Countries: France, UK, USA, Russia, China, Belgium, Côte d’Ivoire, Dominican Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Germany, Indonesia, Kuwait, Peru, Poland, South Africa
Topic A: World Water Crisis
Despite the fact that water coverage of our planet is as high as 70% and it would be tempting to assume that it is more than enough, freshwater – the type humans can actually use in various forms of industry – is only 3% of the world’s resources. Moreover, two-thirds of that percentage is either limited to frozen glaciers or causes great difficulties in its availability in general. According to WWF, over 1.1 billion people worldwide have no access to any water resources as of now and this number is estimated to only increase to a staggering 2.7 billion by the end of this year. The issue of water scarcity is, however, much broader as it includes improper sanitation, leading to the spread of lethal diseases, as well as pollution which disrupts not only water ecosystems but also has a huge impact on human populations and agriculture. The fusion of climate change and water crisis can additionally switch weather patterns resulting in an extreme shortage in some states and flooding in others. UN-Water calls upon individual nations and regions to treat water as “a scarce resource” and create systems of needs and demands of various water consumers, including the environment.
Topic B: The Employment of Lethal Autonomous Weapons in Warfare
Lethal autonomous weapon systems (LAWS) are known as the third revolution in warfare (after gunpowder and nuclear arms). They pose many challenges, both within state institutions and society. The conversation and discourse around LAWS centers around the ethical implications and concerns around giving artificial intelligence the power to decide whether or not to kill a human being. LAWS are also currently generally more accepted in conflict zones than civil society. In the near future, however, the technology industry will achieve many milestones that will significantly alter the argument about the use of LAWS. The international community has not reached a definition for LAWS as of yet, largely because of a lack of unanimity around what ‘autonomy’ refers to, however individual countries and groups of states have official policies and positions on these systems, and there are currently some efforts to institute regulations that will inhibit or remove the use of LAWS. Delegates will discuss their nation’s position on LAWS and technological development, and try to create a uniform definition of these systems and also introduce conventions on the development and use of LAWS.