Biological weaponry refers to the production of biological toxins and infectious substances like bacteria or viruses, to kill or cause physical harm to human beings. The usage of such weaponry can lead to a large number of civilian casualties and cause widespread chaos, leading to massive economic and social disruptions. As biological weaponry is more affordable and easy to store compared to chemical or nuclear weapons, its relative ability to cause destruction increases. It is of especial concern as effects aren’t instantaneous - symptoms require time to appear and may continue to persist in the long run. During World War II, rudimentary forms of biological weapons like anthrax toxins have already been utilised by the UK. However, with the rapid progress of science and technology, the potential effects of biological warfare can prove fatal and devastating. In order to safeguard their people, many countries have hence delved into research, looking to prevent the usage of biological weaponry as well as the spread of its effects. It is now the role of the delegates of Disarmament and International Security Committee to find methods to safeguard and protect civilians from such biological warfare.
In the aftermath of the March 2011 earthquake, the Fukushima Daichi nuclear leakage sent civilians into a frenzy. Despite protests to shut down the plant, the government eventually allowed the reactor to resume its functions. The crisis raised the question of whether nuclear energy has proven to become a necessary evil. With population booms and upward surges in social mobility, the demand for energy is constantly on the rise. The race to look for sustainable energy can only speed up as sources of non-renewable energy deplete. Nuclear energy may thus provide a dependable source of renewable energy until other methods become more affordable. However, the release of nuclear waste in the process is a pressing concern. As spent nuclear fuel can still be radioactive for several years, disposing of nuclear waste becomes complicated: If it’s disposed improperly, it can lead to contamination of land and water. Exposure may also result in direct radiation on the human body. It is now the role of the delegates of the Disarmament and International Security Committee to find methods to manage nuclear waste in the long run, so as to curb the damage while continuing to reap the benefits of nuclear energy.
The recent Syrian civil war, as well as the occupation of major parts of Syria and Iraq, saw a massive inflow of refugees into Europe. While some governments like Germany opened their borders, others decided upon firm anti-refugee policies. Due to the increase in terrorist activity, some governments and communities continue to remain wary of refugee entry. Under such heightened paranoia, integrating into the host country unwittingly becomes an issue. Take Germany for example. The language barrier means the lack of ability to communicate in the host country, which makes forming communities more difficult. Connecting with overly-cautious civilians could prove a challenge, especially when xenophobia is rampant. A higher standard of living could also mean a harder time managing already limited expenses. Even with these difficulties, it is essential to remember that these refugees are trying to escape from their home country for a reason. In order to attain security and escape life-threatening circumstances, these refugees decided to uproot themselves for a completely unfamiliar country. Hence, ECOSOC delegates should suggest solutions to settle this mass displacement of refugees and to present practical frameworks for further integration of refugees who have already entered their new society, so that they may be able to settle into their new home.
Food security is the state of not having dependable access to sufficient quantities of affordable, nutritious food. Crises that arise as a result of conflict or natural disasters have deleterious effects on progress in hunger reduction. Many people from such regions, in search of food for their families move to neighbouring countries, thus leading to yet another pressing issue that needs to be addressed - displacement. As of 2016, Africa is facing its worst food crisis in years. Take the case of the Mayom County in South Sudan. Natives have been putting their lives at risk on their long way to Bentiu, a neighbouring region. Little rainfall in 2015 and massive flooding in 2014 had had an adverse impact on crop cultivation and livestock health. Food shortage, resulting from natural disasters like droughts and famines, can also cause adverse health effects to the detriment of the nation. Hence it is the role of the Economic and Social Council to come up with possible solutions that can address the issues of food insecurity and massive displacement of populations that arise as a consequence of the disaster.
Close to 250 million children all over the world live in areas affected by prolonged, violent conflict. It is particularly in such countries rife with conflict and upheaval where child exploitation has a tendency to occur. For example, over the past year, there has been wide coverage of the child abuse prevailing in ISIS-occupied regions, where militants have been forcing the captured girls into sex labour, and have even attempted to justify their actions. Many victims who manage to escape have shared their encounters: many had been sexually exploited against their will and even traded regularly amongst the militants. No matter the kind of exploitation, physical, sexual or psychological, they ultimately scar the children for the rest of their lives. It is up to the delegates of SOCHUM to discuss the consequences of child exploitation in war-torn countries and devise methods to protect and prevent the increase in such activity.
Dogmatic beliefs have often been the driving force behind honor killing in many developing and underdeveloped countries. Factors like extramarital affairs, refusal of an arranged marriage or elopement drives tend to drive such extreme actions. The distinctive feature of honor killings is the collective nature of the crime - many members of an extended family often plan the crime together. Another thing to note about honor killings is that the perpetrators rarely face negative stigma within their communities because their behavior appears justified. Recently, a Pakistani model, Qandeel Baloch was killed by her own family for taking up a profession they believed to have tainted their reputation. In another incident in 2008, a homosexual Turkish-Kurdish student, Ahmet Yildiz, was shot outside a café in Turkey, later succumbing to his injuries. While honour killing may be used to evoke fear and maintain control within a society, cases of honor killing now also invite tremendous backlash. Unfortunately, instead of being reported as homicides, honour killings are often mislabelled as suicides or accidents. It is now the role of the delegates of SOCHUM to devise methods to prevent and eliminate the practice of honour killing that has been plaguing various parts of the world.