The UN Security Council is responsible for tackling the world’s most pressing issues tied to the maintenance of international peace and security. The UN body is comprised of 15 member nations, five of which are permanent and hold the right to veto directives, and ten member states that rotate biennially on a regional basis. Solutions in the Security Council culminate to immediate action and are arguably some of the most impactful on global politics, as the UN body is one of only a select few with the power to impose international sanctions on nations and is the only one with the power to authorize the use of force in times of determined conflict. Dually, resolutions that are passed are binding - a characteristic that gives the Security Council teeth that no other UN body has, making its actions incredibly significant for the international community. Known for its fast pace, the Security Council is an intellectually demanding game of diplomatic chess that requires much of its delegates. A profound depth of general international affairs knowledge, high-quality research, and an ability to think on one’s feet are necessary.
Topic 1 | South China Sea
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Our first topic will be debating the powder-keg that is the South China Sea. Over the past several decades, the South China Sea has become an area of increasing tensions over its twelve claimants’ assertions of ownership and usage of its span of waters, archipelagos, and islands. With regions in question that contain multi-trillion dollar shipping lanes, unquantified and unexplored natural gas and oil reserves, and waters that supply over 12% of fish sold globally, the territories are invaluable to the stakeholders involved, and beyond that, the international community as well. Given their significance in the realm of global trade, food security, and the energy economy, the disputed territories are integral to both international security and the diplomatic relations of the region. Attempts at international arbitration have failed in the past, and with increasing micro-conflicts, defense efforts, and mobilization on the parts of China, Vietnam, the Philippines, and the United States over the contested territories make intelligent, concerted action imperative to avoid global conflict. Delegates are tasked with the diplomatic calculus of de-escalating tensions and crafting a feasible solution to the hotbed of controversy.
Topic 2 | Open Agenda
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This year, we have decided to entertain an Open Agenda. Our decision is based on the fact that conflicts are changing daily and, at times, dramatically. Allowing an Open Agenda respects the dynamic nature of the conflicts we face in the world and forces all of us to adjust as developments occur. What does this mean for you as delegates? We, as a dais, will provide you with some topic recommendations that we feel are most pressing or that deserve the most attention given the current climate. The first round of topic recommendations will come with mini topic synopses or, rather, summaries to help you guide your research. As we move further along in the process and closer to conference, we will post updates on the topics we recommended on our blog along with some other topics that we find pertinent. Although we will be providing you with these guidelines, in the spirit of Open Agenda, at the end of the day, it is up to you all as a whole to decide what topic(s) should be debated in committee. Any topics that are relevant to the Security Council once conference comes around will be fair game. In regards to position papers, you will have to write a position paper on South China Sea as well as one position paper on one of the recommended topics. We are so very excited to embark on this journey with you! Please reach out if you have any question or concerns about Open Agenda or committee structure in general.