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United Nations Environmental Program – Topic: The Future of Fisheries

BY FRANCESCA TIRAVANTI, The Straits Times

In today’s last committee session from the 63 annual Harvard National Model United Nations, the delegates from the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP), started debating the second topic of the conference: The Future of Fisheries. As the session went on, delegates requested the presence of Press Corps, so that the world could know about the things that were happening in there.

As a way to show it, they have released a statement regarding the topic:

“We, the representatives of the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP), in the extraordinary meeting as a response to the future fisheries, discussed the necessity of promoting international cooperation based on regional and local level solutions to tackle small and large problems in the management of fisheries.

Therefore we propose the regional approach to fishery management using the framework of of the EU’s common fisheries policy to be adopted by the various regional fisheries management organization (RFMO), and will improve the MSY catch model by structuring it in the seven steps proposed by the Environmental Defense Fund, amongst them are assessment of the ecosystems, vulnerability of resources and stock depletion, as well as the determination of catch limits according to said assessments and the monitoring of this process.

Taking into consideration the expertise presented in previous sessions of this committee, the endorsement of the implementation of the TURF mechanism to obtain more sustainable and accurate information on fisheries that will also help solving jurisdiction issues between member states. And, considering the issue of the lack of coordination between the declared marine protected areas between nations, non-state actors, and programs; we consider important the application of standard on their consideration and the centralization of the data on the matter.

We also believe on the adoption of the Valid General Alternatives for Nutrition (V-GAN) strategy under the assessment of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and alongside Greenpeace International as an adaptive measurement to the depletion of some fishing zones and the manufacture of animal based products with harmful environmental effects in order to provide general guidelines on the adoption of alternative diets that rely on plant based products. Showing that agricultural based activities as important sources of income which will also to lease some time to the environment to recover from the excessive exploitation of animal resources;

In the case of small and tradition fisheries, we believe the application of License, Organization and Bank for Sustainable Trade and Equal Regulation (LOBSTER) to prioritize the adequate acquisition and equal division of transferable quotas for the most vulnerable and fish dependent stakeholders.

In order to maximize the compliance rates of fisheries standards, we will promote an Ecolabelling mechanism. This will consist on a certification given to private companies who comply with FAO’s set standards for sustainable fisheries. The obtainment of the eco-friendly certification will come with a logo-brand in the package of every product the company sells. Thus, the public will be able to know which companies comply with the UNEP and FAO efforts to reduce the overexploitation and depletion of the marine ecosystem.

Attached to this document, is a comprehensive infographic produced by the European Union in 2015 about the new Common Fisheries Policy, which simplifies the system that we encourage regions to adapt to their own needs.

We as the United Nations Environment Program will continue to solve the issues on the future of fisheries in our future sessions.

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 The delegate from Iran, talking about the Press release.

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Bertrachtung

By GIANINA SCHWANECKE, DER SPIEGEL (opinion)

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Today marks the close of the 63rd session of the Harvard National Model United Nations (HNMUN) conference. Today delegates will learn whether or not their lobbying, negotiating and debating skills will see the success of their resolution.

The routines of the morning seem straightforward — delegates consume caffeine to compensate for the delegate dance the night before, find their seats and prepare for the final round of voting on yesterday’s amendments.

Some delegates here are seasoned pros and navigate procedure with ease. For some it is the last time they will attend. For others, bright eyed, excited from the weekend’s activities and already counting down the days until the 64th iteration, this is just the start.

For the last time, delegates entered the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) committee room which they have largely called home over the past four days. They streamed in, chatting about the past evening’s festivities and their plans for after the conference.

Debate resumes with three amendments leftover from the night before. Snaps ring out in support of what the current speaker is saying and my reflection is momentarily disrupted. Our committee group is smaller and today the atmosphere is one of support — a contrast to the competitive edge which characterized many committees over the last few days as delegates fought to have their voices heard and make their views known.

Now they work together, making strides towards a more equal world. The CSW passes both resolutions in a show of faith. Not mutually exclusive, both resolutions work to address different aspects of gender inequality and female empowerment.

Addressing the theme of gender equality, the room reflects on the lessons we can learn from our time in the CSW, and I find myself snapping as the dais states “A win for one woman is a win for all women’’. The conference offers delegates an opportunity to reflect on where they come from, learn more about other delegations and the processes which shape the world around us.

We may be far from achieving gender equality in the real world, but in the Tremont Room, delegates have put aside their differences to work together and address violence against women.

HOT TOPIC: Awards at HNMUN – Yay or Nay?

By ELLA BROWNLIE, AL QUDS AL ARABI

Yes No Total
19 14 33

Survey Results: Should there be awards at HNMUN?

On my first day at Harvard National Model United Nations (HNMUN) I happened to hear some people talking about the awards for “Best Delegate” being given out at the closing ceremony. As an international delegate, I was extremely curious about this because none of our national MUN events have any awards at all.

As the committees begins to wind down and everyone is preparing for the closing ceremony, I thought this was the perfect opportunity to complete a little survey of peoples’ opinions on the awards that will be handed out this afternoon.

The survey results above were obtained from a snap poll I did of 33 delegates, directors and faculty advisors who I met and spoke with in committee rooms and hallways this morning.

As is seen above, the overwhelming majority of participants agreed with the awards. However, the percentage who voted “No” was far higher than I had expected at 42 percent.

When I questioned some of the people I surveyed about their views — they were surprisingly candid. One delegate in the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) disagreed with the philosophy of the awards, saying that “It makes people think they are competing against each other and undermines the spirit of collaboration.”

A delegate from the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) disagreed, stating that the awards motivated people, “I mean it’s a game, right, and part of the game is that people want to win.”

However, it appears the game is more ruthless than it appears. There were several comments made by survey participants who voted “No” that the awards made people “cut throat” and “self-interested.” However, this was rebutted by a delegate representing the United States — who said that while ‘dicky’ things happen, overall the awards were a good motivating force for people to get engaged in HNMUN.

Most interesting was the perspective of the faculty advisors I interviewed. One faculty advisor, who did not wish to be named argued that, “the awards are what makes HNMUN so beautiful, because it is the most competitive.”

Yet on the other hand, two other faculty advisors I spoke to outside the SOCMUN committee made a strong case that there should be no awards. They explained that members of their delegation had reported “backstabbing” amongst their committee as different people tried to position themselves favorably amongst the members of the dias.

An international delegate argued that the awards create a climate of collaboration between the most competitive universities, a dynamic which “means international delegates, who might not have had as much MUN experience are left out.”

Members of the “No” camp also emphasized that “the only person judging you should be yourself,” and some also voiced the concern that the awards were creating an unhealthy fixation on external validation, rather than encouraging students to focus on their own self-assessment.

As we all move into the closing ceremony in the next couple of hours, perhaps some reflection is needed on the true nature of success in HNMUN. Regardless of the awards, it is the participation, engagement and active learning that makes the experience of HNMUN so valuable.

After all, in the real United Nations, the only ‘award’ is enacting lasting solutions to the complex challenges of our age.

Who Run The World? Females Face Underrepresentation in Model UN

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Nicole Arski is one of two women in The Court of Süleyman at HNMUN 2017.

GARIMA KARIA, THE HINDU (Opinion)

BOSTON: It’s 2017, and dialogue surrounding female empowerment in an effort to achieve gender equality is ongoing. Even within our “Western liberal democratic” contexts, women continue face inequalities that manifest themselves in multiple ways on a daily basis, be it the wage gap or underrepresentation in positions of power and leadership.

The Realities

The Gender Gap in politics is nowhere near eliminated.

As of June 2016, according to UN Women, only 22.8 per cent of all national parliamentarians were women.

Currently, 10 women serve as Heads of State, and 9 as Heads of Government.

Rwanda has the highest number of women parliamentarians worldwide, with 63.8% of seats in the lower house. Rwanda’s government is among the few that can actually boast “equal representation” in government.

Unfortunately, this same reality holds true for female representation in Model UN, particularly in crisis committees. As I visited each crisis committee at HNMUN, I found that women were the overwhelming minority in these boardrooms. “Crisis is kind of a boys club,” Hannah, one of two women in the historical Romanian committee told me. “It’s hard to not feel like an outsider sometimes.”

Life Lessons

From the day they are born, men, and especially young men, are taught to be outspoken, to be brave, and to be undaunted when speaking their minds and making demands in a group.

The same cannot be said for women.

“When I first started Model UN, I was super shy. I stood in front of everyone and my knees were knocking together,” Rebecca from the United Arab Republic committee admitted. She tells me that she no longer feels the fear she used to feel when addressing men she didn’t know or defending herself. “In Peru, where I live, sexual assault is very prevalent. I used to be scared to confront men that made me uncomfortable as I walked the streets, but now I have no problems.”

Another delegate, a medical student, tells me that the negotiation training she receives as a result of being a MUN delegate has taught her to “frame her ideas in ways that those who normally would not understand can now do so.” In her medical career, many people have her me that “female pain is less than male pain,” and MUN has helped her communicate to these people “that they are wrong.”

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Leily and Mariam: female double-del dream team

Mutual Empowerment: Female Double-Delegations

Leily and Mariam, from Emory University, are one of two female double delegations in the historical UN Security Council committee.

“MUN taught me to assert myself and make my voice heard,” says Leily, “but I never felt that because I was a girl, I wasn’t able to be the best delegate in the room.”

Her partner echoes this sentiment. “It never really crossed my mind that we were one of the only female double-delegations, but when I told a friend of mine on the circuit, she was shocked.”

Often, delegations choose not to pair women with women in double delegations for “strategic purposes,” but for Leily and Mariam this was never thought of as a disadvantage because of how well they cooperate and empower one another.

These women also highlighted some additional pressures that women in Model UN face. “Women are judged more harshly on how they dress and how they look, which seems ridiculous in a highly intense and academic environment like this one.”

Women are often held to much higher standards, especially in crisis committees, and feel severely disadvantaged and attacked upon making small blunders, which do not affect their male counterparts as severely.

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Kirsten and Hannah, two of three women in the historical Romanian committee.

Combatting the Crisis “Boys Club”

Hannah and Kirsten, two of three women in the historical Romanian crisis committee, stand by the importance of sticking together as a form of empowerment.

“Crisis is kind of a boy’s club, and masculinity is so prevalent with all the backstabbing, intensity and crazy crisis arcs that occur in these types of committees… it’s very cut-throat and difficult to be one of the only women in there,” says Hannah.

Both women find it difficult to infiltrate these small, male-dominate cliques once they have formed early on in the conference. In addition, they bring to light a sense of false “illegitimacy” and “not being taken seriously” by the men in the room.

“We’re underestimated,” says Hannah. This reality, however, won’t stop these ladies.

Both Hannah and Kirsten are confident in their abilities (as they should be!) For Kirsten, “doing a lot of crisis has taught me to be assertive even when there are a lot of men around… I’m not afraid to run the show.” Hannah, too, finds that “she used to shy away from thinking about how to interact with men in male-dominate competitive situations,” but has now realized that “being a woman doesn’t define her” in these situations.

They agree that it’s empowering to have other women in committee and see them thrive. Although they ended up being on opposing sides of their committee-turned-JCC, they continued to communicate and keep one another in the loop.

These kinds of [crisis] committees and finance committees are the worst for female treatment and representation. That’s why Hannah and Kirsten gravitated towards one other. For empowerment.

Commission on the Status of Women: A Committee by Women, for Women

I spoke to the chairs of CSW, who gave me some great insight on the dynamics and substance of this unique, female-oriented and female-dominated committee at HNMUN 2017.

“Having this committee was great because it taught women to empower one another and work together through diplomacy instead of competing with one another,” Angela, the Committee Director, told me. “Here, these women are having a new experience because most of them are used to fending for themselves in male-dominated committees. The dynamic is different.”

Angela is proud that, in her committee, women are taking the lead on issues that affect them directly. “There’s less mansplaining, and there are less men in suits running the show” because of the women-for-women nature of the committee. “Witnessing them empowers me,” she says.

Angela also reminds her delegates that men are crucial in the feminist dialogue. “Including them in these processes is important. It’s awesome that men care enough to join this committee and endeavor to promote women’s rights in a respectful manner. We need more of that.

United Nations Security Council Wraps Up Resolutions

By KATIE JONES, THE STRAITS TIMES

Before even starting committee, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) took some time to get to know each other, sharing where each delegate was from, and what they study at their university. The UNSC also had the opportunity to invade The Cabinet of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh.

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UNSC “shames” The Cabinet of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, 2017.

The Security Council entered the room shouting “Shame!” at the other committee. Modeled after Game of Thrones, the committee surrounded the table chanting and pointing fingers and everyone sitting. The People’s Republic of Bangladesh did not expect the intrusion, and were completely surprised.

After returning back to their room, the UNSC immediately started the session by passing a motion to begin voting on the resolutions. Multiple amendments had been passed up, but all were ignored and the committee moved into a two for two against.

The first resolution, worked on by the most delegations in the committee failed to pass. The second resolution, led by the Russian Federation was described as “comprehensive” and received a few “boo’s” from the other delegates for using that word.

“This resolution has good ideas, bad ideas, and terrible ideas,” said Uruguay when speaking against the Russian Federation’s resolution. Uruguay continued to describe the resolution as “anti-United Nations” and “anti-democracy”.

The delegation voted to divide the question multiple times. The chair described the committee as completely “gutting” the resolution. As a result, only one clause was left, describing an encouragement of religious freedom and toleration. The committee again voted down this resolution.

In the end, the Security Council tore apart almost every resolution, and then failed to pass anything. For now, peace will not be restored in the Central African Republic or India and Pakistan. While a disappointing ending, the delegation of Sweden had one last comment.

“This was definitely one of the best committees I have ever been part of. Everyone in the committee was so experience, and knew what they were doing. It felt entirely real, and I loved working with everyone,” said Maddy Murnane, delegation of Sweden.

1982 Election Coverage By YENA SEO, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

By YENA SEO, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

August 28, 1892 – The 1982 Presidential Election is officially underway, with the conclusion of nominating conventions for the Populist and Republican parties. Charles Dow of The Wall Street Journal, working in conjunction with efforts from Joseph Pulitzer of the New York World, has received exclusive information on the parties’ tickets and platforms.

The Wall Street Journal has learned that President Benjamin Harrison will not be running for re-election. With approval rates at an all-time low due to the U.S.’ ongoing wars with the United Kingdom and Spain, Harrison has struggled to prove himself as a political leader and commander-in-chief. Furthermore, Harrison was recently rocked in scandal due to his collaboration with New York’s exclusive Union Club; the president had appointed club members as his war advisers, despite active protests and riots from people across the country.

Forming the Populist Party ticket are David Bennett Hill, the current governor of New York, with P.T. Barnum of Barnum & Bailey Circus as his vice-presidential running mate. The Populist Party was formed just this year in St. Louis, in an effort to bring America’s policies back to the common folk. Recent actions by industry leaders and businessmen who were a part of the Union Club have furthered tensions between the general public and the elite; Eugene DuPont’s actions to silence populist protests only exacerbated the situation. Additionally, Andrew Carnegie’s efforts to initiate billboard campaigns across the country against Hill, who many expected to run for president even a year before the party’s official endorsement, failed as a result of populist anger against Carnegie’s factory working conditions.

The Populist Party platform emphasizes massive infrastructure investment that would benefit laborers and blue-collar workers. The platform advocates for a national power grid, anti-trust legislation, a reduced 9-hour work day, federal investment into vocational training and schools, and investment in technological innovation. To protect the rights of workers, the platform also supports the creation of a new branch of the Department of Justice to monitor private sector compliance with antitrust laws, right to unionization, and trade protection.

On the Republican side, William Evans and Oscar Underwood have created a ticket of their own, but have struggled to gain a foothold in the early polls. The Republican Party platform is traditional and does not change drastically from its previous platforms. Evans and Underwood will be advocating for the advocacy for free silver, predictable raises, limited government intervention in business and industry, and support of trust busting.

For the Union Club members of New York, the Populist Party stands as their greatest threat as they take power away from America’s elites to bring back to the commoners. While the Republican Party does stress the importance of trust-busting, it stands for the core values of laissez-faire economics. Ultimately, the Republican Party will work for the interests of industry leaders, and it is not surprising that several Union Club members have backed the Evans-Underwood ticket.

The first presidential debate will occur on August 29th in Cleveland, Ohio, between William Evans and David Bennett Hill. Massive turnout is expected, and rumors of riots and protests outside the debate hall are circulating.

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Union Club members are actively invested in the results of the 1982 Presidential Election.

The Forgotten Syndrome

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The Disarmament and International Committee has shown us that diplomacy needs to be accompanied by science and technical knowledge. It may be appropriate for the representatives to think about the theory behind this phenomenon if they aim to stop it.

The theory of homophily lies behind weaponisation. The term was coined in the 1950s by Miller McPherson, Lynn Smith-Lovin and James Cook, in their book “Birds of a feather.” They state that “similarity breeds connections, rejecting the paradigm that opposites attract. Homophily explains how people are so easily influenced on social media, leading to its weaponisation.

All extremist and terrorist groups believe in their causes wholeheartedly. Furthermore, they display defensive and hostile attitude to however does not share their opinion. However, censorship has not historically improved situations.

Is there a perfect solution for resolving the weaponisation of social media? Probably not, nonetheless, it is clear as day that censorship to the degree delegates are proposing is excessive.