Country: South Africa
Event: Pearl-MUN 2003
Student: Alaa Al Sayer
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A). Political Structure:
South Africa is a republic ruled by the Chief of State who is also the Head of Government. Today, Thabo Mbeki is the elected president. The National Assembly elects the president for a five-year term. The president then appoints the cabinet and there is a deputy president. The parliament consists of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces. The National Assembly is made of 400 seats and the members are elected by popular vote. The National Council of Provinces is made of 90 seats, 10 of which are elected to protect ethnic minorities. The new constitution was certified on the 4th of December 1996 and was signed on the 10th of December 1996 by President Mandela, who was the president at the time.
South Africa is made of 9 provinces; Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North-West, Northern Cape, and Western Cape.
B). Natural Resources:
South Africa is rich in a range of natural resources. It has Gold, Chromium, Antimony, Coal, Iron Ore, Manganese, Nickel, Phosphates, Tin, Uranium, Gem Diamonds, Platinum, Copper, Vanadium, Salt, and Natural Gas. The discovery of diamonds in 1867 and gold in 1886 spurred wealth and immigration and intensified the subjugation of the native inhabitants.
South Africa is 1,219,912 sq. km located in the continent of Africa, at the southern tip. Including Prince Edward islands. The climate is mostly subtropical along east coast; consisting of sunny days and cool nights. South Africa is surrounded by the Indian Ocean and the South Atlantic Ocean. It borders with Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe.
D). Cultural Factors:
South Africa is a multi faceted country. There are 11 official languages, including Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Pedi, Sotho, Swazi, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa, and Zulu.
The population consists of Africans 75.2%, Caucasians 13.6%, Colored 8.6%, and Indian 2.6%.
There are various religious parties in South Africa. Christians represent 68%, Muslim 2%, Hindu 1.5%, and indigenous beliefs and animist are 28.5%.
The military Branches are The South African National Defense Force and The South African Police Service. The South African National Defense Force includes The Army, The Navy, The Air Force, and Medical Services.
The minimum age for joining any military service is 18 years of age.
South Africa invests a lot of money for their military forces. Their expenditure in 2001 was $1.79 billion.
South Africa is a developing country even though there is an abundance in the supply of resources. High unemployment and severe economic problems remain from the past era where the whites where ill-treating the native Africans. Other problems standing in the way of the growth of the economy are a high level of crime rate, a elevated level of corruption, and a wide spread of HIV/AIDS. On the other hand, South Africa has a well-developed financial, legal, communications, energy, and transport sectors. The stock exchange ranks among the 10 largest in the world. A modern infrastructure supports an efficient distribution of goods to major urban centers throughout the region.
In an effort to solve some of the problems facing the economic growth, President Mbeki promised at the beginning of year 2000 to increase privatization and to reduce governmental spending. President Mbeki had also planned to attract foreign investment and to implement less restrictive Labor Laws. However, South African economy witnessed a slowing down following the stagnation in the international economy.
G). View On Worlds Problems:
South Africa is a strong country known to lead most African countries. It views on world problems are most likely to resemble those of the United States. During the apartheid it had bad relations with neighboring countries, but recently it has developed and is on good grounds with most of itís neighbors as it has joined the Organization of African Unity (OAU). South Africa is also part of the Commonwealth and the United Nations, which are leading organizations in the world.
South Africans feel strongly about the Israeli Palestinian conflict since they felt what it is like to be racially discriminated against they oppose the Israeli aggression, but the government is neutral on this issue. They are also part of the war on terrorism and they were also part of the US. led coalition. Finally, South Africa is basically relation Zimbabwe
South Africa is part of many organizations and they are: ACP, AfDB, BIS, C, CCC, ECA, FAO, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MONUC, NAM, NSG, OAU, OPCW, PCA, SACU, SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNMEE, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO, and ZC.
H). Recent History:
The last of the so-called "pillars of apartheid", in 1991, were abolished. After several negotiations, a new constitution was forced into law in December 1993. The country's first non-racial elections were held on April 26-29, 1994 that resulted in the presidency of Nelson Mandela on May 10, 1994. During Nelson Mandela's 5-year term as President of South Africa, the government committed itself to reforming the country.
The ANC-led government focused on social issues that were ignored during the apartheid era such as unemployment, housing shortages, and crime. Mandela's administration began to reintroduce South Africa into the global economy by implementing a goal oriented economic plan. In order to fix the holes created by apartheid, the government created the Truth and Reconciliation Committee (TRC) under the leadership of Archbishop Desmond Tutu. In June 1999, Nelson Mandela retired and Thabo Mbeki was elected President of South Africa. To follow in wake of Nelson Mandela as President of South Africa is a hard task. For Thabo Mbeki, the new President, not being Mandela is but one of many personal challenges facing his leadership and, in turn, his effort to work on his vision for transforming South Africa. Began arriving at the Cape in the late 17" century. Coloreds are mixed-race people primarily descending from the earliest settlers and the indigenous peoples. They comprise about 9% of the total population. Asians descend from Indian workers brought to South Africa in the mid-19th century to work on the sugar estates in Natal. They constitute about 2% of the population and are concentrated in the KwaZulu- Natal Province.
The quality of the education that the South African country is providing is slowly becoming less. Although while under the apartheid system schools were separated, and the number of schools and their teaching quality varied very much according to the racial groups. Even though the laws governing this separation have been abolished, the long and hard process of restructuring the country's educational system is just beginning. The challenge is to create a single non-discriminatory, non-racial system that offers the same standards of education to all people.
Issue #1: The question of rising water levels due to the effects of global warming:
Global warming is a very serious issue that is affecting every human being everywhere in the world. The U.N.'s IPCC projects that the world's oceans will rise anywhere from 15 to 95 centimeters by the year 2100. This means that the sea level will rise and high water will eat away or submerge coastal lands, and the salty seawater will contaminate some of our drinking supplies, as water levels will also be dropping in some rivers and streams.
This is a great cause of concern, if not even alarm. South Africa reiterates its position and strong belief in taking firm actions on this issue. Reducing the production of carbon dioxide and other harmful emissions has to be a priority on every countries agenda.
Issue #2: The question of controlling the spread of the SARS virus and finding a cure for it:
SARS, which is now wreaking havoc in Asia and spreading in various parts of the world, is considered and treated as a modern epidemic. Countries have to resort to various measures to contain this virus from further spread until a cure is found.
South Africa has opted to quarantine suspected SARS cases until declared free of the virus. Most suspected cases are people returning from trips to Asia. The South African Institute of Communicable Diseases is conducting the tests where scientists are working on better understanding the origin of the virus and how to deal with it.
Issue #3: The question of securing food and water resources for nations in times of war and famine.
Supplying food and water is the first emergency one has to face in any crisis. Be it in times of war or famine, timing is of essence in order to prevent further disaster. The World Food Program- WFP- working in close cooperation with the various United Nations bodies is known for its quick and efficient response to emergencies and its ability to move AIDs often at a dayís notice. The mission of the United Nations Disaster Management Team and the UNDHA is to coordinate international human AIDs efforts.
Believing in its duty to extend all necessary humanitarian aid in order to help those passing in a time of crisis, South Africa fully co-operates and will always co-operate with the various United Nations bodies to help in the relief.
Issue #4: The question of creating a nuclear free zone in the Middle East.
The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) review and extension conference has adopted by consensus a resolution endorsing the Middle East peace process and "a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons" and other weapons of mass destruction. This consensus could not have been possible hadnít been for the efforts and interference of South Africa. A number of states in the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) were not in favor of an indefinite extension and the potential for discord was high. However, South Africa was able to bridge the gap between the sides by negotiating a compromise acceptable by all.
South Africa represents the world's first instance of nuclear rollback, a state that has unilaterally and voluntarily relinquished nuclear weapons and it fully supports the creation of a nuclear free zone in the Middle East.
Issue #5: The question of guaranteeing human rights and alleviating suffering in Cuba.
Historically, South Africans and Cubans have always been co-operative and supportive of one anotherís. Cuba has help and backed Nelson Mandela in overthrowing the apartheid regime, a regime based on racial oppression and against every understanding human right. "Cuba occupies a prominent place in the history of the struggle and achievement of liberty in the African continent," Mbeki said at a lecture he gave at Havana University and Nelson Mandela had promised "a commitment that we will never let our friends down, friends during the most difficult period of our struggle, especially Cuba". South Africa is totally with human rights and the alleviating of human suffering. However, South Africans do not see any breach of these rights in Cuba.
Forum: General Assembly
Delegation: South Africa
Delegate: Alaía Al Sayer
Question of: Controlling the spread of the SARS virus and finding a cure for it.
Defining Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) as a lethal infection with symptoms similar to those of flu, including high fever, headache, sore throat, and cough,
Bearing in Mind that the SARS virus is dangerous to everyoneís health and is a potentially fatal disease,
Pointing Out that the SARS virus is spreading at a rapid rate and can quickly move around because of transportation such as airplanes,
Noting that the number of cases worldwide of the SARS virus has reached 7041 infected and 587 dead,
Bringing to attention that the SARS virus has rapidly grown from 1 case to 7,628 cases since mid- march,
Noting With Deep Concern that the spreading of the SARS virus without proper concern and control would lead to many more deaths,
1. Resolves the formation of World Health Protection and Research Group (WHPRG) which will build stations in every country involved in the WHPRG and every country infected with a disease (not necessarily involved in the WHPRG), the headquarters will be chosen as soon as the resolution is passed, and staff will consist of: A. Representatives: responsible for the health concerns in the country they comes from and is also responsible for any health organizations from their country that would like to be involved with the WHPRG; B. Other Assistants: responsible for the jobs assigned to them in different departments from his/ her countryís station.
2. Confirms that all the scientists, researchers, doctors, and nurses who volunteer themselves to work for WHPRG will be professionals and have excellent recommendations so that all their research and work will be giving many advantages to the WHPRG, and the volunteers who do not meet the standards will still be able to help out in other situations such as creating advertisements for the WHPRG;
3. Affirms that people will be appointed the job of the working in the public relations department to gather views and suggestions from organizations both involved and not involved in the WHPRG and people who want their thoughts known, also the other department will be appointed the job of creating: A. Public Awareness, B. Rallies, C. Educational Classes, D. Health Week (about all the health dangers happening in our world now);
4. Further Resolves that the members of the WHPRG will meet every month and will discuss: A. Researching new and old diseases as soon as they happen, B. Securing needed quarantined areas, medicines, and supplies for infected or hurt patients in each nationís station, C. Taking precautions for anything that could happen at any time such as terrorist attacks, pollution (oil spills, sun radiation, burning oil wells, etc.), or natural disasters, D. Closing all entrances and exits into newly infected countries and checking people who have left an infected country before knowledge of disease infection with the help of doctors, nurses, police, etc.
5, Further affirms that the WHPRG, during the monthly discussion, will have the representatives and their assistance check the following in the countries with stations: A. Any disease developments or recoveries in patients with the help of the scientist and doctors keeping a record of each patient, B. Any research results for diseases given by the scientists research and work in finding ways to end the disease, C. Any information, such as side-affects or symptoms, affecting any disease or patient which will be recorded by nurses or doctors, D. Review any suggestions given by cooperating organizations and people to assistants with the appointed job of gathering suggestions;
6. Requests the cooperation of everyone in securing a safe and healthy world in which we live in.
Honorable chairman and delegates, ladies and gentlemen, good day and greetings from the Republic of South Africa. Many are the challenges that face the world today and our unity, as one nation remains our only hope for salvation. Killer viruses have been infesting our lands and you are all aware of our struggle with HIV and AIDS. The last thing we want to see is the spread of yet another virus amongst us. SARS is one of our most dangerous enemies; it is an enemy we know little of. Today, each country is taking its own measures. However, we believe that it is our duty, as United Nations, to set the rules and regulations to combat against this virus described by many as epidemic. Countries are trying to suppress facts and act as if nothing is happening not to let their tourism be affected. But the world is facing a real threat and today, we have to once again all unite in order to actively contain and eliminate this threat. Ladies and Gentlemen, I urge you to consider the SARS issue as your number one priority on your agenda, as we South Africans know exactly what high a price the spread of virus can be.