Syria

Event: Pearl-MUN 2003

Student: Nasser Al-Aujan



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The Syrian National Anthem



Syria


 

 

Country Profile

 



Political Structure:

The Syrian Arab Republic has been under military regime since 1963. It is made up of 14 provinces, Al Hasakah, Al Ladhiqiyah, Al Qunaytirah, Ar Raqqah, As Suwayda', Dar'a, Dayr az Zawr, Dimashq, Halab, Hamah, Hims, Idlib, Rif Dimashq, Tartus. Its legal system is a combination based on Islamic Law and Civil Law and is not under compulsory ICJ jurisdiction. Its Executive Branch is made up of President Bashar Al-Asad, Vice President Abdul-halim ibn Sayid Khaddam and Muhammad Zuhayr Mashariqa. The head of government is composed of Prime Minister Muhammad Mustafa Miru, Deputy Prime Ministers Lt. Gen. Mustafa Talas, Farouk Al-Shara, and Dr. Muhammad Al-Husayn. During the elections the President is chosen by popular vote and he serves a seven year term. The Legislative Branch contains the People’s Council which has 250 seats and the members are elected by popular vote.

There are 5 main political parties and they are the National Progressive Front which contains the Ba’ath Party, the Arab Socialist Party, and the Socialist Unionist Democratic Party, the Arab Socialist Renaissance which includes the Ba’ath party and is the governing party, the Syrian Arab Socialist Party, the Syrian Communist Party, and the Social National Party. The only political pressure groups are conservative religious groups. The International Organization Participation consists of AFESD, AL, AMF, CAEU, CCC, ESCWA, FAO, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ISO, ITU, NAM, OAPEC, OIC, UN, UN Security Council (temporary), UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNRWA, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WMO, WToO.

 

Geography:

Syria lies in the Middle East bordering the Mediterranean Sea. It has a total area of 185,180 sq. km including 1,295 sq. km of Israeli-occupied territory. 184,050 sq. km of it is land and the remaining 1,130 sq. km is water. The total area of land boundaries is 2,253 km 605 km borders Iraq, 76 km borders Israel, 375 km borders Jordan, 375 km borders Lebanon, and 822 km borders Turkey. Syria mostly has a dry desert climate, with hot dry summers, and snowy and rainy winters. It is mostly formed of desert terrain but there are mountains in the west. 12,130 sq. km of Syria is irrigated land, and its total arable land is 25.96% of the countries total area. The natural hazards Syria suffers from are dust and sand storms.

 

Cultural Factors:

Syria has a population of 17,155,814 people, plus about 40,000 people living in Israeli occupied territories. Syria’s ethnic groups are Arab 90.3%, and Kurds and Armenians which together form the remaining 9.7%. The religious groups in Syria are Sunni Muslims 74%, Alawite, Druze, and other Muslim sects 16%, Christian 10%, and Jewish. There are varies languages spoken in Syria, Arabic (official); Kurdish, Armenian, Aramaic, Circassian; French, and English. There are many clashes between the Syrians and the Jews in the Israeli occupied territories.

 

Natural Resources:

Syria’s industries are petroleum, textiles, food processing, beverages, tobacco, and phosphate rock mining. Its electricity production sources are fossil fuel 64%, and hydro 36%. The are many agricultural products and they are, wheat, barley, cotton, lentils, chickpeas, olives, sugar beets; beef, mutton, eggs, poultry, and milk. Syria’s main export is oil; however it also exports textiles, fruits and vegetables, and raw cotton.

 

Defense:

Syria has 4 military branches, Syrian Arab Army, Syrian Arab Navy, Syrian Arab Air Force, and the Police and Security Force. Syria has a military manpower of 4,550,496, and those fit for service are 2,539,342. Syria’s military expenditures are $921 million.

 

Economy:

Syria’s economy has been slower than its 2.5% annual population growth rate, this has caused the per capita GDP to decline. Syria has been working to replenish its economy however certain issues such as internal terrorism and the Israel-Palestine conflict and a decline in oil prices has weakened foreign investment, which Syria needs in order to rebuild its economy.

Syria has a GDP of $54.2 billion, and it is growing at a rate of 2%. 27% of the GDP is concentrated on agriculture, 23% on industry, and 50% on services. Syria has an export rate of $5 billion, and its export commodities are made up of 68% crude oil, 7% textiles, 6% fruits and vegetables, and 4% raw cotton. Its export partners are Germany, Italy, France, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia. Syria’s import rate is $4 billion, and its export commodities are 21% machinery and transport equipment, 18% food and livestock, 15% metal and metal products, and 10% chemicals and chemical products. Its import partners are Italy, Germany, France, Lebanon, China, South Korea, and Turkey. Syria’s external debt is $22 billion, and it receives $199 billion for economic aid.

 

Views on World Problems:

Syria believes that the United States should not act alone in rebuilding Iraq; it also believes that the United States should not have acted against Iraq and ignored the Israel-Palestine conflict. The United Nations should have had a bigger role in the Iraq conflict. Syria is for making the Middle East a nuclear free zone and was for Iraq giving up its weapons of mass destruction. Syria also supports the war on terror and is cooperating with the United States and agrees to give up and not give asylum to any wanted Iraqi officials.

One of Syria’s biggest problems is that parts of it are occupied by Israel. Syria believes that Israel is deceiving the public by sating it wants peace, but then saying it can’t achieve peace because the Arabs are warmongers. Israel is more powerful than all the Arab Nations because it is supplied with weaponry from the United States. Peace may help Israel achieve the GREATER ISRAEL which is the Zionists goal but war is quicker and more efficient because there is no balance between the Arab Nations and Israel when it comes to a military conflict. If Israel refuses to give back all the Arab occupied lands then it is sending a message that there will be no peace. There will be no peace with Israel as long as it occupies Arab Lands.

 

History:

As early as about 1800 BC King Shamshi-Adad I of Assyria is thought to have established his capital, Shubat Enlil, at present-day Tell Leilan in the extreme northeast of Syria. The kingdom was later conquered by Hammurabi of Babylonia, and the region was long afterward influenced principally by Egypt and Babylon. Parts of the region were conquered successively by the Egyptians and the Hittites, and, in the 8th century BC, by Assyria. In the 6th century BC the region passed first to the Chaldeans and then to the Persians (538 BC). Alexander the Great made it a part of his empire in 333 and 332 BC, and at the close of the 4th century BC it was appropriated by Seleucus I, one of Alexander's generals, who founded Antioch as the capital. During the 3rd century BC the Ptolemies of Egypt and the Seleucids contended for the possession of lower Syria and Palestine. Both areas, and much of western Asia, passed to the Seleucids, whose realm became known as the kingdom of Syria. In 64 BC Syria was made a Roman province. The Western Roman Empire with its capital at Rome and the Eastern, or Byzantine, Empire with its capital at Constantinople, Syria remained a Byzantine province for approximately 240 years. It was conquered in 636 by the Arabs and was quickly absorbed into their rapidly expanding Islamic Empire.

In 661 Damascus became the seat of the powerful Umayyad caliphs. At that time it was one of the most important and splendid cities of the Muslim world. Later it was supplanted by Baghdad in present-day Iraq. In 1099 the Crusaders incorporated part of the region into the Christian kingdom of Jerusalem and part into the principality of Antioch. In a subsequent campaign (1174-1187), Saladin, sultan of Egypt, took Syria and overthrew the kingdom of Jerusalem. The many wars centering on Syria impoverished the land and its people; its ruin was completed by a Mongol invasion in 1260. The Ottoman Turks incorporated the region into their empire in 1516, and it remained in their possession for the next four centuries. The commercial importance of the territory as the site of overland routes to eastern Asia was greatly reduced with the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869. Strong nationalist movements had taken hold in many parts of the Ottoman Empire during the early years of the 20th century. When World War I (1914-1918) broke out and Turkey took the side of the Central Powers, the Allies, in order to enlist support against Turkey, held out to the Arabs the hope of postwar independence.

In January 1916, by the terms of letters between the British government and Husein ibn Ali, grand sharif of Mecca, the latter promised Arab participation in the war on the Allied side in return for a British guarantee of independence for all Arab lands south of a line roughly corresponding to the northern frontiers of present-day Syria and Iraq. In May of the same year, however, Great Britain and France secretly concluded a separate accord, known as the Sykes-Picot agreement, by which most of the Arab lands under Turkish rule were to be divided into British and French spheres of influence. The areas now comprising Syria and Lebanon were assigned to France; and those comprising Israel and Jordan were assigned to Great Britain.

 

 

 

 

Policy Statements:



1-The question of rebuilding Iraq.

Rebuilding Iraq is possibly the most important issue we are faced with in this time. This issue means a great deal to Syria for two reasons; the first reason is that we are a neighboring country and that what happens to Iraq affects us, the second reason is that we have always had good relations with the Iraqi people and not the former Iraqi government which the Western media is trying to conceal. The first and most vital step is to rebuild Iraq politically, and the people must elect their leader not the occupying imperialist forces of the United States. The leader of Iraq must be a person all groups agree on, what Syria means by groups is Sunni, Shea’, Kurds and other ethnic and religious groups located in Iraq. If this is achieved it will be a fundamental step in achieving peace in the Middle East.

 

2-The question of reducing tensions on the Korean peninsula.

Syria is for reducing tensions on the Korean peninsula, and it thinks that the only way to achieve this is for there to be no military interference by the US and other allied countries. War in the Korean peninsula would cause outrageous damages to both North and South Korea. Syria emphasizes that war is not the answer and that war in the Korean peninsula would be nothing like the Gulf or Afghanistan war, but it would hold much more destruction and possibly lead to nuclear war. Syria also believes that North and South Korea should work more vigorously on achieving peace and that North Korea should be more cooperative in trying to achieve this fundamental issue.

 

3-The question of guaranteeing peace and security in Cote D'Ivoire.

The importance of preventing further warfare in Cote D'Ivoire is immense. The Ivory Coast has been plagued by violent instability for many years and action needs to be taken without delay. There are many driving forces behind the problems and among them are political power struggles, banditry, and economic recession. However the overall issue is religious divisions. The UN and other countries must work together to rid the nation of tyranny and elect a stable and secure government.

 

4-The question of reforming the Security Council.

Reforming the Security Council is an issue which should not be avoided. There should be more permanent places available and they should be provided to Arab and African Nations. Another crucial issue is Veto power, Syria’s view is that this power should be eliminated. It is unjust that five countries possess the power to reject a certain issue even if a majority voted in favor of that certain issue. The whole logic behind Veto power is unreasonable, why should the majority of nations be deprived from a service because it conflicts with a Veto powered country’s interests.

 

5-The question of the roll of the media in portraying conflicts.

The media is the essential way the public learn about conflicts, and a biased media has the ability to influence a whole nations thinking. The nations that are suffering most from a biased media are the Arab Nations, whether it is in the Palestine-Israel conflict or the war on Iraq. However the issue Syria and other nations such as Libya suffer from is that they are portrayed as countries that support terrorism and harbor terrorists.

This is not true in the case of Syria, it has been said in the media that it had relations with the Saddam Hussein regime and that it is giving asylum to members of the Iraqi Ba’ath party, while these are just false accusations from a prejudiced imperialist media. Syria believes that there should be a penalty against media sources that falsely betray conflicts and countries, which leads to false reputations against otherwise decent countries.

 

 




SECURITY COUNCIL CLAUSES

 

A. The question of rebuilding Iraq.

1-Resolves that the coalition forces cooperate with the UN to help maintain order by:
A. Sending armed guards to protect places that could fall victim to lootings such as hospitals, museums, and banks,
B. Issuing task forces to help retrieve important stolen items and investigate lootings,
C. Establishing military inspections throughout the country;

2-Further Resolves that the Arab League of Nations take over rebuilding Iraq politically by:
A. Initiating elections for certain positions in each city like police chief, mayor,
B. Help organize political parties who in the future would like to run for president;

3-Decides
that the United States should pay compensation to all civilians who have lost a family member or have had property damaged;

4-Demands
that the United States not use Iraq as a base for acts of aggression against neighboring countries.

 

B. The question of reducing tensions on the Korean peninsula.

1-Resolves
that the United Nations send inspectors around the borders in order to:
A. Detect any transporting of arms from and to the peninsula,
B. Detect any large number of troops around the borders,
C. Report any activity involving military forces;

2-Decides that no country should interfere without going through the United Nations, and if they do they should be penalized accordingly by the United Nations itself;

3-Further Resolves
that the UN initiate direct meetings between representatives from:
A. North and South Korea,
B. North Korea and the United States,
C. All parties involved including other helpful countries to mediate, especially influential countries in the region like China;

 

C. The question of guaranteeing peace and security in Cote D'Ivoire.

1-Resolves
that troops be sent by the United Nations to the country in order to:
A. Insure peace and stability for civilians,
B. Deal with any threatening forces in the area,
C. Prosecute war criminals;

2-Calls Upon the UN and all countries to help rebuild the country by:
A. Financial aid
B. Humanitarian aid
C. Medical aid;

3-Further Resolves that the UN help elect a temporary acting government until the problems are ended by:
A. Sponsoring a selected leader,
B. Organizing a government made up of qualified officials;

 

D. The question of reforming the Security Council.

1-Resolves
that there be more permanent places available in the Security Council and that they should be given to large Arab Nations;

2-Further Resolves that Veto power be eliminated from the five permanent members and to institute a new system which states that only when 4 or more countries in the Security Council come together will they be able to achieve Veto power;

3-Demands that permanent members should also be elected under certain circumstances by a session in the General Assembly;

 

E. The question of the roll of the media in portraying conflicts.

1-Resolves
that if the media prints or portrays a certain issue falsely that they be that they be penalized by:
A. Paying fines to the country or group they falsely portrayed,
B. Issuing formal apologies publicly,
C. Refuting the false information publicly,
D. If after the above it still repeats the information the country or group should have the right to shut it down;

2-Further Resolves that if a media source filters and twists around information about a certain conflict and this affects a certain country that the UN should setup a public hearing in which the country would have rights of reply to the media source in which they could clarify what has been said;

3-Calls Upon the UN to properly indict the media and show no compassion given that the media has the power to ruin a whole countries reputation

 

 

 

Opening Speech

 

Bism ala al rahman al raheem wa al Salam aleekom wa rahmat ala wa barakatuhu

Honorable Chair, Honorable Delegates

The Syrian Arab Republic is a nation of Unity, Freedom, and Socialism, like the Ba'ath party slogan states. It has helped counter the effects of colonialism and imperialism, and has aided those striving towards freedom and independence. It has pursued its goal of creating regional unity. It deplores the repressive policies and double standards of certain governments hiding behind facades of so called democracy and liberty.

In this event we are going to discuss numerous issues, and most of them are concerning Syria and thus are of great significance to us. I stand before you here today with a heavy spirit and with great regret I say that the Arab Nation has been hit with an arrow to the heart 55 years ago. Ever since the wound has been growing and growing. Yes, I think you all know what I’m talking about. The repercussions of this Zionist occupation are wreaking havoc world wide.

Another problem the Arab Nation suffers from is false labeling. Syria has been ruthlessly and falsely labeled as a terrorist state and today, Syria is working to remove this false stereotype erected by the will of imperialism, and to continue striving for a better world for all independent peace loving nations.