Debate Has Begun
It’s the first weekend of November, meaning UCMUN is back for its twentieth year and debate is in full swing! Hundreds of high school students are in attendance and are ready to represent their countries in committees over the next few days. Through our press room we’ll be keeping you updated on what delegates are discussing in committee to what activities they will be doing with their fellow delegates. Read about what each committee has been working on below!
Today, CCPCJ continued its discussion of bioterrorism with a moderated caucus on each country’s position regarding this matter. The delegation of Ethiopia brought up vaccine distribution, explaining that many countries lack healthcare infrastructure. Mexico urged first world countries to generate funds for countries that experience bioterrorism at higher rates.
There was also a dispute over whether vaccinations should be required in order to combat bioterrorism. While the delegation of Russia supported this idea, America and Canada noted that mandatory vaccinations may not be in accordance with many religions throughout the world.
Suddenly, the committee was informed that a biochemical was being leaked into the sewage of the United Kingdom. The committee began considering possible solutions immediately. China recommended restricting access to the sewage lines, while Japan suggested utilizing technology to send warnings. After discussing different proposals, the committee came to a final agreement, and the crisis was successfully averted.
Over the past few committee sessions, CSW has been developing working papers that tackle Obstetric Fistula, a worldwide epidemic that can occur to any woman after childbirth. One of the working papers focuses on medical treatment for the epidemic, while the other addresses the stigma surrounding the disease. Specifically, it considers the mental, emotional, and physical challenges that women with Obstetric Fistula must face.
Australia, India, Ghana and several other delegations stressed the role technology should play in treatment. According to this bloc of delegates, using technology as a means of communication would shorten the time doctors spend teaching midwives on how to treat and prevent Obstetric Fistula. Additionally, communicating via the internet would allow doctors to continue giving advice, even after they leave a community.
The other bloc, which contained delegates from Jordan, Netherlands, and several other countries, questioned this plan’s efficiency. They argued that funding for technological advances is not the priority, so the committee’s focus should be on treatments for the epidemic.
The Counter-Terrorism Committee came in with a variety of diverse, steady, and intellectual minds, with prepared points, making for an increasingly informative debate setting. The topic for debate was “The Prevention of Homegrown Terrorists and Attacks”, and things truly stared to pick up around the halfway mark.
Ukraine imposed a motion to discuss the reintegration of radical/at-risk individuals, alongside Germany, who began compiling working papers to do the same. Belgium suggested a collaborative angle that could be used while forming said working papers.
At the same time, Syria stated that the UN should focus on why these individuals become radical, and how to prevent this, rather than reintegrating potentially dangerous persons back into society. Syria also mentioned their belief that most countries would want to see certain Middle Eastern countries westernized, and warned against the potential damage this could create.
Lone wolf terrorism, the strength of the justice system, the Patriot Act, and the implementation of an educational standard for potential at-risk youth were all discussed, elaborated, and debated on within the first several committee sessions.
DISEC's first committee session was full of informative, thought-provoking, on-topic debate points with full participation from all delegates within the committee. Arms trade to areas of conflict, and Yemen in particular, was the first topic discussed – and the conversation took many turns.
The committee examined a variety of topics, from arms trade with Saudi Arabia, to decreasing human casualties from the Yemen Civil War. Kuwait pointed out that upwards of 6 million individuals in Yemen are facing starvation. Meanwhile, Qatar noted that 5 million barrels of oil are being exported from this region; thus, where other global nations obtain fuel impacts their position on international arms trade and aid relief.
The United States had a firm, strong voice of reason within the session, touching on how they are one of the top three countries currently providing aid to Yemen; where Libya came back equally as prepared, “while the US says they are within the top three countries providing relief in Yemen, Libya acknowledges that they also provide 67% of total arms within the area.”
While during the beginning of the committee's time focused on unmoderated caucuses and editing working papers, the debate headed over to centralizing the idea of transitioning from fossil fuels to renewable resources. While the idea sounds like a great advancement towards ending climate change to the suppressing the effects of global warming, many nations did not feel the same. Many nations such as Egypt mentioned “for third world and upcoming nations trying to transition into industrialized societies, this is a huge slap to the face. Putting restrictions on pollution and carbon emissions would hinder our goal to be thriving economies and be able to compete against the superpowers.” China, USA, and Russia are said to be the face of pollution and carbon emissions, by affecting the rest of the world. Advancement towards protecting the atmosphere will slow unless the rest of the world collaborates in the transition of using renewable resources.
With the death of Queen Mary I, a proud Catholic , Queen Elizabeth I, a proud Protestant, is next in line for the throne. However, the majority of Scotland and the Catholic church believe that she should not be the Queen, creating religious tension in the British Isles. Making a majority of Queen Elizabeth’s Privy Council believe that tolerance of the Catholic faith is the only way to decrease the tension, and have Queen Elizabeth I marry a Catholic to show unity between the two religions . This did not sit well to the Protestants who resided in the England region of Leicester; who started a religious uprising, causing the bloodshed of Catholics living in that region.
In just two sessions of the Mary, Queen of Scots’ Privy Council meeting each other, so much has happened! With the death of Queen Mary I, Mary, Queen of Scots’ council wants to push her as the rightful heir to the throne so Catholicism can still be the reigning religion in England. Then Mary’s husband, Francis II, being murdered to the Trial of John Knox and a mysterious note saying there is mole in the council! Many interesting things were bound to happen. With the death of the King of France, this prompts Mary’s council to find a new suitor, but also starts discussion of potentially gaining Scotland’s independence from France. However, the council was divided; many of the delegates believe that they should bring Mary back from France to meet Scottish suitors and they can keep a decent alliance with France. The other delegates believed that in order to have a strong alliance with France, Mary must marry someone who is French. But, the delegates who had the stronger voices won; and they wanted Mary, Queen of Scots returned to Scotland in search for a new husband.
The United Nations Development Programme voted to begin with Topic A on the Belt and Road Initiative. A major focus of the belt and road initiative was the reliance nations would have on the chinese economy. The delegation of the United States said they cannot support or pay for the road until China poses a way to protect nations from becoming overly reliant on the chinese economy. “China does not want to take over other countries and we are not doing this to establish power and have a foothold in other countries.” the delegation of China said.
The delegation of Malaysia believes China should not have the capacity to remove themselves from economically dependent countries. The delegation of the United States agreed with establishing a way to keep china in check. “We simply want this to not be a machine for China to spread its influence,” the delegation of the United States said.
The debate during the United Nations Environment Program’s first committee session of the 2018 UCMUN Conference centered on priorities for combating air pollution. Delegates from nations such as Qatar argued that reducing methane emissions through developing sustainable agricultural practices should and must be a priority. “There has been a misconception...you breathe methane too,” the delegate from Qatar said. “We shouldn’t put it off the table because it’s hard to talk about and hard to find a solution too.” Other nations including India disagreed. “Factories are the main producer of CO2, in cities especially,” the delegate from India said. “They’re not only hurting the environment, but the people living in them.” The German delegate emphasized that the program must focus on targeted, achievable goals. “It would be great to reduce the amount of methane produced by agriculture,” the delegate from Germany said. “But as the United Nations we cannot simply ban methane.”
During their first committee session of the 2018 UConn Model United Nations conference, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) discussed the tension between foreign aid and national sovereignty as it related to building internet infrastructure. “When we receive aid...for internet access...national sovereignty cannot be infringed upon by another nation and that includes censorship,” the delegate from Saudi Arabia said. “It is the country in question decision how they want to control that censorship.” A block composed of the United States, France, India and Germany crafted a working paper for a plan that would impose conditions on countries receiving aid based on the political views of receiving nations and the percentage of people who already have access to the internet in that country. The delegates also discussed the role of the private sector in regulating internet access. “What’s important is keeping it open, keeping it competitive,” the delegation of France said.
The UNHCR met today to resume discussions about the status of refugees in Jammu and Kashmir. The delegates debated over the prospect of an independence referendum. India, Bangladesh, Canada, Costa Rica, the United Kingdom and Italy were supportive of a referendum while China, Nepal and Niger expressed concerns over economic development and social cleavages as a result of independence movements. The delegate from Niger expressed that, “other areas like Israel have seen more conflict as a result of being split up”. Delegates moved on to a long session of unmoderated caucuses where the UK and India led two major discussions to develop two writing papers. Soon enough, a military effort in the region between the UK and China was proposed and Canada offered to take in as many refugees as possible. Delegates are looking forward to present their working papers and vote on a resolution.
The UNHRC made UCMUN history today with the longest moderated caucus in its 20-year history! Harry Zehner, the topic specialist, shared with delegates that, “private prisons around the world have for-profit purposes and are overwhelmed in countries such as Australia”. After a long debate, the delegates are drafting working papers in an effort to follow existing laws, end the imprisonment of politicians, reduce overcrowding in prisons, and figure out a way to reintegrate prisoners into society.
The United Nations International Children’s Fund delved into Topic A regarding Children’s Access to Proper Health Care. “1 in 12 children die each year due to lack of nutrition and lack of healthcare,” the delegation of Ghana shared in their request for support in bettering their healthcare system. The delegation of Yemen shared their eagerness for health care aid from other countries, as Yemen is currently in the middle of a civil war. The delegates held a moderated caucus discussing ways to improve child healthcare in developing countries. In this discussion, the delegation of Turkey said they believe they are not responsible for handing money over to a foreign government in hopes it will be used for health care purposes. Delegates from Ghana and Israel also warned against the dangers of sending funds for health care to undeveloped countries based on fears of government corruption.
The UNSC met today to resume discussions of where peace talks could take place with North Korea. Uruguay proposed that, “peace talks should be done in a neutral country like Singapore.” Before further discussions could take place the delegates were presented with an unexpected crisis. North Korea launched a missile that will land in 150 km away from the Japanese archipelago, which will cause a storm surge and will leave behind radiation in that area of the ocean. North Korea has claimed the detonation was accidental but the United States and China have called for North Korea to take responsibility of the damage.
The World Food Programme started off UCMUN XX with introductions of committee staff and delegates. Once introductions were done, delegates opened speaker list and the debate began! After much deliberation, it was decided that Topic A, Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) within the International Food Supply, shall be the main focus of the World Food Program for the duration of the conference. With the help of a presentation regarding GMOs from Topic Specialist Kylee Dostie, the delegates were able to start a discussion about increasing the funding of education to the public on GMOs. Delegates such as South Sudan saying “Education is integral in these efforts” or “Redirect funding to this cause… educate the benefits from GMOs” from Nigeria. From the first committee session of the conference, majority of the delegates seem to be in favor of increasing educational efforts in developing nations so they are more willing to accept aid that includes GMOs.
A crisis has arose during the committee, in which denotes that an outbreak inside a CRISPR lab has caused HIV/AIDS. WIth nations such as Iran who want total cut off of shipments coming out of NYC, nations scramble to figure out how to contain this epidemic. NYC is a powerhouse within the world and many nations are greatly affected by the event that has occured. “This proves the dangers of CRISPR” said the delegate from France. This has entailed many nations to agree upon the action of quarantine and preventing the spread of the virus. Flights, transportations and other movements have been halted in NYC till further notice until the outbreak has been contained.