Disarmament and International Security

Dear Baylor Model UN Participant,

It is our sincere pleasure to welcome you to the 2008 Baylor University High School Model United Nations Competition!

Model UN is an academic tournament focused on developing solutions to today's international problems. You and your fellow delegates will have the opportunity to make use of your position as a national delegate in the very challenging and exciting Disarmament and International Security Committee (DISEC). You will all work together, just like real member nations within the UN, to solve issues by writing resolutions. Through the speeches you give and the resolutions your committee passes, DISEC will address issues that are of great importance to the future of the international community. As a delegate, you must be able to use your innovation to address the following concerns:

 

1) What is the role of the United Nations in dissolving nuclear arsenals in post-USSR states?

2) What stance should the UN take concerning the weaponization of space?

 

Your ideas will serve as the solution to these high-priority problems. The committee will come together not only to negotiate and debate within a mock UN setting, but most importantly to recognize that these issues are pressing concerns for the real United Nations and for people and countries around the world. That is why we call for you to do your best to individually participate as well as work with your peers to seek a common solution and work for change.

 

Again, we welcome you to Baylor MUN 2008 and to the Disarmament and International Security Committee!

 

Sincerely,

 

 

The First Committee Chairs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Topic 1: Dissolving nuclear arsenals in post-USSR states

Intro

The Disarmament and International Security Committee (DISEC) has been a necessary part of international efforts to achieve global peace and security since the founding of the United Nations. During the Cold War, the committee played an effective role in preventing a nuclear war from materializing out of the rivalry between the United States and Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). DISEC also prevented the influence of both countries from affecting the peace of the international community and within the United Nations as a whole. In light of the sensitive politics that have surrounded the USSR since the Second World War and, more recently, the Cold War, DISEC has been used as the main instrument in maintaining a stable balance between the United States, member-states of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), previous members of the USSR (including the states of the Warsaw Pact) and other nations within the UN. The committee also played a significant role in the adoption and implementation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). DISEC has overseen many bilateral agreements between the US and USSR dealing with the reduction of Nuclear weapon stockpiles and Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs). On a larger scale, DISEC has presided over various international conventions and agreements concerned with the reduction of stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons.

Since the end of the Cold War the mission of DISEC has largely become one focused on preventing regional conflicts. This mission is maintained by emphasizing work on dissolving illegal arms trade and preventing the proliferation of weapons. The issue of dissolving nuclear arsenals is one of imminent concern among post-USSR states and the international community.

Background Information

         The Cold War ended. There is no longer a Soviet Union. The Warsaw Pact was dissolved.  Western Europe and Russia have come to amicable agreements and while often strained, relations with the West are far better than during the Cold War era.[1] As early as 1963, the US, UK and USSR signed the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.[2] This treaty required all signatories to refrain from carrying out nuclear weapon tests and other nuclear explosions. It also required the parties “to refrain from causing, encouraging, or in any way participating in, the carrying out of any nuclear weapon test explosion, or any other nuclear explosion.”[3]  After signing onto this treaty, the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) went into effect in 1970.[4] The NPT is, as the Ukrainian Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr. Ihor Dolhov stated in his address at the 2005 NPT Conference, “the NPT is the cornerstone of the global nuclear non- proliferation regime and the essential foundation for the pursuit of nuclear disarmament.”[5]  Years later, in 1980, the UN held it’s Second Special Session on Disarmament. Since the implementation of the NPT, a follow-up Conference is held every 5 years to re-examine the NPT and its effectiveness.

         In 1987 the US and the USSR also signed the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Treaty in order to abolish the use of intermediate and short-range missiles by both countries.[6] The IMF was created to manage the world's monetary systems. The Bretton Woods Conference, in connection with the IMF, founded the World Bank in order to oversee the rebuilding of Western Europe and post-USSR states. The use of IMF surveillance involves monitoring economic and financial developments. The IMF also makes loans to provide temporary financing and to support policies.[7]

Brief History of USSR nuclear arsenals

            In 1989, the Cold War ended. The end of the Cold War was announced at the US-USSR Summit in Malta.[8] Soon after, in 1991, the US and the USSR signed the first Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START 1). A few months later, the Soviet Union halted all nuclear testing. And, soon after, the USSR dissolved into Russia and other nations[9], leaving an unofficial European Bloc known as ‘post-USSR’ states.

Since 1991, the nuclear arsenals contained within post-USSR countries have been an issue of major concern within the international community. When the USSR dissolved, countries were left with their own nuclear arsenals. Belarus had warhead missiles[10], as well as Kazakhstan[11]. Both countries inherited these weapons from the collapse of the Soviet Union. Since then, both countries have given their nuclear weapons to Russia and signed onto the NPT. Ukraine, after the fall of the Soviet Union, became the owner of the third largest nuclear arsenal when it inherited 5,000 nuclear weapons. By 1996, Ukraine disposed of all their nuclear weapons and transferred them to Russia.[12] These countries are examples of the issues that post-USSR states face in dissolving their nuclear arsenals.

International Bloc Positions

Within the international community, there are several differing opinions about how to deal with nuclear weapons and nuclear arsenals. As a proponent of one opinion, NATO’s position asserts that any nuclear weapon fired deserves a weapon fired in response. This is an offensive strategy, rather than a defensive one. However, many nations find this to be counterproductive in the struggle towards total disarmament. George Kennan, an American statesman who crafted the containment policy against the former USSR, has called NATO policy the single greatest mistake in foreign policy in the post Cold War era because it threatens post USSR states and forces them to rely even more on their nuclear arsenals.[13] NATO still confirms its views as an offensive strategy.

Russia has clear ties with the European Union and continues to maintain a close connection with the EU. General consensus among the EU is that “Russia is likely to maintain a nuclear arsenal sufficiently strong to keep the US-led NATO from ever launching a war on its soil.”[14] In the EU-Russia alliance the EU holds the upper hand. Russia relies on the EU for economic ties to other successful European countries. In the EU-Russia alliance, Germany is Russia’s largest single investor and trading partner. Russia still holds control of its large nuclear arsenal while EU provides economic support. [15]

Possible Solutions

            A possible solution lies in the renewal of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START). Both START 1 and START 2, negotiated in 1992, were seen as a monumental step in the direction of dissolving nuclear arsenals. The treaty mandates reductions of arsenals through a three-step, seven-year process. START 1 was originally 15-year long and can be extended by agreement for successive 5-year periods. [16]

START 2 reduced the number of nuclear delivery vehicles and the warheads on them. START 2 focused on the reduction of overall strategic nuclear forces by an additional 5,000 warheads beyond the 9,000 being reduced under START 1. The Treaty set equal ceilings on the number of strategic nuclear weapons that can be deployed by either side. By the end of the first phase, each side must have reduced its total deployed strategic nuclear warheads to 3,800-4,250. By the end of the second and final phase, each side must have reduced its total deployed strategic nuclear warheads to 3,000-3,500.[17]

         An extension of the START treaties and their phase deadlines is a feasible solution for the dissolution of other nuclear arsenals within post-USSR states. This presents a treaty already signed by Russia that ultimately assures the dissolution of any existing nuclear arsenals.

         An important strategy for helping with the disarmament of post-USSR states, specifically dealing with dissolving nuclear arsenals, is to increase the power of the NPT. The NPT is the single most successful piece of anti-nuclear weapon material ever passed. It affects not only signatories, but also other dominant countries within the United Nations and the international community. Reinforcing the NPT is seen by many as the best way to continue to work on disarmament. The EU views the NPT as the foremost defense in the fight to contain the spread of nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, in recent years, significant gaps in the NPT have led to the need for strengthening the current Treaty.  DISEC needs to look into solutions that directly address the need to build upon the results of past NPT Review Conferences and continue to work towards reaching the goal of dissolving nuclear arsenals. Failure to implement and strengthen the NPT will result in serious repercussions to international security and stability.

Works Cited

"Belarus Special Weapons." Weapons of Mass Destruction Around the World. 2003. Federation of American Scientists. 4 May 2008

 

David, Kreiger. "Nuclear Age Peace Foundation." Abandon First Strike Doctrine, De-Alert Nuclear Weapons. 21 Apr. 1999. UCLA. 2 May 2008

 

Dolhov, Ihor. Address. 2005 NPT Review Conference. United Nations Headquarters, New York. 5 May 2005. 4 May 2008

 

"Kazakhstan Special Weapons." Weapons of Mass Destruction Around the

World. 2003. Federation of American Scientists. 4 May 2008

 

"Is Russia Finished?" The Trumpet June 2001. 3 May 2008

 

"Steps Toward the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons." Hiroshima Peace. 2007. International Peace Efforts. 4 May 2008

 

"Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty." Center for Nonproliferation Studies. 2008. Monterey Institute of International Study. 3 May 2008

"Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapon Tests in the Atmosphere, in Outer Space and Under Water (1963)." The Multilaterals Project. 2000. Tufts University, Fletcher School. 5 May 2008

 

"Ukraine Special Weapons." Weapons of Mass Destruction Around the World.

2003. Federation of American Scientists. 4 May 2008 <http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/belarus/index.html>.

 

"What the IMF Does." International Monetary Fund. 2007. International Monetary Fund. 3 May 2008

 

 

Topic II: Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space (PAROS)

Introduction

 

Photo: The Space Review

Outer Space Image            Since man was able to explore the outer space, the issue of space security immediately became an issue. More recently, missile tests on aging satellites by China and the U.S. have caused tensions to rise on this very issue. This is indicative of a general increasing trend in developing technology for outer space exploration and development since the Cold War. This trend must be taken with extreme caution, however. Obviously, new technologies, besides providing new information about outer space, may be used for a variety of purposes, including spying, weaponization, satellite destruction, etc. Larger than these new technologies, are the possible conflicts they have the potential to create. They caused the Space Race between America and the Soviet Union during the Cold War and new issues may arise in the future that the international community must pay close attention to. It is very important the international community works together to reach a consensus on what are the responsibilities of nations to avoid a costly and destabilizing arms race in one of the few truly weapons-free zones left.

 

History of the Problem

            The concern over use the use of outer space is not a new one. Indeed, the UN recognized the future possibilities and threats that outer space ambitions of nations could pose long ago. Most believe that this issue gained the most international recognition at the beginning of the Cold War. This is because, around that time, the first Space Race began. As a result, in 1959, the General Assembly established the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.[i] Today, the committee must, “review the scope of international cooperation in peaceful uses of outer space, to devise programmes in this field to be undertaken under United Nations auspices, to encourage continued research and the dissemination of information on outer space matters, and to study legal problems arising from the exploration of outer space.”[ii]

Past UN Actions

            It was not until the late 60s and 70s that most of the major international space agreements were made. As some nations grew stronger and others weakened, the global community realized that a consensus was needed to keep large nations (i.e. U.S. and the USSR) from claiming outer space as their own. As a result, in 1966, the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space was drafted. Basically, this document noted that all space exploration, no matter who did it, was for benefit of all the nations and that space is not subject to national appropriations. Other important historical documents of that time include, but not limited to[iii]:

  • The 1967 Agreement on the Rescue of Astronauts, the Return of Austrauts and the Return of Objects Launched
  • The 1971 Convention on International Liability for Damage Caused by Space Objects
  • The 1974 Convention on the Registration of Objects Launched into Outer Space
  • The 1979 Agreement Governing the Activities of States on the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies

There are many other important GA resolutions about this issue since that time. Indeed, these new resolutions have become more and more complex. This is due to the increasing facets of this issue (i.e. space debris, etc.). Therefore, it is highly encouraged that these past resolution be reviewed for further historical understanding.

Bloc Positions Graph

Possible Bloc Positions

            Bloc positions on this are not hard to identify. Obviously, two major power players are the United States and Great Britain. Another nation that will have major influence in this discussion is China.

 

Photo: European Center for Space Law

            Because this is a current issue that is being addressed, minimal research will be needed to identify your country’s position on this issue. The following link provides information on some of the major country’s stances and further information: http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/ECSL/SEMXM72VQUD_0.html.

Questions a Resolution Should Answer

            There are many things to take into consideration to form a strong resolution that will best fit your country’s interest and the global community’s interest. Here are some questions that will help you form a resolution:

  1. Does your nation fund or participate in space programs? If so, is it a major contributor?
  2. Has your nation participated in ratifying any of the major space treaties?
  3. Does your resolution allow for ‘peaceful’ developments in outer space? Or does it halt the progress being made in outer space technologies?
  4. Is more or less funding needed to appropriate the right measures to ensure the peaceful uses of outer space are adhered to?
  5. Which committee, or governing body(s), will be given the task to oversee the continuation of outer space usage?

Suggestions for Further Research

            Because the international community has come together to discuss this issue, there are many new articles circulating about the debate of outer space usage. There are also many helpful websites on old and upcoming space laws and treaties.

            Here are a few of those websites:

 

 

 1

[1] David, Kreiger. "Nuclear Age Peace Foundation." Abandon First Strike Doctrine, De-Alert Nuclear Weapons. 21 Apr. 1999. UCLA. 2 May 2008 .

[2] "Steps Toward the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons." Hiroshima Peace. 2007. International Peace Efforts. 4 May 2008 .

[3] "Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapon Tests in the Atmosphere, in Outer Space and Under Water (1963)." The Multilaterals Project. 2000. Tufts University, Fletcher School. 5 May 2008 .

[4] "Steps Toward the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons." Hiroshima Peace. 2007. International Peace Efforts. 4 May 2008 .

[5] Dolhov, Ihor. Address. United Nations. 2005 NPT Review Conference. United Nations Headquarters, New York. 5 May 2005. 4 May 2008 .

[6] "Steps Toward the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons." Hiroshima Peace. 2007. International Peace Efforts. 4 May 2008 .

[7] "What the IMF Does." International Monetary Fund. 2007. International Monetary Fund. 3 May 2008 .

[8] "Steps Toward the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons." Hiroshima Peace. 2007. International Peace Efforts. 4 May 2008 .

[9] "Steps Toward the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons." Hiroshima Peace. 2007. International Peace Efforts. 4 May 2008 .

[10] "Belarus Special Weapons." Weapons of Mass Destruction Around the World. 2003. Federation of American Scientists. 4 May 2008

[11] "Kazakhstan Special Weapons." Weapons of Mass Destruction Around the World. 2003. Federation of American Scientists. 4 May 2008

[12] "Ukraine Special Weapons." Weapons of Mass Destruction Around the World. 2003. Federation of American Scientists. 4 May 2008

[13] David, Kreiger. "Nuclear Age Peace Foundation." Abandon First Strike Doctrine, De-Alert Nuclear Weapons. 21 Apr. 1999. UCLA. 2 May 2008 .

[14] "Is Russia Finished?" The Trumpet June 2001. 3 May 2008 .

[15] "Is Russia Finished?" The Trumpet June 2001. 3 May 2008 .

[16] "Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty." Center for Nonproliferation Studies. 2008. Monterey Institute of International Study. 3 May 2008 .

[17] "Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty." Center for Nonproliferation Studies. 2008. Monterey Institute of International Study. 3 May 2008 .

 

[i] United Nations. Resolution 1472 (XIV).

[ii] United Nations. “United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.”

[iii] United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs. “United Nations and Outer Space:Frequently Asked Questions.”