Historical Crisis Committee: Berlin Conference
Africa was the last continent to be thoroughly explored by any major world power. By the mid-19th century, European nations, empowered by a rise in industrialization, began once again to set their sights on an empire. Though Western countries had previously only controlled parts of coastal West Africa, inventions and economic advances by the 1850s opened up the interior of the continent to outsiders. Spurned by industrial growth, a rising demand for raw materials made many regions of Africa important places to capitalize upon. Competition over territory became so intense by the 1880s that the German Empire, an emerging imperial power, called the Berlin Conference in 1884 to systematize the partitioning of the continent. 12 European countries plus the Ottoman Empire and the United States sent delegates to the Berlin Conference, where the principle of effective occupation was introduced. In this crisis committee, delegate will be encourage to look into a very relevant history. It allows delegates to understand the mindset of an imperial nation and the challenges of governing territory while dealing with competitors. As a delegate to Berlin in 1884, you will have your nation's interests in mind as you carve out a stake in the African contintent, with the objective of gaining leverage over or forming alliance with your fellow delegates in order to secure the best resources. You will have to secure trade routes, manage troop movements in order to access unexplored parts of the continent, strategize how best to deal with native resistance, and be diplomatic. The scramble is on!
Economic and Social Council:
Haiti's Humanitarian Crisis
The Republic of Haiti, located in the tropical waters of the Caribbean and nudged between the North American and Caribbean tectonic plates, has been prone to raging storms and hurricanes, with an interminable history of seismic activity and earthquakes. On January 12, 2010 a catastrophic earthquake with a magnitude of 7.0 wracked the country, with serious implications on the nation’s infrastructure and over 52 aftershocks. The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies estimated that as many as 3 million people were affected by the earthquake. However, the disaster did not terminate with the last of the aftershocks of the earthquake. Aggravated from dismal conditions of the 2010 earthquake, an ongoing cholera outbreak in Haiti found its roots and has been of great concern in the most recent natural disaster of October 9, 2016; Hurricane Matthew. UNICEF approximates over 750,000 people in need of humanitarian assistance. Despite UN efforts to help Haitians and prepare for future disasters, thousands of Hatians have succumbed to a cholera epidemic caused by UN Nepalese Peacekeepers. Thousands more have suffered from the Red Cross controversy where only six out of the promised 130,000 homes were built in devastated comunities while the Red Cross contintued to recieve funds. Increased economic and supply aid has stunted Haiti's ability to build any real infrastructure and wean off of aid from other countries. This committee hopes to not only help the struggling Hatian people with short term solutions, but create long term solutions that will bring Haiti stability and power of its own.
Security Council: Conflict in the Northern Triangle
10% of the population of the North Triangle countries have left Central America in the past five years. Why? Central America’s Northern Triangle, composed of El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala, is recognized as one of the most violent regions in the world. The Triangle’s insecurity is a clear legacy of its decades of internal wars (namely between 1960 and 1990). Since then, weakened institutions and government corruption have created facile opportunities for violent criminal organizations to garner influence in the region. Drug trades and gang violence inflame the fragility of this historically unstable region, bringing 50,000 reported homicides in the past three years. These situations create massive threats to the security of citizens in this three state region, as well as the permanence of democratic institutions. Thus, nearly 300,000 citizens of the Northern Triangle have fled this region to seek asylum in the United States and Mexico. Overwhelmed by a flood of refugees and asylum-seekers, political attitudes have brought the US and Mexico to tighten their border controls and begin deporting more refugees. The diverse group of countries that make up the Security Council, in addition to the intricate elements that define this situation, illustrate the international importance and contentiousness that will be elicited by this debate. It is of the upmost importance that the Security Council confront the rampant corruption, systemic violence, and problematic refugee crisis in the Northern Triangle in order to restore and enhance global security.
World Health Organization: Waterborne Diseases
Waterborne diseases are the primary cause of death in the developing world, killing over 3.4 million people each year. Waterborne diseases are caused by bacteria, parasites or viruses spread through contaminated water. In regions that lack proper infrastructure, water sanitation remains to be a pressing issue. Individuals bathe, defecate and drink using the same water source. Runoff, including rivers and streams, also spread such diseases, widening the region of affected individuals. Of waterborne diseases, cholera, Hepatitis A, typhoid fever and dysentary are the most common. While measures have been taken by the global community to combat waterborne diseases and increase access to clean water sources, millions still die each year. To address the topic, delegates must look not only on how to reduce infections but also how to create infrastructure and reduce water contamination. Keep in mind resource limitations, as many developing regions do not have complex irrigation systems or a steady water supply.