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The Historical Security Council of 2003

Membership of the Historical Security Council of 2003 Membership of the Historical Security Council of 2003

  • Angola
  • Bulgaria
  • Cameroon
  • China
  • Chile
  • France
  • Germany
  • Guinea
  • Mexico
  • Pakistan
  • Russian Federation
  • Spain
  • Syrian Arab Republic
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America

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Introduction Introduction

The Historical Security Council (HSC) of 2003 will simulate events beginning on 20 January 2003. The Secretary-General of the United Nations is Kofi Annan. Foremost on the minds of the Council Members is determining whether Iraq is complying fully with Security Council mandates. The breakdown in peace and security in many African countries and the continuing Israeli-Palestinian peace process also hold the Council’s attention. In addition, the Council continues to monitor Afghanistan’s recovery and political reorganization. 

The brief synopsis presented here offers introductory coverage of prominent international issues that can direct representatives’ continued research and preparation.

For each topic area, representatives should consider the following questions, which should assist them in gaining a better understanding of the issues at hand, particularly from their country’s perspective:

  • How did this conflict begin?
  • Is this a new conflict or a reignition of a previous conflict?
  • How have similar situations and conflicts been peacefully resolved?
  • What State and regional actors are involved in this conflict? If there are non-State actors involved in a conflict, are there any States supporting them? If so, which ones?

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The Situation in Afghanistan The Situation in Afghanistan

The Soviet Union’s intervention in Afghanistan began in 1979 and lasted for almost ten years, until the last Soviet troops left in early 1989. In the aftermath of this conflict, a civil war broke out between the government, which had been installed and backed by the Soviets, and various anti-Soviet guerilla armies, known as mujahideen. This civil war, which went through several phases, lasted from 1989 until 1996, when a mujahideen group called the Taliban captured the capital city of Kabul and declared the establishment of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. Portions of the country remained outside Taliban control, governed by a coalition of groups opposed to the Taliban known as the Northern Alliance.

The Taliban formed a close relationship with Al-Qaida, a radical Sunni Muslim organization. After Al-Qaida bombed the United States embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 1193 which reiterated concern about the continued and growing presence of terrorists in Afghanistan. The Security Council also passed resolutions demanding that the Taliban cease providing sanctuary and training for international terrorist organizations and calling for multilateral peace negotiations to form a representative Afghan government. 

After the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, U.S. President George W. Bush delivered an ultimatum to the Taliban government demanding that the Taliban hand over all terrorists in Afghanistan and close all terrorist training camps, or risk war. When the Taliban rejected this ultimatum, the United States began a large-scale military operation to depose the Taliban and root out Al-Qaida. The Northern Alliance, supported by American airstrikes and special forces, defeated the Taliban and established a new government, but neither the Taliban nor Al-Qaida was destroyed. Following the Bonn Conference and Resolution 1386 in December 2001, the United Nations Special Mission for Afghanistan (UNSMA) helped facilitate the agreement that created the Afghan Interim Authority (AIA). The Security Council authorized the creation of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in 2001to help the Afghan government provide effective security in the capital. The ISAF was created to act as a transitionary force, which would eventually shift from combat to a supporting role as Afghan security forces grew in size and capability. The ISAF deployed its first round of foreign peacekeepers in January 2002. In April 2002, Turkey assumed control of the mission, increasing Turkish forces from roughly 100 to approximately 1,300 troops. By November 2002, ISAF consisted of over 4,500 troops from more than 20 countries. After the AIA mandate expired in July 2002, an emergency Loya Jirga (Grand Council) met and formed the Transitional Administration (TA), led by Hamid Karzai as Interim President. The administration has a mandate to remain in place until 2004.

The TA has been effective at establishing control in the major cities of the central part of the country. In other parts, warlords compete for authority and power. Finally, within the territories the TA does control, security has been incomplete and ineffective. In addition to the continuing security concerns brought by the Taliban and Al-Qaida, internal power struggles among various Afghan factions have made governing outside of the capital difficult. In November 2002, the TA began coordinating with the United States to develop a robust civil affairs framework to work toward reconstruction of Kabul and the surrounding regions, with assistance from the United Nations and regional and international non-governmental organizations.

The United Nations’ efforts in Afghanistan have focused primarily on three areas: rebuilding government capacity, security issues and humanitarian endeavors. The United Nations has also been very active in humanitarian and development issues, led by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). UNAMA and associated efforts are all taking place in a very difficult security environment. While ISAF has done a reasonably good job of keeping the peace inside of Kabul, it does not have the resources to provide broader security support across the country.

Funding for United Nations activities is another overarching concern for the TA and ISAF personnel. The needs of the ISAF mission continue to grow, with an ever-expanding mandate. International financial support has waned following the fall of the Taliban. Without renewed international support, Afghanistan is unlikely to move forward from its current situation.

Bibliography Bibliography

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The Situation in Iraq and Kuwait The Situation in Iraq and Kuwait

In 1990, Iraq invaded its neighbor Kuwait. During this conflict, the Security Council imposed a series of sanctions (a near complete trade and finance embargo) on Iraq in Resolution 661, intended to prevent the redevelopment of its military capabilities. An international coalition, led by the United States and operating under a United Nations mandate, defeated the Iraqi military and ejected Iraq from Kuwait in 1991. After the conflict ended, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 687, which required Iraq to agree to the unconditional destruction or disarmament of its chemical and biological weapons program and its ballistic missile arsenal, and called for Iraq to admit weapons inspectors unimpeded access within the country to ensure compliance. Resolution 687 also established the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) in Iraq, which was set up to implement the non-nuclear provisions of the resolution and to assist the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in the nuclear areas which was set up to implement the non-nuclear provisions of the resolution and to assist the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in the nuclear areas. In 1991, the United States, United Kingdom and France established no-fly zones over the northern and southern regions of Iraq to protect Kurdish and Shiite Muslim minority populations from government attacks. 

Security Council sanctions against Iraq continued throughout the 1990s, as UNSCOM reported Iraq’s continued failures to both disclose and destroy its chemical and biological weapons. At the same time, Security Council Resolution 986 established the Oil-for-Food Programme in April 1995. The Programme was designed to prevent a humanitarian crisis by allowing Iraq to sell its oil on the global market, provided the money generated by the sales went towards the purchase of food, medicine and other humanitarian necessities. In 1995 and 1997, United Nations inspectors uncovered weapons and technology which violated the restrictions set by Security Council resolutions. Following a breakdown in diplomatic efforts between Iraq and United Nations inspectors, UNSCOM withdrew all but a few personnel by late 1997. United Nations inspectors continued to flow in and out of Iraq with little cooperation until late 1998, when inspection teams were withdrawn entirely due to lack of cooperation. 

Following Iraqi violations of no-fly zones and concerns about Iraq developing prohibited weapons in 1998, the United States performed a series of airstrikes on Iraqi military installations; these airstrikes resulted in Iraq suspending access of United Nations weapons inspectors to its facilities. In November 2002 the Security Council passed Resolution 1441, which offered Iraq a final opportunity to comply with its disarmament obligations and re-admit inspectors. Iraq accepted this offer and announced it would allow weapons inspectors access to the country this same year.

Under the new inspection regime, the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) would have “immediate, unimpeded, unconditional and unrestricted access” to any sites and buildings in Iraq. They would also have the right to remove or destroy any weapons or related items that they found.

The Executive Chairman of UNMOVIC, Dr. Hans Blix, is required by Resolution 1441 to provide the Security Council with an update on Iraq’s compliance with the weapons inspection regime and its disarmament obligations on 27 January 2003, sixty days after the adoption of Resolution 1441.

Bibliography Bibliography

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The Situation in the Middle East The Situation in the Middle East

The First Intifada, which began in 1987 and ended in 1993, brought the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians back to the attention of the international community. On 28 September 2000, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon visited the Haram al Sharif, also known as the Temple Mount, and made remarks which offended many Palestinians and resulted in protests. The protests and subsequent Israeli response quickly turned into a Second Intifada. Since September 2000, more than 1,800 Palestinians have been killed and over 25,000 have been injured. On the Israeli side, more than 600 people have been killed and over 4,000 injured. Responding to the violence, the Security Council passed Resolution 1322 in October 2000, which not only condemned acts of violence, particularly those against Palestinians, but also called for negotiations to resume.

In March 2002, a suicide bombing struck a large Passover seder in the city of Netanya, killing 30 and injuring 140 people. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack. In response, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) launched Operation “Defensive Shield.” The IDF launched incursions into the six largest cities in the West Bank, temporarily reoccupying areas that had been ceded to Palestinian control. The 36-day operation was the largest military operation in the West Bank since the 1967 Six Day War. A total of 497 Palestinians and 30 Israeli soldiers were killed in the conflict. Most notably, the Israeli incursion into the Jenin refugee camp led to allegations of human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law. Throughout the past year, the number of Palestinian terrorist attacks has increased, particularly suicide bombings targeting Israli civilians. In June, Israel began construction of a 440-mile security barrier along the boundary between the West Bank and Israel proper.

The conflict has led to the international community and the Security Council renewing its calls for Israelis and Palestinians to ensure the safety of civilians and work towards a political settlement. Since January 2002, eight new resolutions have been adopted by the Security Council on this situation. The United Nations, the United States, the Russian Federation and the European Union came together to form a new coordinating mechanism for international peace efforts known as “the Quartet.” The Quartet’s proposed “Roadmap for Peace” is still in the draft stage. There is growing concern for the escalating violence and the declining humanitarian situation.

Bibliography Bibliography

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The Situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo The Situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has suffered from decades of political instability and violence. Conflict over control of resource-rich regions of the DRC has been exacerbated by wars in neighboring nations; large numbers of Hutus fled the 1994 Rwandan genocide into the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which was then known as Zaire. Fighting broke out in 1996, primarily between forces led by prominent Tutsi General Laurent Kabila and Congolese President Mobutu Sese Seko. With assistance from Rwanda and Uganda, Kabila’s forces regained control over the government in Kinshasa in 1997 and renamed the county the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

In 1998, Rally for Congolese Democracy (RCD) launched a rebellion against the Kabila government. The Kabila government found support from Angola, Chad, Namibia and Zimbabwe, but the RCD was able to hold Kivu and other eastern areas with Rwandan and Ugandan support. Internal conflict however soon led the RDC to split into different factions. The Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement, signed in 1999 by the DRC, Angola, Namibia, Rwanda, Uganda and Zimbabwe, attempted to bring stability to the region. Despite this, continued fighting between different factions of rebel groups resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of civilians from violence, disease and starvation. 

The Security Council authorized the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC), a United Nations force of 5,500 troops and 500 observers, to monitor the Lusaka Ceasefire as well as humanitarian conditions, human rights, child protection and medical support issues. In February 2000, MONUC’s size and mandate were further expanded to over 5,000 military personnel, and in June 2002 MONUC’s mandate was extended to run through June 2003. MONUC’s work has been largely unfulfilled in much of the country, as the United Nations forces have met significant resistance from rebel groups and have been unable to deploy to many areas. Additionally, United Nations Members have not contributed enough support to reach the full authorized strength of MONUC (5,537 troops, including observers). 

The continued rebel activity in many rural areas, along with the presence of some foreign troops from neighboring Uganda and Rwanda, has kept the situation contentious. Reports of human rights violations in the eastern part of the country, including the systematic rape of women and girls, mass killings and the destruction of property are also still a grave concern to the international community. Humanitarian groups estimate that, since 1999, the fighting and conflict have displaced over half a million people and resulted in the deaths of approximately 50,000 people. Despite numerous Security Council resolutions, violence (based on nationality, ethnicity and access to valuable regional resources) and the droves of civilians deaths continue.

Bibliography Bibliography

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The Situation in West Africa The Situation in West Africa

Several West African nations are currently embroiled in interconnected conflicts. Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia are both undergoing active conflicts, while Sierra Leone has only recently seen the end of conflict and continues to recover.

Sierra Leone was in a state of civil war between the government and the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) from 1991 until 2002. Beginning in 1999, United Nations peacekeepers were involved in the conflict. More than 10,000 peacekeepers remain present as part of the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL), helping maintain security and overseeing the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of former rebels. Foday Sankoh, the RUF leader, is currently awaiting trial for war crimes before the Special Court for Sierra Leone.

The conflict in Liberia began in 1989, when Charles Taylor and the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) invaded from neighboring Côte d’Ivoire to overthrow President Samuel Doe. Liberia split along ethnic lines and civil war erupted. A series of negotiated settlements resulted in elections being held in 1997, which Taylor won amid widespread reports of voter intimidation. In 1999, Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) began a campaign against Taylor’s government with support from neighboring Guinea. As the fighting amplifies, the international community faces a full-blown humanitarian crisis.

In July 2000, the Security Council passed Resolution 1306, creating a panel of experts to study the export of illegal diamonds and the funding of the illegal arms trade between Liberia and Sierra Leone. The panel’s report found that there was overwhelming evidence that Liberia was actively supporting the RUF in order to destabilize the government of Sierra Leone and acquire diamonds for export. The Security Council passed Resolution 1343 enacting a new arms embargo. On 19 September 2002, simultaneous attacks were conducted by rebel forces in most major cities of Côte d’Ivoire. Fighting continues to intensify.

Bibliography Bibliography

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