General Assembly Committees
Disarmament and International Security Committee
Established under Chapter IV of the UN Charter, the First Committee of GA’s centers around disarmament, global issues, and threats to peace that jeopardize international security. EmpireMUNC’s 5th session for DISEC focuses on A) Territorial Disputes and B) Terrorist Groups in Sub-Saharan Africa. Regional border disputes over unresolved lines has led to countless (and arguably) unnecessary conflict, making these undefined regions some of the most dangerous in the world. The necessity in discussing political boundaries aids in defining a nation – where there culture, people, resources, etc., reside and can claim ownership to. In Sub-Saharan Africa, 16 nations were affected by terrorism from groups such as Boko Haram and al-Shabaab, and serves as the new battle ground between al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and ISIS. By reducing acts of terrorism can the region begin to focus on its long-term goals such as providing humanitarian aid and reversing state-failure.
Topic A: Territorial Disputes
Topic B: Terrorist Groups in Sub Saharan Africa
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Created in 1950, the UNHCR’s primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees. This session will focus on improving and enacting one of the UNHCR’s campaigns, A) Ending Statelessness, and address one of the largest humanitarian crises in history B) the Syrian Emergency. “It is estimated that at least 10 million people are stateless worldwide: they are not considered as nationals by any State under the operation of its law.” (UNHCR) This invisible issue has been found to significantly impair economic and social development for said forgotten people and the region itself. For the emergency in Syria, the most recent developments with the situation in Douma in Eastern Ghouta (where tens of thousands of civilians remain trapped), along with the ongoing problems in the Afrin region and Aleppo urge for the international community to put an end to a region of suffering that is long overdue.
Topic A: Ending Statelessness
Topic B: Syrian Emergency
The World Bank is overall an international financial institution that provides loans to countries of the world for capital projects, and is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries. Comprised of 5 institutions, they share a commitment to reducing poverty, increasing shared prosperity, and promoting sustainable development. This session will focus on A) gaining Islamic finance to achieve the SDGs, and B) Latin America. In 2015, world leaders adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This agenda defines 15 SDFs for the people, planet, prosperity, peace, and partnership. To achieve these goals, an estimated US$5-7 trillion in financial support is required annually over the next 15 years; an untapped market, we look to utilize the $2billion USD industry that is islamic finance. In the 1700s, Latin America was one of the richest regions of the world; centuries later it has been stricken with economic grief. With the region growing again, it is a source of untapped potential to boosting the global economy. However, years of economic stagnation have halted social progress, and Latin America and the Caribbean need aid in their economic recovery.
Topic A: Islamic Finance to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals
Topic B: Latin America: A Global Economic Prospect
World Meteorological Organization
The WMO is the UN system's authoritative voice on the state and behavior of the Earth's atmosphere, its interaction with the oceans, the climate it produces and the resulting distribution of water resources. This session will focus on A) defending “Good Science” and B) the distribution of water. For “good science,” the scientific community may be taking a turn where “it is not enough for scientists to be right. They must also be politically adept” (The Guardian) A crisis of science funding is emerging, and of faith in science more generally because it disagrees with a way of life, the POV’s of those who are in power, and can be connoted as being a part of a ‘rebellious movement’. A prevalent example is the debate on whether climate change is real. For distribution of water, the world is running out of water; many cultures view the right to water as the right to life. ‘Water Politics’ or ‘hydro-politics’ is a new phrase emerging (although originally coined by the UNDP in 2006). Water security threats are a potential source of conflict within countries and across international boundaries.
Topic A: Defending “Good Science”
Topic B: Distribution of Water
International Court of Justice
The International Court of Justice is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. It settles legal disputes between member states and gives advisory opinions to UN bodies and specialized agencies. This session, the ICJ will discuss A) criminal immunity of war criminals and B) fishing disputes. In regard to criminal immunity, there are cases where individuals who are responsible for war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity are not arrested because they hold positions of heads of state (example Al-Bashir, president of Sudan is protected by the African Union). This sets a precedent to the public and international community that the law does not apply to those in power, and in turn is ineffective. Fisheries have been the source of conflict throughout history, but in recent years unregulation has led to ‘fish wars.’ During conflict there is greater likelihood of illegal, unregulated, and unreported (IUU) fishing, especially by foreign vessel.
Topic A: Criminal Immunity of Internationally Wanted War Criminals Who Are Heads of States
Topic B: Fishing Dispute
United Nations Security Council
One of the six main organs to the UN, the Security Council is tasked with maintaining international peace and security. EmpireMUNC’s 5th session for this committee will focus on the forgotten issues of A) Jihadism in Bangladesh and B) the crisis in Yemen. An issue dating back to 2013, political polarization in Bangladesh has opened up the jihadist movement into politics. These same groups are responsible for conducting a string of attacks over the past few years, some targeting secular activists, others Bangladeshi minorities. Despite the urgency of the issue and needing to end the spread/funding sources to Jihadist movement, it has never been discussed by the Security Council. The War in Yemen (which began March 2015) has put the nation on a path of deterioration. In an aim to stop Houthi-rebels by Saudi Arabia, the country is a humanitarian catastrophe: hunger and fighting has (and could even more) provoke mass famine and waves of refugees, the conflict could destabilize Saudi Arabia, and both sides appear locked in a cycle of escalating violence. With the most recent development of the murder of Former President Saleh, the collapse of the Houthi-Saleh alliance is likely to prolong Yemen’s war and the suffering of its people.
Topic A: Countering Jihadist Militancy in Bangladesh
Topic B: Crisis in Yemen