As a response to the aftermath of the Second World War, the United Nations formed the Disarmament and International Security committee (DISEC). Some consider DISEC to be the core of the United Nations, and their claims are not unsubstantiated. The first committee of the United Nations, DISEC considers and discusses a broad range of issues, including disarmament, cyber warfare and terrorism. DISEC’s main aim is therefore to sustain and enforce peace across borders, and the focus of the committee is primarily towards decreasing the world’s supply of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, disarmament in areas of conflict, preventing an arms race in outer space, and so on.

Countries in the DISEC committee will have the opportunity to contribute to fruitful and exhilarating debate, with each protecting and depicting their country’s beliefs, principles, and ethics,  and ensuring they are heard in perhaps the most important and impactful United Nations committee.

At SPSMUN2020, DISEC has been designated as a committee for more novice MUN delegates; this in no way means the themes or importance of sessions will be reduced, but rather that the experienced chairs will facilitate the kicking off of your MUN career.  You will have the freedom and platform to defend your own views, challenge others in debate and gain exposure to issues facing our world today. We hope all the delegates confidently express themselves, participate whenever possible and reach their full potential. We look forward to meeting all of you!

Topic 1 – The Question of Nuclear Weapons: in light of the forthcoming 2020 review of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, should the UN step up its pursuit of nuclear non-proliferation?

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is an international treaty which aims to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and, ultimately, to achieve complete nuclear disarmament. It guarantees the right of all states to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, as long as they abide by their basic non-proliferation obligations.

There are inevitable tensions caused by the imbalance of nuclear weapon distribution. The five permanent members of the Security Council (Russia, China, France, UK, USA) are the only nations whose possession of nuclear weapons is currently legal; India, Pakistan and North Korea possess nuclear weapons illegally under the NPT; others such as Israel are undeclared but suspected nuclear powers.

The treaty is due to be reviewed at a conference in New York in April/May 2020.  The deep divisions among NPT parties are underscored by the fact that five out of the nine treaty review conferences held since the treaty’s inception have failed to produce a consensus on the status of treaty implementation.

Questions to Consider:

  • Does your country possess nuclear weapons, and, if so, is this legal or illegal under UN law?
  • How would a change in International law concerning nuclear weapons affect the safety of your nation?
  • What reforms, if any, need to be made to the Treaty and the distribution of nuclear weapons?
  • What incentives or sanctions can be enforced to encourage nations to disarm?

You can find a detailed issue briefing pack on this topic here.

Topic 2 – The Question of India and Pakistan: how can current tensions between the two nations be resolved?

Following the violent partition of British India, relations between the newly-created India and Pakistan have for the large part been hostile and violent. Recently, tension between India and Pakistan have reached new heights after India repealed the special status of the disputed territory of Kashmir.

India have accused Pakistan of state-sponsored terrorism after a suicide bombing by radical Islamic group Jaish E Mohammad killed over 40 Central Reserve police personnel in Pulwama. This terrorist groups has links to the Inter-Services-Intelligence (ISI), the premier intelligence agency of Pakistan. India retaliated with an attack in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) killing supposedly 300-350 terrorists. Pakistan, however, claimed they had scrambled India’s jets and forced them to go back over the Line of Control. Pakistan subsequently carried out an airstrike against multiple targets in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir and captured an Indian aircraft pilot: India again rejected Pakistan’s version of events.

It is clear that these border skirmishes are becoming increasingly dangerous, especially given that both nations harness a significant nuclear arsenal. Furthermore, the danger is intensified by the way in which both countries have been using these military strikes as ways to spread political propaganda and mobilise national support.

Questions to Consider

  • Should India and Pakistan be allowed to keep their nuclear weapons?
  • Is Indo-Pakistani conflict inevitable given that it generates lots of political support?
  • What has been the most significant barrier to preventing an improvement in diplomatic relations between India and Pakistan?
  • What will be the role of the UN in mediating this conflict? To what extent can the UN intervene in Kashmir?

You can find an issue briefing pack on this topic here.

Topic 3 – The Question of the South China Sea: How should the UN deal with the issue of freedom of maritime navigation?

Since the 1970s, the Question of the South China Sea has become increasingly contentious. China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei all state that they have a claim on territory within the ‘Nine-Dash-Line’, and further claim that they have sovereignty over the seas around the territory. Islands within the contested territory contain large and valuable reserves of untapped natural resources. China argues that it has longstanding territorial rights to the area, dating back centuries, but its critics argue that these claims don’t justify its increased militarism over the area. The Philippines claim that they have the greatest proximity to the area and therefore should be granted sovereignty.

In 2013 following skirmishes across the South China Sea between each of the Southeast Asian Countries, Manila took China to a UN tribunal under the pretense that it violated the Laws of the Sea. Even though the tribunal ultimately backed the Philippines in stating that the Chinese infringed on the Philippines’ sovereign rights, China rejected the proceedings and has already ignored the UN.

Since then no solution has been sought. China wants to negotiate directly among its neighbours and is in current negotiations with the ten nation “Asean” bloc: there are fears that because of the country’s military power, economy and soft power, China’s neighbours will inevitably concede to Beijing’s will.

This committee is tasked with establishing how the UN can help to resolve this issue.

A more detailed briefing pack on the topic can be found here.