OutlineGeneral OverviewIntroducing the CommitteeActions of the CommitteeDefinition of TopicRole of Committee in Current Topic II. Case Studies III. Additional Information Reports and Analysis given by Organizations Treaties and ConventionsResolutions and Agreements VI. Questions to Consider V. References General Overview: Committee: United Nations Historical Security Council, 1983Topic: “The Berlin Wall Crisis” Introducing the Committee: Welcome to the Historical Security Council at NDU MUN 2018!The Historical Security Council recreates the Security Council during a certain year. It follows the same configuration and possesses the same powers owned by members of the United Nations Security Council.The UNSC is composed of 15 members – depending the year.
Among the SC members, five are permanent: Britain, France, the United States of America, Russia (USSR until 1991), and the Republic of China; these members hold the Veto over any decision taken by the Council, and ten are non-permanent members, elected for a 2-year term by the General Assembly. In 1983, the year during which our Security Council is Set, these 10 countries were: Egypt, Guyana, India, Jordan, Peru, Poland, Ukrainian SSR, Upper Volta, Togo, and Zaire ((please note that some of these countries have different names today and only past names should be used).The Security Council held its first session on 17 January 1946 at Church House, Westminster in London. After travelling through many cities such as Addis Ababa, Panama City and Geneva, the Security Council is now set in the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. It is mandatory that a representative of each member state be present at all times at UN Headquarters in order for the Council to meet at any time needed.
While other UN organs only make recommendations, the Security Council has the power to take decision, which binding all member states.Following the UN main goals, the Security Council first aim is to maintain international peace and security. An important objective of the Council is to bring a conflict to an end quickly, fairly, and thoroughly. The UNSC “calls parties to seek a solution via negotiation, arbitration, or other peaceful means”. In case of failure to do so, it has the power to use coercion, notably through the use of the UN peacekeeping troops; and to use sanctions against belligerent countries.
The resolutions of the Security Council can take several forms. Under Chapter IV of the UN Charter, they could be recommendations; under Chapter VII, they’re binding measures. Thus, the UNSC can influence or directly impact situations worldwide. Unique to other organs and the Security Council itself, delegates within the Historical Security Council (HSC) will recreate the debates that took place in a different time period.The goal of the HSC is not to completely and radically change the course of history, but to recognize the weight of past and future resolutions, and their effects on the topic at hand. Delegates are not bound to any resolution signed by the past.
Delegates should not restrict themselves to existing solutions, instead exploring the fresh, alternative options that may have been turned down, or never brought up in the real Security Council.Notably, delegates are to use the correct terms and names for countries during this time period rather than their current name, if these names have changed. A successful debate will find the balance between historical realism and innovative solutions.References to ‘future’ events will not be permitted.
In the UNHSC we want you to rewrite history as you would like to see it play out, and how you think the conflict can be resolved best. Actions of the Committee: As would be expected from the United Nations, it does seek to “unite the nations”, and thus was at the time a strong advocate of taking down the Berlin Wall, which served as a barrier between the democratic and communist German grounds. “Tear down this wall!” is a line from the speech given by Ronald Reagan who was at the time an activist in the United Nations, as he urged that the Berlin wall would be no more. Moreover, it is worth noting that after the fall of the Berlin wall, the Security Council’s activism in peacemaking missions and punitive sanctions witnessed a huge rise due to the outbreak of religious, tribal and ethnic conflict across the globe.
The world was confronted by an active and powerful Security Council as a result.Definition of Topic: As a result of thousands of East Germans fleeing to the democratic west during the early years of the cold war, through West Berlin, it was considered a loophole and in response, the communist East Germany built the now notorious Berlin wall during the night of August 13, 1961. It served as a barrier between West Berlin and East Germany, especially East Berlin. The wall persisted until government officials took down in November 1989 and symbolized the lack of freedom and communism.Role of Committee in Current Topic: In this committee, delegates will be transferred to 1983, with the timeline thereafter open to change.The Berlin crisis of 1961 was one of the main events deepening the Cold War between the United States of America and the Soviet Union.
It concerned the status of the German capital Berlin and its division into West and East Berlin. This political crisis remained for nearly 30 years of conflict, and resulted in the creation of the Berlin Wall in August 1961 which was the peak incident of the Berlin conflict. This wall became one of the Cold War symbols, especially since it divided Berlin in 2 blocks: On one side the US and their allies and on the other side the USSR and its client states.This wall separates physically Berlin for 28 years and is the most important symbol of a divided Europe by the iron wall.This wall wasn’t simply a concrete one, but a military complex with 11 obstacles to flew towards Berlin West occupied by western allies. Many people were victim of the wall, not only by not being able to see their families and friends on the other side of the wall, but also while trying to cross it.
When Mikhail Gorbachev took office from 1985 to 1991 as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, he started reforming the union politically and economically directing its policy through a more open way. This is called the Perestroika (meaning = restructuring). It is one of the main reasons which led to the dissolution of the USSR and the end to the end of the cold war. Later on, it resulted in the fall of the Wall in 1989, also called “The Wall of Shame” and opened the road to the reunification of the 2 parts of Berlin.
The HSC aims to find an alternative to the Berlin Wall crisis. It is important to keep in mind that we are set in 1983, and all the decisions taken after 1983 should be kept apart. Members should find new solutions to the issue at hand. In our committee, discussing this historical issue is more than important as the Berlin wall had influenced the world in the past, and its impact is still felt today.II. Case Studies”Ich Bin Ein Berliner”Perhaps one of president Kennedy’s most memorable speeches was the one he gave in Berlin, 5 months before he met his demise when he got assassinated. “Ich bin ein Berliner”, meaning that “I am a Berliner”, is a quote from that historical speech that served to show the support of the United State for West Berlin, as much as it came as an answer to the Soviet Union which had shown its support for East Germany and its decision to erect the Berlin wall merely 22 months ago to prevent East Germans from immigrating to the democratic West Germany. Another phrase from that speech worthy of mentioning is “Lasst sie nach Berlin kommen”, which means let them in, which also reflects the United States’ solidarity with West Germany.
This iconic speech was performed in front of an audience of a staggering 450,000 people.Iron CurtainSadly, the effects of the Berlin wall were not only felt in Berlin. The fact that the Berlin wall was built had a huge impact on the entirety of Europe because it reinforced the Soviet Union’s effort to isolate itself as well as its satellite states from the rest of Europe and the areas that weren’t under the control of the Soviet Union by forming what was at the time called the iron curtain. On the East side, were the countries that were connected to or allies of the Soviet Union, and by no surprise, East Germany, whose decision of building the Berlin was met with great acceptance by the Russians. This wall would later on become the most notable border of this iron curtain, especially its checkpoint Charlie, which is the best known crossing point and a symbol of the curtain as a whole. Berlin DividedAfter WWII and the collapse of Germany, Berlin began to get separated. The German city was divided into four zones of occupation between the superpowers of the time.
Repartition agreements arose in 1946 between Soviet and Western zones. In 1947, the West decided then to merge French, British, and American zones. Combining the western zones was considered a threat by the Soviet Union, fearing the power that they could have when working all together.
By doing so, the West was trying to revive the German economy. One way to attain this was by introducing a new currency in the western zone in on June 23, 1948. This led the Soviet Union to impose on the following day, the Berlin Blockade.When U.S. President John F. Kennedy took office in 1961, the Berlin situation heated up.During the Vienna Summit of the same year, Khrushchev insisted that an agreement on Berlin had to be achieved before the end of the year, or otherwise, he would sign a separate treaty with East Germany.
Kennedy made it obvious that Berlin at the time was an important strategic place to the U.S. and that autonomous access to the city had to be preserved at all times. After the separation of Berlin into 2 parts, many eastern Germans tried to escape to the west. By July 1961 American officials estimated that over 1,000 East German refugees were crossing into West Berlin each day because it granted them more freedoms and rights.Due to this demographic drain, East Germany backed by the Soviet Union, decided to build on the night of August 12, 1961, a wall with barbed wire entanglements that stretched along the thirty mile line that divided Berlin to prevent its citizens from fleeing to the West. The United States did not intervene because the Soviet Union was controlling this region. The Berlin Wall was the climax of a divided Berlin.
The Wall was separating the country not only physically but also morally between a communist east and a capital west.Hence a major outcome of the Berlin crisis was that the Soviet Union would continue to have dominance over its eastern European allies and East Berlin, while the United States and its allies would claim Western Europe, West Germany, and West Berlin within their sphere of influence.The Berlin BlockadeIn 1948, when the blockade was set by the Soviet Union, preventing Western access to East Berlin, Western powers initiated an airlift to keep food and supplies flowing to the East and to maintain its connection to the West.After the blockade was lifted in 1949, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and the Soviet Union maintained the status quo in Berlin. Each one governed its own sector and had free access to all other sectors. The communist German Democratic Republic (East Germany) surrounded the “free” city of West Berlin was an incident of the Cold War between the US and the USSR, in which both superpowers claimed dominance over Europe.
Additional Information: A. Reports and Analysis given by Organizations- Crisis Over Berlin: A study produced by the Historical Office, United States Department of State- 1958 Code Name – Live Oak, North Atlantic Treaty OrganizationB. Treaties and Conventions- 1945 Potsdam Conference- 1955 Warsaw Pact- 1961 22nd Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union- 1961 Vienna Summit: The Berlin QuestionC.
Resolutions and Agreements- 1958 Berlin Ultimatum- 1959 NATO Military Planning for Berlin Emergency: LIVE OAK tripartite planning group- 1961 Paris Ministerial Consultations on Berlin Questions to Consider: 1- What was the main reason behind the division of Berlin?2- At the time, what was your countries political regime?3- Does the creation of this wall violate human rights?4- Does the Berlin Wall threaten the sovereignty of Germany?5- Was the creation of the wall solely due to external pressure?6- How did the Berlin Wall affect world politics, and strengthen the tension between the two great poles at the time?7- What solution can be proposed to be implemented in Berlin, and how would it impact world politics?8- Did the Berlin Wall minimize the impact of the Cold War or did it catalyse it?9- If the Berlin Wall did not exist, would it have been possible for another world war to ignite?V. References:BBC History (n.d.).
The Berlin Crisis and the construction of the Berlin Wall. Retrieved 27 December 2017 from www.bbc.co.
uk/history/places/berlin_wallCarmichael, N. (n.d.). A Brief History of the Berlin Crisis of 1961. Retrieved 27 December 2017 from https://www.archives.
gov/files/research/foreign-policy/cold-war/1961-berlin-crisis/overview/berlin-wall-overview.pdfGerman History in Documents and Images (GDHI) (n.d.). The Berlin Ultimatum.
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int/cps/en/natohq/declassified_136184.htmNorth Atlantic Treaty Organization (1961-1968). Military Planning for Berlin Emergency. Retrieved 27 December 2017 from https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/70925.
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