United Nations Security Council (UNSC)
As one of the most well-known organs of the United Nations, the UN Security Council maintains international peace and security throughout the world. Its powers include establishing peacekeeping operations, setting international sanctions, and taking military action - all through resolutions. As such, the UNSC is able to intervene in conflicts and situations that threaten international peace, recommending procedures to achieve a peaceful resolution to the issue at hand. Otherwise, the UNSC may call upon members to sever economic or diplomatic relations, and reinforce their decisions with the use of military force.
Topic 1: The situation in South-Sudan
Violence has ensued over the past few decades as South Sudan’s various ethnic groups have come into conflict with one another. The South Sudanese Civil War, which began in 2013, has brought Sudan’s largest ethnic group, the Dinkas, on a course of aggression against other ethnic groups, particularly the Nuers, who have been accused of attacking the Dinkas in turn. Accumulating up to 300,000 fatalities since its beginning in 2011, the South Sudanese conflict encompasses not only violent civil wars, but also the abduction of innocent women and children from rival tribes, even dragging its neighbor Ethiopia into the conflict. The UN Security Council must carefully navigate the muddled waters of ethnic violence in South Sudan and achieve a longstanding solution to the conflict.
Topic 2: The Question of Syria
Finding its roots in the 2011 Arab Spring protests, the unrest in Syria was born out of popular discontent for the sitting President Bashar Al-Assad. Following violent and retributive suppression by the Syrian government, these feelings of dissent have since evolved into an armed conflict between multiple factions: the Syrian government (backed by Iran, Hezbollah, and Russia), a loose alliance of Sunni rebel groups, the majority-Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), Salafi jihadist groups (including al-Nusra Front), and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve, a US-led international coalition, was formed in 2014 with the focus of countering ISIL, while Turkey has also involved itself, supporting the Syrian opposition. These parties have also been accused of severe human rights violations and massacres. Moreover, the armed conflict has created a massive refugee crisis which consequently impacts the Mediterranean area. It is thus up to the UN Security Council to finally restore order to a region beset with conflict.
China (People's Republic of)