Committees

Chair

Austin Le

Vice Chair

Meredith Anderson

Topic Guide

UNHRC_TopicGuide.pdf

Topic A: Situation in Yemen

Yemen has been plagued with civil war, resulting in the displacement of over 2 million individuals and a death toll that sharply rises with each new day. The Yemeni Civil War is a complex situation with the government of President Hadi fighting for re-control over the regions dominated by the Houthi Forces, also known as the Revolutionary Committee. To make matters worse, the international community has depicted this conflict as a proxy war between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which supports the Yemeni government, and the Islamic Republic of Iran, which supports the Houthi rebels. As the war continues into its second year, there are also traces of Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State claiming land and worsening the situation. With infrequent ceasefires, ongoing violence, and a fleeing population from a lack of food, water, and shelter, it is up to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to implement appropriate, humanitarian efforts for what has been described as “The World’s Next Great Refugee Crisis.


Topic B: Conditions in Refugee Camps Amongst Host Countries

21.5 million refugees exist worldwide, most of which are hosted in the Middle East and Africa. These refugees have been forced to evacuate their homes due to warfare, civil unrest, and climate change, among other threats. Many refugees end up living in refugee camps for some period of time. The largest refugee camp in the world, Dadaab, is hosted by the UNHCR in Kenya. Dadaab is home to over 300,000 refugees and has been in place for 25 years. Other smaller refugee camps, such as those in Turkey, the nation with the most refugees at approximately 3 million at the beginning of 2017, have been set up much more recently. Although refugee camps vary greatly in size, age, and location, one thing remains constant at nearly every site: poor living conditions. Many refugees do not have access to proper hygiene, schooling, or even resources as basic as reliable shelter and food sources. The UNHCR and its allies have worked diligently to provide these refugees with the resources they need to survive, but funds are often not sufficient to properly aid these displaced peoples. Moving forward, the UNHCR must call upon the support of the international community to recognize and support these refugees living in camps and attempting to become permanent migrants. The rights of refugees must be protected, especially in times of such turmoil.

Chair

Andreas Cella

Vice Chair

Eugenio A. Carrera

Topic Guide

TritonMUN_OPCW_BG_1.pdf

Topic A: Use of Chemical Weapons in Syria

The civil war in Syria rages on despite a relative lull in journalistic coverage. The conflict seems a far cry from the violence generated by protesting in parts of Aleppo and Damascus in early 2011. Since then, the conflict has escalated and expanded, with anti-government forces often allying themselves with other splinter extremist groups, forming coalitions that are amalgamations of ideologies and goals that seemingly should not be able to coexist. The conflict has increased in both scope and intensity, with hundreds of thousands dead, and millions displaced. Fighting now rages between pro-government, anti-government, Islamic State, Kurdish Peshmerga and other extremist groups. The introduction of chemical weapons into the conflict, both by governmental and non governmental forces, has only increased the death toll of the conflict. The deadliest attacks to date, the Ghouta attack in Damascus and the Khan al-Assal attack in Aleppo, both demonstrate the ineffectiveness of a long-standing international effort to limit the proliferation of chemical weapons. Though the attacks took place in 2013, and government chemical weapon precursors were reportedly destroyed in 2014, the risk for the resurface of more chemical weapons remains high. Furthermore, the conflict in Syria serves as an example of the failure of the current international model, with the use of chemical weapons by a state that acceded to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and their Destruction. As such, the current international model for preventing the use of such weapons is in tatters, and member states must cooperate in order to prevent a future atrocity of this scale. Furthermore, the situation in Syria is critical, and presents a prime situation for the continued use of chemical weapons, and of the capture of such weapons by an extremist group. Delegates must formulate a response to the potential for further use and proliferation of chemical weapons in Syria, and also account for the negative precedent set by the use of chemical weapons in this conflict. Furthermore, delegates must account for the nuanced intricacies that make the Syrian conflict unique, while working within the restraints of any international body.


Topic B: Nation States Who Haven’t Ascended into the Treaty

In 1997, the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction - more commonly referred to as the Chemical Weapons Convention - took effect four years after its initial signing. Building off of the Geneva protocol established in 1925, the resolution sought to encourage a unified and concerted effort to dismantle existing chemical weapons programs, eradicate stockpiles of precursor chemicals, and reaffirm global policies of disarmament. Overseen by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the Chemical Weapons Convention has precipitated tremendous success in the international chemical disarmament efforts. Only four nations - Israel, South Sudan, North Korea, and Egypt - have failed to ratify or accede into the treaty. Despite this overwhelming rate of cooperation, chemical warfare remains a viable threat and has manifested in several recent armed conflicts including the Syrian civil war and the War in Darfur. Moreover, several ratifying states continue to maintain their chemical weapons programs and have failed to meet deadlines established by the convention and thus pose credible threats to international security. The international community currently suspects or has credibly verified that eighteen nations operate active chemical weapons programs - only three of which have not signed or acceded into the treaty; thus, this committee faces several critical questions. First and foremost, delegates must address potential initiatives that will incentivize states that currently do not subscribe to the terms of the convention to accede in to the treaty. Furthermore, delegates must acknowledge the lack of compliance perpetuated by numerous member states and how to discourage continued non-cooperation. Delegates should look to case studies such as the misuse of chemical weapons in the Syrian civil war as well as previously established protocols to seek out substantive solutions that prevent further violations of the Chemical Weapons Convention.

Chair

Ashley Leung

Vice Chair

Riya Verma

Topic Guide

UNPFII_Topic_Guide.pdf

Topic A: Empowerment of Indigenous women

Indigenous women face the triple burden of discrimination, because of their gender, their situation of poverty and their being indigenous. The commitee believes that the key to reverse this situation is supporting processes of empowerment of indigenous women, who can become the leaders of tomorrow. The agenda chosen for this committee have and important role in the international community today. Indigenous women face significant challenges to the full enjoyment of their human rights. Indigenous women experience multiple forms of discrimination, often lack access to education, health care and ancestral lands, face disproportionately high rates of poverty and are subjected to violence, such as domestic violence and sexual abuse, including in the contexts of trafficking and armed conflict. As the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) has stated, globalization presents additional challenges in many parts of the world. Indigenous women’s roles have eroded due the compounding factors of loss of natural resources and depletion of the ecosystems, their transformation into cash economies, changes in local, social and decision-making structures, and their lack of political status within States. In spite of the specific challenges facing indigenous women, there is often a reluctance to address the gender dimensions of indigenous peoples’ issues, as to do so is seen as “interfering with culture” or “imposing western values”. Through the Global Program, UNFPI encourages countries to develop policies to promote welfare and the empowerment of indigenous women.


Topic B: Indigenous Youth

With indigenous youth being one of the most vulnerable populations due marginalization of issues specific to them in favor of issues affecting adults and other more general populations, the empowerment of indigenous youth has become an emerging issue for the UNPFII in the recent years after the advisory body’s establishment. Current advocacy for indigenous adolescents works toward inclusion of youth-related issues in the discussion through education, increased avenues for political participation, expansion of care for physical and mental health, and other initiatives, Caught between the generational responsibilities for the preservation of traditional culture and the adaptive advancement into modern society, indigenous youth today face a unique combination of pressures to attend to the obligations of retaining their cultural identity, overcoming historical systematic disadvantages, and taking advantage of newly available opportunities with workforce development in globalization. The UNPFII seeks to address the empowerment of indigenous youth by working in its advisory role to ECOSOC to best serve the future of indigenous peoples.

Chair

Jenna Goosen

Vice Chair

Christine Lee

Topic Guide

SPECPOL_TritonMUN_XV.pdf

Topic A: Observatory Region of Kurdistan

Within the area around Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Iran is a roughly defined region consisting of a majority Kurdish population. Some Kurdish nationalist groups call for an independent Kurdish state, while others simply seek autonomy within the existing national boundaries of the area. In Turkey, Kurdish people face oppression through erasure of culture, language, and identity. A militant separatist organization, The Kurdistan Workers Party, sparked a guerilla war within Turkey in the 1980s and 1990s, further feeding into anti-Kurdish sentiment. The Kurdish people have also been participating in the ongoing Syrian Civil War by allying with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and holding territory for themselves in northern Syria. While the Kurdish people have been given autonomy in nations such as Iraq, the demands for autonomy in sovereign nations or for their own separate nation are being met with resistance in the region.


Topic B: The situation in Kosovo

The Republic of Kosovo is a small, landlocked, partially recognized state in the central Balkan Peninsula. Once a part of former Yugoslavia, Kosovo fought against the Yugoslav forces (mainly Serbia and Montenegro) with the assistance of NATO in the Kosovo War (1998-1999). The aftermath of the war left Kosovo under UN Administration under UN Security Council Resolution 1244, which allowed Kosovo to have autonomy within the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia but would still retain the territorial integrity of Yugoslavia, which has been succeeded by the Republic of Serbia. In 2008, the Republic of Kosovo declared independence from the Republic of Serbia, which Serbia refuses to acknowledge. Since then, Serbia and Kosovo have had strained foreign relations, with Serbia attempting to delegitimize the Republic of Kosovo in the International Court of Justice and ethnic tensions amongst Serbs inside Kosovo growing.

Chair

Jordan James

Vice Chair

Quomel Imani

Topic Guide

UNSC_First_Encounter.pdf

Topic: First Encounter - UNSC

Aliens have landed on Earth, bearing a simple message: "Take me to your leader." And so the extraterrestrials have been brought before you, members of the United Nations Security Council, to represent the human race in negotiations with these alien life forms. Now the UNSC has to discuss a wide array of issues regarding the stay of said Aliens including Human Rights, Diplomatic Rights, Disarmament, Nation State Consultative status and a whole other array of political and ethical issues. This will be run like a crisis committee with updates and group directives, but no personal directives as it is a UN committee, the delegates are just UNSC ambassadors.

Chair

Cooper Wood

Vice Chair

Amalia Huerta

Topic Guide

US_Space_Race_Background_Guide.pdf

For most nations, the end of World War II heralded a dramatic shift in world affairs. The direction of international politics and conflict became inextricably tied to the Cold War rivalry of the USSR and the United States. Entire regions of the world, long subjugated by the now bankrupt European powers found themselves rapidly free of the colonial yoke and but ill-equipped to manage their affairs. And while questions of sovereignty and political ideology rattled the globe, many remained entranced by the utopian promise of scientific advancement. After all, two atomic bombs—the product of an enormous scientific undertaking of the United State’s brightest scientists—had ended a brutal, devastating Pacific campaign that lasted 3 years, 8 months, 3 weeks and 5 days, in just nine days. In the realm of public health, the development of the polio vaccine by Jonas Salk revolutionized medicine and opened the eyes of the nation to a future where deadly diseases could be either mitigated or even eradicated.

The concept of exploring space satisfied both the American public, which had become enamored by the splendor of a world liberated through science, and its military which yearned for a greater advantage against the conventional might of the Soviet Union. Already, advances had been made in rocket technology thanks to the brilliant minds of Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, Hermann Oberth, Robert Goddard, and most infamously, Wernher von Braun. The recent invention of liquid rocket fuel and advances in design (i.e. reusable, staged rockets) would make the idea of space exploration a reality. But with these developments would come important questions. The German V2 had demonstrated the enormous utility of militarized rockets. At the same time, satellites could allow scientists better tools to study the planet and serve as modes by which countries could better interact through tele-communications. And finally, space travel could allow man to expand beyond a new horizon, to worlds beyond the Earth.

Delegates, you are tasked in this body to serve the ambitions of the United States in its race against the Soviet Union to develop and implement new space-based technologies. Where you direct your attention, and which paradigm you choose, be it a military one, a public welfare one, a purely scientific one, or an exploration one, is up to you. I trust irregardless of what you choose, you shall guide the United States into a era of prosperity.

Chair

Tyler Rinde

Vice Chair

Ryan Brummelen

Topic Guide

SovietSpaceRaceBG.pdf

It is the year 1955, ten years since the world has emerged from World War Two. However since that time period there have been “freezing” of relations between the United States and The Soviet Union. Battles of ideology over ways of live are transpiring across continents encouraging people to side either with Liberal Democracy or with Marxist Communism. With rapid technological advances, a new frontier is emerging, Space. As delegates, you will be able to advance Communist’s power and prestige into this new frontier launching rockets, building satellites, creating space stations, researching the effects of space and honor the power of the proletariat. Delegates must overcome the mysteries of the great beyond and outmaneuver the capitalist pigs of the United States.

Chair

Simon Fiedler

Vice Chair

Betsy Meeker

Topic Guide

CabinetofPrimeMinisterLumumba.pdf

Millions of people around the world are liberated from their self-serving colonial administrations as the old world order comes to a close. As the new decade of the 1960s begin the peoples of the young Republic of Congo seek to lead their country into a brighter future. Patrice Lumumba and his government face daunting challenges as they inherit a state and military permeated by an European elite bent on retaining the social order while the majority live in poverty, eager for change. In this new age unfolding leaders in the both the Western and Eastern bloc of the Cold War seek to retain and expand their influence in the region. Will you be successful in unifying the diverse people of Congo and charter a new course for your country?