General Assembly One, referred to in the United Nations as General Assembly First Committee, tackles disarmament and international security as its central areas of focus to promote global peace and demote illegal activity. All member states and observers in the United Nations are by default part of GA1 and vote with equal weight.
In order to understand why the General Assembly First Committee is the first of the GA’s six organs, we must go back into the United Nations’ historical background. First founded following both World Wars, mid-Cold War and in the looming shadow of the newly created Atomic bomb, it is clear in the United Nations’ initial context why disarmament in order to establish and maintain global security was of primary importance. Since, GA1 has worked to solve issues related to child soldiers, the black market arms trade, etc.
Throughout the course of THIMUN Qatar, we will be working to build then debate solutions to the following GA1 issues:
The question of arms sales for commercial benefit
The question of arms sales for commercial benefit has existed since WWI’s introduction of total warfare prompted an advance in weapons’ trading, and is contemporarily relevant in light of the politically fueled armed conflicts which plague our times. This issue is broad, encompassing the ethics of selling arms, the determination of who arms should be sold to, the illegal sale of arms for commercial benefit and the impact that arms sales has on communities both on the exporting and importing end of arms dealing. Though previous attempts to solve this issue exist, the majority of efforts have been either unsuccessful or inconsistent in their success; the Chairs hope to hear novel potential ways of adequately tackling the question at this year’s THIMUN Qatar.
The question of territorial disputes in the South China Sea
The question of territorial disputes in the South China Sea is a pressing issue for not only the nations that claim the area as part of their own sovereign country but also others that would be affected by widespread violence were this issue to escalate and not be recognized to its fullest extent. To this day, the PRC still proceeds with land reclamation projects in the disputed area while other states attempt to invalidate China’s self-asserted Nine-Dash-Line Area. Five months ago, the Philippines filed a lawsuit against the PRC concerning legal jurisdiction over the disputed area. The PRC has refused to participate in the proceedings, referring to the court’s final verdict as void. The international community sees China’s actions here as an abuse of its powerful P5 nation position. This topic is controversial, and the Chairs hope for an interesting discussion on this issue of the situation in the South China Sea with a range of perspectives represented.
Effective international arrangements to assure non-nuclear states against the use or threat of nuclear weapons
Modern technology has unleashed unparalleled potential for devastation and destruction, to its creator’s’ demise. As certain member states possess nuclear weapons, some monopolizing this dangerous technology, the question of forming effective international arrangements to assure non-nuclear states against the use or threat of nuclear weapons is one that needs to be addressed with urgency. With non-nuclear states demanding that the peace of their nation not be affected by these weapons, and nuclear states – some which hold the P5 veto power – resisting efforts to regulate ownership and usage, debate on this issue should be rich in perspective. The Chairs look forward to lively debate on this issue, and is hopeful member states will, as well as defending their respective interests, work to find a middle ground to address this question.
Developing employment opportunities for demobilized military personnel
It is extremely difficult to imagine what it is like to be in war, let alone to image the toll war takes on one’s mind and body. PTSD is a recognised and severe mental disorder, yet demobilized military personnel return from war to find a lack of institutional effort to reintegrate those with PTSD into working society. It is our ethical responsibility to care for those who have harmed themselves for our security. Thus, the issue of developing employment opportunities for demilitarized military personnel is a pressing world issue that must be solved at the hands of the international community.