ICJ Meets on International Whaling

By JIM JI
1/22/2017

THE HAGUE - Australia and Japan faced off in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in an interesting development of events which took place with the calling of Australia’s first witness Nick Gales.

As the Chief Scientist of Australia’s Environmental committee on Whaling in the Antarctic region, Gales shed light on the region’s current whaling problems. This knowledge allowed both sides (Prosecutor Australia and Defendant Japan) to delve into the nature of this controversial topic in depth and push the court to a decision.

Rodrigo Argüello and Lillian Royzman led the Australian prosecution. They focused their questions on the core issues of existing programs of JARPA 1 and JARPA 2 and how to resolve them. Primarily, this concerned the failure of Jarpas current purpose in monitoring the antarctic ecosystem due to its inability to track time as well as the infrequency at doing such. Such circumstances have left the programs unable to provide precise data for scientists and were described by Gales as in need of “either revision or closure.”

Daniel Pinckney and Elizabeth Brewer represented the Japanese defense, focusing on the specifics of existing clauses with questions regarding the ambiguity of many of the stances as well as the need for scientific investigation in order to obtain more detailed data. Questioning began with considerations of the credibility of current reports given by the Australian whaling committee that had discredited Japan’s own data, and continued to doubt the reliability of such reports due to the failures of JARPA.

Questions continued on the specifics of two JARPA reports from 1987 and 2014 and it was ruled that both could be considered existing failures in the data collection system even after long periods of research time.

Primarily, questions looked into the nature of scientific hunting with Gales, commenting “it is true that there is that lethal research provides some data that we cannot get through non-lethal research yet,” while adding that “theoretically, the whale abundance is sustainable for a certain amount of lethal research.”

With both sides presenting strong cases, it seems unlikely that the International Court of Justice judges and prosecutors will find it easy to come up with a final ruling within the next few days.

Child Soldiers and Compromise

By Claire Fraise, Arianna Chen, and Guadalupe Gonzalez

After wrapping up on the topic of child soldiers, the delegates of UNICEF moved on to discussing child labor.

“Deeply appalled that 168 million people are qualified as child laborers…” was a working paper’s preambulatory clause obtained by the Press Corps delegates.

The paper proposed by the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and by the Syrian Arab Republic called on curbing child labor by reducing poverty. The delegate from Syria proposed minimum wages for refugees. Ideally, this would allow families to adequately provide for themselves and their loved ones. “Syria is against child labor,” the delegate stated, “but they are currently not doing anything about it. They have bigger fish to fry.”

The delegate of Tuvalu, on the other hand, said his country had been attempting to do something about the child labor laws. Tuvalu wanted to establish some kind of punishment laws in the UN for countries that would able to help abolish the current child labor laws but failed to do so. Tuvalu hoped to reach out to them without force.

Operation CLAY (Child Labor Abolition for the Youth) called on NGOs to fund the construction of schools and community centers in order to curtail child labor at its root. “The heart of the problem is the inability of certain families to provide for their children,” said a sponsor of the paper. “Helping families means helping kids.” The International Monetary Fund specifically will help fund countries that lack the resources needed, the delegate representing Tuvalu said.

One of the paper’s signatories, the delegate of Israel, highlighted the difficulty of having opinions that differ from that of his country. “Israel is for child labor, but I am not,” he said. Representing a country “whose views differ from [the delegate's] is difficult. Sometimes, I let my opinions bleed into my country’s. I want to reform Israel.”

The delegate of North Korea believed that child labor was “essential to a strong economy.” China, contrastingly, believed that it was not. Evidently, a solid compromise will be hard to attain.

While the papers proposed good ideas, many of the clauses were not specific. It is one thing to call for better education; it is another thing to explain how to achieve it. This is a common pitfall of Model UN committees. Nobody is going to disagree if the claims are too general. The heart of the debate lies in the specificities and so does the start of any real change.

A Step Forward for Women’s Reproductive Rights

By Nicole Cennamo

January 21st, 2017:  The Social, Humanitarian, and Cultural Committee (SOCHUM) is engaged in a heated debate over the sexual health of women worldwide.  Women have historically faced a multitude of political, economic, and sociocultural barriers.  But perhaps none pose as much of a hindrance to gender equality as the lack of reproductive rights.  Currently, more than 120 million women in developing countries alone do not have any knowledge of or the access to family planning services. Consequently, an estimated 287,000 maternal deaths occur globally.  

During this committee session, countries such as Denmark stressed that the essence of this problem is rooted in the stigmas surrounding women’s health care, especially concerning female genital mutilation and the usage of contraceptives.  According to this delegate, there is a cultural conception that “utilizing contraceptives and not undergoing the procedure of genital mutilation... makes a woman impure.”  Iran, Bangladesh, and Myanmar also acknowledged that “religious barriers” severely hinder female empowerment and “prevent [women] from accessing their rights.”  

That being said, these delegates agreed that education is a fundamental contributor to this issue and should be addressed in the committee’s final resolution.  The delegate of Denmark argued  that “once women have education, they will know what steps to take in order to move forward and secure their health.”  Denmark continued by emphasizing the necessity of access to healthcare in general, as “there are so many rural areas” where there are  “many misconceptions about pregnancy.”  A plethora of women, especially in the developing world, do not possess the “medical resources needed in order to have a healthy pregnancy.” As a result, 99% of all maternal deaths occur in third world countries.  

By increasing women’s access to sexual health and reproductive education, SOCHUM hopes to help UN member states “improve their economies,” provide women with opportunities to be “more healthy,” and expand multilateral “rates of female empowerment” as a whole.  

Political Scandals Shock Brazil

By Gabriel Hernandes and Arianna Chen

During the third committee session of the Advisory Panel on União Reform, mass protests were taking place all around Brazil and Dilma Rousseff´s corruption scandals were the main focus of the discussion. The people wanted to set the ex-president of Brazil, Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva, free. Lula feels that he was wrongly accused of being in charge of the protests and compared himself with Nelson Mandela as a "man of the people."

Lula counts himself among those who do not want Dilma Rousseff to suffer the impeachment. Others like Octaviano Alves de Lima and Eduardo Cunha take a similar position, stating that taking Dilma out would be an undemocratic response to the problem. However, Kim Kataguiri and Gerald Greenwald have different ideas. Both accused the protests organized by Lula for disturbing the democracy and his policies during his leading time for being ineffective and not successful. Centrist politicians like Greenwald and Kataguiri hold strongly that there is no need for a popular election and that Michel Temer should be the next president of Brazil. They also want to discuss the ex-president power and influence, since their supporters are calling themselves a militancy.

After passionate debates, the Advisory Panel analyzed nine different working papers about anticorruption measures, government spending cap, financial reforms, and crisis. As most of Greenwald’s working papers was approved, the committee was surprised by the news that the plane of Teori Javacski, judge of the Supreme Federal Tribunal, had mysteriously crashed. At first, the accident seemed to have been caused by inclement weather. However, a phone call from Octaviano de Lima, delegates confirmed that the crash was not an accident, but an attack ministered by Michel Temer party allies, Sergio Machado, and Romero Jucá. The attack was planned so the judge could not release evidence of corruption against the current vice president. "I'm not involved in the accident, so I'm not afraid of false accusations," replied Temer.

At the end of the committee session, they were struck again with shocking news that Dilma Rousseff and a media professional had been murdered in a car explosion. The committee is now considering hiring security personnel for its members and deliberating on what should be done about the political scandals and who should be Brazil's next president. At the last minute appearance, the president of Brazil´s Federal Senate, Renan Calheiros, announced he would be running for president and starting his campaign.

UNESCO Discusses Educational Opportunities for Refugees

By Alec Rossi and Mark Sheffer

The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization was tasked with establishing an infrastructure to aid in the education of refugees. Delegates expressed concerns over the inundation of existing public resources, the possibility of discrimination, and the way that these resources would be distributed.

While the delegate from Vietnam stressed the importance of providing refugees with basic necessities, he admitted that “their futures would never be as bright as [that of Vietnam’s] citizens.” The delegate from Denmark responded to this by saying that “people can't choose where they are born or what opportunities they have.” Tension arose when the delegate from Vietnam dismissed this statement as “immature.”

The discussion then moved on to the topic of differences in educational opportunities depending on past training. The Canadian delegate proposed a solution that included vocational training and exams that would allow refugees to transfer their foreign degrees.

Conflict arose as delegates debated whether refugees should be placed into transitional schools, or simply integrated into existing public schools. The Russian delegate said that “refugees should be fully integrated into their host country, including the workforce and public schools.” “The biggest risk for refugees,” she claimed, “is the inability of students to acclimate to long-term schools.” In contrast, the delegate from Denmark said that “transitional schools should be established that focus on teaching the vernacular before refugees enter a permanent school.”

All delegates recognized the difficulties that the refugees face when placed into different cultures. The delegate from the United States said that “making sure that…cultures...aren't conflicting is important.” The delegate of Cambodia argued that the differences in education between citizens and refugees outweighs any cultural advantages of full educational integration.

A working paper presented by Iran and India called for the establishment of the International Refugee Education Fund (IREF) to help reduce stigmatization by offering pathways to citizenship. However, a chair on the committee reminded the delegates that this power resided solely in the hands of individual nations. The Canadian delegate proposed a plan to pair refugees with local families to “work on breaking down xenophobia.”

The delegate of Saudi Arabia suggested that UNESCO partners with NGOs, instead of national governments, to aid in the education of refugees. The delegate from Ukraine said that NGOs were often ineffective as partners, while they were not required to answer to the UN.

Representatives from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Vietnam, Armenia, Venezuela, and Cambodia drafted a working paper that included a clause that called for the establishment of camps to aid in refugee acclimation. This clause, however, was not mentioned in the group’s presentation and the delegate from Venezuela couldn't elaborate on it.

Debates will go on today as delegates continue discussing the merits of the proposed working papers. Despite internal conflicts , the committee chairs and delegates all agreed that this issue was of the utmost importance and they looked forward to seeing how it would be resolved.

 

Peace and Freedom for All?

By Nicole Cennamo  

NEW YORK - The United Nations Security Council was briefed by the American CIA regarding the movement of an unknown organization in Iraq, Syria, and Turkey.  Although the council agreed that further investigation was crucial, a chasm soon emerged and polarized the committee into two ideological blocs over determining the best course of action.  Due to the ambiguity of information provided by the briefing, Uruguay, Egypt, and China believed that a diplomatic solution would best ensure that the situation did not escalate into one of heated conflict.  

However, not all countries were content with a diplomacy.  After employing its own intelligence agencies to evaluate the claims made by the CIA, the Russian Federation advised the Security Council to act both firmly and decisively by militarizing troops in these regions, a sentiment strongly supported by New Zealand and Japan.  According to these delegates, “soft actions are ineffective” and a “multilateral push” is imperative to prevent potential civilian casualties.

But following New Zealand's discovery that this unknown organization bears a black flag limned with arabic writing, the former hesitation of the Security Council to take military action dissipated.  Emphasizing the necessity of the newly formed military coalition between the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and itself, the United States reminded its fellow delegates that the increasing tension in the Middle East is evidence that the committee must respond immediately in order to stop a coup d'etat from occurring in Turkey and Syria.  The Russian Federation added to the United States’ proposal, arguing that this is “not does not seem to be a coup d’etat, but an invasion.”

Before the conclusion of Thursday night’s committee session, a representative of the Syrian government informed the Security Council that President Bashar al-Assad “will not condone any interference of Syrian autonomy” and is prepared to take “swift and brutal” action against Western countries who indeed choose to deploy troops.  Refusing to answer any questions voiced by the United States, the representative left the committee in protest, stressing to the council that Syria intends to solve the problem “with peace and freedom for all.”

Refugee Crisis Strikes Arab League

By Matt Norris

The delegates of the Arab League met Thursday to discuss the pressing refugee crisis across the region. Millions of refugees are displaced from impoverished, war torn countries, such as Syria, Yemen, and Sudan. Many nations, especially developed ones, are reluctant to take action due to belief that the refugee crisis is not their problem. The delegates met in hopes of coming to a resolution as to how they would manage these waves of refugees, where they would direct them, how to improve conditions refugees encounter, and how to achieve global participation in accepting refugees.

    The delegates of the Republic of Yemen and the Republic of Iraq emphasized the stress Yemen has endured by accepting refugees while coping with a devastating civil war. Yemen cannot handle this crisis by itself, so the two delegates called for the necessity of aid from the United States of America and the European Union.  Delegates such as those of the Tunisian Republic and Syria called for wealthy countries nearby such as the Italian Republic to accept more refugees than they are currently. They argued these developed nations are far more capable of housing a mass influx, and that the little area in the region available to refugees is rapidly disappearing.

    Delegates such as those of Libya, the United Arab Emirates, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia were some of the many who brought up the horrid conditions and struggles refugees face both in the countries they attempt to flee and to enter. Xenophobia is a pressing issue; refugees face difficulty finding jobs and adequate resources such as food and water. The delegate of Oman brought up the danger of rape and sexual violence that vulnerable refugees face. The delegate of Oman additionally brought to light the exhausting  routes that refugees often take to safety. From cramped boats in the unpredictable Mediterranean to long and exhausting treks through burning desert, there are virtually no safe options for refugees to escape their unstable situations. The UAE delegate suggested an increase in funding to provide education and awareness of the situation through advertising. They also suggested establishing quotas for intake of refugees per country. This received the support of many other delegates in the League, except notably Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, who stated that one cannot force a sovereign nation to resettle refugees. Other nation delegates argued in favor building up military and border strength to make the refugee crisis more stable and predictable.

    Delegates grouped together during unmoderated caucuses to discuss potential solutions. The delegates from Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Kuwait, UAE and Oman were able to agree on a resolution that included an increase in Red Cross training, teaching vulnerable refugees self defense, and helping refugees integrate into society. Another solution, introduced by Jordan, Morocco, Bahrain, Syria, and Mauritania proposed increased funding for safety and medical aid, and highlighted the need for a nondiscrimination policy and a decrease in police brutality.

 

Fueling a Schism

By Cynthia Hui

Fossil fuels metaphorically and literally fueled the engines of the industrial revolution, causing the globe to pedal into a long, prosperous era of globalization, commercialism and technological advances. Today, oil serves as the economic foundation for oil-rich countries like Venezuela, Russia and Saudi Arabia. Abundances of natural resources have built and molded their economies into ones that largely rely on oil prices, fossil fuel technology, and oil reservation ownership. The benefits that oil has brought to the global economy, however, are not without costs. The National Weather Service predicted Trump’s inauguration to be the warmest in American history: the undeniable sign of the environmental damage from over-dependency on fossil fuels.

The limited amount of fossil fuels, the volatile nature of an oil-dependent economy and the environmental implications have brought the general assembly of Economic and Finance Committee together on YMUN 2017 again to discuss possible solutions to the problems. The main topic of resolutions this year seems to be technology and research. The three resolutions presented to the assembly leaned towards building the necessary infrastructure in the research sector. The Investment, Research, Implementation, Stability Plan (IRIS Plan), which was headed by the Cuban delegate, aimed to stimulate research regarding environmental implications. The issue has created a quorum divided between developing and developed countries.  

The biggest apprehension for developing countries concerned the sources of funding this impressive project, and Chile further commented on the research budget as “unrealistic”. These nations were hesitant to spend the federal budget on a global effort to diminish reliance on oil when they still struggled with everyday economic instability. When debating the resolution, Congo reminded the committee, “We are here to debate economic solutions, not environmental solutions.”

Contrastingly, a firm supporter of these research infrastructures, Germany, thought this step of building the technological foundation in developing nations would be economically beneficial for the global community. Research sectors would provide employment opportunities and improve the quality of life in general.

With this division between developing and developed countries on the topic of economy and its reliance on oils, delegates in ECOFIN struggled to arrive at a consensus on the best course of action to take.

10 Places to Visit the Next Time You Come to YMUN

Ancient Art sculpture hall at the Yale University Art Gallery. Courtesy of Elizabeth Felicella, 2012.

Ancient Art sculpture hall at the Yale University Art Gallery. Courtesy of Elizabeth Felicella, 2012.

By Amanda Goodhind

1. Insomnia Cookies

Got a craving for a late-night fix? Too lazy to go out? Unsurprisingly, when you are near a college campus, there is a quick and somewhat affordable solution to this problem. The shop offers freshly baked specialty cookies that would satisfy any sweet tooth. So go ahead, get six cookies. Or a dozen. Or two dozen. No one will judge you! (Well, they might, but who cares. You have a cookie; what else matters?)

Find Insomnia Cookies at 1143 Chapel St, New Haven, CT 06511.

2. Yale University Art Gallery

Even if you do not absolutely love art, everyone can find something to appreciate at the gallery. Boasting the title of the oldest university art museum in the Western hemisphere, the gallery is a host to over 180,000 objects ranging from ancient to modern day pieces. A fun thing to do for those who end up on the 2nd floor: grab a friend and stand across from each other in a corner under the arch near the European art gallery. Face the corner and whisper something to your friend. They will hear you loud and clear due to the architectural structure of the arches! Sound waves will travel up the curve of the arch and directly to your friend. Play around with where you stand under the arches to discover even more interesting sound effects.

Find the Yale University Art Gallery at 1111 Chapel St, New Haven, CT 06511.

3. Claire's Corner Copia

When you are a vegan or a vegetarian in a big unfamiliar city, your food options are limited. In New Haven, however, Claire's Corner Copia has great food options for you. If you are not vegan/vegetarian, however, do not let the label discourage you! Everyone, no matter what they eat, should try Claire's food. It's a must.

Find Claire’s Corner Copia at 1000 Chapel St, New Haven, CT 06511.

4. Shake Shack

Meat, meat, and more meat. Shake Shack is definitely the opposite of Claire's Corner Copia, although the Shack does offer a “‘Shroom” Burger for the vegetarians in the crowd. Shake Shack is a tried-and-true staple of the YMUN experience. The only downside is the line. If you can time your visit right and avoid it, that is great. But if not, it is also definitely worth the wait. When you sit down with your juicy burger and cold milkshake, you will find yourself in pure bliss.

Find Shake Shack at Chapel St, New Haven, CT 06511.

5. York Street Noodle

You do not have to Thai me down and force me to go to this place. I’ll go any day. I apologize for that terrible pun, but York Street Noodle does offer a variety of great Thai food options at a reasonable price. If you do not believe me, check out their menu online. It is only a short walk from the Omni or most committee locations. Grab something to go, or stay to eat in this enticing Thai venue.

Find York Street Noodle at 166 York St  New Haven, CT 06511.

6. Lectures

Realistically,  most of us will not attend Yale University. You know what? That is okay! While you are here, however, take advantage of attending the lectures that are being offered. Few people (with the exception of Yale students) will get a chance to listen to the lectures of notable Yale professors. Aspire toward YMUN’s goal of “[learning] today, [leading] tomorrow” by attending a lecture (or two!) during the Yale Day at the Omni.

7. Yale Showcase

Grab your ticket, your delegate badge, and go check out the performances given by Yale groups! From ballet to singing, this entertainment provides a way to unwind after a long day of committee sessions. Sit back, relax, and watch passionate people doing what they love to do. Tickets are given by advisors, so just ask, and you will get a wristband. What is more, this “ticket” is almost impossible to lose, so it is perfect for busy delegates such as you.

8. Ben and Jerry’s

Who does not like ice cream? On the 20th of January, 2017, Ben and Jerry’s had their grand opening next to the Omni hotel. If you’re staying at the Omni, you could even go in your pajamas. To me, this sounds like Saturday night goals. Also, for vegan and vegetarian delegates – Ben and Jerry’s does have vegan ice cream.

Find Ben and Jerry’s next to the Omni hotel

9. Yale Bookstore

As the name of this store suggests, it offers both books and Yale merch – from hats and scarves to sweatshirts and shirts. You do not have to go to Yale to dress like you do – fulfill your dream of being a Yalie by blending in with the crowd. Notebooks and pens are also sold here in case you need them for committee sessions.

Find the Yale Bookstore at 77 Broadway, New Haven, CT 06511.

10. The Delegate Dance

On the surface, dancing in a conference room does not sound like much fun. But that is not all that the delegate dance is. It is a chance to finally let loose after three hard days of committee sessions. If dancing (or sweaty teenagers all moving to music while being wayyy too close to each other) is not your thing, you can play life-size chess in the game room. The dance, however, is a rite of passage. All delegates need to go to at least one awkward delegate dance during their MUN career.

Find the Delegate Dance at the Omni Saturday night. 

 

Middle East. 1971.

By Claire Fraise

Delegates in Islamabad have a crisis on their hands. Set in the midst of the 1971 unrest in East Pakistan, the committee is starkly split between those in favor of the separation of East and West Pakistan.

“The two regions have vastly different languages and cultures,” said the delegate representing Colonel M.A.G. Osmani, a retired soldier and member of the Awami League. “The country is operating under martial law. There is an election coming up; I am in support of East Pakistan’s independence.”

Islamabad Reconciliation is a crisis committee. Tasked with discussing only one topic, its delegates receive “updates” from the field every 15-20 minutes. They include notifications of deployment of troops, occurrences of rebel unrest, press releases co-signed by Pakistan’s Prime Minister and India’s head minister of foreign affairs, and new developments from the United Nations headquarters in New York.

The historical context of the delegates’ discussions makes every decision even more important. In real life, West Pakistan mercilessly suppressed the movement for independence in East Pakistan. A war ensued. In 1971, the same year in which this Model UN committee was established, India aided the military campaign of the rebels. The war ended with East Pakistan becoming Bangladesh, and West Pakistan becoming Pakistan. 

Today, delegates are debating issues such as: “what situations merit war,” “what makes a country independent,” “what are the best ways to effectively quell rebel activity,” and “how to effectively strike compromise, and how important is it, when there are such high stakes.”

A tangible solution has yet to be agreed upon.

Funding for Fighting HIV/AIDs

By Jason Meizels and Arianna Chen

Out of the 34 million HIV positive people in the world, 23.8 million are from Africa. Only 5 million out of every 10 million HIV patients in Africa are able to receive treatment due to the lack of healthcare providers. In their first session, the African Union (AU) committee tackled the issue of the HIV/AIDs epidemic head on.

All delegates collaborated to seek a solution that would reduce the risk of spreading HIV and improve the health of African people. In a moderated caucus on education, the delegate from South Africa stated that the socioeconomic status of nations throughout the AU fuels a vicious cycle in regards to the pandemic; poverty breeds illness. The delegate suggested enlarging the participation of nonprofit organizations in tackling the issue and instating sex education in primary schools.

Other notable ideas proposed during this caucus included turning to the private sector for help in the marketing and distribution of healthcare, as well as the taxation of all members of the AU to finance educational programs.

However, in another moderated caucus discussing funding, Egypt spoke out against taxation and asserted that most nations in the AU could not afford to pay tariffs. This, Egypt said, would only perpetuate the problem, since – as the delegate from Gabon stated – education is a long-term solution. Instead, infrastructure, the construction of centralized and localized clinics, should currently be the primary focus of funding, the Egyptian representative said. The delegate from South Africa advocated for the formation of a coalition with the UN among all the countries who participated in the session, with the stipulation that the UN provide funding for educational purposes. In an interview, the delegate from Uganda agreed, declaring, “outside help is the solution.”

As the end of the session drew near, various strategies, which are mentioned throughout this article, were proposed to help the committee move towards a successful resolution. The AU made significant progress in their very first session.

YMUN Eats

Shake Shack dinner in New Haven. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. 

Shake Shack dinner in New Haven. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. 

By Guadalupe González

After a long day of committee sessions at Yale, the only thing delegates might want to do is get back to the hotel as soon as possible, even though they may be hungry. However, there is no need to go straight to bed, while there are plenty of cafes and restaurants close to each hotel.

If you are staying at Omni and you want to go out to eat without going too far, you can visit some of the following places:

  • Starbucks (Chapel St)
  • Chipotle Mexican Grill (Chapel St)
  • Subway (Chapel St)
  • Buffalo Wild Wings (Church St)
  • China King (Chapel St)
  • Shake Shack (Chapel St)
  • Caffe Bottega (Chapel St)
  • Dunkin Donuts (Church St & Chapel St)

Another hotel near campus is the Courtyard Marriot, from which you can go to:

  • Empire Pizza (Whalley Ave)
  • Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen (Whalley Ave)
  • Alpha Delta Pizza (Howe St)
  • Kasbah Garden Cafe (Howe St)
  • Miya’s (Howe St)
  • Rudy’s Restaurant and Bar (Howe St)
  • Papa John’s Pizza (Whalley Ave)

Delegates staying at the New Haven Hotel can go to:

  • Jeera Thai (Crown St)
  • Jake’s Diggity Dogs (Crown St)
  • Temple Grill (Temple St)
  • Pacifico Restaurant (Crown St)
  • Pho Ketkeo (George St)
  • Black Olive (Temple St)

For delegates staying at the La Quinta Inn & Suites or the New Haven Village Suites, walking time may be a little longer (20 to 30 minutes); yet, there are still places to visit:

  • The Greek Olive
  • McDonald’s
  • Dairy Queen
  • Town House Pizza
  • Tropical Krust
  • Dunkin Donuts
  • Kevin’s Seafood
  • Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen
  • Brazi’s Italian restaurant
  • Rong Fa Chinese Restaurant

Hopefully, tonight you will not have to go too far for food or have to order it to your hotels after curfew.

The Press Corps hopes you enjoy your last meals in New Haven. 

Why MUN Matters

By Claire Fraiser

The delegates of Yale Model United Nations represent myriad opinions, cultures, and points of views. If there is one thing they share, it is a desire for peace.

A popular extracurricular activity, Model UN places students in simulated UN committees in which they play the role of delegates and discuss issues relevant to their committee. It fosters skills in debate, writing, and critical thinking. Success requires diplomacy. Students hone their leadership abilities by taking charge and learning when not to. But possibly the most overlooked skill Model UN teaches is activism.

With all of the fear plaguing today’s political climate, it is easy to want peace, but it is far harder to bring about. World hunger, E. coli-ridden drinking water, and the lack of free public education—these problems require global mobilization. The world needs activists. It needs many.

To foster them, Model UN:

Teaches empathy
It removes taboos from subjects. Students discuss topics like sexism and racism openly; they are forced to examine points of view that differ from their own. By arguing both positions that they do not personally agree and those that they do, students put themselves in the shoes of others.

Globalizes minds
By discussing global affairs with people from around the world, students learn to think beyond the confines of the communities they live in.

Fosters skills
Along with the hard skills discussed above, delegates gain soft skills like confidence, self-advocacy, and self-reliance.

Provides an understanding of the UN
Model UN lets students experience first-hand what it is like to fight for reform in bodies such as the world’s largest humanitarian organization UNICEF.

Gives students a voice
Committees show students that their voice is important and that they are, indeed, capable of actuating change.

At my first Model UN conference, I did not speak. To a brutally shy introvert, the idea of giving an extemporaneous speech to a slew of suit-clad, legal pad toting peers was the intellectual equivalent of repeatedly bashing my head against a table. The more committees I was a part of and the more I forced myself to speak, the more comfortable I became voicing my opinions. Not only did I learn to find enjoyment in the inimitable rush of down-to-the-wire revisions of resolutions, but I also learned the importance of diplomacy. The worst of the world’s problems are too big to be solved alone.

At YMUN, delegates in the UNIAO are discussing the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff, Brazil’s first female president. They are working together to ideate short-term solutions to the corruption in the country’s government.

The Roman Senate is debating whether the military should be used while collecting taxes. They are asking each other questions such as, “If you had the power to change history, would you?”

Advocates in the International Court of Justice are representing both Australia and Japan in the case pertaining whaling in the Antarctic. Delegates, according to justice Haven Hunt, “learn the importance of evidence, and how to present a strong case.”

In the words of our keynote speaker Noah McColl, “everybody is an activist,” whether they think it or not. A student is an activist whether he or she will go on to be a lawyer, actor, software engineer, or nonprofit founder. A warrior of the heart lies within each and every delegate.

So I urge you: find the activist within yourself. Takes your voice and embark into the world; use it to demand real change.

Excuse my Gender, Please.

By Cynthia Hui

The world has seen one of the most remarkable revolutions in the past few decades: female empowerment. When looking at women’s political, educational, and technological contributions it is hard to imagine their economic dependence on men just a century ago. Activists like Malala Yousafzai advance equal educational opportunities for females. Benevolent philanthropists like Priscilla Chan devote their time and money to the health sector. Finally, tech-savvy women like Melinda Gates reshape the gender dynamic in the technology field. All these women and others show the world that social change is real.

However, while change is happening in some places, it is not omnipresent. In 2017, YMUN delegates were grappling with the issues of gender equality and social progress.

 

Let’s Talk Politics.

Globalization made the world more connected. Enhanced communication led to friendly international competition in the quality of human life and equality of rights, which indirectly increased female participation in Latin America’s political sphere. Female involvement in legislation is an implicit index that allows countries to measure their progress in human rights and personal freedoms.

In UN Women, delegates representing Latin American countries expressed their satisfaction towards  progress made in gender equality policy. Cuba said that, “Because of the quota and laws, the Cuban government has a lot of women in employment.” However, while there seems to be improvement, delegates also argued that much of the progress made remains superficial. When asked why the changes targeting gender inequality were made, the Cuban delegate shrugged and said, “It looks good for Cuba.”

In Latin America, where patriarchy is still omnipresent, especially for the older generation, and where organized religion promotes the status quo, feministic ideals are often resisted and silenced. The social and cultural climate  suffocates governmental efforts like setting quotas for different genders to push for greater equality.

In discussing the future of democracy in Brazil following president Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment, the debate in the Advisory Panel on UNIÃO Reform became heated when delegates attributed Rousseff’s political failure to her opposing opinions and gender. There has been  speculation among both supporters and opponents of Rousseff that she has been used as a scapegoat because of her being a female. In UNIÃO, Luiz de Inácio Lula da Silva argued that “they don’t like her because she’s a woman.” In agreement, Otaviano Alves de Lima said that it is difficult for women to enter politics as “men typically don't like strong women.”

But Mom, What IS a Woman?

There are still whispers in the Organization of American States (OAS) Colombia's gender identity cleansing policy and the 312 transgender deaths in Brazil in 2013. Latin American countries face scrutiny from the international community over LGBTQ+ rights issues and have newly-developed laws and systems to protect these rights. Women may suffer from some gender inequality in these nations, but transgender women are ostracized. The church has resisted any progress in transgender women’s rights.

The exclusion that transgender women face is elucidated on various different levels. The delegate of Canada aptly said that “transgender women in Latin America face social exclusion on two levels: informational and institutional erasure.” The international community is ignorant of the full extent of harassment that transgender women face as their gender identity is not recognized by conservative Latin Americans.

OAS delegates proposed creating a database to gather necessary data that does not misrepresent people’s preferred identity to bridge the current information gap. Educating the public could help it acknowledge the spectrum of gender identities, and especially transgender females.

Canada’s further elaboration, “gender inequality is further emphasized by the fact that the police would wrongly identify transgender women as gay men,” illustrated the weak foundations of the social perception that wraps around gender identification, contributing to the seemingly permanent status of gender inequality.

Rihanna Says, “Work.”

A woman's ability to give birth does not prevent her from working. Although females are increasingly accepted into the community of breadwinners of Latin America, the gender wage gap is an indicator of the gender inequality still rampant in those countries. YMUN’s Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee also explored the current status of females in the workplace and potential solutions for existing issues.

Most Latin American delegates in the moderated caucuses discussed reproductive rights in the workplace. These opinions presented an optimistic account of their own countries’ treatment towards working pregnant women. Venezuela claimed that the majority of Latin American countries offer a three to four month maternity leave, as enumerated in law. In discussing why the barriers for female employment in stable and well-paid jobs are still extremely high, Venezuela attributed the issue to poor enforcement of existing legislation.

The delegate of Venezuela said that “the police is simply unable and unwilling to enforce what we wrote in black and white, and this directly stems from lack of educational infrastructures and awareness of women's rights.”

 

Gender inequality constituted a large part of the discussion in YMUN and delegates collaborated and debated to find the best solutions to the global problem. These solutions included: establishing educational infrastructures, increasing NGO involvement, and improving health facilities. The applause following the resolutions presented in UN Women, SOCHUM, OAS was a reminder of the optimism and motivation that is needed to face  these global issues. With enlightening discussions today, YMUN sets the right tone for gender equality tomorrow.

 

Establishing Equanimity - Demolishing Drones

Increasing government spending on defense and military equipment came second to protecting civilians. Press corps representatives Haley Lippard and Akriti Sethi report live from the Legal Committee as delegates turn their backs on the legalization of military drones.

It was not just the frosty New Haven air that gave delegates of the Legal Committee cold feet, as they had some herculean decisions to make on Friday, January 21, 2017. The  German delegation stood strongly against the humanitarian atrocities caused by drone strikes.“We’re trying to create a legal guideline which will protect victimized or could potentially be a target of drone strikes.” The delegate went on saying that “It will also give drone using nations, as well as the international community, a concrete set of laws to remove the ‘grey area.’” The grey area being the sector of uncertainty.

The originally diverse opinions were eventually unified as the delegates of Brazil, China, Yemen, Korea and Spain agreed to permit military drones provided strong regulation and supervision from individual governments.

The French delegation emphasized the  need to isolate private military companies as they often acquire top notch military gear, including illegally produced unmanned aerial vehicles.

The delegate of Libya said that drones are required for internal safety. Further research and investigation revealed that Libya may have ulterior motives as  plans for an American drone base in Nigeria and other bordering countries have larger regional and public implications.. Despite Libya’s reluctance, popular opinion was to ban the usage of drones, citing multiple attacks by terrorist organizations, such as by ISIS in 2016. Whether the committee stands firmly on the ground that it has recognized or moves in a new direction, we shall know soon.

 

Distress’ daughter

Press Corps representative Akriti Sethi strings words in poetry while describing the pensiveness of Special Political and Decolonization Committee (SPECPOL)’s topic- the Kashmir conflict. 

I take a reluctant step forward, decide to saunter back around

The angry sky roars at my frivolity and my vulnerability instigates tremors on the ground,

Restore your historical legacy, China persuades, honour your motherland, India counters.

Go to the grave of the fourteen year old girl shot in the head; ask her if any of these matters.

 

The chair holders say that the atrocity has lingered on for far too long

Foreign spokesmen show concern, express their grief over every military action gone wrong,

Pakistan exerts pressure; India affirms a separate constitution to lure us away

Doesn’t anybody want to hear what we civilians have to say?

 

My father gruffly folds back the paper, saying a referendum isn’t enough

It wouldn’t grant us liberty rather would leave us in the middle of the rough

Loyalty to the state comes before anything else, the government earlier said.

Take all my reverence and devotion, I sigh, please just let me go back to school instead.

 

The roads are diverged, their paths foggy and obscure

Whichever way you turn you face crushing consequences with which you can never be sure.

Forgive us Allah on behalf of all these nations fighting for a meager chunk of land in vain,

Forgive us please, I murmur as my aunt grovels in the final gasps of pain.

Ad Hoc Negotiations (as published in the New York Times)

Discussions on the legality of trade were underpinned by questions of national sovereignty at the Chinese Trade Summit on Friday.

Discussions on the legality of trade were underpinned by questions of national sovereignty at the Chinese Trade Summit on Friday.

By Benjamin Small
Reporting for the New York Times

At the 2017 Chinese Trade Summit, a conflict erupted as representatives learned that Chinese money had been directed towards illegal logging in Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam.  “[This crisis] calls into question the integrity of Chinese investment in countries all over the world,” read the representatives’ brief.

Diplomats called for investigations into China’s purportedly corrupt governmental institutions.  However, Chinese Ministers ardently rejected any proposition of external intervention into Chinese affairs.  “The Chinese government would see any investigation as a breach of sovereignty,” said the Gao Hucheng, Chinese Minister of Commerce.  “It is my belief that we will reject any international investigation.”

Historically, China has taken offense at what it views as breaches of its national autonomy.  China’s claims to islands in the South China Sea and Taiwan are examples of its past efforts to assert sovereignty.  In the name of protecting its self-determination, China has come close to blows with foreign powers such as the United States.

Chinese Ministers said that the use of internal mechanisms for mitigating corruption were preferable for them.  “We have already cracked down on [corruption],” said the Wang Yi, Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs.  “We already got rid of two vice-presidents.”

Conflict arose again when Al Jazeera reported that five members of the Vietnamese National Assembly were bribed by Chinese officials. This update called into question the Chinese Ministers’ claims that corruption was decreasing. “[Without regulation], I fear that China can exploit other nations in the future,” said Iran’s Foreign Minister.

Representatives raised further questions into China’s economic integrity when a Chinese-operated mine exploded in Zimbabwe.  “These Chinese businessmen get sent in ... [and] they have no value for human rights,” a survivor of the explosion told the Summit.

“We can’t let China violate our human rights and our environments,” said Iran’s Foreign Minister.  

Human Rights Watch 2016 World Report of China concluded: “China remains an authoritarian state, one that systematically curtails a wide range of fundamental human rights, including freedom of expression, association, assembly, and religion.”  

The Egyptian Foreign Minister suggested that certain frameworks should be implemented in nations to allow workers to report workplace abuses by employers (such as the unsafe conditions in the Chinese mine).  Mr. Gao said that such a framework would create “an Iraq sort of situation” where sovereignty is ostensibly not upheld.  

At one point during the session, the President of the World Uyghur Congress

introduced a working paper, which encouraged nations to promote international investments and to increase trade transparency.  The paper asked countries to act cooperativity with investors on a “mutually beneficial basis.”

Debate continued as diplomats questioned the exact mechanisms by which the working paper would achieve the goals of transparency and equitable trade.  The Uyghur President responded by saying that the working paper sought to promote values that nations would abide by when embarking on international economic ventures.  The aim of the working paper was to combat issues such as the illegal logging in Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand and unsafe working conditions in Zimbabwe.

At one point Press Corps reporters were kicked unceremoniously from the Summit for reporting ostensibly inflammatory information about Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China and President of the People's Republic of China, including that he seemed unfazed by the bribery of Vietnamese officials. The reporters were eventually allowed to return to the Summit.

Ad Hoc Negotiations (as published by the People's Daily)

Discussions on the legality of trade were underpinned by questions of national sovereignty at the Chinese Trade Summit on Friday.

Discussions on the legality of trade were underpinned by questions of national sovereignty at the Chinese Trade Summit on Friday.

By Mark Scheffer
Staff Reporter for 人民日报 (People's Daily)

An Ad Hoc committee was formed during the 2017 Chinese Trade Summit to discuss alleged illegal logging in Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam. Foreign dignitaries at the summit claimed that money from the Chinese government was directed to fund these operations although no specific Party officials have been incriminated yet.

In response to these allegations, foreign dignitaries requested that China allow international investigations into Party corruption. Gao Hucheng, Minister of Commerce, called this request “a breach of national sovereignty,” and “a sign of weakness for a developing nation.” Chinese investments at home and abroad were called into question by representatives from Iran, Nicaragua, and Egypt.

In an interview, the Foreign Minister of Iran said that she, “understood China’s refusal to undergo foreign investigation,” but suggested that there must be an internal investigation led by Chinese officials. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wang Yi, repeatedly cited the Party’s extensive efforts to mitigate corruption within its own ranks.

President Xi began his widely successful anti-corruption campaign nearly five years ago. Since then, more than 100,000 officials have been indicted for corruption. International officials continually harangued the Minister of Commerce and the Minister of Foreign Affairs for not meeting other countries’ standards.

The President of the World Uyghur Conference proposed that a code of conduct should be passed by the representatives of the Ad Hoc committee. This code would promote “transparent economic trade” and “improved investment rules.” A decision regarding the code will be made in the coming days of the conference.

China has the largest export economy in the world and is a crucial economic ally of all delegations in attendance. President Xi invited these delegations to attend this year’s Chinese Trade Summit in order to establish optimistic future trade deals with other world powers. However, the focus of the committee has shifted more toward establishing a precedent of foreign involvement in Chinese affairs. The Minister of Commerce commented on this shift by saying, “China should not and would not be expected to unilaterally accept foreign influence.”