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.
Topic A: The Situation in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea
The unpredictable nature of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) not only poses a continuous threat to international peace and security, but also perpetuates the ongoing humanitarian crisis that exists within the country. According to the most recent report from the Human Rights Council, the DPRK is responsible for committing crimes against humanity such as “violations to the right to food, full range of violations associated with prison camps, torture and inhuman treatment, violations to freedom expressions [and more].” Moreover, the filtering of information and propaganda released by the government is “aimed at preventing North Korean citizens from learning about the situation outside of their country and at obscuring the extent of human rights violations taking place in the country to the external world.” Since 2006, the DPRK has escalated their development of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in defiance of eight resolutions passed by the Security Council that impose severe sanctions on the country. Despite the fact that DPRK agreed to work towards denuclearization to please the international community, they launched missile tests in May 2019, which the Republic of Korea and Japan consider to be a threat against their countries. The most recent resolution (S/RES/2463) passed by the Council extended the mandate of the expert panel to the Assisting Sanctions committee while also strengthening previous resolutions—in particular, resolution 1718, which stresses the importance of the council’s attention to the humanitarian crisis in addition to the proliferation of WMDs. The situation in the DPRK requires the close and careful attention of the Security Council, as so many of the issues affecting the country fall directly within its mandate.
Topic B: The Situation in Yemen
Yemen has justly been called the “world’s worst humanitarian crisis,” with 80% of the population living below the poverty line, 22.2 million people in need of substantial humanitarian assistance, and 50,000 annual child deaths from hunger and disease. The current crisis can be traced back to the resignation of President Ali Abdullah Saleh in the face of massive anti-government demonstrations which turned violent. After months of failed negotiations, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) brokered an agreement which formally transferred power from Saleh to his vice-president, Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi. However, this deal was unsatisfactory to the Houthi religious–political armed movement, sparking armed rebellion against the Hadi-led government. The conflict then became an international proxy war between various interests, particularly the conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran. However, at the center of this conflict are the civilians who are unable to enjoy even the most basic standards of living and who struggle to survive day to day. With the conflict not showing any sign of abating, it falls on the Security Council to broker peace while providing for the short-term needs of the people.