Disarmament and International Security Committee

Dear Delegates,

It is my immense pleasure to welcome you all to the First Committee of the General Assembly: the Disarmament and International Security Committee at Harvard National Model United Nations 2018!

My name is Pedro Farias, and I will be serving as your Director. In this committee, we will explore some of the convoluted issues that have impacted global security and military politics for decades. So that we may best work together in conference, however, let me first tell you a little more about myself.

I am currently a sophomore at Harvard College, but I was born and raised in Brazil. I spent almost all of my life in Brasilia, my hometown, with the exception of the year and a half that my family spent in Newton, Massachusetts for my parents’ academic work. I have a multitude of different interests, ranging from my concentration in Economics to secondaries in Computer Science and German. I am also an avid follower of international relations, and I love Model UN. Outside of my role directing for HNMUN, I am also a director of a Specialized Agency at HMUN, our high school conference, a director of an ECOSOC at HNMUN - Latin America, and a delegate with Harvard’s travelling team, ICMUN. I also enjoy reading about finance and exploring the crazy world of stocks and bonds.

After college, I see myself working in technology for a while, exploring how we can best use artificial intelligence and machine learning to provide differentiated educational opportunities for as many students as possible, regardless of income level or location. In the long term, I aspire to move back to Brazil and potentially work in the public sector.

With regards to HNMUN 2018, I would like to emphasize the educational goals of this conference. I hope each of us will leave the conference with a stronger understanding of the plurality of opinions on how to best distribute military aid (if at all) and the most effective tactics to curb terrorist threats. In the first topic, you will explore the criteria that warrants aid from the international community, with a special focus on the sovereignty of the nations involved. In the second topic, you should focus on the evolution of the terrorist threat as it pertains to organizational structure and counterterrorism tactics. In addition, this conference is incredibly rich in diversity, so I hope that through our discussion, we will also be able to learn more about each other and ourselves.

As most GAs, there will unavoidably be some scheming and politicking throughout committee sessions. However, I would like to emphasize that this should never trump substantive excellence and respect for other delegates. Furthermore, I believe that active participation and collaboration in committee tends to be the most rewarding experience in Model UN. My aspiration for this committee is that we are able to discuss these issues profoundly while having a blast. This may be the largest committee some of you have ever participated in, but the opportunity provided in such a committee of further refining your debate skills, in addition to the fun nature of DISEC, will make this a committee to remember. Go big or go home.

I look forward to meeting you all in February!

Pedro Luís Cunha Farias
Director, Disarmament and International Security Committee
Harvard National Model United Nations 2018

Topic A: The Necessity of Military Aid

The rise in chaos in war-torn regions is constantly drawing the attention of the international community. In instances where assistance is desperately required to maximize the lives saved and minimize the destruction caused, the criteria that need to be fulfilled to justify foreign military aid are still not fully defined in the UN charter. Due to this, dire situations that can be alleviated with immediate action cannot be lawfully addressed by any member states. The different viewpoints on this convoluted issue are ever-changing in regards to the state of the nation receiving the aid, the type of aid being provided, and the repercussions of the aid provided. This committee should address whether a criterion for military aid should be established, in that case what it may be, what the type of preferred military aid may be, and the nations who should be informed and involved in the decision.

Topic B: Countering Terrorist Networks

Terrorism is an often-discussed topic within international security. However, little attention has been paid as to how the nature of the problem changes as terrorist organizational structures vary. Al-Qaeda and ISIS, the two terrorist organizations that have held the most influence in this decade, are both networks, and hint at what terrorist groups of the future may look like. Debate on this topic will look to understand how transnational terrorist networks present a unique threat to global stability, and how international counterterrorism strategies can be tailored to combat this particular organizational structure.