I am so pleased to welcome you to the University of Pennsylvania Model United Nations Conference! My name is Mara Levy and I am the Chair for the Western African States Committee. It has been such a pleasure to prepare for conference and Joshita and I are looking forward to seeing what you all propose to solve such important issue. A little about me, I am from Deerfield, IL, a suburb about 20 minutes outside of Chicago. In high school I competed at conferences in the Chicagoland area, which is how I ended up in model UN at Penn! In addition to being a chair at UPMUNC I also serve as COO for ILMUNC, Penn’s high school Model UN conference. Outside of Model UN I am a student in the engineering school studying Computer and Information Science. I also Project Manage student groups for one of the computer science department’s project based electives. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or your amazing USG Nicole Vereczkey if you have any questions. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m looking forward to seeing all of you in November!
Sincerely, Mara Levy
Welcome to UPMUNC 52 and to West African States! I am so excited to meet you all in just a few months and spearhead discussions regarding the economic, political, and social diversity within the region. To introduce myself, I’ll be a sophomore in the Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business, which is a dual degree program across the College of Arts and Sciences and the Wharton School, with a focus on Mandarin. Born in New Delhi, India, I moved to the suburbs of Philadelphia at a young age and have stayed there since. While I enjoyed my competitive four years at Model UN in high school, I find the other side of conferences just as interesting. Outside of the academic world, she is passionate about languages, coffee, Spanish music, and cooking. I can’t wait to see you all, so please do say hello and strike a conversation with me (even if you catch me running around during the conference!). Despite being so close to home, I am eager to meet people from all around the world at UPMUNC. On behalf of Mara and I, we are looking forward to a stimulating–and fun–committee.
Sincerely, Joshita Varshney
In recent years there has been significant changes in both the crime and economics of countries within Western Africa. ECWAS, a regional economic union of 15 states in the region with an estimated population of 349 million, was formed to prioritize collective prosperity through trade unions and peacekeeping. Can this region-- united geographically, culturally, and now economically-- create the necessary treaties to facilitate peace and prosperity?
In terms of tourism we will look at how nations can change their security as well as improve health resources to make the region more appealing to visitors. Tourism is a significant source of income for these states-- for example, making up 10% of Ghana’s GDP. However, from increased terrorism in the region due to both migration flows and successful recruitment strategies by major terrorist groups and the Ebola outbreak, tourists are now questioning the trip. The nations of Western Africa are looking to reassure tourists that travel to their countries is safe for both economic and political reasons.
Secondly, ECOWAS will work to fight piracy. The Gulf of Guinea has been the stage for many armed criminal enterprises who seek to rob oil from ships passing by. Logistically, many of the robberies occur on territorial waters versus high seas and thus become an issue for sovereign nations to settle versus higher international courts. The countries in this committee will have to put aside their differences to fight outside threats to the region’s prosperity.
If you have any questions about this committee, feel free to reach out to your Under-Secretary General Nikki Vereczkey at email@example.com