The issue of biological weapons is not a contemporary one. Its use dates back to as early as the 1300s, leading to the spread of the Black Death into Europe which resulted in the loss of 25 million lives. Even in recent times, biological weapons have been used by governments, such as Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria; killing almost 1,500 people and injuring 14,500 more during their five-year civil war.
Despite the Biological Weapons Convention being put in place, not all countries have ratified the document. Certain countries have also been placed in the international spotlight for possibly continuing secret biological weapon research and development programmes; with others being accused of owning biological weapons. Furthermore, with the new threat of non-state actors being introduced into the international arena, the issue of biological weapons is as pressing as ever.
Delegates are thus expected to discuss how the international community can work together to develop early detection structures and immediate treatment systems that can be employed universally; as well as methods to allow out-of date charters and frameworks to keep up with fast-paced scientific advancements that our modern world face.
10,000 lives are taken by terrorist networks annually; with the death toll totalling to more than 140,000 in less than one and a half decades. While not a recent affliction, terrorist networks have expanded its reach and turned into a more fearsome menace.
The phenomenon has allowed these networks to no longer be bound to just a certain country or headquarter, posing an extremely urgent threat to international peace and security. Till today, there is still no international consensus on the definition of “terrorism”, and will thus constitute a contentious area of debate. The problem of countering terrorist networks is further complicated with the increasing utilisation of technology to catalyse ideological warfare.
Delegates should discuss measures combating these terrorist networks not just with boots on the ground, but also against the spread of ideological warfare used by these networks. It is also worth noting that some states which might need the most help countering these terrorist networks might lack the institutional capacity to do so in the first place.
Delegates should examine how the United Nations can provide assistance to these states to counter the threat of terrorism within their borders. The potential role of the Internet in tackling terrorism is also a pertinent angle delegates should consider when devising solutions for the issue.
To be updated soon!