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Plenary Crisis

By Gillian Chong, Agence-France Presse

Published: 18 Mar 2019 - 09:06 PM

In 1945, World War Two came to an end. The world, overrun for years by conflict and bloodshed, slipped back into a state of peace. However, ripples caused by the second great war are still impacting current world affairs- a fact that can be easily observed from the scorching wasteland that is now the majority of the Earth’s surface.

Seven years ago, as most countries were celebrating the end of the war, two countries, Germany and Japan, were mourning instead. Germany’s leader, Adolf Hitler, had died. Japan had been bombed by nuclear weapons, not once, but twice in the span of three days. Life in these countries after the war was harsh and unforgiving.

Due to this, Germany and Japan soon became hotbeds of anger and resentment towards the rest of the world. The German and Japanese people saw the terms of peace treaties forced on them as unjust, and thus threw their support behind two events: firstly, the second coming of Hitler, and secondly, Japan’s plans to start a nuclear war. The two countries then presented the rest of the world with an ultimatum: agree to their terms, or face war.

These alarming events saw the convening of the United Nations General Assembly. Countries gathered to discuss the threat posed by Japan and West Germany, and to reach an agreement on how they would diffuse the situation.

Firstly, the countries discussed whether or not to give in to Japan and Germany’s demands. A few minutes into the debate, countries split into two distinct camps. The first camp was strongly against the two aggressor states. Made up of countries such as the USA, United Kingdom, Turkey, and the Philippines, these countries condemned the actions of Japan and Germany. Calling the actions taken by Germany and Japan “abhorrent”, they were adamant in not giving in to the terms given by the two countries.

During the debate, Turkey announced that they were “very angry at him (Hitler)”. The USA went further, denouncing Adolf Hitler as a war criminal. They also suggested putting out an arrest warrant for him through Interpol, which later became a commonly touched on topic for debate. However, they dismissed the Japanese threat, claiming there was no definitive proof of Japan owning nuclear weapons.

The solutions proposed by the United Kingdom and the Philippines were far more extreme. The United Kingdom proposed forceful, armed intervention against Germany and Japan using NATO, claiming that it was the only way to avoid the outbreak of a third world war. As for the Philippines, they suggested “bombing Tokyo, to remove the threat of Japan.” Neither solutions were touched on again during the debate.

On the other hand, the opposite camp supported the actions of Germany and Japan. Made up of countries such as Argentina, West Germany themselves, and the Soviet Union (USSR), these countries argued that the actions taken by Hitler and Japan were justified after the unfair terms forced on them after World War Two.

All three countries adopted different stances to back up their stand. Argentina pointed blame at the USA instead of Germany, declaring that “the USA should be ashamed for being so warmongering”. West Germany cast blame on Jews, claiming that they were behind the two world wars, and attempted to rally countries behind them to stop the Jews. The USSR did not engage in the debate at the time but showed their support through joining Germany and Japan in an alliance with the aims of reducing Western dominance in the world.

The debate soon moved on to a second topic. Sparked off by the points made by USA, countries discussed whether or not Hitler should be labelled as a war criminal.

Similar to the previous topic, countries’ opinions on this matter were divided into two distinct groups. Countries such as the USA, UK, and the Dominican Republic maintained that he should be labelled a war criminal, citing the genocide of 6 million Jews and human experimentation done by his hands. However, countries like Argentina and West Germany argued that the US and European powers had also committed war crimes in the past and that they were being hypocritical by calling for Hitler’s arrest but not the arrests of their own leaders. They cited examples such as the slaughter of Japanese civilians during the two bombings of Japan. The topic was not resolved by the end of the debate.

Instead, the conference’s direction changed again once Luxembourg brought up the idea of a compromise. Urging the assembly to cease their squabbling, Luxembourg advocated for the finding of common ground in order to come up with solutions to swiftly resolve the issue.

Other countries soon followed suit. Guatemala and El Salvador both joined Luxembourg in proposing a compromise, in which they would accept some parts of Germany’s terms, but reject others. Many countries were agreeable to this, and it seemed as if the situation would soon be resolved.

However, it came too late. Before this conflict could be de-escalated, nuclear weaponry rained hell down on Earth, and life as we knew it ended.

The deadly impact of the Nuclear weapons launched.

The deadly impact of the Nuclear weapons launched.