Topic A:Universalization of LGBTQ+ Rights
The existence of LGBTQ+ persons and their history are as old as human society. However, widespread acceptance of these sexual minorities has been in flux. LGBTQ+ persons have faced multiple forms of discrimination, and have battled mistreatment in various degrees of severity. Prior to the mid-1900s, public attitudes towards homosexuality were largely negative across the globe, and such forms of “sexual deviance” were at times even labeled as a mental disorder. Following the many social movements of the late 1900s, LGBTQ+ persons began to fight for visibility and acceptance within their communities. Today, many parts of the world have made great strides towards the acceptance of LGBTQ+ persons, even going as far as to ensure many social, financial, and legal protections for LGBTQ+ persons and their families. However, these attitudes are not equal across our modern world. There are still many nations that criminalize LGBTQ+ identity or expression, both in de jure and de facto policy. It will be the mission of our committee to establish international guidelines towards the treatment of LGBTQ+ individuals, and determine howexactly our international community views sexual minorities under the umbrella of human rights.
Topic B: Curbing Violence Among Seperatist Movements
All the seperatists movements that continue to emerge around the globe struggle with being treated fairly. Our second topic, “Treatment of Separatist Movements” will address the issues faced by those who feel underrepresented or unrepresented by their current governing states. This may include people like the Transnistrians of Moldova, the Turkish loyal Northern Cypriots, or those of Catalonian descent in Spain. Most famously, this type of case is seen in Israel, as Palestinians seek recognition from their International Community for land that they feel they claim ownership to. While this committee is not meant to be a case study on the Israel-Palestine conflict, delegates may find that many of the theories and norms that shape arguments made on either side of that conflict may play into larger dynamics of separatists vs mother states. Delegates should come in with knowledge about many different movements, and the factors which unite them.
Letter from the Chair
Welcome to the University of Miami’s MISCUN VIII! We are so excited to have you with us, and we are looking forward to an engaging weekend of debate. My name is Logan Smith, and I am elated to be serving as your Chair for the Social, Humanitarian, and Cultural Committee (SOCHUM). The issues presented for us in a debate this weekend are of great importance to myself as both a diplomat and a citizen, and I am looking forward to reviewing the many innovative solutions I am sure we will see in committee.
I am originally from the city of Boston, Massachusetts, but I have spent a majority of my life growing up in Denver, Colorado. My history of Politics and International Relations is unique, as for a majority of my life, my chief form of political organization has been through art. I have been a singer since I was about five years old, and when I was in the eighth grade, I started school at Denver School of the Arts, a local arts magnet school, where I majored in voice for five years. Throughout high school, I became incredibly interested in politics and the intersection between music and social activism. Because of this interest, I began to sing jazz, and learn about the history of the art form, specifically how jazz music has continually served to highlight and push back against the inequalities seen in American society. I started at the University of Miami in the Fall of 2016 as a Jazz Voice Performance major, and after joining our MUN team during my first semester, added on a second major in Political Science. I have since been a member of our traveling team, and have helped to staff six different conferences through the University. Currently, I am serving as the Secretary-General of Miami-Dade MUN, a high school conference the University hosts in partnership with Foundation for Leadership, a local non-profit that uses Model UN as an experiential learning device to help equip high school students for engagement in civic life post-graduation, and for careers in education and government. Most recently, I had the privilege to work with Best Delegate’s Model United Nations Institute as a Diplomacy Fellow and Residential Counselor, in which I was able to teach high school and middle school students from over thirty countries about MUN and its applications to civic life.
Outside of Model UN, I am a member of the University of Miami President’s 100 Student Ambassadors, a Resident Assistant in the U’s Mahoney Residential College, and a member of the nationally acclaimed Frost School of Music Extensions jazz voice ensemble. I am an avid reader of cultural fiction (Abraham Verghese and Arunhati Roy being some of my favorite writers), I love to play all sorts of board games and card games, and I can almost always be found binge-watching a season of Survivor or Big Brother during my desk shifts in the res hall.
The SOCHUM committee this year is primarily concerned with ensuring that solutions created are practical and are regionally specific. The factors that affect both the treatment of racial minorities and those participating in separatist movements vary wildly based on geographic location, as well as social and cultural differences. The Dais will be looking to see highly researched solutions that are backed by empirical data. An ability to assert your solution (and its research backing) in speeches will favor delegates greatly, and we as a Dais will search for a plan that is connected from concept all the way through execution. Delegates can prepare themselves for the committee by researching the factors that lead to discrimination based on race and ethnicity in communities across the globe, and by addressing the root cause of this discrimination in their resolution. One movement that may prove to be helpful in research would be the strategies taken by CEDAW and the Women’s Movement. Your solutions for Topic A should be results oriented. For Topic B, delegates should work to identify the common demands of separatists, and the common pushback they receive from their current mother nations. Solutions should then be diplomatic in nature, seeking to first protect the life and human rights of those seeking independence, but then also seeking for a solution that mutually benefits both the mother nation and separatist nation.
It is my pleasure to welcome you to the third committee of the General Assembly, and to our inaugural 305MUN. I look forward to meeting you all, and please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or concerns! Go Hurricanes!