Topic A: Uncertain future: the Iran Nuclear Deal
The Iran Nuclear Deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), is an agreement regarding the Iranian nuclear programme established in Vienna on the 14th July 2015 between Iran, the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany) and the European Union. Under the agreement, the Islamic republic has to employ a series of measures that would substantially halt the development of their nuclear sector, implying limitations on the amount of enriched uranium produced and deposited within the state as well as considerable downgrades of nuclear facilities. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is the regulatory body tasked with monitoring compliance with the imposed conditions. The agreement specifies that in the event of Iran abiding by its commitments, a series of nuclear-related economic sanctions will be lifted by the United States, the European Union and the United Nations Security Council. In the light of President Donald Trump’s withdrawal of the United States from the landmark nuclear deal, committing to re-impose sanctions on the country in spite of desperate pleas from close allies, and Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu’s allegations undermining the authenticity of Iran’s reports on downsizing nuclear development, what course of action should the Security Council take concerning the future of the infamous nuclear deal?
Topic B: Paradise lost: the Venezuelan Crisis
Venezuela was a powerhouse of South America in the 1990s. The country turned towards socialism in 1999 and elected Hugo Chavez president. He championed populism, cut ties with the United States and cozied up to China and Russia, both of which loaned Venezuela billions. In the meantime, Venezuela has undergone a crisis since late president Chávez's tenure and which extended into the current incumbency of Nicolás Maduro. The opposition says that the United Socialist Party (PSUV) - from which both Chavez and Maduro came - proceeded to erode Venezuela's democratic institutions. The state has been extensively crippled by political corruption, scarcity of basic products, closure of companies, deterioration of productivity and competitiveness, and high dependence on oil. It seemed like a potential political turning point in 2015 when opposition leaders won a majority of seats in the National Assembly, dealing a blow to Maduro. But early in 2016, Maduro flooded the Supreme Court with his supporters to block the National Assembly from impeaching him. Key was the surprise announcement by the Supreme Court that it was taking over the powers of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, leading to months of protests that have left nearly 100 dead. In the midst of this, the Security Council finds itself in a conundrum: should Member States involve themselves as a whole in the process of revitalisation - thus possibly having to support one of the two existing powers or should they opt for a distant approach and by extension letting the country solve its own internal turmoils - even if it is done at the expense of the citizens’ welfare?