North East India International Model United Nations first session in Kohima

Imkumsungla Longchar *

United Nations  General Assembly Hall at the United Nations headquarters in New York City in August 2011
United Nations General Assembly Hall at the United Nations headquarters in New York City in August 2011

The North East India International Model United Nations is gearing up for its first session in Kohima from 16th -18th December 2013, bringing the world to the North East with the conference being the first of its kind. The conference will host young leaders between the ages of 18-25 years. NEIMUN is supported by UNDP, Government of Nagaland and Best Delegate, USA. The theme of the conference is the UN 3 Pillars "Peace and Security, Development and Human Rights".

The NEIMUN secretariat zeroed down on four committees of the United Nations General Assembly which will be simulated during the three days conference. Namely, Disarmament and International Security Committee (DISEC), Economic and Financial Committee (ECOFIN), Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee (SOCHUM) and Special Political and Decolonization Committee (SPECPOL). Here is a brief insight on each committee, their aims, speciality, challenges and propositions.

1. Disarmament and International Security Committee (DISEC):

This committee is also referred to as 'The First Committee' of the UN General Assembly. The committee deals with disarmament, global challenges and threats to peace that affect the international community and seeks out solutions to the challenges in the international security regime working in close cooperation with the United Nations Disarmament Commission and the Geneva-based Conference on Disarmament. In the three days conference the committee will be focusing and deliberating on Nuclear Disarmament (Peace & Security).

This is a "classic" MUN topic that introduces students to peace and security theme and International Relations concepts around the security dilemma, deterrence, etc. The primary source for this topic is the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT/1968). This treaty (NPT) is a landmark international move with the objective of preventing the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament ,general and complete disarmament. Thereby striving to fulfill the first and foremost purpose of the United Nations ie "to maintain international peace and security." With more than 22,000 nuclear weapons in existence worldwide, the threat to peaceful existence escalates higher and bigger. Yet, various states refuse to disarm itself of nuclear weapons and others race for it.

By debating on "Nuclear Disarmament," delegates will learn the various issues and policies in play that makes disarmament a complex issue though the affects are well accounted and acknowledged for, the structural study of the works of the General Assembly, the framework set by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and larger international relations themes of deterrence and the "security dilemma." Can the world achieve the goal of a nuclear free existence?

2. Economic and Financial Committee (ECOFIN)

The Economic and Financial Committee (Second Committee) deals with issues relating to economic growth and development such as financing for development, sustainable development, human settlements, poverty eradication, globalization and interdependence, operational activities for development and issues relating to Groups of Countries in special situations - such as the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs). The committee will be working on the topic Eradication of Poverty (Development).

This topic will introduce delegates to the Millennium Development Goals and the development agenda post-2015.

Billions of people live in extreme poverty and hunger around the world with an estimated population of over 1.2 billion people living on less than US$1 a day. The United Nations has made the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger one of its highest priorities, specifically through the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). By studying, discussing and deliberating about "Eradication of Poverty," delegates will learn how the UN works with governments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to achieve the MDGs and eradicate extreme poverty and hunger worldwide.

The structural study of the works of the General Assembly Second Committee will be: Economic and Financial, the MDGs, and the Post-2015 Development Agenda. The question, is the "end of poverty" truly possible?

3. Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee (SOCHUM):

The General Assembly allocates to its Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Affairs Committee(SOCHUM), commonly referred to as the "Third Committee", agenda items relating to a range of social, humanitarian affairs and human rights issues that affect people all over the world. In the first session of NEIMUN the topic for the third committee will be focusing on the topic "Child Soldiers".

The agenda item is about the protection of children's rights. It combines all 3 pillars because it concerns human rights (Rights of Children), peace and security (children and armed conflict), as well as development (child soldiering has been linked to issues of poverty). This topic will introduce delegates to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its second optional protocol against the use of children in armed conflict.

There is an estimate of over 300,000 child soldiers around the world. These are children who have been abducted by national militaries or paramilitary groups and dragged into the world of arms and bloodshed. They are forced to participate in hostilities or serve in support roles, and are subjected to physical violence, sexual violence and ultimately death.

This is a horrifying and inhuman practice that the United Nations aims to end. By discussing and finding solutions to this problem (Child Soldiers) delegates will learn how the UN works with member states to end the use of children in armed conflict.

The structural study of the work of the General Assembly, Third Committee will be: Social, Cultural, and Humanitarian, the Convention of the Rights of the Child and its Second Optional Protocol prohibiting use of children in armed conflict, and the Six Grave Violations. Do we care enough to save the children of the world?

4. Special Political and Decolonization committee (SPECPOL):

The Special Political and Decolonization Committee (Fourth Committee) deals with a variety of subjects which include those related to decolonization, Palestinian refugees and human rights, peacekeeping, mine action, outer space, public information, atomic radiation and University for Peace. The agenda Right to self determination (Human Rights) has actually been assigned to the Third Committee but it is still highly relevant to the Fourth Committee's agenda, which mainly concerns decolonization and the Palestinian territories. This topic could be particularly relevant to the Nagas.

The agenda will introduce delegates to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which begins by affirming the world's "faith in fundamental human rights," including the rights of people to determine their own destiny. Exercising these righst to self-determination has led to the independence and creation of many modern-day states. Yet, millions of people around the world still struggle to exercise their human rights and they fight for their independence each passing day, denied of their freedom to Human Right of Self Determination.

By studying and discussing about "Right to Self-Determination," delegates will learn about struggles for independence around the world and how the United Nations helps the world in realizing and exercising their fundamental human rights.

The structural study of the works of the General Assembly, Fourth Main Committee will be: Special Political and Decolonization, as well as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Is it right to be subjected, bounded and denied of one's own destiny?

* Imkumsungla Longchar (NEIMUN 2013, Communications ) wrote this article for
The writer can be contacted at communications(at)neimun(dot)org
This article was posted on November 17, 2013.

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