Letter from the Secretary General

For over thousands of years, our species has inhabited this planet. However, it is only in the recent millennia , that we declared ownership over pieces of this planet, that were never really ours to begin with. Through this self-proclaimed ownership, we invented boundaries, to protect what was ours, and when these boundaries were threatened, we took to war. Only now, do we realise the pernicious influence we have had on this planet, and on each other.

At its closest, the eminently contradicting ideologies of democracy and autocracy are separated by a 12 inch concrete slab – the corollary of a historic East Asian war. Not long ago, laissez-faire and socialism built a 3.6 metre wall, quarantining the East from the West . A few hundred years ago, the perilous oceans deterred people from visiting lands they had never been to; today these oceans have been replaced by immigration laws. Today our ships have the technological capability to surpass physical barriers, but what use is that if our minds cannot do the same for invisible ones, created by us. The past century has witnessed engineering marvels, that have shortened our physical distances, however, in 1945, the world witnessed its first diplomatic one.

It is no hyperbole to say that the world we live in is plagued by conflict. From religious fundamentalism to nuclear proliferation, the consequences of such egocentric decisions being taken by man, to achieve supremacy, are indeed calamitous. To blame a handful of Machiavellians though, for this prevailing chaos is rather convenient. This chaos, created by humanity, must be quelled by it too.

The United Nations, since its inception, has been a representation of mankind’s real potential. Although having existed for just over 70 years, the progress it has made in mitigating the chaos that exists in the form of terrorism, poverty, gender inequality, civil uprisings, rebellions and warfare is exceptional. The United Nations, through its works, has been invalidating the selfish nature of humanity, while showcasing its altruistic potential. Therefore, taking on the responsibility of simulating this organisation, is no mean task.

The youth is brimming with ideas and solutions that have the capability to alleviate the seemingly insurmountable issues that threaten our existence. CMUN will give you the platform to voice these ideas and opinions. Through the historical committees, you can reorient the policies that have shaped our present, while current committees demand the use of your foresight, to ensure a more tolerable tomorrow for our children.

This being my fifth and last CMUN, I am honoured to be working with a remarkably experienced and competent secretariat that will ensure that your experience will be exhilarating. If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact me at secgen.cmun@cajcs.in. I look forward to seeing a stimulating and dynamic conference this August.

Yours truly,

Tansa Shah,
Secretary General,
Cathedral Model United Nations 2017.

Letter from the Deputy Secretary General

Dear Delegates,

It is with great pleasure that I invite you to join us in Mumbai for the 21st session of Cathedral Model United Nations! Each year at this time, we come together – not to preserve the status quo, but to drive our world forward. In 1996, the world was a different place, and our school undertook its mission of giving youngsters a platform to voice their views- and more importantly, laid down a template for the generations to come.

History gives us several examples of societies that were ruled and manipulated by a small and intrinsic group of people. Today, many believe that we live in an open and free society; some believe that our difficulties stem from the inherent greed and corruption of our race . If we could lift our veils of ignorance, it would become apparent that most of our world views are rooted in lies.

There are two ways to view the nature of our modern world, either exoteric or esoteric. Many are unable to discern the truth from its distortion, and more often than not, the esoteric world view is obscured. In order to uphold a false exoteric view, some have gained control over a vast centralised network of mass media and education, giving them the opportunity to manipulate the information flow in the society. This play pans out only as long as we as a society are ignorant and oblivious. It is our responsibility as the educated lot of our nation to widen our own horizons.

Reading about global developments isn’t uncommon; but now, you will engage with them, analyse every aspect of them, and turn them on their head. You will argue sides you do not personally agree with, and debate with your fellow delegates to come up with solutions that benefit everyone. It is, after all, the diplomatic spirit that encapsulates the true essence of any MUN.

As delegates at CMUN this year, some of you will be dealing with constant crises and macro-level world affairs, while some of you will have the chance to tackle some of the world’s most pressing issues in the social and humanitarian spheres. This year we have three specialised agencies- the Berlin Conference, the Supreme Command of Allied powers and the CMUN mainstay, the Historic Security Council – all deliberating the most unorthodox, unprecedented topics in the MUN circuit. Our regional bodies this year include the age-old Roman Senate (49 BC) and the COMET, the scientific leg of CMUN. General assemblies this year include the SOCHUM, and the re-introduced legal committee – both expecting some very real solutions to modern day crises. Finally, we have the Press Corps – again, a CMUN tradition. Simulating actual debate this year, the Press Corps will continue to aim to be something no aspiring journalist has ever experienced.

The CMUN staff this year consists of a group of directors who have dedicated much of the past year to researching, writing background guides, and developing their committees, and I know that I speak for all of us when I say how incredibly excited we are to meet you in August. I encourage all of you to make the most of this conference, research and prepare well before and maximise your working potential in the three days of the conference. That being said, I sincerely hope that most of you agree with me when I say that the character-building exposure you get by participating in these conferences is far more important than the petty title of “author” on a resolution.

This CMUN will be my fourth – and my second as a member of the Secretariat. I fondly remember my times as a delegate as some of the most exhilarating, memorable moments in my school life. Ultimately, it is my hope that you walk away from CMUN 2017 more aware of the world around you. Model UN (much like the real United Nations) has the potential to devolve into petty disagreements and wars of words, but it also has the promise of effecting legitimate change for the people of the world who need it most. The direction that your committees take is entirely in your hands, but I certainly hope that we achieve more of the latter than the former.

As always, if you have any questions before the conference, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at depsecgen.cmun@cajcs.in or to your committee director.

Vedant Nevatia,
Director, SCAP, 1945,
Deputy Secretary-General,
Cathedral Model United Nations 2017.