Singapore Model United Nations (SMUN) is an entirely undergraduate-run Model UN Conference held in Singapore. In its twelfth year running and organised annually by the Political Science Society of the National University of Singapore (NUS), SMUN is a conference that seeks to foster in students an awareness of, and an interest in international and regional affairs within a globalised society and the role that international organisations such as the United Nations play in such issues that concern us all. Over the years, SMUN has played the role of the flag-ship Model United Nations Conference of Singapore, a Model UN Conference of choice within the region and has become a permanent fixture within the MUN calendar. The Political Science Society and NUS has even organised the 20th session of the World Model United Nations in 2011 co-organised by Harvard university, remembered internationally in that to be a well-run Model UN Conference of commendable academic rigour and debate standards.
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The SMUN 2015 Secretariat is looking for capable and dynamic individuals to assist the head USG (Acad) in overseeing the Academic Committee’s work progress and development and execution. are expected to have considerable capabilities in the conceptualisation of debate topics, a strong proficiency in academic writing as well as a deep appreciation of global and regional affairs. A USG (Acad) manages the process of committee formation and execution, as well as chair training and on the ground supervision during the actual event in an effort to ensure top-level debate quality for SMUN 2015. As such, prior experience in university-level MUN Conferences not limited to previous SMUNs will be greatly favourable.
The principal arbitrators of all discussions taking place during SMUN, especially in-charge of ensuring that committees debate and vote in an orderly manner. Chairpersons are expected to be objective and able to appreciate and facilitate the exchange of varying perspectives from conflicting interests and normative considerations. Candidates with prior experience in arbitrating disputes, organising debates or even in chairing MUN committees will be looked upon favourably. In-depth and up-to-date knowledge in the functions and concerns of multilateral organisations are a definite advantage, but enthusiastic newcomers to the MUN fraternity are also welcome so long as they are willing to pick up relevant skill sets and learn on the job.
Conference Management shoulders three key responsibilities:
1) Oversee and ensure the smooth execution of the ceremonies
2) Supplement the delegates' academic experience with memorable and fun-filled programmes
3) Provide the logistical backbone for the conference, tackling venues, food, printing, and other challenges.
Conference Management is looking for reliable and motivated individuals who are committed to providing SMUN 2015 delegates with the best possible experience. Prior relevant experience with logistics and event planning is appreciated, but not necessary.
The Acad Comm is looking for candidates who have a keen interest in the study of international journalism or press coverage of events happening globally, to spearhead the Press Committee that will simulate multinational news agencies in reporting and analysing current affairs. The Director (Press) will organise a team of like-minded enthusiasts in preparing and scoping the normative backgrounds of news agencies to be represented at the conference by delegates. Candidates with prior experience in MUN Press committees either as a participant or as a committee member involved in planning will be looked upon favourably. Insight and understanding of the various multinational news agencies and the way they function is not a pre-requisite but will be an advantage.
The Director (Crisis) of Acad Comm is looking for individuals who are especially interested in running debates and discussions based on afore-planned but unrevealed developments faced by Committees. These developments will be injected throughout committee debates in order to stimulate situational appreciation and response by participants. Executives in the Crisis Committee must be prepared to maintain order and objectivity in a possibly erratic and tense atmosphere in order to build consensus. Persons with prior experience in the Crisis Committee of MUN whether as Chairpersons or participants will be preferred.
As part of our Delegate Liaisons team, you will be a key point of contact for both our local and/or international delegates before, during and even after the conference. You will be responsible for managing delegate relations- attending attentively to any enquiries, hosting the delegates during the conference, and managing any unforeseen situations that may crop up - ultimately providing our delegates with an unforgettable experience at SMUN 2015. With plans for SMUN 2015 to be the biggest SMUN to date, be sure that you will have a challenging yet fulfilling time. Delegate Liaisons is looking for outgoing and committed individuals with excellent interpersonal skills.
The Outreach team is looking for fun, enthusiastic and creative friends who are committed to reaching out to SMUN 2015's stakeholders via the various online and offline tools at our disposal. Prior relevant experience with illustrator and/or copy writing and/or event marketing would be greatly appreciated, but not essential!
These are the topics for SMUN 2015
The Islamic State (IS), also known as ISIS or ISIL, is an extremist group that has threatened regional security in the Middle East. In June 2014, IS invaded Iraq through its Syrian border and took over parts of Western Iraq and Eastern Syria. The brutality and extremities it showed the locals were nothing short of a human rights crisis. Faced by the brutalities, many Iraqi military personnel had chosen to flee rather than face the army of the IS. Furthermore, there is evidence that the IS is in fact supported by many Muslims worldwide, an alarming trend. The IS has plans to further expand its controlled areas into many countries including Turkey, Jordan and Iran. Opinion is split on the legitimacy of the IS as a state. The United Nations has since designated it as a terrorist group, and immediate movement has to be made by the UNSC to counter the aggressions of the IS in the Middle East. Delegates are to consider the security threat of the terrorist group and take appropriate action with regards to the events in the Middle East.
Boko Harm, or ‘Western Education is Forbidden’, was founded in 2002 and is dubbed as ‘the other Islamic State’. Mainly located in northeast Nigeria, Boko Haram aims to establish a fully Islamic state in Nigeria, which includes the implementation of Criminal Courts based on Shariah law across the country. It consists largely of impoverished northern Islamic students and clerics, as well as professionals, many of whom are unemployed. As such, Boko Haram is seen as the result of decades of failed government and elite delinquency that has finally ripened into social chaos. Designated as a foreign terrorist organisation by the U.S. Department of State in 2013, Boko Haram has killed more than 5,000 civilians between July 2009 and June 2014. More recently in May 2014, Boko Haram gained international attention when they kidnapped 276 Nigerian schoolgirls from Chibok. Boko Haram has already conducted attacks on Nigeria’s police, military, politicians, schools, religious buildings, public institutions and civilians with increasing regularity since 2009. Though the UNSC has added Boko Haram into its sanctions list on May 2014, corruption and human rights abuse by Nigerian authorities have hampered attempts to curb the organisation. Delegates are encouraged to take decisive yet comprehensive action in containing the crisis and mitigating it.
On 7th August 2008, Georgian forces commenced their incursion into South Ossetia, clashing with Ossetian forces and Russian peacekeeping forces. The battle escalated as the Russian 58th Army and airborne troops crossed the Georgian border into South Ossetia, officially inaugurating the Russo-Georgian war. On the 10th of August with Georgian declaration of a ceasefire, Russian forces in contrast push beyond previous boundaries across the Russo-Georgian border towards central Georgia and southwest past the Abkhazian-Georgian border. It is currently the 15th of August for the UNSC, the Permanent Representative of Georgia has submitted a letter of appeal to the Secretary-General and Security Council regarding this issue. Beginning on the 7th of August, the UNSC has met multiple times to attempt an agreement on a resolution. Delegates are encouraged to consider earlier developments in Georgia-Ossetia relations and the efforts of UNOMIG along with previous UNSC resolutions on the issue in order to respond to the string of developments in the North Caucasus. Delegates ought to further consider the interests of the states they represent and the calculations behind their international stances on the issue.
In 1991, Tajikistan's Supreme Soviet voted for independence from the Soviet Union, only to be plunged into civil war the following year. The opposition forces that attempted to seize power were overpowered by government forces by December 1992 but armed insurgency across the borders between Afghanistan and Tajikistan continued into 1993. By this time, about 50,000 civilians had been killed, about 600,000 had been displaced internally, and about 60,000 had crossed the border into northern Afghanistan. In 1992, Secretary-General Kofi Annan dispatched a fact-finding mission and special envoy to Tajikistan. It is 1994, as a result of the efforts of successive special envoys; the Tehran Agreement has been negotiated. Tajik parties have requested the United Nations Security Council to assist the work of a Joint Commission consisting of Government representatives and of the opposition, the principal monitoring mechanism, by sending UN military observers to afflicted areas. It has been agreed that the Tehran Agreement would enter into force as soon as said observers have been deployed. Delegates will consider the negotiations, regional-body and UN initiatives that have occurred up to this point and whether it is within their represented countries' interests to support a UN peacekeeping mission in the region. As Historical events unravel, Delegates ought to further consider what the regional implications are and what sort of follow-up measures ought to be considered by the UNSC in evolving peace-keeping efforts.
In September 2010, the United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA) launched and coordinated the Regional Action Plan project to create consensus amongst the C.A.Rs on the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy (UNGCTS). One year later, the action plan was signed by all five republics with the support of witnessing countries like Afghanistan, China, India, Russia, Turkey and the United States along with senior officials from the UN and EU. With the withdrawal of NATO and American forces in 2014, and the withdrawal of American presence from Manas airbase in Kyrgyzstan in July the same year, concerns have arisen over the resurgence of Islamic extremism and terrorism by extension in the potentially volatile Central Asian republics. It is open to debate if the resurgence of terrorism in the region is a substantial threat to stability in the region and if states in the region would support multilateral efforts in curbing said threat if it does arise. Delegates will consider if the threat of global terrorism particularly in the area of Central Asia warrants greater efforts on part of the global community and supposing that, what form of support or measures the global community should take. Delegates of various states are encouraged to consider the interests and stake their represented state have within the region and whether a stronger stance towards terrorism in Central Asia in the wake of the scaling down of Western military presence is desirable.
In June 2014, Kyrgyzstan and UNODC officials signed on to the integrated country program to fight drug trafficking and organized crime, being the first Central Asian Republic to do so. In the wake of the Tulip Revolution of Kyrgyzstan in 2005, the global community witnessed the symptoms of complex connections between the state and crime establishments, with multiple high profile assassinations linked to organised crime groups brought to light by the instability of power change. Drug trafficking, illegal arms transactions and human trafficking have been endemic to the Central Asian republics and wind through their regional neighbours on the backdrop of allegations of corruption and culpability of leading political figures and families. In 2004, Kyrgyz security forces confiscated enough plutonium to build a bomb embezzled from the state, bringing to light another facet of the destabilizing effects of the state-crime nexus in Central Asia. The five Central Asian Republics have either ratified or acceded to the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime which came into force in 2000, yet with reports still highlighting the involvement of top officials of government with regional organized crime groups into the present and further uncovering of networks that stretch even to the U.S, it is debatable if the Convention is sufficient as a treaty to encourage counter-corruption and security initiatives in the region. Delegates will consider the various manifestations of organised criminal activities, the actual communities involved and spill-over effects on ethnic-tensions, corruption allegations and political instability. Delegates are encouraged to consider the interests of their represented countries in the realm of economic stakes, social impacts and international standing and whether stronger measures in the region will be beneficial hence desirable and what form of measures should be taken if beneficial.
As a remnant of Cold War politics, the U.S. arms embargo on Vietnam was partially lifted on 2nd October 2014 officially as a response to Vietnam's improved human rights record but commentators have saw fit to suggest considerations with more strategic connotations. Considering how Vietnam is one of the countries with claims to disputed territory in the South China Sea and how the lifting of the arms embargo only applies to weapons needed for maritime security, there may yet be a case for debate over the aims of this overture and the regional consequences that it has and may further bring about. As a gathering of Defence Ministers and Chiefs-of-staff from various countries in Asia, the Shangri-La Dialogue (officially the IISS Asia Security Summit) has sought to promote open and constructive discussion of strategic issues. Delegates ought to familiarise themselves with the form and frequency of military or semi-military confrontations that have taken place in the South China Sea or other relevant areas of protracted dispute and consider ties between the state they represent and others involved. Delegates should further consider the efforts already taken to stabilize the region by ASEAN and its partners, how the enabling the sale of Maritime security armaments to Vietnam will affect those arrangements and create consensus in the form of multilateral agreements or publicised understandings.
In July 2014, Japan amended its constitution to reflect a more liberal interpretation of Article 9. where the Japanese Self-Defence Forces (JSDF) was granted more powers to defend other allies in the event of a declaration of war. Considering the historical animosities Japan has had to work with in her relations with regional states and recently rising doubts about America and Japan's commitment to the Asia-Pacific region, it is open to debate whether this could give rise to further tensions in regional ties. Delegates are encouraged to consider points of strategic contention between Japan and her neighbours in the Asia-Pacific and how they may be affected by this progression of rearmament on Japan's part. Delegates of various countries should weigh the possible costs and benefits in order to approximate the strategic value of a more active Japan to their respective states and possibly reach a consensus on whether rearmament should be allowed to continue or what measures can be put in place to ensure maximal mutual benefit.
Disputes over non-navigational use of water ways, though not as well-known as disputes over territorial waters and International waters, are highly significant to states which have economies and societies tied closely to their access to and usage of large trans-boundary rivers. In 1997, the UN adopted the ìConvention on the Law of Non-Navigational uses of International Watercoursesî (UNWC) to conserve and manage said water sources which was ratified by 35 states and came into force on the 17th of August 2014. Particular rivers of international renown are the Armu Darya in Central Asia, the Nile in Northeast Africa, the Mekong river in Southeast Asia and various trans-boundary rivers in Southern China. Disputes have arisen between the states involved that have signed the convention and those that have not, and also in regions where no state has signed it. Delegates of various states affected by these waterways and by states that have a stake in these waterways will be called upon to defend their interests in relation to their usage of the rivers for hydropower, consumption and other relevant state necessities and whether the convention is in their favour or can be further modified and negotiated to be in their favour.
Consolidating the political process of decolonization and facilitating the termination of colonial empires is one of the primary functions of the Fourth Committee of the General Assembly. An important milestone in the process of decolonization; the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples (UN Resolution 1514) was adopted by the General Assembly on December 14, 1960. However, it has yet to see its purpose to complete fruition. On the 14th of January 2013, the General Assembly adopted a resolution on the implementation of UN Resolution 1514 with the following territories on the agenda: Gibraltar, New Caledonia, French Polynesia, Western Sahara, American Samoa, Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Guam, Montserrat, Pitcairn. Saint Helena, Turks and Caicos Islands, United States Virgin Islands, and Tokelau. These are listed by the United Nations as being Non-Self-Governing-Territories, meaning that they are considered colonized under Article 73e of the United Nations Charter. Despite the United Nationsí goal of expediting the process of decolonizing these territories, some of them have democratically expressed their desire to maintain their current status. Delegates will be required to consider their respective countryís stand on the status of the listed territories as well as what steps the United Nations must make towards dealing with the issues of decolonization and aiding the process of settling disputes with relation to these Non-Self-Governing Territories.
In November 2007, ASEAN's leaders adopted the ASEAN Economic Blueprint as the guideline for creating the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by 2015 which was to comprise common market, increased competitiveness, equitable development and full integration into the global economy. In recent years there has been rising scepticism with the 31st December 2015 deadline approaching and less-than-adequately optimistic results deriving from extremely diverse economic systems, standards of living and other socio-political factors. The increasing involvement of major economic players like China, the U.S, the E.U, Japan and Korea has likewise impacted the commitment of various ASEAN governments to the maintenance of protectionism vis-a-vis free trade. Delegates representing ASEAN states should consider whether the movement towards an AEC remains beneficial, and given that, what measures should be taken to accelerate this progression. Delegates representing Non-ASEAN states should consider how or whether to build stronger economic ties on terms that would be mutually beneficial and whether to support the creation of the AEC or a modified form of it.
At the ASEAN summit of 2008, ASEAN states adopted an Integrated Food Security (AIFS) framework and strategic plan of action in the region for 2009 and 2013 to enhance international competitiveness of ASEAN's agricultural produce and other food produce and solidify food security arrangements regionally and internationally. In recent years, climate change, disease and pest outbreaks have affected the stability of food supply in various Southeast Asian countries. Over-fishing and climate change have further eroded the sustainability of fisheries as food supply. Initiatives encompassing extra regional actors like the ASEAN+3 Emergency Rice Reserve have not been hugely effective and a combination of above and more challenges have cast doubts on AEAN's ability to withstand future food shortages. Delegates should consider if the AIFS is still relevant and given that, what measures ought be taken to meet its objectives down the road. Delegates of various states should consider the impact of climate change on their local environment and in extension agriculture and food production. Non-ASEAN delegates should consider what degree of involvement will be mutually beneficial and in what capacity in terms of trade or advisory aid.
In 2011, the International Court of Justice ordered troops from Thailand and Cambodia to be withdrawn from the disputed grounds of the Preah Vihear Temple lying in the border between the two states. In 2013, the ICJ further ruled in favour of Cambodia's sovereignty over Preah Vihear with Thailand obligated to withdraw its military personnel from the area. When UNESCO World Heritage Site status was awarded to Preah Vihear in 2008, Thai nationalist and military groups reoccupied the temple and clashed with Cambodian armed forces up till the 2011 ruling. Delegates will re-enact the rulings of 2011 and 2013, examine the claims of both states as judges and lawyers and determine the sovereignty of Preah Vihear. The case can be reopened by lawyers with new evidence to be presented to the Judges in-charge of determining history.
In 1951, the UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees was approved at a UN conference and came into force 3 years later. In 1967, the convention's protocol saw states acceding to cooperation with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in supervising implementation of the convention. With the commencement of the Syrian Civil War, Syrian refugees have fled to multiple regional states. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Gutierrez, has thus criticized the lack of action by the international community in addressing the Syrian Crisis, highlighting that while the Syria Crisis itself has become the biggest humanitarian emergency of the current era, the world has failed to meet the needs of refugees and countries hosting them. Delegates are encouraged to consider the interests of the governments of neighbouring states and their legal and legitimate abilities to deal with the refugee issue. Furthermore, delegates ought to consider if further multilateral measures in this issue would be beneficial to resolving said problems.
The practice of hard lined state policies in various conditionally democratic states of Mainland Asia has triggered human rights concerns for a long time. Uzbekistan has been criticised by various human rights organizations over several human rights violations that have been employed on a regional and national level. Likewise, China has been criticised over human rights violation in Xinjiang. In 2005, Uzbek president Islam Karimov came under international pressure for the alleged shooting of hundreds of civilians in Andijan as a response to town square protests. Following the massacre was a crackdown on independent civil society and isolation from international scrutiny. The Uzbekistan government refused to allow UNHR monitors to visit the country until in 2013 the Uzbekistan delegation told UNHRC and UN Committee against torture that investigation was complete and the case was now considered closed. Human Rights Watch has since then recommended international partners of Uzbekistan to address its HR record, including reopening the investigation into the Andijan Massacre, as well as releasing those whose detentions are considered unlawful and arbitrary under international standards. In China, the life imprisonment sentence meted out to Ihlam Tohti who advocated for the right to freedom of expression on 23 September 2014 has been criticised. He was allegedly tortured for commenting on the situation of Uighurs in China and human rights violations. The debate over whether to prioritize state sovereignty or human rights has continued into the present. Delegates will need to consider the strategic-security interests that states involved account for when responding to human rights allegations. There is further need to consider how a multilateral approach can contribute to a situation where internal affairs are concerned.
In the 2014 October elections, the aspirations of Ukrainians to create a future with minimal Russian influence were evident, with the Communist Party failing to win any parliamentary seats, and the pro-Russian parliamentary members remaining unable to block legislature or reforms with their numbers. The pro-Russian fraction’s defeat signified the sentiments of the Ukrainians towards the past actions of the Moscow government involving the invasion and annexation of the Crimea and the supporting of pro-Russian Ukrainian separatists. Meanwhile, pro-Western and nationalist politicians have obtained the endorsement of the people for a European integration through the elections. Delegates are required to balance the costs and benefits of further integration of Ukraine and given that, consider what should be the best course of sustainable action for the future of the Ukraine's relationship with her neighbours.
The criteria for accession to the European Union are included in the Copenhagen criteria and the Maastricht Treaty, and it is up to the EU institutions to make a political assessment to decide if a country is European. At present, the enlargement agenda of the EU concerns the following candidates: Albania, Iceland, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey with Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo as potential candidates. Cypress, geographically in Asia, became a member of the EU in 2004 setting a potential precedent for other countries that are not geographically part of Europe to be considered for EU membership. Proponents have argued that the expansion of the EU will foster greater export stability and new members will enrich it and keep it vibrant; and that it would be hypocritical to prevent the membership of other European nations. Opponents of further EU expansion state that it would cause institutional overload, create trouble for the countries already in the EU and that it may not even be something that would benefit some of these potential members. Delegates will be challenged with the prospect of weighing between the immediate and longer-term interests of the EU, as well as the interests and imperatives of the various states involved in the issue of EU expansion.
The World Trade Organisation (WTO) held its annual Ministerial Conference on 3-7 December 2013 in Bali, Indonesia. A trade agreement now known as the Bali Package was agreed on during the conference, aiming to reduce global trade barriers. It is the first WTO agreement that was approved by all its 159 members since its inception in 1995. The Bali Package is seen as the part-product of the Doha Round that began in 2001, which had largely produced no breakthrough even after years of negotiations. Despite its initial success, the Bali Package feel through after several developing countries, led by India, refused to rectify it, criticizing the developed countries for using the Bali Package to exploit the developing economies, as well as not giving enough emphasis on food security. Once again the WTO has failed to agree on a universal package to benefit the global economy, questioning the necessity for the existence of this organisation over regional Free Trade Agreements. Delegates are to consider the costs and benefits of both developing countries and developed countries with the Bali Package, as well as the factors for the WTOís constant challenge in reaching an agreement amongst its member states and their interests.
Due to climate change and the gradual melting of the polar ice caps, new trade routes have surfaced in the Arctic, potentially shortening inter-continental trade time and costs. Travelling through the Arctic Ocean however, has its risks, with extreme temperatures and icebergs threatening ships. With unpredictable weather and sea conditions, disasters at sea will certainly increase, possibly creating more problems than it will solve. Furthermore, economies along the traditional trade routes that depend on trade will be heavily affected. With most trade involving the major trade nodes in the northern hemisphere, it is likely that the opening up of the Trans-Arctic Trade Route will benefit them greatly, but bypassing the smaller nodes will likely cripple their trade economies and the developing nations that rely on them. Delegates will weigh in on the potential hazards, physical and economic, that utilizing the Trans-Arctic Trade Route will entail, against the potential gains that these emerging trade routes will involve. However, it is also worth noting that supporting a by-product of climate change and potentially aggravating it may bring about widespread criticism and protests from numerous pro-green groups. Delegates should consider the impact on global trade and societies and the interests of various states in the global community.
In 2014, the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Margaret Chan declared the current epidemic to be ìthe largest, most complex and most severeî outbreak of Ebola encountered so far. The UN General Assembly and Security Council have also taken the unprecedented step of creating a United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER), the first time the UN has declared a mission for a health emergency. The WHO is also aiming to have a successful vaccine out by January 2015. While there are no proven vaccines or drugs specifically for fighting Ebola, in September 2014, the WHO approved the use of unproven drugs and vaccines. Delegates ought to follow and consider debate manifested in at least two angles, what further multilateral measures should be put in place to combat Ebola's spread and what are the regulations regarding vaccination that should be put in place or reemphasized.
In 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the spread of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) was ìnow a major threat to public healthî, brought about by inappropriate and unnecessary prescription of antibiotics. As a result, it has become easier to infectious agents to develop immunity toward drug treatments, rendering cures for previously treatable diseases increasingly ineffective. By 2012, there were 450,000 cases of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB), while extensively drug-resistance tuberculosis (XDR-TB) has been identified in 92 countries. Antibiotics for previously treatable diseases are have also been reported to be losing effectiveness as AMR becomes more widespread. Left uncontrolled, AMR will render decades of medical research useless as communicable diseases become immune to current treatments. Dr Keiji Fukuda, Assistant Director-General of the WHO, warns that AMR could ìbring existing health systems to the brinkî as infectious diseases become harder to treat. Creating a new business model to encourage pharmaceutical companies to continue developing antimicrobial agents, while more tightly regulating the market to prevent unnecessary sale of these agents, is a key factor to tackling AMR. Delegates will be required to step up to the challenge of addressing the issue antimicrobial resistance and its complexities, including the political and economic constraints that will ensue.
In 2005, Turkmenistan's president Niyazov annouced his intention to ban child labour albeit to skepticisms regarding the effectiveness of a simple ban while in 2014, regarding Uzbekistan, the ILO has appaluded tentative progress in heading towards elimination of the worst forms of child labour. However, enforcement is weak and child labour and exploitation continues to be an endemic problem. The reasons for the child labour problems among the Central Asian States are very similar amongst Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. As exploitative as it is, the contribution of the child labour to the agricultural sector combined with the crucial income it provides for these children makes it problematic to come to a solution which would not harm the children it aims to protect and the economies of the central asian republics. Delegates from various states will have to consider what further multilateral agreements or measures can be put in place to further the cause of the ILO, and whether the cause is a desirable one. Countries facing similar problems can consider precedents or the benefits of having Central Asia as a possible testing ground for such policies or measures.
There are currently more than a million children behind bars worldwide, most of them in inhumane living conditions. While a few of these children are charged with violent crime, most of them are in jail simply for being homeless or for petty crimes. A majority of these children have been placed in jail without trial, as the justice systems of their countries do not have sufficient provisions for dealing with juvenile offenders. Delegates from various states ought to consider international agreements or measures that can be put into place in order to adequately protect children in the justice system. Focus on reforming these children accused of petty crimes and tackling the root of the problem should be a good starting point.
Since the 1970s, the US has spent more than a trillion dollars attempting to dismantle drug cartels in Latin America. Yet these efforts have only pushed the problem northwards towards Mexico and the Caribbean. Furthermore, drug trade continues to flourish in Latin American countries, and drug-related violence is at an all-time high. Corruption within the police is rampant in these countries and drug cartels run multi-million businesses within the borders of Americas. In 2013, drug policy reform was discussed by the OAS for the first time, seeking a collective action on the Drug Wars, and taking the first step towards limiting drug trade in the Americas. But are these efforts doing enough? Despite USA’s involvement and many other government’s insistence on fighting against drugs, the situation in Latin America remains dire. Further foiling these efforts is the distrust of the US and Canada by many Latin America states who see the US as an imperialist. Perhaps alternative approaches should be considered on the OAS’ continued war on drug trade and the violence that comes with it. Delegates will address the division within American states with respect to their stance on drug liberalisation and seek joint cooperation on the issue. Several Latin American economies have large amount of populations depending on the drug trade income, and sudden criminalisation of drug production and trade may create chaos and collapse the economies of some, among other consequences to consider. What may also be important is the reduction of violent crime committed in relation to the drug trade and production which can be a potential focus of the committee.
Continued economic woes and disastrous crime rates have driven many to seek better life away from Latin American states. This has resulted in a large influx of illegal immigrants into the US and Canada. This is especially rampant through the US border with Mexico as well as illegal entry into the US Caribbean territory of Puerto Rico. In November 2014, President Barack Obama of the United States announced plans to take executive action to shield millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation, sparking dissenting allegations of said plans as unconstitutional and also other forms of political backlash. On the part of the Organisation of American States, the Committee on Migration Issues (CAM) was inaugurated as its principal forum debating issues pertaining to migration in 2012. Through CAM, the OAS has discussed the promotion and protection of migrant human rights and relevant policy-making throughout 2012 to 2013. In May 2013, CAM drafted a resolution for strenghthening the topic of migration in the OAS, detailing renewed commitments to monitor above mentioned concerns, along with securing the support of the Secretary-General by providing relevant and informative reports. That said, most resolutions have been focused on guiding principles and renewing commitments with less obvious stances towards actual policy implementation. Delegates are to consider what portions of the immigration issue ought be discussed multilaterally by the OAS, what portions fall within the realm of individual states' internal affairs, what each state stands to gain or lose from those discussions and seek a resolution.
In March 2012, the UN report From Transition to Transformation: Sustainable and Inclusive Development in Europe and Central Asia strongly suggested to the Central Asian Republics that the reduction of reliance on the fossil fuel industries for development was of great importance. Central Asian states have had a poor record of non-energy based trade, private and foreign investment, with large portions of the population living in rural settings and below the poverty line. There have also been accusations of wealth generation that benefits the upper tiers of society and does not trickle down to the rest of the population in the form of jobs or social security measures. Regional and International bodies have arranged bilateral programmes of assistance across the decades. Yet from 2013 to 2014, economic growth is still expected to decline and partially because of changes in the international petroleum market. Delegates will represent various states with individual development strategies and perspectives on development and also international/regional bodies involved in the discussion. Consensus ought be made on how the Central Asian economies should pursue development in the near future that would be beneficial to most parties involved.
In 2011, the World Bank reported that the region had a larger population in the middle-class than in poverty, the first time this has been highlighted in history. This was an optimistic turn in the region's fortunes and a positive note on its path of development. Yet socio-economic concerns remain poignant where its dependence on external economies and its internal income inequality still raises eyebrows in the international community. In certain sub-regions, political instability, crime and natural disasters have further weakened the longevity of this positive turn in the region's development. The 2014 UN report highlighted uneven growth, fiscal deficits, unstable capital flows, continued struggle with previous economic crises as continuing concerns for the region despite rate economic growth expected to increase. Delegates representing the various countries and their social and economic interests are to consider what possible further plans or more specific measures can be suggested and agreed upon that would be beneficial on a multilateral scale. International/regional bodies ought consider their specific goals and roles and decide what information is useful for the international community to discuss.
The stability of the Central Asian Republics (C.A.Rs) upon their independence from the Soviet Union in 1991 has been called into question on multiple occasions, considering the authoritarian form of their states with issues of succession and sporadic political violence, and also the developing conditions of their economies and the debatable rise of religious extremism in the region. The recent rise of religious fundamentalism and extremist movements in the Middle East has given cause for Central Asian Governments and their powerful neighbours such as Russia and China to be concerned about the destabilizing effects such movements could have on the region. This year, delegates will follow a series of staged developments in the region that will involve the attention of major players in the region like Russia and China etc. Delegates are encouraged to consider the interests their represented states have in the region, which alignment would best suit said countries' interests and what are the regional bodies that could be involved in the event of a significant development in the region.
Delegates in this committee get to take on the roles of individual news agencies around the world with the agenda of publishing a daily that shares the inner workings of the councils while having an emphasis on opinion columns and investigative journalism. Delegates will be given special access to all the other committees, and be encouraged to conduct interviews of delegates from other committees representing the interests of various countries in various issues in order to piece together their articles. This committee naturally finds a special appeal among those with a joy of writing and journalism, and illustrates how the subjectivity of the media can be quite influential in the portrayal of news and facts. Some of the news agencies we plan to incorporate would include: British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), New York Times (NYT), Xinhua, Times of India (TOI), Channel News Asia (CNA), Al Jazeera, Fox News, Cable News Network (CNN), National Broadcasting Company (NBC), Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), Wall Street Journal (WSJ) , Reuters and Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK).
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