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Scandinavian Model United Nations 2018
Forum: General Assembly.
Issue: The question of eliminating and preventing all forms of social and political extremism.
Student Officers: Rebecca Firinu, Rebekah Affleck, Anvitha Shastry
In recent years, the world has witnessed new waves of violent extremism that have taken many
innocents lives. Whether based on religious, ethnic, or political grounds, extremist ideologies
glorify the supremacy of a particular group. This is reminiscent of the years between the first and
second World War where the rise in extremism led to one of the most brutal wars and casualties
in world history. This rise of extremism was evident in European countries such as Italy and
Germany and Asian countries such as Japan. This extremism was due to factors leading to
discontent in these countries and this emerged from high unemployment rates, the result of the
Paris Peace conference, and nationalism. Similarly, we can see the emergence of extremist
groups in the 21st century in various countries around the world. This again, includes European
countries such as Germany, with the emergence of PEGIDA and AFD and France, with Marie
Le Penn and the National Front.The Brexit vote is also an indication of this rise in extremism
and right-wing thinking. Additionally, Middle Eastern countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan
have also seen the rise in extremism through organisations such as ISIS and the Taliban. This
spike in social and political extremism could lead to dangerous consequences worldwide.
Definition of Key Terms
Extremism: Belief in and support of ideas that by the general population are deemed
unreasonable and unacceptable. Extremist ideas frequently include a claim for exclusion or
persecution of defined groups in society, and protection/idolisation of a national or religious
group of “elites”.
Political extremism: Holding extreme political views that largely diverge from society’s norms.
Social extremism: Referring to an ideology that is considered to be far from acceptable,
Religious extremism: Referring to an ideology that is considered to be far from acceptable,
and is based on a interpretation of religious doctrine.
Socioeconomic disparities: The range of socioeconomic standing within a nation, often
measured using the Gini coefficient.
Terrorism: Any action (or threat of an action) that is intended to cause death or serious bodily
harm to civilians or non-combatants, when the purpose of such an act, by its nature or context,
is to intimidate a population, or to compel a Government or an international organization to do or
to abstain from doing any act. Terrorism is a dangerous form of extremism
Some examples of extremist groups are:
Al- Qaeda: Al-Qaeda is a militant Sunni, Islamist multi-national organization founded in 1988 by
Osama Bin Laden, Abdullah Azzam. Created in an effort to fight against the Soviet invasion of
Afghanistan in the 1980s.
ISIS: The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria
and by its Arabic language acronym DAESH, is a Salafi jihadist militant group that follows a
fundamentalist, Wahhabi doctrine of Sunni Islam.
- Salafi: Conservative reform branch or movement within Sunni
Islam that developed in Arabia in the first half of the 18th century.
Fundamentalist: Person who believes in the strict, literal
interpretation of scripture in a religion.
Wahhabi: A member of a strictly orthodox Sunni Muslim sect.
Taliban: The Taliban, alternatively spelled Taleban, is an Islamic fundamentalist political
movement rooted in Afghanistan, currently waging war within the country.
Irish Republican army: The Real Irish Republican Army or Real IRA, also referred to as the
New IRA, is an Irish republican paramilitary organization that aims to unite Ireland. It is an illegal
organization rooted in the Republic of Ireland and deemed a terrorist organization by the United
Kingdom and the United States.
Hezbollah: Kata'ib Hezbollah is an Iraqi Shia paramilitary group supported by the nation of Iran.
During the Iraq War, this group fought against American forces.
Ku Klux Klan: A secret organization composed of Protestant Americans, mainly located in the
South, who use violence against African American people, Jewish people, and other minority
groups which challenge their ideal of “Pure Americanism.”
Hamas: Hamas is a Palestinian Sunni-Islamic fundamentalist organization. It has a social
service wing, Dawah, and a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades. Since 2007, the
group has seized and the governing authority of the Gaza Strip.
Boko Haram: Boko Haram is an Islamic extremist group based in Northeastern Nigeria, also
active in Chad, Niger and in the North of Cameroon. Since the uprising in 2009, it has killed
20,000 and displaced 2.3 million from their homes. In 2015, it was ranked as the world's
deadliest terror group by the Global Terrorism Index.
Al-Shabaab: Jihadist terrorist group based in East Africa, Somalia. In 2012, it pledged
allegiance to the militant Islamist organization Al-Qaeda.
Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West (PEGIDA): German political
pressure group which emerged in Germany due to the increase in refugees in order to “protect”
the western world from the spread of the religion of Islam. This Islamification urged members of
PEGIDA to hold daily rallies and spread information through major German cities. Their aim is to
prevent the destruction of German traditional culture in the face of Islam. They stand for the
creation of a safer Germany and helping German families more than refugees and immigrants.
Alternative for Germany (AFD): Largest opposition party in Germany. Their aims consist of
internal security, negative migration, up keeping culture and trade protectionism.
European Identitarian Movement: Various identitarian movements have appeared throughout
Europe. These movements directly encourage racism and xenophobia through their white
nationalist agenda. These movements have grown notably in Sweden, Austria, France, and
Germany. The aim of this party is to preserve European Christianity and the white race in
Europe in addition to European culture and combating the Islamification of their countries.
It must be recognized that terrorism is a subset and result of extremism. Moreover, it is
important to understand that not all extremists are terrorist, and wish to use violence to cause
Major Countries and Organisations involved:
United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (OCT): United Nations Office of
Counter-Terrorism (OCT) was established in June 2017 as a result of the General Assembly
resolution 71/291. The OCT has five main functions which include:
(a) provide leadership on the General Assembly counter-terrorism mandates entrusted to
the Secretary-General from across the United Nations system;
(b) enhance coordination and coherence across the 38 Counter-Terrorism
Implementation Task Force entities to ensure the balanced implementation of the four
pillars of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy;
(c) strengthen the delivery of United Nations counter-terrorism capacity-building
assistance to Member States;
(d) improve visibility, advocacy and resource mobilization for United Nations
counter-terrorism efforts; and
(e) ensure that due priority is given to counterterrorism across the United Nations system
and that the important work on preventing violent extremism is firmly rooted in the
NATO: NATO’s work on counter-terrorism focuses on improving awareness of the threat,
developing capabilities to prepare and respond, and enhancing engagement with partner
countries and other international actors.
Human Rights Watch: Human Rights Watch is an international non-governmental organization
that conducts research and advocacy on human rights.
Examples of countries notorious for their extremism are listed below, giving an overview
of causes of extremism and the various forms it appears in.
Iraq: Prior to the invasion of 2003 levels of terrorism were very low, however, because of the
destabilisation of the country there has been a steady rise of terrorism and according to the
2017 Global Terrorism Index Iraq is been considered the number one country impacted by
Afghanistan: Taliban, a extremist group based in Afghanistan, is responsible for 94% of the
deaths caused by terrorist attacks in 2016. As of April 2017, the Taliban had control of over 11%
of the country and contested another 29% of Afghanistan's 398 districts.
Nigeria: Recently, Nigeria saw the biggest decrease in deaths from terrorism. Deaths have
dropped by 63% from 4,940 in 2015 to 1,832 in 2016. This significant decrease has coincided
with successful military actions against various terrorist (extremists)???? groups coupled with a
decline in domestic support for these groups due to their coercive approaches to recruitment
and the pillaging of villages.
Syria: Terrorism in Syria is linked to the ongoing civil war which began in 2011. In 2016, around
three quarters of deaths from terrorism in Syria were committed by ISIS, which killed 1,504
people. Over half of all ISIS’s terrorist activities targeted civilians and civilian deaths accounted
for over half of the deaths caused by the group. ISIS also targeted businesses, utilities and
religious sites such as the suicide attack at a Shi’a shrine which killed 83 people. Most deaths
resulted from bombings and explosions, including suicide bombings that targeted crowds.
Suicide bombings were much more deadly than other tactics with an average of 17 more deaths
Pakistan: Since 2014 terrorism in Pakistan has slowly been decreased this reduction in deaths
from terrorism attributed to Operation Zarb-e-Azb by the Pakistani Army; a military effort which
started in mid-2014. The operation focused on destroying militant safe havens in the North
Waziristan district of the federally administered tribal areas. As a result of this operation, the
military estimates that over 3,500 TTP members have been killed. It is also assumed that many
more members have fled into Afghanistan, which unfortunately has augmented the number of
Taliban fighters in Afghanistan.
Sweden: The creation of extra-territorial zones around the country resulted in areas where
Swedish law is not respected but other laws are implemented by the citizens such as Sharia
Law. These so called “no-go zones” have appeared throughout major Swedish cities and are
now not entered by Swedish citizens due to fear of being beaten or sexually harassed. Even
police officers are afraid to enter such zones and when chasing suspects, they will not continue
if the suspect enters these areas. The Swedish government denies that such areas exist yet
documentaries in addition to interviews with ex-police officers challenge these allegations. In
addition, the Nordic Resistance Movement (NRM) is active in Sweden. NRM has enjoyed gains in
popular support in recent years. For example it’s membership grew by one-third from 2015 to 2016.
As of March 2017, support for the anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats party had doubled since 2014
elections, according to public opinion polls.
France: France notoriously banned the Burkini on beaches for a temporary period of time in
order to combat the islamification of culture and keep France’s secularism. France suffered from
a row of terrorist attacks all performed by Islamic extremists some of whom entered the country
as refugees from Syria and committed these crimes as members of the terrorist organisation
Austria: Austria recently held a legislative election in which populist Sebastian Kurz took power,
since then the Austrian government has been pushing for stricter control on certain sections of
the population. Austria has a history of actions that may be interpreted as extremist, in 2014
Austria called for standardized German-language translations of the Koran and moved to
prohibit foreign funding of Muslim organizations on its soil. More recently, politicians are
attempting to ban the veil in public places.
Poland: Poland has had a long history with radical political movements, from the solidarity
movement to the rise of neo-nazis. Recently, the political landscape has shifted to the right with
extremism becoming the new norm.
Italy: Beginning in the late 1960s, Italy experienced extremism perpetrated by far-left, far-right,
and nationalist Palestinian extremists within the country. More recently, a combination of a
struggling economy and the influx of refugees from the Middle East and North Africa have
helped to fuel a fresh wave of far-right extremism. The neo-fascist political group Forza Nuova,
for example, has exploited fears of refugees in an attempt to further its xenophobic policies.
Forza Nuova encourages ethnic Italian population growth and seeks to ban abortion and
reinstate the Catholic Church as the official church of the Italian Republic. Forza Nuova also
opposes gay marriage and adoption by gay couples, as its followers are strict followers of
Turkey: Extremist group PKK within Turkey stands by extreme separatist, far-left, Islamist
ideologies. The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (Partiya Karekeren Kurdistan, or PKK) has fought for the
establishment of a Kurdish state since 1984. The Turkish government classifies the PKK as the most
dangerous terror group within Turkey.
Hungary: Hungary has become the hub for alt-right extremism to fester due to the two major
parties in the country being extreme far-right. The governing party, Fidesz and opposition party,
Jobbik make up most of the national assembly, reflecting the alt-right perspective of the country.
Jobbik members openly express their anti-Semitic and anti-Roma sentiment which is
exemplified through their slogan “Hungary for Hungarians”. The Jobbik party had also burnt the
EU flag in 2012, a clear sign of their anti-EU view. This extremist viewpoint is also shown
through a publishing house, Arktos Media, which is the main translator and distributor of alt-right
works around Europe and the US. With the house being based in Budapest and working closely
with the two majority parties it is not surprising that Hungary has such a large population with an
alt-right sentiment. Hungary also has an anti-immigration policy focusing mainly on African and
Middle Eastern countries as they feel they do not have “the same traditional values”.
Timeline of Events:
Description of Event
Munich Olympics Massacre
Dublin and Monaghan Pub Bombings
Birmingham Pub Bombings
Grand Mosque Siege in Mecca
US embassy bombings in Beirut
Harrods Bombing, London
Air India flight 182
Hipercor Bombing Barcelona
Tokyo underground sarin attempt
Oklahoma city bombing
Columbo central bank bombing, Sri Lanka
Arndale Centre, Manchester
US embassy bombings, Nairobi, Dar Es Salaam
London nail bombings
Madrid train bombings
Mumbai railway bombings
Yazidi community bombings
Siege of Mumbai
Boston marathon bombings
Lee Rigby murder
Chibok schoolgirls kidnapping
Sousse beach attack
Metrojet flight 9268
Orlando nightclub shooting
Saudi Arabia bombings
Istanbul nightclub shooting
French presidential elections
German elections with gain in AFD seats
Parsons Green explosion
New York attack
Sinai mosque attack
Relevant UN Treaties and Historical Events
● Treaty Of Versailles, 28th June 1919
● Secretary General’s Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism, 15th January 2016
● Geneva Conference on Preventing Violent Extremism, 7-8th April 2016
● Resolution 291 “Fifth Review of Global Counterterrorism Strategy” 1st July 2016
“Terrorism Timeline.” Terrorism Timeline, since911.com/explore-911/terrorism-timeline.
“Populism and Political Extremism.” Model United Nations Aarhus, 6 Mar. 2015,
“Terrorism.” United Nations, United Nations,
Global Terrorism Index 2017 . Institute for economics & peace,
Nato. “Countering terrorism.” NATO, www.nato.int/cps/ua/natohq/topics_77646.htm.
UNDP. “PREVENTING VIOLENT EXTREMISM THROUGH PROMOTING INCLUSIVE
DEVELOPMENT, TOLERANCE AND RESPECT FOR DIVERSITY.” United Nations
OSCE. Preventing Terrorism and Countering Violent Extremism and Radicalization that Lead to
Terrorism: A Community-Policing Approach. Organization for security and cooperation in
Europe , www.osce.org/atu/111438?download=true.
"Treaty of Versailles." Britannica School, Encyclopædia Britannica, 21 Jul. 2017.
“PEGIDA.” PEGIDA - Patriotische Europäer Gegen Die Islamisierung Des Abendlandes,
PEGIDA - Patriotische Europäer Gegen Die Islamisierung Des Abendlandes, www.pegida.de/
Lotem, Dr Itay. “After The Loss, What's Going On With Le Pen?” HuffPost UK, HuffPost, 12 May
Local, The. “So... Are They No-Go Zones? What You Need to Know about Sweden's Vulnerable
Areas.”The Local, The Local, 21 June 2017,
United Nations, General Assembly, Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism: report of the
Secretary-General, A/70/674 (24 December 2015), available from undocs.org/A/70/674.
Carol Schaeffer. “How Hungary Became a Haven for the Alt-Right.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media
Company, 28 May 2017,
Bayer, Lili. “Hungarian left's far-Right dilemma.” POLITICO, POLITICO, 20 Dec. 2017,