September 16, 2019
Username:
 In 2023-De-escalation of Sectarian Conflict

Topic:
Country: Russian Federation
Delegate Name: Ella Duffner

Sectarian conflicts refer to conflicts that arise due to political, cultural, and religious identities believing to be under threat, an issue that is seen all over the world, occurring on many different scales. With the de-escalation of sectarian conflicts in mind, it must remain clear that the UN “shall not intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state”. This statement applies to intrastate conflicts, of which the Russian Federation believes it is of great importance that the jurisdiction of domestic governments not be thwarted.

Sectarian conflicts are seen within the Russian Federation through its Ukrainian relations. On February 20th, 2014, Russia annexed the peninsula of Crimea, a largely Russian-populated area, justified as a rescue operation. Then, on the 24th of February 2022, Russia launched a special military operation into Ukraine with the goal of demilitarization, justified under UN Article 51, Chapter VII: “Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security”. This would be classified as a sectarian conflict due to the intense political, cultural, and religious nature of it.

The Moscow theatre hostage crisis of 2002, also known as the Nord-Ost Seige, is another example of a sectarian conflict within Russia. This was an intrastate conflict, occurring when 40 or so heavily armed Chechens, of Chechnya which is a Republic of Russia, invaded a theatre and took hostage of the 850 audience members. Gas was utilized in the end, which killed the hostage-takers as well as some hostages. The whole ordeal resulted in up to 170 dead. This was a politically motivated sectarian conflict, as in 1991 Chechnya declared independence and was invaded in 1994 by Russia. Years of conflict led to Chechens targeting citizens in this attack. Sectarian conflicts such as these can lead to a large loss of life, something not wanted in any country. Yet, while the UN can step in involving interstate conflicts, it must respect the government involved in intrastate conflicts.

The Russian Federation is looking to work cooperatively with the UN, proposing that domestic governments continue to be allowed to handle intrastate sectarian conflicts independently, in accordance with the current standing of the UN. The UN involving itself in these conflicts which are within the domestic jurisdiction of a government undermines that government. The Russian Federation looks forward to conferring with the rest of the UN on de-escalating the issue of interstate and intrastate sectarian conflicts as well as protecting the jurisdiction of domestic governments.

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