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The Historical Security Council of 1993

Membership of the Historical Security Council of 1973 Membership of the Historical Security Council of 1973

  • Brazil
  • Cape Verde
  • China
  • Djibouti
  • France
  • Hungary
  • Japan
  • Morocco
  • New Zealand
  • Pakistan
  • Russian Federation
  • Spain
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America
  • Venezuela

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Introduction Introduction

The Historical Security Council (HSC) of 1993 will simulate the state of the world as of 23 January 1993. The Secretary-General of the United Nations was Boutros Boutros-Ghali. Historically, the major concerns faced by the United Nations at this time revolved around ongoing peacekeeping efforts in the former Yugoslavia, Somalia, Cambodia, southern Africa, and how to best support those peacekeeping efforts. However, the Council may discuss any issue involving international peace and security. Representatives should have a broad knowledge of the world and world events as they stood on 23 January 1993. The Security Council can, at its discretion, involve other States or parties to the dispute on a particular topic. 

One overarching theme faced by the Council in 1993 was the changing nature of international conflicts. During the Cold War, conflicts were often driven by regional proxies of superpowers or conflicts between States. With the end of the Cold War, conflicts faced by the United Nations became increasingly characterized by a collapse of State institutions and a proliferation of non-state actors. Due to the complexity of some conflicts, the Security Council began to increasingly request that the Secretary-General oversee negotiations or look into situations and report back to the Security Council.

Following the end of the Cold War, the Security Council authorized many new peacekeeping operations. While some of the new peacekeeping operations continued the traditional role of observation and monitoring, the Security Council also authorized peacekeeping operations with a wider scope in humanitarian conflicts where ceasefires were tenuous or non-existent—such as UNOSOM I in Somalia and UNPROFOR in Yugoslavia. This interplay between States and actors advocating to remain within traditional peacekeeping roles and those advocating for expanded and more active mission mandates is a factor that you as representatives will have to negotiate as you deliberate what course the Council should take. 

The brief synopsis of topics presented here offers introductory coverage of prominent international issues and is designed to direct representatives’ continued research and preparation. For each topic area, representatives should consider the following questions to help them in gaining a better understanding of the issues at hand, particularly from their country’s perspective:

  • How did this conflict begin?
  • Who are involved in the situation and what are their concerns?
  • How have similar situations or conflicts been peacefully resolved?
  • What roles can the United Nations take in the situation? What roles should the United Nations take in the situation?

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The Situation in Yugoslavia The Situation in Yugoslavia

During the 1980s, economic stagnation and political disputes led to a rise in ethnic tensions between the Yugoslav republics: Serbia, Montenegro, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosnia), and Macedonia. As the largest and wealthiest republic, Serbia had significant influence over the other republics. Fears of Serbian domination led other republics, notably Croatia, to push for greater autonomy. In response, the Serbian government pressed for a strong central authority to protect the sizable ethnic Serbian population living outside of Serbia, primarily in Croatia and Bosnia. The tensions came to a head in May 1991 when, amidst outbreaks of violence between Croats and Serbs, Serbia blocked a planned vote to approve the Croatian president as president of Yugoslavia, a position which traditionally rotated between the heads of state of each republic. The political upheaval that resulted destabilized the central Yugoslav government. Over the summer of 1991, Croatia, Slovenia and Macedonia declared independence from Yugoslavia. Slovenia and Macedonia, having small Serbian populations, saw little pushback from the Serbian-controlled Yugoslav government; large Serbian populations in Croatia, however, drew Yugoslavia’s focus on Croatia’s independence. Heavy fighting broke out between Serbia and Croatia, with control of the modern and well-equipped Yugoslav National Army (JNA) splitting along ethnic lines as the republics declared independence. The Serbian-controlled elements of the army retained the JNA name. 

In response to the breakdown of negotiations and military conflict between Serbia and Croatia, the United Nations passed Resolution 713, establishing an arms embargo on all of Yugoslavia. Efforts by the Secretary-General and regional partners throughout 1991 and into early 1992 saw a ceasefire agreement between Croatia and Serbia, with both parties accepting a United Nations peacekeeping mission. However, observers noted Serbia only accepted the peacekeeping mission after Serbian forces occupied the Serb-inhabited parts of Croatia. The Security Council authorized the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR) in Resolution 743 in February to help maintain the ceasefire and create the conditions for a negotiated political solution. In Resolution 749, passed in early April, the Security Council urged the rapid deployment of UNPROFOR to address the now daily reports of ceasefire violations between Croatia and Serbia. Upon arrival, UNPROFOR established United Nations Protected Areas (UNPAs) inside Croatia to protect Serb enclaves, oversee their demilitarization, work to reduce ethnic tensions that would prompt armed intervention by Serbia or Croatia, restore government functions to Croatia and ensure the withdrawal of JNA forces to Serbia. The need for troop withdrawal and demilitarization has been highlighted by a consistent pattern of pro-Serbian forces exiling non-Serbians from areas claimed as part of Serbia; with the United Nations also receiving credible reports of Bosnian and Croat forces carrying out similar programs against Serbs in areas under their control. 

Over the course of 1992, UNPROFOR managed to establish “pink zones,” an enlargement of the UNPAs to protect key infrastructure (such as dams) and cover Serb-inhabited areas of Croatia that were not covered in the initial UNPA agreements. In order to carry out their role, UNPROFOR took on the responsibility of customs and immigrations enforcement into and out of the UNPAs and pink zones. Although violence has escalated elsewhere, UNPROFOR has been largely successful in preventing a resumption of war between Croatia and Serbia. However, Croatia has pressed the United Nations to take stronger action in removing the JNA presence in Serb-inhabited areas in Croatia under United Nations protection and threatened to take action itself if the United Nations did not.

Despite the progress made by UNPROFOR in the Croatian-Serbian conflict, the situation in Bosnia has reached a crisis point. Bosnia was ethnically divided almost in thirds between Bosnian Muslims, Bosnian Croats, and Bosnian Serbs. The three ethnic groups broke up into three “States within a State”: the Bosnian Muslims maintaining the name Bosnia-Herzegovina; the Bosnian Croats forming Herzeg-Bosnia; and the Bosnian Serbs forming the Republika Srpska (at times known as the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina). Following a referendum boycotted by the Bosnian Serbs, Bosnia became independent in May 1992. Fighting immediately broke out, as the Republika Srpska, assisted by the Serbian state, declared war on both Bosnia-Herzegovina and Herzeg-Bosnia, who were receiving assistance from Croatia. Serbian forces immediately placed the capital of Sarajevo under siege and subjected it to heavy artillery bombardments and sniper fire. Due to the difficult terrain and widespread fighting, UNPROFOR took over the transport and distribution of humanitarian assistance in Bosnia. Intense negotiation with the Republika Srpska enabled UNPROFOR to fly aid into the Sarajevo airport and bypass the dangerous mountain roads and militias, although the airport itself remained vulnerable to attack from besieging Serb forces.

The perilous situation in Sarajevo and the vulnerability of the Sarajevo airport recently came to a head in December when, in response to Bosnian Muslim attacks on Serb forces outside Sarajevo, Serbs forces used tanks to blockade the main road from the airport to the city. Although the Serbs removed their tanks within 24 hours, use of the airport remains limited due to security concerns; this has reduced the amount of aid UNPROFOR can transport into Sarajevo by nearly half. The transportation of humanitarian aid by land remains difficult due to mountainous conditions and the presence of militia roadblocks that seek to turn back UNPROFOR convoys. Although the Security Council authorized UNPROFOR to use force to ensure delivery of humanitarian aid, UNPROFOR has not made use of this authorization at this point. In addition to the widely-known humanitarian situation in Sarajevo and Bosnia, the Security Council also received credible reports of mass deportation and rape of Bosnian Muslim women. In Sarajevo in January, Serb forces stopped a United Nations armored car and shot the Bosnian Deputy Prime Minister, killing him. 

Over 1992, the Security Council came under increasing criticism for its alleged failure to protect Bosnian Muslims from Serb forces. Despite authorizing a No-Fly Zone in Resolution 786, the No-Fly Zone has not been implemented due to legal and diplomatic concerns in dealing with potential downed aircraft. The Security Council has also faced criticism for not authorizing UNPROFOR to defend Bosnian Muslims or the city of Sarajevo. The Secretary-General issued statements expressing a concern that taking strong action against Serbia could prompt the Serbian government to carry out threats against United Nations peacekeepers and, due to their siege of Sarajevo, prevent the distribution of any humanitarian aid into the city. The Secretary-General also noted the Serbian military (the JNA) has the capacity to inflict substantial casualties on UNPROFOR should a conflict develop between the two. A potentially positive development, though, came earlier this month when, under pressure to bring about a solution to the situation in Bosnia, the United Nations Special Envoy to Bosnia, Cyrus Vance, and the European representative, Lord David Owen, unveiled a peace proposal for Bosnia known as the Vance-Owen Peace Plan. The Plan involved splitting Bosnia into ten provinces, with most governmental functions carried out by the provinces in the hopes of avoiding ethnic tension. Bosnian Muslim, Bosnian Serb, and Bosnian Croat leaders have expressed tentative support for the plan. With the difficulties experienced by UNPROFOR, the international community hopes the tentative support for the Vance-Owen Peace Plan will lead to a more stable situation.

Bibliography Bibliography

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United Nations Documents United Nations Documents

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The Situation in Somalia The Situation in Somalia

Somalia has been plagued by political upheaval for the last few years. Matters reached a crisis point starting in 1990, when internal strife and corruption began to quickly erode President Mohamed Siad Barre’s power. A number of clan-based militias consolidated control of their individual regions throughout Somalia, resisting the power and authority of the central government. Some militias like the United Somali Congress (USC) and Somali Patriotic Movement (SPM) escalated the conflict by attacking Somali armed forces directly. At the end of 1990, the USC launched an offensive against the capital city of Mogadishu, and, on 27 January 1991, Barre fled the city, leaving no clear political authority in Somalia. 

The central government is essentially nonfunctional, and there are various leaders and factions vying for power. Ali Mahdi Muhammad is currently the nominal President of the Interim Government of Somalia, but his authority is limited to Mogadishu. General Mohammed Farah Aidid, who helped oust Barre, commands one of the armed factions of the USC and is the primary opponent of President Muhammad. There are multiple other factions varying in size, political influence, territory held and military strength. This political instability has created a serious safety risk throughout the country as groups fight with each other to gain more power and prominence. 

The civil war has also seriously damaged Somalia’s agricultural infrastructure. Compounded by the lack of any stable government, this has created an almost complete inability to deliver humanitarian aid. As a result, up to 300,000 people have died due to famine, and an additional 20 percent of the total population is considered malnourished. The Security Council attempted to address this issue with Resolution 733 in January 1992 by calling for an arms embargo of Somalia. In March, shortly after United Nations-lead negotiations, President Muhammad and General Aidid signed a ceasefire. With the situation somewhat stabilized, the Council passed Resolution 746, which sent a United Nations team to ensure the distribution of aid. However, both these resolutions failed to make any sizable difference. While the conflict between the central government and General Aidid was controlled, the ceasefire and negotiations did not include or take into account the smaller factions led by other independent warlords. It is estimated that up to 80 percent of the aid is being diverted by armed gangs controlled by these other warlords.

In an effort to provide safe passage for aid, the Council passed Resolution 751, which established the United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM) and provided unarmed United Nations observers who could oversee aid distribution safety. By September 1992 UNOSOM had 4,219 observers on the ground. Despite these efforts, the situation continued to deteriorate, as the lack of armed response failed to deter warlords from seizing aid shipments. In response the Council passed Resolution 794 on 3 December, which endorsed “action under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations … to establish a secure environment for humanitarian relief operations in Somalia,” effectively authorizing the use of force. The Unified Task Force (UNITAF), primarily supplied and coordinated by the United States, was quickly established as the military arm of this safety enforcement, and it began military operations in early December. The goal of UNITAF was to provide a temporary overwhelming number of troops to allow for delivery of aid, before returning operations to UNOSOM. UNITAF has been able to establish itself in the country, and has secured all major relief centers, allowing aid deliveries to resume. It remains to be seen if UNITAF can achieve its goal of disarming gangs and setting up a Somali police presence. 

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Bibliography Bibliography

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United Nations Documents United Nations Documents

  • United Nations, Security Council (1992). Somalia. Resolution 794.
  • United Nations, Security Council (1992). Somalia. Resolution 751.
  • United Nations, Security Council (1992). Somalia. Resolution 746.
  • United Nations, Security Council (1992). Somalia. Resolution 733.

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The Situation in Cambodia The Situation in Cambodia

During the 1980s, Cambodia experienced a brutal civil war between the Viet Nam-backed central government, the Coalition Government of Democratic Kampuchea (CGDK); and the ex-Khmer Rouge, renamed the Party of Democratic Kampuchea (PDK, still commonly called the Khmer Rouge). In October 1991, the CGDK and PDK signed the Paris Agreement. Under the Agreement, the CGDK and the PDK would create the Supreme National Council of Cambodia (SNC), which would be made up of representatives from all four factions—the PDK and the three factions comprising the CGDK—and chaired by Prince Norodom Sihanouk. As part of the Agreement, the SNC delegated to the United Nations all necessary power to ensure the implementation of the Agreement. Following the signing of the Agreement, the Security Council passed Resolution 745, authorizing the creation of the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC). 

Under the terms of the Agreement, UNTAC had an expansive mandate in Cambodia; it was tasked with: overseeing the disarmament of forces and their integration into a national army; monitoring the ceasefire; overseeing the rehabilitation of Cambodian infrastructure; overseeing the repatriation of refugees and displaced persons; helping restore law and order; and preparing for free and fair elections. Existing laws and policies could be nullified by UNTAC if they were contrary to UNTAC’s mandate and the terms of the Agreement. To that end, UNTAC, in effect, took over the administration of Cambodia, acting on the advice of the SNC when consensus was present. By October 1992 UNTAC began registering voters for elections to be held in late April and early May of this year.

Although UNTAC has observed non-compliance and ceasefire violations from all parties, the United Nations has determined the primary source of non-compliance is coming from the PDK. Despite outreach by UNTAC and the United Nations to address the PDK’s concerns, the PDK continues to violate the agreement, refusing to disarm its forces. In November, in response to increasing attacks and ceasefire violations, the CGDK petitioned the United Nations to pause the disarmament process, so their forces could return to combat with the PRK. The Security Council declined the request, instead passing Resolution 792, condemning the PDK and stating an election would occur no later than May 1993. Since December, with the start of the dry season and despite the presence of approximately 15,000 UNTAC peacekeepers, the number of observed ceasefire violations has increased, prompting many recently-returned refugees to flee again, undoing much of the progress UNTAC had made to restore stability. 

As a result of the escalating violence, the members of the CGDK have increased their criticism of UNTAC, claiming it is incapable of preventing escalating violence. In December, in an attempt to ensure a greater UNTAC presence in PDK controlled areas, UNTAC increased patrols; in response to the increased patrols, the PDK temporarily detained six UNTAC peacekeepers on charges of spying for Viet Nam. Despite the increasing violence, Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali stated elections would go ahead in May 1993, with or without the participation of the PDK.

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Bibliography Bibliography

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United Nations Documents United Nations Documents

 

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The Situation in Southern Africa The Situation in Southern Africa

The end of the Cold War brought political changes to southern Africa. Peace agreements were signed in Angola and Mozambique that ended long-running proxy wars, and the white-rule government of South Africa agreed to end aparthied. Despite the progress, significant problems remain while the details of these new political agreements are negotiated. 

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South Africa South Africa

In South Africa, despite the repeal of the ban on the African National Congress (ANC) and other black nationalist parties in 1990, negotiations on how to peaceably transition to majority rule in South Africa between the ANC, the National Party and other South African organizations remains ongoing. Continued violence between factions threatens the process as well. After the Boipatong massacre in June 1992, in which 45 ANC supporters were killed by supporters from a rival faction, the ANC withdrew from negotiations. In response to the escalating violence, the Security Council passed Resolutions 765 and 772 in July and August, which condemned the violence and established the United Nations Observer Mission in South Africa (UNOMSA), giving it the mandate to observe the political environment in South Africa. In September 1992, following international and domestic pressure, the ANC agreed to rejoin negotiations.

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Angola Angola

United Nations peacekeeping involvement in the Angolan Civil War began in January 1989 with the establishment of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM I). UNAVEM I was largely successful in achieving its mandate to oversee the withdrawal of Cuban and South African forces from the country. After the Peace Accords for Angola (Bicesse Accords) were signed on 31 May 1991, the Council re-authorized the mission—now called UNAVEM II—to observe the ceasefire between the government of Angola, controlled by the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), and the guerilla fighters of the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA). Although UNAVEM II observed no major ceasefire violations, both the MPLA and UNITA failed to maintain the agreed-upon schedule for troop demobilization

The Security Council also assigned UNAVEM II responsibility for observing the Angolan elections in October 1992. The Special Representative of the Secretary-General announced that, although there were instances of electoral irregularity and intimidation, the election was generally free and fair and won by the MPLA. Violence broke out across the country as UNITA, claiming the elections were rigged, attacked and occupied towns across Angola, including the major city of Uige. In response to the outbreak of violence, in November 1992 the Security Council authorized an extension of UNAVEM II to convince UNITA and the MPLA to abide by the elections.

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Mozambique Mozambique

On 4 October 1992, the government of Mozambique signed the Rome General Peace Accords with the Mozambican National Resistance (RENAMO), ending a 14-year civil war. The Accords called for the United Nations to help with implementing the agreement and with running the new national elections, scheduled for October 1993. The Security Council, at the request of the Mozambican government and RENAMO, voted in December to establish the United Nations Operation in Mozambique (ONUMOZ) to oversee the implementation of the accords and the demobilization and disarmament of fighters; monitor the election process; and provide humanitarian assistance to those displaced by the fighting. As of January, the bulk of UNOMOZ’s manpower, particularly peacekeepers, have yet to arrive due to logistical and administrative delays.

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Bibliography Bibliography

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United Nations Documents United Nations Documents

  • United Nations, Security Council (1992). Mozambique. S/RES/797.
  • United Nations, Security Council (1992). South Africa. S/RES/772.
  • United Nations, Security Council (1992). South Africa. S/RES/765.
  • United Nations, Security Council (1991). Angola. S/RES/696.
  • United Nations, Security Council (1988). Angola. S/RES/626.

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United Nations Peacekeeping Operations United Nations Peacekeeping Operations

Peacekeeping missions are not expressly mentioned in the United Nations Charter; rather they were developed out of Chapters VI and VII. As a result, peacekeeping has evolved over time, and there is no standard formula for how operations are funded, deployed and/or managed. United Nations Peacekeeping Operations are designed to stabilize an environment and facilitate a peaceful end to any conflict. During the Cold War, the United Nations primarily, with some exceptions, only authorized peacekeepers to maintain a stable environment between two consenting parties. However, with the end of the Cold War, the Security Council has authorized peacekeepers to play increasingly prominent roles in active combat zones. This evolving usage of Peacekeeping Operations has resulted in increasing strain on the United Nations budget. 

The number of both United Nations Peacekeeping Operations and Peacekeepers has risen dramatically over the previous five years. Before 1988 there were an average of four Peacekeeping Operations per year and an average of 9,500 personnel deployed. However, in the past five years the average number has increased to 12 operations with an average of 22,400 personnel. This can be attributed to numerous factors, including the increasing cooperation among the Permanent Members, countries decreasing military budgets and increasing civil unrest. In 1992 alone the United Nations supported 52,000 peacekeeping personnel at a cost of 2.8 billion US dollars; $670 million of this is currently unpaid, a large part of which is owed by Members of the Security Council. Today, there are fourteen active United Nations Peacekeeping Operations, with the most—four—being in the Middle East. This drastic increase has brought about significant budgetary constraints and left Peacekeeping Operations in limbo.

Bibliography Bibliography

 

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