‘Non-state actors’ is an umbrella term which comprises of organisations and individuals that are not affiliated or directed by any government. These include corporations, NGOs, private financial institutions, as well as paramilitary and armed resistance groups. The exponential rise in the emergence of such non-state actors has shifted the focus of the international political scene from a ‘state-centric’ concept to a ‘transnational’ system where these individuals and organisations are key players. Non-state actors have traditionally been classified into intergovernmental organisations(IGOs) and non-governmental organisations(NGOs). IGOs are created by nation states and are documented by them as well. NGOs are established by individuals, businessmen and societal fractions. They have are not legally bound to states and are truly transnational. Committee: Security Council. Topic 1: Effect of Non-State Actors on International Relations and Sovereignty of Nations. Author: Afzal Mohammed Khan, Moderator. Introduction
The mere presence of non-state actors is not a threat that undermines international relations. Currently, the fact that it is extremely difficult to hold non-state actors accountable for violations of the international code of conduct is something to worry about. The increasing influence of these non-state actors has its on pros and cons. The IAEA for instance is an IGO which monitors the ‘non-proliferation of nuclear weapons’ makes information gathering and the task of keeping a nuclear war in check easier for the UN and its member countries. However, activities of IGOs such as the IMF are decisive for most small countries and they may impose their principles on them more easily than on big powers. NGOs do not have any direct relations with nation-states and can be classified into many types including transnational, operational, advocacy and anti-governmental NGOs. Multinational companies have extensive influence over the government due their enormous flexibility in moving goods, personnel and technology across borders which increases their bargaining power. Explanation of the Problem
The increasing power and unprecedented leverage in negotiations that non-state actors now have needs to be curbed in order to ensure that the dereliction of international law does not take place and the liberty, freedom and integrity of countries is not threatened. Influential IGOs: • United Nations(UN) • World Trade Organization(WTO) • International Monetary Fund(IMF) • Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) • North Atlantic Treaty Organization(NATO) Influential NGOs: • Medecins Sans Frontières(MSF) • Amnesty International • CARE International • ISIS • Acumen Fund
Important UN resolutions pertaining to non-state actors: •UNSC Resolution 1504 (2004)– In this resolution, the Security Council decided that all states shall refrain from providing any form of support to non-State actors that attempt to develop, acquire, manufacture, possess, transport, transfer or use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons and their means of delivery, in particular for terrorist purposes. It called upon states to establish laws to prevent the proliferation of these weapons. •UNSC Resolution 2325 (2016)– This resolution expanded upon Resolution 1504 adopted in 2004. It calls for framework to keep terrorists and non-state actors from acquiring weapons of mass destruction (WMD). The committee also reviewed legal measures taken by various countries to restrict non-state actors from acquiring weapons with which it was satisfied. However, it was not appreciative of the lack of progress towards securing the production, storage and transport of such weapons. These along with the ‘Universal Declaration of Human Rights’ are the few official documents where non-state actors have been referred to explicitly.
Focus of the Debate In committee sessions delegates are expected to focus primarily on how non-state actors can affect international relations for better or for worse. Delegates must also focus on the existing framework which regulates the actions of non-state actors such as the ‘Declaration of Human Rights’ and the possibility of expanding on these guidelines. Based on the country they represent, delegates can choose to either regulate the actions and activities of non-state actors or allow them to function as they are doing currently, in their resolutions. Delegates must take into consideration that Security Council resolutions are highly detailed and ensure that there is no ambiguity to avoid further confusion as a result of the decisions, in the future. Keeping in mind the fragility of international relations and its innumerate complications delegates must navigate through muddy waters in order to come up with a solution to the problem at hand. Collaboration and in-depth discussion of the topic properly and within the intended time-frame will inevitably lead to a solution accepted by the majority given that various perspectives are taken into account. For information on what your country’s position would be on the topic, flip through the next slide containing an outline of probable bloc positions. .
Bloc Positions Outline Asia: Most Asian countries are not financially independent and require monetary assistance from time to time. Regulations on the activities of non-state actors would be welcomed by countries in this region. Middle East: A hotbed and breeding ground for hostile non-governmental organisations such as the ISIS as well as extremely influential IGOs such as the OPEC, arising as a result of several oil-rich countries. Europe and USA: Almost all countries in Europe are deeply intertwined with non-state actors. As a result, there is a wide spectrum of countries that look at non-state actors from different perspectives. For example, economically powerful and developed countries such as the UK and France would not want to regulate IGOs as it would reduce their status as a global powerhouse and decrease their ability to indirectly exert a considerable amount of control of over smaller nations. However, lesser economically developed countries (LEDCs) would not prefer the same as it is disadvantageous to them. Africa: Countries in Africa, especially in its Western parts, would likely support a resolution that would hold non-state actors responsible due to the exponential rise in anti-governmental organisations as well as influential IGOs which undermine their national security and invaluable natural resources.
Questions to Consider What are my country’s views on non-state actors? Do non-state actors affect international relations? How can non-state actors potentially jeopardise international relations? Do the activities of non-state actors need to be regulated so that they do not affect international relations adversely? Does the international law and common norms need to be amended to hold non-state actors responsible for their activities? What measures should the committee take in order to ensure that non-state actors are held accountable?
Recommended Readings & Bibliography Country Profile: CIA World Factbook - https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/docs/profileguide.html Topic-Related : https://www.escr-net.org/resources/non-state-actors https://www.internationalaffairs.org.au/australianoutlook/the-influence-of-non-state-actors-on-global-politics/ https://www.who.int/about/collaborations-and-partnerships/who-s-engagement-with-non-state-actors https://dergipark.org.tr/download/article-file/19401 https://www.academia.edu/5124220/The_Role_of_Non-state_Actors_in_International_Relations https://medium.com/@sayeds/what-are-the-non-state-actors-in-the-world-and-how-effective-are-they-dd30a8a30f45 https://ohrh.law.ox.ac.uk/enforcing-a-universal-declaration-un-efforts-to-hold-non-state-actors-accountable-for-human-rights/
The internet has the unique ability to connect individuals from vastly different backgrounds on the basis of their search on the internet. It is able to diversify the knowledge which people have, provide them with a groundwork to spread ideas and form relationships on a digital platform. Technology is changing the ways that people think, societies function and individuals interact. With globalisation to catalyse the process, economies are changing to adopt the ways of the internet and development. Globalisation is the act by which global economies are becoming increasingly interconnected as a result of interactions and exchange between nations. Committee: Security Council. Topic 2: Russian Isolation – The effect of the Disconnection of Russia from the World Wide Web Authors: Esha Sharma- Chair, Aditi Jayachandran- Moderator. Introduction
Throughout global history, Russia has presented itself as a sovereign state with immense potential powers in all spheres of their country. As a federation economy with a focus on military gain and growth, Russia is one of the global superpowers and has high potential when it comes to dispute. Russia holds a volatile relationship with the Western world. Though trade and the exchange of resources does occur, increasing sanction pressure and extended financial and social costs towards Russia have caused their interactions to be limited. Russia’s ongoing rivalry with the United States has put them in a position where the West is condemning against them. Furthermore, digital issues in relation with the European Union, propaganda through media, mixed opinions on information discourse and information war has given Russia clear incentives to capitalise on their power and take control of their digital environment in recent times. Stability is a key word that Russia continuously considers. Stability in terms of international relations, links outside their economy but also not losing focus on their internal stability and how outside influence is shaping their economy and country. The disconnection of the nation from the World Wide Web is a question which was heavily considered due to the pressing urgency of this matter. This guide will outline the causes, action and consequences of Russia’s disconnection to it’s economy as well as the global one if they decide to disconnect themselves.
What drove Russia to plan to disconnect from the WWW Russia’s constant need to take control of situations and have the upper hand in matters have diverted their focus to gaining power in the digital field as well. Initially a communist state, Russia has deep roots in the idea of controlling their populations in terms of ideas, beliefs, information and relationships with the outside world. Russia has also had negative interactions in the past in relation with the rest of the world. This is resulting in them considering the option of disconnecting themselves from the WWW. Furthermore, the global push to isolate Russia is almost leaving them no other options. Previous accusations of Russian cyber attacks Russia has been under constant international scrutiny regarding its role in global cyber-crime. In April 2007, it was accused of targeting the Estonian government in a series of cyberattacks that crippled financial, media and government websites. More recently, in 2015 a cyber attack crippled Ukraine’s power grid, temporarily depriving some areas in the country’s west of electricity. In 2017, another digital attack hit Ukraine which took down government agencies, businesses and the national bank. Both the U.S and the U.K have attributed the attacks on Ukraine to the Russian military. Explanation of the Problem
More notably, Russia has been entwined in the recent election scandal in the US. According to the Special Counsel’s report , the Russian military agency GRU was directly involved in influencing voter turnout for the 2016 presidential elections. The Russian government initially denied all involvement in the US presidential elections. However, in 2017, Russian president Vladmir Putin told journalists that ‘patriotically minded’ Russian hackers could have been responsible for the cyberattacks while denying government involvement. US retaliatory response to the Russian attacks included sanctions placed on four top officials of the GRU. Furthermore, reports indicate that the Pentagon has planned a retaliatory cyber attack on Russia. Reports claim that the new cyber operations order under the Trump administration is designed to allow the Defense Secretary retaliatory strikes without government approval. It can be suggested that the possible Russian disconnect is a preventive response to potential US attacks. Action taken by Russia as a precaution against retaliatory measures from NATO against Russian cyber attacks As previously mentioned, the goal of the Russian disconnect from the internet is to protect Russia from the United States, which lists Russia as one of the major sources of hacking attacks. Previously, Google and Microsoft had cut off their services from Crimea in compliance with US sanctions imposed on Crimea after Russia’s takeover. Putin suggested that this was exactly the reason the Russian internet must work autonomously.
The Digital Economic National Program is a plan that would mandate Russian internet providers to remain operational in the event the country was cut off from the worldwide internet. Under this plan, Russian ISP’s could redirect web traffic within the country while relying on their own version of the Domain Name System (a directory of domains and addresses that forms the backbone of the global internet). The aim of the DENP is to provide a centrally managed system that would make it possible for the authorities to disconnect the Russian internet from the external web. The Russian government would then be the sole body involved in the process of filtering out all the internet traffic so that traffic can not be rerouted through any exchange points that are not inside Russia. Some say that this piece of legislation gives too much power to an already authoritarian state in curbing the digital rights of its citizens. The DENP bill would essentially mimic China’s Great Firewall and raises the issues of freedom of speech, state control and censorship within Russia.
Change in response of NATO to cybercrimes The United States, Britain, Germany, Norway, Spain, Denmark and the Netherlands are drawing up cyber warfare principles to guide their militaries on what justifies deploying cyber-attack weapons more broadly, aiming for agreement by early 2019. The had even U.S. offered up its cyber warfare capabilities to NATO, if the organisation chose to counter Russia’s attacks. The doctrine could shift NATO’s approach from being defensive to confronting hackers that officials say Russia, China and North Korea use to try to undermine Western governments and steal technology. The plan has developed amidst NATO threats to counter Russia’s cyber attacks. In October 2017, NATO secretary general called out Russia for its “reckless pattern of behaviour, including the use of force against its neighbours, attempted interference in election processes, and widespread disinformation campaigns.” Focus of the Debate
Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence A year after the attack on Estonia, NATO founded the Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence in Tallinn as a direct consequence of the attacks. NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence is an International Military Organisation with a mission to enhance the capability, cooperation and information sharing among NATO, its member nations and partners in cyber defence by virtue of education, research and development, lessons learned and consultation. Functions of CCDCE include: • Enhancing information security and cyber defence education, awareness, and training, • Providing cyber defence support • Analysing the legal aspects of cyber defence
Tallinn Manual The CCDCE has also initiated the process of constructing a basic legal framework when it comes to cybercrime. Their work has formed the basis of the Tallinn Manual, which is the first endeavour to make international law applicable to digital warfare. The manual consists of a set of guidelines -- 154 rules -- which set out how the lawyers think international law can be applied to cyber warfare, covering everything from the use of cyber mercenaries to the targeting of medical units' computer systems. The idea is that by making the law around cyberwarfare clearer, there is less risk of an attack escalating, because escalation often occurs when the rules are not clear and leaders overreact. In 2017, a second version of the manual was released—Tallinn 2.0. However, critics have suggested that the manual still remains very simplistic in dealing with the issues of cyberwar. Firstly, the manual is non-empirical, unlike international law, the manual is far from explicit in its nature. It only lists the conclusions of a group of experts regarding various legal cyber issues. Thus questioning the practicality of implementing it in international cyber conflicts.
Lack of adequate legal framework regarding cyber-crime Significant dilemmas relevant to the issue of cyber-crime is the lack of adequate legal framework regarding cyber-crime. Some nations claim that cyber attacks should only be viewed as acts of war if actual military operations are conducted simultaneously. However the potential wide reaching consequences caused by cyber attacks challenge this definition. Therefore, another approach may be to regard the actual harm caused by such actions thereby qualifying acts that result in severe harm, such as election meddling or power shortages caused by hacking, to be termed as cybercrime. Theoretical qualifications become significant when taking into account the practical consequences of acts of war. Whereas cyber criminals would, in theory, be treated equally to conventional criminals, a state subject to an armed attack possesses the right to self defence under the “UN Charter”. In the case of the attack on Estonia in 2007, the attack may well fall under the mutual defence clause of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and trigger its collective self defense measures. Hence, the response to an act in the cyberspace would not be limited to the online sphere, but could also prompt an actual physical response.
How nations protect themselves from cyber attacks In order for nations to put themselves in a position where they are safe from cyber attacks, they take several different measures to protect themselves from cyber attacks and ensure that their cybersecurity is not breached. Such methods include the following: • Investment in defense mechanisms and protocol This allows nations to set up advanced security systems to ensure that their information and intelligence won’t be hacked or leaked to the rest of the world. It includes backing up all systems and configurations onto a drive system, network and information security, spyware and keyloggers, adware, trojans, ransomware and phishing defense. At the same time, countries need to ensure that their protection providers are reliable and the information will not be spread through them. • The development of new protection methods The most reliable and cost-efficient method for nations to be safe against cyberattacks is through producing individuals from their own nations who have developed the technology to defend a nation’s cyber platforms. This is done through the investment in research and development to create such breakthroughs. The risk though with this method is that often if an emerging technology has been created, the developers will try to sell it externally to gain large amounts of money.
3. Produce a strong Cyber-Workforce Producing a strong cyber workforce allows nations to have a strong base in which there are individuals that are aware and able to act with the knowledge of the need to ensure cyber security and maintain a safe online environment. 4. Intelligence to identify threat personnel Nations invest hundreds of millions of dollars yearly into research in order to identify potential cyber hackers and personnel who may breach the security systems of a country. This is effective in eliminating a threat before it can cause damage. 5. Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) The CSTO is an intergovernmental treaty which was signed in 1998 with the role of ensuring the digital security of nations who signed it. The treaty “designates a mechanism for consultations in case of a threat to safety, territorial integrity and sovereignty” (Ministry of Foreign Affairs), whilst promoting international peace and security. However, there is a great discrepancy between nations in terms of how much they are capable of investing into measures to protect themselves. If a nation is already falling behind financially, for example LEDCs, cyber attacks pose a greater threat to them as they cannot afford to protect their cyber and digital platforms or intelligence. This can be seen as unjust as such nations are left defenseless in such situations.
UN Bodies that Overlook Cyber Warfare The United Nations International Telecommunication Union (ITU) was formed with a commitment to “connect the world” whilst ensuring that it is done in a safe and secure manner. They launched the Global Cybersecurity Index, a body to measure and improve the amount of cybersecurity worldwide. Their belief the international community all being on the same page regarding cybersecurity drives them to get involved in different nations around the world. An ITU statement mentioned: “A comparison of national cybersecurity strategies will reveal those countries with high rankings in specific area, and consequently highlight lesser know – yet successful – cybersecurity strategies”. Their short-term goals are to blose security gaps globally while their long-term aim is to adopt cybersecurity on a global scale. ITU Secretary-General- Hamadoun Touré stated: “Greater connectivity also brings with it greater risk, our physical and cyber worlds overlap, there is an increased need to address the related challenges of ensuring security, human rights, rule of law, good governance and economic development”.
Questions to Consider • Is it a viable option for democratic governments to employ the same tactics as authoritarian regimes by employing offensive cyber capabilities? • What are the limitations of the Tallinn Manual? To what extent will a more detailed legal framework regarding cyber war lead to international cyber security? • How can the global community keep up with the advancements in cyber warfare? • To what extent has previous international action been effective in deterring either state-sponsored or non-state actors from committing acts of cyber war? • What response should be provided by the international community regarding the accusations of Russian cyberattacks? • How should cyber criminals be tried? How should states be tried? • Would giving access to the UN to different country’s digital platforms and digital intelligence be a viable solution? Would nations agree to it? • How effective has the Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence been in carrying out its mission?
Recommended Readings The Russian Foreign Policy: https://russiancouncil.ru/en/forecast2018 Pentagon’s Planned Cyber Attack Against Russia: https://publicintegrity.org/national-security/future-of-warfare/the-pentagon-has-prepared-a-cyber-attack-against-russia/ NATO’s “Offensive Defense” With Cyber Warfare Rules: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-nato-cyber/nao-mulls-offensive-defense-with-cyber-warfare-rules-idUSKBN1DU1G4 The Rise of Cyberwar: https://www.techrepublic.com/article/the-new-art-of-war-how-trolls-hackers-and-spies-are-rewriting-the-rules-of-conflict/ Red Cross- What Limits Does The Law Of War Impose On Cyber Attacks? https://www.icrc.org/en/doc/resources/documents/faq/130628-cyber-warfare-q-and-a-eng.htm Russia’s Drive to Disconnect: https://www.theweek.co.uk/99543/why-russia-wants-to-disconnect-from-the-internet
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