Meet your Director, Sharan Ghai!

Sharan is a senior at the University of Connecticut and is pursuing a biological sciences major with a specialization in ecology, along with an English minor. She was a part of UCMUN 2018 as the assistant director of UNHCR, and has been a part of a few other MUN’s before. She is very excited to be a director in UCMUN 2019. Aside from UCMUN, Sharan is quite involved in other campus organizations and clubs too! When she’s not buried away at the library with a copious amount of coffee at her disposal, you can find her working at the Nutmeg Publishing office, where she writes; at the WHUS studio, where she’s a radio jockey; volunteering for the United Nations; or with her friends from UConn ASHA for Education. Sharan is very excited to meet all her delegates, looks forward to working with them immensely and encourages them to contact her at sharan.ghai@uconn.edu.


Meet your Topic Specialist, Ilinca Johnson!

Ilinca is a sophomore dual-majoring in marketing and psychology. This will be her sixth Model UN conference. She has been on the UCMUN staff for two conferences and was a high school delegate for four years. She has been a part of JCC, UNEP, WFP, UNICEF, and CSW. Ilinca can often be found preoccupying her time with activities dedicated to the well-being of all of humanity. Such include getting an education, meditation, writing, watching political comedy, volunteering for science competitions, taking walks, listening to podcasts or audiobooks, and long-distance swimming. Besides that, Ilinca is currently in the process of editing and publishing a science fiction novel and working on her start-up. She can be reached via email at ilinca.johnson@uconn.edu.


Topic A: Working with Regional Seas

Marine litter is any persistent, manufactured or processed material discarded, disposed of or abandoned in the marine and coastal environment. Marine litter usually consists of items that have been made or used by human beings and deliberately discarded into the sea. Marine litter originates from many sources and causes a wide array of environmental, economic, safety, health and cultural impacts. Litter is found in all of the world’s oceans and seas, even in remote areas far from human contact and obvious sources of the problem. The very slow rate of degradation of most marine litter, mainly plastics, together with the continuously growing quantity of the litter and debris disposed, is leading to a gradual increase in marine litter found at the sea and on the shores. Furthermore, as a result of the continuous deposition of the litter, associated issues have sprung up in the world’s oceans. Oil spills and untreated oil residue dumped into oceans compose a major portion of marine litter and are extremely detrimental towards ocean life. The litter causes a lack of oxygen and causes the death of several marine organisms, such as coral reefs, several of whose species are regularly added to the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species. Deficiencies in the implementation and enforcement of existing international, regional and national regulations and standards, along with a general lack of interest among the general public, are major reasons why today, marine litter continues to increase globally. The UNEP needs to work towards strengthening laws that prevent industries and individuals from dumping trash into oceans.

Topic B: Management of Hazardous Electrical Waste

Over the last few decades, the electronics industry has revolutionized the world. Electronic products have become ubiquitous of today’s life globally. Without these products, modern life would not be possible in the world’s rapidly industrializing countries. The aforementioned electronic products serve in areas of medicine, mobility, education, health, food supply, communication, security, environmental protection and culture. Such appliances include common domestic devices such as refrigerators, washing machines, mobile phones, laptops, printers, televisions, etc. While the transition towards a more digital world and a growing information society and economy offers an unprecedented amount of opportunities for sustainable development, it also contributes towards the growth of the global consumption of electrical equipment and, consequently, growing amounts of electrical waste. Used, broken or obsolete equipment pose considerable human health and environmental risks, especially if treated inadequately. Today, most electronic waste, or e-waste, is not properly documented and not treated through appropriate recycling chains and methods. As a result, the amount of e-waste is growing rapidly and large dump sites exist throughout the world.  The challenge the UNEP faces today is to raise awareness in order to help the general population realize how the appropriate handling of e-waste can both prevent serious environmental damage as well as recover valuable materials, especially metals.