Meet your Director, Keelie NI!

Keelie is a junior at UConn. She is a political science major with a minor in sociology. After college, she dreams of attending law school and studying civil rights law. Outside of Model UN, Keelie is involved in numerous political organizations on and off campus; helping to organize and recruit volunteers. In her free time, Keelie enjoys playing piano and watching campy horror movies. Last year, she served as an assistant director for UNHRC. This year she is very excited to be the director for UNICEF. Keelie is looking forward to meeting all of the delegates and encourages them to ask her any questions at


Meet your Topic Specialist, Simran Thakur!

Simran is a senior double majoring in speech, language and hearing sciences and human rights. She is working towards going to law school. This will be her fourth year with UCMUN. She was an administrative assistant for CCPCJ her first year. Additionally, she was the topic specialist of UNHRC the following year and then the topic specialist of CCPCJ. Outside of UCMUN, Simran is the Language and Literacy Coordinator for Community Outreach. Additionally, she is a part of the Nepali Student Association. When Simran isn’t at her myriad of meetings and classes, she is catching up on her shows, listening to her podcasts, or sleeping. She is looking forward to her final conference! Please feel free to contact her at


Topic A: Children’s Access to Proper Health Care

The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF)  has worked since 1946 to help children receive health care that they deserve but do not receive due to conditions out of their control. There was estimated to be 216 million reported cases of malaria in 2016, resulting in 440,000 deaths, 70 percent of these were children. Also in 2016, pneumonia was one of the leading killers of children under five years old with diarrhoeal disease following closely behind. All of these are easily treatable diseases for children in developed countries ; however, in countries like sub-Saharan Africa they go untreated, and eventually become fatal to vulnerable children. There are countless illnesses and diseases that can be treated with proper health care, but due to the lack of available health care they are some of the highest causes of death in young children. UNICEF is committed to administering health care to children and expectant mothers in countries that do not provide their citizens proper health care, hoping to reduce to reduce high death rates in children. UNICEF achieves this mission by working  with governmental and non-governmental organizations to train and send volunteers into areas that are in need, as well as raise awareness for the situations that are occurring. UNICEF’s goal is to provide all children with healthcare through community outreach and governmental programs with the intent to create a healthier future for children.

Topic B: Children Soldiers in Northern Africa and the Middle East

Child soldiers are nothing new in the history of warfare, but their use in armed conflicts around the world became more prevalent in the latter half of the 20th century. To counter this malicious exploitation, the usage of children for military purposes was banned by the United Nations on 25th August 1999 under the Security Council Resolution 1261. At the time it was signed, there were thought to be as many as many as 300,000 children under the age of seven serving as guerillas, mercenaries and armed militias in several countries worldwide. Among these were Sudan, Angola, Sri Lanka, Yeman, Afghanistan, and Iran. These examples show just how widespread the problem was, and how the issue of child soldiers was not contained to one geographical region in the world. Today thousands of children are still being forced to assist militant groups and terrorist organizations, such as Daesh, Boko Haram, Lord’s Resistance Army in the Middle East and Northern Africa. These organizations instill fear, and in some cases chemical dependency, to make the children fight for them. UNICEF has teamed up with other UN organizations and states to fight toward ending the recruitment and use of child soldiers.