Committees

OHCHR - Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

The United Nations Human Rights Council (OHCHR) is the leading UN body on human rights; it was established on March 15, 2006, and operates at an international level to protect and prevent the violation of human rights such as freedom of speech, and women’s rights. Their current goals are in accordance with the 2030 Development Agenda, and they ensure the protection of human rights under severe circumstances of violence, conflict, and insecurity.

As the pandemic progressed, certain issues became more pressing than ever. While developed countries have managed to keep women's rights at the pre-pandemic state, women in less economically stable areas have faced challenges that no one anticipated, solutions to reverse those effects are yet to be discovered. Evidence increasingly indicates that the isolation brought by the pandemic has led to the increase in levels of domestic, sexual and gender-based violence.

The pandemic has also resulted in a greater reliance on the news and the internet for information regarding the pandemic, emphasizing the importance of journalism. While moderate censorship is practised, there are some cases where journalists are imprisoned in order to maintain censorship. It is critical for journalists to be able to receive, produce, and share information without fear of physical or moral harm. In today’s political climate, especially regarding the pandemic, the OHCHR must ensure that the right of the press is maintained and that journalists have the freedom to report on stories as they desire to do so.


Agenda:

  • Combatting the impact of Covid-19 on women, and dealing with the rise in gender-based violence during the pandemic.

  • Establishing the safety of journalists, and securing freedom of press.

UNODC – United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) was established in 1997. Its primary focus is the trafficking in and abuse of illicit drugs, crime prevention and criminal justice, international terrorism, and political corruption. UNODC helps equip governments with the necessary policies and forces required to combat the continuous rise in crimes and drug use that threaten the safety of people and infringe on their most basic human rights.

Currently, Central Asian republics are home to several native and foreign Islamist groups, some with a proven record of violence and operations inside and outside the region. These figures point to rarely disrupted widespread organized crime, and perpetrators seldom brought to justice, highlighting the importance of improving the criminal justice systems of Central Asian Countries.

International terrorism not only affects the countries in which it happens but often neighboring countries. Taking into account all the terrorist attacks happening in the Middle East in recent years, delegates must consider: the economical and political forces behind the terrorism movement itself, the international forces which work on combatting terrorist groups, their methods as well as social responsibility, in order to deal with the issue, and construct proper, effective solutions.


Agenda:

  • Strengthening criminal justice capacities of central Asian countries to counter terrorism.

  • Combatting the social, political and economic aspects of terrorism in the Middle East.

UNFCCC-United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was established in June 1992 with the aim of tackling issues regarding climate change. It currently consists of 197 parties and is parent to multiple treaties, such as the Paris Agreement (2015) and the Kyoto Protocol (1997). The ultimate objective of the UNFCCC is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that will prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system, allowing ecosystems to adapt naturally and enabling sustainable development.

As the UNFCCC is parent to the Paris Agreement treaty, it is essential that countries oblige with the goals set by it. Since the establishment of the Paris Agreement in 2015, many have been struggling to meet the goals, even with the 12-month extension, due to the pandemic. Climate change has led to an increase in natural disasters, which, in turn, has led to an escalation in the number of displaced people and damaged properties. The UNFCCC conducts climate change and public awareness campaigns and emphasizes the importance of educating people, particularly today's youth. In order to prevent long-term repercussions, education is of high importance, as it encourages people to change their attitudes and behaviors and allows individuals to make informed decisions.


Agenda:

  • Establishing the education of the youth on climate change, and ways to utilise it.

  • Looking into the non-compliance of countries towards the Paris Agreement, and implementing measures to ensure the compliance of member states.

UNSC: United Nations Security Council

Given the role of guaranteeing and sustaining global peace and security, the United Nations Security Council is regarded as the most influential UN body, as they can authorize the deployment of troops from UN member states, mandate cease-fire, and impose economic sanctions. They maintain openness among member states as well as work on amending and regulating the UN Charter. The UNSC is composed of 15 member states, five of which are permanent member states (P5), and possess the veto power, allowing them to strike out clauses going against their policies. The permanent member states consist of; the United States of America, the United Kingdom, France, the People's Republic of China, and the Russian Federation. The remaining member states individually serve on the council for a two-year term. When each term ends, the United Nations General Assembly holds a referendum to determine the following ten member states to take part in the Security Council.

We have seen the volatile situations among the international Crimean dispute alongside the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which has led to severe casualties and wide unrest among nations, especially when considering the nature of such disputes. Hence the UN Security Council has been brought in, due to the highly fragile nature of these events, in order to restore peace and to de-escalate the tension between the member states involved in these conflicts, minimizing the political tension between the nations involved.


Agenda:

  • De-escelating the political tension caused by Russia's declaration of Crimea.

  • Subverting border tensions caused by the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict.

UNESCO: The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is an international organization that promotes education, science, and culture which in turn encourages international cooperation and peace. UNESCO has 193 members and 11 associate members, and was established as the successor of the League of Nations' International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation.

Language is one of many things that make up culture, and it plays an important role in one's identity. However, as of 2020, 9 languages cease to be spoken every year, and by 2080, it is expected to rise up to 16. Since culture has a vital role in one’s identity, it is crucial that endangered languages are preserved and passed on. Thanks to the help of modern technology, languages can be recorded and archived, preventing further language death.

The pandemic has immensely affected cultural industries. In an already unstable sector, the it has worsened the employment situation, and more people have lost their jobs and are facing financial instability. In 2020, 10 million jobs were expected to be lost. The cultural and arts sector has been advancing digitally, in order to adapt to the current global situation, which has led to new art forms, and ways to share art/cultural events. In the words of Director-General Audrey Azoulay, “Culture has helped us out of the crisis. Now we have to help culture and support the diversity to which culture owes its strength.”


Agenda:

  • Safeguarding heritage sites in war-torn areas.

  • Countering the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic on cultural industries and arts, and rebuilding the fine arts industry.

Copy of Istanbul International School Model United Nations (IISMUN).pdf


The Istanbul International School Model United Nations - Delegates Handbook