Topic 1: Universal Rights – International Jurisprudence and Legal Entitlements
The current frameworks governing international justice are inconsistent and laden with bureaucratic bulk- making the attainment of justice cumbersome and near impossible. This is attributed to the panoply of cultures and values across different states, making an arbitrary guidelines or yardstick for dealing with transnational cases nebulous, sensitive issues. The case of the Iranian pastor being tried in Iran for crimes of apostasy serves to highlight the possible judicial atrocities that could possibly arise due to these inconsistencies. Mr. Youcef Nadarkhani, an Iranian pastor based in the USA, is currently back in custody, despite being initially acquitted from his death sentence. His is one of the many examples of individuals falling prey to the talons of poorly parsed the international system of jurisprudence. This demographic includes victims of human trafficking, sexual exploitation and slavery. At this juncture, there are little to no caveats that cater to cases that span borders, as the nuances of various cases make it difficult for decisions to straddle and accommodate the laws of more than one state. Majority of this demographic (82%) are illiterate individuals who are unaware of their legal entitlements and rights, and this ignorance has led to the grudgingly accepted abuse of their rights. The channel of communication between these people, homeland authorities and local organizations is also clogged with cultural disparity and extraneous, bureaucratic formalities- making help inaccessible and unattainable, as individuals would rather be mired in their situation than to grapple with the possibility of exacerbating it. This vicious cycle of quiet abuse perpetuates and Sisyphean efforts have been exerted into overhauling thr process, as the changes have been too minor and ultimately, inconsequential. Education is one aspect but creating a climate of change, effecting, and enforcing it, are entirely different issues. Thus this topic aims to push delegates to examine the various nuances in international law and human rights, bearing in mind local and regional contexts and concerns, in order to formulate a revised framework that aims to improve the status quo by at least ameliorating intergovernmental and local relationships.
Topic 2: Welfare of Political Refugees
Refugee organizations estimate that there are 12-24 million Internally Displaced Peoples (IDP) worldwide. In the wake of the Arab Crisis, over a 150,000 people have been displaced in Syria alone, highlighting the overwhelming need to establish more stringent guidelines and responses to such situations. In March 2012, only 36% of the regionally appealed budget to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was approved- a token sum that barely tithed over the basal needs of the people. This inadequate response left multitudes of individuals in daily purgatory, with no proper home or fate, and their continual struggle to get by everyday inches on. This includes facing threats from local authorities, which often have mercurial responses to their presence, often resulting in violence and heightening tensions. The parties involved are often trapped in an information stalemate, as their actions are based on what best caters to the status quo. These stop gap measures result in the implementation of a series of policies that are often disjointed and do not complement one another, and these highly conflictive policies result in more discord and escalating dissent. The channel for dialogue is not always clear (if at all) and this results in a hazy understanding of the present situation and what are the interests of various parties. The current approaches are highly tokenistic and merely serve as interim solutions to a complicated problem that cannot be resolved by one off methods alone, but consistent efforts to monitor and improve the situation. The nature of the problem lies in the various threads of accountability, to various groups, and the intricacy of the problem renders conventional means of crisis response null, as the there is a dangerous propensity for the problem to exacerbate over time, and if the delay persists. Moreover, the dearth of adequate resources makes the execution of certain policies inefficacious, as countries are unwilling and unable to contribute to the pool. Countries often shirk off the responsibility of dealing with these refugees as the sheer number alone places unnecessary, persistent duress on resources, time and manpower. Thus, delegates face the challenge of crafting a resolution that would have to cater to the short and long term needs of the refugees, while taking into account the increasingly volatile circumstances.
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All committees in SMUN operate with standard Rules of Procedure. Please download the document to facilitate your preparation for the conference.
The Study Guides will tell you in detail of the topics that are being discussed in this year’s conference. Please click on “Topic 1″ or “Topic 2″ to download the Study Guides.