Country: The Hellenic Republic (Greece)
Event: Pearl-MUN 2002, Security Council
Student: Nada Al Mousa
Links to other sites on the Web: Back to the 2001-2002 Team page
Greece a military dictatorship, which in 1967 suspended many political liberties and forced the king to flee the country, lasted seven years. Democratic elections in 1974 and a referendum created a parliamentary republic and abolished the monarchy; Greece joined the European Community or EC in 1981 (which became the EU in 1992). Its formal name now, is the Hellenic Republic of Greece.
Agriculture plays an important role in the Greek economy. Two major sources of income for Greece are shipping and tourism. The production of petroleum from fields in the northern Aegean Sea began to aid the economy in the early 1980s. Since the 1950s the public sector of the economy has grown significantly; the government now controls about 60 percent of the economy, particularly in energy, shipbuilding, communications, transportation, insurance, and banking.
About 98 percent of the people are followers of the Orthodox Church of Greece. The other 2 percent of the population includes Muslims, Roman Catholics, Protestants, and Jews. The culture of ancient Greece had a major influence on the development of Western civilization.
Greece has compulsory military service for all men between 18 and 40 years of age, with no allowances for the exemption of conscientious objectors. Conscription lasts from 19 to 23 months, depending on the branch of service. In the early 1990s the Greek army had about 113,000 members; the navy, 20,000 members; and the air force, 27,000 members. Since 1978 women have been permitted to serve in special sections of the armed forces. Greece got its independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1829. During the second half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, it slowly added neighboring islands and territories with Greek-speaking populations. After the defeat of communist rebels in 1949, Greece joined NATO in 1952.
Greece is bordered on the northwest by Albania, on the north by the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and by Bulgaria, on the northeast by Turkey, on the east by the Aegean Sea, on the south by the Mediterranean Sea, and on the west by the Ionian Sea. The total area is 131,957 sq. km, of which about one-fifth is composed of islands in the Aegean and Ionian seas. Athens is the capital and largest city. The many natural harbors along the coasts of Greece and the variety of close-lying islands led to the development of a uniform, maritime civilization. But cultural uniformity did not induce political unity. Mountain ranges and deep valleys cut the peninsula into small economic and political units, each a little larger than a city with its surrounding territory.
Views on World Problems:
Greece is a founding member of the United Nations (UN), the Council of Europe, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The country became a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in 1952 and the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (now called the Organization on Security and Cooperation in Europe) in 1975. Greece joined the European Community (now called the European Union) in 1982. In 1992, Greece was admitted as the tenth member of the Western European Union (WEU), the defense arm of the European Union.
International disputes: Complex maritime, air, and territorial disputes with Turkey in Aegean Sea; Cyprus question with Turkey; dispute with The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia over its name.
A gateway to Europe for traffickers smuggling cannabis and heroin from the Middle East and Southwest Asia to the West and precursor chemicals to the East; some South American cocaine transits or is consumed in Greece.
The monetary unit of Greece is the Euro (1 Euro 1 US dollar). The central banking institution is the state-controlled Bank of Greece, which also issues the currency. Greece generally spends much more each year on imports than it takes in from sales of exports. This imbalance is offset to a certain extent by tourist revenues and by payments from Greek citizens working abroad. Greece also depends upon foreign loans and investments to close the gap between earnings from exports and payments for imports.
The burden of history lies heavily on Greece. In the early 1990s, as new subway tunnels were being excavated under Athens, Greece's museums were being filled to overflowing with the material remains of the past: remnants of houses from the Turkokratia (the era of Ottoman rule); coins and shops from the period of the Byzantine Empire; pottery remains from the Greek workshops that flourished during the Roman Empire; and graves, shrines, and houses from the classical period when Athens stood at the head of its own empire. The glories of ancient Greece and the splendor of the Christian Byzantine Empire give the modern Greeks a proud and rich heritage. The toughness and durability of Greek culture and traditions through times of turmoil provide a strong sense of cultural destiny. These elements also pose a considerable challenge to Greeks of the present: to live up to the legacies of the past. Much of the history of the modern state of Greece has witnessed a playing out of these contradictory forces.
An important theme in Greek history is the multiple identities of its civilization. Greece is both a Mediterranean country and a Balkan country. And, throughout its history, Greece has been a part of both the Near East and Western Europe. During the Bronze Age and again at the time of the Greek Renaissance of the eighth century BC., Greece and the Near East were closely connected. The empire of Alexander the Great of Macedonia brought under Greek dominion a vast expanse of territory from the Balkans to the Indus. The Byzantine Empire, with its heart in Constantinople, bridged the continents of Europe and Asia. Greece's history is also closely intertwined with that of Europe and has been since Greek colonists settled the shores of Italy and Spain and Greek traders brought their wares to Celtic France in the seventh century BC.
The Right of Space Usage (Satellites, Military):
Space is a part of the world's cultural heritage. It has inspired generations of artists, poets, scientists and musicians. Throughout history, societies have admired and searched for meaning in the same night sky. Greece aids strongly the right of space usage both technologically and militarily, with some exceptions.
Space helps to address some of today's most urgent problems. Space technology has produced tools that are transforming weather forecasting, environmental protection, humanitarian assistance, education, medicine, agriculture and a wide range of other activities. And, of course, a fascination with space leads many young people to pursue careers in science and technology, helping developing countries in particular to build up their human resources, improve their technological base and enhance their prospects for development. However, Greece does not aid the use of space militarily if the majority of the world is not in benefit from it.
Resolved: The use of outer space must be peaceful and in benefit of all countries worldwide, even if not in a direct way.
Fighting International Terrorism:
Terrorism is a weapon for alienated, desperate people, and often a product of despair. If human beings everywhere are given real hope of achieving self-respect and a decent life by peaceful methods, terrorists will become much harder to recruit, and will receive far less sympathy and support from society at large.
Greece strongly believes that it is important to prevent, fight and eliminate international terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. It condemns strongly all acts, methods, and practices of terrorism wherever, whenever, and by whomever committed. Greece is deeply disturbed of the terrorist acts, which have been carried out worldwide and strongly condemns and is against terrorism, no matter what end it purports to serve.
Resolved: The SC, with the assistance of the military staff committee shall determine what actions will be taken against terrorists and countries that harbor terrorists, to prevent anymore terrorist acts.
Sanctions against Iraq:
On 6 August 1990, the United Nations Security Council imposed economic sanctions on Iraq in response to its invasion of Kuwait. Under these sanctions, all imports into Iraq (except medical supplies) and all exports from Iraq were prohibited, unless the Security Council permitted exceptions. Since 1990, there has been a severe and prolonged deterioration in the standards of living of the vast majority of the inhabitants of Iraq.
However, Greece is determined to improve the humanitarian situation in Iraq. These sanctions prevent Iraq from selling oil and freeze Iraq's foreign assets, the result of which is the inability to purchase the food and medicines that the people desperately need. Greece is convinced of the need, as a temporary measure to continue to provide for the civilian needs of the Iraqi people until the fulfillment by the Government of Iraq.
Resolved: The sanctions against Iraq must be ended if and only if Iraq decides to cooperate with the UN. However, all people living in Iraq must be provided with humanitarian needs until the sanctions are ended.
The issue of West Africa-Liberia:
The refugee crisis in Guinea is part of a complicated regional conflict, which started in Liberia more than 10 years ago, and spilled over to neighboring Sierra Leone. Diamonds from Sierra Leone helped finance the war. Refugees continue to flood over the borders to already overcrowded camps in Guinea. Many also crossed to Liberia, including thousands of former AFRC and RUF rebels, who were sometimes escorted by the Liberian military. AFRC and RUF rebels frequently crossed the borders to buy supplies and recruit new fighters from the Liberian camps.
Refugees are the great survivors of our time. Many overcome immense hardship during years of exile, finally returning to their devastated countries to rebuild shattered communities. Others can never go home, and must forge new lives in strange lands. All of them deserve our encouragement, support and respect. Greece is against the prohibition against expelling or returning any refugee to territories where his or her life or freedom would be threatened because of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership of a particular social group.
Resolved: The UN to implement sanctions against Liberia, who is to blame for arming the RUF in exchange for diamonds.
SECURITY COUNCIL CLAUSES
Honorable presidents and delegates present today, Good Afternoon. The issue of fighting international terrorism is a very unbreakable one till now. Terrorism is a weapon for alienated, desperate people, and often a product of despair. If human beings everywhere are given real hope of achieving self-respect and a decent life by peaceful methods, terrorists will become much harder to recruit, and will receive far less sympathy and support from society at large.
If countries are to prevent terrorism from being committed, countries must stay united to eliminate terrorism. In the struggle of eliminating terrorism, there is simply no alternative than international cooperation. Terrorism can be defeated if the international community summons the will to unite in a broad coalition, or it will not be defeated at all. The United Nations is uniquely positioned to serve as the forum for this coalition, and for the development of those steps governments must now take, separately and together, to fight terrorism on a global scale.
Greece strongly believes that it is important to prevent, fight and eliminate international terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and to take action to maintain and restore international peace and security. It condemns strongly all acts, methods, and practices of terrorism wherever, whenever, and by whomever committed. Greece is deeply disturbed of the terrorist acts, which have been carried out worldwide and strongly and unequivocally condemns and is against terrorism, no matter what end it purports to serve.
Thank you, Efkharito