In the International Press Corps, delegates will have the opportunity to represent a News Agency and assume the role of a reporter. As the theme of the conference is “Outside Influence in the World of Politics”, this dynamic committee will play an influential role in reporting on the events of the conference. Delegates will be able to take advantage of their creative freedom by conducting interviews, attending press conferences and breaking the latest news. We are confident that getting insight into the powerful world of media will be an enriching experience for all those involved.

What if Switzerland was a kingdom… (by Regicollis)

A Very Civil War: As Europe burns, the fires of Revolution and the cinders of war are being stoked everywhere, pitting Conservatives against Liberals and Catholics against Protestants. However, a small country in the heart of Europe is having a much more intimate squabble. A struggle not only of faith and ideology but Brother against Brother; a conflict that will decide the fate of Switzerland.

The UN General Assembly (copyright: Spiff~enwiki)

The Special Political and Decolonization Committee is the Fourth Committee of the General Assembly. It considers a broad range of issues, such as a comprehensive review of peacekeeping operations, peaceful uses of outer space and decolonization-related agenda items (especially in Middle East). In past years the committee had an important role in the eradication of colonialism. 

1. Territorial disputes in the South China Sea

The South China sea is a large area of great geopolitical significance due to the vast amount of natural resources as well as trade routes going through it and as such is the cause of many conflicts in the region with multiple nations staking their claim over the region. These conflicts range from minor political disagreements, to unauthorized construction on disputed territory and even small scale skirmishes and the inability to find a mutual agreement is of international concern.

 2. Right of Non-Independent States to Self-Determination

Another topic that will be dealt with in light of current events is the right of non independent states to self determination. As it currently stands there are multiple such states which are only recognized as such by some nations while not by others and it begs the question whether there can be a unified approach to dealing with such states and what common framework could benefit both those states and the nations involved.

The UNEP meets in Nairobi Kenya (© NATALIA MROZ/ UNEP)

The UN Environmental Program is the United Nation’s main environmental body, setting a global environmental agenda. The following topics will be discussed at ZuMUN 2021’s UNEP committee:

1. Dealing with food safety and food security

Food is one of our most basic needs, leading to two fundamental issues: Access to food (food security) and the quality of the food we have access to (food safety). Both are influenced by a wide range of factors including environmental change. How do we make sure that despite a rapidly changing climate, everyone still has access to food? What is needed to extend food safety and food security to those without it? How do we account for the disproportionate effects of climate change on food safety and food security for different groups around the world?

2. Rising sea levels due to global warming

One of the most pressing challenges we face as a result of accelerating climate change is the rise in sea levels. Eight of the world’s ten largest cities are near a coast and countless others live in communities along the coastline. Like many other climate change-related issues, this one disproportionately affects certain states, many of whom are already struggling with increased flooding and face grim prospects over the next decades and century. How do we adapt to the changes that have already happened and will continue to intensify?

The Security Council unanimously adopts resolution 2254 (UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe)

The Security Council is the only UN body whose resolutions are considered binding and as such wields great responsibility despite consisting of only 15 members, 10 of which are rotating. The following topics will be discussed at ZuMUN 2021’s UNSC committee:

1. The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

Since 1988, Armenia and Azerbaijan have been at war over the Nagorno-Karabakh region. In 1994, Armenia seized control of most of the region after a six-year struggle. Despite the majority of its inhabitants being Armenian and a ceasefire agreement, outbreaks of violence happened on many occasions, leading up to a six-week war in 2020 that ended, yet again, with a ceasefire – this time, however, Armenia was forced to cede the entirety of Nagorno-Karabakh back to Azerbaijan. What can be done to ensure a lasting ceasefire and a formal peace agreement to end the conflict once and for all?

2. Militarization of the Arctic

Every year, Arctic sea ice waxes and wanes in sync with Earth’s yearly seasons. As a result of climate change, however, more and more of the ice is disappearing, leading to an unprecedented opening of and access to a region that is of strategic significance and rich with fuel and other natural resources. Several great powers surround the Arctic and are eager to secure military primacy over it. What can be done to ensure the Arctic, a delicate ecosystem, is not abused? What safeguards must be put in place to protect the local populations? What needs to be agreed upon to not let the struggle for control over the area boil over into military conflict?

The WHO headquarters in Geneva (copyright: WHO/P. Virot)

The World Health Organization is the leading global authority on health and health-related issues. Especially now during a global pandemic, its role as a coordinator of worldwide efforts to fight Covid-19 is more important than ever. The following topics will be discussed at ZuMUN 2021’s WHO committee:

1. Addressing health-related information and (vaccine) skepticism

Vaccine skepticism is nothing new, but new Covid-19 vaccines have generated much controversy and given ammunition to anti-vaxxers around the globe. The immunization drive that many countries have embarked on now faces serious resistance. What factors led to this resistance, and what can be done to mitigate it and make sure that people feel safer and better about the vaccine? What role does the scientific community play?

2. Addressing the effects of animal agriculture on antimicrobial resistance

Increasing global demand for meat, dairy, and other animal products has led to a surge in the number of domesticated animals held on farms and in homes. Today, they outnumber us nearly 10 to 1. Many of these animals are held in conditions where they’re densely packed. This makes the spread of disease easier – increasing the likelihood of a case of antimicrobial resistance. What can be done to mitigate this effectively and reduce the amount of deaths resulting from antimicrobial resistance?

The WIPO Conference Hall (Copyright: WIPO. Photo: Emmanuel Berrod)

The World Intellectual Property Organization is a specialized UN Agency tasked with promoting and protecting intellectual property across the world. It serves to solve disputes over intellectual property as well as hosting databases and providing various IP related services.

1. Protecting Indigenous Cultural Property

 For this purpose an important and often overlooked issue relates to indegenous populations. Indigenous cultural property and knowledge is often appropriated and used in such a way that it would classify as copyright infringement, however these people are afforded little to no protection against such tactics and as such an international framework must be established to ensure their cultural property is treated with due respect.

2. Open Access and Open Source Publishing and the Academia of the 21st Century

Another issue that has come up in recent times due to the widespread use of the internet is the prevalence of open source and open access publishing. This kind of research publishing brings up the question of public interest and personal rights, since it is an important matter to consider the possibility and the benefits and drawbacks of increasing or reducing the amount of open source projects and open access research as well as discussing how such resources cna be moderated responsibly.