Stabilizing the Sahel Region & Fighting Terrorism and Climate Change – The SC
The Security Council is the most important and powerful organ of the United Nations. Not only does the committee have the power to impose international sanctions, establish and legitimize military operations for peacekeeping but it is also the only organ of the UN with the ability to pass internationally binding resolutions.
The council consists of 5 permanent members: China, France, Great Britain, Russia, and the USA. They all have special rights such as the possibility to veto important resolutions or decisions. The other 10 delegations of the SC are elected for two years each by the General Assembly. All countries elected by the UN General Assembly were therefore also present at the OLMUN 2021.
The subject of Security Council at the OLMUN 2021 was the stabilization of the Sahel region and the fight against terrorism and climate change. The Presidents of the Security Council 2021 were Dennis Kirsch and Ruqaya Zaki.
The countries most effected by the tensions and conflicts in the Sahel region are Niger, Nigeria, Mauritania, Chad, Mali and Burkina Faso – especially poor and ungoverned land is exploited by various Islamic extremist groups while also being gravely affected by climate change. Because of the positioning of the Sahel region there are extreme and unpredictable weather changes, so their climate change pace is faster and more drastic than in other parts of the world.
The questions the debate focused on were how the shortage of resources as a result of climate change could be tackled and how climate policies could be included into the Councils security policies. Furthermore, a discussion about how to decrease the authority of terrorist groups in the Sahel region and how to ensure the decrease of internal and intercommunal violence was held. Other relevant topics were how to ensure that people don´t leave their homes, how to distribute resources justly and what effective ways of humanitarian aid there are.
In the first committee session on Wednesday the council started with policy statements by different nations and the delegations shared their view on each subject. Later two resolutions by the delegations of India and the USA were drafted.
The resolution of India focused on terrorism aspects but was criticized because it neglected climate change and migration. Consequently, the five permanent members of the SC vetoed many clauses of the resolution and in the end the entire resolution failed. Beforehand all clauses which included the cooperation with a country or an existing regional organization passed, but nonetheless the resolution didn’t pass.
The second resolution, the main-submitter being the USA, focused on supporting the Sahel countries, already existing alliances and regional forces. It planned to increase security by sharing for example intelligence as well as development by expanding the UN development program.
The discussions about the resolutions and the proceeding in the SC were interrupted by a crisis, the murder of the President of Burkina Faso, and therefore the delegates had to find a short-term resolution. They decided on sending a peace keeping mission to Burkina Faso to fight terrorism and to support the other Sahel countries. The eight clauses of the final resolution tackling this crisis all passed and as a result humanitarian aid and intelligence were send to Burkina Faso and the Sahel region.
In addition the delegation of Russia talked about the importance of regarding the COVID-19 pandemic in the discussions and offered to send some of their Sputnik5 vaccine to the Sahel region, which lead others, like the delegations of China, Great Britain and the USA, to do so as well. Regarding climate change issues, China and Russia doubted the existence of it itself, while for the other delegations the clauses didn't go far enough.