First Committee: Disarmament and International Security (DISEC)

Committee Introduction


Topic A: Non-state groups in North Africa

Non-state groups may include narcotics cartels, popular liberation movements, religious and ideological organizations, corporations (e.g. private military contractors), self-defense militia, and paramilitary groups established by state governments to further their interests. This specific topic will focus on non-state terror groups in Nigeria and northern Africa. Boko Haram and other major non-state groups are located in these regions. A recent report issued in 2016 states that more than 16 armed groups have taken root within Nigeria in the past 17 months. As of August 2016, at least 28 African countries were embroiled in internal conflicts fuelled by a total of 220 armed opposition and insurgency groups.


Topic B: Yemeni Civil War

Yemen, one of the poorest countries in the Arab world, has been plagued with a civil war for nearly 9 years. The conflict began with the Arab Spring of 2011, when an uprising forced the country's longtime authoritarian president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, to hand over power to his deputy, Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi. Political and social turmoil resided over the country following this event and riots took to the streets. Fighting began in 2014 when the Houthi Shia Muslim rebel movement took advantage of the new president and seized control of the northern Saada province and neighboring areas. In 2015, violence erupted with the introduction of airstrikes, backed by the US, UK, and France, against the Houthis. Today, the Yemeni civil war is still the most devastating humanitarian crisis throughout the world.


If you have any questions about this committee, feel free to reach out to your Under-Secretary General Liam Cook at cookliam@sas.upenn.edu