An Overview of the Model UN Committees

There are six main committees:

  • The First Committee (Disarmament and International Security Committee) is concerned with disarmament and related international security questions.
  • The Second Committee (Economic and Financial Committee) is concerned with economic questions.
  • The Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee) deals with social and humanitarian issues.
  • The Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization Committee) deals with a variety of political subjects not dealt with by the First Committee, as well as with decolonization.
  • The Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary Committee) deals with the administration and budget of the United Nations.
  • The Sixth Committee (Legal Committee) deals with international legal matters.

The Plenary is where you have to know a little bit about everything.

The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) serves as the main forum for discussion of international economic, social, cultural and health issues, as well as human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) discusses the allocation and usage of resources and potential for the betterment of humanity and progress towards world peace. It is also discusses how countries whose resources are scarce or untapped can reach their full potential and not be economically deprived. This committee is a good platform to discuss ideas on how to make the world a better place for humanity.

The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) convenes, facilitates and provides scientific assessments, analyses, and projects in order to stimulate international policy responses. This committee discuses climate change, sustainable development, biodiversity, environmental governance, harmful substances, and resource efficiency. UNEP has assisted in creating guidelines and treaties on issues such as trade in harmful chemicals, trans-boundary air pollution, and contamination of international waterways.

The World Health Organization (WHO) serves as the “authority for health within the United Nations system”, and furthermore provide “leadership on global health matters, shape the health research agenda, set norms and standards, articulate evidence-based policy options, provide technical support to countries and monitor and assess health trends.” Current objectives of the WHO are laid out in a “Six-Point Agenda” aimed at responding to the challenges of an “increasingly complex and rapidly changing landscape” of global public health. The points on the agenda are: (1) promoting development; (2) fostering health security; (3) strengthening health systems; (4) harnessing research, information and evidence; (5) enhancing partnerships; and (6) improving performance.

The Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is an inter-governmental body within the United Nations system that is responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the global and for addressing situations of human rights violations and make recommendations on them. It has the ability to discuss all thematic human rights issues and situations that require its attention throughout the year.

The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) discusses child labor, reducing child mortality, and children in armed conflict. UNICEF aims to crumble obstacles to the success of youth, be they poverty, violence, disease, or discrimination, with the ultimate purpose of advancing humanity by starting at its roots.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization contributes to peace and security by promoting international collaboration through education, science and culture to further universal respect for justice, the rule of law and human rights along with the fundamental freedom proclaimed in the United Nations Charter.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime enhances the mechanisms to stem the increasing spread of illicit drugs. This includes alternative development, corruption, crop monitoring, HIV/AIDS, human trafficking, justice and prison reform, money laundering, organized crime, and terrorism prevention.

The Triple Joint Crisis consists of two independently running subcommittees whose decisions and actions immediately affect the perpetual crisis at hand, thus providing for an experience like no other. What delegates will be asked to deal with is only partially revealed for your preparation; covert plots, terrible luck, and the well-meaning (or hostile) actions of the opposing committee together offer an unpredictable, volatile, and urgent, but undoubtedly exciting, experience. If the bloc as a whole is to succeed, the delegates must compromise, negotiate, and persevere in a battle of diplomatic wit; after all, there is a nemesis waiting, biding its time. Delegates interested in TJC will need to be prepared to partake in intensive and fast-paced debate on a diverse series of urgent topics within their subcommittee, while still possessing a fine-tuned handle on diplomatic conduct. Detailed research and preparation prior to the conference will be key to success in TJC, but wits and thinking on one’s feet will also be critically important.

The International Court of Justice (The Court) has Justices and Advocates. The role of a Justice is much different from the traditional role as an MUN delegate, and significantly distinct from that of an Advocate. Justices are responsible for reading the briefs and hearing arguments on each of the cases. Then the cases and arguments are discussed in order to determine the appropriate applications of international law in each case. Justices are also responsible for writing opinions for each case. An Advocate’s role is given an assignment with the privilege of representing your country by arguing a case before the ICJ. Preparing for this role can be time consuming, as it not only involves dedicated research and writing, but it also requires an oral presentation before the Court. Appropriate preparation is essential to a rewarding and successful simulation of the ICJ. It is important that all Advocates properly prepare and submit Memorials on time. In addition, the lead-up time is used to Conference wisely by drafting and practicing Oral Arguments. The Justices will be reading the Memorials for the country’s position; however, the presentation during the Oral Argument is also a key part of the Justice’s decisions.

The Committee of the Privy Council has delegates that act as a privy council of the country. A privy council is a body that advises the head of state of a nation.

News Reporters and Journalists Definitely Need (More) Protection / Reaction to the Capital Gazette Attack

My initial reaction to the Capital Gazette shootings on June 28, 2018 (before the shooter was identified): “Is this a ‘Charlie Hebdo-like’ attack on American soil?” Yesterday (July 2), I saw the video below and was shocked to hear what Jim Cavanaugh said about the shooter: he was posting tweets about Charlie Hebdo (4:14).

Continue reading “News Reporters and Journalists Definitely Need (More) Protection / Reaction to the Capital Gazette Attack”