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Learn About Our Committees


Click below to explore the committees offered by each of HMUN China 2019's organs:

General Assembly

The General Assembly (GA) contains the five largest committees at HMUN China 2019, and it is the place where each of the 193 member states of the UN come together to discuss pressing issues that affect many countries across multiple continents. These issues range from disarmament and security to international law, health, and development. Debate in the GA is spirited, as delegates must balance their responsibilities to their respective nations, allies, and the committee as a whole. Delegates emerge from a GA committee with a thorough understanding of the promises and pitfalls of international diplomacy.

Disarmament and International Security Committee

Director: Angela You

Topic Area Summaries

A Letter from the Director

Social, Cultural, and Humanitarian Committee

Director: Grace Sullivan

Topic Area Summaries

A Letter from the Director

Special Political and Decolonization Committee

Director: Jenna Wong

Topic Area Summaries

A Letter from the Director

Economic and Social Council & Regional Bodies

The Economic and Social Council at HMUN China 2019 includes the medium-sized councils, commissions, and programmes of the UN, which tackle issues of development, human rights, culture, economics, and trade. The Regional Bodies include both UN and non-UN committees that are made up of countries from specific regions, and discuss topics more specifically pertinent to those regions.

United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, 1991-1995

Director: Bliss Perry

Topic Area Summaries

A Letter from the Director

United Nations Economic and Social Council for Asia and the Pacific

Director: Lily Piao

Topic Area Summaries

A Letter from the Director

Specialized Agencies

The Specialized Agencies (SA) is home to the most creative and imaginative committees of HMUN China 2019. Traditionally, committees in the SA are smaller and more intense than those of the other organs. They require all delegates to respond quickly and decisively to crises, and allow each member of the committee to play a critical role in advancing his or her own interests, fashioning meaningful debate, and crafting peaceful and innovative solutions. The SA committees together span a wide range of topics, time periods and regions of the globe, and individually move very quickly due to their relative size and skill level.

Dear Delegates,

Welcome to HMUN 2019! My name is Angela You and I am so excited to be your Director for the Disarmament and International Security Committee. I am originally from Ramsey, New Jersey, where I first became involved with model United Nations as a member of my high school’s travel team. Model UN has been one of the most transformative experiences of my life, and I cannot wait to meet all of you this January!

A little bit about me: I am a current sophomore concentrating in Statistics with a secondary in European History, Politics, and Societies. Outside of model UN, I am involved in the Harvard College Consulting Group, a few different investment organizations, and Harvard’s chapter of Women in Business. In my spare time, I enjoy frequenting the many coffeeshops in Harvard Square, napping excessively, freelancing as a makeup artist, and going to EDM concerts in Boston!

As Italian philosopher George Santayana so eloquently expressed, those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. Studying history has instilled in me the conviction that leaders must look to the past in order to solve the problems that plague us today. DISEC and the international community have the tendency to address issues only after the damage has been done, which is something that must change. This is why I am so excited to spend four days with you debating international responses to lethal autonomous weapons systems; it is an immensely complex and rapidly evolving topic that the United Nations has not yet given its full attention to, which creates a great deal of potential for unique solutions, multifaceted debate, and exciting committee dynamics. This January, you and your fellow delegates will be tasked with creating an international framework for addressing the third evolution in warfare, which has deep and far-reaching effects on the global population.

From questions on substantive issues to preliminary feedback on speeches, I am here for you, every step of the way. As your Director, I am deeply invested in each and every single one of your experiences, and I would love for this committee to be a truly engaging and fun learning experience for novice and veteran delegates alike. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns, and best of luck to all of you!

Yours,

Angela You
Director, Disarmament and International Security Committee
disec@hmunchina.org

Class year: 2021

Hometown: Ramsey, NJ

Favorite place: Smorgasburg

Favorite food: Rainbow Cookies

Song that plays when you walk into committee: Black Skinhead by Kanye West

Favorite MUN moment: When a delegate in my HMUN 2018 gave an impromptu opera performance!

Advice for new delegates: Speak speak speak! Make your voice heard – whether it's by making a speech in front of the entire committee or collaborating with your peers during an unmod.

Topic Area: Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems

Dubbed the “third revolution in warfare, after gunpowder and nuclear arms,” lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS) use artificial intelligence and deep machine learning to locate, identify, and engage targets with minimal or no human oversight. While proponents praise the reduction in human cost and logistical military advantages of LAWS, opponents cite moral concerns and the risk of uncontrolled escalation as reasons to preemptively ban their development. The stakes are high in both camps of argument; the integration of autonomous weapons into armies can slash military costs by almost one fourth and significantly decrease the number of human casualties. However, it is also not difficult to imagine the dystopian worst case scenario: technology whose intelligence and capabilities grow more quickly than any international arms race. Despite its sensationalist elements, the Future of Life Institute’s 2017 anti-LAWS video “Slaughterbots” shows the risks of unmitigated and unregulated advancements in potentially life-threatening technologies. Morally, there are arguments in favor of both sides; LAWS can be expected to act more systematically and reduce the burden of consciousness on humans, but one must question whether non-human agents should be given the power to make life-or-death decisions, given that LAWS could violate the Principle of Distinction by failing to distinguish civilians from combatants.

Shortly after a group of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) collectively formed the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots in 2013, the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) issued a mandate to start dialogues on LAWS. In November 2017, the CCW Group of Governmental Experts on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems convened for the first time to discuss emerging technologies, their military effects, and possible legal and ethical implications. The group met again in April 2018 and agreed to start developing a legally binding instrument on LAWS in November. These developments bring to light a key concern: technology is still evolving at a faster rate than international regulation, which is a breeding ground for gray-areas and uncertainty.

Historically, the international community has failed to take preemptive and preventive measures against life-threatening technological advancements; regulations usually crystallize after the fact, which has led to widespread loss of life. The emergence of LAWS is a multifaceted issue that has not received as much attention as higher-profile security issues, but is no less important for it. In this committee, delegates will be tasked with creating an international framework to address the forces that will influence the development and eventual deployment of LAWS: geopolitical tensions, private sector activity driven by capitalistic objectives, and the pace of technological development. Additionally, delegates must consider possible ethical and moral implications, as well as the relationship between cybersecurity and potential complications of LAWS. By considering historical precedents and the possible trajectory of future developments, you will develop final recommendations that will determine the future of warfare itself, and the life of every individual on this earth.

Note: The Disarmament and International Security Committee is a single-topic committee.

Dear Delegates,

Welcome to the Social Cultural and Humanitarian Committee! My name is Grace Sullivan, and I am thrilled to be serving as your director for HMUN China 2019.

I am a sophomore at Harvard College concentrating in government. I grew up in Baltimore, Maryland. In high school, I was very invested in government simulations and debate. I competed in public forum debate, student congress, and mock trial. I only did a little Model United Nations, but the experience clearly left an impression as Model United Nations has become my favorite activity at Harvard. My freshman year, I assistant directed the Historical Security Council at our high school conference in Boston and assistant directed the Historical General Assembly at our college conference. I also serve as a deputy director for Harvard’s travel team and plan on directing a Commission on the Status of Women on the trafficking of women and girls at this year’s college conference in Boston. I love the incredible delegates and teammates Model United Nations has brought into my life, and I hope I get to share some of my passion with you this conference. In addition to Model United Nations, I teach civics class to fifth graders in Boston public schools and spend my free time doing political work.

I am particularly excited to be working with you on this Social Cultural and Humanitarian Committee. My hope is that you gain an increased passion for combatting human trafficking and a newfound appreciation for the contentious process of finding solutions to this issue. One thing Model United Nations has taught me is that even a room full of people sharing a well-intentioned goal can be painfully divided over the best policy pathways towards achieving that goal. I hope to see you embrace your country positions with respect and empathy as you tackle this challenge.

I cannot wait to meet you all and hear both your personal thoughts on these topics and the thoughts of the nations you represent. In the meantime, please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns!

Sincerely,

Grace Sullivan
Director, Social Cultural and Humanitarian Committee
sochuml@hmunchina.org

Class year: 2021

Hometown: Baltimore, Maryland

Favorite place: Anywhere with my best friends!

Favorite food: Ice Cream from Honeycomb Creamery!

Song that plays when you walk into committee: Back in Black ACDC

Favorite MUN moment: My favorite MUN moment was in a crisis committee where I assassinated two people in one hour and was elected President of Venezuela.

Advice for new delegates: New delegates should speak, speak, speak! Once you try it a few times, you will not be able to stop.

Topic Area:Trafficking of Women and Girls

According to Sheryl WuDunn, co-author of the book Half the Sky, there are ten times as many women today effectively missing from the population than there were enslaved persons at the peak of the African slave trade in the 1780s. Thus, gendercide is the moral outrage of our century. Sex trafficking and labor trafficking of women and girls are key factors of the equation by which female lives are constantly being subtracted. These issues affect countries from the United States to Somalia, Slovakia to Thailand.

On July 30, 2010, the General Assembly adopted the UN Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons. Most notably, this action created a fund to be used for the women and children who are victims of trafficking. Despite this action, the UN still estimates that somewhere between 1 and 4 million individuals are currently in sex slavery. The vast variability in these estimates indicates the difficulty of facing a problem that exists so effectively in the space between the shadows and state permissiveness. As obviously abhorrent as trafficking in persons may seem, contention surrounding solutions runs deep and will drive debate in this committee.

Note: The Social, Cultural, and Humanitarian Committee is a single-topic committee.

Dear Delegates,

Welcome to HMUN China 2019! My name is Jenna Wong, and I am so excited to be your Director for the Special Political and Decolonization Committee. I also served as Director of the Legal Committee at HMUN China last year, so I’m thrilled to be returning to Beijing! At Harvard, I am concentrating in Social Studies (which is different from the middle school subject, I promise!) with a secondary in Psychology. I am particularly interested in human rights law, women’s rights, Latin American politics, and ethics – which is why I am so passionate about the issue of competitive authoritarianism, a theory first proposed by one of my own former professors here at Harvard.

The vast majority of my time outside of academics is consumed by model United Nations. Apart from directing this same topic at HMUN Boston, I am also co-Head Delegate of our competitive MUN team (I compete in a mixture of resolution-based and crisis committees), serve as Under-Secretary-General for Committees at HMUN India, and sit on the Board of Directors for the International Relations Council. When I am not procrastinating on homework through MUN, I can be found procrastinating on homework by writing editorial pieces for our student newspaper, The Crimson, needlepointing, and binge-watching crime shows.

I could not be more excited to direct SPECPOL this year on competitive authoritarianism - a topic that I first learned about as a freshman in college while taking courses on Latin American history. I know that the term can seem intimidating and obscure, but I hope that through this committee you learn how prevalent competitive authoritarian regimes have been throughout recent history. Latin America in particular has a lengthy track record of such governments, which mask human rights abuses and imbalanced power structures under the veneer of elections.

This makes competitive authoritarianism a uniquely nuanced topic for you to research and debate. Toppling dictatorships is easy; reforming a regime that co-opts much of its opposition and diverts resources away from the rest is far more difficult. Competitive authoritarian states embed themselves deeply within civil society, forcing this committee to rethink the typical narrative of defeating a patently abusive and isolated government.

I only began participating in model UN during my freshman year of college, and I instantly fell in love with its format, which encourages collaboration and diplomacy above all else. These are the traits I will be looking for in delegates, and I am eager to help all of you work together on such a relevant and challenging topic. Through this committee, you will be required to think critically about not only the practical implications of any policy regarding competitive authoritarian regimes, but also the moral ones.

You will also need to consider some of the most controversial aspects of competitive authoritarianism, forging new solutions that the international community can agree upon. Be prepared to debate whether these states can be beneficial to their citizens and the role of populist movements in the rise of competitive authoritarian regimes. As your Director, it will be my job to push you to think through the implications of each decision you make, and the impact it will have on current political climates across the globe.

As someone who only began participating in Model UN in college, it’s especially important to me that new delegates feel welcomed in the Model UN community, and I hope that this committee will enable both first time and experienced delegates to acquire new skills and learn from one another. Please always feel free to reach out to me with any questions or concerns; I’m here to make sure that all of you have an incredible time!

Yours,

Jenna Wong
Director, Special Political and Decolonization Committee
specpol@hmunchina.org

Class year: 2020

Hometown: Concord, MA

Favorite place: Rome, Italy

Favorite food: Tiramisu

Song that plays when you walk into committee: POWER by Kanye West

Favorite MUN moment: Watching a bloc of delegates at HMUN China last year give an incredibly detailed, thoughtful presentation on protecting female victims of mass violence. It felt so rewarding to see their work and research come to fruition on a topic that I care so deeply about.

Advice for New Delegates Give a speech! Even if it's short or you only have one point to bring up, your opinion is so valid and important for committee to hear. I encourage you to approach me early and often to get advice; I'm here to help and ensure you have the best possible committee experience!

Topic Area: Competitive Authoritarianism in the Global South

Human history is littered with cases of state-sanctioned violence against civilians, from the ghastly fates of los desaparecidos during the Dirty War in Argentina to the deaths of Syrian civilians in the midst of the Syrian Civil War. While political rhetoric often centers on how to end these tragedies, there are few guidelines for how nations can rebuild afterwards. This is where transitional justice, or the process by which nations can address histories of human rights violations, becomes of immense importance. How do we hold the perpetrators of widespread abuses accountable for their crimes? How do we ensure that nations learn from their dark histories and protect the rights of their people going forward?

Note: The Special, Political, and Decolonization Committee is a single-topic committee.

Dear Delegates,

Welcome to HMUN China 2019! My name is Jia Yi Lim, and I am thrilled to be directing the Legal Committee this year. Hailing from the tropics of South-East Asia, Malaysia, a country with perennial sunshine, rain, and political turmoil, this experience of growing up in a multicultural country with a primitive political structure blossomed my innate fascination with public policy, especially from a legal lens. As MUN has been a very impactful on both my high school and college experience, I hope to make HMUN China as meaningful as possible for each and every one of you.

At Harvard, I am majoring in Applied Mathematics with a focus on Economics and a Secondary in Computer Science. Despite the seeming topical difference between my concentration and the nature of this committee, I strongly believe that the process of analyzing legal frameworks is very similar to the methodical process of Mathematics. For me, the topic of “The Legal Issue of Stateless Individuals” resonates with my experience as a South East Asian. As someone who has seen and experienced the social and economic implications of statelessness ie. the Rohingya crisis and the faultiness of post-colonization division in Malaysia, I hope that you will be mindful of the sensitive balance that needs to be achieved between humanitarian and pragmatic issues. With this in mind, I highly encourage you to think more critically about the principle levels of argumentation and grapple with the questions of citizenship, international legal responsibilities, and national sovereignty from a legal framework. By shifting your mindset towards these themes, we will be able to better construct a more cohesive and modern framework for understanding the issues of statelessness. I promise to help guide you through this difficult, but enriching process of writing, debating, and understanding the multifaceted nature of this topic.

Outside of HMUN China, I am a member of Harvard’s competitive intercollegiate MUN team. I am also an Intern at the Harvard Foundation where I work closely with the Harvard administration to engage students and faculty with issues surrounding intercultural ties and race relations. In my free time, I enjoy meeting new people and learning about the nuances of different cultures.

Overall, I hope that this topic will push everyone to think critically about current, unsolved issues from a legal framework. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me with any questions or concerns, or just to introduce yourself! I cannot wait to meet you all at HMUN China!

Yours,

Jia Yi Lim
Director, Legal Committee
legal@hmunchina.org

Class year: 2021

Hometown: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Favorite place: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Favorite food: Sushi

Song that plays when you walk into committee: No Limit by G-Easy

Favorite MUN moment: As the director of UNHRC, I saw the delegates of China and the United States work together to collectively write an international treaty to end human trafficking.

Advice for new delegates: Don't be afraid to speak up and involve yourself in debates and resolution writing! MUN is an extremely enriching educational experience and you will gain the most out of it if you try your best. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me before, during, and after the conference. I will always be here to guide you through this conference.

Topic Area: The The Legal Issues of Stateless Individuals

Human history is loaded with many cases of states grappling with the issue of stateless individuals. From the recurrent ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar to the more recent bigotry against refugees in Europe, many nation states are struggling to react diplomatically and sustainably to this issue. Compounded by the surging nationalistic tensions and convenient media scapegoating, socially divisive stances have only exacerbated the one-sided power dynamics against stateless individuals. Unlike any other segments in society, stateless individuals are often disproportionately powerlessness: their voices and experiences disregarded by states and untouched by Western media sources. In fact, the most holistic UN conventions, complemented by international human rights treaties and provisions relevant to the right to a nationality, only dates back to 1954 and 1961. Keeping in mind the intersections from political, humanitarian, and religious lines, this then begs the question: what qualifies an individual as a member of the state?

Thus, to discuss this issue at a higher level, we will be substantiating our understanding with case studies from the Rohingya Crisis, the asylum seekers in Europe, and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy in the United States. It is important for delegates to not only focus on the moral dilemmas faced in this topic, but to also extract the issues into higher level questions to address more philosophical ideas of pragmatism and qualifications of citizenship. On one hand, states have to be mindful to balance the moral responsibility of these stateless individuals who are often marginalized as second class citizens, yet, they must also be pragmatic to populist sentiments ie. the economics and public sentiment in addressing this issue. So, how should member nations institutionalize policies to resolve the practical problems faced by stateless individuals i.e. right to housing, freedom of religion, education? Moreover, how should member nations draw the balance between international legal responsibilities and national sovereignty? Is it possible to ever reconcile these seemingly conflicting issues? By examining the ideas of citizenship from an objective and legal framework, delegates will be able to debate at a higher level and create a more holistic solution for stateless individuals. Notably, as this is a politically divisive issues, delegates will soon realize that it is difficult to find a solution that will fit all nation’s stances. Hence, it will be up to delegates to decide whether it will be more feasible to have a solution which broadly encompasses all the demands of all nations, or to be extremely affirmative in spearheading a collective idea of citizenship.

As this issue is still unresolved by the United Nations, I am excited to see how delegates will think creatively to tackle this incredibly nuanced and complex topic. I hope for all delegates to challenge themselves with not only the difficult concepts of international law and ethics, but to also think prospectively about the treaties, conventions and guidelines which they will create. Hopefully, delegates will be able to propose some solutions that will to hit a rational balance between legal enforcement and moral solutions.

Note: The Legal Committee is a single-topic committee.

Dear Delegates,

Welcome to the UNEP! My name is Jack Nugent, and I will be your director for HMUN China. I am a sophomore at Harvard College, pursuing a concentration in Social Studies and a Secondary in Spanish. Outside of MUN, I am involved in the Harvard Political Union, Club Soccer, and the International Relations Council. I hail from Washington D.C., which means I know Obama personally.

I am very excited to meet all of you and direct the UN Environment Programme’s conference on the Illicit Trafficking of Marine Wildlife. My interest in the topic comes from my work at the Ocean Foundation, an environmental policy think-tank in Washington D.C. I have always had a passion for conservation and environmentalism, and that is something I want to pass on to my delegates this HMUNCh. I hope that over the course of this conference, you will find creative and innovative solutions to the problems facing the marine world. Delegates should come prepared for a fast paced committee, full of fun and interesting new elements of MUN.

I have been doing Model UN since I was 11, and I have learned so much from it. MUN has taken me to the US State Department, the South African Legislature, countless stuffy hotel conference rooms, and the United Nations itself. I think Model UN teaches invaluable skills: public speaking, research, writing, and diplomacy. Most importantly, however, is that MUN is a way to interface with students all over the world. I am looking forward to meeting all of you! We are going to have a wonderful time and it will be a MUN experience like no other.

Get ready for a lot of fun,

Jack Nugent
Director, United Nations Environment Programme
unep@hmunchina.org

Class year: 2021

Hometown: Washington, D.C

Favorite place: Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

Favorite food: Caviar

Song that plays when you walk into committee: Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue in D Minor by Johann S. Bach

Favorite MUN moment: Traveling to South Africa for a MUN Conference.

Advice for new delegates: Do your best! Make new friends, take this opportunity to improve as a speaker, researcher and person.

Topic Area: Marine Wildlife Trafficking

Marine wildlife trafficking is one of the largest illicit markets in the world, bringing in billions of dollars in revenue. The issues dealt by this committee will target system issues in the demand, supply, and transport of marine life. On the supply side, delegates will be tasked with combating issues of both organized and local poaching: addressing the problem of cartel presence in Mexico’s gulf, alongside the epidemic poaching of sea turtles by villages in Madagascar. Delegates will debate the viability of different enforcement mechanisms, and the form they should take (regional, international, or country-by country). Delegates will also have to factor in the ever-increasing demand for marine goods from developed and developing nations alike. Whether it be the newfound allure of shark fin soup, or the supposed medicinal benefits of ray gill, increases in demand for illicit goods have yet to be matched by similar international countermeasures.

Most notable, however, will be the committees initiatives to break down the pathways by which marine wildlife arrive at their destinations. From corrupt shipment methods of Port Authorities in West Africa to an incredibly widespread internet market, delegates will have to navigate the black markets that fuel the wildlife trade. Delegates should find new methods for implementing old protections, recommend new rules and regulations for international trade, and ultimately work together to create resolutions that consider both the environment and the economy in their works. Get ready for a fast paced committee that aims to make the UN more efficient than ever before!

Note: The United Nations Environment Programme is a single-topic committee.

Dear Delegates,

Welcome to the Special Summit on Technology! My name is Emma Humphrey and I am a sophomore at Harvard planning to pursue a joint concentration in Computer Science and Archaeology. I am originally from Cohasset, Massachusetts and I competed at Harvard’s Model UN conference when I was in High School, so I cannot wait to bring that same experience to all of you in Beijing. Since coming to college I have really fallen in love with the power that MUN has to bring together different opinions and personalities from all over the world, and I am so excited to replicate that experience in China. Outside of MUN I play on Harvard’s Club Field Hockey Team and am a teaching fellow for CS50, Harvard’s Introduction to Computer Science course.

I am so honored to be serving as your director at HMUN China, and cannot wait to see your research and creativity in action at conference. The material covered in this committee is both difficult and imperative, a necessary leap for international relations that will almost certainly happen in the very near future. Our generation promises to be especially influential in pioneering policy to address the rapid spread of Artificial Intelligence and Information Technology, and I know that each of your positions, combined with your personal expertise, will bring immense diversity of thought and experience to this debate. I hope that my background guide serves as a helpful, approachable reference for you throughout your preparation, and please do not hesitate to reach out to me with any questions leading up to conference.

I look forward to meeting and learning from you!

Yours sincerely,

Emma Humphrey
Director, Special Summit on Technology
sst@hmunchina.org

Class year: 2021

Hometown: Cohasset, Massachusetts

Favorite place: The British Museum

Favorite food: Raspberry Pancakes!

Song that plays when you walk into committee: Poor Unfortunate Souls from The Little Mermaid

Favorite MUN moment: When a delegate in the Special Summit on Futuristic Technology at HMUN last year told me at the end of the weekend that she hadn't been excited for the committee but absolutely loved it, and then happy cried when she won Outstanding Delegate.

Advice for new delegates:Ask questions constantly.

Topic Area: Artificial Intelligence

This year’s Commission on Science and Technology for Development will focus on the impact of Artificial Intelligence. International leaders in AI research have long lauded the future implications of this technology, citing potential uses ranging from cancer diagnosis to automated weapon systems. The general public and international community are now increasingly exposed to an explosion of these capabilities, creating a need for tangible guidelines.

Recently in the news there has been abundant discussion on ethical collection and use of user information, especially in light of Cambridge Analytica’s recent leaks of Facebook data. Companies such as Facebook, Google, and Amazon are constantly collecting statistics about every one of their users and then tailoring suggested purchases and advertisements to individual preferences. The power of this personal machine learning is immensely powerful for advertisers, but has dangerous implications for individual privacy, especially as machines get smarter and learn how to manipulate not only tangible preferences but emotional changes as well.

Alongside fear over ethical data use, concerns about AI are often tied to the software’s potential to have an immense impact on future job markets. Any task which involves repetition and pattern matching can be done by a computer at incredible speeds with minimal error, a level of efficiency that humans cannot match. This power gives AI technologies the potential to replace human laborers and experts worldwide at increasing rates as technology improves. While this will replace many jobs that currently exist, it will also create an incredible need for technically-trained experts who can create and maintain these systems, increasing the importance of global STEM education.

Finally, the tangible capabilities of AI to improve existing technologies have both frightening and exciting potential ramifications. For one, the pattern matching prowess of AI can help to track and predict the spread of disease, helping humanitarian efforts better target their aid into communities which will be hit the hardest. This same approach can be manipulated to map the growth of cancers in a body or the dispersion of ideas across a campus. However, it can also be used to create automated weapons, capable of being deployed with extremely specific targets and set off without any human loss for the attacker.

These topics often raise more questions than answers, spurred by uncertainty about the true capabilities of AI and how far humans will be willing to take them. Your final resolutions will need to be both realistic and firm, a reflection of 21st century values, hopes, and fears as we move into an increasingly data-driven world.

Note: The Special Summit on Technology is a single-topic committee.

Dear Delegates,

It is my distinct honor to welcome you to Harvard Model United Nations China 2019. More, specifically, it is my pleasure to be your chair for the Organization of American States (OAS), the world’s oldest regional organization.

I would first like to tell you a little about myself. My name is Carolina Jimenez. I am a rising sophomore at Harvard College, concentrating (majoring) in Sociology with a secondary (minor) in Government. I am originally from Boca Raton, FL, a city an hour north of Miami. I grew up in South Florida, where the weather is 80 degrees year-round. I am still getting used to Northeastern weather but was successfully able to survive my first winter in Massachusetts.

My first exposure to competitive Model UN was when I stepped foot on Harvard’s campus this past fall and joined Harvard’s Inter-Collegiate Model United Nations Team (ICMUN). Since then I have had the pleasure of traveling to Columbia University, the University of Pennsylvania, and The University of California, Los Angeles to compete on the collegiate circuit. Through ICMUN, I have been able to find some of my closest friends on campus. Besides being on ICMUN and now directing at HNMUN, I was also an assistant director for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Other than Model UN, I am also the Vice President of Latinas Unidas and the Executive Director of the Latina Empowerment and Development Conference at Harvard College. My latinidad and Colombian heritage are extremely important to me and it is what ultimately led me to want to direct the Organization of American States at HNMUN 2019.

I am extremely excited to be your director for the Organization of American States! These are topics that are not only extremely important to me individually, but that are also crucial to the member states of the OAS. I know that you are all capable of working with one another to solve the pressing issues that are taking place in Latin America! I am I am extremely excited to meet you all in March!

Best,

Carolina Jimenez
Director, Organization of American States
oas@hmunchina.org

Class year: 2021

Hometown: Boca Raton, FL

Favorite place: Spanish River Beach, Florida

Favorite food: Donuts

Song that plays when you walk into committee: POWER by Kanye West

Favorite MUN moment: While I have had many amazing MUN moments, looking back my favorite was during Model Security Council (MSC) my freshman year. Model Security Council is a one day event at Harvard where they introduce freshman to Model UN. At MSC I met two of my closest friends on campus - Angela and Amanda. Angela is also directing at HMUN China! I am extremely thankful to MUN for all of the amazing friendships that I have been able to create, specifically the ones with Amanda and Angela.

Advice for new delegates: My first time competing in Model UN was in college, so I understand how intimidating it can be to be a new delegate.However, I have learned two very important things. Do not be afraid to ask questions! Do not be afraid to raise your placard! It can be scary to be in a room with 50+ other people you do not know, but the only way you will improve your MUN skills is with practice! It is okay to make mistakes. All the directors and staff at HMUN China are there to help you along the way and create a welcoming atmosphere. Even if you may not be one hundred percent sure about something, I want to hear what you have to say. This is not only a learning experience for you, but one for me as well. I can't wait to hear all that you have to share!

Topic Area: The Venezuelan Crisis

The Venezuelan Crisis is affecting all of Latin America. The standard of living in Venezuela has dropped drastically—there is no food in supermarkets, there is limited access to medicine, and Caracas has turned into one of the most dangerous cities in the world. All of this is causing thousands of people to flee from Venezuela in what is being called the largest migration of modern Latin America. Colombia has already received 600,000 Venezuelan refugees and is receiving more and more every day. Thousands of Venezuelans are also fleeing to other nearby countries like Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Argentina, and even other Caribbean Islands. The main issue is that many of these countries are not prepared to receive such a large influx of refugees. There are many questions about how to solve the Venezuelan crisis and the consequences of what is taking place. First, how can member states of the OAS aid the humanitarian crisis that is taking place in Venezuela. How are member states planning to receive the large number of Venezuelan refugees? Should they open their borders? What policies do they have in place to receive refugees? How will the OAS respond to this time sensitive issue?

Note: The Organization of American States is a single-topic committee.

Dear Delegates,

Welcome to the International Monetary Fund committee. My name is Yashvardhan Bardoloi—Yash, for short—and I am thrilled to be serving as your Director for HMUN China 2019.

I am a sophomore at Harvard college concentrating in Applied Mathematics with Economics. I grew up in Hong Kong and am an Indian citizen. MUN has been part of my life since I was a high school Freshman; I love it for that rare balance it provides between substantive excellence and an active social scene. Some of my best friends and best memories can be traced back to MUN. Aside from HMUN China, I staff our sister conferences too, HMUN Boston and HNMUN. I have directed committees at various regional and international conferences and was Chairman of the Board of Hong Kong MUN my senior year of high school. Outside MUN, I am an active debater on Harvard’s parliamentary team and represented Hong Kong at the world championships. I also write an economics blog, Bardonomics, and am a Teaching Fellow with the Department of Economics. I participate in a couple of research-based and pre-professional activities as well. To relax, I love reading, being outdoors on sunny days, and spending time with friends. And I’m always in the mood for a game of squash, table tennis, pool, foosball—you name it!

I very much look forward to facilitating debate and dialogue on the selected topics for the committee. These topics are of great practical and moral importance; a meaningful, well- informed and respectful discussion will make this committee a memorable and productive experience for all.

Yours Truly,

Yashvardhan Mehra Bardoloi
Director, International Monetary Fund
imf@hmunchina.org

Class year: 2021

Hometown: Hong Kong

Favorite place: Hong Kong

Favorite food: Salmon Sushi, Xiao Long Bao

Song that plays when I walk into committee: On Top of the World by Imagine Dragons

Favorite MUN moment: Too hard!

Advice for new delegates: To reiterate a cheesy line from the faculty convener at the first MUN conference I attended: “M-U-N is F-U-N!” And really, that’s probably the most important thing to remember: being at MUN is foremost about having a wonderful experience. You will meet tens, if not hundreds, of new people; you will be exposed to countless new ideas and perspective; you will have the opportunity to speak before a large audience that wants to hear you! Do your best, have fun, and feel free to reach out for help on anything if ever you need it.

Topic Area: Conditionality of IMF Loans

Where do sovereign governments go when they face a fiscal crisis? Since 1945, their response has often been to seek assistance from the International Monetary Fund. Today, among the Fund’s most important tasks is the timely provision of loans to governments that require support in meeting their financial obligations. These loans are frequently provided interest-free and always at a discount to the rate the government would have to pay on the international bond market. In exchange for the credit line, the IMF imposes conditions on its loans: economic policy adjustments that aim to rectify underlying weaknesses in the country’s financial system.

In this committee, we will discuss reforms that can be implemented by the IMF in setting conditions on its loans. How can we balance the desires of “creditor” nations—typically developed countries that rarely need assistance from the institution but whose funds are at risk when the IMF lends—and those of the “borrower” nations—usually developing countries? How can IMF conditionality be designed such that it is most respectful of a country’s unique social, political, cultural and economic situation? How can we ensure that IMF conditionality does not infringe upon national sovereignty? These questions, and many others, will be important to consider.

Note: The International Monetary Fund is a single-topic committee.

Dear Delegates,

Welcome to HMUN China 2019 and welcome to the World Health Organization! My name is Tae Yeong Park (please call me Tae) and I am extremely excited to direct this wonderful committee in Beijing. I hope to leave each of you with a lasting experience that goes beyond the typical Model UN conference.

I am a fourth-year student at Harvard College studying Sociology with a foreign language citation in French. I was born in South Korea, but my family moved to Guatemala when I was seven—¡Yo hablo español! My extensive background in Latin America has led me to serve as Director General of our sister conference, HNMUN Latin America. Other than HNMUN LA, I directed Press Corps at both HNMUN in Boston and HMUN India, and have contributed as an assistant director in different organs. I am now very excited to be part of HMUN China and am greatly looking forward to meeting all of my delegates and establishing new friendships. When not busy with HMUN China or HNMUN LA, I enjoy going to the gym or watching a good movie (recommendations appreciated!). I also love picking up languages and understanding new cultures. During committee breaks, you might find me mumbling something in French, German, or Portuguese, or some random mix of all three.

Through the WHO, I wish to engage in a conversation to find original solutions to one of the latest developments in the genetics field—human genome sequencing. I do not see myself simply directing from the Dais, but really wish to immerse into the topic with each of you and see how we can tackle some of the criticisms around the topic, taking into account ethical, religious, and even cultural nuances. Given my passion for different cultures, I am extremely interested in exploring different perspectives on the issue. In this committee, no one is ever ‘wrong’. We are just simply ‘different’. I want all delegates to come into committee with an open mind and with a willingness to learn from the different views presented. Through this, I promise that we can reach a solution that considers all sides to the issue.

Please take your time to thoroughly review the WHO background guide, and do not hesitate to contact me with any questions. I look forward to meeting you in March!

Sincerely

Tae Yeong Park
Director, World Health Organization
who@hmunchina.org

Class year: 2019

Hometown: Seoul/Guatemala City

Favorite place: Beach under a wide parasol

Favorite food: Taco

Song that plays when you walk into committee: Any Reggaeton

Favorite MUN moment: Receiving a rose from my delegate brother.

Advice for new delegates: I love roses, and raise those placards high!

Topic Area: Genome Sequencing and the Ethics of Disease Prevention

As science and technology push boundaries and open doors to the previously unimaginable, one of the developments that has received critical reception and that can greatly influence, in the most literal sense, the future of humanity is human genome sequencing. Even though a relatively new technology, human genome sequencing has become readily accessible given the sharp drop in cost, and numerous scientists have pushed on with experiments to test the reaches of this technology. Human genome sequencing has great potential for medical research as it can analyze the most fundamental building blocks of human life, but as with any other technology, this sequencing can also be used in other contexts such as eugenics and cloning. In all these topics that genome sequencing can influence, many have drawn out two main concerns: privacy and ethics. Given the recentness of the technology, detailed regulations on the use of genetic information are not in place, thus undermining the privacy of individuals undergoing scientific studies. Furthermore, selective abortion and trait selection of human embryos raise difficult ethical questions and often times clash with different religious beliefs. Given all this, how does the World Health Organization respond to privacy, ethical, and religious issues concerning human genome sequencing? How can the benefits of this technology be extended while remaining accountable for the criticisms?

Note: The World Health Organization is a single-topic committee.

Dear Delegates,

My name is Bliss Perry, and I could not be more excited to be your director for the historical United Nations Educational, Social, and Cultural Organization at HMUN China 2019!

I’m currently a sophomore planning to take full advantage of Harvard’s liberal arts education by pursuing a Joint Concentration (double major) in the surprisingly related fields of Computer Science and Classics. Outside the classroom, I spend much time staffing or competing at Model UN conferences – I’m a member of Harvard’s travel MUN team (ICMUN) and I am a director for our two Boston conferences HMUN and HNMUN. When I’m not merging directives or scheming through crisis, you might find me coding mobile apps or translating Ancient Greek plays – or, more often, eating my way through Boston’s restaurants, spending time with friends, skiing in the woods of New England, and, of course, sleeping!

Our committee will concern itself with the Yugoslav Wars, a conflict which I consider one of the 20 th century’s most interesting yet tragic case studies. An explosive expression of bottled-up nationalism on many sides, the wars raged from 1991 to 1995 and inflicted tragedy on millions. Although these wars are nuanced and complex conflicts and can therefore be approached in a multitude of ways, we will focus on one particular and often overlooked aspect: preservation of heritage. In other words, how can the international community intervene to prevent the devastating destruction of historical sites, religious structures, and national parks?

During 2017, I had the immense privilege of spending a few weeks traveling throughout the countries affected by these brutal wars – Croatia, Serbia, and Bosnia & Herzegovina – and experienced firsthand the natural beauty and cultural richness of the former Yugoslavia. From the Venetian ports studding the jagged coast of the deep-blue Adriatic to the stone mosques and Ottoman fortresses dotting the hills along the crystalline Neretva River, I was constantly in awe of the sheer number of religions, architectural styles, and cultures present in a small region and the diversity of historical sights those different influences have fostered.

Thus, I was heartbroken to view footage of the devastation leashed upon the region by the Yugoslav Wars in the 1990s. Mosques and monasteries ablaze, bazaars bombarded by mortar fire, palaces dotted with bullet holes – history being erased by the minute! Certain groups have pursued an active policy of destroying the tangible heritage of other groups in order to justify their own historical claim on certain regions, in attempts to create a “Greater Serbia” or “Greater Croatia,” for example. As such, it is imperative for the international community to step in and ensure that the diverse history of Yugoslavia will be preserved - that no group suffers the disheartening consequence of seeing their history erased before their own eyes.

This is where you, delegates, step in. As representatives to UNESCO during such a trying period for the cultural heritage of one of the world’s most diverse and dynamic regions, you will have the capability to spare such beautiful gems as Dubrovnik and Mostar from utter annihilation. As we move from the wars’ inception in 1991 to their conclusion in 1995, you will be challenged to think on your feet and devise creative and original ways to protect the heritage of all peoples who inhabit what was once Yugoslavia, even within the context of such a bloody and complicated war.

I am so excited to hear the opinion of each and every one of you regarding a topic near and dear to my heart. Please feel more than welcome to reach out before committee with any questions, and see you soon in Beijing!

Sincerely,

Bliss Perry
Director, United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, 1991-1995
unesco@hmunchina.org

Class year: 2021

Hometown: New York, NY

Favorite place: Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Favorite food: Gyros or Spaghetti alla Carbonara

Song that plays when you walk into committee: I Feel It Coming by The Weeknd ft. Daft Punk

Favorite MUN moment: Creating a "Gucci Gang" of Italian mobsters during a NATO crisis committee.

Advice for new delegates: Don't be afraid to reach out to all of the wonderful delegates sitting around you, and remember that everyone in the room is in this together. Conference will be so much more fun when you're working with a group, and, after three days of hard work, you'll have made a few great friends in the process!

Topic Area:

The year is 1991, and the once-prospering nation of Yugoslavia has been plunged into war by explosive and brutal expressions of powerful, bottled-up nationalism. Although the outbreak of such conflicts, now known as the Yugoslav Wars, certainly raises many questions regarding military and humanitarian intervention to save the millions suffering in their wake, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization now finds itself discussing ways it can salvage the region’s cultural heritage, now at grave risk from the surrounding military combat. Due to its location in a pivotal intersection of many transportation routes and cultural zones – the Mediterranean, Central Europe, the Middle East, and Russia, to name a few – Yugoslavia possesses a unique and multi-faceted history. In one small country, one can find Venetian coastal ports, Central-European reminiscent cities, and Ottoman villages in the mountains in less than a 150-mile radius from one another. The wars which engulf Yugoslavia in the 1990s, though, threaten to erase much of this history; one only needs to view pictures of the shelling of Dubrovnik’s marble alleyways and red rooftops, the bombing of Sarajevo’s narrow-alleyed Turkish Quarter, or the destruction of Mostar’s famous Stari Most as examples of the devastation this war has unleashed upon Yugoslavia’s heritage. Furthermore, much of the destruction has affected religious sites crucial to the identities of their respective ethnic groups, as Orthodox Serbs, Catholic Croats, and Muslim Bosniaks have all sought to erase the historical trace of the other groups by destroying mosques or churches respectively. How can UNESCO intervene to prevent the loss of invaluable cultural artifacts and the demoralizing blow this will be to the people who cherish them as their own? Furthermore, how can international intervention to preserve such heritage overcome the immense difficulties of this task created by the ongoing wars and international bias regarding its combatants? Proceeding from the wars’ inception in 1991 to their end in 1995, these sessions of UNESCO will attempt to grapple with these questions and many more in attempt to save one of the world’s most dynamic, diverse, and beautiful histories.

Note: The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization is a single-topic committee.

Dear Delegates,

Welcome to the United Nations Economic and Social Council for Asia and the Pacific! I am incredibly excited to be your director for HMUN China 2019, and am looking forward to meeting all of you soon!

My name is Lily Piao, and I am a junior at Harvard College studying History with a minor in Economics. I first tried Model UN as a freshman in college, and soon realized that I was passionate about the activity and the impact that it could have in a way that I never could have expected. Beyond directing this committee, I am serving as Under-Secretary-General for Operations at HMUN China, I served as the Under-Secretary-General for Business at HMUN Boston, and have directed substantively at HNMUN, our college conference. I also have the privilege of serving as the Chief of Staff for Harvard's competitive Model UN team. When I'm not doing Model UN, I enjoy dancing and choreographing for the Asian American Dance Troupe, reading, listening to music, playing with puppies, and exploring Boston with my friends!

I was born in Jilin, China, and it is really special for me to be returning to HMUN China for the second year in a row. I have been so impressed with the passion, intelligence, and kindness of HMUN China delegates, and I know that you all will exceed all of my expectations yet again. At its heart, Model UN is about learning from each other, and this applies to me as well. I hope you all take the opportunity over the course of our three days together in March to truly engage with the topic, and to embody the spirit of learning and diplomacy that is inherent in HMUN China. In committee, you'll have to negotiate the thin line between economic partnership and assistance, and a predatory approach by wealthier and more powerful nations. There is enormous potential for development in Central Asia and the Caucasus, and it is up to all of you to frame the future of the region.

I know that participating in a Model UN conference can be nerve-wracking, but I am here as a resource and as someone to support you as you do research and as you prepare. Please reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns!

Yours Truly,

Lily Piao
Director, United Nations Economic and Social Council for Asia and the Pacific
ops@hmunchina.org

Class year: 2020

Hometown: New York City

Favorite place: Paris, France

Favorite food: Sushi

Song that plays when you walk into committee: Bad Girls by M.I.A.

Favorite MUN moment: Leading a bloc of other amazing women during one of a collegiate conference.

Advice for new delegates: As someone who began model UN in college, I understand that being a new delegate can be intimidating. However, being a delegate for the first time can also be rewarding, exciting, and a chance to explore different perspectives. Raise your placards, take the risk of speaking during committee, and ask your chair for help if you need it!

Topic Area:

Economic development in Central Asia and the Caucasus presents a number of opportunities because of the wealth of natural resources that many of these countries possess. However, in a number of cases, excessive reliance on a single material good has caused countries to fall into the proverbial resource curse, whether in Turkmenistan with oil or in Tajikistan with aluminum production, leading to long-term stunting of the economy. When this is combined with the predatory economic relationship that many of these countries have with Russia, who controls distribution channels to the biggest energy consumers in the West, the further development of the economy presents greater challenges than the GDPs alone of the countries would suggest. Some of these countries have approached this by trying to reorient themselves and their economies. Kyrgyzstan, for example, has sought to pivot from Russia and the greater Eurasian region to East Asia, seeking greater interaction with China. Kazakhstan has courted Western investment, especially in renewable energy and technology sectors, seeking to overcome its historical reliance on petroleum products. In recent years, other countries have sought to gain access to these markets. The announcement of the Belt and Road Initiative by Xi Jinping, a modern day re-imagining of the Silk Road to integrate both Central Asia and the Caucasus, has provided concrete new opportunities for land trade and economic interaction. There is no one set way to proceed with economic development in the regions, but it will be necessary to reconcile the countries’ resource capabilities with the shifting nature of global markets.

Dear Delegates,

Welcome to HMUN China 2019! My name is Roshni Chakraborty and I am so excited to serve as your Director for the United Nations Security Council. The UNSC is by far the most important organ of the United Nations and this year we will be discussing the Kurdish conflict in the Middle East. I can’t wait to have a productive discussion on one of the most pressing issues the global community is facing today.

I was born and raised in Kolkata, India. My family has always been very loud and argumentative, so I picked up most of my MUN skills over our dinner table. My childhood in India gave me great jaywalking skills and an undying love for Bollywood music and movies. I came to the US last year and love the country so much that I am willing to forgive its miserable winters and the lack of salt in my food. My unending store of Maggi, a popular ramen brand in India, and love for the Crab Rangoon at the Chinese restaurant across from my dorm are the only reasons I survived my first year here.

I have been involved with Model United Nations since my freshman year of high school. I’ve always known that I want to pursue politics and foreign affairs, so of course I took every opportunity to look fancy and pretend to do just that. I travelled to HMUN India in my junior year of high school and had an amazing experience- I still can’t believe that just three years later I’m on the other side of the table and on my way to China! My director at HMUN India is incidentally also the person who told me to apply to the US for college and is one of the reasons I am here, so I’ve always been very grateful to the IRC. When I first got on campus, I sat myself down and told myself I would never do MUN again because it’s something only high schools kids do. Two weeks later, I found myself on the staff of both HMUN and HNMUN and as a member of the travelling MUN team.

I plan on majoring in Government with a secondary in Psychology. Outside of the all- consuming activity that is MUN, I am doing research on a book about the duty to vote and research on policy approaches to cyberwar. I love writing about international affairs and am a member of various publications on campus. My biggest passion is fighting against domestic and sexual violence and, to work towards that, I lead the undergraduate legal committee on campus, which provides pro-bono legal assistance in the Greater Boston region and works on public interest law.

The Security Council is the most important organ of the UN by virtue of the fact that it can pass binding resolutions on member states. The presence of the veto, however, complicates this power and makes passing anything difficult. I hope that this committee can work together to come up with constructive solutions for this pressing issues. The Kurdish crisis has been ignored in political discourse despite the violent nature of the conflict. These are discussions worth having and solutions that need coming up with. My background in international relations and MUN, as well as my interest in the Middle East, make me extremely excited to direct this committee and I hope you will bring the same level of enthusiasm to it!

Please feel free to contact me with questions or concerns. I am always available as a resource and am happy to help. See you soon!

Sincerely,

Roshni Chakraborty
Director,United Nations Security Council
unsc@hmunchina.org

Class year: 2021

Hometown: Kolkata, India

Favorite place: Next to my dog

Favorite food: Sushi

Song that plays when you walk into committee: Don't Stop Believing by Journey

Favorite MUN moment:Too many to choose from!

Advice for new delegates: Don'Don't worry, we've all been there. If you do it right and make sure to enjoy yourself, I can promise that this will be the first of many many more.

Topic Area: Kurdish Crisis

Welcome to the UNSC- the most powerful organ of the UN, the one tasked with maintaining international peace, and yet the one most riddled by power politics. You will be discussing one of the biggest security threats that the world faces today- the Kurdish conflict. This issue traces its history to the time of empires and colonialism and, even decades later, they are still fighting for self-determination and a land to call their own. Kurdistan is juggling crises with many regional actors including Turkey, Iraq, and ISIS. As recently as last year, a military clash occurred in the Battle of Kirkuk, when the Iraqi government rejected the legitimacy of a referendum which called for Kurdish independence. We will discuss the humanitarian crises caused by the conflicts, attempt to answer legal questions, and try to ensure that it does not devolve into mass destruction. Prepare for a weekend of tough negotiations to determine the future an unstable Middle East.

Note: The Security Council is a single-topic committee.

Dear Delegates,

Welcome to HMUN China 2019! My name is Matthew Miller, and I could not be more excited to serve as your Director for the Historical Security Council, 1979. In this fast-paced committee, we will simulate pressing situations related to intervention in other countries as they arose in this pivotal year for world history. As Director, I will be throwing countless challenges your way that the Security Council certainly faced as it debated when it is just to intervene in other countries, or rather, when it is just to intervene to correct for other countries’ interventions.

Before I talk more about the committee, I want to introduce myself. I was born in Chicago and moved to Deerfield, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, at the age of two (most definitely my prime). I grew up with a Guatemalan caretaker who has taught me Spanish for the past eighteen years. Her personal stories sparked my interest in the Guatemalan Civil War. I’ve tried to take the gift of this language with me around the world. I spent the past two summers teaching English, computer literacy, and elementary school classes in the Dominican Republic. I’ve built houses in Costa Rica. Most recently, I spent my past summer in León, Spain, taking classes on the socioeconomic and political history of Spain since the Franco dictatorship.

I became involved in Model UN during my sophomore year of high school after a friend told me to apply for the team about 45 minutes before the application deadline. Though my procrastinative habits haven’t changed, my life otherwise has changed since joining. I loved the challenge of representing positions that often contradicted my personal convictions, the exposure to new mindsets on international relations, and the opportunity to debate and meet other students facing these same challenges. Last year, I served as an Assistant Director in Johnson’s Cabinet and SOCHUM at Harvard’s high school and collegiate conferences in Boston, respectively. Last spring, I joined the travelling Model UN team at Harvard, which has been a great experience.

In addition to Model UN, I also direct communications for the Harvard Political Union, work as a tour guide, and play several Intramural sports to stay in shape including soccer, basketball, flag football, volleyball, tennis, and yes, even ping pong. Academically, I still have not yet decided my major, but I know that I want to minor in Computer Science and Spanish. In the end, I will likely end up combining a STEM field with a humanities field for a double major.

In this committee, we will be navigating a turbulent, uncertain, and pivotal time in international relations. The larger questions that I hope to raise through the crises you face and the decisions you make in committee are questions of national sovereignty: when is it just to interfere with another country’s autonomy? When is it right for the international community to intervene to remedy aggressive expansion? We will live these challenges firsthand.

I am incredibly excited to see each of your ideas. Finally, if you ever have any questions about this committee, please do not hesitate to reach out!

Sincerely,

Matthew Miller
Director, Historical Security Council, 1979
hsc@hmunchina.org

Class year: 2021

Hometown: Deerfield, Illinois

Favorite place: Samaná, Dominican Republic

Favorite food: Ice Cream

Song that plays when you walk into committee: Power by Kanye West

Favorite MUN moment: My favorite MUN moment was watching a fellow delegate give his first speech after persuading him to give the speech. His first language was not English, so I talked him through how to deliver the best speech possible beforehand. This made me appreciate the impact that Model UN can have on developing personal skills and the bonds that Model UN can form through the challenges of committee.

Advice for new delegates: The best way to learn is by diving into difficult speaking situations. Try to give a speech even if it feels outside of your comfort zone, and everything will become easier after that first speech. Also, try to meet as many other delegates as possible to help you gain support in committee as well as learn new perspectives on how to make the most of this wonderful experience.

Topic Area: Conflicts of Sovereignty

1979 is a year rife with countries infringing on each other’s independence. National sovereignty, diplomatic immunity, and neutrality in extraterritorial conflicts are becoming terms of the past. In this year, Russia invades Afghanistan, which triggers an international conflict of interest to control the ideology of Afghanistan’s government that would have implications for decades to come. Additionally, Iranian revolutionaries take 66 Americans hostage at the US embassy. Finally, in this very same year, a bloody Civil War rages in Guatemala that would see powerful countries take proxy sides in the conflict. The Security Council is the only body in the United Nations endowed with the ability to take concrete action to resolve these difficult conflicts related to sovereignty and intervention. The committee will face each challenge as it comes, which will call for bold, creative measures that ensure a neutralization of international conflict. Additionally, seeing as the P5 nations, or the nations whose unanimous consent is required to take any action through the Security Council have their interests inherently tied to many of these crises of sovereignty and often in opposition to one another, this committee while require especially intricate diplomacy to avoid World War III. Thus, the mission of the delegates in this committee will be not only to respond to the conflicts of sovereignty embodied in the Russian incursion into Afghanistan, Guatemalan Civil War, and Iranian Revolution, but also to set a precedent of the international community’s response to infringements on sovereignty that will leave a lasting impact on world history. How will a peaceful agreement be reached that takes into account the interests of all countries involved? Will it be possible to do so?

Note: The Historical Security Council is a single-topic committee.

Dear Delegates,

My name is Klaus Ashorn, and I am very excited to welcome you to the Three Kingdoms committee! I am a junior at Harvard majoring in economics, and I am particularly interested in development and behavioral economics. On campus, I am quite heavily involved in MUN: I used to be a deputy director for our traveling MUN team, and this year I am the Under-Secretary-General for Finance of Harvard’s college conference. In previous years, I’ve staffed our Boston conferences four times and I directed the OECD at HMUN China 2018. All in all, HMUN China 2019 will be my eighth Harvard MUN conference as a staffer.

The Three Kingdom’s period lasted from about 220 to 280. As the name suggests, the period was marked by the competition between three states: the Cao Wei, the Shu Han, and the Eastern Wu. In this committee, you will assume the role of a historical figure - an important advisor, official, or military leader - and work together with other delegates as Cao Wei’s cabinet. You will need to fend off both domestic challenges as well as external military threats, all the while somehow trying to build Car Wei into a prosperous and better state.

What excites me about this committee is the mix of challenges and opportunities it presents. On one hand, you will constantly be responding to challenges small or large. On the other hand, the constant backdrop of instability and unpredictability will give you significant freedom in pursuing the committee’s crisis component creatively. If you are interested in diplomacy, strategy, and state building, you will find yourself at home in the Three Kingdom’s committee.

I look forward to meeting you at the conference, and please do not hesitate to reach out to me with any questions in the meanwhile.

Sincerely,

Klaus Ashorn
Director, The Three Kingdoms
tk@hmunchina.org

Class year: 2020

Hometown: Helsinki, Finland

Favorite place: SoHo, Hong Kong

Favorite food: Karelian Hot Pot

Song that plays when you walk into committee: Intro by XX

Favorite MUN moment: When my HMUN China committee voted to suspend debate until HMUN China 2019 instead of adjourning! It was super nice to see how delegates both had a good time and improved their MUN skills over the conference.

Advice for new delegates: More than anything, we as directors love to see new delegates improve. So, if you've never done MUN before or don't feel like you have the experience, don't be afraid to speak up and just try things out. We've been there ourselves and we'll be rooting for you!

Topic Area: Building Peace in Ancient China

If you are interested in diplomacy, strategy, and state building, you will find yourself at home in the Three Kingdom’s committee. You will assume the role of a historical figure - an important advisor, official, or military leader - to work together with other delegates as the Cao Wei state’s cabinet.

The Three Kingdoms period was born out of a breakdown of central authority. After the fall of the Han dynasty around the turn of the second and third centuries, competing military factions began fighting for the control of China. This gave rise to three competing states: the Cao Wei, the Shu Han, and the Eastern Wu.

As a member of the Cao Wei’s cabinet, you will face challenges both internal and external. On the one hand, you will need to work hard to establish a functioning state within the chaotic context of the Three Kingdom’s period. On the other hand, you will have to manage a continuous threat of military action from the other two states as well as rogue actors. Neglect either, and you spell ruin for the fledgling state.

Note: The Three Kingdoms is a single-topic committee.

Dear Delegates,

Hello! My name is Katherine Lempres, and I will be your director of the Green Gang for HMUN China this year. We’ll get to learn about and explore an exciting area of history together, and I couldn’t be looking forward to it more. The Green Gang was and is an important part of Chinese history, and it will certainly be fun to simulate it as a committee.

I am a sophomore at Harvard College originally from Wellesley, Massachusetts, although I currently live 15 minutes away from Harvard in Boston. I enjoy the occasional privileges of staying close to home for college like eating meals with my parents and returning home for family birthdays. Although I attended high school in Boston I spent my junior year studying in Viterbo, Italy.

At Harvard, Model UN has consumed my life, as I am a Director at HMUN and HNMUN in Boston, as well as a Deputy Director for Harvard’s competitive MUN team ICMUN. Besides MUN, I am involved at Harvard’s radio station WHRB as Assistant Music Director for the Rock Department. I am planning on studying History & Literature (one major at Harvard) and Classics. I love travelling (although I’ve never been to China before!), punk music, and the Youtube channel Tasty.

I am incredibly excited to tackle the Green Gang with you all at HMUN China this year. The Green Gang was integral to the historical trajectory of Shanghai and China. It really influenced the course of time, and at our starting point of 1920 that influence is especially obvious. You will have the opportunity to change the flow of history in a fun and hopefully constructive way in committee. It will also just be fun to pretend to be gangsters for a few days!

The way I see it, a delegate should walk away from a Model UN conference having had fun and having learned something new. I also believe that those two things can and do go hand in hand. At HMUN China we will pursue these goals together. There is so much we can learn from each other, both professionally and personally, and I will try my hardest to foster an environment in committee that is both educational and fun. I hope you all will tackle tough issues with a smile and an eagerness to debate. I am so thankful for the opportunity to experience MUN with you all, and I’m excited to have fun together.

I’m looking forward to meeting you all! Always feel free to contact me if I can be helpful in any way at all. See you soon!

Sincerely,

Katherine Lempres
Director, The Green Gang, 1920
gg@hmunchina.org

Class year: 2019

Hometown: Boston, Massachusetts

Favorite place: Viterbo, Italy

Favorite food: Chicken Karaage

Song that plays when you walk into committee: The Man by The Killers

Favorite MUN moment: My first time speaking in front of a crowd of 300 people at my first Model UN conference during my freshman year of high school.

Advice for new delegates: Don't expect to feel totally prepared! I walked into my first MUN conference not even knowing what a placard was, and I was totally fine. There is no pressure at all to know everything. Try your best to learn something new and that will be more than enough. Don't stress!

Topic Area: The Green Gang

1920’s Shanghai was an exciting, modern metropolis famed around the world for its nightlife and extravagance. Underneath that shiny exterior, however, Shanghai’s underground was dominated by the Green Gang, an organized crime association and secret society that had been prominent in the city since the late 19th century. Based out of neighborhoods on the edge of the city, the Green Gang had infiltrated all tiers of society, especially Shanghai’s various Foreign Concessions. The Green Gang had even corrupted the city’s police forces at its highest levels.

The Green Gang had a wide array of influence in the region. It was funded by opium smuggling, extortion schemes, and kidnapping operations. The group especially struggled with internal politics during the period. Another issue was the division of territories of influence for different factions of the Gang around the city. In this committee, the members of the Green Gang will have to interact with dynamic issues of politics and intrigue of 1920 Shanghai in a fun, vibrant setting.

Note: The Green Gang is a single-topic committee.

Dear Delegates,

It is my pleasure to welcome you to the Non-Governmental Organizations Programme of Harvard Model United Nations China 2019! I am incredibly excited to get to know you come March 22nd and to witness you assume your assigned roles and mould them to fit your unique personalities.

My name is Urshella Hishaam and I am a Junior at Harvard College. Born and raised in Colombo, Sri Lanka, my interest in International Relations stems from living through and witnessing the final stages of the civil war that raged in my country for 36 long years. At the College I study Chemistry and Physics, but despite my very STEM-related academic pursuits, Model UN has been an integral part of my life ever since my first time as a delegate at the Colombo Operated Model United Nations conference in 2013. Since then, not a year has gone by when I have not participated in or helped organize a MUN conference. Additionally, I am also a member of the Woodbridge International Society, a FIP (Freshmen International Programme) “parent” to a few international Freshmen, and I am involved in Ultracold Chemical Reactions research at the Ni Group at Harvard.

However, when not at the Science Center, you can find me spending too long in the dining halls talking to friends about anything from the Israel-Palestine conflicts to determining if Harvey, Mike, Jessica or Louis from the show “Suits” is a better lawyer. I love binge-watching TV shows with my roommates and exploring as many different types of cuisines as my palette can handle.

This year, the NGOs Programme at Harvard Model United Nations China will be operated differently from other committees at the conference. Delegates will debate on the committee topic “Humanitarian Aid for States in Transition” only during the first half of each committee session. During the second half of each session, delegates will debate in other committees to provide the invaluable expertise that only a representative of an NGO can provide, as opposed to representatives of countries. You may find that there is much overlap between the topics discussed in the NGOs Programme and other committees at the conference, but delegates are also encouraged to look into the topics of other committees in advance. Whilst this structure can certainly be confusing, you will find that it provides a certain sense of flexibility that allows you to maximize your influence as a delegate and share the opinions of the NGO you are representing with a much larger audience. Guidelines for making the most out of this structure will be provided in the background guide, and the Assistant Directors and I will be available to you at any time, to answer your questions and help make this experience the best it could possibly be.

I look forward to the few days of friendship, diplomacy and intense debate come March! Please feel free to reach out to me via email if you come across questions or concerns at any point—I’m here to help you.

Sincerely,

Urshella Hishaam
Director, Non-Governmental Organizations Programme
admin@hmunchina.org

Class year: 2020

Hometown: Colombo, Sri Lanka

Favorite place: Ella, Sri Lanka

Favorite food: Kottu

Song that plays when you walk into committee: Kaleidoscope- A Great Big World

Favorite MUN moment: My favourite MUN moment was during my first MUN conference. I was struggling to keep up with all the new concepts and expressions during committee sessions, but when we broke for Un-mod I helped formulate a few operative clauses. I had been in awe of a particular delegate's diplomacy and speech style for a majority of the conference, and this delegate read the clauses I had submitted and told me that they were super relevant and great. I gained so much confidence after that one small compliment, and I may have her to thank for how involved in MUN I still am, after all these years.

Advice for new delegates: Go for it! We are here to help you if you have any questions or concerns, and we will do our best to make you feel comfortable with the different MUN concepts and terminology. Everyone was a new delegate at some point, so don't worry about making mistakes, no one expects you to be a perfect delegate. Don't hesitate to raise your placard a few times, or contribute in your bloc, because you honestly never know until you try.

Topic Area: Humanitarian Aid for States in Transition

According to clause three in article 1 of the United Nations Charter, one of the purposes of the UN is “to achieve international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character.” The UN first took action to fulfil this purpose in the aftermath of the Second World War, when it helped rebuild the devastated continent of Europe. To achieve the same, the UN started granting consultative status to NGOs in 1946—and today, it falls upon these NGOs to consult the UN on what the international policies should be when granting humanitarian aid to states in transition, and how exactly they can be implemented.

Humanitarian aid often helps mitigate the effects of conflicts in a region by empowering a group of individuals and enabling them to better deal with the issues at hand. However, it is also important to note that there is an equal probability that the aid becomes a source of contention or provides the resources needed to further fuel a conflict, particularly in states experiencing a transition in governments, national authorities or state policies. These states are most at risk by virtue of the fact that, when in transition, the states’ society is built on an unstable foundation with voids that can be taken advantage of by unfavorable entities. During the first half of each committee session, we will be discussing the best ways to approach such issues, with a particular focus on the Middle East and North Africa, and crafting policies that can be implemented to help humanitarian aid projects achieve its true purpose—to save lives and better the living standards of societies in conflict-torn regions.

For more information on what delegates of the NGOs Programme will be doing during the latter half of each committee session please refer the director letter, and eventually the background guide for this committee.

Note: The Non-Governmental Organizations Programme is a single-topic committee. However, delegates will also spend part of conference going to other committees in character as their assigned NGO.

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