With increased regional volatility and heightened terrorist presence in the Middle East, it becomes more important than ever to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons in the region. International efforts have focused on creating a Middle East Nuclear Weapons Free Zone (NWFZ), but talks have stalled amidst Israel’s nuclear stockpile and the pursuit of nuclear technology by Arab states. Israel’s nuclear arsenal, estimated at 75-400 warheads, has long been viewed as a serious security threat to her Arab neighbors. They see Israel’s nuclear arsenal as an alteration to the balance of power in the Middle East, which only increases tensions in the region. Hence, finding a solution to work towards the possible disarmament of her stockpile will be a key point of contention.
Furthermore, with the presence of ISIS and other terrorist groups in the region, the possibility of nuclear terrorism needs is a real global threat. While countries enhance their nuclear capabilities for peaceful use, the need for safeguards to prevent the weaponization of such technology is essential for regional stability and international security.
Delegates are expected to discuss and deliver new insightful ideas on how to achieve the goal of a nuclear-weapons free Middle East while negotiating with the delicate interstate relations of the countries in the region. How will the United Nations tackle these myriad issues, and restore peace and security to the Middle East?
With incidents such as the “SWIFT” Bangladesh Bank Heist that saw $80 million stolen, “Peace” Yahoo user data hack that released confidential information of 200 million users, and the Ashley Madison hacks in 2015, the issue of tackling cybersecurity risks has become an urgent issue that needs to be addressed by the international community.
More worryingly, there is an increasingly political nature to cyber attacks with cases of state sponsored hacking and espionage activities. The Russian hacking of the Democratic National Convention, resulting in the release of confidential emails to the public, could have affected the outcome of the U.S Presidential election; the Snowden Leaks revealing CIA’s illegal interception of top level intelligence files from Australia to the UK could destabilize inter-state relations and compromise national security. Governments of all countries have largely denied knowledge or involvement in these cyber attacks, classifying such acts as lone wolf attacks. Regardless, these activities infringe upon the rights of individuals and sovereignty of states.
This problem will only set to escalate, as vital information held by governments, agencies or firms continues to be saved in cloud-based storage systems, with these risks furthered magnified by the increased capacity of hackers, both private and state-sponsored. Delegates will thus need to generate solutions to nullify the threat of hackers and strengthen cybersecurity networks in their countries. Delegates will also need to discuss on the management of the sovereignty of cyberspace to deal with the increasingly pertinent issue of state sanctioned hacking.
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