The First Committee: Disarmament and International Security (DISEC)
The First Committee will arbitrate on developments that either continue to threaten international peace or challenge the conduct of joint international security efforts. Its first topic, “The Prohibition of Biological Weapons”, will consider any outstanding threats posed by biological weapons. The committee will address both the current and future state of biological weapons, including synthetic biological weapons and advancements in gene editing. Given the broadening scope of biological weapons, the committee must determine whether such advances should be limited in the name of international security. The committee’s second topic, “Information and Telecommunications in International Security,” will be focused on developments in technology that fundamentally alter the landscape of international security communications. Issues that may be addressed include what constitutes a cyber-attack against another state, whether these attacks breach principles of sovereignty, and the actions states can take to protect themselves against cyber crimes.
The Sixth Committee: Legal
The Sixth Committee considers questions that may be solved through crafting solutions grounded in legal theory to further the institutionalization of international law. Its first topic, “The Criminal Accountability of United Nations Officers and Experts on Missions” is focused on the criminal acts committed by UN officials on mission including, but not limited to, sexual assault, financial fraud, and corruption. The committee may address related topics such as jurisdiction, liability, deterrence, and appropriate legal consequences. The second topic, “The Oslo Principles on Global Climate Change Obligations,” addresses the “Oslo Principles”, introduced in 2014 by a group of experts in international law, human rights law, and environmental law. The Oslo Principles suggest that states have a legal responsibility to protect their citizens against the “humanitarian” impact of environment-related disasters. The committee will confer on the feasibility of implementing these principles, debate its contentious issues, and may even use it as a basis to suggest other legal mechanisms to address climate change.
Background Guide .
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development addresses the integration of developing countries into the world markets by discussing economic mechanisms related to trade and development. Its first topic, “E-commerce for development,” is focused on minimizing the digital divide, and proposing accessible e-commerce solutions for development. The committee may explore topics such as internet literacy, institutional support for e-commerce development, and the role e-commerce may play in primary commodity markets (such as natural gas, oil, agricultural products, etc.) The committee’s second topic, “Escaping the Middle Income Trap,” refers to the situation in which a country which achieves a “middle level of income” plateaus and cannot develop further. Possible topics for discussion may include how to avoid these traps, solutions for product innovation and growth, labor diversification, and how the international community may mitigate these stagnant conditions.
Global Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Symposium:
Can TRCs effectively strengthen peace processes?
TRCs have been implemented in 42 countries to address injustice and wrongdoing perpetrated by the government or non-state actors in an attempt to resolve conflict and bring justice to victims. They often emerge after periods of unrest and are implemented at the behest of the government. Modeled after the symposium of the same name held by the Kofi Annan Foundation and the International Centre for Transitional Justice, this Global TRC Symposium will convene delegates from each of the 42 countries to share their experiences on their countries’ specific TRCs, and to craft universally applicable recommendations for future TRCs. Delegates will discuss the broad expanse of TRC mandates, including human rights violations under military regimes, transgressions at the hands of communist states, and crimes against Indigenous peoples. Specific topics of discussion will include avoiding unrealistic and overambitious expectations, seeking support from the international community or other international bodies for TRC implementation, and ensuring accountability from TRC commissioners and staff, among other topics.