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  XXVIII  

Cathedral Model United Nations

  th

17th - 19th August, 2024

Letter from the Secretary-General

Anoushka Singh.jpeg

Anoushka Singh

Secretary-General

Dear Delegates,

 

It is with my utmost honour and privilege that I extend to you an invitation to the 28th annual session of the Cathedral Model United Nations. CMUN is one of India’s oldest and most prestigious student-led conferences, embodying a tradition of excellence that this year’s secretariat is proud to continue. 

 

Deep and careful deliberation has gone into the ideation and creation of this year’s committees to do justice to this convention's historic legacy. The result is a diverse, engaging lineup of topics, meticulously designed to provide delegates with the opportunity to debate global issues that span eras, from contemporary challenges to the epochs of history. 

 

Firstly, allow me to introduce our dynamic General Assemblies. Currently, our nation is characterised by a unique duality: on one hand, it boasts of remarkable economic growth, but on the other, it still grapples with persistent challenges in human development. This year, the delegates of our first General Assembly have the chance to deal with this paradoxical balance in India’s economy, and must attempt to reverse the impact of years of corrupt and egregious policy failures. In our second GA, delegates will be required to confront the rampant and debilitating drug trade that plagues the international community. From the proliferation of South American cartels to the insidious infiltration of narcotics across borders, this committee is tasked with combating the perils of an illicit industry while remaining cognizant of the profitability and political influence that a drug cartel wields. 

 

Moving to the regional assemblies; global tensions are currently at an all-time high in the proxy battleground of Yemen. The complexities of Middle Eastern relations and the morality of Western intervention have never been more pertinent. Delegates in this committee will have the considerable burden of resolving this humanitarian crisis while evaluating the geopolitical stakes and the ethical considerations surrounding foreign intervention. 

 

Furthermore, no Indian MUN is complete without a Lok Sabha, and CMUN is no exception. This year, in our second regional, members of parliament will be tasked with dealing with a resource so fundamental that it can only be made partisan in the heated political climate of India - Indian citizens’ access to water. In this futuristic committee, the revered Ganga River faces ecological collapse due to excessive citizen neglect, sparking religious conflicts and widespread unrest. This, along with other upcoming water disputes, is leading to rising farmer suicide rates and crop shortages have led to widespread disease, hunger, and poverty. Can the ‘leaders’ of India rise to the occasion and prevent revolt and disaster, or will partisanship still prevail over the basic needs of the average Indian citizen? Only time and this committee will tell.

 

Last but not least are the specialised committees. Mirroring the former committee and keeping in spirit with the question of the feasibility of bipartisanship is our United States Senate. In the aftermath of the notorious and ever-relevant Watergate scandal, will delegates be able to put aside their preconceived notions and respect the principles of due process? They must critically evaluate whether this evidence warrants conviction or acquittal, testing the integrity and functionality of bipartisan cooperation in the pursuit of justice and attempting to preserve the sanctity of the rule of law. In the Historic Security Council - never in modern memory has genocide been a more relevant topic of discussion. In this committee, delegates are tasked with peacefully resolving the brutal conflict ensuing between Bosnia and Herzegovina after the dissolution of Yugoslavia. Delegates must recognise the dangers of ethnic nationalism and the devastating impact of war on civilians and pursue the most effective form of international intervention, hopefully setting a precedent for our real-life counterparts.

 

Lastly, we have left the super-specialised committees, where reality transcends into an enigma and storylines get unceasingly convoluted. In one of the two such committees, the Illuminati attempts to exist as a clandestine organisation that can control the world from the shadows. Can this historic organisation stake its claim amidst the tumult of global crises, governmental turbulence, and revolutionary fervour? In this committee, delegates must attempt to orchestrate their manoeuvres to firmly establish themselves as formidable presences in a world teetering on the brink of chaos. The second super-specialised committee is the Roman senate, convening on the Ides of March. Senators will be torn between loyalty to tradition and fear of Caesar's growing power. As tensions rise rapidly, delegates must be aware that the fate of perhaps the greatest empire this world has ever seen hangs dangerously in the balance.

 

I have spent so much time discussing the agendas of the committees this year because I am genuinely proud of them. However, regardless of how creative, thought-provoking, and relevant our committees are, or how hard-working and dedicated our secretariat may be, CMUN is only as good as the delegates make it out to be. CMUN thrives on the energy, enthusiasm, and commitment of its delegates. Hence, the success of this conference ultimately rests on your shoulders. It is your responsibility to rise above superficial discussions and engage in meaningful, substantive dialogue that reflects the gravity of the issues at hand. So, please take on this responsibility with the weight it deserves. Prepare thoroughly, participate actively, and push the boundaries of your own understanding. Let your contributions be a testament to the hard work and dedication of everyone involved in making CMUN a reality.

 

CMUN ‘24 will be my last in a long line of MUNs. Over the past five years, MUN has perhaps had the most profound impact on me of all my extracurriculars, shaping my personality and instilling in me the most invaluable values. It has introduced me to a community of passionate and like-minded individuals, and the friendships I have forged and the mentors I have found along the way inspire me to strive for excellence every day. So, it is with a mix of nostalgia and gratitude that I approach this final conference. Thank you, CMUN, for being an integral part of my journey. I look forward to making this final conference exceptional and am excited to see what the future holds.

 

In the meantime, if you should require any assistance or support, do not hesitate to contact me at secgen.cmun@cajcs.in

 

Until August. 

 

Yours faithfully,

Anoushka Singh, 

Secretary-General,

Cathedral Model United Nations, 2024.

Letter from the Deputy Secretary-General

Krish Photo.HEIC

Krish Lambah

Deputy Secretary-General

Dear Delegates,

It is my utmost honour to welcome you to the 28th annual session of the Cathedral Model United Nations. Every year, CMUN assembles the nation’s potential future leaders and role models in a conference that is full of diverse perspectives, conflict, resolution and enjoyment; aspects that form the vitality of the debate that ensues during the weekend of CMUN. At this conference, dominance and vulnerability convene in seamless coexistence, compelling us to confront the inherent complexities surrounding power. These paradoxes in power help us discover the subtle nuances that shape our views and influence our responses to authority.

To a student who hasn’t participated in one before, the delegates of a Model United Nations conference presumably look like a bunch of students pretending to possess levels of authority and power that they won’t ever achieve. They’d probably wonder how these mere students, in the shoes of UN delegates, make a significant impact on our society. This question was one that I, too, once had, because the world will never see our resolutions, and they won’t ever be implemented or discussed after the conference ends. However, through my personal MUN experiences, I’ve learnt that it’s not the societal impact of the conference that makes MUN special. Instead, it’s the impact that it has on an individual. Even though we only pretend to be world leaders, the experience gives us a tantalising sense of power that we want to cling to forever, and I think it drives us to getting there in real life. Plus, even if the power isn’t the primary attraction of the conference for you, the discussions, experiences, relationships and learnings derived from a conference are unique outcomes that, in my opinion, cannot be found anywhere else. These outcomes help us emerge as leaders and create a generation of individuals that can achieve anything they put their minds to.

Although I’m evidently one of the students that’s inspired by the power that MUN vests within me through the duration of a conference, I think it’s also essential and relevant, especially in our current, contentious political global landscape, to examine the converse effects that power can have. As put by William Gaddis, “Power doesn’t corrupt people, people corrupt power.” This quote demonstrates the ever-present ambiguity within systems of authority and highlights how the misuse or distortion of power stems not from its intrinsic nature, but from that of the individuals who wield it. Paradoxically, while it holds the potential to inspire positive societal change, power can also harbour the risk of manipulation and abuse when placed in the wrong hands. Today, with global conflicts unceasingly escalating and major wars unfolding on various continents, the state of the world is more precarious than it has ever been, since World War II. This dire state of events is the chasm that most prominently echoes the desperate call for diplomacy. 

Unable to protect international security and fulfil its most important outcome, the UN Security Council is under fire, with specific focus on its permanent members. The power of the 5 permanent members in the UNSC is an aspect of the UN that will unremittingly be debated and is one of the biggest examples of how the misuse of power can manifest. 

Whether it’s vetoing resolutions that go against themselves or their allies, the P5 nations continuously appear to exploit their standing to push their agenda. If this continues, which looks likely, then every promise made by the United Nations at the close of the Second World War will have been a lie, and the peace that came out of the world’s most fatal conflict will come to a disastrous close. The only real deterrent I see in today’s world is mutually assured destruction. That, in itself, says a lot about the world: the idea that the only thing that can keep humans from harming others is the need to protect themselves, not their moral compass or sense of social responsibility.

As students, we have the capability to discuss and inspire change, but cannot tangibly make it happen. We are tiny specs in a world of 8 billion people, where we understandably may feel powerless, and too intimidated to try and spark change. At CMUN, you are entrusted with the power to make decisions and instead of doing your small part to inspire it, you can directly create an impact. Even though real lives or countries aren’t at stake, the decisions you make are a true indication of your character. Hopefully, this experience is enough to help you understand the challenge of balancing power, and plays a role in forming a clear path for your future, because at this time, that's the best we can do. 

That is the end of my monotonous rant about the state of the world, the pressing issues we face and everything I’ve learnt in my 5 years doing MUNs. This year is my fourth and final CMUN, a fitting conclusion to some of the most transformative experiences of my school life. I was never shy or afraid to voice my opinions, but MUN has really had an impact on my confidence, as with each passing conference I became bolder and more assertive, which shaped the person I am today. 

I hope this conference provides you with an unforgettable experience, where you learn a lot, enjoy yourself and grow as a person. While you grapple with the challenges you face across the three days, stop for a moment and take in your memories, because it will be over before you know it. CMUN is made by its participants, and you all as delegates give it a sense of magic which will last for years to come. 

I look forward to seeing how you navigate and balance the power entrusted within you. If you’ve any queries, please feel free to reach out to me at depsecgen.cmun@cajcs.in

Until August, 

Krish Lambah,

Deputy Secretary-General, 

Director,

The Roman Senate, 44 BC, 

Cathedral Model United Nations, 2024. 

CMUN THROUGH THE AGES

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