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From Ebola to Iraq: Historical Security Council Faces Stalemate Amidst Progress

By: Taliyah Winn, Student Reporter*

16 March 2003

Over the course of the year, the Historical Security Council of 2003 has made progress, passing several resolutions to address the many humanitarian crises facing the world.

Resolution SC-I was passed on 4 February 2003, outlining a targeted approach to the containment of Ebola in Central Africa. It created an enforcement peacekeeping operation, titled the Strategic Assistance Mission for Unified Regulation Against Infection (SAMURAI).

According to a report by the Secretary-General, the spread of Ebola in several regions has been contained directly thanks to the help of the SAMURAI.

Passing unanimously on 26 February, Resolution SC-II detailed numerous improvements to the mandate of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC). Paramount to this resolution is the fulfillment of the original amount of MONUC forces (4,350 troops) that have not been met since its implementation. 

In addition to fulfilling the original mandate, the SC has authorized a further increase in military strength of MONUC to 10,600 troops, following a timeline laid out in the Resolution. 

The ultimate goal of SC-II is to reinforce the ceasefire and support the transitional government in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and allow observers to the area following a timeline provided by the Council. Two months are allotted for the full deployment of the first task force, and an additional six months for the deployment of the second task force. 

Separately from the resolution establishing SAMURAI, two statements by the President of the Security Council have been passed by the body. 

SC-PS-I addressed the tragedy of the NASA Columbia mission. On February 1 2003, Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated as it reentered the atmosphere over Texas and Louisiana, killing all seven astronauts on board. The statement expressed the condolences of the international community.

SC-PS-III commends Pope John Paul II and the Holy Sea’s diplomatic trip to Iraq, supporting all attempts to multilaterally encourage member states to follow international law and the binding resolutions passed therein. The statement goes on to encourage Iraq’s compliance with the investigations approved by Resolution 1441 and Resolution 687. 

Though this statement has been released, the Security Council has yet to take substantive action on the situation in Iraq, altering the concern of Member States.

Representative Elizabeth Paul of Spain, expressing concerns over the progress of the body, said, “We’ve been at a very long standstill for the past couple of days on this issue. We’ve had quite a bit of pushback from certain countries on different issues that the rest of the majority has agreed upon with its beliefs. So it’s been really frustrating, trying to find ways around that.” 

Echoing those statements, Representative Christina Loewe of China stated her appreciation of the progress made in Central Africa, but shared similar concerns about the actions of the body. Representative Loewe said, “We made quite a bit of headway with Central Africa and so just switching topics to Iraq, it just kind of like we’re just completely at a standstill, and we have a good resolution that I believe we should at least like to try to vote on.”

The concerns of these Representatives are felt throughout the body and time will tell what actions the SC will take on the situation in Iraq.

*The views and opinions expressed in this article were part of a simulation of the United Nations held from 18 to 21 November 2023 and do not reflect the views and opinions of the American Model United Nations Conference, American Model United Nations International, LLC. or the governing bodies of the states mentioned in the article.

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