Country: Eritrea

Event: Pearl-MUN 2003

Student: Mays Al Sa'ad





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The Eritrean National Anthem



Eritrea







Country: Profile

 

Political Structure

The Republic of Eritrea got its independence from Ethiopia on May 24, 1993 by the help of the Eritrean People Liberation Front (EPLF) which fought for independence for decades. The government type is a transitional government. Following the "de facto" liberation of Eritrea from Ethiopian rule in 1993, the (EPLF) took control of the country but agreed on independence and creating a government. It begun with no constitution, no judicial system, and no educational system in shambles. Eritrea faced challenges in creating a government. The elections provided a president, a council of ministers, and an appointive national assembly. In June 1993, Issaias Afewerki, Secretary-General of the EPLF, was formally elected interim president by the National Assembly (by 95% of the people’s votes). However, Eritrea’s population is suffering because of Issais Afewerki‘s dictatorship. President Issais Afewerki is both the chief of state and head of government and is head of the State council and National Assembly. The country’s 6 administrate divisions are under the control of administers appointed by the president.

The transitional constitution, decreed in 1993, was replaced in 1997, but not yet implemented. The primary basis is the Ethiopian legal code of 1957. The only party recognized by the government is the People’s Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ), which is originally the (EPLF) that transformed from a military front to a political party. There are many political pressure groups and leaders. Eritrea has not yet recovered form war with Ethiopia that erupted again in 1998 and 2000. So far, the chapter of war with Ethiopia is closed. Both governments are trying to specify the boundaries between them, but trials failed. There are many debates and arguments. Eritrea still has problems about "poor" human rights.

 

Natural Resources

Eritrea’s resources have supported a largely agricultural way of life. Eritrea has potash deposits and possibly gold, zinc, copper, salt, oil and natural gas, and fish. The agricultural resources are millet, sorghum, teff, wheat, barley, flax, cotton, papayas, citrus fruits, bananas, beans and lentils, potatoes, vegetables, fish, dairy products, meat, and skins. Eritrea didn’t get a chance to use these valuable resources so much because of the wars the country has gone through (three decades of war). Eritrea suffers repeated droughts, desertification, and soil erosion.

Eritrea still has good industries such as processed food and dairy products, alcoholic beverages, leather goods, textiles, chemicals, cement and other construction materials, salt, paper, and matches. The agriculture of Eritrea does not produce enough food to feed its own people. Its farms in the highlands suffer from frequent and unpredictable droughts. The Eritrean government has embarked on an ambitious and unconventional program to develop sea water agriculture.

 

Geography

Eritrea has an area of 125,000 square km. Eritrea is located in the horn of Africa and is bordered on the northeast and east by the Red Sea, on the west and north west by Sudan, on the south by Ethiopia, and on the southeast by Djibouti.

The country has a high central plateau. A coastal plain, western lowlands, and some 300 islands comprise the remainder of Eritrea's landmass. Further more, the country north and west has hills. Also, it has a number of rivers and lakes- the Gash, the Baraka, Anseba, Falkalt, Laba, and Alighide. Eritrea has no year-round rivers. Eritrea is a mountain country. However it also has lowlands.

 

Cultural Factors

Eritrea’s population is 4,465,651. Eritrea has many Ethnic groups. Such as, Tigrinya 50%, Tigre 31.4%, Saho 4%, Afar 5%, Beja 2.5%, Bilen 2.1%, Kunama 2%, Nara 1.5%, and Rushaida .5%. The Religions are Muslim 48%, Christian 50%, mostly Orthodox, and indigenous beliefs 2%. The Muslims and Christians in Eritrea live in peace. Finally, the origins of the inhabitants are thought to be from the Nile Valley. Over thousands of years Eritrea saw migrations of Nilotic, Cushitic, and Semitic speaking peoples. The spoken languages are Afar, Amharic, Arabic, Tigre and Kunama, Tigrinya, other Cushitic languages.

Eritrea’s people aren’t very educated. Their lives aren’t very easy and restful because of the poor human rights in the country. The life expectancy is 51 years. Finally, there are 7.61 migrant(s) per 1000 population.

 

Defense

The expenses of Eritrea on the defense are $107 million. During the war for independence, the EPLF fighting force grew to almost 110,000 fighters, about 30% of the total population of Eritrea (30% were woman fighters.) Eritrean people were forced (by the government) to fight, including the woman and old, because of the lack of fighters in the country. Many of the fighters had spent their entire adult lives in the EPLF and the social, personal, and vocational skills to become competitive in the work place. As a result, they received higher compensation, more intensive training, and more physiological training, but by 1998, it shrunk to 47,000 because of demobilization. Eritrea has only "traditional" weapons.

During the war of independence there was a US. military cooperation, which was suspended following the outbreak of hostilities with Ethiopia and a UN embargo on military cooperation with either side, has resumed a modest basis. Further more, there is a UN peacemaking mission, the UN mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UMMEE), was established and monitors a 25-kilometer wide Temporary Security Zone separating the two sides. The military branches are Army, Navy, and Air Force.

 

Economy

After Eritrea’s independence in 1993, it developed a monetarily system which is the "Nakfa." In January 2003, one "Nakfa" was equal to 7 dollars. The issue of this new currency is a symbol of independence from Ethiopia, has complicated both monetary policy-making as well as trade with Ethiopia. A dearth of foreign currency reserves limits the government's ability to intervene in the foreign exchange market and control growth in money supply. The Eritrean economy is largely based on agriculture, which employs 80% of the population but currently may contribute as little as 18% to GDP. However, right now Eritrea only has agricultural exports when there is enough rain.

Although Eritrea desires to be self-sufficient and avoid the foreign aid dependency, it still needs the foreign aid badly. It is already one of the poorest countries in the world. Already the World Bank has pledged over $30 million to help complete an estimated $50 million renovation project in Eritrea's two port facilities, Massawa and Assab. Bilateral assistance from Italy, Germany, Japan and the Gulf states channeled in the excess $20 million into water treatment and telecommunication projects. Further more, in year 2002, the United States provided $21.8 million in humanitarian aid to Eritrea, including $15.2 million in food assistance and $6.56 million in refugee support. The US. also provided another $11.09 million in development assistance, for a total aid package of $37 million. Eritrea isn’t self-sufficient. What proofs this is that exports are $147 million dollars while the imports are $523 million dollars. The exported commodities are skins, meat, live sheep and cattle, and gum Arabic. Those commodities are exported to the Middle East, Europe(Italy) and Sudan. The imported commodities are food, military material, fuel, manufactured goods, machinery, and transportation equipment. The major suppliers are Saudi Arabia, Italy, U.A.E, and Sudan. Finally, Eritrea has heavy external debts, unemployment, and poverty.

 

Views on World Problems

Eritrea has an extremely close relationship with the United States of America for many reasons. In 1953, the United States signed a mutual defense treaty with Ethiopia. In the 1960s, 4,000 US. military personnel were stationed at Kagnew. In the 1970s, technological advances in the satellite and communications fields were making the communications station at Kagnew increasingly obsolete. In 1974, Kagnew Station drastically reduced its personnel complement. On April 27, 1993, the United States recognized Eritrea as an independent state, and on June 11, diplomatic relations was established. The United States has provided substantial assistance to Eritrea, including food and development.

Eritrea has had close relations with Italy, and several other European nations, including the United Kingdom, Germany, Norway, and the Netherlands, which have become important aid donors. Relations with these countries became strained as a result of the 2001 government crackdown against political dissidents and others, the closure of the independent press, and by the expulsion of the Italian Ambassador to Eritrea. Efforts have been made to repair relations with donor countries. Eritrea's relations with its neighbors other than Djibouti also are somewhat strained. . Relations between Yemen are strained too because of the fishing rights between them. There was a conflict about Hnaishe’s Islands that ended with Eritrea apologizing to Yemen. Relations with Sudan also were colored by occasional incidents involving the extremist group. But Eritrea’s worst enemy is Ethiopia. They’ve gone through many grim wars for many years. Ethiopia occupied Eritrea for thirty years. They stopped completely only two years ago. Both countries are still debating about the boundaries between them. Finally, Eritrea is a member of the UN, Organization of African Unity (OAU), and the Greater Horn of Africa Initiative (GHAI). Finally, Eritrea is with the war on Iraq. Eritrea needs the aid donated by the U.S.A. So, it can’t stand against any of its decisions.

 

History

Eritrea became an Italian colony in 1890. Italian rule lasted until World War II when British forces conquered the territory. In 1952, the UN decided to federate Eritrea with Ethiopia as a compromise between Ethiopian claims for annexation and Eritrean demands for independence. 1962 Eritrea was transformed into a province of Ethiopia. The (EPLF), founded in 1958, proclaimed an armed struggle for independence from Ethiopian control. The war with Ethiopia was long and destructive. On May 28, 1993, the UN formally admitted Eritrea to its membership. Despite this, in June 1998 and 2000, war broke out between Eritrea and Ethiopia following a renewal of a long-running border dispute.

 

 

 

Policy Statements

 

1-The question of rising water levels due to the effects of global warming.

Global warming is an increase in the average temperature of the earth's atmosphere, especially a sustained increase sufficient to cause climatic change, which causes rising water levels. In effect, it causes a threat to islands and countries in the future.

Eritrea is the newest nation in the world. Until now, it’s not concerned about the rising water levels as long as that it wont be affected by that problem. Global warming wont affect it a lot because it is a mountain country.

Eritrea is mostly concerned about its country’s development and diplomatic relations. However, it’s concerned about the islands that will end up drowning because of this problem and wishes it could help; but that’s one of the least issues it pays attention to. For a solution, more action should be taken to stop pollution, which is the main reason for global warming.

 

2- The question of controlling the spread of the SARS virus and finding a cure for it.

The Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) is disease that appeared newly in the world. It’s causing problems to countries in East Asia. Until now, the spread of SARS isn’t under control and no cure was found. Eritrea already has plenty if diseases. SARS reaching to it would be a disaster. Eritrea is worried about the SARS reaching to it. In effect, it started taking actions toward the problem. There are educational programs in Eritrea. These educational programs tell the citizens about the disease, how it starts, how to protect yourself, and what to do in case of infection. Eritrea took advantage of the informative media to aware the citizens of the seriousness of the disease. Finally, Eritrea didn’t contribute in finding a cure for SARS because it can’t afford this. However, Eritrea hopes that World Health Organization will try more to solve this problem before it spreads out all over the world. Finally, more researches and experiments should be conducted to solve this problem.

 

3-The question of securing food and water resources for nations in times of war and famine.

Many people are dying because of starvation and famine. This problem happens because of the lack of rain, polluted water, building damns between countries, and wars. Which causes a lack of food sources such as agriculture. . Eritrea is a country that strongly believes in human rights. In effect, Eritrea would try to secure food and water for nations in times of war and famine if the country was one of alliances (all nations except for Ethiopia). However, Eritrea is a poor country and it doesn’t have an economical capability to secure food and water for other nations while it needs foreign aid badly. Eritrea itself is suffering from the lack of food and water resources. Eritrea urges the UN and other organizations to pay more attention on that problem. Especially to the countries that are building damns; which causes a threat to neighbor countries.

 

4-The question of creating a nuclear free zone in the Middle East.

Although considerable efforts have been made to create a zone free of nuclear and other weapons of mass-destruction in the Middle East, the project has not succeeded. Eritrea always stands against mass destruction weapons and terrorism. That’s why it agrees with creating a nuclear free zone not only in the Middle East, but the whole world. However, Eritrea doesn’t have the capability and concerns to follow the same strategy like other nations in such issues. Eritrea hopes that the Arab presidents take action and decide on creating a nuclear free zone in the Middle East. Lastly, there should be more organizations to stop the spread of mass destruction weapons.

 

5-The question of guaranteeing human rights and alleviating suffering in Cuba.

Cuba has suffered for a long period of time. Eritrea respects human rights and believes that they should be guaranteed not only in Cuba, but also in the whole word. Even though it agrees in guaranteeing human rights, it doesn’t have any potential to take action for alleviating suffering in Cuba. Honestly, Eritrea isn’t concerned about Cuba what is happening in Cuba but hopes to help. Eritrea is one of the countries that is suffering from poor human rights and is concerned about only itself and creating a self-sufficient country. Finally, Eritrea hopes that the UN takes action to alleviate suffering in Cuba and the whole world.

 

 

 

Resolution

 

Mays Al-Sa’ad

Submitted by: Eritrea

Question of: Securing food and water resources for nations in times of war and famine.

Defining famine "a severe shortage of food, generally affecting a wide number and large numbers of people" according to dictionary.com,

Deeply Concerned at present there are about 830 million people worldwide who go hungry as a result of conflict, natural disaster or extreme poverty; there deaths are not only due to starvation but also the diminished ability in the body to fight infection as said in "The Washington Times",

Alarmed by the most dramatic consequences of famine is population migration (for example the population of Nouakchott, the capital city of Mauritania, quadrupled in less than 20 years as result of famine in the Sahel Region of Africa) based on the information given by Encarta Encyclopedia,

Deeply Disturbed by the immediate consequences of famine are weight loss in adults and retarded growth children. Children may suffer permanent physical and mental damage from being undernourished at a vulnerable time of rapid growth based on the information given by Encarta Encyclopedia,

Keeping in Mind that famines can happen in countries that appear to have plenty of food; some countries produce plenty of crops but cant transfer them along the country because of "poor" road system (its sometimes easier to ship food from the U.S.A than to transmit it form the other side of the country) as said in "The Washington Times",

Expressing its Satisfaction for the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN) and other organs of the UN that assist the FAO in its attempts to prevent disasters caused by inadequate food supplies,

Expressing its Appreciation toward the effective efforts of The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement,

Congratulating The Famine Early Warning Center in Nairobi, scientists in there study the climate, infrastructure, economics and politics that cause hunger and death,

Noting the World Food Program gives away the extra food grown by American farmers and bought by the US. government (about 60% of the donated crops are form the United States),

Expecting that the UN, governments, and other organizations to pay more attention for this dangerous issue,

1) Encourages
"rich" countries that will donate more money for the FOA and the WHO will receive the following chances:
A. The country’s most important problem will be discussed in the UN and resolutions will be done for it: even if it only concerns the country,
B. Its delegate will be elected to be the Secretary General form it,
C. The Un will be responsible to make the countries reputation better and change the world’s view positively towards it,
D. The money donated will be used for the following plans organized by the FAO and the WHO;

2) Encourages
the idea of more Agricultural Development Planning between all counties and mostly African countries (crops could provide essential nutrients for people):
A. Using mechanism in planting crops, emphasizing that mechanism is not yet used in some African countries,
B. Fertilizing soil,
C. Educating people for more efficiency in agriculture;

3) Proclaims that victims of famine are transferred to other regions of the country were basic resources are available for them;

4) Further Recommending that coastal nations take advantage of the surrounding sea(s) by starting fish farming by the Green Peace Organization putting a greater effort towards elimination pollution in seas;

5) Urging that transferring of food of water becomes easier throughout a country by:
A) Building better road systems in a country,
B) Developing water pipe systems,
C) Using better transformation vehicles (using airplanes, helicopters, etc. instead of trucks this will save time and keep food fresh);

6)Resolves population will have an even division among a country, so that resources are utilized fairly among the country.

 

 

Opening Speech

Honorable Chairs and Delegates,

From the gorgeous land of Africa.. From the land of rich history and tradition. From the land where independence is the air we breath. Form the home of various ethnic groups. From the land where our pride and dignity reached the height of our mountains. From the land were the sweat of our laborers is as the size of our Red Sea. From the land of agriculture. From the land where warmth of kindness fills the country. From the land where our lives are scarified for the sake of the nation. From the land devastated by war, war, and war. Form the land with beneficial natural resources . From the land that needs to be helped. From the land that was destroyed by three decades of war. From the land where we believe strongly in human rights and need them……Eritrea.

From the continent of war and famine. Light in our children eyes is fading away because of mental and physical health caused by war and famine. The hands that will build our future are dying. We are losing men, mothers, wives, and most importantly our children. Let’s take action today before tomorrow.