Humanity is the Best Policy

International Press reporter Harsha Sista writes on the factors leading to the Syrian Civil War and the humanitarian aspects of the same.

The Syrian Civil War is the largest humanitarian crisis that the world has faced in the recent past and coming up with a lasting solution to it is a herculean task in itself. In order to get to solutions, a sound understanding of the causes of the crisis in question is required. On the first day of the session, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Third Committee – the Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee (SOCHUM) discussed the root causes of the human rights violations in Syria through the medium of a moderated caucus.

The delegate of the French Republic began the discussion by bringing some statistics to the notice of the committee and mentioned that the Islamic State (IS), the Assad government and the Russian Federation as the major players in the crisis. The delegate also mentioned that France had raised 200 million US Dollars for humanitarian aid in the Syrian Arab Republic. The concept of a proxy war was also established in the committee. The delegate of the United Mixican States said that Syria was the battleground for Russia and the United States of America (USA) to show their military prowess. The revolts in the Arab Republic of Egypt and the Republic of Tunisia, which were very similar, ended quickly because they were resolved internally.

The real cause for the start of the Syrian Civil War was the violent reaction of the government towards protestors. This is turn drove the protestors to use violent methods and ultimately escalated into a civil war. The intervention of the USA and Russia just added fuel to the fire and prolonged the conflict.They support the opposing factions only to accrue personal benefit and not to bring about a geopolitical solution to the problem at hand. Many delegates agreed on this point and blamed the USA and Russia for worsening the condition of the crisis.
The delegate of Mexico mentioned another war which was raging alongside – a religious war between the Shia minority holding office in Syria and the Sunnis, who formed the majority of the citizens. The involvement of the IS added a new dimension to this religious skirmish, but this point was not discussed at length in the committee.

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The delegate of the Republic of Peru brought out the point of war crimes. The majority of crimes committed in a conflict zone are war crimes and nobody is held accountable for it. The violations of human rights should not go unpunished and the perpetrators should be brought to justice. The delegate suggested the implementation of a stronger legal system to combat this growing problem.

The delegate of the USA suggested the formation of an International coalition to protect the democracy of the Syrians, instead of only one country intervening. The delegate also blamed Russia for selling weapons to the Syrian government, to which the delegate of Russia replied that did that because the government of Syria had asked them to. The delegate of Syria did not speak much in the committee and only said that the conflict could have been solved peacefully.

Overall, the moderated caucus saw many repeated points but did bring to light some of the causes of the humanitarian crisis in Syria. Many delegates agreed on some of the main points. Although there were differences of opinion, the discussion was not entirely pointless and put forth some important points on the floor.

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