United Nations - 1st Committee of the General Assembly
About the Committee
Since its creation in 1945, the UN has always held global security as one of its principal goals. To facilitate this, the UN charter called for the formation of the First Committee of the General Assembly to deal with disarmament and international security. This seemingly broad mandate has actually allowed the committee to deal with many of the various issues, which constantly threaten the international peace and disarmament efforts. The committee has jurisdiction over a broad range of topics, including nuclear disarmament, nuclear free-zones, weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, conventional weapons, regional disarmament and development and illicit trafficking of weapons.
Topic Area A: The demilitarization of the Middle East - The situation in Yemen.
The greater area of the Middle East has been an area of conflict for over 80 years. Over time, civil wars and political disputes between states have intensified, causing trillions of dollars in losses and damages. They have destabilized the economic, political, and humanitarian reality of middle eastern states. All conflicts heavily involve advanced weaponry, that has either been produced by one of the local states or imported by allies and third countries. As our committee’s interest is disarmament and international security, it is evident why the demilitarization of the Middle East poses a challenge to today’s global peace, stability, and security.
The topic will also highlight the involvement of third and western countries; the United States’ involvement is most widely known, with military aid, and more recently with the supply of arms. The extensive use of heavy weaponry, combined with the political vulnerability, the regular coups, and the absence of peaceful and diplomatic measures should also be included in the topic, as the constant emphasis on military solutions would only further empower illegal and extensive arm use.
An example, which accurately demonstrates the consequences of a highly militarized area and will serve as a point of interest for the delegates is the middle eastern country of Yemen, which has been in a warring situation for 50 consecutive years. The civil wars have torn the country apart and as a result, not only neighboring states and terrorist organizations, but such also as the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda have increased their power in Yemen’s political and military life.
Topic Area B: The role of nuclear weapons after the Russo-Ukrainian war.
As always, the agenda of the international organizations and their committees deriving from the current situations happening in the international community, would be a failure to say at least, if the 1st Committee of the UN GA (DISEC) didn’t propose the topic of the changing role and status of nuclear weapons after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Bearing in mind that Russia and Ukraine are two of the few countries in the world that have nuclear weapons in their arsenal, this matter would be of significant importance for the debate of this committee.
The topic will start with commenting on some basic definitions (e.g., ‘nuclear energy, ‘nuclear weapon’ etc ) and briefly discuss the effects of a nuclear attack. Then the session should mainly revolve around the legal framework regarding a future prohibition of nuclear weapons. More specifically, the committee work should focus on the Treaty on the Prohibition of nuclear weapons, which has only been signed by 91 states, while none of the 9 nuclear-armed states (USA, France, PRC, UK, Pakistan, India, Israel, DPRK, Russian Federation) have shown any interest in signing and ratifying. It is also important to highlight that 26 more countries also "endorse" the possession and use of nuclear weapons by allowing the potential use of nuclear weapons on their behalf as part of defense alliances, including the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).’
Finally, the topic will address not only the current affection of the global market of nuclear weapons but also the possible ways of dealing with disarmament at some level in those countries and the prevention of possible future attacks.