Crisis Managed!

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By Parmita Protik Das, CNN



(CNN)— The highlight of the HarvardMUN delegate experience is undoubtedly the crises that fallout and evolve in the various committees. Elaborate and carefully planned, but acted out in a way that captures the delegates’ attention without being hard to follow, the crises cause the gears of the delegates’ minds to start spinning wildly. They are made to deal with an issue that was, perhaps, not being debated on much or thrown into another area of the topic entirely. But due to the skill of enactment, the delegates don’t feel ambushed or lost, they can entirely imagine the perspectives of different characters in the crises and are made to care for them.

In some cases, the crisis is meant to take the delegates by surprise and capitalize on the shock factor by intimidating the delegates to see how they behave in the face of adversity, that is, to test their crisis management skills. Since most developments along the world are not planned and the UN is charged with the incredible responsibility to handle dire situations around the world, Crises help make the experience more authentic.

The delegates have to be commended on how well they encompass the crisis that unfolded into their argumentation and use it to highlight their stances. They appeal to the emotion and logic of the Dais and their fellow delegates to establish new solutions to tackle the highlighted problem. The wide range of ideas that emerge to tackle any one problem showcase the difference in each delegates’ perspective, shaped by their unique experience in their home cities or countries, and add to the global platform that HMUN is supposed to be. In fact, addressing different facets of a lofty problem help make the directive or resolution even more detailed and effective in regards to real-world solutions. The Crises help delegates put themselves in other people’s shoes and thereby opens their minds a little more about the problems that people face around the world, making them conscientious global citizens. The polarization of ideas show that there are two sides to any story and that balance is key.

A Note to the Crisis Staff

The main entrancing factor of the crises is the acting chops that you possess. The nobility of the Qatari royal family and the air of absolution in their commands, the cold indifference and smugness of Julian Assange, the indignation of the high ranking Irani government official, the fleeting happiness of the water fowl, the materialistic attitude of the President of Big French Pharma, the disruptive nature of the police: the range of ideas, emotions, scenarios and characters make one feel like they are watching a performance by some of the best actors in Harvard.

The hard work that was put in by the Directors of Crisis was hard to miss, in fact the correspondent from CNN observed the Senior Director of Crisis mouthing out some of the lines of another character to help her along. Any observant delegate can see the passion that you possess for your duties as you file across the corridors, moving from committee to committee.

So thank you for adding a unique color to HMUN that keeps it in the minds of each and every delegate for a very long time.



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!

A Star Studded Crisis

In the unglamorous world of space garbage removal, an inspiring and exciting face reported dire news to the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA). Astrophysicist and science icon Neil deGrasse Tyson told the committee of their latest crisis: that United States satellite USA-266 had been disconnected from communication by unknown causes and was on a direct collision course with partner satellite USA-248. This rogue satellite could prove disastrous if it indeed collided with USA-248 as it would take out a key satellite needed for the collection of critical GPS information that affects nearly every facet of the general population’s lives. “GPS boosts productivity across industries, from agriculture and construction to mining and surveying. It saves lives by preventing air traffic collisions, speeds the delivery of emergency services and disaster relief” Tyson reminded the committee via video, setting a somber mood within the group.

The committee, which had succeeded in merging a large number of similar working papers into two distinct blocs, was forced to revise the papers to address the problem of space debris at the mid-level orbit. “It is clear we have been addressing the wrong level of orbit” a delegate from Japan asserted during moderated caucus, adding that his bloc would be “immediately integrating” solutions to the crisis into their working paper as well as provisions to prevent further mid-level debris disasters. A delegate from Brazil passionately argued for the “need for an emergency response system” and delegates from Somalia “urged nations to work together”.

When interviewed about their respective position papers, representatives from Brazil and the Democratic Republic of Congo were happy to point out the major points of their papers and their respective strengths. The new “Rainbow Coalition” composed of former red, green, orange, and yellow draft resolutions explained that their primary goal when crafting their resolution was including all nations, large and small, and space programs of all size. They explained the role that smaller nations would play by providing labor, research, and tech development with larger nations contributing more monetary funding. Brazil also explained that their resolution focused on investment of new technology and the limiting the activity of space launches to reduce future space debris and a potential emergency response program to prepare citizens should space debris exit near orbit and enter the Earth’s atmosphere with the possibility of colliding with the earth. Such precautions would minimize human loss of life in the event of a crisis.

The Black and Blue block explained that while their bloc had many similar ideas to that of the Rainbow Coalition, the main problem they had with the Coalition’s draft resolution was their dependence on donations from participating countries. The bloc also disagreed with the Rainbow Coalitions formation of a sub-committee within the bloc. The representative from the Democratic Republic of the Congo explained the bloc’s STEP program. The acronym described the four step plan composed of: standardization of data concerning tracking and monitoring in the form of an accessible database by all participating countries, transparency on the part of all countries regarding the number and positions of satellites, enforcement of all rules and suggestions by holding countries accountable for the space debris they collect and fail to remove, and prevention of future crises by creating guidelines that while not mandatory, would be heavily recommended. The delegate from Congo expressed the blocs to foster space development and exploration while limiting launching only what really needed to enter either near or mid earth orbit. The delegate cited the fact that 30% of space junk originated from useless parts of a launch, for example launch pads that don’t need to leave the ground and could be minimize space debris.

Throughout the crisis the delegation seemed unsure what to focus on: the fact that Neil deGrasse Tyson delivered them a personalized (if dire) message, or the impending crisis that the world and communication system could be facing. With their eyes set on perfecting draft resolutions and passing the best one available to the committee, the group is sure to maintain their focus as they reach the homestretch of their drafting and debating.

Can Plautus save the day?

The Greek ministerial cabinet is currently in a state of panic, frenzy, disagreement and doubt. With the banking systems of Greece collapsing under their own weight and in desperate need of a bailout, the Greek cabinet is unsure of how to respond to the needs of it’s people. The crisis has increased unemployment rates in the region, while the threat of cutting down pensions and the banks shutting their doors has sent civilians into a state of constant chaos.

When the cabinet tilted the deliberations to the refugee crisis in Europe, it was met with thunderous riots and wide scale protests with the people of the nation questioning the priorities of its own government. Smothered by allegations of corruption and answerable to it’s people, the government needs to solve the crisis before it gets out of hand. In order to boost the morale of the it’s people, Greece hopes to perform well in the 2016 Olympics and decided to set up more training camps for athletes, which could prove to be a questionable move in the time of a financial crisis. In a time that people may be at the risk of losing their only source of livelihood, The minister on sports and culture argues that this would help increase employment by providing opportunities for sports coaches. However, the question that still remains is, whether the fiscal deficit would break even or plummet the government into more debt?

As a response to this problem, the committee deliberated upon an important directive to reduce the pensions given to the people by 2% each year until 2022 in order to increase the savings. This directive proved to be an extremely controversial one, “We must consider the public sentiment and also realize that reducing pensions at such a sensitive point of time could send the public into a frenzy and cause more chaos than already present” stated the minister of foreign affairs. To this, the Minister of infrastructure argued,” We need to ensure savings and funds. It is important to take action and bring in more money in order to protect the people and the government”, this statement was also backed by the minister or labor.

When the committee did finally reach a compromise and pass a directive regarding the pension policy, it was greeted with a backlash by the European Union which was not happy with their decision. While certain members of the cabinet, such as the Minister of economy, were willing to make minor changes and other budget cuts instead of cutting down on pensions in order to prevent retaliation from Brussels, not everyone was on board with this opinion. “We have been constantly bullied by the European Union, who have stolen our sovereignty and freedom,  and we must not give in just because it [the pension policy] does not please them, this statement was also backed by the Minister of foreign affairs who agreed that it was important to not give in to the European union and show strength to it’s people and regain their trust.

With the GDP being decreased to over 27% and hitting a new low, unemployment rates skyrocketing, unhappy people rejecting their own government and the economy on the brink of collapsing; it is now up to the ministerial cabinet to contain this chaos in an effective and immediate manner.


Killers of Hostages Still Unclear, Myanmar Assembly in Crisis Mode

World News

By Chief International Correspondent

NAYPYIDAW, Myanmar — 3 Kachin men were arrested near the China-Myanmar border in connection to the deaths of the Chinese hostages. Under unknown circumstances, the suspects confessed to being instructed by the governing party NLD to murder the hostages and to framing the KIO, which is an advocate for ethnic minorities.

Also publicly claiming responsibility is the FKP (Freedom for the Kachin People). According to sources, the FKP is an extremist splinter group of the KIO and is fully capable and willing to conduct such killings.

“As far as we know,” said the Chinese Ambassador to Myanmar in an unscheduled appearance, “the FKP did it. They are responsible for the deaths of Chinese citizens.”

The Assembly remains divided on determining which party is the culprit, while the delegates navigate through other issues and try to steer the Assembly in the right direction. The atmosphere in the round-table conference room is intense, as finger pointing and personal attacks are common especially among delegates opposing the current administration. “You have lied to this country for years!” said one delegate loudly to the President during an unmoderated caucus.

In an interview with Komsomolskaya Pravda, the Shan delegate expressed his concerns. “I am a patriot,” he said undoubtedly, “while I recognize the President’s authority, I do not agree with her [on issues].” He also pointed out that the “defense establishment” has been unpatriotic. His suggestion is that the federal government should delegate more authority to the local states and municipalities so that the KIO and its splinter groups can be dealt with more effectively.

Despite the attacks, the current administration is strongly and vocally supported by many, including the Chin delegate and even the Chinese government. When asked by the media, the Chinese Ambassador seemed hopeful regarding the future of their bilateral relations, as an energy partnership between the two Asian nations may be on the table.

Although flooded with all kinds of information and updates, delegates remained calm and focused on issues during most parts of the conference (although they did debate about “Mars landing” for a brief moment for unclear reasons). Regarding the future of the Assembly, patriotic duties should outweigh ideological differences. As the President of Myanmar so eloquently put it, “This is what we need in this country, unity!”

U.S. Embassy in Iraq Bombed

Amarah Iraq- Fifteen people were killed and at least 13 others believed missing after the bombing of the U.S. embassy in Iraq.  In the aftermath of the bombing it was reported that classified documents were missing and believed to be in possession of the perpetrators.  Intelligence sources believe that the bombers are in the city of Amarah along the Iraq and Iran Border.  President Nixon has yet to release a press statement as his cabinet is locked in a heated debate over what course of action to take.

Secretary of State William Rogers advocated for the use of regional powers to recover the documents rather than U.S. forces.

“Using American forces in the Middle East would only cause chaos.  We are beginning to make progress towards ending the war against the Soviets in Vietnam and bombing Amara will destroy all of the work that has been done to end the war,” Rogers said.

Many on the cabinet questioned the bombing of yet another country after the backlash of the public to the bombing of the Vietnamese.   Secretary of State David Kennedy disagreed, believing that the need to take swift action against superseded the fear of public backlash.

“Our first priority is National Security.  This is not another Vietnam.  There are no troops on the ground.  We are simply using our air force to take action against an attack on the United States,” Kennedy said.

The cabinet is continuing to work on a solution to the crisis and is expected to come to a decision  within the next day.