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United Nations Security Council

It is the executive arm of the General Assembly and one of the most exclusive committees of the United Nations. The Security Council settles pressing issues related to international defence and security. This committee is unique because five States, U.S.A., U.K., Russia, France, and China, have the power to single-handedly reject any resolution with a veto. Therefore, for a resolution to pass, it must be accepted by all five of these States and a majority of the committee. The other seats of the Security Council rotate every three years and are filled by countries that are chosen by the General Assembly.

Welcome Letter Background Guide

Topic A: Rearming: The Future of the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT)

The Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) represent two rounds of agreements and subsequent international treaties involving the United States of America and the Soviet Union (USSR) regarding armament control. The talks were aimed at reducing the manufacture of strategic missiles capable of carryin67g nuclear weapons. The two rounds of talks and agreements are called SALT I and SALT II. Among the most important agreements that emerged from SALT I there are the Treaty on Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Systems and the Interim Agreement and Protocol on Limitation of Strategic Offensive Weapons. While SALT II resulted in an agreement in 1979, the US Senate chose not to ratify the treaty in response to the Soviet war in Afghanistan. The Soviet legislature also chose not to ratify the agreement and it ended up expiring, without renewal, as of 1985.

The talks brought to the creation of the STARTs, or Strategic Arms Reduction Treaties. They consisted of the START I (a 1991 completed agreement between the US and the Soviet Union), and the START II (a 1993 agreement between the US and Russia, never ratified by the US). A successor to START I, entitled New START and formally known as Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms, was proposed and eventually ratified in February 2011.

States are increasingly going through rearming and tensions are rising in the international sphere. We will be expecting the delegates to highlight the current role of the SALT and START in facing the rising threats and a possible expansion of the resulting treaties, as well as to come up with creative and realistic ideas on how to face those threats. The flow of the debate will not be focused on just the US and Russia efforts, and all states present in the Security Council will have an important role in the debate.

Topic B: Establishment of a Nuclear Free Zone in the Middle East

The establishment of a nuclear free zone in the Middle East has been a hope for the United Nations since the efforts started in 1974. This vision is not restricted to the region but rather affects international peace and security overall. The United Nations has welcomed all initiatives leading to a weapons of mass destruction free zone including nuclear weapons.

Several works have been done to achieve a nuclear free zone including but not limited to annual resolutions developed by the IAEA since 1991, General Assembly’s 35th session, resolution 66/25 of 2 December 2011. This initiative should be paired with “realistic optimism” lead by intensive and sustained efforts to overcome the political instability and military volatility in the region. There are several obstacles that need to be overcome before proceeding and attaining this goal.

First, the geographical extend reveals the lack of seriousness in the announcement of countries involved of their desire to achieve a nuclear free zone coupled by the lack of adherence to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons by Israel. Also, the seriousness of state members has been put into question and a deficit in trust has risen. In addition, there is a lack of trust between countries in the region driven and ignited by decades of war and conflict.

Furthermore, the uncertainty of the internal transitions sweeping the Middle East and the absence of supporting institutions represent an additional difficulty. Finally, a central challenge remains to convince Israel to step in and join the process at an early stage. All these obstacles can be overcome by creating the appropriate conditions for progress. These include reducing uncertainty and building trust, establishing a regional security form, attaining agreement from involved states, and maintaining ongoing coordinated external support.

United Nations Environmental Programme

This committee explores issues pertaining to the world’s ecosystem and related technological subjects. Of particular concern to this committee are issues related to sustainable development – those that can foster a more prosperous world while minimizing damage and harm to the planet. At Rotaract Global MUN, this body will debate problems related to energy, nuclear alternative sources, global accountability for industrialized nations, and the modern-day technological and infrastructure improvement of developing countries, and the consequences of tackling these and related challenges.

Topic A: Building a nuclear free world: moving away from nuclear energy and nuclear weapons

Background Guide Topic 1

In our increasingly and exponentially populated world, it is extremely important for people to have not only their safety and comfort guaranteed, but also to have them move away from hazardous and dangerous environments where life risks are high.

Lately, governments, companies and scientists have been advocating for world leaders to build a nuclear free world in order to reduce the threat to humanity represented by the perspective of the indefinite possession of nuclear weapons by nuclear-weapon states, as well as by those countries capable of enriching and utilizing nuclear energy. There are states that have not yet acceded to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and have the attendant possibility of use or threat of use of nuclear weapons.

In UNEP, we aim to present and discuss how future generations could have a nuclear free world, meaning a good and less hazardous life. The NPT non-nuclear-weapon states agree never to acquire nuclear weapons, while the NPT nuclear-weapon states in exchange agree to share the benefits of peaceful nuclear technology and to pursue nuclear disarmament. This is aimed at the ultimate elimination of their nuclear arsenals. Some countries see nuclear power as an easy option for energy and weaponry source. In UNEP, delegates will be engaged to raise their country’s position in relation to the UN Sustainable Development Goals SDG 7, 11, 12 & 13 (Affordable Clean Energy, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Responsible Consumption and Production and Climate Action). Themes to be covered under this topic will include alternative sources of energy, disaster management, non-proliferation treaty, research on the topic, and conflict waste management.

Topic B: Animal agriculture and energy

Background Guide Topic 2

Animal agriculture is the leading cause of deforestation, species extinction, water depletion, ocean dead zones and hunger in the world. It is particularly responsible for 50% of greenhouse gas emissions globally (of which the dangerous Methane gas and CO2), while all transportation combined only account for 16% of global emissions.

Accordingly, it is crucial for the UNEP committee to discuss the impact of Animal agriculture on the environment, energy and the survival of humankind. The unsustainable mass-production of massive commercial livestock and the cultivation of agricultural crops in developing countries that will ultimately be fed to first world cattle is devastating our ecosystems and producing unnecessary amount of GHGs. This has created food scarcity, water shortages and deforestation, ultimately leading to drought and famine.

According to Dr. Richard Oppenlander, without using any gas, oil or fuel from this day forward, we would still exceed our maximum carbon equivalent Greenhouse Gas emissions by 2030 without the electricity/energy sectors even factoring in the equation, all simply by raising and eating livestock.

Delegates will have the opportunity to discuss and present their country’s positions in relation to this topic and in accordance with SDG 1, 2, 8 and 12 (No poverty, Zero hunger, Decent work and economic growth, Responsible consumption and production).

Economic and Social Council

The ECOSOC serves as the central forum for discussing international economic and social issues, and for formulating policy recommendations addressed to Member States and the United Nations system. At Rotaract Global MUN, ECOSOC is a mid-sized committee that offers a middle ground between the intimate, intense settings of the smaller committees and the diverse, dynamic nature of larger committees. Delegates will challenge each other to think deeply about resolving not only global concerns but also individual nations’ roles in an increasingly nuclear-tensed world.

Background Guide

Topic A: Economic and social challenges in achieving Sustainable Development Goal 9 (Industrial Development) with special focus on economically developing nations.

In the era of rapid expansion of industry, we are missing the key point of saving our environment in the process. Multinational businesses and corporations are investing billions in rapid industry expansion, most of which are direct funding sources for the UN. Fossil fuels are extensively used and the society is used to the existing technology. Keeping the Agenda 2030 in mind, how challenging would it be for nations to achieve total renewable energy usage and sustainable consumption of natural resources.

Goal 9 encompasses three important aspects of sustainable development: infrastructure, industrialization and innovation. Infrastructure provides the basic physical systems and structures essential to the operation of a society or enterprise. Industrialization drives economic growth, creates job opportunities and thereby reduces income poverty. Innovation advances the technological capabilities of industrial sectors and prompts the development of new skills.

Investment in infrastructure and innovation are crucial drivers of economic growth and development. With over half the world population now living in cities, mass transport and renewable energy are becoming ever more important, as are the growth of new industries and information and communication technologies.

Technological progress is also key to finding lasting solutions to both economic and environmental challenges, such as providing new jobs and promoting energy efficiency. Promoting sustainable industries and investing in scientific research and innovation are all important ways to facilitate sustainable development.

More than 4 billion people still do not have access to the Internet, and 90 percent are from the developing world. Bridging this digital divide is crucial to ensure equal access to information and knowledge, as well as foster innovation and entrepreneurship.

Topic B: Accountability and inclusion of nations towards a nuclear free future in the era of renewable energy

Political divide is the question and nuclear power is the answer. More often than not, nuclear energy is used as a bomb rather than being used for a valuable source of power. Thus, the world agreeing to a nuclear free future, what will be the accountability of nations in possession of nuclear weapons and nations all around the world for usage of nuclear power?

Anti-nuclear groups have undertaken public protests and acts of civil disobedience which have included occupations of nuclear plant sites. Other salient strategies have included lobbying, petitioning government authorities, influencing public policy through referendum campaigns and involvement in elections. Anti-nuclear groups have also tried to influence policy implementation through litigation and by participating in licensing proceedings.

Anti-nuclear power organisations have emerged in every country that has had a nuclear power programme. Protest movements against nuclear power first emerged in the USA, at the local level, and spread quickly to Europe and the rest of the world. National nuclear campaigns emerged in the late 1970s. Fuelled by the Three Mile Island accident and the Chernobyl disaster, the anti-nuclear power movement mobilised political and economic forces which for some years "made nuclear energy untenable in many countries". In the 1970s and 1980s, the formation of green parties was often a direct result of anti-nuclear politics (e.g., in Germany and Sweden).