Dept of Political Sciences Model UN Debate - 25 May 2011

Posted on May 17, 2011

The Department’s annual second-year debate, which this year will be a simulation of the United Nations Security Council, forms an integral part of the second-year International Relations curriculum, and counts towards formal assessment of IPL 210.

In terms of international law, the United Nations Security Council is the most powerful entity in the world: in the interests of maintaining international peace and security, this Council alone – under Chapter VII of the UN Charter - has the right to declare war. However, the structure of this powerful body stills mirrors the political realities of the world in 1945, when the UN was founded. Various regions, notably Africa (which has a larger number of UN Member States than any other region) has no permanent representation on the Council. This anachronistic structure of the Council has generated calls for its transformation, but thus far no consensus has been forthcoming on the changes that are so obviously required.

The year 2011 marks an unprecedented confluence of power constellations on the Security Council, with the combined and overlapping presence of the member states of emerging power blocs such as BRICS, IBSA and BASIC; and countries such as Nigeria and Germany. All of these states have in the past declared their candidacies for permanent membership of a transformed Council. In light of this seminal profile in the history of the Council, students will investigate possible restructuring scenarios and present such positions on behalf of their assigned states. The actual 15 member states of the UNSC during 2011 will therefore be “represented”. These states are:

  • Permanent members (those with veto powers over decisions of the Council):  China, France, Russia, United Kingdom and United States.
  • Non-permanent members during 2011: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazil, Colombia, Gabon, Germany, India, Lebanon, Nigeria, Portugal and South Africa.

Date: Wednesday 25 May, 2011
Time: 10h30-12h30
Venue: Humanities Building 4-1
RSVP: Ms Ina-Mart Hugo on [email protected]

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