UN

In a report published by Global Financial Integrity, the revenue generated by transnational crimes is estimated to be worth between $1.6 trillion and $2.2 trillion annually. Out of this value, it is appraised that the global illegal drug trade value is worth $426 billion to $652 billion (May, 2017). The value of the global illicit drug trade represents about one-third of the total value of transnational crimes (May, 2017). Globalization and the integration of the world economy can be seen as a significant catalyst to the growth of the illegal drug trade.

The United States of America Department of State and the United Nations labelled Guinea-Bissau as “Africa’s first narco-state” (BBC News, 2020) Furthermore, the report made by Global Financial Integrity suggests that Africa’s growing role as a transit point for drug trafficking has been a significant contributor to the growth of both drug smuggling and consumption over the last decade (May, 2017).

This essay seeks to identify Guinea-Bissau’s role in the global smuggling of drugs and suggest ways of resolving the issue. Consequently, this essay will argue that Guinea-Bissau has emerged to play a crucial role in drug trafficking due to its strategic location, historical linguistic relations, weak institutions and participating elite. However, these issues may possibly be combated through the re-establishment of a stable government that will enforce the rule of law, regeneration of the economy, investing in the security apparatus of the country, targeted campaigns to inform the population on the adverse effects of drugs and delegitimization the public support for controversial narcotic organizations.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC) has defined drug trafficking as “a global illicit trade involving the cultivation, manufacture, distribution and sale of substances, which are subject to drug prohibition laws” (Drug trafficking, 2021). Globalization has “facilitated not only the movement of people, but also the flow of goods, capital, and services” (Petcu, C., 2017, p.2). Globalization also “had the negative effect of facilitating the expansion of transnational crime such as global terrorism, people and drug trafficking, immigrant smuggling and money laundering” (Petcu, C., 2017, p.2). The rapid development and growth of drug trafficking and other transnational crimes have had the consequences of increasing instability, corruption, and high levels of violence in producing and transit countries. (Petcu, C., 2017, p.3)

Since the 1990s, West Africa has been a significant trafficking hub for drugs originating from Latin America and Asia to European Consumers (Aning, K. and Pokoo, J., 2014). However, the “first significant contact between West African criminal organizations and Latin American countries emerged between 2000 and 2003” (Rousseau, R., 2017, p19). In addition, strong anti-laundering and anti-drug measures taken by other regions of the world can be seen as factors that have increased the importance of the West African region as a hub for drug trafficking (Shehu, A., 2009, p1).

Furthermore, the geographical location and well-established networks of smugglers and criminal syndicates have increased the region’s viability as a logistical and transit hub for drugs traffickers. (Aning, K. and Pokoo, J., 2014). Ashley Neese Bybee, in her dissertation, has also highlighted that the shift in demand for illegal drugs from the United States to Europe has forced traffickers to explore new routes to transport the drugs from Latin America to Europe. She also explains that “the realities that exist in Africa, such as its porous borders, lack of legitimate opportunities for economic advancement, abundant supply of unemployed, impoverished, and willing couriers and their existing diasporas networks in Europe, all facilitate the drug trade through West Africa.” (Bybee, A.N., 2011, p. 28-30)

UNODC has estimated that between 40 to 50 tons of cocaine destined to Europe pass through Africa each year. (UNODC, N., 2008. P1) the region has moved from not only being a transit route for these illegal drugs but also a final destination. UNODC has reported a marked increase in drugs consumption in Africa by 40%. (UNODC World Drug Report 2021)

With the increasing role that the West African region plays in the drug trafficking business, Guinea-Bissau has played a very prominent role in drug trafficking and has often been dubbed “Africa’s First Narco-State” by journalists. Guinea-Bissau has become a particularly strategic hub for drug traffickers due to the many islands dotting the Atlantic Ocean off the country’s coast. (DW, 2012). Ashley Neese Bybee also elaborates that “Guinea-Bissau has 350 km of unpatrolled coastline, and the Bijagós Archipelago has 88 unpoliced islands” (Bybee, A.N., 2011, p. 31). Many of these Islands have defunct airstrips left over by its former colonial power, Portugal, thereby allowing traffickers to use these airstrips to fly in their drugs without detection.

Andreas Zeidler attributes the cultural and linguistic ties between Guinea-Bissau and other producing and destination countries as another reason why Guinea-Bissau has become an important transit hub for drug trafficking. (Zeidler, A., 2011, p. 61) The historical ties between Guinea-Bissau with Portugal and other drugs producing counties have made Guinea-Bissau a viable hub for drug smuggling.

The weak institutions of the country have also contributed to Guinea-Bissau becoming a “Narco-State”. Bybee illustrates this by giving an example of the police in the country who “are numerous yet under-resourced. The gendarmerie (military force with the responsibility to enforce the law with civilians) and police combined to give a ratio of 284 law enforcement officers per 100,000 citizens – one of the highest in West Africa and only slightly below the European average” (Bybee, A.N., 2011, p. 33). A large number of public officers, takes away a large portion of the budget leaving little for other aspects of operations. This can be seen with Judicial Police who “for example, have 60 agents, one vehicle and often no fuel. As a result, when culprits are apprehended, they are driven in a taxi to the police station – In the military, one rusty ship patrols the 350-kilometre coastline and 88 islands”; (Bybee, A.N., 2011, p. 31). This clearly illustrates how it has become almost impossible to enforce laws and provides an opportunity for drug smugglers to carry out their actions without any hindrance.

It is not only the police force that lacks the resources to carry out its operations. Insufficient resources and the lack of qualified personal have left the judiciary inefficient, ineffective and incapable of carrying out fair prosecution and sentencing of suspected criminals. (Zeidler, A., 2011, p. 65)

Bybee also views the activities of drug smugglers in fragile states such as Guinea-Bissau as one of the drivers of instability in the region. The instability of the area has, in turn, has become a hindrance to the strategic interest of the United States in Africa. (Bybee, A.N., 2011, p. 37). Thus, the concern of the United States in achieving their strategic interest in Africa, particularly in the areas of terrorism, explains the role of the United States in finding a solution to the problem of drug trafficking in the region.

Another impact of the drug trafficking business in Guinea-Bissau is the erosion of the rule of law in the country. Bybee argues that drug traffickers rely on the presence of corruption to carry out their activities (Bybee, A.N., 2011, p. 37). While the lack of the rule of law and good governance is why drug traffickers have picked countries like Guinea-Bissau to carry out their business, drug trafficking operation further impedes any development to improve the situation in the country. Often drug trafficking worsens the situation. The involvement of the political and security elite of Guinea-Bissau in the drug trafficking business has been widely reported. The ruling class have often leveraged the unstable political climate to increase their wealth by supporting the illicit drug trade, which (as previously stated) is highly lucrative.

Mette Kaalby Vestergaard reports that “It is common that the bigger seizures of drugs involve arresting government officials, who are later convicted for having played central roles in the organizing of the smuggling activities” (Kaal Vestergaard, 2021). Furthermore, the lack of adequate infrastructure Is further demonstrated in the fact that a country facing a big problem of drug trafficking only has two poorly equipped prisons in the whole country. Due to political instability, their upgrading has been put on hold. (BBC NEWS, 2021). It has also been reported that within the two prisons in the country, the guards have not been adequately equipped with sufficient tools to fully govern the prison and control the activities of their occupants (BBC NEWS, 2021). This has potentially disastrous consequences as convicted prisoners may continue to exercise considerable influence on society despite their incarceration.

The lack of resources for the security officials and Judiciary to carry out their tasks in eradicating the problem of drug trafficking, coupled with the absence of the rule of law and involvement of the political and security in the drug smuggling business, has made it difficult to combat the issue of drug trafficking in the country. Colonel Stephen K. Van Riper also sees the high profitability of drug smuggling and the low cost of conducting the business. The “it is not my problem” as other barriers which have made it challenging to tackle the issue of drug smuggling in Guinea-Bissau. (Van Riper, SK, 2014. P. 16-17)

However, great strides have been made to convict drug smugglers in the country. In September of 2019, the most significant drug bust in the country was carried out. An estimated 1.9 tons of cocaine were seized; the seizure also led to the arrest and conviction of 12 men of Bissau-Guinean, Colombian, Mexican and Portuguese nationalities. While the drug bust is seen as a significant achievement in the country’s fight against drug trafficking, there is concern that drug trafficking may increase with the controversial Umaro Cissoko Embaló becoming the country’s president. (BBC NEWS, 2021).

Van Riper insists that any significant effort that involves challenging the issue of drug smuggling in Guinea-Bissau must include the re-establishment of a stable government that will revive a robust culture of obedience to the rule of law in the state (Van Riper, 2014). This reformed government must also ensure to distance the military from all political affairs and introduce adequate checks and balances to assist the fight against corruption. While establishing a stable government is a significant step in eradicating the problem of drug smuggling in Guinea-Bissau, it is not sufficient. The new government must also revitalize the economy to provide the population with alternative ways to earn a living other than trafficking drugs. The government must collaborate with International Organizations such as the United Nations and regional organizations such as the Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS) in finding solutions to enhance the economy.

The newly re-established government must also find solutions to the chronic problem of the lack of security infrastructure. This can be done through investing in equipments for the security officials especially the border controls and custom officers. Training judicial officials and investing in new prisons and rehabilitation centres will also improve the situation of the Guinea-Bissau. While all these investments maybe capital intensive, the government may consider using confiscated drug money to rehabilitate the security infrastructure of the country. Considering that drug trafficking is a global problem that is affecting the whole world, Guinea-Bissau should also consider collaborating with other countries in tackling the problem and to learn from best practices of countries who have tackled the problem of drug smuggling.

Introduction of stricter punishment and penalty for people who have been involved in the business would deter individuals from participating in drug trafficking. To combat the drug trafficking problem, adequate sensitization campaigns will need to be launched and promoted to the broader public. Analysis of historical drug trafficking case studies has provided empirical evidence that the host transit countries will always suffer the adverse effects of drug trafficking (Van Riper, 2014).  This signifies that the transit countries will eventually experience issues such as a drastic increase in the local consumption of drugs and general societal effects on population stability and security. A vital example of this is Brazil, which as a major drug transit country, has become the second-largest consumer of cocaine in the world and payment for products is often done via drugs (Van Riper, 2014).

The sensitization campaigns will need to present evidence to convince people of the adverse effects of drugs in society. People will need to be sufficiently informed and educated on the impact of Guinea-Bissau being a transit country and future issues that could potentially arise from it. Concise, targeted efforts will need to be made to conceptualize drugs as taboo and ensure it viewed as a non-tradable commodity amongst people. Guinea-Bissau could leverage international bodies such as the ECOWAS – which is prevalent within West Africa – for support in terms of human capital and resources to ensure that drug trade is reduced within the region, to begin with.

Nonetheless, as previously noted, drugs are indisputably a local problem, which needs to be resolved. This is especially true as it has been estimated that approximately 8% of global cocaine users are West African, with Guinea-Bissau’s user growing exponentially (Brown, 2013, p37). Moreover, the sub-optimal state of public health infrastructure in Guinea-Bissau and other countries in the region signifies a growing need to resolve these issues as they are likely to have catastrophic effects on broader society.

Over ten years ago, Guinea-Bissau, a small state in the Western region of Africa, became the first narco-state in the continent. Multiple factors such as its geographical location, the lack of a stable government, lack of rule of law, and the military’s interference in the country’s politics have contributed to the increasingly prominent role the country is playing in drug trafficking. The new role of Guinea-Bissau as a hub for drug smuggling has worsened the situation of an already fragile state with the erosion of the rule of law and increasing the rate of corruption in the country.

While giant strides have been made in the fight against corruption, significantly more needs to be done. A reformed government that will enforce the rule of law in the country and revitalize the economy is required to win the battle against drug trafficking.  Other strategies such as upgrading the security infrastructure of the country, collaborating with the international community to tackle the problem of drug smuggling, introducing stricter punishment for individuals caught in the business, as well as sensitization of the general population about the ills of drug trafficking will also prove fruitful in fighting drug trafficking out of the country.

 

 

 

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May, C., 2017. Transnational Crime and the Developing World. [online] Global Financial Integrity, p.xi. Available at: <https://secureservercdn.net/50.62.198.97/34n.8bd.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Transnational_Crime-final.pdf> [Accessed 9 November 2021].
Petcu, C., 2017. Globalization and Drug Trafficking. The New School University.
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Shehu, A., 2009, July. Drug Trafficking and its impact on West Africa. In Meeting of the Joint Committee on Political Affairs, Peace and Security/NEPAD and Africa Peer Review Mechanism of the ECOWAS Parliament, Katsina, Nigeria, on July (Vol. 28).
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Bybee, A.N., 2011. Narco state or failed state? narcotics and politics in Guinea-Bissau. George Mason University.
DW.COM. 2021. West Africa is hub for international drug trafficking | DW | 01.03.2012. [online] Available at: <https://www.dw.com/en/west-africa-is-hub-for-international-drug-trafficking/a-15776001> [Accessed 11 November 2021].
Kaal Vestergaard, M., 2021. Europe’s back door left wide open: The role of Guinea-Bissau in drug trafficking – Human Security Centre. [online] Human Security Centre. Available at: <http://www.hscentre.org/africa/europes-back-door-left-wide-open-the-role-of-guinea-bissau-in-drug-trafficking/> [Accessed 13 November 2021].
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Brown,. 2014. The Challenge of Drug Trafficking to Democratic Governance and Human Security in West Africa.

 

 

By Bello Jibir Kabir

 

 

 

 

On August 13, 2020, Israel and the United Arab Emirates agreed to normalize diplomatic relations. The general agreement was as follows: The United Arab Emirates will formally recognize Israel, in exchange for Israel suspending all plans to annex the West Bank indefinitely. While a formal treaty has yet to be signed, already media restrictions on Israeli television have been lifted in the United Arab Emirates, and discussions for regular flights between David Ben Gurion International Airport and Dubai International Airport.

So, what will the impact be?

Well, nothing immediate. The United Arab Emirates and Israel have never gone to war. In fact, they have for some time been engaging in secret negotiations and alliances, something that was known to everyone who had been following this stuff even casually. This is not unique to the United Arab Emirates. Many Gulf countries have had open-secret relations with Israel for decades, long before the rise of Iran, such as Saudi Arabia and Oman. Good relations with Israel were viewed by the Arab monarchies as a counterbalance to the Pan- Arab governments of Egypt, Syria, Iraq, and others. The governments of Israel an Jordan were engaging in secret dialogue, even as their armies were fighting each other across the battlefield.

UAE_Israel
Distance between Israel and the UAE.
Source:CommonsWikimedia

However, this may prove to start a cascade impact across the Gulf. Oman has endorsed the Trump peace plan, and has embraced the decision by the United Arab Emirates to recognize the state of Israel, even as Oman herself has never formally recognized the Jewish state. Bahrain and Sudan have also expressed support, and may follow suit.

However, in this gossip and rumor about who will be next in line to gain access to Israeli markets in the Arab World, one country is missing: Saudi Arabia.

There have been secret bilateral talks between Saudi Arabia and Israel in recent years. And Saudi Arabia recognizing Israel with be game, set, match for the Jewish state. And Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are both allies in the civil war in Yemen, of which no outside nation has been more invested in than both Riyadh and Abu Dhabi.

And yet, there is a huge rift between the two countries. Mainly, the United Arab Emirates supports the southern separatist movements, who want to see South Yemen an independent nation again, while Saudi Arabia does not.

Although there is a peace deal between the internationally-recognized government and the Southern separatists, there is no way of knowing whether it will hold. It is quite possible that Saudi-UAE alliance will break down, and the UAE may drop out of the war. Add to this the recognition of Israel by the United Arab Emirates, and you could have a recipe for a fall out. After all, Saudi Arabia would not want to do anything that upsets its status as the protectors of Islam.

But that is not all. The United Arab Emirates is diversifying, looking into a post-oil future. Seeing the attention oil has brought in, and seeing its status as a major airline hub, the UAE is growing its service sector. The UAE is a rising star in the Gulf.

Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, is declining. It is suffering from a lack of young people willing to work in difficult services, a consequence of the Expat economy that has defined the Gulf. It’s international reputation has been severely tarnished. All of its economic reform plans have failed.

Israel and the United Arab Emirates may in the end work to check Saudi Islamist movements as the United Arab Emirates, although an ally of Saudi Arabia in Yemen and have a joint interest in deterring Iran, does not want to fund Islamist movements, unlike it’s neighbors, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Iran. In the end, more and more Gulf nations recognizing Israel May serve as a containment strategy against Saudi Arabia.

But, nowhere is more affected than the Palestinians, who have already rejected the peace agreement. However, they will soon realize that even they have little choice but to change their strategy. As more and more Arab nations open up to Israel, the Palestinians will learn the hard way that they, like the Kurds, have no friends but the mountains.

The Arab league can and use its position to pressure the Palestinians into making concessions. This ultimately must be done in conjunction with the United States putting pressure on the Israelis to end construction of West Bank settlements. Especially considering that West Bank annexation was incredibly unpopular with the Israelis, and the normalization of diplomatic relations with the United Arab Emirates, on the other hand, is incredibly popular.

The agreement can also provide further co-operation between the Israelis and the Palestinians. After all, the agreement was based on the promise that Israel would suspend West Bank annexation. However, Netanyahu has stated that he has no plans to cancel his ambitions of West Bank annexation. Yet, should he decide to go ahead with West Bank annexation, something he planned to do in July, the United Arab Emirates will go ahead with the plan.

This is, in many ways, a continuation of the “land for peace” proposal that began when Israel gave back the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt in exchange for Egyptian recognition of the Jewish state. Followed up by Jordanian recognition of Israel in exchange for the established of the Palestinian authority. Or Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from Gaza in 2005.

If these things can make Arab states recognize Israel, would a settlement freeze make more states recognize Israel? Would Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, Sudan, Tunisia, Morocco, and Lebanon recognize Israel if Israel agreed to a settlement freeze?

This can ultimately mean the final peace accord between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and with that, the last of the Arab states will have no choice but to recognize Israel.

Since the UN came into existence in 1945, the organization has proved to be an extremely effective tool to prevent peace and the raise of new conflicts around the world. Among the UN most significant achievements it is worth remembering its involvement in the Korean War (1950-1953) and the Persian Gulf War (1991), where it authorized the international coalitions that fought in both. Additionally, the UN served as a hub for mediation during the Arab-Israeli conflict, whose intervention lead to numerous peace accords and kept the tension localized in the Middle East. During the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, the UN was used as a platform by the United States to challenge the Soviet Union’s placements of nuclear missiles in Cuba. Overall, the UN military forces provided by member states have carried out more than 35 peacekeeping missions which enhanced the level of security and mitigate conflicts. For this exceptional commitment, the UN Peace-Keeping Forces received the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1988. But the UN also demonstrated to be an essential pillar to foster a deeper understanding of human rights and promoting improvements linked to the health of people, such as in the case of the creation of the UNICEF, the aid provided to refugees and the support given to end the apartheid in South Africa.

Without this kind of mediation from the UN, these tensions would have otherwise resulted in endangering the population in an escalating threat for the entire world. Despite these successes, the UN has also been subjected to some criticism, for instance after the Somali civil war, the Rwandan genocide and the Rohingya Crisis in Myanmar. Taking this into account, the UN recognizes that, in order to better acting in accordance with the founding principles, it is essential to find more ways to expand its action worldwide. For this reason, the organization has officially launched a new initiative called ‘UN 75’, the biggest ever global conversation on the role of international cooperation in building the future everyone is hoping to have.
Announced by UN Secretary General António Guterres, the project aims to gather the voices of various people from different backgrounds who will share their ideas and visions for shaping a more inclusive and safe world by 2045. Created to mark the UN seventy-fifth anniversary that will occur in 2020, ‘UN 75’ represents an outstanding chance to connect the worldwide population inside a network that allows the participants to imagine future scenarios based on their past experiences and current perspectives. In this way, the whole society is considered, and even groups that are often unheard in global affairs such as people with disabilities or refugees can exchange opinions that are useful to source solutions for collective actions.

Joining the dialogue is quite simple and can be done online with campaigns or surveys, offline, in formal or informal ways and in many settings, from parliaments to classrooms, from halls to villages. What the ‘UN 75’ hopes to achieve is to find an answer to matters that are crucial to improve international relations, such as what should be the role of governments, businesses, civil society and individuals. A special emphasis will be placed on the thoughts of youth and marginalized groups to listen to their proposals and concerns. Consequently, the role of ‘UN 75’ will be twofold: being able to inspire a broader civic engagement throughout the various communities of the world and to build a more robust and reliable organization at the same time. In fact, especially in recent years there have been many calls to push the United Nations to reform itself, from the Security Council’s membership to bureaucracy. Moreover, in many countries public trust in institutions is declining rapidly and relations between nations are under strain. In addition to this, global challenges continue to be daunting. Examples include fighting climate change, reducing poverty and discrimination, attain an higher level of democratization and making access to education wider. Under these circumstances, it is not surprising that dialogue is urgent. In this sense, the ‘UN 75’ initiative will function as a global reality check to spark conversations around. In fact, only through encouraging public debate the UN can become more aware of the hopes and fears of people, as well as monitoring possible threats that could compromise a secure and peaceful world.

The results generated by ‘UN 75’ will form a group of data captured by innovative streams. The outcome may inspire new programs, investments, partnerships and campaigns.
Despite recent difficulties, the UN is proving another time to be a key actor to in the international scene, since the main idea behind the project is that no country or community could be able to solve the complex problems of the globe alone. Rather, the world keeps needing an institution such as the UN, which is continuing to engage tirelessly to reach goals such as fostering cooperation between nations and guarantee to every individual a more stable and secure world.

The United Nations have a long-standing tradition of observances linked to particular days, weeks, years or even decades. These occasions are usually proposed by Member States, and then set by the General Assembly through a resolution. Some example include the Disarmament Week, World Earth Day, International Mother Earth Day, International Day of Democracy and Human Rights Day, each of which perfectly represent the UN goals to transform our current world. Established also with the aim of spreading greater awareness about the UN objectives, the above mentioned  celebrations always resulted in a huge success, and they keep going in order to remember to the people the outstanding accomplishments that the UN has been able to achieve over the years.

In this sense, the next 24 October will celebrate the UN Day, that marks the anniversary of the UN Charter’s entry into force. This founding document was initially signed in San Francisco on 26 June 1945, to then start its effects in October of the same year, which officially gave birth to the United Nations as are known today. Even tough there were some divergencies and serious clashes of opinions, the outcome of the conference was eventually positive, and lead to a completely new era for the international relations. In fact, from that moment onwards, this new organization would have had to face extremely demanding challenges, especially in the new context of the post-World War two, which prospected itself to be highly arduous for both Europe and overseas countries. Essentially, the aftermath of the conflict was significant in a twofold way: on one side, there were entire cities destroyed, millions of civilian killed due to bombing raids and the big collapse of the economy. On the other side, it was the beginning of a new era, defined by the decline of all European colonial empires and the rise of two rival superpowers, respectively the Soviet Union and the United State. In addition, the menace of new nuclear weapons, which for instance were tested during the Nagasaki and Hiroshima attacks against Japan, contributed significantly to increase concerns around what would have been the proper measures to adopt in this hostile picture.

Consequently, the primary purpose after the war was to restore faith among the people and provide a safer world for everyone. Ensuring peace became a pillar of the UN goals, and even today the organization is managing to attain this and other tasks in order to create a community in which fundamental freedom and human rights are respected. Despite obstacles in some critical areas of the world, the UN continues to show its unwavering commitment to the principle stated in the Charter on a daily basis, and has been able to resolve issues that have positively shaped crucial fields for a more stable existence, such as counter terrorism, sustainable development and disaster relief.

For all these reasons, the celebration of the UN Day is something to which everyone can relate, regardless of culture, background, social status and religion. Each year, a global network of the UN organizes events such as ceremonies, panel discussions, briefings for students, film screenings, photo exhibitions and campaigns, both on the press and in social media. This year, the UN Day is part of a longer week that will take place between the 20 and the 26 of October. Since another key point of the UN mission is inclusion, cultural diversity is immensely taken into account. Hence, the event will be held across the globe, and will also include food festivals and concerts. More specifically, for this year is planned a special exhibition at the UN headquarter in New York, which will feature the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra. This will be an exceptional occasion in which different people can gather together, proving that in our increasingly globalized world, being tolerant, respectful and open-minded can be a force behind greater development. Moreover, with threats and countries that still face a high degree of instability, it is of paramount importance to remember to celebrate the United Nations, which is looking continuously to innovative solutions to improve the general well-being of all humans, avoid conflicts and provide a safer world for this and for all the future generations.