Committee Guides

General Assembly Committees (GA)

 
Disarmament and International Security Committee (GA1)
 
DISEC (GA1 Committee) is considered to be one the most challenging committees as it deals with Disarmament and International Security affairs. It focuses on particular arms race instances, battlefields as well as war zones in general. Furthermore, the prohibition of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) such as nuclear, biological and chemical ones, is a common theme discussed in this Committee.
 
This committee is recommended for advanced delegates.

This year’s ATSMUN DISEC committee addresses two very important topics which are:

  • A new arms race: facing bioterrorism
  • Controlling the use of government surveillance on people using pretexts

 

Special Political and Decolonization Committee (GA2)

SPECPOL (GA2 Committee) is considered to be one of the hardest ones as it deals with Special Political and Decolonization issues such as territorial disputes and intricate diplomatic affairs.

This committee is recommended for advanced delegates.

This year’s ATSMUN SPECPOL committee addresses two very significant topics which are:

  • The situation in Myanmar.
  • The distribution of vaccines and public health policies as a means of new age imposition.

 

Social Humanitarian Committee (GA3)

The Social Humanitarian Committee (SOCHUM) is the third committee of the General Assembly. This committee will deal with questions about social and humanitarian affairs, human rights and their violation, gender equality, the treatment and welfare of refugees, racism and any type of discrimination, indigenous issues and the protection of children on a global level. The committee will also address issues related to crime prevention and criminal justice, international drug control and other important social issues.

This committee is recommended for intermediate and advanced level delegates.

This year’s topics are:

  • Eliminating violence and sexual abuse in work environments
  • Combating the violation of human rights during pandemics

 

Legal Committee (GA4)

The Legal Committee is the fourth committee of the General Assembly and its main function is the formulation and application of international law. It deals with the examination of legal issues and international legal disputes that may threaten international peace. In this committee, delegates will have to consider the legitimacy of a wide variety of global issues, taking into account national sovereignty, existing international law and the legal framework of the United Nations. The Legal Committee is a significant one as it is authorized to deliberate on new treaties.

The Legal Committee is recommended for advanced delegates. The topics under discussion for the 7th ATSMUN are:

  • Legislation to protect the public from misinformation and conspiracy theories
  • Exploring the legitimacy of measures taken in times of crises

 

 

Non GA Committees (GA)

 
ECOSOC – Economic and Social Council

The Economic and Social Council was established in 1945 as one of the six main bodies of the United Nations. Its aim is to promote the three main dimensions of sustainable development: economic, social and environmental. It plays a key role in guiding countries and coordinating efforts in order to achieve internationally agreed goals and it is also responsible for the follow-up to major UN conferences and summits. It works towards bringing innovation and the most recent development commitments into people’s lives in practice.

This year, ATSMUN’s ECOSOC revolves around the recovery and the future of the global economy which is a major concern worldwide while Covid-19 is still sweeping across the world with disastrous results in the economic sector. The first issue is, therefore, about how to reshape the economy after calamities combining technology and circular economy, and the second issue is about how automation and robot economy can rise to the challenge.

ATSMUN’s ECOSOC is recommended for intermediate and advanced delegates.

 

WHO – World Health Organisation

The World Health Organization has been playing a pivotal role as the lead agency for international health in the United Nations system since 1948 when it established its own Constitution signed by 61 countries. In it, health is declared as one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition.

WHO’s commitment is to work worldwide towards promoting health, keeping the world safe, and protecting the vulnerable. It works with 194 Member States, across six regions, and from more than 150 offices across the world helping to achieve better health for everyone and everywhere.

From the very beginning, WHO has been bringing together top health experts to produce international reference materials and to make recommendations to bring better health to people throughout the world.

Its role has been particularly highlighted after the pandemic outbreak and we, in ATSMUN, consider it one of our conference’s key committees. This year, ATSMUN’s WHO is discussing the following issues:

  • The importance of digital platforms and additional services in supervising and guiding patients during health crises, and
  • Genomics and its global health implications.

The committee is mainly addressed to intermediate and advanced delegates.

 

UNEP – United Nations Environmental Programme

UNEP is set off on its purpose of carrying out environmental activities within the United Nations and serving as an authoritative advocate for the global environment. The organization has since collaborated with a variety of groups in facilitating the adaptation of sustainable resources.

The United Nations Environment Programme is recommended for beginner and intermediate delegates, but is open to delegates of all levels.

ATSMUN’s UNEP is of vital importance and delegates are encouraged to make detailed research on the topics:

  • Microbes and nanotechnology to save the planet
  • The contribution of technology to sustainable development

In order to write a resolution which will be discussed further and voted during the conference.

https://www.unep.org/

 

COPUOS – Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space

The Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) was set up by the General Assembly in 1959 to govern the exploration and use of space for the benefit of all humanity: for peace, security and development. The Committee was tasked with reviewing international cooperation in peaceful uses of outer space, studying space-related activities that could be undertaken by the United Nations, encouraging space research programmes, and studying legal problems arising from the exploration of outer space.

The Committee is serviced by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs. The Office supports the work of the Committee and implements a multifaceted programme that covers the scientific, technical, legal, and policy aspects of space-related activities. The committee initially consisted of with 24 members. Since then, it has grown to 95 members – one of the largest Committees in the United Nations. In addition to States, a number of international organizations, including both intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, have observer status with COPUOS and its Subcommittees.

The Committee has two subsidiary bodies: the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee, and the Legal Subcommittee, both established in 1961.

The Committee reports to the Special Political and Decolonization (Fourth Committee), which adopts an annual resolution on international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space.

The Committee meets annually in Vienna, Austria, to discuss questions relating to current and future activities in space. Topics for discussion include maintaining outer space for peaceful purposes, safe operations in orbit, space debris, space weather, the threat from asteroids, the safe use of nuclear power in outer space, climate change, water management, global navigation satellite systems, and questions concerning space law and national space legislation.

Debate procedures that are followed in this committee are identical to the ones followed in any other committee in the ATS MUN excluding the Security Council.

 

YDF – YOUNG DELEGATES FORUM

The United Nations recognizes that young people around the world are key agents for social change, economic development and technological innovation. It has further recognized that youth should participate in decision-making processes since their outcomes affect both their lives and their future.

YDF plays a unique role within ATSMUN. It is addressed to young delegates only (12-14 years old). This year’s YDF committee deals with two very important topics. The topics under discussion for YDF are:

  • Empowering and protecting unaccompanied minors
  • Using social media platforms to incite social awareness

We highly encourage you to explore in-depth your countries’ policies as well as use the relevant bibliography to further your knowledge on these topics with the aim to writing a resolution which will be lobbied, discussed and voted during the conference.

https://www.un.org/development/desa/youth/wp-content/uploads/sites/21/2020/05/Youth-Delegates-Guide_May-20200-WEB-1.pdf

 

SECURITY COUNCIL

The Security Council is one of the principle organs of the United Nations system and has the highest authority in the United Nations as well as MUN. It is responsible for maintaining international peace and security. The council debates complicated, challenging and controversial issues and has the authority to establish peacekeeping operations, international sanctions and military action. It consists of 15 members, 5 of whom are permanent members (P5) who can strike out any clause or resolution without question or use their VETO power. P5 countries are:

  • FRENCH REPUBLIC
  • PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA
  • RUSSIAN FEDERATION
  • UNITED KINGDOM
  • UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

The other 10 members of the Security Council are elected by the General Assembly for two-year terms.

When the Security Council is debating a topic directly concerning a member country that is not represented in the Security Council, they may call in the ambassador of such country as aguest to provide insight and enrich the debate; however the ambassador only serves as an observer and has no voting rights. They can only participate in the debate and present their view to the Security Council. Clauses are debated and voted on one by one. Open debate is the norm and rules of procedure of Model United Nations are adhered to throughout debate sessions.

 

ICJ – International court of Justice

In 1993, I organized and led the first of many THIMUN affiliated International Court of Justice programs for students. The vision of an International Court of Justice program, as part of THIMUN, came from the former Chairman of the Board of THIMUN, David Williams. He asked me, as a lawyer (and teacher) if I could start such a program. I was excited to do it. I wrote a BRIEF, a manual for students on trial procedure modeled after my own experience as a trial lawyer in California. This regularly updated manual is used at all my ICJ programs.

The International Court of Justice is the main judicial organ of the United Nations. It was established as a body of the UN in 1945. It operates under a Statute, which forms part of the UN Charter, as well as under its own rules. It is headquartered in The Hague.

The primary job of the Court is to settle, in accordance with international law, legal disputes submitted to it by States. It is a civil court, not a criminal court, composed of between 15 and 17 judges. Generally, countries submit themselves to the jurisdiction of the Court in a particular case, and the decision of the court is binding. Cases include boundary disputes, fishing rights, intellectual property, environmental issues, etc.

MUN ICJ is a simulation of a currently pending case before the real ICJ. The advocates (2 on each side) must be well prepared and communicate with each other and opposing counsel on a regular basis. They follow regularly practiced rules of law. Each set of advocates prepares 2 witnesses for their side from the MUN program in proper role-play. They submit real evidence, ask direct questions of the witnesses, and they cross-examine opposing witnesses. Also, there is an opening speech, admission of evidence, questioning of the advocates by the judges, closing argument, and deliberation of judges to verdict. Then, the judges write their judgment.

Students will hone all of their academic skills in this exercise—and it is an exercise, for there are no winners or losers. If you are prepared, you are a winner, despite the verdict rendered. Students use an endless list of skills, including: research skills, reading for comprehension, legal principles, writing, public speaking, organizational skills, and persuasion. I must say that I have never had a student who did not benefit from the ICJ experience, and couldn’t wait to do it again. It is exhausting, 8:30 to 5:00 every day of the program (2 full days per case plus a two-hour workshop led by me to introduce the event), non-stop action. When it is over, many participants decide on a career in law.

I am proud of MUN ICJ; but I am most proud of the students who participate in it. MUN is the finest academically related extra-curricular activity in secondary education today. Practical application, even simulated, is the key to education and one’s success in the future—applying what you have learned in content and in skills. ICJ is the icing on that wonderful cake of learning.

Sincerely yours,

Robert Stern ICJ Coordinator