Specialized Committees

Organization of American States

Chair: Kevin Alveranga Vice Chair: Andrew Landesman

Topic A: Instability in the Northern Triangle

Given the increase in violence within Nicaragua as a result of political instability, the Organization of American States(OAS) now has to grapple with the pervasive nature of violence in the region. Moreover the presence of transnational gangs, known as maras has contributed to instability and cultural fragmentation in recent decades. Such violence has contributed to a cycle of displacement within Nicaragua, Honduras, and El Salvador. Massive amounts of displacement have amounted to increases in crime, cyclical poverty, economic crisis, among other regional issues.

Topic B: Gender Violence in the Caribbean and Latin America

Despite advances for women’s rights throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, the regional and cultural frameworks which states have been using to approach the issue of gender violence show a lack of gender equity within these respective issues. As previously stated it is important to highlight the fact that these frameworks which exacerbate inequality and violence are cultural as such in this era there is great impetus on member states to tackle underlying mechanisms which perpetuate this structural violence.  

African Union

Chair: John Sullivan Vice Chair: Mitchell Scott

The 35th Summit of the African Union

It is July 2021, and the African Union is meeting for its 35th biannual summit in Ethiopia, themed: Election reform: Ending the Civilian Coup D'etat. From 2010-2017, there were 25 attempted, and six successful, military coup d’etas in Africa, begging questions of the authority, legitimacy, and capacity of state governments. Yet, are states holding “free and fair” elections necessarily better off? Are these elections actually free and fair? Kenya and Rwanda both claim to be, and are internationally recognized, as democracies, yet slight insight into their electoral systems reveals mass corruption and the stealing of votes; Paul Kagame won reelection in Rwanda with 98% of the vote, and Kenyan elections involve state-initiated violence and crimes against humanity. These frequently stolen elections, civilian coup d'etat’s, threaten to undermine a continent still reaping from the effects of colonialism. It is up to this session of the AU to reform these processes or enter alternate state structure solutions. This committee will run as a modified crisis/ specialized agency hybrid, with discussions of practical solutions to legitimate issues. This committee will operate at faster pace than the usual GA. Delegates will be expected to pass multiple action-oriented resolutions over the weekend, addressing broader reforms and immediate crisis updates in committee. 

The United Nations Commission on the Status of Women

Chair: Rija Tayyab Vice Chair: Nobonita Paul

Protection of Abortion Rights

Established in 1964, The United Nations Committee on the Status of Women (UNCSW) tackles women’s issues and promotes the advancement of women in economic, social, and political spheres of life around the world. Abortion has been a topic of controversy for decades, but reproductive rights for women are now under attack. in the United States, President Donald Trump recently appointed two new Supreme Court justices that could chip away at the landmark decision Roe v. Wade (1973) and impose severe restrictions on a woman’s access to abortion. What will the future of reproductive rights look like in America? What steps can be taken to protect the status quo?

The United States at least has laws permitting medical abortions. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 26 countries ban abortion altogether, and a further 37 ban abortion unless it is necessary to save the life of a woman. Banning or even restricting abortion rights has a dire impact on a pregnant women’s health because it forces her to get the abortion illegally, resulting in disastrous medical consequences, including death. It can also result in the abuse of government power and violation of human rights; in El Salvador, where abortion is completely banned, authorities can prosecute women whose pregnancies end before 40 weeks, even if by miscarriage or stillbirth, if they are suspected of harming their fetus. It is up to this session of UNCSW to formulate resolutions to counteract the war against abortion and reproductive rights for women and ensure proper medical care and access to abortion to women around the world.

World Health Organization

Chair: Mitchell Plesser Vice Chair: Malvika Narayan

Established in 1948, the World Health Organization addresses prominent and pressing issues at the forefront of international health. Global climate change has accompanied industrialization and modernization as a dangerous companion, resulting in the emission of greenhouse gasses and additional contaminatinants contributing to air pollution. This air pollution has demonstrated its devastating impacts on population health, raising the rates of preventable illnesses despite efforts to lower carbon emissions. Notable work has been done to address the increasing pollution to the air, yet the eradication of detrimental effects to health in consequence of climate change requires a combined effort by member states. Malaria continues to pose a challenge to much of the world, affecting areas of high humidity, most notably in sub-Saharan Africa. While significant efforts have been taken to prevent the perpetuation of the disease, the rates of cases annually continues to be alarmingly high, calling for the international community to revisit and revise its work towards eliminating the illness. Universal water supply has continuously failed in becoming a reality, as accessibility to sanitary water sources continues to present itself as a challenge in certain areas of the world. Efforts through government and NGO intervention have worked towards developing solutions to the foundational issues preventing universal water supply globally, but fail to combat multinational corporations exploiting the developing world. In this committee, delegates are tasked with the responsibility of implementing effective and unprecedented solutions to fight these three issues, while promoting the ideals of international cooperation.

International Labour Organization

Chair: Nick Hansen Vice Chair: Umran Ustafa

This year, the International Labour Organization (ILO) will mark its centenary, marking 100 years of working to bring together the governments, employers, and workers of its 187-member States. The ILO uses its tripartite governing structure to set labor standards, develop policies and devise programs promoting decent working conditions for all labor, regardless of race, gender or religion. In 1998, the ILO adopted the Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work containing the four fundamental aims of the organization: the right of workers to collective bargaining and free association, the end of forced labor, the end of child labor, and the end of unfair discrimination at workplaces. This year at CMUNC, we look forward to a weekend of engaging debate and fruitful discourse on a variety of pressing issues, including the growing concerns of workplace discrimination, prevailing child labor, and increased economic uncertainty.