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Organization of American States

Topic Area A: Diversity in Educational Systems The Americas is considered one of the most culturally diverse regions in the world, and this is also true when looking at educational achievement across its member countries. According to the latest evaluation by the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), Canadian 15-year-old students are ranked as 6th in reading comprehension skills whereas Peruvian students of the same age are ranked 70thout of the 74 countries that participated in this study. The enforcement of law to improve educational systems is one potential reason to account for such diversity. For example, education in countries such as Mexico is highly determined by the power of teacher unions, which are reluctant to being evaluated on their performance as teachers. Also, some educational systems in the Americas are structurally different. For example, some countries do not enforce that students receive pre-childhood education before entering elementary school. One of the most important aspects of education is that, aside from being a human right, it is closely related to economic growth. A nation that is well educated is aware of its rights and duties and, therefore, it can contribute to the progress of its country. Latin America is still considered the most unequal region in the world with a Gini coefficient of 50%. Most of this inequality is intrinsically related to the fact that access and quality of education differs greatly among and within nations. A comparative approach to the diverse educational systems of the region will be at the core of the debate of this topic. At the same time, applicability of successful educational systems in other countries should be taken into consideration when proposing resolutions. Topic B: Gender Inequalities and Issues of Identity Womens rights and gender equality has been a recurring topic in the political agenda of most countries in the Americas. One of the biggest achievements of the OAS in this respect has been the support of gender mainstreaming policies and activities through the Inter-American Commission of Woman (CIM). Although governments have been receptive of such policies, there is still room for improvement in places such as the workplace and political participation in each country. Latin American longstanding machismo culture has come in the way of the complete enforcement of policies on gender equality. Also, corruption in everyday interactions has proven to be one of the most important problems to consider when evaluating each nations gender-responsiveness. However, in the past years the debate seems to have shifted to the acceptance of other types of gender expression and sexual identity. The Lesbian, Gay, Trans, Bisexual and Intersex (LGTBI) community has faced various issues of inequality due to cultural considerations in the region. Both culture and religion are extremely tied to the beliefs of most governments in the Americas; as a result, little improvement has been seen in tackling issues related to LGTBI-identified individuals. It is the responsibility of the OAS to assess the improvement of gender inequalities and the status of women in the past years. At the same time, the OAS should discuss how such improvement can be applicable to the LGTBI community or what mechanisms shall be implemented to tackle this problem while taking into account the cultural diversity of the Americas.

World Health Organization


Topic Area A: The Illegal Organ Trade Conservative estimates suggest that each year 15,000 kidneys are illegally trafficked. A global increase in the frequency of kidney disease and a dwindling supply of viable kidneys in Western nations coupled with the forces of globalization have led to a burgeoning illegal organ trade in developing nations. Without an international consensus on the issue it is reasonable to forecast that the black market will only continue to expand, as it is much easier for traffickers today than in the past. The topic of the illegal organ trade is of great importance and although the United Nations has broached the issue on more than one occasion the situation continues to worsen. The illegal organ trade raises important economic, social, and cultural questions. Since the majority of the trafficking occurs in developing nations some argue that the trade exaggerates the polarization between the global north and global south. Furthermore, at the root of the issue is the question of how do we as a society deal with the moral question of selling ones body. Do you we as humans have complete autonomy over our bodies and thus can the authority to sell parts of the? The answer to such moral questions will be culture specific although individual states have proposed legislation the global nature of the trade requires that the international community reach some consensus. As delegates to the World Health Organization you will be faced with the responsibility to counter the illegal organ trade and also to grapple with the underlying question of morality in order to develop a framework for how the global community can address this pressing issue. Topic Area B: Malaria in Sub-Saharan Africa Approximately 90 to 95% of malaria related deaths occur in Sub-Saharan African. Each year hundreds of thousands of children in the region die due to fatal mosquito bites. The scope of the problem is incomparable to any other in global health. The prevalence of Malaria on the continent is a consequence of a variety of factors and in order to resolve the problem multiple issues must be addressed as once. This issue is of great importance and even despite previous UN efforts the situation is largely unchanged. This issue has marred the region and resolving the malaria crisis will also help to strengthen the economic futures of the states. The real challenge here is how to equip nations to prevent malaria, diagnose it early, effectively distribute medications and other preventative, and also to build a more effective permanent health care system.

UNICEF
Topic Area A: Child Labor According to the International Labour Organization, it is estimated that about 215 million children are involved in child labor worldwide. Although child labor is prevalent in all areas of the world, the majority of the cases are found in developing countries. One of the main causes of child labor is poverty. Families often depend on the extra income that a child can provide or they cannot afford to send their child to school which results in the child being forced into labor. Other families use their own children as additional sources of agricultural labor and find it to be more important than education. Child labor can have many adverse effects on the children that it employs in ways ranging from a decrease in educational opportunities to physical harm inflicted by labor machines. Child labor can also be driven by inadequate access to education, specifically if a school is too expensive or far away. Although child labor is less prevalent in developed countries, these countries are still at fault for the widespread use of child labor throughout the world. Often times it is the consumers of the developed countries that buy products that are made by child laborers which fuels the need for such labor. Although most countries have laws restricting child labor, these laws are often times not enforced or they are broken by the citizens. Additionally, article 32 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child states that children should be protected from economic exploitation and from performing any work that is likely to be hazardous or to interfere with the childs education, or to be harmful to the childs health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development. Even though 193 countries have ratified the convention, child labor is still widely prevalent and more steps are needed in order to ensure that childrens rights are truly being protected. Topic Area B: Underage Marriage Child marriage is defined as any marriage of person before the age of 18. Although child marriage affects both genders, females bear a disproportionate burden of the practice. According to the World Health Organization, over 140 million girls will become child brides between 2011 and 2020. Although the bride is often underage, the groom usually is not. In fact, he is often significantly older than her. Underage marriage can have many negative effects on the children involved. Because of their young age and bodies that are not fully developed, child brides have a higher chance of suffering from serious complication resulting from pregnancy and childbirth and they are at a higher risk of maternal and infant mortality. Child brides are also more vulnerable to domestic violence and sexual abuse. Additionally, underage brides are often times forced to abandon their education at a young age in order to become full-time wives which decreases the prevalence of future economic opportunities that are available to them. Underage marriage is often driven by poverty and tradition. Families of the bride often receive compensation for their daughters hand in marriage and a females bride price often decreases as her age increases. Additionally, families may arrange for their daughter to marry early so that they no longer need to provide for her, which reduces their economic burden. Also, in many parts of the world a females purity is highly valued which may provide further incentive for a family to want to marry their daughter young. Although many countries have adopted laws that make underage marriage illegal, the practice is still widespread and more needs to be done in order to endure that children are not being treated unfairly.

Human Rights Council


Topic A: Femicide in Latin America The word femicide, first used in 19th Century England, is becoming a commonly used term to describe the killing of a female because she is a female. This issue has been especially prominent in Latin American countries, where women face a large threat to their safety solely because of their gender, yet most crimes go unnoticed because of impunity. Many countries in Latin America, such as Mexico, Guatemala and Argentina, have seen a horrifying escalation of violent crimes committed against women. Womens rights activists across Latin America have been brutally murdered, yet these deaths are mere symbols of the millions of women in Latin America whose deaths go unnoticed. The most commonly cited causes of this violence are drug trafficking, gang violence and corruption. While men in Latin American are also subject to violent attacks and murder, the method in which the women are typically murdered (having been raped and mutilated) makes the attacks even more striking. Although Latin American countries have been making strides in their legal systems to protect women, more coordination and funds is necessary to bring legislation into practice. Efforts have been made to put an end to impunity and deal with femicide cases with greater speed and diligence. However, these efforts have had little visible effect on societies in Latin America, as women perpetually feel shame and perpetrators go free. The tone of tolerance and indifference set by many of these governments has contributed to the shocking rise of femicide rates. Because the crimes are committed against women, they are not receiving as much attention as genocides committed against a certain ethnic or racial group would. Therefore, we must address gender-based violence as a separate, important issue and send the message that this type of violence is intolerable. Topic B: Rights of the Child in Somalia In a country plagued by war and famine, the well-being of Somali children has been threatened by grave breaches of human rights. Transnational conflict between the government and various militia groups has led to increased child-soldier recruitment. Frequently, children are put in danger against their will and are subject to all kinds of mistreatment and abuse. Thousands of children were abducted in 2010 for military training in southern Somalia. A large number were used by insurgent groups to fight against the government and troops of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), leading many to be killed, injured, or captured by other armed groups. Two teenage girls were executed by Al-Shabaab, a militant Islamist group, because they were accused of spying for the Transitional Federal Government. Cases of forced marriages by militant groups, as well as recruitment of girls for cooking and cleaning, have also been documented. Cases of sexual violence against children continue to grow, many being committed by members of clanbased militia. Civil war has made children more vulnerable to violence due to displacement, poverty and the breakdown of laws. The childs right to education is also at risk, as teachers and school managers have been threatened to release their students to be trained. Pressure from militia groups has even led to the closing of schools, some having been damaged and destroyed. Civil war has only exacerbated the effects of one of the worst droughts and famines that Somalia has ever experienced. Thousands of Somali children are severely malnourished and the death toll continues to rise. Food aid groups have tried to alleviate some of the suffering, yet it is especially difficult in Al-Shabaab controlled territories, leading to bribery and other lawless methods being used to feed

children in those regions. Efforts must be made to protect helpless children from the effects of civil war, famine and corruption in Somalia.

SOCHUM
Topic Area A: Fate of Endangered Languages The modern era of the Internet, mass migration, and transnational companies has created countless opportunities for people throughout the world to improve their economic situation and to communicate with their peers on the other side of the globe. One of the primary factors that have contributed to this change is the unification of languages within and beyond borders. On a smaller scale, the creation and strengthening of nation-states has led to the adoption of a single majority language in both the public and private spheres in many countries. On a larger scale, English has become the lingua franca, or common language, of the global community, as citizens of every nation strive to learn English in the hope of gaining increased access to educational and economic opportunities. While this change has undoubtedly opened doors for many people, it has also inadvertently led to a decline in the number of languages spoken throughout the world, as speakers of minority languages frequently must give up their native tongue for school or employment. The existence of endangered languages demands the attention of the international community because of the intrinsic connection between language and culture; each language carries with it a unique set of customs and worldviews, and the death of a language marks the irreversible loss of a societys cultural heritage. In determining the fate of the 3,000 languages that are projected to die over the next century, the Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee must balance the benefits and the costs of this trend of the unification of language use. Is the protection of endangered languages worthy of our attention, time, and money in the first place? If so, should our efforts be focused on the ethnographic recording of languages before they die or on ensuring that endangered languages are still spoken within their communities? How can the international community protect the cultural heritage that accompanies these languages? If we work to preserve endangered languages in communities, how can we ensure access to educational and economic opportunities? Topic Area B: The Role of Ethnic Minorities in Economic Development Undoubtedly, the preceding decades have witnessed unprecedented economic development globally, with a significant portion of the worlds population lifted out of extreme poverty. In many countries, however, the benefits of economic development have been restricted to a small segment of the population. Specifically, many ethnic minority groups have fallen behind in a wide range of aspects of development. Ethnic minority groups often are afflicted by higher levels of poverty, do not receive as much benefit from infrastructural projects, and lack access to basic governmental services like education. The international community has declared the right to development for ethnic minorities to be a priority; Article 4 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities states that all countries should consider appropriate measures so that persons belonging to minorities may participate fully in the economic progress and development in their country. In spite of this, ethnic groups remain at a severe disadvantage because of both direct discrimination and indirect neglect. Without correcting this disparity, the UN and its member states will be unable to achieve any of the Millennium Development Goals in the foreseeable future.

The Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee must draft a plan to encourage governments to prioritize ethnic minorities in their economic development projects. What incentives can we give to government to ensure that they provide equal access to economic opportunities to ethnic minority groups? On what measures of economic development should we rely when determining the progress of ethnic minorities? What special needs do ethnic minority groups have in development, and how can the international community adequately address these? In answering these questions, the committee must balance the competing interests of governments, majority ethnic groups, and ethnic minorities to develop creative solutions to this pressing problem.

CPCJ
Topic Area A: Child Imprisonment Although the 1989 unanimous adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Children energized global efforts and summoned media attention to protecting childrens rights, child imprisonment is a still pressing issue that many experts believe is overlooked. The UNCRC states that no child shall be deprived of his or her liberty unlawfully or arbitrarily while actual child imprisonment shall be used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time. Still, according to UNICEF, a shocking number of children around the world are imprisoned without sufficient cause. They are often held for months or even years, isolated from friends and family, without a formal trial or access to legal aid. Detention conditions may be inhumane. Physical or mental abuse including sexual abuseis often common. In many nations, many of those imprisoned already come from disadvantaged communities and are ultimately criminalized for trying to survive. Moving to grayer territory, there is also a global debate regarding the degree to which children ought to be treated like adults in justice systems. One ongoing issue is life sentences without parole for childrenAmnesty International states that although multiple countries allow for this possibility, the United States is the only nation to impose such sentences in recent years. Numerous studies have pointed to the emotional and developmental trauma, negative external influence, and lack of proper education this and the aforementioned more extreme situations may inflict on children. As we delve into this topic, we will assess the necessary measures needed to prevent inhumane child imprisonment conditions while determining how to balance the unique situation of children with the desire to prevent crime. Topic Area B: Cyberattacks In an example indicative of the changing nature of warfare and terrorism, cyberattacks have become an increasingly frequent and large concern in recent years. Attacks target integrity, availability, and confidentiality of information and are especially dangerous as they can be carried out automatically, at a quick speed, and against numerous victims while attackers can more easily cross state and national lines while remaining far away physically and relatively anonymous. Numerous nations have announced cybersecurity and cyberwarfare programs; as the Economiststated: after land, sea, air and space, warfare has entered the fifth domain: cyberspace. Recent cyberattacks include 2013 attacks on South Korea that many blamed on North Korea; 2010 attacks on Indias Central Bureau of Investigation by the Pakistan Cyber Army, the latest in a series of back and forths between the two nations over several years; 2010 attacks on Irans Natanz nuclear facility blamed on the US and Israel; attacks on the USs national security apparatus and Google over the past few years blamed on China; and Operation Shady RAT, an ongoing

series of attacks that began in 2006 and have since hit at least 72 organizations, including the United Nations, the International Olympic Committee, defense contractors, and businesses. In 2010, UK officials stated there is a real and credible threat against the UK of cyberattacks from hostile states and criminals; in particular, their government systems are targeted 1,000 times every month. A recent shift to targeting infrastructure such as that of control systems, energy, finance, telecommunications, or waterhas many experts reiterating that concentrated cyberattacks could potentially cripple a nations defense or destroy its economy or wealth. Nations are responding with strategies ranging from offense to defense. However, internationally recognized regulationterms, legalityhas not emerged. In particular, there is an ongoing debate regarding whether cyberattacks falls under the definition of force prohibited by the United Nations Charter. While discussing this topic, we will determine the necessary international regulation for this growing attack form.

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (ODC)


Topic Area A: Transnational Terrorist-Criminal Nexus In the Cold War era, criminal and terrorist groups depended on US or Soviet support in exchange for offering their allegiance in proxy warfare occurring in regions of critical strategic interest. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, however, a wave of democratization across the globe undercut the strategies upon which terrorist and organized criminals had thrived in a Cold War context: Terrorists were cut off from the state-sponsored funding that had sustained their campaigns for decades, while criminals dodged law enforcement attention as the global eye turned inward from the international stage toward domestic concerns. Out of necessity, both markets evolved to accommodate the new global context, and eventually a mutualistic partnership emerged based on how resources possessed by each attuned to the needs of the other. Criminal organizations, which had traditionally served as gatekeepers of the narcotic markets, collaborated with terror groups to turn the profitable narcotics trade into a tool for funding terror plots and insurgencies. Organized crime groups in turn benefited from the vastness of cross-border terror networks, which increased resources for eluding heightened police crackdown. The implication of an emergent, wealthy, and globalized nexus between terrorists and criminal groups, is an increased premium on perpetuating the narcotics trade, the lynchpin of the mutualism. Criminal and terrorist groups are each beginning to exhibit characteristics traditional to the other, such that existing distinctions of police efforts from counterterrorism work demonstrate a fractionalized approach to an increasingly consolidated threat. The work of this committee on this topic should consider how narcotic drug policies could be used to weaken this nexus.

Topic B: Aligning Drug Policy with Public Health The modern-day culture of drug use and trafficking, and a responding legacy of punitive policy, originated in the US in the 1970s, although narcotics had a marketable but disregarded presence worldwide through much of the 19th and early 20th century. The public impact of narcotics remained a tangential issue for policymakers, however, during the early 1900s, when its use was largely confined to immigrant groups and aristocratic patrons. It moved into the public policy spotlight after mainstream cultural movements in the 1960s iconized drug use. The political backlash was militant and targeted: President Nixon declared a War on Drugs in June 1971, and much of the Western-aligned world

followed suit. Rhetoric vilifying casual drug use created mass hysteria that was harnessed to pass through hardline drug legislation, such as no-warrant searches and mandatory sentencing. After global attention lost its fixation on the War on Drugs, however, it became clear that the steps taken to pacify voters about the drug threat were often pitted against the interests of public health. While public awareness crusades assured that the risks of intravenous drugs in spreading disease were well-known, laws penalized needle possession so harshly that many users accept the risks of sharing needles. Fractionalized health infrastructure in countries render (underfunded) rehabilitation programs ineffective, because they are ill-equip to treat the other health problems that often accompany health use. The focus on punishment over rehabilitation often amplifies rather than mitigates drug harm. Widely-differing drug policy worldwide offers the opportunity for evaluating how public health interests can best be preserved when addressing drug use, its prosecution, and addiction treatment.

Economic and Financial Committee (WTO)


Topic Area A: Global Emerging Middle Class Globally, the middle class constitutes approximately 1.8 billion people. This demographic is expected to rise over the next few decades as the world population grows and shifts towards young and middle-aged adults. As a result, the growing middle class provides a tremendous drive for the world economy and boundless opportunities for businesses and corporations. Especially after the global financial crisis that struck many developed countries over these past few years, this changing demographic can help stabilize the global economy and turn it towards growth and expansion. This trend will not only be seen in current advanced economically developing nations, but also in underdeveloped countries around the world. As more and more people enter the middle class, the world economy will start to see demands for consumer staples, such as food, personal and household products. Exciting political and social policies lie ahead as new markets and changing demands shape the future of the global economy. Delegates will be challenged to address the issues that come with an emerging global middle class. The committee will be tasked to recommend policies and initiatives that will allow governments to become more active members of the global economy and suggest ways to make such growth sustainable in the long-term. Topic Area B: Digitization of Labor The world is constantly changing around us as advancements in technology and innovation shape the global markets and industries. Recently, improvements in 3D printing technology and the lowered costs associated with it have made the technology readily available to a variety of industries. The industries impacted by 3D printing range from automotive, engineering, aerospace, industrial design, medical, jewelry, to footwear. Also known as additive manufacturing, 3D printing technology may find itself replacing traditional manufacturing industry entirely over the next few decades. Many developing countries that rely on overseas manufacturing will find themselves pushed out of the market by this technology. The fast-growing pace of social media has lead to interesting ideas such as crowdsourcing labor and intelligent tasks. With the increased global connectivity that has arisen from the social

media boom, people now have access to a wider labor force that is no longer limited by distance or time differences. Anywhere, people can take on tasks from anyone and finish them on their own time. The flexibility of this bigger network of workers offers more productivity and efficiency than that of the traditional labor force. In time, businesses and companies may shift to these alternative models of labor to lower costs and increase productivity and upend the system already in place. Delegates will have the opportunity to discuss these interesting issues and consider how they will impact the global economy through the markets and industries that they will drastically change. The committee will need to address the political and social impact of these emerging technologies and their effect on industries around the world.

ECOSOC
Microfinance for Emerging Markets Eurozone Debt Crisis

Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO)


Malnutrition Food Security and Safety

Security Council
Situation in Syria Situation in North Korea

RESOURCES FOR FURTHER RESEARCH http://www.harvardmun.org/conference-materials/research-suggestions