Delegate Name: Ethan Robine
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.