Disarmament and International Security Committee (DISEC)
The Disarmament and International Security Committee, also knowns as the First Committee, is one of the six main organs of the United Nations. It is dealing with all questions of disarmament and the regulation of armaments as well as global threats to peace and security, which do not require the attention of the UNSC. All 193 Member States of the UN are automatically members of the DISEC.
This year’s topics:
Topic A: The Role of Private Military & Security Companies in the Framework of the United Nations
As members states are often not able to provide sufficient personnel, the United Nations are relying more and more on the services of Private Military and Security Companies (PMSCs) to secure UN operations and facilities around the world. Although the General Assembly passed the International Convention against the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries back in 1989, the UN is struggling to regulate the use of PMSCs in international conflicts. As these companies are expanding their competences, voices are getting louder that question the accountability of PMSC personnel and voice concerns that their services might undermine the legitimacy of UN missions. At the same time, PMSCs are lobbying for a broader use of their powers, suggesting that their help might make peacekeeping missions cheaper and more efficient.
Delegates at BerlInMUN are going to debate various questions affecting this topic:
How can the UN maintain its neutrality and promote the UN Mercenary Convention while also relying on the services of PMSCs? Are UN personnel in conflict zones more or less in danger when PMSCs are hired? And should the UN reform its peacekeeping forces to include PMSCs, effectively creating a “Peacekeeping Inc.”?
Join the debate this August and create a resolution that ultimately should make UN missions safer and more effective while also strengthening the trust of local populations in the United Nations.
Topic B: Demilitarization of Outer Space
What are space weapons? Could we face a “star war” any time soon? Space has already started being a stage for military action already in the Cold War when the United States and the Soviet Union started launching Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles reaching into low Earth orbit before hitting their target. Since then, space technology has become more accessible for a far greater number of states. While looking at uprising tensions between states possessing nuclear weapons as well as at the announcement by the U.S. president of a possible establishment of a military space force, the eventuality of a war acted out in space seems more realistic than one might think.
Originally, the militarization of space was to be prevented by the Outer Space Treaty (OST) which entered into force in 1967. But as it only prohibits the stationing of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction in space, recent developments in satellite and cyber-warfare technology indicate various scenarios which the treaty does not cover. Efforts are further being aggravated by not only the right of every state which has ratified the OST to use and exploit outer space but also by the seemingly simple question of where outer space begins.
Delegates would need to look at the current practice of military uses of outer space as well as at recent progress in technology that could lead to the legality of weapons in space. A reassessment of the OST will reveal in which ways it has to be adapted to match today’s status of science and technology.
List of available countries/positions:
P5: USA, Russia, France, China, UK;
Western Europe: Finland, Germany, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Belgium, Greece.
Eastern Europe: Ukraine, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Poland;
Latin America and Caribbean: Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Cuba, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Chile ;
Asia-Pacific: Saudi-Arabia, Iran, India, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Philippines, Japan, Vietnam, Israel.
Africa: Egypt, Nigeria, South Africa, Algeria, Morocco, Angola, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Central African Republic, Chad, Mali.