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Model United Nations

Committees

Benjamin J. Maher '11 Best Position Paper Award:
 
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 discussion better.

If desired, 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. 
UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC): Environmental Protection
Chair: Will Webb 
Middle School Committee
The Paris Agreement, achieved at the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) of the UN Framework on Climate Change, ushered in a new and ambitious international program to reduce the disastrous effects of climate change in the future. The ultimate goal is to limit global warming to no more than 1.5°C and drastically reduce carbon emissions worldwide. With this promising agreement in hand, delegates must decide how to realize these goals, while navigating the many differing priorities of each nation. In order to successfully preserve our Earth for future generations, swift and determined strides must be made to fully achieve these goals. What would be required of individual nations, and how would they be held accountable to these requirements? How will you build upon the momentum from the Paris Agreement?
 
General Assembly: Outer Space Law
Chair: Ian McGregor
Beginner Committee
Advances in the exploration of space are occurring every day, with an increasing amount of countries developing national space programs. Now with more and more countries sending objects into space, there are more space debris and exploration devices floating above our atmosphere. Furthermore, private companies such as Virgin Galactic and SpaceX want to profit off of commercial space travel. The race toward space has accelerated into cooperation, and often competition, between nations and corporations to explore the darkness above. What should be done, if anything, about the increasing amount of so-called “space junk”? How should enterprise in the final frontier be regulated? Should nations, or private entities for that matter, be able to have claims in space?
 
UN Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW): Access to Education
Chair: Cole Howard
Beginner Committee
Considerable progress toward worldwide enrollment in educational programs has been made in the last couple of decades, but today many women are still underprivileged compared to their male counterparts. Malala Yousafzai, in her advocacy work, reveals the empowerment that comes with education, particularly to young girls. Education is a right for every human, regardless of gender, and there must be a concerted effort to alter these unfair societal structures so that all women in all nations have the same educational opportunity as men. Even as an all-male institution, B.C. High must concern itself with this global issue in order to create the awareness and future leaders that will help solve this problem. Why have women not been afforded equal access to education? What international programs can the UN institute to achieve this goal of equal access, particularly in developing nations?  
 
The Group of 7 (G7): Combatting Extremism
Chair: Declan Hayes
Beginner Committee
The major world economies have assembled in an international summit to commit to a unified strategy for to combat global extremism. Delegates will work on behalf of major world powers to disrupt the financial backing of major terrorist groups such as ISIS, Al Qaeda, Boko  Haram, Hezbollah, and the Taliban, many of whom have created complex financial support systems steeped deep in the black market. Delegates will consider everything from weapons sales to oil production and must work to identify potential resolutions which will prevent supplies, technology, and funds from falling into the wrong hands. What effective means of diplomacy can G7 nations use to achieve this end? What about the use of coercion? How far should the G7 commit itself to disrupting these financial networks?

UN Security Council (UNSC): Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons
Chair: Enrique Antelo

Intermediate Committee
The Cold War may be over, but nuclear weapons still pose a clear and present danger to global stability. Nations such as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and The Islamic Republic of Iran still attempt to create their own nuclear weapons. In addition, conflicts between nations such as India and Pakistan, that both possess nuclear weapons, can devolve into nuclear war with one false move. How will the Security Council prevent these weapons from being utilized to inflict massive casualties? What will the response be to nations developing their own nuclear programs? How should the problem of nuclear proliferation be confronted in the context of a changing world?
 
World Health Organization (WHO): Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria
Chair: Sean Feehily
Beginner/Intermediate Committee
As society has progressed we have moved away from global epidemics of infectious diseases. Today, however, a new medical threat looms on the horizon in the form of Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria. These bacteria can resist the strongest medications and can have a disastrous effect on human populations if they are allowed to grow and spread. Bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MDR-TB) have grown too powerful for common antibiotic treatments to succeed.Often, they are spread through the conglomeration of patients with these bacteria in hospitals without proper decontamination protocols, or unsuspected and undiagnosed citizens unknowingly passing them on with direct contact in their community. How will the World Health Organization (WHO) respond to this new medical nightmare? What will be the response for developed and developing countries? What medical advancements must be made in order to combat against this public health issue, and is the World Health Organization willing to promote these advancements?

African Union (AU): Voluntourism 
Beginner/Intermediate Committee 
 Have you ever been on a mission or service immersion trip?   In 2014, 1.6 billion voluntourists spent over $2 billion in African countries. Voluntourists visit orphan care centers in Zambia, primary schools in Malawi and elephant sanctuaries in South Africa. They tend to stay a less than two weeks, they are inexperienced for the task they undertake, and they have an expectation of making large-scale immediate changes. Companies center their marketing on the experience of  volunteer-tourists  to ‘change the world.’ But voluntourists neither make widespread changes nor is their work of high quality. Rather, voluntourism distracts from the creation of sustainable projects that have long term benefits, not to mention that it takes away basic jobs and low-level employment for many lower class workers, crippling the kind of bottom-up growth that many developing countries desperately need. In many cases, these well-meaning tourists cause more problems than they solve.  For example, a voluntourist cannot administer AIDS vaccines, begin treatments for malaria and bilharzia without proper training, yet voluntourists are called upon to perform such acts in South Sudan,  the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Benin, and Mali. There is no shaping of a policy nor regulation of voluntourists.  What kinds of voluntourism companies exist and how do they generate revenue? Should they be regulated? Should the African Union limit the volume of voluntourism in Africa? Can these countries infringe upon the rights of nations and travelers by and limit the tourist revenue being spent by voluntourists?
 
MA Legislature: Opioid Crisis 
Intermediate Committee
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is currently in the midst of an opioid crisis that must be addressed in order to save the lives and well-being of the people of the Commonwealth. Heroin, oxycontin, and oxycodone are among the drugs that are prescribed, traded, and abused.  Delegates will consider overprescription by medical professionals, increasing prices of narcotics that can help such as naloxone and methadone, and limits on prescriptive medications. In this committee, you will create legislation to solve this substance abuse issue through the eyes of your own communities. Is opioid addiction a health issue or a criminal issue? How will the stigma surrounding drug addiction be considered in this context? What must the Legislature enact in order to remedy this crisis? We will try to have delegates represent a state senator or a state representative from the legislative district where your school is located.
 
British House of Commons (BHC): Consequences of Brexit
Chair: Tim Miklus
Advanced Committee
The people of the United Kingdom have spoken. The referendum over whether or not the United Kingdom should leave the European Union has ended in victory for those seeking secession from the E.U. David Cameron has resigned, and now you must deal with the potential consequences that can arise from Britain’s exit. You face the potential breakup of the Kingdom itself as Scotland again threatens to leave, along with new trade restrictions which could be imposed by the rest of the E.U. What will be the response to these potentially catastrophic actions? How will the House of Commons lead the nation into a prosperous future?

White House Summit on Freedom of Speech Advanced Committee
The internet giants of Silicon Valley have a crisis on their hands. Rampant hate speech, fake news, and misleading clickbait have overpopulated most major social networks, and social media giants do not have sufficient legislation to effectively seek out and punish flagrant offenders of anti-hate speech policies. Executives from Facebook, Twitter, and Google will be joined by representatives of civil liberties unions and members of the Trump administration at a White House summit to draft legislation for effective regulation of these unique threats to social networking platforms. The executives will seek the power to quickly and effectively handle shameless offenders, while civil liberty union lawyers will work to protect free speech and free press rights; the Trump administration must work with both to find a compromise. Delegates have to consider the Constitution, American values, and security threats in the context of social media, which many use almost daily. What is more important: security or freedom? Is there a medium that can be reached between these values? How far can censorship and surveillance of the Internet be allowed to go?

Organization of Petroleum Producing Countries (OPEC) : Oil Pricing & Competition
Chair: Tim Smyth
Advanced Committee
Falling oil prices around the world, the economic collapse of Venezuela, a loosening grip on the oil market, and the emergence of cheap renewable energy threaten the  power of the  international oil cartel of the  Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Each of the 12 member countries—with the survival of their respective economies at stake—must decide a course of action to address these issues. The challenges include regaining control of the oil market, demilitarizing the Strait of Hormuz and limiting shipping costs, competing with and reducing the market share of renewable energy companies, diversification of OPEC interests in case of further collapse, securing further offshore drilling rights, investing in cutting edge oil-extraction technology, and more. Lots of money, power, and energy is on the line, so it is up to OPEC to navigate these competing interests in an ever-changing environment. What will be the priority for this organization? And how will these priorities be realized?

2010 Senate Election Joint Crisis Committee

Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee
Chair: Liam Canavan
Advanced Committee
The 2010 midterm elections were arguably the most impactful election cycle in modern history. With control of the United States Senate hanging in the balance, 2010 brought the deposition of icons, the beginning of the Tea party movement, and served to define the modern Republican congressional model. The landmark Affordable Care Act (better known as Obamacare), the withdrawal from Iraq, the 2009 Stimulus Package, the Auto Bailout, the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center and fluctuating unemployment statistics were all on the docket, and the 2010 midterm election was the first opportunity for Republicans to voice their dissent.Come work among high powered Washington government officials, lobbyists, and bureaucrats and compete with peers in an all out campaign for the most sought-after jobs in Washington. Delegates will take the roles of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in juggling five equally crucial Senate races at once. Delegates will multi-task throughout this joint-crisis committee by analyzing voting demographics and polling numbers, prioritizing races to gain the upper hand, and reading the political landscape to discern a winning message for each candidate. Be ready for the fast paced, hectic environment of a Washington election HQ. Can you lead the Democratic Party to victory?

National Republican Senatorial Committee
Chair: Nate Robards   
Advanced Committee
The 2010 midterm elections were arguably the most impactful election cycle in modern history. With control of the United States Senate hanging in the balance, 2010 brought the deposition of icons, the beginning of the Tea party movement, and served to define the modern Republican congressional model. The landmark Affordable Care Act (better known as Obamacare), the withdrawal from Iraq, the 2009 Stimulus Package, the Auto Bailout, the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center and fluctuating unemployment statistics were all on the docket, and the 2010 midterm election was the first opportunity for Republicans to voice their dissent.Come work among high powered Washington government officials, lobbyists, and bureaucrats and compete with peers in an all out campaign for the most sought-after jobs in Washington. Delegates will take the roles of the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee in juggling five equally crucial Senate races at once. Delegates will multi-task throughout this joint-crisis committee by analyzing voting demographics and polling numbers, prioritizing races to gain the upper hand, and reading the political landscape to discern a winning message for each candidate. Be ready for the fast paced, hectic environment of a Washington election HQ. Can you lead the Grand Old Party to victory?

Vietnam War Joint Crisis Committee

North Vietnam
Chair: Joseph Januszewicz
Intermediate Committee
How will the North Vietnamese respond when circumstances can change in an instant? It is 1954, and Vietnam is divided along the 17° parallel, in agreement with the Geneva Accords. You have already thrown the French  government out of Vietnam. With French colonialism eliminated, unifying Vietnam under One Supreme Communist Regime is the ultimate goal. This is easier said than done as the stubborn South and its American allies are major obstructions to your goals. What actions will you take to defeat the South Vietnamese and their American allies? How far are you willing to go to achieve this goal? Anything can happen in the heat of war!
 

South Vietnam
Chair: Declan Nelson
Intermediate Committee
How will the South Vietnamese respond when circumstances can change in an instant? The year is 1954, and the nation is divided along the 17° parallel, in agreement with the Geneva Accords. You must respond to the brash actions taken by North Vietnam to subject Vietnam to its communist agenda. This action is not isolated, as the powerful Soviet and Chinese allies to the North Vietnamese ardently support these movements. Will another nation fall to communism? How will you and your American allies resist this threat to democracy? Anything can happen in the heat of war!