All Committee topics have now been announced! Find them beneath the respective committee below.
NB. The topics for the United Nations Security Council have been changed since initial release.(04/09/19)
Committees and Topics
Disarmament and International Security Committee (DISEC)
One of the six main committees in the UN General Assembly, and a constant in all Model United Nations Conferences, DISEC deals with and finds solutions to problems regarding security and weapons across the world. All 193 member states of the UN attend this committee, and topics covered in this committee can concern nuclear weapons, weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, arms trades, and regional security. The main goal of this committee is to protect, maintain, and strengthen international peace and security from various threats, originating from both state actors and non-state actors.
A: Combatting the illegal trade of small arms and light weapons
B: Combatting cyber terrorism
Economic and Financial Committee (ECOFIN)
ECOFIN is one of the General Assembly’s six sub-committees, and specialises in international financial and economic issues. Its general focus is on topics pertaining to development, such as macroeconomic policy, globalisation, and sustainability. Its mandate also includes dealing with countries in special situations, such as the sovereignty of the Arab Population in the Occupied Syrian Golan over their resources. Its work on a subject begins only once the general debate of the Plenary body is completed (as per UN GA rules), and it often works in collaboration with other bodies (such as the UNDESA or ECOSOC) on specific issues.
A: The question of unilateral measures to prevent financial crisis
B: The regulation of cryptocurrencies
Legal Committee (Legal)
Another main committee in the UN General Assembly, Legal’s main task is to be a platform for discussion of legal questions for UN member states. Discussions in this committee normally concern the legality of actions taken by sovereign states or UN staffers under public international law. Topics discussed in the past have included the scope of universal jurisdiction across countries as well as the criminal accountability of UN staffers. All discussions in Legal have as their ultimate goal the creation of international framework governing the legality of actions.
A: Climate criminals; the application of international criminal law to transnational environmental crime
B: From hashtag to high court and beyond; codifying the #metoo movement in international law
World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO)
WIPO will be run as a General Assembly and is primarily dedicated to the protection of intellectual property, in order to promote innovation and creativity. It administers 26 international treaties and has four key wings: IP services (such as patents and trademarks), policy, cooperation, and knowledge. The policy aspect is most rich with discussion, and consists of bringing stakeholders together to develop global IP agreements and infrastructure. Some of its recent activities have included developing a global patent database and creating an Arbitration and Mediation Centre to avoid extensive inter-party litigation.
A: Communities and ownership: reconciling the irreconcilable to protect traditional cultural expressions
B: Monopolies and the common good: addressing the role of intellectual property in global inequality
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)
UNESCO will be run as a General Assembly centred around contributing to global peace and security, operating on the assumption that mere political and economic arrangements are insufficient to achieve this. To this end, its focus is on four areas: education, the sciences, culture, and communication. It works closely at regional levels, and is affiliated with 322 NGOs. Presently, its self-assigned global priorities are the continent of Africa and the wider issue of gender equality.
A: Non-communicable diseases: communicating the non-communicable
B: Educational inequality
EConomic and social Council / Regional Bodies
Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD)
A subsidiary of ECOSOC, the CSTD was founded in order to provide highly specialised advice to ECOSOC and the General Assembly on technology and science for development. The 43 members of this body meet with scientists and conduct research to provide information that can benefit the developing world and can deal with such topics of GMO use to development of water reclamation technology. The CSTD seeks to provide expert recommendations to give the developing world better tools for further development.
A: A more connected world: learning from the rapid adoption of telecommunications in the developing world and finding solutions to other development goals
B: Developing sustainably: balancing environmental and developmental goals with the help of science and technology
Commission on the Status of Women (CSW)
A commission of the ECOSOC, the CSW is the principal intergovernmental body dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and empowerment of women. A large part of its responsibilities is reviewing the progress of the implementation of the 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. Recent priority themes have included the improvement of access of women to science and technology, the empowerment of rural women, the elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls, and the examination of social protection systems for women.
A: The empowerment of women and their role in sustainable development
B: The promotion of women’s rights to the highest attainable standard of health
Organisation of American States (OAS)
The Organisation of American States is a regional organisation created for the purposes of regional solidarity and cooperation. Its main goals are to prevent outside intervention into the American states, and to ensure peace between these states. It uses a four-pronged approach to this end: democracy, human rights, security, and development. Arguably its most notable achievement has been the establishment of the Alliance for Progress, which was an international economic development programme between the US and 22 Latin American countries.
A: The status of Venezuela in the OAS
B: Human Rights in the Americas
Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)
This 14 member body’s mission is to coordinate the price and supply of oil with all of its member states. One of its stated goals is to stabilise the oil markets for consumers, but others accuse it of being a cartel looking to maximise returns to its members’ respective economies. Topics of discussion in this committee can be vast, ranging from responses to political turmoil within a member state, to external oil and energy supply shocks.
A: Can OPEC allow its future to be guided by its turbulent past decade? - Crafting a path to assure OPEC’s power in the decade to come
B: OPEC in the globalised world - the challenge of unifying OPEC members and defining the role of its allies and enemies
European Court of Human Rights (ECHR)
We are delighted to announce that, this year, Oxford Global will be hosting a Moot Court. Through this, we hope to provide students with the opportunity to engage in a competition with which every law student in the United Kingdom and across the world is intimately familiar. Moot Courts are simulations of court hearings, in which delegates act as counsel, representing parties in disputes. At Oxford Global, delegates will be paired up to represent particular parties, advocating for these parties on points of law in several rounds. This year, delegates will be arguing before the European Court of Human Rights.
The ECHR is an international court under the auspices of the Council of Europe, charged with supervising the enforcement of the European Convention on Human Rights. The court hears applications alleging that a state that has signed the Convention has breached one or more of its provisions, each of which deals with civil and political rights. Some key provisions of the Convention deal with the right to life, the right to a fair hearing, and the freedom of expression.
Article 10 - Freedom of Expression
United Nations Security Council (UNSC)
The UNSC is the most powerful of the six principal organs of the United Nations, consisting of five permanent members and ten elected members with two-year terms. Its primary function is to maintain international peace and security, but it is also tasked with accepting new members to the UN and approving any changes to the UN Charter. It is the only UN body with the authority to issue binding resolutions on its member states.
Topics (Please note that the topics have changed since initial release):
A: The Somali Civil War
B: The South China Sea Dispute
United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA)
The UNOOSA is tasked with promoting international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space, and works by implementing the decisions of the UN GA and the UN COPUOS. It aids the UN Member States in establishing regulatory frameworks to govern space activities, particularly in helping developing countries use space science technology by integrating space capabilities into their national programmes. Its mandate has been gradually expanded to include even implementing the UN-Spider Programme for disaster risk management and emergency response.
A: Commercialisation of space: regulating the exploration, exploitation, and utilisation of space resources
B: Using space to support Sustainable Development Goals
International Olympic Committee (IOC)
With 96 active members and 206 officially recognised National Olympic Committees, the International Olympic Committee’s mission is to promote the Olympics around the world. This committee at the OxfordMUN will involve delegates, representing countries, creating proposals to host the Olympic Games. These proposals (including city, venue, strategy, financing etc) will be worked on over the course of the conference and periodically presented to the rest of the committee.
Selection of the host city for the 2032 Summer Olympic Games
Future Crisis Committee: Ad Hoc Crisis of the Secretary-General (FCC)
An Ad Hoc Crisis of the Secretary-General is one where delegates are assigned portfolios, while the topic and focus of the committee (and the committee structure itself) is revealed closer to the date. All that can be said about this committee is that it will be dealing with a crisis that future states and bodies may be faced with.
2050 Antarctica: carving up emerging land