This year’s theme of Special Conference One is Peace and Justice in the Middle East. The delegate of Italy focussed on the question of the Islamic State and therefore studied this topic exhaustively. Italy is a very well-known country and is part of the European Union and NATO.
The delegate of Italy used many different sources (they are listed at the end of the paper, before the appendix). Sources like CIA: The World Fact Book, U.S Department of State, United Nations Website, BBC Country Profile, BBC news and other reliable sources were used to prepare for MUNISH. The research questions are: how to stop the Islamic State, how to stop the ideology of the Islamic State and how to create stability in the Middle East.
In this paper the results of MUNISH, the role of the Italian Delegation in SPC 1, the preparation for MUNISH and the Italian Republic will be thoroughly reflected on. Additionally, a journalistic article on the press release of the delegation of Niger in the Human Rights Council (HRC), can be found in this paper.
At MUNISH, Italy wants to achieve: preventing further radicalisation and defeating the Islamic State as fast as possible, all countries should be responsible for the refugees fleeing from Syria and Iraq and stability in the Middle East.
Italy, with Rome as the capital city, is a country located in the southern part of Europe. Italy is part of two very important blocs: the European Union (EU; Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom) and the Western European and Others Group (WEOG; Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Israel and New Zealand). Italy holds more or less the same views on the topics discussed in Special Conference One at MUNISH, as the other members of both blocs.
Italy is a Parliamentary Republic and the current ruling parties are: Democratic Party (social-democratic), New Centre Right (centre-right), Italian Socialist Party (social-democratic), Union of the Centre (Christian-democratic). The current president of Italy is Sergio Mattarella (Democratic Party) and the current Prime Minister is Paolo Gentiloni (Democratic Party).
Due to the economic and refugee crisis, Italy is at the moment not very stable. The Italian financial system is in a major state of flux right now. Not only has Italy economic and political problems, it also has crushingly low productivity, a history of missing growth targets, and has generally underperformed the rest of Europe in recent years. Moreover, the country’s banking system is experiencing serious, problems.
In the past Italy was governed by the fascist leader Benito Mussolini, who is known for supporting Hitler during the Second World War. In 1943 Italy was invaded by the Allies and Mussolini was executed. In 1948 a new constitution was created and the Christian Democrats won the elections. Italy joined the European Coal and Steel Community (the forerunner of the European Union) in 1951 and in 1955 Italy joined the United Nations.
With regards to the Islamic State, it is important for Italy to defeat IS as fast as possible and to find a solution for the refugee crisis. Italy, together with the United States, United Kingdom, France, Australia, Canada, Jordan, Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium, Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Poland, Georgia, Japan, Taiwan, Hungary, South Korea, New Zealand, Estonia, Austria, Albania, Greece, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Slovenia, Serbia, Romania, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Luxembourg, Latvia, Lithuania, Iceland, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Ukraine, Croatia, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Somalia, Kuwait, Oman, Tunisia, Ireland, Switzerland (non-military aid), is part of the Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR), which is the US led coalition fighting against the Islamic State.
MUNISH was this year on sustainable development goal 16: Peace Justice and Inclusive Societies. Therefore, Special Conference One (SPC1), was this year on Peace and Justice in the Middle East. The Middle East is known for, and the source of, a lot of turmoil at the moment. SPC1 focusses this year on the question of the Islamic State, Measures to prevent the recruitment and radicalisation of young persons by international terrorist groups and Preventing proxy wars in the Middle East. The intention of this year’s SPC1, is to restore peace, justice and stability in the Middle East.
The problem that the delegate of Italy researched in depth and thoroughly, is the question of the Islamic State. The Islamic State often reaches the news with their terrorist attacks in big cities and IS often shocks the entire world with their executions of journalists and other innocent citizens. The attacks of IS lead to enormous uncertainty and anxiety among European – and other – citizens. Not only does IS attack innocent citizens, they also dominate and control aspects of the lives of civilians and they would like to dominate and control all the aspects of their lives.
The Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR) is the most prominent key player in the question of the Islamic State. This is the US led coalition, based in Kuwait fighting against IS, Italy is part of this coalition. Other important key players are the Security Council, the General Assembly and the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). The first two institutions can enforce new laws and resolution on the Islamic State and the UNHRC monitors the violation of human rights – IS is known for doing so. The UNHRC can advise on how to prevent the violation of human rights and accept resolutions on this topic.
The Islamic State is a widespread phenomenon, but centred at Syria and Iraq. However, there are also other countries where IS is based, like Lebanon, Egypt, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Algeria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria and Northern Caucasus. More importantly, IS has followers all over the world that adhere to their extremist ideology and who do not shun and form of aggression. These people are at least as dangerous for our independence and democracy as the people in the Middle East fighting for IS, but are most likely to be more dangerous.
The Islamic State uses terror and indoctrination to create fear among people and to be able to create their own caliphate. Italy strongly condemns all forms of aggression and especially terror. IS continues to abuse humanitarian rights by the persecution of religious minorities, mass executions and the usage of chemical weapons, which is a war crime.
There are different approaches to solve the issue of the Islamic State, either the ‘hard’ or the ‘soft’ way. The hard way is to bomb IS until it has totally been destroyed. The soft way is to prevent radicalisation. Italy thinks that using both ways, would be the most efficient way of defeating IS. If you only use the hard way, the ideology will never disappear, while only the soft way would result into IS gaining much more control and land in Syria, Iraq and the other countries where they are based. The best solution would be to combine both strategies, so the international community should prevent radicalisation, as well as bombing the Islamic State.
Key Events – Timeline
Date Description of Event
1999 Abu al Zarqawi founds Jama’at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad (JTJ), a Sunni Islamist group, w
ith the intent of overthrowing the Jordanian government
2003 Increased amount of jihadist militant groups in Iraq, such as the al Zarqawi’s movement, following the withdrawal of American troops
October 2004 Post Iraqi invasion of 2003, al Zarqawi pledges loyalty to Osama Bin Laden and al Qaeda, and establishes al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI)
7 June 2006 Al Zarqawi replaced by Abu-Mamzah al Muhajir, after he is killed in a USA strike
2007 US intervention into Iraq, dramatically decreasing IS’s number of leaders, cells, and capabilities
2009 Iraqi, Shia Prime Minister Maliki targets Sunni leaders, consequently leading to a rise in IS recruitments again
April 2010 Abu Omar al Baghdadi, al Masri’s successor, killed in US-Iraqi operation and replaced by Abu Bakr al Baghdadi
July 2012 – July 2013 IS launches “Breaking the Walls” campaign to free jihadist fighters arrested during 2007
11-apr-13 Al Baghdadi announces that the al Nusra Front is part of IS (forming ISIS), but Julani, leader of the al Nusra Front, denies this and pledges his allegiance to al Qaeda
21 July 2013 IS launches “Soldier’s Harvest” campaign to decrease the number within the Iraqi forces whilst gaining territory
October 2013 Al Qaeda leader, al Zawahiri, demands that IS disband from the al Nusra Front, but al Baghdadi refuses
3 February 2014 Al Qaeda officially denounces ties with IS
10 June 2014 IS seizes Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul, to which Saudi Arabia and Jordan respond to by mobilising their armies near their Iraqi borders
18 June 2014 Iraq asks for US support in conducting airstrikes against IS
29 June 2014 IS proclaims itself as the worldwide caliphate, responsible for all Muslims
8 Augustus 2014 USA initiate airstrike series against IS targets in northern Iraq, in an attempt to defend Yazidi citizens
14 Augustus 2014 Iraqi Prime Minister al Maliki resigns and is replaced by al Abadi. The UNSC and USA call upon al Abadi to create an inclusive government
22 September 2014 IS call for attacks on USA, France, and other nations involved in the coalition
23 September 2014 USA launches first air strikes against IS cells in Syria
7 June 2006 The Islamic Youth Shura Council claim Derna, a Libyan city, for IS
2007 IS gunmen attack Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris, killing 11 people, whilst a synchronized attack was initiated on a kosher supermarket, killing 4 people
2009 Yamouk, a Palestinian refugee camp (home to 18,000 people) is seized by IS militants
April 2010 Boko Haram swears allegiance to IS, giving them presence in Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon, and Chad
July 2012 – July 2013 IS expelled by Kurdish forces from strategic Syrian town, Tal Abyad, on Turkish border
11 April 13 IS responsible attack on Tunisian resort kills 38 and injures 39 people
21 July 2013 Russia initiates airstrikes In Syria, claiming to target ISIS, but USA alleges that these strikes are targeted at Western supported rebel groups
October 2013 Iraq’s largest oil refinery, the Baiji Refinery, is recaptured by Iraqi forces from IS
3 February 2014 Egyptian IS affiliate claim responsibility for the bombing of Russian passenger plane, killing 224 people
10 June 2014 IS coordinated attacks in Paris, killing 130 people
18 June 2014 IS claim responsibility for the three explosions in Zaventem Airport and Brussels metro station, killing at least 30 people
29 June 2014 Gunman pledges alliance to IS over a phone call with the police, prior to killing 50 and injuring 53 people in an attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando
8 Augustus 2014 IS’s deadliest civilian bombing to date in Baghdad, killing 200 people
14 Augustus 2014 IS claims credit for an attack by a 31-year-old Tunisian man, in which he drove a truck through a crowd in Nice and killed 84 people
22 September 2014 Syrian Democratic Forces coalition between Arab and Kurdish fighters, backed by the USA, recaptures Manbij after a two-month battle with IS
23 September 2014 USA led coalition between Iraqi government and Kurdish forces reclaim Mosul
2 January 2017 3 separate IS suicide bombing attacks in Iraq
16 February 2017 IS suicide bombers attack Pakistani Sufi shrines
9 April 2017 Suicide bombings in two churches in Egypt on Palm Sunday
22 May 2017 IS suicide bombing at Ariana Grande concert
6 June 2017 ISIS supporters drive into pedestrians on London Bridge, followed by random stabbing conducted by 3 men
Views on the topic
IS, seeks to create a caliphate under which all Muslims would be united. This terrorist group is a Salafi-jihadist militant group, meaning that they follow the conservative branch of Sunni Islam. They use their ideological beliefs to motivate their extremist actions. Many UN member states find the Islamic State a difficult topic to breach, as IS functions at various multitudes, ranging from amateur car bombings to calculated political attacks. Due to the use of social media, IS is able to indoctrinate new recruits and broadcast their controversial actions and messages. IS is economically able to sustain its activities, despite multiple sanctions, mainly because of the oil revenue and taxation. The United Nations Commission on Human Rights’ stresses its concerns regarding the violation of human rights, as IS “seeks to subjugate civilians under its control and dominate every aspect of their lives through terror, indoctrination, and the provision of services to those who obey”.
The mission of the United States – Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR) – is still going on at the moment. The United Nations is also busy with freezing the financial and weaponry assets of the Islamic State. IS continues to perform terrorist attacks on innocent civilians and thereby creating chaos and fear among people.
Recently, a couple of resolutions were accepted, like A/RES/68/276 (2014), S/RES/2178 (2014), S/RES/2253 (2015), S/RES/2354 (2017), S/RES/2368 (2017) and S/RES/2379 (2017). These six resolutions are on stopping terrorist groups. Especially S/RES/2354 is an important resolution, because it outlines the Comprehensive International Framework to Counter Terrorist Narratives, the Counter Terrorism Implementation Task Force and the Counter Terrorism Committee.
Italy is part of the CJTF-OIR, meaning that they are fighting against the Islamic State together with the international community. Italy believes that IS can only be defeated when both military action and the prevention of further spreading of the ideology are combined.
Possible solutions to defeat the Islamic State and to prevent its expansion:
– Forbid countries, institutions and companies to trade with IS, give them money and weapons or help them in any other way;
– Potential jihadists forced to go to prison, together with a deradicalization program and they are not allowed to get out of it as long as they are radicalised;
– Integrate observers into societies which are most likely to radicalise, in order to know beforehand which people will require most attention;
– Resolve Syrian conflict;
– Create institution in order to protect human rights in Syria and Iraq and all the other countries that are being threatened by IS;
– Make IS propaganda unfindable on the internet.
Allies and opposition
Italy does not really have allies and enemies nowadays. The European Union and NATO can be seen as the allies of Italy. Like Italy, most countries are part of both organisations. Most of Italy’s allies have the same view on the Islamic State as Italy’s view.
European Union: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Unite
NATO: Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom and United States.
There is enmity between Italy and Eritrea, Somaliland, Libya, Azerbaijan and Albania, because Italy once colonised these countries. But over the years, the relation between Italy and these countries has improved and the enmity is slowly fading away. There are no real enemies for Italy.
Italy’s resolution on the question of the Islamic State and the resolution that was debated on during MUNISH can be found in the appendix on page 19 and 20.
Italy mainly focussed on the prevention of radicalisation and preventing the Islamic State to obtain money in its resolution. Moreover, Italy asked for all countries to work together and exchange information between the national intelligence services, in order to get the most information as possible on potential terrorists and jihadist. Italy thinks that the question of the Islamic State can only be solved when the international communities cooperates.
At MUNISH, Italy decided to support a very strong and complete resolution, written by the delegate of Myanmar. Due to time limits, the resolution was unfortunately not debated on, but more than 20 countries co-submitted the resolution, which shows the quality of the resolution and the willingness of countries to take action against IS.
The resolution of the delegate of Myanmar makes it harder to trade with IS (excluding oil, because when the resolutions were merged many countries enunciated their resistance and in order to increase the chance of getting the resolution accepted we decided to strike that clause), it creates stability in Syria and Iraq, it gives aid to those who need it, the resolution also states that every country is responsible for the refugees fleeing Syria and Iraq. The delegation of Italy was able to add a clause on continuing bombing IS using air strikes, because CJTF-OIR has had a big impact in the fight against IS. In the resolution of Myanmar there was a clause on supplying Bashar al-Assad (president of Syria) with weapons, the delegate of Italy pointed out that Assad has been accused of using chemical weapons against his own inhabitants multiple times. For this reason, the clause was struck. The delegate of Italy also wanted to add a clause to make IS propaganda unfindable on the internet, but a couple of delegates disagreed with it being on the question of the Islamic State, as they thought it belonged more to the topic of anti-radicalisation, therefore it was not added to the resolution.
The resolution that was debated on, main submitted by Burundi and co-submitted by 17 other countries (including the European Union), was a very good resolution as well. Although it is less good than the resolution of Myanmar, the delegate of Italy voted in favour of the resolution, because it contains important and good solutions for most critical problems. Despite the vote of Italy, it was unfortunately not enough to get this resolution passed. During the normal session it failed to pass and during the plenary session it failed to pass, too.
During the normal session, Venezuela wanted to strike clause 4d, because – as stated earlier – Assad is known for using chemical weapons against his population, Italy voted in favour of striking clause 4d and it passed.
4. EMPHASIZES THE NEED TO INCREASE THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE GLOBAL COALITION TO DEFEAT IS WHICH;
d. PROVIDES ARMS, EQUIPMENT, AND TRAINING TO PARTNERS THAT THEY WORK WITH TO HELP THE AIR CAMPAIGN AGAINST IS
I. WAS SUCCESSFUL RECENTLY IN DEFEATING IS IN RAQQA IN WHICH THE CITY LOST CONTROL OF THE SELF-DECLARED CAPITAL THROUGH A GLOBAL COALITION MILITARY OPERATION CONSISTING OF THE US AND SYRIAN DEMOCRATIC FORCES WHICH IS A COALITION OF ARAB AND KURDISH FIGHTERS
II. CREATED THE LIBERATION OF THE CITY
Then the Czech Republic came forward to add a clause to the resolution, because the delegate wanted to distance IS to Muslim countries. Italy abstained from voting, as the delegate failed to see how this clause is related to the question of the Islamic State.
8. URGES THE UN TO EXTINGUISH OVERLY INHUMANE CAPITAL PUNISHMENT TECHNIQUES IN COUNTRIES THAT ENFORCE IT;
After that, Russia wanted to make an amendment on clause 2a, where Russian banks are mentioned as an example of banks who facilitate the transfer of funds. Italy abstained from voting, because for Italy it is not an important part of the clause and Russian banks have facilitated the funnelling of cash. The amendment did not pass.
2. URGES THE ESTABLISHMENT OF FORENSIC BANKING THROUGH THE USE OF GLOBAL GOVERNMENTS COMMITTED TO TRANSPARENCY IN BANKING WITH THE ADDED POWER TO SUBPOENA AND INVESTIGATE WHICH WOULD;
a. CREATE STRICTER REGULATIONS ON BANKS THAT ARE FUNNELLING THE CASH, SUCH AS RUSSIAN BANKS BY SUBSEQUENTLY PUNISHING THOSE BANKS WHO FACILITATE THE TRANSFER OF FUNDS TO ILLEGAL ENTITIES, SPECIFICALLY IS BY
i. THREATENING TO IMPOSE ECONOMIC SANCTIONS THAT WOULD CEASE THE ABILITY FOR BANKS TO TRANSFER MONEY
The last amendment came from the delegation of Spain. The amendment did not pass, because, like the delegate of Italy, most delegates failed to see what this had to do with IS and therefore voted against. Even though the Italian government is not against government mediation, the Italian delegate voted against this clause, because this clause should be included in a resolution on that specific topic.
8. CALLS FOR INTERNATIONAL MEDIATION BETWEEN IRAQI AND IRAQI KURDISH GOVERNMENT;
a. RECOMMENDS A CEASEFIRE BETWEEN THE IRAQI GOVERNMENT AND THE IRAQI KURDISH GOVERNMENT BY DECEMBER 2017
b. FURTHER RECOMMENDS THE NULLIFICATION OF THE PREVIOUS INDEPENDENCE REFERENDUM AND THE CONDITIONS OF ANY FUTURE REFERENDUMS OF KURDISH INDEPENDENCE TO BE DECIDED THROUGH GOVERNMENT MEDIATION
When the time set for the debate had elapsed, it was time to vote. Unfortunately, a small majority voted against this resolution, so it did not pass. During the plenary session, the same thing happened. Many delegates voted against because of clause 5 – this clause was not a problem during the normal session. The delegations that voted against this resolution because of clause 5, were concerned about the violation of the right of men. The delegate of Italy thinks that voting against this resolution is really regrettable, because it is in every country’s best interest to defeat IS.
5. ENCOURAGES THE NEED TO IMPLEMENT EFFORTS TO STOP HUMANITARIAN RIGHTS ABUSE SUCH AS SEXUAL VIOLENCE AND SLAVERY BY;
a. IMPLEMENTING RAPE AXE, A FORM OF FEMALE CONTRACEPTIVE THAT HAS ROWS OF TEETH LIKE HOOKS THAT LINE ITS INSIDE AND ATTACHES TO A MAN’S GENITALS DURING PENETRATION
i. THIS SELF-DEFENCE MEASURE IS EXTREMELY PAINFUL AND CAN ONLY BE REMOVED BY MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS
ii. BY IMPLEMENTING THIS TACTIC, IT WOULD DECREASE HUMANITARIAN RIGHTS ABUSE OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE AND SLAVERY CONDUCTED BY IS
Niger’s press release can be found in the appendix on page 23.
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