**SPECPOL: Special Political and Decolonization Committee

Committee Overview:

The Fourth Committee of the General Assembly of the United Nations is the Special Political and Decolonization Committee, otherwise known as SPECPOL. Established in 1993, SPECPOL is a combination of the Decolonization Committee (formerly the Fourth Committee) and the Special Political Committee. These committees were merged in 1990 when the United Nations established 1990-2000 as the “International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism.” This was particularly important considering at the time of the creation of the United Nations, 750 million people lived in colonized territory. Over 80 former colonies have become independent since 1945. Today, in part due to the work of the Fourth Committee, this number has drastically decreased to approximately two million people living in colonized territory, which SPECPOL remains determined to address.

Topic: The Peaceful and Sustainable Uses of Outer Space

Space holds a dream of endless possibilities. Symbolically, it represents adventure, opportunity, and the unknown. Realistically, it is a “contested, congested, and competitive domain.” Outer space exploration has endured many iterations since the first satellites took off from Earth in the 1950s. The Cold War and its microaggressions led to the rapid acceleration of space technology. However, as major milestones were reached and the Cold War ended, attention to space research receded from focus. However, space technology continued to progress quietly, and a multi-billion-dollar industry has developed with both public and private firms pushing science into the twenty-first century. We face an era in which space technology is expanding more rapidly than ever before. Innovations in miniature design and repurposed materials have created opportunities for new international players in the super-atmospheric market with space capabilities teetering farther and farther into the realm of global access. Humankind has come a long way from Sputnik and Apollo, however the aerospace industry has yet to see significant updates in its regulations since the UN’s five initial conventions.