Principal Organs

Security Council

United Nations Security Council (Crisis). One of the six principal organs of the United Nations, the Security Council is responsible for the maintenance of international peace and security; the admission of new member states to the United Nations, and approving any changes to the United Nations Charter. Through establishing international peacekeeping missions, imposing international sanctions, and authorising military action through resolutions; the Security Council is able to impose binding actions on member states, making it the most powerful UN institution. Consisting of fifteen members, the Security Council is a small body, and is dominated by the permanent five veto-wielding powers of China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Always a high-profile institution, the United Nations Security Council is interesting to simulate, in both its present-day and historic contexts.

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ICJ

International Court of Justice (ICJ). The International Court of Justice is the primary judicial branch of the United Nations. Its role is to settle legal disputes that cannot be resolved at the national level, as well as to provide advisory opinions on legal matters submitted to it by UN organisations for consideration. Being composed of fifteen judges from different states, the composition of the ICJ is geographically diverse. Although the power of the Court to act on pressing issues is seen as insufficient by many people, the UN Security Council is able to enforce rulings of the ICJ under the provisions of the United Nations Charter. However, the use of vetoes on the Security Council has led to difficulties in the implementation of the rulings of the ICJ, most notably in the famous Nicaragua v. United States case.

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General Assembly Standing Committees

SPECPOL

Special Political and Decolonisation Committee (SPECPOL). The United Nations General Assembly’s fourth main standing committee is responsible for the rigorous consideration of draft resolutions surrounding issues broadly involving matters of peace and decolonisation. Over the course of its history, a diverse range of topics spanning from atomic radiation to human rights have been investigated by SPECPOL; making its subject matter both varied and highly interesting to simulate the discussion of.

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SOCHUM

Social, Humanitarian, and Cultural Committee (SOCHUM). The third committee of the United Nations General Assembly closely investigates matters such as the advancement of women and the treatment of refugees. Through considering draft resolutions on social matters, SOCHUM seeks to improve the conditions of life for all, especially the more marginalised groups of people found in the world. At least one topic discussed by this body at OxIMUN 2017 will concern gender equality and female empowerment.

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ECOFIN

Economic and Financial Committee (ECOFIN). As the second of the six main standing committees of the United Nations General Assembly, ECOFIN provides a forum for the discussion of all manner of economic and financial issues in all parts of the world. Macroeconomic issues of economic development and growth have long been central to ECOFIN’s programmes of work, which have covered various policy areas including globalisation management, international debt, and poverty eradication over the years.

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DISEC

Disarmament and International Security Committee (DISEC). The first standing committee of the United Nations General Assembly is essentially tasked with promoting peace, principally in the medium and long term, in contrast with the crisis management work of the United Nations Security Council. DISEC has long been at the forefront of attempts to reduce nuclear proliferation and discourage the illicit production and trade of conventional weapons.

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Foreign Language Committees

Mercosur

Mercosur (conducted principally in Spanish). Mercosur (Southern Common Market) was formed in 1991 by the Treaty of Asuncion as a sub-regional bloc for the promotion of free trade and the free movement of currency, goods, and people. Counting a number of important South American economies within its membership, working groups of the organisation cover topics ranging from agricultural and industrial policy through to discussions around energy and trade tariffs. Given its emergence as something resembling the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) or an early-stage European Union (EU), there are many interesting discussions to be simulated concerning Mercosur’s work, involving both full and associate members of the organisation.

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European Council

European Council (conducted principally in German). Despite having very limited formal powers of its own, the European Council acts as the strategic forum for European Union (EU) member states to guide the political directions and objectives of the union. Given its role in crisis management, meetings of the European Council have often represented historic moments in the history of the European Union, and consequently contemporary European history as a whole.

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AIIB

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (conducted principally in Mandarin). Only starting its operations at the end of December 2015, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is a relatively recent phenomenon. As a multilateral development bank, it seeks to support the construction of infrastructure in the Asia-Pacific region. Its $100 billion capital already represents around half of that of the World Bank, and it looks set to be an increasingly important international institution over the coming years.

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African Union

African Union (conducted principally in French). The African Union (AU) has 14 listed objectives, which are all designed to encourage development in and promote greater integration of the African continent. Although the AU can date its origins back to the foundation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in 1963, the current organisation was formed as recently as 2002. Being the continental international union of Africa, the AU is involved in confronting challenges ranging from desertification and famine through to HIV/AIDS and tropical diseases.

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UN Development Group

UNODC

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).  The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime plays a leading role in supporting international cooperation on issues across the areas of drugs and crime. Established in 1997 through the merger of two predecessor organisations, UNODC assists the UN and member states in fighting corruption, human trafficking, money laundering, organised crime, piracy, and terrorism across the world. UNODC principally plays a supportive role in combatting these problems; gathering information on them so that best practice strategies can be shared with governments, alongside also seeking to increase awareness of them amongst the general public.

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UNHRC

United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). A subsidiary of the UN General Assembly, the United Nations Human Rights Council is responsible for promoting and protecting human rights around the world. Tasked with examining abuses of human rights around the world, the UNHRC has been at the centre of extensive controversy since its creation due to its focus on Israel; the subject of more resolutions by the Council than all other states combined. Given the broad remit and potential of the body, UN Secretary Generals Kofi Annan and Ban Ki Moon have called for the UNHRC to expand its range of topics of interest. Recent work on Myanmar and Somalia, for example, have provided opportunities for this.

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UNHCR

United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). One of the highest-profile programmes of the United Nations is the UNHCR. Mandated with protecting and supporting refugees at the request of either an individual government or the UN itself; the United Nations High Commission for Refugees assists in the processes of voluntary repatriation, integration, and third country resettlement. The work of the UNHCR has been considered in many quarters as significantly impactful, which is reflected by the fact that the programme has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize twice.

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UNEP

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The United Nations Environment Programme is the main UN agency for environmental issues. Its activities are related to areas including climate change, ecosystem management, environmental governance, and resource efficiency; amongst other topics. UNEP has been credited with a number of significant successes in international environmental diplomacy and policy, such as the 1987 Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer. Additionally, UNEP offers informative reports and policy advice to governments on currently relevant environmental issues like air pollution and waterway contamination, which typically affect multiple countries simultaneously.

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UNDP

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The UN network for the discussion of ideas surrounding development is the United Nations Development Programme. Through focusing on encouraging cooperation in fields including poverty reduction, HIV/AIDS, democratic governance, social development, and crisis recovery; the UNDP has brought governments together to enact policies that enhance global levels of human development as a whole. Given that the Administrator of the UNDP is the third highest ranking official in the United Nations after the Secretary-General and the Deputy Secretary-General, the work of the United Nations Development Programme is always central to the programme of work of the UN more widely.

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Specialised Agencies

WHO

World Health Organisation (WHO). The World Health Organisation is a specialised agency of the United Nations, covering the remit of international public health. Since its establishment in 1948, the WHO has been at the forefront of many great advances in this field, playing a leading role in the eradication of smallpox. More recently, its priorities have been orientated around other communicable diseases (most notably HIV/AIDS, Ebola, malaria, and tuberculosis), reproductive health, and nutrition; though the agency has interests in many areas.

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UNESCO

United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). UNESCO is a specialised agency of the United Nations which aims to encourage international collaboration in the educational, scientific, and cultural spheres. It sponsors projects in areas such as literacy, teacher-training, and heritage conservation; making an important contribution to preserving global cultural diversity and encouraging advances worldwide in education. Being in the news for a variety of reasons recently, UNESCO should prove to be a topical body to simulate at OxIMUN 2017.

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Miscellaneous

World Bank

The World Bank. The World Bank is an international financial institution which provides loans to its member states for capital programmes. Its motto is ‘Working for a World Free of Poverty’, and the World Bank has definitely done a great deal in working towards that aim. However, the institution has attracted controversy surrounding its promotion of structural adjustment programmes and the dominance of highly developed Western states in its governance structures. Indeed, the United States has provided every single President of the World Bank in the history of the institution).

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OPEC

Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). OPEC is an intergovernmental organisation of 13 countries that seeks to homogenise the petroleum policies of member states and stabilise global oil markets. It has attracted extensive criticism for acting as a cartel and reducing competition in oil markets, and its control over the oil sector has made the organisation a key player in international relations; especially concerning the Middle East. However, technological developments in non-oil energy production are beginning to reduce OPEC’s influence on the global stage. This means that we are currently seeing an interesting time in the history of OPEC, due to the organisation’s need to innovate in response to such challenges.

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WTO

World Trade Organisation (WTO). The WTO is a powerful body which regulates international trade. Replacing the General Agreement on Trades and Tariffs (GATT), the WTO came into existence in 1995 under the terms of the Marrakech Agreement. Aside from providing a forum for the negotiation of international trade agreements, WTO plays an important role in the resolution of disputes between governments around issues of international trade. Given the current global political climate and the recent occurrence of events like Brexit, the WTO is highly relevant on the world stage at this moment in time.

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UN Forum on Minority Issues- Unrecognised States

United Nations Forum on Minority Issues- Unrecognised States. The Forum on Minority Issues has met every year since 2008 to discuss various topics concerning minorities, in all their definitions and diversities. The foremost aim of the forum is to identify and analyse strategies for the implementation of the 1992 UN General Assembly Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities. At OxIMUN 2017, a simulation of this Forum will be meeting for a special summit consisting of thematic discussions on matters related to unrecognised states.

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Press Corps

Press Corps. The OxIMUN 2017 Press Corps will consist of representatives from a variety of global publications and media outlets. Working in the style of their assigned media organisation, members of Press Corps will report and offer comment on the proceedings of the conference; producing regular updates on developments in committees. Press Corps’ members have an unrivalled opportunity to be at the centre of OxIMUN 2017, with each individual within it being able to sample activities from a wide range of committees across the conference as a whole.

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NATO

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation was formed by the 1949 North Atlantic Treaty as an intergovernmental military alliance between states in both Europe and North America. Emerging as a Western pact of collective mutual defence in the context of the Cold War, NATO counts three permanent members of the UN Security Council (France, United Kingdom, and the United States) and nuclear weaponry-armed states amongst its ranks. NATO has been involved in many important military interventions of various kinds over the last fifty years; including in Bosnia from 1992 to 1995, in Afghanistan in 2001, and in Libya in 2011.

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IAEA

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The International Atomic Energy Agency aims to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy, inhibiting its use for military purposes (specifically in the development of nuclear weapons) in the process. Established independently of the United Nations in 1957, the IAEA retains close relations with both the UN General Assembly and the Security Council, reporting to both when needed. Principally, the IAEA provides an intergovernmental forum for the discussion of issues related to nuclear technology; encouraging cooperation on the development of peaceful technologies and promoting the formation of international safeguards against the misuse of nuclear materials. In 2005, the IAEA was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, in conjunction with its then-director Mohamed ElBaradei.

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Joint Crisis Committee

Joint Crisis Committee (JCC).  Operating somewhat differently from the other committees at OxIMUN 2017, the Joint Crisis Committee will simulate an event from the perspective of multiple linked committees of characters, constantly cooperating and conflicting with each other. The decisions made by each committee will influence how the crisis as a whole plays out. The JCC will provide an exciting and challenging opportunity for delegates experienced in MUN to participate in OxIMUN 2017.  

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Principal Organs

Security Council

United Nations Security Council (Crisis). One of the six principal organs of the United Nations, the Security Council is responsible for the maintenance of international peace and security; the admission of new member states to the United Nations, and approving any changes to the United Nations Charter. Through establishing international

Read More »

ICJ

International Court of Justice (ICJ). The International Court of Justice is the primary judicial branch of the United Nations. Its role is to settle legal disputes that cannot be resolved at the national level, as well as to provide advisory opinions on legal matters submitted to it by UN organisations

Read More »

General Assembly Standing Committees

SPECPOL

Special Political and Decolonisation Committee (SPECPOL). The United Nations General Assembly’s fourth main standing committee is responsible for the rigorous consideration of draft resolutions surrounding issues broadly involving matters of peace and decolonisation. Over the course of its history, a diverse range of topics spanning from atomic radiation to human

Read More »

SOCHUM

Social, Humanitarian, and Cultural Committee (SOCHUM). The third committee of the United Nations General Assembly closely investigates matters such as the advancement of women and the treatment of refugees. Through considering draft resolutions on social matters, SOCHUM seeks to improve the conditions of life for all, especially the more marginalised

Read More »

ECOFIN

Economic and Financial Committee (ECOFIN). As the second of the six main standing committees of the United Nations General Assembly, ECOFIN provides a forum for the discussion of all manner of economic and financial issues in all parts of the world. Macroeconomic issues of economic development and growth have long

Read More »

DISEC

Disarmament and International Security Committee (DISEC). The first standing committee of the United Nations General Assembly is essentially tasked with promoting peace, principally in the medium and long term, in contrast with the crisis management work of the United Nations Security Council. DISEC has long been at the forefront of

Read More »

Foreign Language Committees

Mercosur

Mercosur (conducted principally in Spanish). Mercosur (Southern Common Market) was formed in 1991 by the Treaty of Asuncion as a sub-regional bloc for the promotion of free trade and the free movement of currency, goods, and people. Counting a number of important South American economies within its membership, working groups

Read More »

European Council

European Council (conducted principally in German). Despite having very limited formal powers of its own, the European Council acts as the strategic forum for European Union (EU) member states to guide the political directions and objectives of the union. Given its role in crisis management, meetings of the European Council

Read More »

AIIB

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (conducted principally in Mandarin). Only starting its operations at the end of December 2015, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is a relatively recent phenomenon. As a multilateral development bank, it seeks to support the construction of infrastructure in the Asia-Pacific region. Its $100 billion capital

Read More »

African Union

African Union (conducted principally in French). The African Union (AU) has 14 listed objectives, which are all designed to encourage development in and promote greater integration of the African continent. Although the AU can date its origins back to the foundation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in 1963,

Read More »

UN Development Group

UNODC

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).  The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime plays a leading role in supporting international cooperation on issues across the areas of drugs and crime. Established in 1997 through the merger of two predecessor organisations, UNODC assists the UN and member states

Read More »

UNHRC

United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). A subsidiary of the UN General Assembly, the United Nations Human Rights Council is responsible for promoting and protecting human rights around the world. Tasked with examining abuses of human rights around the world, the UNHRC has been at the centre of extensive controversy

Read More »

UNHCR

United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). One of the highest-profile programmes of the United Nations is the UNHCR. Mandated with protecting and supporting refugees at the request of either an individual government or the UN itself; the United Nations High Commission for Refugees assists in the processes of voluntary

Read More »

UNEP

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The United Nations Environment Programme is the main UN agency for environmental issues. Its activities are related to areas including climate change, ecosystem management, environmental governance, and resource efficiency; amongst other topics. UNEP has been credited with a number of significant successes in international environmental

Read More »

UNDP

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The UN network for the discussion of ideas surrounding development is the United Nations Development Programme. Through focusing on encouraging cooperation in fields including poverty reduction, HIV/AIDS, democratic governance, social development, and crisis recovery; the UNDP has brought governments together to enact policies that enhance

Read More »

Specialised Agencies

WHO

World Health Organisation (WHO). The World Health Organisation is a specialised agency of the United Nations, covering the remit of international public health. Since its establishment in 1948, the WHO has been at the forefront of many great advances in this field, playing a leading role in the eradication of

Read More »

UNESCO

United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). UNESCO is a specialised agency of the United Nations which aims to encourage international collaboration in the educational, scientific, and cultural spheres. It sponsors projects in areas such as literacy, teacher-training, and heritage conservation; making an important contribution to preserving global cultural

Read More »

Miscellaneous

World Bank

The World Bank. The World Bank is an international financial institution which provides loans to its member states for capital programmes. Its motto is ‘Working for a World Free of Poverty’, and the World Bank has definitely done a great deal in working towards that aim. However, the institution has

Read More »

OPEC

Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). OPEC is an intergovernmental organisation of 13 countries that seeks to homogenise the petroleum policies of member states and stabilise global oil markets. It has attracted extensive criticism for acting as a cartel and reducing competition in oil markets, and its control over the

Read More »

WTO

World Trade Organisation (WTO). The WTO is a powerful body which regulates international trade. Replacing the General Agreement on Trades and Tariffs (GATT), the WTO came into existence in 1995 under the terms of the Marrakech Agreement. Aside from providing a forum for the negotiation of international trade agreements, WTO plays

Read More »

UN Forum on Minority Issues- Unrecognised States

United Nations Forum on Minority Issues- Unrecognised States. The Forum on Minority Issues has met every year since 2008 to discuss various topics concerning minorities, in all their definitions and diversities. The foremost aim of the forum is to identify and analyse strategies for the implementation of the 1992 UN General

Read More »

Press Corps

Press Corps. The OxIMUN 2017 Press Corps will consist of representatives from a variety of global publications and media outlets. Working in the style of their assigned media organisation, members of Press Corps will report and offer comment on the proceedings of the conference; producing regular updates on developments in

Read More »

NATO

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation was formed by the 1949 North Atlantic Treaty as an intergovernmental military alliance between states in both Europe and North America. Emerging as a Western pact of collective mutual defence in the context of the Cold War, NATO counts three

Read More »

IAEA

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The International Atomic Energy Agency aims to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy, inhibiting its use for military purposes (specifically in the development of nuclear weapons) in the process. Established independently of the United Nations in 1957, the IAEA retains close relations with both

Read More »

Joint Crisis Committee

Joint Crisis Committee (JCC).  Operating somewhat differently from the other committees at OxIMUN 2017, the Joint Crisis Committee will simulate an event from the perspective of multiple linked committees of characters, constantly cooperating and conflicting with each other. The decisions made by each committee will influence how the crisis as

Read More »
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