Commission on Narcotic Drugs Not Budging

Because of the complexity of the drug problem in most parts of the world, the Commission on Narcotic Drugs is divided between two large blocks who want the same result, but are unwilling to budge on the process to achieve that result. This seems to be a recurring theme in most HMUN Committees; each delegation wants their resolution to be the one that is passed, even when compromise is the only real solution.

I spoke to the delegation of Pakistan regarding their draft resolution 1.2, which essentially gives smaller countries a voice when it comes to drug reform. The draft resolution also stresses education as a potential solution for corruption. While this seemed like a good idea on the surface, this was proposed to be given to the corrupted officials themselves who are incentivized to maintain their corrupt ways. Pakistan has partnered with Japan, Germany, Brazil, United States of America, and Botswana to create this draft resolution. Pakistan states they are “aware of the complications within a solution for drug reform” meaning they were expecting at least some opposition. They also expressed that the opposition has lessened with the help of some amendments and simple edits in the draft resolution.

The draft resolution stresses the option for countries to legalize marijuana if they choose which they believe could decrease the crime rate in certain countries and give governments the ability to tax the drug trade. This has come under scrutiny by countries such as Sweden and Nigeria. These delegations expressed to me their concerns with this clause because there are many farmers now who get their income through selling things like marijuana and if a portion of their income is taken away by taxation then these farmers could suffer because of it. The 1.2 draft resolution team suggested that the farmers supplement this income by planting biofuel crops, but the opposition says this would not at all be profitable. Not only is the biofuel industry not very prevalent in developing countries, but there is not a biofuel industry in most developing countries. The opposition recommended planting food crops instead.

One of the 1.2 resolution team’s values is national sovereignty, which they attempted to uphold by giving countries a choice as to whether they implement these policies or not. Many delegations saw this as ineffective and not at all concise in what the committee was trying to accomplish.

As of now the two blocks in the Commission on Narcotic Drugs are unwilling to budge on any clauses or draft resolutions on the table at the moment. The only true way to solve the problem of drug trade is compromise however, the light is very dim at the end of a long tunnel.

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A Day in The Life of a Press Corps Delegate

First, what is Press Corps at HMUN?

A lot of people think of Press Corps delegates as authentic reporters, writing stories to inform the public and to report the world-changing decisions among committees. But there is more to Press Corps than meets the eyes. Beneath the surface lies an irrefutable truth: no one really knows the specifics of what we do as Press Corps delegates. For instance, I got a text that says,

“press corps seems so fun omg but like what do you guys do actually????”

from one of my friends last night. Well, here are four steps that will educate you about we do at Press Corps:

Step 1: Go on http://harvardmun.org/committees.php

Step 2: Click on Specialized Agencies

Step 3: Scroll down to the bottom and click on “Committee Summary” and “A Letter from the Director” under Press Corps

Step 4: Voila. You’re welcome.


Just kidding.

To lift the veil that covers the uniqueness of Press Corps, I will be sharing my personal schedule of the day to give you readers a truer, more down-to-earth vision of the uncommon things Press Corps do at HMUN.

Here is my schedule of the day:

7:30am woke up

7:45am woke up

8-8:15am waiting impatiently for my friend Ritika to go to Au Bon Pain together

9:30am started committee session IV

  • Every Press Corps member was assigned a role in a news channel stimulation
  • I was the Executive VP of Programming of National News Nightly
  • We faced a crisis: a terrorist attack in downtown Boston, followed with more crisis that challenged us to think intellectually as news company executives (read more about it in the article named “The National News Nightly: Not As Simple As Putting It On Paper” published by The Guardian!)

12:28pm NNN’s President of International (the delegation of CNN) motioned to introduce a directive, but we all just screamed “yes” to temporarily suspend the debate and go to lunch

2pm started committee session V

  • Under the ‘beats’ system, a system that allows all the delegates to cover the three organs at HMUN, everyone got to go to the organ that they haven’t been yet and collected information in committees
  • In the Computer Lab, I finished my article about WCW inspired by the massive numbers of working-papers and intellectual conversation about the legality of commercial sexual industry

3pm 8 people, including me, volunteered to conduct a small press-conference with our director Frankie in the Cabinet of Russia after the death of Vladimir Lenin

  • Some inspiring questions we wanted to ask/have asked:

“Who’s going to be the successor?”

“What effects does it have on the future of Communism?”

“Does this change the ideology of the Government?”

4:29pm writing this article, trying my best to be precise but I simply cannot because so many fun things happen in Press Corps, and asking other delegates for title ideas

5:54pm submitting this article and waiting for the end of committee session V

So above is the schedule of a Press Corps delegate today. I hope you gained more insight into Press Corps and what we do after reading this article.

See y’all at the Delegate Dance at 9:45pm!

 

 

My Draft Resolution: AZ good as it gets

Since it’s day three, Resolution (dooms)day as I’d like to call it, I’m going to attempt to write my own draft resolution. So here goes-

Author: China Daily

Signatories: China Daily

Affirming that the roll call for general assemblies is a high degree of torture;

Believing nobody. If someone flatters you on your paperwork, it’s probably a trap to usurp all your information;

Cognizant of the fact that the Press Corps is the best committee by far;

Discussing topics spanning everything but the crises at hand;

Emphasizing on journalistic integrity and the authenticity of sources in the Press Corps;

Focusing on trying to stockpile on caffeine to fight the unending battle against sleep ;

Gauging that the elevator and the Wi-Fi are the worst betrayers;

Hoping that the food lines are short enough to catch some food in between committee sessions;

Instigating the members of rival blocs against their leaders in order to gain a majority;

Judging people by merit and, well, by their fashion sense; 

Kudos(ing) all the delegates from all over the world for managing to stay alive through the quick paced crises (and the boring GA moderated caucuses);

Lamenting not being the recipient of a rose;

Mending bridges between the USA and Russia (is that too much to ask?);

Noting with zest the work of the Secretariat in ensuring the smooth running of the conference;

Observing the idiosyncrasies of delegates as their key to recognition;

Proclaiming that the delegate dance is not that bad (is it?);

Quarrelling with everyone in your field-of-view outside committee and with no one inside committee;

Reiterating that everybody in committee should get a chance to speak (especially in the GAs);

Strongly condemning the use of pre-written paperwork;

Tinkering with the chits and also delegates’ minds (the primary role of the Press Corps?);

Underlining important issues in the world today;

Viewing with appreciation the work of the crisis directors for the brilliant crises and efficient responses to crisis notes;

Wishing that the HMUN experience did not have to end;

Xeroxing working paper copies for everyone in the general assembly (and also blatantly killing several trees in the process);

Yielding collaborative resolutions from constructive debate;

Zeroing in on lobbying, debate, paperwork and most importantly spontaneity.

P.S.- Please forgive me for any inaccuracies. I have no prior experience in resolution writing, and so I might have made up some of the operative and pre-ambulatory clauses.

Puerto Rico Struck again!

The physical control board took control of the puerto Rican  cabinet following the lack of fiscal responsibility and allegations of corruption. Five members of the cabinet were arrested following the allegations made against them and were replaced by members of the physical control board. The cabinet has been stripped of most of it’s powers specifically budgetary decision! We must wait now to see how the cabinet responds and strikes back!

Minnesota Nice? Try Boston Brusque

It happened as soon as we stepped outside the airplane doors.  People rudely brushed past, banging our legs with their bags and bumping our shoulders as they strode past us.  Instead of holding the door for us, they merely went on their way, leaving the door swinging into our faces. While this brusqueness was a shock to some in our group, I was prepared.  Coming from Wisconsin, home of cows, brats and of course the Green Bay Packers, people are generally pretty friendly.  Nobody wants to offend anyone so words are chosen carefully and requests include heavy doses of “I’m sorry but..” or “Would it be too much trouble for you to..”.  But as I have experienced on past trips, you won’t find any of that in Boston.  Words and time are precious and people certainly do not waste them apologizing for their actions.

On a recent excursion to Mike’s Pastries, a few of my fellow classmates where sitting at a table when a worker came over and bluntly stated “Get out of your seats, find somewhere else to sit,” in a thick Boston accent.  While her bluntness surprised my friends, I recognized that it was just her way of communication.  It is a no frills, straight to the point communication used by  many who grew up in and live in Boston.  While it may seem rude at first, I often find myself mimicking it when I return to Wisconsin, with a slam of the door and the shouldering of the people walking in front of me as I pass by.

Imminent Invasion by ‘Mother Russia’?

“Putin will come riding a bear”

Well… that sounds terrifying. Or is it? The Constituent Assembly of Myanmar was faced with an interesting proposition by a visiting Russian representative: either remove the presence of US military troops or give more power to ethnic minorities. If neither of the options are fulfilled, the wrath of “mother Russia” will come for the Assembly.

Last night, the Assembly was called back to their assembly room for a crisis: a cyclone had hit the country and damaged the land. In the end, the Assembly decided to allow the United States military to enter Myanmar in order to help the country rebuild. However, it is obvious from the Russian delegate’s visit that certain forces oppose this aid.

Many delegates leapt at the chance to provide ethnic minorities recognized by the shadow government more rights. The New Minister of Border Affairs proposed granting minorities land rights and emphasized the importance of unity within the country. We must “make Myanmar strong and legitimate so other countries will respect us,” the delegate stated. Other delegates, like the Minister of Defense echoed this sentiment, offering to negotiate with minorities in return for their loyalty, and a promise to put down their arms.

The minority groups in question welcomed the chance for more equality. As delegate Bao Youxiang of the United Wa State Party lamented, the most “disgusting” thing is the lack of simple voting rights in the Assembly. Many of the minority groups were open to negotiation in the hopes of gaining more recognition.

Others in the room took Russia’s threat to extremes. The representative of the Rohingya peoples ominously reminded the Assembly that the Rohingya had “no friends on this committee,” and their only ally was the United States. Should the committee attempt to remove US troops, the Rohingya would ensure that the US had a presence in making sure the Rohingya people got their rights. The Minister of Ethnic Affairs stated that there is “no reasons to remove US troops,” and considering the Rohingyan threat, she may be right. Giving ethnic minority groups their rights seems to be the simpler solution.

On a complete opposite note, the Shan representative spoke of allowing Russia into the country. “How bad is the Russian federation [anyways]?” the delegate challenged. Not responding to Russia’s threat and essentially welcoming the country in, “offers us a unique opportunity to reshape this government,” said the representative, commenting that the Russian invasion would make way for the states would become the leaders.

The Russian threat – fix your country or we will invade – was a sinister one (although it was snarled in a remarkably good Russian accent by a crisis member). Nearly all the delegates of the Constituent Assembly of Myanmar were pro-giving ethnic minorities rights. To agree, however, is the easy part. Now, they must get to compromising.

 

 

 

 

Pressing Political Divide — The Dual Code

In the grand, well-lit, and futuristic looking ballroom of the Legal Committee, a present and heated debate is ongoing. Hundreds of countries separate into two opposing blocs each supporting their own working paper. It seems that the room was divided by development level, with one bloc representing China, Russia, and South Africa, and another developing countries such as Argentina and Saudi Arabia. The political disagreement is intense when it comes to identifying commonalities and making compromises.

Under the topic of Offshore Resources and the Law of the Sea, major disagreement occurred on which issue should the committee address. The delegates of Mexico and of Saudi Arabia both expressed that the two blocs agree on matter of environmental regulation, demanding more administration by the UN Legal Committee. However, they diverge later on in the working papers about whether the Committee should address issues of landlocked countries accessing the ocean, or devote their resources to the territorial disputes in areas like the South China sea. The two areas are supported by developing and developed countries, respectively.

A number of developing countries, mainly in Middle East and Africa, have issues reaching the resources of sea and the oceanic trade-routes due to their geographic location. However, the access to the ocean is a crucial part contributing to the international relationship of small countries. Therefore, the bloc is demanding more support for oceanic access from the UN.

On the other hand, the stronger countries, including China, Germany and Singapore, addresses more disputes over territories, as well as accountabilities for environmental problems. The delegate of Argentina told the HIR that the working paper intends to “hold nations accountable to the waste in ocean”, and to encourage progressing “bilateral relationship together”. The delegate of Tunisia gladly provided the HIR with list of over eighty countries on the signatory, showing strong support for this working paper.

What the world would look like if the HMUN Crises were real

The Crisis staff has been working extremely hard to present delegates on each committee with interesting crises. While these topics have made discussion fast-paced and kept delegates on their toes, it would be disastrous if they occurred in real life. Here is a snapshot of nine things that would occur if HMUN crises actually happened:

  1. The citizens of France and Germany would no longer be a part of the European Union and alongside be exposed to nuclear radiations from a nuclear reactor meltdown.
  2. The Qatari Royal family would have embezzled twenty million dollars to fund ISIS and banned Al Jazeera from the Qatari borders.
  3. There would be a major spread of a drug resistant bacteria in Mozambique, which would most likely have spread to other regions.
  4. Satellites would have crashed into each other, creating not only a large number of space debris but also potentially shutting down the entire GPS system on earth.
  5. Donald Trump would have injured himself after falling down the stairs of his private plane.
  6. Violent riots would have occurred in Eastern Europe regarding abortion provisions
  7. Nigeria would be the host of the 2020 Olympics.
  8. The United States would have set up a nuclear power plant on the surface of the moon.
  9. The premier of China would have admitted that the Taiwanese government is more efficient than the Chinese government.

A Nigerian Alarm

A scene of panic unfolded in the Special Summit on Terrorism held earlier today. The news of 100 people being held hostage in Nigeria by members of Boko Haram had stifled the confident delegations from around the world. “It really changed our perspective on how we were to handle our current topic and our future involvement,” said the delegation from Finland.

Terrorist recruitment through means of social media led to the initial assembly of this summit, and these events seemed to have perpetuated a faster and more efficient plan to contain inspirations of terrorism. “In the beginning, we were focused on specific means of education, and while this still remains a focus, we have now shifted to look at more forceful and militaristic ways of preventing the spread of terrorism.” Finland was currently in discussions with countries such as the United Kingdom, Russia and China to formulate a draft resolution that would allow for developed nations to educate and lead military operations inside these countries.

Estonia partnered with the United States to create a draft resolution that would lead to less troops being sent into these countries, and focusing on more self-reliant means to build up economy and independent success.

“We are going to resolve these issue of terrorism recruitment from developing nations, and we are working very cooperatively with others countries to find a reasonable solution,” a confident Italian delegation told me. Finding the most effective plan is certainly on the forefront of every delegations mind, and the hostage situation in Nigeria has acted as a wake up call to find this plan quickly before it is too late.

7 Things to Do Instead of the Delegate Dance (Opinion Piece)

This is an opinion piece

The Delegate Dance; a revolting cesspool of horny teenagers. Though most in the conference seem to participate, the unsettling nature of tight spaces, bodily odors, and creepy Bostonians attempting to attend a high school dance turns many off. For those who want to maintain some sense of sanity, here are seven things to do instead of attending the Delegate Dance.

  1. Grab food with friends !This is one of the most simple solutions. It’s a fun way to remain social, eat well, and enjoy your time. Restaurants in the Prudential Center include 5 Napkin Burger, California Pizza Kitchen, Haru, and The Cheesecake Factory.
  2. Go shopping! Another simple solution to this rather ridiculous problem. For some, there are many luxury items to choose from. If this is not in your price range, you can join me in fantasizing about the designer articles you’ll never be able to afford.
  3. Attend Movie Night! Hang with friends and take time to relax while enjoying some quality entertainment.
  4. Go to the Cultural Extravaganza! A night full of international wonders featuring a performance by the Harvard Asian American Dance Troupe!
  5. For those allowed outside of the Prudential Center, check out Boston! For those 16+, you can check out Sky Zone, an indoor trampoline park with a special weekend deal. This includes access to many of their parks and games. Other places to visit are the Boston Opera House, Escape the Room Boston, and Newbury Street.
  6. Do a Blogilates workout in your room! Her voice is rather annoying, but if you’ve been missing out on your gym fix, you can get your endorphins pumping in the comfort of your own space. Additional points to those who conduct group workouts in the hall.
  7. Take a nap! This one is self-explanatory.

Though we hope these ideas give you some inspiration, we know there is a fair chance you’ll end up attending the dance. If you do, make sure to stay safe. If you see something, say something!