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The Topic Background Guides portion of this handbook is intended to assist  Representatives in their preparations for the United Nations International Model United Nations Conference.  Note that these brief papers should be utilized to compliment the research done on the nation represented and the topics of discussion.

The following pages contain brief overviews of the topics to be discussed in the Committees and Councils at the Conference. These are intended as a guideline and basis for Representatives' further research of the issues involved.  In keeping with this, each overview includes a bibliography to guide Representatives on appropriate sources of additional information.

The overviews give a brief background into each topic and state some areas of current United Nations and international activity on the topic.  In many cases, the overviews will frame the topic in terms of a few, limited parts of a highly complex issue.  For example, the general issue of "the Environment" may have dozens of sub-issues -- in such a case, the overview may provide direction for Representatives' to concentrate their research on "Ozone Depletion" and "Limiting the Destruction of the Rain Forests," only two of the many smaller issues.  This format allows Representatives to go into greater detail in their preparations, without the need to research all aspects of the multifaceted main issue.

UNIMUN's philosophy in providing these topic overviews is to give Representatives direction in their research, but to leave the work up to them.  These overviews are not intended to be the sole source of Representatives' research on the topics prior to the conference.

The General Assembly:

All delegations are represented in the General Assembly. The two topics listed below will be discussed. To allow all Representatives an equal opportunity for preparation, resolutions will only be accepted on the topics listed in this handbook. No new topics will be accepted in the General Assembly.



During its nineteenth session, in February 1965, the General Assembly established the Special Committee on Peace Keeping Operations. It was charged to undertake a comprehensive review of the whole question of peace keeping operations in all their aspects, including ways of overcoming the financial difficulties of the United Nations. At its fifty-third session, the General Assembly once again endorsed the proposals, recommendations and conclusions of the Special Committee in its report.  It also urged Member States, the Secretariat and relevant organs of the United Nations to take all necessary steps to implement them and reiterated that Member States which become personnel contributors to United Nations peace keeping operations in future years or that participate in the Special Committee for three consecutive years as observers should, upon request in writing, become members at the following session of the Special Committee. They requested the Special Committee to submit a report on its work to the Assembly at its fifty-fourth session in resolution 53/58.1

United Nations Peace Keeping missions have increased rapidly since the end of the Cold War, and with this increase in number has come a change in the very nature of peace keeping operations themselves. The UN Charter allows for the possible use of armed forces in Chapter VII, Article 42, in what is often referred to as the "peace enforcement provision." However, there is no article in the Charter regarding peace keeping. The first UN peace keeping operation was the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization, created in 1948. UNTSO was, in effect, a small observation organization sent to the Middle East to observe a truce between Arab and Israeli forces.

There was a great hope in the early 1990s that the Security Council could move forward and fulfill its peace and security mandate, and this led to many calls for new peace keeping missions. Missions themselves also became larger. During the Cold War, peace keeping missions consisted on average of only a few thousand personnel. In contrast, 60,000 were associated with the mission in Bosnia. There has also been a change in the makeup of these troops, as civilian police involvement increases and many non-traditional peace keeping forces have been created.

Among the principles of peace keeping operations are the non-use of force, except in strict self-defense, the neutral position of peace keeping forces and the consent of the parties involved. Primary in the effort of peace keeping is that there is, indeed, an extant peace to keep. Thus it is necessary that all interested parties support and agree to the mission, and that there is a peace of some sort in the area, or at minimum a standing cease fire. Incomplete or incorrect assessment of the status of said peace could risk the lives of officers sent into such a mission. By comparison, peace enforcement, where troops are sent into a war stricken area in an effort to create peace, must be understood as separate from peace keeping. Peace enforcement efforts remain controversial in many cases, as the need for peace is weighed by many nations against the sovereign rights of UN members. Additionally, it has recently proven very difficult to find sufficient troop contributors for missions which involve an element of peace enforcement, especially among the more militarily developed countries who could best contribute to enforcement efforts.

In addition, peace keeping missions must have clearly defined mandates and objectives, a clear command structure, and the financial support necessary to sustain the mission. History has shown that missions lacking in the above may significantly increase their chance of failure. Complications also continue to arise when there is a lack of support from member states. When the UN called upon member states to send troops to Rwanda in 1994, it already had standby arrangements with twenty states, yet initially none responded to the request. As a follow-up to UN actions in Rwanda, the report of the Independent Inquiry into the Actions of the United Nations During the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda, headed by former Swedish Prime Minister Ingvar Carlsson, was issued in December 1999.  This report stated that the UN had ignored evidence that a genocide was planned and had refused to act once it had started. It acknowledges that some steps have already been taken to improve the capacity of the UN to respond to conflicts and specifically to respond to some of the mistakes made in Rwanda.

As the size of peace keeping forces increases, along with the number of missions deployed, so does the cost. Cutting back on the size of a peace keeping mission cuts the cost to the United Nations dramatically. Further, as the capacities of NATO and other regional organizations' peace keeping operations have increased, some reticence has appeared toward authorizing new UN peace keeping missions. However, unrealistic limitations on missions may have limited the effectiveness in some cases. The effectiveness of 1990s missions such as those to Angola and Bosnia may have been affected by the attempt to limit cost.  In October 1999 the Secretary-General issued an apology for the international community's mistakes in the Bosnian civil war.  The Secretary-General noted that UN forces "could only watch" as the Serbian forces overran Srebrenica.  The UN was able to ease some of the suffering of Serb populations but was "not given the mandate or resources by member nations to fully take care of Bosnians or do anything  to stop the war."

Finally, there is the struggle to prevent divisiveness and conflict between forces of differing nationalities attempting to work together on a mission and an important emphasis put on funding to improve security for peace keeping staff and members of associated agencies. Members of the Special Committee on Peace Keeping Operations have stated it is imperative that peacekeepers should be adequately trained and equipped for their missions, and special emphasis should be placed on promoting cultural sensitivity in conflict situations.

The Department of Peace Keeping Operations (DPKO) has made in-depth analyses into many of these issues, recently utilizing the Lessons Learned Unit. A number of insights have been developed from looking at previous missions, interviewing those who participated, and consulting with Security Council members and others who contribute troops or material to peace keeping operations. Except for civilian police and administrative functions, there have been few widely successful peace keeping missions authorized in recent years. It is hoped, however, that some of the lessons learned by DPKO can be utilized and built upon in the future. In March 2000, the Secretary-General appointed Lakhdar Brahimi of Algeria to chair a  Panel established to examine the lessons learned in peace operations consulting with field staff, headquarters secretariat and members of the Security Council.  Chairman Brahimi has noted "that when such operations were being ventured, staying power, political will and resources must be ensured until their completion."

Questions to consider from the perspective of your government on this issue include:
- How can the cost of UN peace keeping missions be kept to a minimum without sacrificing the effectiveness of the missions?
- How does your government view the effectiveness of recent peace keeping missions?
- Does your government approve of the increasing size of UN peace keeping missions? What, if any, limitations would your government support?
- How can the UN best address the disparities between peace keeping missions and the broader needs of peace enforcement in areas where a conflict still exists?


1The above paragraph adapted from the ‘Annotated preliminary list of items to be included in the provisional agenda of the fifty-fourth regular session of the General Assembly.'


 "Annan: says regional alliances crucial to peace keeping," UN Wire, Jan 25, 1999, www.
 "Annan: UN and NATO must work together," UN  Wire, Feb 24, 1999, /unwire/archives.
 "Annan: Launches Major Review of Peace keeping Operations," UN Wire, March 8, 2000
 The Blue Helmets:  a review of United Nations peace keeping, 3rd edition, New York, NY: United Nations, Dept. of Public Information, 1996.
 "BOSNIA: Annan Apologizes For UN Failure To Stop Massacre," UN Wire, October 12, 1999,
 Carlsson, Ingvar; Sung-Joo, Han; Kupolati, Rufus M., "Report of the Independent Inquiry Into the Actions of the United Nations During the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda" New York, 15 December 1999.
 Crossette, Barbara, Annan Sets Up Panel to Study UN's Peace keeping Predicament, New York Times, March 8, 2000.
 Green, David Michael; Kahl, Chad; and Diehl, Paul F. "Predicting the size of UN peace keeping operations," Armed Forces & Society: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Summer 1998, v24, n4, p485.
  "Peace keeping Addressed," UN Chronicle, Spring 1998 v35 p58.
 "Peace keeping Budget: UN committee Allots $623.6 million," UN Wire, May 28, 1999
 "Peace keeping: Security Council Reform May Be Needed -- Mayor," UN Wire, May 28,
 "Peacewatch" UN Chronicle, Spring 1998, v35 p64
 "Rwanda Genocide Report Blames UN," BBC Online, Dec 16, 1999, .
 "Saving the world: the limits of humanitarianism," The Nation, May 19, 1997 v264 n19 p11.
 "The UNTSO story," UN Chronicle, Fall 1998 v35  p43.
 Wines, Michael, "Envoys Haggle Over Russian Role in Peace keeping Force," The New York Times, June 14, 1999.
 "UN Seeks Ways to Improve Peace keeping Missions,", March 7, 2000.

UN Documents:

A/Res/53/58 (Review of peace keeping operations)
A/Res/53/12 A (Support account for operations)
A/Res/53/12 B (Support account for operations)
A/53/599 (Report of the Special Political and Decolonization Committee, Fourth Committee)
A/53/127 (Report of the Special Committee on Peace keeping Operations)
A/54/87 (Report of the Special Committee on Peace keeping Operations)
UN Press Release GA/PK/162 (26 March 1999) - Special Peace keeping Committee Concludes General Debate
UN Press Release (16 December 1999) - The Secretary-General Statement on Receiving the Report of the Independent Inquiry Into the Actions of the United Nations During the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda
UN Press Release GA/SPD/165 (19 October 1999) - Safety of Peace keeping and Associated Staff Stressed in Fourth Committee's Debate
UN Press Briefing (7 March 2000) - Press Briefing on United Nations Peace Operations Study
UN Press Release SG/SM/7324 (8 March 2000) - Transcript of Press Conference by Secretary-General Kofi Annan at Headquarters, 7 March

Web sites of interest: overview.html


The global landmine crisis is one of the most pervasive problems facing the world today.  There are an estimated 60 to 70 million landmines in the ground in at least 70 countries.  Landmines maim or kill approximately 26,000 civilians every year, including 8,000 to 10,000 children.  The landmine victims that survive endure a lifetime of physical and economic hardship.

The item entitled Assistance in Mine Action, which was, until the fifty-third session of the General Assembly, called Assistance in Mine Clearance, was first included in the agenda of the forty-eighth session of the General Assembly, in 1993. At its fifty-third session, the General Assembly welcomed the efforts made by the United Nations to foster the establishment of mine-clearance capacities in countries where mines constituted a serious threat. They invited Member States to develop national programmes to promote awareness of landmines, especially among children; expressed its appreciation for contributions made to the Voluntary Trust Fund for Assistance in Mine Action, and appealed for further contributions. They encouraged all relevant multilateral and national programmes and bodies to include activities related to mine action in their humanitarian, rehabilitation, reconstruction and development assistance activities; stressed the importance of international support for emergency assistance to mine victims and emphasized the important role of the United Nations in mine-action coordination.  The General Assembly  encouraged the Secretary-General to develop further a comprehensive mine-action strategy; welcomed the creation of the United Nations Mine Action Service and its designation as the focal point for mine action within the United Nations system and urged Member States, regional, governmental and non-governmental organizations to extend full cooperation in that area. They called upon Member States to provide the necessary information and technical assistance, and to locate, remove, destroy or otherwise render ineffective minefields, mines, booby traps and other devices in accordance with international law and  encouraged them as well to support ongoing activities to promote appropriate technology, as well as safety standards.1

It is often difficult to obtain complete and reliable information about the production and sale of landmines, but there is an urgent need for transparency in order to minimize and eventually eliminate this dangers.  The issue of transparency has become of paramount importance since the Mine Ban Treaty entered into force on March 1, 1999.  The treaty prohibits the use, stockpiling, production, and transfer of antipersonnel landmines and calls for their destruction.  Publication of information on the production and trade of mines is essential to properly enforce the treaty and to ensure that states parties comply with its provisions as agreed to. The Mine Ban Treaty has already had some tangible effects on the production and trade of landmines, even among countries that have not yet become party to the treaty.  By 1999, only 16 of the original 54 mine-producing countries continued to manufacture antipersonnel landmines or their components.

In his review of coordinated mine action, the Secretary-General notes the five informal standing committees of experts that were established to focus on: mine clearance, victim assistance, socio-economic reintegration and mine awareness, technologies for mine action, stockpile destruction, and general status and operation of the Ottawa Convention. The committees are open to all nations and representatives of NGO's.  Their broad range is an example of the broad effects of this topic. National and local approaches to mine clearance have existed for decades however, mine action agencies and international humanitarian programs on mine assistance are relatively new. Their existence is further recognition that the full extent of the landmine crisis goes well beyond the clearance issues into humanitarian implications.

In 1997, the Secretary-General created the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) in order to strengthen the UN's capacity to respond to the global landmine crisis. UNMAS serves as the operating focal point within the UN system for all mine-related activities — mine awareness, victim assistance, mine clearance, and data collection and dissemination. Its mandate is to reduce the suffering caused by landmines worldwide and to help populations in mine-affected countries develop the capabilities required to manage their own mine action programs. More than a dozen UN organizations and specialized agencies are involved in mine-related programs, including UNMAS, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS). UNDP facilitates post-war reconstruction and economic development by establishing integrated, sustainable mine action programs in mine-affected countries. UNICEF helps ease the suffering of children who live in mine-affected countries. It also promotes a worldwide ban on the use of landmines and implements mine awareness and victim assistance programs. UNHCR undertakes mine awareness campaigns and mine clearance initiatives, and participates in inter-agency assessment missions in mine-affected countries. UNOPS implements integrated mine action programs on behalf of other agencies and partner organizations, including UNMAS and UNDP.

Financial implications in mine action, in addition to the societal and humanitarian impact of landmines and mine clearance, are a heavy burden for mine-affected countries, most of which are among the least developed. Most mine-affected countries are  defined by the quality and quantity of their agricultural production.  The people of these largely developing countries rely on the land for their food and livelihood.  The presence of mines  leaves large areas of fertile soil unusable for agriculture. People are unable to safely cultivate their land and further,  livestock feeding off the land are frequently killed by mines, meaning serious economic losses for their owners. Mine contamination can cause local and national economies to suffer and entire populations to become dependent on external food aid and other forms of international assistance. Mines destroy national infrastructures and impede economic development.  In addition, mine clearance programs divert financial resources from critical development and reconstruction projects.

Consider first the cost to the international community of removing a landmine, estimated at $300 to $1,000 USD. Additionally consider the cost of new demining technology.  Current demining practices employ very low-tech means, like sniffing dogs and human workers using sticks to comb the ground in front of them as the beginning of a long an complicated process. New technology in demining is needed but it must be affordable, appropriate to the end-user, and the research and development of such new technology must not come at the expense of current mine action conducted with the present technology.  A final financial consideration is who shoulders the costs. Many representatives in the General Assembly stress the need for demining responsibility by those states that had laid landmines and they urge the provision of adequate resources for the Voluntary Trust Fund for Assistance in Mine Clearance.

Questions to consider from the perspective of your government on this issue include:
- How can the UN most effectively coordinate mine action services?
- Has your government ratified the Ottawa Convention (Mine Ban Treaty) and begun to take action?
- What public and private sector resources are available in your country for demining efforts within your country and to offer to the international community?
- What new technologies are being developed for demining?  How effective are the new technologies and how can your country support the efforts?


1 The above paragraph adapted from the ‘Annotated preliminary list of items to be included in the provisional agenda of the fifty-fourth regular session of the General Assembly.'


 Wareham, Mary, Human Rights Watch, Antipersonnel Landmine Stockpiles and their Destruction, Landmine Monitor, Dec 14, 1999,
 "Cambodia: Landmine Agency Backs Off Threat To Halt Work," UN Wire, www.unfoundation. org,  Feb 25, 2000.
 Carrington, Damina, Landmine Clearance Breakthrough, BBC Online, Feb. 22, 2000
 "Landmines: British Tycoon Implements New Search Technology," UN Wire,, March 17, 2000.
 "Landmines: Invention Touted As Solution To Hidden Explosives," UN Wire,, Jan 21, 2000.
 "Landmines: New Clearance Technique Claims 100% Success," UN Wire, www.unfoundation. org, February 23, 2000.
 "Landmines: UN Cites Plan to Combat Accidental Deaths," UN Wire,, April 14, 2000.

UN Documents:

 A/53/496 (Report of the Secretary-General)
A/RES/53/26 (Assistance in mine action)
 UN Press Release GA/9662 (18 November 1998) - Speakers Stress Financial Challenge
 UN Press Release GA/9505 (17 November 1998) - International Mine Clearance Efforts

Web Sites of Interest:
The Economic and Social Council:



Burkina Faso
Costa Rica
Democratic Rep. of the Congo
New Zealand
Russian Federation
Saint Lucia
Saudi Arabia
Sierra Leone
United Kingdom
United States



"Children are key when pursuing a future of equity and social justice."   -Kofi Annan (UN Secretary-General)

Many global policymakers, including UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, believe children are a valuable and possibly endangered resource.  Until the twentieth century, however, children were often ignored by policymakers. Because of poor health care and nutrition, children were not always certain to live past childhood. Diseases like polio, measles or small pox struck children at young ages. Because families needed the income, children would work in the factories or fields to the point of exhaustion. Education was optional.

The twentieth century has witnessed a revolutionary change in ordinary life ushered by revolutions in technology, medicine and industry. Nutrition has improved. Immunizations are widely distributed. Education is more widely available. While children in developing countries still face many challenges in their lives, like poverty and disease, the conditions for children continue to improve.

Since its formation, the UN has been a catalyst in drawing attention to the plight of children. One of the first actions taken by the newly formed United Nations was the formation of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) to aid the large population of child refugees. UNICEF has acted as an advocate for children's health and human rights issues from its inception.

In 1959, the UN General Assembly recognized the plight of children and adopted The Declaration of the Rights of the Child, which paralleled the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. Perhaps more importantly, the document defined children's rights as human rights. Some of the rights outlined in the document are the right to education, recreation and play; basic health needs; and protection from cruelty, neglect, and exploitation.

In 1989, the UN General Assembly unanimously adopted the Convention of the Rights of Child, an extension of The Declaration of the Rights of the Child.  The convention defines a child as anyone under the age of 18. The Convention grants every child a right to life; a name and nationality from birth; the right to speak out; and protection from physical harm and neglect, including sexual abuse and exploitation. It recognizes that a child's best interests lie with his or her parents and works to keep the family structure intact. Provisions are included to condemn the involvement of children in armed conflict. All member states but two, the United States and Somalia, have ratified the Convention.   Despite the international support for children's rights, violations of these rights occur every day. Although the legal instrument to protect the rights of the child exists, the cultural mechanisms to do so are not as universally accepted. The convention protects children from discrimination but children still experience discrimination, like adults, based on their gender, disabilities, where they live and because they are poor or born out of wedlock. Children in those circumstances rarely find protection under the law. They often have a great need for health, education, and social welfare services, but are denied access to them.

The same challenges that face a society face the children and effect them more deeply. For example, the use of corporal punishment and practice of domestic violence are widespread, but children are disproportionately impacted because of their lack of emotional or physical development to adequately cope with such situations.  Female genital mutilation, sexual abuse, drug and substance abuse, pornography, child prostitution, female infanticide and forced child labor are situations children can be forced into with little or no choice; a clear violation of a child's civil and human rights. Many abuses are overlooked by enforcement agencies or labeled as "cultural practices."  The UN and UNICEF work actively to educate about the above mentioned practices and urges member states to use the tools at their disposal, such as judicial systems, the media, and education systems to confront and eradicate the practices.

Because of UNICEF-led efforts, an estimated 7 million fewer children are dying each year as compared to a decade ago. UNICEF has spearheaded a hard-fought battle against six diseases - diphtheria, measles, whooping cough, polio, tuberculosis, and tetanus - which are often fatal to children.  These battles have been fought, and won in large part, due to the global attention paid to vaccinating children in the 1980's.  To further this effort, there is a new campaign to reach the remainder of the world's children with immunizations called GAVI. GAVI stands for the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization. GAVI is an historic alliance of public and private partners assembled into a worldwide network to ensure that every child in the world is protected against vaccine-preventable diseases.

Global campaigns exist to address governmental stumbling blocks to the universal rights of children. For example Amnesty International reports that in Uganda, the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) has abducted over 12,000 children according to fight in Uganda. Children are forced to fight, cook, clean, fetch water and are denied the food needed to sustain them. Female children are forced into "marriage" by LRA officials. When women or girls escape this "service," it was found that almost 100% had a sexually transmitted disease. Additionally, child soldiers fight for the Uganda People's Defense Force. Amnesty International both monitors the situation and ensures the voices of children do not go unheard by pressuring the government to cease support, or turning a blind eye, to the situation. Other global campaigns work to address the use of child soldiers,  landmines and child labor.

The problem of child labor is a result of  poverty, the lack of political commitment to end it, and weak enforcement and  monitoring  systems. In the developing world, factors such as enormous debt burdens, bloated military budgets, and structural adjustment programs affect poor families drastically. Average incomes have fallen over the past 10 years in many countries, and spending which helped support the poor has been severely reduced. Compounding the problem, heightened competition on the global marketplace has raised the demand for cheap and exploitable labor. This further impoverishes societies because wages are pushed lower by child labor and adults remain underemployed or out of work. Thus, the cycle of labor and deepening poverty continues through generations.  Hazardous and exploitative child labor has a profound negative impact on all aspects of a child's development. In many cases, children engaged in labor suffer poor health, a lower IQ, physical harm and abuse, low self-esteem, little or no education, and deprivation of adequate care.

Children are often the victims of war, in fact more women and children are killed in most wars than soldiers.  The conflict and resulting refugee crisis in Kosovo has brought attention to the plight of children. Thousands of children in the Balkan Region were driven from their homes and left without food, clean water, basic health services, toys, trauma counseling, and schooling. The UN High Commission for Refugees, the UN Commission on Human Rights and UNICEF have their work cut out for them in addressing the repatriation of the refugees in situations like Kosovo. The crisis in Kosovo shows how children become victims in armed conflict. Children were victims of bombings, murder attempts, land mines, and separated families.  Although the existing framework tries to address the overwhelming need to provide humanitarian assistance, it is clear that there are never enough resources to go around.

Finally, the UN has set a goal of universal ratification of the Convention of the Rights of Child by the year 2000. It urges all member States who have signed and ratified the treaty to remove any reservations they may have to the Convention. It urges that subsequent international forums are held in the future  confront issues like the rights of girls and military recruitment of those under age 18. It is clear that the present dialogue on children's rights resonates well internationally. Crucial steps needed to ensure the rights of children have been made, and it appears that progress will continue.

Questions to consider from your government's perspective include:
- What are some of the challenges faced by children in your country?
- What are some of the cultural influences that may impede the implementation of the principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child? How can the UN address these influences while still allowing for diversity of cultural practices?
- What institutions deliver educational, cultural, health or welfare services in your country? How can these be improved, and what assistance could the international community offer countries in improving these institutions?


  Bryson, Donna, "Littlest refugees, and the most  vulnerable; Crisis in Kosovo/the Children of War," The Boston Globe, Jun 24, 1999.
  Moszynski, Peter (and AP in Maputo), "Future of African youth sacrificed on the front line; Child soldiers Report reveals catalogue of shocking abuse by government and rebel forces alike," The Guardian (London), Apr 20, 1999, P. 12.
 Tamaki, Julie, "The Path to Peace - Classes Teach Children Curiosity May Kill Them; Kosovo: Young Refugees Are Taught How to Avoid Mines and Unexploded Bombs. Adults Worry Because Some Weapons Look Very Similar to Toys," Los Angeles Times, Jun 24, 1999, P. 10.
 Vick, Karl, "With Notable Exception, Congo Halts War to Vaccinate Children," The Washington Post, Aug 18, 1999, P. A20.

UN Documents:

 ECOSOC/5830 - Press Release (6 Jul 1999) - SG says children's rights are no longer optional but binding
 HR/CN/914 - Press Release (15 Apr 1999) - Comm. on Human Rights Starts Consideration of Child Rights
 HR/4366 - Press release (8 Jun 1998) - Committee on Rights of Child Concludes Eighteenth Session, Geneva
 GA/9197 - Press Release (11 Dec 1996) - United Nations Children's Fund, Universally Applauded, Said To Represent World Organization at Its Best, in Era of Criticism
 GA Resolution CRC, Convention on the Rights of the Child (20 Nov 1989)
 GA Resolution XIV, Declaration of the Rights of the Child (20 Dec 1959)
 UNICEF's Towards 2000 and Beyond Report
 Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, 12 July 1993

Web sites of interest: conflict


On 25 September 1997, the UN Security Council met to discuss the need to consider long-term peace and development issues in Africa.  The Council recognized that the issues of peace, development and democracy in Africa are more complex and of a wider scope than the Council usually considers.  The result of that meeting directed the Secretary-General to study the issue and prepare a report which outlines the causes of conflict and recommendations to address these causes.

On 16 April 1998, Secretary-General Kofi Annan delivered a statement and his report to the Security Council.  The comprehensive report reiterates that not all of Africa is in crisis, but acknowledgment of the present conflicts in Africa paves the way for peace and sustainable development for all of Africa.

On 28 May 1998, the UN Security Council adopted resolution 1170 on "The situation in Africa".  In paragraph 2 of the resolution, the Security Council: "Stresses that the challenges in Africa demand a comprehensive response and, in this context, expresses the hope that the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council, other  relevant bodies of the United Nations, regional and subregional organizations, international financial institutions and other relevant organizations, as well as Member States will consider the report and its recommendations and take action as they deem  appropriate within their respective areas of competence."

On 5 August 1998, the Economic and Social Council decided that the "Development of Africa: implementation and coordinated follow-up by the United Nations system of initiatives on African development" would be its coordination segment theme for the 1999 substantive session.

The Security Council made January 2000 its "Month of Africa" and on 10 January 2000 discussed the impact of AIDS on peace and security in Africa- the first time a health issue had ever been considered by the Council as a threat to peace and security.

The attention paid to Africa recently is warranted - as this is a critical time when interventions by the world community can be most decisive.  The causes of conflict in Africa are diverse, intricately interwoven, and no single cause of conflict exists.  Historically, colonial powers carved up the continent along lines which suited their own geo-political purposes, but had little to do with the reality of the local political situation in Africa at the time.  Colonialism created long-term political and economic distortions, which have yet to be undone.  For example, corruption remains a threat to many political systems and continues to undermine efforts towards transparent government.

Colonial economies were based on the exploitation of the African natural resource base.  This exploitation continues as industrialized nations purchase lower priced raw materials and sell higher priced finished goods.  Most raw materials that are exported by African nations are based on extraction.  The extraction process depletes the landscape and a material's source.  In many cases, extracted materials (like oil, bauxite or diamonds) are labor intensive, but are not necessarily a reliable economic base.  Commodities and raw materials are dependent on market conditions, which often fluctuate wildly.  These unstable  markets  have  been a significant piece in the financial situation in Africa. At this turning point, more than twenty-five African countries have undertaken structural economic reform and stock exchanges, modern telecommunications facilities and other signs of economic  progress can be found. These countries' progress is an important part of opening international trade which is vital to Africa's continued economic growth and long-term self-sufficiency.

Africa has also often played the part of a political chess piece.  In the 19th Century, Africa was the site of conflicts between larger colonial powers. The continent was in the middle again during the Cold War, where superpowers waged ideological battles involving many African countries.  This escalated the flow of arms into Africa, and heightened tensions between neighboring states and ethnic groups.  Competition for oil and other natural resources also escalated.  The emergence from colonialism and transference to client states during the Cold War offered increased opportunities for corruption by local officials, and thus further undermined the effectiveness of many national and local governments. A positive sign for the international community was made when the Organization of  African Unity (OAU)  decided at its 1999 meeting in Algiers that those leaders who came to power through unconstitutional means would not be welcome at future OAU summits.

With the end of the Cold War in the early 1990s, the African situation was further complicated when many of the donor states cut-back their support to African countries. This often left the elites in these nations, which had counted on the support of their international patrons, with no basis to continue in power. In many nations, already poor political and economic infrastructures were rocked by the international changes which were seen as very positive by much of the world. Additionally, the lack of support from patron states allowed a number of simmering internal conflicts to boil to the surface. This was particularly true in several African nations with significant ethnic minorities; while these groups had been effectively kept down during the heightened military state of the Cold War, they were no longer held back after the Cold War, and a number of serious conflicts have resulted.

Thus from its colonial history through the Cold War and up to the present day, the causes of conflict in Africa are not only complex, but have developed over several generations.  To support the progress made by African nations amidst the conflict the Secretary-General argues that countries need "more": more assistance, more technology, more investment, and more co-operation and partnership. The solutions require a consensus on a definition of the problem, international cooperation to address the problem and political dedication in implementing suggestions.

The Secretary-General's report makes recommendations to address a myriad of causes of conflict in Africa, from arms trafficking to loan restructuring.  The report suggests a legal framework to address the problems of illegal arms trafficking and suggests a reduction in the purchase of arms and munitions.  Other recommendations include the use of financial punishment of decision-makers (as opposed to sanctions, which harm civilians), and the creation of an international legal mechanism to ensure the safety of refugees.

The report steps beyond issues directly related to national security to address economic issues, which can be more threatening to a state.  The Secretary-General suggests that the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) create debt restructuring programs which encourage light or technical manufacturing, as opposed to military development. More importantly, the report encourages the World Bank and the IMF to expand the scope of the Highly Indebted Poor Countries Initiative to allow greater participation by African countries.  Since many African nations must pay a large percentage of their annual budget to service existing debt, few have the revenue needed to invest in social and human programs.  These initiatives would assist African nations in investing in their physical and human infrastructures. World Bank studies show that official development assistance can work well as long as it is targeted to high impact areas such as water, education and health.

There have been a number of programs created to implement several of the suggestions named above.  The United Nations System-wide Special Initiative on Africa (SIA) could provisionally constitute an appropriate mechanism for coordination of the United Nations system's work in Africa. The SIA is intended to:  facilitate the sharing of information among agencies; establish goals and identify priorities; and periodically monitor achievements of targets.

The Secretary-General's report notes that summoning the necessary political will to accomplish durable peace and sustainable development is a challenge that must be met by both African nations and the international community.  African nations must commit to rely on political responses to problems over military actions, and they must commit to the various reforms necessary to promote economic growth.  The international community must determine how to intervene where it can have an impact and where its resources will add value.

Questions to consider from your government's perspective on this topic include:
- How is your country currently involved in the African economy?
- Was your country ever a colony or colonial power in Africa?  How does that effect your current political position on Africa? - - What economic and social problems can ECOSOC uniquely address in contributing to a solution to these complex issues?


 "Africa's democratic joys and tribulations," The Economist, June 05, 1999.
 Brittain, Victoria, "Hope in the heart of darkness," The Guardian (London),  Apr 3, 1999, p. 22.
 "Escape route from poverty," Financial Times (London),  May 21, 1999, p 2.
 Fisher, Ian,"Brutal Bands of Rwandans Bar Way to Peace in Congo, The New York Times,  Aug 4, 1999, Sec A; p 1.
 Platt, Gordon, "Ex-Im Bank boosts African financing, but Latin America still top region," Journal of Commerce,  May 26, 1999, Pg. 7A.

UN Documents:

S/Res/1170 (1998)
AFR/105 and DEV/2186 - Press Release (15 October 1998)
ECOSOC/5829 -  Press Release (6 July 1999)
E ECOSOC/5827 - Press Release (6 July 1999)
ECOSOC/5815 and DSG/5 - Press Release (10 March 1999)
GA/9563 and REC/59 - Press Release (24 June 1999)
GA/9478 - Press Release (12 October 1998)
GA/9477 - Press Release (9 October 1998)
GA/9475 - Press Release (9 October 1998)
SC/6654 - Press Release (19 March 1999)
SG/2045 and SC/6501 - Press Release (15 April 1998)
SG/SM/6751 and DEV/2187 - Press Release (15 October 1998)
SG/SM/6524 and SC/6503 - Press Release (16 April 1998)
SG/SM/6511 - Press Release (1 April 1998)

The Security Council:


Russian Federation
United Kingdom
United States

Representatives to the Security Council should note that the agenda provided is only provisional. The Security Council may discuss any international peace and security issue brought before it. For this reason, Representatives must have a broad base of knowledge on current events in the international community. Also, the overviews provided below are only current through the publication of this handbook. Many of the topics listed below will change significantly before the Conference, and Representatives should be familiar with the up-to-date situations. Periodicals are one of the best recommended sources available for day-to-day updates. These include among others: New York Times, London Times, UN Chronicle, Christian Science Monitor, Foreign Policy, The Economist and Keesing's Record of World Events. Also, the UN Foundation's on-line daily newsletter, the UN Wire, is an excellent resource for timely information. Whenever possible, UNIMUN also recommends that Representatives familiarize themselves with the most recent report(s) published by the Secretary-General on each situation. These can be found on the UN home page under the Security Council documents section. Please note that the bibliographies for these topics focus primarily on UN sources, as news sources will by definition be dated by the time of the Conference. Representatives may nonetheless wish to consult earlier news sources for general background on the various situations.

Initial background research is provided below for each region, with one topic receiving more in-depth analysis. Other topics are also listed for some regions with brief synopses. Security Council representatives are neither limited to the main topics discussed or any of the topics listed. Should world events move in a different direction than the topics provided in this handbook, the Security Council is welcome to discuss any peace and security matter which it desires.

Please note that resolutions should be written on the sub-topics of each regional area: i.e., resolutions would not be written about "the Middle East," but rather about "The Situation in Iraq" or similar sub-topics within the region.



The Situation in Sierra Leone:

The current problems in Sierra Leone began in March, 1991 when the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) launched a war near the border with Liberia to overthrow the government. Sierra Leone's army with the support of the ECOMOG (the Military Observer Group to the Economic Community of West African States, or ECOWAS), originally defended the government against the RUF, but in 1992 the army overthrew the civilian government and took power. While RUF attacks continued, the UN, ECOWAS and the Organization of African Unity (OAU) negotiated a settlement which resulted in elections in February, 1996. The army relinquished power at that time to elected President Alhaji Dr. Ahmed Tejan Kabbah. Strife continued, however, largely because the RUF did not participate in the elections. This was soon followed by another military coup d'etat in May, 1997, this time led by  joint army and RUF forces. Security Council actions in Sierra Leone began in October, 1997, with the imposition of an oil and arms embargo and the authorization for ECOMOG to use troops in the area. Following several peace efforts by ECOWAS and others, in February of 1998 ECOMOG launched a military offensive which overthrew the junta, expelled it from Freetown, and on March 10 returned President Kabbah to office.

Following this event, the Security Council established the UN Observer Mission in Sierra Leone (UNOMSIL), beginning in June of 1998. UNOMSIL, under the protection of ECOMOG forces, was tasked to disarm combatants and document ongoing atrocities and abuses against civilians. Fighting continued, however, and in December of 1998 a rebel advance on Freetown led to the withdrawal of UNOMSIL forces.

The key to recent events began in July, 1999, with the signing of the Lome Agreement between the government and rebel forces. This agreement formally ended the hostilities and formed a government of national unity. This included eight cabinet positions controlled by the rebel leader, Foday Sankoh. Another key to the agreement, which was both very controversial and necessary for the peace to succeed, was the provision of complete amnesty to Sankoh for war crimes committed as part of the previous hostilities.

It was in this light that the Security Council in August, 1999, authorized the provisional expansion of UNOMSIL to up to 210 military observers. It was also agreed that UNOMSIL would operate at present under security provided by ECOMOG. This move was made to  strengthen the political, civil affairs, information, human rights and child protection elements of UNOMSIL.

The peace agreement brought renewed hope to a country torn by civil strife. While Sierra Leone still faced a serious humanitarian crisis, the international community was hopeful that the country was on a track leading to peace. The  RUF leadership at that time was supportive of the peace agreement. Problematically, many RUF fighters still remained in the field and continued accusations of RUF atrocities against the people of the country were common.

Further developments came on October 22, 1999, when the Security Council terminated UNOMSIL and established UNAMSIL. UNAMSIL's mandate is to cooperate with the government and the other parties in implementing the Lome Peace Agreement and to assist in the implementation of the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration plan. On February 7, 2000, the Security Council revised the mandate of the Mission and expanded its size to a maximum of 11,000 military personnel. As of  May, 2000, these numbers had not yet been reached.

Rebel atrocities continue across the country, and in May, 2000 this culminated with rebels taking 500 UN peace keepers hostage. As of this writing, one of the primary concerns in the area is that 360 of these peace keepers remain in rebel custody. Additionally, rebel troops have advanced on Freetown in May, but have so far been repulsed by a combination of government forces, UN troops, and a British contingent working in the area to protect and evacuate British and other European citizens. Finally, rebel leader Sankoh was captured and turned over to the government on May 16, complicating the situation further. Sankoh is once again accused of war crimes and atrocities, but his forces now hold over 300 UN peace keepers hostage, and are reticent to negotiate while he is in jail. Negotiations continue, including Security Council authorization to raise the UNAMSIL troops to 13,000, and a Nigerian offer to supply military aid as needed to Sierra Leone.

Because the situation in Sierra Leone is a rapidly changing conflict, representatives are strongly urged to keep up-to-date with ongoing developments by utilizing major periodicals, international news sources, and UN press releases and reports.

Questions to consider from your government's perspective on this issue include:
- What role can and should the United Nations play in solving this ongoing conflict?
- Should UN peace keepers be utilized in areas where there is no real peace already in place?
- Should the UN become more involved in peace enforcement in Sierra Leone and other African nations, or is this not a desirable role for the UN?
- How does the current situation in Sierra Leone reflect on your government's willingness to support, approve, fund or participate in future UN peace keeping efforts?


 Mufson, Steven, "Peace Plan Succumbs to Its Flaws," Washington Post, May 8, 2000, p.  A01. (
 "Peacekeepers Halt Rebel Advance; Observers Escape," May 12, 2000, UN Wire,
 "Peacewatch: Sierra Leone," UN Chronicle, Vol. XXXVI, No. 1, 1999, p84.
 "Peacewatch: Sierra Leone," UN Chronicle, Vol. XXXV, No. 2, 1998, p57.
 "Rebels Free Some UN Hostages," UN Wire, May 15, 2000,
 Rupert, James and Douglas Farah, "Nigeria Leader Agrees to Send Troops Into Sierra Leone," Washington Post, May 19, 2000, p.A23.

UN Documents:

 S/2000/186 (7 Mar 2000) Third SG Report on Sierra Leone
 S/2000/13 (11 Jan 2000) Second SG Report on S/Res/1270
 S/1999/645 (4 June 1999) Sixth SG Report on Sierra Leone
 S/1999/237 (4 March 1999) Fifth SG Report on Sierra Leone
S/Res/1299 (19 May 2000): Sierra Leone
S/Res/1289 (7 Feb 2000): Sierra Leone
S/Res/1270 (1999): Sierra Leone
S/Res/1245 (1999): Sierra Leone
S/Res/1231 (1999): Sierra Leone
S/Res/1220 (1999): Sierra Leone
S/Res/1181 (13 Jul 1998): Sierra Leone
 SC/6864 (19 May 2000): Press Release on Security Council Resolution 1299.

Web sites of interest:

The Situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)

Ongoing conflict continues between the government and rebel groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Some measures have been taken in recent months to move toward peace, but the final resolution of this conflict is far from clear.  In July, 1990, the  Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement was signed by five regional States. In response to this, the Security Council set up United Nations Observer Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) in November, 1999, incorporating UN personnel authorized in earlier resolutions. In February, 2000, MONUC's size and mandate  were further expanded to over 5000 military personnel. Based on the Secretary-General's call for an increased force to insure that the cease fire holds, a mission made up of Security Council members recently visited the DRC in early May, 2000. This mission reported that the Lusaka agreement was broadly supported by all parties in the DRC. The people desired peace, democratic institutions, the withdrawal of outside forces, and also wanted the rebel movements to lay down their arms.

Reports of human rights violations are still a grave concern in the eastern part of the DRC, however,  including the systematic rape of women and girls, mass killings, and the destruction of property.

Many representatives stressed that phase II of MONUC, allowing for greater troop deployments, should be started as soon as possible. Problematically, insufficient nations have contributed troops, materiel, and financing to begin phase II. Also, the current crisis in Sierra Leone has both distracted the world community from the DRC, and has caused a climate in the Security Council which may now rethink additional commitments.


 "Peacewatch: Democratic Republic of the Congo," UN Chronicle, Vol. XXXVI, No. 1, 1999, p87.
 "Peacewatch: Democratic Republic of the Congo," UN Chronicle, Vol. XXXV, No. 4, 1998, p63.
 "Peacewatch: Democratic Republic of the Congo," UN Chronicle, Vol. XXXV, No. 2, 1998, p58.

UN Documents:

 S/2000/416 (11 May 2000) Security Council Visit to the DRC
 S/2000/330 (18 April 2000) SG Report on MONUC
S/2000/30 (17 Jan 2000) SG Report
 S/1999/790 (15 July 1999) SG Report
S/Res/1291 (2000)
S/Res/1279 (1999)
S/Res/1273 (1999)
S/Res/1258 (1999)
S/Res/1234 (1999)
SC/6862 Press Release (17 May 2000)
SC/6665 Press Release (9 Apr 1999)

Web sites of interest:

 The "IRIN Weekly Roundup of Main Events in the Great Lakes Region" is an excellent source for that area. Provide by ReliefWeb, this can be found at


The Situation in Afghanistan

While fighting between the Taliban and the United Front (UF) was at a low ebb over the winter and through Ramadan, it has not completely halted throughout 1999 and 2000. The flow of weapons into Afghanistan continues for both sides, and both sides prepared for new offensives in the Spring and summer of 2000.

The year 1999 began with intra-Afghan talks between the UF (which consists of supporters of the Afghan King, some former government and military officers, and others opposed to the Taliban) and the Taliban leadership, but these quickly broke down into public recriminations by both sides. By April the Taliban declared that they were unwilling to continue the discussions. The Taliban have suggested that the talks can only resume, and that sharing the government is only an option, if the opposition joins the Emirate. Since the opposition insists that the Taliban have no popular or legal mandate, and thus no legitimacy to govern, they have rejected these terms.

Through the remaining months of 1999, the two sides resumed fighting and the conflict escalated, with the military posturing on both sides hardening. The UN Mission in Afghanistan (UNSMA) has made every effort to persuade both sides to resume face-to-face meetings, but to little avail. While these meetings have occurred with senior advisors from both sides, they had little real impact on the situation. The Security Council has also requested that UNSMA undertake confidence-building measures with both sides wherever possible. These have included military, political and humanitarian issues. On the military side, a joint conflict control centre has been formed, with military liaison officers from both sides on the staff. Political assurances involve attempting to negotiate military truces and ceasefires wherever possible, in many cases with the stated intent of allowing the continuance of an important UN sponsored polio immunization campaign. Humanitarian issues have included prisoner exchanges and allowing commercial and relief goods to flow freely throughout the country. While these measures met with some initial success, they have also rapidly deteriorated as the fighting has expanded.

The Secretary-General's Special Envoy to the region has expressed concern over the lack of progress toward peace in the country, and credits this to the absence of political will on the part of all warring factions in Afghanistan. He also expressed disappointment with the cooperation of countries in the "six plus two" group of countries in the region; since Afghanistan is landlocked, ammunition and weapons must be traveling through other countries to reach the warring parties, who continue to remain well supplied. The "six plus two" group consists of China, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan (all neighbors of Afghanistan) plus the Russian Federation and the United States. The Secretary-General's office has repeatedly stressed the responsibility of these parties to assist in finding a common approach to peace in the conflict.

Threat of a polio outbreak, lack of food security, urban poverty, refugee problems (both for returning and new refugees), continued narcotics trafficking and difficulties in clearing land mines have all contributed to the poor humanitarian situation in the country. Reports of human rights problems have also abounded. These have included  the results of war, in which men, women and children have been subjected to summary executions in some cases and have been relegated to the status of virtual hostages in their own land. Human rights problems have been particularly strong concerns for women and children. Women's educational opportunities have been largely eliminated under the Taliban, and gross violations of women's rights have been reported.

In October, 1999, the Council passed resolution  1267. This reiterated a deep concern over the human rights problems, particularly against women and girls. It also noted the continuing diplomatic difficulties between the Taliban and Iran, revolving around the abduction and killing of Iranian diplomats in Afghanistan. Additionally, the use of Afghan territory for the sheltering and training of terrorists was strongly condemned. This resolution further imposed an air embargo on Afghanistan, and froze the all Taliban assets held in foreign accounts.

In March, 2000, the Secretary-General reported that discussions with between his envoy and the Taliban leadership concerning elections had yielded no significant results. While the Taliban do not rule out the possibility of future elections, they seem more interested in two other "alternatives" to end the conflict, those being the surrender of the opposition or military victory. Overall, no solutions to the ongoing conflict, instability and human rights violations appear forthcoming.

Questions to consider from your government's perspective on this issue include:
-  How can the Taliban and opposition forces be encouraged to bring their dispute to the negotiating table?
-  How can this conflict best be contained within Afghanistan, to prevent spillover into neighboring countries?
-  How can the refugees and others displaced due to the conflict best be cared for while violence continues? How can the Taliban be encouraged to recognize internationally specified human rights and limit abuses?


 Burns, John F., "Tragic Irony in Afghanistan," New York Times, August 13, 1998.
 Burns, John F., "Analysis: In Afghanistan, Triumph of Fundamentalism," New York Times, May 26, 1997.
 "Iran: UNHCR Centers Overwhelmed by Afghan Refugees," UN Wire, May 16, 2000,
 "Pariah Status Hurts Women, Scholar Argues," UN Wire, May 4, 2000, www.unfoundation. org.
 "Peacewatch: UN to Return to Afghanistan," UN Chronicle, Vol. XXXVI, No. 1, 1999, p83.
 "Peacewatch: Widespread Killings by Taliban Reported," UN Chronicle, Vol. XXXV, No. 4, 1998, p58.
 "Peacewatch: Afghanistan," UN Chronicle, Vol. XXXV, No. 4, 1998, p58.
 "Peacewatch: Afghanistan," UN Chronicle, Vol. XXXV, No. 2, 1998, p64.
 "Peacewatch: Afghanistan:  UNHCHR to Probe Mass Killing Reports," UN Chronicle, Vol. XXXV, No. 2, 1998, p65.
 "UN and Taliban Get Into War of Words," UN Wire, April 28, 2000,

UN Documents:
S/2000/205 - SG Report (10 Mar 2000)
S/1999/698 - SG Report (20 Jun 1999)
S/1999/362 - SG Report (31 Mar 1999)
S/1998/532 (19 Jun) SG's Report
S/1997/482 (16 Jun) SG's Report
S/Res/1267 (15 Oct 1999)
S/Res/1214 (1998)
S/Res/1193 (1998)
S/Res/1189 (1998)
S/PRST/1998/22 (14 Jul)
S/PRST/1998/9 (6 Apr)
S/PRST/1997/20 (16 Apr)
S/Res/1076 (1996)
SC/6392 (9 Jul 1997)
SG/SM/6209 (16 Apr 1997) Press Release

The Situation in Tajikistan

Great progress has been made in late 1999 and early 2000 on the implementation of the General Agreement on the Establishment of Peace and National Accord in Tajikistan, largely because of the renewed efforts of the President of Tajikistan and the leadership of the Commission on National Reconciliation. The announcement by the United Tajik Opposition (UTO) that it would disband its armed units, along with the Supreme Court's lifting of restrictions on political parties and the holding of a constitutional referendum, have both assisted in stabilizing the political climate.

Problematically, the humanitarian situation in Tajikistan is still grave, and remedying this situation is currently the primary goal of international assistance. UN members have been asked to contribute to this crisis through the Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeal for Tajikistan, but funds have not reached the levels needed. In particular, while the UN Observer force in Tajikistan (UNMOT) is mandated to provide assistance, this will not be possible without adequate supplies of the necessary financial and personnel support. Also, support is especially needed at this time for demobilization and reintegration efforts, as well as for proposed parliamentary elections in the near future.


 "Tajikistan: Annan Calls UN Mission A Success," UN Wire, May 11, 2000, www.unfoundation. org.
S/2000/387 - SG's Report (5 May 2000)
 S/2000/214 - SG's Interim Report (14 Mar 2000)
S/1999/1127 - SG's Report (4 Nov 1999)
S/1999/872 - SG's Report (12 Aug 1999)
S/1999/514 - SG's Report (6 May 1999)
S/1998/113 (10 Feb) SG's Report
S/1998/374 (6 May) SG's Report
 S/1997/510 - General Agreement on the Establishment of Peace and National Accord in Tajikistan
S/Res/1274 (12 Nov 1999)
S/Res/1240 (1999)
S/Res/1167 (14 May 1998)
SC/6713 - Press Release (19 Aug 1999)


The Situation in Kosovo

The situation in Kosovo entered a new phase in June, 1999 with the withdrawal of Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) security forces and the cessation of the ongoing North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) air operations. On June 10, resolution 1244 established an international civilian administration for Kosovo, the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK). UNMIK consists of four main branches, a UN-led interim civil administration, a humanitarian affairs component led by UNHCR, an EU-led reconstruction effort, and efforts to rebuild institutions in Kosovo, led by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). While UN has put significant effort into Kosovo over the past year, with efforts have been primarily focused on rebuilding the region, many of the problems which started the conflict still remain.

Chief among the current concerns is the repatriation of the Kosovar refugees, the release of Kosovars held in Serbian prisons, the protection of Serbs remaining in Kosovo, and the possibility of renewed ethnic violence now that Kosovar Albanians have returned. An initial stumbling block was the overly quick return of refugees to the region. UNHCR estimated that over 50,000 refugees returned in the first three days alone, and over 220,000 in the first eight days. This created a number of new problems, both in the distribution of assistance to these refugees and in the difficulty of ensuring the protection and security of refugees returning very early after the cessation of hostilities. Shelter was also a significant issue, as many refugees returned to find houses destroyed either by Serb forces or in the conflict. By mid-July, the vast majority of the refugees had returned to their homes, and UNHCR was urging all UN agencies in the region to concentrate more heavily on rebuilding homes, apartment buildings and infrastructure.

The SG has strongly urged all ethnic communities and parties in Kosovo to demonstrate restraint and tolerance and fully cooperate with the international community in efforts to restore the region. In addition to previously existing ethnic issues, a number of reports of violence have also been blamed on gangs which have moved in from neighboring Albania.

The SG has also noted that significant financial resources and personnel, including experts in various fields, will be required immediately to proceed with the work. He has clearly stated the aim of UN operation in Kosovo as the creation of a "secure, multi-ethnic, prosperous and democratically governed society for all Kosovars, regardless of ethnicity." Problematically, there are consistent and ongoing staff shortages for both civil administration and police, which have constrained UN operations.

Finally, the upcoming municipal election and the civilian and voter registration process presented a major challenge for the UN in Kosovo. The unresolved issues of missing persons and detainees continues to impede reconciliation, and there is support among the different ethnic communities for the appointment of a Special Envoy to address these matters.

The Security Council remains actively involved in the situation, both in monitoring the progress of efforts led by the Secretary-General, and in taking measures to deal with the continuing threats of violence between various parties as the refugees are repatriated and the region is rebuilt.

Questions to consider from your government's perspective on this issue include:
- How can the international community best facilitate ongoing actions to rebuild Kosovo, including increasing needed personnel and assisting in the upcoming elections?
- What steps are needed to insure the safety of the remaining Serbian population of Kosovo?
- What further actions, if any, should be taken against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to insure that they do not consider reopening similar actions in the future, either in Kosovo or in other provinces?


 "Peacewatch: Former Yugoslavia," UN Chronicle, Vol. XXXVI, No. 1, 1999, p81.
 "Peacewatch: Former Yugoslavia," UN Chronicle, Vol. XXXV, No. 4, 1998, p56.
 "Peacewatch: Former Yugoslavia," UN Chronicle, Vol. XXXV, No. 2, 1998, p67.
 "Peacewatch: Resolution 1207: FRY non-cooperation condemned," UN Chronicle, Vol. XXXV, No. 4, 1998, p56.
 " Security Council Debates Mixed Progress," UN Wire, May 12, 2000,
 "UN Mission At A ‘Critical Stage,'" UN Wire, April 25, 2000,
 "UN Refugee Agency Threatens to Suspend Operations," UN Wire, May 4, 2000, www.

UN Documents:

S/2000/177 - Report of the SG (3 Mar 2000)
S/1999/1250 - Report of the SG (23 Dec 1999)
S/1999/987 - Report of the SG (16 Sep 1999)
S/1999/779 - Report of the SG (12 Jul 1999)
S/1999/672 - Report of the SG (12 Jun 1999)
S/1999/293 - Report of the SG (17 Mar 1999)
S/1999/99 - Report of the SG (30 Jan 1999)
 S/PRST/1999/12 - Federal Republic of Yugoslavia --Chinese Embassy
S/Res/1203 (1998)
S/Res/1199 (1998)
S/Res/1160 (1998)
SC/6686 - Press Release (10 Jun 1999)
SC/6674 - Press Release (8 May 1999)

Web sites of interest:


The Situation in Iraq

Throughout 1999 and early 2000, the primary concern of the Security Council in dealing with Iraq has been the ongoing question of how to insure compliance with the disarmament, monitoring and verification issues. Humanitarian concerns for the well-being of the Iraqi people who are most affected by the sanctions have also been a frequent issue before the Council.

Disarmament issues with Iraq have been severely complicated by the forced withdrawal of UNSCOM, and continued Council attempts since that time have focused on re-establishing an effective disarmament, monitoring and verification regime. To this effect, the US in 1999 took up the bombing of Iraqi positions, concentrating primarily on military targets. Iraq has stated that it will respond to US or allied hostility in kind, but has so far been incapable of fulfilling that threat. At this time, the Council's primary objective is to recreate an effective presence of inspectors on the ground, in order to again be able to insure Iraqi compliance with the appropriate Council resolutions. Iraq, however, has shown no willingness to allow UN inspectors back into their territory.

Meanwhile, the humanitarian situation in Iraq continues to deteriorate. Infant mortality rates are among the highest in the world, and almost half of the population has very little access to clean water or many other necessities. The Red Cross has also noted that the Iraqi health care system is very run-down, and UNDP has reported that major rehabilitation will be needed in the Iraqi power-supply system before power can be fully restored.

It is generally recognized that earlier military attacks and the ongoing sanctions have left the international community with significant responsibility for the humanitarian crisis, but there is also an argument that the Iraqi government shares the blame. The government has failed to provide any relief to its citizens, and has not cooperated well with relief agencies attempting to supply aid.

The Council has on several occasions extended the oil-for-food programme, allowing Iraq to produce petroleum and petroleum products for sale to purchase food and relief supplies. In March, 2000, this program was also extended to the purchase of spare parts and repair supplied for the oil industry. This includes recent authorizations of the import of oil production equipment from other states to Iraq. This equipment is needed to rebuild Iraq's oil infrastructure, which was destroyed during the war and has deteriorated since 1991 due to insufficient materials.

Questions to consider from your government's perspective on this issue include:
-  What further measures can the Council take to bring Iraq back into compliance with all relevant resolutions? Does your nation support any type of action for failure to comply, whether military or the continuation of sanctions?
-  Are the current sanctions becoming an undue burden on Iraq's populace? Should sanctions be lifted as Iraq continues to comply with the demands of the Security Council?
-  What concessions, if any, should be made to Iraq in order to restore the disarmament and monitoring mission?


 "Annan Urges Arab Pressure on Missing Kuwaitis," UN Wire, April 20, 2000, www.
 Crossette, Barbara, "Iraq Might Be Tempted to End 'Oil for Food' Plan," New York Times, July 27, 1998.
 "Iraq Inspectors Plot the Way Forward," UN Wire, April 18, 2000,
 "New Inspection Chief Offers Detailed Plan," UN Wire, April 7, 2000,
 "Nothing Lost, Nothing Conceded, Nothing Given Away," UN Chronicle, Vol XXXV, No 1, 98, p. 3.
 "Peacewatch: Iraq," UN Chronicle, Vol. XXXVI, No. 1, 1999, p82.
 "Peacewatch:  Iraq," UN Chronicle, Vol. XXXV, No. 4, 1998, p54.
 "Peacewatch: Oil-for-food Programme," UN Chronicle, Vol. XXXV, No. 4, 1998, p55.
 "Peacewatch: Iraq," UN Chronicle, Vol. XXXV, No. 2, 1998, p62.
 "Peacewatch: Iraq Website Launched," UN Chronicle, Vol. XXXV, No. 2, 1998, p63.
 "Peacewatch: Iraq: Oil sales of $1.4 billion," UN Chronicle, Vol. XXXV, No. 2, 1998, p63.
 "US Representatives Say Sanctions Should Remain," UN Wire, May 12, 2000, www.

UN Documents:

S/2000/347 (26 Apr 2000) SG Report
S/2000/208 (10 Mar 2000) SG Report
 S/1999/573 (12 May 1999) SG Report
 S/1999/356 - Panel reports to the Security Council (27 and 30 March, 1999)
 S/1999/330 (25 March 1999) SG Report on Iraq-Kuwait Observation Mission
 S/1999/187 (22 February 1999) SG Report on Iraq
S/1998/269 (25 Mar) SG's Report
S/Res/1293 (31 Mar 2000)
S/Res/1284 (14 Dec 1999)
S/Res/1281 (10 Dec 1999)
S/Res/1280 (3 Dec 1999)
S/Res/1242 (1999)
S/Res/1210 (24 Nov 1998)
S/Res/986 (14 Apr 1995)
S/Res/687 (3 Apr 1991)
S/Res/661 (6 Aug 1990)

The Historical Security Council - 1956


United Kingdom
United States

The 2000 United Nations International Model United Nations Historical Security Council (HSC) will simulate the events of the world beginning on July 1, 1956.  Historically, the key international security concerns at this time revolve around the situations in the Middle East, with the Palestine question and continuing Arab-Israeli hostilities; South Africa, including the race conflict and issues with people of Indian origin residing in that country; colonial issues in Algeria, Cyprus and many other areas seeking independence; and continued disputes and recognition issues between the two Chinas. The Cold War struggles between the United States and the Soviet Union are also a constant undercurrent in the world of international politics.

In 1956, Dag Hammarskjold was the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Eisenhower the U.S. President and Khrushchev the Soviet Premier. The Shah's government was in power in Iran, Batista's Cuba was in the American sphere of influence, and the Republic of China (on Formosa/Taiwan), rather than the mainland Peoples Republic of China, was officially represented in the United Nations. Cold War tensions were progressively growing at this time, and decolonization, with its creation of many new states and subsequent expansion of the United Nations, was moving into full swing. Issues of "Palestine" revolved around continued violations of the armistice which followed the 1948 war, and the only issues involving "Palestinians" were their status as refugees. There were "internal" conflicts in many countries in this time period (South Africa, Algeria, Morocco, etc.), but most never reached the Security Council, or were discussed with no action taken, due to the powerful patronage of one or more of the Permanent Members.

UNIMUN's HSC is unique not only in its topics, but also in its treatment of those topics.  History and time are the HSC's media and those media are flexible.  In the simulation, the HSC will preempt history from the time the Council's simulation is assigned to begin.  History will be as it was written until the moment the Council convenes.  From that moment forward, however, Council members exercise free will based on the range of all the choices within their national character and upon the capabilities of their governments.

Effective role-playing for an HSC member-state will be not just a rote replay of national decisions as they evolved in 1956.  Indeed, the problems of the era may not transpire as they once did, and this itself will force active evaluations -- and reevaluations -- of national policies.  Beyond this, it cannot be said that the policy course a government made in 1956 was necessarily the most wise.  While rote replays must by definition be in character, it is not a sure thing that -- given a second opportunity to look at events -- any given national government would do things exactly the same way twice in a row.  History is replete with the musings of foreign ministers and heads of state pining for "second chances."

It will be the job of Council Representatives to actively involve their country's national policies and national capabilities in solutions to the problems and issues which may not have had adequate contemporary resolutions.  There is almost always more than one alternative choice in any situation.

In particular, the international community has often chosen not to actively involve itself in many regional disputes or political crises where it might have shown greater involvement.  The UN itself has often been but a bystander to regional or international conflict.  This inability or unwillingness to actively work toward solutions of crises was rarely more evident than during the late years of colonialism and early years of the Cold War.  Representatives will need to decide what changes, if any, could have been made to the Security Council's posture on the various issues.

While national governments often did not want international "meddling" in what they felt to be national policies or disputes, this in no way lessens the responsibility of Council members to make the effort and find ways to actively involve themselves in crisis solution.  This task must, however, be accomplished without violating the bounds of the member states' national characters.  This year's simulation will have the dichotomy of many regional crises being treated as "internal" by the superpowers, and other crises which are so global in nature that the UN must become involved.

Representatives should approach these issues based on the events that led up to mid-1956, and should do their research accordingly.  In studying their role playing assignments, it is strongly recommended that research be done on these topics using timely materials. The world has changed dramatically in the past 40 years, but none of these changes will be evident within the chambers of the HSC. While histories of the subject will be fine for a general overview, Representatives should pursue periodicals from early to mid 1956 to most accurately reflect the world view at that time.  These periodicals, which can be easily referenced in a Readers Guide to Periodical Literature or the New York Times Index, should provide a much better "historical perspective" and "feel for the times" than later historical texts.

The HSC simulation will follow a flexible time line based on events as they occurred, and modified by the Representatives' policy decisions in the Council.  The Secretariat will be responsible for tracking the simulation and keeping it as realistic as possible.

In maintaining realism, Representatives must remember that they are role playing the individual assigned as their nation's Representative to the UN.  This person may have access to the up-to-the-minute policy decisions of their country, or they may be relatively "in the dark" on their countries moment-to-moment actions in the world.

In this area, the UNIMUN simulation staff will frequently consult with HSC members.  Representatives are welcome and encouraged, as their nation's spokesperson, to make whatever declarative statements they like.  Declarative statements would include any comments or actions (including real or implied threats or deals) that an individual at the UN could normally make.

Representatives must, however, always consult with the simulation staff before making ANY operational statements.  Operational statements would include announcements of the movements or actions of military forces, as well as any other actions which would have an effect outside of the UN.  In these cases, the simulation staff would be equated with the actual "home office" of the involved nation(s).


The following are brief synopses of the main international situations facing the Security Council on July 1, 1956.  The prominent events of late 1955 and early 1956 are discussed, as well as some questions which will face the Security Council in the latter half of the year.  This research is intended merely as a focal point for Representatives continued exploration of the topics.

Please note that resolutions should be written on the sub-topics of each regional area: i.e., resolutions would not be written about  "The Situation in the Middle East," but rather about "The Question of Palestine," "The Situation of Armistice Violations in between Israel and Egypt," or similar sub-topics within the region.


The Palestine question dominated discussions of the Security Council in 1955 and early 1956. Among the issues were numerous violations of the 1948-49 General Armistice Agreements (GAA) by all sides, continued armed hostilities, and increasing numbers of Palestinian refugees. Secretary-General Hammarskjold's trip to the Middle East in April and May of 1956 set the stage for continued Security Council negotiations in this area, including calls for renewed efforts at cease fires and compliance with the Armistice Agreements.

The Palestine Question: Incidents on Lake Tiberias

Incidents on the disputed Lake Tiberias, located along the Armistice line, were the basis of conflicts between Syria and Israel in 1955 and early 1956. In December, 1955, Israeli armed forces attacked Syrian civilians and military personnel on the shores of Lake Tiberias from both the land and sea.

These attacks were documented by United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) personnel stationed in the region. The UNTSO reports noted that Israel deliberately violated provisions of the GAA by engaging in government authorized military operations in the lake region. The report also noted, however, that Syrian authorities had, over the past year, interfered with legitimate Israeli commercial and civilian activities on the lake in violation of the GAA provisions. Israel claimed this violation as the basis for its military actions in December, but was rebuked by both the UNTSO report and the Security Council.

On January 19, 1956, the Security Council passed Resolution 111 (S/3538) condemning Israel for its attacks on Syria and calling for a cessation of hostilities and return to the terms of the GAA. The resolution passed unanimously, and all members of Council also verbally condemned the Israeli attacks. While hostilities remain high in the region, no further attacks have been noted through July 1.

The Palestine Question: Status of Compliance with Armistice Agreements

The most difficult question facing the Council in 1955/56 involved the overall status of compliance with the GAA, in particular issues arising along the Egyptian and Israeli borders. Throughout 1955, the Council discussed several aspects of this portion of the Palestinian Question, focusing around Israeli and Egyptian military incursions into the Gaza Area, which was formally laid out in the GAA as a demilitarized zone (DMZ).

On March 29, 1956, the Council passed Resolution 106 (S/3378) which condemned recent attacks by the Israeli regular military against Egyptian regular military forces in the Gaza area. With tensions heightening, on March 30 the Council also passed Resolution 107 (S/3379) requesting the assistance of the UNTSO Chief of Staff in consulting with the governments of both parties on ways to lessen the strain in the area and maintain the Armistice provisions. Following the apparently successful efforts of the Chief of Staff in negotiations with Israel and Egypt, the Council on September 8 also passed Resolution 108 (S/3435), calling for a cease fire (which had already been accepted by the parties) and the free movement of UN observers in the Gaza area. While steps taken by the Council in 1955 led to verbal declarations of lessened hostility, actual levels of tension along the lines of demarcation remained high moving into 1956.

In 1956, the Council held discussions throughout March and April on the compliance with Armistice Agreements. Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria were all invited participants in these discussions. The general consensus at this time was that steps to reduce tensions taken in 1955 had not been carried out, and that further actions were needed. On April 4, 1956, the Council adopted Resolution 113 (S/3575) on these issues. This document requested the Secretary General's (SG) assistance in completing an "enforcement survey" of the GAA provisions, and in seeking discussions by all parties to adopt already accepted GAA measures. It also requested the withdrawal of all forces to demarcation lines, the continued freedom of movement of observers, and the creation of local arrangements, in each area, for the prevention of future incidents. The Council realistically noted the improbability of full compliance with the GAA, but stressed the importance of all parties attempts to comply whenever possible.

From April 10 through May 3 of 1956, SG Hammarskjold traveled to all of the countries involved in the Armistice Agreements, seeking the cooperation requested by the Council. In his reports of May 2 and May 9, the SG noted that he regarded his mandate to include negotiations between the parties to reestablish full compliance with the Armistice Agreements, and he also reported generally positive results. While the Council had not specifically sought to include the SG in "negotiations", they did respond positively to the results of the trip.

The SG's reports noted that, while all parties accepted the GAA provisions as in their overall best interests, political and practical circumstances had led to the current state of affairs in the region. Namely, mutual mistrust, combined with an inability to guarantee compliance by any given party, were contributing greatly to tensions which all parties stated they would rather avoid. The SG received personal assurances from each party that they would unconditionally observe the cease fire clauses in the GAA and subsequent Council resolutions, reserving only the right to self-defense. This specifically included the idea that the parties would not respond with military force to anything less than an attack by the regular military of another party.

As a show of good will on this issue, the SG also reported that Egypt and Israel, on April 18, had both sent orders which served to relieve tensions along the Gaza demarcation line. Additionally, Egypt and Israel provided specific assurances that they would seek to actively prevent crossing of the demarcation lines, including both the Gaza DMZ and the contested El Auja region, in which both sides had a military presence in violation of the GAA provisions.

The SG noted two key issues left unanswered by his trip. The first was the issue of Egyptian interference in Israeli shipping through the Suez Canal and the Straits of Tiran. This issue was first raised in September of 1951, and was still on the table through early 1956. Both the harassment of Israeli vessels, and the possible cut off of this vital shipping lane by Egypt were noted as potential sources of tension in the future. The second unanswered issue involved a recent Israeli plan for diversion of the Jordan River, which would be disastrous for Jordan and another likely pre-cursor to renewed conflict in the region.

On June 4, 1956, the Council passed Resolution 114 (S/3605), commending the SG on this report, endorsing the view that full compliance with the GAA provisions was the key to peace in the region, and asking the SG to continue his Good Office efforts to ensure the cease fires and bring the parties closer to full Armistice compliance in the future.


The Situation in Algeria

The situation currently existing in Algeria involves possible threats to peace and flagrant violations of human rights undertaken by France in the colonial area of Algeria. This extremely contentious question is the most violent of many colonial situations occurring in 1956. At issue is the right of France to govern its territory of Algeria as it sees fit, including the violent repression of uprisings when needed.

In April of 1956, seventeen Asian and African member states brought before the Security Council a request to discuss the situation, which was ultimately not brought to the floor. The question within the Council revolved around the body's competency to discuss an issue described by France as a domestic jurisdiction issue completely within France's sovereignty, versus it's description by opponents as a threat to peace, flagrant violation of human rights, and question of legitimate self-determination for the peoples of Algeria.

In debate prior to bringing the topic to the floor, discussion revolved around France's policy of repression and extermination of the Algerian people, including a possible question of a violation of the Genocide Convention. The significant increase of French troops in Algeria in 1955 and early 1956, from approximately 150,000 to reports in excess of 400,000, was noted as the significant "threat to peace" in the area.

On the opposite side, France noted a basically peaceful situation, with Algeria under undisputed French control for the past 120 years, which had been interrupted by foreign intervention. This included both arms deliveries and distribution of anti-French propaganda, with Egypt being named in discussions as the primary party to these acts. France continually stressed its right to govern French territories as it sees fit, and reminded the body that sovereignty forms the basis of all UN actions.

By a vote of 7 to 2 (Iran, USSR) with 2 abstentions (China, Yugoslavia), the Algerian question was not included on the agenda in June of 1956, although the situation continues as described.

The Situation in Southern Africa

The treatment of peoples of Indian origin in South Africa is one of two issues in this area being confronted by the UN. While most discussions have taken place in the General Assembly, the possibility of increased violence makes this an issue of interest for the Security Council. The key question revolves around the oppression, both official and incidental, of Indians remaining in South Africa following the colonial period. India made several attempts in the GA to resolve the issue, but South Africa felt strongly that this is a two party issue to be resolved between India and South Africa, with no outside intervention necessary.

A related question facing the UN in South Africa involved the policy of Apartheid officially practiced by the South African government, and its possible international repercussions in the region. Once again, the GA has been the main body to discuss Apartheid, but the Security Council has been kept appraised of events as they occur. The deteriorating racial situation in South Africa, combined with the governments public refusal to redress the issues, creates a difficult situation for the UN. South Africa went even further in formalizing Apartheid through various laws, including the Bantu Education Act of 1953, limiting and separating educational opportunities, and the Separate Registration of Voters Act of 1951.

There are three main schools of thought among UN member states on the best way for the international community to deal with the Apartheid issue. The first holds that the General Assembly (and potentially the Security Council) should exert influence to encourage the removal of Apartheid policies. A second group doubts the GA's competence to discuss the issue, and seeks an International Court of Justice decision placing the Apartheid under the competence of the GA or the Council. A third group feels that a more conciliatory approach is needed, stressing negotiations without the need for formal condemnations or pressure, which they feel would be counter-productive. To date, outside of debating the issue the UN has not gone further than attempting to create an atmosphere which would facilitate resolution of the matter through diplomatic discussions.


The Question of the Representation of China

Since the inception of the United Nations, the Republic of China has held the official Chinese seat at the UN, including in the Security Council. The rise of the Peoples Republic of China on the mainland, however, has raised an issue of legitimacy concerning this representation. This issue has been most strongly stressed by the Soviet Union in discussions before the Council. The discussion was first raised in January of 1955, when the Council invited a representative of the central government of the Peoples Republic of China to participate without a vote in its discussion of the issue. Complicating this issue are continued acts of violence between the forces of the two Chinas, particularly in the seas surrounding the island of Formosa/Taiwan. To date, the Council has decided to take no action on seating mainland China, and a representative of the Republic of China remains in the UN seat.

The Situation in West Irian (West New Guinea)

West Irian (West New Guinea) is one of many colonial disputes in the world which has been accompanied by minor international hostilities. In this case, West Irian is a colonial possession of the Netherlands, but its political status is currently an object of contention between the Netherlands and Indonesia. Indonesia feels that West Irian should either be ceded to Indonesia, or given the right of self-determination, and some hostilities have arisen over the issue.


The Situation in Cyprus

Cyprus is another colonial territory embroiled in a dispute over the right to self-determination. This colony of the United Kingdom, which has a significant Greek population, is currently seeking independence from the U.K. This has so far been denied due to the islands significance as a military base in close proximity to the Middle East. Incidents which most concern the Security Council in this situation are a rise in terrorism on the island, apparently incited by Greece against the British government on Cyprus, and continued calls by Greece and peoples inside Cyprus for the right to self-determination.

Admission of New Member States

With many former colonial territories gaining their independence, and more expected in 1956, the Security Council has been dealing with the issue of admitting new member states to the United Nations. In 1955 alone, Resolution 109 (S/3509) of December 19 recommended the admission of 16 new members to the UN, including: Albania, Jordan, Ireland, Portugal, Hungary, Italy, Austria, Romania, Bulgaria, Finland, Ceylon, Nepal, Libya, Cambodia, Laos and Spain. The question was dealt with once in 1956, with Resolution 112 (S/3546) of February 6 recommending the admission of Sudan. The recent independence of Morocco and Tunisia may also lead to their request for admission in the near future. It should be noted that, following the submission of a request for admission to the Secretary-General, potential member states must be recommended by the Security Council before they can be accepted into the UN by a vote of the General Assembly.

Other Open Issues:

Any issue on the world scene in 1956 will be fair game for discussion in the Historical Security Council.  Representatives should have broad historical knowledge of the world situation as it stood through July 1, 1956.


Please note: The books and documents listed below provide both contemporary and historical information on the years 1955 and 1956. Any information provided for dates after July 1, 1956 will not be considered factual or appropriate in debates before the Council.

It is strongly recommended that representatives to the Historical Security Council consult contemporary materials, especially periodical sources from late 1955 and the first half of  1956. These might include the UN Chronicle, the New York Times, Time magazine, and similar sources to get a better "feel" for the time in which the simulation occurs.

 Ambrose, Stephen E.  Eisenhower the President, Simon & Schuster,  1984.
 The Blue Helmets: A Review of United Nations Peace Keeping (Second Edition). New York: United Nations. 1990.
 Burns, William J.  Economic Aid and American Policy Toward Egypt,  1955-1981. SUNY Press, 1985.
 Dimbleby, David and David Reynolds.  An Ocean Apart: The Relationship Between Britain and America in the Twentieth Century. Random House, 1988.
 Djonovich, Dusan J, editor, United Nations Resolutions: Series II, Resolutions of the Security Council; Volume III, 1951-1959. 1989, New York: Oceana Publications, Inc.
 Durch, William J., editor. The Evolution of UN Peacekeeping. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1993.
 Eagleton, Clyde and Swift, Richard, Annual Review of United Nations Affairs: 1955-56. 1957, New York: New York University Press.
 Eisenhower, Dwight D.  The White House Years: Waging Peace, 1955- 1961. Heinemann, 1966.
 Finer, Herman.  Dulles Over Suez: The Theory and Practice of His  Diplomacy. Quadrangle Books, 1964.
 Horne, Alistair.  A Savage War of Peace: Algeria 1954-1962. Penguin  Books, 1977.
 MacMillan, Harold.  Riding the Storm. 1956-1959, MacMillan, 1971.
 Murphy, Robert.  Diplomat Among Warriors. Doubleday, 1964.
 Neff, Donald.  Warriors at Suez: Eisenhower Takes American into the  Middle East. Linden Press, 1981.
 Neustadt, Richard  E.  Alliance Politics. Columbia University  Press, 1970. Shuckburgh, Evelyn.  Descent to Suez: Diaries 1951-1956. Weiden field, 1986.
 United Nations Department of Public Information, Yearbook of the United Nations: 1955. 1956, New York: United Nations Publications.
 United Nations Department of Public Information, Yearbook of the United Nations: 1956. 1957, New York: United Nations Publications.
 Urquhart, Brian, Hammarskjold. 1972, New York: Harper Colophon Books.
 Urquhart, Brian, A Life in Peace and War. 1987, New York: Harper and Rowe.

United Nations Documents:

 SC Res 109 (S/3509): Admission of New Member States
 SC Res 108 (S/3435): The Palestine Question
 SC Res 107 (S/3379): The Palestine Question
 SC Res 106 (S/3378): The Palestine Question

 SC Res 114 (S/3605): The Palestine Question
SC Res 113 (S/3575): The Palestine
 SC Res 112 (S/3546): Admission of New Member States
 SC Res 111 (S/3538): The Palestine Question
 S/3609: Letter of June 13 from 13 member states concerning Algeria
 S/3596: Report of May 9 by the Secretary-General on Compliance with Armistice Agreements
 S/3594: May 2 progress report of the Secretary-General
 S/3589: Letter of April 12 from 17 member states concerning Algeria
 A/3120: Letter from Greece concerning Cyprus.

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