Historical Security Council, 1969

In August 1969, Irish Taoiseach Jack Lynch called for the deployment of United Nations Peacekeepers to stabilize the country. For months, violence between Irish loyalists and nationalists had increased over the status of Northern Ireland. His calls went unanswered, and the United Nations remained largely uninvolved in the conflict that came to be known as The Troubles, which would go on for almost another three decades and claim over 3,500 lives. However, what if the United Nations had decided to get involved with the conflict? In this Historical Security Council, delegates will evaluate the conflict in Northern Ireland from the perspective of the international community and make difficult choices to decide when, how, or even if to get involved with stopping the violence taking place there. Involving elements of guerilla warfare and terrorism, as well as topics including religious conflict and the right to self-determination, this multifaceted issue remains relevant to this day. Delegates must embrace diplomacy and creative problem-solving if they are to rewrite history and bring an end to one of the deadliest European conflicts of the past 50 years.



Director's Letter


Dear Delegates,

My name is Brendan Chapuis, and I am excited to be your director for the Historical Security Council, 1969 at HNMUN 2020! I look forward to getting to know you both as delegates and people over the course of the conference, but for now here is a little background on who I am and what I do. I am a sophomore at Harvard College studying Government, and I am looking to pursue a career in public policy or diplomacy. As a member of the International Relations Council, I am very involved with different Model UN programs: besides directing for HNMUN, I compete with the Intercollegiate Model UN travel team, I am a business director for HMUN (our sister conference for high school students), and will also be directing a similar committee to this one at our conference in China next year. In addition, I enjoy traveling and photography and work as a sports photographer for our school’s paper, The Crimson.

The primary topic up for discussion in our committee will be the Northern Ireland Conflict, commonly referred to as “The Troubles.” The primary issue at stake in this conflict was whether or not Northern Ireland should remain in the United Kingdom or join a united Ireland. However, the violence was much more complicated, as there were also elements of ethnic and religious conflict. In the wake of the Battle of the Bogside of August 1969 between the loyalist-backed Royal Ulster Constabulary and nationalists, Taoiseach Jack Lynch called for the deployment of United Nations Peacekeeping forces to intervene in the conflict. Historically, the United Nations Security Council did not grant the Taoiseach’s request and did not intervene. For that matter, the United Nations did not give the conflict much attention at all. In this committee, I would like to consider an alternative history in which the international community actively seeks a satisfactory and peaceful solution for the conflict in Northern Ireland.

Our committee will begin in August 1969, in the days following Jack Lynch’s call for international intervention. As a committee, it will be up to you to decide the best course of action for mitigating violence in Ireland and Northern Ireland, whether that be the deployment of Peacekeepers as has been requested, or a different political solution to the crisis at hand. Along the way, you will be required to respond to incidents as they arise, and will watch as the implications of your decisions unfold. By looking at this specific case where the UN did not get involved, and subsequently looking at the consequences of that decision, it is my hope that we will gain a better understanding of what role the international community should play in solving these problems. Furthermore, having a strong understanding of the Northern Ireland conflict is especially relevant today given the complications that would be presented with Ireland if the United Kingdom were to successfully withdraw from the European Union.

It is my goal to create an environment in committee that is accepting of all, regardless of background and identity. If you have any questions about or suggestions for how we, as director and delegates, can work together to create an inclusive committee, please feel free to reach out to me at hsc@hnmun.org. Similarly, I will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding the background guide, plans for our committee, and the conference in general. I look forward to meeting and working with you, and hearing your discussions and creative solutions for the Northern Ireland conflict next February at HNMUN 2020!

Best regards,

Brendan Chapuis
Director, Historical Security Council, 1969


Crisis Director's Letter


Dear Delegates,

Welcome to Harvard National Model United Nations 2020! My name is Alec Fischthal and I will be the Crisis Director of the Historical Security Council, 1969. I am a junior at Harvard concentrating in History with a secondary in Government. I am originally  from Long Island, New York and grew up about forty minutes away from Downtown Manhattan. At Harvard, I serve as the head delegate for Harvard’s Intercollegiate Model UN Team, moderate for our high school conference Harvard Model United Nations, and am active politically through the Institute of Politics. In my free time, I enjoy tennis, excessively big biographies, and learning esoteric historical trivia.

This year, the Historical Security Council committee will be tackling the period of time known as “ the Troubles” in Northern Ireland. This delicate and nuanced conflict will surely yield interesting and detailed debate from you all, as well as exciting and historically substantive crisis arcs. 1969 is truly a time of great change and possibility for Northern Ireland and Europe in general, and I can’t wait to see what you come up with. This topic will challenge your critical thinking, strategizing, and analytical skills. The work that you do for this committee will have ramifications for not just Great Britain or Ireland itself, but also for the the way in which international bodies work to solve contentious conflict across borders.

As a Crisis Director, I am eager to see substantive, well thought out crisis arcs which advance the flow of committee. Particularly, I feel that notes and arc should be tied to actions being taken in committee, in order to demonstrate an aptitude for both in and out room dynamics

I also want to ensure that the Historical Security Council will be a welcoming committee, where all will feel accepted and validated, regardless of identity. Additionally, I hope for it to be supportive environment for delegates with all levels of experience in Model UN, so please do reach out with questions.

My hope for conference is that you will leave with a greater understanding of not only the time period surrounding the Troubles, but also of the greater ramifications it has had on contemporary European politics. Please feel free to reach out to me with any concerns or questions you may have. I cannot wait to see you all at HNMUN 2020!


Alec Fischthal
Crisis Director, Historical Security Council
Harvard National Model United Nations 2020