MUN 2016 Committees
Submit Position Papers (due January 29th, 2016).
Submit Resolution Papers (due February 1st, 2016).
*Note: Resolutions should not exceed one page in length with a maximum of 5 operative clauses.
The UN Security Council (UNSC) 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 of the United Nations. The Security Council would be incomplete without its five permanent members, each of which has power to veto resolutions.
United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
The United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) was created in December 1946 in order to provide food, clothing and healthcare to European Children who faced famine and disease due following the destruction of World War II. (1). In November of 1959 the Declaration on the Rights of the Child was adopted unanimously by the United Nations General Assembly. (2). The Declaration (which was a continuation of the 1924 League of Nations document) declared that:
"The child, by reason of his/her physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth, (...) Mankind owes to the child the best it has to give". (3). In November of 1989 the United Nations General
Assembly passed the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). The CRC is a treaty that addresses the particular needs of children and sets minimum standards for the protection of their rights. The CRC is the most widely accepted human rights treaty of all the United Nations member states, the only states to have not ratified it is Somalia and the United States. (4). UNICEF works to fulfil the goals of the Declaration on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Rights of the Child by advocating for the protection of children's rights and is committed to ensuring special protection for the most disadvantaged children. (5).
Currently UNICEF has been working to help provide children in Africa with care and protection from Ebola, saving children from malnutrition in the Democratic Republic of Congo, assisting Nigerian refugee children in Cameroon, providing vaccines to children around the world and helping displaced Syrian refugee children find their family members en-route to Europe. (6). This of course is only a short list of activities that UNICEF is currently engaged in.
UNICEF Committee at 2015 Model United Nations
This year the Topic of Model United Nations of Alaska is "Youth, live long and prosper". The UNICEF committee couldn't be any more relevant. Resolutions made in this committee should consider the wellbeing of millions of children around the world who do not get to experience the innocence of childhood that many of us experienced and often take for granted. Participation in this committee will provide delegates the opportunity to overcome cultural, religious, political and geographical barriers for the pursuit of the protection and prosperity of children everywhere.
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
"The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees was established on December 14, 1950 by the United Nations General Assembly. The agency is mandated to lead and co-ordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide. Its primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees. It strives to ensure that everyone can exercise the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another State, with the option to return home voluntarily, integrate locally or to resettle in a third country. It also has a mandate to help stateless people."
With the current state of affairs in Syria, there has been an exodus of Syrian refugees searching for the means to live productive lives in a safe environment. The Western World is scrambling its efforts to find ways of providing safe-guards for these refugees that seem to endlessly show up on their shores and at their borders. States and non-governmental organizations are working in tandem to supply the incessant demands that these refugees need in order to secure the rights that the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights declares and guarantees them. Countries are being tested on a daily basis to prove where their politics stand in regard to the value and dignity they give to human life. In this dark time will be seen which countries shine the brightest and which countries fall into the obscure darkness of self-importance and isolation.
The current generation of Syrian youth will be forever changed by what is happening in the Middle East. The impact that these young refugees will have on the rest of the world will be felt for generations. Because of this, it makes the topic of this conference all the more relevant and is something that can be felt by youth from around the globe. As you search over topics for your resolution paper, I would encourage you to visit the websites provided below to help you become better acquainted and well informed with what is really happening in regards to the Syrian refugees. The websites will provide you with National Public Radio (NPR) audios, YouTube videos that are being uploaded on a daily basis giving firsthand accounts of the migration, graphics which will aid in your presentation and understanding of the information visually, and some well respected news sources from various mediums. I would suggest looking specifically at what your country is doing and where their policies stand in regards to this refugee crisis. Compare and contrast what other countries are doing and pick out policies that should and should not be followed. For example, Germany so far has taken the most active role in helping the refugees. On the other hand, Hungary has made it absolutely clear that they will in no way aid them or allow them inside their borders. Whichever stance your country takes on these issues should be reflected in your resolution paper. Best of luck to you and I look forward to seeing the creative resolutions you produce.
Graphics of Migration
United Nations Children and Armed Conflict (UNCAC)
The problem of children in armed conflict is not a simple one. It cannot be solved with treaties alone. Rather, it requires states to address the many factors which make children in armed conflict possible. For example, children are more vulnerable to becoming soldiers if they are not adequately educated. To address children in armed conflict, it would be wise to also address the lack of access to education that many children face throughout the world. But it is not just the causes of this problem that require systemic solutions; it is the after-effects. For many former child soldiers, reintegration into society can prove difficult to impossible. But with the help of world, it may be possible for this generation to ensure the prosperity of the next.
An interactive map showcasing the use of child soldiers in conflict throughout the world, with the states in question highlighted.
An organization with its work broken down by themes: State and armed forces, working to remove children from militaries of the world; Straight-18, which seeks to end the recruitment of children into armed groups; Non-state armed groups, which, while similar to State and armed forces, differs in that this theme focuses on non-state entities; Accountability, which advocates for prosecution of those who use child soldiers; DDR, which stands for disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration of children from armed conflict;and Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict (OPAC) Implementation.
An enormous list of resources, this site also serves to take the issue of children in armed conflict to a more practical level, detailing how children are abducted and forced to serve. The organization itself focuses on reintegration into society for children from armed conflict.
This article goes into detail about the "life cycle" of children in armed conflict, from states' failures to follow treaties banning the use of children in warfare through the rehabilitation of former child soldiers.
A video interview with Charu Lata Hogg of Child Soldiers International in which she discusses the way the Islamic State has used child soldiers. It is accompanied by an article which looks at a former child soldier and the work he has done since reintegration into society.
A great primer on the nature of children in armed conflict, this is a simple fact sheet with 11 pieces of information on the subject.
A longer article than the previous fact list, this piece focuses more on international treaties and the like.
UNICEF walks through a state-by-state breakdown of children in warfare. Additionally, it discusses existing elements in efforts to combat recruitment of child soldiers.
This is a lengthy article discussing the many abuses children face when forced into warfare. It ends with a note of optimism, in which it talks about rehabilitation. It also includes a description of the Lord's Resistance Army, most famous for its exposure following the viral video "Kony 2012."
To understand children in armed conflict, you must understand the proliferation of small arms worldwide. Much of the conflict that child soldiers fight in is conducted with readily available small arms, specifically the AK-47. This article, from the office of the United Nations dedicated to children in armed conflict, gives a brief description of the problem.
United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization is dedicated to the creation of a peaceful and sustainable future through scientific exploration and cultural understanding. Known as the UN’s intellectual agency, UNESCO’s efforts transcend policy by focusing on the human condition and targeting the mind as the most meaningful site for change. At UNESCO, knowledge truly is power and current work is concentrated on ensuring each member of our global community has access to that power.
Having always recognized the authority of youth, UNESCO recently held its 9th annual youth forum. Information regarding this conference and its outcomes can be found here:
UNESCO’s structure comprises a complex system of checks and balances due to its vast membership and constant collaboration with both the private sector and NGOs. As probable members or associate members of UNESCO, it is important to be familiar with this system and how it manifests in order to create effective resolutions.
Please refer to UNESCO’s seven themes when drafting resolutions; while UNESCO’s scope of influence provides the greatest opportunity for innovative and enduring change, this can only be achieved through care and precision.
Youth and United Nations Global Alliance
The Youth and United Nations Global Alliance (YUNGA) is a partnership between the United Nations and non-governmental organizations that focus their work on issues related to children and young people. Hosted by the UN's Food and Agriculture organization, YUNGA collaborates with its partners and utilizes the UN system in order to promote productive and sustainable lifestyles to young people and address the global issues facing youth across the globe. One of the most significant obstacles facing the world's future generations is that of addressing global climate change and reducing its threat to the most vulnerable populations. YUNGA's specific focus on youth related issues is intended to capitalize on the common goals and perspectives that youth organizations share with the mission of the United Nations. YUNGA hopes to empower youth by fostering civic engagement and utilizing the tremendous platform of the UN in order to bring together all peoples who share this vision for a brighter future for tomorrow's leaders.