proportional representation from party lists winning at least 5% of the vote, and half from single-member constituencies; members are elected by direct popular vote to serve four-year terms. While the federation council on the other hand has 178 seats, filled ex officio by the top executive and legislative officials in each of the 89 federal administrative units members serve four-year terms. The highest court for civil and criminal cases is the Supreme Court of Russia. The highest authority on the constitutionality of laws, presidential decrees, and treaties is the Constitutional Court of Russia. Today, the Russian president Vladimir Vladimirovich PUTIN tends to have more power than the State Duma, (the parliament), he also is head of the armed forces and of the national security council.
Russia's judiciary and justice system are weak. Numerous matters which are dealt with by administrative authority in European countries remain subject to political influence in Russia. The Constitutional Court was reconvened in March 1995 following its suspension by President Yeltsin in October 1993. The 1993 constitution empowers the court to arbitrate disputes between the executive and legislative branches and between Moscow and the regional and local governments. The court is also authorized to rule on violations of constitutional rights, to examine appeals from various bodies, and to participate in impeachment proceedings against the president.
B. Natural Resources:
The mineral-packed Ural mountains and the vast oil, gas, coal and timber reserves of Siberia and the Russian Far East make Russia rich in natural resources. However, most such resources are located in remote and climactically unfavourable areas that are difficult to develop and far from Russian ports. Oil and gas exports continue to be the main source of hard currency, but declining energy prices have hit Russia hard. Russia is a leading producer and exporter of minerals, gold and all major fuels. The Russian fishing industry is the world's fourth-largest, behind Japan, the U.S. and China. Russia accounts for one-quarter of the world's production of fresh and frozen fish and about one-third of world output of canned fish. Russia’s has a wide natural resource base including major deposits of oil, natural gas, coal, and many strategic minerals, and timber*.
In Russia, the labor force is estimated to be 66 million. 15% of the 66 million work in agriculture, 30% work in the industry, 55% work in the services. The unemployment rate in Russia according to a 1999 estimate is 12.4%. The Russian government is working very hard to reduce this number or to eliminate it eventually. There is also a considerable amount of underemployment.
* Formidable obstacles of climate, terrain, and distance hinder exploitation of natural resources
C. Cultural Factors:
Russia has one of the widest varieties of ethnic groups in the world, but ethnic Russians form the vast majority of the population. With a total population of 146,001,176, the non-Russian population constitutes only 18 percent of the total, with the largest minority, the Tatars, making up only 3.8 percent. Ukrainians (3 percent) and Chuvash (1.2 percent) are the only other minorities constituting more than 1 percent of the population. Other minorities include Belarusians, Germans, Bashkirs, and Jews (considered an ethnic group in Russia). Thirty-two ethnic groups have their own administrative territories. Thousands of people have left ethnic administrative territories in recent years.
During most of the Soviet era religious expression was strictly discouraged and the Communist Party controlled religious institutions. In the late 1980s, however, the government began to ease its restrictions on religion, and a 1990 law granted Russians far more religious freedom. Since the dissolution of the USSR in 1991, religious following has increased and there has been a resurgence of traditional religions, particularly Orthodox Christianity. Russian Orthodox is now the country's primary religion. About one-fourth of the population belongs to the Russian Orthodox Church, and members are dispersed throughout the country. However, the vast majority of Orthodox believers do not attend church on a regular basis. Nonetheless, the church is widely respected by both believers and nonbelievers, who see it as a symbol of Russian heritage and culture. Muslims form the second largest religious group in Russia. They are concentrated mostly in the ethnic republics of Chuvashia and Bashkortostan in the middle Volga region. There are also relatively small populations of Jews, Protestants, Catholics, and Buddhists. Jews are dispersed throughout the country.
There are four military branches in Russia, the Ground Forces, Navy, Air Force, Strategic Rocket Forces. In 1999-2000 Russia had 1 million troops in the army, navy, air force, air defense force, and strategic rocket force (which controls the country's nuclear weapons). Paramilitary forces, including border troops, numbered an additional 220,000. However, Russia's conventional forces were generally unprepared for combat. The disastrous performance of the army during the 1995 and 1996 campaign in Chechnya revealed immense deficiencies in command, logistics, training, and morale. Until these problems are solved, Russia will not regain its position as a world military power. According to Russian law, men 18 years of age and older must serve two years in the armed forces, but massive exemptions and evasion greatly reduce the recruitment pool. There has been considerable debate about shifting to an all-volunteer force, which in theory would be more efficient and less unpopular. Russia's budgetary constraints make the creation of volunteer armed forces unthinkable in the near future. The defense establishment is beset by a host of problems, including grossly inadequate revenues, corruption, recruitment shortfalls, inadequate housing, and aging equipment.
Russia has several significant geographical features. Russia, save the Kaliningrad Oblast (which is an isolated Russian region separated from Russia proper), borders on 12 countries. These countries, (counter clockwise from the south), are North Korea, China, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Ukraine, Belarus, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, and Norway. The Baltic Sea, Lithuania, and Poland bound Kaliningrad. Russia’s physical geography has two characteristics that stand out above all others. First of all, it is the world’s largest country, covering 6,592,840 square miles (17,075,400 km2). It is nearly the size of the continent of South America, and almost twice the size of the United States. Secondly, Russia occupies an extremely northern location. Most of the country is within the same latitudes as Alaska and Canada. Being far north and away from the tempering influence of the ocean, most of Russia has a severe continental type of climate. It is greatly affected by the intense heating of the Eurasian landmass in summer and by the extreme cooling of the landmass in winter. With few exceptions, the climate is marked by long, bitterly cold winters; short, warm to hot summers; and little yearly precipitation.
F. View on world problems:
First of all, Russia is a member of the Commonwealth of Independent States, (CIS), and the United Nations, (UN). Russia is not a communist country. In fact, it doesn’t support communism, and it even condemns it. This may drive some to say that Russia would not support a communist country, say like… China; that is not entirely true, you see, according to Nixon, "In politics, there are no permanent friends, and no permanent enemies, just permanent interests". This explains the clear point of sheer interest, and no real relations between countries. In general, when it comes to taking sides, Russia is almost always against the US, not even the Kosovo crisis was an exception; for Russia publicly stated that it supported the Serbs, even though the US was supporting Kosovo and NATO powers in bombing Serbia. Russia supported Serbia and helped it in different ways during the Kosovo crisis. In fact, Ralmost got to the point of fighting NATO powers. Even though Serbia’s a country, the real interest in this issue for Russia is financially and politically, for Serbia is much richer and stronger and more politically, financially, and technologically advanced than Kosovo. This point, although already crystal clear, has been clarified even more, just for the sake of avoiding confusion. Russia is worried and cares about its influence, especially in countries that are very close to them, (physically). The Serbs are also fellow Eastern Orthodox Christians, whereas the Kosovars are Muslims. This is exactly why pre-Communist Russia fought against Turkey, and the Serbs fought against the Austro-Hungarians (who are Catholics).
Russia has taken important steps to become a full partner in the world's principal political groupings. On December 27, 1991, Russia assumed the seat formerly held by the Soviet Union in the UN Security Council. Russia also is a member of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the North Atlantic Cooperation Council (NACC). It signed the NATO Partnership for Peace initiative on June 22, 1994. Russia has played an important role in helping mediate international conflicts and has been particularly actively engaged in trying to promote a peace following the conflict in Kosovo. Russia is a co-sponsor of the Middle East peace process and supports UN and multilateral initiatives in the Persian Gulf, Cambodia, Angola, the former Yugoslavia, and Haiti. Russia is a founding member of the Contact Group a member of the G-8. In November 1998, Russia joined APEC. Russia has contributed troops to the NATO-led stabilization force in Bosnia and has affirmed its respect for international law and OSCE principles. It has accepted UN and/or OSCE involvement in instances of regional conflict in neighbouring countries, including the dispatch of observers to Georgia, Moldova, Tajikistan, and Nagorno-Karabakh.
The Russian economy has undergone tremendous stress as it has moved from a centrally planned economy toward a free market system. Difficulties in implementing fiscal reforms aimed at raising government revenues and a dependence on short term borrowing to finance budget deficits led to a serious financial crisis in 1998. The exchange rate stabilized in 1999 -- after falling from 6.5 rubles/dollar in August 1998 to approximately 25 rubles/dollar by April 1999, one year later it had further depreciated only to approximately 28.5 rubles/dollar. After some large spikes in inflation following the August 1998 economic crisis, inflation declined steadily throughout 1999, with an overall figure of 36.5 percent; inflation for the first quarter of 2000 was an estimated 4.1 percent. Russia’s exports are accounted to be $75.4 billion. Russia exports are petroleum and petroleum products, natural gas, wood and wood products, metals, chemicals, and a wide variety of civilian and military manufactures. Russia’s main export partners are Ukraine, Germany, US, Belarus, Netherlands, China. Imports on the other hand are accounted to be $48.2 billion. Russia imports are machinery and equipment, consumer goods, medicines, meat, grain, sugar, and semifinished metal products. Russia’s main import partners are Germany, Belarus, Ukraine, US, Kazakhstan, Italy.
Russia’s external debt is $166 billion, which is almost 2 times greater than its budget. Russia is making progress in meeting its foreign debts obligations. In 1999, with limited access to financing from international financial institutions or bilateral sources, the GOR serviced around half its external debt payments due, and sought delays in servicing Soviet-era debt pending negotiations in the Paris and London Clubs.
Russia’s industry is made up of a complete range of mining and extractive industries producing coal, oil, gas, chemicals, and metals; all forms of machine building from rolling mills to high-performance aircraft and space vehicles; shipbuilding; road and rail transportation equipment; communications equipment; agricultural machinery, tractors, and construction equipment; electric power generating and transmitting equipment; medical and scientific instruments; consumer durables, textiles, foodstuffs, and handicrafts.
Russia comprises roughly three-quarters of the territory of the former Soviet Union, but has relatively little area suited for agriculture because of its arid climate and inconsistent rainfall. Northern areas concentrate mainly on livestock, and the southern parts and western Siberia produce grain. Restructuring of former state farms has been an extremely slow process, partially due to the lack of a land code allowing for the free sale, purchase and mortgage of agricultural land. Private farms and garden plots of individuals account for over one-half of all agricultural production.
40% of Russia’s population are living under the poverty line. 12.4% of the population too are unemployed. You can infer here that the Russian citizens’ standard of living is suffering which will lead to a weak Russian economy.
After the December 1991 dissolution of the Soviet Union, the Russian Federation became its largest successor state, inheriting its permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council, as well as the bulk of its foreign assets and debt.
Boris Yeltsin was elected President of Russia by popular vote in June 1991. By the fall of 1993, politics in Russia reached a stalemate between President Yeltsin and the parliament. The parliament had succeeded in blocking, overturning, or ignoring the President's initiatives on drafting a new constitution, conducting new elections, and making further progress on democratic and economic reforms.
In a dramatic speech in September 1993, President Yeltsin dissolved the Russian parliament and called for new national elections and a new constitution. The standoff between the executive branch and opponents in the legislature turned violent in October after supporters of the parliament tried to instigate an armed insurrection. Yeltsin ordered the army to respond with force to capture the parliament building (known as the White House).
In December 1993, voters elected a new parliament and approved a new constitution that had been drafted by the Yeltsin government. Yeltsin has remained the dominant political figure, although a broad array of parties, including ultra-nationalists, liberals, agrarians, and communists, have substantial representation in the parliament and compete actively in elections at all levels of government.
In late 1994, the Russian security forces launched a brutal operation in the Republic of Chechnya against rebels who were intent on separation from Russia. Along with their opponents, Russian forces committed numerous violations of human rights. The Russian Army used heavy weapons against civilians. Tens of thousands of them were killed and more than 500,000 displaced during the course of the war. The protracted conflict, which received close scrutiny in the Russian media, raised serious human rights and humanitarian concerns abroad as well as within Russia.
In Russia the Mafia's influence is becoming huge. They manipulate the economy of Russia by controlling banks, industry and commerce. They also have infiltrated the world of politics through bribery and by placing their members in public office. Russian Mafia provides security for business. If business has a problem with labor or another business, the business owner contacts a Mafia representative who takes care of the problem and problem is quickly, quietly and efficiently resolved. Also the Mafia signs contracts on those people who don't want to be part of illegal scams. The Russian government is trying to fight against the Russian Mafia, but it's extremely difficult because of the mafia's strong influence in the government. Last year in Russia around 40,000 people were murdered and 70,000 disappeared-probably never to be heard again. The murder rate in Russia is three times higher than in New York City. The Russian Mafia is considered one of the cruelest organized crime families.
The Russian Federation Policy Statements
ISSUE #1: Crime prevention and criminal justice
Crime, not economics or political rivalries, is the No. 1 issue in Russia today. Crime can be defined in many ways:
An act committed or omitted in violation of a law forbidding or commanding it and for which punishment is imposed upon conviction.
A serious offense, especially one in violation of morality.
An unjust, senseless, or disgraceful act or condition
The best definition that supports Russia’s situation is the first one. Russia suffers from a serious aspect of crime, organized crime. The Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) has estimated that 40 percent of private business, 60 percent of state-owned enterprises, and more than half of the country's banks are controlled by organized crime. The mafia manipulates the economy of Russia by controlling banks, industry and commerce. They also have infiltrated the world of politics through bribery and by placing their members in public office. The Russian Mafia provides security for business. Russia supports any resolution that reduces the crime rate or helps eliminate organized crime in Russia if it fits with its policy. Russia urges all nations to discriminate crimes in the nation by increasing organizations which help eliminate the act of crime in the country in order to keep it’s people secured in their own home.
ISSUE #2: Improving the financial situation of the United Nations
Russia believes that money shortages are nothing new at the United Nations, which relies exclusively on its member countries for funding. Russia believes the world’s definition for financial situations to be " Of, relating to, or involving finance, financer, financiers in which something is positioned". The problem has plagued the Organization since its founding in 1945. Many Member States fail to pay their dues on time and in full for a variety of reasons, ranging from national budgetary technicalities to simple poverty. Others have withheld payments as a pressure tactic or to make a political point. The continuing financial crisis includes all of these elements, but its magnitude is increasingly serious. The financial state of the United Nations remains precarious, threatening the Organization's ability to fulfil the suggestions given it by its member countries.
Russia expresses its appreciation for the Member States that are paying their regular budget assessments in full each year. At the end of March 2001, members owed the UN $3.36 billion, of which the United States alone owed $1.87 billion (56%). Russia has paid its dues as of 21 January, which are estimated to be $11,328,837.
Russia blames the U.S for the current UN financial crisis due to the fact that the U.S has not paid its dues which account to 1.87$ making up 56% of the money all members owe the UN.
ISSUE #3: Taking effective measures to eliminate racism, racial discrimination, and xenophobia.
Russia believes racial discrimination should be taken highly into account in the way it affects international cooperation and conventions between nations. Russia believes the world’s definition for racial discrimination is "Treatment or consideration based on class or category rather than individual merit; partiality or prejudice arising from or based on differences among human racial groups". Racial discrimination will prevent people from getting equal rights in their society and causes them to be prejudiced against because of their race. People should have equal rights with regards to job opportunities, education, and health services. Russia strongly urges nations to act upon eliminating racism and xenophobia by teaching youngsters that there are no differences in race and by creating an organization that helps eliminate racism through education programs and the mass media.
Russia does not want to grant Muslims what it grants to the white Russians. Russia fears that after 30 years it will be taken over by Muslims because the Muslims are beginning to outnumber the white Russians and if they granted them all their rights they would takeover Russia. Russia will not vote for any resolution that gives them equal rightss.
ISSUE #4: Drug control and rehabilitation programs.
Russia’s policy against drugs is very simple and straight forward, NO TO DRUGS. Nowadays the situation in Russia is characterized by the steady growth of illegal drug distribution and their non-medical consumption, especially among minors. Absence of adequate measures to control the situation threatens the safety of the citizens and the overall health of the nation. For the last decade, the number of drug consumers has increased two times. The most dangerous illegal drug distributions that Russia is facing are:
Distribution of drugs in the army collectives
Organized illegal deliveries of drugs in jails
Russia believes that the main reason for the growth of drug addiction in their society are due to two factors the decrease in the standard of living and the growth of unemployment. Despite the acceptance of programs in the struggle against the illegal spread of drugs, execution of the planned actions is extremely low because of insufficient financing.
Another drug problem Russia is facing which deals with the judiciary and justice system. Quite often courts appoint excessively soft punishments to very dangerous drug criminals. The opportunities for compulsory treatment for drug addicts given by the law, are not used as an obligatory condition of an assigned punishment.
Delegation: The Russian Federation
Delegate: Bader Al-Tukhaim
Issue: Taking effective measures to eliminate racism, racial discrimination, and xenophobia.
Affirming its firm determination and its commitment to eradicate totally and unconditionally racism in all its forms and racial discrimination,
Taking Into Consideration that racism and racial discrimination constitute a total negation of the purposes and principles of the Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,
Recalling the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination 2 and the Convention against Discrimination in Education adopted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization on 14 December 1960,
Noting the efforts of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination since its establishment in 1970 to Eliminate All Forms of Racial Discrimination,
Noting with grave concern that, despite the efforts of the international community, the principal objectives of the two previous Decades have not been attained and that millions of human beings continue to the present day to be the victims of varied forms of racism and racial discrimination,
Deeply concerned that, despite continuing efforts, contemporary forms of racism and racial discrimination, many forms of discrimination against blacks, Arabs, Muslims and Christians, xenophobia, Negrophobia persist,
Recognizing that the promotion of tolerance and respect for cultural diversity is an important factor, among others, in eliminating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance,
Fully believing the need to take more effective and sustained measures at the national and international levels for the elimination of all forms of racism and racial discrimination,
1. Urges all countries to think of this issue as a desperate humanitarian issue in need of resolving,
2. Affirms that racism and racial discrimination are among the most serious violations of human rights in the world, and expresses its firm determination and its commitment to eradicate, by all available means, racism in all its forms and racial discrimination;
3. Recognizes that Governments implement and enforce appropriate and effective legislation to prevent acts of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, thereby contributing to the prevention of human rights violations;
4. Urges all Governments to take all necessary measures to combat new forms of racism,
5. Requests the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to assign high priority to programmes and activities for combating racism and racial discrimination,
6. Encourages the mass media to promote ideas of tolerance and understanding among peoples and different cultures through:
a. Put cover pages about xenophobia;
b. Television commercials about dangers of xenophobia;
c. Radio stations should:
i. Put a certain telephone number for pledges dealing with xenophobia,
ii. Remind listeners of effects of Xenophobia,
iii. Extra attention to this problem when a famous show is on air,
d. Public lectures;
e. Add more educational programs to:
- Make people emotionally disturbed to urge them to try to do something,
f. Posters everywhere in color to attract people;
g. Magazines should:
- Write articles to ask readers to submit ideas to solve this problem,
7. Strongly underlines the importance of education as a significant means of preventing and eradicating racism and racial discrimination and of creating awareness of the principles of human rights, in particular among young people,
8. Further Requests the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organization to continue its work on the preparation and dissemination of teaching materials and teaching aids to promote teaching, training and educational activities on human rights and against racism and racial discrimination, with particular emphasis on activities at the primary and secondary levels of education
9. Further resolves that the United Nations would consider this resolution and intervene for Xenophobia in countries all around the world, since it is a severe case that is destroying all nations
Zdravstvuite, (pronounced ZzDRAST-vet-yah), that’s hello in Russian,
Honourable chair, fellow delegates, the Russian Federation is a peace-seeking nation, it is seeking world peace. That is the main reason of its presence here. Ladies and Gentlemen, Russia would like to emphasize on its hopes of holding a great Mini MUN event. It wants and wishes for all countries taking part in this event to fulfil their goals, and complete their tasks, and reach the desired positions. Russia wishes all its fellow delegates good luck and inspires them to do their best. Russia feels that there is a dire need for attention to be given to this undoubtedly vital issue.
Russia believes racial discrimination should be taken highly into account in the way it affects international cooperation and conventions between nations. Racial discrimination will prevent people from getting equal rights in their society and causes them to be prejudiced against because of their race. People should have equal rights with regards to job opportunities, education, and health services. Russia sincerely hopes that its point has been well clarified and thoroughly explained and will be given all the attention it needs, deserves, and requires right away, especially since this is an issue that should concern all world countries.
Thank you for listening, and Russia hopes everyone enjoys a good conference.
Russia's Role in the ECOSOC
The Russian Federation played an important part in the Pearl MUN Event held at BBS. Knowing the major role played by Russia in the world today, that was not the same in the ECOSOC Assembly for the following reasons:
Countries did not recognize the part Russia plays.
Chair did not recognize Russia when raising the placard
Allies of Russia went out of their country's position and yielded the floor to enemy countries Although the problems Russia faced, it is still happy with its accomplishments. I represented Russia in the best way and gave the best image of Russia. First, Russia merged a resolution with China regarding xenophobia and racism. For technical reasons, the resolution was not debated. Another accomplishment Russia achieved was the amendment it proposed with only 2-3 delegates going against it, which obviously passed. One problem Russia faced was that it prepared killing or saving speeches for ALL resolutions but was not picked on. Russia also gave out its policy statement on the emergency crisis which affected the delegates positions on which countries to aid or attack. I am happy with the goals I accomplished taking into consideration that it is my first participation in an MUN event and the problems I faced.
Special thanks to Ms Joan and Mr. Dan for their great efforts they put in making this event a success and helping out all students reach their desired positions. Special thanks again go to Nouf and Shadi for organizing the event and helping us out when in need.