Two societies, both alike in dignity,
In fair St Andrews, where we lay our scene,
From world problems to new mutiny,
Where debate makes world issues clean.
The Feminist Society and Model United Nations joined together on Wednesday 3rd November to pass a resolution on measures to combat sexual violence in conflict zones.
“In armed conflicts, the breakdown of social infrastructures, the disintegration of families and communities and the disruption of responses leave people vulnerable to sexual and other forms of gender-based violence, including rape by combatants and intimate partners or acquaintances and, at times, sexual exploitation by humanitarian actors. This human rights and peace and security problem has begun to be the focus of international attention, and we need to increase the efforts being made to prevent its occurrence, to respond to the survivors’ needs and to address impunity for those responsible.”
Based on a real United Nations resolution, eight points were actively debated in order to implement ideas that would eradicate and manage sexual violence in conflict zones. The committee passed clauses such as ‘enforcing appropriate military disciplinary measures’ in areas of armed conflict where there is prove of sexual violence towards anyone, especially including women and young children.
Reviews of the debate were positive and enthusiastic; many agreed that this issue simply isn’t “emphasised enough” in the western world and “definitely deserves much more thought, help and attention.” Furthermore, the idea of joining societies together to expand on knowledge was definitely a successful idea that would be welcomed again in the future.
Although it would appear that all states would want to combat sexual violence, the problem is on a much larger scale than perceived to be. Often some states (in yesterday’s case Iran and Pakistan) are slightly uncooperative as they are centres of where these sexual attacks are happening and therefore see the problem from a completely different point of view.
This is the beauty of MUN; being able to understand cultural and political differences around the world. The St Andrews MUN team is successful at its many competitions and is currently looking for delegates for its Oxford competition. Similarly, if you’re interested in actively helping to tackle sexism around the world, please join the Feminist Society, where they put words into actions. If you’re interested, please contact both the Facebook pages of these groups.