Dear Delegates,

It 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.

We have:

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 time.

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 deprivation.”

He said this in 2009 after Israeli forces bombed a UN Refugee camp in Gaza.

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 ever.

MUN in my opinion is the first step towards ensuring a politically aware younger generation, and one which appreciates the need and importance of diplomacy.

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 to start.

Thank you.

 

Yours faithfully,

Vivan Malkani,

Secretary General,

Cathedral Model United Nations, 2014.

 

 







Bulletin

>Additional Document for Special Procedure in the Conference of Heads of Islamic States, 1967, can be downloaded here.
>The Schedule can be downloaded here.
>The Award Criteria can be downloaded here.
>The Conference Handbook can be downloaded here.
>Application to speak on the Faculty Advisor Discussion Panel can be downloaded here.
>Additional Document for Special Procedure in the All-India Political Parties Meet can be downloaded here.
>The Press Application can be downloaded here.
>The Study Guides are available here.

 

 
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