A one to two-page position paper is strongly recommended for all participating delegates at the conference. We recommend this to focus everyone’s attention on the committee topics ahead of time. We have found that preparing these promotes more thoughtful discussion. Do not let this requirement impede your decision to attend the conference. We are only trying to make the conference discussion better.
Any delegate may submit their position paper to be considered for the Benjamin J. Maher ’11 Best Position Paper Award. You may submit the paper by email to the chair of the committee or hand it in at the start of the committee.
Child soldiers are children who are drafted into any country’s military branch. When a country lacks its funds for men to be drafted in the military, it recruits children to take their place. Most of these children are slightly over the age of 15 and potentially even younger. Many of these children either are forced into service or that they have no money and just find a way to support their family. In this committee, you will discuss ways and analyze how you can prevent recruitment of child soldiers.
How can the UN curb the use and growth of child soldiers? What can be done to reintegrate former child soldiers back into civilian life?
In the years after World War II, the anti-Communist sentiment was beginning to spread around the United States. Simultaneously, Hollywood was entering its so-called “Golden Age.” Multiple Hollywood artists were labeled Communists in a short time frame and struggled to find work as studios refused to hire them. In this historical committee, we will seek answers to several questions and more as we move through the unglamorous side of Hollywood and media in America.
In this meeting of Hollywood actors and studio executives, how will you negotiate in order to restore jobs to the blacklisted actors? Is Communism even a threat to the entertainment industry? What might happen in the future if nothing is done to combat these prejudices and biases?
NCAA on Recruiting
In recent years the NCAA has been embroiled in several public controversies. In particular, illegal scouting and contract buyouts (bribing coaches to quit) have resulted in national court cases. Delegates will represent past and present coaches or players, as well as commissioners of NCAA conferences, NCAA executives, and Athletic Directors from various Division I programs to make reforms to the association before it faces potentially bigger public and legal trouble.
How can the NCAA maintain competitive sports leagues while curbing illegal scouting? What can be done to retain or dismiss coaches without excessive bribery?
Boston Marathon Bombing Crisis
Chaos has struck the 117th Boston Marathon. Two bombs have just detonated by the finish line on Boylston Street. Boston Police are responding to the situation and attending to the victims, and no perpetrators have been identified at the moment. The city is on lockdown, and the police must strive to maintain order in the crisis and catch the bombers before it’s too late.
Is this an act of terrorism? Is there a threat to other American cities? Is Boston still in danger? What steps should the city take in order to secure the safety of the people?
Security Council on Yemen
In December 2010, the Arab Spring protests rapidly spread throughout the entire Middle East, revolting against corrupt governments and poor living conditions. This movement spread to Yemen in 2011 which lead to the Houthi Insurgency. This insurgent group rebelled against the government and succeeded, but the political situation is more violent and dehumanizing than ever. War, famine, and hopelessness ravage the struggling country. This is a multifaceted conflict where delegates will need to address issues such as religious conflict, third-party intervention, child-soldiers, and other ethical dilemmas.
How do civilians feel during the civil war? Do they want a revolution or do they prefer peace?
How do foreign nations intervene without being overbearing?
Berlin Blockade Crisis
The date is June 24, 1948. The Soviet Union has just blocked railway, road, and canal access to West Berlin. Germans citizens are furious that their city has just been split. In the West, the Americans and their allies are panicking. On the other side of the world, the Soviets and their comrades are preparing for the worst. More proximately to Berlin, Germany’s neighboring countries are already bracing for the transformation of their picturesque cities to dismal battlegrounds. This Soviet blockade marks the first crisis in the Cold War. Inexorable tensions between the United States and the USSR suggests an all-out war is imminent.
How can the blockade be resolved without escalating into a major conflict? What can be done to quell the rising conflicts between capitalist America and the communist USSR? How will Germany or the rest of Europe be shaped by these two superpowers?
US Senate on Semiautomatic Assault Rifle Ban
In an ever-increasing polarization of American politics, one of the pressing issues for the current day is gun-control and the repealing of the second amendment. In this committee, delegates will debate these issues of gun control and the second amendment and more specifically, decide whether or not a ban on semiautomatic assault weapons is necessary for the protection of American citizens, and more importantly whether or not legislation on this matter is constitutional.
Is there a constructive balance between safety and the right to bear arms. Is the Second Amendment even relevant today?
Iran Iraq War
It is 1980. Iran’s revolution has installed a burgeoning but struggling theocracy into place. Iraq is lead by a secular dictatorship that is struggling to keep down religious extremism and northern Kurdish insurgents.
In the past few months, Iraq has cut off diplomatic ties and asserts that the Shatt al-Arab river, Iraq’s only waterway to the Persian Gulf, is Iraqi territory, while Iran insists a treaty established joint control.
In this Joint Committee, you are to resolve this crisis as tensions run high, and possibly be prepared for an all-out war.
Is it possible to pursue peace between these two large nations, or is all-out war inevitable? Will the new Islamic Republic survive? Can the Ba'ath dictatorship
maintain their control over Iraq as insurgencies begin to mount?
Roman Senate: Post Caesar Assassination
“Alea iacta est” (The die is cast)
-Julius Gaius Caesar, 49 B.C.
The die has truly been cast. Just like Caesar himself crossed the point of no return in crossing the Rubicon with his army, the Senate has succeeded in their overthrow of Julius Caesar. The stability of the Roman Republic was often precarious, but with the dictator gone, there is now a dangerous power vacuum. For all his faults, Caesar played an important role in the government and was beloved by the common people. What can be done to fill this void?
Who will succeed Caesar? How will we prevent civil unrest and war? How must we alter our government structure lest political instability of this manner reoccurs?
In the past few decades, many Western countries have enshrined legal protections for LGBTQ people and legally recognized same-sex marriage. However, there is still much conflict and debate across the world regarding this equality. While there has been a broader acceptance of LGBTQ people overall, it is illegal in many countries to have homosexual relationships or identify as trans and in some regions, identifying as gay is punishable by death.
How or will countries stand for LGBTQ rights, what can be done across the world to ensure equality?
Weaponization of Social Media-DISEC
As one of the most prominent and powerful platforms, social media has become a medium for spreading information to people across the world. However, social media’s easy accessibility has been abused throughout modern history in the form of cyber terrorism and election tampering, among other controversies. Online networks’ anonymity and lack of surveillance have led terrorist groups to disseminate propaganda and exploit other available resources. The rise of social media has enhanced connectivity among the global citizens of the world, for better and for worse.
How can DISEC combat countries from interfering in others’ elections? How can destabilizing fake news be countered without compromising core freedoms? What is the line where social media content can be deemed criminal?
Organized crime has been a longstanding scourge of the world, perpetrating some of the worst evils including human trafficking, drug smuggling, and piracy.
With the advent of globalization, crime networks have become more international, decentralized, and harder to track. The days of suit-wearing mafia bosses may be over, but organized crime is clearly alive and well across the world today. Interpol must work with police forces to figure out a way to combat the highly advanced and constantly evolving landscape of organized crime in the modern world and respond to any potential crises that may arise.
What areas of crime should be prioritized for Interpol? What is the best way to partner with countries and bring down crime rackets? Or, should INTERPOL continue attacking individuals and large groups rather than targeting the organized crime market as a whole?
By the end of 2018, New York’s minimum wage is going to be $15 an hour. States such as Massachusetts and Washington have minimum wages at $11 an hour. Meanwhile, we look at countries where people go to work for hours on end to only scrape up enough money for half of a meal. This has been an issue for people from all backgrounds, genders, and ages. The decisions here will change the rights of workers all over the world.
Should there be a worldwide minimum wage?
How can governments enforce better working conditions and rights for their citizens?
Should big corporations be privately controlled when it comes to workers and their rights, wages, and working conditions?