Aiming to promote stability in the Arabian Peninsula, the Arab League was established as a common platform for governments of the Arab world to discuss and comment on pressing issues that take hold in the region today. With 22 member states, 7 observers, and a multitude of issues to discuss, the League is rampant with vigorous debate, forcing member states to balance the different interests and concerns each member holds close to their hearts. From mediating conflicts to combating foreign interference, the League is tasked to connect member states and ensure collective security in the Arab World. Delegates will face challenges and debates never seen before as member states discuss critical issues that we see today.
The Question of the Militarisation of the Arab League
The Arab League, for the past 70 years, has yet to formalise any permanent joint military, even though having signed two agreements for defence and economic cooperation since its conception. This is due to several failed negotiations on the details behind the formation of the joint military, despite valiant efforts from the Arab states. Matters have only been further exacerbated by the lack of conditionality on the resolutions created, due to the nature of the organisation’s mandate. Without a consensus within the region on how to proceed in forming a joint militia, it would prove difficult to convene and unite the regional defence goals of the Arab peninsula. As member states continue to engage in escalating regional conflict, the goal of militarising the Arab League has only become exceedingly important in recent years. Delegates will experience lively debates, constructing solutions with nicety taking into consideration current and ongoing events.
The Question of Disaster Management of the Tunisian Political Crisis
In 2011, the Arab Spring shook the Arab World to a halt, causing widespread protest and calling for the resignation of local governments. Today, a new yet similar pattern is arising. The birthplace of the Arab Spring, Tunisia, is undergoing a political crisis that parallels what we saw a decade ago. As member states continue to worry over the possibility of another spark emerging and the increasingly interconnected globe, the stability of the Arab World as a whole is once again at risk. Coupled with it, the volatility and resentment many of its citizens have due to their responses to the pandemic, the people are predicted to fall onto the streets again, this time more earnestly than ever. The stability of the entire Arabian Peninsula is now in delegates’ hands, before the crisis, once again, spills out of control.
The 19th Political Bureau of the
Chinese Communist Party (CCP)
The Political Bureau is one of the most secretive and least understood organs of power. Situated at the pinnacle of the all-powerful Communist Party of China (CPC), it holds the CPC’s most elite cadres. Policymakers in the Politburo are arguably puppetmasters behind ministries, party-state apparatuses, the People’s Liberation Army and even the National People’s Congress, derisively referred to by observers as China’s “rubber-stamp parliament”.
The Question of the Belt-and-Road Initiative
President Xi’s signature Belt-and-Road Initiative (BRI) has come under intense scrutiny for precipitating debt distress, environmental destruction and its “tied” financing favouring its State-owned Enterprises in the infrastructure sector. The global pushback, paired with gathering economic storm clouds from China’s zero-Covid policy and the Russo-Ukrainian war, necessitates a review by policymakers into the BRI, in hopes of keeping this core project in China’s grand strategy alive.
The Question of the Reformation of State-owned Enterprises
China has a whooping 150,000 State-owned Enterprises (SOEs). These party-state apparatuses have been recognised as vital tools to the provision of public goods, crisis response, and achieving China’s “rejuvenation”. A plethora of productivity, corruption and bankruptcy woes, however, challenge the state’s resolve to reduce its outsized, anticompetitive footprint in the market economy. It will be the Politburo’s mammoth task to break the political impasse on reforming SOEs.
Disarmament and International Security Committee (DISEC)
Often referred to as the First Committee, the Disarmament and International Security Committee (DISEC), was formed to foster international collaboration on disarmament, creating regulations on armaments, and international security issues. This iteration of the council aims to enhance regulations concerning biological weapons and provide a platform for states to exchange perspectives on self-determination’s applications in the modern age.
The Question of Self-determination in Post-Soviet States
“Frozen conflicts” in Transnistria, South Ossetia and Abkhazia are territorial disputes centred around minority separatist entities seeking to secede from what they perceive as an oppressive majority. Situated within the post-Soviet sphere, these conflicts also reflect a larger geopolitical trend concerning Russia seeking to re-establish and retain what it sees as its rightful sphere of influence. Especially since frozen conflicts pose challenges to a state’s pursuit of a single foreign policy, and by extension, Eastern Europe’s international cooperation efforts, it is timely for DISEC to play a decisive role in lessening the volatility of the current situation. Lasting resolutions to this issue will rely upon reaching a consensus on how theories of self-determination should be actualised in practice, as well as call upon delegates to deliberate over the staking of claims of sovereignty and statehood.
The Question of Reappraising the Biological Warfare Convention
As the world approaches the 21st century, there has been increased awareness and threat regarding the use of biological warfare agents for war and terrorist attacks. During its invasion of Ukraine, Russia has accused the United States and Ukraine of collaborating to develop biological weapons in violation of international law. Since the Biological Warfare Convention (BWC) came into effect in 1975, it has played an integral part in prohibiting the development, production and acquisition of biological and toxin weapons. Signed by 183 state parties, the BWC is a multilateral agreement based on cooperation and trust. Alas, the inherent problems within the BWC prevents it from achieving its intended effect. Issues such as the lack of enforcement mechanisms and information sharing create leeway and loopholes that result in discrepancies and ineffectiveness. Delegates thus have a critical role in assessing the BWC and create frameworks to ensure that the convention can fulfil its intended purposes.
Established in 1975 but only formalised as an official institution in 2009, the European Council (EUCO) is one of the main decision-making bodies of the European Union. At EUCO summits, leaders from 27 European Union states convene to define the union’s political agenda and policy directions. It provides the crucial impetus for legislative decisions taken within the EU, and finalises issues from other EU discussions. The institution also acts as a collective Head of State in foreign policy.
The Question of Pan-European Defence Mechanism
When discussing a country’s prosperity or even survival, the defence of a region has always been of great paramounce. The Russia-Ukraine conflict, escalating tensions between countries, the lack of support coming from the United States in terms of intelligence and nuclear deterrence all reflect the dire need for a strong Pan-European defence system. To put it simply, European countries need to come together to construct a comprehensive defence mechanism to aid the region’s security. This highlights the question: What are the guidelines in building up a long-term defence collaboration force and how can European countries enforce sustainable defence collaboration? Delegates must challenge existing capability gaps, scrutinise current legislation and delve into the political landscape of the world.
The Question of Tackling Climate Change in Europe
Climate change is no foreign topic nowadays, with weather extremities on the rise and global leaders scrambling to address environmental problems. Being the third largest polluter globally, the European Union has its own share of worries. Member states struggle to meet the ambitious legally-binding goal of slashing emissions to 55% from 1990 levels by 2030. At the same time, it raises hard questions of climate justice. EU countries are forced to examine their historical responsibility for climate change, which may warrant compensation to the Global South for past climate damage and related issues. Delegates must review existing policies and come up with comprehensive solutions to resolve the region’s climate crisis, or face the consequences that may reverberate through the lives of generations to come.
Futuristic United Nations Security Council
The futuristic UNSC will immerse delegates in the Security Council’s deliberations when it is most needed — at the precipice of conflict. Starting in the present day on the topic of the Taiwan Straits, delegates would then need to respond to a developing situation under time pressure. Designed around realism, this year’s format requires delegates to be conversant with their states’ internal deliberations and external posture, while deciphering the true intentions of the other member states. It is for delegates to tackle the paradox of the UNSC — How does one respond effectively if a sitting member can veto the resolution? How can a conflict be deescalated through using increasingly coercive measures?
The Question of the Taiwan Straits
Taiwan’s place in the world is once again under question. With China’s stated goal of reunification, and an increasing willingness to flex its military muscle — including encircling Taiwan with naval exercises during Pelosi’s 2022 visit — it is kindling for a small incident to act as a spark for escalation. The US and its allies have been tested in the Ukraine war on whether there is sufficient global will to counter belligerent aggression, and the lessons learnt will inevitably apply to Taiwan. Delegates must consider whether states can and should bring the force of the international community to bear in order to deescalate looming international conflicts.
Group of 20
A diverse international organisation comprising the world’s largest economies, the G20 is a key platform for countries to formulate solutions on pressing global issues. This year’s G20 will take delegates to the second most populous country in the world, India, where delegates will discuss a wide range of topics ranging from economic to social and humanitarian issues.
Under a dynamic agenda format, delegates will be given more freedom to decide the topics the council should prioritise and will be able to showcase their diplomacy and lobbying skills. In line with the usual proceedings of a G20 conference, delegates will also be permitted to have sit-down bilateral/multilateral meetings with other delegates as part of a never-before-seen mechanic, where delegates can make use of their countries’ soft power in negotiations and formation of agreements with both their foreign allies and rivals. With the myriad of major global issues at hand, it is up to delegates to decide amongst themselves which issues should be prioritised, whilst keeping in mind the large impact of all of these issues on the global population.
North Atlantic Treaty Organisation
The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) was established on 4th April 1949, and at present, consists of 30 member states across Europe and North America. Created with the purpose of curbing Soviet expansion and aggression in Europe during the Cold War, the organisation now seeks to deter, defend, prevent and manage the security and sovereignty and ensure the peace, stability, and freedom of its member states. NATO also actively promotes cooperation and collaboration between its members, as well as its respective dialogue partners. In recent years, NATO has been increasingly involved outside of Europe, notably in the Asia-Pacific, Middle East, and North Africa regions. As delegates represent various NATO member states to discuss prevailing and pertinent issues, the future of NATO lies in their hands through their words and actions.
The Question of Humanitarian Intervention in Belarus
In May 2021, Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko openly threatened to “flood the EU with drugs and migrants” in response to the threat of sanctions posed by its member states. A year later, true to his word, Lukashenko has engineered what is ostensibly the most severe humanitarian crisis faced by NATO member states following the quadruple sanctions levied on his country. With an influx of tens and thousands of illegal migrants on the borders of Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, coupled with Russian military involvement, the present situation is developing to become even more volatile and pressing. In order to uphold its mandate to defend the territorial integrity of its member states, it is imperative that NATO must come to a consensus on how they will respond to this act of hybrid warfare.
The Question of NATO’s Role in the Middle East and North Africa
From the Benghazi attack to the Palestine Question; from the Arab Spring to the Persian Gulf Crisis, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), an area containing almost 580 million people, has become an increasingly important inflection point in the global state of affairs.
It is against this backdrop that NATO will have to decide the role the alliance will play in its interactions with the states within. A pivot away from the organisation’s traditional North American and European theatre of operations, MENA represents uncharted territory – an unprecedented myriad of complex political relationships, governments, and futures that NATO must discuss taking on, for the betterment of the Alliance.
United Nations Environment Assembly
The United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA), founded in June 2014, was established as a result of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in June 2012. The UNEA is the world’s highest-level decision-making body for the environment. It consists of 193 UN Member States, with the prerogative of setting priorities for global environmental policies and promoting coherent implementations of ecological dimensions of sustainability with the United Nations. Decisions and resolutions made and taken by Member States define the work of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Member States of the UNEA gather in Nairobi, Kenya, every two years with the aim of building a healthier environment to support humanity diplomatically for generations to come.
The Question of Environmental Peacebuilding
Over the last five decades, the many links between the environmental and political facets have been a top focus for political attention and academic research. War after war, it has been apparent that the environment is a core contributor to international political disputes. Environmental changes due to climate change and global warming, along with poor management of resources, increase the risk of political unrest. This is particularly evident in places already fractured by socioeconomic inequality, ethnic divisions, and cultural divides. However, the intersection of environmental peacebuilding is unique as the environment can also be utilised as a peace-building tool. Delegates will need to develop ways to prevent tensions arising from the scarcity of natural resources among countries and discuss the roles of states in utilising the environment for sustainable peacebuilding.
The Question of Chemical Waste Management
Chemical waste is often part and parcel of all products that are manufactured and produced. The troubling situation arises when certain stakeholders neglect their roles in managing chemicals sustainably, which may potentially damage the environment extensively by polluting water sources, poisoning wildlife, and producing toxic places unsafe for habitation by either animals or people. There is no doubt that both the private and public sectors play a role in ensuring that chemical waste is managed in a proper manner. Delegates will discuss the nuances of how states can regulate domestic and transnational chemical waste management in order to mitigate the environmental harms that it entails.
United Nations Security Council
One of the six central pillars of the United Nations, the United Nations Security Council is also arguably its most important. Its primary purpose is to discharge the foremost responsibility of the United Nations, that of maintaining international peace and security, and with that comes its unique positions and powers.
The Question of Renewed Tensions in Nagorno-Karabakh
After 35 years, two wars, and around 41,000 dead, the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has proven to be one of the most persistent post-Cold War conflicts, and one which unfortunately echoes past instances of ethnic cleansing that have plagued the Eurasian region. With periodic ceasefire violations, increased scrutiny of Russian influence in the conflict due to their involvement in the Ukraine war, and military momentum favouring the Azerbaijan government, the conflict has increasingly threatened to be an untenable situation that cannot reach any resolution. Delegates of the UNSC must navigate their own complicated interests to bring about the conditions for a pacific and permanent settlement to this long-standing dispute.
The Question of the Code of Conduct in Peacekeeping Operations
Since the end of the Cold War, peacekeeping operations, operated directly under direct UN command or otherwise, have become increasingly multidimensional, blending traditional concepts like peace preservation with peacebuilding. The continued spate of transgressions committed by peacekeepers and peacekeeping staff, ranging from sexual exploitation and abuse, corruption, and trafficking, is extremely concerning – such misconduct erodes the moral standing of the United Nations and their operations, and sabotage efforts to establish social and political buy-in in host countries. These considerations do not even begin to factor in the situation of victims, who rarely see justice, and are left to deal with the psychological and physical consequences of peacekeeper misconduct in poverty-stricken circumstances. As the institution responsible for the deployment of peacekeeping missions, the UNSC has a vested interest to ensure that peacekeeper misconduct does not compromise the integrity of the council and of the United Nations as a whole.
World Health Assembly
The World Health Assembly (WHA) is the governing body of the World Health Organisation (WHO), a specialised agency of the United Nations which aims to promote international public health. It is the highest health policy-setting body and is attended by delegations from all member states of the WHO. The WHA acts as a forum to discuss public health issues, thereby determining the direction of the WHO’s policies, actions, and overall agenda.
The WHA recommends strategies and courses of action for the advancement of public health, which countries may implement in line with national priorities. The COVID-19 pandemic has made the vulnerabilities of the international healthcare system increasingly apparent, thus reaffirming the duty of the WHA to rally against today's global health challenges.
The Topic of Sub-standard and Falsified Medicines
Currently, roughly 10% of medicines in developing countries are either substandard or falsified. Such fraud has significant implications on individual consumers to the global healthcare system as a whole. At the individual level, fraudulent medications may cause antimicrobial resistance or lead to fatal toxicity. On the global scale, these fraudulent medicines breed distrust and contribute to a negative perception of medicines and the healthcare system at large. Countries hamstrung by a lack of access to safe medicine and the lack of enforcement on supply-chain management, are especially affected by the proliferation of drug fraud. This problem extends beyond pharmaceuticals to controlled substances and recreational drugs, the adulteration of which may exacerbate preventable drug-related deaths globally. The WHA has resolved to curb the distribution of substandard and falsified medicines internationally, but delegates must improve upon existing control and monitoring measures to tackle this steadily worsening problem.
The Question of the Protection of Healthcare Workers
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the plight that many healthcare workers face. Aside from increased and prolonged exposure to biological and chemical hazards, they also have to work long hours and night shifts, enduring physical exhaustion to support existing healthcare systems. Additionally, they face discrimination and abuse from the public, resulting in deteriorating mental health amongst healthcare workers, with an increasingly high prevalence of mental health issues such as stress, anxiety, and depression. In conflict regions, healthcare workers face great threats to their own safety while operating amidst crises and chaos. The WHA must ensure the physical safety and mental well-being of all healthcare workers, as they work tirelessly to safeguard the health of billions of people worldwide.
Joint Historical Cabinet Crisis
In an era of worker and student dissatisfaction, rampant inflation and religious tension, an unprecedented judicial ruling would turn the world’s largest democracy into a totalitarian state run by the Iron Lady of India. Welcome to the 1975 Indian Emergency.
The Congress Working Committee (CWC) is the brains behind the second Indira Gandhi ministry that faces the pertinent dilemma of choosing between protecting the country and constitution or maintaining fealty to the leader. Rebelling against the CWC is the Janata Alliance (JA), a loose collective of far-left, centrist and far-right organisations that have little in common, except for one common goal: removing Indira Gandhi. Although the aims, structures and mandates of both councils are different, delegates can expect a raft of twists and turns to come their way as they navigate the steps necessary to establish a dictatorship or tear it down.