Thursday, February 23, 2012

Undisputed Naturally Essential Proteins

Hello, lovely UNEP delegates! Less than 5 hours til our opening ceremonies commence... are you excited yet? We sure are! After reading all your position papers, we know that you are all well-prepared, and that we are in for some exciting (and perhaps heated) debate. Don't be shy... we want you to bring your all to the conference. Remember, we are here to solve some very important environmental issues that will shape the future of our fragile planet earth. Use tonight to make your position well-known to the rest of the committee and meet your ally countries. By making an impression tonight, we will be more than ready for a full day of debate tomorrow. And make sure to listen during the opening ceremonies and our very exciting mock debate, as you will gain important information that will be useful for the rest of the conference. And don't forget your business attire! Let's be the best-dressed committee of HSMUN 2012! Lastly, and most importantly, HAVE FUN! We can't wait to meet you all!!

Your UNEP Dais

Good Morning..

... and what a fine morning it is!
You can smell the excitement and anticipation in the crisp, cold air. Today is the first day of the HSMUN 2012 Conference! We can't wait to see your bright eyed, bushy tailed selves :)
Some last minute thoughts on small arms:
A June 2006 UN conference (to Review Progress Made in the Implementation of the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms sand Light Weapons in All Its Aspects) attempted to curtail the flow of weapons throughout the world - with knowledge that the UN Security Council's Permanent 5 are the most prominent suppliers. An estimated 1000 per day are killed because of this clandestine support of rebel groups. China, for example, is the main supplier of small arms to The Sudan (88%). As of 2006, the number of Sudanese small arms imports from China jumped 137 times from the 2001 level. One might argue that China has thus aided in the genocide that Sudan's government has apparently perpetrated in its Darfur region [indirect/alleged].
The UN's major Security Council members are not the only culprits. In November 2008, Iraqi Kurds acquired three planeloads of small arms and ammunition from Bulgaria. Ty he Kurds seek autonomy from the Iraqi government and independence. Introducing weapon s in to that volatile military theatre is only adds to Iraq's contemporary problem with controlling violence within its borders.
The US expressed what was implicit in the policy objectives of the other four veto blocking States; its Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs reported to the UN General Assembly that the US would object to any steps to establish the international recognition of ammunition or ban governments from giving or selling arms to rebel groups of their choice. In his words: "While we will of course continue to oppose the acquisition of arms by terrorist groups, we recognize the rights of the oppressed to defend themselves against tyrannical and genocidal regimes and oppose a blanket ban on [such recipient] non-state actors."
(Slomanson, Fundamental Perspectives on International Law)

Some last minute items to consider:
- Closed Conference: conference considerations will be purely internal and open to no external events (worldwide events that happen outside of the conference cannot be used during the debates).
- Business wear: get out those black dress socks... The Delegate of the Levis will not be recognized :P
See you all tonight!!
The DISEC Team

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

UNEP: Using Neurons Enables Progress

Hey there guys and gals,

UNEP checking in. Probably for the last time. But never fear! On Thursday, you will finally get the chance to meet your lovely dais staff and fellow delegates!

Thanks to all of you who sent in position papers, and if you didn't - not a big deal, just make sure you read up on a little background before coming Thursday (at bare minimum, just read the old blog posts tagged UNEP). Here are some last minute tips:

If you've done this before, you know exactly what to expect. We'll be counting on you returning delegates to steer the committee and make sure the conference runs smoothly. Hope you guys are just excited as we are! (Why else would you be back for another year). For those of you who are new to this, not to worry! Thursday is always a relaxed day where we go over all the rules, formalities, and procedure. We like to keep it really informal, so if you feel like you're hopelessly lost with no hope of rescue, keep your ears open and ask questions! That way we can make sure everyone gets the most out of the three days. And trust me, no matter how confused you feel, I promise that by the end of Thursday night, everything will make sense. Now I have been asked by a couple delegates whether they will be forced to talk. For the most part, we'll give everyone their space - we understand if you're nervous and it takes you a while to settle into it. Some people will obviously be better acquainted or have more to say on some issues. That being said, we do want everyone to participate, so we will be trying to get to know you all personally and encourage you to have your say on the topics.

With that, I believe my rant for the day is concluded. Please email us at if you have any questions between now and the conference. We look forward to seeing you all in your best business attire on Thursday. Cheers!


Did I Say Maps?

Hey Historical Delegates:

I've been looking through some maps before the conference, trying to find some gooders. In case you haven't found them, here are some awesome links:

From the Woodhead Commission on Partition:

A general map:

A coloured map with some annotations on the original Partition:

Another view of partition:

The background papers are looking good, I should be through them all by the end of the day. I look forward to seeing all of you.


Robert Lees-Miller
Historical Committee Chair
HSMUN 2012

Thursday, February 16, 2012


One week from this day, you shall grace the halls and lecture theatres of the University of Alberta. You have answered the call, the call to represent some awesome countries in an awesome UN simulation! ITS GONNA BE RAD!!!!

HUGE thank you to the delegates that submitted your papers! As a second-year SC dias staff member, I can say with full confidence that this year's SC sent in more papers! Way to go!

Here are some things to bear in mind as you scurry about, madly making the final preparations for the conference. Your country's allies and enemies (very important for voting). Relations with the Middle East and North Africa (kind of necessary). For specific issues relating to developing a peace settlement, you need to take into account arms control, diverse militia groups, human rights, state sovereignty, and the rights of the current governments. Keep it general to keep it real. Another note, the Arab Spring is obviously still happening. Therefore, it is possible that major events occur during the conference. Between now and Thursday next week, follow these events. However, during the conference, for all intents and purposes, the outside world will cease to exist. If, during the conference Syria announces that protests are allowed and Assad will step down, pretend it didn't happen! If, during the conference Yemen announces that the government will reform and base its new constitution off of Yellow Submarine, pretend it didn't happen (although, that would be sweet!!!). Similar conditions apply to your countries. Between now and the conference, consider your countries static. If say, between now and Thursday, the USA decides to reform itself into an anarcho-syndicalist commune, act as if you were still a republic. If Germany reforms into the 4th Reich, pretend that you are still good ol' democratic Germany. Ask us any questions if you have any! Can't wait to meet you!

Security Council Fun Fact: China has used its veto at the SC 6 times, France 18, Britain 32 times, the US 82 times, and Russia/the USSR 123 times with most of those times coming before 1965. After this, the USSR chilled a bit and let things happen. DAS IST DER HAMMER!!!!

Your very cool SC chair,

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

UNEP: Unicorns Never Eat Pringles

Hello delegates!

Countdown is on! 8 days left before HSMUN! Thanks to all of you who sent in position papers. They're a great way to make sure you know your stuff. We'll be sending out emails in the next couple days to all of you who did send in papers just to confirm that we received them.

A couple quick points I wanted to touch on.

1) Allies - Make sure you know who your allies are! First day of the conference can be a little scary, especially in a big committee like ours. Knowing which countries will be 'on your side' on the issues is a great way to start meeting people and coming up with ideas. Especially if you're not quite sure where you stand on an issue, talking to others can be a great help. Now, how do you figure out who your allies are? For some countries, it will be obvious, for some - not so much. For example, we know that USA, Canada, UK, etc. all generally get along fine. We also know that North Korea doesn't have many allies. If you're somewhere in between, like Belgium, it's safe to figure that you're friendly with most European countries. Just looking around on Google will probably help you out on this one.

2) Perspective - Especially on the resource extraction topics, it might be interesting to think about different perspectives. Take a look at the links below on the Alberta Oil Sands.



Arms control

Hey delegates,

On the topic of arms control:

Also, RIP long gun registry :( Anyways, happy Valentine's Day! We look forward to seeing you guys at the conference, and as always, happy last-minute researching!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

We LOVE Position Papers

Hey SOCHUM delegates!

Even though the deadline has passed, we have not received many position papers from all of you. I'd just like to remind all of you that there's an award for Best Position Paper, so it's worth it to just spend some time writing a background paper on your country. We are still accepting position papers at this point, but please send it in as soon as possible, so we can consider all of your papers for the award!