On behalf of the Department of Academics, I hereby extend my warmest welcome to all the delegates participating in Pan Asia Model United Nations 2016. In order to provide you with the most extraordinary Model United Nations experience, I, along with my team, have been fully dedicated to the preparations for the conference, and we sincerely hope that each and every one of you will enjoy the high-level debates in the upcoming conference.
Since 2010, Pan Asia Model United Nations has strived to be the leading platform to engage delegates with current and future challenges concerning the international community. Coming to its 6th session, PAMUN has not only grown in size, but also expanded the depth and scope of topic discussions in order for delegates to counter the constantly evolving issues and conflicts happening around the globe. One thing that remains constant is our dedication in providing an environment for students coming from all over the world to collaborate in generating new ideas and formulating solutions to dire issues of global concern.
This year, we offer eight committees that specialize in various fields of international affairs to address pressing issues in our global community. Aside from UN-affiliated organs, which include United Nations Security Council (UNSC), General Assembly First Committee (Disarmament and International Security Committee, DISEC), General Assembly Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee, SOCHUM), United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC), Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), and International Monetary Fund (IMF), we have also set up a regional committee, the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), as well as a Chinese Committee, which is the International Bureau of Education (IBE). The variety of our committee choices will cater to both first-time and experienced delegates, and provide delegates with the opportunity to explore the diversity of perspectives and outlooks within the Model United Nations society.
It is with distinct honor and privilege that we once again welcome all of you to participate in Pan Asia Model United Nations 2016. Should there be any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us through email. We look forward to seeing you this December!
Under-Secretary-General of Academics
Citi Pan Asia Model United Nations 2016
The ASEAN Regional Forum, convened annually after the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting, is a multilateral consultative dialogue on the creation of a “more predictable and constructive pattern of relations” in the Asia-Pacific region. Participants, consisting of ASEAN member states and various interested parties around the world, arrange meetings between different levels of government to endorse the ASEAN’s Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia as a regional code of conduct, and to enshrine the concept of preventive diplomacy as a regional normality.
In order to facilitate political and security cooperation, members of the ARF have cooperated on areas such as Disaster Relief, Counter-terrorism, Transnational Crime, Maritime Security, and Non-proliferation and Disarmament. These areas of cooperation all work in tandem to advance the overall development of regional peace and security through the promotion of preventive diplomacy and the development of confidence building measures and conflict resolution mechanisms.
The ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), along with its parent organ, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), has been seeking for means of achieving regional security, stability, and sustainability. Back in 1971, the Zone of Peace, Freedom, and Neutrality Declaration was signed and adopted by ASEAN member states in hopes of keeping the region “free from any form or manner of interference by outside powers.“ With that in mind, member states of the ARF agreed that Confidence-Building Measures (CBM), Preventive Diplomacy (PD) and Conflict Resolution Mechanisms (CRM) should be applied to the region to achieve regional peace and prosperity. However, unresolved territorial disputes, the abundance of diversity within the region, and the constant and significant shifts of regional power relations due to the rapid economic growth of countries have all made it hard for consensus to be reached on how these confidence-building processes are to be implemented. With the rising tension in South China Sea and the pivoted attention of international power players, formulating a regional code of conduct for crisis prevention, confidence building, and reconciliation is now more important than ever. Through addressing the need of a confidence building process within the region, delegates can expect to debate on the essence of CBM, PD, and CRMs and examine the possibility of utilizing these measures or mechanisms to resolve ongoing conflicts in the likes of the South China Sea dispute and achieve regional peace and security.
Illicit trade in Weapons and Materials poses a huge threat towards the Asia-Pacific regional peace and security. On one hand, the proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) has long been one of the reasons for the abundance of armed conflict and instability. Though ASEAN has coordinated with EUROPOL and INTERPOL to establish a control regime for transnational crime within the region, the open coastline and the great need of arms and ammunition in areas of conflict incentivizes traffickers to find new ways of trafficking these illicit goods. On the other hand, the proliferation of Chemical, Biological, Radioactive, and Nuclear Materials (CBRN Materials) is also a huge concern for the region. With the increasing radicalization of minority an disenfranchised groupings, the threat of CBRN materials falling into the hands of non-state actors has increased significantly. Though the characteristic of the illicit trade of SALW and CBRN Materials are different in nature, there exists some synergies that can both be exploited by traffickers and regulators. Through addressing the common challenges posed by both areas, delegates can expect a fruitful discussion on the synergies between these two genres of trafficked goods and how the Asia-Pacific can address the illicit trade of weapons and materials through a collective, regional approach.
The Disarmament and International Security Committee (DISEC) is an organ of the General Assembly (GA) which (concentrates) its mandate to discuss all disarmament and international security issues contained within the scope of the United Nations Charter. Resolutions have been passed in this committee, resulting in landmark agreements and conventions that have benefitted mankind greatly, such as the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention to the recent Arms Trade Treaty. With continuing outbreaks of security concerns causing calamities around the world, the DISEC continues to serve its purpose as the sole committee in the GA that focuses exclusively on international peace and disarmament. Furthermore, in coordination with the Security Council, the DISEC strives to tread towards the objective of maintaining peace and security in the international community.
“Non-state actors” can generally be understood as individuals or organizations that poses significant political influence to the international society, but is not allied with any particular state or meets the qualification of a “state”. Though the term should not be comprehended as a complete equal to Jihadist groups, extremists with radical beliefs in Islam, they are certainly active non-state actors that cause instabilities in the region. In addition to Jihadist groups, other non-state actors such as the uprisings or the rebellious groups against states, all bear common features include but are not limited to: organized crime actions operated within states, and unanticipated military misconduct against authorities and civilians. The Middle East is home to perhaps the most notorious non-state military actors of our time, with conflicts in the region lasting for years, albeit the measures taken to counteract these non-state actors. Their influences are not just within the Middle East region, but spreading around the world; such as the recent tragic attacks in Paris and Brussels, causing numerous casualties and panic among European countries. To set the Middle East region in the direction of a peaceful future, and to prevent the same misfortunes from repeating, it is urgent for the United Nations to tackle the issue of non-state actors in Middle East region.
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is an agency of the United Nations that specializes in achieving food security for all mankind. Since its establishment in 1945, the FAO has worked towards its main goals of hunger eradication, poverty elimination, economic and social advancement, and sustainable utilization of natural resources. With all these prospects, the FAO strives to benefit both the present and future generations. Its primary missions include sharing food and agriculture related information, acting as a neutral forum for different parties to build common understanding, supporting countries to prevent and mitigate risks to food and agriculture, and bringing knowledge to the field to enhance agricultural development.
Climate change poses severe and distinct threats to food security. The increased number and frequency of extreme weather events as well as long-term climate risks have negatively impacted food availability, access, and stability, infringing on the people’s right to food. Eighty percent of food-insecure populations live in areas that are prone to natural disaster and environmental degradation, and are also most vulnerable to climate change. If efforts are not made to combat these threats to food security, the FAO’s goal of eradicating hunger in our lifetime will not be achieved. The FAO has built a series of frameworks to assist member states in responding to the effects of climate change, as well as providing statistical and technical guidance. Its work has focused on helping current agricultural systems adapt to the challenges brought by climate change. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) recognized the importance of food security in the Paris Climate Change Agreement. The agreement is yet to be ratified, and further actions are expected to be taken. The FAO expects to play a prominent role in pushing forward the progress and implementing relevant actions.
Hunger and malnutrition are issues that many people in post-conflict situations are forced to encounter, even after having escaped the immediate danger of conflicts. Regional instability has a strong negative impact on rural areas, leading to significant fall back in agriculture and food production. The destruction of infrastructure and institutions also cause great difficulty in food accessibility. In post-conflict situations, persistent high food insecurity can lead back to the resuming of conflicts. Food shortage and malnutrition have led to more deaths than the wars or conflicts that caused them. The FAO, as well as partner organizations such as the World Food Program (WFP), have worked to provide humanitarian assistance to rebuild food security in many post-conflict situations in recent years. As the number of on-going conflicts increase, the FAO strives to figure out methods to improve its functions to combat food insecurity in post-conflict situations.
After the Bretton Woods Conference in 1944, International Monetary Fund (IMF) was established to monitor and stabilize international monetary system, promote cooperation among members and facilitate global economic growth. After more than a half-century, the Fund’s mandate has been updated to include all macroeconomic and financial sector issues that bear on global stability. There are three main functions that IMF holds: surveillance, technical assistance and lending. As the critical factor to maintain monetary stability, the lending mechanism is the most crucial one for IMF to fulfill its purpose through lending funds to countries with urgent needs. With 188 members, IMF is able to gather huge amount of resources, and along with close cooperation with the UN and also World Bank Group, the IMF has become the most authoritative financial organization. It has played an essential role in multiple financial crises since its establishment, and helped countries to tackle their fiscal difficulties.
One of the primary functions of IMF is to aid countries’ debts when needed, usually in the form of loans. A loan, debt relief fund or bilateral aid distributed by IMF often requires certain conditions to be met. The conditionality framework was designed to help improve structural economic issues, maintain appropriate usage of loans, and ensure the return of the loans. The conditions for structural adjustments may include austerity, trade liberalization, corruption elimination and more. However, the effectiveness and feasibility of such conditions are criticized in recent years due to the failure of debt-relief, continuous economic problems and the lack of compliance. In addition, the policies required in the conditions are often politically sensitive when in regard to sovereignty and social stability. It is apparent that such conditionality hasn’t always achieved the guaranteed relief. Therefore, the reform on the conditionality of loans should be in place for IMF to redeem its promise to the international community.
To define tax non-compliance, it includes tax avoidance that works within the law, and tax evasion that is contrarily illegal. It drastically affects governments’ income and their balance of payments, thus falls under IMF’s mandate. As for tax havens, the OECD identifies three key factors: no or only nominal taxes, protection of personal financial information and lack of transparency. As a result, wealthy individuals and enterprises sometimes take advantages of those jurisdictions for the purpose of tax evasion and avoidance, undermining governmental revenue in the client’s home countries and transparency in host countries. Furthermore, such tax non-compliance indirectly damages social equality through avoiding taxation redistribution policy conducted by the governments. IMF plays a pivotal role in proposing policies to Member States to tackle these tax havens comprehensively and collaborating with other relevant entities, including the OECD and World Bank Group, to collect data and launch initiatives globally.
The Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Affairs Committee is the Third Committee of the General Assembly, and is tasked with a mandate concerning matters of human rights concerns all over the world. Issues that SOCHUM has previously discussed include global literacy, right to self-determination, women empowerment, elimination of racism and discrimination, as well as treatment of refugees and displaced persons. SOCHUM oversees the work of the United Nations Human Rights Council, and engages in close collaboration with UN and non-UN bodies such as the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees and the United Nations Children's Fund.
Rohingya Muslims reside in the Rakhine State of Myanmar and have been described by human rights organizations as one of the most persecuted minorities in the world. In 1982, the Burmese nationality law denied Rohingya citizenship, and Rohingyas have since been considered foreign residents. Today, an estimated two million Rohingya Muslims are stateless and denied of their fundamental human rights. In the past several years, the age-old feud between Rohingya Muslims and Burmese Buddhists has drawn global attention following the 2012 Rakhine State riots as well as the recent Rohingya refugee crisis.
Globally, within the past several decades, the female incarceration rate has accelerated at a much faster pace than that of men. The conditions of women in prison in many countries can be described as degrading and inhumane, with a large number of female prisoners suffering from physical and sexual abuse as well as untreated physical and psychological illnesses. However, the human rights of female prisoners are greatly ignored in these primarily male-dominated prison systems. Issues to be addressed include provision of proper medical resources and facilities accommodating specific needs of female inmates, provision of rehabilitation programs, and elimination of violence against women in custody.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) was established in 1997 as the result of a merger between the United Nations Drug Control Programme (UNDCP) and the Centre for International Crime Prevention. UNODC is mandated to assist its Member States in fighting against illicit drugs and international and transnational crimes. The scope of the programme’s technical assistance encompasses not only drug abuse prevention and health, organized crimes and trafficking, but also corruption, crime prevention and criminal reform, as well as terrorism prevention. Under its three pillars, UNODC offers its specialized assistance and expertise through field-based technical cooperation projects, research and analytical work, as well as normative work in the ratification and implementation of related treaties and legislation.
From cannabis coffee shops to incarceration for possession of a highly illegal substance, the production, sale and use of cannabis have been the subject of much debate internationally. Perception of the drug varies greatly between nations. As of 2016, some countries have already initiated the decriminalization of cannabis, some are advocating for its legalization, while others stand their ground on keeping it a highly-regulated and illegal drug. Advocates highlight better control and regulation as potential benefits, while skeptics express concerns regarding possible negative effects of its legalization on people and society in the long run. Discussion on the legalization of cannabis from different national perspectives based on each country’s respective past experiences is invaluable to determining appropriate regulations and restrictions on the drug.
Human trafficking and migrant smuggling have been and remain to this day a significant challenge for all countries, whether developing or developed. The former uses force, fraud and deception to acquire persons for exploitation, while the latter sees vulnerable people suffer hardship as they attempt to search for a better life through desperate and illegal measures. Furthermore, smuggled migrants are more susceptible to human trafficking. Crises due to recent conflicts, such as the Syrian refugee crisis, have aggravated related trafficking and smuggling crimes, making it an urgent world issue which needs to be addressed. Through past actions and discussions, nations need to come together and find ways to combat and prevent further increase in the crimes.
The United Nations Security Council is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations. As stated in the UN Charter, the members of the United Nations have given the Security Council the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, and have also agreed to comply to its decisions. When a situation arises that is likely to endanger the maintenance international peace, the Security Council would command the parties to reach a settlement through peaceful means. The council’s decisions can also be enforced by member states through the implementation of economic sanctions or collective military action. The Council consists of ten non-permanent members and five permanent members — China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, and United States of America. A negative vote by any one of the five permanent members vetoes the resolution. The ten non-permanent members are elected on a regional basis by the General Assembly for a two-year term.
The South Sudanese Civil War refers to the conflict between two major factions and their allies, forces loyal to the president Salva Kiir and former Vice President Riek Machar. The civil war broke out in December 2013 when President Kiir accused his former deputy Machar of plotting a coup d’état. In August 2015, through several rounds of negotiations, President Kiir signed a peace agreement with Machar. However, the latest truce remains fragile, as violence continues. Both sides have accused the other of violating the agreement and therefore are reluctant to further peace building processes. Since South Sudan’s independence, the UN peacekeeping mission, UNMISS, with its main goal of civilian protection and monitoring the implementation of a peace agreement, had limited accomplishments and remained a strained relation with the government, who has undermined several UN refugee camps. With more than 1,660,000 people displaced and 6,000,000 people in need of aid, South Sudan is still a long way from stability. How could the council deal with the South Sudan’s poor humanitarian situation and assist this country to creating lasting peace?
For post-conflict states following the signing of a peace accord, post conflict stabilization is a crucial step to establishing lasting peace. During this period, the two principle objectives of the UN are DDR and SSR. DDR stands for the “disarmament, demobilization and reintegration” of ex-combatants and has become an integral part of post-conflict peace consolidation. Security Sector Reform (SSR), also a crucial step for the government to reach a stable political status, aims to enhance effective and accountable security for the State and its people. In recent years, countries within the council have advocated for the council to take a more dominative role in the process. However, the actions taken by the council have been criticized as inconsistent and lack of coordination. How can the Council integrate the efforts of nations and its agencies to offer holistic and coherent approach towards post-conflict states?