Rebecca Lisk ‘21 Disarmament and international security committee

Rebecca Lisk ‘21
Disarmament and international security committee

Rebecca Lisk

What are you studying? I am a Computer Science concentrator in the Mind, Brain, and Behavior track, which means I study the intersection of computer science and neuroscience. I am applying this interest by interning at Google on the Machine Perception team during the summer of 2019, and I previously interned as a software engineer at NASA. I am also a pre-medical student and am attaining a secondary degree in Global Health and Health Policy.
Favorite hobbies: I play rugby with Harvard Women’s Rugby team, work as an emergency medical technical, and volunteer at the local homeless shelter. I also love reading, painting, and rollerblading!
What is your previous Model UN experience? I previously chaired SOCHUM at WorldMUN 2019 and assistant directed at the Harvard Model UN 2019 conference. This will be my first experience chairing DISEC, and I am beyond excited to work with a new committee!
What are you most excited for at WorldMUN 2020? One of my favorite parts of WorldMUN 2019 was interacting with delegates outside of committee sessions. I’m so excited to not only have an engaging and welcoming committee, but also to meet the awesome delegates.  

Topic: The Weaponization of Outer Space

Since the second half of the 20th century when the United States and Soviet Russia competed in the great “space race,” space has changed from a far-off frontier to a territory rife with opportunities for development and exploration. The 1967 Outer Space Treaty designated this new territory “the province of all mankind” and affirmed "the common interest of all mankind in the progress of the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes" and guaranteed that "the exploration and use of outerspace shall be carried out for the benefit and in the interests of all countries.” However, aside from prohibiting weapons of mass destruction in space, the treaty does not specifically discuss the use of other technologies or weapons in space towards militant ends, and reliance on space technologies such as satellites for espionage and testing of weapons has increased internationally in recent years. Tensions have grown as Russia announced updates to anti-missile defense systems in 2018, the US created the Space Force military branch in 2018 and began work on an extraterrestrial missile interceptor in 2019, and India, following in China’s footsteps, fired a rocket to shoot down one of its own satellites in 2019 to affirm its position as a significant actor in the militarization of space, among other current events. These actions have ominous repercussions, as they accelerate an impending space race and destabilize the already uneasy balance of power between countries armed with nuclear weapons. Development of space brings new opportunities for both technological advancement and new types of warfare, and this committee recognizes the importance of discussing and developing a framework to guide, regulate, and demarcate the militarization of space to mitigate threats to international security.