JCC: The Commonwealth

The year is 1949 and the nascent Commonwealth of Nations faces a formidable threat in Malaya: communism. Malaya is still reeling from the onus of Japanese occupation in the Second World War and the high cost of Allied victory has London uncertain of its conviction to maintain a rapidly splintering British Empire. Britain’s first attempt at a postwar colonial government, the Malayan Union, resulted in catastrophic failure, presenting an opportunity for the Malayan Communist Party to set up camp in the Malayan jungle. As the communist insurgency grows stronger by the day, it is up to a combination of British colonial officials, Malayans, and regional allies to hold the young Federation of Malaya together. But will Commonwealth forces be able to eradicate the communist ideology before ethnic tensions, economic stagnation, and the debate over independence rips Malaya apart? Only time will tell as the sun finally sets on the British Empire.



Director's Letter


Dear Delegates,

Welcome to HNMUN 2019! My name is Julian Ubriaco and I have the pleasure of serving as the Director of the British Commonwealth of Nations of the Malayan Emergency Joint Crisis Committee at HNMUN 2019. HNMUN - and the Specialized Agencies organ in particular - is intended to represent not only a forum to conduct high-level debate but also an opportunity to critically reevaluate and deconstruct the course of history. I look forward to using this committee to accomplish just that, diving deeper into an often-overlooked component of the Cold War as the committee attempts to contain a rapidly expanding communist movement in Asia.

A little bit about me: I grew up in Long Island, New York, where I first became exposed to MUN in high school. I still remember the day when I noticed flier for the new “Model UN” club and have not looked back since, joining HNMUN and ICMUN, Harvard’s travel MUN team, my freshman year. Despite residing in the United States my whole life, I also hold Swiss citizenship through my mother and attempt to capitalize on every chance afforded to me to travel to Europe or explore the world in general. Such experiences as well as my diverse ethnic background (my father is Puerto-Rican and Italian) have provided me with a unique perspective on the world’s ever more exciting diplomatic arena and the major historical events that have come to define the world’s political, ethnic, and religious boundaries of the present.   

At Harvard, I concentrate in Applied Mathematics/Economics and am pursuing a secondary field in Chemistry. I’m also a proud resident of Mather House, the concrete slab often carelessly photoshopped out of the Harvard skyline. Beyond Model UN, I serve as Co-President of the Harvard Undergraduate Biotechnology Association and write articles for the Harvard International Review, typically concerning geopolitics. When I’m not committed to classwork or extracurriculars I enjoy running along the Charles River and playing tennis.

The Malayan Emergency JCC will mark the first JCC at HNMUN since 2013. My co-director Katie and I are confident that both committees will foster a comprehensive discussion of communist expansion in Southeast Asia, all before a US boot has stepped on the ground in continental Southeast Asia and the region is still heavily marked by the colonialist divisions enacted by the reeling Western powers. I’m excited to see how this committee chooses to maintain or alter the strategies historically employed as it faces an intensified call for communist ideals from its JCC counterpart. Regardless, I am relishing the opportunity to redefine the outgrowth of this conflict in Southeast Asia, all while the sun finally sets on the British Empire.  

Feel free to reach out to me with any questions you may have regarding the committee topic, structure, or HNMUN in general. I look forward to getting to meet all of you come February!


Julian Ubriaco
Director, JCC: Commonwealth
Harvard National Model United Nations 2019



Crisis Director's Letter

Joe headshot.jpg

Dear Delegates,

My name is Spencer Ma and I am honored to be serving as your Crisis Director for the Commonwealth for the JCC: Malayan Emergency, 1948. A bit about me: originally from Southern California, I am currently rising senior at Harvard studying Economics with a secondary in European History, Society, and Politics. Here at Harvard, I participate in many Model United Nations-related activities. This past year, I served as the Head Delegate for Harvard’s travelling Model United Nations team, ICMUN, and was on Secretariat for HNMUN’s Latin American conference, HNMUN-LA. On top of that, I currently serve as the Secretary-General of Harvard WorldMUN 2019 and have directed and crisis directed many committees for both college and high school students.

Having competed in numerous conferences on the American circuit before, it is exceptionally exciting to be on the other end of the committee as a crisis director especially at a conference like HNMUN. HNMUN prides itself in bringing the brightest delegates from all around the world, not just North America, in order to bring a variety of perspectives to the table when debating in Model UN. This committee, the Malayan Emergency, is not only significant to the history of Southeast Asia but also nuanced enough to create substantive debate and conflict between the two sides. As Crisis Director, I will be working with the staff to weave a crisis narrative that will hopefully provide lively and (sometimes) unexpected challenges to enhance the committee experience. You, on the other hand, have the responsibility to respond to such challenges and cooperate to create lasting history for yourselves. 

I am incredibly excited and confident that this committee will be filled with substantive excellence, intriguing discussions, and lively debate. If you have any questions or concerns about this committee, please feel free to contact me. I look forward to meeting you all at HNMUN 2019 and welcoming you to this fascinating committee!


Spencer Ma
Crisis Director, JCC: Commonwealth
Harvard National Model United Nations 2019