September 16, 2019
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Arctic Circle Resource Exploitation

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General Assembly: Special Political Committee

Topic: Arctic Circle Resource Exploitation

The Arctic Circle is an area of the planet that has been turned to over the last two decades for resources and land. As we exist now, there is a continuous shortage of land-based materials across the planet, coupled with rising global temperatures. These are two major reasons that are attracting countries across the globe to the Arctic region for both natural resources and land. The Arctic Circle contains some of the world’s largest undiscovered reserves of both natural gas and oil reserves (30% and 13%, respectively). Although extraction of these resources is costly, improving technology and transportation is creating the opportunity for nations to exploit the Arctic region. Activity by a variety of countries has also opened up additional trade routes, thus creating further ways to access the Arctic from across the globe. Passed by the United Nations in 1982, the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) is the main legal policy in place to protect the Arctic and serve as a guideline for participating nations, however not all nations are bound to the terms set forth.

Although environmental concerns in the Arctic are a major portion of what this committee should discuss, it’s important to note territory disputes throughout the region. There are five states that currently have hold of territory in the Arctic Circle: United States, Russia, Canada, Norway, and Denmark. These countries are known as the Arctic Five (A5). This essentially splits all worldly nations into two groups: Arctic States and Non-Arctic States. The Arctic States include all the A5 nations plus Finland, Sweden, and Iceland. This is the group that makes up the Arctic Council which is the governing body that makes decisions regarding Arctic territory and how to balance the desires of the nations with the desires of Indigenous peoples in the area. Non-Arctic States include any remaining nation, and some of these nations are starting to take note of the benefits of Arctic exploitation. That being said the A5 nations view this interest as a threat to their current land claims in the region. These nations additionally want to split up any undiscovered reserves among the five included nations, thus laying claim to any further Arctic resources that are discovered. This thus creates conflict between the Arctic and Non-Arctic States, as well as setting up opportunities for dispute among the A5 nations themselves.

It is up to the Special Political committee to discuss Arctic exploitation in the realm of territory disputes and economic concerns. How should territory within the Arctic Circle be split up? Should nations be allowed to lay claim to Arctic land at all? When land disputes arise, how should those be handled and with what intervention? Additionally, this committee should discuss how to preserve the land so that the Arctic’s resources are not over-exploited. Lastly, how should nations take into account the wishes of Indigenous groups? It needs to be discussed how the Arctic Circle is to be taken care of and monitored to ensure the continued prosperity of the region.

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Submitted Position Papers

FHEDelegates 11/23/2022 23:24:54 69.137.208.191

Topic:
Country: Egypt
Delegate Name: Abigail Huffman

Special Political Committee
Arctic Circle Resource Exploitation
The Arab Republic of Egypt
Abigail Huffman
Forest Hills Eastern

Recently, countries and corporations across the globe have been intent on Arctic exploration in order to exploit the region for its resources. Rich in assets such as oil, gasses, and rare earth metals, the Arctic is a prime area for excessive exploitation. In fact, the US Geological Survey has reason to believe that 25% of the world’s oil reserves call the Arctic home. However, the Arctic has already seen catastrophic effects on its atmosphere due to the extraction of oil and gas occurring there. Specifically, pollutants released amid oil and gas exploration undertakings (such as gas flaring) have expedited the warming of the Arctic climate, which harms all life in the ecosystem, including the lives of at least five million people. A large majority of the arctic is water, and the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) supplies governance for this part of the region. UNCLOS is preventing open water beyond 350 miles off of the coast of an Arctic 5 country (US, Russia, Norway, Denmark, and Canada) from being exploited, which allows that area to stay intact from potentially irrevocable change. Additionally, the Arctic Council was established in 1997 in order to serve as the governing body for the Arctic. The council consists of fourteen total members. Eight are the nations of Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Russia, and the U.S. While the remaining six serve as permanent participants: Aleut International Association, Arctic Athabaskan Council (AAC), Gwich’in Council International (GCI), Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC), Russian Arctic Indigenous Peoples of the North (RAIPON) and Saami Council). These participants represent the Arctic’s indigenous people.

As a consequence of Egypt’s location, its involvement in Arctic affairs is relatively limited. Especially as they do not exceptionally benefit economically from the continuation or termination of Arctic exploitation. However, it is reasonable to assume that Egypt would encourage more regulation regarding Arctic resource exploitation, particularly pertaining to oil extraction and trade stemming from the region. Oil is a large industry of international trade in Egypt, as the country is twenty-seventh in the world in oil production and the twenty-sixth largest exporter of crude petroleum. In total, the nation exports 25% of its produced oil. The major countries that receive crude petroleum from Egypt are India, Italy, Germany, Greece, and China. Unfortunately for Egypt, arctic nations like Russia and Norway also export oil to many of these countries, making them direct competitors. These countries’ main source of oil is from oil fields and reserves located in the Arctic. If these countries were not allowed such unrestricted use of Arctic oil and other resources, it would increase economic opportunities not only for Egypt but countries globally as well. It is necessary to mention the environmental threats that extreme utilization of arctic resources poses to the planet. Egypt, as a member of the Paris Climate Agreement, is working towards limiting global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels. If this is successful, approximately 2 million square km of the total area of permafrost in the arctic could be saved. Nonetheless, this is only possible if pronounced action is taken to limit the degree of Arctic exploitation.

The exploitation of arctic resources is evidently affecting the planet environmentally and economically. Therefore, the Arab Republic of Egypt would support a possible solution to limit the number of resources that can be extracted from the Arctic. This would allow the global climate, Arctic indigenous people, and the international oil market to be prosperous. However, as this issue is not of the utmost priority, and in an effort to maintain cohesion between allies, Egypt retains a comparatively neutral position.

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WilliamstonDelegates 11/23/2022 23:39:28 69.176.153.70

Country: Philippines
Delegate Name: Savannah Badra

Delegate: Savannah Badra
Country: Philippines
Committee: SPECPOL

The Arctic Circle is one of the last frontiers still free from full-on exploitation of its resources. As glacial melting rapidly increases, the Arctic becomes easier to gain access to due to an increase in ice-free ocean. A century ago, whalers talked of harvesting the cetaceans that piled the waters. Now there is an increase of talk about another harvest. The harvest of fossil fuels and minerals that lie beneath the land and the seabed.The Arctic Circle contains some of the world’s largest undiscovered reserves of both natural gas and oil reserves. Non-Arctic states have risen with a goal to harvest the Arctic resources to combat the decrease of natural resources in overly harvested areas.

The Philippines has supported the United Nations’ principle that all nations have sovereignty over their territories, including the right to use all resources that lie within these territories. The Philippines believes that this principle should extend to all states, and that all states should share the Arctic, to balance the resources of the Arctic proportionally, so that one state does not feel as though it is superior to other states, in order to preserve peace.

The Philippines would look favorably upon a resolution that would outline how every member state could work together to harvest the Arctic’s resources, and to allow the use of these resources to improve every nation. The Philippines believes that all countries should have a right to use the Arctic’s resources, and not something that only certain nations should be able to harness. The Philippines wishes to work with nations that agree with the harnessing of the Arctic and its resources for all, such as Russia, Spain and Nigeria.

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KalamazooCentralDelegates 11/23/2022 22:05:45 71.89.162.64

Country: Poland
Delegate Name: Clara DeWaele

Poland believes that actions taken in the Arctic Circle have environmental impacts that should not be overlooked. As resources have been continuously extracted from the Earth for centuries, draining the world of its nonrenewable resources, eyes have turned toward the Arctic. The Arctic holds some of the world’s largest undiscovered reserves of resources, making it desirable for countries searching for other sources of energy. This increased interest threatens the environment of the Arctic Circle, as extraction processes can be hazardous to the area around it. Poland believes that though the Arctic can be seen as an economic opportunity, it is important to ensure the future of its environment through international cooperation as a basis for sustainable practices and environmentally friendly extraction processes.

Poland holds an observer status on the Arctic Council, and has been involved in research in the Arctic for decades, having one constantly operating station and four seasonal stations. Along with individual research within the Arctic, Poland has participated in several working groups, such as the Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment (PAME), and Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFFE). Poland is very concerned with the environmental impact that further extraction of resources might have on the Arctic, and with the increasing effects of climate change, wishes to be more engaged in issues regarding the Arctic.

As a country that holds interest in the future wellbeing of the Arctic, Poland suggests action to be taken to maintain environmentally friendly extraction processes of resources. Additionally, Poland believes that it is important to include more countries in this process, to further develop research in the Arctic, so that it may be better preserved. It is important to protect the habitat of the Arctic, so further land claims should be prohibited to prevent further exploitation, and to respect the interests of indigenous peoples. With that, Poland also finds it important to continue the access of water transportation throughout the Arctic, as it makes both trade and research more accessible. Poland hopes to find support for these actions in other non-arctic countries who wish to have a say in actions involving the Arctic Circle, because though they lack land claims, Poland, along with other countries, have contributed to development in the Arctic, and should have a voice in decisions being made.

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FHEDelegates 11/23/2022 21:29:51 67.39.250.5

Country: Guatemala
Delegate Name: Shriya Nallan Chakravarthi

Special Political Committee
Arctic Circle Resource Exploitation
The Republic of Guatemala
Shriya Nallan Chakravarthi
Forest Hills Eastern

In 1962, Russia discovers the first major Arctic energy reserve. Six years later marks the first US Arctic oil and gas discovery. Ever since then, more countries have favored extracting the limited resources in the Arctic region. The rising global temperatures melting the polar sea ice only encourage the Arctic council to increase shipping lanes. On the other hand, the world needs roughly 4.04 trillion cubic meters of natural gas and an estimated 96.5 million barrels of oil per day. With the Arctic circle estimated to have 30% of the world’s undiscovered natural gas and 13% of the world’s oil reserves, exploiting these resources to share between the Arctic States and the Non-Arctic States will be beneficial. Dividing the Arctic Circle territory and its resources between all involved parties is controversial, as indigenous people are living in the Arctic. The United Nation Conventions of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) is the main legal policy on the Arctic and the seas. However, not all countries are bound to UNCLOS, such as the United States. Thus, the United Nations could enact more policies to protect the Arctic Circle as a whole.

Guatemala has remained fairly neutral on the pertinent situation. Even though Guatemala is a Non-Artic State, Guatemala does not utilize natural gas or oil as much as other countries. Guatemala has many natural reserves of oil and gas, yet both are under-utilized. Out of the approximately 153 oil wells in Guatemala, only 58 are currently utilized for oil production. This ranks Guatemala 82nd in the world for oil consumption. Guatemala does not use natural gas, as their primary sources of energy are petroleum, hydroelectricity, and fuelwood. Even though Guatemala could benefit from the Arctic’s oil reserves, it is neither necessary nor does it outweigh the environmental costs. Guatemala has addressed its global warming situation and maintained the commitment to reduce projected emissions by 11.2% by 2030. Guatemala has ratified and is bound to UNCLOS to protect the Arctic Circle.

The Republic of Guatemala encourages the United Nations to focus on the environmental effects of exploiting the Arctic Circle, as Guatemala is volatile to global warming and sea level rises. Guatemala recommends a sustainable process to mine oil and natural gas. Even if natural gas and oil are vitally important to some countries’ economies, it is important to note the sustainability of where the resources originated and the global impact.

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FHEDelegates 11/23/2022 20:13:24 68.61.120.236

Country: Spain
Delegate Name: Ishaan Muchumarri

Special Political Committee
Arctic Circle Resource Exploitation
Kingdom of Spain
Ishaan Muchumarri
Forest Hills Eastern

The Arctic Circle has for several decades been vastly unregulated and misused. The Arctic Circle contains large amounts of oil, natural gas, fish, and minerals. While currently nations lack effective methods at exploiting these reserves, technology is constantly evolving, and these reservoirs could soon be viable prospects. As a result, various countries, those currently in the region and those not, have been struggling to assert their influence and control in the Arctic Circle for its natural resources and its strategic potential. The current authoriy in the Arctic Circle is the Arctic Council, which consists of Finland, Sweden, and Iceland, as well as the 5 Arctic States(nations with a coastline in the Arctic Circle): Russia, Denmark(through Greenland), Canada, Norway, and the United States(through Alaska). In 1982, the United Nations passed the UNCLOS(United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea), which declared that nations controlled only the waters 12 nautical miles from their shoreline in the Arctic Circle, and since its passing several nations have been making attempts to advance their territory beyond these restrictions. Russia, Canada, and Denmark(Greenland) are among the current nations to have laid enormous claims to waters from their Arctic Coast to at minimum the North Pole. These claims are all in conflict with one another, and all violate the UNCLOS treaty that these nations accepted. Additionally of concern, The United States of America has not ratified the treaty, which leaves America the only Arctic State to have not ratified the treaty. In regards to the local populace, several Arctic Peoples have been forcibly removed from their territory. In the 1950’s, Canada infamously forced several Inuit Peoples off their native lands to expand their territory. This, and many other instances of nations intruding on the sovereignty of Arctic Peoples, has caused privation amongst the Arctic Peoples. While the Arctic Council does now recognizes indiginous people and gives them the status of Permanent Membership, they still lack any voting power. With all of these conflicting statements and lack of regulation, Spain seeks to establish official international regulation in the Arctic Circle and control the ambitions of the Arctic States.

While lacking any territory in the region, the Kingdom of Spain has a coast with the Atlantic Ocean and is affected by the choices that are made in the Arctic region, such as climate change and rising sea levels as a result of melting ice. As a result, Spain feels that it should have an influence in the region. The Spanish Polar Committee, the authority of both Polar regions on behalf of the Spanish Government, is working towards developing an Arctic Constituency, domestically as well as in the European Union, in order to develop a small population well versed in the Arctic Circle and ready to solve issues in the region. The Spanish Oceanic Institute of Science has been monitoring the Arctic Ocean to ensure fishing is not over exploited, and prevent loss of wildlife. As for current policy, with Spain’s observer status on the Arctic Council, Spain has been pushing the Arctic Migratory Bird Initiative (AMBI) to help control the decline of birds that migrate to the Arctic Circle; Spain has even offered to host the African-Eurasian Flyway and serve as the authority in the region. Spain is also working towards taking part in as many Arctic Council missions and excavations as possible.

With the Arctic Circle lacking critical regulation and vast amounts of claims all over the world unrecognized, a unified solution is needed. The Kingdom of Spain is proposing that along with the current 8 members of the Arctic Council(United States, Russia, Canada, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, and Iceland), 8 non-permanent members be added to the Council on a 10-year basis, cycling through all nations across the globe. Since the actions committed in the Arctic Circle touch all nations across the globe through climate change and other means, Spain deems it necessary that nations beyond those with territory in the region have influence on the Arctic Council. Additionally, Spain calls for the Arctic Council to grant a veto power to its permanent members(the Six Indigenous Peoples’ organizations on the Council). This veto power would require all Permanent Members to vote together to oppose any action commissioned by the Arctic Council. By requiring a 100% approval for veto amongst the Permanent Members, Spain hopes that some form of exploitation will remain possible, while simultaneously preventing the Arctic Council from acting directly against the interests of indiginous peoples in the Arctic. In regards to the territorial claims in the Arctic, Spain seeks to firmly establish the North Pole and its surrounding area to be under the jurisdiction of the United Nations, but Spain is open to recognizing some claimed territories in the Arctic Circle if sufficient evidence(as stated in the UNCLOS) and/or reason can be provided a. Lastly, Spain would like to see the United States ratify the UNCLOS, as having the U.S. free of regulation is of major concern to Spain.

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ForestHillsNorthernDelegates 11/23/2022 20:52:49 68.61.6.57

Country: Japan
Delegate Name: Celina Du

Decades of land-based material exploitation, pollution, and unsustainable practices have caused universal shortage in natural resources, as well as rising temperatures. The Arctic Circle has become an area of particular interest, both for its land, natural gas, and oil, now available due to climate change. Improving technology has contributed to the successful extraction of those resources and the increasing desire to exploit Arctic riches. Japan is called upon to recognize both the Arctic’s latent possibilities and its vulnerability to environmental changes, and to play a leading role for sustainable development in the Arctic in the international community, with foresight and policy based on science and technology where Japan has advantage in order to achieve sustainable development.

For more than 70 years, since the 1950s, Japan has carried out observations of environmental change in the Arctic. Given its long-term accumulation of scientific knowledge in the Arctic, Japan is expected to further contribute to the sustainable use of its resources, including active engagement in decision and rulemaking. Japan is not an Arctic state, but a “maritime state” that is surrounded by the sea. Japan is easily affected by climate change in the Arctic region through oceanic and atmospheric circulation.

Japan should create an enabling system for long term engagement in research and observation of environmental changes in the Arctic, as well as for promoting research and development of methods for marine environmental impact assessments, which includes further improvement in numerical modeling. In addition, Japan will contribute to efforts to reduce global warming in the Arctic and protect the marine environment of the Arctic Ocean through appropriate national implementation of UNCLOS and other international agreements like the Polar Code, that formulate mandatory international standards for the safety of ships operating in polar waters, along with the Paris Agreement, which is the international framework for GHG emission reductions from 2020. Taking into account the cross-sectoral nature of Arctic issues, it is essential for Japan to work with the UN and establish a coordinated system that allows for implementation of integrated measures for addressing these polarizing issues at hand.

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WilliamstonDelegates 11/23/2022 20:18:16 74.199.44.220

Country: Nigeria
Delegate Name: Juliet Guenther

Delegate: Juliet Guenther
Country: Federal Republic of Nigeria
Committee: SPECPOL
Topic: Arctic Circle Resource Exploitation

The world’s depleting resources and the arctics’ unused resources are attracting international attention. The arctic has a large amount of the world’s natural gas, and oil reserves. The countries that form the Arctic Five (A5) own territory in the arctic, these countries include the United States, Canada, Russia, Norway, and Denmark. Non-Arctic states are seeing interest in the land claims in this region. The A5 want to split any discovered reserves amongst themselves. This creates disputes within the A5 and conflict between Non-Arctic and A5 states.
Countries have the right to extract natural resources from their territory. The Federal Republic of Nigeria believes that if any one country can prove its claim of the territory it should be able to extract the natural resources in that territory, and no outer institution should restrict that right. This will also include the 350 nautical miles from the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea which the Federal Republic of Nigeria has signed.
The Federal Republic of Nigeria will seek to allow the countries in the A5 to use their resources how they intend on using them. In addition, the Federal Republic of Nigeria will support a policy that makes international shipping in the arctic better. Policy restricting the large use of these resources will likely be opposed by the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The Federal Republic of Nigeria will also look for more efficient methods to solve territorial disputes, such as validating land claims and communication. The Federal Republic of Nigeria will seek allyship with other countries that have an interest in natural resources, and shipping capabilities, such as Russia.

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KalamazooCentralDelegates 11/23/2022 19:42:10 97.83.52.137

Country: Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
Delegate Name: Aliah Mohmand

Special Political Committee
Arctic Circle Resource Exploitation
Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea
Aliah Mohmand
Kalamazoo Central High School

The Arctic Circle is a region prevailing the northern Asian and American continents that bears an abundance of significant resources and opportunities. Research conducted by Geographical Survey estimates that the Arctic Circle holds approximately 22% of the Earth’s entire natural gas and oil reserves and contains rare deposits of bauxite, phosphate, copper, iron ore, and diamond, along with other minerals. The onset of climate change has further highlighted the availability and the increasing accessibility of resources in the Arctic Circle. The United Nations has recognized the substantial importance of the Arctic Circle with its formation of an Arctic Council consisting of eight nation-states, who have territorial holdings in the region to address individual interests and concerns. In recent decades, a growing number of non-arctic states have shown considerable interest and have invested millions into collaborative research and development programs regarding the Arctic Circle. In response, the Arctic Council has granted observer status to a number of non-arctic nation-states, indigenous representatives, and non-governmental organizations. However, debate continues to proliferate regarding the future, how to, and who should dominate the Arctic Circle.

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is in favor of sustained research and the extraction of the natural resources within the Arctic Circle. The DPRK’s Juche ideological system brought forth by the eternal leader, Kim-Il-sung, puts strict emphasis on the principles of self-reliance and self sustainability in all economic, political, military, and social sectors. The DPRK prides itself on maintaining its status as a near autarkic nation with its history of creating its own self-sufficient manufacturing industries with limited reliance on foreign aid. If utilized in an equitable and egalitarian manner, the valuable resources within the Arctic Circle may ultimately assist developing nations in establishing the foundations for their own self-sustainable industries and means of production without the need to directly rely on the rapacious, Western imperialist states’ exploitative, development tactics. In consideration of the imperialism and horrendous amounts of exploitation that has been imposed on a majority of developing nation-states throughout history, the DPRK insists that third world nations should have prioritized access in developing and utilizing the Arctic’s resources as reparations for their oppression. Additionally, the DPRK ratified the Svalbard Treaty in 2016 which grants all treaty members the right to visit the Svalbard region and engage in their own independent industrial, maritime, and commercial activities without discrimination or overbearing limitations.

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea remains wary of the individual interests within the Arctic Council as power is inherently left concentrated in the hands of Western dominated or allied interests. The DPRK ultimately demands for the inclusion of more nation-states as members in the Arctic Council and the creation of an open forum in order to ensure that the imperialist interests will not be the sole factors in deciding the future and fate of the Arctic Circle. Though the DPRK acknowledges the need to prevent excessive exploitation of the Arctic Circle’s resources and to respect the indigenous communities, it cannot be trusted that the current sitting members of the Arctic Council will abide by such, in consideration of past history and their agendas. The DPRK insists that the creation and implementation of proper guidelines for the Arctic Circle exploration and engagement are necessary to prevent the dominance of certain Western interests over all. The DPRK looks towards its key ally, the People’s Republic of China, in supporting this proposition. The Arctic Circle region should be ultimately left to be controlled and enjoyed by all who have experienced subjugation and oppression, not to further the corrupted capitalist hegemony.

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EastGrandRapidsDelegates 11/23/2022 19:12:11 73.161.204.246

Country: France
Delegate Name: Mikey Beusse

SPECPOL
Arctic Exploitation
France
Mikey Beusse

The large amount of undiscovered reserves in the Arctic Circle has been discussed by many countries. The Artic Circle is estimated to contain at least 13% of this undiscovered reserve of natural gas and oil. Even though it would be very costly, many countries have been discussing whether or not to exploit the Arctic Circle for these natural resources. This is creating a dispute over land division amongst the world. Specifically between arctic states (Denmark, Canada, United States, Russia, and Norway) and non-arctic states (all other states interested in the arctic). The dispute over the land division is how it should be devised and amongst who should it be divided. Non-Arctic states believe that the land should be shared amongst the nations interested in the lands resources and the already existing territory holders (Arctic 5). Some of the countries interested in the land could possibly bring harm to the land by extracting the resources which will lead to rising temperatures in the arctic. As a French Delegate, we would like to try and preserve the Arctic and not have its environment harmed.

France has been interested with the Arctic land since 1990 when we started observing the Barents Euro-Arctic Council. Then, in 2000 we were able to reach observer status of the Artic Council, and have always been active and interested in the Arctic Circle. We have been aiming to reach goals with the arctic circle and it’s land set for 2030, releasing our French Polar Strategy on April 5, 2022. We were going to team up with Russia so we could plan to co-organize the 4th edition of the Arctic Science Ministerial with Russia in 2023, but we stopped this after Russia’s invasion which could be an overall threat to the enviornment and goverance in the Arctic. We have always had the intent of preserving the Arctic’s land because the extraction of the resources in the arctic

In 1982 the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) passed a policy that helps preserve the Arctic as it is. Many nations are not as happy with the terms of this policy and are looking to divide the territory to exploit and extract natural resources. The UN is trying to preserve the environment of the Arctic and not allow this over-exploititon.

France believes that the land should be preserved with intent to not harm it’s environment. Not to be offered to countries who could possibly endanger the environment, but to countries who will safely preserve the land. France would like to discuss how to insure the safety of the environment of the Arctic from countries who want to over-exploit the land.

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RoyalOakDelegate 11/23/2022 17:29:33 68.36.250.211

Country: Kenya
Delegate Name: Giselle Green

Country: Kenya
Delegate Name: Giselle Green
Committee: Special Political Committee
Topic: Arctic Circle Resource Exploitation

The Arctic Circle is home to many species and helps regulate the Earth’s climate. The areas in the Arctic Circle are also used for mineral and oil extraction. As you can see, it is a very important resource. By the late 1990’s, the arctic sea ice cover began a trend of being below the norm for annual and monthly anomalies. This is an extremely important matter because the arctic circle’s temperature increases about twice as fast as the rest of the globe. This results in increased sea levels and intense weather. The exploitation of resources and increased human activity in the Arctic Circle is accelerating climate change at an alarming rate. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea was put into place in 1982 to regulate the extraction of the resources in our oceans/seas. Under this constitution: Canada, Russia, Denmark, Norway and the United States have the right to exploit the Arctic Circle’s resources. Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, the Russian Federation, Sweden and the United States are all a part of the Arctic Council. These countries are in charge of and regulate the law concerning the Arctic Circle.

Kenya is in support of the protection of Arctic Circle resources. Kenya does not currently obtain its oil or mineral sources from the Arctic Circle. We believe that further precautions should be taken to preserve the resources of the Arctic Circle and reduce climate change. Norway and Kenya are on good terms with each other. Seeing as Norway is a part of both the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Arctic Council, this relationship is very advantageous. The Royal Norwegian Embassy holds a location in Nairobi, Kenya. This organization’s goal is to have a more sustainable development of natural resources and reduce carbon emissions. Overall, they want to add restrictions to the exploitation of the arctic circle while also still being able to use some of the resources to allow economical benefits.

As a country in favor of Arctic Circle Resource Exploitation reform, Kenya has a proposal on how to do this. An increase in the monitoring and restricting of resource exploitation is one of the first steps toward solving this issue. This would be done by either laying down stricter laws or reinforcing previous ones under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Although only a select few countries are legally able to extract resources, this is still causing a major problem. Making sure these resources are being used sustainably is very important to Kenya. We would definitely be in favor of passing a resolution to improve the use of Arctic Circle resources.

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RoyalOakDelegate 11/23/2022 16:45:26 67.149.105.143

Country: Israel
Delegate Name: Ethan Robine

Country: Israel
Committee: SPECPOL
Topic: Arctic Circle Resource Exploitation

As humans continue to spread throughout the world we continue to push further into untapped frontiers. One of the last of these main frontiers being the vast, remote arctic regions in the northern part of our planet. The harsh conditions of the arctic limits its ability to be valuable land on which we can make use of agricultural practices or construct civilizations. However the Arctic is home to some of the largest undiscovered reserves of both oil and natural gas. These two energy producing resources are two of the most valuable commodities in our incredibly industrialized world. Reserves of gas and oil provide means of accumulating great wealth, therefore the desire to access the arctic is very high. However due to our industrialized world climate concerns are increasingly becoming more apparent. Especially in the arctic region where climate change is melting polar ice caps and leading to rising sea levels. As global temperatures rise, land within the arctic region will likely undergo changes allowing for a more hospitable climate, this additionally increases the value of the region.
Under existing conditions five nations possess legal access to the resources within the Arctic. These nations are known as the arctic five and consist of the U.S, Russia, Canada, Norway and Denmark. These five nations in addition to numerous other states make up what is known as the arctic council. Varying definitions of borders outline areas of exclusivity that these nations possess on the large section of ocean and land residing within the arctic circle. However a large part of this territory lies within what is considered by international law to be international waters, thus it is not claimed by any single nation. These often confusing conditions lead to disputes regarding the extent of claimed territory and exclusivity when it comes to accessing resources. In addition it is important that the UN keeps in mind the climate crisis that we face, as over exploitation of arctic resources would be extremely harmful in maintaining our planet’s health.
The State of Israel is not a member of the arctic five, nor the arctic council. However Israel does possess close ally relations with some of the member states, most notably the U.S. The United States frequently makes use of their claims to the arctic in order to tap into the large reserves of natural gas and oil. By making use of these domestic resources the United States can limit the extent to which they rely on the expensive and environmentally taxing processes of shipping and transporting oil from distant nations such as Russia or Saudi Arabia. So while the State of Israel isn’t directly involved in this topic, through their close relationship with the United States this topic becomes far more relevant. Israel itself also lacks substantial natural oil reserves so as a nation reliance on international trade of crude oil is very prevalent. Thus Israel cares about global access to oil as it directly affects the price of said oil.
While Israel may not be directly connected to the topic of resource exploitation in the Arctic, close relations with those who do, helps to increase the importance of this topic amongst the Israeli government. The U.S, a close ally, continuously makes use of arctic resources and the ability to do so remains important to continuous success as a nation. Israel aims to create a resolution that helps to better establish clear outlines regarding territory claims and disputes, and who throughout the world possess the right to make said claims. Israel also aims to be environmentally conscious, but recognizes the arctic as a region that is incredibly vital in providing resources. Thus Israel would like to see methods of environmentally sustainable resource acquisition set as the precedent going forth. Israel believes that siding with allies such as the United States is vital in working together to establish a plan regarding the future of claims and resource usage within the arctic region.

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ForestHillsNorthernDelegates 11/23/2022 15:30:00 205.153.95.177

Country: Jordan
Delegate Name: Ella Moses

Special Political Committee
Arctic Circle Resource Exploitation
The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
Ella Moses, Forest Hills Northern High School

Climate change and global warming have increased interest in the Arctic Circle. Resources that were once difficult to extract have become more accessible with less ice coverage and improved technology. Up to 30% of the world’s natural gasses and 13% of the world’s oils reside in the Arctic Region, and with shortages in nonrenewable resources, extraction is becoming ever more appealing. Jordan recognizes that the exploitation of Arctic resources would chiefly benefit the Arctic Five (A5): the United States, Russia, Canada, Norway, and Denmark. The acquisition of these resources would provide valuable means for economic development, but would also beg the question: at what cost? Conflict over the allocation of Arctic territory would create divisions within the Arctic Council, the Arctic and non-Arctic states, and the rest of the world. More prominently, further depletion of the Arctic will lead to the continuation of unsustainable practices and environmental degradation.

According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), Jordan imports crude oil, petroleum products, and natural gas to accommodate for its lack of significant energy resources. The Arab Gas Pipeline (AGP) runs through Jordan from Egypt, giving Jordan access to natural gas. With Iraq’s hydrocarbon exploitation around the Dead Sea, Jordan hopes to find topographic discoveries which could lead to new, mineable energy sources. With this solution in mind, Jordan does not plan to take any action toward the extraction of Arctic resources.

Jordan’s primary purpose in this matter is to assist its ally, the United States of America, in its goals of security, climate change and environmental protection, and sustainable economic development. Following Secretary Antony Blinkin’s remarks on the United States’ strategy for the Arctic Region, there is “increasing strategic competition in the Arctic, exacerbated by Russia’s unprovoked war in Ukraine and the People’s Republic of China’s increased efforts to garner influence in the region…”. Jordan wishes to deter global conflict and avoid the tensions between Russia’s and China’s territorial onslaught.

Jordan is familiar with the difficulties of climate-related hazards. More specifically, increased temperatures, decreased precipitation, and more frequent droughts have continued to restrict Jordan’s economic growth. That being said, Jordan is still working to become a developed country using environmentally friendly solutions. The Ministry of Environment (MOE) is working to create the Jordan Climate Change and Development Report (CCDR) in order to provide an analytical resource with environmental considerations. Jordan has no direct access to the Arctic territory, and limited means to address the situation. Jordan calls upon other countries with the economic means to help prevent rapid environmental deterioration.

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KalamazooCentralDelegates 11/23/2022 15:17:49 97.83.24.22

Country: Canada
Delegate Name: Mackenzie Brooks

As shortages in the world’s natural resources and land have arisen, the arctic circle becomes an undiscovered area for natural resources and oil reserves. While the use of natural resources in this area is an issue, who should be in charge of this area is also a question. Canada is a partial owner of the arctic circle along with the US, Russia, Norway, and Denmark. We believe that the arctic circle should be preserved and should be regulated. We support the current division of land if all parties are willing to oblige with it.
We have currently signed the Canadian oil and gas operations act in 1985 which outlines the responsibilities of the government and developers during the exploration and extraction process. We also signed the Canadian petroleum resources act in 1985 which gives the government control of the oil and gas industry by enabling grants for exploration and extraction licenses. Inuit groups also have the power to claim lands and agreements on oil resource rights. Any action taken towards this issue affects our economic status and the Inuit people’s land.
We suggest that we discuss the land division issue then the UN should discuss the use of the land with those involved and allies like the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.

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ForestHillsNorthernDelegates 11/23/2022 13:46:58 68.56.68.172

Country: Yemen
Delegate Name: Quinn Suvedi

Special Political Committee
Arctic Resource Exploitation
Republic of Yemen
Quinn Suvedi, Forest Hills Northern High School

With global warming on the rise, it has become easier for companies to venture into the Arctic in search of oil. The US Geological Survey estimates that there are around one hundred sixty billion barrels of oil in the Arctic Circle and thirty percent of the planet’s undiscovered natural gas. In 1982, the United Nations created the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea. This is currently the main legal policy that protects the Arctic. Five nations currently hold territory in this region. These countries are known as the Arctic 5 or A5. They include the United States, Russia, Canada, Norway, and Denmark. The Arctic States are made up of all of the A5 plus Finland, Sweden, and Iceland.
Yemen, like the Arctic, also has environmental concerns; although, they are much different. The expansion of oil and gas drilling in the Arctic could be extremely damaging to Arctic animals. For example, contact with spilled oil can kill polar bears for years as an invisible threat. This could impact the entire Arctic ecosystem for many years. Yemen is at risk of flooding, drought, and sandstorms, and is experiencing deforestation. Arctic exploitation could make flooding even worse. Yemen, like the Arctic, also exports lots of oil. As a matter of fact, this constitutes about ninety percent of Yemen’s exports. Not only would Arctic exploitation further harm the environment, but it would also create competition, harming Yemen’s economy. If Yemen’s economy is harmed further, then even more people could die from famine.
Yemen is currently facing the worst humanitarian crisis in its history. Almost seventy-five percent of Yemen’s population, over twenty-three million people, required humanitarian assistance in 2022. Russia and the United States have been the most generous in helping Yemen with this devastating crisis.
Yemen would support three different resolutions to this problem. First, Yemen would support nobody having claims to the land, and no exploitation of resources in the Arctic. This would support the Arctic ecosystem and wildlife. In addition, this would allow Middle Eastern oil to be purchased more. The second option would be to give all of the nations in the United Nations as well as indigenous groups a spot in the Arctic Council. This would give Yemen as well as all of the other countries in the UN a say in how the Arctic should be either split up between countries or how to make sure the Arctic is not over-exploited. Lastly, Yemen would be okay not to have their voice be heard about Arctic exploitation in exchange for a cut of the profits from Arctic exploitation, which would be able to give them substantial help with their humanitarian crisis. This would benefit Yemen greatly. Currently, there are twelve million children in need of food, water, shelter, and medicine in Yemen.
In conclusion, Yemen would not support Arctic exploitation due to economic and environmental concerns, which would worsen the current state of Yemen unless Yemen receives some form of compensation in turn. Yemen looks forward to working with all nations to come up with a solution for this unresolved issue.

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RoeperDelegates 11/23/2022 13:31:41 99.155.98.156

Country: Brazil
Delegate Name: Goni Wong

SpecPol
Arctic Circle Exploitation
Brazil
Goni Wong
The Roeper School

The Arctic circle may seem as a northern irrelevant mix of land, water and ice to any nations not a part of the A5. But this is not the case, the Arctic circle is a critical aspect to many events that plague the modern geopolitical stage. The US geological service projects that there are 412 billion gallons of undiscovered natural gasses in this Arctic circle, this is roughly 22% of the world total. As the world temperature is ever increasing it becomes easier and more cost efficient for nations and companies to venture into resource rich areas that were once not able to be reached. Additionally the Arctic circle and thus its exploitation play key roles in global sea rising and is a warning of climate change that resonates around the globe.

The UN has set out guidelines for these types of issues as seen in the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea. The Convention of the Law of the Sea outlines many aspects of regulating an international ocean/sea. Most importantly it regulates the area in which a country can exploit resources such as natural gasses. Under international law the Arctic circle is surrounded but not controlled by any one country.

Brazil has shown prior interest in the Arctic circle. From 2010-2019 there have been on and off debates for The country accepting the Svalbard Treaty, and whether to apply for observer status at the Arctic Council. Brazil finds that the trade routes, resource exploitation and the effects on the worldwide climate should not be issues that are decided solely by A5 nations.

Even though Brazil is thousands of miles away from the Arctic circle it would like to state that the issues proliferating from the Arctic circle are issues that affect the whole world, economically, climate wise and so much more. Brazil would like to accept the Svalbard Treaty and become a non-observing member of the Arctic Council. This being said, Brazil would also like to highlight that much scientific and economic progress can be found in this area and that these resources should not be solely controlled by any one state or nation. The Brazilian people have spoken, a new president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva vows to protect the Amazonian rainforest. Climate change goes hand in hand in both the rainforests and the Arctic circle. This is why Brazil would like to look for a way to curb resource exploitation methods that contribute to climate change, global warming, extreme natural disasters and rising sea levels.

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ForestHillsNorthernDelegates 11/23/2022 13:30:24 67.39.250.5

Country: Romania
Delegate Name: Kenna Charbauski

Special Political Committee
Arctic Circle Resource Exploitation
Romania
Kenna Charbauski
Forest Hills Northern High School

It is estimated that there are 90 billion barrels of oil, 1,669 trillion feet of natural gas, and 44 billion barrels of natural gas liquids that remain undiscovered in the Arctic Circle. According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) the Arctic Circle contains 30% of undiscovered natural gas reserves, and 13% of undiscovered oil reserves. As a member of the European Union (EU), Romania recognizes the potential of the natural gas and oil reserves in the Arctic Circle, but also understands the cost that the exploitation of these resources will have on the environment. Romania supports the EU Arctic Policy. In the Emissions Gap Report 2022 by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) it was found that massive greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions cuts needed to be delivered in order to meet the Paris Agreement goal of reducing global warming to 2°C by 2030. According to the UNEP, GHG emissions need to be cut by 45% by 2030. The exploitation of arctic resources would only negatively impact GHG emission goals.
In order to protect the integrity of the Arctic Circle the EU has passed its Arctic Policy. The goal of the policy is to promote peace in the Arctic Circle, help the Union to deliver the targets defined by the EU Green Deal and meet its geopolitical interests. Romania believes in the importance of sustainable strategies when it comes to resource exploitation. Through the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MECC), Romania has implemented strategies internally to pursue low carbon development and fight climate change. By passing the National Adaptation Strategy (NAS) Romania is identifying 13 sectors where GHG emissions will be reduced. Romania is passing acts (such as the National Climate Change and Low Carbon Green Growth strategy) to mitigate GHG emissions and transition to green energy. Romania is smartly and efficiently putting these climate policies into action. The EU shares the responsibility of the livelihoods of Indigenous Peoples as well. As a member of the EU, Romania fully plans to support the needs of Indigenous Peoples, and acknowledges their claim to Arctic Circle land and desires for development of the Arctic Circle to be to the benefit of its inhabitants.
Romania requests for members of the Arctic Council, as well as Non-Arctic states to recognize the importance of sustainable growth, and the impact that resource exploitation can have on climate change. The sustainable use of resources should be a top priority for all nations wishing to exploit the Arctic Circle.

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FHEDelegates 11/23/2022 12:44:24 67.39.250.5

Country: Finland
Delegate Name: Shep Bower

SpecPol
Arctic Circle Resource Exploitation
The Republic of Finland
Shep Bower
Forest Hills Eastern

The Arctic Circle has been exploited for resources and land over the past few decades. The Arctic Circle contains some of the world’s largest undiscovered reserves of both natural gas and oil reserves. Although extraction is expensive, improving technology and transportation is creating more opportunities for nations to extract those resources. Passed by the United Nations in 1982, the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) is the main legal policy in place to protect the Arctic Circle, however not all countries are bound to this law. There are five states who currently have hold of territory in the Arctic Circle: United States, Russia, Canada, Norway and Denmark. These countries are known as the Arctic five (A5). This group splits all of the worldly nations into two groups: Arctic states and Non-Arctic states. The Arctic States include the A5 plus Finland, Sweden, and Iceland. The Arctic States are what makes up the Arctic council that makes decisions regarding Arctic territory. Some of these nations are starting to find the benefits of Arctic exploitation.The A5 nations view this as a threat to their current land claims in the Arctic. The A5 also wants to split up any undiscovered resources just between the A5, therefore laying claim to any further Arctic resources that are discovered. This creates conflict between Arctic States and Non-Arctic States.

As one of the eight permanent members of the Arctic Council, Finland has a strong opinion on the topic. Finland’s goal is to have a peaceful Arctic region marked by constructive cooperation. Finland’s four priorities for the Arctic Region are: mitigation and adaptation of climate change, promoting the rights of the indigenous people, expertise and leading edge research, and infrastructure and logistics. Finland has driven actions to enhance the Arctic Circle’s relation with their observers by encouraging the observers to present information in special sessions. Finland has also helped in the establishment of the Arctic Biodiversity Congress, which brought together many different representatives to discuss challenges facing Arctic biodiversity and actions for conservation and sustainable use of the Arctic’s living resources. The Arctic policy of Finland includes its domestic policies as regards the Finnish Arctic Region. Finland’s goal with climate change is to attain the goals of the Paris agreement, but its unattainable with the opening up of new fossil reserves in Arctic conditions. Finland wants to increase access to remote and digital services for the Indigenous inhabitants of the Arctic Circle and promote gender equality. They also want to increase access to education for the Indigenous people of the Arctic region and grow the economy of the Indigenous people. Finland wants to protect the language, customs and rights of the Sámi people. They would also like to improve the indigenous’ peoples opportunities to participate in Arctic cooperation. Finland wants publicly funded research on the Arctic and to improve transport connections.

Finland would like to pass further nature-based climate change acts. Finland would also like to phase out fossil fuels by developing decentralized renewable energy production. Finland recommends the UN developmore remote programs for health services. Finland also encourages the improvement of the regional equality of basic and secondary education through digital programs and improve diverse education in lowly populated areas. Finland would like to strengthen the teaching of Sámi languages and indigenous peoples’ international partnerships that protect their cultures. Finland would like to support sustainable development of the economy and conditions for creating more valuable jobs. Finland would like for institutions to conduct publicly funded research on the Arctic. Finland would like to develop new services, enabling effective travel to help support sustainable mobility.

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FHEDelegates 11/23/2022 11:35:46 68.55.153.21

Country: United States of America
Delegate Name: Shiva Rajan

SPECPOL
Arctic Circle Resource Exploitation
United States of America
Shiva Rajan
Forest Hills Eastern

The Arctic Circle is a large area that provides valuable resources and land. With the technologically innovative world, the need for resources is increasing. There is simply a shortage of resources and land to sustain proper growth and this has led to global issues such as climate change. With over 25% of global resources located in the Arctic region, it has been an area of conflict for multiple countries. With nations growing and developing, the Arctic Circle has become an area of interest. The Arctic Circle holds large quantities of unused natural gas and oils, and over the last two decades, the Arctic Circle region has been exploited for these resources. This extraction for oils and gasses has led to the increase in Arctic temperatures.

The United States is a member of the Arctic Council. The Arctic Council is an intergovernmental forum that discusses and takes action on issues related to the Arctic Circle. The Arctic Circle consists of nations such as: United States, Russia, Canada, Finland, Norway, Iceland, and Denmark. In May 2013, The Arctic Council signed the Arctic Marine Oil Pollution Preparedness and Response Agreement which ensured cooperation, coordination, and mutual work among the council on oil damages and protection of the Arctic marine environment. In 2017, The Council signed the Arctic Science Agreement which provided better assistance and improvements for Arctic research and development. This agreement has opened an opportunity to create new ways to research and preserve the Arctic region and new ways to develop awareness and education on Arctic topics.

As a core member of the Arctic Five and the Arctic Council, the United States would support possible solutions to this keen issue and join with any nations that are equally interested in reducing this problem. The United States would like to discuss and form new ways to combat this issue and form an innovative solution to this extraction problem. Additionally, the United States would like to pass a resolution to solve this problem.

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ForestHillsNorthernDelegates 11/23/2022 11:02:51 107.5.3.30

Country: United Kingdom
Delegate Name: Aanya Dogra

Special Political Committee
Arctic Circle Resource Exploitation
United Kingdom
Aanya Dogra
Forest Hills Northern High School

Recently, the Arctic Circle has been facing economic and environmental controversy. Many countries want to get their hands on the resources available in the Arctic. However, some would like to do this at the expense of the Arctic environment and the authority of the Arctic States which include the US, Russia, Canada, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, and Iceland. The UK respects all 8 arctic states as well as the indigenous and has allied with all but Russia.
The United Kingdom is aware of these threats to the Arctic and supports the exploitation of resources, but only if done safely. The UK is not an Arctic State yet is one of the Arctic’s northernmost neighbors and “[has] always been a world leader in polar affairs where British views have long held sway” (Beyond the Ice UK policy towards the Arctic) and is involved through the economy, security, the environment, and international cooperation. We have contributed about £15m to research and development. The UK has promoted defense in the Arctic due to the pressure of Moscow’s military presence. In 2018 we deployed “3,000 troops as a part of 40,000 strong NATO training” (Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson) to protect the Arctic and areas around it.
The UK supports the exploitation of oil and gas reserves in the Arctic because of the benefits to its economy, but the UK also has environmental concerns and regulations. The 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement, the Glasgow climate pact, and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are some of these regulations the UK has committed to abide by. They have also donated towards science in the Arctic. In September 2017, the UK and Canada signed a 10-year MoU that will promote collaboration in areas of research regarding Arctic technology and innovation. The UK’s Adapting To Change UK policy towards the Arctic highlights the UK’s dedication to abiding by these three principles: Respect, Leadership, and Cooperation.
The UK acknowledges that resource exploitation and environmental concerns may not always go hand in hand. However, doing so would benefit countries economically and environmentally. The UK would like everyone to support the jurisdiction of the Arctic States. We are willing to explore mutual arrangements with other Arctic and non-Arctic regions, especially as the Arctic Council Agreement on Enhancing Scientific Cooperation is implemented.

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RoeperDelegates 11/23/2022 10:07:38 97.70.154.8

Country: Ukraine
Delegate Name: Andrew Klein

Ukraine
Arctic Circle Exploration
The Arctic Circle is an important economic zone and a normally a key research allyship between A5 countries. However, the unjust illegal invasion of Ukraine has caused this key allyship to be interrupted. The other A5 nations, Denmark, Norway, United States, and Canada have cut ties over this allyship. Ukraine thanks these nations for standing up to the tyrannical militant power of Russia. Additionally, Russia uses the arctic for military bases and training, using this area that is so prone to climate change is dangerous and immoral. The delegation of Ukraine would like to see a ban of military activity inside the arctic circle. Russia is using the arctic as another way that their government can do illegal activities and to get more power. The arctic should be a neutral area so that the nations drilling and doing key research can continue without the distractions and danger of Russian aggression.
As a country not near the arctic, Ukraine does not benefit from the fruits of the area. With 30% and 13% of the world’s undiscovered natural gas and oil in this area Ukraine does not benefit from this. Ukraine would like to see countries that do not have vast energy and oil reserves get a piece of the pie. This is very important to Ukraine as the Russian invasion has caused an energy crisis within the country. Being able to tap into the world’s largest area of undiscovered oil and gas would help Ukraine power its country and be able to fight better and not be in such an economic recession. The climate impact of this is not Ukraine’s biggest concern. The concern should be about the use of the area for military reasons. Ukraine would encourage Russia to stop their unjust invasion so that the A5 can get back together.
Ukraine would support the following, closing the arctic circle airspace to military aircraft. Ban military bases from being in the arctic circle. Revoke drilling privileges from countries using its profits to fund unjust wars. Ukraine wants a stronger ruling body of the arctic to protect the environment and also regulate what drilling is going on there so that the resources drilled can be maximized to help the global economy.

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WilliamstonDelegates 11/22/2022 15:27:17 136.228.39.189

Country: Democratic Republic of the Congo
Delegate Name: Reagan Overmyer

Delegate: Reagan Overmyer
Country: The Democratic Republic of Congo
Committee: SPECPOL (GA)
Topic: Arctic Circle Resource Exploitation

The Democratic Republic of Congo feels that Arctic Circle resource exploitation is a pressing topic that needs to be addressed immediately in order to protect our Earth. This exploitation poses a major threat to the environment and animals inhabiting the area. There are a small number of laws protecting the circle. However, with advancements companies have been able to extract tons of resources from it. When these companies go to fish, acquire oil/gas, etc they bring light, sound, and chemical pollution into the waters. This ends up posing a large threat to the wildlife in them. Light pollution has been proven to significantly affect these creatures, and is known to screw up metabolism and the hormone cycle/production of many vertebrate species including fish and in some cases, people. If the Arctic Circle continues to be destroyed by large companies, it will affect global warming and much more. The DRC is urging other nations to take action before it is too late. It cares deeply about environmental issues and wants to contribute to the solving of climate change.

The DRC has had disastrous experiences with their own resource exploitation. Concessions that were previously granted to private companies are still having a negative impact on the people and environment today. The rubber crisis is a great example of this. Leopold II granted rubber concessions and its effects were horrifying, with nearly 50% of the population dying. A concession agreement is a contract that a company/country is tied to that allows them to operate a business under the government’s jurisdiction, or on another firm’s land under specific conditions. Because of this, concern for the environment in the DRC has risen rapidly. They realize they are not directly affected by it, but acknowledge that if nothing is done now, it will affect more people. The DRC wants to help with preserving the Arctic and the environment as a whole, before it is too late.

The Democratic Republic of Congo has solutions regarding this problem. To help preserve the Arctic Circle, laws limiting the amount of resources companies are allowed to extract yearly should be put in place as soon as possible. Making cargo ships and boats more environmentally friendly would also have a large impact on the ecosystem. Dimmer lights, and quieter models of boats/ships should be required for companies and countries going into this area. The DRC expects to find allies in countries such as the United States, Greece, Norway, Finland, Central African Republic, Botswana, and Sweden.

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WilliamstonDelegates 11/22/2022 15:28:42 136.228.39.188

Country: Russian Federation
Delegate Name: Paige Nichols

Country: Russian Federation
Topic: Arctic Circle Resource Exploitation
Delegate: Paige Nichols
School: Williamston High School

The most significant issue regarding this topic concerns the division of territories. Presently, just five states have legal rights to natural resources in the arctic circle: the United States, Russia, Canada, Norway, and Denmark, although many others sit as observers in the Arctic council. But outside of their respective exclusive economic zones, these countries’ claims on territories are up to dispute. Current international law states that countries bordering the arctic are limited to a territorial sea of 12 nautical miles, and an exclusive economic zone of 200 nautical miles determined based on the extent of a country’s continental shelf. Waters and sea floor beyond this continental shelf is considered international waters if no contrary evidence is found. Aside from this, there are no stipulations for claiming arctic land or resources, which necessitates reforms for existing laws and potentially new criteria for establishing new territories. It’s of the utmost importance that the United Nations work to solve arctic territorial disputes in an efficient and fair manner so as to maintain peaceful relations between involved parties.

As a signatory of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the Russian Federation has rights to resources within the previously mentioned boundaries. However, the convention allows these rights to be extended by up to 350 nautical miles if a country can prove that parts of the arctic are an extension of the country’s continental shelf. Russia has launched multiple projects to provide evidence for its claim to arctic territory consisting of 1.2 million square kilometers of arctic sea shelf and has submitted its claim to the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf. Since the Commission began its review of the Russian Federation’s claim in 2016, it has yet to have been ratified, despite sufficient scientific evidence and data to prove its claim justified.

As a country with direct access to the Arctic, it is of great importance to the Russian Federation to have continued access to the invaluable resources found there, such as oil and natural gas. The Russian Federation would seek to create more efficient methods for determining the validity of land claims within the Arctic circle, as the current system relies on the arbitrary opinion of one commission, and seeks to have its claims for arctic territory recognized internationally. The Russian Federation seeks to promote communication and solvency of territorial disputes between parties involved. Additionally, they would support policies regarding efficient resource exploitation, and the usage of arctic waters for international trade. The Russian Federation would most likely find allies in countries with similar interests in using the Arctic for its shipping lanes and petroleum resources, such as China and Canada.

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ForestHillsNorthernDelegates 11/22/2022 13:29:43 67.39.250.5

Country: Denmark
Delegate Name: Alex Mochel

Special Political Committee
Arctic Circle Resource Exploitation
the Kingdom of Denmark
Alex Mochel, Forest Hills Northern High School

The arctic circle has been within the grasp of human beings since before the beginning of written history. Since then, however, many great empires have thrived, died, and invaded the arctic for its seemingly untapped resources. The expansion of the human race to every corner of the globe has also expanded the need for potential resources located in the arctic circle. Throughout the 20th century, it had been agreed to avoid exploiting the arctic through the risk of warfare or difficulty of access. Following the cold war, however, a drastic shift towards using the resources has led many countries to assume a new position on the matter altogether.

Denmark has shifted from its long-held belief that the arctic should be untouched. In 1953 Greenland was made a structural facet of the Kingdom of Denmark. On June 21st, 2009, the concept of autonomous self-rule was introduced. Under this decree, it was said: “that the people of Greenland are a people pursuant to international law with the right of self-determination” (Self-Government Act, 2009:1). Now, in 2022, Greenland has its own representative body: Inatsisartut, and government: Naalakkersuisut. Under these additions, Greenland has assumed many roles from Denmark. With the Self-Government act, however, Greenland can not establish a constitution or its own foreign affairs.

The first step taken by Denmark to address the growing issues involving arctic exploitation and autonomy is to make a plan regarding the future of the area. In this plan, the Kingdom of Denmark puts emphasis on six main and vital aspects of utmost priority 1) maintaining security, safety, and sovereignty; 2) sustainable development of economic projects 3) recognition and prevention of further climate change; 4) international cooperation amongst interested parties; 5) respect and consideration for the natives and citizens in the arctic circle including the 56,000 Innuit, Kalaanlit, and Greenlanders and the 49,000 Faroese directly under the Danish flag, whilst encouraging other countries to respect Sami, Svalbardians, and other Siberian and arctic natives; finally 6) action ensuring protection and sustainability of natural resources, environment, and animal populations.

The Kingdom of Denmark acknowledges there is no simple conclusion or policy that will properly solve the growing ambitions of the world surrounding the arctic circle. Despite this difficulty, Denmark believes that solving this issue is necessary to prevent conflict and damage to the environment. Countries with interest in the Arctic and central arctic powers with land in the arctic must take similar initiatives to plan and protect the great resources such as those listed above. Moreover, progressive actions should be taken in these situations, such as increased spending and awareness involving these issues. The Kingdom of Denmark calls on the nations of Russia, Canada, Norway, Finland, Sweden, and Iceland to ensure their priorities are in the best interest of the world as a whole. Furthermore, Denmark looks forward to working with these nations and all other interested parties to create a cohesive solution in order to tackle this pervasive issue.

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WilliamstonDelegates 11/22/2022 08:05:00 136.228.39.188

Country: Turkey
Delegate Name: Elleah Berger

Delegate: Elleah Berger
Country: Turkiye
Committee: SPECPOL
Topic: Arctic Circle Resource Exploitation

One of the coldest and most desolate places of the globe is also one of the most rich in land and undiscovered natural resources. The Arctic Circle contains as much as 30% of the world’s undiscovered natural gas, and 15% of the undiscovered oil. Before recent times the extraction of these resources would have been extremely difficult and costly, but scientific and technological developments have made the task easier and a goal of many countries. The Arctic 5, nations who hold territory in the arctic circle, and the Arctic States, from the Arctic Council, which has governing power over the Arctic circle. The Arctic 5 wish to harvest these resources and have laid claims to any resource deposits found in the future. The non-Arctic states, any countries that are not on the Arctic Council, have realized the benefits of this exploitation, but the Arctic 5 view this as a threat to their territory and resources. The exploitation of these resources could have significant environmental impacts and worsen the problem of global warming that has already taken such a toll on the Arctic. Furthermore, it is necessary to take into account the needs and desires of the Indigenous peoples of the arctic, whose lives have already been drastically affected by environmental changes to their home. As members of the UN it is imperative that we resolve this complex issue in a way that benefits the future of our globe, recognizes the Indigenous peoples, and is fair to all nations, whether they are of the Arctic 5 or not.

When debates over Antarctica took place decades ago many countries, including Turkiye, signed the Arctic Treaty right away, or soon after. This treaty only permits scientific studies and environmental protection in the Antarctic, it does not allow drilling for resources. The treaty has been successful in protecting and conserving the Antarctic, and helped inspire Turkiye to establish its own polar research center in 2015, the ITU Polar Research Center. Many trips and studies in the Arctic and Antarctic have led to Trukiye’s discovery of new species, including bacteria that reduce the harmful effects of pesticides, and algae that help heal wounds faster.

Turkiye sees the great potential for resources and scientific discovery in the Arctic, and wants to join the Svalbard Treaty, which grants Norway sovereignty over the Arctic Archipelago of Svalbard. It would also grant signing nations the right to engage in maritime, industrial mining, and commercial activities, and also permits scientific research and studies on the islands. Turkiye believes that countries that formally own parts of the Arctic should be able to do what they wish with those regions with respect to the Indigenous peoples of that region. Turkiye, however, believes that the regions of the Arctic not formally owned by any one country should not be exploited in order to limit the effects of global warming and conserve the land, but that countries still be allowed to travel through the Arctic for trade routes with UN oversight of the area. Turkiye has a great interest in the Arctic and hopes to make many more scientific discoveries and become a spectator member of the Arctic Council. Turkiye would like to collaborate with the other non-Arctic Nations to increase the influence of non-Arctic Nations in the Arctic Circle.

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WilliamstonDelegates 11/22/2022 08:02:34 136.228.39.188

Country: Colombia
Delegate Name: Clare Cowen

As the world population expands, our desire for natural resources also increases. Regions we have previously turned to in order to fulfill this desire have been made bare by years of human deprivation and greed, so we have turned to the Arctic Circle to provide us with the resources we so desire. This region, which remained untouched for years, has become a focal point for countries looking to increase their economic prospects as the world economical stage becomes increasingly competitive. The Arctic contains 13% of the world’s oil reserves, and 30% of the world’s natural gas reserves, some of the most sought-out resources in the world, making it a region of rising interest. The past years have not provided the technology and transportation necessary for traveling and navigating one of the world’s most daunting regions, yet recent innovations in these fields have made Arctic exploration a much simpler task, further exacerbating the problem at hand. Those who are in possession of Arctic territory, known as the Arctic Five, are the governing body that makes any decision regarding the territory, including who has access to reserves. They have claims upon any undiscovered reserves, making it so that resources whose existence is yet to be discovered are already in a sense gone. Non-Arctic states have also begun looking towards the Arctic for resources. Yet depriving the Arctic of its natural resources is not our only abuse; due to global warming, Arctic ice is melting at a staggering rate of 12.6% per decade. This not only destroys habitats, it also causes sea levels to rise and global temperatures to increase at a faster rate as well. It is a dire issue that deserves the world’s acknowledgement and must be acted upon immediately.

Colombia has addressed strong concerns regarding the conservation of the Arctic and its resources. While their attention has previously been focused towards the Antarctic, they have begun to shift their attention toward the Arctic. Colombia has sent researchers to study the region, and have also collaborated with Canada, a member of the Arctic Five, in research and preservation efforts. They have signed several agreements related to climate change, such as the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement, both of which, while not directly related to the Arctic, promise to lower global temperatures which will prevent Arctic ice from melting. Other treaties that Colombia has signed that relate to climate change and preservation of the natural world, and therefore the Arctic, are the Marine Life Conservation Agreement and the Endangered Species Agreement.

Colombia is eager to ally with any of the states that are members of the Arctic Five. They strongly believe that the Arctic and its resources should be protected and would like to discuss the matter of conservation with other countries who share the same opinion. Looking forward, Colombia hopes to sign further agreements regarding Arctic conservation and calls upon countries with larger economies to assist Colombia in providing aid to help solve this issue. They recognize that the degradation of the Arctic affects countries and their ecosystems all over the world, and hopes that other countries will acknowledge this fact as well.

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