UNSA

United Nations Student Association: University of Minnesota Model UN

Welcome to the homepage of the University of Minnesota's Model United Nations Team. Learn what MUN is all about, meet our team leaders, read about upcoming events, and join the club!

MinneMUN 2017 Agenda!

Hey guys! Classes have begun again, which means we're ramping things up again for MinneMUN. We're still waiting for all the Committees to release their simulation topic summaries, but we have the schedule for MinneMUN ready for you! Check it out, put it on your calendar, and we'll see you there!

Vote for your top 3 conference choices

AMUN is just around the corner (this weekend, actually) and soon enough spring semester will be upon us! If you haven't already, check out the committees we are considering attending and cast your votes for the TOP 3 conferences you would like to attend this spring 2016 semester.

  1. UC-Berkley MUN (Mar 3-6) https://ucbmun.herokuapp.com/
  2.  Brown Crisis Simulation (Mar 3-6) http://browncrisis.org/
  3.  Florida Crisis Simulation (Feb 19-21) http://www.floridacrisissimulation.org/
  4.  Washington University MUN St. Louis (Feb 5-7) http://wumunc.com/
  5.  Cornell MUN (April 14-17) http://www.cmunc.net
  6.  Rocky Mountain Regional Model Arab League (Mar 4-6) http://ncusar.org/modelarableague/conferences/rmmal/
  7.  North West MUN - Portland (Feb 13-15) http://portland.nwmun.org/home
  8.  UChicago MUN (April 21-24) http://www.chomun.org/#home
  9.  Other: ____________

Fill in the survey here.

#PardonShez

In case you missed it...

Shez Cassim told his story about his first-hand encounter with human rights violations. After 9 months of imprisonment for uploading a comical video to YouTube in Dubai, Shez is speaking out. He and his family have started the campaign #PardonShez to impress upon the UAE Embassy in the U.S. to exonerate the criminal charges against him, and long term, to be held accountable for the human rights the UAE claims to uphold. 

Read his story here.
Check out the Op-Ed he penned for The Guardian here.
Join the campaign here: http://pardonshez.com/
Join the online community here: https://www.facebook.com/justiceforshez/timeline

Shez is a former University of Minnesota graduate originally from the UAE, having returned to work after graduation. He is now back and safe with his family in Minnesota but still has friends there with the same criminal record and subject to unjust violations. 

Help him make a difference and hold the UAE accountable for their actions. Join the campaign #PardonShez

Refugees: The Top Story of the Summit

The media storm around the touching stories behind the boy that drowned off the shores of Turkey and the video of a father with a child fleeing authorities while a Hungarian camera woman trips them. Even John Oliver has now covered the subject. This is the hot topic.

But why is this refugee crisis receiving all this media attention?

For the first time did refugees came into the developed world
— António Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Refugees

Yesterday, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees spoke on the situation of refugees in Europe as of now.  Previously, refugee crises were isolated, never touching the developed nations until now.  The tagline of Syrian refugees has taken off, but mass migration has been happening for years for Afghan, Iraqi, and Libyan refugees fleeing from their war torn nations and economically desolate nations. 

As Amnesty International recently cited, the "six Gulf countries — Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain — have offered zero resettlement places to Syrian refugees" as well as other refugees.  Barriers for refugees trying to travel to their neighboring wealthy Gulf nations include strict visa requirements with high rejection rates, lack of interstate transportation, and hostile attitudes.  So where can they seek safety?

Sauce:  Vox

Sauce:  Vox

Although many have stressed the importance of those Gulf nations that those nations need to be taking refugees, some nations in the region are taking on refugees more than they can support like Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan.

Currently there is 1 refugee in 1,000 Europeans, but 1 refugee in 3 Lebanese
— António Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Refugees

These refugees had no media coverage until they began entering into Europe and now European politicians are bemoaning of overstretched budgets and proportion of European natives to recently arrived Muslims. Lebanon is reportedly hitting a breaking point of being able to provide adequate space and care.

American academics always point to Western Europe as the shining beaming hope of liberalism and prosperity, but a new story of xenophobia and islamophobia is becoming blatantly clear for the world.

Europe couldn’t function without immigrants, but neither could the United States.
— António Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Refugees

Europe's fear of the new and different from those in need makes sense in areas with strongly rooted cultures that struggle to incorporate new customs and assume assimilation as essential for stability.  Many of us can contrast the 'melting pot' ideal behind the United States with European insistence on integration, but we know that has its own fallacies. 

Diversity is richness, it is not a problem
— António Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Refugees

Cultural diversity is a struggle for nations that have stagnated in population while identifying with a single nationality and ethnicity. Many European nations have been flagged by economists for economic downfall as their birthrates have fallen and economies become more advanced without a laboring class; the migrant crisis maybe the solution for their national future rather than the problem. 

Women's Rights and Reproductive Rights

In US domestic politics, when we aren't complaining about Donald Trump -- there is a debate over Planned Parenthood, which may bring on another government shutdown. I know many of us involved in UNSA-MUN aren't US focused, but the US has an international impact that we all take for granted. Planned Parenthood and women's rights advocates from the US have one of the largest impacts for the developing world's women.  

Family planning isn’t just about planning families, it is about empowering women

At a private conference today, we heard the heartwarming story of some women in Guatemala that became empowered through Planned Parenthood and a local environmental group that ended with them receiving landownership, modern healthcare, and a political voice. When we threaten to shut down women's healthcare, it is also a threat on their human rights.  

Health of a woman is the health of the society

The reason we keep seeing women's equality in development goals and common rallying point, but equality in access to health care, pay, and representation are all hot topics that there is concerning pushback in legislation and social media. The health of a woman is the health of the society is a strong truth. When women can have land rights, it means stability in housing, food security, and capital -- even in some states a land requirement to receive benefits.  When women can have access to health care, maternal mortality drops, child mortality drops, and economic efficiency increases. When women have access to education, birth rates drop, women's political & economic access increases, and the country benefits.

Mothers, wives, daughters, and sisters have more impact on our lives than we will ever know. What they had to give up to raise us, defend us, and protect us, is all more than we can ever pay back. These rights and possibilities of progress are all interconnected, women's rights are all of our rights. 

Facts You Need to know on the UNEP & coming Paris Conference, COP 21

Fight together for a better future and a better sky.
— Zheng, youth delegate for Save the Children

What the world Zheng grew up in is almost surreal for those familiar with Minnesota wilderness. As a native of China, he has seen pollution and unhindered environmental destruction first hand. The terrifying idea that there are children that don't know that the sky is blue. Many of us can say "I have always had clean water to drink, air that isn't tainted with industrial pollutants, and no concern that the rain falling from the sky is acidic enough to hurt me".  So how can we have an impact at this large turning point in our history and Earth's history.

It is a bad sign when physical features from your planet disappear

As the scientific community has agreed, climate change is manmade and disastrous - but we can still impact our world and future generations for the better.

So, what is the international community doing about it?

Answer: COP21, Paris 2015 Conference

So what is the importance of this conference? JUST GIVE US THE FACTS. 

The long name of Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change has been shortened  into the acronym  COP 21, Paris 2015. 

It is an accepted fact amongst scientists that climate change is happening and it is man made.  This time around, the objective of the conference is to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, from all the nations of the world.  We all know that all nations can work on their treatment of our environment for the benefit of us all. As many in LA know, the smog from China travels across the Pacific affecting Californian air quality while the US's own municipal waste is released into the Pacific developing the trash vortex.

What has been stressed at the Social Good Summit is the importance of every person. Raising awareness is the strongest point of rallying and many more options on influencing the world we live. From recycling, keeping up on the news, making smarter consumer choices, and promoting your views on social media -- the message at the Social Good Summit today is ..



What is Social Good?

Almost everyone of my professors asked me that before my flight out. By +SocialGood's definition, it is a "global community of innovators, social entrepreneurs, and thought leaders united around a shared vision: That today's connected generation can leverage technology and new media to help create a better world." 

But what it means is we are no longer in the realm of the phenomenon as described by Mashable's speaker of uncooperative existence of different parts of the global community.

Left wing NGOs that hate businesses and businesses that distrust left wing NGOs

So what isn't social good? The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were our first precedent of global goals measured in all member nations to improve quality of life and abolish poverty for all. However, as many before me have described, there was a disconnectedness inherent in them. NGOs, states, individuals, and companies shared the same playing field and acting in their best intentions, but the Millennium Development Goals fell through in their hope to eliminate poverty. The list of reasons for failure is length: the disjointed efforts from profitable companies looking for a cause, NGOs suspicious of disreputable business practices, individuals that were uninformed and uninvolved, and states concerned with further international invention.. etc.

Nations were assigned numerical values to meet without their citizen's consultation, some goals were impossible from the start. As Amina J. Mohammed, the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Post-2015 Development Planning, said, these new Global Goals are the people's own work. Over 8 million people responded to the worldwide survey and thousands participated in country specific talks, their outreach this time around was significant. 

The idea behind the #telleveryone campaign is global activism, social and political pressure can make changes -- even if you are retweeting on a bus, clicking away into the night from your laptop, or liking a post on Facebook. More informed the public is, the more likely these goals are reachable for those around the world. 

So to you, my reader, good on you.

Opening Ceremony: Can We Make This World, A World Full of Humanity?

Updates from the Social Good Summit. We are two hours in now, but running behind. Here are some highlights!

Ban Ki Moon poses the question to the Social Good Summit: Can we make this world a world full of humanity?

Victoria Beckham, Graca Machel, Ahmed Mohamed, and other celebrities & activists introduce the Sustainable Development Goals, or more commonly known, the Global Goals. 17 Goals that we all must take action on to make 2030 a livable world for all. Ban Ki Moon poses to the audience that hateful messages through media and internet furthers rights violations, discrimination, and oppression - but if we harness social good for a better future. In this new era, we need business, leaders, nations, and average people participating.

  • #2030NOW: Global Goals and the Technology that will Help Achieve Them: Kathy Calvin [President and Chief Executive Officer of the United Nations Foundation], Jimmy Wales [co-founder and promoter of Wikipedia and Wikia], Ricardo Fuentes, and Helen Clark [Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and former Prime Minister of New Zealand]

As Ricardo Fuentes pointed out, there were no way that 50 years ago that we could be talking about inequality as we do now and that this global society now exists with the high amount of inequality ever known. 

A new marketing campaign may now be apart of that discussion. Jimmy Wales, one of the founder of Wikipedia and Wikia, is unveiling a new phone company with a different marketing strategy. Instead of having the traditional campaigns that have ads at the Super Bowl, wasted paper ads, and wasted TV time, they are donating 10% of all profits to a charity of your choice if you share your service provider on your own social media. 

Social Good Summit Tomorrow!

On the first half of the docket for tomorrow: UN foundation president & CEO, founder of Wikipedia, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme, Special Adviser on Post-2015 Development Planning, former Prime Minister of Norway/current Special Envoy for the UN, widow of former South African president Nelson Mandela and human rights advocate, teen human rights advocates from the Middle East, Ian Somerhalder, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme, and so many more.

The full list of speakers here

My twitter handle is @krugerassociate 

Amanda, our Secretary General, has landed in NYC for UN Week!

Amanda Kruger has landed in NYC to report on UN Week, specifically the Social Good Summit. From Sunday, Sept 27th to Monday, Sept 28th, she will be reporting on the Social Good Summit and any events bustling about the UN at this important time. However, she will also be in the UN headquarters in the mornings and attending some events at night. You can follow her on Twitter at @krugerassociate or just add her on Facebook because her family wants her to post on there as well. She will also be posting full length blog posts on here!

Welcome new members!

Last meeting we had our first stab at committee simulation, and the turnout was great! This is a shout out to our newest members who are jumping right into MUN and being awesome! These are some of our very own Future Delegates of the United States. We are ecstatic that you've decided to join MUN and are already proud of the hard work you've accomplished!

And if you haven't had the chance to get your picture taken come find me, Justine, next meeting! I promise I don't bite. 

The Weekly Round Up - 2nd Edition

The Weekly Round-Up, 1st Edition

Alright, we're trying something new this year. 

At the end of each week we will be posting the latest interesting articles that have surfaced the news concerning everything from international relations, to politicians, to global crises.  

If you have any articles you would like to share, send 'em my way at akbar021@umn.edu.

Now, for your enjoyment...

First meeting a success!

In case you missed it, we had our first ever 2015/2016 Model UN meeting this past Wednesday (in Room 303 at 7!). The board is very pleased with the turnout of many new faces of both eager and delightful new MUNners! We began the meeting with a social-get-to-know-you, pinned post it notes on our INSPIRATION board (like Pinterest, but better!), introduced the lovely board members, and went around with introductions. As part of this year's initiative and vision for club, we are kicking off this year with a months worth of shout outs to our newest club members. THAT MEANS YOU! We are thrilled at the interest and turnout this year by all of you, and are excited to see what MUN will achieve this year. Be sure to check out some photos from our 1st meeting on our Official Facebook page


MUN Takes on MCAE during Welcome Week

This past Monday your President Cat and club member Abresha took on the almighty task of showing new freshman what MUN is all about. While the rest of us were busy moving into new houses, lounging for the last times in our parents houses, working, or at the State Fair, these two were killin' it reppin' UNSA! The turnout was a success and hopefully we'll see some new and friendly faces at our first meeting this fall on WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 9 at 7pm in Coffman!

MCAE 1