Social Committees In Mun And Their Functions Written by Şevval ALPARSLAN
Hi everyone! To start by introducing you myself, my name is Şevval Alparslan, I am 17 and currently a junior student at Adem Tolunay Anatolian High School. To define myself shortly, I am a reader, researcher, MUNer and a permanent human rights advocate.
I have heard about MUN conferences for the first time in my life while I was a student in my old high school in İstanbul. I was a confused freshman who had no idea about what was going on, just trying to survive my high school life. And when a girl came to my class to introduce MUN Club in our school, I realized that something in my life was about to change.
However, I couldn’t find the self-confidence to attend any kind of MUN conferences that year. And the next year when my family decided to move to Antalya, I was devastated because I had no idea about the fact that there were MUN conferences in Antalya too. Long story short, there were. I am even an academy member of one of the most beautiful ones right now (ATALMUN’18). And I can say that without any doubt, I am no longer that little girl who was afraid of communicating with people, diffident and quiet. All thanks to my MUN experiences.
I would like to begin my first article by saying that why Model United Nations conferences have played a life changer role in my life in a very short time. As I said before, I define myself as a human rights freak. And that is because of the first conference I have attended, Y-Mun16. I travelled all the way from Antalya to İstanbul, and I am so grateful for that. I was in the committee of Human Rights Watch (an international N-GO that conducts research and advocacy of human rights) as the expert on Spain (yes they have experts, not delegates). To be honest I didn’t talk that much or help with writing resolution paper. But I observed and listened a lot. At the end of the conference I was feeling a lot different -and emotional actually- because I thought that I found my life goal in this amazing committee. My USG, the study guide he wrote, my fellow experts and any other things about it including the resolution paper they wrote, they just impressed me a lot. I came back to Antalya and the next day I was sitting on my couch, with a computer on my lap, researching about HRW and the reports it released. I realized that I was turning into a whole new person with every word I read about the terrible truths of the world.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. This is what it says in the very first article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of December 10th, 1948. But still, the world is facing with appalling facts like starvation, war, racism, discrimination, homophobia, Islamophobia and such human rights violations.
MUN committees like Social Humanitarian and Cultural (SOCHUM), Human Rights Council (OHCHR), Human Rights Watch (HRW), European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), Refugees High Commissioner (UNRHC), UN Women… In my opinion, they have a higher function than others: They encourage young people to become conscious on such sensitive global issues. Most of these committees are usually recommended for first-timer delegates, which I think is a great step to get started to an MUN career. But the problem with me was that I could never leave these committees. Even now, as an experienced delegate and academic team member, I still prefer SOCHUM or HRC in my applications.
My dream is to live in a world full of individuals mindful of the importance of the prevention of human rights violations and abuses in the world, especially in the context of up-to-date issues. My passion for Model United Nations’ human rights related committees starts here. I consider MUN as a great chance for us young people to be a part of debate atmospheres where we have the opportunity to expand our vision and express our solutions for the course of our world. And actually there is this one thing that really makes me upset: High experienced delegates often prefer JCCs or war-related advanced committees like NATO or UNSC. This is very reasonable, of course. But still, I am unable to understand why all these delegates make preferences according to committee levels, not to their interests. (I am fully aware of some of them are actually interested in those topics by the way.)
As can be seen, human rights committees generally are overshadowed by other fancy ones and often described as simple. This makes me really disappointed because I believe with all my heart that they actually have much more complicated social responsibilities then people think. I hope at one point, people will stop underestimating them.
Y-Mun16 opened my eyes and changed the way I look at the world, and a lot has changed in my life since then. But human rights violations still do not intend to stop. Let’s do this right and try to change the things we possibly can change.
The Writer of MUNTurkey.com