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detection structures and immediate treatment systems that can be employed universally; as well as methods to allow out-of date charters and frameworks to keep up with fast-paced scientific advancements that our modern world face.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.
Head Chair: Jia Ying,
Co-chairs: Adri, Fei Yang
Jia Ying is a J2 arts student from Raffles Institution who is also a member of the Raffles Debaters. She started her MUN journey as a notepasser in RMUN 2015 (good VIA hours), and has since then attended many more as a delegate and a chair, most recently serving as a chair in NTUMUN 2018. In her (occasional) free time, Jia Ying likes to spend most of it with her dog, named after the university she wants to go to. In whatever time she has left, she likes to think that she is busy maintaining a social life (but really she’s just wasting her days away watching trashy Youtube videos). She hopes that delegates can take away not just academic fruitions, but also form new friendships through the three days of debate. Jia Ying can be contacted at email@example.com
Adri is a Year 6 Humanities Programme student from Raffles Institution. He questions himself almost everyday about how he ended up in a MUN club in junior college — considering the fact that his interests lie beyond the realms of current affairs and geopolitics. Adri only began his MUN journey last year, picking up an award at NTUMUN along the way. In his free time, he’d find himself entwined in a gruesome murder plot with law professor Annalise Keating and her students through a flat screen or engaged in large meals with his favourite mukbang star Trisha Paytas on YouTube. He hopes that RMUN 2018 will not be a daunting experience for the newcomers, and is more than willing to extend a helping hand to them if necessary. He can be contacted at 18YADRI946D@student.ri.edu.sg.
Fei Yang is your average RI year 5 student who just entered the MUN circuit. While he has been aware of the existence of MUNs for a long time, it was only last year that he found out, in detail, about MUN conferences in Singapore, and decided to defect from RI Military Band. Before applying for a chairing position at RMUN, Fei Yang had but one prior experience participating the Singapore Model Cabinet as delegate. Much of his free time is spent researching about the current affairs and geopolitics, especially that of the Middle East, where conflicts have never quite subsided since the First World War. Beyond contemporary world affairs, Fei Yang also has a keen interest in the ancient histories of China and Europe. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org .