After the two World Wars, in June 1945, Chapter V of the United Nations Charter established the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) as the primary and permanent authority of the United Nations (UN) system charged with the maintenance of international peace and security. The UNSC, which is composed by fifteen members, five permanent members (the People’s Republic of China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States of America) – the five victorious powers of World War II,that are granted with a veto power – and ten non-permanent (temporary) members, elected for two-year terms by the General Assembly (GA), encourages international peace and security. The main purpose is to prevent war by settling disputes between nations. Whenever peace is threatened, the Security Council meets. The Charta of the United Nations commits that all member states are obligated to comply with council decisions.
The Security Council’s powers include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of international sanctions, and the authorization of military action through Security Council resolutions; it is the only UN body with the authority to issue binding resolutions to member states. But along with this power comes a high responsibility. Therefore, the Security Council is the most powerful body in the United Nations.
At the MainMUN conference, delegates of the SC should be aware that debates are often intensely political in nature. It is therefore important to balance the need for a resolution with the heated rhetoric of international politics.
Topic I: The Rohingya Crisis
After the independence of Burma, also known as Myanmar, from the British Empire in 1948, peace, stability and fundamental human rights have been at stake. After five decades of autocratic military rule, Myanmar has initiated a critical transformation into a representative democracy. In 2015, the country held its first contested national elections since 1990. It seemed, that a period of stabilization on the political level is in process. This ended in late 2017 with the beginning of the Rohingya crisis.
The Rohingya, situated mostly in the State of Rakhine, are an ethnic minority in Myanmar, with about one million people at the beginning of 2017. The Buddhist government denies the Rohingya citizenship and even ignored them in the 2014 census. The latest and most serious outbreak of violence against the Rohingya Muslim minority, sparked by Rohingya militant attacks (called Rohingya Salvation Army „Arsa“), recently created one of the world’s fastest-growing refugee outflows. The violence against Rohingya people has continued since the attack by Arsa. The military denies targeting innocent civilians, they are only combating Rohingya militants. The fighting has not stopped yet and many Rohingyas are continuing to flee across the border from their home state of Rhakine to Bangladesh. After the outbreak of the violations, there were around one million Rohingya refugees living in temporary camps and shelters, according to the United Nation High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
According to Amnesty International, the human rights situation deteriorated desperately as many ongoing human rights violations like raping and abusing women and girls were happening.
Topic II: Combating the Proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons