Head Chair: Daniel Choi Vice Chair: Rosey Bugayong Moderator: Julia Cornell
Position papers will be due on February 2, 2018. The position paper format, and all other important conference documents, can be found on our conference website, http://lhhsconference.weebly.com/. Email all position papers to our committee email: lhhsNATO@gmail.com. Feel free to contact us via email if you have any questions or concerns!
Hello, delegates, my name is Daniel Choi and I am your head chair. I am a senior at Laguna Hills High School and this is my 5th year in MUN. I’m a part of ASB, Comedysportz, Volleyball, and a bunch of other clubs like CSF, NHS, Spanish Honor Society. I’ve been playing the trumpet for 8 years now, and I’ve considered pursuing International Relations and music in the future beyond college. May all of you delegates succeed :)
Hello delegates! My name is Rosey Bugayong and I will be your vice chair. I am a junior at Laguna Hills High School and this will be my 3rd year in MUN. I have ran cross country/track and field these past three years along with being in Key Club, French Honors Society, UNICEF, and some other clubs. I wish you all luck on your research and look forward to seeing you at our conference!
Julia Cornell, a sophomore entering her 2nd year of MUN, will be our moderator.
Topic A: Russian Expansion
Background: Starting in 1949, NATO was formed, initiated by the United States, to deter the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Quickly after in 1955, the USSR responded by forming the Warsaw Pact, exacerbating the global political climate. For a few decades, both organizations were waiting to see which side would aggress. Fortunately, both organizations did not take any action against each other, as the Cold War ended with the fall of the Soviet Union. More recently however, there have been momentous events that have transpired for NATO to be alert and take action. In 1999, Russia and some of its allies bombed Yugoslavia for around 78 days, in which innocent civilians have died. Not only just Yugoslavia, but also Afghanistan, in 2001, and Iraq experienced such intervention and aggression by Russia. Without a doubt, the most surprising crisis occurred between Ukraine and Russia, back in 2014. The annexation of the Crimean peninsula by Russia took the world by storm. The possible explanations to this is that President Putin wanted to deter NATO’s presence along the Russian border, or that Putin is attempting to slowly reclaim the lost territories amidst the downfall of the Soviet Union. The international community was torn apart as nations such as China, Syria, Venezuela, supported Russia’s actions, while others like Finland, Estonia, France, strongly rebuked the annexation. But most importantly, the majority of countries were ambivalent and remained neutral in this topic, as stakes were high, especially political and economic relationships that many nations share.
UN Involvement: Recently, in the UN Security Council, Russia has been abusing its veto power against many resolutions, harming the security’s legitimacy. France proposes the idea of temporarily suspending the five permanent council members when their area genocide or mass atrocities taking place. The UN General Assembly agrees with France’s idea believing this could enhance the capability of coming to resolutions for the issues that are a threat to a nation’s civilians or government; however, Russia does not have the same opinion. The discussion covering the five permanent council members’ veto power has been taking place for years as the Security Council seems to be favoring the use of power over principle. In order to change the composition of the council, however, requires altering the UN Charter which calls for a ⅔ vote from the General Assembly along with agreement from all five permanent members, obviously why it is nearly impossible for a consensus to occur. France’s idea to resolve the issue seems the most reasonable as that the US is another permanent member that has history of abusive veto power as well. In regards to the illegal annexation of Crimea, economic sanctions by the West have been placed on Russia. One is for the purpose of restricting access to Western financial markets and services for designated Russian state-owned enterprises in the banking, energy, and defence sectors. The second dealing with a ban on trade exports being sent to Russia including high-technology oil exploration and production equipment; the third sanction is similar, however includes exports of designated military and dual-use goods. Russia responded by placing a ban on western food imports. Overall, both sanctions and bans had done their parts to inflict damage to another’s economy, but eventually, the sanctions placed on Russia’s trade will gradually have a negative impact on the initiators as well, defeating its purpose.
Western Bloc: European Bloc: European countries are quite unified especially in matters concerning Russian aggression. Clearly, the Western Bloc wants to prevent Russia’s power. This bloc is not afraid to utilize sanctions as the first option to deter Russian power, but will resort to more forceful actions, including military action. Europe has supported resolutions, most notably the ones against Russian misinformation and propaganda after the annexation of Crimea. The biggest decision for these countries to decide on is whether to directly confront Russia or approach with other peaceful methods. United States of America and Canada Bloc: The US and Canada have taken charge with sanctions and other attempts at talks with Russia to prevent events like the Crimean Peninsula from occurring again. The Cold War has involved America willing to fight Russia for political reasons, even achieving brinkmanship which threatened the world. Canada still maintained mostly positive relationships with Russia, but the recent Crimean annexation and Magnitsky (human rights violations) have deteriorated many ties. Looking at its past, America is willing to do whatever it costs to stop Russian aggression, but Donald Trump’s relationship with Putin is arguably questionable at times. Still, America and Canada will support most of the other countries’ ideas and actions against Russia.
Important Note: Russian expansion is not just limited to territorial claims or other military involvements. This topic is quite broad, thus extends to political, economic, social, humanitarian factors as well. The main goal for this topic is to create the best possible solution that includes everything aforementioned.
Topic B: Countering Terrorism
Background: The 1999 Strategic Concept recognized terrorism as a real threat but the organization has not taken full action until the attacks on US soil during 9/11. Since 2001, the Alliance has developed and articulated a consistent policy with respect to terrorism. That policy, set out in summit and ministerial statements and in decisions of the North Atlantic Council, combines forceful condemnation of terrorism in all its forms, a commitment to unity and solidarity in the face of this threat, and a determination to combat it for as long as is necessary. Recently, NATO countries have seen a massive surge in both international and domestic terrorists. Mass shootings of civilians, trucks barging in public locations, bombs going off, the list goes on. Although NATO hasn’t taken its full action yet, the potential of this group is a puzzling question that countries must unlock. Many countries, specifically the US, have called for NATO to redefine its role within countering terrorism. For the first time in its history, NATO invoked Article 5 within 24 hours of the terrorist attacks against the United States on 11 September 2001. By 4 October 2001, in response to requests by the United States, Allies agreed to take eight measures to expand the options for fighting terrorism. These initial measures included enhanced intelligence sharing; blanket overflight rights and access to ports and airfields; assistance to states threatened as a result of their support for coalition efforts; as well as the deployment of NATO naval forces to the eastern Mediterranean and the dispatch of Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft to the United States to backfill US AWACS deployed to support operations in Afghanistan.
UN Involvement: In recent years, due to the large threat to the security of the citizens, NATO has been working on countering terrorism mostly by focusing on improving the awareness of this threat, developing capabilities in order to respond as needed, and expanding the engagement with partnering countries and international actors. The UN Security Council has also adopted resolution 1373 after the attack of 9/11, establishing the first Counter-Terrorism Committee. The General Assembly, a few years after, agreed upon the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy which includes four pillars: addressing conditions of the spread of terrorism, preventing and combatting terrorism, building the capacity of Member States’ in order to exhibit the previous pillar along with strengthening the role of the UN system in this regard, and lastly, to ensure the check of human rights for all as the fundamental basis while countering terrorism. Along with this strategy, the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF) has also been approved by the General Assembly, working for better coordination and coherence with the UN System while also providing the Member States any assistance needed. The CTITF works to create a common strategic effort from the individual actions while also combining the expertise and capacity of many different entities in order to perform the actions listed in the four pillar strategy. For Member States’ need of capacity-building, the UN Counter Terrorism Centre (UNCCT) provides this assistance while also undertaking counter-terrorism projects around the world with this four pillar strategy. The most recent plan of action presented to the General Assembly by the CTITF was the Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism. A resolution was passed in early 2016 that addressed this plan which includes not only security-based strategies but also systematic preventive steps to address the underlying conditions that drive individuals to radicalize and join such extremist groups. This will hopefully bring a gradual decrease in the number of extremist groups and the amount of destruction they are capable of.
European Bloc: Since terrorists are seeking to destroy the values that are at the core of the Alliance and that these values are shared by Partners, maintaining unity and solidarity is vital to the fight against terrorism. International terrorism presents the Euro-Atlantic community with a complex, persistent threat that calls for a comprehensive, multilateral strategic response that includes NATO. Europe will not be content with the idea of war. The root of terrorism must be eliminated. However, the extent to which the Alliance will contribute to this effort is uncertain, with some Allies arguing for broad engagement, joining military fronts or implementing with other forceful actions, while others prefer more modest roles.
United States of America and Canada: The United States, in the view of several Allies, made a major mistake by failing to make better use of NATO when it launched operations against al Qaida and the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. Subsequently, however, the United States recognised the value of NATO in complementing both national responses to terrorism and UN efforts to orchestrate the global effort. Within this context, NATO fills an important niche because of its unique capabilities to provide security. Both the United States and Canada are willing to weigh in different options and contribute militarily, economically, essentially anything that will help to prevent terrorism. Questions to consider: 1. What kind of counter-terrorism methods can NATO utilize in the most pragmatic way? How does technology factor in when it comes to counter-terrorism? 2. How can NATO garner more support than just within the member countries? Should NATO collaborate with Russia on combating terrorism? What kind of solutions could tailor to national and international problems? 3. Who should NATO look up to for proper leadership and future direction? 4. How effective is DAT POW (Defence Against Terrorism Programme of Work) and the Counter Terrorism Policy Guidelines? 5. Does immigration correlate with the rise of terrorism? And if so, how can NATO countries regulate this?