Committees & Agenda

Committees

MUNAPEST 2018 will feature 10 Committees: 5 UN bodies – one with 3 additional sub-committees that will increase its efficiency tremendously –, an intercontinental decision-making organization of global importance, a conglomerate of 3 powerful and influential international development banks, as well as a Press Committee – where participants represent News Agencies rather than States, covering events of the Conference through their own interpretation –, all intertwined through our system of Interconnectivity. Individual committee topics are not only similar in some regards but overlap in others, approaching the central topic of the conference from different angles. In the system of Interconnectivity, a single committee cannot be successful on its own – addressing global challenges requires cooperation between a variety of actors. The aim of MUNAPEST 2018 is to present participants with a more dynamic, more challenging, and ultimately more engaging MUN experience. The Main Topic of MUNAPEST 2018 is…

 

Resurgent Asia -

The Silk Road to Prosperity

 

 

Economic and Social Council

 

Topic: The future of Asia’s Oil Consumption and Production Patterns

 

Level of Representation: Diplomat (Hierarchy Level 4)

 

Level of Difficulty: Intermediate

 

Out of the top 12 oil consumer and producer countries in the world, 7 are located in Asia (including the Middle East region). Unfortunately, when it comes to oil consumption and production patterns, more often than not we talk/hear about news and statistics that are generally about the world. The most reoccurring one being the simple fact that oil consumption is at a record high and the day when our oil reserves will be a memory of the past is approaching fast. It is time to look at Asia and it’s statistics, it is time to highlight the differences it has with the rest of the world and to plan ahead, for anything that is yet to come in the future.

 

For a continent that has so many nations dependent on oil- whether from production/income aspect or consumption- it is indeed a challenging task to plan ahead. Oil can make or break many economies. War economies like Yemen are still running on oil, the Kurdish region of Iraq has it’s own oil industry and trades on the international market despite the unclear status of their political standing, sanctions on countries like Iran or Russia affect their oil trade the heaviest and many other examples in the continent.

 

Taking all of these into account, you will still have to come together and look at the bigger picture: that of the future. In order to avoid future economical and social crises and nations breaking down, you have to find common ground and strategies now. This will be your task during MUNAPEST 2018. Your role will be pivotal during the conference, and your duties as heavy as it can get. The future is holding you responsible for the decisions you make today!

 

States represented:

 

China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Kuwait, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Vietnam, Yemen

Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)

 

Topic: Settling Territorial disputes in the South China Sea

 

Level of Representation: Foreign Ministers (Hierarchy level 1)

 

Level of Difficulty: Expert

 

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was first created in 1967 in an attempt to reject the growing fear of communism. Since then, its purposes have expanded to promote social progress, cultural development, regional peace, and, most importantly, to accelerate economic growth within the member states of the organization. The organisation has a global reputation of promoting goodwill and diplomacy among nations, shutting out any biased opinion or decision, and carrying the principle of non-interference. ASEAN is an official United Nations Observer.

 

For a long time the East and South China Seas have been the scene of escalating territorial disputes between China and its neighbours, including Japan, Vietnam, and the Philippines. The tensions, shaped by China's growing assertiveness, have fuelled concerns over armed conflict and raised questions about Washington's security commitments in its strategic rebalance toward the Asia-Pacific region. The continuous escalation of conflicts in the region are threatening the well-renowned neutral standpoint of the ASEAN members as more and more of its members are pulled in by the vacuum of aggression. Integrity, stability, and sovereignty is at stake and as ASEAN Secretary General Le Loung Minh said “The South China Sea issue is not just about competing claims; it’s about peace and stability in the region.”

 

During the conference delegates will face an evergrowing challenge in the committee. Each delegate has to muster their knowledge and their diplomatic skills to protect the fragile motto of ASEAN “One vision, one identity, one community.” Once again ASEAN will take centre role to settle one of the most controversial disputes in Asia and be the flag that Asian nations would follow and a role model to settle future conflicts and maintain stability in the region.

 

States represented:

 

Brunei, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

 

Topic: Tackling Myanmar Rohingya Crisis

 

Level of Representation: Diplomats (Hierarchy Level 4)

 

Level of Difficulty: Beginner

 

The Rohingya, a mainly Muslim ethnic group living in the western coastal state of Rakhine of Myanmar, are often described as „the world’s most persecuted minority”. They have been denied citizenship in the country since 1982 and are not allowed to leave the state of Rakhine, where they mostly live in ghetto-like camps with a lack of basic services and opportunities, without government permission.

 

Since the 1970s the Rohingya have been regularly made target of persecution by the government and have suffered from human rights violations under past military dictatorships. However, the most severe issue is the currently ongoing military crackdown by the Myanmar Army and police in response to attacks on Myanmar border posts in October 2016 by Rohingya insurgents.

 

Since then, military attack against Rohingya settlements, mass shootings and violence resulted in the death of more than 1,000 people and forced nearly 1/3 of the Rohingya population of Myanmar (about 400,000 people) to flee the country. The situation in Myanmar doesn’t seem to improve in the near future, and the Rohingya refugees are not welcome in most of the neighbouring countries, which leaves the delegates of HCR with the challenging task of tackling this crisis. On your quest to do so, you will be faced with crises that further escalate the situation, as well as inteconnectivity which further complicates your task by connecting your work to the other committees’ and vice versa. All in all, be prepared to challenge and test yourself in this exhilirating committee!

 

States represented:

 

Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Germany, Guinea, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Netherlands, Pakistan, Philipines, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, United Kingdom, Unites States, Vietnam, Yemen

United Nations 3rd Main Committee, SOCHUM (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Affairs)

 

Topic: Addressing the Impacts of the Yemeni Conflict

 

Level of Representation: Diplomats (Hierarchy Level 4)

 

Level of Difficulty: Intermediate

 

Since the civil war has started between the forces loyal to the internationally recognised government of President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi and those allied to the Houthi rebel movement in March 2015, it has caused the death of more than 7,600 people and left 42,000 injured. After two years of fighting, no side appears close to a decisive military victory.

 

The conflict and a blockade imposed by a Saudi-led multinational coalition backing the president have also triggered a humanitarian disaster. The destruction of civilian infrastructure and restrictions on food and fuel imports have pushed Yemen to the brink of famine. As of March 2017, an estimated 18.8 million people - 69% of Yemen's population - needed some kind of humanitarian or protection assistance. This includes 10.3 million in acute need, who urgently require immediate, life-saving assistance in at least one sector.

 

Settlements are constantly being bombed by coalition forces, resulting in the destruction of extremely valuable pieces of the Yemeni culture. Furthermore, according to the UN, 2 million Yemenis are internally displaced and 180,000 have fled the country, causing another refugee crisis in the region. It is safe to say that Yemen’s economy is a war economy now. This economy and the way it is handled has a large impact on the wellbeing of those who still remain in the country and who are close to the ’healthy’ category. Unfortunately, this simple but fundemental fact is widely ignored and forgotten. We suggest you to remember it during your debates! With the civil war raging, more and more civilians are expected to die every day and a small piece of Yemen, Yemeni society and Yemeni culture is dying with them. Now it is up to the diplomats of SOCHUM to come up with innovative and effective ideas and solutions in order to save the country and its people. Will you live up to the challenge?

 

States represented:

 

Bangladesh, China, France, Germany , India, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Turkey, U.A.E, United Kingdom, United States of America, Yemen

Security Council

 

Topic: Nuclear Non-Proliferation in Asia

 

Representation Level: Ambassadors to the United Nations (Hierarchy level 2)

 

Level of Difficulty: Advanced

 

„A world free of nuclear weapons would be a global public good of the highest order.“ The wise words of former United Nations Secretary General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, have never been more relevant than today. The risk that a new nuclear proliferation process begins has never been this high since the Non-proliferation Treaty entered into force in 1970.

 

Starting with North Korea’s withdrawal from the treaty in 2003, Asia became a major point of strategic rivalry based on nuclear weapons. At present, this region poses the biggest challenge for the future of nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament efforts, while the number of nuclear warheads is growing and North Korea continues to conduct nuclear weapon tests. Now, as an esteemed member of the United Nations Security Council, the weights to keep the scale of power relations in balance are in your hands. While the U.S. and Russia freeze and continue to reduce their nuclear arsenals, China, India and Pakistan are quietly increasing and modernizing their nuclear forces, and Iran, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Japan are considered “possible near-or mid-term nuclear weapons-ready states“. Honorable delegates, upon joining one of the highest-ranking committees of MUNAPEST, it will be your duty to put „security“ back into the Security Council, and stop the nuclear proliferation process in Asia before it becomes unstoppable.

 

States represented:

 

Permanent Members: China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States

Non-Premanent Members: Bolivia, Ethiopia, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Sweden

UNGA 1st Main Committee – Disarmament and International Security Committee

 

Topic: Reduction of Military Budgets

 

Level of Representation: Diplomat (Hierarchy Level 4)

 

Level of Difficulty: Advanced

 

“Massive military spending and new investments in modernizing nuclear weapons have left the world over-armed- and peace under-funded.” If you capture the essence of this sentence by former UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, you have grasped the topic you will be discussing and debating in the DISEC committee this year.

 

The total world military expenditure stood above 1500 billion US Dollars for 2016. It is evident that there are numerous world problems such as hunger, poverty, lack of clean drinking water and many others that could be drastically reduced through higher expenditure by the governments. Of course, military is a fundamental part of each nation and needs it’s own fair share of investment and expenditure. However, we have been witnessing an irrational behavior by the governments throughout the past decade where military preparedness has turned into exaggerated shows of power and confronting enemies.

 

As always with every heated debate, the answer and solution lie behind a balance point. During MUNAPEST 2018, you will have to find out what is the balance point of military expenditures. Together with your committee, you will debate to find a framework, which clarifies how much exactly is ‘enough’. That is: sufficient enough to ensure security and stability of the country but also ‘enough’ to avoid disturbing the peace in the world more than mankind already has. Prepare yourself for the crises you will face during the conference as they raise more controversy and difficulty on your way. Your challenge is clear; no balance point is easy to achieve and this one is no exception!

 

States represented:

 

Australia, Cambodia, China, France, Germany, India, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States

Organisation of Islamic Cooperation

 

Topic: Consolidating Economic Interest in the face of Political Uncertainty

 

Level of Representation: Foreign Ministers (Hierarchy level 1)

 

Level of Difficulty: Expert

 

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation is an international body founded over 48 years ago, with the mandate of ‘adhering and strengthening the bonds of unity and solidarity among the Muslim peoples and member states’ as well as ‘to strengthen economic and trade cooperation in order to achieve economic integration’ and many other principles mentioned in their charter. With 57 members, its collective population stands at a total sum of 1.6 billion as of 2008.

 

Within the member states of the OIC, many of which are located in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA region), there are several areas of crisis, war and unrest. Yemen is falling apart, Iraq is fighting abhorrent terrorism, Qatar wakes up to sanctions and numerous other examples. The political tensions are extremely high between many members of the OIC, some of which are decades or centuries-long and have always overshadowed diplomatic relations in the region. It is worth highlighting that many of the wealthiest and the poorest nations of the world are members of the OIC.

 

As a member of this organization in MUNAPEST 2018, you will be discussing economic cooperation in a background full of complications that were mentioned above. It may seem simple and straightforward, but let us assure you that it will be anything but ‘simple’! There will be many obstacles on your way; the smallest one being your fundamental differences in foreign policies and the appalling crises that you will have to tackle. All of this, whilst you try to prove to the world that the Middle East is not just a bubble of war and unrest, that it is not just a reservoir full of oil and nothing more. It is time that the OIC proves its position and power effective, and that time is now in your hands. This is your one chance, use it meritoriously!

 

States represented:

 

Bangladesh, Brunei, Guinea, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Yemen

United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC)

 

Topic: Human Rights Violations in Asian Labour Market

 

Level of Representation: Diplomats (Hierarchy Level 4)

 

Level of Difficulty: Beginner

 

The second preambulatory clause of the Charter of United Nations emphasises that the peoples of the United Nations are determined “to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small”. Within the system of the UN, United Nations Human Rights Council is an inter-governmental body, focused on protecting and promoting all human rights worldwide, and taking actions on the violations of human rights.

 

The situation of blue-collar workers throughout Asia has caused several human rights disputes in the past decades. In close cooperation with the International Labour Organization, the strengthening of labour law in Asian markets has been an urging issue, without many effective solutions so far. Certain countries still represent evidences which reflect the inappropriate circumstances of manual and industrial workers. The vulnerability to the employers and difficult economic circumstances further impairs the situation of people working in these sectors.

 

Delegates are expected to share their knowledge and not just to find a common ground in this matter, but also to come up with realistic implementable solutions, and further ideas about how the solutions can be put into effect. The realization of a continent (and a world), where justice and equality can be reached, lies in the hands of the delegates of the Human Rights Council! As the former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan famously said: "We will not enjoy security without development, we will not enjoy development without security, and we will not enjoy either without respect for human rights." The work of the delegates has an important impact on the stance of the international welfare, influencing the work of other committees.

 

States represented:

 

Bangladesh, China, Ethipia, Guinea, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ivory Coast, Japan, Kuwait, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philipines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam

Special Financial Committee

Sub-Committees:

-              International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD)

-              New Development Bank (NDB)

-              Asian Development Bank

Topic:

  • Primary objective: Handling PAFF Requests

  • Secondary objective: Setting the Framework for Providing Loans for Defence Purposes

  • Tertiary objective: Discuss the Implications of Cryptocurrencies and Making the Banks and Countries Ready to Sustain in the 21st century

Level of Representation: Chief Economists (Hierarchy Level 3)

Level of Difficulty: Expert

The ‘Special Financial Committee’ is responsible for the way capital is handled at MUNs. The committee is responsible for handling capital, monetary support across committees, countries and organizations. SFC will consist of three sub-committees: the IBRD from the World Bank Group, BRICS New Development Bank and the Asian Development Bank. SFC is a gathering of States’ chief economists who should tackle several economic issues and aid delegations through financing treaties or projects during the conference while keeping track of their respected country’s budget. All of this is handled through a so called Procurement Application Fiscal Form (PAFF), which can be submitted by individual delegates, group of delegates or even by committees to request loans to tackle natural disasters, revitalize infrastructure or even for “defence” purposes. Deciding on such requests will be the primary duty of the three banks.

This year our ingenious economists will be traveling to Asia, a continent with huge economies and potentials, not to mention ever rising conflicts across countries effecting the world economy. It is an economic monster making up 60% of the world’s population consisting of 49 different nations. As in all regions in the world the wealth of this enormous continent differs between and within nations. Today Asian nations must face the continuous challenges such as widening income disparities, persistent poverty, widespread corruption, and ever growing ethnic and religious conflicts. With the three banks coming together the goal is to set up a framework for providing loans for defence purposes that could eventually change the whole dynamic of the conference.

Every participant in SFC is encouraged to work closely with regional organizations and committees to discuss specifics, targets, loans and interest rates that will define comprehensive development projects and that will have a lasting consequence not just on their own economy but on others as well. You must remember that all actions have consequences and decisions made in the SFC can incite revolts, cripple economies, topple governments or could put nations on a path of growth and prosperity.

This Committee is highly recommended for business and economics students but not exclusively reserved for them. As compared to a standard MUN Committee, decisions of the SFC will mostly involve making various deals and navigating the various interest groups of the Conference to eventually come out on top!

States Represented

World Bank IBRD: Australia, Brazil, China, India, Japan, Myanmar, Russia, South Africa, United States of America, Yemen

NDB-BRICS: Brazil, China, India, Russia, South Africa

Asian Development Bank: Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, South Korea, Thailand

Press Committee

 

Topic: Reporting Live on Resurgent Asia with the Latest Breaking News!

 

Level of Representation: Journalists (outside Hierarchy)

 

Level of Difficulty: Intermediate

 

The connection between media and international politics is stronger than ever. By now, the media has proven to be an influential power, which has many tools to shape the everyday world of politics. The aim of the press, as a media vehicle, is to carry out informative communication via journalism – so is the duty of the Press Committee of MUNAPEST!

 

Representing prominent news agencies of the region and worldwide, the journalists of the conference are responsible for reporting the latest news, aspiring to cover MUNAPEST on the field. They are expected to create various articles about on-going debates, while faithfully reflecting the position of their news agency. By bridging the gap between distinct committees and countries, our journalists are key figures in the Interconnectivity system and letting the MUN world know about the most recent Crisis Scenarios. Once they are published, press articles contribute to new debate topics, give rise to new allies, or even plant the seeds of new conflicts among the MUNAPEST delegations.

 

The competition among Press Committee members lies behind the rapidity and quality of the articles they release. However, be careful with publishing fake news and alternative facts, they can easily throw back your work – lack of consistent results in isolation and lack of credibility among the ambassadors of media. Be creative, use the social media, but most of all, be the witness of an international milestone and report it first hand – before your colleagues find something juicier to write about!

 

Available News Agencies:

 

Aljazeera (Qatar), BBC (UK), Fox News (U.S), Korean Central News Agency (North Korea), Reference News (China), Russia Today (Russia)