Head Chair: Tessa Gonzalez Vice Chair: Stephen Caplanis Moderator: Kory Arfania
Position papers will be due on February 2, 2019. 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:email@example.com . Feel free to contact us via email if you have any questions or concerns!
Hi delegates, my name is Tessa Gonzalez and I will be your head chair for this years LHHS conference. I am a senior at Laguna Hills and this is currently my fourth year in the MUN program. In addition to MUN, I am a Cross Country runner and love wearing fun socks. I am looking forward to hearing all of your solutions! Hello delegates, my name is Stephen Caplanis and I will be your vice chair for the LHHS 2019 conference! I am currently a junior at Laguna Hills high school and in my 3rd year of MUN. Along with MUN, I spend a lot of time in the ocean surfing. Feel free to ask me any questions at our conference and I hope to hear some excellent solutions from everyone! Hey delegates! My name is Kory Arfania and I will be your moderator for the LHHS conference this year. I am a sophomore at Laguna Hills, and this is my second year in their program. I’m also a (bad) cross country runner, take Chinese, and am in my second year of CSF! I hope you all will do well and help create realistic and elaborate solutions to this problem! Topic: South China Sea
Background: The South China Sea is a body of water crucial to global commerce, as it is a rich source of fish as well as oils and gas. Because of this, there is large incentive for nations surrounding the area to claim it as their own, leading to serious and dangerous disputes between powerful and smaller nations alike. China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Brunei, and Malaysia fighting over the Pericles and the Spratlys, two of the large and uninhabited island chains in the sea, has resulted in instability within the region. Currently, each nation believes that they own respective portions of said waters, however, China has made it known that they believe most of this is of their property, and has used their high economic status and political power to do so; this includes their creation of man-made islands in the area with military facilities present on each. As stated previously, nations are trying their best to control this water as it accounts for, nearly, 5.3 trillion dollars worth of trade yearly, which accounts for ⅓ of global maritime trade. While international law only allows a maximum of 200 nautical miles to be taken per nation, when used for economic reasons, and still have it be considered their right to do so, China continues to believe that they deserve more, using the 9-Dash Line as their ‘historical reasoning.’ All of this continues to cause conflict with neighboring countries, damaging their economic opportunity severely. The United States and its allies have been noted to be a strong force in fixing this issue, however, China’s warnings to grow their presence if attempted has left them at a standstill. This, now global, issue goes against international law in nearly all aspects, and is not a sustainable solution for those affected by this territorial dispute.
UN Involvement: The United Nations is in a complicated position regarding the issues in the South China Sea. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea states that China’s claim over the 9 dash line is not legal, but the UN cannot necessarily act on this violation. The UN effectiveness of mediation is not found in the issues regarding the South China Sea disputes. Although no prominent resolutions have been passed through the United Nations, The Hague, which includes the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and the International Criminal Court (ICC), recently summoned the Chinese government to the ICJ to make a decision over China’s claims of sovereignty on the South China Sea. Due to the violation of the UNCLOS, ratified by both China and the Philippines, all 5 judges unanimously rejected China’s stance of sovereignty over the South China Sea through its artificial islands. The ruling of the tribunal is legally binding, but there is no mechanism to enforce the decision made by the ICJ. China did not participate in the tribunal, and publicly stated that it will not abide by the ruling made. This ruling is the extent of the action against China by any international body until a mechanism for enforcing the ICJ’s decision is made.
Bloc Positions: Western Bloc: The nations located in the Western Bloc do not have any direct involvement in the dispute. Many of these western nations have become third-party nations. Nations, like the US have been extremely involved in trying to protect the Freedom of Navigation and the rights of those passing by. Western nations have performed some third-party interventions to try to relieve the tensions in the area. Nations that are involved in the dispute have turned towards the Western Bloc for aid. Latin Bloc: The nations located in the Latin Bloc do not have any direct involvement in the dispute. These nations do not have a high interest in getting involved in the dispute and lack the resources to give sufficient aid to those directly involved. Some nations may show interest in supporting those in the dispute who they agree with. Most of these nations find this dispute at a lower importance than those that are present in their own sphere of influence. African Bloc: The nations located in the African Bloc do not have any direct involvement in the dispute. Some nations in this bloc have voiced their opinions on who they support and many claim to stand behind China on this issue. These nations do not have a high interest in getting involved in the dispute and lack the resources to give sufficient aid to those directly involved. They find this dispute at a lower importance than those that are present in their own sphere of influence. Asian Bloc: Multiple nations in the Asian Bloc have been involved in the South China Sea dispute. China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Brunei, and Malaysia, to name a few, have all made claims on the sea. Some nations have launched aggressive attacks on other nations and others have even made it impossible to pass through the area. There have been instances in which man made islands have been made to make claims on the sea.