is my honor, as Secretary General, to welcome you to CMUN 2014.
After over 8 months of endless preparation, contacting schools,
choosing topics and managing over 500 allocations, CMUN has finally arrived.
For those who don’t know, CMUN has 9 committees this year, along
with the hallmark Press Corps, who will ensure we know what’s happening outside
our own committees at every point in time.
Although we don’t have a central theme this year, we are focusing
on some of the most gripping conflicts in history.
1. The HSSB, discussing the situation in Yugoslavia, 1991.
2. The C-33, which is discussing Civil War America in 1861.
3. The SOCHUM, tackling the conflict minerals issue affecting
present day Africa.
4. The AIPPM, dealing with Naxalism whilst battling each other.
5. The CHIS, simulating the momentous 6-day war between Israel and
the Arab states.
6. The Legal Committee, discussing the weaponization of space.
7. The Cathedral MUN Trademark HSC, which will be dealing with the
Congo Crisis of the 1960s.
8. For the first time in CMUN history, we will be pitting one
committee against another, with the historic topic of the Soviet Invasion of
Afghanistan 1979 being thrashed out by the Joint Crisis Cabinets of the Afghan
and Soviet Blocs.
CMUN has always been proud to have a high level of debate in every
committee, and to maintain that we’ve ensured that no committee has more than
90 delegates. Naturally, we don’t expect every committee to be successful because
that just means you aren’t following your country policy properly.
To me, CMUN manages to capture everything we all love about Model
UN. Every committee I’ve been a delegate in here, has always been unbelievably
intense, with paperwork landing on the dais every 20 seconds, and delegates
being thrown out of committee on an hourly basis. A warning to those delegates
relying on only paperwork or only speeches: you’ll probably sink in the very
first session of committee. Winning an award at CMUN is only possible for those
who combine research with paperwork, eloquence and teamwork.
That being said, for those whose first MUN conference this is, I
hope you’ll find yourselves learning a lot while having a blast at the same
As you can see, we’re focusing on some of the most tumultuous
issues ever to have affected mankind. The Congo Crisis was one of the UN’s
biggest failures, as was the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan. A disastrous
common thread we can notice is that several issues, unless tackled efficiently
in the beginning, mutate into conflicts that remain active for endless tracts
of time, affecting generation after generation. The world today has an
abundance of examples to illustrate this.
One is the fast deteriorating condition of Ukraine, which is eerily
similar to the situation in Europe before World War Two. Hitler’s reason for
annexing Poland despite widespread international condemnation was that he was
protecting the Germans residing in Poland. Putin’s reason for annexing Crimea
was the same with regard to Russians residing in Crimea. Now we can almost be
sure that Russia has been supplying the Ukrainian Rebels with advanced weaponry
like surface to air missiles, which they’ve used on a civilian aircraft,
causing 298 deaths, including several prominent AIDS researchers.
A fact originating from the US Council for Foreign Relations: At
any given moment there are on average 50 different armed conflicts taking place
across the world.
Another conflict screaming for our attention is the
Israel-Palestine conflict, which has been reaching horrifying new heights of
tension every decade.
In the last three weeks, Israeli forces have killed over a
thousand innocent Palestinians. The Israeli Government has rejected all peace
offers and continues to advance through Gaza. History is indeed repeating
itself. UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon: “To the people of Gaza I have this to
say. I have seen only a fraction of the destruction and suffering caused to
this tiny and crowded place by more than three weeks of heavy bombardment,
shelling and street fighting on top of months and years of economic
He said this in 2009 after Israeli forces bombed a UN Refugee camp
Two weeks ago, a UN school was bombed in Gaza, and several more
Palestinians were killed, including several child refugees. Despite the efforts
of the UN, the problem has spiralled out of control.
Issues like this highlight the paramount importance of compromise
and understanding. Unfortunately, several leaders today still believe that
aggressive foreign policies are the best way to ensure no conflict. This very
statement itself demonstrates the need for a new system of thought in
international relations, a system of increased diplomacy. Diplomacy needs to be
attempted readily, not rebuked as a useless
option for the ‘weak’. A massive problem, which trigger-happy
governments aren’t taking into account, is the way policy decisions invariably
cause chain reactions on an international scale. Counterterrorism drone strikes
by the United States, which frequently miss their targets and kill hundreds of
innocents, have been the one of the biggest reasons Al Qaeda has been
developing support at such a terrifying rate in the Arabian Peninsula. This
combined with the un-abating civil war taking place in Syria (where the death
toll is now over 160,000), is leading to the Middle East becoming a safe haven
and an effective base for several extremist Islamic groups. This includes the
ISIS, which has taken now over some of the biggest cities of Iraq, and is establishing
control over the entire country. The active military dispute between Armenia
and Azerbaijan regarding Nagorno-Karabakhone, will soon lead to an oil shortage
in Europe and inevitably cause economic mayhem. Now, in a world engulfed by the
flames of war, we see the need for diplomacy, yet it being ignored more than
MUN in my opinion is the first step towards ensuring a politically
aware younger generation, and one which appreciates the need and importance of
Here we learn the importance of compromise, how to look at a
problem from multiple perspectives, along with how to interact with people with
differing views. Also, we are taught the importance of laws, agreements, and
the entire concept of technicality or legality. An argument that seems
inherently wrong might actually be the best way forward, because of the way it
deals with the laws regarding the matter. The way I see it, this room is filled
with several potential leaders of tomorrow and that’s why we need to inculcate
qualities like compromise and people skills here at MUNs. If we are ever going
to make actually a difference and ensure a safer, better future, where
diplomacy, not destruction is the answer to conflicts, this is the best place
Model United Nations, 2014.