Cabinet Of The People's Republic Of Bangladesh, 2017

Dear Delegates,

Hello, and welcome to the Cabinet of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, 2017! My name is Andrés, and I am currently a junior at Harvard College. I am from San Juan, Puerto Rico and have lived there most of my life. This is why, even though I am incredibly excited about welcoming you to Boston for HNMUN 2017, you will very likely hear me complain about the cold quite a bit.

I am pursuing a Joint Concentration (Harvard’s convoluted way of saying “Double Major”) in Government and Environmental Science and Public Policy, with a focus on energy politics and international law. For this reason, the topics we will explore in this committee are very relevant to my interests. I believe the environmental issues our world faces are of the utmost importance, and I think they will shape the way world politics shift in the next few years. I have been involved in Model UN since high school, and continue to love it to this day. I am the Head Delegate of Harvard’s travel team, ICMUN, and I staff both our high school and college conferences. Model UN has allowed me to explore a variety of topics that interest me, from Latin American politics and history, to petroleum economics and renewable energy. I think that MUN has the power to bring people together and to make us think about topics in ways that we had never considered before.

This is my goal for the Bangladeshi Cabinet committee you will be participating in at HNMUN 2017. Anthropogenic climate change is the problem of our time, and nowhere is that more evident than in Bangladesh. The country is one of the most susceptible to the worst effects of climate change, from droughts to extreme flooding. It is estimated that millions of climate refugees will have to leave Bangladesh in the next few decades, due to these natural disasters. And yet, this is something you will most likely not be hearing on the news, and by extension, will likely not have discussed on the Model UN circuit.

I want to give a spotlight to the issues I care about – climate change, sustainable development, energy politics – in a forum that I think is one of the most effective ways to address topics of international importance, Model UN. Don’t be fooled, though, there is much more to Bangladeshi politics than preparing for the imminent climate catastrophe. Bangladesh is a country ripe with corruption, political dissent, and social conflict. Moreover, it is a country struggling to make an imprint on the international political scene, especially in the wake of neighbors like India, China and Pakistan. The interplay of these issues will force the Cabinet to make tough decisions about where resources are most valuably allocated, and what direction the country will take for the next crucial years of world history. The task ahead of you is not an easy one.

This will be especially evident in crisis, where my brilliant Crisis Director (and great friend), Nick Abbott, will challenge you to think about the multifaceted job of running a country like Bangladesh. You will come face to face with the forces of both domestic and international turmoil, and every decision you make will affect Bangladesh, her people, and her role in the world. It will be an intense journey, but I can’t explain how excited I am to be taking it with you.

I look forward to a dynamic committee and to meeting you all!

Andrés López-Garrido
Director, Cabinet of the People's Republic of Bangladesh, 2017
Harvard National Model United Nations 2017

Dear Delegates,

My name is Nick Abbott, and I am a junior in Adams House at Harvard, concentrating in Social Studies with a focus on inequality in contemporary urban America. In particular, I am interested in the interactions between housing, criminal justice, and development policies in the modern American city.

I am an active member of the model UN community at Harvard, both as a staff member and as a delegate. I have previously served as a senior staff member for the HNMUN, HMUN India, and WorldMUN conferences, leading committees on topics ranging from the Iran-Iraq War to narcotic drug control to ongoing corruption within the FIFA Executive Council, and am the Under-Secretary General for the Specialized Agencies at HMUN 2017. In addition, I am an active competitor on the college circuit with Harvard’s competitive team, ICMUN. When not at a model UN conference, I can be found streaming soccer matches on my computer, clad in one of my many jerseys. I am also a veteran of several political campaigns, a passion I hope to continue to pursue after college.

I cannot wait for HNMUN 2017 to be here and to engage with delegates on the important issues within modern day Bangladesh!

Nicholas Abbott
Crisis Director, Cabinet of the People's Republic of Bangladesh, 2017
Harvard National Model United Nations 2017

Committee Description:

In 2017, the Cabinet of Ministers of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh faces some of the biggest challenges in the country’s history. In an ever-globalized world, Bangladesh must fight to be seen and heard, especially in a region where India and Pakistan have generally been the foci of attention. Geopolitical tensions have been increasing recently, with China and the United States vying for power in Southeast Asia. Bangladesh must juggle relationships with both powers, while also forging its own path as a major player in the international sphere. Climate change also poses a serious threat to the country, which is thought to be in grave danger of severe weather patterns in the coming years. If Bangladesh does not find a way to adapt to the effects of climate change, and if the world does not form a united front to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, millions of people will be displaced, and the country will be thrown into chaos. This existential crisis comes at a time where cultural conflicts in Bangladesh are getting tenser by the day. Rumors abound that the ruling party is turning a blind eye to Islamic extremists and that the Rapid Action Battalion (an elite unit of the Bangladesh police force) is committing human rights abuses. Corruption abounds, and minority groups are persecuted. If no action is taken soon, the situation will deteriorate.

The overarching goal of this Cabinet will be to prepare Bangladesh for the 21st century, both in terms of development, and global leadership. Internally, however, the Cabinet has a number of more tangible goals: ensuring that the economy is prepared for sustainable development, clearing negative perceptions about government corruption and human rights abuses, maintaining peace, improving the quality of life in non-urban areas, and fighting off poverty. The Ministers themselves will also have personal interests to secure, sometimes even at the expense of the Cabinet. Know this, however: Prime Minister Hasina will see her country to greatness, and will not tolerate internal dissent.