Model United Nations: Special Session of the UN Security Council on the Responsibility to Protect

Course Level

intermediate - advanced / 3rd - 4th year

Course Language


Course Organization

2 hours per week + conference (2 entire days)


5 (if course has been attended regularly and exam has been passed)


The course will be held with changing topics in every semester.

Time Schedule and Course Venue

An up-to-date electronic course catalogue for the winter semester will be available from late August to late February and for the summer semester from late February to mid August on the website Please select "Fachbereiche" - "Rechtswissenschaft" - "Staatsexamensstudiengang" and "Rechtswissenschaft (SPO 2015)" in order to access the Law courses.

Course Content

At the 2005 World Summit, UN Member States endorsed the concept of the Responsibility to Protect, affirming that each State has the "responsibility to protect its populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity". Where States are manifestly failing to assume this responsibility, it shifts to the international community to take collective actions through the UN Security Council to ensure the protection of the population. The responsibility to protect remains controversial among UN Member States, as debates surrounding the crisis in Libya and recent events in Syria and Myanmar show. For the Security Council many questions arise: In which cases does the responsibility to protect apply? Which are the appropriate measures to be taken? Under which circumstances is a military intervention authorized by the Security Council legitimate? Does the responsibility to protect encompass regime change?

We like to invite you to a simulated Special Session of the Security Council to discuss these and other issues involving the Responsibility to Protect and the main organ responsible for international peace and security according to the Charter of the United Nations: the Security Council. Class sessions prior to the simulation will give you an ample overview of the topic. With this class we hope to deepen your knowledge about the functioning of an international body, various aspects of international diplomacy, negotiation techniques, and also hopefully the roots and causes of the diverging opinions on the subject among UN-Member States.
You will be asked to represent one of the members of the Security Council and to take an active part in the class and in negotiations. Participants are expected to research their respective countries' position independently and take over the presentation of a topic listed below by preparing a 4-6 page summary on the subject and a handout for the presentation (up to 3 presenters per topic = team work). Delegations are also asked to prepare a one-page Position Paper. Each Delegation will consist of 1-2 persons.
Members of the Security Council 2018: Belgium, China, Côte d’Ivoire, Dominican Republic, Equatorial Guinea, France, Germany, Indonesia, Kuwait, Peru, Poland, Russian Federation, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States.
Invited States:Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Afghanistan


  1. The Genocide in Rwanda (1994)
  2. The Massacre of Srebrenica (1995)
  3. The Deadlocked Security Council I: The Case of Kosovo (1999)
  4. International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS),
    Report "The Responsibility to Protect" (2001) and the High-Level Panel on hreats, Challenges and Change, Report “A More Secure World: Our hared Responsibility” (2004)
  5. The World Summit Outcome Document (2005)
  6. The Situation in Darfur/Sudan (2006)
  7. The Situation in Kenya (2007)
  8. The Situation in Libya and Security Council Resolution 1973 (2011)
  9. The Deadlocked Security Council II: The Situation in Syria

Restricted Enrollment

yes (that means that the number of participants is limited and that you might not get a place in this course)


Due to large student interest in these Security Council simulation events, an application procedure is carried out for every conference.

application deadline: 7 April 2019 (prolonged!)

Your application should include:

  • Personal Details (Name, Address, Phone, Email, Student ID Number)
  • Short CV, including field of studies and number of semesters
  • Short letter of motivation
  • 3 country preferences
  • 2 topic choices

Course Registration

It is not possible to sign up for this course via Campus Management. Once admitted, the course instructor is going to enroll you for this course in Campus Management.

De-Registration from this Course

via e-mail to the course instructor (contact details see below) AND to the International Office at the Law Department

regular drop period: 1 April - 26 April 2019

After the regular drop period you can only drop this course with a valid cause until 14 days prior to the exam.

Type of Exam

position paper, presentation with summary and handout

Exam Period

Presentations will be held throughout the whole course. The position paper will be due prior to the conference.

Registration for the Exam

Students will automatically be registered for the exam when they sign up for this course.

De-Registration from the Exam

Students who drop this course are automatically de-registered from the exam. Students who do not officially drop this course and do not take the exam, are going to finish this course with a non-passing grade (0 points).

Grade Release

via Campus Management


Peggy Wittke
Model United Nations / Model European Union
Freie Universität Berlin
Boltzmannstr. 3
14195 Berlin

Phone: (030) 838 547 05