I like / I dislike
Week 09 [20221231-20230106]
Every Monday, the Research Trainees of the CERESE assess the news of the previous week. You can read their opinions below:
I like the participation of Switzerland and Malta as non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council for the next two years, starting in 2023. The participation of Switzerland, which only became a member of the UN in 2002, internally caused concerns about the nation’s neutrality. However, the government declared that as the Security Council cannot be a party in a conflict, participating does not threaten its neutral status. Malta will have a crucial role in the Council, because the government intends to highlight women’s rights and climate change in the Council’s agenda. Malta has promised to promote the positions of the European Union, whenever possible.
I like that the Russian government called Ukraine for a 36-hour cease fire, from 7th to 8th January, to coincide with Christmas. Eventually, Russia declared a unilateral cease fire, since Kiev and Washington regarded this decision as hypocritical. President Zelensky stated that with the ceasefire Russia was planning to “buy time”. On the other hand, Moscow accused the US that it does not care about the fate of Ukrainians, and that it prolongs the war by sending weapons.
I dislike that Afghanistan’s Taliban-led administration has signed a contract with the Chinese company Xinjiang Central Asia Petroleum and Gas Co (CAPEIC). The goal is to extract oil from the Amu Darya basin and develop an oil reserve in the Sar-e Pul province, marking this as the first major foreign investment deal of the government. Afghanistan is in desperate need to boost its economy as international funding has remained largely frozen since the Taliban’s return to power. China continues to have substantial investments in the region, because it believes that economic development can potentially bring peace, stability, and prosperity, although no state has officially recognized the Taliban.
I dislike the UN’s dramatic warning on the situation in north-western Syria in case of not renewing Resolution 2642, which is due to expire on January 10. This Security Council Resolution ensures the necessary cross-border assistance to about 4.1 million people, 80% of whom are women and children who face objective difficulties in accessing medical care as well as free, safe movement. Despite the support provided by civil society, international and national organizations, this situation raises great concerns about the risks of increased hunger among the population, the lack of clean drinking water, and access to shelters, with the deprivation of basic human needs surely leading to preventable deaths.