HBHS Novice - hbhsmun



HBHS Novice - hbhsmun
International Maritime Organization
 Piracy in West Africa
 Territorial Disputes in the South
China Sea
Chaired by the Honorable
Gianna Francisco, Noelle Dahl, Danielle Rommerdahl,
and Christian Tait
S i n c e
April 25th, 2015
1 9 7 8
Huntington Beach High School Model United Nations
Welcome to the International Maritime Oranization!
Hi everyone! My name is Gianna Francisco and I will be one of your co-chairs for the
upcoming Novice 37 conference this year. I am a sophomore at Huntington Beach High School,
and this is my second year in the Model United Nations Program. Outside of MUN, I am in the
performing arts program at Huntington High. I am involved in the technical theater department
which helps to build and paint the sets for upcoming performances in our auditorium. I can‟t wait
to hear all of the interesting solutions that will be debated throughout committee!
Hey guys, my name is Noelle Dahl and I have the privilege of being one of your cochairs for the upcoming Novice conference! Being in MUN for two years now, I well understand
the stress of a conference, but will do anything in my power to help make this smooth-running
and tension-free. I am a part of the Performing Arts Program here at Huntington High and have
been playing the cello since I was about eight years old. I also have a passion for reading and
writing. Without further adieu, I am absolutely thrilled to see you guys and wish you the best of
Hello delegates! My name is Danielle Rommerdahl and I am one of your co-chairs for
the Huntington Beach High School Novice 37 conference this year. I am a sophomore currently
and this is my second year in the Model United Nations program. Outside of MUN, I am on the
track and field team where I compete in 100M hurdles, 300M hurdles, and high jump. I also
participate in multiple clubs on campus such as Pre-Med club and Down Syndrome Awareness
club. Additionally, I play club soccer outside of school. As a chair, I am looking forward to
hearing your creative ideas and I can‟t wait to see you all at this year‟s HBHS Novice
Hey delegates! My name is Christian Tait and I am going to be one of your co-chairs for
this year's Novice Conference. I have been a part of Huntington Beach High School's MUN
program for four years now and unfortunately this will be my last conference, so I'm looking
forward to a good debate! To tell you a little more about myself, I am the captain of our Boys‟
Varsity Soccer team here at Huntington and enjoy playing club soccer with my team that travels
around the country. Besides soccer I enjoy spending time with my friends and family, traveling,
and keeping updated on global news. I am looking forward to meeting you all in committee and
am anxious to hear some innovative solutions!
Position Papers must be submitted to your Dais’s central email no later than 11:59 PM on
April 19th, 2015 to be considered for a Research Award. Research Awards will be presented
during committee; please be sure to follow the HBHSMUN Position Paper format available on
our website. Your Dais’s central email is: [email protected]
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I. Piracy in West Africa
Topic Background
piracy throughout Africa in general are
committed in Nigerian waters. iii Being the
eighth largest exporter of fuel, Nigeria lacks
the refined fuels due to the large
corporations depriving it from the initial
country. iv Nevertheless, Nigerians retrieve
this fuel by forcefully taking it from cargo
ships infiltrating the oceans of West Africa.
The definition of the thievery of oil from
cargo is referred to as „bunkering‟ which is
the most prevalent crime throughout this
region. v Using this method for finance is
common by politicians and leaders of
countries. As it benefits politicians, the
majority of Nigerians suffer and resort to
piracy for fortune and wealth.vi This is why
the increase of piracy throughout West
Africa was and is so drastic. As corporations
and cargo ships crowd these waters and the
surrounding countries, piracy becomes
more and more prevalent in this region.
From the shores of Guinea to the tip
of Angola, piracy congests the waters of
West Africa. In the recent years, the
Somalian coast has held the majority of
piracy throughout the African continent.
However due to the recent and violent
hostage takings of the Somali pirates, it has
decreased within East Africa‟s shores and
has increased in West Africa. Two years
have passed since Somalia has even
boarded a ship. i Fortunately, nearly all
pirates in West Africa find it more efficient to
steal money or to pillage the ship‟s cargo
rather than taking the crew hostage. Cargo
comes from around the world, holding bins
of fuel packed in ports. Stealing cargo is
impractical with only a few pirates, which is
why they force the ship to anchor for a short
amount of time while others come and place
cargo on smaller boats, taken away to
shore. Occasionally, these pirates will
abduct crews and ransom them for cash,
though this is extremely rare. This is simple
for pirates, noting that many of them are
armed with machine guns and weaponry
while ships are not. Piracy groups within
West Africa‟s waters thrive, though the
Oceans Beyond Piracy Group are known to
be the most violent and are one of the most
successful piracy groups in West Africa
alone.iiThe Oceans Beyond Piracy Group is
believed to be responsible for over twothirds of attacks in West African waters.
Threats and attacks of this group have
increased within the past two years due to
the insufficient, and weak security of the
Gulf of Guinea. This allows foreign fishing
ships to pass by, unaware how heavily
armed they are. Often when attacked, ships
do not report it, which makes controlling this
issue much more difficult. Many pirates
come from Nigeria. as most attacks of
United Nations Involvement
Maritime Bureau (IMB), the West African
piracy attacks make up nearly 19% of the
world‟s piracy, which is a steady increase
from 2012 with 10% of the world‟s piracy.vii
This rise in violence has significantly raised
involvement from the United Nations. In
1982, the UN Convention on the Law of the
Sea was created. The West African
countries approved of the demonstrated
idea that countries have the right to explore
their designated boundaries. Unfortunately,
even with the set boundaries piracy still
depends on the 90% of imports and exports
conducted by sea. The main oil producer
and exporting country in Africa is Nigeria,
which has sparked conflict from neighboring
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Case Study: Piracy in the
Gulf of Guinea
countries seeking a share of wealth. Attacks
on oil exports have decreased the ability to
transport oil—as much as 500,000 barrels a
day—out of ports in Nigeria. The Gulf of
New Guinea has also become a large
economic and social concern for West
Africa. In 2012, the numbers of attacks on
the ports hit an all-time high of 64 incidents,
which greatly surpassed the 23 incidents
back in 2005. viii Concerned about the
current state of piracy, the United States
has contributed $35 billion dollars to Central
and West Africa to supply for proper
equipment, boats, and training for the
security of the ports. ix In addition to the
United States involvement on the issue in
West Africa, the United Nations has also
made numerous efforts. Established in
1981, The International Maritime Bureau
(IMB), which is a specialized sector of the
International Chamber of Commerce, was
implemented. It aims to detect criminal
trends and to eliminate factors that may
hinder trade capabilities. In 1992, the IMB
created the Piracy Reporting Center. This
allows for accurate around the clock
monitoring of trade hotspots. Once an
attack is detected, the IMB communicates
with local authorities to handle the occurring
issue at hand.x In 2011, The United Nations
Security Council wrote resolution 2018. The
resolution specifically urges the Gulf of
Guinea to create a strategy to punish
criminals involved in piracy or robbery. In
February of 2012, the Security Council
created resolution 2039; similarly, it calls for
encourages countries to come together for a
collaborative approach on the elimination of
pirates along the Gulf of Guinea. It states
that a uniform punishment will be a more
accurate way to eliminate piracy in West
Often when people think of piracy in Africa,
they immediately presume that it is off the
coast of Somalia and in Eastern Africa. But
due to the increase in international naval
efforts such as the IMO, there have only
been two successful hijackings since
2012. xii Unfortunately piracy hasn't been
fully eradicated and has actually swung
across the continent to Western Africa. One
place in particular where piracy has seen to
be arising is the Gulf of Guinea, where oil
has been the pirates‟ treasure of interest.xiii
In just 2014 alone, there has been a
minimum of 12 attacks that have resulted in
multiple hijackings, kidnappings, and the
loss of millions of dollars‟ worth of oil.xiv In
January of 2014, a 75,000 ton Greek cargo
ship named the MT Kerala was hijacked off
of the coast of Angola by a group of wellorganized and experienced pirates. The
group of 10 armed pirates was capable of
disabling the ships communication systems,
painting over the ships identification marks,
and stealing 13,000 tons of oil. With
hijackings as successful as this one, more
and more gangs have been turning towards
piracy as a sort of revenue. In 2013 alone,
there were 60 reported pirate attacks in the
Gulf of Guinea, which seems to be only a
fraction of the true amount because half of
the attacks go unreported. The Gulf of
Guinea had been characterized as the most
sophisticated, violent, and dangerous area
for piracy in the world and it seems to be
growing continuously worse. This piracy has
affected not only the workers on these
ships, but the international community as a
whole. Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea has
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made the most effective form of trading a
safety risk, has made it increasingly difficult
for African countries to stabilize, and has
threatened many nations abilities to secure
many forms of energy at sea. Oil has
become one of the most valuable products
in the West African black market, which is
the reason for such a high rate of organized
crime in the Gulf of Guinea. Countries such
as Nigeria rely heavily on oil as it makes up
more than half of their annual GDP, and
with such heavy piracy Nigeria is struggling
to stabilize their country due to a lack of
resources and income. With the constant
kidnappings of oil company employees and
the hijackings of oil ships, countries such as
Togo, Benin, and Nigeria are struggling to
maintain their largest form of national
income, putting millions of civilians at risk.xv
In efforts to reduce the piracy epidemic in
the Gulf of Guinea the United Nations
Convention on the Law of the Sea
(UNCLOS) has imposed a two-part related
plan that focuses on countries dealing with
piracy as a crime that is handled and
enforced on a national level and the sharing
of information and patrols between
countries along the Gulf of Guinea. Besides
this, the UN has failed to internationally
recognize the piracy issue in Guinea as they
did with the one in Somalia. International
action is a key to battling piracy, but as of
right now no other countries are authorized
to stop these pirates besides the Western
African nations, which is why piracy in
Western Africa has been so challenging to
II. Territorial Disputes in the South China Sea
Topic Background
and Paracel Islands have been in their
ownership since the 17th Century. xviii Also,
the Philippines have claimed to own the
islands, exclaiming that they are closer to its
own territory. The Scarborough Shoal, only
a hundred miles off the coast of the
Philippines and five hundred miles off the
coast of China, is claimed by both nations,
creating extreme territorial disputes xix .
Furthermore, two nations also claiming this
territory are Malaysia and Brunei. Malaysia
believes it has ownership of the island of
Spratly due to the location of the island and
itself. xx Therefore, Brunei has claimed
Spratly for the same reasons Malaysia has:
location of the island and the location of its
own nation being so close to that of the
island. Regarding the islands of Spratly and
Paracel, both islands come vast with the
possibility of resources such as oil. In
addition, the South China Sea has a
The South China Sea naturally
provides billions of dollars‟ worth of crude oil
and natural gases, mostly coming from the
Spratly and Paracel Islands. Surrounding
the Paracel and Spratly Islands is the “ninedash line,” which extends out one hundred
miles south-east of Hainan. xvi The “ninedash line” is the majority of the territory
which China has declared as their land.
China claims to own this region with the
explanation of dating back two thousand
years, when China said these islands were
ultimately regarded as their territory. In the
year of 1947, a map was crafted to show all
of China‟s territory which included the
Spratly and Paracel Islands. xvii Despite the
map, Vietnam professes these islands were
never China‟s to claim in the beginning. The
country of Vietnam declared that the Spratly
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limitless amount of fish which provides
superb fishing grounds to surrounding
countries. In 1974, the Battle of the Paracel
Islands between Vietnam and China took
place, killing over 70 Vietnamese troopsxxi.
Recently, the countries of Malaysia,
Vietnam, the Philippines, and Brunei all
believe the “nine-dash line” is their territory,
while China has already claimed it without
doubt. China, by far, is more powerful than
these countries, which causes many riots
and protests. Often in Vietnam, riots take
place through the streets. However, in 2012
China purposely raided and stopped two
protestsxxii. Each country wants the territory
of the Paracel and Spratly Islands. It is
rumored that China has offered suspicious
arrangements to these territories, though all
countries have resisted. Malaysia, Vietnam,
Brunei, and the Philippines strive for
international justice, not back-door deals.
Protests persist followed by much conflict
throughout the South China Seas. With
recent territorial claims of these islands by
China, problems continue to stir, causing
conflicts in economic trade within these
effort by the United Nations to strengthen
territory boundaries of the seas of nations
worldwide to prevent conflict. Unfortunately,
it also failed to establish territory.xxiii After a
second United Nations Convention on the
Law of the Sea in 1960 also proving to have
been ineffective, a third United Nations
Convention on the Law of the Sea was
conducted, which is also known as the
United Nations Law of the Sea. This law
was first opened for signature in 1982 and
includes a concrete set of laws pertaining to
ocean territory around the world. The main
focus point is on the importance of unity
between countries.xxiv Overseeing the law is
the The Division for Ocean Affairs and the
Law of the Sea. The division ensures
discrepancies that limit conflicts caused by
countries.xxv In 2002, the Declaration on the
Conduct of Parties in the South China Seas
was created by the Association of the
Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The
declaration is between China and all
members of ASEAN encouraging countries
engaging in the current territorial dispute to
remain peaceful in effort to solve their
conflicting claims. Without significant
agreements since the 2002 declaration, the
United States has become impatient by
China‟s lack of action in creating a code of
conduct. During a 2012 meeting held by
ASEAN members in Cambodia, the United
States supposedly confronted China on
their lack of initiative in the issue. China
condemned the United States for their
attempt to interfere with the issue and
claimed, “Only Asians should lead the
process to resolve regional issues.” China
refuses to reach any kind of peace
agreements until the United States retracts
their involvement.xxvi
United Nations Involvement
The United Nations has made a
large effort in attempt to limit aggression by
laying down a foundation of territorial laws
concerning the borders of a nation‟s ocean
borders. In 1930, the Codification of
International Law was created in order to
establish territory restrictions. Nothing was
disagreements between countries on the
territorial laws that were going to be set in
place. Because of the unsuccessful
Codification of International Law in 1930,
the General Assembly called for resolution
1105. This resolution established the first
United Nations Convention on the Law of
the Sea that was held in 1958 to pick up
where the Codification of International Law
of 1930 left off. This meeting was another
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Case Study: China and
Vietnam over the Spratly
claim to the territory because it falls within
their economic exclusion zones, as defined
by UNCLOS. Countries attempt to enforce
their territorial claims by using military
forces such as airstrips and armed forces,
contributing to the conflicts. Recently, China
and Vietnam have been in the most conflict.
For example, in May of 2011, Chinese
patrol boats attacked 2 Vietnamese ships
that were on their way to the Spratly Islands
for oil exploration. Also, in the same month,
Vietnamese fishing vessels were shot by
Chinese naval vessels near the islands.
These incidents sparked mass protests in
Vietnam and gained massive amounts of
publicity. However, as of today, casualties
have been low and military confrontation
has been relatively limited. Yet, failure to
peacefully resolve the territorial disputes
soon leaves the area in a fragile state.
Although the resolution of the conflicts of
the Spratly islands will have many
advantages, it will also have many
disadvantages such as impacting how
future security and economic arrangements
will develop in South Asia. Over the years,
China has attempted to resolve the conflict
by offering bilateral agreements to be
negotiated in secrecy. However, other
nations want more international mediation to
occur. These recent attempts have left the
bloc divided. Tension continues between
China, Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei, the
Philippines, and Taiwan as the Spratly
Islands continue to be a source of
aggression and violence among the feuding
Since 1992, rival countries have
disputed over the territory of the Spratly
Islands- two island chains located in the
South China Seas.xxvii The Spratly Islands
are constantly disputed over because of the
possibility of a large amount of natural
resources such as oil, natural gas, and
seafood, which is estimated to be worth
17.7 billion dollars.xxviii The islands consist of
about 200 islets, seamounts, and coral
reefs. However, the land is not arable, has
no pastures, meadows, or fields, and does
not support crops for long periods of time.xxix
The sea is also a major trading and shipping
route and is home to large fishing grounds
that supply many people of the region.
Conflicts have recently arisen because of
China‟s increasing aggression to meet its
growing energy demands. Approximately 44
of the 51 islands are claimed by China,
Brunei, Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan,
and Malaysia. The dispute is the result of
overlapping claims on the islands by these
nations. China claims that it has a right to
the area due to 2,000 years of history where
the islands were included as integral parts
of China. In addition, Vietnam claims that
they have documents to prove their rule
over the islands since the seventeenth
century and the Philippines declare that
they control the islands due to their
geographical proximity. Furthermore,
Malaysia and Brunei believe that they have
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Questions to Consider
Piracy in West Africa
1. Does your nation have any contact with the piracy groups in West Africa?
2. Has your country ever had problems with piracy in the past?
3. What methods can be used to ensure the economic stability of the nations affected
after eradicating the piracy?
4. What can be done to gain international support to help eradicate piracy in West
5. How can maritime security and safety be ensured for vessels in these waters?
6. What solutions can improve corruption to decrease piracy within these nations?
Territorial Disputes in the South China Sea:
1. Has your nation been directly involved or impacted in the dispute?
2. What can be done as an incentive in order to convince China to create a code of
3. Who does your nation believe has the right to the South China Seas?
4. What successful measures has your nation taken in the past to solve conflicts that
could be applied to the South China Seas disputes?
5. What is the main cause of maritime border disputes around the world?
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