World Health Organization

Dear Delegates,

Welcome to HNMUN 2018! My name is Pepo Zivny and I am veritably excited to serve as your Director for the World Healthy Organization Committee (WHO). Undoubtedly challenging and wholly consuming, this committee should prove to provide a valuable learning experience for all those who are interested in the intersection between health and international relations.

Originally I am French-Australian, although I spent much of my youth also living in Texas, Nigeria and England; in many ways, my life has been a ceaseless exercise in International Relations. Naturally, I took to Model United Nations in boarding school, and was in fact a founding member of my school’s Model United Nations team. More recently, I was involved in directing last year’s HNMUN Disarmament and International Security Conference committee. Outside of staffing MUN conferences, I manage a small, student-run café on the Harvard campus. Currently, I am Joint-Concentrator in Comparative Literature and Social Anthropology, but I am also pursuing a secondary in German Studies as well a language citation in Czech. When I find the odd hour, I enjoy watching movies with my friends, reading poetry and munching on pastries!

This year, delegates will be given the opportunity to explore two incredibly important topics in the world of global health: Wartime Social Psychology and the Effects of Climate Change on Human Health. Although these topics are often discussed in the media, creative and scientifically sound solutions to many of the issues that these topics present nevertheless remain elusive! However, it is my hope that through hard work, some originality and, above all, diplomacy, you delegates will succeed in paving the way towards a healthier world.

Please feel free to reach out to me at any point with any questions that you may have, and I eagerly await to meet you all come February 2018!

Pepo Zivny
Director, World Health Organization
Harvard National Model United Nations 2018

Topic Area A: Wartime Social Psychology

As explosions rattle battlefields in far-off lands, it is easy to ignore the shockwaves rippling through home territories. After all, while the physical casualties of war may be many, the psychological injuries can be countless. Both during and after times of violent conflict, it is crucial that involved governments be mindful of the hearts and minds of their citizens.

The psychological effects of war are multifaceted and manifold. This topic will cover phenomena from panic to post-traumatic stress disorder, examining how civilians can be consoled both in times of war and in its aftermath. Equally though, the WHO may also want to consider how to prevent aspects of wartime social psychology from being exploited. Corrupt or authoritarian governments may, for example, take advantage of the “rally around the flag” effect, using extreme wartime patriotism for self-interested political causes. In all cases though, it will be of paramount importance to consider the different options available for prevention, cure, and long-term recovery as they pertain to these psychological conditions, whilst being mindful that no treatment is likely to be equally effective in all parts of the world. No doubt, it should soon become clear that stabilizing the national psyche might well in fact play an important part in bringing about international peace.

Although the issue of Wartime Social Psychology is one that has yet to be thoroughly explored by the international community, it nevertheless has major consequences for global order.

Topic Area B: Effects of Climate Change on Human Health

Health effects of climate change are not often a topic of consideration when thinking about the environment or environmental policy. However, climate change has a potentially large impact on human health and well-being; the WHO expects climate change to cause 250,000 deaths per year starting in 2030. Warming can cause deaths from extreme heat or drought, water-borne diseases could be transmitted in new or more recurrent ways, and extreme weather patterns may become more common. Such effects would be vastly different in different areas of the world, as more extreme climates are likely to be more affected by rising temperatures.

Together, the global community has a responsibility to combat climate change and its many effects, including those that directly affect human health. To this end, an effective plan to combat climate change must incorporate and directly address the imminent consequences for human health, and developed countries must recognize their role in assisting developing nations and those nations in vulnerable climates.