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Report General Assembly Plenary

Represented by Paula Podehl and Helge Schröder

The General Assembly (GA) is one of the six main organs of the United Nations. The GA deals with a large variety of internal (organizational) and external matters. Internal functions include the decision about the UN budget and the election of both the 10 non-permanent members of the Security Council and the Secretary-General. Articles 10 and following of the UN Charter grant the GA the competence to deal with all matters mentioned by the Charter, e.g. development and the general principles of international peace and security. 

The GA has several subsidiary organs, which have to report back to the GA, so do other organs, as e.g. the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

In the GA Plenary, we had prepared to discuss the issues of:

  1. Breaking the Link Between Diamonds and Armed Conflicts;
  2. Promotion of Alternate Sources of Energy;
  3. Implementation of the 2001-2010 International Decade to Roll Back Malaria in Developing Countries, Particularly in Africa.

The first issue to be discussed in the GA was the agenda setting for the session 2008. Japan’s priority was to discuss the promotion of alternate energy sources first, then the roll back of malaria and as a thirdly breaking the link between diamonds and armed conflicts. Japan favored this order because development and, through this, peace and prosperity is one of the national priorities as well as climate change and therefore insuring energy supply in developed and developing countries. In order to secure both it is important to secure the production of clean energy for the future.

Africa too is high on Japan’s priorities, both TICAD (Tokyo International Conference on African Development) and the G8 Summit (hosted by Japan in 2008) will be dealing with Africa in various points and the problems on this big continent have to be addressed but alternate energy sources is just as much and maybe at the origin of other agenda point a topic for Africa. We were pleased with the outcome of the vote for setting the agenda as it reflected our favored order.

Throughout the discussion, in the five days we only managed to discuss the first topic, Japan tried to address a large variety of partner countries in order to come to a wide consensus. The U.S. were a strong partner working on a working paper together with the Russian Federation and Germany. Afghanistan became a strong partner with other countries of the Middle East and South East Asia. Throughout the discussions the central concept of Japan’s foreign and national policy “Human Security” was brought to the attention of other negotiation partners and introduced to all but one draft resolution which were being voted upon at voting procedure. 

The GA Plenary passed in total eight resolutions on the topic of promoting alternate energy sources. Japan’s position and collaboration was clearly for the promotion of new and alternate energy sources. Japan is also willing to promote and to share the necessary technology and also financial aid to developing countries but with the clear message “it has to be efficient!”

In order for programs to be efficient, Japan pushed through the human security approach which focuses on the human centered mechanisms and development aid in order to achieve sustainable development result in the countries. “It is important not to only give the people a fish to eat so that they can survive the day, but to teach them how to fish so that they can survive a lifetime”.

The GA, as pointed out before, has several sub committees, which report back to the GA Plenary. This was going to be the same at NMUN. On the last day of conference before the closing ceremony the GA and the ECOSOC were going to be voting upon resolutions being passed by these sub committees. The resolutions were passed also by the GA on the last day of the conference, and Human Security is to be found in them.