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Historic Security Council, 1991

Agenda: Indonesian invasion of East Timor

Indonesia invaded East Timor on December 7th 1975,  justifying their actions by falsely propagating to the world that East Timor's newly formed political party and resistance organization FRETILIN (The Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor), were in support of communism. This false allegation was used as grounds to avoid condemnation from the international community. East Timor had just gained independence from Portugal on November 11th 1975 and was therefore in its most  vulnerable state. This paved the way for Indonesia to invade no less than a month later. The invasion wreaked havoc in the nation with surges of violence and brutality, displacing millions of people. By 1978, about ⅓ of the population had perished under Indonesian rule.

FRETILIN had ties with communist nations, which provoked the Indonesian Government. Indonesia saw this as a threat to their security and claimed to act in ‘self defense’ to justify gaining control of the country. The Timor Sea that bordered East Timor, was the perfect ground for invasion, enabling Indonesia to access crucial marine trade routes which further incentivised them to invade. In addition to this, due to historical and cultural relations, Indonesia considered East Timor to be a part of their territory and therefore felt it was their right to claim it back. The fact that West Timor was already a part of the Indonesian colony caused them to seek control of the East as well. Moreover, East Timor was  known to have an abundance of oil and gas reserves that Indonesia wanted to gain control of.

With all the pieces slowly falling into place, “Operation Seroja”  (also known as Operation Lotus) was initiated, costing the country its stability, sovereignty and immediate future.

East Timor has now been under the control of Indonesia for 16 years. During this time Indonesian troops have carried out multiple human rights violations such as illegal killings and kidnappings, as well as sexual violence and unlawful arrests. Yesterday, on 12th of November 1991, the troops raided Dili - the capital of East Timor, open firing at a peaceful procession that was mourning the death of their independence activist, Sebastião Gomes. Amongst the demonstrators were countless students and ordinary citizens that were innocent and unjustly targeted. We estimate that about 250-300 people were murdered in that procession, with several others injured.

Today, as we all gather at the Security Council, it is imperative that the delegates study the human rights abuses and crimes committed by the Indonesian military, and reach a final  consensus on immediate social and political action to be taken to combat this mass genocide.

We look forward to constructive debate from the delegates, and hope to find an answer to the most vital question - Does East Timor belong to Indonesia? Delegates, it’s time to act now. Will you support East Timor's fight for freedom and help it regain its sovereignty? or will you recognise Indonesia's claim and help them gain absolute control over the territory they feel they deserve? The choice is yours. We hope you are up for the challenge.

Letter from the Director

Dear Delegates,

It is my honour and privilege to welcome you to the Historic Security Council, at the 27th annual Cathedral Model United Nations Conference.

This committee will be responsible for tackling the Indonesian invasion of East Timor, in 1991. The crisis highlights issues of sovereignty and false propaganda, while being played out against the cold war power dynamics which polarised world politics at the time. Will conflicting ideas of capitalism and communism take precedence in delegates’ decisions, or will the council stick to its mandate and work for peace and security of member nations? This is the key question for our committee.

This committee will be extremely fast paced, with a barrage of updates and crises that will demand dynamic and quick thinking from each of you. It will force you to think creatively and work collaboratively, through the course of the committee. Delegates will be indubitably obligated, to choose between their personal interests and the good of the committee. With every fleeting moment, the future of East Timor and its people hang in the balance.

To adequately address the agenda and balance ideas of sovereignty, peace, and polarisation of power, delegates will also be required to display excellent lobbying skills. This is essential for  arriving at an effective resolution to the crisis. I would implore delegates to conform diligently to their national policies, and ally strategically in line with the deluge of crises we will have to strike a balance of power in committee.

I, Tia Bhatnagar, will be the director of your committee and am extremely excited to see what each delegate brings to the table at this conference. I am a student in grade 12 at the Cathedral and John Connon School Mumbai. I am extremely interested in Economics, Psychology and Math, that is of course when I’m not engrossed in binging- new shows or finding new music to listen to. Other than MUN, I am highly interested in debates, piano and tennis. This is my 5th and final CMUN and I hope to make it as memorable as I can. Please feel free to approach me with any questions regarding the committee or even with new music and show recommendations any time. On a more serious note, the level of debate in this committee will be extremely high and will demand presence of mind, thorough research, and the best of your diplomatic skills. I eagerly look forward to meeting all of you. Until then.

Tia Bhatnagar, 
Historic Security Council

Tia .jpg

Tia Bhatnagar


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