Welcome to the Disarmament and International Security Committee at UPMUNC 53! My name is Bradley Smith, and it is my distinct pleasure to be your chair for what is sure to be four crazy days of spirited debate, clause writing, merging drama, and new friendships. The secretariat and staff have been working tirelessly to make this iteration of UPMUNC the best yet, so I hope that you are as excited for the weekend of October 31st as I am. To tell you a little about myself, I am a rising senior at Penn, studying Finance and Management. I was born in Huntington Beach, California. 2019 will be mark my 8th and final year as a Model UN delegate, advisor, and chair. UPMUNC 53 will be my 46th Model UN conference since I joined the activity as a high school freshman back in 2012. Outside of my obsession with all things MUN, I love photography, videography, spending time with my boyfriend, going to SoulCyle, and listening to K-Pop. This year, the secretariat and the dais have worked together to select compelling topics for your consideration as the committee’s agenda. Topic A considers the trade-offs between radical nationalism and upholding the jus cogens principle of self-determination. Delegates must address a broad range of legal and political issues related to the modern-day manifestation of non-state groups in Northern Africa, towards the ends of minimizing civil conflict arising from sub-groups, either seeking self-determination or to accomplish their specific agendas. Topic B addresses the pressing issue of the continued and escalating conflict of the Yemeni Civil War. Any resolution passed on this topic will have broader implications for determining the rightful governments of states in civil conflicts. In addition to reading the background guide, I highly encourage you to conduct your own supplemental research to build novel yet still feasible solutions on a foundation of historical precedent. If you have any questions or concerns before conference, please do not hesitate to reach out to our Under-Secretary General, Liam Cook, or to Eliza and myself. I look forward to meeting and getting to know you in October!
Sincerely, Bradley Smith
Sincerely, Eliza Hoang
Non-state groups may include narcotics cartels, popular liberation movements, religious and ideological organizations, corporations (e.g. private military contractors), self-defense militia, and paramilitary groups established by state governments to further their interests. This specific topic will focus on non-state terror groups in Nigeria and northern Africa. Boko Haram and other major non-state groups are located in these regions. A recent report issued in 2016 states that more than 16 armed groups have taken root within Nigeria in the past 17 months. As of August 2016, at least 28 African countries were embroiled in internal conflicts fuelled by a total of 220 armed opposition and insurgency groups.
Yemen, one of the poorest countries in the Arab world, has been plagued with a civil war for nearly 9 years. The conflict began with the Arab Spring of 2011, when an uprising forced the country's longtime authoritarian president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, to hand over power to his deputy, Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi. Political and social turmoil resided over the country following this event and riots took to the streets. Fighting began in 2014 when the Houthi Shia Muslim rebel movement took advantage of the new president and seized control of the northern Saada province and neighboring areas. In 2015, violence erupted with the introduction of airstrikes, backed by the US, UK, and France, against the Houthis. Today, the Yemeni civil war is still the most devastating humanitarian crisis throughout the world.
If you have any questions about this committee, feel free to reach out to your Under-Secretary General Liam Cook at email@example.com