Home Committees and topics SECURITY COUNCIL TOPIC


                                                         NON-STATE ACTORS AS A DANGER
                                         TO INTERNATIONAL PEACE AND SECURITY

1.    Introduction
Nowadays peace and security are severely threatened by actions perpetrated by the actors that are not solely states, as traditionally understood by the international community until the recent changes on the global plan. International countermeasures are naturally associated with the Security Council to whom the states have conferred primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security under the collective security system (Charter of the United Nations (*1). Apart from the Islamic State activities worldwide, Boko Haram actions in Nigeria and conflict in Ukraine as well as tensions in Yemen, Security Council is challenged by the complex task of preserving peace and creating proper measures in order to combat those who are obstructing it.

2.    How to define non-state actors
Trying to find the best formulation of non-state actors as such, the most acceptable approach which is closest to the definition is the one where non-state actors are defined as individuals or organizations that have powerful economic, political or social power and are able to influence at a national and sometimes international level but do not belong to or allied themselves to any particular country or state. The emergence of non-state actors and the transnational relations have attacked the state-centric international system. It has changed the nature of international relations. Non-state actors have forced a change in the concepts of sovereignty and nationalism. These have affected the role of the nation-states as the actors in international relations. The policies, decisions and actions of the nation-states now bear the increasing influence of the presence and activities of the non-state actors. Evidently, the term non-state is applicable to a large number of very different actors with distinct roles in societies in conflict, from non-governmental organizations, multinational corporations, media, religious groups to violent non-state actors such as armed groups, warlords, criminal and terrorist organizations. As stated, the security of the individual is no longer defined exclusively within the realm of states or of the state security.

3.    Non-state actors’ recent actions
The most problematic issues that are to be tackled by Security Council are those connected to the Islamic State, Ukrainian crisis and Boko Haram in Nigeria. However this year has an unseen pattern of attacks all around the world linked to the most common non-state actor in the recent past- the Islamic State. Self-proclaimed IS has conducted more than 1400 terrorist attacks in 29 countries other than Syria and Iraq. This means that actions of IS are also spread to the European and Northern American soil (Paris, Brussels etc.).

At the beginning of 2016 IS fighters executed 300 West African migrants, bombed Iraq several times with over 600 victims, massacred people in Syria and that is just the part of total of the Middle East attacks. Since 8th of June there has been significant attacks perpetrated by IS on every 84 hours and that is excluding the countries in war zones: Egypt, Libya, Syria and Iraq (*2). The number of foreigners fighting for IS has dropped by half in the past year (12,000 current) but the ones committed are attacking across the globe cities that were not under threat of terrorist attacks until IS influence. As far as this global problem is concerned the international community is relying on the multilateral executive body (Security Council) as the best solution provider.

4.    Actions by Security Council
The Security Council, a constantly attentive executive organ, has a broad range of considerable means at its disposal for that purpose under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, starting with diplomatic or economic sanctions and ending with military measures.  Security Council’s reactions concerning non-state actors were mostly ad hoc answers to the crisis of the day (i.e.  Al-Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, Boko-Haram, Al- Nusrah Front and most recently IS). The UN SC Resolution 2249 (*3) states that ‘the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as Da’esh), constitutes a global and unprecedented threat to international peace and security’. In the previous UN SC Resolution 2214 (*4)  it is stated that ‘sanctions are an important tool under the Charter of the United Nations in the maintenance and restoration of international peace and security’. UN SC  recognizes the threat and acts upon it by using the Chapter VII, but it is questionable where should the ultimate solution be focused on, and in which direction should it go in order for the problematic issues to be reduced.

During our discussion in March the following questions, among others, should be tackled:
How should the development of future violent non-state actors be prevented?
How much resources should be spent on militarization of policing?
How effective are the existing mechanisms stated in the UN SC Resolutions, and how to improve them? 

1)  United Nations Charter: https://treaties.un.org/doc/publication/ctc/uncharter.pdf
2)  Intel center- tracks acts of terrorism: http://intelcenter.com/#gs.MmaDQcg
3)  S/RES/2249: http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=S/RES/2249(2015)
4)  S/RES/2214: http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=S/RES/2214(2015)

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