Position Papers are due on February 5th to be considered for the Best Position Paper Award, and February 12th to be considered for any committee award. Submit them to NGO@bmun.org.
NGO Forum (NGO)
Head Chair | Kendra Singh
Vice-Chair | Joanne Qi, Madeleine Valdez, Billy Lin
SPECIAL PROCEDURE FOR TOPIC 2 | SINGLE DELEGATION
Topic 1 | Addressing Limits on NGOs
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Where there has been assistance from non-governmental organizations (NGOs), there has been resistance to NGOs as well. In the past, resistance against NGOs was mainly seen in authoritarian dictatorships that sought to maintain control over their citizens, and thus saw groups that empowered civil society as a hindrance to this goal. Examples can be found in North Korea, Burma, Syria, and more. However, there has been recent backlash against NGO presence in much more liberal nations; China, India, and Hungary are just a few countries where NGOs are facing increasing legal restrictions on their activities and funding. James Savage, of Amnesty International, has said, “This global wave of restrictions [on NGOs] has a rapidity and breadth to its spread we’ve not seen before, that arguably represents a seismic shift and closing down of human rights space not seen in a generation” (Sherwood, 2015). These restrictions are severely harmful not only to NGOs, but to citizens of these countries. The typical result of this wave of restrictions is a great decrease in the services offered, or NGOs leaving the area altogether, and taking desperately needed services with them.
Topic 2 | Open Agenda
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The open agenda in the NGO forum will be used for all delegates to engage in debate conference-wide. Delegations in this committee will be representing non-governmental organizations, and will immerse themselves in other committees where their organization’s mission will be best fulfilled. The goal of an NGO in a UN committee will not only be to achieve the organization’s mission, but to also enhance the UN resolution that is being debated and to ensure that state delegations have a clear understanding of what your particular NGO can do. The NGO Forum will function similarly to PRESS in previous years, with delegates interacting with other committees as representatives of their respective NGOs. This will be done by giving short presentations in UN committees, signing off on resolutions, presenting panels in committees, and writing press releases on behalf of your NGO on work being done in various UN committees. There is a large amount of flexibility of what your NGO may wish to do to engage with a UN committee, as well as the UN committees it may wish to engage with.