BBC | GA2 | The United Kingdom gains allies in GA2 by promoting economic gains and environmental protections in the Arctic Sea

October 14th, 2019 | The United Kingdom championed the rights of indigenous people and promoted preventative measures against climate change by introducing Draft Resolution 1.2 to GA 2, which discussed today the economic significance of Northern Sea Routes. Although the main topic was purely economic, the United Kingdom, along with the United States, Chad, Poland, and Pakistan, balanced the economic benefits of their draft resolution with the positive environmental impacts and protections it offers to the sovereignty of nations close to the Arctic Circle. The plan details a 200 mile radius starting from countries bordering the Arctic Sea that allow them exclusive economic privileges and shipping rights. In order to promote trade while concurrently  protecting the environment, certain clauses grant benefits to countries that adapt new, environmentally friendly technologies for their shipping. “We want to promote innovation to combat environmental predicaments,” the delegate from the United Kingdom said. 

The countries involved in Draft Resolution 1.2 seek to create a universal coalition to mitigate emissions and also support economic sanctions being put on countries that do not comply. Other countries outside the bloc expressed concerns about the financial wellbeing of nations that could not afford the new technologies, but the United Kingdom defended its draft resolution’s plausibility. “We’ve encouraged government subsidies to countries that develop environmentally conscious technology instead of us doing it directly,” the delegate from the United Kingdom said. Pakistan, who is also a sponsor of the draft resolution, pointed out clauses that allowed less financially secure countries to also participate in the initiative. “Our short term solutions include  putting filters on the vessels to reduce fossil fuels.” he said. 

An important area that the United Kingdom’s draft resolution covers is the rights of indigenous people. The delegate from the United Kingdom brought up how, historically, their homes have been destroyed by the economically-driven motivations of countries’ harmful shipping vessels crowded their areas. A clause in the paper invites indigenous populations to attend an annual Arctic Indigenous Nations Summit, where they are able to express their concerns on a global stage. “I believe the environmental impact really unites us,” she said. “We can also help indigenous populations, as many of them suffer due to climate change.” she said. The delegate from Lebanon initially supported his own draft resolution, 1.3, but after hearing arguments made by the United Kingdom and its allies, chose to leave his bloc and proclaim support for the United Kingdom’s. “I stand in full support of 1.2, and look forward to voting for it,” the delegate from Lebanon said.