United Nations Student Association: University of Minnesota Model UN

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MinneMUN 2017

Thank you everyone for a successful MinneMUN 2017! The entire staff had a great time, and we hope to see you next year in 2018. 

Committee One: Security Council

We live in uncertain times. Rising sea levels threaten the livelihood and even the very sovereignty of some nations — many of which are some of the most densely populated areas in the world and have high GDPs and promising growth. Other nations face water scarcity and drought. As the effects of climate change continue to manifest all over the world, concerns over sea level rise continue to be at the forefront of many climate change discussions, but the situation for some nations are more dire than many people realize. Studies suggest that sea levels could rise anywhere from 2–6 feet over the next several decades, threatening cities and entire nations that sit only a few feet above sea level such as the Maldives and the Philippines. Land ownership is a requirement for statehood according to the United Nations, artificial land is not recognized as legitimate territory, and citizens fleeing their country due to climate climate change are not currently considered climate refugees by the international community. This Security Council asks: What will happen as these crises intensify and these nations begin to be submerged?

This committee focuses on Sustainable Development Goals 9 (Innovation and Infrastructure), 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), and 13 (Climate Action).

Committee Two: International Court of Justice: Iran vs. United States

On June 15, 2016, Iran filed a suit against the United States in the International Court of Justice in response to the cessation of $2 billion in Iranian assets by the US government. In April of 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court froze $2 billion in funds that belong to Iran’s Central Bank, also known as Bank Markazi, and declared that it would redistribute those funds to victims of Iran-sponsored acts of terrorism. Iran has argued that if the United States can seize foreign assets at their discretion, then other nations should be allowed do the same to U.S. assets. Since the two parties could not settle the disagreement between themselves, Iran and the United States have chosen to present their case before the International Court of Justice, according to the 1955 Treaty of Amity. Your duty as Justices will be to evaluate the evidence presented to you by each party, interpret international law with regards to this case, and officially settle the dispute, assigning the reparations (if any) due to each party.

This committee focuses on Sustainable Development Goal 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions.

Committee Three: Joint Crisis Committee: Russian Grain Crisis

The year: 2025. The place: Eastern Europe. Months ago, a mysterious wheat blight emerged and began to wreak havoc on the fields of the world. It spread like wildfire, affecting countries from the Americas, Europe, Africa, and beyond. Nations panicked as their harvests rotted, enacting desperate measures to ensure the safety of the remaining fields. Many, however, were not fortunate. Starvation has gripped dozens of nations, many of which are in danger of collapse. Even developed nations are in danger of mass starvation. One such nation is Russia- once a grain exporter, her crop was heavily afflicted with the blight, and now there are reports of bodies in the streets. With winter coming, and no cure for the blight in sight, the Russian government has resorted to increasingly desperate measures to garner relief. The international community, still imposing heavy sanctions due to past political moves on Russia’s part, and dealing with their own food problems, have turned a deaf ear to her pleas for assistance. Perhaps they should've done something, for now the bear is hungry, and willing to flex its muscles to slate its desires. Will a peaceful solution be reached, or will the first major food war of the 21st century erupt?

This committee focuses on Sustainable Development Goals 2 (No Hunger), 12 (Sustainable Consumption and Production), and 16 (Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions).

Committee Four: Venezuelan Development Summit

On February 12, 2018, after months of intense popular political activism and protests, as well as international pressure, Nicolás Maduro stepped down from his position as the President of Venezuela. Many consider the date as an auspicious sign for the future, since February 12th is an annual holiday known as Youth Day to honor the young people that have always been an important part of politics in Venezuela. Some members of the Venezuelan National Assembly stepped down alongside Maduro, and the most important and influential leaders and politicians that remain have called an emergency meeting to discuss how to build sustainable institutions in the aftermath of this development. The Vice President, now Acting as President under the current Constitution, has agreed to mediate the summit and allow these leaders to lay the groundwork for the development of Venezuela for the next five years. Will you be able to put Venezuela on the path to sustainability and prosperity?

This committee focuses on Sustainable Development Goals 1 (No Poverty), 8 (Good Jobs and Economic Growth), 9 (Innovation and Infrastructure), 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), and 16 (Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions).

Committee Five: New World Order 2047: Antarctic Treaty Violations

The world has gone through tremendous change in the last 30 years, and hardly anything is as it was before. The political structure in nearly every part of the world has collapsed and been reformed following a worldwide resurgence of nationalism and fascism, and the United Nations barely survived the change. A tenuous stability has been reached, and the various regional confederacies have formed a new Security Council to continue to provide a forum for diplomacy, although international cooperation on any issue has become rare. Due to unmitigated climate change and the significant depletion of mineral and fossil fuel resources, many nations have begun exploring their Antarctic territory for new resources and claiming new territory on the Antarctic continent, in violation of the treaties they all claim to uphold. The Reformed Security Council needs to address the consequences of these violations and how they can be enforced, and whether or not the Antarctic Treaty of 1959 still applies in the New World Order, including whether or not it needs to be revised or removed altogether.  

This committee focuses on Sustainable Development Goals 12 (Sustainable Production and Consumption), 13 (Climate Action), and 16 (Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions).

MinneMUN 2016

Committee One: Taba Negotiations

The conflict between Israel and Palestine has gone unresolved for close to a century. There has never been a comprehensive and cohesive agreement reached between both the Israeli and Palestinian authorities. Solutions have been proposed by not only both sides but also the UN and countries who hold a stake in the Israel/Palestine conflict. Most believe the closest either side came to reaching an agreement was at the Taba Summit in January 2001. Delegations from both nations came with the intent of reaching a settlement that would symbolize a step forward in achieving peace between Israel and Palestine. This committee will simulate those exact talks with delegates representing distinguished government officials from both nations. Delegates will be expected to engage in peace talks and we encourage all delegates to be open to reaching the solution this summit was so close to in 2001. Delegates will have the chance to critically think through and possibly solve one of the most complex geopolitical conflicts of our time.

Committee Two: South China Sea

The South China Sea has historically been a hotspot for international conflict and competition. As region for major trading routes leading from major ports in China, Japan, the Philippines, Malaysia, and other southeast Asian countries. Tensions have escalated again in the past few years as China has been vocal about their claim within the sea, a claim that conflicts with the preexisting sea claims of many other Asian nations. Claim disputes have grown, further involving outside trade partners and allies into the issue, such as the United States and India, and creating questions on the legitimacy of sea claims within the area.

Committee Three: JCC The Great War

The year is 1630, the 12th year of a conflict that has turned the nations of Europe, great and small, against one another. Religion, power, influence, alliances, territory, and resources are all at stake in the most devastating conflict Europe has ever endured. The Catholic Habsburg family of the Holy Roman Empire, originally hoping to eliminate the Protestant separatists within their borders, is now fighting to maintain its position as the preeminent family in Europe as other powerful European nations begin to throw their support behind the separatists. With France and Sweden joining their cause, the anti-Habsburg Separatists, led by the Dutch Republic, have had a second wind and are preparing for another campaign against the Holy Roman Empire and its allies. The people of central Europe brace themselves for war once more, as these two forces come together to prevail, or die.

MinneMUN 2015

Check out themes from our MinneMUN Conference this past spring!
We featured three committees: 

Committee One: Asian Pandemic

The nations of East Asia must contend with a threat more deadly and imminent than warfare when the worst fears of virologists are realized; a new strain of avian flu has mutated for human transmission, letting the bird-born illness spread like wildfire. As sickness spreads through East Asia, the death toll will rise and populations will seek refuge where they can, throwing their countries into crisis. Your bloc of governments must band together and race against the clock to deal with this humanitarian disaster as the rest of the world watches Asia with bated breath. Your decisions may save some lives. Every moment of indecision may cost millions.

Committee Two: War on Terror

In the wake of the devastating September 11th terror attacks on American soil in 2001, the United States faces a threat to its people that many had believed to be inconceivable. Al Qaeda and its extremist allies, long the scourge of peace in the muslim world, have launched a global war on the United States. As a civilian or military national security official under President George W. Bush, your task is to defend America against this new danger. Some will push for military force, some for increased homeland security, and some for diplomacy. You and your colleagues will wage a massive campaign against Islamist terrorism across the globe, using the strength of America's armed forces and intelligence agencies to defend the homeland and bring justice for the victims of 9/11.

Committee Three: JCC Carnegie v. Rockefeller

The booming rise of American industry in the late 19th Century brought wealth of an incredible scale to the powerful tycoons who reigned over it. Some called them robber barons, some called them the titans of industry. Two of those titans, Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller, built the most massive business empires the world had ever seen, and when these giants competed for supremacy, the business world quaked. You are a member of the board of either Carnegie Steel or Rockefeller's Standard Oil, and your company's task is to expand its empire as you compete with your fierce rival for dominance of this Gilded Age.