Geneva II Syria Peace Talks
It is January 22, 2014--the first day of the Geneva II Conference on Syria. As civil war rages and the international community has done little to stem the killing of both sides, delegates from across the world are meeting to negotiate a peaceful solution to the conflict. Syria has been wrought for almost four years by fighting between the dictatorial regime of Bashar al-Assad and a collection of disparate rebel groups. Faced with a government that uses torture tactics and chemical weapons on one side and a spectrum of equally violent rebel forces on the other, the international community has been cautious to intervene.
Now as the death toll rises past 130,000 and more than 2 million refugees flee the war-torn country, representatives from the world’s largest superpowers and organizations, the Syrian government, Syrian rebel forces, and other Middle Eastern countries with regional interests will come together to address the conflict. The topics on the table include supplying aid to those caught between the opposing factions, finding homes for the thousands of refugees pouring out of Syria, and brokering an end to the bloody civil war. Possible crises include the refusal of other countries to allow refugees to cross their borders, an episode involving chemical weapons, and an unexpected intervention, military or otherwise, of a major superpower.
The success of the Geneva II talks will depend on the ability of its players to compromise or, alternatively, to achieve their goals through more treacherous means. While the real-world Geneva II talks play out before our eyes, delegates should not feel bound by the events of that conference. Their actions must be consistent with those of their countries or groups, but not necessarily the same. This convention will be unlike most peace talks, and delegates should be prepared to face a whirlwind of crises that will force them to think outside of the box and move beyond the negotiation table.
Committee Organizers: Annie Warnke, Chloe Hyman, Hudson Cooke, Connor Haseley, Violet Low-Beinart, and Ava Anderson