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 Historical Security Council will be set in the past, in 1989.
Topic A: The Situation in El Salvador (1989)
It is April 1989. The UN Security Council plans to convene to discuss the Salvadoran Civil War, which has been plaguing the country for the last decade. A long history of socioeconomic inequality lies at the heart of the conflict, now a battle between the Revolutionary Government Junta (JRG) established through a coup d’état and the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN), a coalition of communists, socialists, and guerillas, and workers. The clash between ideologies has been further complicated by US, Argentinian, and Chilean intervention seeking to prevent a socialist insurrection similar to those of Nicaragua and Cuba just years prior. Caught between guerilla violence and government repression, the country has seen more than its fair share of human rights abuses, military rule, unstable governance, assassinations, and civilian massacres in the last decade. The Security Council is tasked with finding a peaceful resolution to the war that addresses the shortcomings of past peace settlements in a committee which will inevitably reflect divisions seen in El Salvador.
Topic B: The Situation in Angola (1989)
When Angola gained their independence from Portugal in November 1975, the new sovereign state was left with social and economic difficulties. This ultimately translated into a power struggle with ethnic tensions and pressure from the international community. A power-sharing agreement between the three rebel groups quickly collapsed and catastrophe emerged which resulted in the declaration of war between the two largest groups: the People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA). As violence continued, in 1988 and 1989 there were efforts to establish agreements and a ceasefire that were supported by the Council. Unfortunately, the ceasefire put into place in June of 1989 was not even held up for two days as civilians continued to be killed and guerilla warfare continued. The United Nations Security Council has continued to broker peace in Angola to end violence, and the civil war. Without a comprehensive solution that acknowledges the different ethnic groups, the Angolan Civil War will continue, resulting in widespread destruction, poverty, and instability.