A. Strengthening of the coordination of humanitarian and disaster relief assistance of the United Nations, including special economic assistance (73)
In this topic, delegates will have the opportunity to debate how to better coordinate relief assistance following natural and man-made disasters. Humanitarian aid can be needed in places of war, countries accepting refugees, or regions where populations are being persecuted. In addition, natural disasters such as hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, and floods can devastate cities and require significant assistance. The days and weeks following a disaster are the most crucial in providing immediate humanitarian assistance, but the negative economic effect on a nation can be felt years afterwards. It is estimated that the average humanitarian crisis lasts over 9 years, and afflicted nations go through available funding and resources quickly. With over 65 million displaced persons in the world, it can be very challenging to coordinate assistance properly. Thus, it will be important for delegates to discuss how to effectively distribute aid, where the aid will come from, and what the aid will look like. In addition, the committee will need to consider how to provide special economic assistance to nations who still feel the effects of various disasters.
B. Women in development (22b)
In recent years, significant progress has been made in improving the living conditions of women globally. The rates of young girls subjected to female genital mutilation (FGM) has decreased by 30% in the last decade, and over 100 countries track budget allocations for gender equality. While there have been progressive policies implemented globally to benefit the lives of women and girls, there are still highly discriminatory policies that severely impact women. From restricting women’s rights to reproductive health, not having laws protecting women against domestic violence, and making up only 24% of national governments, women everywhere suffer from unequal policies. For this topic, delegates should focus on policies that provide women and girls with equal access to health care, work, education, and representation. In addition, it will be important to discuss how gender equality will lead to increased development. Women make up only 13% of agricultural land holders, 25% of girls in developing countries do not receive an education, and women have only about 1% of the world’s wealth. How will increasing women’s access to education, jobs, and representation improve the global economy as a whole?
C. Sexual exploitation and abuse: implementing a zero-tolerance policy (132)
Sexual exploitation and abuse is a global problem that disproportionately impacts women and members of marginalized communities around the globe. While the issue has existed for centuries, the rise of the #metoo and #timesup movements in the United States and Western Europe have brought sexual misconduct to the forefront of much of public policy and social life in these nations. The United Nations is not immune from the problems of sexual misconduct – complaints are frequently levied against peacekeepers who abuse their power and authority over women in the nations to which they are deployed before returning to their home countries and avoiding prosecution or responsibility. A similar problem affects other United Nations officials and administrators. Delegates should attempt to address the issue of sexual exploitation and abuse worldwide, considering the many forms from spousal rape to sex trafficking. The committee should consider both ways to decrease the frequency of such abuse and also to establish mechanisms for punishment of offenders once such abuses have occured. Lastly, discussion of post-abuse mechanisms to support survivors and establish equitable opportunities for recovery would help address some of the disparities in this issue based on social identity.