The Security Council’s primary charge is the maintenance of international peace and security. It is the only organ of the UN which has legally binding power, and can impose sanctions or even authorize the use of military force through its resolutions. As per the UN charter, the council is composed of 15 members. Ten of these are temporary and are voted upon every two years, with attention given to including all regions of the world as members. The other 5 members are permanent members of the council, namely the USA, UK, France, Great Britain, Russia and China. Every state has one vote, and a minimum of nine votes are required for a resolution to pass. The permanent 5 members of the council also have veto-power: They can overturn any vote any number of times, thus ensuring that a resolution can only pass with the consent of all of the P5 states.
A: Conflict in Somalia
The conflict in Somalia has been ongoing for decades, with the most recent phase of the conflict beginning in 2009. It is characterized by violence concentrated in the southern region of the country between the Federal Government of Somalia and various factions of radical Islamist groups. The northern region, known as Somaliland, has been a self-declared and democratic autonomous region since 1991 and has been generally unaffected by the civil war raging in the south. The Federal Government of Somalia is supported by the African Union, the United Nations as well as the United States. Although there have been great gains towards peace in Somalia, the lack of predictable funding for AMISOM (African Union Mission in Somalia) and UNSOM (United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia) could lead to the withdrawal of these forces that have been aiding the Federal Government of Somalia, despite insistence from the Somali government that their forces are not ready to take over from AMISOM. Delegates will have to take into consideration the complexity of the conflict as well as the possibility of foreign assistance being withdrawn to find a solution to this issue.
B:Humanitarian Crisis in Myanmar
As the longest running civil war in the world (1948-present), the crisis in Myanmar has been steadily increasing in severity over the years, with as many as a million people displaced as of 2011. Comprised of seven separate ethnic minorities, the state of Myanmar is currently host to 5 national separation movements, resulting in much conflict and instability. The country has for a long time been sealed from the outside world, but recently more and more refugees have begun fleeing into neighboring Bangladesh and Thailand, leading to tensions between all states and renewed calls to action. The UN Security Council is long overdue in bringing an end to this deadly conflict due to internal disagreement. A diplomatic challenge for all parties involved.