A national separatist movement is any racial, religious, cultural, ethnic, tribal, governmental, or regional group that seeks separation from a larger body. Today there are around 24 active separatist movements occurring around the world. Within these movements there is a lot of variation; while some groups desperately want to form an independent country some are content with simply having more local autonomy. Unfortunately, significant levels of violence accompany over half of successful separatist movements. The devastating economic, international, and ethno-cultural effects stemming from unbridled separatist movements makes them a critical issue for the UN to address. Instead of waiting for violence to breakout, the UN should begin to address separatist movements in their developing phase. Indeed, delegates must identify situations to intervene in, come up with innovative solutions to these complex issues, and ensure the protection of human rights throughout the entire process.
Special Political and Decolonization Committee (SPECPOL)
Committee 1 Topic:
National Separatist Movements
United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs
Committee 2 Topic:
Peaceful Use of Outer Space
The fourth committee of the General Assembly, also known as the Special Political and Decolonization Committee (SPECPOL), covers a variety of issues such as decolonization, self-determination, human rights, and more (M1). Established by the General Assembly in 1993, SPECPOL is the combination of the Decolonization Committee and the Special Political Committee and often helps set the agenda of the Security Council. After the committee’s enormous success regarding the adoption of a resolution concerning the Palestine Question, it has been able to take great strides economically, politically, and socially in national separatist movements (M2, M3). With the primary goal of ensuring that all member countries gain sustainable independence, SPECPOL uses all non-violent techniques possible to ensure countries can function successfully on their own (M4).
The General Assembly established the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs in 1958 as a group of experts tasked with facilitating the peaceful application of outer space, specifically placing an emphasis on international cooperation. Since then, UNOOSA has expanded their scope to include numerous other topics such as “Water and Space”, “Disaster Management” and “Space Debris." As both technology and knowledge related to space have multiplied, so has the importance of UNOOSA. UNOOSA looks to contribute to the UN and all nations by educating developing nations on the benefits to space, as well as how to use space in a healthy and productive way free of conflict with other nations. UNOOSA carries the same view as the General Assembly in that the private sector is critical in providing investment and resources to better our efforts. A key goal of UNOOSA today is to address the UN Sustainable Development Goals by exploring the potential peaceful uses of outer space and stimulating accessibility of space for all nations.
Space often affects people in ways about which many people do not consider. Every time a weather notification pops up or a scientist makes a prediction about the effects of climate change, satellites are usually the reason why meteorologists and researchers can make such accurate forecasts of weather patterns or rising sea levels. Space has changed from an arena for a showdown between two superpowers to a place where all nations, with the sufficient capacities, can launch their own satellite systems and reap the many accompanying rewards. Satellites are incredibly versatile and can perform tasks such as helping farmers improve their crop yield and acting as early-warning disasters systems. However, if space becomes militarized or remains largely inaccessible to developing nations, international tension could compromise all of the benefits of satellites and other peaceful uses of outer space. Thus, the committee must defend space from an arms race and work to help all countries develop strong satellites systems.
Delegates will be convening in two committees at EMUNC 2018. Both will explore, debate, and resolve unique global issues.