Mstaimun ’13 security council Topic 1: Maintenance of international security-good neighborliness, stability and development in Iran and Israel Topic 2: The Repatriation of Refugees to Syria Chairs: Rohan Sinha and Vernon Lin
Background of the Security council • The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) was established with the UN following WW2, and first met on the 17th of January, 1946 in London. The UNSC is one of the six principal organs of the UN, and the only organ whose passed resolutions are legally binding upon UN member states. • 15 representatives make up the UNSC, with five permanent members who hold veto power (P5), and ten rotating members (E10). The UNSC is charged with the “maintenance of international peace and security …” • As a body, the UNSC can identify “aggressive” states, enforce sanctions, deploy peacekeepers, and engage in military action. It is the primary platform for solving pressing international disputes, and has a great deal of responsibility in ensuring international peace.
Topic 1: Maintenance of international security-good neighborliness, stability and development in Iran and Israel By: Rohan Sinha (Chair)
Topic overview • Before the Iranian revolution of 1979, Israel had relatively warm relations with Iran. However, following the revolution overthrowing the Shah and establishing the Ayatollah as the supreme leader, Iran severed all official relations with Israel calling it an “enemy of Islam” and “The Little Satan”. • Since then, the Iran-Israel conflict has only intensified. Three primary sources constituting the dispute: religious differences, the development of nuclear technology in Iran, and the funding of Hamas and Hezbollah by Iran.
Key issues • Three main sources that constitute the Iran-Israel conflict • Religious and geographical differences • Iranian funding of Hamas and Hezbollah • Development of Iran’s Nuclear Program • This committee should focus on the third: Iran’s nuclear program
Map of the middle east Israel is the only non-Arabic state surrounded by so many, so Israel is extremely pressured
Key issue 1: historical differences • Religious differences between the two nations are the first source of conflict. Israel was established as a state in 1949 as a sanctuary for the Jewish population around the world, whilst the Arab Palestinians who were present in that land for centuries were forced into the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Due to Israel being established against the will of the Muslim population, Iran considers Israel an illegitimate state.
Key issue 2: Iranian funding of hamas and hezbollah • The second source of conflict between the two states arises from Iran’s funding of Hamas and Hezbollah. Hamas is an organization that governs the Gaza Strip where Palestinians live. The United States, Israel, Canada, the EU and Japan classify Hamas as a terrorist organization. Iran, Russia, Turkey and other Arabic states do not. • Hamas has had military confrontations with Israeli forces on multiple occasions in the past, and ceasefires have been established and transgressed by both parties. Iran endorses Hamas and had originally supplied Hamas with 300 million US dollars a year, but recently after Hamas failed to show public support for President Assad of Syria this amount has decreased.
Map of israel Hamas is based in the Gaza Strip
Key issue 2: Iranian funding of hamas and hezbollah • Hezbollah is a militia and a political party that is based in Lebanon. It was created in 1982 by a group of Muslim clerics with the primary purpose of countering the Israeli invasion of Lebanon through the Golan Heights. The party’s rhetoric vows to destruct the state of Israel. Iran has been supplying military and monetary aid to Hezbollah, and this was openly admitted on February 7th when Hassan Nasrallah, the Hezbollah leader, admitted that it had received financial and military backing from Iran
Key issue 3: Iranian nuclear program • The third primary source - and the most conflict stimulating of the three - is the development of Iran’s nuclear program. The committee should mainly focus on this source of conflict. Reports by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) state that Iran has been developing its nuclear program over the past few years. Whilst Iran claims that it is doing so in order to export larger quantities of its oil, many states of the international community - Israel especially - are anxious that Iran is enriching its uranium to create an atomic bomb. • The US, EU and UN have enforced sanctions that aim to cut off Iranian oil exports from global markets, freeze assets of the Iranian central bank, and stunt Iranian business transactions. These measures have been quite effective, with the Rial sinking to record lows and Iran’s oil revenue significantly reduced. However, Iran continues to enrich uranium and Israel is wary that it will soon be successful in producing a nuclear bomb. Though Israel has been pushing for the US to take military action, none has been taken.
Appendix/useful sites • General: • http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/sep/25/iran.israelandthepalestinians • Hamas and Hezbollah: • http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/01/30/uk-palestinians-hamas-iran-idUKTRE80T14P20120130 • http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/iran-funds-hezbollah-leader-nasrallah-admits.aspx?pageID=238&nid=13324 • http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/6112036.stm • http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4314423.stm • Iran Nuclear Program: • http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesandterritories/iran/nuclear_program/index.html • http://www.iaea.org/newscenter/focus/iaeairan/index.shtml • http://edition.cnn.com/2012/10/12/politics/fact-check-iran-nuclear
Bibliography • Al-Mughrabi, Nidal. "Hamas Gaza Leader Heads for Iran." Reuters. Accessed February 15, 2013. • http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/01/30/uk-palestinians-hamas-iran-idUKTRE80T14P20120130. • "Hamas Funding." Global Security. Accessed February 15, 2013. http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ • world/para/hamas-funds.htm. • "Iran funds Hezbollah, leader Nasrallah admits." Hurriyet Daily News. Accessed February 15, 2013. • http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/ • iran-funds-hezbollah-leader-nasrallah-admits.aspx?pageID=238&nid=13324. • "Iran 'sending funds to Hezbollah.'" BBC. Accessed February 15, 2013. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/ • 6112036.stm. • "Iran's Nuclear Program." New York Times. Accessed February 15, 2013. http://topics.nytimes.com/top/ • news/international/countriesandterritories/iran/nuclear_program/index.html. • Siddique, Haroon. "Explainer: Relations between Iran and Israel." The Guardian. Accessed February • 15, 2013. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/sep/25/iran.israelandthepalestinians. • "Who are Hezbollah?" BBC. Accessed February 15, 2013. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/ • 4314423.stm.
Topic 2: The Repatriation of Refugees from Syria By: Vernon (Chair ) The Security Council
General Overview-The Syrian Civil War • The Syrian Civil War, which began on March 15th 2011, is an ongoing conflict in Syria between the Syrian Government and the Syrian National Coalition. The conflict began as a result of nationwide protests calling for political reform and denouncing the corrupt rule of President al-Assad, who had already been accused of torturing political dissidents. Assad’s regime responded with armed suppression, and the protests soon evolved into violent uprisings. • The Syrian Civil War is regarded as part of a larger political movement known as the Arab Spring, which involves similar uprisings in Western Asia and Northern Africa. Flag of Syria Flag of the Syrian National Coalition
Key Terms • Repatriation: The act of returning an individual to his or her country of origin and citizenship. According to International Human Rights Law, it is a basic right to return to one’s country, thereby making all states involved responsible for assisting in the process. Also, one cannot be forced to return to one’s country as this is considered involuntary. • Refugee: Based on the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, the UN defines a refugee asa person who has fled his or her country and is unable or unwilling to return because of a ‘well founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion’. • The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR): Established on December 14, 1950 by the General Assembly, the UNHCR aims to protect refugees and solve refugee related problems worldwide.
Key Issues • The unrest in Syria has caused many Syrian citizens to flee to the neighboring states of Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq. The UNHCR reports that 668,908 individuals have been registered as aid seeking refugees across various states. The total number of individuals awaiting registration is 821,829, with this number increasing daily as the conflict continues. Clearly, Syrians do not want to return to Syria given its current social condition.
UNHCR Report on the numbers of Syrian Refugees • 204,689 –Jordan 177,387- Turkey • 181,117-Lebanon 89,352- Iraq 16,363-Egypt
More Key Issues • Countries accepting Syrian refugees are now considering repatriating some individuals due to the increasingly high refugee population. Furthermore, attacks on Syrian refugees crossing the border by government forces have raised worries that the war could spread to other nations. This raises the question of whether refugees should be repatriated in order to contain the war in Syria. On February 13th, Ban Ki Moon- Secretary General of the UN- condemned such an attack on the Turkish-Syrian border, stating that violence should not be used. In order for refugees to voluntarily be repatriated to Syria, there first must be stability within Syria.
More Key Issues • Notably, there are many Iraqi, Afghan, and Somalian refugees residing in Syria, despite its unrest. According to the UNHCR, there are over 1 million refugees in Syria from Iraq alone. Given the turmoil in Syria, these refugees want to be repatriated. However, this requires cooperation between the UNHCR and the Syrian government. The Syrian government has not labeled this issue as a priority.
Appendix/Useful Sites/Actions Taken by Organizations • UNHCR http://www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/home • http://www.unhcr.org/51127e696.html • UN https://www.un.org/ • ICRC http://www.icrc.org/eng/where-we-work/middle-east/syria/index.jsp • Arab News http://www.arabnews.com/syrian-refugees-lebanon-and-forced-repatriation
Bibliography • ‘Syria: The story of the conflict’, BBC News Middle East, 7 December 2012 last updated 16:32 GMT, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-17258397 • ‘Syrian Regional Refugee Response’, UNHCR The UN Refugee Agency, last updated 12February 2013, http://data.unhcr.org/syrianrefugees/regional.php • ‘Convention relating to the Status of the Refugee’, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner of Human Rights, last accessed 14 February 2013, http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/refugees.htm • ‘Who is Today’s Refugee?’, United Nations, last accessed 14 February 2013, http://www.un.org/Pubs/CyberSchoolBus/briefing/refugees/rfprogress.htm