Some are born brilliant, some have brilliance thrust upon them and some achieve brilliance. Over 200 students, participants and organizers alike, stepped away from a much awaited weekend on the 12th and 13th of February 2016 to take part in the LSR Model United Nations Conference hosted by Lady Sri Ram College for Women. ‘Bringing Back Brilliance’ was just a glimmer in the eyes of the Secretariat and Organizing Committee of the conference which after months of planning and execution compelled the aspiration of brilliance to become reality.
With War, Human Security and Development being the central theme, the conference simulated the United Nations Security Council, the United Nations General Assembly, the United Nations Peace Building Commission, and the United Nations Commission on Status for Women as well as a historic National Security Council.
The United Nations Commission on Status for Women debated the daily battles that women are faced with even in the twenty-first century, in a progressive world that still remains ‘male-centric’. The independence and emancipation of women was stressed upon with metaphor and facts. The simulation ended with most members of the agency agreeing that, “A gilded cage is more ornate and comfortable than a crude iron cage but it is a cage, nonetheless.”
The United Nations Security Council took up the question of the Mediterranean refugee crisis; a problem that has been making headlines for as long as most of us can remember. The delegates not only condemned the violence in Syria but also came up with well-planned, pragmatic measures which could be implemented on a larger level not only to control the influx of refugees but also to stabilize the socio-political situation in the conflicted country as well as ensure proper rehabilitation for the expatriates.
The United Nations Peace Building Commission juxtaposed the ideas of force and peace and debated on the ethical appropriateness of the existence of the concept of peace enforcement. The delegates aimed at exploring the nexus between use of force and peace building, which entails a discussion of the means of employing force for peace and the ramifications there of. Optimization of the benefits of peace enforcement while chalking out guidelines for effective methods to mitigate the risks involved as well as determining the future of UN involvement for peace was deliberated upon by the enthusiastic members of this council.
The United Nations General Assembly delved deep into the history and the definition of the term “armed conflict” as well as its validity. The discourse on whether conflicts not only affect the entities involved and/or their immediate neighbours but also have domino effect on the world structure as a whole was dealt with a finesse any member of the assembly could be proud of. The compendium of representatives continued to talk about suspension of a treaty or reparability in case of an armed conflict or what treaties could or could not be given or used as leverage. The outcome of such deliberations however lay on the fact that subjectivity is induced where states require to define armed conflict or lay suspicions for specific circumstances or characteristics of armed conflict, the council of members ended by discussing and debating the pragmatic way forward.
The National Security Council set in the year 1962, a time when India was on the brink of a war with China, debated political, economic, energy and security issues of strategic concern. The members of this council not only discussed the impending war but also the sacrifice of countless soldiers who served us on the borders, about the lives of the brave men, about the family of those patriots, about those who gave up their lives for the country. This committee was a test for all its members for it had agendas that were set over a period of time when the NSC in reality did not have its existence even on paper at that time in India.
The International Press saw magnitude of activity in terms of reports, features, opinion pieces and interview profiles and photography being carried out in each of the committee simulations. A wide range of topics were covered that went beyond particular agendas, explored different perspectives and finally came together as LSRMUN’s newsletter, Communique.
A high level of debate coupled with extensive research by the brilliant participants, the guidance of the hugely talented members of the Executive Boards, the phenomenal amount of hard work put in by the Organizing Committee has indeed set the bar high in achieving brilliance while balancing objectivity and subjectivity as well as holding on to the legacy attached to the conference.
A thank you is extended to the Principal, Staff both Teaching and Non-Teaching, the Secretariat, the organising committee at LSR and our Sponsors without whom this event would not be the success it is.