Hong Kong Model United Nations SECURITY COUNCIL Forum: The Security Council Issue: Protocol for International Intervention Document: Introductory Chair Report Chair: Caitlin Fischer
INTRODUCTION When conflict breaks out and the atrocities committed are terrible enough to garner international interest, the topic of intervention tends to be discussed as a viable option to resolve such clashes. It is usually discussed as a last resort, but when it becomes necessary, the need for a recognized framework for intervention is clear. Given in particular recent global events, an established consensus as to how we approach intervention needs to re-evaluated and put into the context of todayâ€™s world. Before moving on, however, it should be noted that this committee should not be aiming to find a one-size-fits-all umbrella resolution, dictating how every intervention must be run. Given how specific and varied conflict between and within nations can be, an umbrella policy would hurt more than it would help. The committee should instead be aiming to provide a structured protocol illustrating how a case-by-case strategy for individual conflicts to be considered for intervention. Essentially, your delegation should be focusing on creature a structure for the consideration and planning of an intervention, without resorting to prescriptive measures by default without the context of the individual conflicts.
CONTEXT: Some Significant Case Studies Somalia 1992 The Somali civil war began in 1991, with an assembly of armed opposition groups staging an uprising against the nationâ€™s military-run government. The UN and Ethiopia (a neighboring country to Somalia) have since intervened in
the issue on multiple occasions, first beginning with UN action in 1992. These interventions proved to be unsuccessful and have necessitated further intervening since. The Somali civil war is still ongoing. Rwanda 1994 The UN initially established the UN Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR) in order to try and curb the conflict between different ethnic groups in Rwanda beginning in the early 1990s. However, the UNAMIR never took much action, and a lack of SC decisiveness led to inaction. No definitive intervention took place in Rwanda initially, leading to one of the most horrific ethnicity based genocides in history. While the UN did increase UNAMIR’s troop presence to 5500 peacekeepers, this was not enough to stop the brunt of the killings. This was tragic enough to the extent that the post-genocide Rwandan government asked the UN to remove UNAMIR’s presence as Rwanda attempted to reestablish peace within its borders. Iraq 2003 The Unites States officially waged war on Iraq in early 2003, officially stating that the purpose of the intervention in Iraqi affairs was to disarm the unstable nation, which was supposedly in possession of various weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), and to ‘free its people’ from the systematic oppression of human rights being faced in the area. US troops were reinforced by troops from Britain, Australia and Poland. The significance of this intervention lies in the supposed motives behind the intervention: it has come into question as to whether or not the motives behind intervening were ultimately in the interest of those whose rights were being suppressed, and whether or not there was significant enough evidence of the WMDs. Additionally, after the initial military action in Iraq, forces pulled out without leaving behind a framework for a legitimate government to form, necessitating further intervention. Syria 2013 Though there was some discussion surrounding the topic of an intervention in Syria since March 2011, following the Egyptian revolution, it was only when chemical weapons were used against civilians that the global community began to seriously discuss the potential of a realistic intervention in Syria, given that international statutes regarding chemical weapons were broken. Human rights were suppressed before this, via the censorship of social networks and media, the restriction of water, food and electricity, and violent displays of human rights abuse. However, the use of banned weaponry against civilians was significant enough to cause discussion that divided many nations. Syria ultimately is an example where diplomacy won out: Russian diplomacy ended up with an agreement for Syria to destroy its chemical weapons, showing that diplomacy has the potential to solve conflict on an international scale.
TERMINOLOGY International law defines intervention as the use of force by one nation in the affairs of another, be those affairs internal or external. Humanitarian intervention more specifically refers to intervention used to prevent the abuse of human rights by the state against which the intervention is being focused, essentially acting to alleviate mass suffering within sovereign borders. National Sovereignty refers to the purposeful independence of a nation, and its ability to regulate and control its internal matters without being affected with by foreign powers. Foreign intervention will often require an infringement upon national sovereignty, unless a legitimate government has requested foreign intervention on its own soil. Intra-state conflict refers to armed conflict occurring within a single state. This can occur when a government is systematically abusing the rights of its people, when conflict breaks out between different groups in a nation, or when a nation collapses into disarrayed conflict. Inter-state conflict refers to military clash between different distinct nations, usually within close proximity to one another. It is important to distinguish between a government systematically abusing the rights and humanity of its own people, as compared to a relatively legitimate government that has lost control during a conflict within the nation. The type of unstable nation has profound consequences on how it should be dealt with in the long run.
UNITED NATIONS: Past Actions and Relevant Bodies Previous resolutions include: -‐
United Nations Security Council Resolution 733 Resolution 733 passed unanimously in 1992, and was adopted in the same year. The resolution was enacted in response to the situation in Somalia at the time, and constituted the UNs first official proactive role in international humanitarian intervention as we know it today: “imposing an embargo on all deliveries of weapons and military equipment to Somalia.” The situation was addressed by the Security Council after pleas from the Somali Government. The security council was later forced to take more drastic measures. United Nations Security Council Resolution 751 Again aiming to curb the conflict in Somalia in 1992, the UN launched its first operation in Somalia (UNOSOM I) with 500 peacekeepers, in an attempt to monitor the ceasefire and maintain security of certain resources. While UNOSOM in this iteration failed to curb the conflict entirely, this again was significant as it was considered groundbreaking for the UN to send peacekeepers to help curb a conflict for humanitarian purposes in a structured manner. United Nations Security Council Resolution 893 In this resolution, dated 1994, the UN noted ‘with concern’ the violence
in Rwanda. However, despite having previously established the UN Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR), lack of SC assertiveness and hence action led to no definitive intervention occurring in Rwanda initially, which is often cited as a major UN mistake, as the Rwandan genocide unfolded. http://www.foreignpolicy.com/files/fp_uploaded_documents/110317_U NSC%20Libya%20resolution%20final.pdf UN Resolution authorizing intervention in Libya: occasionally referred to as a ‘model’ intervention, the Libyan intervention by NATO and other groups was proven to be comparatively successful, though some mistakes were inevitably made.
Relevant UN Bodies include: -‐
United Nations Security Council As the only United Nations body capable of mobilizing peacekeepers and enforcing sanctions against nations, decisions regarding international intervention ultimately lie with the Security Council, hence stressing the need for a structured protocol on the topic to be developed and illustrating the importance of SC discussion. United Nations Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide Aims to raise awareness of the social issues that have the potential to lead to genocide, and informs related bodies when it notices a risk of the occurrence of genocide, helping to discuss and draft policy surrounding the situation should it be needed. The Adviser will attempt to support and assemble the relevant groups needed for apt action. United Nations Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect Leads the development of the Responsibility to Protect, overseeing how it plays into the drafting of UN resolutions. Works with member states to establish better protocols relating to the responsibility to protect, and helping to apply these protocols in the drafting of resolutions.
FOCUS: Issues of Significance Diplomacy “All war represents a failure of diplomacy.” - Tony Benn, Speech in House of Commons (Feb. 28, 1991) Diplomacy is noted as the ‘ideal’ mode of solving conflicts on an international scale: it refers to the management and organization of international relations, generally by a nations’ representatives and often in response to significant international events such as international conflict. In the context of intervention, diplomatic reasoning refers to the structured negotiating with the proprietors of the violence in an attempt to resolve the situation without resorting to military intervention.
Whether or not diplomacy works is highly dependent on the situation- while the threat of intervention is a strong deterrence against human rights abuse, it is a costly and dangerous endeavor. As such, protocol allowing for the consideration of diplomacy should be drafted, and a yardstick to help us determine whether or not diplomacy has been exhausted as a legitimate option should be considered. Consensus Currently, intervention is only considered as legitimate if there is a general global consensus in favor of it. However, certain countries hold enough power to, if they so wish, override this and simply act on their own. The Security Council to work to re-evaluate the standards of international consensus required to stage an intervention, and whether or not retribution should exist for those countries who decide to act as individuals, in opposition with the rest of the globe. Furthermore, the wishes of the nation in danger of intervention should be considered: whether or not they are opposed to or in favor of the intervention. This can drastically change the climate of an intervention, affecting how it should be run and the potential for success associated with it. Justification In terms of the nature of the conflict involved, when is it justified to hold an intervention? To what extent must human rights be abused before we start to talk about intervention as a potential course of action? Nearly every nation can, in some way, shape or form, be called out on for the systematic abuse of human rights, and yet, a majority of these nations do not face the threat of intervention. Nations need to consider when an intervention is justified, as compared to slow, more long-term solutions against human rights abuse. Whether or not interventions should just be staged in response to crises should also be discussed. Motive With reference to those intervening countries, there are many reasons for a country to intervene in another nation’s affairs, and some can be easily identified. Firstly, to promote and protect the principles that their nation stands for. Secondly, to prevent the abuse of human rights abroad (linking to the ‘responsibility to protect’). Finally, to protect a nation’s own interests: for example, to prevent the conflict from escalating, or to prevent trade relations from deteriorating. Countries may also want to consider the moral obligations of bystander nations in a conflict However, what constitutes a good enough reason to permit a country to participate in an intervention? As seen in past examples of interventions, and in terms of interventions that almost happened before their flaws were called
out upon, ulterior motives can play a role in this decision and lead to an overall worse off situation. The United Statesâ€™ initial intervention in Iraq, for example, has a contestable motive: while initially it was stated that the US would be intervening to, amongst other things, destroy WMDs, whether or not there was sufficient evidence to support this claim is still dubious. On a similar note, other interventions that were in planning have also suffered from this suspicion, and some were not carried out when true motives were revealed. How can the SC set up a framework to monitor the reasoning behind a nation participating in an intervention? An intervention is costly upon all of the nations involved in ways beyond just monetary reasoning, and to intervene without a legitimate reason could be harmful for all. Nature of the Intervention: Use of Force The ability to use force is a cornerstone of any militaristic intervention. However, especially when dealing with sensitive measures aboard, the types of force considered as viable must be considered. When using force in areas of conflict, particularly in areas where civilians are at risk of being exposed to the violence, this begs the question as to which types of force can be considered as acceptable for use in these situations. The committee should reach a consensus as to which guidelines should exist when trying to answer this question, while accounting for the flexibility that an intervention will inevitably require. Ties Between Nations Nations do not exist as purely independent entities, and thus, when we discuss intervention it often involves countries with significant ties to each other. This begs the question as to whether or not a country should be able to justify an intervention purely based on past ties with the region in question, furthermore asking if such ties are actually significant enough to make it the moral obligation of that nation to intervene. First considering the relationship between France and Mali, it could be argued that by leaving Mali in a politically insecure state when it first left the nation, that France had an obligation to intervene in the conflicts that occurred in 2012. Similarly, with regards to the second Iraq intervention by the United States: as the US left Iraq in the state of a power vacuum where corrupt powers eventually took hold, was their second act of intervention thus necessitated as the moral obligation of the US? Lastly, 80% of the weapons being used in the Syrian conflict were supplied to Syria by Russian entities. Russia could potentially be considered liable for some of the atrocities committed in Syria. Aftermath The time period after an intervention tends to be particularly sensitive and instrumental in the development of the post-conflict nation. However, due to the instability left behind, the state may require the continued presence of
foreign powers in order to eventually regain socio-political stability. Leaving a nation unattended can lead to further fights in order to fill the power vacuum left behind, and the potential for corruption is looming in a post-intervention state. Furthermore, can an intervening country easily pull out of an intervention? When interventions become increasingly complex over time, it may be logistically unfeasible for a clean breakaway. Ultimately, this is a tradeoff: an intervening country can stay to assist in establishing a new government, or it can let the region solve itself and hence end up with a government more suited to the wishes of its people. How we decide between this tradeoff is a highly adaptable idea.
QUESTIONS: For Discussion by the Committee When does the moral obligation to stop human rights abuse or horrific conflict lie on nations outside of those directly involved? Is the ‘responsibility to protect’ something that can be more concretely laid out? How devastating must the situation in a country become before an intervention can truly be considered as necessitated? What constitutes a valid motive for intervention, and how can this be monitored or controlled to protect weak states from ulterior motives from intervening nations? What types of force/military actions are legitimate and justified in the context of an intervention? Do nations have an obligation to intervene in conflict, or are they liable for some of the damage, if their past actions were part of the cause for the conflict? What happens after an intervention? When should foreign forces remain in the region to help it regain stability after the brunt of the conflict has ended, and when should an intervention be terminated at the earliest possible exit?
READING: Research and Bibliography http://www.who.int/hiv/universalaccess2010/worldsummit.pdf Explanation of the ‘Right to Protect’ http://www.un.org/en/preventgenocide/rwanda/about/bgresponsibility.shtml Background Information on the ’Responsibility to Protect’ http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/65/877 UN Report on the role of Coordination in Dealing with Regional Conflict http://www.un.org/en/preventgenocide/adviser/
UN Office of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide http://www.cfr.org/humanitarian-intervention/dilemma-humanitarianintervention/p16524 ‘The Dilemma of Intervention’ http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/3573229.stm Kofi Annan (UN Past Secretary General) on the Rwandan Genocide and Intervention http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/topics_71652.htm?selectedLocale=en NATO Summary of Intervention in Libya http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/137073/ivo-h-daalder-and-james-gstavridis/natos-victory-in-libya Analysis of the NATO Intervention in Libya http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/opinions_75836.htm NATO’s State of Affairs After Libya http://thepolitic.org/the-security-councils-humanitarian-intervention/ Discussion of the UNSC Interventions Over History (Somalia and Rwanda) "Syria, Arab Revolution 2011 Timeline, 21st Century." World News Atlas Timeline of the Syrian Revolution and the Related Global Response http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-17356556 Analysis of Military Options in Syria http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-24045650 Russian Diplomacy in Syria (Chemical Weaponry)