Committees, Topics and Guides
On this page you can find all the Committees that will be at the 2023 ALTMUN High School Conference. Within each committee there will be a number of resources, the topic titles, the Topic Guides and eventually the Dockets. While not all of these resources have been published yet, this page will be their home.
Disarmament & International Security
Psychological Warfare in the Context of Conflict
As the strength of conventional military technology increases, so does the prevalence of another form of conflict: psychological warfare. From propaganda leaflets to broadcasted murders, member-states have continuously utilized this type of conflict in their military strategies. To address this, DISEC will convene to define the limits and boundaries of psychological warfare as a whole as well as the technologies and methods that may occur with it at an international scale.
Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems
With the advent of the 21st century comes an unexpected new form of technology: lethal autonomous weapons systems, or LAWS. Fears regarding the autonomy and destructive capabilities of this type of technology have sparked international debate, causing tensions to flare between multiple countries and armed forces. Although conferences and groups of experts have attempted to quell the threat of LAWS, their efforts have remained mostly futile. This committee aims to debate possible regulations on the development and use of LAWS while considering the global atmosphere.
Some crimes are so heinous they transcend national boundaries. This principle is known as Universal Jurisdiction, and has been integral to international law. However, It has been criticized as countries have wildly different definitions of scope. Worldwide, there is no consensus for the definition or scope of this practice. In addition, many such trials provide little support or protection to witnesses. Legal must address this issue to ensure the apparatus of global justice continues to hold individuals accountable.
Artificial Intelligence and IP Law
Can a robot create? Since the advent of generative AI, the legal status of AI produced materials has been a contentious issue. Worldwide, there has been a growing movement to recognize Ai generated art, but what ramifications could this have on those currently producing art? The UN must act to keep up with this new technological age. This committee seeks to find multinational consensus and paths forwards to address these new technological advancements.
Climate Induced-Terror (CIT), a phenomenon which aims to address the relationship between terrorism and Climate Change, has changed the origin of terror. The international community has been unable to address the threatening emergency of CIT. CIT emphasizes that Climate Change exacerbates and generates terrorism internationally: it has also been known to exploit the population, forcing citizens to participate in terrorism.
Crisis in Ethiopia
The Security Council aims to address the civil war between Ethiopia and the Tigray’s People Liberation Front, possible war crimes, and crimes against humanity. The complex relationship between humanitarian efforts and national sovereignty closely relates to the global atmosphere. The possibility of ethnic cleansings in Ethiopia remains a contentious issue among the international community.
Social, Humanitarian & Cultural Issues
Right to Privacy in the Digital Age
As digital surveillance technologies continue to develop at an unprecedented rate, the concept of privacy as we know it is undergoing a transformation. Recent decades have ushered in new international controversies related to covert data collection as well as the realization of the concept of mass surveillance, carried out by numerous domestic, private, and international actors. These developments have made clear the need for a more robust international consensus on what the human right to privacy encapsulates and what these new technologies mean for the future of human rights.
Academic freedom, while widely regarded by human rights proponents as a cornerstone to a healthy democracy and the free development of human thought, lacks any definitive international protection as a right, likely due to the term’s nebulous nature. The established human rights to freedom of opinion and expression provide some defense for academic freedom; however, numerous incidents in recent years have led to concerns for the autonomy and freedom of academic institutions and scholars across the globe. In the recent context of international rise in resistance toward free academic dialogue and the autonomy of academic institutions, the issue of academic freedom is now more relevant than ever as a subject for international discussion.
UN Conference on Trade & Development
Global Consequences of the Fourth Industrial Revolution
Beginning with the initial Industrial Revolution of 1760, the massive divide between the technological capacities of nations has been exponentially expanding. The world now stands on the brink of a new Industrial Revolution, based on technologies that either have the potential to continue growing this great divide or finally bridge the gap between nations. It is the responsibility of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development to create guidelines for the evolving use of technology in the global economy, and decide whether and how to facilitate technology transfer in developing countries.
The Resource Curse regarding Fossil Fuel Dependency
Many countries rich in fossil fuels suffer from a phenomenon known as the resource curse, which refers to the negative consequences that can arise from an abundance of natural resources, particularly in the context of developing nations heavily dependent on the extraction and export of those resources. By failing to develop other industries, countries are left vulnerable to and dependent on fluctuating commodity prices, leading to economic instability. As fossil fuel reserves start dwindling and nations advocate a transition to cleaner energy, it is clear that the United Nations must focus on supporting countries whose economies will suffer as a result.
UN Environment Programme
The Impact of Electronic Waste on Water Pollution
Today, electronic waste, or the buildup of discarded electronics, is the fastest-growing waste stream in the world and also the most valuable, holding a current value of 62.5 billion dollars. As the world increases its dependence on technology, e-waste levels rise accordingly, causing devastating environmental ramifications. Much of the world’s e-waste is improperly managed or disposed of, and its presence particularly threatens member states’ water supplies due to its toxic nature. Consequently, the United Nations Environmental Programme is tasked with mitigating the current effects of the electronic waste crisis on the environment and further regulating its production and disposal to prevent the crisis from growing.
Protecting Wetland Biodiversity
Levels of biodiversity loss have grown exponentially in recent years, and experts have primarily attributed this phenomenon to loss of habitat. Wetlands, which encompass any body of land covered by or saturated with water, serve as crucial habitats for a large portion of the world’s plant and animal species. However, wetlands are vanishing at unforeseen levels due to land erosion, global temperature increases, heightened industrial development, and other factors, leaving the species and ecosystems that rely on wetlands in crisis. The United Nations Environmental Programme is charged with establishing secure wetland protections as well as ensuring biodiversity for future generations.
UN Office of Drugs and Crime
Counterfeit Medical Equipment (PPE) and Medicine
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, demands for supplies such as counterfeit medical equipment have increased significantly overall. However, different areas in the world hold varying perspectives from those who have optimal access to standardized medical equipment to those who have minimal access and are thus influenced by counterfeits. Furthermore, the Dark Web introduces yet another aspect as it is a more hidden platform for marketers of forged stock.
Usage of Contracted Violence Providers in Illegal Activities
Contracted violence providers are defined as people who have been paid some form of money or goods in exchange for killing specified targets. The amount of advertisements for these services have risen significantly in the past few decades due to the increasing usage of the Dark Web. This trend has likely been from issues of political and economical instability or rivalries due to personal vendettas.
World Health Organization
Household Air Pollution
Household air pollution is generated by burning unsafe fuels in areas with poor ventilation. This issue is prevalent in developing nations with continued use of outdated technologies, such as kerosene stoves and burning biomass. Air pollution is especially dangerous in a domestic setting due to prolonged exposure to carcinogenic particles and chemical fumes, mostly affecting minority populations in low-income areas.
Global Presence of Rabies
Health officials have recognized a global increase in rabies cases stemming from the increased transportation of vectors across seas, unaddressed regional outbreaks, and poor medical infrastructure and disease control in low-income countries. Rabies results in terminal illness upon the emergence of symptoms, requiring prompt and effective treatment to avoid death and further transmission.