African Union – Peace and Security Council (AU PSC)
The Peace and Security Council serves a similar function to the African Union as the UNSC does to the UN. Besides being the key element of the African Peace and Security Architecture, it is tasked with the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts within the African Unions legislation. One of the key powers of the PSC is the ability to undertake peace-keeping and peace-enforcing missions inside Africa. Additionally the PSC has a wide range of other capabilities towards achieving its mission.
This year’s topics :
Topic A: The Situation in Burundi – internal crisis in a fragile region
Since 2015, Burundi has been struck by a political crisis accompanied by reported human rights abuses. Opposition to president´s decision to run for his third term led to protests that were followed by detentions, killings and shutting down of the internet and telephone services. Furthermore, universities were closed and protesters branded as terrorists. As of 2018, the situation hasn´t improved. Opposition members are being arrested and President Nkurunziza attempts to remain in power until 2034 (if successfully re-elected in 2020). Although these constitute predominantly internal issues, the situation must not be underestimated from the regional perspective either. Especially, since around half a million people have already left Burundi, seeking refuge in Rwanda, Tanzania or the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Already in December 2015 the AUPCS authorized a peace operation and threatened to invoke article 4(h) of the AU Charter, allowing it to intervene in case of grave circumstances, especially war crimes, genocide or crimes against humanity. Burundi, however, refused any mission and as it later turned out, many countries were opposing deployment without the consent of Burundian authorities. Ever since attempts to mitigate the crisis have been low in numbers.
There are many pressing issues relating to this topic: What will the reaction of the AUPSC be? What possibilities are there to end the conflict as quickly and peacefully as possible? How are hundreds of thousands of refugees to be dealt with, especially in an ethnically fragile region?
Topic B: Preventing the ideology of genocide
The 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda remains to be one of the most brutal acts in the recent history. Also, today many African countries struggle with hate crimes and according to Genocidewatch six out eight countries, which are at risk of genocide are located in Africa.
The main problem lays in the time of the colonialism, where most of the countries were constructed by the colonists and unnatural borders still divide large parts of the continent. This resulted in many domestic conflicts and a lot of minorities fear the leading majorities and only have the very little impact on their countries policies.
To prevent hate crimes and emerging genocides the African Union Peace and Security Council held a meeting on the 11th April 2017 and adopted a communique in which they decided to assemble annually to discuss this topic further and monitor the development of hate crimes and the ideology of genocide in Africa.
However, in the last year, major changes did not happen and most of the conflicts are at the same stage. Additionally, with an immensely increasing impact factor of social networks like Facebook and YouTube misleading information is spread in the country. In its second meeting on the topic of prevention of genocide, the AUPSC recognized the “potential of escalating the ideology of hate and genocide in the society” and therefore aims to combat the misuse of social media.
Now the crucial task for the AUPSC is to combat the root of hate crimes in their society and to find solutions to newly emerging threats like misleading information and misuse of social media.
You are more than welcome to dive into this topic and discuss it with other international students at BerlInMUN 2018.
List of available countries/positions:
Congo, Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, Zambia, Morocco, Togo, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Djibouti, Rwanda, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Angola, Zimbabwe.