Special Summit on Terrorism

Dear Delegates,

Welcome to Harvard National Model United Nations 2017! My name is Taylor Li and I will be directing the Special Summit on Terrorism (SST). This committee will be challenging and extremely insightful on potential real world solutions for current problems with terrorism.

I am a sophomore concentrating in Government with a potential secondary in economics. I am originally from Southern California, and have yet to adjust to the weather of Boston and the fast paced life on the East Coast. Outside of staffing the HNMUN General Assembly, I am also a board member of the Chinese Students Association as well as a casual ultimate frisbee and intramural sports player.

I have always been drawn to the large committees of the General Assembly and their relevance to the real United Nations. I hope that this year's SST will be extremely rewarding and fun, with delegates leaving with insight and ideas to impact the future.

Feel free to reach out with any questions you may have. I look forward to meeting everyone at the conference!

Taylor Li
Director, Special Summit on Terrorism
Harvard National Model United Nations 2017

Topic Area A: Terrorism in Syria

The rapid rise and frightening reach of influence and action has quickly established the Islamic State (IS) as one of the most dangerous non-state actors of this generation. The IS has acquired significant swaths of territory and has gained international support both financially and militarily. Its activities in Syria, as well as its attacks on outside nations, require immediate attention to prevent further growth and atrocities at its hands.

Delegates will have to devise solutions and plans of action to curb and eliminate terrorist influence in Syria. Resolutions will have to negotiate gray areas such as supporting IS enemies who may become a bigger threat in the future, as well as analyzing Assad’s regime to take into account the political climate of Syria when handling the situation. Delegates will have to work together to unite their countries in dealing with all levels of terrorism and create long term solutions to prevent the resurgence of another terrorist group in the future.

The international community has a vested interest in dealing with terrorism in Syria as it has destabilizing effects on Middle Eastern nations. It also jeopardizes regional and international security. Creating effective plans will set a precedent for multilateral cooperation and response to future terrorist uprisings.

Topic Area B: Addressing the Societal Causes of Terrorism

An estimated 30,000 foreign recruits have flocked to the Islamic State, signalling its frighteningly impressive ability to recruit men and women from all regions of the world. In dealing with the future generation of terrorist organizations the world must keep in mind its root social causes that in many cases create or inspire its growth. The theory of Social Solidarity reframes our approach to terrorism, as it advocates that many terrorist recruits join not for ideological reasons but instead for a social connection.

Delegates will have to devise plans to nip terrorism at the bud and prevent at risk individuals from becoming radicalized. This General Assembly must analyze hot button issues such as personal liberty over national security and national sovereignty. Delegates must consider the advent of the digital age and increased surveillance abilities that will give a new approach to countering terrorism, as well as acknowledge the difficulties of failing or destabilized states that become breeding grounds for terrorism.

The ability to deter radicalization before it begins is the ultimate goal the international community should be working towards as efforts now are merely bandaging the infected wound. An effective plan will be able to promote long term peace and help achieve international security by finally eradicating terrorism.