United Nations Security Council

Dear Delegates,

First and foremost, welcome to HNMUN 2018! My name is Safa Salem and I have the utmost pleasure of serving as your director for this year’s Security Council. With two equally challenging and pertinent topics to today’s modern world of international relations, this weekend will surely be one filled with fast-paced debate and resolution seeking.

I am eager to get to know each of you over the course of the weekend and would love to share a few things about myself as well. Born and raised in the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio, I am currently a second-year at the College. I intend on focusing my studies on Global Health and Health Policy, and love talking about anything in the realm of International Relations. I started my trek into the world of Model United Nations during my sophomore year of high school and just could not stay away in college. I had the pleasure of assistant directing both HMUN and HNMUN’s Security Councils last year, and am currently a member of Harvard’s travelling MUN team. When I’m not doing anything MUN-related, you can catch me running along the Charles River, eating kanafeh with the Society of Arab Students, or “studying” in any one of the exorbitant numbers of libraries across campus.

This year’s Security Council will be focusing on two widely debated topics in the scope of the international community. Both issues threaten the overall stability of their respective regions and demand action be taken now more than ever. This committee will certainly be filled with conversations that stem from an issue that has overwhelmed the global community for decades and an issue that has the high potential to end in catastrophe. This committee will be a challenging one, but one that I fervently feel will be quite rewarding.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to me with any questions that may arise from now until conference. I am enthusiastic to see where you all take committee and simply cannot wait to work with each of you over the course of the weekend!

Safa Salem
Director, United Nations Security Council
Harvard National Model United Nations 2018

Dear Delegates,

My name is Danny Rodriguez, and I will be your Crisis Director for the United Nations Security Council Committee in Harvard National Model United Nations 2018. I am a senior at Harvard College studying Government with a focus on political economy, development, and trade. I am also pursuing a secondary degree in Music, and work frequently on theater productions on campus. Your Director Safa Salem and I are incredibly excited to have the opportunity to run this committee, and want to work to make this as positive, educational, and fun an experience as possible for all of you.

I am originally from the beautiful island of Puerto Rico, where I lived until I came to college. When I am back home, I like to frequent the beach just enjoy the sun. When I am indoors I like to cook, play guitar, and watch the West Wing, Archer, and How I Met Your Mother over and over again on Netflix. As mentioned earlier, on campus I work with theater pretty heavily. I started and run the Latinx theater organization on campus, Harvard College TEATRO!, and have directed, music directed, and performed in a number of shows on campus. I am also a freshman advisor, a Jazz director at Harvard’s radio station, a manager at the campus pub, and of course, a member of the International Relations Council.

My interest in MUN began in my sophomore year of college. One of my roommates has been very involved since high school in MUN, and it was through him that I became curious about it, and as a sophomore I began staffing conferences and joined Harvard’s MUN traveling team, ICMUN. Through these staffing and competitive experiences, I have come to really appreciate the environment of growth and debate that MUN fosters. I love being able to learn about and discuss a topic and to develop my public speaking and negotiation skills with individuals that are passionate and engaging. Now I’ve staffed HMUN (our high school conference) and HNMUN twice, most recently Directing the Spanish-language committee in HMUN and Crisis Directing the Historical Security Council at HNMUN.

I am so happy to be running this committee with Safa Salem, one of the most driven and knowledgable students I have met at Harvard. This committee deals with topics that I know are very close to Safa, and as such I know that she will put an enormous effort into making this the best committee possible, while staying objective and allowing you all to have as much control as possible of where the committee goes. In crisis, I look forward to seeing creative and fun strategies that go outside of the box. I am happy to discuss crisis before and during the conference and want to make sure that everyone feels that they are not at a disadvantage because they don’t fully understand the crisis element of the committee. No question is too silly!

I look forward to meeting you all at HNMUN 2018!

Danny Rodriguez
Crisis Director, United Nations Security Council
Harvard National Model United Nations 2018

Topic A: The Arab-Israeli Conflict: A Regional Analysis of Arab-Israeli Relations

Dating back to the early 20th century, Israel and surrounding Arab nations – including Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, and Palestine – have always had strained relations. With the rise of Zionism and the British Mandate over Palestine and Transjordan during World War I, the many territorial disputes with both Palestinians and surrounding Arab nations began their onset. These disputes were not solely restricted to the territorial aspects, but stemmed from mutual antagonism between both peoples. As tensions continued to grow with the incite of mass protests, violence, and illegal immigration, conflict eventually brewed into war. Beginning with the Arab-Israel War of 1948, each subsequent decade saw some war with a neighboring Middle Eastern country and Israel. These wars often resulted in hostilities from both sides, and unresolved tensions that still exist today. For these reasons, and many more, the discussion on Israel in regards to the Arab World cannot be limited to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict alone.

As we move towards more contemporary analyses of the regional conflicts, we must look towards current progress by the international community. With the Security Council’s passing of the historic S/RES/2334, condemning Israeli settlements, and the following announcement by Israel to begin constructing new settlements in Palestine for the first time in 20 years, we must look towards solutions that can be enforced and ensure that the rights of both peoples are considered – and that these rights are built on an agenda to restore and preserve the security of the Mediterranean region. How can the international community intervene to resolve the conflict and have their resolution accepted by both groups? How do we respond to the hostilities? Is there further action that should be taken? These questions and many more must be considered as you work to find a resolution in a time of heightened tension and despair in the region.

Topic B: North Korea: Evaluating Human Rights and the Threat of Nuclear War

For many decades, North Korea has had tense relations with South Korea and other members of the international community. These tensions stem from border skirmishes, assassination attempts, and alignment with different powers during the Korean War and the following Cold War. As the Cold War came to a close, anti-North Korean and anti-communism sentiment ran heavy throughout South Korea, damaging the potential for reunification early on. Furthermore, as China started to work towards restoring relations with the West, North Korea began fervently attempting to maintain its independence in the eyes of the global community. As we move towards more modern issues, we see two that immediately call the attention of the international community: North Korea’s growing nuclear power, and its human rights abuses that run rampantly throughout the nation. Additionally, these two issues create major concerns for the regional stability of the Asian region, demanding action by the global community.

North Korean nationalism is at the root of many of these pressing problems. With a government that restricts freedom of expression and movement, association, and many other political and economic freedoms, North Korea’s citizens face a heavy threat of execution and brutal treatment. Moreover, the expansion of their nuclear program, and threats upon nuclear warfare in South Korea, the United States, and other members of the international community demands immediate action. As we look towards building a resolution, we must consider the consequences faced by many regional partners, including South Korea, China, Japan, and many others, in order to build a solution that protects both the region and the global community as a whole.