Committee Overview

General Assembly Size: 200-280 delegates (all 4 Committees) Difficulty: Advanced
Info: The General Assembly (GA) is one of the principal UN organs, consisting of delegations from all UN member states. It has many duties, among which making recommendations and taking non-binding decisions. It operates as a whole, as well as in 6 specialized Committees that discuss the respective agenda items individually, draft resolutions and then introduce them to the GA for voting. There is a representative from each delegation in every Committtee. At CGSMUN Conference, the first 4 UNGA Committees are simulated (with the ones left out being the Administrative and Budgetary and the Legal Committee).

 

1st GA Committee Size: 50-70 delegates Difficulty: Advanced
Info: The 1st GA Committee focuses on Disarmament and International Security issues. The prohibition of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), i.e. biological, chemical and nuclear weapons, is a typical theme encountered in this Committee. Furthermore, particular war zones or arms race instances are addressed.

 

2nd GA Committee Size: 50-70 delegates Difficulty: Advanced
Info: The 2nd GA Committee specializes in Economic and Financial (EcoFin) affairs. It deals with both macro and microeconomic matters, as well as specific countries troubled by economic conditions that threaten the global economy. It focuses on both More and Less Economically Developed Countries (MEDCs and LEDCs).

 

3rd GA Committee Size: 50-70 delegates Difficulty: Intermediate
Info: The 3rd GA Committee is the Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee. It targets all three components equally, i.e. social issues (e.g. gender discrimination), humanitarian crises (e.g. refugees) and cultural matters (e.g. protection of cultural heritage in time of war). It adopts a wider scope than the Human Rights Council (see below).

 

4th GA Committee Size: 50-70 delegates Difficulty: Advanced
Info: The 4th GA Committee is probably the hardest one. It deals with Special Political and Decolonization affairs, i.e. territorial disputes, colony-mother country clashes and intricate diplomatic issues. Typical examples of issues include the territorial dispute in Jammu-Kashmir, the war in Crimea or the Sudanese Civil War.

 

Security Council Size: 15 delegates Difficulty: Advanced
Info: As opposed to the General Assembly, the jurisdiction of which is limited and clearly consultative, the UN Security Council (UNSC) is the most powerful UN principal organ. It consists of only 15 members, 5 permanent (China, France, Russia, UK, USA) and 10 non-permanent that serve for 2 years and are chosen on grounds of geographical representation. The SC deals with the most critical global topics, such as wars and crises, and is the only UN organ with the jurisdiction to impose sanctions, deploy peacekeeping troops and make binding decisions, i.e. decisions member states and other UN organs are obligated to follow. Lastly, the 5 permanent members of the UNSC can exert veto power (automatically fail a decision voted upon by voting against, even if majority is met), a fact that makes political and diplomatic balance within the Council very tended.

 

ECOSOC Size: 30-40 delegates Difficulty: Intermediate
Info: The UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) is one of the principal UN organs and deals, as the name suggests, with socioeconomic issues, emphasizing the underlying connection between social and economic problems. The most typical example of this would be unemployment, which has causes and repercussions stamming from both fields. The ECOSOC is composed of a maximum of 54 UN member states that change every three years and thus create a smaller, more coherent Council. As compared to the 2nd and 3rd GA Committees (see above), this Council is not “purely” economic or social/humanitarian in nature: It deals with both components simultaneously. As a result, it is slightly easier than the 2nd and more complex and challenging than the 3rd GA Committee.

 

Human  Rights Council Size: 30-40 delegates Difficulty: Beginner
Info: The UN Human Rights Council (HRC) is a subsidiary body of the UNGA, which, like the ECOSOC, consists of a maximum 47 members with three-year terms. In order to be eligible for membership, countries must be contributing to or committed to the promotiom and protection of human rights. Obviously, the scope of this Council focuses purely on human rights violation issues (e.g. the prohibition of child soldiers), and in this regard it is more focused, as well as slightly easier, than the 3rd GA Committee and the ECOSOC. As most nations agree on the necessity of protecting human rights (though not all perecive them in the same way), the HRC is ideal for MUN newcomers.

 

Environment Commission Size: 100-120 delegates (both Sub-commissions) Difficulty: Beginner
Info: This Commission is a variation of the UN Environment Programme, a UNGA subsidiary body. It consists of 2 Sub-commissions that deal with different environmental issues, both local (e.g. deforestation the Amazon) and global (e.g. reducing greenhouse gas emissions). Like the GA, the Environment Sub-commissions operate individually, drafting resolutions, as well as a whole, voting on and passing/rejecting these resolutions during a Plenary Session on the last day of the Conference. Although all global issues are complex and challenging, the majority of countries agree on the importance of protecting the environment; thus, this Commission, too, is ideal for MUN newcomers.

 

Special Conference Size: 50-60 delegates Difficulty: Intermediate
Info: Each year, CGSMUN has a different global theme, which is addressed in a Special Conference (SPECON), as well as has direct or indirect links with most agenda items of all other Committees too. For instance, the 10th CGSMUN’s theme was Global Reform and Ethics, while the 9th CGSMUN addressed Modern Means of War and the 8th CGSMUN focused on UN Millennium Development Goals. This ever-changing theme always draws attention to different global issues, while giving delegates the chance to discuss on alternative topics.

 

International Court of Justice Size: 15 Judges and 4 Advocates Difficulty: Intermediate (Judges), Advanced (Advocates)
Info: The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is a principal UN organ that operates on a totally different way than all other MUN Committees. It simulates the UN ICJ, headquartered in the Hague, where countries (not individuals or parties) are tried. Should a UN member state feel another country has breached international law, then it can take the other country to the ICJ, resulting in cases such as “Construction of a Road in Costa Rica along the San Juan River (Nicaragua v. Costa Rica)” (8th CGSMUN 2013).
Each country is represented by 2 Advocates each who are to present evidence and question the Ambassadors of other UN member states as witnesses, in order to prove to the 15 Judges and the Presidents that their country is right. This organ is very challenging and unique.

 

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