United Nations Security Council (UNSC)
The United Nations Security Council is one of the six main organs of the United Nations, as established in its charter of 1945. Its mandate allows the Council to impose sanctions or authorize the use of force, making it the most powerful of the UN’s main organs.
The Security Council consists of 15 Members overall, each of which has one vote. Five of them are so-called Permanent Members, while the remaining ten are elected for individual two-year terms by the General Assembly. The Security Council can only take action when a majority of its Members, including all five Permanent Members, are in agreement.
Participants of the Security Council will have to work together to maintain international peace and security and seek solutions to conflicts that have increasingly regional and global impact.
Topic A: Looting and destruction of cultural property
The looting and destruction of cultural property and the shared human heritage is an ancient phenomenon of war. In recent years however, it has increasingly become a means of warfare and cultural genocide of a people. Classified as a war crime under international law, the destruction of cultural heritage and the sale of looted items play a major role in the financing of terrorism, especially by radical islamist terrorist groups in the Middle East and Africa, who sell the items on the international art market. In the years right after the looting of Iraq’s national museum and the extensive looting throughout Iraq’s rich cultural heritage, the Security Council took measures to ban the sale of goods imported from this territory. In the Syria conflict however, Daesh has undertaken looting on an almost industrial scale and it is estimated that it generates a third of the group’s income.
Although the Security Council has taken targeted steps to fight this systematic destruction of the heritage of the Syrian people and humankind, there are still considerable measures that can be taken to prevent this. Crimes such as looting may seem trivial compared to the inhumane attacks on civilians carried out by terrorist worldwide, but the effect art crime has in financing and enabling these crimes may not be underestimated.
Topic B: The situation in Yemen
The recent conflict in Yemen derives from a series of events that mainly started with political protests during the Arab Spring in 2011 and quickly escalated into an armed conflict among the Houthis and the government of then-President Saleh. There were fears that the already fragile country could slip into full-scale civil war. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), with the support of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and the European Union, stepped in to broker an agreement that included early presidential elections in 2012 and a transition plan following the elections.
Since the conflict has started, the situation has impacted the life quality in Yemen, hence the active intervention of United Nations bodies and the European Commission. Malnutrition became the main problem of the conflict, women and children being seriously affected by the lack of resources caused by the massive decrease in the external imports. Additionally, the conflict is now escalating around Hodeidah hospital, following US ceasefires calls, and doctors are barely facing the lamentable conditions in which they are struggling to save many malnourished and vulnerable children.
The aim of the committee is reaching a common sense regarding the situation in Yemen, by reducing the attacks, the ongoing conflicts and by increasing the international support coming from the UN member states.
- United Kingdom*
- Russian Federation*
- French Republic*
- South Africa
- Dominican Republic
- Equatorial Guinea
- Cote d’Ivoire
- Saudi Arabia (Observer)*
- Iran (Observer)*
*this country is advised for experienced delegates