Security Council – SC
Issue 1: Resolving the Third Sudanese Civil War in South Kordofan and Blue Nile.
The current armed conflict in South Sudan has grown into one of the biggest humanitarian crises of the century. The civil war is a continuation of the conflict between armed opposition and government forces in 2003 following an attempt at a military coup. With a high death toll of innocent civilians, attempts of easing the conflict during the past year have failed to subdue the rising tension and protest from citizens and politicians alike. In response, the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) has merely used brute force against protesters and censoring the media, imprisoning politicians and journalists and killing thousands of protestors, the rest of whom fled their homes. Aid for these citizens has not been provided and a growing number of nationals are being tortured, sexually abused and detained in inhumane conditions. Hundreds of women and young girls are subject to widespread sexual violence which is propagating a culture of rape in the country, especially as marital rape is not considered a crime. Delegates of the council must unite to bring forth a cohesive resolution to this complex and problematic conflict by bringing this violent war to a halt, providing humanitarian aid to affected citizens and immigrants, and restoring peace once more.
Issue 2: Addressing the violent anti-government clashes across Hong Kong concerning the extradition bill.
Until 1997, Hong Kong was a British colony. Since then, Britain transferred sovereignty over Hong Kong back to China. Consequently, an agreement was reached that enabled Hong Kong to maintain its autonomy under the principle of ‘one country, two systems’. This agreement came in the form of ‘The Hong Kong Basic Law’ which would grant Hong Kong its common law and capitalist system for 50 years after the handover in 1997.
However, there are intensifying alarms that signal the tightening of China’s grip over Hong Kong long before this deadline is met. Proposals to allow the extradition bill triggered the first anti-government clashes across Hong Kong. The bill would have allowed criminal suspects from Hong Kong to be handed over to the Chinese mainland and tried according to their law. The public viewed this as a threat to Hong Kong’s judicial independence and feared it would give China greater influence over Hong Kong. As a result, a series of pro-democracy protests erupted with hundreds of thousands taking to the streets. After weeks of mounting unrest between protesters and the police, Carie Lam, the city leader, agreed to suspend the extradition bill. Despite being suspended, pro-democracy demonstrations are still on as protesters are calling for the complete withdrawal of the bill, universal suffrage, and investigations into alleged police brutality which took place during the demonstrations. Chinese president, Xi Jinping, has responded to these demonstrations by saying, “Anyone attempting to split China in any part of the country will end in crushed bodies and shattered bones”. Xi has also publicly blamed western countries for the trouble in Hong Kong.
Delegates of this council must take the task of bringing forth a unanimous solution that aims to re-establish peace and stability in the region. Moreover, they must ensure that Hong Kong’s authorities are abiding by human rights and the rule of law, thus bringing an end to the fierce unrest in Hong Kong.
The United Nations Environment Programme – UNEP
Issue 1: Preventing the contamination of drinking water and marine life with traces of drugs.
Pharmaceuticals such as antibiotics and opiates that are flushed into the environment through sewage systems and waste disposal are severely threatening marine life, recently showing signs of seeping into drinking water supplies. The effects of certain contaminants such as birth control pills that contain high levels of synthetic estrogen have been tested and found to disrupt entire ecosystems by infiltrating food chains and changing the behavior of marine animals. In addition, the drug epidemic currently gripping countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom has been exacerbating the situation by causing traces of illegal drugs such as cocaine to be discovered in rivers and water bodies. In the River Thames, for instance, eels living in the river have been observed to demonstrate strange behavior and migration patterns due to dangerously high levels of cocaine exposure and consumption. Meanwhile, the groundwater supply in the United States has been contaminated in some areas with few measures taken to treat the water before its distribution. As the study of the effects of such contamination is still in its early stages, the full extent of the health and environmental hazards of these drugs have not been fully realized. Therefore, actions must be taken by the delegates to control the disposal of drugs and the contamination of waterways and drinking supplies before any permanent damage is done to species and ecosystems, public health ultimately at risk.
Issue 2: Battling the destruction of the Amazon Rainforest in Brazil
The Amazon Rainforest is the world’s largest tropical rainforest, covering nearly 5.5 million square kilometers. Approximately 60% of the Amazon rainforest is located within northwestern Brazil and extends into other South American countries. It is reputed to have unparalleled biodiversity as it is home to unique species of plants and animals. The Amazon Rainforest produces 20% of the planet’s oxygen supply and is commonly referred to as the “Lungs of the Earth”. This name has been attributed to the rainforest due to its ability to absorb an extensive amount of the world’s carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that when prevalent in large amounts contributes significantly to the global warming dilemma.
A record number of wildfire fires have ravaged the Amazon Rainforest this year, raising massive concern for the planet’s natural life support systems. French President, Emmanuel Macron, recently hosted a G7 summit session aimed at finding solutions to this detrimental issue. The group offered a $20 million aid package that would be made immediately available to Brazil and other countries in the region to help tackle the Amazon rainforest fires. However, their offer was turned down by The Brazilian government which claims that foreign money would destabilize the country’s sovereignty. Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil’s far-right president, has been publicly criticized for his reluctant approach at mismanaging the issue. Internal reports claim that Bolsonaro had planned unauthorized development projects on indigenous people’s land reserves in the Amazon region, leading to further deforestation. Global condemnation is brewing as international corporations have taken a step back from investing and buying Brazilian raw materials and meats further pressuring Brazil’s economy. It remains unclear how the Brazilian government and military will respond to this environmental crisis and the extent of the damage.
Delegates are required to work together and find a logical solution to this pressing issue with the aim of saving the Amazon Rainforest while maintaining international stability.
The United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean – ECLAC
Issue 1: Overcoming the socio-economic recession in Latin America.
At the start of the 21th century, Latin America was flourishing both economically and socially for a period of time. However, after 2011, and particularly following the Lava Jato corruption scandal in Brazil, a large number of Latin American countries such as Argentina, Uruguay and Bolivia have witnessed a severe socio-economic recession causing a plummet in GDP, a significant rise in unemployment rates and even the collapse of the Argentine Peso. This recession has subsequently led to a resonating impact on other areas such as education and crime rates.
Therefore, with the addition of the crisis in Venezuela and the migration of Venezuelan refugees exacerbating the situation, delegates must join forces to combat this crisis before its effects spread to neighboring Latin American countries, potentially trapping the region’s economy and causing mass social unrest.
Issue 2: Combating the lack of climate-resilient infrastructure and reforms in Caribbean countries.
As climate change continues to threaten the economic and environmental integrity of countries around the world, the development of sustainable climate resilient infrastructures has become an imperative part of future reforms and goals.
In its fundamental form, climate resilience refers to the ability of various ecological systems and entities to be able to sustain themselves in the face of external issues such as natural hazards. Therefore, implementing climate-resilient agendas and infrastructures can significantly aid in protecting and safeguarding the environment while simultaneously aiding in the development of a country from an economical standpoint, as they can develop effective strategies towards mediating the overall impact on the country .
Due to its geographical location, the Caribbean is prone to many extreme climatic conditions, and has faced a consistent struggle in both safeguarding against and recovering from the damage caused by violent hurricanes and earthquakes. As a result, the total Caribbean debt has reached a staggering 52 billion dollars, which is more than 70% of its GDP, making evident how the lack of climate-resilient infrastructure can be detrimental towards a country’s development. In response to these alarming figures, organizations and funds such as the Caribbean Resilience Fund (CRF) and the Caribbean Climate-Smart Coalition have been established in recent years with the aim of combatting the deteriorating state of the Caribbean economy and environment. By investing in long-term financial and structural green innovation, the future of the Caribbean can be better preserved, and the severe debt under which it has been buried can be relieved.
To that end, the delegates of this council must collaborate in overcoming the various technical and financial obstacles that hinder their path, devising sustainable and efficient reforms that can combat this impending crisis.
The United Nations Children’s Fund – UNICEF
Issue 1: Addressing the issue of child soldiers.
Children in nations at war and armed conflict are affected in an extensive number of damaging ways, their childhood robbed of them as they are forced into acknowledging the cruelty of reality. These children, in some instances, may be forced to flee their homes and countries, face physical and mental harm inflicted upon them or their loved ones, and missing out on their childhoods which many take for granted. The recruitment of children as soldiers is an issue that, despite its depravity, remains to be prevalent in conflict zones across the world. In 2007, the United Nations Children’s Fund defined a child soldier as “any person below 18 years of age who is, or who has been recruited or used by an armed force or armed group in any capacity.” Children exploited as soldiers are spiking in number, their roles including cooking, carrying supplies and ammunition, spying, conveying messages, and fighting directly in areas of conflict. In war zones, such as Syria, Iraq, South Sudan, and Yemen, a deeply troubling breakdown in humanity and a decreasing respect for human life and dignity is underway.
Hence, the delegates must join forces to maintain strong monitoring and reporting on violations against children as a prerequisite to informed action in rectifying the issue at hand and bringing about its end.
Issue 2: Addressing the sexual exploitation of children and adolescents in tourism.
The exploitation of children and youth in tourism is an ongoing commercial act which involves people traveling to different locations to engage in sexual acts with minors. In some cases, the child prostitutes themselves travel to other locations with their exploiters. These exploiters are often third persons or even the parents of children who force children and adolescents to perform such acts in return for money. Other cases known as “survival sex” entail children volunteering themselves to the industry in exchange for money, food, shelter, clothes or even drugs. This primarily takes place in second or third world countries and targets street children who are poor or orphans, most cases going unnoticed. Thus far, the issue stems from various reasons and conditions that require thorough investigation and regulatory actions that address all aspects of the issue. Although tourism boosts the economies and societies of countries, actions must be taken from both sides involved, the sending and receiving countries 一 especially those who have relaxed their border controls 一 in order to completely resolve the issue.
Thus, the delegates are expected to delve into the roots of the issue and provide a series of solutions or actions that must be taken to protect and provide for those children who are at a risk of the industry, rehabilitate those being exploited and abused, and prevent future exploitation from taking place by prohibiting and prosecuting exploiters.
Social Cultural and Humanitarian Committee – SOCHUM
Issue 1: Addressing the increasing self-censorship in journalism and media outlets.
An increasing number of journalists, media outlets, and influences are under strict self-imposed ideological and political censorship, hindering the industry’s objective of delivering a holistic and unfiltered account on topics and news. This does not only challenge the right for freedom of expression, but also the integrity of the information broadcasted by media outlets, such as that currently being experienced by Pakistani journalists and print media.
However, whilst keeping in mind the threats posed by complete censorship such as giving way to political subversion, propaganda or severe criticism of the publisher, the delegates are urged to take the necessary measures that would both protect the public’s right to know as well as fulfill the media’s role of propagating unmanipulated news and content.
Issue 2: Tackling the issue of emergency climate displacement of communities.
The unpredictable shift in weather patterns and sea levels caused by climate change has led to droughts, floods, and storms so severe that entire populations are increasingly under the threat of potential displacement to more habitable safety zones. Instances of such have already been witnessed in countries such as North Korea and Somalia, along with the recently proposed plan to relocate the capital of Indonesia, Jakarta, due to expected submergence of the city by the year 2050.
As the process of displacement is a highly costly and logistically complex, the delegates must unite in order to devise a comprehensive plan for both preparing for and handling future climate displacement threats, devising plans to smoothly relocate those in critical conditions.
World Health Organization – WHO
Issue 1: Battling the rise of the United States’ opioid and drug-trafficking epidemic.
The United States is grappling with one of its worst drug crises to date. Declared as a public health crisis that plagues the land, the cases of opioid addiction and illegal drug-trafficking have brought about devastating consequences. Opioids, primarily a class of drugs derived from the opium poppy plant, are divided into two broad categories: legally manufactured medications and illicit narcotics. The increased prescription of opioid medications has led to the widespread misuse of both prescription and non-prescription opioids, these aforementioned medications becoming highly addictive. Analysts have pinned the epidemic as a result of the overprescription of legal pain medications, such as oxycodone, the influx of cheap heroin and synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl, supplied by foreign-based drug cartels adding onto the negative toll of the epidemic which poses a threat to national health.
In an effort to lower of the increasing death rates as a result of the administration of synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl, which is especially lethal, delegates must propose a list of solutions and initiatives to tackle the dire consequences of the overflow of opioid supply through the epidemic that thrives from illegal drug-trafficking.
Issue 2: Preventing the outbreak and spread of zoonoses in rural areas.
Animals and humans live in far greater proximity to one another than ever before due to urbanization, deforestation, and climate change. This indicates that diseases are allowed easy access to contact in jumping from animals to humans (zoonoses) and are hence on the rise. Zoonotic diseases are naturally transmissible between animals and humans and make up more than 60% of emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) in humans. Diseases that are zoonotic in nature are disproportionately affecting poor societies in low-income countries, posing a growing threat to public health and global food security. The most damaging outbreaks of high impact diseases in recent decades have had an animal-borne association with rural areas growing prone to the spread of the lethal epidemic. The Ebola crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo is a recent lethal outbreak of a zoonotic disease whose source is suspected to be from a zoonotic pathogen acquired from a colony of bats living in a tree.
The delegations of the council are assigned the role of suggesting means by which the UN is to improve their capacity to prevent, detect and respond to disease threats and outbreaks of zoonoses within rural areas.