Delegate Name: Benjamin Pease
Committee: Special Political Committee
Topic: De-esclation of Sectarian Conflict
Name: Benjamin Pease
School: Forest Hills Northern High School
Sectarian conflict has been present throughout history and is a growing issue in many parts of the world. There are two types of sectarian conflict: interstate and intrastate. However, sectarian conflict can be about many different issues, including religion, culture, and politics. Ukraine itself has a long history of sectarian conflict in its fight for independence, as well as currently in the Russo-Ukraine War. Sectarian conflict can have large domestic and international implications and profoundly impacts civilian life, leaving lasting effects on future generations. Therefore, it is important that the UN address sectarian conflict.
Dealing with sectarian conflict is one of the United Nations’ main jobs. Through preventative diplomacy and, in some cases, more severe action, the UN tries to diminish human suffering and promote peace. Although the United Nations’ role in the international sectarian conflict is well-defined, the UN’s rule in intrastate conflict is vague. Thus, the main focus of contention is the role of the UN in domestic disputes. The Charter addresses domestic disputes in Article two, paragraph seven, which states that nothing can authorize the UN to intervene in domestic matters except if authorized by the country itself or the Security Council. Past actions of the UN in domestic conflict have generally tried to focus on granting humanitarian assistance, such as the involvement of UNICEF in the Syrian civil war beginning in 2011.
Ukraine has a long history of domestic sectarian conflict because of its disputes with Russia, and it has continued to advocate for international support in the sectarian conflict with Russia in Eastern Ukraine, consistently calling for a peaceful resolution to the conflict and seeking assistance from the UN to mediate and provide humanitarian aid. In past resolutions, Ukraine has consistently voted to promote human rights and equality and has supported efforts by the UN to maintain peace in domestic sectarian conflict regardless of the sectarian nature of a conflict.
Understanding the need for more precise guidelines regarding intrastate sectarian conflict, Ukraine proposes more specific guidelines detailing when the UN can intervene in domestic conflicts and to what degree this intervention entails. These new guidelines should allow the domestic government to have some role in confirming if help is needed; however, the main goal of intervention should be maintaining peace and humanitarian resistance. The international ramifications of the conflict must also be shown before the UN is allowed to intervene. Lastly, if physical intervention by the UN is necessary, it should be based on a clear mandate focusing on protecting civilians, facilitating dialogue, and supporting the implementation of peace agreements. The international community must continue to act on sectarian conflict especially domestic conflict to prevent the lasting effects on future generations.