Meet your Director, Ariba Memon!

Ariba is a junior majoring in physiology and neurobiology with a minor in political science. She has been involved in Model UN since high school as both a delegate and a director. This is her third year working on the staff of UCMUN. After serving as an assistant director for the UN Security Council her freshman year and director of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees her sophomore year, Ariba is very excited to be back in the Security Council! Besides UCMUN, she enjoys being on the executive board of the Pakistani Community at UConn and doing research in a psychology lab. In her spare time, Ariba enjoys sitting outside of the Beanery and drinking lots of coffee. She is looking forward to meeting all of the delegates and encourages them to contact her with questions at ariba.memon@uconn.edu.

 

 

Meet your Topic Specialist, Harry Zehner!

Harry is a junior majoring in political science and minoring in environmental policy and economics. He currently works for an environmental advocacy group and plans on pursuing a career in environmental policy. In his free time, Harry is the Opinion Editor at The Daily Campus, runs a tutoring club for local middle school children, is an Assistant Editor for the Undergraduate Political Review, and plays intramural soccer. Harry is tall, redheaded and ready to inform UNSC on their topics at the 2019 UConn Model UN Conference!


Topic A: International Help in Somalia

Over 25 years have passed since the first United Nations Operation in Somalia, and although the details have changed, the story remains the same: Somalia’s weak central government is fighting rebels, this time in the guise of terrorist organizations al-Shabaab and the Islamic State, to regain territory in its southern provinces. Over 500 people died to an al-Shabaab attack in Mogadishu as recently as October of 2017, with hundreds of thousands more displaced and deceased due to the recent conflict (Guled). Though the UN and some individual countries have provided some level of aid to Somalia for the most recent phase of the conflict, much of the combat support comes from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), a Security Council-approved peacekeeping operation drawn from neighboring countries. AMISOM has been crucial in helping the fractured Somalian army to recapture territory; however, its UN-approved mandate ends in 2020, and the African Union is already planning for troop withdrawals (“East African”). This move threatens to undo ten years of gains against terrorist groups, but the international community cannot expect the African Union to fight in a never-ending war. The Security Council, learning from the failures of previous peacekeeping missions across Africa, must devise a comprehensive strategy to defeat the terrorist element within Somalia and establish stability for years to come.

Topic B: Instability in the Korean Peninsula

Though tensions still exist between major powers, the United Nations and other international agreements have provided a common playbook by which conflicts can be resolved peacefully. In this era of relative peace, however, when a rogue state such as North Korea openly ignores treaties on human rights and nuclear testing, it poses an existential threat to global stability. Known commonly as a “hermit kingdom,” North Korea is one of the world’s few remaining totalitarian dictatorships and is accused of severe crimes against humanity including excessive torture and forced labor (“Rights Trends”). Recently, international focus on North Korea has been on its repeated nuclear tests in defiance of UN sanctions. In spite of recent peace efforts, rising tensions exist not only between North Korea and its likely targets, such as South Korea and Japan, but also between perhaps the regime’s most vocal opponent, the United States, and its occasional benefactors, such as China (Jung-a). The Security Council is tasked with preventing further escalation in the region; be it through peaceful negotiation or direct intervention, the decision will have major consequences for the future.