Vicky Cheng (Chair), Esteban Herpin (Vice Chair), Yeseul Grace Shin (Vice Chair), Meera Raman (Vice Chair)
2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21)
Summers are getting hotter, winters are getting colder, and countries in the South and by the equator are facing more drastic and unpredictable weather patterns. Global climate change has already had observable effects on the environment and livelihoods- glaciers have shrunk, plants and animal ranges have shifted, sea levels are rising faster and longer, and hurricanes are becoming stronger and more intense. Today, we’re facing the biggest environmental challenge our generation has ever seen as over the past century, we have lived beyond our means to a point of no return.
Beginning in 1992 at the Rio Earth Summit, an international response to climate change was initiated, adopting the UN Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This convention set out a framework for action to stabilize concentrations of greenhouse house gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere, and today, the UNFCCC has a near-universal membership of 195 countries. Annually, the Conference of Parties (COP) congregate to review the Convention’s implementation, and in 2015, the UN’s 21st session took place in Paris. Known as COP21 or the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, negotiations, for the first time in 20 years, aimed to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate that would focus on keeping global warming below 2°C. With delegates representing nations, companies and non-governmental organizations all in Paris, these policymakers, advocates and activists from around the global can collaborate to ameliorate and control climate change, considering the various political, economic and social implications that climate change has on the people of the world.
Naomi Santesteban (Chair), Alexa Cardenas (Vice Chair), Gabriela McGuinty (Vice Chair), Katie Philips (Vice Chair)
Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC)
Welcome, Bienvenido, Bem-vindo, Bienvenue, and Welkom to CELAC, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States!
Created in 2010, CELAC is a regional bloc comprised of 33 member countries, 5 languages (Spanish, English, Portuguese, French and Dutch), 600 million people and an area of over 20 million square kilometres. With aims of integrating countries across Latin America and the Caribbean, CELAC strives to create economic, political and social ties among its member states to ensure lasting and meaningful relationships. Through CELAC, countries unite and vision themselves as a community of nations working collectively to solve issues of common interest.
SSUNS 2018 is proud to be hosting the 6th CELAC Summit ever in history as one of its ECOSOC Committees. Delegates will have the opportunity to discuss three topics that are of utmost importance to the region and deal with various environmental, economic, political and social dynamics within Latin America and the Caribbean. The first topic will focus on environmental issues in the region, specifically the development of sustainable and alternative energy resources as well as the movement away from the region’s current dependency on natural resources. The second topic discusses social dynamics within Latin America and the Caribbean that involve the extension of rights and freedoms for minorities and women. Minorities among the region include LGBTQ and Indigenous populations as well as ethnic/linguistic minorities. Finally, the committee will discuss the economic and political issues of the region involving corruption, tax havens and money laundering.
Patrick O’Donnell (Chair), Frankie Wallace (Vice Chair), Ozanay Burce Bozkaya (Vice Chair), Hilary Lee (Vice Chair)
Disarmament and International Security Committee (DISEC)
As the initial pillars of the United Nations were established through the end of the Second World War, there came a necessity for an international forum to discuss the armament that the world had come to through the two world wars. As a response to this came about the first committee of the United Nations, fittingly named the Disarmament and International Security Committee. Since its inception, DISEC has provided an open floor for discussion on nuclear weaponization, chemical warfare, terrorist organizations, and even more importantly, it has posed itself as a space to create a system of international safety and cooperation towards peace. It is in this committee that delegates will find themselves faced with some of the greatest dilemmas in contemporary international security.
In the scope of the SSUNS specific DISEC, delegates will have to look at a bifocal emphasis on weaponization; first they must delve into the politics and logistics of the international arms trade (both legal and illegal), and second they must define a UN mission towards gun policy that can be a standard for domestic policy. Focusing on the latter, delegates must weave around the complicated individual interests of states surrounding gun policy, and create some sort of framework for domestic policy making that fits countries in different areas of the development and gun ownership spectrum. As for the former, if delegates choose to tackle this issue, they would be faced with the logistical and monetary complexity of the black market arms trade as well as the political interests at stake in the legal arms trade. Ultimately, whichever route delegates choose to pursue will provide a set of issues that are presented in the ongoing debate about the safety of the planet and its citizens.
Ewa Nizalowska (Chair), Eric Lee (Vice Chair), Shubhanker Joshi (Vice Chair), Rosalie Valentiny (Vice Chair)
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations leading international efforts at improving nutrition and ensuring food security for all. For over seven decades, it has served as a forum for over 194 nations to negotiate global policy aimed at eliminating hunger. Founded in the province of Quebec in 1945, the FAO focuses on enabling inclusive, sustainable, and efficient food systems. Given the growing world population and changing climate, the FAO’s work is crucial to enhancing sustainability and increasing the resistance of livelihoods to threats and crises.
This year, the Food and Agriculture Organization committee will focus on combating the effects of climate change on agricultural productivity (focusing on the safety of food sources and the use of pesticides), sustainable agricultural practices (including the use of alternative foods and GMOs), and food security and distribution (centering on issues of food waste and transportation). While the first two topics are primarily concerned with food production, the third emphasizes food consumption and distribution. Tackling both production and consumption, the committee will focus on the development of sustainable and equitable food practices in an effort to defeat hunger, achieving a balance between safe food production and fair distribution in an increasingly populated and unequal world.
Albert Gunnison (Chair), Ender McDuff (Vice Chair), Jasmine Mezghani (Vice Chair), Nicole Guile (Vice Chair)
Meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), 1961
In the early Cold War era, the Non-Aligned Movement emerged to balance the global power structure and focus influence away from the USA and USSR. The governments of India, Egypt, Indonesia, Yugoslavia, and Ghana founded the Movement, which would establish intentions of mutual non-aggression, non-interference, and respect for territorial sovereignty, among other goals. Continuously lobbying for equality among states and non-alliance with global power blocs, this fascinating committee still exists today, and will meet in Azerbaijan in 2019 for its eighteenth summit.
The 1961 summit of the Non-Aligned Movement is the one that began it all and enforced its legitimacy on the world stage. Delegates will shape the early Movement’s identity concerning nuclear non-proliferation and the passage of arms, trade facilitation and levy reduction, and the self-determination and autonomy of states. We hope that all delegates, using the benefit of hindsight as well as their own creativity, can craft a stable path for the original Non-Aligned Movement to follow. Good luck!
Meghan Keenan (Chair), Anushkay Raza (Vice Chair), Aliyyah Jafri (Vice Chair), Kate Fanjoy (Vice Chair)
Social, Humanitarian, and Cultural Committee (SOCHUM)
Welcome to SSUNS 2018! The Social, Humanitarian, and Cultural Committee team cannot wait to meet all of you. Also known as the Third Committee, this body was established under the umbrella of the United Nations General Assembly after World War II, and includes all 193 members states at the UN. Over the weekend, SOCHUM will be discussing urgent human rights topics - including the rights of journalists, the rights of people with disabilities, and the rights of trans people. In many areas of the world, minorities and vulnerable populations are becoming increasingly more at risk. It is imperative not only to learn and talk about this, but to take collective action.
In order for everyone to enjoy a weekend of insightful debate, we ask that delegates come to committee session well-prepared and researched. The complexity of this material requires a great deal of both nuance and empathy, and we have faith that you will rise to the task. We also want to emphasize the importance of respect in a General Assembly, whether you’re speaking on the floor or writing up a draft resolution. Teamwork truly does make the dream work.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our dais. Good luck, and we’ll see you in the Sheraton Ballroom!
Kevin Cremoux (Chair), Veronique Leblanc (Vice Chair), Cassia Nasralla (Vice Chair), Katherine Zhang (Vice Chair)
United Nations Special Assembly for Information Technology and Social Media (UNSA IT)
his years’ United Nations General Assembly Special Assembly will target the implications of social media on different aspects of democracy as well as mental health and minority marginalization. The United Nations is in desperate need for modern reform that specifically targets mechanisms that make social media safer and more accessible whilst also respecting national sovereignty.
With major elections in Brazil (October 2018), India (April 2019), Hungary (April 2018), the United States (November 2018), Mexico (July 2018), and Pakistan (July 2018), as well as past international scandals involving election meddling and foreign propaganda, it will be the role of this committee to acknowledge past mistakes and come up with sustainable and realistic solutions that promote accountability and transparency for all nations involved. In addition, many nations have strict policies in regards to how accessible certain social media platforms are for the general public. Discussions and compromise between social media CEOs and more conservative nations will be crucial in order to move forward with concrete solutions.
With the spread of dangerous ‘challenges’ on different social media platforms, as well as a rapid increase in cyber-bullying incidents around the world, delegates should be prepared to confront the serious realities of social media and their potential effects on mental health. Solutions should also include innovative ways minorities can use these platforms to advance humanitarian causes and promote voices that have faced suppression.
Delegates will be expected to use their social media knowledge as well as diplomatic tactics to work together. They should be ready to think outside the box and be prepared for the unexpected (#crisiselements #leaks).
Get ready for a challenge; we cannot wait to see all the work you will accomplish in November.
Sophie Zhao (Chair), Coco Wang (Vice Chair), Orla Magill (Vice Chair), Asterix Hassan (Vice Chair)
World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
WIPO is a self-funding agency of United Nations with a mission to lead the development of an intellectual property system on a global scale. It is a global forum for intellectual property services, policy, information and cooperation. As technology advances in the 21st century, there exists a demand for investigating and investing in stronger and adapting policies for patents and copyrights to avoid issues pertaining to competing companies and firms. As well, there is an unmet need for policy reform to address the ability of poor countries to access technologies for dealing with public and social objectives.