The Security Council at TEIMUN 2019
The Security Council is, alongside the General Assembly, one of the principal organs of the United Nations and is accorded its primary responsibility of upholding international peace and security by the Charter of the United Nations, which obligates all of its member states to settle their disputes in a peaceful manner.
The Security Council is made up of 15-member states, which includes five permanent members; France, China, Russia, the United States and the United Kingdom, that possess veto power and another ten non-permanent countries elected by the General Assembly that serve a two-year term.
The Security Council convenes upon request by a member state in response to developing challenges to international peace and security and its decisions have to be carried out by all member states as stated under the UN Charter. The Security Council has advanced the use of non-military measures in order to reach peaceful settlements and these include use of arms embargoes, economic sanctions, the protection of natural resources and taking a leading role in counter terrorism efforts. The Council can send a peacekeeping mission in the event the dispute under discussion erupts into an armed conflict. They can also authorize the use of military force in dire situations.
Topic 1: The West Bank and Gaza Strip Conflict
The conflict on the West Bank and Gaza strip has eluded an effective resolution by the United Nations for over 70 years. A deeply politically polarised issue which has poisoned pragmatic discourse, tensions between Jews and Arabs have led to repeated uprisings and direct armed conflicts between regional states. The two states proposal, long viewed as one of the only viable solutions, has been under strain in recent years. President Trump moved the US embassy to Jerusalem, and the Israeli parliament approved the ‘’nation state law’’, which classified the Hebrew language above Arabic and mentions the special rights of Jews to self determination. Increased attacks by Hamas, heightened involvement from Hezbollah since the Syrian Civil War and unending radicalisation by the parties has festered into what seems like an untenable problem.
Amongst the recent flaring up of violence in these contested territories once again, the international community must return to this decade-long heated and controversial topic in the spirit of long-term reform and sustainability. Delegates are expected not to place the blame on any one side but to tackle the deeply rooted historical, political and cultural aspects of this topic through pragmatic negotiations, and by considering ambitious structural long-term solutions to the problem.
Topic 2: Crisis in Venezuela
Venezuela is plagued by a hotbed of issues ranging from a dwindling economic situation to a political crisis. Rampant corruption in the government, and an unwillingness from officials to address it have left these issues ripe to fester. Democratic institutions and macro-economic health is at a breaking point. Directly (as a result of confrontations between protestors and the government) and indirectly (due to shortages of basic needs) it has led to thousands of deaths, and a refugee situation which in 2018 is estimated to include 35.000 Venezuelans crossing the border each day. It has now become a regional problem, and has already attracted the attention of the United States.
In light of the recent boiling over of tensions and worsening of endemic problems, the topic has also become increasingly relevant to the international community. Only a multi-layered and inclusive response can tackle a crisis of such wide and varied dimensions, all of which feed into each other. Delegates must tackle the deeply rooted historical, economic, political and diplomatic aspects of this topic through pragmatic negotiations, and by considering ambitious structural long-term solutions to the problem.