Delegate Name: Shriya Nallan Chakravarthi
Sectarian conflicts fracture societal harmony, endanger future generations, and fuel extremism. India has had numerous sectarian conflicts, both interstate and intrastate, since its independence, and has a lot of experience in dealing with these conflicts. The United Nations Security Council and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) play crucial roles in deciding when to intervene. Currently the UN only intervenes in interstate conflicts if both nations agree to an intervention or the UN Security Council agrees. However, this framework must be revised.
India faces many intrastate sectarian conflicts today. On May 2023, Manipur, a small state in India, has killed more than 140 people, many are innocent civilians. The conflict stemmed from year long tensions between the Hindu Meitei community and Christian Kuki-Zomi tribes over extended tribal status. In response to the unrest, India issued curfews, suspending internet devices, and deployed 40,000 soldiers to combat the issue. India has used similar tactics in its other sectarian conflicts, such as the communal violence in Gurugram, Haryana, India. The violence originated from longstanding resentment between the Hindu and Muslim groups in the areas. Violent mobs targeted many Mosques and Muslim owned businesses. At least six people have died, and more than 110 people have been arrested. The Indian government used the aforementioned tactics to first control the situation, and then maintain peace. UN OCHA has donated for emergency shelters, food security, education, and others. As for interstate conflicts, India and Pakistan has had its own sectarian conflict, which is more political than the intrastate ones. This interstate conflict has existed since India’s independence in 1947. The UN established an observer group named the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) to aid in the conflict. The UN Security Council has passed resolutions for a cease-fire, withdrawal of some military forces, and an internationally supervised plebiscite for the people of Kashmir to decide which nation they will be a part of. Only the cease-fire resolution has been implemented. Ever since, the UN urges and fails for both sides to peacefully negotiate with parity. This conflict demonstrates the flaws in the current framework. Pakistan and India both do not agree to negotiate with parity and UN Security Council resolutions are not implemented effectively. Without UN negotiations or implementation, more innocent lives will be lost and future generations will not be harmed by the devastation of conflict.
The Republic of India urges the UN to revise the framework for UN intervention for interstate and intrastate conflicts. As much as national sovereignty must be respected to ensure faith in that nation’s government, the UN must intervene at some point to ensure more lives are saved. The Security Council should be able to intervene in interstate conflicts faster and effectively implement its policies. Moreover, the UN should monitor intrastate sectarian conflicts and intervene when the conflict has reached a level of seriousness through the Human Rights Committee or when the state calls upon the UN for help. With this revised framework, more sectarian conflicts can be resolved faster, more effectively, and protects the future generations.