Vice Chair: Claire Lee

Topic 1: The Cuban Missile Crisis

After the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion of 1961, Cuban leader Fidel Castro, a self-declared Marxist, requested for the Soviet Union to locate its nuclear missiles on the island in order to prevent further harassment by the United States. Viewing the deal as an opportunity to check the presence of US missiles in Italy and Turkey, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev agreed to the request, and the construction of missile launch facilities in Cuba began in the summer of 1962. Having confirmed missile preparations on the island, the United States Executive Committee of the National Security Council (EXCOMM) decided upon the implementation of a military blockade on Cuba. Both sides are gridlocked into a perilous stalemate, and as the entire world stands paralyzed by the possibility of mutually assured destruction, the UN Security Council is left to deal with the crux of Cold War tensions and perhaps some of the most dangerous days in the history of mankind.

Topic 2: The Congo Crisis

The former Belgian colony of the Congo gained independence in 1960. However, with it's large land area, wealth of natural resources, divisions of tribal allegiances, and heavy reliance upon the Belgian colonial civil service, the Congo became a breeding ground for especially turbulent political strife. Just five days into independence, the Congolese army instigated a series of rebellions, and in July 1960, the Congolese Cabinet requested military assistance from the UN. Seeing an opportunity to showcase its peacekeeping capabilities, the UN sent the United Nations Operation in the Congo (ONUC) into the country. However, the ONUC refused to assist the central government against secessionist states, and the frustrated Congolese leader Patrice Lumumba turned to the Soviet Union for assistance instead. The United States became alarmed at Soviet intervention, frightened by the possibility of the Congo becoming a strategic Soviet client state. The next two years would consist of an extensive series of rebellions, coups, and executions. In the midst of Cold War tensions, the Security Council faces a paramount challenge in responding to the deteriorating human rights situation and preventing full-scale civil war in the Congo.