“You members of this Conference are to be the architects of the better world. In your hands rests our future.”
– President Harry Truman in his address to the UN Delegates at the White House on April 25, 1945
In an attempt to teach the youth about the workings of the United Nations, the Model UN came into existence. From 17th to 19th January 2020, Manipal Institute of Technology’s club, Leaders of Tomorrow (LoT) hosted the 12th edition of the Manipal MUN. Students from all colleges participated in the event, making it a giant success.
This year’s MUN hosted four different committees: the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), Continuous Crisis Committee (CCC), Disarmament and International Security Committee (DISEC) and Bilderberg. Each tackled different types of situations from Artificial Intelligence to the Rights of Minorities.
The UNHRC or the United Nations Human Rights Council, is a committee dedicated to promote and protect human rights around the world. Consisting of 47 member states, this UN body discusses thematic human rights issues such as freedom of expression, women’s rights and LGTBQ+ rights.
The agenda of the Manipal MUN HRC was ‘the rights of ethnic and religious minorities’. Despite the debate starting off with completely off-topic with a discussion about refugees, it slowly picked up in the second half. The delegates discussed international laws pertaining to minorities, especially the declaration on minorities. Members suggested various amendments to these international laws. However, as the UNHRC does not have the authority to make changes to the laws, these recommendations were to be sent to the General Assembly or the International Court of Justice for further interpretation and implementation into national policies of countries.
Continuous Crisis Committee or CCC deals with different crisis scenarios occurring in the world. Each delegate’s action affects the upcoming crisis updates which in turn, will affect the end result. The General Assembly, unlike the CCC, works on a static timeline. Crisis Committees may take up issues of the past or work on present issues. Unlike the rest of the committees, CCC replaces resolutions with actions which create an environment of conflict instead that of peace. In Manipal MUN, the crisis considered was that of tensions between India and Pakistan which raised concerns about war, due to which the USA withdrew its economic support from Pakistan and its military cooperation from India.
With the quick responses from each delegate as well as the crisis updates that kept coming in, each and every member made quick but smart decisions. Nonetheless, it set forth the path at which the next update would work. By the end of the second day, a total of eighteen crisis updates had been issued involving various attacks on troops as well as aircrafs. A Third World War was declared, as well.
DISEC or Disarmament and International Security Committee is the first committee in the United Nations’ General Assembly. It includes all the nations that are the United Nations’ Member States. DISEC, in general, deals with issues which promote and establish maintenance of global peace. DISEC also works along with five other units of the General Assembly, particularly the Special, Political and Decolonization Committee, to help provide a global perspective on threats to international peace.
In Manipal MUN, the topics focused on were the Israel-Palestine conflict as well as the Counterterrorism mechanism for states of Afghanistan and Pakistan. All the present delegates were well versed with the issues in hand. Delegates stood confident with all the Points of Information that they faced and gave adequate responses in the time they had.
The Bilderberg meeting is an annual forum for an informal discussion to foster dialogue between Europe and North America. Established in 1954, this secret committee is attended by political leaders and experts from various fields of industry, finance and academia, numbering between 120 to 150 people. With a goal to discuss a list of subjects as a gesture to transparency, the topics usually consist of broad issues like macroeconomic concerns, the threat of terrorism and cybersecurity.
The Bilderberg committee under the Manipal MUN, much like the real committee was a closed one with zero media coverage. The two topics discussed, however, were ‘ethics of artificial intelligence’ and ‘Industry 4.0’ which was mainly focused on how automation is prevalent in the coming years in the new wave of the industrial revolution.
Another year down and the Manipal MUN proved to be just as big of a success as the past years. With the rise and fall of placards from various countries, the three days passed by in a flash. From the numerous student delegates to the organizers who made this event a huge success, the Manipal MUN was truly an event that motivated many and showed us that we are indeed the Leaders of Tomorrow.
Written by Tanya Jain and Kaavya Azad for MTTN
Photographs by Naman Ohri, Arunaksha Das and Akarshit Nayyar for MTTN