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: Preventing and Combating the Financing of Terrorism
With the liberation of the Syrian town of Al-Baghuz Fawqani in march 2019, the terror organization Islamic State (IS) has lost its last territorial stronghold. This military victory has concluded the international effort beginning in 2014 to seize control of the approximately 85,000 sq km, which were under the governance of the IS back then. This geographical victory, however, does not imply victory overall, as the IS has already started to transform. Moving on from a terror organization, which is built on territorial control, it is becoming a decentralized insurgency. Consequently, the battlefield has fundamentally changed as well and the methods of fighting IS will have to adapt to these new circumstances respectively.
A prerequisite to winning this continuous fight against the IS and (international) terrorism as a whole is to take away the ability of those organizations to sustain themselves financially.
While the composition of income streams differs between organizations, there are several distinctive sources from which they draw the means to finance their attacks. These range from the exploitation of natural resources and local communities to the abuse of legitimate business and non-profit organizations. General criminal activity like extortion, ransom, and trafficking in person and goods also provide relevant funds, especially for decentralized organizations.
Embedded in money laundering schemes, these above-mentioned activities enable terror organizations to pose an ongoing threat to human life and international peace.
Recognizing these circumstances and the unique role of finance in this context, the United Nations Security Council at MainMUN 2020 will debate measures to prevent and combat the financing of (international) terror organizations.
Topic II: Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons
Nuclear weapons are one of the biggest threats to international peace and security. In the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) (1968) a nuclear weapon is described as an explosive device that releases energy as a result of nuclear fission.
After the Manhattan Project build the first atomic bomb, which were dropped above Nagasaki and Hiroshima, the United Nations (UN) adopted its first resolution ever in the General Assembly (GA) in 1946. With the adoption of the first resolution (I) of the UN, the calling for an elimination of all nuclear weapons as well as the establishment of a committee which deals with the problems raised by the discovery of nuclear power, were claimed. More than 70 years later, the total amount of nuclear weapons increased dramatically, especially during the Cold War (the highest peak was in 1987 with more than 70,000 weapons). There are many Member States of the UN which have nuclear weapon-sharing capabilities, while nine Member States possess nuclear weapons.
According to the assessment (2018) of Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists “the risk that nuclear weapons may be used – intentionally or because of miscalculation – grew last year around the globe” due to the spread of fissile material and nuclear weapons technology to countries that don’t already possess them or to terrorist organizations. In order to maintain peace and security, the Security Council is mandated to seek for a solution to restrict the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.