Delegate Name: Quinn Suvedi
Special Political Committee
Arctic Resource Exploitation
Republic of Yemen
Quinn Suvedi, Forest Hills Northern High School
With global warming on the rise, it has become easier for companies to venture into the Arctic in search of oil. The US Geological Survey estimates that there are around one hundred sixty billion barrels of oil in the Arctic Circle and thirty percent of the planet’s undiscovered natural gas. In 1982, the United Nations created the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea. This is currently the main legal policy that protects the Arctic. Five nations currently hold territory in this region. These countries are known as the Arctic 5 or A5. They include the United States, Russia, Canada, Norway, and Denmark. The Arctic States are made up of all of the A5 plus Finland, Sweden, and Iceland.
Yemen, like the Arctic, also has environmental concerns; although, they are much different. The expansion of oil and gas drilling in the Arctic could be extremely damaging to Arctic animals. For example, contact with spilled oil can kill polar bears for years as an invisible threat. This could impact the entire Arctic ecosystem for many years. Yemen is at risk of flooding, drought, and sandstorms, and is experiencing deforestation. Arctic exploitation could make flooding even worse. Yemen, like the Arctic, also exports lots of oil. As a matter of fact, this constitutes about ninety percent of Yemen’s exports. Not only would Arctic exploitation further harm the environment, but it would also create competition, harming Yemen’s economy. If Yemen’s economy is harmed further, then even more people could die from famine.
Yemen is currently facing the worst humanitarian crisis in its history. Almost seventy-five percent of Yemen’s population, over twenty-three million people, required humanitarian assistance in 2022. Russia and the United States have been the most generous in helping Yemen with this devastating crisis.
Yemen would support three different resolutions to this problem. First, Yemen would support nobody having claims to the land, and no exploitation of resources in the Arctic. This would support the Arctic ecosystem and wildlife. In addition, this would allow Middle Eastern oil to be purchased more. The second option would be to give all of the nations in the United Nations as well as indigenous groups a spot in the Arctic Council. This would give Yemen as well as all of the other countries in the UN a say in how the Arctic should be either split up between countries or how to make sure the Arctic is not over-exploited. Lastly, Yemen would be okay not to have their voice be heard about Arctic exploitation in exchange for a cut of the profits from Arctic exploitation, which would be able to give them substantial help with their humanitarian crisis. This would benefit Yemen greatly. Currently, there are twelve million children in need of food, water, shelter, and medicine in Yemen.
In conclusion, Yemen would not support Arctic exploitation due to economic and environmental concerns, which would worsen the current state of Yemen unless Yemen receives some form of compensation in turn. Yemen looks forward to working with all nations to come up with a solution for this unresolved issue.