The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) was established in 1945 along with the founding of the United Nations itself at the end of World War II. As one of the six principal organs of the UN, the Security Council is unique among the committees offered at NHSMUN in its membership, scope, and power. The UNSC’s history and structure have developed in a unique way because the UNSC has a unique, precautionary, and reactionary role in the UN: it is meant to respond to international crises and maintain international peace. In response to such crises, the Council can mandate decisive actions such as peace talks, mediations, negotiations, and meetings. Additionally, according to Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, the Council can approve the use of force if there is no other way to maintain international peace. The Security Council can also deploy UN peacekeeping operations and impose sanctions on states. The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic was formed under this mandate on 10 April 2014 to protect human rights and facilitate humanitarian assistance and demobilization. Only the UNSC has this power. The Historical Security Council will be set in the past, in 1986.
Topic A: The Iran-Iraq War, 1986
The sixth year of the Iran-Iraq War has brought yet another year of bloodshed and uncertainty to the Persian Gulf. Over six long years of fighting, disputes over the Shatt al-Arab waterway on the border have bled into larger conflicts over control of valuable resources in the region including water and oil—both vital to the many communities victimized by this war. Additionally, the conflict has raised the question of regional alliances and hegemony, threatening to draw others into the conflict directly or indirectly. In addition to these broader considerations, the Security Council must take action to address the egregious and ever-unfolding humanitarian situation at hand: Shia Muslims, ethnic Iranians, and ethnic Kurds are facing violent persecution in Iraq, while students and activists have been ravaged by brutal government crackdowns in Iran. Action is undoubtedly required from the Security Council, yet it must be prepared to respond to the complex interplay of religion, ethnicity, and geopolitical stakes with the protection of those most directly impacted by the war: women, children, and debilitated communities strewn across the region.
Topic B: The Situation in South Africa, 1986
The year 1986 is a pivotal one for the apartheid government in South Africa. The Anti-Apartheid Movement (AAM) continues to expand globally, as regional governments and the UN meet to discuss the atrocities in South Africa and discuss measures to apply pressure to the South African government. The US has just passed the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986, forming a cohesive opposition to apartheid and imposing severe restrictions with clearly defined conditions for their removal. The UN has revisited previous resolutions and fortified its policy and language with Resolution 591, observing that previous measures have not yet been effective enough. With so many countries revisiting their policies and with cracks beginning to show in the apartheid government of South Africa, this year represents a critical opportunity for focused action from the international community. The effects of this racial iconoclasm still linger in contemporary South African culture and society both economically and socially, and this topic gives delegates the opportunity to navigate the tense relations between an authoritarian government and its oppressed people.