International law, norms, institutions—and even the United Nations Charter—have traditionally banned any form of intervention in the internal affairs of sovereign states. However, foreign military intervention has become the most frequent form of military use just as civil war has become the dominant form of modern conflict. Out of the 138 civil wars that have occurred since the end of World War II, the international community has intervened in almost two-thirds of them. Nevertheless, intervention only helped to bring about a conclusion in 30% of those cases.
Transitional justice, a rather contemporary concept, seeks to create legitimate responses to massive abuses by recognizing the dignity of individuals, redressing the violations, and establishing measures—both judicial and non-judicial—to prevent them from happening again. Thus, in addition to the traditional approach of criminal justice, transitional justice seeks to also support societal reconciliation and political transformation. According to the International Center for Transitional Justice, some aims of transitional justice include: establishing accountable institutions and restoring confidence in them, making access to justice a reality for the most vulnerable in society in the aftermath of conflict, ensuring that women and marginalized groups play an effective role in the pursuit of a just society, and ultimately facilitating a smooth transition into a more peaceful future.
In this committee, delegates will be asked to work together to create guidelines on what the future of foreign intervention in civil wars should look like. Legal, moral, and ethical standards must be considered. Delegates will be expected to discuss when and if foreign military intervention is an appropriate solution, when and if human rights violations call for humanitarian intervention, and ultimately how the international community should move forward on this pressing issue. You will also be tasked with establishing guidelines for how the international community should address the rise of new regimes facing massive human rights violations while using—or completely disproving—the notion of transitional justice.
First Committee: Disarmament and International Security