[MUNUC 35] United Nations Security Council, 1980 UNSC

GROUP: Hybrid


  • Marce Sanchez (She/Her/Hers)
  • Juliet Goswami (She/Her/Hers)
  • Nyah DeValle (She/Her/Hers)
Email Committee Chair

Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, El Salvador faced many empire and regime changes; a revolving succession of authoritarian leaders and civilian resistance characterized this instability. The actions of the Salvadoran economic and political elite, in conjunction with the introduction of cash crops like coffee, underpinned the unstable state. In this highly inegalitarian society, only a fraction of a percent of the population owned over three quarters of the land, and to maintain this economic supremacy, the upper class blocked agricultural reform measures meant to redistribute land and wealth; this widening economic gap, electoral fraud, and increasingly violent police measures fueled the October 1979 coup d’etat.
The military junta violently repressed the Salvadoran people, targeting activists, student organizations, and unions; in response, these groups formed guerilla groups that consolidated under the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN). The left-wing insurgency also had support from local Catholic clergy. However, the United States and other countries supported the regime, providing economic and military aid throughout the conflict. In the ten years that followed, unemployment and poverty rates skyrocketed, inflation grew exponentially, and economic inequality intensified. Furthermore, tens of thousands of Salvadorans died in battle and several thousand more disappeared. Over 500,000 were internally displaced, and 500,000 more became refugees.
Although the UN likes to tout their efforts in the Salvadoran peace process, and it considers the Salvadoran Mission one of the Security Council’s crowning achievements, by the time ONUSAL, the UN Observer Mission to El Salvador, had been established, the civil war had been raging for a decade. States and international bodies alike had intervened in various capacities, sometimes to bring humanitarian aid, sometimes to advance their own interests. Our committee will begin in January of 1980, a few months after the military coup that set off the chain of events. With the benefit of hindsight, delegates will navigate this conflict from the beginning; when is international intervention geopolitically and morally appropriate? Where is the line between humanitarian mediation and international overreach? How can the UNSC address the humanitarian crises without introducing full-scale missions? The format of the UNSC is similar to previous years: the committee will flip between general assembly and crisis each session. Sessions I, III, and V will be General Assembly while Sessions II and IV will be crisis. We look forward to meeting each of you, and can’t wait to see what direction the committee moves in!