General Assemblies are large committees which simulate the largest bodies of the UN.
They are a great place to start if you're new to Model UN.
World Health Organization
The World Health Organization aims to influence global policies regarding health and wellbeing. This year, the committee will address topics such as the accessibility of vaccines in developing countries and combating the growing anti-vax movement; the health impacts of vaping and the widespread accessibility of nicotine products; and the urgent need for sanitary water sources across the world, especially in rural and polluted areas.
Economic and Financial Committee (ECOFIN)
The Second Committee of the General Assembly, ECOFIN focuses on international financial development and the integration of new technologies into the world economy. The focus for this committee will be the international regulation of cryptocurrencies, making an economically conscious transition to green energy, and taking collaborative measures to prevent future global economic crises.
United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
UNESCO deals with the preservation of natural and manmade landmarks as well as the promotion of education and scientific development. Committee sessions will focus on the implementation and usage of AI in education, the use of education as a means of preventing extremism and exploitation of children, and the protection of World Heritage Sites from tourism, urbanization, and pollution.
Special Political and Decolonization Committee (SPECPOL)
As the Fourth Committee of the General Assembly, SPECPOL deals with a variety of issues, including but not limited to peacekeeping missions, peaceful usage of outer space, and special political missions that do not fall under the jurisdiction of other committees like the UN Security Council. This committee will tackle debates regarding the destabilization of Mali, continued outer space cooperation, and climate security issues requiring military or political intervention.
Economic and Social Council
ECOSOC committees are slightly smaller and more specialized than GAs. They are still contemporary, but aim to simulate more specialized functions within the UN system.
Commission on the Status of Women (CSW)
Instrumental in promoting women’s rights and shaping global standards on gender equality, the CSW is the UN’s principal intergovernmental body that deals with the empowerment of women and the challenges they face. Its sessions address emerging issues and exchange experiences felt by women around the globe. Priority topics this year include the empowerment of rural women, the empowerment of indigenous women, access and participation of women to science and technology, as well as reproductive rights.
Commission on Narcotics and Drugs (CND)
As one of the functional commissions of ECOSOC, the CND acts as the central drug policy-making body in the UN system. Its purview includes influencing other regulatory bodies and discussing how various substances should be controlled, and as such, the topics of the West-African drug trade, trafficking in falsified medical products, prevention of illicit drug use by youth, and technology in drug-related crime are relevant matters under its jurisdiction.
Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ)
The CCPCJ is the principal body acting in the field of criminal justice and crime prevention. Without dealing in specific cases, it reviews and revises the international standards for criminal justice and provides expertise technical assistance in crime prevention. Through discussing violence against migrants, environmental crimes, cybercrime, and international cooperation in criminal matters, the CCPCJ strives to accelerate action in combating national and transnational crime and to improve the efficiency and fairness of criminal justice administration systems worldwide.
Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF)
Known as the Francophonie, this international organization began as a small club of northern French-speaking countries and has since grown into a global organization whose 88 member states cooperate in the areas of culture, science, economy, peace and justice. This marks UTMUN’s first venture into hosting a bilingual committee, and subsequently exploring the topics of climate change, immigration and immersion, and the promotion of cultural and linguistic diversity from the perspective of a truly francophone community. This committee will be bilingual in French and English.
Appelé la Francophonie, cette organisation internationale a commencé comme un petit groupe des pays français du nord et elle deviendrait l'organisation globale qui comprend 88 états, coopérant entre eux dans les domaines de la science, la culture, l'économie, la paix et la justice. Ceci dénote la première incursion de UTMUN d'accueillir un comité bilingue. Nous allons explorer les thèmes du changement climatique, l'immigration et l'immersion et la promotion de la diversité des cultures et des langues dans la perspective de la communauté francophone autour du monde. Ce comité sera bilingue, en français et en anglais.
Specialized committees are smaller and more intimate than General Assemblies, and typically deal with issues specific to a region, conflict, or period in history.
Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Taking shape under the Harper government in 2008, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) was established for the purpose of documenting the history and impacts of residential schools on the Indigenous communities in Canada. TRC was a product of collaboration between the parties of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, and in June of 2015, a final report was released featuring “94 Calls to Action”; these points were designed to facilitate a plan for reconciliation. Since the release of the report, the work of the government and the TRC has been under criticism regarding the implementation of these “Calls to Action.” It is up to this committee to create a cohesive and effective plan for reconciliation in Canada.
Russian Revolution, 1917
The abdication of Tsar Nicholas II on March 2nd, 1917 facilitated the creation of the Russian Provisional Government. Shortly after Lenin returns to Russia, a socialist coalition is created to stabilize the Provisional Government. Bolshevik protests breakout to express the Soviet discontent with the structure of the coalition. The power struggle between the Bolsheviks and Mensheviks shapes the modern Russian state and the subsequent Soviet leadership. This committee must navigate the power struggles between the leading figures during the Russian Revolution, and salvage what is left of the Russian state.
Organisation of African Unity, 1963
The Organization of African Unity (OAU), was the first post-colonial, continent-wide organization of independent states. The states of Africa focused on developing a political means of preserving and consolidating their independence and pursuing the ideals of African unity. The OAU quickly developed a divide between member states; two blocks emerged. The Casablanca Group, led by Ghana, were proponents of more radical approaches for political integration and advocated for the creation of a supranational body. On the other hand, the Monrovia Group led by Ethiopia, sought a loose association of sovereign states that allowed for political cooperation at the intergovernmental level. It is the task of this committee to navigate the dynamics of these newly sovereign states and preserve African Unity in the process.
Conference of Dresden, 1812
The Conference of Dresden was designed to navigate the power dynamics in Europe at the time of Napoleon I. Essentially, the conference can be regarded as a “flex” on behalf of Napoleon I as he prepared to invade Russia. However, many of the attendees (kings, dukes and emperors alike) secretly detested Napoleon’s determinism in Europe and harboured great resentment towards his European Empire. The imbalance of power at this conference is the underlying thread which drives the political decision making and Napoleon’s communication with Russian Tsar Alexander I. When Tsar Alexander refused to make concessions at Napoleon’s request, the rest of Europe and its leaders realized they no longer had to abide by Napoleon’s requests. Yet, it seems that Napoleon’s desires for Russian territory cannot be tamed.
Crisis committees are our most challenging type of committees. They follow a slightly different procedure and often involve role-play. Every decision made by delegates has a direct impact on the outcome of the committee.
Joint Crisis committees are a twist on the familiar Crisis committee. In a Joint Crisis, multiple Crisis committees meet simultaneously. The decisions of one committee will impact the scenario in the other committee(s).
When going into a crisis, you never know who will win, who will lose... and who will make it out alive.
Tiananmen PROTESTS, 1989 (Joint Crisis)
Student-led protests in Beijing calling for democratic reforms amidst the backdrop of political corruption, rapid social and economic changes, and the strict authoritarian rule of the Communist Party has exposed deep-seated fractures within both the State Council and civil dissidents as China finds itself at the crossroads of the future direction of the Party’s governance.
ROOM ONE: State Council
With moderates in favour of reintroducing limited amounts of freedoms to prevent further civil distress, and hardliners maintaining the need for stability overrides all, factional ideological divides within the State Council threaten to off-throw the balance of power within the Party and reveal the underlying need to determine the core values of the Party.
ROOM TWO: Dissidents
Composed of university students and workers, dissidents must cooperate to compromise amongst their interests, react to logistical challenges and address internal frictions amongst different interest groups.
Huawei Board of Directors
Since its establishment in 1987, the Board of Directors has grown Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. to become the top telecommunications manufacturer and the second-largest smartphone brand worldwide. On May 15th, 2019, President Donald Trump signed an executive order placing Huawei on its Entity List, banning them from trading with any US companies. Fortunately, Huawei was granted a 90-day license to temporarily continue its existing networks and prepare for the impending restrictions. The committee begins on day one of the reprieve. Holding all of Huawei’s resources in their hands, the Board of Directors must rise to these challenges and pivot them into opportunities. With tensions high and stakes higher, the Directors will need to devise a plan of action before the situation worsens beyond repair.
Yalta Conference, 1945
Meeting of the heads of Government of the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union. Filled with diplomacy and espionage, this conference not only shaped up the post-war balance of power in Europe, but also demonstrated the tension between the great powers, foreshadowing the Cold War.
The cardinals have gathered and must choose the new leader of the Catholic Church. The old pope is dead, long live the new pope!
This committee is suitable for only the most experienced delegates. This committee is designed to challenge delegates to engage in a high level of debate in one of UTMUN’s most creative and innovative committees. The topic of the committee will not be released prior to the first committee session and neither research nor a position paper is required to participate.