MUN 2014 Committees
Submit Position Papers (due January 26th, 2015).
Submit Resolution Papers (due February 2nd, 2015).
*Note: Resolutions should not exceed one page in length with a maximum of 5 operative clauses.
Security CouncilThe UN Security Council is a 15-member body responsible for overseeing peace and promoting tranquility among the world's nations. If the body determines a threat to international security, it can issue sanctions and utilize force should strong condemnation be insufficient to reverse the course of unreasonable actors. As such, it is the most powerful body on the United Nations. The Security Council would be incomplete without its five permanent members, each of which has power to veto resolutions.
It is in the spirit of the UNSC that you should craft your resolutions. Ambiguous language should be avoided unless absolutely necessary; use ambitious language instead. Be sure to craft clear, concise, and constructive resolutions. The best resolutions will respond to pressing-—yet unresolved—international crises. For example, see UNSCR 1325 (link below), which reshaped the priorities and responsibility held by the international community towards addressing the impact of gender in wartime conflict. The Council's important role within the international diplomatic process requires the wording of resolutions to be crafted with finesse. Refer to UNSCR 242, which called for the end of hostilities after the six-day war (link below). Delegates to this year's UNSC should be prepared with a wealth of information about their country. As the UNSC is the only committee at the Alaska MUN conference where delegates are permitted to use electronic devices, it would behoove you as a SC delegate to do additional research on your country and relevant international issues. Be sure your research is readily organised and easily accessible.
For additional information or questions, please contact Matthieu Ostrander, email@example.com.
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
The IAEA is an UN organisation that seeks to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy while seeking to reduce the proliferation of nuclear technology for military purposes. The peaceful uses of nuclear technology are wide-ranging and should not be overlooked. Consider, for example, the use of radioisotopes utilised in medical diagnostic procedures and cancer therapy or the radioisotopes utilised as tracers to track wear in engines or the movement of oil spills. Safeguards developed by the IAEA serve as industry best-practices, ensuring that risks from ionising radiation are minimised, whether they occur in a nuclear power plant, medical facility, or in the course of nuclear research. The IAEA is also responsible for promoting compliance with nuclear non-proliferation treaties such as the NPT, AMB, or START-II. The agency continues to play a vital role inspecting nuclear weapons facilities, such as those in Libya and Iran.
This year's topic intersects well with the mandate of the IAEA. When crafting resolutions, look for ways to incorporate the conference theme. You could, for example, focus on the recycling of spent nuclear fuel, or whether to implement bans on the use of nuclear reactors in countries which have failed to demonstrate appropriate safeguards. There are several things you can do to ensure you craft a good resolution: first, ensure you conduct in-depth research on a topic—avoid relying on superficial analysis. Second, ground your resolution in contemporaneous issues—ongoing policy events are far more interesting than digging up 30 year old issues. Third, be bold and creative—controversial resolutions make for the most robust debate.
For additional information or questions, please contact Samuel Doepken, firstname.lastname@example.org.
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)The office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1950. The mission of the UNHCR is to protect refugees and work towards resolving refugee related issues worldwide. This mission seeks to ensure that all refugees can seek asylum and safety in other states or countries with the ability to return to their homeland, integrate locally or resettle in a third country if that is the best or only other option. The UNHCR is mandated to assist stateless people as well. Refugees come from a multitude of places that are either (or a combination of) war torn, environmentally impacted, diseased (pandemic/epidemic), famine ravished and/or economically disabled areas.
It may seem like the displacement of refugees would not have much to do with this year’s topic of waste but the truth is that it does! Think of what happens when a large group of people is quickly moved from one area to another. Where do their belongings go? Where does the waste from quickly erected refugee camps go? Where does the waste go from refugees fleeing the Ebola epidemic in western Africa? These are the types of questions that should be the basis of your research topics and resolution papers if you are assigned to this year’s Model United Nations UNHCR committee. The resolutions and debates that take place within the committees at this year’s conference are more than a chance for you to practice your theatrical skills (although those skills are highly appreciated at the conference). The fact is that millions of people all over the world do not have a place to call home due to conflict, famine, disease, climate change etc. The world needs young minds to seriously consider solutions to these real-world issues because we are the only future that we all have to depend on. So, have fun and take full advantage of this global-minded learning opportunity.
For additional information or questions, please contact Katherine Taylor, email@example.com.
World Health Organization (WHO)“WHO is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system. It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends. In the 21st century, health is a shared responsibility, involving equitable access to essential care and collective defense against transnational threats.” (http://www.who.int/about/en/)
There are many crises today that threaten our very existence on this planet. Most recently, the Ebola virus spread beyond containment in Western Africa and even made its way into the United States. There have been legitimate worries about what kind of global impact the Ebola virus could have if it were to mutate into an airborne virus. The Fukushima nuclear reactor disaster in Japan will have long-lasting health threats to the people of Japan and its neighboring countries. We will not know the full extent of damage the radioactivity will have for many years to come. If history has repeated itself in the case of Chernobyl, the future generations of Japan will pay the highest price. Climate change is a very real and tangible threat to the world. Carbon dioxide from a lack of proper waste management is considered to be one of the leading causes. What is the best way to dispose of waste contaminated by the Ebola virus? What are the health risks the cleanup crew of Fukushima’s nuclear meltdown will have in years to come? Is there a more sustainable form of living that does not create as many greenhouse gases? These are a few examples of questions that are the responsibility of the WHO to answer and for you to reflect on when choosing your topics for your resolutions.
*Your resolutions should be no more than 1 page in length with a maximum of five (5) operative clauses.
For more information or questions, please contact Caleb Amos, firstname.lastname@example.org.
United Nations Environment ProgramThe United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), established in 1972, is the voice for the environment within the United Nations system. UNEP acts as a catalyst, advocate, educator and facilitator to promote the wise use and sustainable development of the global environment.
UNEP work encompasses:
Wast is a topic that aligns very closely with the mission of the UNEP. For example, did you know that food waste is a massive global problem that has negative humanitarian, environmental and financial problems? And that SCHOOLS are a huge part of this story. On average, an American student is responsible for 67 pounds of discarded lunch waste every school year.
What about the gyres in the oceans? UNEP is the perfect committee to develop a workable solution for dealing with the five major Gyres in the oceans worldwide, all of which are believed to contain plastic. The North Pacific Gyre, also known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, is estimated to be TWICE the size of Texas and swirls in the Pacific Ocean roughly between the coast of California and Hawaii. Let's work on possible solutions. These are two examples of areas that UNEP hopes to tackle in committee through well thought out resolutions.
UNEP will welcome resolutions that examine "Waste" from different environmental angles including Climate Change, Disasters and Climate Change, Ecosystem Management, Environmental Governance and Chemicals among others.
Your resolutions should be no more than 1 page in length with a maximum of five operative clauses.
For more information or questions, please contact Chelsey Baker, email@example.com.
United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)The United Nations Industrial Development Organization is an organization, unsurprisingly, devoted to promoting industrial development. Their main focus is on the developing world, where they believe that the development of a strong industrial base can be a key factor in promoting overall economic growth and rise in standard of living. UNIDO also encourages development of industrial ties between nations and the trade ties that result because of this. UNIDO is a major proponent of energy independence and conservation, stressing the use of renewable energy sources and sustainable industry. In recent years, UNIDO has had to compete against the idea that private businesses can better promote development and several key members of UNIDO have withdrawn over this idea, including the United States and Canada.
This year's topic goes hand in hand with UNIDO's mission of promoting development but stressing sustainability and conservation. Resolutions that link these themes are encouraged, especially in relation to the developing world are encouraged, as are Resolutions focused on raising quality of life in a sustainable manner.
For more information or questions, please contact Stephen Sweet, firstname.lastname@example.org.