abigail kasdin '18 Disarmament and international security committee

abigail kasdin '18
Disarmament and international security committee


Topic A: Women in Armed Conflicts

Women are often portrayed as some of the primary victims of armed conflict. While this can be true, women are increasingly taking an active role as agents in armed conflict, as well. For thousands of year women have been involved as soldiers in various militaries, but the rate of participation has grown significantly over the last few decades. Many nations now permit women to enlist in active duty in their armies.

In addition to this type of involvement, women have been increasingly enlisted to terrorist groups and have become crucial members of other unofficial militant groups. In light of these changes, representatives in DISEC will be asked to discuss women’s increasing involvement in armed conflict with an understanding that in many instances, these women display incredible amounts of agency and drive. They are not just victims; they are active participants.


Originally from New York City, Abigail is now a junior at Harvard studying Social Studies with a citation in Spanish. She is particularly interested in how public education policy influences children from different backgrounds. Abigail was the chair of the Legal committee last year at WorldMUN and absolutely loved her experience; she is truly hooked on the WorldMUN spirit! In addition to WorldMUN, Abigail is the USG for the General Assembly at HMUN, Harvard's conference for high school students in Boston and a member of Harvard's traveling Model UN team. When not thinking about WorldMUN, Abigail also loves to swim, hike, and daydream about her future travel plans.


Topic B: Global Mass Surveillance

Since the mid 1900s, nations have been working to develop and enhance their ability to gather information. Presently, surveillance technology is used by many governments to glean intelligence about their own citizens as well as about the lives of those living in other countries. There are currently fourteen nations that are part of the world’s first intelligence sharing alliance, the Fourteen Eyes, who have agreed to help each other with surveillance for security purposes.

The discussion about mass surveillance has become significantly more widespread and controversial since Edward Snowden’s leaks in 2013. Nations must now come together to decide whether governments should be allowed to spy on their own citizens, citizens of other countries, and even other governments. Ultimately, any decisions must bear in mind the crucial balance between international security and human rights.