WESMUN WINTER 2021
LETTER FROM THE SECRETARY-GENERAL AND DIRECTOR-GENERAL
The secretariat at Western Model United Nations is thrilled to host the annual external WESMUN conference. Since 1997, Western Model UN has provided quality conferences to delegations across Canada. Through rigorous debate, intense negotiations, and innovative teamwork, students leave WESMUN a stronger, well-informed delegate. From February 28th to 27th, 2021, the secretariat will host Western University’s first external, virtual MUN conference.
In recent months, professional diplomats adapted quickly to the virtual world – WESMUN delegates will do the same. Although many countries remain in lockdown, political, social, economic, and environmental crises continue to test international order. On a similar note, WESMUN will challenge delegates to think creatively, communicate virtually, and reimagine the boundaries of MUN. Like professional diplomats, WESMUN delegates can contribute to an evolving, exciting, and virtual world.
The secretariat is working diligently to present delegates with an engaging and memorable MUN experience. This year, WESMUN plans to host a joint crisis committee, a traditional crisis committee, two specialized committees, and one general assembly. These committees cover a wide range of topics, from classical Greek literature to international human rights. This two-day event represents the breadth of MUN experience WESMUN has developed in its twenty-four-year history.
Despite a global pandemic, WESMUN 2021 will bring together like-minded university students and, in the process, foster lasting friendships. Although the virtual environment can feel isolating, WESMUN provides an opportunity to expand your network. Indeed, WESMUN 2021 will contribute to a lasting legacy of academic and professional excellence at Western University.
We look forward to greeting you on February 27th for opening ceremonies!
Nikesh Mehta-Spooner and Mateo Larrazabal
Camp David II
Redefining Human Rights
CAMP DAVID II
Camp David II is taking place in February 2021, approximately twenty-one years after the original Camp David Summit in the July of 2000, which involved then American President Bill Clinton, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian Authority chairman Yasser Arafat. As with its predecessor, Camp David II has the goal of brokering an agreement to end the decades of conflict in the Israel – Palestine area and achieve a lasting and just peace.
The modern Israel-Palestinian conflict began amongst the greater Arab-Israeli conflict in the late 1940s and has continued in different ideations ever since. As a result of the creation of the State of Israel in 1948, Palestinian self-determination and governance have been an ever-present debate and source of conflict in international relations. While attempts have been made at remedying the situation, lasting peace has not been achieved. The relationship between Israel and Palestine is one of hostility and violence and resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of individuals and millions more being displaced or seeking refugee from their homeland throughout the course of the ever-present conflict.
This committee begins with the death of Kim Jong-UN. The nation falls into several months of national mourning, with significant political unrest beginning to brew within the borders -- and from international interests. Without a clear heir apparent, Kim Yo Jong takes power with little training or preparation.
However, this quickly backfired, and a humanitarian crisis ensues following the incompetence of the incumbent leader. Over 50% of the population is significantly malnourished, rumours of civil unrest are emerging from the nation. Following these reports, Kim Yo Jong has disappeared; it is assumed that she has fled the nation.
With a power vacuum forming in the DPRK, international forces are beginning to show interest in sending humanitarian aid, and possibly deploying troops in the area -- rumours are circulating of intelligence plots to stage a coup from both the United States, Japan, and China.
Given the fragility and potentially long-lasting impact of the situation, along with the time-sensitivity of the situation, the ROK has reached out to the DPRK to form the First Congress on Re-Unification, offering the DPRK an alternative to supranational intervention. This congress is by no means an exhaustive attempt to reunify the two nations, however, it is the first step to a future of peaceful coexistence.
Redefining Human Rights
The first draft of the Declaration was proposed in September 1948 with over 50 Member States participating in the final drafting. By its resolution 217 A (III) of 10 December 1948, the General Assembly, meeting in Paris, adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with eight nations abstaining from the vote but none dissenting.
The UDHR is considered groundbreaking for providing a comprehensive and
universal set of principles in a secular, apolitical document that explicitly
transcends cultures, religions, legal systems, and political ideologies. Its claim to universality has been described as "boundlessly idealistic" and the "most ambitious feature ".The Declaration was the first instrument of international law to use the phrase "rule of law", thereby establishing the principle that all members of all societies are equally bound by the law regardless of the jurisdiction or political system.
Given the age of the original document it is important for the United Nations to revisit and alter it to better reflect the changes the world has undergone over the last 73 years. The Declaration may not have the same characteristics of domestic law but it is in the same scope meant to reflect the current cultural values of the world. Hence, all member states have a marked interest in changes, removing or adding to the original document. With this mind, delegates are strongly encouraged to look for inspiration beyond the ideas
In 2015, all UN members committed to implementing the Sustainable Development Goals project that aims to improve living standards by 2030 through tackling complex socio-political and economic issues such as poverty, gender equality etc. Our committee will exclusively focus on how member states should work towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.
Climate change is an extremely polarizing topic. A sustainable solution to such a complex topic can only be achieved through intergovernmental cooperation as it’s a global and not a local crisis that could be addressed through individual government or regional bodies. However, the divisive nature of the topic along with the sheer amount of resources required makes it near impossible for governments to take coordinated and concrete action towards solving the issue. The main points of contention amongst governments is the timeframe within which action must be taken to prevent irreversible damage to our ecosystems and the extent to which developing countries should take responsibility towards shifting away from cheap fossil fuels to expensive alternative clean sources of energy.
Centered around Helen of Troy, the Trojan War began due to a dispute amongst the Gods and an oath made long ago by her many suitors to uphold the sanctity of her marriage. There was a competition for Helen's hand, where mortals all around the world came to compete. To prevent potential conflict, a rule was established in the competition to determine who would marry Helen - Every suitor had to promise to uphold the contest’s outcome by protecting its winner and his union to Helen - meaning, the losers of the competition could not attack or plot revenge for their loss.
Meanwhile on Olympus, during the marriage of the Goddess Thetis to the mortal King Peleus, a golden apple (the apple of discord) was thrown into the wedding, labeled ‘For the Fairest’. Three Goddess’s, Athena, Hera and Aphrodite claimed it to be theirs. This sparked the Judgement of Paris, where they took the mortal Paris, and forced him to choose who the apple belonged to and who was the fairest Goddess. Paris chose Aphrodite because she offered Paris the most beautiful woman in the world. That woman we would come to know would be Helen, but because Helen was promised and then married to Menelaus due to the outcome of the competition, there was conflict.
Pairs swept Helen away from Menelaus back to Troy, but because of the
competition oath, everyone was forced to uphold the rules and fight to place Helen back with Menelaus, sparking the war on the mortals' side. Together, they sent a massive army to fight Paris and his people, the Trojans, in order to return Helen to her rightful husband, Menelaus. The Goddess’s Hera and Athena were furious at not being chosen, and thus split the Gods on which side should win, as they harboured anger towards Troy. Thus began the Trojan war between the mortals and immortals.