With the end of the February month, our college had the 7th edition of the young leaders’ global conclave, a 3 day United Nations simulation conducted by the Global Leaders’ Forum. With three different councils – Disarmament and International Security Committee, i.e. the General Assembly (GA), the Human Rights Council (HRC) and the Security Council (SC), YLGC had an amazing participation of a hundred delegates from various colleges. It was the first time for a majority of delegates but no one could have figures that out given the quality of the debating skills that were on display.
For those of you who do not know, YLGC is a Model United Nations where councils of the United Nations are simulated. Each person is allotted a member country of the UN and represents the interests of the allotted nation on the given agenda. This year at the YLGC, the delegates discussed on a range of topics such as maintaining International Peace & Security in the Middle East, the Human Rights Violation during Armed Conflicts and on protecting the member nations from Cyber Crime and Warfare.
The General Assembly had very active participation which tried to come up with a comprehensive definition for the term ‘Cyber Warfare’. They also spoke about the effects on the citizens stating how it can affect them psychologically given the time one spends online. The delegate of China took this opportunity and reasoned the blocking of certain websites in their country in the name of threat to the nation. However, questions were raised about when such restrictions become a threat to a basic right of freedom of speech making it all the more important to define the thin line between the two.
During Day 2, there was also a sudden crisis that the delegates had to handle/tackle which started with the hacking of terabytes of Pentagon files. This eventually led to the accusations on the Democratic Peoples’ Republic of Korea and China who are known to not have good relation with the United States of America. The council ended with the passing of a resolution that addressed all the issues of Cyber Crime and how each state must arm them self against it, considering that it is something that cannot be limited/restricted by mere demarcation of the map.
The Security Council and the Human Rights Council had agendas revolving around the current crisis in the Middle East. While the HRC addressed issues of the human rights violations and the responsibility of every member state to help maintain peace in the region, the SC concentrated more on the responsibility of the government of the Middle Eastern states. The HRC had a unanimous decision at the end with all member states volunteering to provide the necessities for the refugees in the regions of conflict. They also understood and accepted the importance of protecting children and women who are most affected during such times in the form of sexual harassment, child abuse, usage as suicide bombers and training children to grow up to be spies. The SC however had two distinct blocks, one consisting of USA and its allies and the other consisting of Syria, DPRK and their allies. Although most member nations urged the delegate of Syria to come forward for negotiations with the opposition and also asked them to realize that having the Kurdish people on their side would help defeat the ISIS, the delegate of Syria made an impending argument and said how it affects the sovereignty and secularity of their nation. The Syrian delegate also mentioned that such misinformation and misinterpretation of things happening in their country could be because of certain ‘western powers’ whose sole interest lies in their oil resources. The SC, despite not being able to come up with a resolution saw an extensive discussion on their mandate as is established in the UN Charter.
With the rise in/of crisis happening all around the world, is important for us, albeit engineers, to know and understand how the world works. It is in fact, these things, that affect our economy and in turn, our lives. It is more than just foreign policy that you learn from these events. Debating skills, Diplomacy, Time Management, Lobbying skills are some of the talents that you can develop and improve upon. So next time when there is a MUN around the corner, participate. It is definitely worth giving a chance.