© Università degli Studi di Padova - Credits: HCE Web agency
University of Padova, March 18th 2013
Students enrolled in the Bachelor degree course in “Political Science, International Relations and Human Rights” at the University of Padua participated in a simulation of a UN Security Council meeting on the situation in Syria.
The initiative was supported by a group of thirty students, as part of the educational activities promoted by the International Relations Course of prof. Marco Mascia. It consisted of a role-play in which the participants represent the delegations of various States in the Security Council. The simulation aimed to encourage a better understanding of the decision-making mechanisms within the United Nations as well as to promote its actions and its constituent bodies, especially the Security Council.
In Syria, there is an ongoing conflict which, according to the estimates of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, from 2011 has caused the lives of more than 60,000 people. An intervention to put an end to violence by the international community has not yet been possible due to the stalemate within the UN Security Council.
The simulation aimed to provide an alternative viewpoint on how to resolve the crisis in Syria. Students prepared for the simulation by researching the States’ perspectives, and preparing a position paper. Each student representing a State was then asked to summarise its will and negotiating position. In addition, the students worked to draft a Security Council Resolution on the Syrian crisis, starting from keywords such as: cease-fire, disarmament, peacekeeping, peacebuilding, transitional government, refugees and human rights.