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ODU Model United Nations Conference (ODUMUNC)

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Security Council (SC)

Topics:

  1. Responding to Militant Religious Extremism in Sub-Saharan Africa
  2. Responding to Insurgency and Instability in Columbia
  3. Responding to Challenges of Instability and the Reform in Egypt
  4. Non-proliferation/Democratic People's Republic of Korea

Your Chairman: Michael Chatman
Crisis Manager: Watson Swail

Background

The Security Council (SC) is the most prominent UN body, responsible for prevention and management of international crises.  Its primary goal is maintenance of international peace and security.  The council is dominated by its five permanent members (the P-5) with the right to veto any resolution: China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and United States. No resolution can be passed unless they all support or abstain.  The other ten seats rotate with two-year terms, distributed by region. Non-permanent members do not have a veto, but contribute to majorities necessary to approve resolutions. The Presidency of the Council rotates among the members alphabetically.

Faced with an issue, the Security Council can call for a Special Representative assigned by the Secretary-General to investigate and report, or mediate. It can enact economic, diplomatic, and military sanctions. Or it can authorize states to intervene militarily with peacekeeping forces, to name but a few of its options.

The Security Council often is gridlocked due to the P-5 veto or veto threats. During the Cold War, the ideological rivalry of the United States and the Soviet Union brought the UNSC to a standstill in all but a handful of instances. Today the United States often uses the veto to protect unique interests, China and Russia less often.