Topic A: Colonization and Militarization of Outer Space
During the Cold War, the USA and USSR made significant development in military technologies. This “Space Race” started with artificial satellites to take images of competing for military powers, but soon developed anti-satellite weapons, and eventually ballistic missiles. These then developed into Intercontinental ballistic missiles, which are launched into sub-orbital spaceflight and could reach and destroy any destination on earth within minutes. With the power of these technologies, a new area of militarization emerged. On the other hand, private companies like SpaceX and Amazon are working towards moving humanity to other planets. Over the past decade, Mars has been the target of colonization by several multinational companies. However, it is not just about settling on another planet, space tourism is an Idea growing in popularity. Though incidents of space warfare, tourism and settlement may seem rare or far fetched, there are space treaties such as the Outer Space Treaty and Space Preservation Treaty help to organize and limit space weaponry, pollution and monopolistic colonization of space. Delegates may discuss the history and development of the militarization of outer space, as well as make use of existing treaties to create further resolutions as to how we can approach the rapid expansion and potential danger of it.
Topic B: The Construction of Artificial Islands and Military Bases in International Waters
Artificial islands are used often for non-military, as well as military purposes. Because these islands are often created in unclaimed international waters, there is a question of legality, purpose, and guidelines as to the creation and use of artificial islands (especially for military use). The islands should technically abide by the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), but its actual position in international law has always been unclear. There are several questions and sub-topics that can be discussed by delegates; formulating a legal definition for artificial islands, the jurisdiction of these islands in international waters, conflicts that use artificial islands as military bases, and the question of whether artificial islands can be considered sovereign territory. Modern projects of land reclamation in the Netherlands, UAE, Qatar can prove that artificial-islands can have other purposes besides military bases, but the main issue lies in the militarization of these man-made islands in international water. For example, the Chinese government-built “Mischief reef” in the South China Sea has sparked controversy whether it will be used for military purposes and the legality of it.