Topic A: Libya – The Gordian Knot of International Politics
Since the removal of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi from power in 2011 Libya has been shaken by repeated waves of instability and violence. The internationally backed Government of National Accord struggles to stay united with internal conflicts deteriorating its ability to govern the country. Since the central government is unable to enforce the rule of law in the entire territory, Libya has become a main route of human trafficking and migration channels, as thousands of migrants are travelling through the country to reach the Mediterranean and eventually Europe. The hope of finding a new agreement based on elections – initially planned for December 2018 – has been lost after deadlines for the legislative groundwork of the elections passed but not steps towards its realization were taken. The issue of the instability in Libya has been on the Security Council’s Agenda for many years without any lasting solution for stability and peace being found yet. It is therefore up to the delegates of GIMUN 2019 to come up with new ideas to solve the Gordian Knot of International Politics and decide the future of the long-standing conflict.
United Nations Environment Programme
Topic A: Finding Sustainable Solutions to the Global Freshwater Crisis
Nowadays, the world confronts multiple critical challenges in the management of freshwater. Nor is there any hiding from the fact that these challenges arise across the chain, from source to end use, with huge issues associated with distribution. Only 0.007 percent of the world’s water is easily accessible for domestic use, the rest being locked up in glaciers or salt water. Underground reservoirs and other sources of water are already being drained faster than they are naturally replenished in many population centres. With climate change on the horizon and population still on the rise, more focus should be brought to finding sustainable means of water consumption and distribution to more vulnerable nations and population centres. This situation is not sustainable. To meet the needs of a growing population and increasing demand, we have to look for Sustainable Solutions to avoid a crisis associated with water scarcity. Where can we find the water we need?
Topic B: Integrating Indigenous Traditional Knowledge for a Sustainable Ecosystem Management and Development
Biodiversity is an important aspect of maintaining the ecosystem. Food is also an important aspect of civilization, agriculture is frequently tied to the rise of civil society. Various cultures developed their own forms of agriculture and food production over the centuries and have often remained sustainable. The advent of industrial agriculture at the “green revolution” has greatly increased food production but has revealed startling environmental and agricultural side-effects. Biodiversity decreases as certain crops (and species) are only used in production, again and again, environmental damage occurs with the massive amounts of animal waste at industrial farms and the (frequently unregulated) highly liberal use of antibiotics and insecticides on farms. What would be discussed are ways to maintain increasing production of food and other natural products while minimizing the impact on the environment.
Topic A: Partnering for Development: Strengthening Commitment to the SDGs
In New York, 193 member states, the Secretary General, representatives of numerous UN agencies, the private sector and academia stood to applaud the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. With 17 ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) at its core, the 2030 Agenda features a multistakeholder pledge that will ‘leave no one behind’.
However, amidst a changing world order, political instability, renewed socio-economic crisis and an emerging fourth industrial revolution, there is a need to strengthen commitment to the SDGs. Achieving the desired results thus requires renewed partnerships and innovative ways to engage and mobilize an entire spectrum of stakeholders in, what is often dubbed, the SDG ecosystem. How can we create robust partnerships and strengthen commitment to the SDGs?
Topic B: Enhancing Global Efforts to Prevent Violent Extremism
In recent days, violent extremism has wreaked havoc upon our cities. To that regard, the United Nations has taken bold actions, including the Secretary General’s Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism as well as the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, which reinforce global consensus in the fight against violent extremism.
Despite international commitment, nations are far from fostering communities free of extremism. In least developed and developing nations particularly, radicals use the lack of strong institutions and poor socio-economic standards to recruit and incentivize the youth to radicalize and adopt violent extremism. This is done to signal lack of content with the current world order. This issue exists in more developed countries as well, where populist supremacists and the so-called ‘eco-terrorists’ continue to garner wide influence, enticing individuals towards violent extremism.
As such, there is a need to enhance global efforts to prevent violent extremism. These measures may include increasing engagement of the private sector and academia to make use of their competencies or strengthening capacity building initiatives to both eliminate the appeal of pull factors and reduce the severity of push factors.
Topic A: Addressing the Problem of the Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances
Established in 1980 by the HRC, The Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances defines enforced disappearances as situations when “persons are arrested, detained or abducted against their will or otherwise deprived of their liberty […] by individuals acting on behalf of, or with the support […] of the Government”. Such disappearances are followed by a refusal to disclose information about the fate of the persons concerned. Furthermore, the infringement of the victims’ rights is not recognized, which prevents their family from resorting to the law to seek protection.
Although a tremendous amount of disappearances occurred under dictatorships during the 20th century, the issue is still relevant today as between March 2013 and June 2018 the Committee on Enforced Disappearances registered 500 cases, of which an overwhelming majority took place in Mexico and Iraq. Despite the progress made thanks to the 2006 International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, which identifies systematic enforced disappearances as crimes against humanity and obliges states to guarantee minimum legal standards to victims and their families, work remains to be done especially in the legal field. The main challenges include the insurance of rights of information and protection for victims, witnesses and their families.
Topic B: Protecting and Promoting the Rights of Civilians in Armed Conflict
The concept of “Civilian” gives us the phenomenon of a person who is not a member and part of a military or of a police or firefighting force. Under the International Humanitarian Law, a civilian is not a member of the armed services and does not take a direct part of hostilities in times of armed conflict or a state of war generally characterized by extreme collective aggression, destruction, and usually high mortality. Actually, the term conflict is not all about death; it is the breeding ground where mass human rights get violated. Ensuring and protecting the human rights of the civilians in such conflicted areas and situations means to protect the moral principles or norms that describe certain standards of human behavior and fundamental rights to which a person is in inherently entitled.
In the last past years, the UN has put brilliant efforts to protect the children and youth in the areas of armed conflict. The Commission on Human Rights and its successor, the Human Rights Council, has been the historical forums for the analysis and issues. Both the Commission and the Council have consistently considered violations of International Humanitarian Law to fall within their mandates. The Commission also adopted a number of resolutions referring to abuses of both international human rights law and international humanitarian law in the context of armed conflict in different parts of the world.
Economic and Social Council
Topic A: Artificial Intelligence: Tracing the Line between Security Measures and Potential Threat
9/11 – almost 3000 people immediately killed, many more to follow. Since then, the UN agency in charge of Aviation Safety (ICAO) has been promoting numerous devices based on Artificial Intelligence (AI). Be it the airport body scanner, the automated border control devices or even the intelligent security cameras installed afterwards, all of these devices are based on AI and aim at providing security measures in order to prevent another major attack.
On the other hand, some countries are developing high-performing IT weapons such as the “lethal autonomous weapon systems”. These so-called “killer robots” which are largely based on AI decide (almost) on their own whether to fire on a target or not.
In the meantime, whether you consider AI as a security means or as a potential threat, you should not think AI is a futuristic science fiction scenario. In fact, the most populated country on Earth, China, has been installing the largest CCTV system on Earth. Its purpose? At the same time, reward “good” citizens and preventing crime by using a 24h facial AI-based recognition system of its inhabitants.
Topic B: Building a New Order for Preventing Celestial Conflicts
As we move forward in the domain of space progression, the peril of having a war in space becomes more, so it is rightful to say that, both of them; space advances and war are interwoven and connected. The few International treaties that address outer space, render very little regulation of modern space activities, including both military and commercial uses of space. Without a critical analysis on the outer space law and governing policies, not only is outer space susceptible but whole of humanity becomes jeopardized. Space Exploitation, Unmanaged use of Space material, Aerospace warfare, Nuclear Testing, Resource Manipulation, Militarization and Colonization of space, are all coherent and to be addressed within the mandate of the topic. Given this – it’s salient to understand how the major economies of the world have had a series of rapid technological advances and human development in or related to outer-space. The main focus of every primary contributor is now the dominance of Space so it is imperative in all of our interests that we come up with a universally recognized Law and order, a set of regulations, to make sure we stop the outer space discord from turning into a possible World War. The case of conflict in outer space has now become not the case of ‘if’ but the case of ‘when’!
Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice
Topic A: Preventing and Combating the Smuggling of Migrants in the Mediterranean
“Migrant smuggling may only become visible when tragedies occur or emergency humanitarian responses are required.” Yet this is a threat that has taken place historically affecting societies throughout the globe. Recently, along with the Refugee Crisis, there has been a concerning incrementation of the problem, given that illegal flows of migrants arriving from the Mediterranean have been escalating since 2014. These flows are highly relevant to the international community because migrants are being exposed to exploitation, abuse, and deadly risks. According to the estimates made by the IOM from November 2018, the number of dead or missing people has risen to 1,989.
The role of this Commission on dealing with this problem can be an inflexion point in contrast to the approach that has been taken up to the day. Developing comprehensive responses that fulfil the needs of the region and the current crisis. In this sense, boosting international cooperation will be key to achieving the ideal preventative measures to avoid an increase in migrant smuggling. Hence, the focus of the CCPCJ will be driven towards the enforcement of the law and security, as well as channelling of the trafficking webs, determining the most frequent routes and methods used in the process.
Topic B: Establishing an International Framework to tackle Cryptocurrency-enabled
With the advent of the Digital Age, organized crime has become increasingly difficult to effectively pin down. Above all, the internet has enabled organized crime to flourish on an international scale, rendering it far more difficult to trace and prevent. The development of various cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin and Monero in particular, and their emergence into the mainstream has further been taken advantage of by forms of organized crime. Examples are the illicit drugs and weapons trade, which when paid for with cryptocurrencies, take place primarily on the so-called dark web. However, cryptocurrencies also play an increasing role
in organized financial crime, used as a tool for money laundering and large-scale theft. This issue brings major challenges to the table. Cryptocurrencies are a prime example of legislative & law enforcement capabilities being unable to keep up with new technologies.
Given that most states have very vague stances on cryptocurrencies, the primary challenge of this topic will be coming to a broad mutual understanding on the issue. An added challenge is the constant state of flux cryptocurrencies find themselves in, alongside technical differences between different currencies, which make a unified approach more difficult. Nevertheless, this issue is growing in gravity and a sustained international effort to tackle it could be paramount to keeping it successfully contained.