Rutgers Model United Nations - IDIA
Rutgers Model United Nations 19 Summary Although common language ignores the differences between nation and state, in terms of political science and governmental rule the distinctions are profound. A nation is a group of people that believes itself to have a common identity and culture. A state is a geographical boundary within which there is a sovereign authority. In an age of changing relations and new security threats to states, civil warfare is on the rise while traditional warfare, warfare between two separate states, is on the decline. The majority of ongoing conflicts worldwide are domestic conflicts. States need to develop procedures in order to address the domestic threat in addition to the foreign threat. This problem leaves the international community at a loss, leaving many questions unanswered. The United Nations must decide on the proper actions to take. In recent years, Basque separatists have adopted a less violent approach while attempting to claim sovereignty. The Basques retain an entirely separate culture, including their own language and traditions that date back to before the Roman conquest of Europe, reaffirming the need for a separate, sovereign state. Though retaining their militant wing, ETA, the Basques in recent years have adopted a political strategy, instead of a violent one. Even this peaceful strategy is highly controversial, to make matters worse, many opponents have tried to make the group illegal. Spain has maintained the proclamation that the Basque province is legitimate geographical Spanish territory. While the situation in Spain is not as violent as it once was there still remains an ongoing struggle for power over the Basque province in Spain. The situation in Chechnya is grave, since the humanitarian crisis in the region receives little attention or aid. The people of Chechnya are also fighting for a separatist cause. Russia believes that Chechnya is a part of their territory, won during the Chechen War during the 1990s. While many media and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) continue to bring the issues of Chechnya to the attention of the international community, the situation is dangerous. Many of these journalists and workers have endured prosecution, kidnapping, and torture. In some of the most extreme cases journalists and
Rutgers Model United Nations 20 aid workers have been found dead. The United Nations in addition to the international community at large has been remiss not to acknowledge or act in situation of Chechnya. The possibility of the creation of Kurdistan remains improbable. Though the nation of people retains their own identity and contributes greatly to the states in which they live, the political likelihood of the creation of a separate state remains unlikely. The Kurds, like the Chechens and Basques, have the potential to lobby for their own state. After the first Gulf War, the Kurds enjoyed de facto statehood, proving the Kurds can maintain an economically and politically stable state. As more power is handed over to Iraqis, the Kurds are likely to lobby and possible fight for their independence from Iraq. Conflicting political policies continue to deter resolution to the ongoing crisis of granting political independence. It has long been established that the self-determination of peoples is one of the premier principle upon which the United Nations was founded. The Basques adopted new political tactics in hopes of appealing to both the Spanish and international community illustrating their right to their own state. Whilst the political ramifications are significant, greater still are the humanitarian ramifications. Devastating violence plagues many regions embroiled in separatist fights, as illustrated through Chechnya. As these fights become more violent it will be left to the United Nations to provide humanitarian relief. If these problems can not be resolved for movements within developed states, it posses great danger to developing states, like Iraq despite its association with the United States. The world is rapidly changing. Wars are contained within states, while their humanitarian consequences are not. International boundaries are becoming less important. The United Nations needs to address how it should approach separatist groups.