BardMUNC 2017 Committees

Our committees prioritize current events and fostering individual growth. 
Keeping in mind the relative brevity of BardMUNC, the Committee Chairs have set the agenda, and Topic B will only be pursued if all debate on Topic A has been exhausted and that topic tabled. We recommend delegates focus the majority of their research on Topic A.


First Committee of the United Nations General Assembly: Disarmament and International Security Committee (DISEC)

Topic A: Small Arms Trade from Post Soviet States

This general assembly will examine the threat of small arms and light weapons (SALW) in the former Soviet Union. It was not only the thousands of nuclear warheads, but also its vast reserves of conventional weaponry, that outlived the Soviet State. Of these, the small and light weapons that remain in post-Soviet states pose a particular threat. They are often stored with little in the way of safety and security protocol, meaning that they are able to be seized with minimal effort. As such, an illegal weapons trafficking industry has emerged over the past two decades, which has seen former Soviet weapons fuel conflicts from nearby Eastern Europe and Central Asia to far-off regions of the world. This committee will convene in order to discuss means of securing former Soviet SALW stockpiles, regulating the international trade of firearms and other weapons and ammunition, and bringing to justice those that distribute SALW in violation of domestic and international law and perpetrate conflict and violence.

Council of the European Union

Topic A: Common Cybersecurity Policy
Throughout the EU and the world, today's IT systems face a bewildering array of security threats. Not only can technical failures contribute adversely to security, ransomware and other forms of malicious software attacks have become increasingly difficult to thwart. When these types of attacks occur, this can severely impact businesses throughout the entire EU, many of which are reliant on trans-national online networks. But the threat extends beyond the private sector. Days before French voters went to the polls this past year, centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron's campaign became the target of a coordinated cyberattack which security firms have linked to the Russian Federation. Attacks such as these pose a severe threat to the democratic process throughout the EU. Delegates in this committee will attempt to formulate a coherent cybersecurity policy for the European Union, one which aims to both reduce cybercrime and achieve cyber resilience in the face of further attacks. 

UN Women

Topic A: Women in Positions of Leadership 
Topic B: Preventing Violence Against Women
UN Women has been working since its inception in 2010 to ensure gender equality worldwide. At this year’s BardMUNC, delegates will have the choice of discussing two of the most important issues facing women today: women in positions of leadership and preventing violence against women. Regardless of the issue chosen, delegates will have to engage with challenges that women all around the world face every day, such as stereotyping, cultural and religious barriers, and a lack of protective legislation. We hope that you have as much fun debating and discussing these topics as we did researching them.

United Nations Security Council

Topic A: Situation in Syria
Since its advent in 2011 following popular uprisings against President Bashar Al-Assad and his Ba’ath Party, the ongoing Syrian conflict has defied easy categorization. Alternately described as a revolution, a civil war, and a US-Russia proxy war, most of these labels fail to capture the complex nature of this multifaceted and tortuous struggle. Currently the Assad regime, once thought to be facing certain defeat, has regained control of vast swathes of Syria, backed by Russian air power and Iranian paramilitary groups. As rebel groups crumble in the face of the regime's resurgence and the US-led campaign against ISIL draws to an end, regional and global powers throughout the Middle East have begun to prepare for the next phase in the Syrian war.  To the east, Kurds and Turkish-backed rebels struggle for control over the territories once held by ISIL. Meanwhile, tensions flare between Israel and Assad's ally Hezbollah, and the US and Russia's military forces continue to uneasily share Syrian airspace. This committee takes place in the present day, as the eyes of the international community once again turn to the UN. Thus far, every effort has failed to stem the conflict. Delegates in this committee will attempt to at last find a solution to this intractable conflict and overcome the deep divisions that exist within the UNSC on this issue. 

Crisis Boshin War 1867: Satsuma-Chōshū Alliance

After years of internal debate and tension after the opening of Japan in 1853, multiple political and economic crises have come to a head as the Western “Tozama” domains, rallying around the principle of “Sonnō jōi” (Revere the Emperor, Expel the Barbarians), resist the central Bakufu government in Edo and its policies of opening. Only recently, the Shogun Yoshinobu Tokugawa announced his resignation, ostensibly over the failure of his government to honor promises made to the Emperor about the impending expulsion of foreigners, and accepted the restoration of Imperial Rule. However, when the Imperial Court demanded he also surrender his considerable land holdings, Yoshinobu reneged on his promises once again, and consolidated his remaining power; arming for war, and setting the stage for the Boshin War. The delegates, representing those domains loyal to the Emperor, must seize the moment and cast down the powerful Shogun, but a troubling question looms; when the dust settles, what comes next?