Updated debates on Syria and its future resolutions were held at a peace conference in Geneva on March 10. Russia, a nation previously involved in the nation’s conflict, proposed the possibility of turning Syria into a federal state with global powers. The forum followed the peace talks held previously on Feb. 27, during which Russia and US agreed to a cease-fire in Syria.
The international community has since been supportive of the negotiations between US and Russia. The United Nations Security Council recently voted unanimously to end the civil war in Syria, which has killed more than a quarter-million and caused millions more to flee the country.
“There is still much left to resolve in the Syrian crisis,” said Michael Stanton, MUN adviser. “When declaring a ceasefire, people often fail to realize that it will not work as smoothly as they planned, especially not when the country is stuck in a civil war. The temporary armistice will not solve the ongoing refugee crisis unless the refugees are reassured of their safety when they choose to return to Syria. Besides, Syria has to develop proper infrastructure for refugees, who have been living in utter devastation– without proper shelter nor modern-day necessities such as electricity.”
However, despite the fact that nearly 100 rebel groups agreed to the temporary ceasefire, the truce cannot guarantee lasting peace to Syria due to the looming threat posed by large-scale terrorist groups such as the Islamic State (ISIS). To track down such potential violations of peace, US and Russia established separate operations centers: the former in Washington D.C., Amman, and Jordan, and the latter in Moscow, Latakia, and Syria as part of the treaty.
“The ceasefire in Syria is yet another small, but significant step to get closer to world peace,” said Julie Song (10), MUN delegate. “Although the truce may be temporary, the fact that some terrorist groups agreed to the armistice sends out an optimistic message about the peace talks. Hopefully [the armistice] will give Syrian civilians a brief but deserved break from the undesired battlefield that puts their life in great danger everyday.”
According to the Washington Post, the United Nations claimed that if the ceasefire were to be breached, military action proportionate to the initial offense will be allowed as a last resort. Following the truce, scattered but persistent reports of artillery bombardment and small-arms fire were noted, but such counts of violence were not counted as deliberate attempts to defy the agreement. Peace talks are expected to continue to occur until the situation is properly resolved.
“Breaches of the truce are inevitable in the more unknown parts of Syria,” said Alice Kang (11), debater. “Especially since Syria has been stuck in the state of civil war for the past few years, it is difficult to get rid of any violence that may reoccur. Ultimately, I believe such negotiations were necessary to stop the civil war in Syria, and am personally looking forward to the upcoming talks of peace, which could save millions of lives desperately looking for a trickling light of hope.”