Brief introduction:

Security council is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations. It exists to maintain peace and security and determine acts of aggression. The Security Council is made of 15 member states including 5 permanent members that enjoy veto power and 10 member states that are elected. Each member state in the council has one vote and all UN member states are obligated to comply with the decisions of the council according to the UN charter.

Topic A: The Situation in Central African Republic

Central African Republic (CAR) has been in chaos ever since the vicious takeover of power in March 2013 which saw the ousting of President François Bozizé. The repercussions of this incident saw widespread violence as two major armed rebel groups: the Muslim Séléka and the Christian anti-balaka forced the migrations of thousands of refugees. The refugees were internally displaced and left the country in a dire state. The March 2016 election of President Faustin-Archange Touadéra brought an initial pause to this turmoil, but before long it was followed by more fighting in late 2016 and early 2017 between armed groups including ex-Seleka factions and anti-balaka militias both controlling vast areas of the country.

Throughout the civil war, allegations of human right violations, such as rape, torture, extrajudicial killings, forced disappearances, and even child soldiers plague this war torn area. Peace is still a long way off as the new government has no means to force armed groups to negotiate and disarm. Approximately 543,291 Central African Republic refugees remain in neighboring states to this date. This includes Cameroon, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the Republic of the Congo, with smaller numbers in Sudan and South Sudan.

It is the duty of the international community as well as the Security Council, to maintain international peace and the security of the people, to solve this issue and help the 700,000 people who have been forced to flee from the country. How can the UNSC reduce the risk of large flare-ups and help defuse the country’s many conflicts? And encourage international actors to work to weaken armed groups in order to improve the chances of effective negotiation?

Topic B: Protection of Children in Armed Conflicts

International humanitarian law clearly states that children's rights must be esteemed during armed conflicts. However, this does not always prevent children from being affected by violence in various ways. In Darfur (Sudan) alone, around 2 million people have been forced to move from their land and live in displacement camps as a result of the ongoing conflict. More than 1 million of them are children under 18, with 320,000 aged five and under. The children in these areas are left vulnerable to appalling forms of violence such as forced displacement, sexual exploitation and genocide. Those who are within war zones often fall victim to abduction, amputation and mutilation.  

In addition, girls suffer direct violations of their physical integrity, for example through reproductive violations and enforced pregnancy as a result of systematic rape. Violence against children in conflict harms families and impoverishes communities. Most recent conflicts have been rife with epidemic rates of sexual and gender-based violence, combined with high levels of gender-based human rights violations thus making the protecting of children in armed conflicts an urgent issue for states to tackle. In light of this pervasive problem, the United Nations Security Council should examine how to best develop targeted action to mitigate violence against children in armed conflicts building on the already existing normative frameworks. It will also be important that delegates cooperate in order to propose new comprehensive solutions to improve the situation.