Taking on a world in conflict: SLMUN 2020

By Sonal Randeny and Asiri Ekanayake

Sri Lanka Model United Nations (SLMUN) returns for its 13th session this year on September 12th and 13th. Considering the status quo around the globe, the theme for the upcoming conference is ÔÇÿA world in conflictÔÇÖ; aiming to unite todayÔÇÖs youth to stand up against misgovernance and injustice and creating a better future for all. SLMUN 2020 will simulate the following ten committees this year.┬á

The Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee (SOCHUM), one of the main six committees that form the General Assembly (GA), focuses on issues relating to fundamental human rights and social and humanitarian affairs that affect the international community. SOCHUM will debate on the topic ÔÇÿCountering the spread of violent extremism.ÔÇÖ

Like SOCHUM, the Disarmament and International Security Committee (DISEC) is a part of the GA. This committee attempts to resolve matters regarding disarmament, global challenges and threats to peace that impact the global society. The topic for DISEC is ÔÇÿDiscussing the measures to strengthen international counter-terrorism efforts.ÔÇÖ

The United Nations High Commission for Refugees was formed in 1950 to help displaced communities and stateless people. In addition to refugees, the countries that choose to accept them are also affected. Considering the current refugee situation, we must ‘Devise strategies to alleviate the burden on refugees on their life-threatening journeys to safety and the burden on countries that chose to accept them.’

Comprised of the more experienced MUNers, the Security Council (UNSC) is a competitive committee with 15 member states that discuss issues relating to maintaining international security and peace. This yearÔÇÖs topic is ÔÇÿThe situation in SyriaÔÇÖ which will undoubtedly stimulate intriguing debate within the council.

The World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) seeks to develop an accessible and effective system for Intellectual Property (IP) and reward and stimulate creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Traditional Cultural Expressions (TCE) are IP that contributes to cultural identity. The importance of protecting them is precisely why ‘TCEs and IP’ was chosen as the topic for WIPO.

The World Health Organisation is a specialized agency formed in 1948 to ensure “the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health”. In the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak, we must invest in avoiding and preparing for such diseases in the future. With that in mind, this year’s topics include ‘Addressing the global threat of pandemics’.

The United Nations Economic and Social Council is the central forum for coordinating the economic and social aspects pertaining to specialized agencies and various commissions of the UN. COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on the global economy as well as communities all over the world. Therefore, we hope to ÔÇÿRethink global approaches and solutions to tax evasion, tax avoidance, and money launderingÔÇÖ at this yearÔÇÖs conference.┬á

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is an autonomous organization formed in 1957 to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy and inhibit using it for military purposes. To ensure this, IAEA will discuss ÔÇÿThe question of nuclear non-proliferation and the future of the NPT.ÔÇÖ

The Global Summit on Climate Change 2020 is a forum that will gather leading green energy practitioners from around the world in hope to support and showcase ÔÇÿNationally Determined Contributions to the Paris AgreementÔÇÖ. At SLMUN 2020, we will ‘Discuss and confront the economic, social and geopolitical challenges caused by climate change.ÔÇÖ

The International Court of Justice, which serves as the main judicial body of the UN, carries an exclusive role in MUN much like its real-life counterpart. Delegates of the Courts will deviate from the usual committee procedures and have the privilege of gaining a unique experience witnessing justice in action.

As always, SLMUN strives to give an enlightening experience to all our delegates which is sure to be valuable in their journey to become capable and knowledgeable young leaders of the future.