Borne out of the ashes of World War Two in 1945, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) aims to establish lasting peace based upon intellectual and moral values shared by all of mankind. Hence UNESCO emphasises on the prevention of future wars through the establishment of intercultural ties, intercivic dialogues, as well as intellectual capacity building to forge a global community. As this global community grows in cultural diversity and faces evolving environmental and socio-economic challenges, UNESCO leverages upon technological advancements to create sustainable solutions to address these pertinent issues. UNESCO’s role in developing education has also been quantified with the establishment of the eight United Nations Millenium Development Goals (UNMDGs) in 2000. UNESCO is also committed to promoting freedom of expression, vital for democracy, human dignity and development. Thus, UNESCO’s role as the UN’s “intellectual” agency helps to promote lasting peace beyond mere political and economic agreements.
Topic 1: Sex Trafficking
Human trafficking is an illicit global business estimated at US$32 Billion in annual profits, second only to the illegal narcotics trade. 43% of human trafficking victims are engaged in forced commercial sexual exploitation, and an overwhelming 98% of sex trafficking victims are women and girls. In SMUN 2013, UNESCO shall address the question of sex trafficking, because the perpetuation of this organised crime violates the most fundamental of human rights to life, liberty and impugns the right of children to an education. It also hinders UN efforts to achieve its Millennium Development Goals, exacerbating the spread of HIV/AIDS, depriving children of opportunities to complete Primary school and hampering progress towards gender equality. As delegates of UNESCO, you will be challenged to address several issues which contribute to the perpetuation of this crime. Amongst them, delegates will be tasked with establishing a framework to prosecute those responsible for allowing sex exploitation to continue, while also addressing measures to deal with the victims of sex trafficking. Finally, delegates will also be challenged to formulate policies to reduce, even eliminate sex trafficking.
Topic 2: Freedom of Information
Freedom of information is enshrined under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: The Right to Freedom of opinion and expression. This refers to the right to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media source and regardless of frontiers. At present, more than 90 countries have enacted Freedom of Information Laws, allowing the general public access to information held by certain public institutions. This has enshrined democracy by allowing citizens to have a better understanding of their rights and to hold their Governments and public institutions accountable. Opposers of such legislation have argued that such laws compromise national security by leaking national secrets. This topic has become more pertinent in light of recent political developments such as the emergence of Wikileaks and the arrest of Julian Assange. Hence, this topic aims to achieve an international framework on establishing, among other things, the extent to which an individual have a right to know, and how countries can balance their national security interests and the need to be accountable to their people through freedom of information legislation.
The Facebook Group serves as a platform for delegates to discuss issues and stay in contact. Approval of membership to the group will only be done after committee/country allocations have been finalized.
Contact the Dais
You can email the Dais at [email protected]
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 “Study Guide” to download the OIC Study Guide.