Security Council
United Kingdom


Kim Vu

Cite as

Position Paper


Tran Quoc Kim Vu ▪ ▪ Germany ▪ University of Cologne

United Kingdom ▪ Security Council

Topic A: Unrest in Burundi

Possible clashes in the topic

If the states consider sending a UN peacekeeping mission to ensure the safety of civilians, the requirements of Art. 39 UN Charter must be fulfilled; there must be a threat or breach of international peace and security – the emphasis being on the word “international”. The situation in Burundi might be qualified as an internal affair without international dimensions. An action by the UN SC based on Chapter VII would then amount to a violation of state sovereignty. This is debatable. The issue is directly linked to the question whether the UN should be involved with more than mere statements and recommendations.

Some states might take the stance that the situation in Burundi, should be dealt with by the affected neighbor-states or regional African organizations, namely the EAC and the AU. Another clash might occur when it comes to the question whether or to which extent the UN should get involved in the refugee situation. Lastly, clashes are likely when it comes to the possible solutions between the Burundian Government and the Opposition. An extreme position might be to postpone the election and establish a transitional authority by the UN – a similar measure was previously taken in Cambodia.

Information on the topic in general & my country’s perspective on it

The Burundian situation is reminiscent of the initial stages of the Ukraine crisis. It also started with constitutional issues. The constitution, however, is an exclusively national matter. It is an established rule of international law – both in customary law as well as treaty law, namely the UN Charter – that states must not interfere with matters that are purely of national character. However, the international practice has developed over the last centuries and now considers matters to be of international character which were traditionally seen as being national.

The United Kingdom is concerned by the influence of the Burundian government on the constitutional court as well as the human rights situation in Burundi. It is of the opinion that the current situation cannot stay as it is. Howe...