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Special Political and

Decolonization Committee
Topic A: Cybersecurity
Topic B: Organized Crime
Dear Delegates,

My name is Alexander Dean, and I’ll be your chair for the 4th Committee – Special Political
Colonization and Decolonization at MUNUC 31. I’m elated to welcome you to what will hopefully
be the most interesting and high caliber Model United Nations committee of your MUN career.
Before we get to that however, let me introduce myself. I’m a third year at the University of
Chicago double majoring in Computer Science and Economics that will likely end up working

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either in cyber security or consulting. On campus, I’m a part of all three model united nations
organizations that UChicago offers: competing on UChicago’s #1 ranked travel team, crisis
directing a committee for ChoMUN (our college conference), as well as chairing this committee
for MUNUC.

Now, on to the content and what you can expect from committee. I know that many of you
come from vastly different backgrounds – some of you prepared just for this conference, others
meet once a week as part of a MUN club, and some even take Model United Nations as a daily
class. Regardless of your background, I expect that the unifying traits on this committee will be
well researched delegates with a passion to learn and engage with the topics. I know that these
topics are likely very different than you’ve ever engaged with before – the closest I’ve ever come
to these topics was a single terrorism committee (closest to organized crime), and a single
cyber warfare committee (closest to cybersecurity) – this is an intentional choice. While this is
not a technical committee, I want you to feel like this committee is slightly different than what
you might have expected or seen before, and will require you to blend your technical research
with the typical policy driven solutions expected in a committee. By making this unique blend
of topics I hope to foster an environment where we can disrupt traditional dynamics, help all of
the delegates grow, and make sure that we strive for true leadership and creative solutions – not
just generic resolutions regurgitated to fit this topic.

If you have questions about any of this, feel free to reach out to me at alexanderdean@uchicago.
edu before or during conference! Fundamentally, if you make an effort before MUNUC to do
your research and understand the topic (I’m also here to help with questions on research!) as
well as work with other delegates and the Dias while in committee, I promise that you will have
a wonderful and enriching experience at MUNUC 31.

Looking forward to seeing you all in the new year,


Alexander Dean

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History of the Committee

The Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization Committee) occupies a relatively
niche space as far as General Assembly committees go. While the other GA committees typically
have quite focused purviews – 1st Committee is Disarmament and Security, 2nd Committee is
Economic and Financial, 3rd is Social and Humanitarian, 5th is Budget and 6th is Legal – the 4th

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has a seemingly different one. The U.N. website lists its purview as being broad enough to cover
peacekeeping reform, U.N. Missions, mines, atomic radiation, and “information”1, but what are
the origins of a committee with such scattered topics of discussion?

The 4th Committee was originally founded to focus entirely on Decolonization issues. In the
formation of the United Nations and the push to end colonization, the Trusteeship council was
set up in order to put countries in a UN controlled trust as they transitioned from colonies to
sovereign nations2. The 4th committee was set up as well in order to handle decolonization issues
that fell outside the purview of the Trusteeship council, as this was a critical time for the subject.
In addition to the normal 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th committees of the General Assembly, there were a
few smaller supplemental committees – one in particular called the Special Political Committee
(SPC) intended as sort of a catch-all to deal with political issues that didn’t fall under the purview
of any other bodies.3 As trusteeship and decolonization became less of an issue, the decision
was made to merge the SPC and 4th Committee – turning them into the Special Political and
Decolonization committee that exists today by adopting General Assembly Resolution 47/2334.

1 https://www.un.org/en/ga/fourth/index.shtml
2 https://www.un.org/en/sections/about-un/trusteeship-council/index.html
3 https://research.un.org/en/docs/ga/committees
4 https://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=a/res/47/233

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Statement of the Problem

Cyber Security broadly refers to four main aspects that we’ll be looking at in debate over the

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course of each session. In this section, I’ll begin with a high-level overview of what delegates can
expect from the internet and networked systems as a whole as well as common cyber attacks.
From there, I’ll introduce each aspect of Cyber Security briefly and outline what delegates can
expect to be major areas to address from each of them. After reading this, you’ll have the baseline
knowledge to understand the more technical aspects of the issue, as well as understand what
threats people typically associate with a given segmentation of Cyber Security.

The Internet

People talk about things like the Internet and The Cloud as if they’re vague magical concepts,
but most people don’t understand the underlying technology. Let’s start by talking about the
Internet as a whole. Simply, the internet is a bunch of wifi access points and hard-wired internet
connections (the things you actually interact with) that are all wired together and meet up at
something called an Internet Exchange Point (IXP) – of which there’s only a couple hundred in
the world. IXP’s connect to each other, and the really large ones have huge undersea cables that
connect IXP’s internationally. IXP’s are usually either owned by the government, or an Internet
Service Provider (think Cox, Comcast, Verizon – the people that you buy internet from). xContrary
to the common perception, internet that gets “beamed” to you, like satellites and the 4G on your
mobile phone, accounts for only a tiny portion of all internet traffic. The vast majority passes
through cables and IXP’s in the process detailed here. Now, you might be envisioning this big
web of internet traffic that starts from your computer and travels through these huge IXP’s to
get you a Chinese server of a video game you like and wonder how that happens. When you type
in something like twitter.com, that contains an address to establish a connection to. You can
think of that as a street address, for example lets say that address is 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue,
Washington DC (The White House), USA. Now, unless you happen to live very near there or have
constantly gone, you’re not going to know how to get from where you are to that address. As
the address passes through different nodes of the internet, it gets directed close and closer to
where we want. If we start off in China for instance, someone might tell us that our address
was in the United States, so we should start there. After taking a flight to California, we’re then
informed at our next stop that Washington DC is on the east coast, so we fly to New York. We
then take a train to DC and eventually make it there. In real life it’s more complicated than this,

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but to visualize it, just imagine that the nodes your traffic goes through (IXP’s and other smaller
data centers) direct your traffic a little closer to where you want to be.

Controlling the Internet

An important facet of the internet going through these Centralized Exchange Points means
that it’s relatively easy for a country like China or the United States (Like they were trying to

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implement under SOPA legislation) to monitor or block internet traffic. China in particular does
this through their Golden Shield Project, and it’s an interesting example to see how what we’ve
just learned works. Imagine I’m someone in China trying to get to Facebook (something that’s
blocked in China). My computer sends the request and starts following the address, however, as
the government has de facto control over the IXP’s, instead of actually telling me how to get to
my location, it sends me completely the wrong way. In the above example of us trying to reach
the White House, imagine that instead we arrived at our Chinese airport and were given our first
direction, but we were told to fly to Australia. Once we got to Australia, we were to rent a car and
drive south for 7 hours. Shocker, we ended up in the middle of nowhere. The same technique of
incorrect addressing is used to block people from websites.

Common Attacks

Most people think of Cyber Attacks as some hacker sitting at a computer drinking soda and
typing furiously on a keyboard. While that is true, and something we’ll talk about here, what
bears mentioning first and foremost are the type of attacks that happen because people were
careless. These types of cyber attacks
typically rely on gaining some sort of
privilege – either privileged information,
or privileged access to a location to
execute the attack.

Stuxnet was the code name given

to a virus that did untold damage to
an Iranian Nuclear Reactor. A piece
of computer software did real world
damage to a major piece of high tech
equipment that was thought secure by a government, and here’s how. At the Natanz Nuclear
Enrichment plant, security was kept tight. Not only that, but cyber security was always kept in
the highest consideration. In fact, the entire facility was air-gapped – a term used to describe
a system that has literally no connection with the broader internet. Then the attackers tried to
break in. A computer worm (type of virus) was created that had 2 missions: 1st, check if the
device that the worm had infected was a very specialized piece of equipment that was used to

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control the rotation speed of the exact nuclear centrifuges used in the Natanz Nuclear Plant. 2nd,
spread a copy of this worm to literally every single other device that was connected to it in any
way. The attackers expected this to work – they wanted one of the researchers at the nuclear
plant to “break” the air gap and bring an infected cell phone or something into the plant, from
where the worm could execute its true mission. They didn’t – this is not the time where people
were carless. The attackers next step was to load the virus on to a bunch of USB Flash Drives,

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making them appear empty. They dumped them in the parking lot outside the Natanz Nuclear
Plant. Many of the scientists found them, and brought them into work with them, breaking the air
gap. Delighted that they had found a free and empty flash drive, they kept using them, unaware
that they’d just spread the Stuxnet worm inside Natanz.5

This story is relevant because it shows how even literally the strongest cyber security on the
planet (not even being connected to the internet), can be foiled by something small and simple
like people being careless. Another attack hackers will attempt called phishing, where they
pretend to be a legitimate individual to gain privileged information. Imagine yourselves: If you
received a call from someone claiming to be a school administrator asking you to tell them your
password because your account had been hacked and they need to change it, would you give
it to them or verify their identity first? Again, human carelessness is oftentimes the best vector
for an attack.6

One of the most common and high-profile attacks that one would truly consider a cyber attack
is a Denial of Service (DOS, or DDOS) attack. The servers of Facebook, Twitter, and Google
are enormous and handle a huge amount of data and people interacting with the website and
services every single second. However, you can think of interactions with the webpage like water
going down a drain in your sink or your shower. Your drain can deal with a certain amount of
water every second, just like the webpage servers do. However, if you start dumping buckets of
water in, you’re going to notice a problem – it’s not draining fast enough and you have a bunch
of water just sitting there, waiting to drain, and eventually it might even clog. A Denial of Service
attack is the same concept – if you can overwhelm a website or a server with requests to
interact, it simply won’t be able to handle it, and the website will respond to only the malicious
requests (attackers) or simply break down all together. As long as you can sustain the DOS
attack and make thousands or millions of these requests (depending on the size of the server
you’re trying to disable), the website will go down.7

5 https://www.wired.com/2014/11/countdown-to-zero-day-stuxnet/
6 https://www.rapid7.com/fundamentals/types-of-attacks/
7 https://www.rapid7.com/fundamentals/types-of-attacks/

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1. Cyber Warfare

When countries fight each other, we consider it cyber warfare. Stuxnet can be considered an
example of this, while officially nobody knows who created it, it’s determined that only a nation
state would have the capabilities to do an attack like this, and it’s likely some combination of
the United States and Israel were responsible. One of the biggest problems here is that it’s
extraordinarily difficult to pin down who exactly was responsible, and how much they were

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responsible for. A big topic in the news is Russia meddling with U.S. election, but there’s huge
debate about to what extent, and whether or not it was motivated in nature. We can’t even
tell whether our own voting machines were compromised – a group of lawyers and computer
science professionals urged Clinton to force a recount in 3 key states that she lost, citing issues
with expected polling data and the results that they believe were a result of tampering with
machines.8 Delegates must figure out a way not only to reliably determine which countries are
involved and to what extent, but additionally what appropriate proportional response is and when
cyber operations cross the line into cyber attacks. Lets say that Russia did blatantly tamper with
U.S. voting machines: The U.N. advocates for proportional response in instances of an act of
aggression, so does the U.S. get to go and tamper with Russia’s election now? Probably not, but
this is a key question delegates are going to want to consider.

2. Cyber Terrorism

Typically, Cyber Terrorism is traditional terrorism that’s promoted through a cyber-attack.

However, according to a report published by the U.S. government a few years ago, no true cyber
terrorism attacks have really happened9. As such, delegates should consider how terrorists use
cyber technology to advance more traditional terrorist aims. Among those are the way terrorists
use encrypted messaging technologies, like WhatsApp, Telegram, and Wire to communicate.
Additionally, the use of social networks for recruitment, communication, and to spread
propaganda should be considered. Finally, focusing on the attacks, how can we differentiate
between cyber terrorism and other cyber incidents? If a nation gives a terrorist group a cyber
weapon and pushes them to use it on another nation, is that cyber terrorism, or cyber warfare? If
an activist group launches a DOS attack on government servers to protest a new branch website
or something, is that cyber terrorism? It is important be clear about what exactly constitutes
cyber terrorism, something which will be difficult due to the fact that the U.N. doesn’t currently
have a cohesive definition of terrorism.

8 http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/11/activists-urge-hillary-clinton-to-challenge-election-results.html
9 Ibid.

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3. Cyber Crime

While significantly less problematic than the first and second aspects of cyber security, cyber
crime is still something of note that should be addressed by this body. Again, an important
distinction that must be made is what exactly is cybercrime? Is traditional corporate espionage
(something that is being increasingly carried out digitally), cybercrime? Most significantly will
be how this body chooses to crack down on cybercrime. While it’s generally agreed on by most

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nations that we should stop ransomware attacks (a virus that takes control of your computer
and locks you out until you pay the attackers money), nations have very different policies on
something like piracy. An key facet of this area will be the ability of delegates to distinguish
country policy from actual country action and make sure that they’re not hurting their country or
their economy by following policy that doesn’t reflect the action.

4. Individual Cyber Security

Whether or not the Internet is a human right is a subject of huge debate 10, but this body must
decide to what extent citizens should be protected from their own government in a digital world.
Should countries be allowed to censor content – something that can be circumvented through
cyber security measures like a VPN. Should countries be able to monitor and collect traffic
about their citizens, like France has done both in 2013 and in response to recent terror attacks 11.
Fundamentally, what rights to citizens have to cyber security from their government. There will
be a wide spectrum of policies here – countries that are heavily involved in their citizens internet
lives would likely advocate that citizens are only entitled to be protected to things that are true
attacks (exempting monitoring) while others might argue citizens deserve complete security
from their government in a digital world, where monitoring is considered a data breach.

At the end of the day, this is a hugely broad topic. You’re going to have to compromise significantly
within your blocs to make sure you have cohesive solutions that make concessions while still
being true to your country policy. Do your best to address the key issues within these four areas,
and this session of SPECPOL will be a success.

10 https://www.brookings.edu/blog/techtank/2016/11/07/the-internet-as-a-human-right/
11 https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/11/french-officials-internet-users-real-time-law

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History of the Problem

History of the Computer

To understand cyber security and how it evolved, we must first track the evolution of the
computer and the internet itself. Historically, the computer has evolved from a place of need.
When the U.S. government realized that the population was growing so large that taking the

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census would soon be impossible by hand, they sought another solution. In 1890, a predecessor
to the modern computer was built to solve this problem.12 Inching closer to the modern computer,
the next huge step was also accomplished because of need – during World War II. In an attempt
to break the German’s Enigma code, Alan Turing created a machine called the Bombe that was
able to break the code, bringing us almost all the way to the modern computer13. In 1964, the
computer underwent a radical shift when Douglas Engelbart prototyped a computer able to be
used not only for specialized purposes by researches and government officials, but one for the
general population. This included rudimentary graphics as well as mouse interaction, things
that were new to computers at this time14. From that point, computers became smaller, more
powerful, and cheaper – according to a recent Pew Research Study, about 80% of all Americans
have some sort of working computer in their home15. This is an astounding number given that
the first personal computer was released on the market about 50 years ago, and sold as a kit
you had to build16.

History of the Internet

Generalizing for the sake of simplicity and humor, the internet is billions of indistinguishable
people standing in a really big room all screaming at each other and trying to communicate.
If that’s the case, how’s it possible that I just ordered pizza delivery right to my door? A long
time ago a bunch of people more or less agreed on how we were going to interpret each
other’s yelling and whose job it was to understand and pass on which requests. The Defense
Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), a wing of the United States Military, started
funding a communication network between computers called ARPANET. In 1973, when teams
in London and Norway connected to ARPANET, the term Internet was coined, and the world
was permanently changed17. Only a year later, an Internet Service Provider (ISP) popped into
existence, commercializing the internet. In 1982 and 1983, major breakthroughs were made
in protocols for the internet, standardizing systems and making it easier for average users to

12 https://www.livescience.com/20718-computer-history.html
13 https://www.iwm.org.uk/history/how-alan-turing-cracked-the-enigma-code
14 https://www.livescience.com/20718-computer-history.html
15 http://www.pewglobal.org/2015/03/19/internet-seen-as-positive-influence-on-education-but-negative-influence-on-
16 http://lowendmac.com/2014/personal-computer-history-the-first-25-years/
17 https://www.livescience.com/20727-internet-history.html

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navigate with things like the introduction of common naming systems for websites (.com, .gov,
.edu, etc)18. In 1991, the World Wide Web as we know it today was released as a result of projects
conducted at CERN Laboratory (a European nuclear research organization)19. From there, the
internet follows a similar path as computers – it becomes commercialized and accessible to
more and more consumers around the world, eventually finding a way to permeate every facet
of our lives.

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Cyber Security

Cyber Security is fundamentally an

arms race, and one where the attackers
are favored. While it’s possible to stay
a step ahead using predictive artificial
intelligence technologies, for the most
part, it’s hard to design an antivirus for
a virus that doesn’t exist yet. In other
words, it’s hard to make a bulletproof
vest if you’re never seen a bullet. It
wasn’t always like this however – while
early users of the internet knew this
could be a problem, the first virus was
actually a harmless program that ran through computers on ARPANET, leaving a message
“I’M THE CREEPER: CATCH ME IF YOU CAN”. Soon after, one of the individuals who saw this
creeper created his own program called Reaper, designed to kill Creeper off, and the first anti-
virus software was born.20 Early cyber attacks were typically aimed at gaining access to private
systems and stealing privileged information – in 1986 Marcus Hess hacked into University of
California, Berkeley, used that to get onto ARPANET, and hacked 400 computers with high level
government secrets.21 A few more years saw the rise of deadly attacks that threatened the
integrity of the internet itself and cost the First National Bank of Chicago 70 million dollars in a
historic hacking job that attackers still have not claimed credit for.

Threat Model

In Computer Security, a threat model describes who we believe our adversaries are for a
given system, their capabilities, their motives, etc. It helps us understand what threats we face
when taking an action or running a system. Historically, there have been four main threats to

18 Ibid.
19 Ibid.
20 https://www.sentinelone.com/blog/history-of-cyber-security/
21 Ibid.

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cybersecurity that correspond to the four categories we’ve divided the problem into: states
wishing to undermine other states (cyber warfare), Organizations and individuals wishing to
illegally make money (cyber crime), Organizations and individuals wishing to illegally promote an
agenda (cyber terrorism), and states wishing to gather data about their own citizens (everyday
cybersecurity). This means that we have two types of attackers (state and nonstate), with
a different set of possible motives for each (warfare or surveillance for states, monetary or

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ideological gain for nonstate actors). While this is not an inclusive list of all threats, this does
summarize the main ones faced today.

Historical Cyber Warfare

To see historical examples of cyber warfare, one needs to look no further than Stuxnet, the
(alleged) Israeli-U.S. computer warm intended to sabotage Iranian Nuclear Reactors. One key
hallmark of cyber warfare is that countries typically don’t take responsibility for it, which makes
it very difficult to know who’s doing what, and when. While this doesn’t mean that cyber warfare
isn’t prevalent, it’s typically quite difficult to pin down who’s responsible, which makes this
seem like a much smaller problem than it actually is. Additionally, the lack of cohesive definition
for cyber warfare means that there are actions which are considered cyber warfare by some
individuals, but not all. An example of this is the Russian election interference in the 2016 U.S.
Election – Senator Dianne Feinstein called it “the beginning of cyber warfare” while others argue
it was cyber espionage or even not attributable to Russia at all.22

Historical Cyber Crime

One of the best examples of Cyber Crime that has implications in our increasingly crypto-currency
driven world is the hacking of the Mt. Gox crypto-currency exchange. In February of 2014, the
largest Crypto exchange in the world at that time declared bankruptcy as a result of losing over
$460 Million USD due to a cyber-attack23. The severity of this threat cannot be understated –
as our money becomes more and more digital (driven even more so by the fact that we have
purely digital currencies), we become even more susceptible to destructive cyber crime like this
that can devalue currencies and destabilize economics. Other common forms of crime have
historically included credit card information theft as well as general identity theft. More recently,
the 2017 WannaCry ransomware attack affected over 200,000 computers, forcing them to pay
a $300 ransom to get their computers and files back24.

22 https://www.lawfareblog.com/election-hacking-we-understand-it-today-not-cybersecurity-issue
23 https://www.wired.com/2014/03/bitcoin-exchange/
24 https://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2017/05/17/wannacry-the-ransomware-worm-that-didnt-arrive-on-a-phishing-hook/

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Historical Cyber Terrorism

The first individual ever convicted of both terrorism and hacking charges in the United States
was Ardit Ferizi, in 2016, who stole identifying data about U.S. government and military
personnel and provided it to ISIS25. It is interesting to note here that while this would be
considered cyberterrorism, the damage would likely be done in the real world. That is to say,
the repercussions of a cyber terrorist attack need not only exist in the cyber realm. In this case,

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the repercussions are physical ones – the physical safety of the individuals who’s data was
stolen is likely compromised despite the fact that it was a cyber attack. At this point in time,
most cyberterrorism is limited to disruptive measures like taking over a website or DDoSing a
server, but we should expect to see much more dangerous attacks coming from these groups
as capabilities evolve.

Historical Cyber Security

The most famous example of this is the PRISM program and other revelations brought to light
by Edward Snowden. He alleged that the National Security Agency of the United States was
harvesting and analyzing an unprecedented amount of data by having internet behemoths like
Yahoo, Google, and Facebook hand over data to them26. While previously the conflict between
individual privacy and government surveillance has typically been between citizens and the
government, we must now consider the fact that companies hold a vast amount of data about
our cyber activities – making it even harder to protect ourselves from a state threat. While this is
a large incident, we must also consider countries that have cyber security conflicts built into the
fabric of daily life. Many countries employ some sort of internet blocking, whether it’s a relatively
lax filter that focuses on banning pornography like South Korea employs, or one that’s much
more expansive and blocks access to many popular sites, like China uses with its Golden Shield
Project. While internet filtering and blocking is a more recent development, it is one that seems
to evolve quickly as technology allows more and more countries to control internet access in
this way.

25 https://web.archive.org/web/20130627073012/http://www.worlddialogue.org/content.php?id=111
26 https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-23123964

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Past Actions

Due to the differences in philosophy that many countries have with dealing with cyber security,
there is rather limited cohesive action on the part of the international community. Much of the
typical actions you would expect the U.N. to take, even for a topic as new as cyber security (like
defining the problem, setting up a special committee, etc.) have been neglected because of the

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huge difference in opinion on this issue. The body responsible for much of the cyber security
work that the U.N. deals with is called the ITU, and officially is a U.N. agency responsible for
“information and communication technologies”27. Despite this, the work they’ve done on the
matter is rather limited. There are only 5 U.N. resolutions related to cyber security that the ITU
points out and none of them are particularly revolutionary – two are about combating criminal
misuse of information technology, and three are about building a global culture of cyber security
with the most recent one in March of 2010, almost a decade ago.28

Regardless of the lack of concrete change the ITU and U.N. has created as a whole in the cyber
security space, some of the solutions and methods they’ve proposed are significant. In U.N.
Resolution 64/211, the body laid out a self assessment framework to help countries understand
their cyber security needs and readiness.29 Additionally, in 2007, the ITU created the Global Cyber
security Agenda (GCA) which employs 5 pillars: Legal measures, Technical and Procedural
measures, Organizational structures, Capacity building, and International cooperation.30 To
support this, the ITU convened a High Level Experts Group on cyber security which created a
number of recommendations to help countries meet this agenda.31 Again, while the GCA has
spawned important initiatives (like the Child Online Protection initiative)32, we’ve failed to see
coordinated and cohesive decision making on cyber security as a whole.

As should be clear by this point, the data and recommendation exist and is actively being fostered
by organizations like the ITU, the international community as a whole just has yet to act and
create broad policy because of that. In a meeting of the High Level Committee on Programmes
talking about cyber security, a high level ITU official pointed out that while parts of the United
Nations were actively helping nations secure their own cyber security, “there was a need to
strengthen a coordinated approach by the United Nations system.”33

Another facet of the United Nations attempting to tackle cyber security is the United Nations
Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDR). They have a number of projects to broadly address

27 https://www.un.cv/agency-itu.php
28 https://www.itu.int/en/action/cybersecurity/Pages/un-resolutions.aspx
29 http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/RES/64/211
30 https://www.itu.int/en/action/cybersecurity/Pages/gca.aspx
31 https://www.itu.int/en/action/cybersecurity/Documents/gca-chairman-report.pdf
32 https://www.itu.int/en/cop/Pages/default.aspx
33 https://www.unsystem.org/content/action-cybercrime-and-cyber-security

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the issue of cyber security.34 A critical breakthrough they made was the publishing of the Cyber
Security Index – an overview of international cyber security accompanied by additional text to
help simplify Cyber Security and explain its importance and how to implement policy based
on technical solutions to decision makers.35 This is extremely useful (for both the International
Community and people participating in this committee) because typically one of the drawbacks
of cyber security is the lack of understanding by key decision makers. The UNIDR additionally

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helps support Groups of Governmental Experts (GGE’s) on the topics of cyber security and
space as well as leads workshops to promote cyber stability.

34 http://www.unidir.org/est-cyber
35 http://www.unidir.org/programmes/emerging-security-issues/the-cyber-index-tool

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Possible Solutions

Fundamentally, an ideal resolution will strive to provide solutions to the following questions: How
can we enact technical and legal regulations around nation states interacting with the cyber
infrastructure of other nation states? How can we protect nation states and their populations
from terrorists in the cyber realm? How can we protect populations and larger organizations

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from cyber criminals? Finally, what is the relationship and how can we protect the rights of
civilians from their government in the cyber realm. While you are welcome to segment these
issues however you want, for the sake of simplicity I’m going to stick with the segmentation
we’ve been using previously – Cyber Warfare, Cyber Terrorism, Cyber Crime, and Cyber Security.
To be clear: it’s perfectly acceptable if a resolution doesn’t completely address all of these areas
or follow this structure, just shoot for these topics as a guideline even though I’ll use them to
organize solutions.

Cyber Warfare

Within Cyber Warfare lies a few key issues. Most importantly, nations don’t really agree on a
particular definition of Cyber Warfare. You’ll find that even within the same country, different
branches of the government have different definitions for this, so it will be important for
delegates to somehow address this discrepancy. There are a couple avenues that delegates
could take when defining cyber warfare. Delegates could take an outcomes-based definition
– for example, if a nation used a cyber attack to shut down another nations power grid for an
hour, it should be considered similarly to said nation shutting down the power grid through
conventional means, like cutting power lines or destroying a power station. Critics of this will
note that there is a very big difference between a nation destroying a power station to shut
off a power grid rather than hacking it. Another area delegates must consider when proposing
solutions on this topic is the concept of proportional response. The U.N. often advocates that
countries retaliate proportionally – which is another way of saying that countries are asked to
be reasonable in their response, make sure the punishment fits the crime. For example, if your
friend breaks your skateboard, maybe you would break his skateboard or destroy his slightly
nicer bike, you wouldn’t light his house on fire.

Finally, an area that’s significantly lacking in this field for solutions is technical safeguards to
prevent and protect against the consequences cyber warfare. Delegates should explore technical
ways for countries to protect themselves from cyber attacks, and ways to make sure that cyber
attacks don’t interfere with the infrastructure and goings on of nations not involved in said cyber

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Cyber Terrorism

As our lives increasingly transition online, so does our susceptibility to cyber terrorism. Terrorists
can reach farther and do more damage in a digital age where a well written piece of computer
code can cause a gas pipeline to explode. In this regard, delegates will be faced largely with
the key questions of prevention and detection. As with all terrorism, there will be a tradeoff
between surveillance and rights when trying to defend against attacks. Delegates can pursue a

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range of options, from a more aggressive route, attempting to monitor most or all internet traffic
to dissuade terrorists, to a less aggressive one, instead attempting to be reactive and employ
cyber forensics techniques to determine the perpetrators after an incident. Detection of terrorist
attacks is particularly important in cyber terrorism, as one of the key benefits of operating in
the cyber realm is anonymity. False flag attacks and unclaimed terrorist actions in an attempt
to cause destabilization are made even stronger by the cyber realm, something that should be
addressed in solutions.

Cyber Crime

While many of the techniques employed in Cyber Terrorism maybe additionally employed in cyber
crime, there’s one key distinction that separates the two: cyber criminals operate for a profit.
This should inform possible solutions to this problem – solutions that focus on determining
the flow of money are particularly key to combatting cyber crime. Cyber criminals also typically
have a very different portfolio of targets. While Cyber Terrorists may choose to target critical
infrastructure of a nation, cyber criminals will often go after financial institutions and major
sources of consumer finance data in order to turn a profit from their attacks.

Even though target profiling and money tracing are good ways to approach dealing with cyber
crime, one must consider technical advances that make this more difficult. In particular, cyber
crime has seen an increase in utilizing untraceable cryptocurrencies, like bitcoin. Because of
this, delegates should seek to utilize existing standards like Know Your Customer laws (KYC) 36
in order to fight developing avenues of cyber crime.

Cyber Security

Finally, to address cyber security, delegates should start with a foundation of policy to determine
the rights and relationship between citizens and their government. Is it permissible for wide
scale surveillance similar to the type revealed by Edward Snowden to occur37? Or should we
take a much stronger stance against surveillance and ensure that civilians have the right to use
the cyber realm privately and without fear of being watched. There’s no “right answer” here, but

36 https://hackernoon.com/kyc-aml-and-cryptocurrencies-4e4cf929c151
37 https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk /wp/2013/06/12 /heres- ever y thing -we - know-about- prism -to -

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delegates should look to constitutions of their own countries as well as the U.N. Declaration of
Human Rights to ground their policy decisions in reasoning.

Additionally, delegates must consider the technical and political repercussions of their policy
decisions. If a resolutions suggests that individuals do not have the right to private interaction
online, does that make Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), a popular tool for subverting internet
filters and surveillance, illegal? Should we develop new technology to suppress this if that is the

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case? As there are many examples of different relationships between governments and their
people with regards to the cyber realm, delegates should look to draw from the best elements
of each relationship to craft a solution.

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Bloc Positions

It’s important to note that these bloc positions are not set in stone. Even if you think your country
is on the more extreme end of this issue, remember that we’re gathered here in SPECPOL to
collaborate and create lasting change, so deviating slightly from a hard-line stance is perfectly
acceptable in the name of cooperation. Additionally, many countries act very differently privately

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in the realm of cybersecurity than they publicize. While a country’s publicly announced policy
should generally guide your decision making, do be sure to consider what action your country
actually takes involving this area and
make sure that any proposed solutions
don’t limit this, even if it seems like on
the surface your country would support
them. The blocs mentioned here are not
the only way to slice the issue, but are
what I believe to be a good sample of
the viewpoints on the two major issues
at play – civil liberties (do we spy on
citizens to find terrorists, cyber criminals,
etc) and ability to conduct cyber warfare
(or other cyber operations).

Pro Cyber Warfare, Conditional Civil Liberties:

Countries in this bloc will likely be westernized democracies that would like to guarantee their
citizens maximum privacy and other civil liberties, but will occasionally curb them in the name
of national security. Countries fitting into this bloc additionally will probably have been the victim
of either rampant cyber crime or cyber terrorism. Additionally, these countries would like the
flexibility to make their will known throughout the world by conducting either cyber espionage or
direct cyber warfare, all without retribution.

Pro Cyber Warfare, Low Civil Liberties:

Countries in this bloc will likely be eastern authoritarian governments that control and restrict
citizens ability to access the internet privately, as well as access certain content deemed
problematic. These countries as well typically like the ability to operate either through cyber
espionage or cyber warfare and would be hostile to international law that makes it substantively
more difficult to do so.

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Anti Cyber Warfare, High Civil Liberties

Countries in this bloc will also likely be western democracies, but ones that place an ultimate
premium on civil liberties and forge the desire to conduct their own cyber operations. These
countries will want to make sure their citizens are safe not only from their own governments
tracking, but also international governments.

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Technologically Developing Nations

Finally, not all nations have enough of a cyber presence to have formed a strong or meaningful
position on these issues. Nations falling in this bloc will want support both setting up a cyber
infrastructure as well as keeping it secure from some of the other more established cyber threats
(both state and non-state) in the world.

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A note: I have intentionally left out definitions of cyber security, cyber terrorism, cyber warfare, etc.
beyond what is explained in the background guide because I would like you to propose your own
definitions for these terms given how contentious they are.

Border Gateway Protocol (BGP): Routing system that allows internet traffic to flow between

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Internet Exchange Points

Botnet: Network of computers controlled without the knowledge of the owners and used to
carry out attacks or spread malware.

(Distributed) Denial of Service Attack (DOS/DDOS Attack): An attack in which a server or

computer is overloaded (typically through a huge amount of requests) in order to bring it offline
for the rest of the internet. A DOS attack is distributed when a large amount of computers attack
a single server or host, like a botnet.

Internet Exchange Point (IXP): Physical location where a large amount of internet traffic for a
region or country travels to, typically where Internet Service Providers set up their infrastructure
and communicate with each other

Internet Service Provider (ISP): The company that provides the internet and operates the
physical infrastructure from your home to the Internet Exchange Point

Malware: Any kind of computer program intended to cause damage or disruption to a system

State Actor: A country (as opposed to an organization that isn’t a country), typically used in the
context that it has significantly more capabilities than any other organization

Non-State Actor: An organization that is not a country, typically used in the context to delineate
between states and non-states, non-states normally being far more limited in their capabilities

Special Political and De/Colonization Committee (4th SPD): Fourth committee of the General
Assembly of the United Nations, tasked with a wide purview that has evolved over the years, the
committee which we will be simulating.

Stuxnet: Highly sophisticated computer worm used to significantly damage Iranian nuclear

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Statement of the Problem

Organized Crime has long existed in a sort of middle ground that countries the international

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community has never been able to fully tackle. While there is typically a significant amount of
support for both local crime (which typically handled by the country’s own local forces) and
terrorism (which often has international support to deal with it), Organized Crime exists in a
gray area between entirely national/international. As such, many countries lack the support
necessary to effectively combat it, with disastrous results. Unchecked, an organized crime
group will grow, turning from one that operates in a single country, to one that operates in a
region, and even into an international threat. While there are some groups that are effective in
combating crime syndicates (such as the FBI and INTERPOL)38, these groups are the exception,
and not the norm. Your task as delegates in the 4th committee mustis to ensure that all countries
have a way to deal with organized crime groups. Whether that comes in the form of some sort
of cohesive international group, or more individual/case by case support, countries should have
the ability to effectively combat organized crime.

Today, Organized Crime takes many forms and there are many different ways to delineate
the types of organizational structure, but for sake of discussion we’ll call our three categories
Centralized, Decentralized, and Mixed, which refers to the leadership model each adopts. Loosely,
we can consider the Centralized model a Cartel or Mafia, the Decentralized model a Gang, and
the Mixed model a Syndicate.


A centralized Criminal Organization oftentimes will look almost corporate in its structuring,
with clear delineations of power from the leader all the way down to a new recruit. We would
consider things like Mafias and Cartels to fall in this category – the head of the Mafia or Cartel
has clearly defined reports, who in turn have clearly defined duties and areas to focus on, all
taking orders from the leader39. Centralized organizations can typically be defined by their static
and clear upper leadership as well as coordination among various actions taken. Centralized
organizations will often engage in sin business – things like smuggling, operating illegal venues
(gambling, prostitution), selling illicit drugs and alcohol – activities that are normally non-lethal
and allow a large degree of plausible deniability that protects upper leadership.

38 https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/28/533
39 Abadinsky, Howard. Organized Crime. 7th ed. Belmont, California: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning, 2003.

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A decentralized organization is what we might expect when we think of a street gang. This is an
organized crime group in which the leadership model is much more fluid or less defined. While
there might be a central leader at the top, decisions are often made freely by most members
of the organization, and there is little other leadership. Organizations like this typically operate
locally, not extending beyond their town or province, and engage in both violent and nonviolent

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activities like theft and drug dealing. Despite the low level of sophistication that they operate with,
they can have significant effects, facilitating the spread and consumption of illegal narcotics, and
contributing to gun violence and deaths when they feel threatened, typically by another gang.
Because of their lack of well-defined leadership, it is much more common to see insurrection
within the groups as well as unsanctioned actions taking place.


A mixed organization is what we would expect a crime syndicate to be. A mixed organization is
a number of centralized crime groups (like mafia families), forming a coalition to achieve greater
sophistication in their illegal activities. We would see a mixed organization most clearly defined
by hierarchical leadership structure in which a number of centralized groups operate semi-
autonomous but still answer to a higher collective. These groups typically tend to be much bigger,
and because of their size and sophistication can engage in more advanced criminal activities,
like money laundering, fraud, government bribery and subsequent misuse of funds. Additionally,
mixed organizations still conduct much of the same activities that centralized organizations do,
albeit on a much larger scale and with more expertise – running huge smuggling and trafficking
operations, operating networks of drug distributors, and even procurement of high end weapons
otherwise unavailable to the criminal underworld.

Fundamentally, different leadership structures, criminal activities, etc. will need a different
approach. I’m not suggesting that these three categorizations (or even leadership models at all)
are how you should approach the problem, but you should find a way to generally define groups
of organizations and deal with them based on that classification. Variance among criminal
organizations is huge, so scaling down into manageable portions and developing solutions for
those portions is key.

One large barrier to organized crime is the fact that the source of the problem or the organization’s
operations is oftentimes not where the organization does the most damage. Cartels operating in
Mexico ship significant amounts of product to the United States, where the drugs are then sold
and consumed. This is a problem that replicates itself all over the world – sure the United States
can crack down and arrest drug distributors, but the fact that the source is from a different

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country is one of the biggest reasons international cooperation is critical when dealing with
issues of organized crime. 40

Corollary to this fact is that oftentimes countries where the organized crime is based sometimes
can’t or even don’t want to stop the crime. In countries’ whose economies are propped up by
drug or smuggling trade, shutting down cartels is hugely not in the country’s best interests. An
even larger deterrent is that in many of these countries there is rampant corruption, meaning

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that huge swaths of the government either are directly affiliated with or are on the payroll of
the same criminal organizations that they should be trying to eradicate.! It is will be extremely
difficult to determine a way to help states that are so intertwined with criminal organizations –
is it a violation of sovereignty to step in and help a country that is potentially unable or unwilling
to ask for help? These are questions that delegates must answer when drafting a potential

On the topic of inaction, delegates must further consider whether countries’ have any sort of
duty to stop transnational criminal activities. For example, if Country A has a cocaine epidemic
because Country B ships huge amounts of cocaine across its borders, but Country B refuses to
stop the cartel responsible, what are Country A’s options? The principle of proportional response
doesn’t quite apply here, but are there certain limitations to Country B’s sovereignty if they refuse
to act and end this issue? Could Country A step in and do it for them? While situations are rarely
this clear cut, delegates must broadly consider what rights countries gain if their neighbors
refuse to act to cut down criminal organization.

As delegates, you should represent and understand your country’s best interests. Some countries
have a positive relationship with criminal organizations, many do not. Understand if your country
is trying to change or content with the way things are, and how your country is being affected
by criminal organizations. At the end of this committee session, you should have a well crafted
resolution that answers the fundamental question: How do we internationally curb organized
crime both inter and intranationally?

40 O’Neil, Shannon (July–August 2009). “The Real War in Mexico: How Democracy Can Defeat the Drug Cartels”.  Foreign
Affairs. 88 (4): 63–77. JSTOR 20699622.

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History of the Problem

While Organized Crime as we know it started in the 1800s along with the onset of industrialization,
Organized Crime certainly has its roots and shares striking parallels to much earlier historic
raiding cultures like the Mongols and Vikings. In fact, the Vikings would even accept payment,
called Danegeld, in order to spare a kingdom from being pillaged. The parallels between this

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and a modern-day protection racket are clear – organizations take bribes from victims to
avoid a problem that wouldn’t exist without the actions of said organization. While the Vikings
likely weren’t as organized as modern-day organized crime groups, they operated in a loose
organization, most closely related to a syndicate. While it’s also the case that the Vikings were
not alone in this sort of racketeering, they were the only ones that did so on such a wide scale,
and are most akin to the groups of today. It’s important to stop and consider why we see these
similarities arising between organized crime groups historically and what we imagine today
when we think of organized crime. Fundamentally, this proves to us that organized crime is
profitable and worthwhile. While industrialization and the rise of lawful society certainly created
more avenues for organized crime to pursue, the Vikings show us that organized crime isn’t just
a byproduct of modern society or the outlawing of sin business. Fundamentally, crime does
indeed pay – that’s why we see its roots going back so far. Violence, fear, and intimidation
are all primal and effective ways to extort money from the populous, so when considering the
historical roots of this issue we must make sure to both consider what happened, but why it was
able to happen.

Moving on to the Vikings, a slightly more sophisticated, but decentralized system, of organized
crime started to flourish: privateers. Privateers were pirates with a very special document called
a Letter of Marque. While this Letter of Marque required them to follow a few instructions from
the government that issued it (could only target certain countries’ ships, had to declare loot, not
kill the enemy crew), it afforded them huge privileges that pirates failed to enjoy. Chief of these
was more or less legalizing attacking and stealing valuable cargo from enemy ships – basically
turning any ship with a crew and a desire to make some money into a government sanctioned
criminal. Although privateers structurally were certainly not similar to organized crime groups
today, they’re a worthy addition to the history of crime organizations as they were a time when
wide scale criminal activity was made legal and available to many – an opportunity which many
took advantage of.

What we think about organized crime would likely have started in the early 1800s with small
street gangs. These gangs were typically formed by minority groups sharing strong cultural and
geographical ties, like immigrants, trying to improve their circumstances. While some of these
gangs like the Forty Thieves (An Irish-American gang), their luck ran out by the middle of the

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century when gangs started fragmenting and crumbling due to infighting. On the other side of the
Atlantic around this time we see the rise of a very traditional form of organized crime, the Sicilian
Mafia, also known as Cosa Nostra. The Sicilian Mafia was actually artificially manufactured
at its outset. With the fall of feudalism in Italy at the beginning of the 19th century as well as
the annexation of Sicily in the middle of the century, more and more people enjoyed a right
they’d never had access before: legitimate property rights. While in feudal times the lords and

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barons who owned the land would have armies that protected their property, these were largely
disbanded post feudalism because the barons weren’t responsible for that land anymore. This
job was now left up to Italian authorities, who were not up to the task. Communities suffering
greatest from the now growing theft decided that the way to deal with this would be to recruit
strong men to hunt down the thieves and negotiate a return of the property in exchange for a
commission for the men and a pardon for the thieves. While certainly a good idea in theory,
the men best suited for these tasks were typically the best of the former thieves. While quite
apparent in hindsight but probably not to the communities forming these “Companies at Arms”,
bringing a group of master thieves together and turning them into glorified bounty hunters and
providing an organizational structure around them is probably not going to end up the way you’d
expect. Sure enough, these artificially manufactured groups were what would later go on to
form the first Mafia clans of the Sicilian mafia.

While the Mafia began to grow and expand internationally, the real spark that set off the current
pervasive culture of organized crime (especially in the United States) was Prohibition in the early
1920’s. Following World War I, the United States passed the 18th Amendment, banning the sale,
manufacture, and import of all alcohol in the United States. As we know well today, legally forcing
the supply to zero of a good like alcohol does nothing to the demand of said good, especially
when it used to have both very high supply and demand. In other words, just because you make
it illegal doesn’t mean people want it any less. In fact, when there’s high demand for a good but
a total lack of supply, the price keeps rising and rising until someone is incentivized to supply
it, which is exactly where the Italian mafia stepped in. The mafia families competed fiercely for
business supplying alcohol. While they did work together at times in order to maintain an uneasy
peace, families wanted to get ahead, which led to events like the Valentine Day’s Massacre,
where Al Capone’s family ambushed and killed several members of the Maron family.

After the 18th amendment was repealed and we progress through the 20th century, there became
increased western demand for addictive drugs which were becoming increasingly restricted, and
eventually illegal. Demand for these drugs was at first met by smugglers and the Mafia, fresh
off it’s prohibition growth. About two thirds of the way through the century however, we see the
rise of the first major drug cartels, like the notorious Medellin Cartel, which smuggled primarily
cocaine into the United States. Several decades later and drug cartels in both the western and
eastern hemisphere have become forces to be reckoned with – running complex logistical

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operations and threatening governments with the massive amount of manpower, influence, and
money they wield.

With that, we set the stage for the organized crime rings of today. From Viking racketeering to
the sin businesses exploited for enormous profit by Mafias and Cartels, organized crime is a
widespread and lucrative problem that isn’t going anywhere in a hurry. Consider the past and
the growth of organized crime when determining how to solve this issue – clues to effectively

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combating organized crime today may lie in its origins.

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Past Actions

As organized crime is a topic critical to most nations in the United Nations, the UN has already
taken a significant amount of action on Organized Crime. At the end of 2000, the United Nations
signed the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime as a result of
organized crime becoming an increasingly globalized problem.41 This convention ensured a

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number of critical steps were taken against organized crime. It defined a number of terms within
organized crime which will likely be useful to you in this committee. It additionally recommended
that states adopt three categories of legislation to help better prosecute those involved with
organized crime – criminalizing being a member of an organized crime group, criminalizing
money laundering, and criminalizing corruption.42

The United Nation Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is also responsible for coordinating
many of the efforts related to combating organized crime. It has developed databases such
as the Sherloc and Cybercrime repository to amalgamate different sets of resources against
organized crime43, and additionally has threat assessments aimed at helping member nations
of the UN have increased information and understanding about key organized crime threats44.
The UNODC Convention against Transnational Crime have also established a number of working
groups to focus on particular aspects of fighting organized crime such as Firearms, Technical
Assistance, International Cooperation, Trafficking, and Smuggling45.

Another useful tool that the United Nations is partnered with is the Financial Action task force.
One of the critical ways to fight organized crime is by “following the money” so to speak – once
organizations have the money from their crimes, they typically need to find a way to “justify
it” so to speak. It’s quite easy to determine that a company with no real product that pays its
employees millions of dollars a year to travel between two locations in the world is probably up
to something. On the other hand, laundering the money allows criminal organizations to justify
the money and announce it legally. One method of doing this is through cash only businesses,
like laundromats and food trucks. Even if our sample laundromat being used to launder money is
an empty store where half the machines don’t work, a criminal organization can announce huge
profits. While these may sound suspicious, it’s hard to tell or prove from a cash only business.
However organizations launder their money, it’s difficult to track. That’s where the Financial
Action Task Force comes in. Based in Paris, the FATF focuses on developing techniques to
track money and stop money laundering as a way to bring down criminal organizations.46 After

41 https://www.unodc.org/documents/treaties/UNTOC/Publications/TOC%20Convention/TOCebook-e.pdf
42 https://www.unodc.org/documents/treaties/UNTOC/Publications/TOC%20Convention/TOCebook-e.pdf
43 https://sherloc.unodc.org/cld/v3/sherloc/
44 https://www.unodc.org/unodc/data-and-analysis/TOC-threat-assessments.html
45 https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/organized-crime/intro/conference-of-the-parties.html
46 http://www.fatf-gafi.org/about/

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an organization’s funding sources have dried up, the FATF also provides backing for legal action
against said organization to pursue damages. While not a direct body of the United Nations, the
FATF is a valuable policy making group that has major signatories (US, Russia, China) and is an
important member of the effort to fight organized crime.

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Bloc Positions

While Organized Crime is typically related to corruption in a country, we can’t consider bloc
positions to fall neatly along those lines. Additionally, remember that these are only suggestions,
and there are many other criteria on which it would be perfectly reasonable to form blocks on.
That being said, a possible segmentation of bloc positions are the following three categories:

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Countries that are affected by, supported by, and threatened by Organized Crime. Let’s explain
what each of those means briefly before delving into which types countries might fit in each.
Countries that are affected by Organized Crime is fairly self-explanatory – someone needs to
be the victim of the crime they’re committing, whether that’s selling illegal narcotics or running
a racketeering operation.

Countries affected by Organized Crime are affected in a negative way, typically being the point
of sale for sin businesses (drugs, prostitution, gambling, etc) and the target of different types of
criminal fraud. In the second category, we have countries supported by Organized Crime. These
are countries that either structurally or economically depend on organized crime. Economically,
there are countries which significantly benefit from organized crime rings selling drugs (typically
countries that have favorable geographic conditions for growing and selling drugs, like Opium
in the eastern hemisphere) and structurally there are countries which depend on the institution
that organized crime provides. A good example of the latter is the Russian Bratva – a vast
criminal syndicate that is embedded enough within the social and political fabric of Russia to
be considered structurally important. Finally, we have countries threatened by organized crime.
These are countries that may not have directly felt the effects of organized crime yet, but may be
a transit country for organized crime (i.e. if drug/human trafficking occurs through their country)
or otherwise wish to safeguard themselves against organized crime.

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Affected Countries:

Affected countries are typically wealthier countries that are consumers of sin businesses and
a lucrative target for fraud. As such, these countries typically take a strong stance against
organized crime, and may have already formed their own national or transnational institutions to
combat it, like the FBI and INTERPOL. Countries in this bloc will likely want to focus on how they
can work together with countries supported by organized crime in order to stop the problem
at its source, while some may additionally try to cooperate with other affected countries to
increase the effectiveness of combating the threat of organized crime.

Supported Countries:

Supported countries are typically Central and South American countries as well as East Asian
countries (with notable exceptions such as the Russian Federation) where governments are not
fully able to control the activities of organized crime in the region. Countries in this group have
a little bit more leeway when deciding how they want to approach this topic. While you should
understand your current government’s position on organized crime (likely either strongly against
or tacitly accepting), it is reasonable for a country who officially is tacitly accepting of organized
crime to want assistance to change (we are at the United Nations after all) and countries publicly
opposed to take a slightly more moderate and possibly even accepting view.

Threatened Countries:

The majority of nations will likely fall into this category – nations either at risk of becoming
affected/supported by Organized Crime or are on the outskirts of the issue, possibly being a
transit country for smuggling operations. Countries in this group would like to see preventative
measures and assistance to make sure that they have strong resources to combat criminal
organizations, both in experience/knowledge sharing as well as funding and personnel.
Additionally, countries that are transit countries would ideally like to be able to uncover the

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mechanisms organized crime groups are using to smuggle and shut those down, as they are
typically a point of corruption.

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A note – I’ve left out definitions of certain common terms used to refer to criminal organizations
like Mafia, Syndicate, Cartel, etc. While the statement of the problem section should give you
some guidance with this, an exceptional resolution will find a way to segment and define these
terms in a new way (and what each of these terms subsequently means for dealing with them).

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Drug/Human Trafficking: The illegal process through which either drugs or humans (against
their will) are illegally smuggled from a source country to a target country.

Money Laundering: The process through which a criminal organization takes illegal money and
provides a legal paper trail for it - essentially legalizing illegal money.

Opium: A narcotic from the poppy flower typically grown in the Eastern Hemisphere

Prohibition: The period from 1920-1933 in the United States during which there was a ban on
producing, importing, or selling all alcohol.

Protection Racket: A type of racketeering wherein an organization (typically through force)

coerces individuals or businesses to purchase protection beyond that of typical law enforcement.

Racketeering: A fraudulent activity wherein a criminal organization offers to solve a fictitious

problem for you for a (typically) recurring sum of money.

White Collar Crime: Crime that is nonviolent and typically financial in nature – crimes such as
bond forgery, fraud, and insider trading are all considered white collar crim

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Abadinsky, Howard. Organized Crime.   Accessed November 07, 2018. 7th ed. Belmont, California:
Wadsworth/Thomson Learning, 2003.

Agencies of the UN: ITU. Accessed November 07, 2018. https://www.un.cv/agency-itu.php.

UN Resolutions. Accessed November 07, 2018. https://www.itu.int/en/action/cybersecurity/Pages/un-

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Global Cybersecurity Agenda (GCA). Accessed November 07, 2018. https://www.itu.int/en/action/


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