Iberian Model United Nations (IMUN) requires extensive research, planning, courage to debate, public speaking skills, and much more. Why, then, are so many young people inclined to join it? Why do something so demanding and requires so much time and effort? For certain delegates, being able to experience a replica of what a United Nations (UN) conference looks like was the main appeal. For others, the answer was rudimentary due to the university and career opportunities that participating in IMUN would provide. Others simply love the environment of a debate.
This year 32 different schools participated in the 2022 Iberian Model United Nations (IMUN). The press team had the honor of interviewing one of the directors as well as a student from the International School of Kenya, currently the school that is the farthest away from Portugal.
This year in the Security Council, the Permanent 5 (P5’s) have been the most active delegates due to the severity of the issues being discussed in the conference. Throughout the two and a half days of debate, there have been multiple veto threats that resulted in the need for a “P5 caucus” to come to an agreement to avoid full strikes of clauses. A P5 caucus is when a P5 member issues a veto threat and the five delegations go to a separate room with the co-chair to come to an agreement. IMUN Press interviewed these five delegates on their experience of representing their respective.
After a heated debate, the IMUN Press team decided to interview the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics as they have opposing viewpoints regarding the Cuban Missile Crisis. During the debate, Cuba contended that the government required foreign aid, such as that provided by the USSR, to maintain its sovereignty.
Veto power is a controversial topic. Its core has been extensively debated, as many view veto power to be undemocratic and out of date. The veto threat is one of the most potent threats in the United Nations. As in any other Iberian Model United Nations Conference, the veto threat was very much present, prompting ultimatums between member nations.
During the second day of the 2022 IMUN conference, there was a significant increase in the submission of amendments in Special Conference, coming from a greater variety of delegations. Although all amendments received special attention from the delegations in the room, the amendment submitted by the delegation of Poland ignited the most heated debates.
On the first day of IMUN, Friday, November 12th, three delegates from the Vilamoura International School in Algarve had the honor of stumbling upon the President of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa. President Sousa is known both in Portugal and abroad for his aggressive handshakes, friendly demeanor, and love for swimming in the Cascais bay all year round.
The IMUN Press conducted an interview with this year's Secretary-General, Eva Félix.
The 2022 FIFA World Cup, hosted this year in Qatar, is fast approaching, and with it increasingly more allegations regarding the human rights violations of workers in the country (Dougall). Football fans in Europe have rallied around the message “Boycott Qatar 2022,” and influential players such as Philipp Lahm revealed that they wouldn’t be going to the World Cup. Campaigns such as these have the goal of publicizing the rights of communities such as migrant workers and women in the country (Dougall).
The IMUN Press Team interviewed the keynote speaker from the US Embassy.
Around 198 countries include Freedom of Religion in either the country’s constitution or their basic national laws. Despite these statistics, many violations of religious rights still occur in nations globally.
In times of crisis, countries have become aware of the importance of dependence on each other for supplies of goods and energy. With pandemics, wars, and climate change, this dependency not only has negative impacts on the country exporting but also on the country importing as well.
The information we access directly influences our actions and how we perceive the world. This is precisely why freedom of expression and the press are fundamental rights, and the free exchange of ideas is a major force behind thriving civilizations and human advancement. Freedom of the press is essential because it helps keep populations informed about current events and monitors government activity. Although there is widespread awareness of this issue, reporters today still face an increasingly hostile environment in many countries, specifically autocratic regions. According to 2022 World Press Freedom Index by Reporters Without Borders, press freedom has significantly weakened in Asia due to absolute information control. The military takeover in Myanmar and the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan were two significant events in Asia last year that contributed to the severe decline in journalistic freedom (UCAnews).
In a progressively digital era, the lack of online data privacy has extensive political, legal, and social implications. Globally, almost all of the population has a digital footprint and can be identified in a data ecosystem, where citizens’ online data can be stored and analyzed, by intelligence agencies and law enforcement, for many purposes (“The Global”). Government surveillance of this data enables countries to trace cybersecurity threats, advertising companies to personalize their products through micro-targeting their audience, and innovative approaches to personal data that could allow for a more efficient society. However, the collection and access to private citizen data by governments can lead to breaches in democracy and violation of rights to privacy.
Genocide, forced labor, sterilization, and much more. These are some of the things the Uyghurs are going through due to the state government of China. ("What's happening"). There have been many accusations and activists speaking against the Chinese government regarding the oppression the Uyghur community has been facing for years. These accusations state that the government has set “re-education” camps that function like high-security prisons where they punish and abuse the Uyghurs to gain control and make them submit to their authority.
On August 5th, 1962, South Africa’s most wanted anti-apartheid activist and the man known as the “father of Modern South Africa”, Nelson Mandela, was arrested and served 27 years of jail. He was charged with organizing an illegal strike and for illegal immigration (Simpson). Mandela was an activist who spoke against the minority government and apartheid, a system of racial segregation in South Africa at the time. He served the African National Congress (ANC) party and later the South African Communist Party (SACP). Nelson Mandela stood trial four times, charged with sabotage, treason, violent conspiracy, not abiding by the apartheid laws, illegally leaving the country, and violating the suppression of the communist act. To better understand this arrest, it is best to paint a timeline (Simpson).
The fundamental idea of bodily autonomy is that everyone has the freedom to decide what happens to their bodies and what does not. According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, “An essential part of contemporary human rights is the concept of personal autonomy. Every person must have autonomy so that he/she can feel free to make decisions” ("Universal Declaration").
Due to online media, there has been substantial growth in access to diverse information instead of a few mainstream sources. Known as fragmentation, this results in the erosion of audience from mainstream media platforms, leading to more choices and consumption of diverse, more specific media outlets by the general public. Fragmentation is a causal factor of the media “echo chamber,” a phenomenon in which one’s digital environment echoes personal biases and beliefs, reinforcing views without exposure to conflicting outlooks. These concepts play leading roles in facilitating large-scale misinformation, obstructing the possibility of truly objective media, as there is no balance between conflicting perspectives in sources ("Our Common").
The world has never been closer to nuclear Armageddon. The ensuing confrontation between the United States of America and the Soviet Union, dubbed the Cuban Missile Crisis, is presently the most pressing issue in global headlines, and nations worldwide are watching attentively to see how this conflict will unfold. In order to get a grasp on the nature of this crisis, it is important to understand the events that led up to it, how means such as disarmament could bring an end to the present and future situations, and how the impending conflict between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. can be avoided.
The word refugee has become a common topic in the Western World. From the war in Ukraine to the Taliban establishment in Afghanistan, the word refugee has become one of the most used words in our daily vocabulary. Sadly, many people must displace themselves from or within their countries due to conflict or extreme poverty. Countries such as Venezuela, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Myanmar, and the Syrian Arab Republic, have the highest refugee rates around the world in 2021 (UNHCR).
The Russia-Ukraine conflict is one of the most pressing global issues that has remained a consistent headline throughout 2022. This “special military operation,” as declared by Russian President Vladimir Putin, has since displaced more than 13 million Ukrainians and left tens of thousands dead since it began in late February of this year (BBC). To fully grasp the nature and magnitude of this war, it is necessary first to understand the origins of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, what has happened since the first February invasion, and what Russia’s ultimate intentions are.
The conflict has been the root of economic and social issues for centuries. The word capacity to deliver deliver resources to belligerent regions in times of conflict was almost non-existent. Nevertheless, with the development of non-governmental organizations (NGO) in the 40s, after the Second World War, the world gained different personal political or social objectives