Download File - BU Academy Model UN Conference

Boston University Academy Model United Nations Conference III
Saturday, January 31 to Sunday, February 1, 2015
Boston University Academy
Boston, MA
Disarmament and
International Security
Committee (DISEC)
General Assembly
Background Guide
A welcome from the chairs
Hello delegates!
Our names are David Giliver and William Jurayj, and we will be your co-chairs for
BUAMUN 2015. This committee will be simulating the Disarmament and International Security
(DISEC) General Assembly. DISEC is the First Committee in the United Nations, so its
influences and interests are of paramount importance.
Whether you are a MUN veteran or a newbie, we hope you are all psyched to be a part of
BUAMUN this year. We know that conferences can be scary, overwhelming, or totally
confusing, but we will do everything to make this experience as enjoyable and fun as possible for
you guys. Of course, if this isn’t your first MUN experience, then you will have a head start.
Either way, we will try to make you BUAMUN experience as great as possible. Everyone will
leave this committee a little more knowledgeable of some of the world’s major issues,
diplomacy, and Model UN in general.
In the meantime, we suggest that in addition to reading this excellently planned guide,
you should all research your topics, your country’s stances, and other countries’ stances. It never
hurts to be overly prepared for a conference. This will help you participate in debate, introduce
original thoughts and ideas, and, most importantly, expect the unexpected.
Your new best friends,
David Giliver and Will Jurayj
[email protected]
Position Paper Information
Each delegate must write one position paper per topic (yes, that’s two in total). A position
should be approximately one page long. The position papers should not be written in first person,
but rather from your country’s point of view. General Assembly position papers are usually
structured the following way: header, overview of issue, what has already been done, what your
country plans to do. IMPORTANT: if you use outside sources in your position paper, you must
cite them. If you do not cite and end up plagiarizing, then you will not be eligible for any awards
in the committee. A good position paper is researched and concise, so those are the main things
you should keep in the back of your head when writing.
Please include the following information in the header of your position paper: your name,
your school/delegation, the name of the committee, your country’s name, and the topic of the
Committee Information
The Disarmament and International Security Committee (DISEC) is given its powers by
Chapter IV, Article 11, Sub-article 1 of the United Nations Charter, which states that the General
Assembly “may consider the general principles of cooperation in the maintenance of
international peace and security, including the principles governing disarmament and the
regulation of armaments, and may make recommendations with regard to such principles to the
Members or to the Security Council or to both.”1 This means that DISEC does not possess the
power to pass treaties, laws, policies, and so on. It can, however, suggest and recommend
potential ones; the legislative power of the committee is limited to recommending resolutions to
the Security Council and countries, where the resolutions will be voted on. They are subject to
the rules of the Council, such as the veto rights of the United States of America, the Russian
Federation, the People’s Republic of China, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern
Ireland, and the French Republic. These nations are sometimes called the Power 5 (P5).
Though DISEC’s legislative powers are limited to giving suggestions, it is still one of the
most influential committees in the General Assembly. Its actions and recommendations are
moved directly up to the Security Council, which has authoritative power to put DISEC’s
suggestions into action. DISEC’s job, as the name ‘Disarmament’ suggests, is to regulate the
weaponry that different nations are able to possess and distribute. This extends from ensuring
that certain states do not obtain nuclear weapons to managing the illegal transport of small
firearms. The committee’s lack of executive power combined with the P5’s ability to veto any
Security Council resolution does not make passing a useful resolution impossible, simply more
difficult. A successful resolution must make enough changes to solve a problem, but must be
benign enough that the Security Council can pass it.
Topic 1: Drone Usage and Regulation
A drone is “an aircraft with no pilot on board, which can be remote controlled from the
ground or can fly autonomously based on pre-programmed flight plans or more complex
dynamic automation systems.”2 The earliest account of the usage of autonomous drones dates
back to 1849, when Austrian forces sent unmanned balloons to attack Venice. The Allies
developed further drone technology during World War I, in order to combat the Central Powers.
The advancements over the years in drone research have made drones ubiquitous in modern
militaries around the world.
Understandably, many nations including the United States, Israel, China, and even
Bolivia have developed drones and implemented their use in order to minimize friendly soldier
casualties, increase payload accuracy, and conduct surveillance. Recently, however, the moral
implications of using unmanned instruments of war, whether in lethal or non-lethal contexts,
have come to light. Iran has given drones to Syria for rebel monitoring and eradication, China
uses drones to spy on Japan near the Senkaku Islands, and the US often unintentionally kills
civilians in the Middle-East during its anti-terrorist campaigns.3
Assassinations in or by countries that have enacted the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights (UHDR) are illegal. Article XI of the UDHR states that “everyone charged with a penal
offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public
trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.”4 Furthermore, according
to article X, “everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent
and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal
charge against him.”4 When everyone is “innocent until proven guilty”4, and can only be proven
guilty by a “fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal”, it is impossible to
take away their inalienable right to life, given to them by article III of the UDHR.
The laws of the UDHR can be suspended in times of armed conflict, when soldiers are
eradicating an imminent, existing, and deadly threat to themselves and others. The use of a drone
in this situation assumes one of two possibilities: either the drone users either have given the
victim of the strike a fair trial, which is almost never true, and deemed them guilty; or the drone
is acting in self-defense, in immediate defense of friendly troops, or in the defense the human
rights of civilians in an enforcement of the UDHR. While the last option listed increases the
number of potential drone targets, it does not allow an assassination. The use of a drone to
eliminate a potential threat is actually the second possibility for their use: the targets are marked
as future threats, and the drones as preemptively eliminating a threat. It should be noted that not
all countries have signed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and that some interpret it
differently. Be sure to understand how your country understands and regards the UDHR.
Militaries leading the front of drone advancement and technology must keep in mind how drones
are used worldwide, not just by the United States, and how they affect international diplomacy.
The United States claims to use drones as precise killing weapons, often without violating
international human rights or humanitarian law. This is because the Obama administration
targets Taliban and al-Qaeda forces in a time of armed conflict. The United States government
does, however, also target and eliminate threats in Yemen and Somalia.5 The Obama
administration offers vague and ambiguous justifications for these killings, which makes it easier
for countries with quickly growing drone programs to interpret these uncertainties in a way that
can lead to major international violations.
As well as engaging in combat, drones can be used as stealth intelligence gatherers.
Countries and groups can use unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to spy on enemies without being
caught. The laws of the United Declaration of Human Rights, however, also protect a person’s
and a sovereign nation’s right to privacy. The document states, “No one shall be subjected to
arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his
honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such
interference or attacks.”3 Spying is in direct violation of the Declaration, and can cause conflict
on an international level. Delegates should try to figure out a way to regulate the use of drones so
that nations do not breach the privacy of another nation’s government and people. You should
also try to figure out a way to regulate the monitoring of people on a local level without violating
national sovereignty.
In this committee, we will be focusing on the regulatory policies associated with drones.
In particular we will attempt to achieve resolutions on the following sub-topics: anti-terrorism
programs and methods, invasions of privacy, and appropriate domestic use of drones.
Questions to Consider:
What are the moral and ethical implications of using drones?
What is your country’s stance on the use of drones, and what are your justifications for
your position?
Should the UN adjust its Charter so that drone use would be legal under international
What determines whether or not a drone is used “appropriately”?
How should the UN plan to regulate and enforce the aforementioned “appropriate usage”
of drones?
Do drone strikes motivate people to become terrorists? (i.e. do drones create more
terrorists than they eliminate?)
Given that positions in organizations, such as al-Qaeda, can be replaced quite easily, does
targeting members of these organizations with drones help undermine them sufficiently?
Do the assassinations make martyrs?
Bloc Positions:
USA, France, Russia, China, UK, Israel, Germany
Drones make your job easier because when you make an attack they are more precise and don’t
risk anything. However, if they are shot down, terrorists or rogue nations or middle easterners
could commandeer them and use them against you.
Iran, Syria, Turkey, Iraq
You use drones to kill/monitor rebel/opposition forces for national security reasons. Be sure to
know where your drones come from: if you developed the technology or if it was given to you by
another nation.
Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia
Drones can kill hundreds of your men really quickly and they frequently kill civilians in your
cities. They are commandeered by terrorist organizations, (which threaten everyone including
Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Peru,
Several of your countries use drones as surveillance tools to find illegal drug producers. Also,
some countries use them for post disaster reconstruction. Also, they are used to stop drug
trafficking in Ecuador and Colombia and to attack gorillas in Colombia. Mexico uses them also
to fight organized crimes, especially drug cartels.
Somalia, Mali, Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, Sudan
Several of your countries use drones for surveillance, but the UN uses drones in peacekeeping
missions in Africa. Also, the US and other countries conduct terrorist eradication efforts on
within your borders -- particularly Somalia.
Canada, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Ukraine
You’re looking to incorporate drone programs into your militaries if you have not done so
already. Your fledgling UAV strategies should focus on how you plan to use drones: for
domestic use, for international use, or for both? Use other countries’ past military droneintegration programs as a model for your own.
Works Cited and Further Research
1) United Nations. "Charter, United Nations." UN News Center. UN, n.d. Web. 19 Oct.
2014. <>.
2) The UAV. “Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.” The UAV. UAV, n.d. Web. 23 Nov. 2014.
3) The Guardian. “Obama says US will defend Japan in island dispute with China.”
theGuardian. Guardian, n.d. Web, 23 Nov. 2014.
4) United Nations. "The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” UDHR, Declaration of
Human Rights, Human Rights Declaration, Human Rights Charter, The UN and Human
Rights." UN News Center. UN, n.d. Web. 20 Oct. 2014.
5) American Security Project. “The Strategic Effects of a Lethal Drone Policy.” American
Security Council. ASP, n.d. Web. 24 Nov. 2014.
Topic 2: Trafficking and Trade of Small Arms in Latin America
The distribution of small arms and weapons in Central and South America is a serious
issue. The 4.9 billion dollars that these regions spend annually on weapons go almost entirely
towards the purchase of small arms as opposed to larger weapons, such as tanks, thus fuelling
massive amounts of criminal violence and civil wars involving guerrilla tactics.1 In response to
this problem, we will be discussing the regulation of the firearm trade, as well as ways to
minimize and contain the illegal arms industry.
While most people in developed countries are more concerned about the trade and
trafficking of larger arms, such as nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons, small arms fuel
major conflicts in less developed areas of the world. Small forces waging guerrilla warfare often
are the chief buyers of small arms. Most of these buyers are involved in major drug cartels,
organized crime, or the black market, which is clearly a violation of law on national and
international levels. Understandably, once these weapons are in the hands of the aforementioned
organizations, they are used for crime, local and global terrorism, and the general destabilization
of already unstable countries. Other political and social factors (like poverty, tyranny, corruption,
etc.) already create a conflict; small arms only cause escalations in the conflicts.
South and Central American Violent Crime
These small arms are commonly smuggled into Latin American countries, and the rate at
which they are smuggled is only increasing - and so are the killings. Between 2007 and 2008
alone, the number of gun deaths in Latin America and the Caribbean has increased by over 50%.2
In Honduras, the death rate caused by firearms is 64.8 per 100,000 citizens every year, totaling
almost 7,000 homicides in 2013.3 In the same year in Venezuela, over 24,000 murders occurred.4
Thirteen out of the top twenty countries in the world with the highest death rates from firearms
are in Latin America. Moreover, an average of 67% of the homicides in these countries are
committed using firearms, more than three times the average in Central Europe.5
In particular, Mexican and Colombian drug cartels have caused trouble in their respective
countries. The constant trafficking and importation of drugs and small arms fuels the ruthlessness
of the cartels. Most of the weapons that the cartels use come from the United States. In fact, 87%
of the firearms used by the Mexican cartel are of US production, and most smuggling occurs
from neighboring countries.6 This is the case with many of the Latin American countries; a large
percentage of them import guns from the US, but the weapons end up in black markets. From
there, the small arms go into the hands of the cartels across Latin America.
Previous International Efforts to Reduce Illegal Arms Trafficking
Steps have been taken to diminish or even end this violence. The UN General Assembly
has adopted the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), which regulates the international trade of all weapons
from tanks to firearms.7 In an effort to avoid infringing upon nations’ sovereignty, this treaty
holds no sway on the domestic trade of arms. Although one hundred twenty-one countries have
signed it and fifty-six have ratified it, but the ATT has not been entered into force yet.8 In
addition, the Inter American Convention against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in
Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives, and other Related Materials (CIFTA), ratified in every
country in North and South America except for the USA, Canada, and Jamaica, sets standard
guidelines regarding illegal small arms, such as requiring states to confiscate illegal weapons and
insisting that nations make the illicit manufacture of small arms a federal crime.910 It requires
manufacturers to label firearms with their name and a serial number to make identifying illegal
arms easier. In addition, states must maintain security at export points to eliminate illegal
firearms exports, as well control the delivery of firearms to their countries. Finally, to help
regulate ratified state’s participation, any offense against the CIFTA can be reviewed by an
international authority.
Questions to Consider:
How can these incitements be stopped before further conflict ensues?
How should the rate of tracking and trading of illicit arms in Latin America be
What are the catalysts that instigate the smuggling and importation in general?
Should the UN focus on the prevention of future small arms trafficking or focus on the
current situation in Latin America?
Should more border control be implemented?
What needs to be done in order to prevent the weapons from entering black markets?
How will the treaties discussed affect it? How can they be improved?
Bloc Positions:
China, Russia, Ukraine
You produce massive amounts of small arms annually, often fuelling conflicts. Neither of you
voted for the ATT, because regulation on this industry costs you money. Thus, although you both
want to keep a positive public image, keep in mind that any resolution requiring countries to
decrease and regulate their firearm industry will damage your trade.
Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru,
Many illegal drug trafficking routes run through your nations, and major cartels are often
situated in these regions. These cartels can weaken the governments of the regions. In addition,
resistances using guerilla warfare exist. Thus, you are making efforts to stop illegal arms
trafficking. More help is useful to you so long as it does not interfere with your national
France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom, South Korea
Many of your countries have heavy restrictions on private firearm acquisition. From an ethical
and humanitarian standpoint, these illegal firearms are causing deaths in the Americas, and the
drug cartels are damaging conventional lifestyles in these regions. Thus, you want to decrease
these industries. However, be sure to stay aware of any costs that proposed regulations will
impose on your countries.
United States, Canada
Neither of you have ratified the CIFTA, although this is mainly due to logistical problems with
the Convention. Illegal drugs are imported to both of your countries using these weapons from
Central American cartels, and the regulation of small arms would reduce the importation of these
Afghanistan, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Africa,
Sudan, Syria, Turkey, India
Although this conference mainly focuses on arms trafficking in South and Central America,
firearm trafficking in this region of the world is also a major issue. Because many of your
countries have rebellions or warlords using illegal arms to weaken the government, monetary aid
from external sources to stop the illicit arms trade is useful to you.
Works Cited and Further Research