The speech below
is intended to serve as an example of how an opening speech for JPHMUN
should be written. In order to give a consistent example of how a foreign
policy is presented at JPHMUN, the topic of the protection of civilians
in armed conflict, which was used in the example of how to write clauses
for draft resolutions, is retained, and the speech is written from a
Canadian perspective. Delegates are encouraged to refer back to that
example in order to see the relationship between opening speeches and
clauses proposed for draft resolutions at JPHMUN. Although Canada has
a fairly broad foreign policy agenda on this issue, this speech focuses
specifically on the issue of anti-personnel landmines in order to demonstrate
this relationship. As you will probably notice, there are other points
in this speech that could be used to write additional clauses to go
along with the one example that was given earlier.
Delegates are encouraged
to notice and integrate into their own speeches, four things that are
included in the following speech:(1)
1) The speaker identifies the global dimensions of the problem and a rationale for global action in terms of common beliefs or interests.
2) The speaker refers to progress which has been made on this issue at the international level.
3) The speaker relates the issue to his/her own country. This can be done by emphasizing this particular country's opinion on the issue, the implications of the issue for that country, and/or steps taken by that country to address the issue.
The speaker closes by reasserting his/her country's commitment to the
issue and appealing for an international effort to address the problem.
by the Delegate from Canada On the issue of "The Protection
of Civilians in Armed Conflict"(2)
Mr./Madame Director, Honourable Delegates, I am pleased to be able to
take part in this committee's debate on behalf of the government and
the people of Canada.
The United Nations
must make progress on the issue of the protection of civilians from
the effects of armed conflict if we are to live up to the principles
entrenched in the organization's Charter. The victimization of civilians
has become far too common in modern warfare. The principles of humanity
upon which the UN was founded demand that we do a better job of protecting
them. In the pursuit of peace, the security of people, and not just
the security of states, must receive increasing effort and attention
from the international community. In reality, this is not a problem
that any of us can afford to ignore, since, in an increasingly interconnected
world, the insecurity of people who are directly affected, sooner or
later, will affect our own security. Therefore, our common interest,
and our common humanity, require us as an international community to
take common action to address this problem.
One issue which
Canada sees as being of particular importance is the elimination of
anti-personnel landmines. Landmines are hidden and indiscriminate killers,
which cannot tell the difference between the footsteps of a soldier,
and those of a child. Their relative low cost and easy deployability,
have meant that they have been widely used in some of the world's poorest
countries, and they have claimed more than 1 million casualties, most
of them civilians, since 1975. They also prevent people displaced by
war from returning home, where fields, roads, bridges, or entire communities
have been mined, and result in the loss of productive farm-land as well.
All of this amounts to a humanitarian crisis of global proportions.
international community has taken steps to combat this problem, and
Canada welcomes these efforts wholeheartedly. The Anti-Personnel Mine
Ban Convention, in which Canada took a leading role, is a significant
step forward. It has now been signed or acceded to by 137 states, and
92 states have ratified it. However, the intended protection of the
Convention will not be complete until all states have become party to
it. While there have not been large scale deployments of landmines in
the past two years, there are still states who are producing, stockpiling,
trading, and using anti-personnel landmines. The international community
must seize the opportunity provided by the current momentum to encourage
the universal acceptance and application of the Convention.
As well, the Convention
has not, and cannot, solve the global humanitarian crisis caused by
the millions of mines which are already in the ground. Canada has also
been a leader in this respect, having, among other efforts, created
in 1997 a $100 million Canadian Landmine Fund dedicated to supporting
activities such as mine clearance, mine awareness training, victim assistance,
and the development of new mine action technologies. We would encourage
other countries to become further engaged in the effort to eliminate
the millions of landmines which have already been deployed. Not until
every anti-personnel mine is removed from every mine-affected country
can we be sure that the killing and injuries resulting from the use
of these weapons will stop.
of anti-personnel landmines should be a part of a comprehensive effort
on the part of the international community to protect civilian populations
from armed conflict. For Canada, this is part of a security agenda which
puts people first. We will continue to work aggressively toward this
goal, and encourage all members of this body to join with us in this
effort. If the UN is to live up to its obligations under the Charter,
and to give new hope to the peoples for whom the organization was founded,
the security of people, including their rights, safety and lives, must
become a collective priority.
Thank you, and I yield my remaining time to the Moderator.
1. This structure of opening speeches is based on the model developed by Dr. William Vaughn in Appendix A of his paper, "The National Model United Nations: Discovering its Subject Matter and Pedagogy."
2. This speech borrows heavily from an address delivered by the Hon. Lloyd Axworthy, Minister of Foreign Affairs for Canada, to the United Nations Security Council on the same topic on April 19, 2000.