Committees

The following committees will be simulated at #SAIMUN17

United Nations Security Council (UNSC)

Under the Charter, the Security Council has primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. It has 15 Members, and each Member has one vote. Under the Charter, all Member States are obligated to comply with Council decisions.

The Security Council takes the lead in determining the existence of a threat to the peace or act of aggression. It calls upon the parties to a dispute to settle it by peaceful means and recommends methods of adjustment or terms of settlement. In some cases, the Security Council can resort to imposing sanctions or even authorize the use of force to maintain or restore international peace and security.

Click to download the Security Council Background Guide

Crisis Committee

A Crisis Committee is a small body, with usually no more than twenty members, brought together to deal with an issue of immediate importance. While General Assemblies or Specialized Committees work to find long-term solutions to long-term problems, such as literacy, infant mortality, or economic coordination, Crisis Committees often handle short-term issues with swift and decisive measures. Crisis Committees often deal with issues like wars, revolutions, disaster control, or economic collapse.

Another key feature of a Crisis Committee is its dynamic nature. When the body passes a directive (a resolution for Crisis Committees), its effects and results are brought to the body in news articles and speakers. In other words, the topics will continue to change and evolve based on the actions the body does (or does not) take.

Click to download the Crisis Committee message from Chair

Disarmament and International Security Committee (DISEC)

The First Committee deals with disarmament, global challenges and threats to peace that affect the international community and seeks out solutions to the challenges in the international security regime. It considers all disarmament and international security matters within the scope of the Charter or relating to the powers and functions of any other organ of the United Nations; the general principles of cooperation in the maintenance of international peace and security, as well as principles governing disarmament and the regulation of armaments; promotion of cooperative arrangements and measures aimed at strengthening stability through lower levels of armaments. It is the only Main Committee of the General Assembly entitled to verbatim records coverage.

Click to download the DISEC Background Guide

Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)

ECOSOC, one of the six main organs of the United Nations established by the UN Charter in 1946, is the principal body for coordination, policy review, policy dialogue and recommendations on economic, social and environmental issues, as well as for implementation of the internationally agreed development goals. ECOSOC serves as the central mechanism for the activities of the United Nations system and its specialized agencies, and supervises the subsidiary and expert bodies in the economic, social and environmental fields.

The work of the Council is guided by an issue-based approach, and there is an annual theme that accompanies each programmatic cycle, ensuring a sustained and focused discussion among multiple stakeholders. The Council’s 54 member Governments are elected by the General Assembly for overlapping three-year terms. Seats on the Council are allotted based on geographical representation with fourteen allocated to African States, eleven to Asian States, six to Eastern European States, ten to Latin American and Caribbean States, and thirteen to Western European and other States.

Click to download the ECOSOC Background Guide

Social, Cultural and Humanitarian (SOCHUM)

This is the Third Committee of the General Assembly, and is chaired by H.E. Mr. Omar Hilale of Morocco. The General Assembly allocates to the Third Committee, agenda items relating to a range of social, humanitarian affairs and human rights issues that affect people all over the world. As in previous sessions, an important part of the work of the Committee will focus on the examination of human rights questions, including reports of the special procedures of the Human Rights Council which was established in 2006.

The Committee also discusses questions relating to the advancement of women, the protection of children, indigenous issues, the treatment of refugees, the promotion of fundamental freedoms through the elimination of racism and racial discrimination, and the right to self- determination.  The Committee also addresses important social development questions such as issues related to youth, family, ageing, persons with disabilities, crime prevention, criminal justice, and international drug control.

Click to download the SOCHUM Background Guide

United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP)

The United Nations Environmental Program is an organization that convenes, facilitates, and provides scientific assessments, analyses, and projects in order to stimulate international policy responses. It partners with and leads major programs such as REDD+ and the GEF. The UNEP is the lead body on climate change, sustainable development, biodiversity, environmental governance, harmful substances, and resource efficiency. Perhaps most notably, the UNEP has assisted in creating guidelines and treaties on issues such as the trade of harmful chemicals, transboundary air pollution, and contamination of international waterways.

Click to download the UNEP Background Guide

United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR)

The United Nations High Commission for Refugees was created in the follow-up of the Second World War as an international reaction to the growing number of refugees around the globe however the 66-year-old Nobel Peace Prize Winner Commission is at the peak of its international significance today. As the world experiences the highest number of displacements in recorded history, UNHCR works towards sheltering, protecting and maintaining the health’s of 16.1 million refugees under its mandate. Thus as the High Commissioner of Refugees, Filippo Grandi, has stated “UNHCR is navigating extraordinarily difficult waters. The combination of multiple conflicts and resulting mass displacement, fresh challenges to asylum, the funding gap between humanitarian needs and resources, and growing xenophobia is very dangerous.” The main activities include the protection of refugees’ and IDP’s rights, emergency help through humanitarian action and durable assistance by supporting voluntary repatriation, local integration and resettlement. With currently almost 60 million forcibly displaced persons worldwide, this UN Agency has doubtlessly a vast responsibility. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees is suitable for experienced delegates.

Click to download the UNHCR Background Guide